image via askmen.com

Knowing how hard to push yourself while training can be a tricky business. How much is too much? Can I do more reps? Is my body too tired to go on?
You don’t want to injure yourself, but getting the results you want requires pushing yourself to the limit. Exactly what that limit is hasn’t been a science–until now.

A new device, called the iSense, is being developed to tell athletes exactly how their muscles are doing during training.  This wireless device works by sensing muscle contractions. It then informs the wearer if he or she is straining his or her muscles to the limit of endurance.

The developer of the iSense, Mohamed Al-Mulla, said in Science Daily, ”It is all about being able to train safely and smartly.”

The iSense is still in its developmental phase. When it debuts to the public, I predict we may see some new world records being broken with the help of this useful new training device.

by Anthony Adragna

image via dailyhealthnow.com

A new study suggests that stretching before running does not prevent injuries. If
you currently stretch, though, you should continue. The study also suggested that
changing your current routine could increase the likelihood of injury.
Study participants were randomly assigned into two different groups. One group stretched for three to five minutes before running, while the other did not stretch.
The study examined 2,700 people who ran more than 10 miles per week. After
analyzing injury rates in both groups, researchers discovered no significant
difference between the group that stretched before exercise and the one that did
not. Importantly, though, runners who stretched before the study but were assigned
to the non-stretching group, doubled their potential for injury.
Results from the survey have not yet been peer reviewed. The best advice is to
consult with your doctor about the best pre-exercise routine for you.

by Carrie Adams

With all the cooking I do, I feel like my arms are either constantly submerged in a sink full of bubbles, or else emptying my dishwasher.  In the mornings, as I try to get two girls out the door, I often find myself eating breakfast on the go.

One of my favorite breakfasts is oatmeal. Driving with a bowl isn’t recommended, though many an evening I have taken a crusted bowl out of my car and labored to scrub the remaining oats off the sides of the bowl.

Well, I have the perfect solution.  With a glass of milk, these oatmeal treats, boasting 6 grams of protein and 3 grams of fiber per cookie, are as hearty as a bowl full of oats, and as healthy too.  Grab two on your way out the door for a delicious and healthy breakfast on the go.

Ingredients:

1 ¼ cup Old Fashion Rolled Oats

½ Cup Whole Wheat Pastry Flour

2 TBSP Flaxseed

1 tsp. cinnamon

½ tsp. baking soda

¼ tsp. Sea Salt

½ cup Agave Nectar

1 egg white

1 tablespoon almond butter

1 tsp vanilla

¼ cup chocolate chips

2 TBSP Chia Seeds

2 TBSP Hemp Protein Powder

¼ cup Sweet potato Puree

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Mix Oats, flour, flaxseed, cinnamon, baking soda, chia seeds, hemp protein powder, and sea salt in a large bowl.  Combine Agave, egg white, almond butter, vanilla,  and sweet potato puree in a medium bowl.  Combine the two mixtures.  Spoon mixture into 16 or so evenly spaced cookies and flatten slightly with your spoon.

Bake 8 – 10 minutes or until golden brown.

Nutrition Information per cookie: Calories: 117 Carbs: 19    Fat: 2   Protein: 6    Fiber: 3

by Harmony Heffron

image via everythingforyourfamily.com

With inactivity and obesity being tw0 of the biggest killers in the United States and Great Britain today, people are looking for new and inventive ways to stay in shape. One of the groups most at risk of inactivity are office workers. Trapped behind a desk for most of the day, the difficulties of staying in shape for this group are apparent. Thankfully, help may be on the way.

Portable pedal machines have been tested out in the workplace successfully. The study, in The British Journal of Sports Medicine, was small but yielded promising results. The group of office workers studied said they would use the pedaling machines while working if their bosses provided them. On average, the participants pedaled on the machine 23 minutes a day.

The pedal machines are affordable and similar to exercise bikes. They can be easily set up in front of a regular office chair, making them useful for office workers or those who do similar sedentary work at home (like bloggers!) They are an easy way to get physical activity while working. The office workers studied also said they did not feel the machines distracted them from their jobs. The researchers think that the pedal machines show good potential for implementation in work places in order to combat health problems.

by Keith Grogg

Tim Boyle / Getty images

We all know junk food makes us fat, but could it also be making us stupid?

Wherever you are right now, find your kids and have them put down that twinkie, because a recent British study shows that kids who are not fed a “health-conscious” diet have a lower IQ score than kids who are. It might seem like a no-brainer, but in the vital years of development, it is especially important to eat a healthy diet. When brain development is at its peak in early childhood, the last thing you want to do is starve the brain of necessary vitamins and minerals.

Just remember kids: eat smart to be smart!

by Beth Connolly

Today’s Spartan Race in SoCal was a huge success!  Congratulations to all of our Spartan winners and Spartan competitors.  You all challenged yourselves and tested your limits.  If this was your first race, you probably just changed the course of the rest of your life–in future decisions, you won’t shy away from taking a difficult, more rewarding path over an easy one.

If this wasn’t your first race, you deserve a Spartan-style congratulations from your significant other (google it).  I don’t doubt we’ll be seeing you at many future races.

And if you didn’t compete–get excited for the Chandler, Arizona race coming up in less than two weeks!  Sign up here.

Curious about the results of today’s race?  Click here.

Stayed tuned to the blog for more detailed race coverage in the upcoming days.

…at the Vail Lake Resort in sunny Temecula, California!

If you’re competing, check here for details.  If you’re not competing, we expect you to show up and cheer on your fellow Spartans.

by Jess Murden

In the end, it’s the internal battle that is the truest test of one’s competitive spirit.  We Spartans are all competitive by nature–that’s why we do what we do.  However, participating in a Spartan Race will tap into your true competitiveness: the battle you fight within.

This internal competition comes from the desire to keep fighting because we don’t want to disappoint ourselves.  We want to finish strong and to complete what we started.  Failure is not an option.  Fatigue, muscle soreness and bruises are but mere microscopic obstacles when it comes to internal competition.

Spartan Races bring out the best in us.  Yes, we are competing against other racers, but those with true grit and the willpower to endure must rely on their spirit of internal competition to guide them towards success.  No fear of heights, nor mud, nor fire will quell a Spartan Racer’s inner sense of competition.

Good luck to all the Super Spartan racers in SoCal tomorrow.  Make us proud!

by Anthony Adragna

image c/o NY Times

As many of us know, the United States is currently facing a public health crisis on the horizon. A new report by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention examines exercise trends at statewide and countywide levels. The results are scary: nearly 25 percent of all Americans get NO exercise outside of work.

Those trends are particularly true in the South and in Appalachia. In many of the counties in those regions, more than 29 percent of residents reported getting no physical activity outside of work.

To compile the data, the CDC took information from the 2007 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System and some census information. All information was self-reported. Additionally, while this information is a reliable estimate for exercise estimates between 2004 and 2008, the situation has likely worsened since then. Increased obesity and diabetes rates nationwide support that conclusion.

Residents in Colorado, Minnesota, the West Coast and portions of the Northeast were the most active. People in Alabama, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma and Tennessee were the least active.

You might ask, “why does any of this apply to me?” After all, if you’re reading this site, you probably already exercise. Well, first of all, be sure you are exercising. Doing so reduces your chances of diabetes and other chronic conditions. Encourage your friends and neighbors to get out there and exercise. If you don’t, we as a society will pay the bills. These chronic conditions continue to cost billions of dollars to our strained healthcare system.

by Carrie Adams

Mount Whitney

Hey Spartan nation… who’s heading to California this weekend to race?  Did you know that California’s Mount Whitney measures as the highest peak in the lower 48 states? Its most famous climb is Mount Whitney Trail to the 14,495 feet summit?  That sounds like a fun weekend training hike…

In honor of the California Spartan race, I’ve concocted a delicious energy-boosting smoothie inspired by “The Land of Milk and Honey.”  For all you Spartans out there running this weekend, make sure you fuel up before you head out and destroy the course.  With hearty oats, healthy fats, protein and carbs, this balanced drink is just what a Spartan needs before a race.

So-Cal Spartan Smoothie Recipe

1 cup non-fat Greek yogurt

3/4 cup fiber-rich rolled oats

1 tablespoon flaxseed

1 cup of milk

1 tablespoon honey

1 banana

1 large carrot

1 tablespoon peanut butter

1 – 2 scoops whey protein powder

Ice

Put all ingredients in a blender on chop, then pulse, until desired consistency.  Enjoy!