Training for a big race like the SeaWheeze Half Marathon, the Edmonton Marathon, the Calgary Harvest Half Marathon, or any number of other upcoming runs in your area? Training for a race is all about preparation and planning, and while gear isn’t everything, the right accessories can go a long way toward helping you push through as your legs begin to tire and you’re dreaming of your couch. This Running Guide has a few things that should make those long KMs a little easier. Go get that PB!
One of the best ways to make yourself feel better during and after a long run is to manage your hydration. Drinking a hydration beverage before you go out is a great start. These dissolvable tablets from Nuun are a convenient solution, and they taste pretty good too. The Strawberry Lemonade flavour is a particular favourite. Have another glass when you come in from your run to help avoid that dreaded dehydration headache.
If your run is in the 2+ hour range, you’ll want to bring some fuel along with you. Energy bars, gels, and chews are all good options for this. Depending on your preferences, you can also try salty pretzels, gummy candy, or nuts. Whatever you choose, be sure to test it out during your training so that on race day you aren’t surprised by how your system handles something new.
Keeping the sun off your face can go a long way towards boosting your energy levels (and preventing sun damage to your skin). A hat is a simple way to get this done. A regular baseball hat works just fine, or you can upgrade to a specialized running hat that allows for more airflow and has sweat-wicking technology.
Wearing sunglasses while running comes down to personal preference. If you like to have the extra shade for your eyes, go for a pair that are lightweight and a fun colour. A heavier frame may not seem like a big deal in-store, but at kilometre 18 you’ll be grateful you went for a lighter pair. The fun colour is so that you look great (obviously).
If you are running for any long distance, bringing your phone along with you is a good idea. Your maps app can come to the rescue if you take a wrong turn and get lost, or if you should get injured far away from home, you can use it to call a friend or a cab. It’s also a good idea to protect your phone from the elements (and/or your sweaty self) with an inexpensive and reusable plastic baggie (pro tip: the snack size bags fit many phones easily).
Music, audiobooks, and podcasts all make great companions on long runs. We recommend trying earbud-style headphones (and only running with one earbud in so that you can stay aware of traffic and other dangers). You can even go wireless with bluetooth-enabled headphones.
When you get back from your race, it’s time to celebrate. After you’ve downed your hydration beverage, grab something to indulge on. Whether it’s a really big chocolate bar, your favourite chips, or any other great snack, enjoy! You’ve totally earned this!
With another glorious — if famously short — Canadian summer just around the bend, now is a great time to either get into or upgrade your wearable fitness technology.
Whether you’re a serious athlete, working on getting back in shape, or anyone in between, there’s a wearable that’s perfect for you. These devices have been around a while, but there are currently more options than ever, including those with GPS and heart rate tracking capabilities. Most are also web connected, allowing you to view your results online. Today, there are also stylish daywear options with even more unconventional wearables coming soon.
Unsure where to start? Read on for advice direct from our trusted LD Experts.
An effective way to begin meeting your daily activity goals is with a standard step-counter, also called a pedometer. These deceivingly simple tools provide valuable feedback about your fitness regimen, whether that’s a 2k morning run or parking a few blocks from work.
A good recommended first goal, straight from Canada’s own Heart and Stroke Foundation, is 10,000 steps per day.
Wanna take it to the next level? The subtle and affordable Fitbit Flex is the true standard-bearer for all fitness wearables. It counts your steps, but also distance travelled, calories burned, and sleep quality. You’ll need to wear it always to get the best results, but millions of current users agree it’s worth it.
Better still, this device, as well as others like it, links wirelessly to a web application that lets you chart your progress. Pharmacist (and LD Expert) Sam Ma says the social element, which allows friends and family to team-up and unlock ‘Badges’ together, makes it an excellent option. It’s kinda like being in Scouts all over again.
Of course, there are more capable wearables for those who want to take fitness tracking to still higher levels. Some track your heart rate throughout the day, which you can then review online in the evening. Others, including options from the navigation experts at Garmin, track your location using GPS. This is especially useful for those who enjoy outdoor runs or bike rides. There are a wide number of advanced wearables available to provide a tracking edge for everything from swimming and skiing to mountain climbing.
A fitness wearable that many overlook are sport-optimized earphones, which could include bluetooth connectivity, built in FM tuners, and even fitness tracking functions. Chris Gibson, a technology buyer and LD Expert, notes he’s also excited by the fitness-encouraging potential of GoPro cameras. Many use these devices to capture amazing footage of extreme sports, like mountain biking and waterskiing.
These days, wearable fitness tracker owners increasingly demand better style and ground-breaking approaches. That includes a subtle daywear fitness watch from Timex, which tracks steps, and the Fitbit Blaze, a premium all-in-one fitness wearable and smartwatch with a sleek, modern look.
Gibson says the latest from the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas is fitness tracking clothing, such as biometric exercise shirts.
Whether you’re eager to adopt all the newest advances in wearable fitness technology or you’re looking to begin a digital journey toward a better you, the tech-savvy staff at London Drugs are keen to help. Find an LD Expert at a store near you.
Chris Gibson is a self-declared gadget geek with a love of all technology, from phones to drones. As an Electronics Buyer for London Drugs, he travels the world looking for new tech to bring to LD customers, and loves to see new and creative uses for gadgets in everyday life. Outside of work, he is a husband and father to two girls that constantly challenge him to use tech to keep one step ahead of them. Twitter: @cav_ok
Sam Ma is an avid photography enthusiast who enjoys playing sports, collecting wristwatches, and singing. He also loves to eat ramen noodles and just about anything soupy. Sam is a Patient Care Pharmacist who, in addition to dispensing and counselling on medications, is responsible for running annual health clinics such as the Osteoporosis Screening clinic. He is always more than willing to help you with your questions and health care needs.
For technology lovers, it can get difficult to pull yourself off the couch and get active – especially during the winter months. Luckily, the new XBox One technology allows you to dance it off, right in your living room. LD Expert Damion Gilzean visited CTV News Edmonton to discuss the gaming technology, which was featured at the Alberta Cancer Foundation’s annual Bust A Move fundraiser. The technology has evolved so much over the past few years, he says, that no controller is necessary to play. This means even the least experienced gamer can play – including CTV host Cory Edel!
They say in giving, it’s the thought that counts. It’s a sentiment doubly true of health and wellness gifts, which have the potential to rub people the wrong way. “Here’s a present to help improve your current condition!’’ Thinking in advance about the wants and needs of your giftee improves giving accuracy, helping you avoid awkwardness and waste.
When it comes to health- and wellness-related gifts, it’s all about the lifestyle and aspirations of your giftee. Is he or she more about jogging or marathons? Swimming lengths or aquasize? Lifting weights using a workout torn from a magazine, or taking classes with a professional trainer?
Knowledge is power, and we’ve got a suite of helpful suggestions. Of these four people, we bet you have at least one on your gift list.
Your bestie Amy practices yoga at home and at the gym, wants to lose weight, and is careful about what she, and everyone else, eats.
A workout mat and a colourful yoga outfit is the perfect gift — the clothes can double as a “run-around-town” outfit for when she’s out with the kids.
A wearable fitness tracker. Mom and Dad are now fluent with their smartphones, and like to assist their exercise with a handful of apps. Take it to the next level with a Fitbit.
In addition to lifting weights with a trainer, your competitive brother Dan does cross-fit, runs a few kilometres each week, and loves his morning protein shakes.
Prepared smoothie and shake mixes. Dan’s probably got strong preferences when it comes to protein powder, so do reconnaissance before you shop. If you’re not sure, Vega makes an excellent protein smoothie for early mornings short of time, or top-ups throughout the day.
Your sister Bella is naturally slim and fit, which is annoying, and she’s considering starting a “10,000 steps a day” program.
Have you ever needed that extra little bit of motivation, or a reminder to get active? London Drugs tech expert David Levett sat down with anchor Darrell Rumold on CTV Morning Live in Regina to discuss some of the newest products on the market for monitoring fitness.
For someone looking for something simple, yet effective for fitness tracking, FitBit might be the perfect choice. These activity trackers are a very user-friendly option and are best suited for entry-level to average fitness trackers who want something simple. David showed off the FitBit Charge HR model, capable of tracking essential fitness measures like steps taken, calories burned and active minutes. The charge also acts a watch and is able to sync wireless to any laptop or smartphone. FitBit can also monitor one’s sleep. David explained in the newscast how the FitBit would track sleep and then display on an iPad the amount and quality of sleep he had. Starting as low as $70, FitBit provides an affordable option for users who want effective fitness monitoring without complexities.
I know you’re probably sick of hearing by now about how you need to exercise more in order to prevent so many conditions, especially, of course, cardiovascular problems like heart attacks, heart failure, and strokes.
In fact, exercise is such an effective “preventer” of illness, if it came in the form of a pill, everyone would be lining up to get more than their fair share to swallow.
But what’s so amazing about the benefits of exercise to me is that it’s not only the best weapon we have to fight off many conditions, it’s an effective tool to make a person feel better even after they’ve become sick with such conditions, and the latest evidence of that comes from a Spanish study presented at the recent American Stroke Association meeting.
In this study which involved 159 patients, the researchers concluded that the higher the level of fitness in a stroke victim, the better their chances of surviving the stroke with less damage.
That is, if you are unlucky enough to suffer a stroke, the wee bit of good news is that the more fit you were to begin with, the more effectively the anti-clotting drugs that prevent stroke damage if given shortly after a stroke will work on you.
Businesses set goals to achieve growth or profitability over time, and competitive athletes set training goals so they’re ready for important competitions. Individuals may have big picture goals, such as eating healthier or becoming more active, but how can you make sure you actually get there?
Setting goals that are specific gives you a long-term vision and short-term motivation. When you set goals that are clearly defined it lets you set milestones and see your progress, giving you the self-confidence to carry on and achieve your objectives.
Think about what your end goal is, and then put it into specific terms. For example, if you want overall health, what does that mean to you? Does it mean you can run five kilometres non-stop, or does it mean you reach a particular measurement such as a lower BMI? Whatever your final goal is, write it down in a journal.
* Blame It on the Brain: The latest neuroscience research suggests spreading resolutions out over time is the best approach, Wall Street Journal, December 26, 2009