A Triathlete Beginner's Swimming Workout (That Everybody Can Use)

February 29, 2012

Swimming is my absolute favorite workout/sport, there’s nothing else I rather do than jump into the water and swim for hours. Of the three triathlon’s segment, swimming it’s my favorite one.
I like not only the physical effort but also the sensation of calm and quite that comes when the water surrounds the body.
People are always asking me how I don’t get bored by just doing laps in the pool.
In a way, this concern is legitimate, if you’re just going back and forth, over and over again (“without a plan”) swimming might get boring in the long run. That’s why it’s so important to have a workout program to follow: it will break the routine and it will make you become a better swimmer.
So, I thought of posting the classic workout designed for beginners’ triathletes but that can also be followed by anyone who’s willing to improve in their swimming.

Wanna Lose Weight? Cut Sugars (As If You Had Diabetes)

February 27, 2012

Notwithstanding thousands different diets, pills and drinks we all know that there’s no magic formula for losing weight.
There are two golden rules that you should keep in mind when trying to shed those extra pounds off your body:
1) There are 3500 calories in one pound of fat; and
2) That you should reprogram your metabolism to go into burn-fat mode.
In other words, to lose one pound you should burn 3500 calories and those calories should come from your stored fat.
However, your body will start burning fat only when it doesn't have other more readily available energy sources to resort to. Needless to say it, the first choice source of energy is sugar.
Sugar runs in our bloodstream and it’s also stored in our muscles and liver as glycogen.

When your body runs out of sugar that's when it starts burning the reserves (i.e., stored fat), and, as a consequence, you’ll lose weight.
The end of the story is that to get thinner you have simply to drastically cut your overall sugars intake.

The Best Sources Of Iron (Other Than Meat, Fish, And Poultry)

February 26, 2012

Last night I had a long and interesting conversation with my friend Pete. He’s thinking about becoming a vegan but he’s scared to lose on precious nutrients such as proteins, calcium and iron. He seemed particularly confused and concerned about iron: why it’s crucial for the correct functioning of our body, what foods contain the most amounts of it, and so on.
I told him that I know some vegans elite triathletes that are doing just fine (maybe even better than us “omnivores”). However, they are very conscious about getting all the iron an athlete’s body requires.
Fact is, being meat, fish and poultry the greatest sources of iron, if you take those foods out of the nourishment equation one needs to be extremely careful to find other sources of iron.

Wanna Get Smarter? Do More Cardio!

February 23, 2012

Who would have ever thought that if you want to win a Nobel Prize, you should not spend countless hours in a library or in a laboratory, but you must also make sure to raise your heart rate with a kick-ass cardio activity almost daily?
In fact, a newly published study has determined aerobic fitness has a positive effect on mental functions.

Plantar Fasciitis: What Can We Do About It?

February 21, 2012

As runners we all, sooner or later, have to deal with plantar fasciitis.
And it’s always really bad news: it hurts, takes a long time to recover and, on top of that, we can’t train while we’re dealing with it.
But also non-runners can suffer from it, as plantar fasciitis can occur to anyone, unexpectedly, while walking or just performing an activity that requires standing up.
I’m currently dealing with a bad case of plantar fasciitis and it’s so bad that I can’t put my left foot down without suffering from excruciating pains.
My doctor told me to rest, apply some anti-inflammatory topical cream, maybe pop-up a couple of pills to ease the pain and just wait anywhere from 7 to 14 days.
I know myself too well, and waiting for me it’s just not an option; also because there are tons of things I can do speed up the recovery process of plantar fasciitis.
Let’s discover more...

Some Thoughts On The Alkaline Diet

February 19, 2012

My post on green juice has raised some question about why I believe it is important to integrate more alkaline foods (such as a green juice) in the diet.
Personally, even if I don’t follow the Alkaline diet; I think its proponents have made some valid points, and there are few valuable lessons we can learn from it.
But let’s make one step at the time...

If You Have A Body, You Are An Athlete

February 14, 2012

I took this picture few weeks ago while I was in Paris. This is one of my favorites quotes of all time and seeing it on the wall just made my day.

My Daily Core and Abs Routine

February 11, 2012

As a triathlete I need a strong core and solid abs for a number of reasons (not just for the look!)
1) First and foremost because in the swimming I want to keep my body as much as possible parallel to the water surface in order to gain speed and I can achieve this only if I have an iron core.
2) On the bike, if you want to avoid lower back pains, it's your abdomen that should be in charge of sustaining your upper-body weight.
3) Finally, the stronger the core the better runner you’ll be. A strong core will help not only sustain the weight of your upper body but it will help you lift the legs and achieve longer strides.
That is why I train my core and abs everyday for at least 30 minutes, and I'm pretty satisfied with the results...I mean, the picture below is good proof, right?
Anyway, this is in a nutshell my core and abs routine. I do 3 (sometime 4) sets of each exercise, it's pretty intense, and at the end I can barely feel my muscles. Hope you find this useful!
Note: I posted some YouTube's videos that show how to do the exercises. I find those very useful because they teach the correct form which I believe is crucial!

Protein Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

February 10, 2012

Protein Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

I’ve been looking for a solid recipe for protein cookies for quite some time, unfortunately there are very few to be found. On top of that, some just don’t work, while others taste gross.
I was a tad frustrated by that and almost ready to give up the idea. That's when I made up my mind and decided it was about time to try to create a solid recipe for protein cookies.
I tried and tried (and tried) until I perfected these protein cookies. Packed with proteins, fibers, precious nutrients, but considerate in sugars and fats, these cookies are just delicious.
They can make for a perfect post-workout recovery snack and, if you have kids, they are a perfectly healthy treat.

The Best Green Juice

February 5, 2012

The Best Green Juice

Green juice is among one the healthiest things you can have: full of antioxidants, vitamins and with a high alkalinity that helps your body balancing the Ph in your system.
However, I need to be honest here: I truly hate green juice. Complete nightmare.
I drink green juice the same way I used to take cod liver oil when I was a little kid: holding my nose, closing my eyes and forcing it it down the throat while telling my body 'this is good for you now gulp it!"

Wanna Be Ready For The Beach? Now Is The Right Time To Start!

February 4, 2012

I felt that this weekend was just the right time for a motivational post. Especially because I talked about this with a friend of mine last night. In a hopeless effort to try to convince him to sign up for a gym membership and start exercising I told him: “Do you really want to do like you did last year and stay at the beach with your t-shirt on? Or just not come to the beach at all?” Last summer he was very self-conscious about his body (to the point that he would rather not come to the beach at all because of it) I used the summer/beach excuse as a way to try to get him back on the right track...and considering that he just texted me about it, I might just have succeeded.
I’m pretty aware that talking right now about the beach might seem awkward. I mean, outside it’s still freezing cold, we get inches of snow every other day and with the summer still six months away flip-flops, short, bikini, suntan and the like are just a distant thought.
However, if you want to be the ready for the beach, this is the right time to start!