Posts Tagged ‘Winter’

Keeping Toasty

April 8, 2011

One of the hardest things about running when it’s cold out is figuring out what to wear.  You don’t want to wear too much cause, if you’re like me, once you start moving, you start sweating.  If you wear too little, you’re bound to freeze no matter how fast a pace you keep.  Layers are key, but so too is a hat.

During last weekend’s half marathon, I sported a knitted beanie for the race.  It was great at the start when it was cold, but as the race progressed I got too hot.  Not to mention the fact that I had to wear my hair in a low pontail because those kinds of hats are impossible to wear with your hair up.  If only there was a way…AND THERE IS!!

Around mile 6, I spotted a couple of female runners with beanie’s that had a hole for a ponytail!  I caught up with them and asked where they got it.  Turns out it’s made by a company called iRUNLIKEAGIRL that deals exclusively in activewear for women.  The two ladies I spoke with loved their hats which they told me kept them dry and warm, but not too hot.  And they’re cute too!  You can buy your own here.  I know I will!

Something to warm the heart

February 4, 2011

Yes it’s cold out and I’m sure the last thing on your mind is running outdoors, but if cabin fever is getting the best of you, there’s an upcoming race in NYC that might interest you.

It’s the Brooklyn Valentine 5K which takes place on Sunday February 13th at 10am at Bartel Pritchard Square (that’s right near Prospect Park).  Registration is 20 bucks and instead of the usual race T-shirt, the first 200 people who register get a free slingback backpack.  And if you’re a lady who’s fast on her feet, they’re giving out roses to the first 100 female finishers.

The race is sponsored by Jack Rabbit…you can sign up here.

Just take care not to slip on any ice and be sure to bundle up!

Another reason why this winter sucks

January 27, 2011

Feeling like this at work could keep you thin

The weather this winter has been brutal.

If it’s not snowing, it’s freezing.  If it’s not freezing out, it’s snowing.  (You get the picture.)

Don’t get me wrong, I do love the snow and cold, but on occasion.  If I wanted to deal with this kind of weather everyday I’d move to Antarctica or Canada.

And here’s yet another reason winter’s got me blue.

Scientists in the U-S and Britain have discovered a link between avoiding the cold and obesity.  Apparently those of us who decide to just stay inside when it’s crappy outside causes our bodies to slow down and burn calories slower.   And that’s not the only problem. 

We’re actually making things worse by raising the heat in our homes to a temperature that doesn’t allow us to shiver or sweat.  They say allowing your body to fight to stay warm in the winter or sweat it out during the summer is actually good for it because it forces us to expand energy, thereby burning more calories.  If our body doesn’t have to work, no calories get burned and we risk getting fat.

Keep this in mind the next time you’re sitting in your office and freezing your you-know-what off.  Turns out you actually are!

SOURCE: Rising indoor winter temperatures linked to obesity?

Snow Day!

December 28, 2010

Now that the worst of the snow is over, today’s the day to go outside and play!  Don’t forget to bundle up (layers are key) and wear those sunglasses.  You don’t want the brightness of the sun hitting the snow burning your corneas!  I kid not, check this out.

12 days of sporty gifts — Day 11 — Stuff those stockings

December 23, 2010

Here we are…the homestretch of the holiday shopping season.

Instead of the big ticket items, lets turn our focus today on stocking stuffers…those last-minute, often not-thought-out gifts.

If you’ve got to stuff the gym socks of a sporty guy or gal, consider these options.

A travel size bottle of sport suntan lotion

Anti-chafing stick

Chapstick

Energy/Protein bars

Head/wrist sweat bands

And while this next suggestion has nothing to do with athleticism it certainly would help pay for all that sporting equipment if it pays off…scratch off lotto tickets.

Better hurry…you’ve got only one day left to shop!

12 days of sporty gifts — Day 10 — Staying warm

December 22, 2010

Just because it’s winter, doesn’t mean you have to hang up the bike or running shoes and stick to working out indoors.

Sure you can’t wear shorts, but that’s what winter gear is for…and it makes the perfect holiday gift.  Here’s a list for what each athlete might need:

The Cyclist:

Winter Tights — because you can’t feasible move very comfortably dressed in tons of layers, winter tights are a must.  A good pair could probably set you back $100.

Lights — it gets darker sooner and so if you’re going to be outside in the afternoon, you’re going to want to make sure people can see you.  Get lights you can mount to the front and back of the bike.

Runners:

Thermal Hat — if you only get one piece of winter gear…this is the one to get.  Hats help to prevent the heat from your body from escaping.  Brooks makes a basic and decent hat for only $15.95

Chapstick/Vaseline — makes a great stocking stuffer…use it to prevent windburn and chapped lips

Thermal underwear — pick up the kind that wicks away moisture like DryFit or Thinsulate.  You can easily find these clothes at any ski shop if the running store doesn’t carry them.

Socks — stay away from cotton!  Cotton socks don’t wick away moisture meaning your feet will stay cold and wet.  Instead, opt for a good pair of wool socks.

Only 3 shopping days left!

Snow, schmo

November 23, 2010

If you think snow would keep a triathlete from competing, you’d be wrong. 

Since 1997, something called winter triathlon has been gaining popularity among those people who want the thrill of the triathlon even though they live in areas where temperatures routinely hover near the freezing mark.

Photo: USA Triathlon

Like your normal triathlons, these November-March races involve biking and running, but thankfully no swimming.  Instead, competitors strap on cross-country skis for the third leg of the race.  The distances are also a little shorter than

your regular races.  This very thorough description comes from the USA Triathlon website:

“In winter triathlon, the running is contested on hard-packed snow courses (usually packed ski trails) with distances ranging from 5-9K. Racers typically wear normal running shoes or cross country spikes.

The mountain bike leg is held on packed ski trails for a distance of 10-15K. Competitors ride standard racing mountain bikes, often equipped with relatively wide tires run at low (about 15-20 psi) pressure. Tires with spikes are legal, though most competitors shun their use because of the additional weight.

The final event of winter triathlon is cross-country skiing. Courses are usually 8-12K in length and are contested on groomed Nordic ski trails. Classic or freestyle (skating) techniques are allowed, though most serious competitors use the freestyle technique as it is faster. Athletes wear Nordic ski suits or tights and long sleeve jerseys, gloves, and hats or head-bands depending on conditions.”

If I’ve piqued your interest, you’ll naturally want to know where you can sign up for one of these awesome races.  Most are held in the Rocky Mountain area, but races in the Northeast can also be found.  There’s two being held in Massachusetts and another in New Hampshire in January. (Info can be found here.)   In New York, the place to be is Belleayre Mountain on March 20th.

So, see, there’s still time to train!

Turning the heat up

November 4, 2010

As the days (and nights) get colder, here’s a neat idea to stay warm…make you’re own heating pillow!  Even if you’re not Martha Stewart, this is definitely a project you can tackle with ease. 

These heating pillows are great especially if you don't have a couple of furry bears to huddle with!

What you’ll need:

an old, cotton sock or pillow case

uncooked rice or wheat or dried corn (NOT popping corn) or cherry pits

optional: lavender buds, chamomile flowers, cinnammon, cloves, nutmeg

string or ribbon

What to do:

Fill the sock or pillowcase with the uncooked rice or filler material, taking care not to stuff the sock.  (You’ll want some room for the filling to move around.)  If you like, add the herbs/spices to give your heating sack a soothing scent.  Tie off the sock/pillowcase using the string or ribbon. 

To Use:

Heat the sack  in the for 1-2 minutes in the microwave.  If you’re worried it’ll burn, put a glass a water in the microwave alongside the sack when heating up.  I shouldn’t have to say this, but the sack will be hot,  so take care when removing it.  Cuddle up with the sock and voila!…warmth!

Simple Soup’s On

October 6, 2010

Even Popeye knows how good this soup is!

As the weather turns chillier, healthy eaters tend to migrate from their summer salads to comforting bowls of soup.  I love soup.  Not only can it be a great way to get a day’s serving of vegetables, it’s usually super easy to make.  It’s healthy too…if you skip the ones made with boatloads of cream and butter.  (Although once in a while its ok to indulge in Julia Childs’ potato leek soup recipe — the best!)  Here’s a super simple soup recipe that’s packed with the goodness of spinach.

Ingredients:

6 cups chicken stock

1 package chopped, frozen spinach

1 can white beans, drained (kidney or cannelini)

1 tsp olive oil

1-2 clove garlic, minced

salt, pepper to taste

Heat the olive oil in a large pot.  Sautee the garlic.  Add the chicken stock.  Bring to a boil.  Add the frozen spinach and beans.  Bring to a simmer.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Serve!  (I prefer mine with a healthy dose of parmigiano cheese). 

Buon Appetito!  (I told you it was easy!)

Facing Spring

March 11, 2010

With the end of winter in sight, it’s time to put your best face foward for spring.  Here’s a great all natural mask, that you can make at home, that will leave your skin smooth, hydrated and it might just help get rid of those pesky pimples.

What You’ll Need:

1 tsp Apple Cider Vinegar (DON’T use any other kind!!)

2 tsp green tea (brew and let cool)

5 tsp sugar + an additional 2 tsp sugar

1 tsp honey

Mix the vinegar, tea and first 5 tsp of sugar together in a bowl.  Stir in honey until it’s paste-like.  Add the additional 2 tsp sugar.  Mixture should be very thick.  Using a cotton pad, smear the mask on your face and then use your fingertips to massage it in, about 2-5 minutes.  Rinse with warm water and follow up with your regular skin regimine.  The leftover mask can be stored in the fridge up to two weeks.