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How to Train for Your First 5K and Live to Tell About It

Marathon

Have you long wanted to run a 5K but never actually completed one? Do you envy your running friends and wish you could talk about your goals or race finish time? It’s time to start dreaming and start doing. Train for your first 5K.

Easier said than done, right? Well, we’re here to help with the simple step-by-step guide to training for your first race. You can do it, just follow these tips.

Understand the training process.

If you have started training for a 5k and then quit, you likely had unrealistic expectations for yourself. No, you can’t instantly run three miles and feel great; if you try, you’ll feel terrible. Instead, recognize that like learning to do anything else, there is a learning curve. Your muscles and mind have to get accustomed to the workout, so expect this to take a couple months to achieve.

Recruit a friend.

Studies have shown you are more likely to stick with your training if you have moral support from a friend. So ask a neighbor, coworker, or family member to train with you. Besides, running is much more fun with company!

There are numerous apps and fitness routines to help you go from “couch to 5K.” Pick one that works for you and your device. Most will help you pace your progress with intervals of walking and light jogging at first to work up gradually to running a 5K.
Keep in mind that these programs are for general users, not you specifically. Sometimes you may need to modify the routine to work for your body. Don’t push your body further than it should go just because “the plan says so.”

Register for a race.

Give yourself a goal to work toward by registering for a 5K race in your area. Put the date in red on your calendar, and motivate yourself to keep going so you will be ready for your first race.

Get the shoes.

Be sure you are working out safely by getting proper running shoes. Make certain your arch is properly supported and your shoes fit well. Then only use those shoes for jogging. Running shoes maintain their support for about 350 miles, so be sure to replace them when necessary. Your shoes protect against stress fractures and other injuries, so make certain to get a good pair.

Go for small improvements.

A key to workout success is being honest with where you’re at. Don’t expect to run a six-minute mile your first time out. Instead, evaluate your current physical shape and level of activity, then celebrate every incremental win above that. Remember, exercise isn’t about impressing the neighbors or beating your coworkers, it’s about improving your own health. Keep that in mind and celebrate each small win.

Guard your recovery.

An important part of your training is the recovery you schedule in between workouts. Don’t run more than every other day at first, and . Listen to your body, and you’ll be good to run for the long haul.
Be sure to eat plenty of protein like
Promax bars to help your muscles recover, too. Protein is an important ingredient in building and repairing muscles, so make that a larger part of your diet.
Get more workout and exercise tips today by visiting our blog or contacting us at Promax Nutrition.

Posted in Fitness, Nutrition, Protein, Running | May 27, 2015

3 Quick & Easy Spring Snack Recipes

granola

Finally, warmer weather is upon us. It’s time to enjoy an active outdoor life again with running, hiking, and team play.

But all that activity will surely build up a powerful hunger! Stay fueled for your workouts and fun with these grab-and-go snacks you can feel good about.

Granola with Dried Fruit

Granola is old-school nutrition that is hip again. By making it yourself, you can make sure you have all the nutrition you need without the added sugar. Mix it up with your favorite grains, fruits, and flavorings. By including Promax bars, you’ll be sure to get the protein you need, too!

2 chopped PROMAX bars in your favorite flavors
2 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup sliced nuts (almonds or cashews are great!)
1/4 cup seeds (pumpkin or sunflower)
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 Tablespoon cooking oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 half cup dried fruit (raisins, cranberries, or mixed dried fruit)

Combine all the ingredients except the fruit on a baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees until golden, about 25 minutes. Let granola cool before adding fruit and storing in individual servings.

Hummus

An excellent source of protein, hummus makes a great dip-able, spread-able snack. Pack small servings of hummus along with pita chips, whole grain crackers, or even raw vegetables for a tasty snack or even a complete meal. Spread hummus on toast or a tortilla, with or without lean meat, for a delicious alternative to the sandwich. While you can pick up hummus in the deli section of your local grocery, it is fun and easy to make your own.

1 can of chickpeas
1 teaspoon chopped garlic
¼ cup of olive oil
2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 Tablespoons tahini paste or peanut butter
1 teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon paprika
Salt to taste

Combine all ingredients except paprika into a blender or food processor. Process until smooth, adding more olive oil if necessary. Transfer to storage or serving container and sprinkle paprika on top.

Sweet Potato Chips

Potato chips are the go-to snack for outdoor games, picnics, and afternoon snacks. But by substituting vegetable chips, you can enjoy the salty flavor without the junk food. Instead, it’s a healthy treat! Make your own sweet potato chips and adjust the spices to your own taste.

2 small sweet potatoes
2 teaspoons olive oil
½ teaspoon paprika or other seasoning
½ teaspoon salt

Slice your sweet potatoes very thin with a sharp knife or mandolin slicer. Toss potato slices on two baking sheets with olive oil, seasoning, and salt. Arrange slices in single layer and bake at 375 for about 15 minutes or until chips are curling and edges are crisp. Transfer to paper towel to cool, then store.

Get more recipe and nutrition tips today by visiting our blog or contacting us at Promax Nutrition.

Posted in Nutrition, Protein |

Suffering from Allergies? Don’t Stop Exercising Now!

outdoor exercise

It’s allergy season, and your sneezing and sniffling may be discouraging you from your daily jog. But it doesn’t have to be that way. While we can’t keep the trees and grasses from blooming (even if we wanted to!), we can learn to cope during these spring weeks.

If you are wondering if you should stay or if you should go outside, the answer is go. Exercising will pump up your natural defenses and release your endorphins, actually helping you feel better. As for the allergens, we’ve got you covered. Here are some tips to making the most of your spring training, in spite of allergies.

Don’t skip your workout.

You can stay in shape during allergy season, you just may need to modify your exercise time or place. Stay flexible, but keep your resolve to get out there anyway.

Watch the calendar.

You know when your typical allergy season is in your area, so start a good offensive strategy. Right before your allergy season begins, start taking the allergy medications your doctor has recommended for you. By heading off the allergic reaction, you’ll lessen your discomfort.

Monitor the weather.

Watch the weather report for the pollen count, and notice the natural fluctuations. Plan this week’s workout days to correspond to the lowest pollen count days to minimize your exposure.

Pollen levels are usually higher on sunny, breezy days and lower on rainy days. So take advantage of the dismal weather by sneaking in your workout then.

Keep an eye out for pollution.

If your asthma and allergies are exacerbated already, pollutants will merely make things worse. Keep an eye on your local ozone report so you can exercise when pollution is at a safer level. Also, pollutants can attach to the pollen in the air, literally adding insult to injury. So during allergy season, stay particularly vigilant about air quality.

Avoid the peak times of day.

Some disagree with the strategy, but many find that pollen effects seem to be worse in the middle of the day. Experiment with exercising early in the morning or late in the evening to see if that makes a difference in your allergic reaction.

Exercise less strenuously.

If you are noticing particularly troublesome allergies, don’t exercise to your limit. Breathing heavily and gasping for air when pollen is high could cause your allergies to worsen. So don’t push yourself too much during allergy season.

Protect your eyes and mouth.

If you are still struggling to avoid pollen, try covering your eyes with goggles and wearing a mask over your mouth while exercising. Protecting your eyes and mouth from pollen may not look attractive, but it could make a big difference in how you feel after workout.

Change clothes and shower immediately.

Wash off the pollen that attached to you immediately by showering and washing your hair as well as changing into clean clothes. This can make a big difference by greatly reducing your exposure to pollen.

Consider exercising indoors.

If you are truly struggling against allergies this spring, consider stretching, stair climbing, or other indoor exercises until the pollen count drops. Just whatever you do, stay active!
Get more workout and exercise tips today by visiting our blog or contacting us at Promax Nutrition!

Posted in Fitness |

MAY: Sharilynn Brown

Promax_FOTM_May_Photo

WHAT MAKES YOU THE FEATURED FAN?
All of my life I’ve been the “skinny” girl who could eat whatever she wanted and lay around watching TV all day without gaining any weight… and that’s exactly what I did, until about a two years ago. I decided that it was time to take care of myself, to work on becoming strong rather than just “skinny” and to give my body the food and nourishment that it required to live a healthy life. Ever since I made those decisions, I’ve discovered a passion for health and fitness. I’ve worked my way up to a healthy weight, adopted a serious six-day-a-week lifting split, became addicted to protein bars and have never been happier or felt better. For me, it’s important to take care of my body without having to feel like I’m depriving myself, and PROMAX bars make it easy to do just that! When I’m craving a candy bar that my macros don’t necessarily allow for, I reach for a PROMAX bar and I’m left feeling not only satisfied, but also full, energized and ready to hit the gym and continue on this journey to creating my best self.

 

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE FLAVOR?
Cookies ‘n Cream was the first PROMAX bar that I’d ever tried and continues to be my go-to snack.

WHY IS FITNESS AND NUTRITION IMPORTANT TO YOU?
Fitness and nutrition are important to me because they’ve completely changed my life. Since I’ve embarked on this journey I’ve not only experience obvious physical benefits, but I’ve also noticed psychological improvements. A healthy lifestyle including proper exercise and nutrition has allowed me to live an all-around happier, more positive life and to approach everything that I do with more confidence and enthusiasm.

WHAT IS ONE UNIQUE THING ABOUT YOU?
In addition to health and fitness, I am also very passionate about fashion and photography. It seems to be an interesting combination of hobbies to say the least, but when I’m not at the gym you can find me takin

CHECK OUT SHARILYNN ON INSTAGRAM @sharilynnbrown!!


Want to be our next Promax FEATURED FAN? Fill out the form below to be considered as next month’s Featured Fan and a chance to win 1 box of Promax bars!

Posted in Featured Fan | May 24, 2015

APRIL: Gordon Mark Weinberger, ACSM-CPT

Promax_FOTM_April_Photo

WHAT MAKES YOU THE FEATURED FAN?
I am going to be fifty years old this year and three years ago this month, I decided to lose sixty-five pounds and become a fit and conditioned natural bodybuilder. I changed my lifestyle, nutrition, dedicated myself to gym time, six days per week and even became a Certified Personal Trainer with the American College of Sports Medicine. I went through an amazing mind and body transformation. During the process I searched high and low for the best protein bar company on the market. It took me a long time to find it… and for the last three years, PROMAX has been my bodybuilding fuel of choice.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE FLAVOR?
Double Fudge Brownie is my protein bar of choice.

WHY IS FITNESS AND NUTRITION IMPORTANT TO YOU?
At 6’ 9” tall and age 46, I was almost 280 pounds and needed to not only lose weight, but I needed to get my back strong and conditioned. I had endured two major back surgeries while building my own national company and was on my way to a third major surgery. My surgeon recommended getting into the gym as a way to strengthen my back so that perhaps I could avoid surgery and the long three months of required bed rest to recuperate. With hard, hard, hard work and determination, I transformed my body in the gym and in the kitchen. It took years of work and PROMAX has always been there for me, delivering my pre-, post- and sometime mid-workout Protein Bar direct to my doorstep! So far I have successfully avoided SI Joint Fusion Surgery.

WHAT IS ONE UNIQUE THING ABOUT YOU?
I have been able to do the seemingly impossible several times in my life now!

CHECK OUT GORDON ON INSTAGRAM!


Want to be our next Promax FEATURED FAN? Fill out the form below to be considered as next month’s Featured Fan and a chance to win 1 box of Promax bars!

Posted in Featured Fan |

MARCH: Bryant Antoine Stanfield Jr.

BryantAntoineStanfield
WHAT MAKES YOU THE FEATURED FAN?
I am probably the number one fan.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE FLAVOR?
Cookies and cream!

WHY IS FITNESS AND NUTRITION IMPORTANT TO YOU?
It’s important because growing up, I was not healthy, so I couldn’t play sports I couldn’t do a lot of things. I also got picked on and I was depressed for practically my whole childhood. So, just one day, I just started running and weightlifting and life just got better from there!

WHAT IS ONE UNIQUE THING ABOUT YOU?
I am an actor I took drama for 5 years at a theater school in Hawaii. Acting is my number one passion and it would be amazing to be on a TV show.

CHECK OUT BRYANT’S YOUTUBE CHANNEL HERE!
He’s going to make more fun videos soon that’ll showcase his creative side.


Want to be our next Promax FEATURED FAN? Fill out the form below to be considered as next month’s Featured Fan and a chance to win 1 box of Promax bars!

Posted in Featured Fan |

The Importance of Hydration

Drinking enough water is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle.  Water keeps your digestion flowing and helps to regulate your metabolism.  Did you know that drinking water can help you lose weight?  By drinking a glass of water before a meal, you will already feel full, so you are likely to eat less.  Staying adequately hydrated is also essential for healthy kidney function.

There is a change in the recommended guidelines for the amount of water that you should drink each day.  The old guideline suggested drinking eight glasses of water per day.  However, this general recommendation does not take an individual’s specific body type and weight into account.  Drinking eight glasses of water a day may be too much for a smaller person, but not enough for a larger person. The new guideline suggests that you drink between one half ounce to one full ounce of water for each pound of your body weight.  Please see the infographic below for an example of this calculation and more information about the importance of staying hydrated.

The Importance of Hydration

Click below to embed this infographic into your website:

Posted in Nutrition | May 12, 2015

Don’t Forget the Post-Workout Stretch

fitness, sport, training and lifestyle concept - smiling woman stretching leg on mat in gym

Most people who work out focus on the activity itself, like cardio endurance or achieving maximum reps in a weight routine, and often forget about the crucial “cool down” period. Stretching after training can improve flexibility and prevent sore muscles, and is as important to a workout plan as supplements or protein bars.

Why Stretching Matters after a Workout

Exercise results in muscle wear and tear, which can cause pain and soreness once the activity stops. Stretching afterwards will help limit aches so you don’t have to skip a day of training. Here are just a few reasons why stretching helps after exercising:  

  • Limits Muscle Tightness: Tight muscles take longer to heal. Get back to the gym sooner by stretching after exercise.
  • Improves Flexibility: Stretching allows your muscles to reach their full range of motion.
  • Counteracts Muscle Shortening: Tight and overused muscles can cause shortening over time. Regular stretching will reverse the effect of muscle shortening.

Proper Technique

Stretching is most effective when using proper technique. Improper recovery can cause more harm than good. To ensure you’re making the most of each stretch, consult a personal trainer or DVD, or follow the below instructions for common stretches that cater to different parts of the body:

  • Calf Stretch: Stand in front of a wall with your right foot behind your left foot, then slowly bend your left foot forward, keeping your right knee straight and your right foot flush with the floor. Make sure your back is straight and your hips are tilted forward. Hold each stretch for thirty seconds, then switch legs and repeat.
  • Quadriceps Stretch: Grasp a wall or piece of exercise equipment for balance, and use your right hand to grab your right ankle and gently pull your heel up and back until you feel the stretch throughout your thigh. Hold for thirty seconds, making sure to keep your stomach muscles tight, and your knees close together. Switch legs and repeat.
  • Shoulder Stretch: Bring your left arm across your torso, and use your right arm to hook the left elbow close to your body. Hold the stretch for thirty seconds, and then switch arms and repeat.

 Tips for Making the Most of Each Stretch

 Frequency: Stretch after every workout, even the short ones! If you work out three times a week, you should stretch at least three times a week as well.

  • “Cold” Muscles: Stretching after a workout ensures that your muscles will be warmed up and easiest to stretch. Attempting to do a stretch with stiff, or “cold,” muscles can cause injury.
  • Stretch It All: A good rule of thumb is to stretch all major muscle groups, with a focus on the muscles you use most during exercise. For leg-centric activities, that means focusing on the quadriceps, hamstrings, and calves; whereas shoulders, chest, and back should be stretched after upper-body exercises like weight lifting, swimming, or tennis.
  • Stay Relaxed: Use slow, gentle movements while stretching, and remember to breathe, exhaling as you move into the stretch.
  • Don’t Push It: Hold each stretching position for no more than twenty to thirty seconds. Always keep still when stretching, as well – sudden movements can limit stability and cause injury.

Recovery after exercising should be a step in every workout plan, with as much focus on stretching as there is when finding the right exercise equipment or shopping for energy bars. For more information about how to make the most of your workouts, check back each week for tips from Promax Nutrition.

Posted in Fitness, Stretching | May 9, 2015

A Beginner’s Guide to Gym and Weight Room Etiquette

Gym WorkoutWhen beginners start coming to the gym, it can seem like walking into a place filled with strangers who all expect you to know and follow a whole host of unspoken rules and traditions. While the “rules” will become a lot clearer after just a few workout sessions, there are definitely some workout etiquette rules that beginners should remember. Along with obvious rules of public decorum (don’t go into other people’s lockers to steal their protein bars, etc.), be sure to follow these rules for proper gym behavior:

  • Respect the gear – One of the most important rules to pay attention to at the local gym is to treat the building and the equipment with respect. When someone new comes in and clearly doesn’t respect the gym or its patrons, they’re on the path to not being accepted and possibly being asked to go elsewhere. Use weights and machines as they’re intended, don’t drop or mishandle them, and clean all your gear after you’re done. No one wants to be cleaning up after you or mopping up your sweat in order to use the gym once they’re done. And remember: gym mirrors aren’t there for primping, pampering, or applying cosmetics. That’s what the bathrooms are for.
  • Put away the phone – Everyone’s addicted to their smartphones these days, but the gym should definitely be considered a “cell free” zone. Unless you’re running a fitness app, there’s no reason you should be fiddling with or talking on your phone while using the gym equipment. People waiting for you will start getting impatient when it looks like you aren’t taking your workout seriously, and the people around you are likely to get annoyed pretty fast with your yakking on the phone. Remember, the gym is a shared space: treat the people around you like you would want to be treated.
  • Be sure to share – Sometimes there aren’t enough machines or weights for everyone, and that means having to wait. If you find yourself waiting for a spot, don’t crowd the person you’re waiting for or bother them by trying to push them along. Instead, do some stretches or easy workouts that don’t take up too much walkway space while waiting for your turn. If you find yourself in the position of making people wait, on the other hand, don’t linger longer than necessary or try to prevent someone else from using a machine. That said, don’t let yourself be pushed around or pressured into giving up your spot or trying to do your workout too fast, either.
  • Remember you’re in public – It may seem like an obvious thing to say, but people at the gym sometimes seem to have a hard time remembering that there are other people around them. While the gym certainly has more lax dress standards than most other public spaces, that doesn’t mean that you should be wearing something so revealing, dumpy, or gross that the people around you are embarrassed to be seen with you.
  • Practice good hygiene – When you’re at the gym, you’re going to get sweaty and smelly, and there’s not much you can do about it. But that doesn’t mean you should completely forget your manners and good hygiene. Be sure to clean up after yourself, and try to be as un-gross as possible. Also, remember to wear your deodorant. Please.

Get more workout and exercise tips today by visiting our blog or contacting us at Promax Nutrition.

Posted in Fitness, Gym |

Shortcuts to Getting in Shape For Summer

SummerShortcuts

Summer is nearly upon us. It’s time to panic – who’s ready with a fit swimsuit body and toned muscles? You may have skipped a few trips to the gym and indulged in some extra comfort food over the last few months. It’s time to get back in shape.

Many fitness blogs and even gym trainers promise a return to pre-holiday fitness in just one week of training. With a strenuous diet and strict exercise routine, they say, you can be beach-ready in seven days. Is it too good to be true? Let’s look at the facts.

Getting – and staying – in shape takes consistency. Studies have shown that dramatic results don’t happen overnight. Exercise must become a consistent part of a healthy lifestyle. Over time, with three hours of aerobic exercise each week, you will achieve greater strength, endurance, and health. But you should expect modest results each week you continue.

So after that summer exercise binge, expect to notice slightly stronger heart and lungs, sore muscles, and a little better endurance than before you began.
Moderate weight loss has a better chance of staying off. Similarly, studies have shown that people who lose a modest one or one-and-a-half pounds each week have a better chance of maintaining a healthy weight over a longer period of time than those who lose weight more rapidly. So don’t expect to lose ten pounds the week of spring break and not gain it back.

That does not mean you can’t jump-start your diet over spring break, though. To get a leg up on your diet goals, go ahead and maximize your first week’s losses. Drink plenty of water and consider cutting out sugar, refined carbohydrates, and processed foods completely. With a healthy diet and no junk foods, you should see at least a pound lost and maybe more. If you then maintain your healthy eating habits over the subsequent weeks and months, the weight loss will continue while you establish healthy eating habits. That will all add up to weight loss you can maintain.

Combining exercise and diet changes for one week may produce some results. By all means, begin exercising again over spring break. While you’re at it, plan physical activities for your vacation time to remain active while building fitness habits. Invite others to participate with you to increase your enjoyment and better your chances of success.

And by all means, start your diet, too! Begin logging your daily calories and how much water you drink. Ask a friend to keep you accountable for healthy eating habits. Plan ahead healthy meals and snacks so you aren’t caught unawares and slip up.

By combining exercise and diet into your spring break plans, you should see modest results. If you include weight training for your abdominals, you may even drop one clothing size by the end of that week. Just remember – diet and exercise are lifestyle choices that will serve you well over time if you continue your healthy habits.

Get more workout and exercise tips today by visiting our blog or contacting us at Promax Nutrition.

Posted in Blog, Fitness, Nutrition | May 7, 2015