Total Fitness: Be brain-healthy at any age


Brain-healthy is beautiful.

Sometimes, even when life looks generally great on the surface, we still somehow feel that we are stagnating. That even while working extra hard for that satisfying career, having a fantastic relationship and an established routine with family and friends, our mind seem to clamor for more stimulation.

Keeping our mental faculties in tip-top shape is very important in avoiding degenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s, and we can do this by giving ourselves plenty of opportunities for mental stimulation.  This can be done by using our cognitive skills, testing our powers of recall, improving our memory, and challenging our selves to be more creative in our thinking.

By regularly engaging in the right activities, we can increase our memory, improve our problem-solving skills and boost our creativity. Here are some tips on how to keep our mind active:

1.    Expand your vocabulary. Learning new words not only enriches one’s understanding of the world, but also enhances the brain’s cognitive functions.

2.    Practice yoga. You might be surprised at how strenuous yoga can be. Beyond the physical demands that give your entire body a workout, yoga has great calming and relaxation qualities.

3.    Play video games. Action video games improve eye-hand coordination, improve spatial visualization skills, and increase the number of things that you can visually attend to simultaneously. But here’s the caveat: Video games can be addictive so try to keep it in moderation.

4.    Engage in spelling exercises. Spelling forces you to mentally “see” the word prior to speaking it or writing it down. This exercises several language-related brain areas and circuits.

5.    Run. Lace up your running shoes and get moving. Even if you don’t set your sight on running a marathon, the sport itself can get both your body and mind in shape. Running will increase the levels of oxygen in your brain and flowing through your body. In turn, your body will release more endorphins, which will make you feel energized while producing a sense of pleasure and wellbeing.

You may also opt to sign up for a foreign language class, read a book, solve puzzles, or self-talk. Whatever you do, make sure you keep that brain working and your cognitive skills enhanced. Everybody loves a smart, mentally-agile person – keep that in mind.

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2nd PAU 50k T2N: A lot like Love, Ultramarathon podium finish is always sweeter the second time around


What can I say about the UltraRunners except that they are a great bunch of people to run with?

At the starting line.
With KB Runner, who just promised to train me for BDM 102 next year.

People with good hearts, most of them. I lost my support somewhere after KM12 and for a while there I thought I was going to collapse due to dehydration (my Lightwater only had about a sip left) when I saw this other support crew up ahead and they graciously offered me water and a banana. The kind gesture would be repeated several times after that, by many other support teams.

Lightwater and no other.
With my pacer, Lao of Fairview Runners

Thinking about it now actually makes me smile and teary-eyed at the same time. Lovely people you guys are! I don’t know some of you but I hope you know how much you guys have helped me get through the race and all the way to a podium finish – and for that, I am truly, sincerely grateful. I survived all 50km with just 3 bananas + 2 slices of apple + 5 refills of water – all coming from various support teams, some of them stranger to me. That and a whole lot of heart, courage, and pride. I keep telling myself I will not DNF, never again.

Crossed the finish line in 5:45:50.

To Chaddy, who drove all the way to Nasugbu to trail me and have lunch and Mochiko with me post-race, you are one sweet angel! To the Fairview runners, especially the guy who paced me – Lao Ogerio (I’m so sorry I forgot your name! I’m really really really bad with names, I swear! Good thing you tagged yourself in one of the photos.) in the dying 12km stretch of the race, thank you! Your pananakot na may babae na runner sa likod ko who might be a threat to my bid for a 2nd place finish (kahit malayong-malayo naman pala!) actually made me forget about my tired feet and burned skin and soldier on with renewed spring in each stride. Ayoko kase ng nauunahan pa, especially when I know I have earned my spot and earned it well. That’s how wildly competitve I can be. Dennis Ravanzo knows that about me. Right, Dhenz?

Landing a podium finish at an ultra marathon is always lovelier the second time around...
Sir Jovie aka BaldRunner said I look so much different from the Vicky who DNF'd at the BDM Test Run last year.

Before the race, I was aiming for a sub-8 finish. I crossed the Finish Line in 5:45:50! And the best part about it is that I suffered nary an injury or discomfort – not even a dead toenail, which, by the way, I am known to collect after a long run. Alam na alam yan ng pedicurista ko who’d often tease me for having un-sexy feet because of the weird bone protruding on my right foot, and the mainstay dead toenail. Just tired legs which disappeared when I woke up after 12 hours of sleep – the tiredness on my legs, I mean. I still have my ultralegs intact, haha. ‘Claudia’ did a fantastic job of protecting me from running injuries while giving me that awesome spring in my stride. Having said that, thank you again to all of you.

I'mYourAverageEverydaySaintPsychoUltraRunnerSupergoddess.

Official results placed me 2nd among female runners and 39th out of 202 runners!

This would be the second time I landed a podium finish in an ultramarathon. The first one was at the 1st PAU Mt. Pinatubo 50k Trail Challenge, my ultra debut incidentally, where I also finished second but got my cherry popped in a somewhat violent way. I remember coming down with fever when reached home after the race, sporting two dead toenails for weeks, and nursing a limp for the next two days. But what I like most about Bald Runner’s ultra marathons, is how they are all about courage and pride sans the glitter of cash prizes that seduce most runners these days. In this case, it’s just you and the long stretch of road ahead and how tough your gut is. This T2N  race for example was made even more exciting by the myriad of close calls I miraculously survived! I think this was the only race where I prayed the hardest, while pounding the road, from start to finish. I was nearly sideswiped by a bus and a truck  somewhere between Tagaytay and Nasugbu and got chased after by stray dogs, as well.

Running on Clouds

Unlike my Mt. Pinatubo debut, I sort of trained for T2N by running an average of 15k every morning, Monday to Friday, and at least 20k on Saturday for two weeks prior to the big race. Though my training got interrupted for a few days when I went on a business trip to Singapore, I made sure to pick up the slack soon as I got back. I was also able to slot-in two Insanity sessions for added core power.

With Chinggay Andrada

The week leading up to the race also found me getting actively involved in the Reebok EasyTone and FTW launch – both turned out to be a superlative success – and I also dropped by Skechers ProSpeed Bloggers’ event the night before the race, where I met Coach Chinggay Andrada of the Pinoy Biggest Loser fame. She’s so petite and lovely, I’m even more inspired to get fitter and stronger – looking hotter would just be an added bonus.:)

Thank you, too, Reebok, Bodivance, Lightwater, Chris Sports, and FTW magazine for your support. I am indebted and in awe.:)

And Lord God, you are awesome beyond words. Every single moment of the day.:)

Mabuhay tayong lahat na Ultra Runners! TAYO NA TALAGA!

 

***Photo credits to the following: Carlo Serrano, A Runner’s Circle, Mayor Alfaro, Bave dela Cruz, Sir Jovie, The Curious Runner, Team Boring, and Team CB

Total Fitness: FIGHT FAIR


Total Fitness September 2011

Too often, we tend to treat those whom we are in a relationship with less respect than we do mere acquaintances. This is why disagreements between couples can turn very damaging with all the name-calling, finger pointing, and screaming. These emotional fights, if not managed well, might as well be the final straw that broke the camel’s back. That is why it is important for couples to learn the art of fighting fair, if they are so keen on finding solutions to problems, instead of giving birth to more.

1.  Identify the problem and avoid digging up past issues. During an argument, it is easy to fall into the trap of recalling every single wrong your partner has committed in the past, perhaps in an attempt to deflect attention from one’s own shortcomings. This type of behavior is counter-productive and makes problem-solving almost impossible because it only allows for problems to pile up, with no resolution in sight. You and your partner must ask yourselves what the problem really is and just concentrate on getting to the root cause of it, instead of digressing and finger pointing.

2. Hate the game, not the player. While going into a vitriolic verbal attack might seem to be the automatic course of action when at the height of frustration, the wisest move would still be for you to take a step back and choose your words carefully. By attacking your partner and not the issue at hand, you are putting him on the defensive – which could only spark an argument that is much bigger than what was initially on the table. Disagreements can and will always occur, especially in close-knit relationships, but you must always remember to go into it with the desire for amicable and fair resolution rather than exacting revenge or gaining control.

3. Be a good listener. You do not have the monopoly over problems and disagreements. In the same way that you want your partner to listen to you attentively, so does he. More often, our mind is already bursting with thoughts and rebuttal even before our partner has started talking. There is no way that a disagreement can be handled properly with this kind of behavior. To avoid monopolizing the discussion, experts suggest you try flipping a coin on who gets to talk first and each of you gets 3 minutes to air your side, and son on, until a compromise is reached.

4. State your needs and offer suggestions. Don’t just complain incessantly about the issues you have with your partner and leave it at that. Understand that your partner has needs and wants, too, and by focusing a little less about yourself and a little bit more on him, you may discover that most of your issues can be resolved by being unselfish about attention and love.

5. Sleep on it. We have been told many times to avoid, if possible, to go to bed angry with your partner. However, in some cases, it is also better to hold any emotional confrontation or discussion until there’s a better time to do so – not when tempers are flying all over the place or you are both too tired or too hungry to be reasonable and objective.

Running through all these tips is a common thread called mutual respect. At this stage in your relationship, both of you should already have invested enough love and respect in each other so as not to let disagreements fester and cause permanent damage.

 

Total Fitness: Whistle While You Work


September 2011

Unless your job involves saving the world and getting paid millions of pesos, literally, then you’re just like the rest of us corporate peons – perpetually battling stress at work. A lot of us dread having to wake up in the morning and going to work for various reasons: mean boss, low pay, boring officemates, small cube space, no sugar in the pantry, no Facebook and Twitter access during work hours and a host of other things. But before you hire a hitman to ‘accidentally’ maim your boss or stage a one-man rally by walking around the office with a huge placard that says ‘I want sugar in my coffee!’ try the following tips and you’ll be surprised at how much happier you’ll get each day!

1. Take short breaks. Some companies encourage their employees to take 5 to 10-minute break each in the morning and afternoon, aside from the standard one-hour lunch. Use this to shake off your legs, clear your head, generate more awesome ideas while having a steaming mug of pantry coffee, or simply to get yourself some comfort food depending on how crazy things are at work.

2. Organize your files. It’s always a good idea to do a regular check on your files and TO DO list. This will keep you on your toes when it comes to projects and deadlines. People who are productive are less likely to be unhappy and dissatisfied at work.

3. Have lunch with friends but don’t overdo it. Sharing the same office space and breaks can get a little too claustrophobic so why not schedule a nice lunch with friends outside of work for a relaxing catch-up but be mindful of the one-hour window. Getting sms or calls from your Boss or colleagues wondering where you might be at 3 o’clock when you should be clocking-in more productive man hours is not exactly the dessert you relish.

4. Saying ‘No’ once in a while is not a crime. Another reason why we are sometimes up to the elbows with work is because we tend to be too accommodating when it comes to small requests or favors asked of us by our colleagues. Remember, you have your own deliverables and only after you’re done with those should you play nice and assist others. Taking on too many things with so little time to work with is going to sap you of your energy – and happiness.

5. Avoid office gossips and don’t be the source either. Let’s face it: the office is a cesspool of intrigues and malicious gossips and however fun and entertaining it might be to malign others behind their backs, there is too much stress to be had here – especially if you find yourself the target one day. So the next time you hear your colleagues having a whale of a time slandering other people, avoid giving your comments or fanning the fire.

 

***For more of the active and fit lifestyle, grab a copy of this month’s TOTAL FITNESS magazine!

REEBOK EasyTone Footwear and Apparel: YOUR Secret Advantage


With the incredible success of EasyTone in the United States, Canada, and other major markets, Reebok is finally bringing the EasyTone footwear and apparel to the Philippine shores.

On September 14, Reebok Philippines and FTW Magazine gave selected bloggers a sneak preview of what the EasyTone line is all about – at the famous Wicked Kitchen by Chef Kooch. It was an intimate gathering of friends with everyone bringing home a little something – tokens and GCs from partners, which were raffled off or given away as game prizes.

Team FTW before the Bloggers' Preview
With Blogger friends

EasyTone was launched via a mega event at the Trinoma Activity Center last September 15 with Reebok Running Ambassadors Kassy Pajarillo and Vicky Ras (uhrmmm, that would be me – in case you’re wondering) as hosts. EasyTone features Reebok’s resistance technology. The unique placement and tightness of resistance technology hugs the back and thighs. EasyTone apparel makes you look and feel good as you get moving.

EasyTone footwear has built-in balance pods featuring Moving Air Technology that transfers air in response to your stride, creating micro-instability with each step.

Kassy

“I have a confession to make: I fell in love with walking all the more when I started wearing my pair of Reebok Easytone which I also refer to as my silver bullet. When I was told to lessen my runs (mileage), walking has never felt this better. By the end of the day, you’ll feel how much it worked your leg muscles and I think it actually gave my thighs a workout, too! The balance pods boost you up, try standing on one leg, move with it, ah! That’s an instant balance (core) workout. “ – Kassy Pajarillo

Vicky

“I started wearing Matilda, my EasyTone sneakers, a month ago and have worn her several times since, especially on weekends after my long runs (using Bruno my Reebok ZigNano) when I’m out to run errands or just walk around the mall. The first time I wore Matilda, there was the awkward slightly off-balance feel caused by the balance pods which I eventually got accustomed to. I learned that these balance pods are actually built into the sole of the shoes to create instability. The inside of the shoes are actually very comfortable, with the forefoot slightly wider, to accommodate the slight expansion of the feet after prolonged walking. I did notice though that at the end of my long walks, my hamstrings feel heavy and stretched like how they normally feel when I give them a good workout.” – Vicky Ras

Both EasyTone footwear and apparel combine function and style that’s fashionable enough for everyday wear, yet is signed to help provide toning benefits as you move.

To reinforce EasyTone’s message of fit and active lifestyle without compromising fashion and intelligent style, Reebok has tapped empowered Filipinas to represent the brand: Bow Valdez, Rowena Aquino, Pearl Managuelod, Kassy Pajarillo, Nikki Gil, Nina Terol-Zialcita, Betty Romero, Vicky Ras, Ana Santos, Nikka Sarthou, and Darlene Anderson.

The Women of Reebok

Introducing, the WOMEN of REEBOK…

Bow Valdez

Bow. Bow is a certified Yogi and Co-owner of FLOW YOGA CENTER ALABANG. She believes that challenges build a person’s character, whether you are on or off the mat.  So expect equal parts of challenge and ease as the usual recipe in her flow class together with Reebok.

Betty Romero

Betty. An educator for the last 21 years, Betty embraces education, empowerment and enlightenment as her advocacy and passion. She is the Deputy Director of Lifeline Foundation Support Team Inc, as well as Principal of Lifeline Foundation South City Central School, a Kinder level to Secondary School in BF Paranaque.

Anna Santos

Ana. A merry mix of contradictions that would probably make a good cocktail. Part single girl and part mother. Ana was once a banker, and is now a journalist and sexual health advocate. Apart from being co-founder of Writer’s Block Philippines, she is Associate Editor of Illustrado Magazine and editorial director of Sex and Sensibilities.com which promotes positive sexuality and informed choice. She may wear many  hats, but she only needs one pair of trainers–Reebok Easytone to make sure she stays on track.

Nina Terol-Zialcita

Nina. Aside from being a co-founder of Writer’s Block Philippines, she is editor-in-chief of AsianTraveler Magazine and author of numerous blogs, opinion columns, and books. She is also a new media social entrepreneur who uses social media for social good. When she is not writing, blogging, or traveling, she is organizing projects and advocating causes. Thanks to Reebok’s EasyTone, Niña can stay on the go and keep up her tight balancing act.

Rowena Aquino

Rowena. Zumba Fitness Instructor. The 50’s won’t stop her from surprising herself. She aims to make every woman dance, and dance some more or get back into the groove they once possessed. Together with Reebok Easytone, she feels younger and is able to move even better. 50, she says, is the new 30.

Nikka Sarthou

Nikka. When she’s not wearing her writer’s hat, Nikka Sarthou indulges in her passion for traveling. Sometimes, she gets to combine the two when she travels for writing assignments. Reebok’s EasyTone line helps her keep up with her hectic yet flexible lifestyle and manage her work as Co-founder of Writer’s Block Philippines, Contributing Editor for Smile, Content Manager for OfficiallyPhilippines.com, and a Manila correspondent for FilipinoStar News – Michigan edition.

Darlene Anderson

Darlene. Not your ordinary Model/Actress, Darlene has a degree in Theater Arts from Central Saint Martins in London. She spends most of her time doing castings, helping street children by hosting charity events and whips vegan cakes for a living.  At a young age 19, Darlene is poised to conquer the world with her own brand of style, talent and passion for kids and animals. She is kept right on track by the EasyTone apparel she loves to wear.

Nikki Gil

Nikki. Nikki Gil is beauty and brains combined. Actress, VJ, model, singer and host, she first captivated the hearts of the Filipino audience and showbiz followers when she appeared in a Coca Cola ad in 2005. Since then, she has recorded several albums, acted in movies and musical plays and appeared countless in print and tv commercials, as well as magazine covers. For Nikki, living healthy and being fit are non-negotiable. So even when juggling projects, she still finds time to do some workout – wearing her favorite Reebok EasyTone tops, pants, and shoes.

Kassy Pajarillo

Kassy. More than just another Reebok face and a certified fitness enthusiast, Kassy’s love is beyond Reebok apparel, style and effective shoes. She juggles mindboggling opportunities from managing FTW Magazine and other business ventures, hence, her often-busy schedule. Losing weight is the bonus. Kassy Manages to keep up a healthy lifestyle by surrounding herself with positive people, getting into a lot of activities and always wearing her EasyTone apparel and shoes.

Vicky Ras

Vicky. Vicky Ras is a 30-something chronicler of life as experienced in supersized measures of beauty, pain, victories, failures and passions. She is a writer, PR and Communications practitioner, ultra runner, and a force of nature with a chronic case of the ‘elsewheres’. Her work takes her to a lot of places, strange some of them, and she balances life, work, athletic pursuits and the intricate web of events in between by following a disciplined fitness regimen where EasyTone proves to be a great ally.

Pearl Managuelod

Pearl. Yoga is the dance of her life. Running, swimming, and nature tripping are among the many things that keep her active, in addition to being a yogi and an entrepreneur. Pearl is also a full-time single mom who makes sure that her children have got everything they need. From teaching a yoga class, running a yoga studio, and taking care of her kids, she balances her lifestyle in comfort of Reebok flip-flops. That’s why, amidst all the sweat of joy from the yoga positions she teaches; keeping her yoga studio operating smoothly; carrying on with her life’s interests; and driving her kids to and from school, she still manages a graceful youth and an effervescent look.

***

Thank you for the lovely photos above Teacher Cheryl Golangco! Follow her blog here.

Aside from the EasyTone launch, that night was also the unveiling of sorts of the newest freebie magazine in the city — FTW! If you’re on Facebook, you may ‘like’ the page here and gain access to everything that’s MADE OF WIN!

FTW magazine maiden issue

For our maiden issue, we have Reebok EasyTone brand ambassador Nikki Gil on the cover, who was such a delight to work with at the video/photoshoot. In the cover story, he talks about her uber active lifestyle and how Reebok EasyTone footwear and apparel just synchs in perfectly with it.

Those who were at Trinoma during the launch were given copies of FTW magazine and they have all gotten back to us with great reviews! We can’t wait for the rest of you to check it out! Please keep visiting the FTW fanpage on Facebook for updates on WHERE you can get your own copy of FTW – which, as I have mentioned earlier, is ALL for FREE!  Only because we love you that much!

Check out some more photos of the uber fun REEBOK Traintone Experience below:

The stage is set...
Vicky with the EasyTone usherettes
FTW's Creative Director Chad Villarmino and Business Manager Kassy Pajarillo
FTW is born!
FTW Events Coordinator Cher Tanchingco and Managing Editor Marga Deona
FTW Editor-in-Chief Vicky Ras with the usherettes
Team FTW celebrates with friends post-event

Favorite Item no. 5: LIGHTWATER


Did you know that our bodies are made of 50-60% water? Technically, that is more than half our body mass. And by keeping our body hydrated all day, we are able to enjoy peak performance in whatever we do and our skin is kept looking and feeling healthy. We need water even when sitting still and more so when active in sports or other equally strenuous activities.

When you run or engage in your preferred form of workout, your body loses electrolytes which water alone cannot fully replace. Now I’m sure you have your preferred beverage, just as I have mine – which truly is a necessity considering my active lifestyle – and I have recently favorited one: LIGHTWATER.

Water made better.

Lightwater contains the electrolytes Calcium chloride, Magnesium chloride and Potassium bicarbonate – all of which were specifically chosen for their hydrating benefits as well as their ability to help maintain the body’s nutrient balance. What Lightwater does not contain, however, is sodium because this particular element has been proven to have detrimental effects when taken in large measures.

Another thing that I like about Lightwater is that it does not have any sportdrink sweetness and salty taste. It’s as clear as and even more refreshing than pure water and there is no heaviness associated with spring water and no flat taste like distilled water.

Since I have discovered this drink, I’ve been stocking up bottles in my fridge for my daily runs and weekly Insanity workout and it’s been helping me loads in my body’s hydration needs.

 

What’s your preferred beverage?

Race Event: RAIN 4 AFRICA


Count your blessings everyday. Ever heard your parents, friends, or your pastor tell you that? Do you practice it? How does it make you feel?

Blessed? You must be. Not only do you get to eat three square meals a day, you have more than enough to cover your wants as well.

Neglected? I doubt. Not if there are people who suffer like THEY do.

Help find solutions to the famine crisis in Africa
A Lifeline To Africa

Help create awareness and raise funds for donation to East Africa, the region that is facing the worst famine crisis in nearly 20 years.

How?

Register for RAIN 4 AFRICA (A Lifeline To Africa Run) happening on the 13th of November at Westgate, Filinvest in Alabang. Organized by LIFELINE Foundation, all proceeds of this race will go straight to the World Food Programme’s initiatives.

Registration fee for the 3k, 5k, and 10k categories is only P400. There will be NO singlets, NO loot bags…JUST CARE!

Register TODAY!

Registered runners are encouraged to wear a bright shirt/top in solidarity with our brothers and sisters in Africa.

For 3k runners, wear ORANGE.

For 5k runners, wear GREEN.

For 10k runners, wear BLUE.