Multivitaminz.

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What’s the big deal about multivitamins? Ya know, I didn’t really know the answer until recently. I’ve always taken them, ever since I was a little girl and in fact, I still do to this day. Although most doctors recommend them, here are some important things to consider if you’re thinking about taking a multivitamin, or if you already do.

A Balanced Diet

Multivitamins are meant to supplement nutrients, NOT replace them. Many multivitamin packages advertise themselves as a “dietary supplement.” By definition, “supplement” means to add to, boost, increase or be extra. By no means should multivitamins take the place of a regular diet of actual food. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Americans, on average, only eat about one fruit and one or two vegetables on a typical day” (via). Millions of people aren’t getting the nutrients they need. A multivitamin can take care of that by creating a more balanced diet. But keep in mind: eat healthy, THEN supplement with a multivitamin.

Weight loss?

A common misconception of multivitamins is that they aid in weight loss. There is little to no evidence on this matter. People, get it together. Weight loss comes from the simple combination of eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly (even if its just a little). A multivitamin might make you healthier, overall,  but there is no such thing as a magical weight loss pill (if you find one, please holla at me). For more information, check here and here.

So, yes or no?

There are dozens of articles written and studies conducted on this matter. And each one discounts the previous. I see both sides of the argument, but for now, I will continue to take a multivitamin. As a college student, I don’t feel like a always get the proper nutrients every day. Taking a multivitamin ensures that I do. What do you think?

SHOEZ

Surprisingly, running shoes are crucial. They can make or break your run, and if you’re serious about running, it’s important to be mindful of what you’re purchasing and your personal needs. Yes, unfortunately, the slightly more expensive running shoes are typically a higher quality. *sigh*

Here are three important factors to consider when purchasing running shoes:

1. What, When & Where:

First, you must determine what type of running you will be doing, how often you’ll be running and the surface you’ll be running on. Consider if you will be running often and on a regular schedule…or on pavement or trails. This makes a huge difference.

2. How do you strike the ground when you run?

How your foot hits the ground when you run determines the way your running shoes wear down.

foot strikes

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This can be easily determined by looking at the bottom of old running shoes to see where they are worn down. The diagram below illustrates the wear and tear of neutral pronation, overpronation, and under-pronation runners.

HowDoYouRun2

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3. Arch Support:

Understanding your foot type is also important.

foot arch

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Here is a great way to determine what kind of foot arch you have!

Being mindful of these three things will ensure you spend your money wisely when purchasing a pair of running shoes. They can be costly, so get it right!!

P.S. Here is an awesome Shoe Finder, if you’re lazy. 😉

MUZIC + RUNZ

Do you listen to music when you workout? I do.

Everyone has their own preference, but I can’t go without it. Full disclosure? Usually, I listen to the R. Kelly station on Pandora. I know it’s weird, but throwback hip-hop/R&B just gets me going!

Something I recently discovered: The music you listen to when you workout can actually change the way you work out.

Here are five songs to help you run an 8-minute mile!

1. Paper Planes – M.I.A.

2. Good Life – Kanye West, T-Pain

3. Princess of China – Coldplay

4. Umbrella – Rihanna, JAY-Z

5. Jimi Thing – Dave Matthews Band

H2O(MG)!

OMG! H2O? Yes, that’s right. Water is exciting.

Aside from being one of the three necessities of life (in addition to food and shelter, duh), many health benefits come from drinking half a gallon of water a day. Here are five!

1. Weight Loss

Increasing water intake has shown to increase weight loss in two powerful ways. First, drinking water may help boost your metabolism. A study conducted in Berlin, Germany, by corespondents to The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, found that “drinking 500 ml of water increases metabolic rate by 30% in both men and women” (via). The higher your metabolism, the quicker and more efficiently your body burns fat. Who doesn’t like burning fat?! Also, drinking water before a meal makes you feel fuller, faster. If you eat less, you’re more likely to lose weight and avoid habitual overeating. CamelBak hydration adviser Kate Geagan, RD comments that people often put on weight by accident, mistaking thirst for hunger. Geagan suggests drinking water before eating to help regulate true hunger versus your body’s need for water.

2. Digestion

Now for something (un)pleasant – water helps you poop! By drinking more water, you’re helping your body dissolve fats and soluble fiber, which eases the task of…going. It also reduces the hard work of the kidneys and liver by flushing toxins from your body. In essence, water helps you do the doo-doo.

3. Mood

Research shows that even mild dehydration can negatively impact mood. Emily Mitchell, a contributor to Men’s Health, says that experts believe one reason why the effect is so negative is because neurons in your brain detect an imbalance in electrolytes (a.k.a dehydration), and this part of the brain directly regulates moods (via). What an easy way to improve how you feel!

4. Skin

Everyone claims that drinking more water can give you younger, more radiant and healthier looking skin. But why is this true? Simply put, your skin is an organ (the largest, actually). All organs are made up of cells and all skin cells are made of water. If you deprive skin cells of water, they surely won’t do their job correctly. Lack of hydration will show in dry, tight and flaky skin (via). Who wants that? You are what you eat…errrr…drink!

5. Energy

Lastly, drinking more water has been proven to boost overall energy levels. Even mild dehydration can make you feel fatigued and since water is a crucial component in all parts of the body, the more the better. Overall energy levels depend on fluidity and the ability of all body systems to work symbiotically. Water is the nectar of the Gods.

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Although everyone suggests a different amount of daily water intake, 2-2.5 liters (68-85 ounces) seems to be the average. If you have to question your water intake, chances are, you’re not drinking enough.

Peruvian surfer Pianezzi rides wave with his alpaca Pisco at San Bartolo beach in Lima

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With water, anything is possible. In the words of Dave Matthews, “Eat, drink, and be merry.”

P.S. Below is a urine color chart. Monitoring the color of your urine is the easiest indicator of your hydration levels. Yes, it’s as gross as it sounds…yet oddly satisfying…

pee hydration chart

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