Tag: Astavita Singapore


by Mona Gill

Healthy lifestyle = good nutrition = overall health wellness.

Unhealthy eating habits have contributed to various diseases like heart diseases, obesity, diabetes and even linked to cancer as well as high blood pressure or hypertension. We may not always be able to control the onset of diseases but we can certainly control what we consume by making smart and healthy food choices.

Your health is your wealth! Taking the steps to eat healthy, eat clean and incorporate physical activity into your daily routine is important to maintaining good health.  Physical activity like cardio, HIIT workouts, or even yoga could be helpful in body detox, rebuilding and re-energizing – basically anything that gets your heart rate up for at least 30 mins, 3 to 5 days a week will reduce your risk of diseases. Even mental health like depression can be influenced by our diet according to recent evidence. Overall feelings of wellness and balanced moods can be protected if our diet contain the adequate amounts of nutrients – especially foods high in Omega 3 fatty acids, complex carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals.

Of course, on top of proper nutrition, medication prescribed by a doctor is essential. Medication for mental disorders does at times cause patients to gain weight, thus leading to low self-esteem. Here is where paying attention to nutrition, diet and physical activity all play a part in helping with weight management. Take baby steps when it comes to making changes. Simple changes like reducing intake of fatty food, sugary drinks, as well as eating smaller meals more often. Variety of Orange color fruits and vegetables which are a good source of beta-carotene. Overall, you’ll do well by paying attention to healthy choices.

Nutrition is critical to overall well-being and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. If you look good, you feel good as it does also affect our brain function. Imagine not eating properly and being cranky and “Hangry” (a combination of hungry and angry). Hence, pay attention to what you eat as what you eat, you become. We are our own mirrors so eat a variety of wholesome foods in order to support a healthy lifestyle.
About the author:

Mona Gill is a busy mum and an entrepreneur. On top of that, she’s a yoga instructor and skincare expert. Mona is Astavita’s beauty and wellness ambassador. She attributes her stamina to cope with her busy lifestyle and still maintain clear complexion to Astavita Healthy Living Antioxidants and Astarism. Mona extols holistic wellness, keeping a healthy lifestyle and beauty from inside out.  You may follow her on Instagram: mkglife.

 

 

Extract from article The transition of forgetfulness to dementia: when to intervene & how by Dr. B. K. Iyer (practicing physician and medical consultant)

In the last post, we talked about the different types of conditions such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease [AD]. In this post, let us look into some scientific evidence based research findings.

What does scientific evidence based research have to say?

  • Knowing where one stands and being aware of the progress that science is making through assessment trials in such forgetful states, enables ‘reflection and adaptation’.
  • Due to the location of the first lesions of AD in hippocampal regions, memory disturbances in AD are related to a deficit in memorization of new information in episodic memory.
  • Conversely, memory disorders related to normal aging, depression, and degenerative or vascular brain lesions not involving hippocampus, are related to deficits in the processes of recall of previously memorized informations.
  • Hence, viewing dementia in such a context will enable people to modify expectations and fears of the transition from being forgetful to being actually diagnosed with dementia.
  • In recent years, the possibility of favorably influencing the cognitive trajectory through promotion of lifestyle modifications has been increasingly investigated. In particular, the relationship between nutritional habits and cognitive health has attracted special attention. Several substances of natural dietary origin display protective properties against some age-related diseases including neurodegenerative ones, particularly Alzheimer’s disease (AD). These compounds differ structurally, act therefore at different biochemical and metabolic levels and have shown different types of neuroprotective properties.

 

Stay tune to the final part of this 4-part series, to find out what if there is any help to prevent age-related neurodegeneration.

 

aging, antiaging, antioxidant, AstaReal, Astavita Singapore, astaxanthin, brainhealth, cognitive health, healthy, healthy living antioxidants, memory, nutrition

 

Extract from article The transition of forgetfulness to dementia: when to intervene & how by Dr. B. K. Iyer (practicing physician and medical consultant). Read original article here

In the previous post, we looked into the findings of some scientific research. In this post, we shall look into the effects of antioxidant and in particular astaxanthin and see if they have possible neuroprotective effects.

Study findings indicate that the exposure to specific nutritional compounds may result in cognitive benefits1. Why so? Reactive oxygen species (ROS) have important roles in normal brain function. Excessive production of ROS and ensuing tissue damage are countered by the endogenous antioxidant mechanisms that exist to protect the brain and its tissue. However, weakening of the antioxidant defense system is associated with aging. All of these features of aging contribute to a state of oxidative stress in the brain tissue, where the organ cannot combat the deleterious effects of ROS. Damage to proteins, lipids, and nucleotides accumulates promoting cellular dysfunction and subsequent cognitive impairment3.

Research has suggested that most sufferers of forgetfulness seek early intervention because of the belief that taking control over the disorder early is crucial and so fall prey to products with dubious claims rather than bank on evidence based medications. In order to better understand the mechanism of action of antioxidants that are efficacious for complex diseases in which oxidative stress may be present, but not the only significant pathogenic mechanism, the multiple pharmacological effects should be considered and investigated more broadly.

While there is a plethora of empirical evidence that antioxidants can be an effective treatment in preliminary studies, it is important to note that this strategy has been largely unsuccessful when translated in clinical trials. The failure of this antioxidant centric approach may be explained, in part, by the multifaceted limitations of common antioxidants.

As astaxanthin is known to cross the blood-brain barrier, it is detectable in the brain tissue making it a desirable anti-oxidant of immense therapeutic potential in neurodegenerative diseases such as dementia. There is also significant support to the fact that AXT may increase the levels of or promote the activity of endogenous antioxidant enzymes including superoxide dismutase and catalase. It has also been reported that astaxanthin supplementation can stimulate the expression of nuclear factor erythroid-related factor 2 (NRF-2), known to be associated with robust cellular protection from oxidative stress in vivo (Guerin et al. 2003). Al-Amin et al. (2015a). This observation is relevant to neurodegeneration and protection of cognitive function in aging3.

  • Results from current research on astaxanthin suggest that neuroprotective benefits are due to anti-inflammatory, anti-apoptotic and antioxidant effects, as well as the potential to promote or maintain neural plasticity. These emergent mechanisms of actions implicate astaxanthin as a promising therapeutic agent for neurodegenerative disease, including dementia2.
  • The basis for the use of astaxanthin approach in the treatment of neurodegenerative disorders is to prevent the progress of the disease by sequestering the primary targets and to slow disease progression by exerting activity against oxidative stress and mitochondrial dysfunction.
  • The size and structure of astaxanthin allows it to become vertically integrated through the phospholipid bilayer as the functional groups of the astaxanthin structure are energetically favorable in this orientation (Guerin et al. 2003; Kidd 2011). This feature precisely positions the molecule so that it can interfere with lipid peroxidation. In this regard, astaxanthin is especially adept at protecting the integrity of cell membranes.
  • Recently, there has been emerging evidence that astaxanthin can promote neurogenesis and plasticity. Neurogenesis is now widely accepted to occur throughout adulthood, primarily in 2 regions of the brain: the subventricular zone (SVZ) and the subgranular zone (SGZ) of the dentate gyrus (DG) of the hippocampus. Because the hippocampus is essential for learning and memory, neurogenesis likely plays a role in these cognitive processes3.
  • Animal studies have clearly demonstrated the mechanism and efficacy of astaxanthin in Diabetes-induced cognitive deficit (DICD) through suppression of oxidative stress, nitric oxide synthase (NOS) pathway, inflammatory reaction, decrease in the caspase-3/9 expression and increase in the expression of PI3K/Akt in cerebral cortex and hippocampus3.
  • Another in-vitro study has shown that in AD, astaxanthin protects neurons from the noxious effects of A𝛽Os on mitochondrial ROS production, NFATc4 activation and RyR2 gene expression downregulation5.

A human study conducted in 96 subjects with complaints of age-related forgetfulness has shown the effects of astaxanthin on cognitive function. On administering a capsule containing astaxanthin-rich Haematococcus pluvialis daily for 12 weeks, improved cognitive function was observed by performance enhancement in CogHealth battery scores and Groton Maze Learning Test scores. This study clearly revealed that natural astaxanthin reduces oxidisation in the brain, leading to improved scores in tests of cognitive function4.

Strong evidence has shown that Astaxanthin can calm microglial activation and suppress the output of cytotoxic substances. This ability to attenuate microglial activation and the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines is an important mechanism of action for protecting neuronal integrity, especially with age3.

In addition, astaxanthin offers neuroprotection against normal aging and neurodegeneration by promoting neurogenesis through modulating microglial activity and important signaling molecules such as ERK, AKT, and BDNF in-vitro and in-vivo, therefore improving cognitive functions.

Since the efficacy of Astaxanthin in cognitive function is now evident in several human clinical studies, it is time for one and all to exploit the possible neuroprotective effects. The earlier one starts astaxanthin, the better it is as dementia does not inform when it transitions from cognitive inhibition.

 

References:

  1. Nutrients. 2016 Mar 4;8(3):144. Nutrition and Dementia: Evidence for Preventive Approaches? By Canevelli M, Lucchini F, Quarata F, Bruno G, Cesari M.
  2. GeroScience (2017) 39:19–32, Neuroprotective mechanisms of astaxanthin: a potential therapeutic role in preserving cognitive function in age and neurodegeneration by Bethany Grimmig & Seol-Hee Kim & Kevin Nash & Paula C. Bickford & R. Douglas Shytle
  3. Clin. Biochem. Nutr., September 2012, vol. 51, no. 2, page 102–107, Effects of astaxanthin-rich Haematococcus pluvialis extract on cognitive function: a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled study by Mikiyuki Katagiri et al.
  4. Int J Clin Exp Pathol 2015;8(6):6083-6094, Astaxanthin improves cognitive deficits from oxidative stress, nitric oxide synthase and inflammation through upregulation of PI3K/Akt in diabetes rat by Lianbao Xu et al.
  5. Neural Plasticity, Volume 2016, Article ID 3456783, 13 pages, Astaxanthin protects primary hippocampal neurons against noxious effects of A𝛽-Oligomers by Pedro Lobos et al.

By Mona Gill

I started way back in 2006 in Calgary, Canada. I was looking for a different type of workout and was getting tired of the gym workouts. A couple of friends introduced me to hot yoga and let’s just say I was “hooked” after. It started off as something I added to my usual workouts, then it was me practicing 5 days a week and soon enough it became my lifestyle not just an exercise routine. I never need to force myself to yoga, I just do it like it’s second nature to me. So how has yoga helped in my life so far, read on and you’ll know:

1. Yoga helps pushes me to my limits.

I’m not the most flexible of person but yoga teaches me self-acceptance. Not only that, practicing yoga takes me from self-acceptance to stretching my limits. One of the limits was I never thought I can do a headstand because I always thought my lower body was too heavy. However, through constant practice and learning the technique of engaging my core to help stabilise my body, it was achievable. This reminds me that I do not have to feel limited by my physical self, instead it challenges me to stretch beyond my own mental limitations. Once you realise it, it’s all in the mind. You need to be focused and “in the moment” and envision it happening even if you fall over and over. It builds confidence and self-esteem.

2. Another reason why I practise yoga is that yoga helps me in coping with situations better.

Practicing yoga keeps me from making unhealthy decisions whether it’s to do with food or other areas of my life. It helps me keep my mind healthy especially during times of crisis or stress. We do not have control over all situations but it we can choose how we react and cope. When I feel the need to shut the negative voices in my head, I meditate silently while I practice or even just sitting still and closing my eyes and it gets better.

3. Yoga has enabled me to connect with others.

I find that I am better able to share my knowledge and experiences, especially after taking teacher training courses with Yoga works Canada, Universal Yoga with Andre Lappa and Copper Crow in Singapore. One thing to note though is that you do not have to be a yogi to practice, you just have to find what works for you and your body. Some people prefer yin yoga, some like hatha. Personally my practice has been about inversions as it helps build strength in my core muscles and strengthen my spine for overall stability. Occasionally I like vinyasa for some intense cardio depending on the level of the class.

Bottom line, it is important to also realise that yoga is not about being just physical, it teaches us the quieting of the mind, getting connected mind body soul and being aware of what you need at that point of time in that moment. Till the next post, keep practising!

 

About the author:

Mona Gill is a busy mum and an entrepreneur. On top of that, she’s a yoga instructor and skincare expert. Mona is Astavita’s beauty and wellness ambassador. She attributes her stamina to cope with her busy lifestyle and still maintain clear complexion to Astavita Healthy Living Antioxidants and Astarism. Mona extols holistic wellness, keeping a healthy lifestyle and beauty from inside out.  You may follow her on Instagram: mkglife.

aging, antiaging, memory, brainhealth, cognitive health, antioxidant, astaxanthin

 

Extract from article The transition of forgetfulness to dementia: when to intervene & how by Dr. B. K. Iyer (practicing physician and medical consultant)

A study was conducted to study the prevalence of cognitive impairment and dementia amongst the multi-ethnic Malay community in Singapore and to examine differences in prevalence among Chinese and Malays. A total of 966 Malay subjects were examined with age > 60 years and with Cognitive impairment no dementia (CIND) to dementia on defined criteria. The stuidy showed that among elderly Malays in Singapore, the overall prevalence of any cognitive impairment was 25.5%1.

In a similar study conducted in 1538 Chinese subjects, aged ≥60 years, to examine the prevalence of and associated factors for cognitive impairment and dementia in community dwelling Chinese from Singapore, it is seen that the overall prevalence of cognitive impairment and dementia in Chinese was 15.2%, which is in the same range as the prevalence reported in Caucasian and other Asian populations2.

While mild forgetfulness can be a normal part of aging, it can also be a sign of more serious memory problems, such as amnestic mild cognitive impairment, dementia, or even Alzheimer’s disease. At least half of those over age 65 say that they are more forgetful than they were when they were younger, experiencing “senior moments” about things like where they put things or recalling somebody’s name. The worrisome problem is, if such forgetfulness emerges at a younger age. Increasingly, research indicates that feeling forgetful is a cause for concern even among the younger age groups. Uncertainty about the condition and how to respond to it till it is resolved, only exacerbates the status, with passage of time. As the transition from being forgetful to having a diagnosis of dementia is characterized by uncertainty and often by lengthy waiting, this may be misunderstood as a sign that the problem is not of a serious or top priority nature to necessitate any intervention. Nothing is farther from the truth.

Although consensus recommends early recognition of memory problems, communication about the condition with health care professionals is not necessarily a proactive dialogue. Doctors often say that they see patients who would gladly talk if they felt they were in pain or experiencing other health issues, but avoid conversations about memory worsening, and this is a dangerous mistake. This leaves professionals unaware of an individual’s apprehensions or situation, till it is too late.

Most researchers say that forgetfulness is the first sign of Alzheimer’s disease and although many things change as we age, the fact is that our bodies and brains slow down, though intelligence remains stable. We are less physically and mentally flexible, and we take more time to process information. Memory changes occur as well, and it’s common to have greater difficulty remembering names of people, places and other things as we age. In the past, memory loss and confusion were considered a normal part of aging. But now, scientists have proof that most people remain both alert and able as they age, although a lot of people experience memory lapses and it may take them longer to remember things. The hormones and proteins that repair brain cells and stimulate growth in the brain start to decline with age and that is the reason why forgetfulness sets in.

Stay tune for the next part in the series where we look into when memory loss becomes more than just forgetfulness.

References:

  1. Curr Alzheimer Res. 2015 Oct 2, Prevalence of cognitive impairment and dementia in Malays – Epidemiology of Dementia in Singapore Study by Hilal S, Tan CS, Xin S, Amin SM, Wong TY, Chen C, Venketasubramanian N, Ikram MK.
  2. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry. 2013 Jun;84(6):686-92, Prevalence of cognitive impairment in Chinese: epidemiology of dementia in Singapore study by Hilal S, Ikram MK, Saini M, Tan CS, Catindig JA, Dong YH, Lim LB, Ting EY, Koo EH, Cheung CY, Qiu A, Wong TY, Chen CL, Venketasubramanian N.

 

Bailey The Golden was born in Melbourne, during the Australian wintertime, but quickly adapted to the tropical climate when he moved to Singapore. From puppy-hood, Bailey was given proper
socialisation by his Papa which allowed him to interact with people of all ages, as well as other dogs and cats in the neighbourhood. Bailey also started training for canine obedience competitions, under his Papa’s watchful eye, when he was 7 months old. Being an active pup, Bailey got to run freely in the open grounds of Bidadari Park as a reward after his daily training sessions. To date, Bailey has won eight trophies in obedience competitions.

Bailey, with his winning smile and friendly demeanour, has also had several TV appearances: he was cast in the Subaru XV television commercial with famed dog whisperer, Cesar Millan, and was one of Cesar’s pack of 6 dogs who helped in rehabilitating problem dogs in the ‘Cesar To The Rescue’ TV series on the National Geographic channel. Bailey’s latest media appearance is in the opening credits of Cesar’s new TV show, Cesar’s Recruit: Asia.

Over the past year, Bailey The Golden has embarked on a new mission: that of being an animal assisted therapy dog with Healing Paws, an organisation that uses animals to enhance the lives of those in need. Together with his Papa, Bailey had to be evaluated for his temperament, reactions to situations, commotion/noise and obedience to commands. The volunteer sessions with Healing Paws have won Bailey The Golden even more friends, and a chance to share this golden boy’s sunny disposition.

Can’t get enough of Bailey? You may follow him on facebook (@baileythegolden2013) and instagram (@baileythegoldensg).

 

By — Fai A Gaffa.

 

In this edition of the series of Trifactor organised clinics, I focused this report on the swim section of the race. As the name suggests, the organisers brought in coaches who are swim coaches. This meant that they were very much capable in answering any of our queries throughout the day and also assisted in teaching us the basics of:  1) Entering in to the sea; 2) Sighting and 3) Exiting the sea.

So let’s break each section down into detail.

1) Entering into the Sea

Most of the technique taught here were similar to that taught in the previous swim clinic (you can read about it here), however, it is also obvious that one is being taught by coaches who are primarily swim coaches while the other is by a triathlete.

Duck walks were again a feature here, where we were told to duck run all the way till we are at our knees before doing dolphin dives and kicks till it was deep enough for us to begin with our swim.

There is no doubt this is the most effective way to do it, even though we definitely didn’t look good with the weird way of running the duck runs!

 

2) Sighting

The biggest issue with open water swimming would be the fact that you are swimming in the open sea. This means that your lanes are not defined and that you would need take the necessary steps to ensure you are staying on course and not veering off course.

This might not be too much of an issue for people swimming breast stroke as they would surface to breathe while looking in front, however, for those of us who would do the frontcrawl (commonly thought to be called freestyle), you would tend to surface to breathe by tilting your head to the side. This means you might just be relying on the people around you or assume that you are going in the right direction, which is highly dangerous since you might just be swimming way off!

What we were taught and the put into practice during this session was to shorten our strokes every few strokes just to surface with our head looking up just like the breast stroke style. Since the bouy would be a fairly large one, a single head surface should be enough. However, should there be a reason for this to prove otherwise, we need to also be willing to alter and react based on the situation. It is safe to remember, in the open water, we would always need to be flexible to react as everything will go wrong!

3) Exiting the Sea

Exiting the sea might seem to be simple – you just need to stand up, no? Well, if you were to stand up too early, you would be spending a good deal of time and energy wading in the water while everyone else swims past you!

How to tell it is time to stand? When you are doing your front crawls, do not depend on what you see. Your eyes might not be telling you the truth. Even if the shore seems so close, do not rely on just that. While you are continuing your strokes, look out for the point where one of your hand touches the seabed. That’s the one indication and then continue this for another stroke to ensure you truly did touch the ground before standing up.

One thing to note. It will be tempting to look down after getting up out of the water but that would cause a blood rush and you would tend to fall face first into the sand. Trust me, as great as the beach is, it isn’t worth kissing.

Conclusion

There are plenty of other things to learn for the open water swim, especially how everything suits your body and how you would react to the different conditions. However, as with most things, there is only so much we can get when we do not do it ourselves and I am sure after the clinic, everyone there would agree we learnt more about ourselves even in that simple 2 hour session on a Sunday morning.

by Fai A Gaff

Precursor

I do realise that one can never truly fit this training schedule into your daily life as this would be the ideal schedule for a full time athlete, or someone close to that. What we should keep in mind though, it is good to know what we are competing against and the benchmark there is in terms of training.

What does this knowledge give me?

Well, first, it gives you a reason to know why the elites are that much faster than you are. It isn’t an excuse for you not doing well in the races but it is the honest truth. If you are not training as hard as they are, there is a high chance you would not be able to perform as well as they are. Don’t beat yourself over losing to them. Compete against someone who trains just like you, with your schedule, with your body composition, and with your commitments. Who would that be? The person staring back at you in the mirror, that’s who.

 

What do you need?

Let’s start with something that is truly simple. All you would need to do is to tick off what you do have or pop by a store and get what you do not.

Swim Attire: Swim Suit*, Goggles, Swim Cap (Recommended but not necessary)

Cycle Accessories: Bike that Fits you well (Road Bike Ideal), Cycling Shorts*, Cycling Shoes (Recommended but not Necessary)

Running Accessories: Running Shoes, Water Bottle, Running Tights*

If you have realized the asterisks on the three different attire, that is because you could go for a one stop solution of a tri-suit. One note of caution would be to have more than one of this suit as you would be using them for every single one of your trainings plus the race days too.

How long before the race should I start my fitness regime?

It all really depends on what you want to achieve; are you completing the race or competing? Are you using this as a first race to gauge how you’d do and set the benchmark for the future races or are you going to put in the time and effort to get the best possible result you could? Bear in mind, whichever you chose to do, there will be time and effort needed on your part to do this, even on days you feel like lazing and staying in bed. Let’s start it off with the assumption of wanting to do decently well in the race and that means you should look at starting about 12 weeks prior to the race day.

What are the trainings?

Before we look at a possible training schedule, let’s have a look at what we should do for each of the three events; swim, run, cycle.

Swim

  • Technique Swim: Focus on your stroke technique and breathing. Do laps of the pool
  • Endurance Swim
  • Continuous Swim: (Preferably) Swimming the circumference of the pool and never touching the wall

 

Run

  • Speed Work: Either Hill Runs or Sprint Training, Try to achieve a higher race pace with this
  • With 15 minutes of race pace warm up and cool down for each session
  1. Endurance Work
    1. Consistent yet fast paced running for a continuous period with easy warm up and cool down of 15 Minutes for each session
  2. Cycle
    1. Endurance Cycle
      1. Maintain A high pace for a continuous period
    2. Combination with Run
  3. Strength Training
    1. Legs Workouts
    2. Back Workouts
    3. Mobility Workouts

 

So from the above breakdown, we have 9 different types of workouts. This means that there are days you would expect yourself to be working more than twice a day. Remember, always schedule for a rest day but this day could also be an active rest day where you could have your Mobility Workout done then.

 

Possible Schedule to follow

  • Day 1
    • 30 Minutes Technique Swim
    • Legs Workout
  • Day 2
    • Run Speed Work – 15 Minutes warm up, 30 Minutes Workout, 15 minutes cool down
  • Day 3
    • Cycle and Run Combination – 45 Minutes cycle, followed by 30 minutes run
  • Day 4
    • 45 Minutes Endurance Swim
    • Back Workout
  • Day 5
    • Endurance Cycle of about 1 to 1.5 hours.
  • Day 6
    • Endurance Run of about 1 to 1.5 Hours.
  • Day 7
    • Active rest day
    • Mobility Workout

 

Strength workout and Diet

Needless to say, both your workouts and diet has to be personalized and suited to you. Hence, for this part of the training, you might do well in engaging a professional who could aid you in ensuring the right form, posture and regime for the workout, as well as the target weight and diet for your food intake. You might want to look at getting help from Trainers who are athletes themselves as no one would know what it is like other than an athlete. They would also understand how difficult it is for you to go through the trainings and would help in motivating you.

 

Famous Last Words

As you can see, it will not be easy to hit the top of your game and compete with the elites but it would be a rewarding journey if you do decide to take it up. For those of us having a different goal, stay tuned for the tapered down version of the training while we try to help you achieve the best version of yourself while still ensuring you wouldn’t be falling asleep on your desk!

By Fai A Gaffa

Background

So you might have read the ideal way of training up for a triathlon and you would probably have realized that it might just be reserved for those who are looking to challenge for the podium, plus have the time to do so. This time, we are looking at what we could do to get ourselves ready for the race while still keeping our day job.

 

Equipment

You would need all that you need for the race event, meaning everything for the swim, the run, and the cycle. You would need at least a pair of each to ensure they would survive all through to the race day and that you wouldn’t need to be using something new too close to the best day of your life.

Maybe something extra you could consider getting is supplements. As with everything else, this should be done with moderation but it is something to take seriously. This could be the factor that determines if you can get up in the morning to get your required run, or stay in bed because you are feeling too sore. You may not think much about missing a day training but each time you are training, you are actually learning something new, even if you do not realise it. So a training missed, is a missed learning opportunity that could prove to be valuable on race day. Which supplement then? Start with one that gets you a quicker recovery and ideally one which is natural too. One to suggest? Astaxanthin, of course. Which Astaxanthin? Naturally Astavita Sports, not only does it help with muscle soreness, you are also allowing your body to gain so much more.

 

Training Regime: Let’s get down and dirty to the painful yet rewarding part.  Let’s look at 4 simple questions first;

How long to start training for the race? 

As soon as you can. Ideally with a minimum of 3 months and the best would be a 6 months period. Do bear in mind that there may be times when you have to put training on hold because of work or other personal reason. Hence the 3 months period could be too short should anything come up.

How many times a week should I be training? 

This goes back to the question above. The more time you have, the more time you have to ease yourself into it. However, if you do not have the luxury of time or pre-planning, you might have to squeeze everything into a shorter period.  At the peak of your training, I would suggest a decent amount of rest while working out and having some time to spend with friends as well as family. I would suggest a 4 to 5 days training a week and having the other days as rest days. Again, this might only be possible when you give yourself a good 6 months to train for the race as it would allow you to ease yourself into the training regime and also spread the training objectives out over the course of the few months.

This is my first time doing such a race, do you think it is too much for someone who isn’t so fit?

No matter who you are, what you have done, and what you are planning to do, I believe you are capable of doing the race, as long as you are willing to put in the time and effort. Nonetheless, it may be annoying and difficult. Always remember, it will be difficult on the race day. You are not training so as to make it easy but you are training so as to allow yourself to know how difficult it will be and at that point, to challenge yourself to achieve greatness. Your only competition has to be that other voice in your head saying you’re not good enough or the one that’s telling you to stop. Once you have gotten better than those voices, you’ve won.

I am afraid to swim in the sea. Is there a way to get around the fear?

Just like learning how to ride a bike, or even learning how to walk, the only way to truly get used to swimming in the sea is to swim in the sea. First, you can take part in the open water swim clinics, such as the ones held by Trifactor Singapore. Next, you can gather a few friends and spend a morning just being in the water. The longer you spend time in the water, the more confident you get. It is as simple as that. Your fear wouldn’t go away over night, and neither should it. You need to work through it and when you do, you would realise how much stronger you are at the end of it. You might be still fearful of the open water but at least you know you are not crippled by the fear. You are able to work despite the fear.

 

Training Thoughts

As you have seen from the questions, or you might have deduced it before this, the race is very much a mental race as it is a physical one. The moment you feel you are ready for it, that is the exact moment you would be ready. That should be the objective of your trainings. The winning mentality isn’t one where you are on the starting line and know that it will not be difficult. It is to know that it will be difficult and that despite it all, you will be able to come out tops.

Suggested Training

Unlike full-timers, where I broke down the training schedule to what it is to achieve and also a possible schedule, here we shall keep it semi casual. Let’s maintain the same idea for all parts of the race; to be comfortable. What does this mean?

  • To comfortably finish the different parts of the race individually
  • To comfortably finish the entire race
  • To comfortably race at the pace you are looking at achieving

 

These are 3 simple steps to paint your trainings for the next few months. It works on the concept of learning how to walk before you start running – there isn’t any point in trying to race and get the best lap time for a 100m swim when you do not have the endurance to complete the entire distance of the swim.

Stage 1: Break down your training days to run days, cycling days, swimming days, and (if you can afford to) a strength workout day. Focus on increasing the distances to ensure you can complete the distance you are racing without stopping

Stage 2: Combine your training days. At this point, you might want to decrease your number of training days since each session might take you a tad bit longer. You could combine your swim with your cycle, your cycle with your run, and your run with your strength. Maintain your pace and again try to complete the full distances each time.

Stage 3: This is when you set your goal. If you wish to do better at your swim, try to go at a higher pace while still doing them as the sets of swim, cycle, and run. Make sure you are completing the distances well and then try to beat your time again.

 

At the End of the Day

There is nothing more to say then to take your time and to be patient. It will be a challenging journey. It is meant to be difficult, it will make you question why you are doing this. Yet, when you get it done, you would not have the same feeling any other way than racing. You would have gotten better than yourself. You would be able to say you were able to say no to that voice in your head telling you to stop. And most importantly, you would be able to say you did it.

 

“It’s very hard at the beginning to understand that the whole idea is not to beat the other runners. Eventually, you learn that the competition is against the little voice inside you that wants you to quit” – George Sheehan, Author of Going the Distance”

astaxanthin, cookie, healthy eating

If you love coffee and cookies in the morning, why not make it better with Astaxanthin cookies? Besides being delicious and nutritious, low in calories and ideal for healthy eating, they’re providing you your much needed antioxidants for good health.

Here’s the recipe, originally from laurainthekitchen.com but we’ve adapted it to include our favourite Astaxanthin and  also reduced the sugar for a healthier taste.

For those of you who prefer some real life action, you may watch the video here:

Ingredients

4 capsules of Astaxanthin Healthy living Antixodiants

1 2/3 cup of All Purpose Flour

¾ cup of Unsalted Butter, softened at room temperature

1 Tbsp of Vegetable shortening, softened at room temperature

½ cup of Brown Sugar

¼ cup of Granulated sugar

1 tsp of Vanilla Extract

1 Egg

¼ tsp of Salt

½ tsp of Baking Soda

1 tsp of Baking Powder

1 cup of Semisweet Chocolate Chips

Preparation

    1. 1)  Preheat the oven to 375 degrees, line a few baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
    1. 2) In the mixing bowl, cream together butter, shortening, both kinds of sugar, egg, vanilla and mix until combined.
    1. 3) In a small bow, mix together the flour, baking powder and baking soda, then add it to the butter mixture, mix together until combined.
    1. 4) Add the chocolate chips and mix them in until evenly distributed.
    1. 5) Using a small ice cream scoop (1 Tbsp measure) scoop out the cookie dough onto baking sheets.
    1. 6) Bake for 9 to 11 minutes or until the edges are a lovely light golden color, allow to cool completely.

 

There you have it, eating healthy is not that difficult. And it’s not that difficult at all to incorporate some Astaxanthin into your daily diet.

Till the next recipe or blog post: Live well | Look Good | Be Happy!

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