Should I Wear Sunglasses When Exercising?

Do you often wonder why you don’t see more athletes wearing sunglasses when they are training and/or racing outside in the sun?  Some feel that the glasses are cumbersome and get in their way.  Others just have problems finding the right sunglasses that don’t slip on their nose, don’t fog and are the right weight for them.  Well sunglasses are just about as important as good running shoes if training outside on a regular basis.

Depending on the time of day you are exercising, direct sunlight can cause unnecessary strain on your eyes.  Sunglasses are a form of protective eyewear which protects ones eyes from bright light and damaging ultraviolet radiation (UVR).  Ultraviolet (UV) radiation is part of the natural radiation found in the invisible light spectrum. There are 3 ranges of UV: UVA, UVB and UVC.  Prolonged exposure to UVA and UVB rays can even increase the possibility of significant eye damage, including temporary discomfort to long-term vision problems such as cataracts.
Runners, cyclists, swimmers and walkers that exercise outside on a regular basis can face visual problems due to prolong exposure to sunlight if they are not wearing some type of visual aid.  Health professionals recommend use of sunglasses not only for protection against bright light and UV rays but also to prevent drying of retina and protect eyes from the entry of foreign body.
When selecting your sunglasses you will have a wide variety of lens tint options to suit your preference and outdoor lighting condition. Smoke lenses show the least amount of color distortion and are perfect for use in full sun conditions. Brown lenses are great for bright sunlight and enhance color.

AC (All conditions) Red lenses offer an enhanced view in cloudy or foggy weather. Red lenses will also provide contrast in mid to low lighting conditions.  Yellow lenses offer an extremely bright view in overcast or rainy conditions.

Clear lenses enable the wearer to have protection at night, or other extremely low lighting conditions. Although clear, the Tifosi clear lenses will still offer 100% UVA/UVB protection.

CK SPORTS can help you find sunglasses that fit your face and that will meet your needs as a runner, walker or cyclist.   We carry the Tifosi brand ( the Italian word referring to a super-fan, an enthusiast) that have specific lens for your sport and provide you with various options as far as lens tint/color.   Their mission is to design eyewear for all sports and outdoor activities that include swimming, biking and running as well as golf, tennis and fishing to mention a few other sports.   These sunglasses (pictured in this article) are  lightweight and can fit all face sizes.

Stop in and try a pair on.  CK SPORTS is located at 121 and Custer in McKinney, Tx and we are opened seven days a week.

Did you say Pickle Juice before my Run?

Pickle Juice??  What the heck?   You want me to drink some pickle juice before my run / ride / walk???   Why can’t I stick to some GUs, Gels or Chomps and just eat a pickle when I order my sandwich that comes with a pickle?   Well, good question but if you google pickle juice and the athletic and health benefits of it, you might be surprised the amount of information and studies you will find.  Some studies adamantly say pickle juice is beneficial in helping stop cramps and others are hesitant to say that cramping is even caused by dehydration and/or lack of salt intake.  So we created this blog to give you some insight and let you come to your own conclusions on whether or not you want to venture out and give it a try.

Pickle juice is the liquid substance used to give cucumbers their salty, sour taste.  In most cases, it is made of water, salt, calcium chloride and vinegar (acetic acid), and occasionally contains flavorings like dill or “bread and butter”.   The use of pickle juice as a defense against muscle cramps first attracted headlines when the Philadelphia Eagles credited pickle juice with their cramp-free win over the Dallas Cowboys in the over-one-hundred-degrees Texas heat.  Rick Burkholder, the Eagles’ head trainer, called it his “secret weapon.”  Pickle companies (such as Mt. Olive Pickle, Vlasic Foods and Golden Pickle) claim that pickle juice is similar to an isotonic beverage and can prevent muscle cramps caused from strenuous exercise.   Mt. Olive Pickle asserts that “an athletic trainer from the University of Northern Iowa” uses pickle juice to avoid muscle cramps in athletes. (http://www.mtolivepickles.com/Picklemania/PickleJuicePower.html)

Golden Pickle has even created a sports drink, appropriately named “Pickle Juice Sport” which you can purchase at CK SPORTS.  Golden Pickle claims that Pickle Juice Sport has “approximately 30 times more electrolytes than Powerade and 15 times more than Gatorade.” (www.goldenpicklejuice.com). It is even endorsed by Dallas Cowboy Jason Witten.

So why would pickle juice work?  Exercise induced muscle cramps are can be caused by dehydration from exercising in hot weather and not drinking enough fluids.  When you sweat during exercise, you can lose a lot of salt from your blood.  These salts are also known as electrolytes.  The loss of electrolytes can cause muscle cramping, especially in hot, humid weather.  Cells in the body use electrolytes to maintain voltages across their cell membranes and to carry electrical impulses to other cells. In this case, these impulses are responsible for muscle contractions. Pickle juice has a very high salt, or electrolyte content.  Therefore, drinking pickle juice before exercising could possibly provide your body with enough salt, that your muscles will not cramp.  Other studies claim that your body gets enough sodium through the foods you eat and pills, juice, etc are not necessarily needed.

One study (resource provided below) compared pickle juice from Vlasic Pickles to the carbohydrate sports beverage Gatorade. The two beverage samples were analyzed in a food-composition laboratory to determine the amount of salt, potassium, calcium and magnesium in each product.  Pickle juice was found to have considerably more salt than the carbohydrate beverage.  Dale et. al. concluded that pickle juice can be used as a remedy for muscle cramps. However, the study also warns of the danger of ingesting too much salt as well so be smart when training and see what works for you, your workouts and your climate.  In most articles two ounces is the suggested serving size of pickle juice.

There was even another study that took two groups of men and put them through strenuous enough exercise for them to lose 3% of their body weight through perspiration (mild dehydration) and then s contraption was put on the big toe of their unexercised leg, and the tibial nerve in the men’s ankles was electrically stimulated, causing a muscle in the big toe to cramp — ow??    The procedure causes some discomfort, making it too painful to use on larger muscles, like the hamstrings or the quadriceps.  The duration of their cramping was about 2 to 2.5 minutes.   The volunteers rested and did not drink any fluids. Then their tibial nerve was zapped again.  This time, though, as soon as the toe cramps began, each man downed about 2.5 ounces of either deionized water or pickle juice, strained from a jar of ordinary Vlasic dills.  The reaction, for some, was rapid. Within about 85 seconds, the men drinking pickle juice stopped cramping.  But the cramps continued unabated in the men drinking water.   hmmmm….so you see….one has to wonder?  Can pickle juice work for you and your workouts?

And if pickle juice isn’t your thing – no worries.  There are various supplements made from various companies (Shark Salts, Hammer, Salt Stick, etc) also provided at CK SPORTS that provide a source of salt for athletes.  Whatever direction you go to increase your salt intake do remember that too much of a good thing.  And if you are on a salt-restricted diet, you may want to look elsewhere for a muscle cramp remedy.   Medical professionals believe that salt plays a major role in preventing dehydration that causes muscle cramps, but it does not necessarily have to come from pickle juice or other salt tablets.  In fact, Kurt Spindler, the Director of the Vanderbilt Sports Medicine Center, suggests that athletes just conscientiously salt their food at their meals to avoid muscle cramps.

RESOURCES

Muscle Cramps. (2005) A-Z Health Guide from WebMD. Retrieved September 18, 2006.  http://www.webmd.com/hw/health_guide_atoz/sig239850.asp

Dale, R. B. Leaver-Dunn, D. Bishop, P. (2003).  A compositional analysis of a common acetic acid  solution with practical implications for ingestion. Journal of Athletic Training. 38(1) .57.

http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/06/09/phys-ed-can-pickle-juice-stop-muscle-cramps/

My Feet were made for Running

My Feet Were Made for Running… I long for the days that looking at someone’s feet was just looking at someone’s feet. But a foot just isn’t a foot for me. Whether I find myself in Kroger in the check out lane or at the dentist office, I can spot a flat foot, a bunion or a caved ankle a mile away! I have to refrain from saying something! So I keep my mouth shut and instead type up this article.

Many do not understand the importance of shoes for their specific feet. Sure, it’s true that you can pick any shoe from any store and “get away” with wearing it but there is no guarantee that you aren’t going to have issues down the road.  And if the shoe is not the right match more than likely  issues will arise.  It always surprises me when I hear a runner/walker tell me that their feet always hurt but they just deal with it. You don’t have to deal with it. Don’t deal with it!  You are entitiled to be comfortable and you should LOVE your shoes. Everyone is different but there are shoes for everyone….

Kind of like the Oscar Mayer hot dog. Some people are neutral, some supinate, some pronate, some have flat feet, some have high arches, some have no arches. Feet are different and believe it or not, there is a shoe out there that will work for your feet!  We hope you come to CK SPORTS to let us interview your feet but if you don’t make sure that you go some place that will spend time with you to figure out what your issues are and what shoe is best for your foot.

How Compressed are You??

Cold Winters or Hot Summers, CK SPORTS, a full service triathlon store located in the north Dallas area, is always getting questions on compression. So, what’s the big deal? Is compression what it is cracked up to be? Does compression really help athletic performance and improve recovery? Should I wear it before I exercise, while I am exercising or after I exercise?

First, yes, compression works. Today, you see your novice athlete to elite athletes wearing the compression tights, arm sleeves, socks and more. “The average Joe now says ‘Hey I’m working out and I’m spending my time, if I can feel a little bit better, why wouldn’t I?'” said Gregg Hemphill, VP of Marketing for SKINSAmerica. “This will help them get through that initial soreness stage as they’re trying to get themselves back into shape. They’re going to be a little less sore and feel a little fresher the next day and want to get back in the gym,” said Hemphill. Compression gear is designed to increase blood flow, which flushes out lactic acid and gets more oxygen and nutrients back to muscles.

The end result is speedy recovery time. “We call it ‘Venus return:’ increasing the blood flow back to the heart so you can get fresh clean oxygen in the blood back to those muscles faster, keep those muscles firing and performing much more efficiently than they normally would,” said Johnny West, sales director for 2XU’s compression line. Also, muscles normally vibrate during exercise, but compression wear keeps them contained which helps in turn to reduce injury. “Our muscles in general are designed to fire up and down. As soon as we start doing any sort of activity, they’ll start sliding side to side, so now that muscle is much less efficient,” said West.

CK SPORTS is a triathlon store that can help you with compression gear. We carry various brands including 2XU, SKINS, CEP, ZOOT and Vital Socks. Stop by and let us help you with your questions.

Come out and see us at CK SPORTS today at our tri store located at8880 State Highway121,McKinney,Texas75070. Located at the corner ofCuster Roadand 121 in the Target shopping center.

Phone: 214-383-0088

Website: http://www.cksports.com