H-Town Run Tourist

New Year. Volunteer with Hermann Park!

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Jovan Abernathy is an international marathoner and owner of Houston Tourism Gym. To claim your free tour, contact her at info@tourismgymhtx.com. Follow her on Twitter @jovanabernathy. Instagram @TourismGymHtx. Facebook @TourismGymHtx

The beginning of the year is the time that everyone is more open to trying new experiences and doing the right thing. As the H-Town Run Tourist, I am always on the look out for these opportunities. Recently, I ran into one that you may want to add to your goal list. When I was researching for my article for Hermann Park, I learned that Hermann Park has many ways that you can volunteer. Which one will you try first?

If you have not been to Hermann Park recently, I suggest you take a stroll through the Japanese Gardens and the McGovern Centennial Gardens. Enjoy the beautiful foliage and take lots of pictures. Do you ever wonder how those gardens are kept up? By the wonderful volunteers that offer their helping hands to keep the park clean. Hermann Park needs you to assist the resident gardeners with weeding, trimming, planting, harvesting, trail maintenance, and dead-heading roses bushes. What a sneaky way to learn how to garden. Volunteer days are from 9am-12pm on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.

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Annual Kite Festival

On March 29 2020, people will flock to the hill at Miller Outdoor Theatre with the same goal in mind. Let's go fly a kite. During this outdoor event that is free for all ages, inner loopers, tourists, and people from all parts of Houston and surrounding areas bring their best looking kites. This event draws thousands of people. As you can tell, it needs your help to set up tents and tables for the vendors, help people find their way around the park. assist in the many activities, help people actually fly their kites, be a stage hand, and of course cleanup and breakdown.

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Hermann Park Run

Every year, Hermann Park hosts the Park Run which is a 10K, 5K, and 1K Kid's Run throughout the park. This year's run will be held in October. Hermann Park needs you to help with setup, booths, and give directions to runners and their family and friends. There will be lots of new runners that need extra cheering and kids that need to see funny signs and be handed gummy bears.

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Park to Port Bike Ride

Ride. Party. Ride. This annual 20 mile bike ride gives riders a unique view of Houston. It starts in the early morning from Bayou Parkland, goes along Brays Bayou Greenway Trail to the Port of Houston. Once there, its party-party with music snacks, and drinks before the ride back. This event is for all ages and skill levels. This event will be happening in November 2020. Hermann Park needs you to help setup the event, booths and hand out water and of course, cheer riders.

Don't be suprised if you see me there or hopefully, we can volunteer together this year. If you want to do your own shift or organize your own group, please contact the Program and Events Coordinator, Emily Chambers at EChambers@HermannPark.org. If you can not volunteer, I'm sure they accept yo' dolla dolla bills ya'll!

H-Town Run Tourist

Which protein shake is right for you?

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Jovan Abernathy is an international marathoner and owner of Houston Tourism Gym. To claim your free tour, contact her at info@tourismgymhtx.com. Follow her on Twitter @jovanabernathy. Instagram @TourismGymHtx. Facebook @TourismGymHtx

After writing last week's article about supplements, the subject of protein powder came up. I have been asked many times, which is the best protein powder. Many people, especially those who are aspiring runners, think they are only for muscle heads. The truth is is that they really help people with busy lifestyles to get the nutrition they need to get to their goal. Here are a few extra guidelines on choosing your go-to protein shake.

Whey protein

Whey protein is known for its fast absorption making it ideal for weight and strength training. It makes a quick meal on the go or right before a workout. It provides enough energy to get you through a hard workout. It is great for after your workout. It will give you energy to get you to the next meal without the shakes. Most powders are comprised of 85% lean protein that is derived from milk with low fat content and carbs.

Hint: Do not take right before a run. Running and strength training are different workouts. It will wreck your run. If you must, wait 1 hour before running. A light protein bar like a Lara Bar is best for a quick run.

Casein protein

Casein protein, also derived from milk, is best known for slow absorption making it a great option before a long run. It will not make you nauseous and will get you through the workout. Another benefit to casein protein is because it absorbs slowly (about 3-4 hours for your body to absorb it), it is great for a before bedtime snack. In fact, it will ensure that your muscles are getting fed continually. You will not wake up famished and you will not wake up with bloating.

Hint: To make sure your are staying faithful to your diet, schedule 1 scoop with a small apple for your midday snack and 1 scoop around 9pm after dinner to curb your munchies.

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Plant protein

With the studies being done on animal protein causing cancer and other health issues, society is moving away from animal proteins. For people who are vegetarian and vegan, many types of protein powders that have been proven as just as affective as protein powders derived from milk. Vegan protein powders can be derived from brown rice, pea, nuts, hemp, and chia. After using one brand, I found that it was great to have before a run and did not make me nauseous and it also tasted great. These are a great option for anyone even if you are a carnivore.

Hint: Choose a protein powder that combines different sources of protein for the complete package of amino acids.

The conversation about protein powder is a long one. Finding out which one is best for you is really up to you. Even with best of guidance, you still must decide for yourself. I suggest you get to trying some brands to find your favorite. It would be best to get a trial size or the smallest size just in case you do not like it. Make sure that you try it before your different types of workouts to see how you fare. Happy tasting!


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