Here are 5 key essentials that will help you not miss out

Get the most out of your 2019 "Get Fit" regimen

Courtesy photo

Kicking-off the new year with the new you? I'm sure you are well off to a great start with your new health program, breaking a sweat every day, eating the healthiest meals, or maybe even intermittent fasting. Then life is golden right? …. maybe not so much. Whether you haven't had time to stay consistent or you haven't quite started yet, life happens. But sticking to your new year's resolution is going to take commitment. So, this means coming up with a plan and sticking to it. And regardless of when you jump start into your goals, try to keep in mind no matter what you do in the gym or what you eat, the other key essentials that will put a bow on your health program would be the supplements you take to compliment your workouts and healthy lifestyle.

Here are 5 key supplements, you may want to contemplate adding to your routine:

1) Whey Protein

Whey protein is a milk protein that absorbs into the body quickly. When your body digests the protein, it will start to stimulate the repair of the tissue. For years studies have shown taking whey protein immediately or up to 30 minutes after is essential. This 30-minute window is known as an "anabolic window", which means it is a short period of time in which your muscles are like a sponge for protein. Although there are more and more recent studies coming out that suggests the 30-minute window is longer and may not be limited to after exercise. Let's face it, we all forget sometimes after a workout to drink protein. And when we do remember it is not always in that 30-minute time frame. While there are many forms of protein out there, whey protein contains a wide range of amino acids, which are absorbed quickly. And when you consume a protein like whey immediately after your work out, you're supplying the body with amino acids they need to repair and grow when it is most beneficial. Studies have shown that it can help with losing body fat, help increase strength and muscle gain. Whey protein also contains bioactive that may offer other health benefits.

2) Pre-Workout

Although there is a slew of pre-workout supplements on the market, you-have-to-do-your-research-here! For the record, I am a super fan of pre-workout, but hey it works for some people better than others. And I am a fan of it on certain days. Not everyone is going to be in the best mood to work out every day after a long day at work or whatever it may be. Sometimes we all just need that kick start to get in the mood and get going. So, on those days… yes pre-workout is a must. For those other days that I am dying to get into the gym and get my work out, I stay away from the pre-workout. One of the reasons, like most supplements, pre-workout formulas are not regulated by the FDA for safety. Also, only if the product is certified through a third-party regulatory body, like NSF or informed choice, will you know that the product contains what it said it contains. Those organizations follow a strict vetting process to verify the quality and purity of supplements. There are also ways to fuel to body with the right foods that give the body similar "pre-work out" boosts. A banana or a sliced piece of bread with some jam can give you 15 grams of carbs, and that slight boost you need.

3) BCAAs

Branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) are the building blocks of muscle. Three of the nine essential amino acids are leucine, isoleucine and valine which are eventually condensed into powder form for consumption. However, some protein-rich food products like dairy products, fish, meats, and eggs contain many BCAAs. These amino acids are super important to maintaining the muscle you have or are building. They help prevent your body from breaking down muscle and using it as energy (catabolism). The awesome part is you can drink BCAA's any time of the day, before work out, or after work out.

4) Beta Alanine or Casein

Onto another amino acid, beta-alanine. Beta alanine promotes and maintains muscle endurance and output, supports muscle capacity, and fights muscle fatigue. According to the International Olympic Committee, they have earmarked beta alanine as a supplement that can directly improve sports performance.

Casein is protein that is slowly digested into the system. This is primarily due to its structure since its coagulation in the stomach slows the rate of gastric emptying. When you sleep for a long number of hours your body is fasting. During your sleep your body is breaking down muscle fibers. If you are taking casein, it will help rebuild those tissues, as you sleep and as you lose muscle fibers from training.

5) Vitamins

While there are many vitamins out there, here are my top 5 for a healthy lifestyle:

Vitamin A- Healthy eyes, growth and development, teeth, skin

Vitamin B-Energy, Immunity, iron absorption

Vitamin C- immune system, repair of all body tissues, formation of collagen

Vitamin D-Strong healthy bones and teeth, great source of calcium

Vitamin E- healthy skin and eyes, blood circulation

This Power Hour will kick your butt

Title Boxing makes it look easy

We got our boxing on. Courtesy photo.

Jovan Abernathy is an international marathoner and owner of Houston Tourism Gym. To claim your free tour, contact her at info@tourismgymhtx.com

So I am taking a break from running (remember my article from a couple of weeks ago). I'm looking for a new activity to get into. Sometimes, when you are passionate about a sport like running, it becomes part of your identity. I felt like maybe I am a quitter. Maybe I lost my mojo. At first, it was hard to reconcile not wanting to run, but here are my reasons:

  • I'm going to be honest. I need to lose weight (there is a good reason why you have not seen my finish line photo from Iceland).
  • I have noticed that my balance and posture have been off.
  • Like I said, I have been super stressed and haven't been feeling running.
  • I want faster running times.

I've been peeping the Title Boxing Gym that is around the corner from my house. I've always been curious about what went on there. Well, I'm going to find out.

As I opened the door and stepped in, I surveyed the room. Lined up heavy bags were hanging throughout the room. There was a rack of medicine balls along a mirrored wall. In the corner, there was a full sized boxing ring. About 10 MMA bags were tucked behind the ring. It looked serious.

"Hello, how are you?" I turned my attention to a lean man holding his hand out waiting for me to shake it. "I'm Totrek. What is your name?"

"Jovan. So, what's the deal here?"

As Totrek leads me into the gym, he explains Title Boxing.

"We offer hour long boxing, kickboxing, and MMA classes we call the Power Hour. Each class starts with 15 minutes of calisthenics, eight rounds of three minutes of punch/kick combinations, and ends with 15 minutes of core for a cool down with stretching. This is no contact boxing, we just hit heavy bags. There are 55 of them to be exact."

I'm a little intimidated. How many women exactly belong to the gym? What is the age range? Totrek assures me that I would fit in and to just go at my own pace. Also noteworthy is you can burn anywhere from 600-1000 calories in an hour. Totrek is now showing me the schedule of classes. "So when can you come in to try your first shot on us?"


First timers getting instructed.

I chose the 9:30am class on Monday morning. "You're instructor will be Chris. Just make sure you bring $11.90, the day of class for your hand wraps, which are a must, and arrive 15 minutes early to get registered and wrapped. We will loan you boxing gloves. See you then!

Monday rolls around. I make sure I'm there at 9:15am. Kate, who works the front desk greets and rings me up. Kate is a beautiful, blond amazon woman from the Czech Republic who stands about 6"2 without heels. She wears stilettos because everyone else should be taller. She gets me registered and wraps my hands. Afterwards, she introduces me to Chris. I have needed an obnoxious black man in my life to get me motivated. I took one look at him and knew he would do just fine. Chris goes over a brief tutorial on how to breath and the different punches we would be doing. I chose my bag and take my place.

The music starts. It is a blend of modern day rap and from the early 2000's. Think Luda meets Drake. Chris is energetic and unapologetic. Chris leads us through 15 minutes of damn, I lost my fitness. Squats, lunges, jumping jacks, high knees. All with no rest. I think I burned 400 calories within the first 15 minutes.


Feeling like champ with Salutu

He tells us to take position in the front of the room. Our assignment is to jab. jab/cross. hook. down the line of bags. The music starts. It's Tyga. As I punch each bag, i feel like Mila Jovavich on the Fifth Element. Each bag is my opponent. They can get a TASTE....TASTE. I was having so much fun. I thought of all the people who deserved a TASTE.....TASTE.

"Will you stop smiling? You have been cheezin this entire time." says Chris. Here I was wanting to get out all that frustration and it turned out I was so happy to hit something. I thought I would be angrier, but I'm just not an angry person, I guess. That's a relief.

The class ends with 15 mins of core and stretching. Everyone is soaked in sweat. The music ends and so does the class. I can't wait for the next class. This is definitely my new activity.

If you want to try your first shot from Title Boxing Gym, visit Title Boxing Club Westchase or call 713-637-4246.

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