Archive for June, 2012

Goji Berry: The Super Fruit

Goji berry, or Lycium barbarum, belongs to a family of plants called Solanaceae. It is also popularly known as Chinese wolfberry. This fruit tastes like raisin and is used as ingredient for soups and other Chinese dishes. It grows from a woody plant in China and parts of eastern Europe.

This fruit is being hailed to be the new miraculous fruit for its nutrient-rich contents.  It is known to be a ‘super fruit’ as it contains more vitamin C than oranges, more beta-carotene than carrots, and contains complex phyto-nutrients and flavanois, including betaine, physalin, and solavetivone.  It is said to be good for boosting the immune system, liver, and promotes good eyesight and healthy skin.

This fruit has become popular worldwide because of its many health benefits on peoples’ over-all wellness. People who consumed goji berry, both in dried and juice form, claim that they have experienced a significant improvement on their energy levels, better moods, and reduced pain from the discomforts of arthritis. There have been reports as well of celebrities munching on this fruit as their secret to their youth, like Madonna and Mischa Barton.

Preventing Overtraining Syndrome

Overtraining syndrome happens when the body is exhausted beyond its capacity to recover resulting in a drop in performance. It is not detected immediately making it a difficult problem later on. One of the early signs of this syndrome is diminished performance. Without proper rest, muscles will become chronically sore causing easy fatigability. Physical injuries may also occur like stress fractures, muscle tears, prolonged feeling of heavy legs, among others.

Depending on the severity of the injury, treatment may go from simple rest to orthopedic operation.  The best cure is still prevention and preparation to avoid injuries. Here are some practical tips that you can do whether you are an athlete or not to achieve proper physical training without injuries:

Gauge your limits. Train and practice to know your limits. Listen to your body and know when you need improvement to approach your limits or stop when going beyond your ability.

Know the basics. Research or consult seasoned athletes or coaches on the sport or any physical activity that you engage yourself with. For example, basic knowledge in running should include stretches, warm-ups, hydration, and race nutrition.

Improve in the long run. Focus on how your training can help you improve in the long run. Focus on endurance and stamina instead of speed and strength which you can later develop. This way, you can also help your body run for a longer period of time.

Allow your body to recover. Recovery is as vital as the training proper. Your body needs time to heal and rest from muscular and cardiovascular fatigue. Your body is your own indicator if you are already going beyond your limit. Take time to rest to help you feel stronger at the same time.