Last Saturday, December 8, 2018, I got the chance to meet the Lhuillier brothers, Stephan and Sebastien and talked about their advocacy project, the Pinoy Tennis Trainers (PTT). Stephan and Sebastien are well known tennis players in local circuit and had represented the country in various meets abroad, and sons of Cebuana Lhuillier president & CEO Jean Henri Lhuillier and Olympian Bea Lucero-Lhuillier.

Pinoy Tennis Trainers (PTT) started three years ago as a brainchild of Stephan. It all started when Stephan had an encounter with a local ball boy and shared that his usual day rate is Php 80.00. Stephan saw this as an opportunity to help local trainers. He founded PTT with the intention of providing trainers with the opportunity to earn more by booking more clients with the help of improved coaching skills. Since 2016, PTT already conducted 13 workshops across the country and produced almost 600 graduates. They were also able to send qualified trainers to high-level certifications abroad.

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“I am proud of what we have accomplished from the time we launched Happiest Pinoy more than three years ago. I am elated to hear some of our graduates are now earning high-paying jobs or have moved on to become coaches of their respective clubs or local teams”, said Stephan.

PTT’s most recent event was last weekend, December 8-9. They held a 2 day advance tennis workshop at Makati Sports Club, headed by Coach Roland Kraut, the only ITF level 3 coach in the country. Almost 40 local trainers from all over Metro Manila and Central Luzon attended the workshop.

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This year, the younger brother, Sebastien will take on the leadership role as Stephan will start university studies in United States.

This year, Sebastien plans to introduce new level 2 courses with the help of Coach Roland and will actively pursue international tennis training for PTT graduates.

“I am honored to take over this initiative because I know that it helps a lot of tennis trainers improve their life by empowering them through these trainings” said Sebastien.

Also part of PTT is the Adopt-A-Racket program where the brothers tapped on their close friends, racket companies, tennis players to donate tennis rackets to PTT, to be distributed to top performing PTT graduates. A total of 211 rackets have been collected and 188 of which were already distributed to PTT trainers.

It was a great experience talking to Stephan and Sebastien. I was very impressed that at a very young age, they already have a vision of how to help other people. Stephan said that their parents taught them to always “look back” and “give back” to their community and that is what they’re doing. Indeed, Stephan and Sebastien are role models for the youth that we should all admire.

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Smile Train Philippines, the world’s leading cleft charity, has partnered once again with Electric Studio, the first and largest boutique indoor cycling studio in the country, to help raise awareness and funds for children with clefts in the Philippines through the Ride For Smiles Challenge.

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The Ride for Smiles Challenge is a 30-day fitness challenge, where Electric Studio riders commit to complete 10, 15 or 20 rides, with all classes counting toward a donation by Electric Studio to Smile Train Philippines. The rides can be taken in any of Electric Studio’s three locations in Bonifacio Global City, Makati, and Ortigas.

Harnessing riders’ sweat equity

“Our goal is to not only let our riders feel good about conquering their fitness goals, but also to turn their sweat equity into directly raising funds for children with clefts,” shares Kristina Sy, Electric Studio Co-Founder and CEO. ”We believe in the strength and kindness of our community and we want our riders to do what they love with the knowledge that every pedal stroke is directly helping a child in need. We wanted to create a platform for everyone to come together – our riders and instructors, and give back to the community.”

 

Electric Studio’s fitness family share a “we can do this together” spirit where no one is left behind. “At Electric, it is not about competition, it is about riding together as one family. Our riders share our belief of not calorie counting or looking a certain way. Our focus is on feeling great by taking care of ourselves while surrounded by a supportive community,” said Ms. Sy.

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Electric Studio’s rides are led by inspirational instructors who craft unique curated playlists to get riders in the right rhythm and state of mind. This music takes riders through an inspirational journey, so that the experience at Electric Studio goes beyond strengthening ones’ body, and switches everything on — the body, mind and spirit. In this way, the goal of helping children with clefts provides an inspiration to the riders as they go through the challenge.

“Smile Train is grateful for businesses like Electric Studio, that empower their clients to make a difference,” said Kimmy Coseteng-Flaviano, Smile Train Area Director for South East Asia. “We look forward to our second year of partnership as we encourage more riders to be a part of the Electric Studio family to bring about change not only for themselves but also for the children who will soon have their forever smiles.”

Ride for Smiles Challenge runs from now through December 12. The first-timer package costs P1,500 for 5 rides, which expires in 30 days. This year, 350 rides will be dedicated to Smile Train Philippines. On top of the donation by Electric Studio, sponsors have committed to providing free rides and gifts for the dedication and support of the riders.

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For more information about Electric Studio and the Ride for Smile Challenge, check out electricstudio.ph/#/rideforsmiles. For more information about Smile Train’s global efforts and to make a donation, please visit smiletrain.org. Follow Smile Train Philippines on Twitter and Instagram @SmileTrainPh, and like us on Facebook at @SmileTrainPhilippines.

About Electric Studio

Electric Studio is the first and largest boutique indoor cycling studio in the Philippines with three locations around Bonifacio Global City, Makati City and Ortigas City.

About Smile Train

Smile Train empowers local medical professionals with training, funding, and resources to provide free cleft surgery and comprehensive cleft care to children globally. We advance a sustainable solution and scalable global health model for cleft treatment, drastically improving children’s lives, including their ability to eat, breathe, speak, and ultimately thrive. To learn more about how Smile Train’s sustainable approach means donations have both an immediate and long-term impact, please visit smiletrain.org.

Why Preventing “Diabesity” Matters

Posted: November 14, 2018 by cjlampad in My Runs

What is “Diabesity”?

On its face, the term seems simple enough: “diabesity” is a convenient way of describing and discussing type 2 diabetes in the context of obesity. These two afflictions seem to converge and intersect more and more, popping up in our own households and communities, among family and friends who have long struggled with their weight.

And it makes sense to combine these two conditions into one place.

Together, both lead to the development and progression of cardiovascular disease – the top cause of untimely death in the United States. Both weigh heavily on our health care systems worldwide, on our economies, on our budgets, on our businesses’ bottom lines.

A Growing Crisis

Before we can dig into the solutions, we have to understand the full extent of the problem.

As of 2013, over 380 million people across the globe were affected by diabetes – a number expected to inch closer to 600 million by 2035. Meanwhile, the vast majority of individuals with type 2 diabetes – roughly 80 percent – are considered obese, highlighting the strong association between the two. That doesn’t necessarily mean that all obese folks will develop diabetes; they won’t. But according to research conducted by the National Center for Biotechnology Information, it does suggest a pretty direct connection, one that will only get deeper over time.

This challenge is arguably the worst among women. According to the International Diabetes Federation, there are currently upwards of 199 million women living with diabetes, a number projected to jump to 313 million by 2040. Two out of every five women with diabetes are of reproductive age; women with diabetes are nearly 10 times more likely to have a coronary heart condition than women without it; and the disease is the ninth leading cause of death for women around the world.

All told, the health impact of diabesity is substantial – including long-range diabetic complications, reduction in heart-related functioning, lower quality of life, decreased life expectancy, greater frequency of strokes, and more.

Diabesity is draining our economies as well. Look, for example, at Malta, an island where rates of diabetes and obesity are extremely high – and where one study showed health care costs associated with both afflictions consuming an exponentially rising total of family and public budgets now and down the road.

Or look at the United States, where diabetes takes up 14 percent of our overall health expenditures and obesity accounts for nearly 6 percent – totalling the highest known spending on diabesity anywhere.

Simply put, the numbers, stats, facts and figures continue to reinforce what we already know: in nations large and small, the diabesity crisis is real; it’s pressing; and it’s up to us to take steps in early detection, screening, prevention, health management, and personal behavior to reverse this trend once and for all.

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The Solution: The Answers Start with Us

Anytime an epidemic of this magnitude stares us in the face, we tend to search high and low for a magic bullet to end it and get ourselves back on-track. In the case of diabesity, there’s nothing magical about what we have to do – the answer is pretty simple on its face: eat better and exercise more.

I know. Easier said than done. But it’s absolutely true, and it shouldn’t have to be all that complicated.

A healthy, balanced, nutritious diet is a matter of making different decisions about what we buy at the grocery store and put on our tables. More fruits and vegetables are a must, as they can reduce the risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Avoiding soft drinks that are obscenely high in sugar and packaged foods that are chock-full of salt, saturated fats, and chemical preservatives are key steps. Incorporating a nice complement of fish, lean meats, soy protein, and fiber is critical too.

All of this will significantly decrease the possibility that we wake up one day overweight or diabetic.

Inactivity, the World Health Organization tells us, is the leading cause of death globally, followed by high blood pressure, high blood sugar, and tobacco use; it also costs the American health system more than $100 billion per year and exposes individuals to a higher likelihood of death than smoking, obesity, hyperextension, or high cholesterol.

Most studies show that the way to change course isn’t all that taxing. Just 150 minutes of moderately intense physical activity or exercise each week can do the trick. That’s 20-25 minutes a day. By doing that much, you can help increase blood flow to your muscles and give yourself long-term protection from cardiovascular disease.

Here’s the bottom line: exercise truly is another form of medicine. It should be part of our routines from childhood through old age. And combined with improvements to what we consume at mealtime, there’s no doubt that we can start building a healthier country and planet in the years and decades ahead.

About Herbalife Nutrition

Herbalife Nutrition is a global nutrition company whose purpose is to make the world healthier and happier. The Company has been on a mission for nutrition – changing people’s lives with great nutrition products and programs – since 1980. Together with our Herbalife Nutrition independent members, we are committed to providing solutions to the worldwide problems of poor nutrition and obesity, an aging population, skyrocketing public healthcare costs and a rise in entrepreneurs of all ages. Herbalife Nutrition offers high-quality, science-backed products, most of which are produced in Company-operated facilities, one-on-one coaching with an Herbalife Nutrition independent member, and a supportive community approach that inspires customers to embrace a healthier, more active lifestyle.

Herbalife Nutrition’s targeted nutrition, weight-management, energy and fitness and personal care products are available exclusively to and through its independent members in more than 90 countries.

Through its corporate social responsibility efforts, Herbalife Nutrition supports the Herbalife Nutrition Foundation (HNF) and its Casa Herbalife programs to help bring good nutrition to children in need. Herbalife Nutrition is also proud to sponsor more than 190 world-class athletes, teams and events around the globe, including Cristiano Ronaldo, the LA Galaxy, and numerous Olympic teams.

Herbalife Nutrition has approximately 8,300 employees worldwide, and its shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: HLF) with net sales of approximately US$4.4 billion in 2017. To learn more, visit Herbalife.com or IAmHerbalife.com.

Herbalife Nutrition also encourages investors to visit its investor relations website at ir.herbalife.com as financial and other information is updated and new information is posted.

It’s time to keep your heartbeat up and step for the world’s refugees

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The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) launches the 2 Billion Kilometers to Safety campaign, a virtual movement where Filipinos are encouraged to take a step in solidarity with the world’s refugees.

By committing to run, walk, or cycle, participants are contributing to the global goal of 2 billion kilometers, just as refugees do each year to reach the first point of safety.

The target distance draws a parallel to the cumulative kilometres walked by an estimated 68.5 million refugees and forcibly displaced persons globally—a connection that will allow supporters, especially those targeting to achieve their fitness goals, to walk in solidarity with some of the most vulnerable people of our time.

Every Step Counts

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Alin Nisa is among the 720,000 Rohingya who fled persecution and violence in Myanmar last year. When her village was attacked, she and her family was forced to escape in the dead of the night at 3:00 AM.

They had nothing but the clothes on their back. With her husband, mother-in-law and two young children, she crossed mountains and rivers. Along the journey,they walked across water-logged paddy fields, in torrential rain, sometimes through the night.

Finally, after a perilous journey of 10 days and 102 kilometers, they arrived at the Kutupalong refugee camp in Bangladesh.

Now safe in Bangladesh, the family has built a shelter, using plastic sheeting and bamboo – all provided by UNHCR. They also received a cooking kit, mats and blankets.

Add your kilometers, lend your voice

If you’ve been inspired by Alin’s resilience and courage you can try walking, running or cycling 102 kilometers. Alinwalked that journey to safety, carrying her two children through many nights.

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To join 2 Billion Kilometers to Safety campaign, UNHCR encourages supporters to register and add their kilometers directly onto the campaign website stepwithrefugees.org/en-ph/.

You can choose to sync your fitness apps like Fitbit or Stravato automatically add your kilometers, but you can also add them manually by setting a target up to a maximum of 50 kilometers per entry.

You can also support by encouraging others to join the cause and helping to raise funds. Aside from reaching your own target distance, you can organize fundraising campaigns to help the world’s refugees either through your very own school, sports clubs or running communities.

For more information on the 2 Billion Kilometers to Safety campaign, visit stepwithrefugees.org/en-ph/.

US Potatoes – Superfood for the Super Athlete

Posted: October 18, 2018 by cjlampad in My Runs
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Ah potatoes! The energy-boosting, rich in carbs and high in potassium root crop is a busy bod’s best partner for a healthier and fitter physique. Considered a superfood here in the Philippines, it has all the essential nutrients to power up an athlete’s performance.

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As a child, I loved eating fries and boiled and mashed potatoes without knowing yet their abundant health benefits. For me back then, I just thoroughly enjoyed potatoes because they taste so good!

When I became a runner and a fitness aficionado, I learned to be more conscious of my food in-take. I have to be honest, I have been made aware of the (super) powers of potatoes just recently. Yes, they are rich in carbs, but the good kind!

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Now that I know potatoes can actually boost my energy, especially after a strenuous exercise like a long run, I make it a point to have them as my pre or post workout snack. Not only do they make me feel stronger, but potatoes also help rejuvenate tissues to help form my muscles. Most importantly, potatoes are a much better alternative than energy drinks, sweets and other power-boosting liquids that may not be so good to the body if taken too much.

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Here’s a by-the-numbers look at how potatoes can power athletic performance:

  • 26 grams of carbohydrate:Count on the quality carbs in potatoes for optimal mental and physical performance. Plus, potatoes contain as much if not more of several essential vitamins and minerals than spaghetti, brown rice or whole wheat bread (compared on a per-serving basis).
  • 620 Milligrams of Potassium:With more potassium than a medium-size banana, potatoes are perfect for aiding muscle, cardiovascular and nervous system function during long endurance events.
  • 110 Calories for Energy:Easily digestible and more energy dense than any other popular vegetable, potatoes are a good choice to fuel the demands of racing a triathlon.

(Nutritional data is based on a medium-size 5.2 ounce skin-on potato.)

I’m so glad that high quality potatoes are now available locally! Thanks to Potatoes USA-Philippines, frozen, table stock (fresh) and dehydrated potatoes may now be purchased in supermarkets nationwide.

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I heard about the recently held UPM Kalawang Chef, a cooking competition organized by the UP Mountaineers in partnership with Potatoes USA-Philippines. Contestants were challenged to make delicious dishes with mashed potato as main ingredient. It’s amazing what these mountaineers cooked up!

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Mountaineers and their guests later learned more as Potatoes USA presented a US mashed potato buffet, to further highlight that potatoes are versatile ingredients.

Perhaps with the next climb, trek or hike, more mountaineering enthusiasts (and runners like me!) will perceive US potatoes in a new way, and keep a healthy stash ready for camp.

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For more information on US potatoes, and how it can power up physical and mental performance, visit http://www.potatogoodness.com/performance or like and follow Potatoes USA-Philippines on Facebook at www.facebook.com/PotatoesUSAPhilippines/.

Specialized gears up for SM Mall of Asia Store Opening

Posted: October 16, 2018 by cjlampad in My Runs

Specialized –a bicycle brand made for riders, by riders – gears up for its store’s grand opening on Oct. 17 at the SM by the Bay at the Mall of Asia Complex in Pasay City.

Considered to be a biker’s haven especially in the morning, SM by the Bay is the perfect location for the first of three Specialized concept stores to open, with Pasig and Maginhawa St. in Quezon City completing the new stores for 2018.

“We want to serve the riders where they are, and at the same time make it convenient for them to get that one-stop bike shop experience,” says Ritchie Santayana, Customer Development Director of Gruppo Innovare Corporation,referring to the choice of locations for the three stores. All three are known to be bike-friendly areas in the metropolis, and more stores are promised to come throughout the country over the next few years.

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Since 1974, the brand has striven to make the best bikes for riders. The store is set to offer a comprehensive range of technically advanced products,such as:

  • TheStumpjumper, the brand’s most versatile trail bike,
  • the Turbo Levoand Kenevo, a pair of e-mountain bikes built to give riders the power to ride more trails,
  • the Venge,the fastest road bike, and
  • the Tarmac, the lightest race bike ever made by the brand.

The 2019 Shiv Disc, is also set to take center stage during opening day. Theall-new triathlon specific bike promises unprecedented aero design, storage for fuel and hydration to last the whole race, and the most flexible fit. It is the most complete triathlon bike ever made.

Riders can expect easy and worry-free purchases, and a complete“Specialized experience” through the store’s full scope of services: providing expert advice in choosing the best bike, experiencing the bikes firsthand through their bike test program, bike servicing by trained staff, andtheRetül Match and Vantage system, the most technically advanced bike fitting and product matching technology available in the market.

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Fabulous prizes will also be raffled off while Specialized will givea 10 percent discount on all items on its launch day.

Gruppo Innovare Corporation is the authorized and appointed distributor of Specialized Bicycle Components in the Philippines.

For further information, about Specialized in the Philippines, visit https://www.specialized.com/ph/en or like and follow Specialized Philippines on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/specialized.ph/.

 

ColorManila, the country’s number one fun-run organizer, is heading to Davao City on August 12, 2018, for the CM Challenge Run Davao, set to take place at the SM Lanang Premier.  This will be the first time that the CM Challenge Run, which combines obstacles with the race, will be brought to Mindanao, this is also Davao’s first time to host such an event.

ColorManila VP Justine Cordero says, “We are excited to bring CM Challenge Run to Davao, which is a perfect mix of both a fun-run and an obstacle course run, or OCR.  We are also bringing our CM Challenge obstacles to Davao, and we would like to invite runners, and our followers alike, to join this event on August 12, 2018.”

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Participants of CM Challenge Davao can choose between 3K, 5K and 10K, and can look forward to obstacles such as the inflatable slide, inflatable tire skip, military crawl obstacles, among others.  Apart from which, runners can listen to the latest music while going through the various challenges.

Runners also have the option of choosing between the Deluxe Kit, or the Rockstar Kit.  The Deluxe Kit, which is priced at P599, includes the event shirt, race bib, finisher’s medal, sunglasses, and a color packet.

While the Rockstar Kit, priced at P799, includes the event shirt, race bib, finisher’s medal, sunglasses, sling bag, headwear, and a color packet.

The event is made possible by Camella, Honda Philippines, and its official venue partner, SM Lanang Premier.  CM Challenge Clark is also set to take place on August 5, 2018, at Clark Parade Grounds.