Exercise Trends

 

We’re two-thirds of the way through 2020, and what a year it has been! We’ve been devastated by a pandemic and shocked by environmental disasters. But lockdown hasn’t been all bad; we’ve had more time at home with family, we’ve gotten to know our neighbors better, and we’ve had more time to focus on ourselves. With all the extra time at home, many of us have been motivated to work out.

With the stigmas and taboos changing around mental health and more people speaking up about their battle, it’s becoming more well known that exercise helps improve your mood. As I wrote in The Inner Runner, exercise helps your mind as much as your physical health. There has never been a more exciting time to start getting into fitness. Whatever your reasons and whatever your goals, whether you’re into superhero workouts, Barre classes, or Impossible Burger eating contests, there is definitely something for you to fall in love with.

 


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Wearable technology

Wearable technology has been on the up since 2016, and because technology is evolving so quickly, there’s always something new on the market. Wearable tech, such as fitness trackers, smartwatches, heart monitors, and GPS-tracking devices are only the tip of the iceberg. With companies desperately experimenting with connected clothing, it’s definitely a trend that’s here to stay.

High-intensity interval training

This method, involving short bursts of high-intensity exercise followed by a short period of rest, continues to be popular across the world. Research has shown that high-intensity interval training can produce significant reductions in body fat. With workouts generally 30 minutes or less, it’s a popular choice for a quick workout that’ll make a difference.


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At-home workouts 

Working out at home used to mean spending a fortune on treadmills and elliptical machines. And then getting angry at yourself because you couldn’t find the motivation to use them. It was boring, and ultimately they just became another place to hang your clothes. Like wearable technology, the at-home workout tech has changed so much. If you couldn’t afford a treadmill or elliptical machine, you were restricted to watching the same DVD over and over again as you pranced around copying the moves to a celebrity workout. Now, at the push of a button, you can access live workouts right from your home.

Group training

While there has been a shift in the way we think and feel about exercise, more people are doing it for mindfulness and as daily practice to improve their mental health. After lockdown eased, so many were desperate to get back into the gym. While working out solo can be good for the mind, we’re still human; people need people, and group workouts are a great way to feel motivated and good about what you’re doing.

Tips for Caring for Your Feet After A Good Run

 


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Running is a way of life for some people. Whether you are a long-distance runner and you enjoy trekking long trails or you are a casual runner, you have to be sure you are taking care of your feet after a good run. If you are in constant pain after running, here are some tips that can help you avoid frequent trips to the top orthopedic surgeons in your local area.

Do Not Hesitate To Take Care Of Blisters

Make sure after a good run you are searching your feet for blisters. If you have one, be sure to clean it. Once it is cleaned and disinfected, put a pad over it to cushion it and protect the area near the blister. Now all that is left to do is to let it heal. The majority of the time your blister will heal by itself, but in the event that it does not, you may have to drain the blister of the fluid that it is filled with.

Clean the skin using a sterile needle. Prick the blister and drain it. Cover it with an antiseptic and a bandage. It is very important that you leave the skin over the top of the blister intact to protect the skin. The skin acts as its own bandage, protecting the sensitive skin underneath.

Keep Your Feet Moisturized And Supple

Right after your post-run shower is a good time to moisturize your feet. It is recommended that you use foot cream while you are still damp as this can help your skin absorb the water and retain it. When your body needs it, it will pull that moisture out of reserve, rehydrating your skin.

Give Your Feet Some TLC

Make sure you give your feet some much-needed tender love and care. Soak your feet in cold water with ice for 10 minutes after your run, as this causes blood vessels to contract. When this happens, the swelling of your feet will decrease. It can even alleviate some soreness.

You could even add Epsom salt, but use with caution. Although Epsom salt can help with the swelling, it also makes your skin dry. Dry, cracked feet can cause other problems. In the event that you are not able to soak your feet or you simply just do not want to, you can elevate your feet. Put an ice pack or bag of frozen food on top of your foot.

Give Your Feet A Good Massage

Giving yourself a nice massage can also help alleviate the pain. There are a couple of ways to do this. You can either do it with once of your running partners or you can hire a professional to give your foot a massage. Be sure that you are getting a light massage instead of a deep-tissue massage.

You can also use rollers that are only for your feet. When all else fails, go with a tennis ball or a frozen water bottle. It doesn’t matter which one you choose for your makeshift foot-specific roller, as each of those objects is just the right size and shape to fit into the arch of your foot. Once you place one of those objects there, lightly roll it under your foot. It will give your foot  a massage.

Act On Injuries Quickly

You have to know when to consult your doctor. If your pain and discomfort is prolonged, stop running for five to seven days. Another thing you should do is ice the painful area for 10 minutes as often as three times per day. Wear supportive shoes as well. Sometimes you may experience swelling or redness, in which case you need to see your doctor, as it can be a symptom of a bigger issue.

Natural Ways to Boost Energy Levels

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If you’re a runner, or you’re embracing a more active lifestyle, it’s essential to ensure you have enough energy in the tank. We all have days when we feel slightly lethargic or lack the enthusiasm to get off the couch to go for a run, but if you struggle with low energy on a regular basis, there are solutions. Here are some natural ways to boost your energy levels and put a spring in your step.

Adjusting your sleep routine

One of the most common causes of low energy is a lack of sleep. The majority of adults in the US don’t get enough sleep. Ideally, you should sleep for 8 hours every night. If you’re falling asleep in front of the TV, or you’re heading to bed in the early hours, now is the time to adjust your sleep routine and try and get into the habit of going to bed and getting up at similar times each day. This will enable your body clock to adjust and ensure you get sufficient rest. Sleeping enables your body to recover and undergo repairs and increasing the amount of rest you get will also help to reduce stress and lift your mood. When you go to bed, avoid using your phone, and try and spend an hour or so doing something that makes you feel relaxed in the evening. Reading, listening to music or watching TV, for example, can help you unwind and switch off.

Analyze your diet

Your diet has a direct impact on your energy levels. Think of your body as a fuel tank. You need to ensure that you have enough gas to get through the day. Often, we talk about our diets in terms of weight loss, but it’s also crucial to understand the importance of nutrition. Try to include nutrient-rich foods in your diet, increase your intake of fruit and vegetables and opt for foods that release energy over a long period to prevent spikes during the day. Avoiding sugary foods can help to prevent mid-morning and mid-afternoon slumps. It’s also beneficial to cut down on processed foods and to try and eat clean. If you’ve neglected your diet, or you tend to rely on fast food or ready-made meals and snacks, you could search for 3 day juice cleanse recipes to give your digestive system a break and increase your nutrient intake. You can also boost vitamin and mineral content by making your own smoothies, adding extra vegetables to homemade soups and pasta sauces and serving a side of vegetables or a salad with every main meal.


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Monitor activity levels

You might assume that the more active you are, the more exhausted you feel, but your body doesn’t work like that. Being active can actually elevate your energy levels. You might find that after a run, a hike, a bike ride, or a workout at the gym, you actually feel more alert and energetic. This is because exercising triggers a series of reactions in your body that energize your muscles and lift your mood. Increasing the amount of exercise will cause energy levels to rise, but it’s important to be aware of the risks of overtraining and ensure you give your body a rest. If you’re working hard, your body needs time to recover. Have a day off from time to time and swap intensive workouts for less strenuous activities like swimming, walking or yoga if you feel tired.


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Do you ever feel like you’re running on empty, or do you wish you had a little bit of extra energy to throw at the day when your morning alarm goes off? If so, take these tips on board today.

Running for Weight Loss

 

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The fundamental determinant of body weight is caloric balance—the number of calories you consume through eating and drinking minus the number of calories you expend through physical activity, digestion of food, and all of your other daily activities. You use calories all the time. Every time you contract a muscle, either voluntarily or involuntarily, you use calories. Your other organs—heart, kidneys, liver, pancreas, brain, and so on—also use calories to carry out their varied functions. Hippocrates wrote that “eating alone will not keep a man well; he must also take exercise.” I’m not sure if Hippocrates ran, but if he did, he would have discovered that running is the most effective exercise to keep a man (or a woman) well, especially when it comes to losing weight and keeping it off. There are three major reasons why:

1. Running creates a great need for energy.

When you run, you lower your carbohydrate fuel tank, you cause slight microscopic tears in your muscle fibers from the strong muscle contractions, and you increase body temperature. As soon as you stop running, your body naturally wants to return these things to their pre-exercise state. So, following a workout, your body rushes to replenish glycogen, repair the microscopic muscle tears, lower body temperature, and synthesize new structural and functional proteins as your body adapts. Your body requires energy (calories) to accomplish all of these tasks. If you don’t run or do any other exercise, there is never a drain on muscle glycogen, nor any muscle tissue to repair or build, nor any reason to make new proteins, so any calories you consume that are greater than your metabolic needs are stored as fat. If you don’t want your calories to be stored as fat, you need to exercise. Research shows that the amount people run is closely linked to how much weight they lose, partly because of the large caloric deficit that running creates. And the converse is also true: The more runners decrease the amount of running they do, the more weight they put on. One of these studies is from the National Runners’ and Walkers’ Health Studies, the world’s largest and longest-running series of studies on the health benefits of running and walking. Scientists divided 41,582 female runners into groups based on their age and the number of miles they ran per week. Compared with those who ran less than 10 miles per week, those who averaged over 40 miles per week had a 10 percent lower body mass index (your weight divided by your squared height; the most common value used to determine obesity), 8 percent lower waist circumference, 7 percent lower hip circumference, and 4 percent lower chest circumference. In every age group, the greater the number of miles run per week, the lower the body mass index and chest, waist, and hip circumferences.

In another study from the National Runners’ and Walkers’ Health Studies, the researchers charted the running habits and body weight of 270 men and 146 women who started running, 3,973 men and 1,444 women who quit running, and 420 men and 153 women who remained sedentary during 7.5 years. They found that body weight and abdominal fat decreased in the people who started running and increased in the people who stopped running and in those who remained sedentary, with the changes proportional to the change in the amount they ran. In other words, the more the previously sedentary people ran, the greater the decrease in body weight and abdominal fat. Conversely, the more the runners reduced the amount they ran, the more their body weight and abdominal fat increased. Running is a great way to burn intra-abdominal fat. Any runner who has ever been injured and can’t run knows how easy and quick it is to put on weight. Running is one of the best ways to keep the weight off and become a leaner and fitter you.

2. Running uses many muscles.

All the muscles in your legs (quadriceps, hamstrings, hip flexors, abductors, adductors, glutes, calves, and the muscles in the front of your shin) are used at different points in the running stride. You even use your abdominal muscles and the muscles in your shoulders a lot when you swing your arms back and forth as you run. The more muscles you use, the more oxygen you use, and the more oxygen you use, the more calories you burn.

3. Running is weight bearing, which provides stress to the skeleton.

Every time your foot lands on the ground, your leg absorbs two to three times your body weight. Multiply that number by the number of steps you take on an average run, and multiply that by how many times you run each week, and you can see how much stress your legs have to deal with, especially if you’re overweight. Because it threatens your body’s survival to have all that stress on it, your body will do what it needs to do—shed weight—to alleviate the stress and assuage the threat to protect itself. Can you burn calories, sculpt your butt and legs, and lose weight in ways other than running? Of course you can. But running burns and sculpts more. And that matters. Other forms of exercise burn so few calories that it’s too easy to get the calories right back after completing a workout—the 30 minutes of walking or cycling it takes to burn 200 calories can be negated in just a few seconds with a glass of Gatorade and a handful of pretzels. Running, with its huge calorie burn, is your best chance to create an environment for fast weight loss and sculpt your lower body. The muscular forces generated when you run are nothing short of extraordinary. Because other activities don’t use as many muscles and are not as weight bearing as running, you don’t lose weight as quickly. These three principles are a central theme throughout this book and will guide you throughout your running and weight-loss journey.

After you determine determine the best time of day to run, all you need is a good pair of running shoes and activewear. After you run, you need to refuel, but be careful not to replace all the calories you burned while running.

 

4 Things to Remember About Exercising

 

From FATJOE Publishing Team


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We all need exercise. It’s a necessity in order to keep our bodies feeling and looking fit. Here are 4 things to remember about exercising.

It Can Be Fun

Remember that exercise can be fun if you want it to be. There are lots of different exercises, workout classes, and sports teams that you can be a part of. It’s worth mixing up every now and then to give you some variety but to also challenge your body in new ways. Find something that you genuinely enjoy and from which you get personal satisfaction. There’s no point in doing something that you don’t enjoy. That’s never going to work, and it only demotivates you. So whether it’s using a mini trampoline for workouts or pole fitness, there’s something for everyone.

Not Every Workout Is Going to Be Productive

Not every workout is going to be productive. You might have great days you feel great, but there will be days when something throws you off. It may be frustrating, but, at the end of the day, you’re exercising. That’s much better than sitting at home and doing nothing.

It’s Important to Take Rest Days

It’s important that you’re taking rest days. Your body can only take so much, and although it does get stronger, there’s a limit every time. Pushing yourself too far could result in you injuring yourself and putting you out of action for days. Instead of doing too much too soon, try to be good with your rest days and make sure that you don’t work out on those days. Give your body the break it needs so that you don’t injure yourself.

Trust the Journey

Finally, whether you’re working out to get fit or just as a way to feel good, always trust the journey. If you’re losing weight, trust that it will happen, in time. Trust that it will happen, and that each workout is contributing to your fitness.

4 Tips To Live A Healthier Lifestyle

 

From FATJOE Publishing Team

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Choosing to live a healthier lifestyle is one of the best things you can do for your physical and mental wellbeing. But, making the decision is one thing; following through is quite another. Here are 4 tips to help you adopt a healthier lifestyle.

Break free from negativity

It’s essential to let go of negative thoughts and toxic relationships. These are detrimental to you and your decision to live healthily, causing mental health issues, such as depression, which can manifest into diseases (such as cardiovascular disease). Surrounding yourself with positivity reduces your chances of depression, improves your psychological, physical, and mental wellbeing, along with other benefits that help you in living a healthy lifestyle.

Exercise frequently

Exercising has tremendous benefits for your health. It can increase your lifespan, lower your risk of diseases, increase bone density, reduce stress, and decrease body weight. You can adapt a home workout routine, or go for runs, hikes, or walk. Staying committed to your decision to exercise can be difficult. So, be sure to choose exercises you enjoy and find ways of staying motivated. For example, if you decide to exercise by running, be sure it is an activity you enjoy. You can also get running apps to track your progress and set goals to keep you motivated.

Watch your eating habits

Eating fruits and vegetables provides your body with essential vitamins and minerals. Incorporate lean meats, like chicken and turkey, into your meal plan as often as possible. Also, avoid cooking with spices containing high levels of MSG and instead use those with no MSG, carbs, and fats, like a Flavor God Supplement. Drink a lot of water, as it plays a vital role in organ function, removing waste, and carrying nutrients. We lose water often through sweat and breathing, so it’s important to replenish what’s lost.

Practice self-care

Develop self-care habits, such as meditation, getting enough sleep, setting achievable goals, taking a break, reading, and finding a hobby. Self-care habits help you in managing your stress levels, which, if not controlled, can cause high blood pressure and anxiety, among other health complications. Living a good life is not limited to just exercising and eating right. Your attitude, friends, thoughts, and so many other things impact your choice of adopting a healthier lifestyle.

It’s no easy to stay true to this decision, but with these 4 tips, you would be able to put yourself on the right track. Keep striving through the tough times; you might be someone else’s motivation to change their unhealthy lifestyle to a healthier one.

EASY AND HARD & HARD AND EASY

 

 

How much should you run easy and how much hard? Scientific research, including my own on the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials qualifiers, has shown that elite runners run 75-80% of volume at low intensity (below acidosis threshold) and 20-25% high intensity (at and above acidosis threshold).

But, hold your monkeys! 🙉 When calculating intensity as a percentage of distance, time, or runs per week, the percentage of low-intensity is ALWAYS going to be much greater than the percentage of high-intensity. That’s because of the inverse relationship between volume and intensity. 80/20, which is based on elite athletes who train 10-15 times, or 10-25 hours, per week, really is an artifact of the inverse volume-intensity relationship rather than a true reflection of how runners train. When someone trains a lot, the majority of training is consequentially skewed toward low intensity. It’s simply not possible to do as much high-intensity training as low-intensity training.

Before you run 80% easy and 20% hard, it’s a mistake to copy what elite athletes do. Although elite athletes are very successful doing that, that doesn’t mean everyone should train that way, or that those athletes wouldn’t be even better if they trained a different way. Very few studies have experimented with different training methods to test which method is better than another method.

Also, the superior physiology of elite athletes enables them to get a lot of value from a low intensity. For example, running 80% low intensity may be enough of a stimulus for elite runners to adapt, but may not be enough of a stimulus for you. For elite athletes with a high VO₂max, a low intensity still generates a large volume of oxygen delivered to the muscles (called “oxidative flux”). Thus, an elite runner training easy at 60% of his/her VO₂max of 70 ml/kg/min (about 75% max heart rate) would have similar muscle oxidative flux as a recreational runner running at or near his/her VO₂max (0.60 x 70 = 42 ml/kg/min). In other words, an elite runner can achieve a similar muscle oxidative flux (which is translated into a similar signal for adaptation) at a much lower intensity than can a recreational runner.

So, what do you do? Well, that’s covered in my next book. 📖 😉 For now, run a lot at low intensity and increase the amount of high intensity throughout the year as you get closer to your target race.

Running Tech

 


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Some purists prefer not to use technology to enhance their running performance. These runners prefer to train the old way by organically monitoring their performance in training and building up to a race. Using apps, calculators, and other technology can improve your performance and confidence on race day.  

Race-Time Predictor

A race-time predictor can be found online or in the form of an app that you can use in the gym or outside. Input the data from one of your recent race performances, and the race time predictor will show you a likely time you might achieve in equivalent races. You can change the variables of the prediction, such as distance and terrain, to get a more accurate reading. The data you receive from a race time predictor can help you to optimize your training schedule for best results. 

Age-Grade Calculator

Age-grade calculators have several useful applications for runners who are training for big events. It provides a way of measuring and comparing the performance of an individual runner with people of different ages and sex, as well as with previous individual performances. For instance, using an age-grade calculator, the performance of a 42-year-old female in a marathon can be compared with the performance of a 15-year-old male in a 5K. 

Training Apps

Small devices linked to apps are an excellent way to monitor and optimize your training. A strength training app like Vmaxpro VBT Tracker is one example of such a device. It offers Velocity Based Training that can monitor speed and capture motion in three dimensions. It has an accelerometer that delivers key metrics, such as power, velocity, distance, and duration. As well as being high-tech, it’s also portable and durable. 

Wearables

Using the best tech available to improve the performance of your running is well and good, but if you don’t also have the basics right, such as footwear and wearables, your efforts with the tech may be inefficient. Identify a pair of running shoes that work for you. This can take a bit of time, as well as trial and error, so when you find the right kind, buy a few pairs. Running socks can also make a big difference to your comfort.

Pace Calculator

A pace calculator is an invaluable tool for running that can be used by both new and expert runners to optimize performance. In short, it monitors your pace and helps you to gauge your distance-to-energy ratio. When training, the pace calculator will assist you to find the pace you need to build up for the race.

Olympic Day

 

 

Happy Olympic Day!

Ever since I was a little kid, I have had a deep passion for the Olympics.

I wish I could post a photo of me running in the Olympics like many of my social media friends are doing today, but I was not blessed with such Olympic talent. Instead, here’s a photo of me in the 1996 Olympic stadium in Atlanta. I was 23 years old. Every morning, I hung out in “scalper’s row” outside the CNN building and bought tickets from scalpers to see everything I could—gymnastics, fencing, baseball, volleyball, and, of course, track and field. I saw Haile Gebrselassie from Ethiopia outsprint Paul Tergat from Kenya in the 10,000 meters to win by inches. I saw Amy Van Dyken win one of her 4 gold medals in swimming. I saw Poland win the team gold medal over Italy in fencing. (I found myself chanting, “Polska! Polska!” along with everyone else in the arena.) And I saw my childhood idol, Carl Lewis, win his fourth Olympic gold medal in a row in the long jump.   

It’s easy for Olympians to say things like, “If you work hard enough and believe, anything is possible,” but that is not really the truth. Talent can take one very far, in sport and in other areas of life. Truth is, most of us cannot be the best in the world at something. Very few people make it to the Olympics, no matter how hard they try.

What is really important (listen closely, because this is what you came to my post for) is that, just like an Olympian, we can all strive to be better than we were yesterday. And we can all put our hearts into something to see what we can become, despite the fear of failure. People take risks because the chance of failing makes success taste even sweeter.

RUNNING STRIDE

 

RUNNING SPEED = STRIDE RATE X STRIDE LENGTH

Is stride rate or stride length more important?

When you increase your pace from a jog to a run to a fast run, stride length increases more than does stride rate by the plantar flexor muscles (gastrocnemius and soleus) producing more force against the ground, until you’re sprinting very fast, when stride rate begins to dominate further increases in speed. At very fast speeds (faster than about 3:50 per mile pace), the speed of muscle contraction is so fast that there is not enough time to produce a lot of force, and plantar flexor peak muscle force begins to decrease.

The subconscious manipulation of stride length and stride rate at different speeds is governed by what is most economical for runners; at each pace you run, you may have a stride length that’s most economical (optimizes oxygen use) for you, while staying at a specific stride rate (or within a narrow range of stride rates) may be what’s most economical for all distance running paces. It’s a more economical strategy to increase the distance of each stride than it is to increase the cadence of the legs. (Same is true for swimming or rowing—distance per stroke is more important than the number of strokes per minute.) When sprinting, however, optimizing running economy is not an issue (because sprinting is not about using oxygen), and stride rate can play a more prominent role.

Learn much more about stride rate and stride length when you sign up for the REVO₂LUTION RUNNING™ certification course.
revo2lutionrunning.com

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