MAR 1, 2023
Minute 1: MythBusters – Running Edition
For every useful piece of information you discover on the internet, you will probably find another half dozen that aren’t worth the blue light strain on your eyes. The topics of health and fitness seem particularly prone to junk science and bad information, which is why we appreciated this new story from LIVESTRONG: “10 Myths About Running It’s Time to Stop Believing.” Static stretching before a run is often praised as a way to reduce injury and improve performance, but it might just do the opposite. That’s according to studies done by Yale and the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine. Instead, experts recommend a warmup of dynamic stretching instead to increase blood flow and lengthen your muscles. Another common misconception is that treadmill running won’t benefit you outside the gym. The truth is, the mechanics are quite similar to road running, and by adding a 1% incline to compensate for the lack of air resistance, you’ll ensure your treadmill running is nearly as engaging and applicable to your race training. Now that we’ve covered a few fitness myths, let's shift focus to food with these “10 nutrition myths debunked” from the Mayo Clinic. It’s easy to see why one would think eating fats make you gain weight, but like most principles of nutrition, it’s not so simple. In fact, mono and polyunsaturated fats help support healthy weight and cardiovascular function, so feel free to mix avocados, fatty fish, and healthy cooking oils into your diet. To wrap things up, we’ve got 10 more “Sleep Myths” to debunk. Everyone knows lack of sleep is unhealthy, but did you know you can get too much as well? That’s known as hypersomnia, and it's been linked to conditions like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity, and cognitive impairment.
Minute 2: Should you be running by feel?
There are times when technology can guide us in the right direction, but it can also lead us astray. Like Luke Skywalker on a daring mission, we’ve got to use the force, or at least our intuition to guide our path. If you’ve become reliant on smart watches, trackers, and other tech, you might want to hear these “6 reasons to run by feel (not your watch).” If you’re on a run and you can’t hold your goal pace, the number on your tracker isn’t going to make you feel great. On the flip side, adhering to a predetermined slower tempo when your body feels like it can go a lot faster could get in the way of having a stand-out run. Planning your runs is useful, but remember to consider the feedback you’re getting from your body mid-run as you decide to speed up or slow down. For some of us, ignoring our trackers here and there is a choice, but others might not have the option of using them at all. That’s because “Wearable fitness trackers could interfere with cardiac devices, study finds.” Cardiac implanted electronic devices, aka CIEDs, include things like pacemakers, implantable defibrillators, and cardiac resynchronisation therapy devices. The electrical current used by smart devices and trackers can disrupt CIED operation, so if you or someone you know has one, be sure to speak to a doctor tracking your next workout.
Minute 3: Follow these tips for the perfect post-dinner walk
If you suffer from insomnia, or are simply going through a stressful time, no amount of reviewing insurance policies or watching Netflix after two glasses of wine can deliver you safely to REM-land. Oddly enough, a walk might help you fix the problem. At least that’s what one sleep expert thinks: “An After-Dinner Walk Could Be Your Ticket to a Better Night’s Sleep.” Studies have shown that walking after dinner can raise serotonin levels (a precursor to melatonin production) while reducing cortisol. That’s the 1-2 punch to your brain chemistry that will knock you out in no time, but there are a few tricks you should adopt to make sure your walk is working for you, not against you. First of all, make sure you’re dressed appropriately for the weather, since extreme heat or cold can have the inverse effect, raising cortisol levels and making it hard to wind down. Similarly, walking too fast can elevate your body temp, making it harder to fall asleep. A good idea is to aim for somewhere between 30 and 60 minutes at a gentle pace. Walking is one way to catch some Z’s, but you can develop a whole routine to help you unwind. Try some of the tips listed in “Bedtime Routines for Adults.” Taking a hot bath or shower allows blood to flow to your extremities, lowering your core temperature which signals your body that it’s time for bed.
Minute 4: This simple food can be a staple for runners
A bowl of rice is about as modest of a meal as you can get, but that’s no reason to underestimate its nutritional value. The truth is, rice is a staple for athletes around the world who need cheap and easy carbohydrates to keep them going through any workout. If you’ve been overlooking rice as part of your diet, check out “Why Do Weight Lifters Eat Rice.” Not only is it a decent source of carbs, but rice also contains some protein, fiber, amino acids, and b-vitamins. Those are all essential for muscle growth and maintaining energy. Of course, not all kinds of rice are equally valuable, but if you pick the right ones, you can expect a reduced risk of diabetes, better heart health, and stronger digestive health. For the deets, check out: “Is Rice Healthy? The 3 Healthiest Types of Rice, According to RDs.” White rice isn’t necessarily bad for you, but it’s been stripped of its hull, bran, and germ, where most of the nutrition is found. By choosing black, wild, or brown rice, you’re increasing the amount of fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants in your meal.
Minute 5: Quick Intervals
This past week, our photography crew hit the streets of downtown Tampa for the Gasparilla Distance Classic, an event that's tons of fun for a good cause. Some runners choose to compete in costume, and none are more famous than sisters Jessica and Natalie. Last year, they dressed up as: “Tommy and Gronky, or sisters in disguise at Gasparilla Distance Classic?” This year, they were back as a sandwich serving duo, and we’ll be patiently waiting for next year’s installment!
Lots of beverages have been marketed as a healthier alternative to coffee, but let’s be honest – those are big cups to fill. Well, the folks at Lifehacker dove in, drink by drink, to get to the bottom of those alternative beverage claims. In fact, they did find a few promising java substitutes in this new story: “Blue Algae Latte, Golden Milk, and 11 More Coffee Alternatives You Will Love or Hate.”
We don’t know what's worse, tackling a run workout for the first time, or the 100th. At least at first, things feel new and exciting. If you’ve been going to the same tried and true method to develop speed, it may come a little easier physically, but you probably aren’t getting the as much mental stimulation as you should. If you need some ideas to shake up your training, try one of these “10 Running Workouts to Build Speed and Endurance.”
Minute 6: Daily Inspiration
When we watch adaptive athletes in action, we are reminded that there’s nothing more unstoppable than a competitor who believes in themself. As the fitness world evolves toward greater levels of inclusivity, we’re happy to see that the CrossFit Games are developing a competition for athletes of various abilities. They’re looking to open Vision, Short Stature, Seated With Hip Function, Seated Without Hip Function, and Intellectual divisions in upcoming competitions. The footage below shows adaptive athletes working with CrossFit to help develop new competition standards. It is pretty darned inspirational and makes us forget all about the minor aches and tweaks we face in our own training.