DEC 7, 2022
Minute 1: Knowing your BMR can improve your health
“Know thyself,” said the Ancient Greeks, if you want to succeed. Just like the Parthenon, this advice endures to this day – especially for those looking to improve their fitness. Knowing what your body needs is the first step to becoming faster and stronger, and a good place to start is with your Basal Metabolic Rate. Don’t know what that is? Then you should read “Knowing Your BMR Can Help You Put on Muscle or Lose Weight Easier.” Simply put, your BMR is the amount of energy your body expends to perform its essential functions every day. It’s similar to another popular metric among fitness enthusiasts, Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE), minus the additional calories burned from your activity and exercise. Understanding both of these will paint a more accurate picture of the nutritional intake you’ll need to achieve your goals, from cutting weight, to gaining muscle. The article references to a few calculators that will give you a BMR estimate. Links are here, here and here. Once you’ve established your BMR, you can check out “What Are Calorie Surpluses, Deficits and Maintenance Levels?” Depending on if you aim to gain or lose weight, you’ll need a surplus or deficit to make it happen. Just remember that moderation is best if you want to have sustainable, long-lasting progress.
Minute 2: Should you work out like an astronaut?
Houston, we have a problem: muscular atrophy. If you spend most of your day sitting and working at a desk, you probably don’t expect to have much in common with astronauts. Believe it or not, a sedentary work environment poses similar health risks to living in zero gravity, but they may also have the same solution. Check out: “To counter the effect of sitting too much, try the astronaut workout.” In outer space, your bones and muscles lack resistance, causing them to lose mass over time. Researchers simulated these conditions on Earth by having participants remain in bed for 70 days straight. Some of them used specialized equipment to exercise for up to an hour a day while lying down. The results indicated that HIIT workouts could dramatically reduce the negative effects of sedentary living. If you’re looking for inspiration for some rapid fire exercises you can perform wherever you are, try: “A Cardio HIIT Workout You Can Do Right in Your Living Room in Less Than 30 Minutes.” The plan listed in the article is customizable to suit your needs. It suggests picking 1 upper body, 1 lower body, 1 core, and 2 cardio exercises to build a routine that covers all your bases. By combining rapid bursts of exertion for 30 to 60 seconds at a time, followed by 60 seconds of rest, you can squeeze a robust workout into 30 minutes, including a warmup and cooldown. #LowGravityHighIntensity
Minute 3: Sandwiches can be healthier than you think
Most of us don’t think of cold-cut sandwiches as the healthiest lunch option. That’s because more often than not, they’re packed with processed meats, mayo and processed grains. That’s a lot of sodium and calories to take in, but not much nutritional value. It doesn’t have to be that way, according tot “How to Make a Healthy, Satisfying Sandwich.” The first step is to pick your bread, and going with a whole grain, sourdough, or rye option can bring a lot of benefits. These generally have a broader vitamin profile, more fiber, and more protein compared to white bread, according to: “The 7 Best Whole Grain Breads of 2022, According to a Dietitian.” When it comes to deli meat, low sodium options are the way to go. Look for labels like “no sodium added” or “salt-free” whenever possible, and choose meats without a marinade. Avoid processed options like salami as well, since as recent study shows that “Eating ultra-processed foods increases risk of cognitive decline.” Finally, consider pairing your sandwich with a healthy side salad to complete your meal. If you’re looking for tips on how to get the most out of your salad, read “Ask a Doctor: Are salads actually good for you?”
Minute 4: Runners who use caffeine and pre-workout supplements should read this
Does your pre-run ritual include a pre-workout supplement? We don’t blame you, as it’s been shown to be an effective way to boost athletic performance, typically without violating any rules. Understanding what’s in your pre-workout and how long it’ll remain effective is key for getting the most out of them, according to: “How Long Does a Pre-Workout Last?” Some of the most popular pre-workout ingredients, caffeine and l-arginine, have different windows of effectiveness, with caffeine generally coming on faster and lasting longer. L-arginine promotes blood flow to your muscles, and nutritionists consider it to be more useful for improving resistance training. If you’re lifting weights, it’s a good idea to take your pre-workout about 30 minutes before your heaviest work begins so that the l-arginine has time to digest. Short distance runners should take a similar approach, since giving yourself a 20 to 30 minute window for the caffeine to kick in will produce stronger results. If you’re wondering how effective this can be, check out: “New study finds caffeine helps sprinters run faster.” On the other hand, long distance runners may want to take their pre-workout or caffeine right before the race begins. That way, you can ease into your race before the boost of energy causes you to pick up the pace, preventing early race burnout. Some distance runners like to take small doses of caffeine along the way for a more even flow of energy, and you can learn about that in “Caffeine: The athlete's (mostly) legal performance booster.” Just be careful not to take too much, especially on a hot day, because it can end up having a detrimental effect on heart health.
Minute 5: Quick Intervals
For some of us, the clock strikes 3pm and we yawn briefly and power onward. Other folks can hardly keep their eyes open. What’s the deal, are some of us just lazy? Overworked? The answer might be that we were born that way. Scientists have identified different categories of sleep inclinations across the population. One of these so-called “chronotypes” is known as the napper, and that person’s circadian rhythms naturally expect rest twice a day: once in the afternoon and once at night. If that sounds like you, or you want to find out what chronotype you fall into, then check out: “Everyone Gets a 3 p.m. Slump, but There’s a Reason *You* Might Be Sleepier Than the Average Person Around This Time.”
Lots of dog owners like to take walks and runs with their pets for a bit of shared exercise, but why stop there? If you’ve got a dog that loves to run as much as you do, then canicross might be the sport for you. It’s a bit like training sled dogs, except you don’t need as much equipment or specific weather conditions. Details are here: “Canicross Guide to Running with Dogs” to learn more. If that piques your interest, you may want to check out runthatmutt.com for a list of dog-friendly races.
Critics of social media sites argue that they’re the digital equivalent of junk food – a lot of empty content that preys on our biological reward systems to keep us engaged. Social media can do a lot of good, but it doesn’t take much to fall into a compulsive relationship with your posting and scrolling. That’s why some runners are pushing back against run sharing networks like Strava, which can make your exercise less about how you feel, and more about how you’re perceived. Check out the thought provoking piece in Women’s Running: “Why I’ll Never Use A Run Sharing App.” For a broader discussion on the topic, you can read “How removing ‘likes’ from Instagram could affect our mental health.
Minute 6: Daily Inspiration
Medical researchers have estimated that about 1 million people in the U.S are living with Multiple Sclerosis. MS is a long lasting disease that affects the nervous system, and in many cases, it causes people to lose the ability to see clearly, write, speak, or walk. Well, @eeriic on Instagram is on a mission to show that an MS diagnosis doesn’t have to stop the adventure of life. He brought his mom along with him on a recent half marathon, and it’s one of the most inspiring runs we’ve seen in a long time. Eric hopes to raise funds and awareness for MS, and he plans to continue running with his mom for the foreseeable future. For details and a lump in your throat, check out the reel below.