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Are you using a massage gun the right way?

JUN 10, 2022

Minute 1: Your biological sex affects your optimal workout time

To some, early morning workouts are the best way to start the day. To others, there isn’t enough coffee in the world to make that a tolerable experience. Whichever side of the bed you choose in that debate, experts say that your sex may play a role in how your body reacts: “The Optimal Time of Day for Exercise Might be Different for Men and Women.” Researchers looked at a group of 56 men and women, analyzing how their bodies responded to exercise at different times of day. The data indicated that in women, morning exercise reduced abdominal fat and blood pressure more effectively, while evening exercise increased upper body muscle strength and enhanced overall mood. For men, evening exercise was more effective at burning fat and lowering blood pressure. The study’s authors suggested the difference may be due to our hormones and sleep patterns. In general, women spend more time in deep sleep than men, causing them to feel more alert in the early morning. Their bodies are primed to get moving and burn off energy, whereas men take longer to reach that energy level. Regardless of your sex, there are pros and cons to both workout times, and you can read about them in “Morning vs. evening runs: which are better?” It’s worth noting, morning runs could raise your risk of injury, as your muscles will be stiffer until you move around throughout the day. #BattleOfTheSexes

Minute 2: Massage guns are more than just a recovery tool

When the Tour de France pedals away in Le Grand Depart on July 1, most of the riders will enjoy the services of a soigneur. These massage therapists play a critical role in helping the riders recover from grueling days over the Alps and through intense heat. The rest of us don’t enjoy a corporate sponsor who pays for a personal soigneur, so we have to settle for the next best thing: massage guns. These tools have grown rapidly in popularity since the Theragun debuted in 2016. But did you know they’re for more than just workout recovery? If not, you should check out these “5 Reasons to Use a Massage Gun.” Before they were known for helping sore muscles, massage guns were invented as a pain management tool for various kinds of injuries. Of course, you’ll want to use gentler attachments and lower pressure for this kind of application, so you might want to read “How to Use a Massage Gun” to make sure you’ve got the right approach. Not only can these guns improve recovery, but they can also be used as a warmup tool as well. Percussive therapy increases blood flow which can improve range of motion and activate your nervous system. With all these different applications, it’s no wonder that “Massage Guns Market Will Expand at 7.4% CAGR through 2032 As Demand for Portable Wellness Devices Bolsters.” The market size is predicted to reach over $1 billion by 2023, which means you can expect to see greater selection of products and widespread availability in the near future. #MassageInABottle

Minute 3: Food tips to boost performance

At first glance (or taste), beets aren’t much to get excited over. Other than Dwight Schrute from The Office, we don’t know anyone who would claim them as their favorite food. Well, endurance athletes might change their mind when they hear just how potent their effects can be. That’s because “Beetroot boosts sporting performance in athletes.” The secret ingredient? Nitrates. Research indicates these will increase blood flow, as well as nutrient and oxygen delivery to your muscles during exercise. If you want to reap the benefits, but don’t enjoy the taste, try something sweeter like this “Red Beet Smoothie.” Beets will keep you going the distance with greater oxygen levels, but for a quicker start, we’ve got another food pro tip. Take a look at “Caffeinated Gum Is the New Pre-Workout Coffee. But Are There Benefits for the Everyday Gym-Goer?” Gulping down a hot cup of coffee before your run isn’t always the best idea for your stomach, but with caffeinated gum, you can get your energy fix without the added discomfort. Since the caffeine will be in an “anhydrous” form (lacking water), it will be absorbed via your gums faster than an ordinary beverage. That’s good if you want energy immediately, but be careful to not overdo it if you’re sensitive to caffeine. For more detail on the pros and cons, check out: “Guide to Caffeinated Gum: Varieties, Price, and Caffeine Levels.” #BearsBeetsBattlestarGalactica

Minute 4: Show review: Adidas Terrex Agravic Pro

Brian Metzler weighs in again this week with a new shoe review. This time it’s the Adidas Terrex Agravic Pro. Here are the Cliff Notes, but for the complete story, please click here to see it on our website. Here is Brian’s take:

Although Adidas might be better known for its elite-level marathon racing shoes and track spikes, it has quietly been making huge strides on the trails, too. The Adidas Terrex trail running team of elite athletes has turned in a wide range of podium performances around the world since 2019, thanks in large part to the advancement of its off-road running shoes. Its most noteworthy model of 2022 is the Adidas Terrex Agravic Pro, a durable training shoe built for tackling rugged, technical mountain trails.

What’s New: The Adidas Terrex Agravic Pro is a unique new shoe designed around several key elements: a cushy, responsive midsole embedded with a thermoplastic elastomer plate, a BOA Fit System closure mechanism and a rugged, aggressively lugged outsole. The firm, semi-flexible plate contributes a bit of forward propulsion in every stride, but it also doubles as a protective layer while running over sharp, jagged rocks. Those features combine to make this shoe one of the most durable and protective trail running shoes available this year.

Why It’s Great: The real question is what about the Agravic Pro isn’t great? The fit is amazing, the cushioning is sublime, the traction is relentless and the protection is unparalleled. Best of all, it doesn’t feel stodgy or overbuilt like some technical mountain running shoes. It takes the worry out of running over rocks, roots and trail debris so you can focus on balance, agility and maintain a consistent stride.

For more pros and cons on the Adidas Terrex Agravic Pro, check out Brian’s full review here.

Minute 5: Quick Intervals

  • We like watching movies about outdoor adventures almost as much as pursuing the adventures themselves. There’s nothing like seeing someone accomplish a hike, climb, or voyage to inspire yourself and see that the world is yours to conquer. With the pandemic in remission, we are happy to report that many outdoor film festivals have returned. Mark your calendars for the “2022 YETI Film Tour: What & Where to Watch,” “Coast Film Festival,” and “No Man’s Land Film Festival.” The Banff Mountain Film Festival may be the most legendary of the genre, and you don’t have to travel to the mountains of Canada to see the traveling show.

  • Whether you’re cross training, recovering from an injury, or just putting in laps for their own sake, swimming is a remarkable and versatile exercise. With summer upon us, we expect you’ll spend more time in the water soon, doing traditional swims as well as water runs. The latter is a good way to recover from injury as well as to simply add variety to your training. For advice, check out: “Pool Running: Why You’re Doing It Wrong And How To Pool Run To Get Faster.” We trust you’ll be taking all the proper safety precautions including sunscreen. Whether it’s in saltwater or chlorine, you should know that swimming isn't the greatest for your hair’s health, so you should also take a look at “How to Keep Your Swim From Damaging Your Hair.”

  • We learned many lessons during the pandemic as we shifted to remote work. For a lot of folks, productivity went up when working at home, and the reason may be sound. Or a lack of it. Office spaces are notoriously busy, with distracting chatter and background noise encroaching into your space. If you’re able to find a quieter workspace, or one that makes use of ambient music, you just might see a rise in focus and mood. See the details in “A Big Reason You Don’t Want to Go Back to the Office? Sound.”

Minute 6: Daily Inspiration

As if finishing a race didn’t feel good enough, one thoughtful boyfriend decided to take things up a notch as his partner crossed the line. Waiting on 1 knee with a ring in hand, Chris popped the question and @mileswithmaddie said “yes.” She reported that it was the best runner’s high she’s ever felt. If any of our readers are planning a similar gesture, we’d agree that the finish line is the place to do it, not the 16-mile mark of a marathon like in this story: “Watch: Man Proposes to Girlfriend At Mile 16 of New York City Marathon.” The moment was lovely, but generated a lot of controversy since a life-altering milestone usually doesn’t promote mid-race focus. But hey, it’s still a better place to propose than Disneyland. Watch “Disney employee ruins marriage proposal” to see why. For Maddie’s proposal story that had more of a fairy tale ending, check out the video below.


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