Minute 1: Incline walking is the real deal
They say you have to walk before you run, but that makes it sound like walking is just a pedestrian pursuit compared to speedier 2-legged exercise. We think walking is more than just a step in the right direction; it can be a game-changing exercise, especially when you’re on an incline: “Here’s Why Incline Walking Can Be Better Than Running, According to a PT.” Compared to regular surfaces, walking on an incline increases the workload applied to your quads, glutes, and calves. That makes it easier to get your heart rate up, and burn more calories as a result. Inclined walking is lower-impact than running, which reduces the chance of injury. If you’ve struggled with running injuries in the past, consider switching to incline running to build up your strength safely. You can use it to transition back to running, or if you find that incline walking works better for you, keep it in your rotation for good. Depending on your fitness level, you should try out one of these “5 Best Incline Walking Workouts for Weight Loss.” Most of these are designed for use on a treadmill, but head to your local hiking trails to see if you can adapt them to your surroundings.
Minute 2: Beat your Omicron infection with these foods
Some days, it feels like we’re going to have more Covid variants than there are Greek letters. In Europe, the World Health Organization is projecting that half of the continent will be infected within weeks. We’re not sure what to do about that, but there is some news about how to make the current Omicron surge a little more bearable: “The Best Foods to Eat for Omicron Symptoms, Says Doctor.” Thankfully, this variant appears to cause fewer deaths and hospitalizations per case, as you can see in “Four charts that analyze how Omicron’s wave compares to previous coronavirus peaks.” It still has its fair share of nasty symptoms, though, like a sore throat akin to getting strep. That makes swallowing most food quite painful, which is why cooler, soft foods like ice cream and yogurt are recommended options. We know what you’re thinking, how can something as sugary as ice cream be a healthy option? Well, loss of appetite and severe weight loss is a somewhat common side effect of Covid, so you should do whatever you can to keep your weight at a healthy level. Sometimes, prevention is the best medicine, so if you haven’t been exposed yet, you should focus on eating foods to bolster your immune system. Here are “15 Immunity-Boosting Foods That Help Fight The Flu.” Included on this list is ginger, and it’s worth noting that ginger tea is an excellent remedy for a sore throat. #OmicronAndOnAndOn
Minute 3: A guide to post-race recuperation
As race day approaches, you’re laser focused on the preparation and execution, so much so that recovery usually feels like a mañana problem. Even if it’s a tomorrow issue, it’s still a problem, because an effective recovery is essential for healthy running. According to a new story from RunnerClick, you should plan for your recovery before you toe the line: “Half Marathon Recovery Guide: 7 Tips to Recover Faster.” Step 1 is to hydrate. You can’t go wrong with plain old water, but depending on your personal preference, sports drinks that contain electrolytes and sugars can help to avoid a post-race crash. Fruit like bananas are a viable option as well. The next thing your body needs is rest, which means you should plan to sleep in on the following day if possible. Some recommend taking the day after off from running, but others argue inactivity is the enemy of recovery. Here is “How To Recover After a Race | What To Do After Marathon and Half Marathon.” Going for a walk, or even a mile jog is a great way to get your blood circulating, which promotes muscle repair. The final piece to the puzzle is addressing your mental recovery. Athletes focus on giving their body what it needs, but what about the mind? There are lots of steps you can take listed in “Runners Share How Their Best Post-Run Recovery Tips.” Consider turning off screens, sharing a meal with your fellow racers, and getting into nature to allow yourself to unwind.
Minute 4: A virtual coach that fits on your wrist
These days, runners have more gadgets at their disposal than James Bond or Maxwell Smart. Some can feel like unnecessary distractions, but others are transforming the way we approach exercise. You can always count on Apple to deliver innovation, which is why we’re excited that “Apple Fitness Plus is adding audio running workouts.” Time to Run workouts are designed around real locations that are popular among runners, and are led by a Fitness Plus coach. As you progress through each workout, you’ll hear a specifically-curated playlist, and periodically see notable sights from the route appear on your watch’s display. Time to Run is one of many ways technology is putting us in touch with our environment, and you can read about another one in “Neurun Launches Visualization Platform for Runners.” Neurun uses HD footage to map out select running courses, informing you on elevation changes, terrain data, and strategy tips. The app gives you an early look so you can start planning your target splits and arrive at the race with a solid plan. Neurun has rolled out for select races already, and you can head to their website’s event page to see if there’s an upcoming event near you.
Minute 5: Quick Intervals
There are some runners out there who thrive in the cold winter months, and others who want to hide out until the seasons change. If you’re inclined to hibernate every winter, it's important to find ways to stay active indoors. That’s why tools like a standing bike are so helpful. The idea is to complete a ride on a stationary bike with your butt off the saddle which is a better approximation of running than a traditional indoor ride. To see the benefits, and even get a sample workout, check out: “Try this standing bike workout for your next cross-training session.”
Lots of runners swear by the early morning run. Getting up and moving is like a shot of espresso, and it's the perfect way to boost your energy level and productivity at the start of the day. The transition to morning workouts can be rough going, however, for the night owls among our readership. Luckily, we’ve got a list of tips to make a habit of waking up early, like putting your alarm clock in another room. See the rest of the suggestions in “How to wake up early to run: 5 tips to make getting up early a little easier.”
Guests of the Desert Island Discs radio show are asked what music they would bring if stranded on a desert island. Now, we’re borrowing that format and asking fitness experts for their “Desert Island Equipment.” If you’ve thought of putting together a home gym, or just want to find ways to stay active around the house, there are a few essential items that should be first on your list, so take a look at “The One Piece of Fitness Equipment 10 Top Trainers Couldn’t Live Without.”
Minute 6: Daily Inspiration
There are few things in life as motivating as competition and cash. A little challenge among friends is a great way to put some extra fuel on the fire and dig deep for your next workout. A Vlogger named Tyler Spears knows this well, and he threw down the gauntlet for a “last man standing” running event. The idea is to run a lap on the track at 8:00 minute pace and then shave off 3 seconds per lap until only 1 person can keep going. That means by lap 16, you need to run sub 5:00 minute pace. The winner takes home $200, and bragging rights until the next challenge video gets made. These guys are pretty humorous and provide a fun way to work out with friends.