Minute 1: Morning protein intake other than eggs
We generally do our best to eat healthy and don’t have much trouble avoiding fast food drive-thrus. We do have a weakness, however, for drive-ins, as in one of our favorite TV shows of all time: Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. Our favorite meal by far at these backroads restaurants is breakfast. Nothing like drinking coffee next to someone who’s been driving all night and enjoying one of the “15 Best Breakfasts from Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.” But as we try to avoid sugar on the breakfast menu and substitute protein instead, it’s hard to find options that don’t include eggs. Nothing against eggs, but we sometimes crave variety. That’s why we were glad to discover this new piece: "39 High-Protein Breakfast Ideas for When You're Just Sick of Eggs." Admittedly, many of these recipes use eggs as ingredients, but they don't include eggs alone. Overnight oats are a staple, and adding Greek yogurt is that protein boost that goes a long way. Pumpkin protein pancakes seem like a great choice as Fall rolls around, and they come in hot with 22 grams of protein per serving. For those with savory cravings in the morning, a sweet potato, black bean, and avocado breakfast burrito will check all your boxes. And if you're a lighter breakfast type of eater, there are plentiful smoothie options, including a layered chocolate-banana smoothie which has us drooling. Breakfast is the most skipped meal in America, and just like Mom told you, it is also the most important meal of the day, according to WebMD
Minute 2: Micro-workout your way to fitness today
Like death, taxes and awkward teenage crushes, laziness strikes all of us eventually. Whether it was a poor night of sleep, feeling stressed, or just not having it, there are times that instead of working our butts off, we work on our butt groove, as in Homer Simpson’s couch. The good news is that according to a recent study, it only takes 60 seconds of vigorous exercise to offset 14 minutes of sedentary behavior. Details are in this new story: “The Secret Side Effect of Exercising for Just 60 Seconds.” Researchers from Boston University School of Medicine studied more than 2,000 participants using cardiopulmonary exercise tests and fitness wearable devices. The study found that every minute of heart-rate boosting exercise equated to about three minutes of walking and counteracted 14 minutes of sedentary behavior. Micro workouts can be your best friend on a busy day. So with that in mind, here's a workout that you can crank out quickly: The 5-minute Full-Body Blast Workout. It takes you from Hindu squats through push-ups, planks, and more, before ending with jumping jacks.
Minute 3: Staying Active When Injuries Stop Your running
As red-blooded Americans, we have been looking forward to the NFL season kicking off this week. Really the only thing we don’t enjoy about the return of football to our TV are the injury replays. Call us wimps, but we instantly hit the mute button and turn our head away when the slow-mo shows exactly when the broken leg occurred. Ironically, runners get injured almost as often as NFL players, albeit in less spectacular fashion. Last week we touched on the subject when we talked about recognizing a tweak vs. an injury. Thankfully, most injuries don’t completely sideline you from all activity. So when you’re banged up, but not completely immobile, check out this new piece on a traditional subject: "What’s the best alternative to running when you're injured?" The first on their list is probably the most obvious -- cycling. As Peloton proved during the pandemic, it's no surprise to see that stationary cycling is not only a great cross-training option but also a popular choice for rehab as well. Given its non-weight-bearing nature, it allows for low-impact leg strengthening while maintaining your heart and lung fitness. The elliptical is also listed, and don't sleep on that option just because it’s the machine you see senior citizens hogging at the gym. It actually does a good job of mimicking running without the pavement pounding. We've also touched upon pool workouts recently as well, but for even more ideas, check out: “What Type of Cross Training is Best for Injured Runners?”
Minute 4: Skin care for outdoor athletes
Even though summer is winding down in the northern hemisphere, the amount of time we'll be spending outside is not. And that means sun exposure is still a problem for our skin. Most people routinely bathe themselves in sunscreen before heading to the beach, but those same folks often neglect to protect their skin before a run. That’s not smart, because the threat of melanoma for runners is real. We appreciated the advice that the dermatology partner for the Twin Cities Marathon shared in this email to runners. In it, the dermatologist author highlights a study suggesting that high-intensity running actually reduces certain immune functions, giving skin cancer a greater chance to grow. In addition to sunscreen, he also recommends apparel like Coolibar, designed to block harmful UV rays. Here is a good list of "The Best Sweatproof Sunscreen, According to Experts." In addition to the sun, cold weather can do a number on our exposed skin. You may want to check out: “My Skin Hurts When I Run Outside in the Cold, So I Asked a Derm What To Do” or “6 Ways to Protect Your Skin During Cold Weather.” The latter article suggests avoiding long, hot showers in the winter. Who knew?
Minute 5: Quick Intervals
Who doesn't love a cold beer at the finish line on a hot day? Or for that matter, who doesn’t love an adult beverage in front of a hot fire on a cold night? According to a new study, people who don’t enjoy a libation are unlikely to be athletes. Outside magazine provides the details in: “Why Fitter People Drink More Alcohol.” The study suggests that while fitter folks tend to drink a bit more, they are less likely to become problem drinkers. That’s good news, but the work hard/play hard approach isn’t really the ideal approach to fitness. We are big fans of the WHOOP tracker, and unfortunately their data shows how detrimental booze can be on your rest and recovery: “Effects of Alcohol on the Body: Data Insights for HRV, Sleep & More.” The best things in life come at a price.
Distance runner Shelby Houlihan was a favorite going into the Tokyo Olympics before the "tainted burrito" scandal knocked her out of the games. She was given a 4-year ban for testing positive for PEDs, and she fought tooth and nail to appeal the ban. This past week, the Athletics Integrity Unit released their report explaining the ban. The AIU found Houlihan's appeal and defense possible but improbable. The report explains how the additional evidence Houlihan provided was insufficient to prove her violation was not intentional. Houlihan must now wait until January 2025 to compete again.
Hitting the wall is nearly every runner's worst nightmare, as your glycogen supply dries up, and you wobble your way to the finish line. For many runners, this starts to happen around mile 20. This article, "What is the wall, and why do runners hit it?" helps you understand what it all means and how to avoid it. Men's Health offers up “5 Ways to Avoid Hitting the Wall on Your Next Run,”, which includes the following tip: Instead of saying, "I can do this," you should say, "you can do this" from the mental viewpoint of your own couch. Tips like that, along with practicing mid-run nutrition, will help you maintain your fuel storage and propel you through that finish line.
Minute 6: Daily Inspiration
Maybe because Instagram knows us better than we know ourselves, our feed continues to pound us with an ad for YOGABODY and its 21-day hip opening program. The dude in the video effortlessly sits criss-cross on the floor in a way we haven’t been able to muster since grammar school. There’s no doubt we need more hip flexibility, but we’re too cheap to sign up for the full online course. Instead, we rely on a few free sources like this helpful guide: “10 Hip Stretches for Runners.” One of the better videos we’ve used on the subject is the one below that shows a simple 10-15 minute hip flexibility routine. We like this clip in part because it shows you the moves quickly so that you only have to watch about a minute to learn the full routine