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Kids are only playing 4-7 minutes per day outside

FEB 17, 2023

Minute 1: Should you be eating more tuna?

This week, tuna has hooked our attention. It’s an affordable and tasty way to get quality nutrition into your diet, but like most good things in life, there are limits, according to: “This Is How Much Tuna You Can Safely Eat.” Tuna and other fish high on the food chain may contain elevated levels of mercury, and overconsumption can result in dangerous mercury exposure if you aren’t careful. According to the FDA, children and people who are pregnant should have the most concern. Canned light tuna has the lowest levels of mercury, making it a good bet if you’re among those at risk. Now that we’ve got the bad news out of the way, let’s take a look at the “Health Benefits of Tuna.” If building muscle while staying lean is your goal, this could be the food for you, since it packs a whopping 12 grams of protein per serving with only 76 calories total. Not only that, but it contains a whole lot of vitamin B12, Vitamin D, and Omega-3 fatty acids. Whether you choose to buy fresh, or go canned, you can expect similar nutrition profiles, as you can see in: “Tuna Health Benefits - Fresh Tuna vs Canned Tuna.” Canned tuna often has higher sodium and fat content, due to being packed in brine or oils, but it’s virtually the same otherwise. Not only that, but it’s an easy ingredient to work with thanks to these “13 Healthy Recipes to Make With Canned Tuna.”

Minute 2: How to combine yoga and breathwork with your strength training

Those unfamiliar with yoga might be under the impression that it’s really just a light stretching routine. Give it a shot, and you’ll quickly learn that how much isometric strength and flexibility it requires. If standard yoga is no walk in the park, you best believe that adding weights into the equation is going to dial up the difficulty immensely: “This Was the Hardest Workout Class I’ve Ever Done—But Not For the Reasons You Think.” It’s called Strength X, and the anchor of the experience revolves around your breathing. Just like in yoga and meditation, participants are asked to clear their minds and come to the present moment by focusing on their breath. From there you're able to give your undivided attention to the weights you’re lifting and the movements you’re performing. Being mindful of your body can help to engage muscles that are otherwise neglected, as well as inform you of potential injuries early on. You can bring a mindfulness approach to just about any kind of exercise, as you can see in “Be Here Now: How to Exercise Mindfully.” Whether you’re lifting weights, running, or doing any other sort of exercise, mindfulness can help you reach the flow state. That’s when you’re fully immersed in the task at hand, delivering inner clarity so you can perform at your best. Lot’s of athletes report this experience when they’re having a stand out game or race, so develop your breathwork and mindfulness if you want to attain their level of competitive focus.

Minute 3: We could all use a breath of fresh air

It wasn’t so long ago that older generations were telling kids: “Get off my damn lawn!” The pervasive nature of technology sure has flipped the script. Today, you’re far more likely to hear cries of: “Get off the damn iPad!” Believe it or not, American kids spend an average of only 4-7 minutes per day playing outside. Ugh. For details, check out this new piece: “Why Kids Need to Spend Time in Nature.” Childhood development experts feel that outdoor time is indispensable. It can boost one’s confidence, since kids will be exposed to a far wider batch of situations than they would indoors and on a screen, and that variety is crucial for developing competence in life. Being outdoors also strengthens creativity. The entertainment isn’t provided in a neat package, and kids have to come up with ways to play games or make their own fun, rather than absorbing content passively. Last but not least, getting outdoors is an easy way to encourage exercise. All these factors are vital in the early stages of development, but they hold true for adults too, and most of us could benefit from stepping away from the desk and into a park more frequently. Just be careful where you decide to do your walking, because “Even brief exposure to diesel fumes alters activity in key brain network, study finds.” When our brains are at wakeful rest, they enter something called the default mode network, or DMN. That’s when the different parts of the brain are able to communicate with each other, resulting in phenomena like daydreaming or creative problem solving. Exercise typically boosts brain connectivity, but when done in the presence of air polluted by diesel exhaust, no such improvement was found. In other words, if you want clear thoughts, make sure you’re breathing clean air.

Minute 4: Shoe Review: Inov-8 Trailfly G 270 v2 ($170)

Regular readers of SMM know that our friend and resident shoe expert Brian Metzler lives a runner’s dream life, banging out miles in the Front Range outside Boulder, Colorado, and from his weekend cabin in Leadville. If that’s not cool enough, when Brian walks to his mailbox, it’s usually stuffed with a new pair of running shoes to test drive. This week’s delivery was from Innov-8 and Brian is a fan. The highlights are below, but you should check out Brian’s full review on our website. Inov-8 is a small British shoe brand known for making exceptional trail running shoes for a variety of surfaces – including those right out its back door in the English Lake District. One of the reasons it’s been able to compete with much larger brands is that it’s learned not to mess with a good thing, especially when runners like a particular model of a shoe. Annual updates to shoes are necessary for a lot of reasons – the most obvious one is to spur new sales – but only if those changes don’t significantly impact the proven performance of a particular model. That brings me to Inov-8’s G 270 trail shoe, which has been recognized by numerous media outlets, bloggers and shoe geeks (including me!) as a best-in-class light and fast, zero-drop trail running shoe that’s ideal for speedy runs and short to moderate-distance racing. Subtle changes have only enhanced the just-released second version of the shoe. None of the updates negatively compromise the original fit, feel or performance of the first edition. It’s one of those shoes which, aside from new color motifs, you might not immediately notice the changes as you first start running. What’s New: The updated version has a new upper with more stretchiness, support and breathability in the forefoot and a smoother and cushier fully gusseted tongue that both contribute to a better overall fit – both when you lace them up and when you’re out rambling on the trails. The subtle changes, highlighted by new overlays for strength and stability, help this shoe run better and feel better while also offering a touch more durability and protection. And yes, there is a $10 price increase, which is the case with many shoes this year largely because of increased shipping costs. The improvements make it worth the money, in my opinion. Why It’s Great: The Graphene-enhanced rubber outsole is still the best feature of this shoe. It’s grippy, mildly elastic and durable, which is why it’s ideal for quick and dynamic movements on the trails. The rugged 4mm rubber lugs adhere to just about everything as much as you need them to, making it incredibly reliable for uphill running, downhill running, cornering and off-camber foot placements. In other words, it allows you to be as nimble as you need to be without having any doubt about your foot slipping or sliding on any given stride. For the complete rundown on the new Inov-8 Trailfly G 270, check out Brian’s full review here. #FlyOnTheWall

Minute 5: Quick Intervals

  • A truism in running is that the first step of a training run is always the hardest. Crappy weather, tired muscles, family obligations and work deadlines all conspire to keep us inside and away from our appointed rounds. Our favorite Boston Marathon blogger, Dara Zall Kelly, logs in with another hilarious and oh-too-close-to-home lesson in how overcoming procrastination can reward you in ways we don’t expect. Read all the details here.

  • When it comes to trail running, there are few muscles more important than the adductor. Not only does it play a big role in stabilizing your steps over uneven terrain, but it also helps propel you up an incline. For details, check out: “Adductor Strength and Mobility for Running Performance.”

  • Most of us know that antioxidants are an important part of a healthy diet, but are you aware of different kinds of antioxidants available to you? Each brings unique benefits, so we should all journey past the almighty blueberry. New research highlights the benefits of an antioxidant called Kaempferol, so try eating some of these “8 Foods High in Kaempferol, a Powerful Anti-Inflammatory Agent Linked to Longevity.”

  • If you’re a runner who spends lots of time sitting, you should understand how important it is to open up your hips. Pigeon pose is one of the most popular methods of doing so. In fact, it’s so effective that it’s garnered a whole lineup of spinoff positions. Reach new levels of flexibility as you work your way though these “6 Pigeon Pose Variations to Ease Tightness At Any Point In Your Yoga Journey.”

Minute 6: Daily Inspiration

It’s time for our weekly dose of self awareness. It’s been brought to our attention that running subcultures are a predictable bunch, often hilariously so. We saw a teardown of Strava users in Minute 6 of this issue, and now @sagecanaday is picking up where @lauramcgreen left off. This time, we’re looking at the cliches that are rife within the ultra running community. Many of the cliches and aphorisms hit close to home for us, and we’re not ultra athletes here at global HQ. Check out the clip below and see how many of these phrases you’ve said yourself.


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