JUL 21, 2022
Minute 1: We’ve got doubts about detox diets
If you were grossed out by the toxic relationship between Johnny Depp and Amanda Heard, you may want to take a closer look at the dangerous foods appearing nightly on your dinner plate. Food toxins occur both naturally and through additives. They may not get as much press as a Hollywood break-up, but you really should divorce yourself from them anyway. With toxins as pervasive as they are, it comes as no surprise that “detox” diets are pushed so frequently. But are they actually effective? Many experts don’t think so, according to this new story: “Detox diets & cleanses: What science really says.” A typical detox diet is pitched as a kind of fasting, or extremely restrictive juice cleanse that’s supposed to strip unwanted chemicals out of your body. The extreme nature of these diets, however, can cause more harm than good. They often impede the function of the liver and kidneys which are the organs responsible for detoxification. Really, if you want your diet to aid in detoxing, you need to eat the foods that support your liver and kidneys, while avoiding things we know to be harmful. That means drinking plenty of water, eating cruciferous vegetables, and avoiding excess amounts of alcohol, caffeine, tobacco products, etc. For a list of healthy, sustainable additions to your diet that support your natural ability to detox, read “How to Clean Your Blood: Herbs, Foods, and More,” and for a second opinion on the dangers of the detox diet, read “The Truth About Detox Diets.”
Minute 2: No amount of exercise can “cancel out” unhealthy meals
A lot of us view health and fitness as a give and take: Work out hard, and you’ve earned a cheat day to eat what you want. Eat healthy all day, and you can skip your workout guilt free. It’s okay to give yourself rewards for hard work, but when it comes to improving longevity, you should know that tradeoffs between diet and exercise will sabotage your progress. Take a look at “You Won’t Live Longer by Diet or Exercise Alone, Study Says.” Doctors report that it’s common for someone who’s in good shape but who eats poorly to feel like they’re immune to heart attacks or other cardiovascular conditions. As we saw in the case of Boston Marathon Race Director Dave McGillivray, exercise alone isn’t enough to protect us, and runners are often left scratching their head, wondering how it could have happened. New research confirms the belief that no amount of exercise can “cancel out” an unhealthy meal. Now that we’ve covered what not to do, let’s take a look at some cutting edge research that aims to improve longevity. Here’s “Can a ‘Magic’ Protein Slow the Aging Process?” A study looking at aging in mice uncovered that when transfused with blood from a younger mouse, heart and skeletal muscle tissue grew biologically younger. Researchers were able to isolate the GDF11 protein as the source of the new tissue growth, and its implications in human aging are being investigated. #YoungAtHeart
Minute 3: Before you take on a big race, ask yourself what you’re running for
If you are racing, not just running, anything from a 5K to an ultramarathon, one thing will remain constant: There’s going to be pain. Without the challenges and discomfort of running, the payoff of nailing a PR wouldn’t feel as good as it does, and for that, we welcome the struggle. There are times, however, when the negatives will seem to outweigh the positives, and if you’re struck with that feeling mid race, it could spell trouble. Zach Miller experienced this during his first ultramarathon in 3 years. To learn how he overcame the doubts and how his experience can inform all of us, check out: “Hurt So Good.” Zach found that the best defense against a DNF is to stop and think about your reasons for running in the first place, before the race begins. Identify your goals or motivators, and keep them fresh in your mind. That way, when you’re faced with a reason to slow down, you can counter it with the reasons to keep pushing. These “50 Motivational Quotes About Running and Racing,” are a good place to start putting your passion for running into words. Another negative mindset that can hinder performance, or prevent you from even giving a race a try, is the fear of finishing near the back of the pack. If you can relate, take a look at "Let go of your fear of being last.”
Minute 4: It’s not just what you eat, but how you eat it
Eating healthy can be complicated enough as it is, so we’re sorry if this new development adds to that complexity. Research suggests it doesn’t only matter what you put in your body, but also how it was prepared or consumed. There are a few simple changes you can make to improve your nutrition, according to: “When it comes to nutritional impact, how you prepare, consume foods makes a difference.” Starting with potatoes, allowing them to cool and sit for 24 hours after cooking will alter some of their digestible starches into non-digestible starch amylase. That means they’ll contain fewer calories, while still giving you the feeling of fullness. It's a similar story for rice and pasta, too. Check out “Is reheated pasta less fattening?” This transformation of starches into less digestible forms will lower the impact on your blood sugar levels after eating a carb-heavy meal. Instead of the rapid digestion and spike that comes with processed carbs and sugars, reheated potatoes, rice, and pasta can be a source of carbs that offers a more even-keeled kind of energy. Apples will also differ from applesauce and apple juice in terms of blood sugar impact. Apples will be slower to consume and digest, and contain more fibers than their processed counterparts. As a result, they too will have a more subtle effect on your blood glucose levels.
Minute 5: Quick Intervals
For readers in or around the Pittsburgh area looking for a last minute race opportunity, the Fleet Feet Liberty Mile kicks off tomorrow (Friday) at 7:00 pm. The race features a fun downhill course through the streets of Pittsburgh. Sign up and find more details on the Liberty Mile Website. In fact, we think that mile races don’t get enough love, and given our publication’s name, we’d be remiss not to shine the spotlight on another great event: the Fifth Avenue Mile. This annual NYC race dates back to 1981, and it always attracts an all-star list of competitors. Details and registration links are on the NYRR website.
We’re always happy to report how good running can be for you, whether you’re a veteran marathoner or a neighborhood jogger. One of the many nice things about running is that it doesn’t take much time to boost your physical and mental health. For a list of 6 perks you can look forward to with minimal time commitment, check out: “What Does 30 Minutes Of Running Do? A Complete Guide.”
You’d think that in doing mobility work, you’d have to get on your feet and move around, but believe it or not, that isn’t the case. If you’re stuck in your office chair all day, you too can improve your posture and flexibility with a bit of chair yoga. These are perfect for giving yourself a quick break, and they’ll clear your head as well as they’ll alleviate any soreness you might be experiencing. Here are “13 Yoga Poses You Can Do Without Leaving Your Chair.” You may also want to check out “Discreet Exercises You Can Do At Your Desk” from Fitbit and “30 Office Exercises to Try Right Now” from Healthline.
It’s hard to keep up with all of the made-up internet holidays out there, but for our readers, National Race Photos Day is definitely an occasion to celebrate. To honor the holiday, MarathonFoto is offering a big discount on the world's largest collection of old race photos. Whether your last race was a few days ago or a few decades ago, you should be able to find your photos among the 250 million images in their collection. Search for your photos at this link and use code PHOTOSDAY at checkout for 40% off.
Minute 6: Daily Inspiration
When you’re running a race, it’s important you push hard all the way through the finish line. If you can’t run there, then walk. And if you can’t walk, crawl. If that sounds a little hardo, it was actually a real life lesson we learned from Bob Becker, a 77-year old who competed recently at the 135-mile Badwater ultramarathon. He gave it all he had, and that meant spending the last 10 miles of the race severely hunched over, and the last mile in a bear crawl uphill struggle. He powered through until the end, and rejoiced with a cold beer. Alas, he missed the cutoff time by a few minutes to qualify for an “official finish,” but in our book he was officially the most impressive finisher. Check out the inspiring video below.