SEP 7, 2022
Minute 1: Understand these factors to build muscle
Knowledge is power – and so is being really dang strong. It follows that if you want to be your best self, you should know how to put on some muscle. Trying to accomplish that without understanding the factors at play, however, is a bit like navigating without a map. The good news is, you can learn most of what you need to know in “5 Factors That Influence How Quickly You Build Muscle.” The first thing you should know is the role of hormones; primarily testosterone and estrogen. Both play into muscle development, but testosterone has a greater effect. Men generally have about 10 times as much as women, which is why they often have an easier time building muscle. If you’re looking to boost your T levels naturally to find the ideal balance, follow the advice in “Does Working Out Increase Testosterone Levels?” In short, heavy resistance training with compound lifts like squats and deadlifts have the most pronounced impact. Another huge factor is diet, with protein and amino acids being the primary components of muscle building. Leucine is the most important amino acid for muscle growth, so try these “Top 10 Foods Highest in Leucine.” Chicken legs, pork chops, and beef are excellent sources for meat eaters, but there’s vegetarian friendly options as well, like tofu and Navy beans.
Minute 2: Are there really “good” fats and cholesterol?
Dieticians have been warning us for a while now that the way we approach healthy eating often puts us at war with our own desires and bodies. It can be tempting to label certain foods as good or bad, but it’s important to note that “bad” foods are usually only an issue when consumed in excess – you shouldn’t feel obligated to cut them out entirely if you enjoy them. Fat content is often a factor in how foods are judged, and an informed view is presented by this new piece: “What are good fats?” Saturated and trans fats typically receive the “bad” label, but there’s a stark difference between them. Trans fats are made by processing vegetable fats with hydrogen to become solid at room temperature, and they’re associated with increased levels of inflammation and risk of various chronic diseases. There isn’t much to redeem trans fats, but saturated fats are a different story. When consumed in excess, saturated fats can raise LDL cholesterol and contribute to unhealthy weight gain. However, if they make up a reasonable portion of your diet (roughly 10% of your caloric intake), saturated fats make for a good source of long term energy. Now for the categorically “good” fats: mono and polyunsaturated fats. Getting a balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids supports heart health, allows for vitamin absorption, and regulates HDL cholesterol. For a deeper dive, check out: “HDL (Good), LDL (Bad) Cholesterol and Triglycerides.” High density cholesterol is used to remove LDL bad cholesterol, so to remember which is which, look for the “H.” High density = Healthy! #FatChance
Minute 3: The dos and don’ts of exercise every runner needs to hear
Running can be as simple or as complicated as you’d like. Whether you want to go for the occasional jog, jump into local races or train for an ultra, there’s a workout plan to suit your needs. Whatever your skill level, there are a few considerations everyone should make, and this story does a good job providing new ideas for newbies and hardos alike: “The best unusual running tips for beginners.” Despite the article title, we think everyone will find something of use here, starting with the crosswalk chill-out. Giving yourself a break as you wait for the walk signal to change is totally fine, and like the run-walk-run method, it can increase the distance you’re able to cover while keeping your intensity level low. That kind of running allows endurance athletes to improve aerobic capacity. The article also explains why you should consider adding vinegar to your laundry and emotional advice about Strava. While that story covers the dos, this piece covers some of the don’ts: “I’m a Certified Trainer and These Are the 4 Things I’d Never Do in a Workout.” Item #2 on the list suggests outlining your workouts ahead of time. Despite the old axiom that if you want to hear God laugh, tell him your plans, when it comes to training, even a loosely mapped out schedule will help you stay consistent and informed in your approach to exercise.
Minute 4: So long, shin splints
Everybody who’s experienced shin splints; raise your hand. We don’t all need to be in the same room (or Zoom call) to know that most runners' arms shot right up. Shin splints are as pervasive as they are uncomfortable, so it’s essential that we have ways to combat the condition and keep our runs as pain free as possible. Let’s dive into “Shins Hurt After Running? A Complete Guide To Shin Pain.” Shin splints occur from an overload on your leg bones, muscles, and tendons. It’s often the result of upping mileage too quickly, causing inflammation. What can be done about it? Well, having the right footwear is key to preventing splints in the first place. If you’re experiencing soreness, make sure you've got footwear with plenty of heel and arch support, and a generous amount of cushioning. Beyond that, doing stretches for your shins, as well as mobility work to strengthen your calves, shins, ankles and feet will make quite a difference. Try these “12 Stretch and Strength Moves for Ankle Mobility.” If it’s too late and you’ve already developed a case of shin splints, your best bet is to give yourself time to recover. Anti Inflammatories are a good way to get through the day until you’re able to return to running, and compression socks that cover your calves may help as well. For an even deeper dive, check out this video from The Run Experience that provides good explanations of the causes and good solutions to the problems of shin splints: “How to Fix Shin Splints (Yourself).”
Minute 5: Quick Intervals
Speaking of well-cushioned shoes, Adidas may have just dropped the most interesting pair we’ve ever seen. Advanced technology is not just for Crypto traders and virtual reality enthusiasts – it is impacting running shoes. The Adidas 4DFWD 2 makes use of a 3D-printed midsole designed to preserve energy and transfer it into a forward motion, and if you’re curious about the new tech, you’ve got to check out Gear Patrol’s take: “The Adidas 4DFWD 2 Running Shoe Is a 3D-Printed Redefinition of Forward Motion.”
When it comes to athletes who were baptized in fire, so to speak, you won’t find a more clear example than UFC fighter Brian Ortega. He started his career in unsanctioned cage matches in his teens, but made his way to the big leagues back in 2014 for his UFC debut. Since then, he’s fought the top competition, competing for the UFC Featherweight Championship not once, but twice. Ortega has faced his fair share of injuries over his career, and it’s always been a battle to maintain motivation and push forward. To see how he’s done it and how his mindset applies to all athletes, check out: “UFC Featherweight Brian Ortega Explains What It Takes to Regain Lost Motivation.”
As we adjust to a post-pandemic world, it’s understandable to have lots of questions about the future state of Covid responses. Now that a new booster shot is on the cusp of widespread availability, it may be time to ask yourself if you’d like to get one this fall. Of course, you should speak to a healthcare professional if you’re unsure what to do, but if you want to get a little background information in the meantime, you can read “There’s a New COVID Booster You Should Probably Get This Fall.”
Minute 6: Daily Inspiration
As runners, we’re grateful to be part of a community that’s welcoming and supportive of anyone that wants to lace up and cover some miles. We came across a video of a new running tribe member who we’re proud has joined our ranks. Gabe has autism, and he’s recently started walking and running around the neighborhood in preparation for his first 5K. Alongside his caretaker Caroline, Gabe was up bright and early to take on the race, and we’re happy to report that it looks like he had a blast. Congrats on a race well done, and we hope there are many more events to come. Watch Gabe do his thing in the short video below.