Minute 1: These greens supplements can complete your diet
Protein typically gets all the love from the fitness world, but we’re taking a look at a different supplement growing in popularity: Greens powder. After taking them for 90 days, Coach Jeff Gaudette of Runners Connect (2:22 marathoner) found “3 Unexpected Benefits of Taking Greens Supplements Everyday for Runners.” First, he found his energy levels much higher in the mornings, helping him reduce his dependence on coffee and other caffeinated beverages. He also found that the extra glass of water taken with the supplement was a great way to start the day and build a healthy routine. Last, he felt his stomach issues disappear after only 2 weeks, thanks to the probiotics they contain. What does science have to say about greens supplements? WebMD lists a number of positives you can read about in “Greens Powder: Are There Health Benefits?” They state that while the supplement is an excellent way to add nutrition to your diet, they cannot replace servings of vegetables outright. Keeping that in mind, they found positive effects on blood pressure, immune system function, and cognitive health. If we’ve piqued your interest, Very Well Fit has put together a list of “The 6 Best Greens Powders of 2021, According to a Dietitian.” You’ve got lots of options, with some brands opting for added flavoring, protein, or extra probiotics. #GoGreenGetLean
Minute 2: Don’t let the heat slow you down this summer
Studies show that 50 degrees Fahrenheit is just about the ideal temperature for running. Unfortunately, in most of North America, we won’t see temps that low again until fall. If you’d like to learn exactly how much the heat will slow you down, you may want to consult this heat effect calculator from Runners Connect. High temperatures are no joke for athletes, so if you need some tips on how to keep cool, read “Beating the Heat: How to Perform Well When It’s Hot.” The most obvious step you can take is to increase your hydration levels. The key is to make the change early on. Give yourself several days of higher water intake before you go all out in hot weather. Chugging water right before your activity won’t suffice, since your body needs time to properly absorb it. Moving on, a bad sunburn can really kill your desire to get outdoors and move, so look for clothes that protect against UV light. If you thought SPF only applied to sunscreen, then you need to read “How to Choose Sun Protection (UPF) Clothing.” Not all fabrics are created equal, but this article explains the best options for sunny days. The last tip we’ve got is a technique called heat acclimatization. Just like mountain climbers who slowly adjust their body to lower oxygen levels, you should adapt to the heat gradually. Take a look at “How to Hijack Your Physiology to Become a Smarter Sweater in the Heat.” The good news is, your body can sweat more and keep you cooler after only 8 to 14 days of training for about an hour a day. #BeatTheHeat
Minute 3: Exercise and immune function go hand in hand
Most of the available Covid vaccines provide 70% to 95% efficacy, according to research. That’s pretty remarkable, considering those vaccines took less than a year to make, but still a little shy of perfection. Luckily, there’s a simple way to increase the vaccine effectiveness, as Very Well Fit reports in: “Regular Physical Activity Boosts Immune Function, May Increase Vaccine Efficacy.” Those who exercise 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week saw a 31% reduction in infectious disease rates. Interestingly, these regular exercisers experienced greater antibody production after getting their shot. Physical activity increases the number of T-cells in the body, which play an important role in immune function. Exercise is just one of many ways to fight off disease, though. Take a look at this Harvard report to see “How to boost your immune system.” In general, improving your overall health bolsters the immune system, so simple things like getting plenty of sleep, eating vegetables, and minimizing stress are all helpful. Another way to protect against the Coronavirus along with many other infections is to ensure you are getting enough vitamin D. Check out: “Can Vitamin D Lower Your Risk of COVID-19?” (Spoiler alert: the answer is “yes.”) #QualifiedImmunity
Minute 4: Where to find your running utopia
After a marathon journey, it appears that the pandemic has finally hit the wall in the United States. It’s still limping along, but the vaccines have proven to be tougher than Heartbreak Hill for the virus. According to the CDC, infection rates dropped to new record lows over the weekend. Phew. While running races, stadiums and restaurants are rebounding nicely, the office space market is still hurting as people have made remote work a permanent part of their lives. The NYT declared this spring that “Remote Work Is Here to Stay. Manhattan May Never Be the Same.” Lots of jobs can be done from your home office/dining room table, and that means you’re free to live as far away from corporate HQ as you want. Why not get a change of scenery, like one of the cities listed here: “Thinking of Moving? These Are the Best Places in the U.S for Runners.” Eugene, Oregon tops the list, arguably the cultural hub for running in the U.S. Historic running facilities and a variety of trails make running safe and easy there. They make the case for 5 cities in total, all over the map. (Boulder, CO, is not one of them.) If one of these destinations catches your eye, it could be the perfect time to sell your current home. Take a look at “What to Expect From the Housing Market in Summer 2021.” Low interest rates and a limited number of houses on the market means your open house will be as crowded as a marathon starting line (pre-pandemic, of course). While real estate values for urban office buildings continue to plummet, rural area are bouncing back from decades of out-migration. The new remote working ethos was chronicled in this recent story: “Live here, work anywhere: How the pandemic is reversing rural trends.” #CountryRoads
Minute 5: Quick Intervals
Thinking of giving triathlons a try as events come back to life this summer? That’s great, but you should come up with a plan before diving into the deep end. Here’s a good place to start: “8-Week Sprint Triathlon Training Plan For Beginners.” This article will take you week by week through a series of workouts designed to improve your endurance and speed in each discipline.
It’s hard to resist snacking throughout the day, but pantry abstinence is one of the most important things you can do to avoid weight gain. That is, unless you learn to snack the healthy way. Ditch the potato chips and see what else is on the menu in “8 Healthy Plant-Based Snacks You’ll Actually Want to Eat.” They list all sorts of fruits, nuts, and other healthy foods that pack serious nutritional value into a small, tasty package. In addition, the article covers some tips about planning your snacks out in order to avoid the trap of mindless eating.
As if hill workouts weren’t hard enough, Outsideonline.com has got all kinds of drills to add to your repertoire in “The Ultimate Hill Workout.” The goal here is to increase your speed and agility, and that means incorporating moves that engage a wide range of motion and tap into your explosivity. Strides, high knees, frog jumps, and more. Get ready for the next challenge, it will take you to new heights.
Since today is Global Running Day, we thought you may want to celebrate on social media by sharing photos of yourself in action at big races from the past 20 years. Our sister company, MarathonFoto, is offering 40% off with code RUN40. You may not have won that race, but you can still win the battle of the ‘Gram by posting the best race photo of the day among your running buddies.
Minute 6: Daily Inspiration
@berte.bob is one of our new favorite Instagram coaches who posts a lot of good training material. He is a 30:18 10K guy, so he’s doing something right. Bob just shared a quick guide to the A-skip you can use on your next warm up. The move can help you work on hip mobility, and it's a good way to prep before doing speed work. Check out the short video on Instagram below.