SEP 23, 2022
Minute 1: Modern medicine is changing the way we view weight-loss
Our ski bum buddies always say that they moved to Aspen for the winters, but stayed for the summers. That’s kinda like runners. In a recent Instagram post, we noted that most runners started running to lose weight (at least in part), but a newfound passion for running made them keep going. Weight loss is a touchy subject, and for good reason. It’s easy to get carried away with unhealthy practices or perceptions about our unique body shapes. For better or worse, there’s a new tool that may soon hit drug store shelves that would provide a shortcut to lowering your bathroom scale readout: “Is the World Ready for Extremely Effective Weight-Loss Drugs?” Tirzepatide was first introduced to diabetic patients to manage insulin production, but its side effects showed clear potential for other uses. It increases feelings of fullness, and slows the digestive process down so that you feel like you need to eat smaller portions at fewer times throughout the day. If you’re raising an eyebrow in suspicion, we don’t blame you. The article notes that historically, diet and weight-loss pills have come with nasty side effects that make us ask if the cure is worse than the ailment. On top of that, there’s increasing debate in the medical community regarding just what kind of obesity is unhealthy. Take a look at “Scientists Find Different Types of Obesity, Confirming High BMI Doesn’t Always Signal Health Risks.” Researchers suspect that BMI is highly influenced by a genetic component, and for many of those predisposed to a high BMI, there is no correlation between a high BMI and fatal diseases and conditions. If you’re curious if weight-loss is right for you, you should speak to your doctor or nutrition expert to find a safe method to proceed.
Minute 2: Nurture your microbiome for a healthier body, mood, and sex life
Most athletes think of food as fuel, but it can also have a big impact on the delicate equilibrium within our bodies. Thanks to the latest research on gut bacteria, it’s becoming increasingly clear that our microbiomes have a strong link with our health, mood, and behaviors. Any changes to these ecosystems are effectively a change to ourselves. According to new research, here is info on what we should avoid: “High-sugar diet disrupts the gut microbiome, leading to obesity (in mice).” The sugars provide a food source for unhealthy bacteria which boom in population, causing healthy gut bacteria to die off. The segmented filamentous bacteria in particular, which aids in fat digestion, see a noticeable dropoff thanks to sugar. Researchers concluded this was the cause of subsequent weight gain in mice, but suspect humans would respond similarly as well. If you want an idea of some good stuff to give your microbiome instead, read “The best foods to feed your gut microbiome.” The article notes that identical twins share only about 1/3 of the same microbiome, suggesting environmental factors like diet play a larger role than genetics when it comes to microbiome health. In other words, the role of diet can’t be overstated if you’re aiming to improve gut health. That’s why we should be eating plenty of fermented foods, nuts, plants, and spices. Not only can our gut bacteria affect our mood and weight, but it may have a large impact on our sexual health as well. For that, read about the “3 Unexpected Ways Your Gut Health Can Impact Your Sexual Health.” #ItTakesGuts
Minute 3: Just what are muscle knots, anyway?
Earlier this week, we explained why massage is not just a luxury for runners. While science has delivered massage guns, it still hasn’t answered some core questions, as explained in this new story: “No One Really Knows What Muscle Knots Are.” Some theorize that muscle knots are locations of excess inflammation that causes muscle tightness. Others think they’re irritated nerves that need relaxing. Whatever they are, when you’ve got one, the sensation sure is real. Exercising while you’ve got a knot is no fun, and a massage therapist or a self massage tool might be your best bet for tackling the issue according to many experts. If you want an in-depth look at one foam rolling method, read “The Best Foam Rolling Exercises for Lower Back Pain, MD Says.” Dr. Mike Bohl notes that if you’ve got pain in a certain area, oftentimes the best way to relieve it is to roll the surrounding muscles. Just be sure to do so in the right way, or else you might end up with bruises or other discomfort. If you’ve experienced that before, you may want to check out “If You Bruise After Foam Rolling, This Could Be Why.”
Minute 4: Carrying water around should be easy
Exercising without getting plenty of water is a bit like driving a car with the check oil light flashing – it’s only a matter of time before you break down. We want to avoid that at all costs, but many of us dislike going for a long run with a sloshing bottle in our hands. That’s why many people seek to strap their water to their bodies, as described in: “Running Hydration Vests – Are They Worth It?” As a general rule of thumb, you want to replenish the same amount of fluids you're sweating out as you exercise. That’s typically about 500 to 750 ml each hour. If you’re going out for less than an hour, a hydration vest might not be absolutely necessary, but can still increase your comfort levels. Newer lightweight options hold about 500 ml and work well for shorter runs on hot days. The longer you plan on running, the more essential a hydration vest becomes, and they can go all the way up to 10 liters for the most ambitious of outings. Not only will they prevent dehydration, but they can also improve your form and efficiency too. Compared to carrying a water bottle, they’ll distribute weight far more evenly and jostle less so that you aren’t thrown off balance. If you want to see just how essential hydration is, and get a look at some of the best options for vests around, read “The Importance of Hydration in Physical Activity” courtesy of Nathan.
Minute 5: Quick Intervals
What’s one of the most effective ways to stick to a running schedule? We like to get by with a little help from our friends and teammates, personally. Running clubs can provide a support network that motivates you to keep training and hold you accountable to chasing your goals. Joining one for the first time can be a little overwhelming – it seems like everyone knows each other except you. For some social tips, check out: “How to break the ice at your new run club.”
We think anyone who’s managed to run 70 miles in a week deserves a huge pat on the back. To the flying Godwit, that’s just a fledgling work week. These remarkable birds are currently gearing up to fly 7,000 miles nonstop this month. Godwits are a migratory bird that fly from Alaska to New Zealand every year without ever touching down for food, water or rest. It’s safe to say they’re the king of endurance within the animal kingdom. Researchers are looking into how they pull off such an incredible feat, and if you think we’ve got something to learn from our far-flung feathered friends, take a look at this remarkable piece from the NYT: “The Godwit’s Long, Long Nonstop Journey.”
Mobility means your joints can reach their full range of motion, and it’s an area of fitness that’s neglected all too often. That’s a shame, because if you want to stay active your whole life, it needs to be a priority. Not only will developing mobility improve your physical health, but there are some unexpected mood and relationship benefits you might see as well, so read “4 Key Reasons Why Maintaining Mobility As You Age Can Boost Your Longevity” to learn more.
Minute 6: Daily Inspiration
One look at Darien “That Ab Guy” Johnson’s Instagram page, and it’s clear how he got the nickname. He’s an athlete and fitness influencer who offers some excellent core workouts for endurance athletes. We love workouts that produce good results without fancy equipment and expensive gym memberships. For this recent workout from Darien, all you need is a space on the floor and an exercise ball. From there, Darien demonstrates 5 simple and fun ab exercises to boost your core strength and stability.