The critical rest component everyone ignores




Minute 1: Rest is more than physical

Even our biggest exercise hardo buddies know that rest is critical for making progress with your fitness. But what the “I’ll sleep when I’m dead” crowd may not fully grasp is that being well rested is not as simple as getting enough sleep. Researcher Dr. Dalton Smith explains why in her new book, Sacred Rest. She summarizes her findings in “The 7 types of rest everyone needs - and how to get them.” Mental, sensory, and spiritual rest are about giving yourself distance from the usual challenges life throws at you. Stepping away from a problem at work, shutting off the screens, and taking stock of your innermost feelings are all ways to accomplish this. It’s a perfect time to focus your breathing, too, so try “A one-minute breathing exercise to make you less stressed (and how it works).” Doing so has been shown to lessen anxiety, depression, anger, and confusion. Creative rest is a way to reduce mental burnout, and it's about connecting to the things that inspire awe in us. Pick up an instrument, watch a movie, or read a book. Check out “Why reading can be good for mental health” to see some bonus reasons for adding books into your life. 2 other kinds of rest, emotional and social, are met by giving yourself some much needed solitude. After a year of limited contact, it’s normal to feel a bit overwhelmed by a return to normal social life. Here are “5 Signs You Need Some Alone Time” to recharge that social battery. #BestOfTheRest

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Minute 2: Early vs. late workouts: Which is right for you?

Most people spend an awful lot of time wondering how to work out, but what about when? Well, the answer is complicated, and ideal times vary for each individual. If you need help deciding what’s right for you, read “This is the best time of day to exercise, backed by science.” First, be practical. In most cases, the best time to work out is whenever you’re consistently free from obligations. If early mornings are the only chance you get, make a habit out of that. There are all sorts of benefits to morning exercise, too. Exposure to sunlight early in the day can help regulate your sleep cycle. Combine that with limited access to blue light at night, and you’ll sleep like a baby. There can be downsides, though. Muscles are stiffer, and core temperature is lower early in the day, meaning you’ll have to take an extra long warmup. Evening workouts are often when you’ll perform best, and thus, see the greatest results. Unless you are a true morning person. You’re probably asking “Are People Really ‘Morning Larks’ or ‘Night Owls’?’” Sleep experts believe you have a biological inclination that determines your sleep cycle. It can be shifted through habit, but you’ll fall back to your usual wakeup time if you aren’t disciplined about it. If you know you’re a “Morning Lark” or “Night Owl,” that will tell you when your performance will be highest. #WhichBirdGetsTheWorm

Minute 3: Ensuring a smooth recovery

Forcing down a meal after a long, hot run can be more challenging than the workout itself. That’s bad news for your recovery progress, as your body won’t be able to replenish the nutrients it needs, like protein and carbs. If you’re in the camp of “can’t even think about a meal” after a run, you may want to consider the hydration/food hybrid of a healthy smoothie instead. Smoothies sometimes get a bad rap because many recipes contain lots of sugar and empty calories. But consider this guide that just came out: “How to Make a Smoothie That’s Nutritious (and Delicious).” The number 1 way to add extra nutrition into your drink is blending up some veggies. Not sure where to start? Pick one of these “6 Vegetables That Actually Taste Good in Smoothies” to guarantee you’ll enjoy what you make. Next comes fruit, and berries are an especially good choice, as they’ve got some of the highest antioxidant content of any food. Add a dollop of nut butter for healthy fats and protein. Speaking of protein, including a supplemental powder works great if you want to build muscle. If muscle growth is your goal, milk should be your liquid of choice. If you’re trying to replenish electrolytes after working up a sweat, go with coconut water. It's got more potassium and less sugar than sports drinks, and to see all the other amazing benefits, read “The Truth About Coconut Water.” #HappyBlending

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Minute 4: How do you make a city runnable?

One of the best things about running is that you can do it pretty much anytime, anywhere, with virtually no equipment. That being said, some areas are more runner-friendly than others, and researchers recently tried to quantify what many of us feel instinctively: “What makes a city runnable? Cannadian researchers find out.” The most important factor appears to be access to green spaces and tree-lined pathways. Running helps us connect to nature, and that can be difficult when you’re downtown in a bustling metropolis. Interestingly, men and women have different priorities for what they look for in a city as runners. Men prefer pathways which are distant and quiet, while women prioritize proper maintenance and lighting. Urban planners should look to great running cities for inspiration, and we’ve found “7 of the world’s best cities for running” to get the conversation started. The list favors cities with large park spaces like New York, Paris, and Berlin. In addition, they’re all listed among the cities with the fastest runners, according to data from Strava: “Strava reveals which cities are home to the fastest runners and most marathoners.” #CityLimits

Minute 5: Quick Intervals

  • As if we needed another reason why beer is amazing, there’s new evidence about a few health benefits which come along with cracking a cold one. The key is moderation, though, so don’t get carried away. Researchers found that a limited amount of daily beer consumption (1 to 2 servings) could aid in cardiovascular health, diabetes prevention, bone density, and cholesterol. See the details in the “4 Major Effects Drinking Beer Has on Your Health, New Study Says.”


  • High end smart treadmills have taken the running world by storm, and they continue to impress us with every development. From live broadcast classes to built-in fans for added comfort, they don’t skimp on features. To be fair, you get what you pay for, as most models certainly aren’t cheap. This week, The Onion broke the news on the most hilarious treadmill innovation we’ve seen in years. Now you can have an authentic outdoor training session from the comfort of your home gym as “NordicTrack Recreates Outdoor Running Experience With Treadmill Covered in Dog Sh*+.” What will they think of next?

Minute 6: Daily Inspiration

Being a good runner isn’t just about growing muscles or building endurance. There’s an art form to it. If you haven’t paid attention to your running fundamentals in a while (or ever), we have the video for you. @runningterritory demonstrates the importance of vertical motion, meaning your arms shouldn’t cross the midline of your body. It’s a common mistake for those used to sports that involve lots of lateral motion, like soccer, tennis or football. Follow this guide to see how you can improve your momentum and balance to go faster and more efficiently on your next run.