MAR 24, 2023
Minute 1: Go beyond the mediterranean diet for a longer life
The Mediterranean region has been the birthplace of a remarkable list of ideas, including democracy and drama. For fitness lovers, the Mediterranean diet could be the most significant contribution since the first marathon in Greece 2,500 years ago. Following the nutritional lead of Mediterraneans is regarded as one of the healthiest ways to eat, but new research suggests that the behaviors found in Mediterranean culture and social life could be just as important for improving longevity: “Study Finds the Mediterranean Lifestyle, Not Just Diet, May Improve Heart Health.” You’ll still want to eat plenty of veggies, olive oil, and fish, but make sure to invite the whole family to the dinner table. Dining in a group can boost your mood, as well as cause you to slow your eating so that you’re less likely to overindulge. In most Mediterranean cultures, the close social ties extend beyond the dinner table. Exercising and walking with friends and family can bring several benefits as well, according to: “Group Fitness Could Be the Boost Your Workout Routine Needs.” Studies find that exercising with a group helps to improve consistency and accountability. Group workouts also improve motivation by fostering a sense of competition. If you’re ready to jump into the Mediterranean lifestyle and diet, consider using one of the “Top Mediterranean Meal Delivery Plans of 2023.”
Minute 2: 10-3-2-1 is the countdown to better sleep
We’ve heard of counting sheep, but apparently that’s not the only numerical hack to help you doze off according to this new story: “The “10-3-2-1” Method Will Help You Fall Asleep Faster.” The formula is a way to simplify and remember a few key rules to ensure a good night’s rest. First, avoid consuming caffeine 10 hours before bed. Don’t eat 3 hours before bed. Stop working and unwind 2 hours before bed. Lastly, shut off any screens 1 hour before bed. 10 hours may seem like a long time, but that’s about how long it takes to completely clear from your system, according to “Caffeine: How to Hack It and How to Quit It.” In addition to avoiding food and drink with caffeine, remember that any meal consumed too close to bedtime can disrupt your sleep. Take a look at “How Eating Before Bed Affects Your Sleep and Recovery.” When you eat, your body needs to use energy to facilitate digestion, and that can signal your brain to remain alert. In fact, one survey found that those who ate right before bed got an average of 26 less minutes of sleep. Last but not least, be aware of “Screens and Your Sleep: The Impact of Nighttime Use.”
Minute 3: Does your back hurt when you run?
Although experts agree that running is good for your overall health, sometimes we think they forgot to send that memo to our back. As many as 80% of American adults say they have experienced lower back pain at some point in their lives. If you are on that unlucky list, you may want to check out: “Lower Back Pain When Running? 5 Common Causes + How To Fix It.” Aches in your lower back could be the first sign of overtraining. There’s always going to be one muscle that fatigues faster than the rest, and if that muscle turns out to be your back, it’s probably in your best interest to listen to your body and reduce the intensity or volume of your routine until you’ve recovered. Your running form can play a role as well, according to “Proper Running Technique to Avoid Back Pain,” which offers ways to reduce your symptoms. Choosing shoes with a proper amount of support can help you stay controlled and smooth while you run, so be sure to swap in a fresh pair if you’ve got a lot of mileage on your current kicks. That way, you can maintain a relaxed upright torso that distributes pressure evenly. Lastly, try out these “Lower Back Stretches for Runners” if you need to reduce tension. Yoga positions like cobra and child’s pose are especially effective when combined with breathwork.
Minute 4: Shoe Review: Puma Deviate Nitro 2 ($160)
Shoe expert Brian Metzler weighs in this week with a positive endorsement of a new model from Puma – a brand you may associate more often with Olympic sprinters or coffee shop hipsters than endurance athletes. But the new Puma Deviate Nitro 2 is a real performance shoe for real runners. The highlights are below and you can check out Brian’s full review of the new Deviate Nitro 2 on our website.
With a deep commitment to elite distance runners like Molly Seidel, Aisha Praught-Leer, Sara Vaughn, Annie Frisbie, and Dakotah Lindwurm – plus an emerging professional training group led by Alistair and Amy Cragg in North Carolina – Puma is back to being a top-tier distance running brand with great shoes and gear to prove it.
Puma’s Deviate Nitro 2 is a terrific example of how far the brand has evolved from just two years ago when it reasserted its presence with authority by signing Seidel and helped her take home a bronze medal from the Tokyo Olympics. Its original line of shoes, focused on a proprietary Nitro midsole foam, has been updated and the Deviate Nitro 2 has become a best-in-class versatile trainer full of comfortable features and energetic pop. Combined with the successful launch of its Fast-R Nitro Elite carbon-plated racing shoe, it’s pretty clear the Big Cat (that’s what Puma calls itself) is back and ready to roar!
What’s New: The first edition of this shoe was pretty good, but it had some flaws – most notably an ill-fitting heel that allowed slippage for a lot of runners. Not only did Puma fix that (with more padding and a better heel shape), but it also improved several other areas of this shoe. The Deviate Nitro 2 retains the carbon composite propulsion PWRPLATE, but now it is sandwiched by a full-length layer of soft and hyper-responsive Nitro Elite foam and a layer of firmer standard Nitro foam in the heel for increased shock absorption. On top of that, Puma enhanced the fit with an engineered mesh upper that is both exquisitely comfortable and extremely secure.
Why It’s Great: It’s great because it does everything very, very well, which is helpful if you’re a one-shoe quiver kind of runner or traveling and only want to pack one pair of shoes. It compares favorably in that way to the Saucony Endorphin Speed 3 as a shoe that can do anything you ask of it. I’ve worn it for more than a dozen runs since mid-February, ranging from a moderately paced 10-miler to a 5x1-mile session on the track to numerous easy recovery runs, and, honestly, I’ve liked it for all of them. It’s one of my favorite models among the crop of Spring 2023 shoes.
For the complete rundown on the new Puma Deviate Nitro 2, check out Brian’s full review here. In addition, Brian’s collection of shoe reviews now features more than 20 shoes on our website with something for every runner. #CatlikeRebrands
Minute 5: Quick Intervals
In Minute 1 of this issue, we learned how many female runners were able to have children and resume their careers right where they left off, putting to rest the myth that pregnancy and professional athletics can’t coexist. Well, in case you need any more proof, we invite you to take a look at this new story: “American woman runs 5:17 mile at 9 months pregnant.” Makenna Myler says she has a habit of running miles around significant life events, like when she ran a 4:45 mile the morning of her wedding.
Zdeno Chara played for the Boston Bruins for over a decade, so it’s only fitting that Beantown is where Chara can put away the skates, lace up his sneakers, and take on a marathon for the first time. Better yet, he’ll be running in support of The Hoyt Foundation, which is dedicated to the empowerment of America’s disabled young people. If you want to learn more about Big Z’s running debut, check out “Bruins Legend Zdeno Chara to Run This Year's Boston Marathon.”
One phrase that’s entered our vocabulary since the pandemic is “Brain Fog.” It’s one of the most frustrating side effects of Covid, but scientists still don’t fully understand the condition. If you’ve ever experienced the mental sluggishness or inability to concentrate, you know just how important it is to find a solution to this setback, and some researchers think part of the solution can be delivered at the dinner table: “Have Brain Fog? You Might Be Deficient in These 4 Vitamins and Minerals.”
Minute 6: Daily Inspiration
There’s so much gold in Mo Farah and Kenesia Bekele’s trophy cabinets that you might mistake them for Fort Knox. They’re among the two most decorated athletes in distance running history, which is why you know that whenever they race, there’s going to be fireworks. That was surely the case when they faced off back in 2013 at the Great North Run, a half-marathon located in Northern England. This showdown featured one of the most thrilling finishes to a road race ever, with Bekele pulling out a final mile time of 4:09 to seal the victory. If you want a full breakdown of the race, you can check out “The GREATEST ROAD RACE OF ALL TIME! || Kenenisa Bekele's EPIC Win VS. Mo Farah & Haile Gebrselassie,” and to catch the astonishing finish, check out the Instagram link below.