Run smarter, avoid injury, burn more calories, and claim a bigger body payoff with this “aha!” advice from top fitness pros. More
With the weather cooling down for fall, there’s never been a better time to try out a new outdoor workout, like running outside! If you need a companion to keep you accountable, look no further than fido. With the right preparation and gear, dogs can make great running partners, not to mention it will benefit you both! If you’re both new to the sport, here are our tips to getting started. More
A Fall Wellness Routine To Boost Your Health
by: Dolores Baretta
The leaves are blowing in the wind. The sun is setting earlier, and the air has a certain crispness to it. The yang, or hot energy of summer has started to wane, and fall is in the air!
Fall is an important transitional time from summer, the most yang time of the year, to the densest yin season of winter. Everything starts to slow down and turn inward and descend. Nature is consolidating and disintegrating, returning to the soil so as to nourish the earth and allow it time to become fertile again. The yang energy of summer still hangs in the wind, though, as the harvest begins. More
Meet Jennifer T.
Fit Radio is EXACTLY what I have been looking for. I love that I have the ability to let the app detect my pace for my “jogging” days and generate my BPM target rate to help me maintain my pace on “running” days. The controls are really intuitive and easy to set up by target pace and genre.
I saw a Facebook Ad for Fit Radio. I just completed a great 10K race, but I was frustrated with the playlists I had cobbled together on Apple Music. Not being a big Trance or EDM music fan, I wasn’t crazy about the few 170 BPM running albums I found in my search either. In the past, I tried a couple different music apps that claimed to work with my playlists and music library, but they didn’t sync correctly with my Apple Music subscription and they didn’t offer their own mixes.
The ad for Fit Radio popped up in my feed and I figured, “It’s worth a shot,” but I never expected to be “wowed” by it. I’m so glad I clicked! The different genres make it so easy to quickly choose music that fits my mood. Being able to choose mixes based on my BPM helps me keep a steady running pace. I love the integrated timing, distance, and cadence features too. (Which also save me from draining battery life by opening other fitness apps.) I have a feeling my next races will have much better soundtracks!
1. YOU’LL BE MORE MOTIVATED.
Don’t feel like working out after work? It’s one thing to cancel plans with yourself—it’s another to cancel on a friend or partner who’s counting on you. “No one wants to be Debbie Downer by bailing and letting down your friend,” says Steve Stonehouse, personal training manager at Crunch in New YorkCity. You’re much more likely to meet your friend for a planned workout session at 6 p.m. compared to tentative plans you made with yourself for, say, sometime after lunch.
“After three or four weeks, once you’re in the habit, you won’t even think about canceling on your friend,” adds Stonehouse. (But if your main man keeps bailing on you, then you might be better off picking a new gym partner.)
2. YOUR WORKOUTS CAN BE MORE FUN.
News flash: The treadmill and the bench press aren’t the most exciting ways to pass the time. With a partner, though, you can get your heart racing with some one-on-one basketball, racquetball, or even just a partner workout like the ones in our three-day program for training partners.
“You can also take turns leading new exercises and switching up the routine,” suggests Stonehouse. Maybe you know a brutal leg lunge that you used to do on your own? Teach it to your buddy one day, and the next, let him teach you something new. “Your body adapts and becomes efficient at moves that you’ve done again and again,” says Stonehouse. “The more you change up your workout, the better your body is going to respond.”
3. YOU’LL WORK OUT HARDER.
“Whenever you’re working out with someone else, the intensity is always going to be greater than when you’re alone,” points out Stonehouse. (You don’t want to be the wimp who can’t keep up with a seven-minutes mile.) One key tip when picking your partner: Your athletic abilities should be in the same ballpark. A more seasoned gym-goer won’t get as much out of working out with a newbie, while a beginner can find it frustrating if he’s only doing a third of what his partner can do.
“If you’re on the same level, you can push each other,” Stonehouse says. Odds are, you’ll both want to quit around the same time but you’ll go a little longer if your friend is still at it.
4. YOU’LL FINALLY BE ABLE TO AFFORD A PERSONAL TRAINER.
Sharing a cheeseburger is cheaper than buying one yourself (and fewer calories). The same math applies when it comes to a personal trainer. At Crunch, for example, a one-on-one session costs about $85, but a partner training session runs around $50 per person. “One-on-one training is still the bulk of my day, but I’m seeing more and more partner training for financial reasons alone,” says Stonehouse.
5. YOU’LL ALWAYS HAVE A SPOTTER.
Never again will you have to approach a random meathead and ask him to spot you. Never again will you have to count your own reps.
It’ll also save you from forced reps: “Let’s say you’re on the bench press and you want to stop at 10 because you’re not sure you can make it to 11,” Stonehouse says. “If you have a spotter, you don’t have to worry as much. You’re more likely to power through the 11th, 12th, and 13th reps—and each of those little lifts will add up and make a difference.” Use your spotter to keep an eye on your form as you work, too.
6. YOUR FRIENDS WILL BE THINNER.
Before you judge us, we’re not being totally shallow here—having thin friends is for your own good. Researchers at Harvard University found that you can “catch” obesity (along with smoking habits and happiness) because it spreads like an infectious disease. The experts found that a person’s risk of becoming obese rises by two percent for every five obese social contacts they have.
Fortunately, the reverse is true, too. Overweight people tend to lose more weight if they spend time with their fit friends—and the more time they spend together, the more weight they lose, according to a 2016 study published in the journal Obesity. “If you’re surrounded by people who are active and eat well, there’s a good chance you’re going to do the same,” Stonehouse says.
These amazing seasonal foods are the perfect excuse to visit your local farmers market.
The weather is getting cooler, but your produce choices are heating up.
These amazing superfoods are either hitting their peak in the garden or can easily be found in your local farmers market or grocery store.
They’re the perfect excuse to get cooking on cool nights!
Sweet or tart, apples are satisfying eaten raw or baked into a delicious dish. Just be sure to eat the skin—it contains hearty-healthy flavonoids. Health benefits include:
• Full of antioxidants
• 4 grams of dietary fiber per serving
Harvest season: August-November
Made the correct way, these veggies taste divine. They have a mild, somewhat bitter taste, so combine them with tangy or savory sauces, like balsamic vinegar. Health benefits include:
• 1/2 cup contains more than your DRI of vitamin K
• Very good source of folate
• Good source of iron
Harvest season: September–March
Though these veggies may resemble carrots, they have a lighter color and sweeter, almost nutty flavor. Use them to flavor rice and potatoes or puree them into soups and sauces. Health benefits include:
• Rich in potassium
• Good source of fiber
Harvest season: October–April
The sweet and juicy taste makes this fruit a crowd-pleaser. Cooking can really bring out their fabulous flavor, so try them baked or poached. Health benefits include:
• Good source of vitamin C and copper
• 4 grams of fiber per serving
Harvest season: August–February
A cross between a turnip and a cabbage, rutabagas are a popular Swedish dish. To utilize their earthy flavor, add them to casseroles, puree them with turnips and carrots to make a sweet soup, or roast them with ginger, honey, or lemon. Health benefits include:
• Good source of fiber
• Good source of vitamin C
Harvest season: October–April
The sweet, slightly nutty flavor of cauliflower is perfect for winter side dishes. It’s wonderful steamed, but it can also be blended to create a mashed potato-like texture or pureed into soup. Health benefits include:
• Compounds that may help to prevent cancer
• Phytonutrients may lower cholesterol” “Excellent source of vitamin C
Harvest season: September–June
Unlike summer squash, winter squash has a fine texture and a slightly sweet flavor. Because of its thick skin, it can be stored for months. It tastes best with other fall flavorings, like cinnamon and ginger. Health benefits include:
• Contains omega-3 fatty acids
• Excellent source of vitamin A
Harvest season: October–February
A type of winter squash, pumpkin can be used for much more than jack-o’-lanterns. Its sweet taste and moist texture make it ideal for pies, cakes, and even pudding! Health benefits include:
• Rich in potassium
• More than 20% of your DRI of fiber
• Good source of B vitamins
Harvest season: October–February
These veggies are for much more than Thanksgiving casseroles. More nutritionally dense than their white-potato counterparts, try roasting them—they’ll taste delicious, and you may maintain more vitamins than boiling. Health benefits include:
• Excellent source of vitamin A
• Good source of iron
• Anti-inflammatory benefits
Harvest season: September–December
Tender and mild, these root vegetables are a great alternative to radishes and cabbage. To flavor these veggies, use fennel, bread crumbs, or even brown sugar. Turnip leaves, which taste like mustard leaves, are easy to cook and dense in nutrients. Health benefits include:
• The roots are a good source of vitamin C
• Turnip leaves are an excellent source of vitamins A, K, and folate
Harvest season: September–April
You woke up today and looked in the mirror.
And you said to yourself, “Gosh darnit (or #$^@ $#@$@%), I’m going to get in shape!”
Just one problem – you don’t quite know HOW.
It’s okay; we’ve all been there. This might be the first, tenth, or the fiftieth time you’ve tried to lose weight and get healthy. Sure, things didn’t work last time, or the time before that, or even the time before that…”but things are going to be different THIS time,” right?
So you hop on the internet, search “how to lose weight,” and see 7.8 billion websites that promise you fast results with minimal effort. You get overwhelmed, intimidated, and then go back to playing Modern Warfare 3 or Hello Kitty 2: Island Adventure.
Somehow, you stumbled across Nerd Fitness…which means there is hope for you yet 🙂
By the end of this article, you’re going to know exactly how to get in shape.
Get your act together
First and foremost, if you suck at life…it’s time to stop.
I know it. You know it. Even your mom knows it (she called me).
So let’s get started. Think back to the last time(s) you tried to get in shape and lose weight. How successful were you? What made you fall off the wagon? Congratulations, you already know what “get in shape” method doesn’t work for you.
They say the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Unless you’re insane, don’t try to get in shape the same way you did last time…it’ AIN’T gonna work! If you counted calories, ran on a treadmill, did kickboxing, tried starving yourself, or whatever, and you’re not happy with the results, it’s time to try something new.
May I recommend the Nerd Fitness method of success: the Triforce of Winning! Well, I just came up with that title, but now that’s what I’ll call it henceforth. If you want to succeed at changing your life, you need three things:
- Education: know HOW to get in shape
- Inspiration: know WHY you’re getting in shape
- Support: having others help you along the way to get in shape
If you can successfully combine these three crucial pieces, then you’ll
defeat Ganon and save Hyrule have a fightin’ chance at getting in the best damn shape of your life.
1) If you made some New Year’s Resolutions for 2012, make sure they don’t suck. Be incredibly specific with your goals so that you can actively plan what steps are needed to achieve those goals. Alternatively, if you somebody that NEVER succeeds at your goals, instead try making a new habit every 30 days…put the focus on the habit and not the goal.
Whichever method you decide, it’s important to be deliberate in your actions:
- If you are setting goals – be SUPER SPECIFIC, write them down, and plan them out.
- If you are making new habits – add them to your calendar, set phone alarms or alerts, and do them EVERY DAY.
- Understand that Rome wasn’t built in a day, and Optimus Prime didn’t transform in one move. This is NOT a diet, or a quick fix, but a LIFESTYLE CHANGE. Don’t expect overnight results, or abs in two weeks. Slow, steady progress.
2) Identify your kryptonite. If you tried to get in shape in the past and failed, it’s important to know WHY. Did you get sick and give up after a few days? Did you go on vacation and say “why bother?” Maybe you just got bored? If you sucked at getting in shape last time, educate yourself on the hurdles and kryptonite that made you suck, and work on either avoiding those pitfalls or develop methods to deal with them.
3) Clean up your diet. Believe it or not, 80% of your success when it comes to getting healthy will depend on your diet – unless you are running marathons on a daily basis, you cannot outrun your fork, and you can’t out-train a bad diet. I honestly cannot stress the importance of this enough. Whether you want to count calories, cut out certain foods, or attempt a new diet all together, this is the most important step you can take:
- Start here: How to eat healthy – yes, it’s a long read. But it covers the basics and teaches you what to eat and not to eat.
- The Beginner’s guide to the Paleo Diet – my preferred diet of choice. Not for everybody, but it works.
- Short on money? How to eat healthy without breaking the bank.
Now, most people suck at eating better because they try to make TOO many changes at once, their stomach freaks out and they run back to their comfort foods. My advice? Pick one food change every few weeks, and stick with it. Whether it’s eating less calories per day, drinking one less soda, eating more vegetables or cooking your own meal once a week…small changes can lead to big successes in the long run.
4) Find an activity that makes you happy, and do it all of the time. Do you like to run? Awesome, do that (just do it right). Do you like to lift weights? Awesome, make sure your workouts don’t suck. Maybe you like yoga, or dodgeball, or Ultimate Frisbee, or rock climbing, or whatever! If you tell me that “I don’t like to exercise,” then you just haven’t found the activity that makes you happy yet.
We’re genetically designed to be active. If you don’t like to move, then it’s time to try new things until you find something that you DO like. Sign up for a new class, join your company’s running club for a day, try out something in your basement or living room, just keep trying new stuff until you find something that you like. And then do it as often as you can.
Remember, your diet is 80% of your success or failure. Exercising regularly will help you build muscle, strengthen your heart, lose weight, increase your endurance, stamina, and/or flexibility. On top of that, regular exercise keeps your mind thinking healthy, which in turn will keep your stomach thinking healthy, which will cause your mouth to want to continue eating healthy foods. It’s the circle of life, sucka.
Now, if you want specific direction on weight lifting, weight loss, or running, I’ve offer a few premium resources on Nerd Fitness. Yes, they cost money, but they work. These guides have helped hundreds upon hundreds of NF readers transform their lives. Each guide comes with specific workout plans depending on your fitness level, video demonstration of exercises, and more…they all come with 1-year, 100% money-back guarantees as well.
- Rebel Fitness Guide: a fitness guide for beginners who want specific diet and exercise advice.
- Rebel Strength Guide: a guide for people looking to build strength and muscle, either bulking up or slimming down
- Rebel Running Guide: a guide for new runners who want to have fun while AVOIDING INJURY
If you want to buy more than one guide, email me atSteve@NerdFitness.com for combo pricing.
If you’re more of a do-it-yourself kind of person, you can build your own workout, or get started with a free resource like my Angry Birds workout. The important thing is to GET STARTED, and then try to get better each time.
5) Put it all together: These are the steps you can take today:
- Determine your goals or habits you want to establish. Write them down and hang them up.
- Determine why you sucked in the past and how you can avoid it in the future.
- Start cleaning up your diet in whatever method works best for you.
- Pick an activity that makes you happy, and do it. A lot.
WHY do you want to get in shape? What is your reason for wanting to do so? Do you want to get in shape to…
- Impress a cute coworker?
- Win a weight loss competition at work?
- Eventually play with your newborn son?
- Grow old with your significant other?
- Prove everybody wrong who said “you can’t do it?”
Have a freaking reason, friend! Write it down, hang it up in your bedroom, have a calendar alert pop up every day, whatever. But keep that reason for wanting a better life at the front of your mind at all times.
Many people get inspired by reading success stories of folks like them.
Last but not least, you need support.
Yes, I understand its kind of fun to be an army of one: the lone ranger trying to succeed against insurmountable odds….but it’s not necessary.
Once you decide to get in shape, want to know the best way to guarantee success? Make it public. Tell all of your friends, start a blog, and/or inform your co-workers and ask them to keep you accountable! Unless you like being called a quitter, you’ll probably think twice about skipping out on your workouts.
Maybe your word isn’t your bond, and you need a different kind of motivation and support to succeed. Try money. My buddy Saint said he would pay his friends $500 if he didn’t get in absolutely incredible shape for his wedding six months down the road. Saint didn’t have $500 to lose, so he decided instead to just get in great shape…and it worked.
Build your own Jedi Council – find people who are stronger than you and work out with them, or faster than you and run with them, or more educated than you and ask them questions. These are people that you can turn to when you need advice or help. If you don’t know anybody in real life, keep reading…
Find a workout buddy! There are going to be days when you want to sleep in and skip your workout. There will be afternoons following a crappy day of work where all you want to do is play Halo. Find somebody who’s at a similar level of fitness as you, and work out with them! He/she will push you on days when you’re dragging, and vice versa. You can inspire and support each other, feed off of each other’s success, and offer up tough love when the complaining gets too much (and yes, there will be complaining).
During the last weekend of August, the Fit Radio Team made their way to Imagine Music Festival at Atlanta Motor Speedway just south of Atlanta, GA. Previously held within the metro area, This was the Imagine Music Festival’s first year expanding to a much larger venue. Because of this, it allowed for massive stage production, a more extensive lineup of performers, more event days, and the addition of a camping ground rounded off the iconic music festival experience. The Imagine Music Festival went off with a bang, featuring top-tier EDM acts including: Adventure Club, Benny Benassi, Steve Angello, Dillon Francis, and more. Several of Fit Radio’s own DJ residents were also in attendance throwing down awesome sets from Progressive Trance to Drum N Bass.
Our Music Director Nora was able to cover several sets from the weekend and here are her top picks (although extremely hard to choose!) and where to find these artists on Fit Radio for your workout music needs!
Dillon Francis headlined Imagine’s Main Stage, Oceania, with a hard-hitting set of heavy electro matched with his unique moombahton sound. His music is fitting for cardio or stair climber workouts where you need a slow but hard-hitting beat.
Photo Credit http://www.alexgperez.com/
This Montreal-based producer started the first night of Imagine off right with a heavy set of dubstep, hip hop, and even some heavy metal samples that shook the main stage. His sound is sure to motivate any heavy workouts or weightlifting sessions.
Photo Credit http://www.alexgperez.com/
This Russian-based producer rocked the Disco Inferno stage on the last night of Imagine, bringing high-energy house music and uplifting trance. His music is ideal for any workouts at a 130 BPM pace including elliptical, cardio, and even running!
Photo Credit: Proxy Matter http://proxymatter.com/
What made Imagine Music festival especially unique was the addition of a full Drum N Bass stage on the last day of the festival. Fit Radio’s High Kalliber performed on the stage in the early evening and didn’t hesitate to drop the heaviest DnB beats to get the crowd prepared for the later acts to come! Drum N Bass is great for faster BPM workouts (170-180 BPM range) such as sprinting.
The Imagine Music Festival has already released their customer appreciation tickets! You can grab them here!
How Exercise Changes Fat and Muscle Cells
Exercise promotes health, reducing most people’s risks of developing diabetes and growing obese. But just how, at a cellular level, exercise performs this beneficial magic — what physiological steps are involved and in what order — remains mysterious to a surprising degree.
Several striking new studies, however, provide some clarity by showing that exercise seems able to drastically alter how genes operate.
Genes are, of course, not static. They turn on or off, depending on what biochemical signals they receive from elsewhere in the body. When they are turned on, genes express various proteins that, in turn, prompt a range of physiological actions in the body.
One powerful means of affecting gene activity involves a process called methylation, in which methyl groups, a cluster of carbon and hydrogen atoms, attach to the outside of a gene and make it easier or harder for that gene to receive and respond to messages from the body. In this way, the behavior of the gene is changed, but not the fundamental structure of the gene itself. Remarkably, these methylation patterns can be passed on to offspring – a phenomenon known as epigenetics.
What is particularly fascinating about the methylation process is that it seems to be driven largely by how you live your life. Many recent studies have found that diet, for instance, notably affects the methylation of genes, and scientists working in this area suspect that differing genetic methylation patterns resulting from differing diets may partly determine whether someone develops diabetes and other metabolic diseases.
But the role of physical activity in gene methylation has been poorly understood, even though exercise, like diet, greatly changes the body. So several groups of scientists recently set out to determine what working out does to the exterior of our genes.
The answer, their recently published results show, is plenty.
Of the new studies, perhaps the most tantalizing, conducted principally by researchers affiliated with the Lund University Diabetes Centre in Sweden and published last month in PLoS One, began by recruiting several dozen sedentary but generally healthy adult Swedish men and sucking out some of their fat cells. Using recently developed molecular techniques, the researchers mapped the existing methylation patterns on the DNA within those cells. They also measured the men’s body composition, aerobic capacity, waist circumference, blood pressure, cholesterol levels and similar markers of health and fitness.
Then they asked the men to start working out. Under the guidance of a trainer, the volunteers began attending hourlong spinning or aerobics classes approximately twice a week for six months. By the end of that time, the men had shed fat and inches around their waists, increased their endurance and improved their blood pressure and cholesterol profiles.
Less obviously, but perhaps even more consequentially, they also had altered the methylation pattern of many of the genes in their fat cells. In fact, more than 17,900 individual locations on 7,663 separate genes in the fat cells now displayed changed methylation patterns. In most cases, the genes had become more methylated, but some had fewer methyl groups attached. Both situations affect how those genes express proteins.
The genes showing the greatest change in methylation also tended to be those that had been previously identified as playing some role in fat storage and the risk for developing diabetes or obesity.
“Our data suggest that exercise may affect the risk for Type 2 diabetes and obesity by changing DNA methylation of those genes,” says Charlotte Ling, an associate professor at Lund University and senior author of the study.
Meanwhile, other studies have found that exercise has an equally profound effect on DNA methylation within human muscle cells, even after a single workout.
To reach that conclusion, scientists from the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm and other institutions took muscle biopsies from a group of sedentary men and women and mapped their muscle cells’ methylation patterns. They then had the volunteers ride stationary bicycles until they had burned about 400 calories. Some rode strenuously, others more easily.
Afterward, a second muscle biopsy showed that DNA methylation patterns in the muscle cells were already changing after that lone workout, with some genes gaining methyl groups and some losing them. Several of the genes most altered, as in the fat cell study, are known to produce proteins that affect the body’s metabolism, including the risk for diabetes and obesity.
Interestingly, the muscle cell methylation changes were far more pronounced among the volunteers who had ridden vigorously than in those who had pedaled more gently, even though their total energy output was the same.
The overarching implication of the study’s findings, says Juleen Zierath, a professor of integrative physiology at the Karolinska Institute and senior author of the study, is that DNA methylation changes are probably “one of the earliest adaptations to exercise” and drive the bodily changes that follow.
Of course, the intricacies of that bogglingly complex process have yet to be fully teased out. Scientists do not know, for instance, whether exercise-induced methylation changes linger if someone becomes sedentary, or if resistance training has similar effects on the behavior of genes. Nor is it known whether these changes might be passed on from one generation to the next. But already it is clear, Dr. Ling says, that these new findings “are additional proof of the robust effect exercise can have on the human body, even at the level of our DNA.”
With the last days of summer upon us and the holiday season rapidly approaching, we want to know: Do I really have to workout when I’m on vacation?
It only took a little research to find a clear answer. While it might feel like vacation is the perfect excuse to hit the beach chair rather than the gym, there are actually a ton of benefits to working out on your time off. And best of all, it really doesn’t have to be hard. Here are 10 reasons why you shouldn’t “forget” your running shoes on your next trip.
1.It’s meditation in motion.
According to the Mayo Clinic, focusing on a single task, such as physical activity, can result in energy and optimism. It can calm you down and clear your mind. The Fit Radio yoga mixes can help you get in the zone for a relaxing yoga session.
2. It improves your mood.
Elle Woods said it first: “Exercise gives you endorphins and endorphins make you happy.” And isn’t the whole point of vacation to be happy?
3. It’s a chance for extra alone time.
We’ve all wished for just five minutes of alone time on family vacation before. Going for a run, or even just a brisk walk, is a great way to enjoy some time to yourself. (Plus, have you tried our new Running Feature?)
4. Or, it can be a great family activity.
Maybe you just can’t get enough of your loved ones, in which case physical activity is a great way to bond. Plan a family tennis tournament or basketball game. Go for a hike or rent kayaks. No matter the activity, it’ll bring everyone closer together and get everyone’s heart rate up.
5. It’s a great way to sightsee.
If you’re in a beautiful location with a lot to see, don’t spend valuable sightseeing time on the treadmill! Run through a local park or on the beach or up a mountain. Use exercise as an opportunity to do things you might not otherwise, like hitting the other side of town or catching the sunrise.
6. It doesn’t have to take long.
Strapped for time? Don’t stress yourself out by trying to fit in an hour-long workout. Exercise trends like HIIT and tabata training can be done in as little as seven minutes and there are plenty of Fit Radio mixes to keep you entertained.
7. It doesn’t have to involve any equipment.
8. It’ll get you outside in the fresh air.
Running outside is reportedly connected with “greater feelings of revitalization and positive engagement, decreases in tension, confusion, anger, and depression, and increased energy.” Plus weather conditions can be a bonus; wind resistance creates a tougher workout and sunny skies provide much needed Vitamin D.
9. It will help you sleep.
It’s much-cited fact that exercising can help you sleep better. Vacation workouts will help you not only catch up on sleep, but get better quality sleep.
10. It’s part of your routine.