Run smarter, avoid injury, burn more calories, and claim a bigger body payoff with this “aha!” advice from top fitness pros. More
24 Morning Workout Tips That Are Actually Helpful
by: HANNAH NEWMAN
We know not everyone is a morning person. (And even fewer of us are eager to wake up and hit the gym.) But getting up and moving can actually be an amazing way to start your day. 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
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
Do I Need Sports Drinks?
By Jen A. Miller
Author, “Running: A Love Story”
Do you need a fitness drink when you run? Or is water good enough? To answer these questions, Anahad O’Connor, a NY Times Well reporter, spoke with a few experts on the need for hydration during exercise. Here’s what he learned:
If you’re running for less than an hour, then water is just fine. But for longer sessions – or a marathon – you should consume some kind of carbohydrate-based sports drink, says Dr. Jordan Metzl, a marathoner, endurance athlete and sports medicine doctor at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York.
“After an hour you start depleting muscle glycogen stores to the point where it becomes difficult to keep the level of energy expenditure,” he says.
That being said, you should also be careful not to overdo it on sports drinks. A little goes a long way.
“If you just drink sports drinks, you’ll be taking in a lot of sugar and your stomach won’t be able to handle it, said Dr. Laura Goldberg, a sports medicine expert from The Cleveland Clinic.
Dr. Metzl said he prefers sports drinks with higher levels of sodium because they help to prevent muscle cramping, especially on hot and humid days. His go-to in that category is “Gatorade Endurance,” which has double the sodium (300 milligrams) and triple the potassium (140 milligrams) of original Gatorade. “I’m increasingly a fan of the double-sodium sports drinks,” Dr. Metzl said.
Be sure to stay hydrated on your runs this week. And there is some good news you should keep in mind as you head out for a run this month – training in the heat will help you perform better once it’s cooler.
Don’t forget to check out our top tips to stay cool during your Summer workout too.
Better Running Through Walking
by Stuart Bradford – NY Times
I am more couch potato than runner. But not long ago, I decided to get myself into shape to run in the New York City Marathon, on Nov. 1, just 152 days from now. (Not that I’m counting.)
To train for my first marathon, I’m using the “run-walk” method, popularized by the distance coach Jeff Galloway, a member of the 1972 Olympic team. When I mentioned this to a colleague who runs, she snickered — a common reaction among purists.
But after interviewing several people who have used the method, I’m convinced that those of us run-walking the marathon will have the last laugh.
Contrary to what you might think, the technique doesn’t mean walking when you’re tired; it means taking brief walk breaks when you’re not.
Depending on one’s fitness level, a walk-break runner might run for a minute and walk for a minute, whether on a 5-mile training run or the 26.2-mile course on race day. A more experienced runner might incorporate a one-minute walk break for every mile of running.
Taking these breaks makes marathon training less grueling and reduces the risk of injury, Mr. Galloway says, because it gives the muscles regular recovery time during a long run. Walk breaks are a way for older, less fit and overweight people to take part in a sport that would otherwise be off limits. But most surprising are the stories from veteran runners who say run-walk training has helped them post faster race times than ever.
One of them is Tim Deegan of Jacksonville, Fla., who had run 25 marathons when his wife, Donna Deegan, a popular local newscaster and cancer survivor, began organizing a marathon to raise money for breast cancer research. When Mr. Galloway volunteered to help with the race, Ms. Deegan asked her husband to take part in run-walk training to show support.
“The only reason I did this is because I love my wife,” said Mr. Deegan, 49. “To say I was a skeptic is to put it very nicely.”
But to his surprise, he began to enjoy running more, and he found that his body recovered more quickly from long runs. His times had been slowing — to about 3 hours 45 minutes, 15 minutes shy of qualifying for the Boston Marathon — but as he ran-walked his way through the Jacksonville Marathon, “I started thinking I might have a chance to qualify for Boston again.”
He did, posting a time of 3:28.
Nadine Rihani of Nashville ran her first marathon at age 61, taking walk breaks. Her running friends urged her to adopt more traditional training, and she was eventually sidelined by back and hip pain. So she resumed run-walk training, and in April, at age 70, she finished first in her age group in the Country Music Marathon, coming in at 6:05.
“My friends who were ‘serious’ runners said, ‘You don’t need to do those walk breaks,’ ” she said. “I found out the hard way I really did.”
Dave Desposato, a 46-year-old financial analyst, began run-walk training several years ago after excessive running resulted in an overuse injury. He finished this year’s Bayshore Marathon in Traverse City, Mich., in 3:31:42, cutting 12 minutes off his previous best.
“I run enough marathons now to see everybody totally collapsing at the end is very, very common,” he said. “You wish you could share your experience with them, but they have to be willing to listen first.”
Another unconventional element of walk-break training is the frequency — typically just three days a week, with two easy runs of 20 to 60 minutes each and a long run on the weekend. The walk breaks allow runners to build up their mileage without subjecting their bodies to the stress of daily running, Mr. Galloway said.
Many runners take their own version of walk breaks without thinking about it, he says: they slow down at water stations or reduce their pace when they tire. Scheduling walk breaks earlier in a run gives the athlete control over the race and a chance to finish stronger.
While I’m planning to use run-walk training to complete my first marathon, I’ve heard from many runners who adhere to a variety of training methods. So later this week, the Well blog will have a new feature: the Run Well marathon training tool, with which you can choose any of several coaches’ training plans and then track your progress.
Besides Mr. Galloway, plans are being offered by the marathoner Greg McMillan, who is renowned for his detailed training plans that help runners reach their time goals; the New York Flyers, the city’s largest running club, which incorporates local road races into its training; and Team for Kids, a New York Road Runners Foundation charity program that trains 5,000 adult runners around the world.
The Run Well series also gives you access to top running experts, advice from elite runners, reviews of running gadgets and regular doses of inspiration to get you race-ready.
So please join me, the coaches and other running enthusiasts every day at the Well blog, nytimes.com/well, during the next five months of training. For me, this is finally the year I’ll run a marathon. I hope it will be your year too.
1.What do you think makes your running mixes so great?
They are made with love. 🙂
2. What is your favorite thing about the last running mix you sent us?
The diversity of the music in the mix!
3. How do you choose the songs you use in your running mix?
I usually try to chose the songs that target around the tempo of the mix I’m making.
4. What is the coolest mashup/remix you’ve used a running mix? What makes it stand out?
I really like the Discotech (1.0) version of “Everlong” by the Foo Fighters. (One of my favorite bands.)
5. What is the difference between your Fit Radio running mix and a playlist heard on other music apps?
The mixing is flawless and keeps you moving to a steady backbeat.
6. Talk about the formula behind your running mix and what goes into creating it.
I really keep the runner / workout in mind when making a mix. I want to make sure they get everything they can out of it.