Are Masks Safe To Wear While Working Out?

Popular opinion is that a mask poses a lot of discomfort even while not exerting oneself, wearing one while working out can be even harder. To put all your doubts to rest, we consulted with care.fit pulmonologist, Dr. Manish Sahu.

The early days of the new normal were difficult for everyone. Wearing a mask has been the biggest change that we have had to adapt to. We’ve come a long way since then, adding masks to colour coordinate with our OOTDs and even to bridal ensembles.

The question is, do we add it to our workout gear? Let’s find out.

But, first let’s clarify the biggest misconception about masks –They interfere with the concentration of oxygen when we breathe

In truth, the concentration of oxygen that is available to a person without a mask vs with a mask on does not change. The pores of the mask are large enough to allow oxygen to come through. The only reason you feel uncomfortable is because you’re not used to wearing a mask. In fact, it is the airflow – volume of air one inhales and exhales – that gets affected when you wear a mask. 

Now back to the main question – do you need to wear a mask while working out?

The short answer, yes!

Strong exhalations during a workout help to regulate body temperature. Also, natural actions such as coughing or sneezing are hard to control. As a result we may spit droplets. A mask prevents these aerosols from circulating and thus makes the gym safe for you and for everyone. 

So, what kind of mask should you wear while working out? 

There are a large variety of face masks in a variety of materials.  It is recommended to wear a 2- or 3-ply cotton mask or even a single use mask. Do not wear N95 masks.

So, a light or moderate workout (like walking) with a fabric mask or even a single use mask, is no problem at all! Keep in mind that these masks can get wet because of sweat, so, keep a change handy. 

 It is not recommended to do vigorous exercises with a mask on. 

This is because while doing vigorous exercises air regulation through the mouth is less thereby impacting the regulation of body temperature.

What to do if you are working out alone at the gym? 

Well, even then, your mask should be on because asymptomatic carriers of covid are a great risk of spreading the virus. Why risk an infection, right?

Is there anyone who shouldn’t wear a mask?

People with chronic respiratory and cardiac problems should not use mask while exercising. They should workout at home  alone.

What about face visors? 

Face visors are an additional layer of protection and in no way a replacement for masks.  They alone are not sufficient. They provide insufficient protection against floating, infected droplets. They aren’t sealed and allow air to enter one’s nostrils and mouth. Use them if you must, but, never without a mask.

Lastly,  sanitise diligently, maintain social distancing at all times, and wear the right mask – all of which will ensure that you, and everyone you’re working out with are safe. Don’t forget to clean your masks every day to ensure maximum safety!

Disclaimer : I do not own this article. This article was originally published here. It was insightful and I felt like sharing it with the readers on this page. I should also tell you that I have been a member of Cult.Fit for almost a year now and use their gyms regularly.

Full Body Workout At Home – No Equipment

Amidst the outbreak of Corona Virus and the immediate shut down of public facilities including gyms, offices, etc. we’re moving to a very dormant, ‘work-from-home’ lifestyle. Nobody knows how long it’ll last. Hence, it is important to make sure you get your daily workout fix at home and stay in shape.

The best part is, anyone can do this workout at any time during the day and without any equipments. Here’s how the workout looks like :

The Workout

This workout is broken down into 4 parts – The Warm Up, Main Workout, Finisher, Cool Down.

Warm-up:

Do each move for 30 seconds. Do this warm-up twice.

  • Spot Jogging
  • Jumping jacks
  • Inchworm walk to shoulder tap
  • Squats

Circuit:

Do each move for 30 seconds. Rest for 30 seconds in between each move. Do the entire circuit twice.

  • Push-ups
  • Alternate Leg Forward Lunges
  • Mountain Climbers
  • Sprawls
  • Panther Shoulder Tap
  • Planks

Note – For additional intensity, one can increase the number of rounds to 3 or 4 or shift to a 45 second move – 15 second rest routine.

Finisher :

Do 1 rep of each, then 2 reps of each, then 3 reps, etc., and go as high as you can get in 3 minutes. 

  • Beast Load and Unload
  • Burpees

Cool-down:

Do each move for 30 seconds or longer if it feels good and you have time.

  • Forward Bend and Toe Touch
  • Standing Quad Stretch
  • Cat and Camel Pose
  • Child’s Pose

Note : Just spend 10-30 seconds more to limber up and stretch.

Here’s how to do each move:

1. Spot Jogging

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  • Stand upright in your regular stance and jog on the spot.
  • Make sure you’re jogging on your toes and not heels or the centre of your feet.

Continue for 30/45 seconds.

jumping-jacks-20-min

  • Stand with your feet together, core engaged, and hands at sides.
  • Jump your feet wider than hip-width apart, and bring arms up to clap hands overhead.
  • Jump your feet back together and bring your arms to your sides to return to starting position.

Continue for 30/45 seconds and try to get as fast as possible.

3. Inchworm Walk To Shoulder Tap

Inchworms

  • Stand with your feet together, core engaged, and hands at sides. Bend forward at your hips to place your hands on the floor in front of you.
  • You can bend your knees a little if you need to.
  • Walk your hands forward until you’re in a high plank, with your palms flat on the floor, hands shoulder-width apart, shoulders stacked directly above your wrists, legs extended, and core engaged.
  • Tap your right hand to your left shoulder while engaging your core and glutes to keep your hips as still as possible. Try not to rock at the hips. Do the same thing with your left hand to right shoulder.
  • Walk your hands back toward your feet and stand up to return to the starting position.

Continue for 30/45 seconds.

4. Squats

Squats

  • Stand with your feet about shoulder-width apart, toes slightly turned out.
  • Bend your knees and push your hips back as you lower down into a squat. Keep your core engaged, chest lifted, and back flat.Push through your heels to stand back up to the starting position.
  • Squeeze your butt at the top.

Continue for 30/45 seconds.

5. Push-ups/Modified Pushups

  • Start in a high plank position with your palms flat on the floor, hands shoulder-width apart, shoulders stacked directly above your wrists, legs extended behind you, and your core and glutes engaged.
  • Bend your elbows and bring your chest toward the ground to do a push-up. As you bend your elbows and lower toward the ground.
  • Push back up to high plank, maintaining a strong core and flat back. This is 1 rep.
  • If this is too challenging, feel free to modify by dropping to your knees when you push your butt back toward your heels.

Continue for 30/45 seconds.

Lunges

  • Stand with your feet together, arms down by your sides.
  • Step forward (about 2 feet) with your right foot, landing on the ball of your right foot and keeping your heel on the ground.
  • Keep your chest lifted, back flat, and your glutes and core engaged.
  • Push through the heel of your left foot to return to standing, and without pausing, step forward repeating the movement with your left leg.

Continue for 30/45 seconds.

7. Mountain Climbers

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  • Start in a high plank position with your palms flat on the floor, hands shoulder-width apart, shoulders stacked directly above your wrists, legs extended behind you, and your core and glutes engaged.
  • Bring your right knee under your torso to your right elbow. Return to starting position.
  • Repeat on the other side, bringing your left leg to your left elbow. Return to starting position. This is 1 rep.
  • Start slowly, and start to speed up the move when you feel comfortable, for even more of a cardio challenge.

Continue for 30/45 seconds.

8. Sprawls

Sprawl Squats

  • Start in a high plank position with your palms flat on the floor, hands shoulder-width apart, shoulders stacked directly above your wrists, legs extended behind you, and your core and glutes engaged.
  • Lower into a forearm plank, starting with your left arm, followed by your right.
  • Then, come up in the reverse order—starting with your right arm and following with the left.
  • Now that you’re back in the high plank, perform one frogger by jumping your feet outside your hands, keeping your weight in the center of your feet. Drop your butt down.
  • Then, jump your feet back out to a high plank and repeat the plank-up starting with the right arm this time.
  • If this is too challenging, scale down by doing the plank-up from your knees and walk your feet in for the frogger instead of jumping.

Continue for 30/45 seconds.

9. Panther Shoulder Taps

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  • Place your hands and knees on the floor.
  • Engage your core and while keeping your back flat and your butt down (like you’re in a plank), lift your knees off the floor about 1 to 3 inches. Gaze at the floor a few inches in front of your hands to keep your neck in a comfortable position.
  • Tap your right hand to your left shoulder, and then your left hand to your right shoulder, while using your core strength to keep your hips as still as you can. (“Imagine there’s a drink balancing on your back!” Sims says.) That’s 1 rep.

Continue for 30/45 seconds.

10. Elbow Plank

Elbow-Plank

Planks are great for working the abs, and the elbow plank is harder on the abs than the traditional plank in push-up position.

  • Start face down on the floor resting on your forearms and knees.
  • Push off the floor, raising up off your knees onto your toes and resting mainly on your elbows.
  • Contract your abdominals to keep yourself up and prevent your booty from sticking up.
  • Keep your back flat — don’t let it droop or you’ll be defeating the purpose. Picture your body as a long straight board, or planks.

Continue for 30/45 seconds.

11. Burpees

burpee-20-min

  • Stand with your feet hip-width apart, core and glutes engaged.
  • Bend your knees and reach forward to place your hands on the floor, shoulder-width apart.
  • Kick your legs straight out behind you and immediately lower your entire body down to the ground, bending at the elbows, so that your chest touches the floor.
  • Use your arms to quickly push your body back up while hopping your legs back under your body.
  • Explode up, jumping vertically with arms stretched overhead. Land lightly on the balls of your feet with your knees slightly bent, and immediately repeat.

12. Beast Load and Unload

Loading-and-Unloading-Beast

  • It is similar to a blast off push-up, but without the push-up.
  • “Load the beast” by assuming a modified child’s pose, kneeling on the ground with heels underneath hips, knees slightly flared open, and arms extended in front of you with elbows straight. Let your head fall between your arms, and lift your knees an inch off the ground.
  • Next, “unload the beast.” Keeping your elbows completely straight and your knees an inch from the ground, begin to shift your hips forward. Continue to push forward until your shoulders are in front of your wrists. Return to the start to complete one rep.

13. Forward Bend and Toe Touch

Toe touch

  • From Downward Facing Dog, slowly step forward to the top of your mat. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart.
  • Straighten your legs out as much as you can and let your torso hang down.
  • Tuck your chin in toward your chest, relax your shoulders, and extend the crown of your head toward the floor to create a long spine.
  • Hold for 10 to 30 seconds.

14. Standing Quad Stretch

  • Stand with your feet together.
  • Use your left hand to pull your left foot toward your butt.
  • If you need to, put one hand on a wall for balance.
  • Squeeze your glutes to increase the stretch in the front of your legs.
  • Hold for 10 to 20 seconds.
  • Repeat on the other leg.

15. Cat and Camel Pose

Cat and camel

  • Kneel down on all fours with your hands directly underneath your shoulders and your knees underneath your hips. Round your upper back while pressing your shoulders forward while looking down. This is your starting or cat position.
  • Pause, then slightly arch your back while looking up towards the ceiling. Return to starting position.
  • Continue for 30 seconds.

Child Pose

  • Kneel on your mat with your knees hip width apart and your feet together behind you. Take a deep breath in, and as you exhale, lay your torso over your thighs.
  • Try to lengthen your neck and spine by drawing your ribs away from your tailbone and the crown of your head away from your shoulders.
  • Rest your forehead on the ground, with your arms extended out in front of you.
  • Hold for 10 to 30 seconds.

The Secret To Improving Stamina & Endurance – Cult Fit

Disclaimer : I do not own this article. This article was originally published here. It was insightful and I felt like sharing it with the readers on this page. I should also tell you that I have been a member of Cult.Fit for almost a year now and use their gyms regularly.

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What’s the secret, you ask?

The short answer:

Cardiorespiratory Fitness

But what does cardiorespiratory fitness really mean?

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Technically speaking, cardiorespiratory fitness refers to your respiratory and circulatory systems’ ability to supply oxygen to skeletal muscles during an extended period of physical activity. But basically, it denotes your body’s ability to keep performing work or exercise for a longer duration.

It is considered good to improve endurance, stamina, or lung capacity. And, more often than not, most of us know that we can do better when it comes to these elements. But, what we might not know is how to make these improvements happen, or how to ensure that our cardio fitness keeps improving with training.

Cardiorespiratory fitness involves a series of processes that determine how well your body takes and utilizes oxygen. These include:

  • Your heart’s and lungs’ ability to deliver blood, oxygen, and nutrients to the working muscle
  • The ability of lungs to take in oxygen and put it in blood, in turn, pumping the blood to the working muscle
  • The muscles’ efficiency in utilising the oxygen from the blood to form energy currencies that help you keep going

Through the right training protocol and consistent workouts, you can enhance your body’s efficiency to do the above-mentioned tasks. This in turn, results in improved endurance and stamina that makes you fit for your demanding everyday life or any sports activity.

Now that you have a basic idea of what happens inside your body during cardiorespiratory workouts, it’s time to look at the right training protocol for better cardio fitness.

How To Improve Your Cardiorespiratory Fitness

Cardiorespiratory fitness can be significantly improved by performing almost any type of prolonged physical activity that works your aerobic energy system—gets your heart rate up and keeps it that way for an extended period of time. So, you even choose to do activities that you enjoy, like swimming, walking, or jogging with your friends.

Nevertheless, depending on the type of workouts, intensity, duration, and frequency, your results can vary. Thus, you have to carefully choose an activity that will help you achieve optimal results from your training.

Here are three categories of activities that are broadly classified based on the skills you require to perform them.

  • Easy – walking, jogging, running, riding a stationary bike, elliptical training, and climbing stairs
  • Moderate – cycling, skating, swimming, aerobic dancing, and jump rope
  • Hard (but fun) – sports and games like basketball, football, squash, tennis, and volleyball

How Hard Should You Workout?

Ask people how hard you should work out, and most people will tell you to keep your heart rate between 60%-90% of your maximum heart rate. While this is one good way to measure the intensity of your workout, it can become quite hard for people without fitness trackers or smartphones to figure out their heart rate during a workout session.

The good news is that you don’t need any sort of equipment to measure the intensity at which you work out. All you should do is become a bit more observant about how you feel while you exercise. Here’s how.

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When you do high-intensity workouts, your respiratory rate significantly increases—you might have likely experienced shortness of breath after running a sprint, or after a sustained dance session. As this happens, a large volume of air starts moving in and out of your lungs, and as you gradually progress the intensity (imagine switching from walking to jogging on the treadmill) the amount of air moving in and out of your lungs also increases linearly. But you are still able to talk to someone comfortable while you exercise.

Increase the intensity one step further (from jogging to running), and there comes a point when you aren’t able to talk comfortably due to the amount of air disproportionately increasing. This is called the ‘threshold intensity’—the point at which your sentence starts breaking when you try to speak while working out. You have to work at your threshold intensity, for better cardio fitness.

To better understand this, Rishabh suggests looking at a three-zone intensity model that can be applied to any type of cardio exercise.

Zone 1: The intensity at which you can talk comfortably

Zone 2: The intensity at which talking comfortably becomes a bit harder

Zone 3: The intensity at which you cannot talk comfortably

Using these zones, you will easily be able to tailor your training to suit your goals, whether it is sports performance or weight loss related.

Now, it’s the time to address the primary question—how hard should you workout?

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Realistically, the exercise programming or the intensity at which you should work out depends on your individual goals and training status. Here’s how it works at a basic level.

When you are New to Fitness:

  • All your cardio workouts should fall within Zone 1 (where you can comfortably talk)
  • You should ideally workout at such intensity for 10-15 minutes straight for 2-3 days/week
  • Your goal should be to hit 20-25 minutes of uninterrupted cardio activity at this intensity without getting too fatigued
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Once you achieve the above, you know that you are ready to move to a higher intensity in training. Typically, an average individual takes anywhere from three to six weeks to undergo this transition.

Though training at this intensity doesn’t result in an increase in the Vo2 max (maximum rate of oxygen consumption measured during incremental exercise), you will still be able to tap into the overall health benefits associated with cardiorespiratory training. Also, as you are a beginner, the aim here is to build regularity in fitness. This is where you START!

When you are someone who has been exercising for a while and is looking forward to completing a 10K run:

  • Start including Zone 2 intervals in your training session (intensity at which talking comfortably becomes harder)
  • Your workout sessions should be a combination of 20% moderate to high-intensity training and 80% low-intensity training
  • Exercise 3-5 days/ week

In case you are someone who does not have goals of completing a 10k run, you might want to solely look at the fitness part of the zone. Zone 2 is great for fitness enthusiasts who have been working out for a while as it leads to all fitness adaptations, i.e. increased Vo2 max and lactate threshold, and improved health benefits. The aim here is to improve your cardiorespiratory exercise efficiency, aka improved stamina.

When you are someone who aims to increase your speed in a 10K run:

  • Zone 3 is where you train with the aim to hit the personal best in your races
  • Though training in this zone provokes significant improvements in fitness, only small amounts of it are tolerable
  • Spend about 10% of the entire training session doing very high intensity (Zone 3) workouts, and the rest of the time doing low to moderate intensity (Zone 1 or Zone 2) workouts.
  • Train for at least 3-4 days a week if you are a trained individual

A lab testing to get the reading on various thresholds—lactate and Vo2 max—is the most accurate way to train more efficiently towards achieving your goals. However, as it is a tedious process, you can use the three-zone intensity model to get a reasonable understanding of the right intensity levels for you.

In case you use a fitness tracker such as FitBit, Apple, etc. you will be able to relate more to the training zones that flash on its screen after reading this post. What’s more, you will be able to tailor your training sessions in perfect alignment with your goals.

Why Is Cardiorespiratory Endurance Important?

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The reasons are obvious—cardiorespiratory endurance helps you train more efficiently, run longer distances, do higher-intensity aerobic activities, and ultimately burn more calories. According to Rishabh Telang, cardiorespiratory fitness is the ultimate key for heart health and a great option to strengthen your aerobic energy system. 

Studies also show that people with higher cardiorespiratory endurance have a lower risk of developing hypertension as well as coronary heart diseases.

Additionally, cardio workout comes in different variations. Hence, you can try out a different variation every day, which will help you work on different muscle groups while allowing your body to rest.

Lastly, if your cardiorespiratory endurance is good, it means you are healthy and fit to actively participate in many activities. This will, in turn, help you run better, breathe easier, live healthier, and also burn more calories and lose weight, if that’s a part of your goals.

Disclaimer : I do not own this article. This article was originally published here. It was insightful and I felt like sharing it with the readers on this page. I should also tell you that I have been a member of Cult.Fit for almost a year now and use their gyms regularly.

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Workout Essentials – Recovery!!

PBCM_Refuel-Repair-Rehydrate

I know you’ve been hitting the gym hard and busting it in your training at home or ever since the lockdowns were lifted and gyms started opening up! You went to depth on every squat rep and pushed your reverse lunges to failure. Your quads are beat and your hamstrings burn. Your workout was tough. But let me tell you this, IT DID NOT BUILD AND OUNCE OF MUSCLE!!!

What if I tell you spending hours lifting, day in and day out, might actually stall your progress?

The answer to this lies in your post-gym regime. The opportunity for muscle growth begins the moment you STOP lifting, and that growth can’t happen without proper recovery protocol. Recovery and rest are essential parts of any strength and conditioning program—and most coaches and trainers would argue it’s just as or more important than the lifting itself.

Recovery must occur before progress can be made.

It is important for staying injury free, long-term consistent training and hitting new highs from time to time. Muscles don’t grow in the gym; they grow after. When you lift heavy, your muscles suffer micro-tears and are actually broken down via a process called Catabolism. Immediately after you lift, your body begins repairs, but it needs your help.

If you want to get the most from each and every workout, you need to prioritise post-workout recovery. Heed these tips to maximise recovery, stay on top of your game and ensure maximum gains.

1. Push The Barrier, Don’t Annihilate It

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“No pain, no gain!” has probably been spat in your face as you struggled to rack a one-rep max bench press. Pushing beyond your limits is a good thing, but just how far should you push? It is important to hit the muscle just enough to create that needed stimulus for muscle growth, but not in completely destroying it to the point where your muscle hurts for days.

If you obliterate your body with every workout, your body will revert its energy to repairing the downstream effects of the damage rather than building muscle.

“The focus shouldn’t be on how fast you recover, but instead on how productive your recovery is”. If you constantly obliterate your body to complete and utter exhaustion with every workout, this damage accumulates over time and your body will revert its energy to repairing the downstream effects of the damage rather than building new muscle.

The trick is to “work out hard enough to push yourself past your comfort zones—trying to do more than you did the workout before, for example. Just don’t destroy yourself entirely.” By following this sage advice, you’ll make solid and steady progress rather than taking one step forward and two steps back.

2. Get Serious About Pre-Workout Nutrition

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By now, most people understand that the foods they eat after their workout and throughout the day factor into the quality of their recovery. The foods you eat before a workout can also play an important role in pre-empting the tissue-rebuilding process once the workout is over.

Digestion is a lengthy process; proteins and carbs that you ingest prior to the workout will still be circulating in the body afterward. For this reason, choose your foods wisely. Make sure you get high-quality, lean protein along with some complex carbohydrates, especially if you plan on an intense workout. I personally have a small 200 calorie meal with some carbs and proteins, 45 minutes prior to heading to the gym. It may include a banana, or a couple slices of bread with cheese or peanut butter, or some almonds and an apple.

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In addition to eating near your workouts, there have been substantial reported benefits of taking BCAAs before and during a workout, as well. BCAAs have been designed to encourage efficient absorption by the muscle cells. Having said that, I would like to add that I am not an advocate of supplements, and it is always down to your personal preferences. However, I do consume 1 serving of BCAA during my workout.

3. Don’t Skip The Stretching

dynamic-stretches

Stretching probably doesn’t sound sexy (or even necessary) when all you want is size, but it might be the most underrated player in muscle growth. By not having the necessary flexibility and muscle pliability, you might short yourself on muscular gains in many compound lifts. For example, if your ankles are too tight, you can’t go deep enough in a squat to reap maximum benefits.

Barbara Bolotte, IFBB pro, stresses, “Make sure you allot at least 20 minutes after a workout to cool down and stretch. If you don’t plan for it, you are more likely to skip it.”

Stretching is a great way to relieve muscular tension and potentially downplay the soreness you experience later. “Prolonged stretching with moderate exercise and diet control will reduce cholesterol and significantly reverse hardening of the arteries,” notes Barbara. Knowing these things, more people should be taking stretching more seriously!

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4. Perfect Your Post-Workout Protein

Basic CMYK
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Go ahead and giggle at the burly types chugging their post-workout shake. While you chortle ’til you choke, they’re feeding their muscles the necessary fuel to grow and improve. Post-workout protein is vital, especially if you haven’t eaten anything for hours. Aim for 20-50 grams of protein after each workout depending on your bodyweight.

Whey protein is the most popular protein supplement, and for good reason: It is convenient, easy to mix, and it offers a rapid absorption rate that’s perfect after a tough training session. Don’t merely go for taste or cost. Invest in quality whey isolate to see a difference. Casein can also be on your route to the top. If your goal is to build size, you can prefer this type of protein, since it takes a significantly longer amount of time to absorb. There are many bodybuilders I have come across, who consume Whey proteins right after a workout, and Casein right before they go to bed.

One trick that I use to optimize my recovery is to drink about 30 grams of whey protein followed by lots of water and some carbs. “You need immediate, fast-acting carbohydrates during your post-workout window to replenish glycogen levels, restore energy, and bump up insulin levels”. “Insulin can be extremely anabolic at the right time, helping the restoration of muscle proteins by inhibiting protein breakdown and stimulating protein synthesis.”

5. Eat Potassium-Rich Foods

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While we’re on the subject of post-workout nutrition, you should consider including a source of potassium in your post-workout cocktail. Your potassium reserves will inevitably be sapped from an intense workout session. Potassium, among other nutrients like sodium and calcium, is a key mineral which plays a role in muscular energy. Bananas or potatoes are good potassium sources. Bananas go with nearly everything, but mashed potatoes in your first meal following the workout are also winners.

6. Focus On Quality Sleep

2014_BeforeBed1
Source : Michael A. Grandner, National Sleep Association.

Catching quality Zs seems like a no-brainer, but it’s still all to common to hear how many people get less than six hours of sleep.

“Sleep is not just for relaxing. This is the necessary downtime that your body needs to restore itself”. Sacrificing hours of sleep over a long period of time can even make you mentally weaker and negatively impact your drive in training sessions.

At least seven hours is the ideal target to hit, although many people, including athletes, may need up to nine hours. Find ways to make changes in your day that will allow you to get to bed earlier.

It has been shown that lack of adequate sleep can decrease and reduce tolerance to training, alter mood, increase perception of fatigue and negatively affect the physiological mechanisms responsible for adaptation from the stresses of training. Hormonal secretion during sleep is one of the most important factors influencing recovery; after all, the purpose of sleep is to induce a state of recovery in the body. Anabolic (muscle-building) hormone concentrations and activity increase during sleep while catabolic (muscle-wasting) hormone concentrations and activity decrease. Disrupted or shortened sleep will negatively influence the effects of these anabolic hormones.

Try to develop a regular sleeping routine where you go to bed at a similar time each night of the week. Remove distractions like light, smartphones, and TVs. If possible, try for 8 hours of sleep per night and/or fit in an afternoon power nap for 30 minutes to rejuvenate the body.

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How To Choose The Perfect Bicycle For Yourself

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Step 1 : Choosing the right type of Bike

1. Road Bikes

Road Bikes are designed to go really fast. The design philosophy is to be lightweight and be aerodynamic primarily riding on paved roads. 99% of all road bikes today are made either of aluminium or carbon frame components. On average, Road Bicycles weigh between 7-9 Kilograms.   

Most road bikes come with drop down handlebars, thin tyres and a frame designed for the rider to have an aggressive posture. Their posture is streamlined to help them with better aerodynamics and to move fast.

Road bikes as the name suggest excel on paved roads. A regular cyclist could easily travel at average speeds of between 25 – 35 km/h on roads without traffic.

Road Bikes are recommended for users who want to discover speed on paved roads as the primary purpose of usage. It is also ideal for individuals who are already athletic and want to get into an intensive non-impact cardiovascular exercise. 

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2. Hybrid Bikes

Hybrid Cycles offer marginal off-road abilities of an MTB, while being able to maintain respectable on-road speeds in comparison to a Road Bike, all the while providing options to carry luggage. Similar to MTBs, most Hybrid cycles are made of aluminium, with a smaller segment made of steel. Hybrid bikes weigh similar to MTB bikes between 10 – 12 kilograms. 

Tyre width of Hybrids is a compromise of the thin efficient tyres of Road Bikes; and fat grippy tyres of an MTB bike. 

The frames of Hybrid bikes are designed to be ergonomically comfortable while maintaining reasonable sportiness. Hybrid cycles with emphasis on speed come with a rigid (non-suspension) fork either made with steel or carbon. 

Note : A special variant or mutation of Hybrid Cycles are Touring Cycles. Touring Cycles are designed to eat up large distances while carrying heavy loads for journeys lasting many weeks or months at length. Touring Cycles hence are designed to be very sturdy and comfortable. Speed is compromised for reliability and the frames come with enough eyelets and mounts to accessorize multiple luggage racks.

Being an all-round bike, Hybrid bikes are equally at home in the busy city streets, paved highways and country roads. Average speeds of Hybrid cyclists may vary between 18 km/h to 25 km/h depending on the road surface.

Hybrid Bikes are recommended for beginner cyclists or users who are looking at cycles to go on excursions exploring the city or countryside. With hybrid touring cycles, users can even explore the world.

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3. Mountain Bikes

Mountain Terrain Bikes or MTBs are bulky in appearance, have fat tyres and have good ground clearance.  MTBs are designed to be used on rough terrain ranging from unpaved roads, gravel paths and technical trails. They are purpose-built to take on all types of terrain and gradients. 

MTBs are generally heavier than road bikes and the majority of MTBs are made of aluminium followed by a smaller segment made with carbon or steel. On average MTB bikes weigh between 10-13 kilograms.

All true MTBs have thick tyres on double wall rims. Most modern Mountain Bikes also come with a suspension.  Mountain Bikes having a suspension in the back in addition to the front suspension are known as Full Suspension Bikes. Most Mountain Bikes have wide straight handlebars and the riding posture generally varies between 45 – 60 degrees depending on sporty usage of the bike. 

Average speeds of MTBs vary between 10 – 11 km/h on technical single track trails to about 20 km/h on unpaved roads.   

MTB Bikes are recommended for beginner cyclists thanks to its hardiness and all-terrain credentials.  Indian urban roads often offer many opportunities for the MTB rider to test his/her MTB skills.

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Summary

Road BikesHybrid BikesMountain Bikes
Meant for paved roadsSome off-road MTB abilities mixed with a compromised road bike design for paved roadsMTBs are designed to be used on rough terrain ranging from unpaved roads, gravel paths and technical trails
Lightweight aluminium frame and thin wheelsAluminium and steel frames with thin wheels, but thicker than a road bikeAluminium and steel frames with thick wheels and greater ground clearance
Drop down handlebars and aggressive streamlined postureFlat handlebars for comfort and ergonomic posture
Straight handlebars with a front as well as rear suspension with a straight or aggressive posture depending on type of ride
Average speeds on 25 – 35 km/hAverage speeds on 18 – 25 km/hAverage speeds on 10 -12 km/h on trails and upto 20km/h on paved roads
Ideal for people who want to discover speed or athletes who want intense cardiovascular exerciseIdeal for beginner cyclists or users who are looking at cycles to go on excursions exploring the city or countrysideIdeal for beginner cyclists thanks to its hardiness and all-terrain credentials or for individuals who want to cycle on trails
*Note : City cycles are not a part of this table since they’re mainly meant for commute and not for regular or leisure riding.
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4. City Cycles/Crusiers*

‍The design philosophy of city cycles is to help the user commute short distances in urban landscapes without having to change out of their daily wear. The two main types of city cycles are Classic City Cycles and Folding Cycles. Both these cycles have an upright 90-degree riding posture, a wide comfortable saddle, with full mudguards and chain guards. 

Most city cycles are made of steel followed by a few aluminium cycles when the objective of the model becomes more about a fast city commute. Most steel frame Classic City and Folding cycles weigh between 14 – 16 kilograms.

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Folding Cycles have a  unique feature, in that they can be collapsed into portable dimensions and transported by the rider transiting between different modes of transport. The folded dimension also helps in storing the bike in compact spaces.  
A commuter can get to a train or bus station on his/her Folding Cycle.  He/She can then instantly collapse the cycle and then carry it along till the destination bus stand and then cycle the last mile to the destination. The intermodal possibilities of folding cycles are endless.

Classic City Cycles and Folding Cycles have an upright 90-degree posture, a wide comfortable saddle, with most cycles fitted with full mudguards and chain guards. 

A city commuter can maintain an average speed of up to 15 km/h on short distance commutes between 2 to 5 kilometres.

Note : Electric Bikes have also now jumped into the scene for commute within the city. Over the last couple of years, we’ve seen a vast improvement in this type of bikes with longer ranges, more efficient battery and higher speeds.

City Cycles are recommended to commuters, looking at a comfortable cycle for commuting short distances in urban city landscapes.

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Step 2 : Fix a budget

Quality bikes for adults start around around 12000 – 15000. (Many department-store bikes you see for less are cheaply made, poorly assembled, and will be 100 percent be un-fun to ride). But a good bike will last, which means you’ll get far more out of it. Hence it is important that you buy a bike that’ll last you for atleast a couple of years, because resale values on bikes ain’t very high. Here’s what you can expect for your money:

₹12000 – ₹15000 : A sturdy metal frame, rigid fork or basic front suspension, a wide-range drivetrain (anywhere from 7-24 speeds), rim brakes or cable-activated disc brakes. Usually, a quality MTB falls under this price range.

₹18000 – 27000 : This is the starting or an ideal range for an average hybrid bike. It also depends on a lot of factors including the frame and brand of the bike, but you can get a great bike that’ll last you for years in this range.

₹25000 – ₹100000+ : A decent road bike starts at this price, however you’re better off spending slightly more and buying one which will last you a long time and which you won’t grow out of. Road bikes very easily cross a six figure mark.

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NOTE :

  • Buying a bicycle can be very tricky. Like buying a phone or any other piece of consumer technology, it is very important to set a hard budget or range before indulging in this activity, because a few thousand more and you’d get some additional features and then a little more and little more etc etc.
  • Although this is a major expense, this isn’t the only expense when you want to start this activity. You’d also need to spend some more money on buying some basic accessories which are very necessary.
  • For example – A helmet, some padded bike shorts, a bike lock (Yeah! Nobody is going to give you a lock for free), some headlights and tail lights, gloves, etc.
  • Be mindful and don’t spend your entire budget on simply the bicycle.
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Step 3 : Where to Buy

There are multiple places where you can buy quality bikes these days. Here are the advantages and disadvantages of each:

Dealer-direct (online)

  • Pros: Access to a brand’s full line; better selection on prior-model year sales.
  • Cons: No test ride; Might not be able to avail retailer offers or get proper guidance with other accessories.

Online retailer

  • Pros: Often the most aggressive pricing for new bikes; prior-year sales.
  • Cons: No test ride; returns are a hassle; must assemble yourself.

Local shop

  • Pros: Brand-authorized; expert help; service plans and discounts; better guidance overall.
  • Cons: Often the most expensive; limited selection; might sell a prior year model if you haven’t researched well.

OLX/Others

  • Pros: Cheapest deals available; can buy new or used.
  • Cons: Zero warranty; prone to scams; must hunt for right model/size.
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Step 4 : How to shop

1. Research

Once you’ve narrowed down your bike to one to three styles, it’s time to do some online research. Start with our best bike series, then head to manufacturer websites for more. Compare features like frame material, gearing, and brakes on different brands in your price range. Check the sizing, which varies from brand to brand, and use the size finder to determine what works for you. And yeah, think about colour and graphics.

Use the manufacturer’s dealer finder to find a shop in your area that carries the brand. Call ahead and ask if they have the model you want (or something close to it) in the right size. Ask whether you need to schedule a test ride. You’ll want to test the bike in conditions as close as possible to what you’ll ride in real life. Scout the area around the shop for any bike paths where you can safely sort things out, and find a good hill to test the gearing range and brakes.

2. Test Ride

Dress the part: Wear whatever you plan to wear when riding. Bring your ID and a credit card even if you don’t plan to buy that day, as you’ll likely need to leave them with the shop during the test. Ask shop staff to set up the bike for you—adjusting the seat, inflating the tires, setting the suspension will give you the proper fit. If you’re unfamiliar with how any parts work, ask for a demonstration.

A good test ride takes around 10 minutes. Get comfortable first, and ask the shop to re adjust anything that doesn’t feel right. Then, get out and ride!

Shift through all the gears, see how the bike handles around corners. Does the steering feel quick and responsive? Slow and stable? (There’s no wrong answer, just what feels best to you.) Are the gears low enough to let you climb steep hills at a comfortable pace? Do the brakes stop you quickly and safely? Is the bike comfortable to sit on?

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3. Find And Reach Out To Veteran Bikers Around You/Online

It is very likely that you were influenced/motivated to buy a bike because you saw a close friend having fun while engaging in this activity. It could also be that your favourite influencer started cycling or you came across a biker’s happening profile. Ask them questions.

More often not (based on my personal experience), these friends or social media personalities are highly knowledgable and nice enough to help you out with your doubts. You may also get to hear things/guidelines from them which maybe a seller would intentionally/unintentionally omit or ignore. It could also simply be that talking about it led to certain considerations that you’d earlier not given much thought to.

It’s always good to talk about this and make a systematic decision.

4. Be Patient, Check All Your Options

Irrespective of which city you’re in, never buy a bike in your first visit to a bike shop unless you’ve decided on what bike to buy and are very well informed about it’s prices. It is good to navigate through 2-3 specialized bike shops in your area and see what they have to offer. Quite seldom, you may find some price differences (not huge) but more so, adjoining offers with the bike on accessories which make it worth your while.

Remember, a bike is a long term investment. If taken proper care of, it’ll pay you back more than it’s cost (not literally) in terms of happiness, joy, fitness and health.

Note : For more updates, please follow us on FacebookInstagram and Twitter.

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Engaging in Sports Is The Best Workout!

If you are anything like me, working out is an absolute priority. Although in this day and age, it is nowhere as close to a priority as it should be for most people. A lot of people will look themselves in the mirror a million times and tell themselves, “you suck, do some crunches. Eat some salad. Do something.” However, subsequently resort to eating some chips or gulping some soda in the evening. Well, ladies and gentlemen, I think I’ve found the secret workout program that I think is going to revolutionalise the non-existent workout routine. It is called ‘Sports’, and it is pretty amazing.

Can you relate to this person?

An average 22-26 year old person, with a day job and social commitments. Even if given 45 minutes to do a workout, you’d rather spend it sleeping or relaxing or Netflixing, and how many times have you looked into a workout program that basically challenged you but also wasn’t too challenging to discourage you, and was at least some fun at the same time. And how many of you found yourself on google, searching for something while slumping on your couch, because that’s just what we do now!

The answer to your question is Sports. It doesn’t matter which one, as far as engaging in it requires you to stand on your two feet. Now, here’s the part that I really like. It is one of the most customisable things you can do. You can pick ANYTHING you want to do. Quite literally, ANYTHING!

If you don’t feel like running, you can jump to swimming. Don’t like swimming cause it affects your skin? Jump to Badminton; or rather, just take a rope and jump. Just select an activity that you do want to do and then you’re good to go.

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You can choose the the amount of time that you want to spend working out. Anywhere between 30 – 45 minutes is a good option. For example: A 6 minute game of squash can easily help you burn about 100 calories. Same goes with tennis or badminton, a game of football or something as fun as dancing or Zumba. The best part is, most of these are partner workouts. You could decide to do them with your partner, a person who’s just as fit as you, or a person much fitter if you prefer a challenge. You’ll probably be so busy being competitive and having fun, while not even realising your heart rate is elevated.

The activity more likely than not is always going to be more intense than you’d ever expect. You could start as slow as twice a week, all the way upto making it a daily habit. All that adrenaline at the end and the profuse sweating will make you feel just as satisfied as getting appreciated after a good days work. It doesn’t matter if you’re killing yourself constantly, the only idea is that you do it regularly. I personally love a challenge and I know, since I am a competitive person, I am going to work really hard to continue to get a check mark every day.

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Overall, I’d recommend a Sport or an activity for anyone who’s bored of running in the same place for 30 minutes or doesn’t like spending time in a 500 sq ft closed room.  If you have the motivation and 45 minutes a day to knock out a 500 calories workout, good for you, but for the rest, this is it. A workout program that isn’t impossible, fun and sustainable over a long period of time. I hope this post helps you consider/reconsider your alternatives, and make a move.

I also found this interesting article by Amanda Macmillan on Time Magazine which talks about a study, done by Daniel Aggio, a doctoral student at University College London, and his colleagues analyzing data collected over a period of 20 years about how sports played an important part in a person’s life especially during their 40s and 50s.

However, for people who’d still prefer working out at home, here’s a nice bodyweight workout to do at home. As always, stay healthy and stay fit.

The Travellothoner.

Benefits of a body-weight workout

bodyweight-exercises

Bodyweight training is as simple as it gets and requires no equipment in order to perform it.

1. It’s a super-efficient workout.

Research suggests high-output, bodyweight-based exercises like plyometrics yield awesome fitness gains in short durations. Since there’s no equipment involved, bodyweight workouts make it easy to transition from one move to the next with little rest. And you’ve probably already heard that those short-but-intense HIIT workouts can yield major results.

2. It can combine cardio and strength training

Performing quick cardio sessions (such as 60 seconds of burpees or high-knees) between strength movements (such as a set of push-ups or lunges) will keep the heart pumping while still encouraging muscle and strength development.

3. You can burn fat—fast.

Just a few minutes of a bodyweight circuit training can have a major impact on the body’s metabolism. If you’ve ever heard of the afterburn effect, you know that even when your workout is over, your body can still be revved for hours to come.

4. At any fitness level, it’s challenging.

Bodyweight exercises are great because they’re easily modified to challenge anyone. Adding extra reps, performing the exercises faster or super slowly, taking shorter breaks, or adding a ballistic movement (like a clap at the top of each push-up) are just a few ways to make the simplest workout tougher. And with each added modification, your progress is obvious.

5. You’ll gain core strength.

Your core is more than just six-pack abs. In fact, at least twenty-nine muscles make up the trunk of the body, and many simple bodyweight movements can be used to engage all of them. Such exercises won’t just give you tighter abs, you’ll also gain better posture, relieve lower back stress, and improve overall performance.

6. It can increase your flexibility.

Not everyone who does regular resistance training has to end up with tight muscles and inflexible joints. Bodyweight training can go hand-in-hand with building strength and flexibility. Completing bodyweight exercises through a full range of motion ensures your joints are moving freely. Plus, it can lead to improved posture and might reduce the chance of exercise-related injury.  Yoga, the fave no-equipment workout for many, is another great way to to improve flexibility while also significantly improving strength.

7. There’s never an excuse to not workout.

Ask someone why they don’t exercise, and chances are they have “no time” or it’s “inconvenient.” Luckily bodyweight exercises eliminate those common obstacles. When you only need a little space, it’s easy to squeeze in workouts wherever you are. Exercising without equipment can also be used as a stress reliever whether you’re working at home or on the road.

8. You’ll achieve better balance.

When it comes to this type of training, sometimes increasing resistance means increasing balance, too. For example, a normal squat can be ramped up by swapping in a single-leg squat (a.k.a. a pistol squat). Functional movements like that one can improve balance through increased body awareness and control.

9. You’ll never get bored.

It can be easy to get stuck in a workout rut of treadmills, bicep curls, lat pull-downs, and bench presses. That’s why bodyweight training can be so refreshing: There are countless exercise variations that can spice up any workout routine. Working with a variety of exercises not only relieves boredom, it can also help break plateaus and spark further progress.

10. Mixing up your workout is easy.

11. It’s free.

Gym memberships and boutique classes can quickly add up—but bodyweight training is free. Experts cite the low cost of bodyweight training as key to its rise in popularity.

12. It can help with injury prevention.

Injury is one of the main reasons people stop working out, so preventing those aches and pains should be a big priority. Bodyweight exercises are generally safe for any exerciser regardless of experience, age, or fitness level. Many simple bodyweight movements can actually be an effective option for rehabilitation, even for those with significant impairments.

13. You’ll see results.

Bodyweight exercises get results partly because they involve compound movements—meaning numerous joints and muscles are engaged in each move. Compound exercises such as push-ups and lunges have been shown to be extremely effective for strength gains and performance improvements. And research shows improved core strength (see No. 5 above) translates to improved strength gains throughout the entire body.

My road to 26.2 Miles – Weeks 5 and 6

This is a string of posts that I have been doing over the last 6 weeks to document my way through training for a full marathon.

You can follow them here :

  1. My road to 26.2 miles – Week 1
  2. My Road to 26.2 Miles – Week 2
  3. My road to 26.2 Miles – Weeks 3 and 4

My goal through these 6 weeks has been to intensify my training regime and improve my diet, so as to get leaner and tighter while maintaining my muscle mass. So far, it hasn’t been the most successful road. Although I have managed to lose a few kilos, I’m still far away from my goal. In the meantime, I also planned to increase my weekly running mileage which hasn’t been going as well as planned either.

However, on the bright side, I have managed to improve my training regime to include almost 2 hours of workout or active time in a day, which includes a session of running and a session of weight training. Over the last 2 weeks, I have managed to clock about 35kms a week, which includes more inclines. And during my weight training sessions, I have started increasing my number of reps per set while maintaining the same level of weights.

My prime focus still has been on getting an adequate amount of sleep and focusing on recovery, while making sure I consume foods with ample vitamins, nutrients and most importantly protein.

My goal over week 7 is to clock atleast 45-50 kms which includes a long run of atleast 2 hours or 20kms. Over the next few weeks until the marathon, I have also decided to reduce my weight training to give my body more time for recovery. All in all, Core-Training is an area that I am going to emphasize a lot more on.

Do feel free to add tips or share your expertise in the comments below, especially if you feel I am not on the right path.

Until next time,

The Travellothoner.

My road to 26.2 Miles – Weeks 3 and 4

In response to my posts from earlier, I continue ahead. If you haven’t read it before here’s a link to it.

Part 1 : My road to 26.2 miles – Week 1

Part 2 : My Road to 26.2 Miles – Week 2

The idea initially was to post a weekly update as well as my training plan along the way. However, week three was uneventful or vaguely eventful and so I decided to club the 2 weeks. However, I don’t think that will be necessary in the weeks to come, since training has picked up quite some pace this week.

So for week 4 so far, I’ve managed to cover about 35 kms. I also managed to do my weight training 3 days a week in the evenings and some core work along the way. The day-wise breakup is as follows:

Day 1: Morning : 5k running.  Evening : Chest & Triceps.

Day 2: Morning : 35 mins of yoga and core. Evening : 7kms running.

Day 3: Morning : Back and biceps.  Evening : 35 mins of cycling.

Day 4: Morning : Rest.

Day 5: Morning : 7kms running.

Day 6: Morning : 10kms running.

Day 7: Morning : 4kms running.

In the meantime, I have also managed to tweak my diet to increase my protein intake and reduce my carb intake. I instead consume more of fats. I have also managed to shed another kilo and that has really managed to add a spring to my step while running. I also climb about a 100 flight of stairs a week.

Another step I’ve taken is increase the amount of stretching to avoid feeling stiff. I stretch a few times a day now, especially if it’s been a sedentary day. The diet and workout changes have certainly improved recovery.

For next week, I intend to increase to 40-45kms and do some more stretching and core work, coupled with some strength training.

 

Until Next Time,

The Travellothoner.

My road to 26.2 miles – Week 1

From this point on, I have exactly 8 weeks to prepare for my full marathon at The Tata Mumbai Marathon on 20th January 2019. It’s going to be very tough and a challenge in every sense, since I was busy with exams and haven’t trained for a single day since October. Running itself has been on hold since over a couple of months now.

I’ve decided to document my entire journey through these 8 weeks, so that it’s easier for me to keep a check, and this is a way for me to keep myself accountable. For anyone reading, I have been running since a couple of years now, and have finished 2 full marathons at the same event in the last 2 years. So, my body is used to running 10k a day and taking up some light weight training in the evening. I also take excessive care of my nutrition during this period and focus greatly on recovery.

So to actually go on this journey is not completely alien to my body, and hence not as enormous a task as it may appear. It also helps that I am aware of my body reacts to various changes in my diet and exercise routine, and how I’m supposed to bounce back from it.

My goal over a span of 8 weeks is to lose about 6-7 kilos and run enough miles to enable myself to finish my full marathon within 5 hours. Currently, I am at 78 kilos, which is about 3 kilos over my mean weight this year, and by the end I am hoping to weigh around 70kgs.

To do that, my first week goals include running about 35-40 kilometres, and do light weight training, just to get my body back into rhythm and slowly ease into the intense training that will follow. Primary focus being on stretching and not overdoing anything, and to avoid injuries or exhaustion.

As the weeks go by, I shall put a weekly update regarding training during that particular week, and see how and where I end up. Hopefully, by the end I am well prepared and in a good shape to hit my goal. Wish me luck!

Until next time,

The Travellothoner.

Taking the first step

The question that I get asked more than anything is, “How do I start running?”. Once people find out that I run a lot and race frequently, they want to know what the first step is in becoming a “runner”. Of course everyone is different and has a different journey, but most people I talk to want a straightforward, “how-to” guide on how to start running long distances. This question may seem simple, but it comprises of many parts, so let me break down the first few steps on how to become a runner.

  1. Realize that you became a runner the moment you decided to run

You don’t have to run every day to be a “runner”. You don’t have to have run a marathon to be a “runner”. The only thing you need to do to become a “runner” is lace up your sneakers and start moving! It’s as easy and as hard as that. Don’t let anyone tell you that your miles are less important that theirs. A mile is still a mile! And it’s a mile that you completed, and it can never be taken away.

 

  1.  The first step is the hardest

Getting yourself up and out the door to take that first step is hard. It’s scary and difficult, and you know what, it probably won’t be that much fun either. But at the end of the day, you’ll be so glad you did it. And getting up for that second run will be hard. Not as hard as the first one, but still difficult. And each time you lace up and get ready to get out there, it will be difficult and your brain will think of a million reasons for you to go back to bed, but once you are running, you will be so thankful that you became a runner.

 

  1. Consistency is key

Getting out on that first run is hard, but the only way to make sure it keeps getting easier is to keep doing it. You can’t just stop after one run! You have to keep moving. It is said that it takes 21 days to form a habit, so think of it as you need to run consistently for 3 weeks for your body to understand that you are doing this new thing now and it needs to get used to it. Also, “consistently” doesn’t mean every day. It can be every other day. It can be three days a week. Just make sure you keep moving.

 

  1. Set a realistic goal

Everyone is different, so everyone’s goals should be different. But you need to have a goal to determine if you are making progress. Your goal can be to run three days a week for a month. Your goal can be to run your first 5k,10k, half or full marathon. Whatever goal you choose, make sure it fits you and is realistic for the amount of time you are willing to put in to reach it. Running is an addicting sport, and once you start to feel strong, you want to feel strong for as long and for as often as possible. Keeping up with your goals and setting new ones can help you to feel strong and confident in your new sport.

 

  1. Advance a little at a time

When you first start running, you have to start slow and short. Maybe run/walking is more your speed. If so, that is totally ok! Don’t push yourself so hard at the beginning that you hate it and resent running all together. Once you have figured out a good starting point for you (maybe running one mile), decide how long you want to hit that goal before adding on a little. A good measure is by week. The first week you run a mile each run, the second week you run a mile and a quarter. The third week you add onto that. And just keep going. Adding on a little at a time will get you to your goal without burning you out too quickly or hurting yourself.

 

  1. You’ll need a good pair of running shoes

This one is probably the hardest part. When you start running consistently (I say consistently because it makes no sense to spend a good deal of money on good running shoes and then let them rot in the side cause you think running isn’t for you), your Nike Free’s aren’t going to cut it anymore. You need something with support that will protect your shins, hips, and knees. The best way to do this is by going to your local running store with gait analysis and then recommend what type of shoe is best for you. If you don’t have that option, I would recommend Asics, Nike or Adidas are safe bets. However, it can take you as long as a year to figure out the right kind of shoes for you, and that preference may change with time, as you figure out your feet and change your goals. And make sure you don’t judge a shoe atleast until you’ve run 50 – 100 miles or roughly a month or two in them.

 

  1. Most importantly, you need to learn about post run snacks

Last, but certainly not least, you need to treat yourself for going the extra mile (literally)! You can refer to my article from before : What To Eat And Drink Before A Run. It is equally important to reward yourself too. If you get up early on Saturday for a run, go to brunch after. If you pushed it a little farther this week than last, go for that ice cream sandwich. Treat yo’ self. You deserve it.

I hope these tips were helpful to you and were insightful about how you can become a runner too! You can refer to the links below for more information.

 

Regards,

The Travellothoner.

From 300lbs to 30 Muscle-Ups for time

As you guys are aware, writing on a topic involves having great knowledge on the subject which comes from regular reading and updation on the topics; and one of my favourite and regular pages to do this is The Crossfit Journal and their instagram page. And today I came across their ig post on Jared Enderton, A Crossfit Games Rookie, who basically was like any of us, and now competes for the title of “Fittest On Earth”.

I shall post the article below, and attach a link too. I own no rights to the article, and have no contributions in its construction. I am merely sharing it here for everyone to read.

Link : https://games.crossfit.com/article/300-pounds-30-muscle-ups-time

The night before the 2018 Reebok CrossFit Games began, Jared Enderton posted to Instagram.

“If I can do it, so can you.”

img_8719.jpg

Above were side-by-side photos of the 29-year-old Games rookie. One featured a grinning, flexing Games athlete in uniform; the other, an impassive young man with a belly.

“Ten years ago I weighed 300 lb., and tomorrow I’ll be one of 40 men competing for the title of Fittest on Earth at the CrossFit Games,” he wrote.

Football, baseball, golf, track—Enderton had always been an athlete. In high school, he was an All-American wrestler and Iowa’s 2007 undefeated state wrestling champion at a body weight of 189 lb. Then he took up strongman.

“The more weight you gain, the stronger you’re gonna get,” he thought.

So he ate.

At first, it was all in the name of sport—a lot of protein, a lot of carbs, a lot of gains.

“And then at a certain point, it really wasn’t even about that,” he said. “It was just like, I’m just eating everything I can to eat everything I can.”

Cake, pasta, cookies—nothing was off-limits. It wasn’t unusual for Enderton to devour a half a gallon of ice cream—cookies and cream was his favorite—in one sitting. By the start of his freshman year of college in 2010, he’d gained more than 100 lb. and lost his sense of self.

“I’ve always viewed myself as being a little bit athletic, but once you’re that heavy, you lose some of your identity, too; you kind of lose that belief in yourself,” he said. “I didn’t feel like the same athlete, and I wasn’t happy.”

Though he could certainly lift heavy shit—he was a nationally ranked strongman competitor—he could do little else. No more track, no more pick-up football games.

“Even thinking about those things I’m out of breath,” he said of his 300-lb. self.

He had trouble finding clothes that fit and lacked confidence speaking to women. Every glance at the mirror poked holes in his self-esteem, and the anxiety was a wake-up call.

“I’m like, ‘Whoa. … You need to do something to feel better about yourself.”

So, he cut the ice cream and ditched strongman for weightlifting. By 2014, he was a nationally ranked weightlifter competing at a body weight of around 185 lb.

In 2015, Enderton started CrossFit and further cleaned up his diet, adding more vegetables and tracking volume and macronutrients. He went on to take 22nd and 12th at the 2016 and 2017 South Regionals before qualifying for the Games this year with a fifth-place Regional finish.

The rewards of a healthy lifestyle aren’t limited to the leaderboard.

Enderton

“When I eat a healthy meal and it’s got protein and some carbs and a little bit of fat, I feel good, and a lot of times, after I’d eat all those binge meals I would feel horrible; I’d feel bad about myself.”

On Wednesday, Enderton—who currently weighs 195 lb. at 5 foot 6—made his CrossFit Games debut with an 22nd-place finish in Crit, 10 laps of a 1,200-m cycling course. Not long after, he opened 30 Muscle-ups with an unbroken set of 13 reps before racking up 1,230 lb. in CrossFit Total for a tie for fifth in that event.

That doesn’t mean the struggle is over.

“I still have some body-image issues,” he said. “It’s not like I made the Games and everything’s gone. … And I’m OK with that. It’s never a finished journey.”

Still, it’s a hell of a lot easier to pick out clothes now, he said.

“They mixed up my shorts with somebody else’s at the check-in,” Enderton said, noting that instead of the medium and large shorts he requested, he was given smalls.

“And the pair of shorts that are smalls actually fit great,” he said, grinning. “Who would’ve thought? From triple X to small—it’s kind of crazy.”

I hope you find the article as motivating as I do, for I was this guy, and aim at having a journey similar to him. Do tell me how you feel about the article in the comments below.

Regards,

The Travellothoner.