Theodora Blanchfield – Life by Daily Burn http://dailyburn.com/life Tue, 20 Feb 2018 12:15:23 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.4 What Every Woman Should Know About Ovarian Cancer http://dailyburn.com/life/health/ovarian-cancer-awareness/ http://dailyburn.com/life/health/ovarian-cancer-awareness/#respond Wed, 27 Sep 2017 15:15:07 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=62015 What Every Woman Should Know About Ovarian Cancer

[caption id="attachment_62025" align="alignnone" width="620"]What Every Woman Should Know About Ovarian Cancer Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

What Every Woman Needs to Know About Ovarian Cancer

If you’re a woman of reproductive age who goes to the gynecologist regularly, you’re familiar with breast self-exams and Pap smears, diagnostic tools for breast cancer and cervical cancer respectively. You know what the pink ribbon stands for, and that October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month (here’s what you can do to reduce your risk).

What you’re probably less familiar with is ovarian cancer, the teal ribbon, and that September is National Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month. I wasn’t either, until my mom was diagnosed with Stage IIIC ovarian cancer almost two years ago. She passed away this summer from the disease.

This “silent killer” will claim 14,000 women’s lives this year alone, according to the American Cancer Society. Only 15 percent of cases are caught at Stage 1. It’s not all bleak, though. Knowing the risk factors and signs can help you make important lifestyle and screening choices that can help reduce your risk.

RELATED: 5 Breast Cancer Charities Giving Women New Hope

[caption id="attachment_62027" align="alignnone" width="490"]What Every Woman Should Know About Ovarian Cancer Graphic: Courtesy of Consumer Safety[/caption]

Identifying Your Ovarian Cancer Risks

An estimated 20 percent of ovarian cancer patients have the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genetic mutation that predisposes them to breast and ovarian cancer. Although you can’t change your genetics, this gives you actionable information, says Dr. Andrew Berchuck, the director of the Duke University Division of Gynecologic Oncology.

Another consideration: Studies show a link between higher incidences of ovarian cancer and women who have ovulated more. “As modern women ovulate more,” says Berchuck, “it becomes more of a problem. Historically, women ovulated a lot less because they were pregnant or breast feeding more.”

Whether or not a woman has the BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation, one major step she can take is the use of birth control pills. Studies have shown that taking the pill for five years or more diminishes risk for the disease by 40 percent, due to reduced ovulation. Women can also decide if they want to undergo prophylactic surgery to remove their ovaries while still healthy, Dr. Berchuck says.

RELATED: Everything You Need to Know About Exercise and PMS

[caption id="attachment_62028" align="alignnone" width="490"]What Every Woman Should Know About Ovarian Cancer Graphic: Courtesy of Consumer Safety[/caption]

Ovarian Cancer Screening and Symptoms

Because of limited symptoms at early stages and no effective screening test, most ovarian cancer cases are discovered at advanced stages. These diseases are associated with less than a 40 percent chance of five-year survival, according to the American Cancer Society.

Once signs are present, many are also commonly associated with benign diseases, which can be confusing. Some of the symptoms include bloating and pelvic or abdominal pain. However, when ovarian cancer causes these symptoms, they occur more often or are more severe.

Women should consult their doctors if they are experiencing these symptoms either for two weeks or more or if pain is present more than 12 times per month, Dr. Berchuck says. From there, if the oncologist suspects it may be ovarian cancer, she will likely order a CT scan or ultrasound and a CA-125 blood test. An elevated CA-125 level (a protein found in the blood) may indicate the presence of ovarian cancer.

RELATED: How Fitness Helped Me Through a Breast Cancer Scare

Treatment will often include a combination of strategies (for instance, a hysterectomy with removal of the fallopian tubes and ovaries and chemotherapy). Newer biological ovarian cancer treatments, including PARP inhibitors (which prevent DNA repair) and antiangiogenic drugs (which prevent the development of small blood vessels that feed tumors) have been approved recently and can help some women. Immunotherapies that activate the immune system to fight the cancer are also under investigation.

While there’s no cure for most patients with advanced stage disease, Dr. Berchuck says, “new therapies are leading to more prolonged survival, and that’s exciting.”

To learn more about ovarian cancer, visit the American Cancer Society’s website. 

The post What Every Woman Should Know About Ovarian Cancer appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

]]>
What Every Woman Should Know About Ovarian Cancer

[caption id="attachment_62025" align="alignnone" width="620"]What Every Woman Should Know About Ovarian Cancer Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

What Every Woman Needs to Know About Ovarian Cancer

If you’re a woman of reproductive age who goes to the gynecologist regularly, you’re familiar with breast self-exams and Pap smears, diagnostic tools for breast cancer and cervical cancer respectively. You know what the pink ribbon stands for, and that October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month (here’s what you can do to reduce your risk). What you’re probably less familiar with is ovarian cancer, the teal ribbon, and that September is National Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month. I wasn’t either, until my mom was diagnosed with Stage IIIC ovarian cancer almost two years ago. She passed away this summer from the disease. This “silent killer” will claim 14,000 women’s lives this year alone, according to the American Cancer Society. Only 15 percent of cases are caught at Stage 1. It’s not all bleak, though. Knowing the risk factors and signs can help you make important lifestyle and screening choices that can help reduce your risk. RELATED: 5 Breast Cancer Charities Giving Women New Hope [caption id="attachment_62027" align="alignnone" width="490"]What Every Woman Should Know About Ovarian Cancer Graphic: Courtesy of Consumer Safety[/caption]

Identifying Your Ovarian Cancer Risks

An estimated 20 percent of ovarian cancer patients have the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genetic mutation that predisposes them to breast and ovarian cancer. Although you can’t change your genetics, this gives you actionable information, says Dr. Andrew Berchuck, the director of the Duke University Division of Gynecologic Oncology. Another consideration: Studies show a link between higher incidences of ovarian cancer and women who have ovulated more. “As modern women ovulate more,” says Berchuck, “it becomes more of a problem. Historically, women ovulated a lot less because they were pregnant or breast feeding more.” Whether or not a woman has the BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation, one major step she can take is the use of birth control pills. Studies have shown that taking the pill for five years or more diminishes risk for the disease by 40 percent, due to reduced ovulation. Women can also decide if they want to undergo prophylactic surgery to remove their ovaries while still healthy, Dr. Berchuck says. RELATED: Everything You Need to Know About Exercise and PMS [caption id="attachment_62028" align="alignnone" width="490"]What Every Woman Should Know About Ovarian Cancer Graphic: Courtesy of Consumer Safety[/caption]

Ovarian Cancer Screening and Symptoms

Because of limited symptoms at early stages and no effective screening test, most ovarian cancer cases are discovered at advanced stages. These diseases are associated with less than a 40 percent chance of five-year survival, according to the American Cancer Society. Once signs are present, many are also commonly associated with benign diseases, which can be confusing. Some of the symptoms include bloating and pelvic or abdominal pain. However, when ovarian cancer causes these symptoms, they occur more often or are more severe. Women should consult their doctors if they are experiencing these symptoms either for two weeks or more or if pain is present more than 12 times per month, Dr. Berchuck says. From there, if the oncologist suspects it may be ovarian cancer, she will likely order a CT scan or ultrasound and a CA-125 blood test. An elevated CA-125 level (a protein found in the blood) may indicate the presence of ovarian cancer. RELATED: How Fitness Helped Me Through a Breast Cancer Scare Treatment will often include a combination of strategies (for instance, a hysterectomy with removal of the fallopian tubes and ovaries and chemotherapy). Newer biological ovarian cancer treatments, including PARP inhibitors (which prevent DNA repair) and antiangiogenic drugs (which prevent the development of small blood vessels that feed tumors) have been approved recently and can help some women. Immunotherapies that activate the immune system to fight the cancer are also under investigation. While there’s no cure for most patients with advanced stage disease, Dr. Berchuck says, “new therapies are leading to more prolonged survival, and that’s exciting.” To learn more about ovarian cancer, visit the American Cancer Society’s website. 

The post What Every Woman Should Know About Ovarian Cancer appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

]]>
http://dailyburn.com/life/health/ovarian-cancer-awareness/feed/ 0
The Beginner’s Guide to Playing Tennis (Or Faking It Well) http://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/how-to-play-tennis-beginners/ http://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/how-to-play-tennis-beginners/#comments Tue, 29 Aug 2017 13:15:18 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=41033

[caption id="attachment_52409" align="alignnone" width="620"]Beginner Tennis Tips Photo: Pond5[/caption]

You're psyched to spend the next two weeks watching the pros battle it out as the U.S. Open reaches full swing. With many of the top players on the sidelines this year — including Serena Williams — it's sure to be an exciting tourney for upstarts and underdogs alike. But now that you're inspired to hit the ball yourself — you might have no idea where to start. Whether you’re intrigued by the outfits, the camaraderie of team play, or the stress release of slamming that ball with all your might, tennis is also a great workout. You’ll burn up to 490 calories per hour playing a one-on-one match.

“Tennis is a unique sport that tests every part of your body,” says Maureen Diaz, National Coach at the United States Tennis Association’s (USTA) Player Development Training Center. “It will tone your shoulders, biceps, triceps, calves, hamstrings, quadriceps — using muscles you never knew you had.”

RELATED: From Surfing to Tennis: The Best Adult Summer Camps

Ready to get swinging? This tutorial from Diaz and Scott Hausthor, manager of the USTA Player Development Training Center in Flushing, New York will help you learn the most common grips and strokes you’ll need on the court. You’ll be rallying in no time!

Get a Grip: 3 Tennis Grips to Know

The first thing you’ll need to know is how to hold the racket. Sounds simple, but the proper “grip” will help you achieve maximum control and power on the court. The most common grips used by beginners include the Continental, Eastern and Semi-Western. The butt of your racket is shaped like an octagon, and players typically use the eight sides, known as bevels, to navigate the different grips. Practice your grips before hitting the court so you know what to do before a ball is flying at your face.

1. Continental

While you can use this grip for every shot, it’s best suited for serves, volleys and overhead swings. Think of it as though you were holding a hammer.
Benefits: This grip will give you a slightly open racket face, allowing for control for quick, defensive shots.
How to: As you’re looking at the butt of the racket, consider the top Bevel 1, and work your way clockwise for each subsequent bevel (a). Make a v-shape with your thumb and forefinger on top of the handle (b). The knuckle of your index finger and the heel of your hand should rest on Bevel 2 (c).

RELATED: Got Wrist Pain? 6 Exercise Modifications That Can Help

2. Eastern

This grip is most commonly used for forehand strokes and is fairly similar to the Continental. It allows for fast, flat shots and the grip feels similar to as if you were shaking someone’s hand.
Benefits: This grip can help you flatten out the ball to make it more difficult for your opponents to return.
How to: Rest your index knuckle and heel of your hand on the third bevel (a).

3. Semi-Western

The semi-Western grip is an alternate option for forehands, and allows you to hit higher balls and gives you a bit more control than the Eastern grip. Your arm will be in the same position as a fist pump.
Benefits: Because of the topspin that the semi-Western grip generates from the closed racket face, this grip is best for more aggressive shots.
How to: Put your racket face flat on the ground and pick it up (a). Where you pick it up will naturally be with your index knuckle and heel of your hand on Bevel 4 (b).

RELATED: The 15 Most Underrated Exercises, According to Trainers

The Right Strokes: 4 Tennis Strokes to Master

Every tennis player, from first-timers to Rafael Nadal, relies on the same four basic strokes: forehand, backhand, volley and serve. Once you’ve got these down, you’ll be ready to take on your opponent.

How to Play Tennis: Tennis Forehand Tips

1. Forehand

What It Is: You’ll rule the court with this is shot made by swinging the racquet across your body with your dominant hand, after the ball has bounced.

How to: Start with the racket in your right, or dominant hand, using a grip between Eastern and Semi-Western, and stand with feet parallel to the net (a). As the ball approaches, keep your elbow slightly bent and swing the racket back behind your body in a circular motion (b). Step forward onto your left foot, angling it slightly towards the net, and pivoting on the toe of your back, right foot, heel raised (c). Make contact with the ball just in front of your body with your racket parallel to the net (d). After contact, continue the swing across your body on an upward diagonal, finishing with your racket over your left shoulder (e).

RELATED: 7 No-Crunch Exercises for Six-Pack Abs

How to Play Tennis: Tennis Backhand Tips

2. Backhand

What It Is: If the ball is rocketing towards your non-dominant side, never fear. With this forceful two-handed shot, you’ll swing the racket from the opposite side of your body — with the back of your dominant hand facing forward. It’s also a groundstroke, meaning that it is used after the ball has bounced.

How to: Start with a two-handed grip, with your right, or dominant hand on the bottom in a Continental grip and your top, or left hand in an Eastern grip (a). Stand in your ready position facing the net, toes forward, shoulder-width apart (b). As the ball approaches, shift your stance, planting your left foot parallel to the net, as you bring the racket behind the left side of your body, keeping elbows slightly bent (c). Step forward with your right foot to meet the ball out in front of your body, keeping both hands on the racket (d). Follow through with your swing, ending with the racket behind and above your right shoulder (e).

RELATED: The 9 Best Sport Sunscreens for Every Skin Type

How to Play Tennis: Tennis Volley Tips

3. Volley

What It Is: The ultimate power move, this shot requires just a slight swing. It’s executed before the ball bounces on the ground — and typically from close to the net.

How to: Hold the racket in a Continental grip with your right hand, placing your left hand above it (a). Your ready position will be with your racket in front of you and your feet facing the net, shoulder-width apart (b). Shifting your toes to the right, turn to your forehand side and swing the racket back slightly, until it is just in line with your body (c). Step forward with your left foot as you make contact with the ball (d). Cut off your swing just after making contact with the ball (e).

How to Play Tennis: Tennis Serve Tips

4. Serve

What It Is: This is the shot that starts each point. Your goal: To land the ball in the box diagonally opposite from you on the other side of the net. Grunting, optional.

How to: Your ready position will be holding the racket in your right, or dominant hand, using a continental grip, ball in your left hand (a). Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, parallel to the net (b). Swing the racket behind your body and above your head (c). Toss the ball just above head height, releasing at eye level (d). Tip your shoulders and pelvis back slightly, and make contact with the ball as you swing your racket over your head and in front of your body (e). As you hit the ball, your upper body will be fully extended as you plant your left foot, pivoting forward on your right foot (f). Follow through bringing your racket across your body, finishing with it near the court under your left arm. Recover back into your ready position (g).

Watch every single rally by following the livestream on usopen.org or select matches on ESPN or ESPN2.

Originally posted September 2015. Updated September 2017.

Read More
3 U.S. Open Moments We Can't Forget
19 Reasons to Work Out (Beyond the Perfect Body)
21 Signs You've Found Your Fitness Swole Mate

The post The Beginner’s Guide to Playing Tennis (Or Faking It Well) appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

]]>

[caption id="attachment_52409" align="alignnone" width="620"]Beginner Tennis Tips Photo: Pond5[/caption] You're psyched to spend the next two weeks watching the pros battle it out as the U.S. Open reaches full swing. With many of the top players on the sidelines this year — including Serena Williams — it's sure to be an exciting tourney for upstarts and underdogs alike. But now that you're inspired to hit the ball yourself — you might have no idea where to start. Whether you’re intrigued by the outfits, the camaraderie of team play, or the stress release of slamming that ball with all your might, tennis is also a great workout. You’ll burn up to 490 calories per hour playing a one-on-one match. “Tennis is a unique sport that tests every part of your body,” says Maureen Diaz, National Coach at the United States Tennis Association’s (USTA) Player Development Training Center. “It will tone your shoulders, biceps, triceps, calves, hamstrings, quadriceps — using muscles you never knew you had.” RELATED: From Surfing to Tennis: The Best Adult Summer Camps Ready to get swinging? This tutorial from Diaz and Scott Hausthor, manager of the USTA Player Development Training Center in Flushing, New York will help you learn the most common grips and strokes you’ll need on the court. You’ll be rallying in no time!

Get a Grip: 3 Tennis Grips to Know

The first thing you’ll need to know is how to hold the racket. Sounds simple, but the proper “grip” will help you achieve maximum control and power on the court. The most common grips used by beginners include the Continental, Eastern and Semi-Western. The butt of your racket is shaped like an octagon, and players typically use the eight sides, known as bevels, to navigate the different grips. Practice your grips before hitting the court so you know what to do before a ball is flying at your face.

1. Continental

While you can use this grip for every shot, it’s best suited for serves, volleys and overhead swings. Think of it as though you were holding a hammer. Benefits: This grip will give you a slightly open racket face, allowing for control for quick, defensive shots. How to: As you’re looking at the butt of the racket, consider the top Bevel 1, and work your way clockwise for each subsequent bevel (a). Make a v-shape with your thumb and forefinger on top of the handle (b). The knuckle of your index finger and the heel of your hand should rest on Bevel 2 (c). RELATED: Got Wrist Pain? 6 Exercise Modifications That Can Help

2. Eastern

This grip is most commonly used for forehand strokes and is fairly similar to the Continental. It allows for fast, flat shots and the grip feels similar to as if you were shaking someone’s hand. Benefits: This grip can help you flatten out the ball to make it more difficult for your opponents to return. How to: Rest your index knuckle and heel of your hand on the third bevel (a).

3. Semi-Western

The semi-Western grip is an alternate option for forehands, and allows you to hit higher balls and gives you a bit more control than the Eastern grip. Your arm will be in the same position as a fist pump. Benefits: Because of the topspin that the semi-Western grip generates from the closed racket face, this grip is best for more aggressive shots. How to: Put your racket face flat on the ground and pick it up (a). Where you pick it up will naturally be with your index knuckle and heel of your hand on Bevel 4 (b). RELATED: The 15 Most Underrated Exercises, According to Trainers

The Right Strokes: 4 Tennis Strokes to Master

Every tennis player, from first-timers to Rafael Nadal, relies on the same four basic strokes: forehand, backhand, volley and serve. Once you’ve got these down, you’ll be ready to take on your opponent. How to Play Tennis: Tennis Forehand Tips

1. Forehand

What It Is: You’ll rule the court with this is shot made by swinging the racquet across your body with your dominant hand, after the ball has bounced. How to: Start with the racket in your right, or dominant hand, using a grip between Eastern and Semi-Western, and stand with feet parallel to the net (a). As the ball approaches, keep your elbow slightly bent and swing the racket back behind your body in a circular motion (b). Step forward onto your left foot, angling it slightly towards the net, and pivoting on the toe of your back, right foot, heel raised (c). Make contact with the ball just in front of your body with your racket parallel to the net (d). After contact, continue the swing across your body on an upward diagonal, finishing with your racket over your left shoulder (e). RELATED: 7 No-Crunch Exercises for Six-Pack Abs How to Play Tennis: Tennis Backhand Tips

2. Backhand

What It Is: If the ball is rocketing towards your non-dominant side, never fear. With this forceful two-handed shot, you’ll swing the racket from the opposite side of your body — with the back of your dominant hand facing forward. It’s also a groundstroke, meaning that it is used after the ball has bounced. How to: Start with a two-handed grip, with your right, or dominant hand on the bottom in a Continental grip and your top, or left hand in an Eastern grip (a). Stand in your ready position facing the net, toes forward, shoulder-width apart (b). As the ball approaches, shift your stance, planting your left foot parallel to the net, as you bring the racket behind the left side of your body, keeping elbows slightly bent (c). Step forward with your right foot to meet the ball out in front of your body, keeping both hands on the racket (d). Follow through with your swing, ending with the racket behind and above your right shoulder (e). RELATED: The 9 Best Sport Sunscreens for Every Skin Type How to Play Tennis: Tennis Volley Tips

3. Volley

What It Is: The ultimate power move, this shot requires just a slight swing. It’s executed before the ball bounces on the ground — and typically from close to the net. How to: Hold the racket in a Continental grip with your right hand, placing your left hand above it (a). Your ready position will be with your racket in front of you and your feet facing the net, shoulder-width apart (b). Shifting your toes to the right, turn to your forehand side and swing the racket back slightly, until it is just in line with your body (c). Step forward with your left foot as you make contact with the ball (d). Cut off your swing just after making contact with the ball (e). How to Play Tennis: Tennis Serve Tips

4. Serve

What It Is: This is the shot that starts each point. Your goal: To land the ball in the box diagonally opposite from you on the other side of the net. Grunting, optional. How to: Your ready position will be holding the racket in your right, or dominant hand, using a continental grip, ball in your left hand (a). Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, parallel to the net (b). Swing the racket behind your body and above your head (c). Toss the ball just above head height, releasing at eye level (d). Tip your shoulders and pelvis back slightly, and make contact with the ball as you swing your racket over your head and in front of your body (e). As you hit the ball, your upper body will be fully extended as you plant your left foot, pivoting forward on your right foot (f). Follow through bringing your racket across your body, finishing with it near the court under your left arm. Recover back into your ready position (g). Watch every single rally by following the livestream on usopen.org or select matches on ESPN or ESPN2. Originally posted September 2015. Updated September 2017. Read More 3 U.S. Open Moments We Can't Forget 19 Reasons to Work Out (Beyond the Perfect Body) 21 Signs You've Found Your Fitness Swole Mate

The post The Beginner’s Guide to Playing Tennis (Or Faking It Well) appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

]]>
http://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/how-to-play-tennis-beginners/feed/ 1
7 Health-Boosting Coffee Hacks to Try This Morning http://dailyburn.com/life/health/health-boosting-coffee-hacks/ http://dailyburn.com/life/health/health-boosting-coffee-hacks/#respond Thu, 24 Aug 2017 11:15:49 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=61307 Healthy Coffee Hacks

7 Healthy Coffee Hacks

This sponsored post is brought to you by StackCommerce. We only select products we think you’ll love — at a price we hope you’ll love, too. If you decide to make a purchase, Life by Daily Burn may receive a small commission.

Coffee with cream? That’s so 2016.

It can be hard to change our old ways, but what if you could just take up your daily caffeine habit a notch? Thanks to health-boosting trends like Bulletproof coffee or collagen in your coffee, you can.

And with this Mr. Coffee Coffee Maker, you can set a brew schedule for the coffee to be ready on your terms when you wake up. The Grab-A-Cup auto pause function saves you from those messy situations when you just can’t wait for the entire pot to be ready.

Get 50% Off: Mr. Coffee Coffee Maker ($29.99)

Mr Coffee Coffee Maker

Check out a few of our favorite coffee hacks to boost your health, and then use this top-notch coffee maker to brew up your favorite new concoction.

7 Healthy Coffee Hacks to Try Right Now

If you’ve been searching for a way to add a healthy twist to your morning caffeine habit, try one of these tricks to double the duty of your daily elixir. We sorted through the beans to find what would pass our filter.

[caption id="attachment_51327" align="alignnone" width="620"]Healthy Coffee Hacks: 7 Superfood Lattes That Will Make You Quit Coffee Photo: Laura Wright / The First Mess[/caption]

1. Cocoa Powder

Yep, you read that right — chocolate and coffee. But we’re not advocating for just any old chocolate. Add high-quality cocoa powder to activate the chocolate’s anti-inflammatory benefits.

Make it: Add one teaspoon of ground cocoa to the bottom of your cup before filling her up. Or, add one tablespoon to your coffee grounds before brewing.

[caption id="attachment_35369" align="alignnone" width="620"]Healthy Coffee Hacks: Bulletproof Coffee Butter Photo: Pond5[/caption]

2. Butter

Is butter a carb? Mean Girls might have gotten that one wrong, but what they never anticipated was the seemingly indulgent addition to coffee. Bulletproof brew aficionados swear by the filling and energizing effects of sliding a tablespoon of clarified butter into their brew.

Make it: Add 1-2 tablespoons of grass-fed, unsalted butter or ghee to brewed coffee. Mix in a blender for 20 to 30 seconds until your concoction looks like a creamy latte.

[caption id="attachment_56914" align="alignnone" width="620"]Healthy Coffee Hacks: The Beginner’s Guide to Collagen Powder (Plus Recipes!): Creamy Chocolate Avocado Smoothie Recipe Photo: Danielle Walker / Against All Grain[/caption]

3. Collagen

It’s not just for skin creams; collagen peptides are now also the buzziest coffee additive to hit the market. These proteins — found in the cartilage, bones and hides of cows — dissolve immediately and deliver 18 grams of protein per serving.

Make it: Add two tablespoons to brewed coffee, and stir until dissolved. Pro tip: Add the powder slowly, while stirring, to avoid clumping.

[caption id="attachment_35457" align="alignnone" width="620"]Healthy Coffee Hacks: Vietnamese Coffee Protein Smoothie Photo: Perry Santanachote / Life by Daily Burn[/caption]

4. Protein Powder

You want a smoothie, but you need your caffeine. The solution? A smoothie that uses java satisfies the need for some protein and for feeling like a fully functioning human.

Make it: Chill leftover coffee in the fridge. Add a 1/2-cup of cold coffee (or a 1/4-cup of cold brew if the struggle is real) to your normal protein smoothie and blend.

[caption id="attachment_61313" align="alignnone" width="611"]Healthy Coffee Hacks: Peppermint Mocha Photo: Amy / Amy's Healthy Baking[/caption]

5. Peppermint Extract

With its power to help digestive issues and soothe sore muscles, why wait until the holidays to enjoy a little minty goodness in your cuppa?

Make it: Add 4-5 drops of peppermint extract to your coffee; stir to combine.

[caption id="attachment_35459" align="alignnone" width="620"]Healthy Coffee Hacks: Benefits of Bone Broth Photo: Pond5[/caption]

6. Bone Broth

Devotees of this trend add it to their mug for its all-star team of nutritional standouts: collagen, glucosamine and chondroitin. The easiest way to top yourself off: a scoop of bone broth concentrate will make this the best part of waking up.

Make it: Mix one heaping scoop of bone broth protein in one cup of coffee until dissolved.

[caption id="attachment_51333" align="alignnone" width="620"]Coffee Hacks: 7 Superfood Lattes That Will Make You Quit Coffee Photo: Kathy Patalsky / Healthy Happy Life [/caption]

7. Cinnamon

Sprinkling it in your cup? You’re doing it wrong. For optimal flavor and benefits, brew your coffee with a cinnamon stick. This spice has been shown to reduce inflammation and help with fat burning.
Make it: Add 1/8 teaspoon of ground cinnamon per cup of coffee grounds while brewing.

Click HERE to snag your Mr. Coffee Coffee Maker for $29.99. 

The post 7 Health-Boosting Coffee Hacks to Try This Morning appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

]]>
Healthy Coffee Hacks

7 Healthy Coffee Hacks
This sponsored post is brought to you by StackCommerce. We only select products we think you’ll love — at a price we hope you’ll love, too. If you decide to make a purchase, Life by Daily Burn may receive a small commission. Coffee with cream? That’s so 2016. It can be hard to change our old ways, but what if you could just take up your daily caffeine habit a notch? Thanks to health-boosting trends like Bulletproof coffee or collagen in your coffee, you can. And with this Mr. Coffee Coffee Maker, you can set a brew schedule for the coffee to be ready on your terms when you wake up. The Grab-A-Cup auto pause function saves you from those messy situations when you just can’t wait for the entire pot to be ready.

Get 50% Off: Mr. Coffee Coffee Maker ($29.99)

Mr Coffee Coffee Maker Check out a few of our favorite coffee hacks to boost your health, and then use this top-notch coffee maker to brew up your favorite new concoction.

7 Healthy Coffee Hacks to Try Right Now

If you’ve been searching for a way to add a healthy twist to your morning caffeine habit, try one of these tricks to double the duty of your daily elixir. We sorted through the beans to find what would pass our filter. [caption id="attachment_51327" align="alignnone" width="620"]Healthy Coffee Hacks: 7 Superfood Lattes That Will Make You Quit Coffee Photo: Laura Wright / The First Mess[/caption]

1. Cocoa Powder

Yep, you read that right — chocolate and coffee. But we’re not advocating for just any old chocolate. Add high-quality cocoa powder to activate the chocolate’s anti-inflammatory benefits. Make it: Add one teaspoon of ground cocoa to the bottom of your cup before filling her up. Or, add one tablespoon to your coffee grounds before brewing. [caption id="attachment_35369" align="alignnone" width="620"]Healthy Coffee Hacks: Bulletproof Coffee Butter Photo: Pond5[/caption]

2. Butter

Is butter a carb? Mean Girls might have gotten that one wrong, but what they never anticipated was the seemingly indulgent addition to coffee. Bulletproof brew aficionados swear by the filling and energizing effects of sliding a tablespoon of clarified butter into their brew. Make it: Add 1-2 tablespoons of grass-fed, unsalted butter or ghee to brewed coffee. Mix in a blender for 20 to 30 seconds until your concoction looks like a creamy latte. [caption id="attachment_56914" align="alignnone" width="620"]Healthy Coffee Hacks: The Beginner’s Guide to Collagen Powder (Plus Recipes!): Creamy Chocolate Avocado Smoothie Recipe Photo: Danielle Walker / Against All Grain[/caption]

3. Collagen

It’s not just for skin creams; collagen peptides are now also the buzziest coffee additive to hit the market. These proteins — found in the cartilage, bones and hides of cows — dissolve immediately and deliver 18 grams of protein per serving. Make it: Add two tablespoons to brewed coffee, and stir until dissolved. Pro tip: Add the powder slowly, while stirring, to avoid clumping. [caption id="attachment_35457" align="alignnone" width="620"]Healthy Coffee Hacks: Vietnamese Coffee Protein Smoothie Photo: Perry Santanachote / Life by Daily Burn[/caption]

4. Protein Powder

You want a smoothie, but you need your caffeine. The solution? A smoothie that uses java satisfies the need for some protein and for feeling like a fully functioning human. Make it: Chill leftover coffee in the fridge. Add a 1/2-cup of cold coffee (or a 1/4-cup of cold brew if the struggle is real) to your normal protein smoothie and blend. [caption id="attachment_61313" align="alignnone" width="611"]Healthy Coffee Hacks: Peppermint Mocha Photo: Amy / Amy's Healthy Baking[/caption]

5. Peppermint Extract

With its power to help digestive issues and soothe sore muscles, why wait until the holidays to enjoy a little minty goodness in your cuppa? Make it: Add 4-5 drops of peppermint extract to your coffee; stir to combine. [caption id="attachment_35459" align="alignnone" width="620"]Healthy Coffee Hacks: Benefits of Bone Broth Photo: Pond5[/caption]

6. Bone Broth

Devotees of this trend add it to their mug for its all-star team of nutritional standouts: collagen, glucosamine and chondroitin. The easiest way to top yourself off: a scoop of bone broth concentrate will make this the best part of waking up. Make it: Mix one heaping scoop of bone broth protein in one cup of coffee until dissolved. [caption id="attachment_51333" align="alignnone" width="620"]Coffee Hacks: 7 Superfood Lattes That Will Make You Quit Coffee Photo: Kathy Patalsky / Healthy Happy Life [/caption]

7. Cinnamon

Sprinkling it in your cup? You’re doing it wrong. For optimal flavor and benefits, brew your coffee with a cinnamon stick. This spice has been shown to reduce inflammation and help with fat burning. Make it: Add 1/8 teaspoon of ground cinnamon per cup of coffee grounds while brewing. Click HERE to snag your Mr. Coffee Coffee Maker for $29.99. 

The post 7 Health-Boosting Coffee Hacks to Try This Morning appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

]]>
http://dailyburn.com/life/health/health-boosting-coffee-hacks/feed/ 0
Wine Spritzer Recipes for Hot Summer Days (Delivery Included!) http://dailyburn.com/life/recipes/wine-spritzer-recipes-winc-wine-delivery/ http://dailyburn.com/life/recipes/wine-spritzer-recipes-winc-wine-delivery/#respond Thu, 10 Aug 2017 15:15:20 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=60894 Wine Spritzer Recipes - Winc Wine Delivery

Winc Wine Delivery Plus Wine Spritzer Recipes

This post is brought to you by StackCommerce. We only select products we think you’ll love — at a price we hope you’ll love, too. If you decide to make a purchase, Life by Daily Burn may receive a small commission.

Wine spritzers are making a comeback, and we’re not mad. Once the domain of that less-than-fun party guest, spritzers are now hitting backyards and beaches as refreshing and calorie-conscious beverages. By adding bubbles (sorry, not the boozy ones), you cut down on the alcohol content and calories, while enjoying the crisp taste of wine.

There’s no better way to make these light and festive drinks (and get the party started) than with a subscription to Winc Wine Delivery. You’ll get four bottles of vino, picked just for you, based on your likes and dislikes. It makes party planning so easy and leaves you plenty of time to concoct these clever cocktails. Plus, the special deal for Daily Burn readers gives you a little extra cash for some Instagram-worthy garnishes. Check out a few of our favorite wine spritzer recipes, and get the goods delivered right to your door!

Get 50% Off: Winc Wine Delivery ($26)

4 Wine Spritzer Recipes to Make Right Now

[caption id="attachment_60948" align="alignnone" width="620"]Wine Spritzer Recipes: Red Wine Berry Spritzer Photo: Aggie's Kitchen[/caption]

1. Red Wine Berry Spritzer

What’s that, you say? You’re addicted to La Croix, too? In that case, we’re pretty sure we’ve found your match made in heaven with this tasty spritzer that makes even the heaviest of red wines feel light as a feather on your palette. Photo and recipe: Aggie Goodman / Aggie’s Kitchen

[caption id="attachment_60949" align="alignnone" width="620"]Wine Spritzer Recipes: Mint Pineapple Sangria Photo: Peanut Butter Fingers[/caption]

2. Pineapple Mint Sangria Spritzer

But if you’re more of a white wine connoisseur, you’ll be reaching for this refreshing sipper. Pineapple juice, lemon-lime seltzer and your favorite white combine to tantalize your tastebuds in this mojito-inspired sangria. Photo and recipe: Julie Fagan / Peanut Butter Fingers

[caption id="attachment_60950" align="alignnone" width="620"]Wine Spritzer Recipes: Rose Spritzer Photo: The Sweetest Occasion[/caption]

3. Summery Rosé Spritzer

Millenial pink lovers will be all about this spritzer that matches their favorite...everything. This delicate drink is referred to as “summer in a glass,” and who are we to mess with that kind of perfection? Mix your favorite rosé with lemon, mint, strawberries and seltzer to sip your way to rose-colored happiness. Photo and recipe: Cyd Converse / The Sweetest Occasion

[caption id="attachment_60951" align="alignnone" width="620"]Wine Spritzer Recipes: Peach Champagne Spritzer Photo: Wilde Orchard[/caption]

4. Just Peachy Champagne Spritzer

Well, this is just peachy. This recipe takes advantage of that sweet, juicy fruit’s seasonality to play off of the bubbly prosecco. Add in tangy raspberries and a hint of mint for a just as pretty garnish. Photo and recipe: Deborah Thompson / Wilde Orchard

The post Wine Spritzer Recipes for Hot Summer Days (Delivery Included!) appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

]]>
Wine Spritzer Recipes - Winc Wine Delivery

Winc Wine Delivery Plus Wine Spritzer Recipes This post is brought to you by StackCommerce. We only select products we think you’ll love — at a price we hope you’ll love, too. If you decide to make a purchase, Life by Daily Burn may receive a small commission. Wine spritzers are making a comeback, and we’re not mad. Once the domain of that less-than-fun party guest, spritzers are now hitting backyards and beaches as refreshing and calorie-conscious beverages. By adding bubbles (sorry, not the boozy ones), you cut down on the alcohol content and calories, while enjoying the crisp taste of wine. There’s no better way to make these light and festive drinks (and get the party started) than with a subscription to Winc Wine Delivery. You’ll get four bottles of vino, picked just for you, based on your likes and dislikes. It makes party planning so easy and leaves you plenty of time to concoct these clever cocktails. Plus, the special deal for Daily Burn readers gives you a little extra cash for some Instagram-worthy garnishes. Check out a few of our favorite wine spritzer recipes, and get the goods delivered right to your door!

Get 50% Off: Winc Wine Delivery ($26)

4 Wine Spritzer Recipes to Make Right Now

[caption id="attachment_60948" align="alignnone" width="620"]Wine Spritzer Recipes: Red Wine Berry Spritzer Photo: Aggie's Kitchen[/caption]

1. Red Wine Berry Spritzer

What’s that, you say? You’re addicted to La Croix, too? In that case, we’re pretty sure we’ve found your match made in heaven with this tasty spritzer that makes even the heaviest of red wines feel light as a feather on your palette. Photo and recipe: Aggie Goodman / Aggie’s Kitchen [caption id="attachment_60949" align="alignnone" width="620"]Wine Spritzer Recipes: Mint Pineapple Sangria Photo: Peanut Butter Fingers[/caption]

2. Pineapple Mint Sangria Spritzer

But if you’re more of a white wine connoisseur, you’ll be reaching for this refreshing sipper. Pineapple juice, lemon-lime seltzer and your favorite white combine to tantalize your tastebuds in this mojito-inspired sangria. Photo and recipe: Julie Fagan / Peanut Butter Fingers [caption id="attachment_60950" align="alignnone" width="620"]Wine Spritzer Recipes: Rose Spritzer Photo: The Sweetest Occasion[/caption]

3. Summery Rosé Spritzer

Millenial pink lovers will be all about this spritzer that matches their favorite...everything. This delicate drink is referred to as “summer in a glass,” and who are we to mess with that kind of perfection? Mix your favorite rosé with lemon, mint, strawberries and seltzer to sip your way to rose-colored happiness. Photo and recipe: Cyd Converse / The Sweetest Occasion [caption id="attachment_60951" align="alignnone" width="620"]Wine Spritzer Recipes: Peach Champagne Spritzer Photo: Wilde Orchard[/caption]

4. Just Peachy Champagne Spritzer

Well, this is just peachy. This recipe takes advantage of that sweet, juicy fruit’s seasonality to play off of the bubbly prosecco. Add in tangy raspberries and a hint of mint for a just as pretty garnish. Photo and recipe: Deborah Thompson / Wilde Orchard

The post Wine Spritzer Recipes for Hot Summer Days (Delivery Included!) appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

]]>
http://dailyburn.com/life/recipes/wine-spritzer-recipes-winc-wine-delivery/feed/ 0
263 Races for Every Distance and Destination http://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/best-races-marathons/ http://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/best-races-marathons/#respond Tue, 01 Aug 2017 11:15:34 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=60690 Best Races in the World

Want to sign up for a race, but have no idea where to start? Lucky for you, we’ve run thousands of collective miles to find the most fun, scenic routes in the world — some that just might help you snag a PR, too.

Whether you’re looking for a 10K, half-marathon or even tackling a full marathon distance, we put together your ultimate race bucket list. We bet you’ll be reaching for your credit card faster than you can say “run!”

263 Races for All Levels

Best Races to See the World

[caption id="attachment_60692" align="alignnone" width="620"]Best Races for Every Distance and Destination: Cooper River Bridge Run Photo Courtesy of Cooper River Bridge Run[/caption]

 Nothing says exciting like a race-cation — aka turning race day into a vacation — at a beautiful, sunny location. These races are just as much about the journey as they are the destination. Add them to your list of must-do runs!

The Best 10K Races Totally Worth the Travel

The 30 Best Marathons in the Entire World

15 Races for People Who’d Rather Walk than Run

Half-Marathons to Get You Hooked

[caption id="attachment_60693" align="alignnone" width="620"]Best Races for Every Distance and Destination: The Great Wall Half-Marathon Photo Courtesy of Albatros Adventure Marathons[/caption]

After tackling a 10K, many people move on to the half-marathon, and for good reason! Tackling a 13.1-miler is definitely tough enough that you’ll feel challenged, but the training isn’t as time-intense as a full-on marathon. Plus, if one of your goals is to visit all 50 states, cross off two accomplishments at once by joining the Fifty States Half Marathon Club.

The 50 Best Half-Marathons in the U.S.

The 15 Best Destination Half-Marathons in the World

Marathons to Go the Distance

[caption id="attachment_60694" align="alignnone" width="620"]Best Races for Every Distance and Destination: Anthem Richmond Marathon Photo Courtesy of Sports Backers[/caption]

You decided you want to go the full distance — congrats! (That in itself is half the battle.) Now it’s time to pick a cool place to make it happen. Whether you’re gunning for a BQ (Boston qualifier), attempting to travel the world or just trying to finish your first 26.2, these races guarantee you hours of enjoyment.

The 15 Best Fall Marathons in the U.S.

15 Fun, Fast and Beginner-Friendly Marathons

The 15 Best Spring Marathons in the U.S.

The 15 Fastest Fall Marathons to Earn a BQ

Races for a Reason

[caption id="attachment_60695" align="alignnone" width="620"]Best Races for Every Distance and Destination: Susan G. Komen 3-Day Photo Courtesy of Susan G. Komen 3-Day[/caption]

What’s better than racing for a new record? Racing for a good cause. All of these events double as fundraisers for nonprofits, bringing in much-needed money for causes like breast cancer research or helping our four-legged friends. Endorphins and knowing you did something good for others — all before most people wake up? Sign. Us. Up.

10 Spring Races That Give Back

11 Incredible Charity Races That Give Back

Races That Go Beyond Running  

[caption id="attachment_60696" align="alignnone" width="620"]Best Races for Every Distance and Destination: Chicago Triathlon Photo Courtesy of Chicago Triathlon[/caption]

You don’t have to stick strictly to running to earn a finisher medal. Maybe you (and your BFF) want to get some strength — or other cardio-focused sports — involved. That’s where these mud runs, relays and triathlons come in. Obstacle course races, in particular, not only test your strength with activities like monkey bars and scaling walls, but they’ll also challenge you mentally. From three-mile sprints to Spartan beasts to swimming, biking and running, you’ll find a race to meet your workout needs.

The 10 Most Iconic Spartan Races in the U.S.

The 12 Most Epic Mud Runs in the World

The 17 Best Relay Races in the U.S.

The 13 Most Incredible Triathlons in the U.S.


Read More
Get Spartan Fit with Daily Burn’s New Training Program
5 Running Tweaks That Took an Hour Off My Marathon Time
Hate Running? 25 Ways to Learn to Love It

The post 263 Races for Every Distance and Destination appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

]]>
Best Races in the World

Want to sign up for a race, but have no idea where to start? Lucky for you, we’ve run thousands of collective miles to find the most fun, scenic routes in the world — some that just might help you snag a PR, too. Whether you’re looking for a 10K, half-marathon or even tackling a full marathon distance, we put together your ultimate race bucket list. We bet you’ll be reaching for your credit card faster than you can say “run!”

263 Races for All Levels

Best Races to See the World

[caption id="attachment_60692" align="alignnone" width="620"]Best Races for Every Distance and Destination: Cooper River Bridge Run Photo Courtesy of Cooper River Bridge Run[/caption]  Nothing says exciting like a race-cation — aka turning race day into a vacation — at a beautiful, sunny location. These races are just as much about the journey as they are the destination. Add them to your list of must-do runs! The Best 10K Races Totally Worth the Travel The 30 Best Marathons in the Entire World 15 Races for People Who’d Rather Walk than Run

Half-Marathons to Get You Hooked

[caption id="attachment_60693" align="alignnone" width="620"]Best Races for Every Distance and Destination: The Great Wall Half-Marathon Photo Courtesy of Albatros Adventure Marathons[/caption] After tackling a 10K, many people move on to the half-marathon, and for good reason! Tackling a 13.1-miler is definitely tough enough that you’ll feel challenged, but the training isn’t as time-intense as a full-on marathon. Plus, if one of your goals is to visit all 50 states, cross off two accomplishments at once by joining the Fifty States Half Marathon Club. The 50 Best Half-Marathons in the U.S. The 15 Best Destination Half-Marathons in the World

Marathons to Go the Distance

[caption id="attachment_60694" align="alignnone" width="620"]Best Races for Every Distance and Destination: Anthem Richmond Marathon Photo Courtesy of Sports Backers[/caption] You decided you want to go the full distance — congrats! (That in itself is half the battle.) Now it’s time to pick a cool place to make it happen. Whether you’re gunning for a BQ (Boston qualifier), attempting to travel the world or just trying to finish your first 26.2, these races guarantee you hours of enjoyment. The 15 Best Fall Marathons in the U.S. 15 Fun, Fast and Beginner-Friendly Marathons The 15 Best Spring Marathons in the U.S. The 15 Fastest Fall Marathons to Earn a BQ

Races for a Reason

[caption id="attachment_60695" align="alignnone" width="620"]Best Races for Every Distance and Destination: Susan G. Komen 3-Day Photo Courtesy of Susan G. Komen 3-Day[/caption] What’s better than racing for a new record? Racing for a good cause. All of these events double as fundraisers for nonprofits, bringing in much-needed money for causes like breast cancer research or helping our four-legged friends. Endorphins and knowing you did something good for others — all before most people wake up? Sign. Us. Up. 10 Spring Races That Give Back 11 Incredible Charity Races That Give Back

Races That Go Beyond Running  

[caption id="attachment_60696" align="alignnone" width="620"]Best Races for Every Distance and Destination: Chicago Triathlon Photo Courtesy of Chicago Triathlon[/caption] You don’t have to stick strictly to running to earn a finisher medal. Maybe you (and your BFF) want to get some strength — or other cardio-focused sports — involved. That’s where these mud runs, relays and triathlons come in. Obstacle course races, in particular, not only test your strength with activities like monkey bars and scaling walls, but they’ll also challenge you mentally. From three-mile sprints to Spartan beasts to swimming, biking and running, you’ll find a race to meet your workout needs. The 10 Most Iconic Spartan Races in the U.S. The 12 Most Epic Mud Runs in the World The 17 Best Relay Races in the U.S. The 13 Most Incredible Triathlons in the U.S. Read More Get Spartan Fit with Daily Burn’s New Training Program 5 Running Tweaks That Took an Hour Off My Marathon Time Hate Running? 25 Ways to Learn to Love It

The post 263 Races for Every Distance and Destination appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

]]>
http://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/best-races-marathons/feed/ 0
6 Healthy Meal Plan Services to Simplify Your Life http://dailyburn.com/life/health/healthy-meal-plan-services/ http://dailyburn.com/life/health/healthy-meal-plan-services/#respond Tue, 02 May 2017 10:15:47 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=58179

Best Meal Plan Services

Despite a Pinterest board full of healthy meal ideas, every time 6 p.m. rolls around, you find yourself scrambling to fill your plate. Maybe you’ve tried those fancy meal delivery services, but preparing all that food before it goes to waste can easily cue panic-mode. And wasn’t cooking supposed to be fun?

The good news: You can still get some hand holding, while still getting to pick out your own groceries. (How else can you make sure your kale is up to snuff?). Plus, there’s no need to worry about busy travel or co-habitation schedules. We know that when you’re spending half the week at your significant other’s place, you’re not about to lug spaghetti squash all over town.

Your outside-the-pizza-box solution: Meal planning services. The premise is that you’ll get a full week’s menus, customized to your own preferences and health goals, sent right to your inbox (or smartphone). It’s then up to you to purchase the food (though some of these companies will give you the option of ordering ingredients directly through their sites). As for having someone come over to cook them? #lifegoals. Until then, here’s the inside scoop on the latest meal plan services, and how to pick the right one for you.

The 6 Best Meal Plan Services

[caption id="attachment_58265" align="alignnone" width="620"]Best Meal Plan Services: eMeals Photo: eMeals[/caption]

1. eMeals

Best for: Weight loss
With plans ranging from low-calorie to heart-healthy to portion control, our friends at eMeals provide plans to help you meet your weight loss or management goals. Diabetic or vegetarian? You’re covered, too. The app helps you build grocery lists that you can then send to grocery delivery services like Instacart or stores like Whole Foods. Or, you can just head into the store like everyone else. The difference? You’ll be armed with a plan.

Pricing: $29.99 for three months

RELATED: 5 Brilliant Apps to Make Meal Planning Easy

[caption id="attachment_58267" align="alignnone" width="620"]Best Meal Plan Services: Designed to Fit Nutrition Photo: Designed to Fit Nutrition[/caption]

2.Designed to Fit Nutrition

Best for: Fit foodies
If you’re reading here, we assume you like to work out. Good news: the plans take into account your fitness routine and goals — and even give you different calorie and macro options for rest days. (You are taking rest days, right?) The system is based on macros (hint: carbs, protein and fat), and all of your meals are calculated to make sure you can realistically hit those numbers. For more accountability, the coaches offer one-on-one support.

Pricing: $100 per month; 10% off for the first 10 readers to sign up with code DAILYBURN

RELATED: What the Heck Are Macros?

[caption id="attachment_58275" align="alignnone" width="620"]Best Meal Plan Services: PlateJoy Photo: PlateJoy[/caption]

3. PlateJoy

Best for: Forgetful cooks
Who doesn’t want a little more joy on their plate? PlateJoy gives you a lifestyle quiz to make sure that the meals they suggest are ones you’ll actually make. After all, it doesn’t matter how good a recipe looks if spending an hour in the kitchen each night is not in the cards. You’re also assigned a personal coach to help you meet your nutrition goals. Our favorite feature: The Digital Pantry, which keeps track of the ingredients in your kitchen to save you from buying double “just in case” (guilty as charged).

Pricing: $69 for a six-month plan (~$12/month) or use code BURN10 for $10 off any plan

[caption id="attachment_58276" align="alignnone" width="620"]Best Meal Plan Services: The Fresh 20 Photo: The Fresh 20[/caption]

4. The Fresh 20

Best for: Singles
Single, living solo and slightly annoyed that most of these services are designed for couples and families? You’re not alone. And luckily, The Fresh 20 is different — it offers plans designed specifically for solo cooks, in addition to couples and families. Its name comes from the concept that 20 ingredients can be the entirety of your shopping list and that it will only take you 20 minutes to shop. They’ve even simplified the prep process for you so you’ll only need one hour to prep for the entire week. Now that’s prepping like a pro.

Pricing: $14 per month; use code DAILYBURN30 for 30% off any annual plan

RELATED: Printable Meal Planning Templates to Simplify Your Life

[caption id="attachment_58278" align="alignnone" width="620"]Best Meal Plan Services: Cook Smarts Photo: Cook Smarts[/caption]

5. CookSmarts

Best for: New cooks
Sure, you can manage to make meals that are mostly edible, but can you say you really know what you’re doing in the kitchen? Jess Dang, the creator of Cook Smarts, was teaching in-home cooking lessons when she realized that most people aren’t all that savvy in the kitchen. And so Cook Smarts, which offers meal plans and cooking tutorials, was born. The service will also let you customize your recipes to fit as many or as few serving sizes as you need.

Pricing: $8 per month

[caption id="attachment_58284" align="alignnone" width="620"]Best Meal Plan Services: Meal Plan Service Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

6. Eat This Much

Best for: Macro junkies
This site takes all of the guesswork out of the calculations that many healthy eating plans require. Based on your preferences, it breaks down the macros and calories you need to hit your goals and selects which recipes fit the bill. Each recipe also highlights the estimated cost per serving, so you can eat right without going broke. Like other similar services, it also integrates with Instacart and other online grocery shopping services to have the ingredients delivered to you.

Pricing: Free plans or $7 per month for a premium version, which allows further customization

The post 6 Healthy Meal Plan Services to Simplify Your Life appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

]]>

Best Meal Plan Services Despite a Pinterest board full of healthy meal ideas, every time 6 p.m. rolls around, you find yourself scrambling to fill your plate. Maybe you’ve tried those fancy meal delivery services, but preparing all that food before it goes to waste can easily cue panic-mode. And wasn’t cooking supposed to be fun? The good news: You can still get some hand holding, while still getting to pick out your own groceries. (How else can you make sure your kale is up to snuff?). Plus, there’s no need to worry about busy travel or co-habitation schedules. We know that when you’re spending half the week at your significant other’s place, you’re not about to lug spaghetti squash all over town. Your outside-the-pizza-box solution: Meal planning services. The premise is that you’ll get a full week’s menus, customized to your own preferences and health goals, sent right to your inbox (or smartphone). It’s then up to you to purchase the food (though some of these companies will give you the option of ordering ingredients directly through their sites). As for having someone come over to cook them? #lifegoals. Until then, here’s the inside scoop on the latest meal plan services, and how to pick the right one for you.

The 6 Best Meal Plan Services

[caption id="attachment_58265" align="alignnone" width="620"]Best Meal Plan Services: eMeals Photo: eMeals[/caption]

1. eMeals

Best for: Weight loss With plans ranging from low-calorie to heart-healthy to portion control, our friends at eMeals provide plans to help you meet your weight loss or management goals. Diabetic or vegetarian? You’re covered, too. The app helps you build grocery lists that you can then send to grocery delivery services like Instacart or stores like Whole Foods. Or, you can just head into the store like everyone else. The difference? You’ll be armed with a plan. Pricing: $29.99 for three months RELATED: 5 Brilliant Apps to Make Meal Planning Easy [caption id="attachment_58267" align="alignnone" width="620"]Best Meal Plan Services: Designed to Fit Nutrition Photo: Designed to Fit Nutrition[/caption]

2.Designed to Fit Nutrition

Best for: Fit foodies If you’re reading here, we assume you like to work out. Good news: the plans take into account your fitness routine and goals — and even give you different calorie and macro options for rest days. (You are taking rest days, right?) The system is based on macros (hint: carbs, protein and fat), and all of your meals are calculated to make sure you can realistically hit those numbers. For more accountability, the coaches offer one-on-one support. Pricing: $100 per month; 10% off for the first 10 readers to sign up with code DAILYBURN RELATED: What the Heck Are Macros? [caption id="attachment_58275" align="alignnone" width="620"]Best Meal Plan Services: PlateJoy Photo: PlateJoy[/caption]

3. PlateJoy

Best for: Forgetful cooks Who doesn’t want a little more joy on their plate? PlateJoy gives you a lifestyle quiz to make sure that the meals they suggest are ones you’ll actually make. After all, it doesn’t matter how good a recipe looks if spending an hour in the kitchen each night is not in the cards. You’re also assigned a personal coach to help you meet your nutrition goals. Our favorite feature: The Digital Pantry, which keeps track of the ingredients in your kitchen to save you from buying double “just in case” (guilty as charged). Pricing: $69 for a six-month plan (~$12/month) or use code BURN10 for $10 off any plan [caption id="attachment_58276" align="alignnone" width="620"]Best Meal Plan Services: The Fresh 20 Photo: The Fresh 20[/caption]

4. The Fresh 20

Best for: Singles Single, living solo and slightly annoyed that most of these services are designed for couples and families? You’re not alone. And luckily, The Fresh 20 is different — it offers plans designed specifically for solo cooks, in addition to couples and families. Its name comes from the concept that 20 ingredients can be the entirety of your shopping list and that it will only take you 20 minutes to shop. They’ve even simplified the prep process for you so you’ll only need one hour to prep for the entire week. Now that’s prepping like a pro. Pricing: $14 per month; use code DAILYBURN30 for 30% off any annual plan RELATED: Printable Meal Planning Templates to Simplify Your Life [caption id="attachment_58278" align="alignnone" width="620"]Best Meal Plan Services: Cook Smarts Photo: Cook Smarts[/caption]

5. CookSmarts

Best for: New cooks Sure, you can manage to make meals that are mostly edible, but can you say you really know what you’re doing in the kitchen? Jess Dang, the creator of Cook Smarts, was teaching in-home cooking lessons when she realized that most people aren’t all that savvy in the kitchen. And so Cook Smarts, which offers meal plans and cooking tutorials, was born. The service will also let you customize your recipes to fit as many or as few serving sizes as you need. Pricing: $8 per month [caption id="attachment_58284" align="alignnone" width="620"]Best Meal Plan Services: Meal Plan Service Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

6. Eat This Much

Best for: Macro junkies This site takes all of the guesswork out of the calculations that many healthy eating plans require. Based on your preferences, it breaks down the macros and calories you need to hit your goals and selects which recipes fit the bill. Each recipe also highlights the estimated cost per serving, so you can eat right without going broke. Like other similar services, it also integrates with Instacart and other online grocery shopping services to have the ingredients delivered to you. Pricing: Free plans or $7 per month for a premium version, which allows further customization

The post 6 Healthy Meal Plan Services to Simplify Your Life appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

]]>
http://dailyburn.com/life/health/healthy-meal-plan-services/feed/ 0
7 Bedtime Rituals to Help Banish Your Insomnia http://dailyburn.com/life/lifestyle/insomnia-tips-bedtime-rituals/ http://dailyburn.com/life/lifestyle/insomnia-tips-bedtime-rituals/#respond Mon, 27 Feb 2017 16:15:12 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=56523 7 Bedtime Rituals to Help Banish Your Insomnia

[caption id="attachment_56541" align="alignnone" width="620"]7 Bedtime Rituals to Help Banish Your Insomnia Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

Your mind races. The clock torments you as each minute clicks on, and you continue to calculate how each second you’re awake is affecting how much sleep you’ll get tonight, therefore ruining your day tomorrow.

If this sounds familiar, you can count yourself among the estimated 25 percent of American adults who report occasionally not getting enough sleep, according to the Centers for Disease Control. And then there’s the 10 percent that suffer from chronic insomnia disorder, when sleeplessness strikes at least three times a week for several months straight.

The good news: Research shows that bedtime rituals can be helpful for insomnia sufferers. We talked to sleep and happiness experts to find out just what you should be doing when you so desperately want to hit the hay — but can’t.

RELATED: Six Signs You’re Exhausted (Not Just Tired)

7 Nighttime Rituals to Fight Insomnia

The key to these tips, says Gretchen Rubin, author of Better Than Before: What I Learned About Making Breaking Habits, is to try them before you have trouble sleeping. That way your body becomes accustomed to the rituals and associates them with sleep when you need them most.

1. Set a bedtime alarm.

That’s right — an alarm to go to sleep. “The problem many people have with sleep,” Rubin says, “is that people wait to be tired and stay up too late.” She suggests selecting a distinct tone to signify that it’s time for you to begin preparing for bedtime. (Think: wind chimes or bird’s chirping, rather than the blaring fire alarm ringtone that rattles you awake each morning.)

2. Brush your teeth.

It sounds so obvious, right? But there’s a reason behind this other than, you know, your good oral health. “It’s something you’ve done before bed your whole life, so it’s already associated with going to sleep,” says Dr. Steve Orma, insomnia and anxiety specialist and author of Stop Worrying and Go to Sleep.

Plus, Rubin adds, often nighttime rituals include snacking — and you’re probably not noshing on carrots late at night! Sugary bites will cause a blood sugar spike, and a freshly cleaned mouth will help you call it quits before temptation strikes.

RELATED: The 10 Happiest Places on the Internet

3. Dim the lights.

Turn off your lamps an hour before bed, recommends Dr. Orma. “This will cue your body that it’s nighttime and increase the release of melatonin, the hormone that helps you sleep.”The same holds true for your favorite gadget. Studies have shown that blue light from devices like smartphones and tablets can disrupt your body’s melatonin-making process, which is the hormone that helps you fall and stay asleep.

4. Listen to a bedtime story.

That’s right, nighttime stories are not just for kids anymore! They work for children because they help them relax and lull them to sleep. So why wouldn’t adults try them? Dr. Orma recommends this tactic to distract your mind from the rumination that leads to anxiety. Instead, you’ll be refocusing that energy on something more pleasant. The app Calm or podcast Sleep with Me are among Dr. Orma’s favorite resources for bedtime stories.

RELATED: How to Overcome Anxiety, Starting Now

5. Read yourself to sleep.

You always say you don’t have enough time to read, right? Just before bedtime is the perfect opportunity, says Dr. Orma. It focuses — and thus, fatigues — your mind. Pro tips: Make sure what you’re reading is only somewhat interesting and non-stimulating. (Sorry, no 50 Shades of Grey here!) You’ll also want to make sure you’re not reading on your Kindle or iPad, as light-emitting e-readers negatively affect sleep by disrupting circadian rhythms.

6. Clean up.

No, this isn’t time to scour your house, but those clothes you have draped over your chair? Take 10 minutes to put them away, says Rubin, to help you feel a sort of closure to the day. “It’s symbolically putting things into place,” she says. “Plus, it feels so much nicer when you wake up in the morning to a clean home.” Feng shui experts would agree, too.

7. Get chill.

If you’ve ever shared a bed or a room with someone, you know how contentious room temperature can be. Turns out there’s a reason for that. If it’s too hot or too cold, says Dr. Orma, it can disturb your sleep. “The ideal sleep temperature,” he says, “has been shown to be about 65 degrees Farenheit.”

Want more tips to fight insomnia and get better quality zzz's? Check out this research-backed infographic from On Stride.

More Tips to Turn Your Insomnia Around, Starting Tonight

[caption id="attachment_56553" align="alignnone" width="620"]Insomnia Tips - Why You Can't Sleep and What to Do About It Infographic courtesy of On Stride[/caption]

The post 7 Bedtime Rituals to Help Banish Your Insomnia appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

]]>
7 Bedtime Rituals to Help Banish Your Insomnia

[caption id="attachment_56541" align="alignnone" width="620"]7 Bedtime Rituals to Help Banish Your Insomnia Photo: Twenty20[/caption] Your mind races. The clock torments you as each minute clicks on, and you continue to calculate how each second you’re awake is affecting how much sleep you’ll get tonight, therefore ruining your day tomorrow. If this sounds familiar, you can count yourself among the estimated 25 percent of American adults who report occasionally not getting enough sleep, according to the Centers for Disease Control. And then there’s the 10 percent that suffer from chronic insomnia disorder, when sleeplessness strikes at least three times a week for several months straight. The good news: Research shows that bedtime rituals can be helpful for insomnia sufferers. We talked to sleep and happiness experts to find out just what you should be doing when you so desperately want to hit the hay — but can’t. RELATED: Six Signs You’re Exhausted (Not Just Tired)

7 Nighttime Rituals to Fight Insomnia

The key to these tips, says Gretchen Rubin, author of Better Than Before: What I Learned About Making Breaking Habits, is to try them before you have trouble sleeping. That way your body becomes accustomed to the rituals and associates them with sleep when you need them most.

1. Set a bedtime alarm.

That’s right — an alarm to go to sleep. “The problem many people have with sleep,” Rubin says, “is that people wait to be tired and stay up too late.” She suggests selecting a distinct tone to signify that it’s time for you to begin preparing for bedtime. (Think: wind chimes or bird’s chirping, rather than the blaring fire alarm ringtone that rattles you awake each morning.)

2. Brush your teeth.

It sounds so obvious, right? But there’s a reason behind this other than, you know, your good oral health. “It’s something you’ve done before bed your whole life, so it’s already associated with going to sleep,” says Dr. Steve Orma, insomnia and anxiety specialist and author of Stop Worrying and Go to Sleep. Plus, Rubin adds, often nighttime rituals include snacking — and you’re probably not noshing on carrots late at night! Sugary bites will cause a blood sugar spike, and a freshly cleaned mouth will help you call it quits before temptation strikes. RELATED: The 10 Happiest Places on the Internet

3. Dim the lights.

Turn off your lamps an hour before bed, recommends Dr. Orma. “This will cue your body that it’s nighttime and increase the release of melatonin, the hormone that helps you sleep.”The same holds true for your favorite gadget. Studies have shown that blue light from devices like smartphones and tablets can disrupt your body’s melatonin-making process, which is the hormone that helps you fall and stay asleep.

4. Listen to a bedtime story.

That’s right, nighttime stories are not just for kids anymore! They work for children because they help them relax and lull them to sleep. So why wouldn’t adults try them? Dr. Orma recommends this tactic to distract your mind from the rumination that leads to anxiety. Instead, you’ll be refocusing that energy on something more pleasant. The app Calm or podcast Sleep with Me are among Dr. Orma’s favorite resources for bedtime stories. RELATED: How to Overcome Anxiety, Starting Now

5. Read yourself to sleep.

You always say you don’t have enough time to read, right? Just before bedtime is the perfect opportunity, says Dr. Orma. It focuses — and thus, fatigues — your mind. Pro tips: Make sure what you’re reading is only somewhat interesting and non-stimulating. (Sorry, no 50 Shades of Grey here!) You’ll also want to make sure you’re not reading on your Kindle or iPad, as light-emitting e-readers negatively affect sleep by disrupting circadian rhythms.

6. Clean up.

No, this isn’t time to scour your house, but those clothes you have draped over your chair? Take 10 minutes to put them away, says Rubin, to help you feel a sort of closure to the day. “It’s symbolically putting things into place,” she says. “Plus, it feels so much nicer when you wake up in the morning to a clean home.” Feng shui experts would agree, too.

7. Get chill.

If you’ve ever shared a bed or a room with someone, you know how contentious room temperature can be. Turns out there’s a reason for that. If it’s too hot or too cold, says Dr. Orma, it can disturb your sleep. “The ideal sleep temperature,” he says, “has been shown to be about 65 degrees Farenheit.” Want more tips to fight insomnia and get better quality zzz's? Check out this research-backed infographic from On Stride.

More Tips to Turn Your Insomnia Around, Starting Tonight

[caption id="attachment_56553" align="alignnone" width="620"]Insomnia Tips - Why You Can't Sleep and What to Do About It Infographic courtesy of On Stride[/caption]

The post 7 Bedtime Rituals to Help Banish Your Insomnia appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

]]>
http://dailyburn.com/life/lifestyle/insomnia-tips-bedtime-rituals/feed/ 0
The Best DIY Holiday Gifts for Fitness Lovers http://dailyburn.com/life/tech/holiday-diy-gifts-fitness-lovers/ http://dailyburn.com/life/tech/holiday-diy-gifts-fitness-lovers/#respond Wed, 07 Dec 2016 12:15:48 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=54531 Holiday DIY Gifts

7 Holiday DIY Gifts for Fitness Lovers

Photo: Happiness is Homemade

If you’re anything like us, the holidays snuck up on you, and now you’re scrambling to find the perfect gift for everyone on your list. But why settle for something impersonal like a gift card or a same old box of chocolates when you can make one of these easy personalized DIY gifts for your fitness-loving friend. The bonus is that stocking stuffers are made with items you can easily purchase at a crafts store, so you'll save money and channel some creative holiday spirit.

RELATED: 50 Holiday Gift Ideas for the Wellness Obsessed

7 DIY Gifts for Wellness Buffs 

[caption id="attachment_54536" align="alignnone" width="620"]7 DIY Gifts for Fitness Lovers - DIY Headband Photo: Stay Fit Mom[/caption]

1. DIY Fitness Headband
Your favorite sweaty Betty wouldn’t dare show up to a workout without a headband to wick the liquid awesome away from her forehead. Instead of dropping dough on one that you don't know will fit her head for sure, why not create one that's made just for her? With some swatches of her favorite fabric and a few sewing materials, she’ll have a gift you know nobody else at the gym will have.

[caption id="attachment_54539" align="alignnone" width="620"]7 DIY Holiday Gifts for Fitness Lovers Photo: Hot Glue and Sparkle[/caption]

2. Armband Phone Carrier
We don’t know about you, but we can never find an armband that fits our arms and phones just right. But thanks to the ladies at Hot Glue & Sparkle, you can create an armband with a sock so it fits perfectly, can double as a sweatband and has a trendy design. Follow their tutorial on how to cut up a sock (or socks if you want to give your friend options), and you’re in business. It’s so easy that you might have just solved the armband problem for everyone you know.

RELATED: 8 Running Apps for Marathoners, Skeptics and Everyone In Between

[caption id="attachment_54540" align="alignnone" width="620"]7 DIY Holiday Gifts for Fitness Lovers Photo: Happiness is Homemade[/caption]

3. Sports Soak
Anyone can buy a bath bomb, but it takes someone special to make your own soak. We won’t spill all the secrets, but it just takes some Epsom salt, baking soda, essential oils and food coloring. Package it all up in a pretty Mason jar with a bow, and you’ll be the hero of your gift exchange.

[caption id="attachment_54542" align="alignnone" width="620"]7 DIY Holiday Gifts for Fitness Lovers - Recipe Binder Photo: The Gracious Wife[/caption]

4. Recipe Binder

If you have a meal prep maven in your life, it’s time to get cracking on this recipe binder. Stop her from her Pinterest princess ways by giving her a way to store all of her favorite recipes IRL. Buy a nice binder, and fill it with these free printables from Michelle at The Gracious Wife. She can use the pretty printables to fill out the ingredients and instructions for all her favorite dishes.

RELATED: 50 Resources That Make Meal Prep a Snap

[caption id="attachment_54543" align="alignnone" width="620"]7 DIY Holiday Gifts for Fitness Lovers - DIY Yoga Pants Photo: Helen's Closet[/caption]

5. Yoga Pants

Sew what? If you’re crafty with a sewing machine: First off, we want to know you. And secondly, you can make leggings so your loved one can downward dog her way happy. She'll appreciate them more than the other workout capris and leggings in her collection. But we won't judge if she decides to wear it to brunch or a coffee date. The best part? This project takes no longer than a vinyasa class.

[caption id="attachment_54544" align="alignnone" width="620"]7 DIY Holiday Gifts for Fitness Lovers - DIY Half-Marathon Tote Photo: Run Wiki[/caption]

6. Golden Arrow Tote

13.1 car stickers are cool and all, but a bag that proclaims you’re a half-marathoner is even more legit. This gorgeous golden arrow tote is a unique way to show your friend that you’re cool with them skipping out on social obligations in favor of training runs, and how proud you are of their dedication and motivation. It’s also great for storing race day essentials, like water, gels, deodorant and extra layers.

RELATED: 13 Awesome Podcasts to Get You Through a Long Run

[caption id="attachment_54545" align="alignnone" width="620"]7 DIY Holiday Gifts for Fitness Lovers - DIY Half-Marathon Tote Photo: Giggles Galore[/caption]

7. Motivational Water Bottle

We all know that person in our life who says they “just don’t like water,” or someone who has a hard time drinking the daily recommended amount. But maybe they just haven’t found the right bottle to remind them. Put the power in their hands with this motivational bottle to help them meet their goals.

The post The Best DIY Holiday Gifts for Fitness Lovers appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

]]>
Holiday DIY Gifts

7 Holiday DIY Gifts for Fitness Lovers Photo: Happiness is Homemade If you’re anything like us, the holidays snuck up on you, and now you’re scrambling to find the perfect gift for everyone on your list. But why settle for something impersonal like a gift card or a same old box of chocolates when you can make one of these easy personalized DIY gifts for your fitness-loving friend. The bonus is that stocking stuffers are made with items you can easily purchase at a crafts store, so you'll save money and channel some creative holiday spirit. RELATED: 50 Holiday Gift Ideas for the Wellness Obsessed

7 DIY Gifts for Wellness Buffs 

[caption id="attachment_54536" align="alignnone" width="620"]7 DIY Gifts for Fitness Lovers - DIY Headband Photo: Stay Fit Mom[/caption] 1. DIY Fitness Headband Your favorite sweaty Betty wouldn’t dare show up to a workout without a headband to wick the liquid awesome away from her forehead. Instead of dropping dough on one that you don't know will fit her head for sure, why not create one that's made just for her? With some swatches of her favorite fabric and a few sewing materials, she’ll have a gift you know nobody else at the gym will have. [caption id="attachment_54539" align="alignnone" width="620"]7 DIY Holiday Gifts for Fitness Lovers Photo: Hot Glue and Sparkle[/caption] 2. Armband Phone Carrier We don’t know about you, but we can never find an armband that fits our arms and phones just right. But thanks to the ladies at Hot Glue & Sparkle, you can create an armband with a sock so it fits perfectly, can double as a sweatband and has a trendy design. Follow their tutorial on how to cut up a sock (or socks if you want to give your friend options), and you’re in business. It’s so easy that you might have just solved the armband problem for everyone you know. RELATED: 8 Running Apps for Marathoners, Skeptics and Everyone In Between [caption id="attachment_54540" align="alignnone" width="620"]7 DIY Holiday Gifts for Fitness Lovers Photo: Happiness is Homemade[/caption] 3. Sports Soak Anyone can buy a bath bomb, but it takes someone special to make your own soak. We won’t spill all the secrets, but it just takes some Epsom salt, baking soda, essential oils and food coloring. Package it all up in a pretty Mason jar with a bow, and you’ll be the hero of your gift exchange. [caption id="attachment_54542" align="alignnone" width="620"]7 DIY Holiday Gifts for Fitness Lovers - Recipe Binder Photo: The Gracious Wife[/caption] 4. Recipe Binder If you have a meal prep maven in your life, it’s time to get cracking on this recipe binder. Stop her from her Pinterest princess ways by giving her a way to store all of her favorite recipes IRL. Buy a nice binder, and fill it with these free printables from Michelle at The Gracious Wife. She can use the pretty printables to fill out the ingredients and instructions for all her favorite dishes. RELATED: 50 Resources That Make Meal Prep a Snap [caption id="attachment_54543" align="alignnone" width="620"]7 DIY Holiday Gifts for Fitness Lovers - DIY Yoga Pants Photo: Helen's Closet[/caption] 5. Yoga Pants Sew what? If you’re crafty with a sewing machine: First off, we want to know you. And secondly, you can make leggings so your loved one can downward dog her way happy. She'll appreciate them more than the other workout capris and leggings in her collection. But we won't judge if she decides to wear it to brunch or a coffee date. The best part? This project takes no longer than a vinyasa class. [caption id="attachment_54544" align="alignnone" width="620"]7 DIY Holiday Gifts for Fitness Lovers - DIY Half-Marathon Tote Photo: Run Wiki[/caption] 6. Golden Arrow Tote 13.1 car stickers are cool and all, but a bag that proclaims you’re a half-marathoner is even more legit. This gorgeous golden arrow tote is a unique way to show your friend that you’re cool with them skipping out on social obligations in favor of training runs, and how proud you are of their dedication and motivation. It’s also great for storing race day essentials, like water, gels, deodorant and extra layers. RELATED: 13 Awesome Podcasts to Get You Through a Long Run [caption id="attachment_54545" align="alignnone" width="620"]7 DIY Holiday Gifts for Fitness Lovers - DIY Half-Marathon Tote Photo: Giggles Galore[/caption] 7. Motivational Water Bottle We all know that person in our life who says they “just don’t like water,” or someone who has a hard time drinking the daily recommended amount. But maybe they just haven’t found the right bottle to remind them. Put the power in their hands with this motivational bottle to help them meet their goals.

The post The Best DIY Holiday Gifts for Fitness Lovers appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

]]>
http://dailyburn.com/life/tech/holiday-diy-gifts-fitness-lovers/feed/ 0
7 Desk Items to Help You Calm Down, Stat http://dailyburn.com/life/lifestyle/reduce-anxiety-desk-fidget-toys/ http://dailyburn.com/life/lifestyle/reduce-anxiety-desk-fidget-toys/#respond Fri, 18 Nov 2016 12:15:02 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=54075

[caption id="attachment_54090" align="alignnone" width="620"]7 Items for Anxiety Relief Photo: Meddy Teddy[/caption]

If your stress levels are through the roof — don’t worry, it’s not just you. Whether your sky-high anxiety is manifesting in poor sleep, a short temper or incessant foot tapping, take solace in this: there’s a method to your body’s madness. It’s how your body prepares for sudden exertion when stress hormones elevate. The only problem is when you’re not being chased by a tiger, the energy has to go somewhere. The good news: Relief can often come in the most unexpected places — such as fiddle sticks or spinner rings. (Yes, both real things.)

According to a 2016 study, a sensory experience (such as feeling something in your hand) can help with self-regulation of “achieving calm, focus and creativity.”

Mindfulness training traditionally begins with mindfulness of a tangible object,” says Dr. Chloe Carmichael, PhD, a Manhattan-based psychologist. “So it makes a lot of sense that these tools help people to focus their attention.” Check out these totally affordable buys to get your wheels spinning (and mind relaxing) — in a good way.

RELATED: How to Overcome Anxiety, Starting Now

7 Gadgets to Help You Reduce Anxiety Now

[caption id="attachment_54089" align="alignnone" width="620"]Fidget Stick Photo: FidgetGear[/caption]

1. Fidget Stick

Ah, fiddle sticks! Er, we mean, fidget sticks. This doohickey gives users not just one, but three different ways to shake out their anxiety. The top and bottom offer wheels to spin while the middle section is similar to a worry stone. ($12.99; fidgetgear.com)

[caption id="attachment_54083" align="alignnone" width="620"]Zen Desktop Garden Photo: Office Playground [/caption]

 2. Zen Desktop Garden

Is work a major source of anxiety for you and you’ve already maxed out your PTO? Why not take a mini vacation from your day right at your desk? This beach in a box offers a quick escape as you push around the sand and situate your beach chair juuust right. ($9; officeplayground.com) 

RELATED: 8 Signs You’re Way Too Stressed (And How to Deal)

[caption id="attachment_54082" align="alignnone" width="620"]Fidget Cube Photo: Fidget Cube [/caption]

3. Fidget Cube

Obsessive pen clicker? Guilty as charged. This cube gives you six different ways to fidget — spinning, rolling, rubbing, flipping, gliding and, yup, clicking. If awakening your sense of hearing appeals to your own personal zen, several of these methods give both audible and silent distractions. ($22; fidgetcube.com)

[caption id="attachment_54081" align="alignnone" width="620"]Hypnocube Photo: Hypnocube[/caption]

4Hypnocube

Sometimes we catch ourselves staring off into space when we’re stressed. But what if we could gaze at something truly mesmerizing? This display of LED lights comes with more than 60 different visualizations. That’s enough for you to find a different one every work day for three months straight. Dazed and confused, no more. ($100; hynocube.com)

RELATED: 40 Resources for Practicing Mindfulness Every Day

[caption id="attachment_54080" align="alignnone" width="620"]Meddy Teddy Meditation Bear Photo: Meddy Teddy[/caption]

5. Meddy Teddy

How could you feel anxious with this little guy around? According to the website, his purpose is to teach kids the benefits of yoga and meditation. But we think any adult would benefit from even just a snuggle with him. ($30; meddyteddy.com)

[caption id="attachment_54084" align="alignnone" width="620"]Spinner Ring Photo: Jam's Jewels [/caption]

6. Spinner Ring

If you’ve ever fiddled with your rings in a meeting, you’ll understand the mechanism of this piece of jewelry. Designed with both an inner and outer band, you can spin the inner ring while the outer band stays stationary on your finger. The idea of this “worry ring” is said to have originated in Tibetan meditation traditions as spinning is thought to calm the body down. ($17; jamsjewels.com)

RELATED: 6 Scenarios That Stress You Out (But Shouldn't)

[caption id="attachment_54079" align="alignnone" width="620"]Newton's Cradle Photo: Office Playground[/caption]

7. Newton’s Cradle

We can't make a list of the ultimate gadgets to beat work stress and not include Newton’s Cradle. You know the one — when one metal ball is lifted and released, the energy transmitted through the other balls pushes the last one upward (and vice versa). Click-clacking aside, we could watch this all day. ($8; officeplayground.com)

 

The post 7 Desk Items to Help You Calm Down, Stat appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

]]>

[caption id="attachment_54090" align="alignnone" width="620"]7 Items for Anxiety Relief Photo: Meddy Teddy[/caption] If your stress levels are through the roof — don’t worry, it’s not just you. Whether your sky-high anxiety is manifesting in poor sleep, a short temper or incessant foot tapping, take solace in this: there’s a method to your body’s madness. It’s how your body prepares for sudden exertion when stress hormones elevate. The only problem is when you’re not being chased by a tiger, the energy has to go somewhere. The good news: Relief can often come in the most unexpected places — such as fiddle sticks or spinner rings. (Yes, both real things.) According to a 2016 study, a sensory experience (such as feeling something in your hand) can help with self-regulation of “achieving calm, focus and creativity.” “Mindfulness training traditionally begins with mindfulness of a tangible object,” says Dr. Chloe Carmichael, PhD, a Manhattan-based psychologist. “So it makes a lot of sense that these tools help people to focus their attention.” Check out these totally affordable buys to get your wheels spinning (and mind relaxing) — in a good way. RELATED: How to Overcome Anxiety, Starting Now

7 Gadgets to Help You Reduce Anxiety Now

[caption id="attachment_54089" align="alignnone" width="620"]Fidget Stick Photo: FidgetGear[/caption]

1. Fidget Stick

Ah, fiddle sticks! Er, we mean, fidget sticks. This doohickey gives users not just one, but three different ways to shake out their anxiety. The top and bottom offer wheels to spin while the middle section is similar to a worry stone. ($12.99; fidgetgear.com) [caption id="attachment_54083" align="alignnone" width="620"]Zen Desktop Garden Photo: Office Playground [/caption]

 2. Zen Desktop Garden

Is work a major source of anxiety for you and you’ve already maxed out your PTO? Why not take a mini vacation from your day right at your desk? This beach in a box offers a quick escape as you push around the sand and situate your beach chair juuust right. ($9; officeplayground.com)  RELATED: 8 Signs You’re Way Too Stressed (And How to Deal) [caption id="attachment_54082" align="alignnone" width="620"]Fidget Cube Photo: Fidget Cube [/caption]

3. Fidget Cube

Obsessive pen clicker? Guilty as charged. This cube gives you six different ways to fidget — spinning, rolling, rubbing, flipping, gliding and, yup, clicking. If awakening your sense of hearing appeals to your own personal zen, several of these methods give both audible and silent distractions. ($22; fidgetcube.com) [caption id="attachment_54081" align="alignnone" width="620"]Hypnocube Photo: Hypnocube[/caption]

4Hypnocube

Sometimes we catch ourselves staring off into space when we’re stressed. But what if we could gaze at something truly mesmerizing? This display of LED lights comes with more than 60 different visualizations. That’s enough for you to find a different one every work day for three months straight. Dazed and confused, no more. ($100; hynocube.com) RELATED: 40 Resources for Practicing Mindfulness Every Day [caption id="attachment_54080" align="alignnone" width="620"]Meddy Teddy Meditation Bear Photo: Meddy Teddy[/caption]

5. Meddy Teddy

How could you feel anxious with this little guy around? According to the website, his purpose is to teach kids the benefits of yoga and meditation. But we think any adult would benefit from even just a snuggle with him. ($30; meddyteddy.com) [caption id="attachment_54084" align="alignnone" width="620"]Spinner Ring Photo: Jam's Jewels [/caption]

6. Spinner Ring

If you’ve ever fiddled with your rings in a meeting, you’ll understand the mechanism of this piece of jewelry. Designed with both an inner and outer band, you can spin the inner ring while the outer band stays stationary on your finger. The idea of this “worry ring” is said to have originated in Tibetan meditation traditions as spinning is thought to calm the body down. ($17; jamsjewels.com) RELATED: 6 Scenarios That Stress You Out (But Shouldn't) [caption id="attachment_54079" align="alignnone" width="620"]Newton's Cradle Photo: Office Playground[/caption]

7. Newton’s Cradle

We can't make a list of the ultimate gadgets to beat work stress and not include Newton’s Cradle. You know the one — when one metal ball is lifted and released, the energy transmitted through the other balls pushes the last one upward (and vice versa). Click-clacking aside, we could watch this all day. ($8; officeplayground.com)  

The post 7 Desk Items to Help You Calm Down, Stat appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

]]>
http://dailyburn.com/life/lifestyle/reduce-anxiety-desk-fidget-toys/feed/ 0
How to Run (and Watch!) the NYC Marathon Like a Pro http://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/guide-to-running-nyc-marathon/ http://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/guide-to-running-nyc-marathon/#comments Tue, 01 Nov 2016 14:00:08 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=44559 How to Run (And Watch) the NYC Marathon Like a Pro

[caption id="attachment_53680" align="alignnone" width="620"]Your Guide to Running (And Watching) the NYC Marathon Like a Pro Photo courtesy of NYRR[/caption]

If I can make it there, I’ll make it anywhere.

It’s those words from the iconic Frank Sinatra song, “New York, New York,” that play as runners begin their 26.2-mile adventure to the finish line of the New York City Marathon. And by the time runners reach that final mile marker in Central Park, they really will feel that way (hopefully).

The New York City Marathon is on Sunday, November 6 this year, with a course that’s every bit as challenging as it is breathtaking. Today, the race is the largest marathon in the world, boasting more than 50,000 runners, weaving through all five boroughs of the Big Apple, bolstered by one million spectators. (Fun fact: In 1970, just 127 participants entered to run the inaugural four laps of Central Park.)

 RELATED: The 15 Best Fall Marathons in the U.S.

Despite its difficulty, it is possible to PR in New York — with the right course strategy. And amidst the intense race day crowds, it’s also possible to just find the right place to spectate, if you’re enjoying the race from the wings. Lucky for you, our insiders’ guide will help you nail marathon day, no matter which side of the barricades you’re on.

NYC Marathon Course Preview: Before It Begins

Runners: Your race strategy starts before you even get to the start line, says Bart Yasso, Chief Running Officer of Runner’s World. “It’s all about staying warm. Some people are out there in the runner’s village for up to three hours.” Plus, you’ll stand on the bridge in your corral for another 25 minutes or so (hello, wind). Those old, ratty sweats your significant other wants you to get rid of? Wear ‘em to the start and ditch them once you get moving. (Don’t worry — clothes left at the start of the race are donated to charity.)

Spectators: While your runners are shivering in the Start Village in Staten Island, it’s time for you to map out your day. Figure out which subways you’ll need to take, buy your MetroCard, and devise a plan. You won’t be able to see your people until they’re back in Brooklyn.

After the Start Gun

Runners: “The start of the New York City Marathon is epic,” says John Honerkamp, a coach with the New York Road Runners, who’s run the course four times. The beginning is incredibly congested, but that’s actually a good thing, he says. “It will keep you from going out too fast, and you’ll get a lot of that time back later on in the race.”

Most people also don’t realize the four percent incline of the Verazzano Bridge at the start, says Yasso. But what they also don’t realize is that the second mile has an equally sharp downhill. Take these first two miles easy, and then wait until mile 3 to start worrying about your pace.

RELATED: 5 Running Tweaks That Took an Hour Off My Marathon Time

Spectators: Luckily, mile 3 is also where spectators can start to look out for runners, in the Bay Ridge neighborhood of Brooklyn. Once you see your runner here, you’ll want to get on the subway to get to First Avenue in Manhattan to see your runner around mile 18 or 19.

Brooklyn, We Go Hard

Runners: You’ll spend eleven miles in Brooklyn — from mile 2 through 13. At the start, the course diverges into three slightly different paths, dependent on your corral placement at the start. (Don’t worry — they’re all 26.2 miles!) By mile 8, they’ll combine and stay that way for the rest of the race. “Unless you’re up front, the routes bottleneck a bit,” says Yasso, “but it’s not worth trying to weave to make up some extra time.”

RELATED: 5 Running Resources for Speed, Strength and Nutrition

As you run, you’ll hit a new neighborhood every few blocks, says Honerkamp. Why take the subway when you can see this much on foot? The route takes you through family-friendly Park Slope, picturesque Clinton Hill, edgy Williamsburg and more in the city’s largest borough.

As you run, look out for Brooklyn institutions like the Barclays Center and the Brooklyn Academy of Music. As you pass Bishop Loughlin Memorial High School in Fort Greene, listen carefully: They usually play the Rocky theme song.

Take some solace as you run through Queens — not only is your trip through this borough short, but it’s also relatively flat after the short bridge at mile 13. You’ll cherish this brief stretch before tackling the infamous Queensboro Bridge.

[caption id="attachment_44570" align="alignnone" width="620"]NYC Marathon Photo courtesy of NYRR[/caption]

Both Yasso and Honerkamp agree that there’s a certain kind of peace and quiet on the bridge, as no spectators are allowed. “It’s just you and your fellow runners,” explains Honerkamp. “You can hear the breath and the footsteps of everyone before the storm of First Avenue.” Pro tip: if you need a bathroom break, the bank of Port-a-Potties under the Manhattan side of the Queensboro usually has the shortest lines.

RELATED: 50 Running Resources for Speed, Strength and Nutrition

Spectators: If you couldn’t get to Bay Ridge to spectate, 4th Avenue, Lafayette Avenue and Bedford Avenue all offer good vantage points for miles 4 through 13. And while your runner is making that lonely sojourn over the bridge, now’s your chance to get to First or Fifth Ave.

Manhattan State of Mind

Runners: Once you hit First Avenue, the energy is electric, says Honerkamp. “It seems like all one million-plus spectators are all there.” But this is where you need to tell yourself to slow down, he says. It’s difficult to combat the cheer-induced surge of energy, but it’s important to pace yourself.

First Avenue takes you from miles 16 to 19, so you might start to slow here. “When you get tired, it’s time to start focusing on your form,” according to Honerkamp. “Focusing on your form will keep you distracted from how tired you’re feeling.”

For mile 20, you’ll dip into the Bronx. For such a short trip, you’ll cross two bridges — one on either side. Continue to focus on your form to power through.

But before you know it, you’ll be back in Manhattan on Fifth Avenue. Enjoy the bands in the Bronx before you enter Harlem. “It’s a grind until mile 23,” says Honerkamp. “People don’t always realize this is a hill and your pace might slow 10-20 seconds per mile. But whatever you do — don’t look at the street signs, or you’ll just be counting down the streets.” It’s difficult here, but Yasso recommends feeding off the crowds.

RELATED: Should You Press Pause On Your Running Music?

Spectators: At miles 18 and 19, fans are sure to get a good spot thanks to thinner crowds above 96th Street. Plus, you’ll be supporting the runners when they really need it. After First Avenue, get over to Fifth Avenue to see your loved ones at one of the toughest points of the course.

[caption id="attachment_44571" align="alignnone" width="620"]NYC Marathon Finish Photo courtesy of NYRR[/caption]

The Home Stretch

Runners: Once you get to mile 23, you’ll be in Central Park. If you’ve run a smart race, you can pick up the pace here, according to Honerkamp. “Lots of people are slowing down, so you can just weave in and out of them. But be careful — people are delirious and going in and out all over the place here.” Think of crossing the finish line in a few miles, and how amazing that will feel. Be sure to take in the band set up in Columbus Circle just before you re-enter the park.

RELATED: 10 Lessons Learned Running 100 Marathons

Spectators: Central Park South hugs the park for mile 25, and here’s a great stretch for spectators, too, to get one last chance to see runners without having to deal with the finish line madness. Looking for a good spot to meet your runner afterwards? A bar or restaurant on the Upper West Side is generally a good bet.

Runners: Those last .2 miles in the park are uphill, but the adrenaline will carry you through. “I think it’s hard,” says Honerkamp, “but other emotions come into play, and you won’t feel it as much.”

“My favorite part of the experience is being there and just hearing all these people speaking different languages, coming together to do the same thing,” says Yasso. “It’s as close to an Olympic experience as you’ll ever feel.”

Originally published October 2015. Updated October 2016. 

The post How to Run (and Watch!) the NYC Marathon Like a Pro appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

]]>
How to Run (And Watch) the NYC Marathon Like a Pro

[caption id="attachment_53680" align="alignnone" width="620"]Your Guide to Running (And Watching) the NYC Marathon Like a Pro Photo courtesy of NYRR[/caption] If I can make it there, I’ll make it anywhere. It’s those words from the iconic Frank Sinatra song, “New York, New York,” that play as runners begin their 26.2-mile adventure to the finish line of the New York City Marathon. And by the time runners reach that final mile marker in Central Park, they really will feel that way (hopefully). The New York City Marathon is on Sunday, November 6 this year, with a course that’s every bit as challenging as it is breathtaking. Today, the race is the largest marathon in the world, boasting more than 50,000 runners, weaving through all five boroughs of the Big Apple, bolstered by one million spectators. (Fun fact: In 1970, just 127 participants entered to run the inaugural four laps of Central Park.)  RELATED: The 15 Best Fall Marathons in the U.S. Despite its difficulty, it is possible to PR in New York — with the right course strategy. And amidst the intense race day crowds, it’s also possible to just find the right place to spectate, if you’re enjoying the race from the wings. Lucky for you, our insiders’ guide will help you nail marathon day, no matter which side of the barricades you’re on.

NYC Marathon Course Preview: Before It Begins

Runners: Your race strategy starts before you even get to the start line, says Bart Yasso, Chief Running Officer of Runner’s World. “It’s all about staying warm. Some people are out there in the runner’s village for up to three hours.” Plus, you’ll stand on the bridge in your corral for another 25 minutes or so (hello, wind). Those old, ratty sweats your significant other wants you to get rid of? Wear ‘em to the start and ditch them once you get moving. (Don’t worry — clothes left at the start of the race are donated to charity.) Spectators: While your runners are shivering in the Start Village in Staten Island, it’s time for you to map out your day. Figure out which subways you’ll need to take, buy your MetroCard, and devise a plan. You won’t be able to see your people until they’re back in Brooklyn.

After the Start Gun

Runners: “The start of the New York City Marathon is epic,” says John Honerkamp, a coach with the New York Road Runners, who’s run the course four times. The beginning is incredibly congested, but that’s actually a good thing, he says. “It will keep you from going out too fast, and you’ll get a lot of that time back later on in the race.” Most people also don’t realize the four percent incline of the Verazzano Bridge at the start, says Yasso. But what they also don’t realize is that the second mile has an equally sharp downhill. Take these first two miles easy, and then wait until mile 3 to start worrying about your pace. RELATED: 5 Running Tweaks That Took an Hour Off My Marathon Time Spectators: Luckily, mile 3 is also where spectators can start to look out for runners, in the Bay Ridge neighborhood of Brooklyn. Once you see your runner here, you’ll want to get on the subway to get to First Avenue in Manhattan to see your runner around mile 18 or 19.

Brooklyn, We Go Hard

Runners: You’ll spend eleven miles in Brooklyn — from mile 2 through 13. At the start, the course diverges into three slightly different paths, dependent on your corral placement at the start. (Don’t worry — they’re all 26.2 miles!) By mile 8, they’ll combine and stay that way for the rest of the race. “Unless you’re up front, the routes bottleneck a bit,” says Yasso, “but it’s not worth trying to weave to make up some extra time.” RELATED: 5 Running Resources for Speed, Strength and Nutrition As you run, you’ll hit a new neighborhood every few blocks, says Honerkamp. Why take the subway when you can see this much on foot? The route takes you through family-friendly Park Slope, picturesque Clinton Hill, edgy Williamsburg and more in the city’s largest borough. As you run, look out for Brooklyn institutions like the Barclays Center and the Brooklyn Academy of Music. As you pass Bishop Loughlin Memorial High School in Fort Greene, listen carefully: They usually play the Rocky theme song. Take some solace as you run through Queens — not only is your trip through this borough short, but it’s also relatively flat after the short bridge at mile 13. You’ll cherish this brief stretch before tackling the infamous Queensboro Bridge. [caption id="attachment_44570" align="alignnone" width="620"]NYC Marathon Photo courtesy of NYRR[/caption] Both Yasso and Honerkamp agree that there’s a certain kind of peace and quiet on the bridge, as no spectators are allowed. “It’s just you and your fellow runners,” explains Honerkamp. “You can hear the breath and the footsteps of everyone before the storm of First Avenue.” Pro tip: if you need a bathroom break, the bank of Port-a-Potties under the Manhattan side of the Queensboro usually has the shortest lines. RELATED: 50 Running Resources for Speed, Strength and Nutrition Spectators: If you couldn’t get to Bay Ridge to spectate, 4th Avenue, Lafayette Avenue and Bedford Avenue all offer good vantage points for miles 4 through 13. And while your runner is making that lonely sojourn over the bridge, now’s your chance to get to First or Fifth Ave.

Manhattan State of Mind

Runners: Once you hit First Avenue, the energy is electric, says Honerkamp. “It seems like all one million-plus spectators are all there.” But this is where you need to tell yourself to slow down, he says. It’s difficult to combat the cheer-induced surge of energy, but it’s important to pace yourself. First Avenue takes you from miles 16 to 19, so you might start to slow here. “When you get tired, it’s time to start focusing on your form,” according to Honerkamp. “Focusing on your form will keep you distracted from how tired you’re feeling.” For mile 20, you’ll dip into the Bronx. For such a short trip, you’ll cross two bridges — one on either side. Continue to focus on your form to power through. But before you know it, you’ll be back in Manhattan on Fifth Avenue. Enjoy the bands in the Bronx before you enter Harlem. “It’s a grind until mile 23,” says Honerkamp. “People don’t always realize this is a hill and your pace might slow 10-20 seconds per mile. But whatever you do — don’t look at the street signs, or you’ll just be counting down the streets.” It’s difficult here, but Yasso recommends feeding off the crowds. RELATED: Should You Press Pause On Your Running Music? Spectators: At miles 18 and 19, fans are sure to get a good spot thanks to thinner crowds above 96th Street. Plus, you’ll be supporting the runners when they really need it. After First Avenue, get over to Fifth Avenue to see your loved ones at one of the toughest points of the course. [caption id="attachment_44571" align="alignnone" width="620"]NYC Marathon Finish Photo courtesy of NYRR[/caption]

The Home Stretch

Runners: Once you get to mile 23, you’ll be in Central Park. If you’ve run a smart race, you can pick up the pace here, according to Honerkamp. “Lots of people are slowing down, so you can just weave in and out of them. But be careful — people are delirious and going in and out all over the place here.” Think of crossing the finish line in a few miles, and how amazing that will feel. Be sure to take in the band set up in Columbus Circle just before you re-enter the park. RELATED: 10 Lessons Learned Running 100 Marathons Spectators: Central Park South hugs the park for mile 25, and here’s a great stretch for spectators, too, to get one last chance to see runners without having to deal with the finish line madness. Looking for a good spot to meet your runner afterwards? A bar or restaurant on the Upper West Side is generally a good bet. Runners: Those last .2 miles in the park are uphill, but the adrenaline will carry you through. “I think it’s hard,” says Honerkamp, “but other emotions come into play, and you won’t feel it as much.” “My favorite part of the experience is being there and just hearing all these people speaking different languages, coming together to do the same thing,” says Yasso. “It’s as close to an Olympic experience as you’ll ever feel.” Originally published October 2015. Updated October 2016. 

The post How to Run (and Watch!) the NYC Marathon Like a Pro appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

]]>
http://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/guide-to-running-nyc-marathon/feed/ 1
What a Friend with Depression Needs to Hear http://dailyburn.com/life/lifestyle/depression-awareness-month-help/ http://dailyburn.com/life/lifestyle/depression-awareness-month-help/#respond Thu, 06 Oct 2016 11:15:08 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=53057

[caption id="attachment_53063" align="alignnone" width="620"]How to Help a Friend With Depression Photo by Korney Violin[/caption]

If you suspect a friend is struggling with depression, you may feel unsure about what to say. Maybe you feel like you’re walking on eggshells. After all, you’re concerned about saying or doing something that will make them feel worse.

“There’s no perfect way to help,” says Katherine Schafler, LMHC, a NYC-based therapist. “There’s no guaranteed statement that won’t offend, hurt or otherwise upset someone.” According to 2014 stats from the National Institute of Mental Health, 15.7 million American adults suffered from at least one depressive episode that year.

While no two experiences (nor their resolutions) will be the same, experts have found a few general guidelines to help steer the conversation in the right direction. Here are a few strategies, outlined by Schafler, to support your loved one through his or her tough times.

RELATED: 7 Daily Habits That Are Sabotaging Your Mental Health

7 Ways to Help a Friend With Depression

1. Share the dilemma.
If you’re about to say something, and you worry about how it will be interpreted, say that, says Schafler. “You should acknowledge your awareness of how your statement might come across,” she says. By doing this, your loved one will be more receptive to what you’re saying.

For example, you might say: “I have something that I want to tell you but I've been hesitating because it's one of those things that can come out so clumsily, and the last thing I want is for you to feel upset or alienated.”

RELATED: 7 Self-Care Rituals to Practice Every Day

2. Ask specific questions.
“If you’re saying ‘I’m worried you might be an alcoholic,’ the listener has nowhere else to go from there,” says Schafler. A declaration like this can feel like you’re dropping a bomb on a person, and it feels intense and judgmental. A better way to approach is to ask: “Have you been feeling like yourself lately?” She says that this gives the listener an opportunity to open up.

3. Let the other person hurt.
Telling someone, “It will be OK,” may be motivated by our own discomfort with other people’s pain, says Schafler. While your reassurance likely comes from a good place, it doesn’t give your pal the space for their own hurt to exist. This isn’t easy, Schafler says, but accepting your own distress with your loved one’s struggle can help you meet them in a place of acceptance.

RELATED: How to Overcome Anxiety, Starting Now

4. Just listen.
“For many people struggling with depression,” says Ryan Howes, Ph.D., a therapist in California, “what they need most are your ears, not your words.” They need to talk about sadness, anger, grief, anxiety — or any number of difficult events from their past. “Just sitting and listening can be a tremendous gift.”

5. Offer help.
You wouldn’t be ashamed to go to a doctor for a broken arm, right? “But finding a therapist can be difficult for anyone, let alone someone suffering the energy-depleting symptoms of depression,” says Howes. “Offer to help them with research, asking friends, doing an online search or even making that initial call for them.” Helping to match them with the care they need may be the best assistance you can give, he says.

6. Tell them: “I’m here for you.”
This is one of the most simple things you can say, but it’s one of the most helpful. Among the more common symptoms of depression is a feeling of isolation and a sense that nobody cares. “Telling them — and showing them — is one of the most loving gifts you can give,” says Howes.

RELATED: Stressed? These GIFs Will Help You Relax

7. Say the words.
And speaking of loving gifts, sometimes “I love you” is the most powerful thing you can say. “A depressed friend may not feel lovable,” says Howes, “but it’s still important for them to hear they are loved and can count on you during this dark time.”

The content in this article is not meant to replace professional medical advice. If you or someone you know is in crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention hotline at 1-800-273-8255. To see a list of resources in your area, head here.

The post What a Friend with Depression Needs to Hear appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

]]>

[caption id="attachment_53063" align="alignnone" width="620"]How to Help a Friend With Depression Photo by Korney Violin[/caption] If you suspect a friend is struggling with depression, you may feel unsure about what to say. Maybe you feel like you’re walking on eggshells. After all, you’re concerned about saying or doing something that will make them feel worse. “There’s no perfect way to help,” says Katherine Schafler, LMHC, a NYC-based therapist. “There’s no guaranteed statement that won’t offend, hurt or otherwise upset someone.” According to 2014 stats from the National Institute of Mental Health, 15.7 million American adults suffered from at least one depressive episode that year. While no two experiences (nor their resolutions) will be the same, experts have found a few general guidelines to help steer the conversation in the right direction. Here are a few strategies, outlined by Schafler, to support your loved one through his or her tough times. RELATED: 7 Daily Habits That Are Sabotaging Your Mental Health

7 Ways to Help a Friend With Depression

1. Share the dilemma. If you’re about to say something, and you worry about how it will be interpreted, say that, says Schafler. “You should acknowledge your awareness of how your statement might come across,” she says. By doing this, your loved one will be more receptive to what you’re saying. For example, you might say: “I have something that I want to tell you but I've been hesitating because it's one of those things that can come out so clumsily, and the last thing I want is for you to feel upset or alienated.” RELATED: 7 Self-Care Rituals to Practice Every Day 2. Ask specific questions. “If you’re saying ‘I’m worried you might be an alcoholic,’ the listener has nowhere else to go from there,” says Schafler. A declaration like this can feel like you’re dropping a bomb on a person, and it feels intense and judgmental. A better way to approach is to ask: “Have you been feeling like yourself lately?” She says that this gives the listener an opportunity to open up. 3. Let the other person hurt. Telling someone, “It will be OK,” may be motivated by our own discomfort with other people’s pain, says Schafler. While your reassurance likely comes from a good place, it doesn’t give your pal the space for their own hurt to exist. This isn’t easy, Schafler says, but accepting your own distress with your loved one’s struggle can help you meet them in a place of acceptance. RELATED: How to Overcome Anxiety, Starting Now 4. Just listen. “For many people struggling with depression,” says Ryan Howes, Ph.D., a therapist in California, “what they need most are your ears, not your words.” They need to talk about sadness, anger, grief, anxiety — or any number of difficult events from their past. “Just sitting and listening can be a tremendous gift.” 5. Offer help. You wouldn’t be ashamed to go to a doctor for a broken arm, right? “But finding a therapist can be difficult for anyone, let alone someone suffering the energy-depleting symptoms of depression,” says Howes. “Offer to help them with research, asking friends, doing an online search or even making that initial call for them.” Helping to match them with the care they need may be the best assistance you can give, he says. 6. Tell them: “I’m here for you.” This is one of the most simple things you can say, but it’s one of the most helpful. Among the more common symptoms of depression is a feeling of isolation and a sense that nobody cares. “Telling them — and showing them — is one of the most loving gifts you can give,” says Howes. RELATED: Stressed? These GIFs Will Help You Relax 7. Say the words. And speaking of loving gifts, sometimes “I love you” is the most powerful thing you can say. “A depressed friend may not feel lovable,” says Howes, “but it’s still important for them to hear they are loved and can count on you during this dark time.” The content in this article is not meant to replace professional medical advice. If you or someone you know is in crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention hotline at 1-800-273-8255. To see a list of resources in your area, head here.

The post What a Friend with Depression Needs to Hear appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

]]>
http://dailyburn.com/life/lifestyle/depression-awareness-month-help/feed/ 0
Is This Pricey Blood Test Worth It for Personalized Nutrition? http://dailyburn.com/life/health/sports-nutrition-athletes-inside-tracker/ http://dailyburn.com/life/health/sports-nutrition-athletes-inside-tracker/#respond Wed, 05 Oct 2016 15:15:02 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=52985 Nutrition Athletes

[caption id="attachment_52986" align="alignnone" width="620"]Is This Pricey Blood Test Worth It for Personalized Sports Nutrition? Photo by Wilson Magalhães[/caption]

For the past few months, I’ve felt a bit out of sorts — lower energy levels and frequent sinus infections I just can’t shake. I’ve had blood work done, and everything has come back fine.

But I knew I wasn’t fine, at least for me. I was struggling through training runs, even skipping them altogether — which is not my style. I even dropped down to a half-marathon from my typical yearly 26.2.

So I was intrigued when I heard about InsideTracker, a health analytics company that aims to give athletes information beyond what they might get from their doctors. The goal: to help optimize training and performance.

And so, I found myself letting someone I’d never met into my apartment to take my blood one Monday morning before work.

RELATED: The 10 Nutrients Athletes Need Most

Optimal Vs. Clinical Nutrient Levels

“A traditional blood test shows whether you are at risk for disease or not,” says Ashley Reaver, a dietitian at InsideTracker. “But that doesn’t tell the whole story if you’re an athlete.” Or if you’re someone trying to figure out why you’re so darn tired (aka me).

To yield more accurate advice, I filled out a lengthy survey about my training, nutrition and lifestyle habits (read: loves wine, can’t eat dairy) before I could see my results. This questionnaire helped the system give personalized advice — it wouldn’t recommend dairy for me; it wouldn’t suggest red meat to a vegan.

RELATED: The Benefits of Vitamin B Complex

The system measures you against 30 biomarkers. It then lets you know if you are optimized, need work or are at risk, based on different nutrient levels in your blood. At-risk indicates potential for disease; needs work generally refers to safe clinical levels but below optimal levels that could improve performance; optimal means your levels are in line with your fitness and lifestyle goals.

“The optimal levels come from scientific, peer-reviewed literature and the NHANES survey,” Reaver says. “They correlate nutrients with how long someone may live — a vitamin D level between 40 and 48, for example, is correlated with a longer life expectancy.”

Is This Pricey Blood Test Worth It for Personalized Sports Nutrition?

My Surprising Results

Speaking of vitamin D, as a runner and a beach bum, I expected to overachieve there. I was surprised to find my levels needed work, but Reaver said that was common among athletes living in the Northeast. Low vitamin D is associated with muscle weakness, lower bone density and depression. I knew I needed to kick my intake up a notch if I wanted to keep running happy for the rest of my life. Reaver and the site recommended more eggs and white fish, based on my preferences.

RELATED: What You Need to Know About Vitamin D Deficiency

Another nutrient I lacked (typical for most people) was ferritin, which indicates how well your body stores iron. “If you’re a marathoner with a level of 11 [clinical healthy range is 10 to 154], you’re not at risk for disease, but you’re going to bonk,” Reaver says. Iron is important for runners because it’s used to hold on to oxygen and transport it to your muscle tissue — which needs all the oxygen it can get during a long run.

Reaver explained that runners tend to have low iron due to the foot strike and demands of endurance training. Experts typically recommend supplements to increase ferritin, but heme iron — the type found in animal foods such as eggs, meat, fish and poultry — helps the human body absorb significantly more iron. These foods as sources to increase your ferritin levels.

Even more surprising, as a stressed-out endurance junkie who (again I say!) really loves her wine, both my cortisol and liver functions were within optimal levels. I was encouraged to keep doing what I was already doing in those departments. Doctor’s orders!

RELATED: How to Deal with Stress and Make It Work in Your Favor

Who Needs Optimal Sports Nutrition?

Because I’m a long-distance runner, I was curious to see my results so I could chase down my next PR. But who else is a $500 test like this for? As it turns out, many of their users are like me. Reaver described them as worried about their health and energy. “They know something is off, and their doctors tell them everything is OK,” she says. “But they know they can feel better.” In addition to those just looking to get back to 100, Inside Tracker also works with professional athletes to monitor how training impacts their bodies over the course of a season.

Inside Tracker recommends you take several tests to compare how your lifestyle and training regimen alter your biomarkers. The system also asks you to pick several markers you’d like to concentrate on between the tests. For me, I’m focusing on improving my ferritin and vitamin D levels in hopes of increased energy, better muscle recovery and you know, general world domination. I guess more egg recipes are in my future.

To learn more about Inside Tracker, head to insidetracker.com.

The post Is This Pricey Blood Test Worth It for Personalized Nutrition? appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

]]>
Nutrition Athletes

[caption id="attachment_52986" align="alignnone" width="620"]Is This Pricey Blood Test Worth It for Personalized Sports Nutrition? Photo by Wilson Magalhães[/caption] For the past few months, I’ve felt a bit out of sorts — lower energy levels and frequent sinus infections I just can’t shake. I’ve had blood work done, and everything has come back fine. But I knew I wasn’t fine, at least for me. I was struggling through training runs, even skipping them altogether — which is not my style. I even dropped down to a half-marathon from my typical yearly 26.2. So I was intrigued when I heard about InsideTracker, a health analytics company that aims to give athletes information beyond what they might get from their doctors. The goal: to help optimize training and performance. And so, I found myself letting someone I’d never met into my apartment to take my blood one Monday morning before work. RELATED: The 10 Nutrients Athletes Need Most

Optimal Vs. Clinical Nutrient Levels

“A traditional blood test shows whether you are at risk for disease or not,” says Ashley Reaver, a dietitian at InsideTracker. “But that doesn’t tell the whole story if you’re an athlete.” Or if you’re someone trying to figure out why you’re so darn tired (aka me). To yield more accurate advice, I filled out a lengthy survey about my training, nutrition and lifestyle habits (read: loves wine, can’t eat dairy) before I could see my results. This questionnaire helped the system give personalized advice — it wouldn’t recommend dairy for me; it wouldn’t suggest red meat to a vegan. RELATED: The Benefits of Vitamin B Complex The system measures you against 30 biomarkers. It then lets you know if you are optimized, need work or are at risk, based on different nutrient levels in your blood. At-risk indicates potential for disease; needs work generally refers to safe clinical levels but below optimal levels that could improve performance; optimal means your levels are in line with your fitness and lifestyle goals. “The optimal levels come from scientific, peer-reviewed literature and the NHANES survey,” Reaver says. “They correlate nutrients with how long someone may live — a vitamin D level between 40 and 48, for example, is correlated with a longer life expectancy.”

Is This Pricey Blood Test Worth It for Personalized Sports Nutrition?

My Surprising Results

Speaking of vitamin D, as a runner and a beach bum, I expected to overachieve there. I was surprised to find my levels needed work, but Reaver said that was common among athletes living in the Northeast. Low vitamin D is associated with muscle weakness, lower bone density and depression. I knew I needed to kick my intake up a notch if I wanted to keep running happy for the rest of my life. Reaver and the site recommended more eggs and white fish, based on my preferences. RELATED: What You Need to Know About Vitamin D Deficiency Another nutrient I lacked (typical for most people) was ferritin, which indicates how well your body stores iron. “If you’re a marathoner with a level of 11 [clinical healthy range is 10 to 154], you’re not at risk for disease, but you’re going to bonk,” Reaver says. Iron is important for runners because it’s used to hold on to oxygen and transport it to your muscle tissue — which needs all the oxygen it can get during a long run. Reaver explained that runners tend to have low iron due to the foot strike and demands of endurance training. Experts typically recommend supplements to increase ferritin, but heme iron — the type found in animal foods such as eggs, meat, fish and poultry — helps the human body absorb significantly more iron. These foods as sources to increase your ferritin levels. Even more surprising, as a stressed-out endurance junkie who (again I say!) really loves her wine, both my cortisol and liver functions were within optimal levels. I was encouraged to keep doing what I was already doing in those departments. Doctor’s orders! RELATED: How to Deal with Stress and Make It Work in Your Favor

Who Needs Optimal Sports Nutrition?

Because I’m a long-distance runner, I was curious to see my results so I could chase down my next PR. But who else is a $500 test like this for? As it turns out, many of their users are like me. Reaver described them as worried about their health and energy. “They know something is off, and their doctors tell them everything is OK,” she says. “But they know they can feel better.” In addition to those just looking to get back to 100, Inside Tracker also works with professional athletes to monitor how training impacts their bodies over the course of a season. Inside Tracker recommends you take several tests to compare how your lifestyle and training regimen alter your biomarkers. The system also asks you to pick several markers you’d like to concentrate on between the tests. For me, I’m focusing on improving my ferritin and vitamin D levels in hopes of increased energy, better muscle recovery and you know, general world domination. I guess more egg recipes are in my future. To learn more about Inside Tracker, head to insidetracker.com.

The post Is This Pricey Blood Test Worth It for Personalized Nutrition? appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

]]>
http://dailyburn.com/life/health/sports-nutrition-athletes-inside-tracker/feed/ 0
These Headphones Will Transform Your Yoga Practice http://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/sound-off-silent-yoga-headphones/ http://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/sound-off-silent-yoga-headphones/#respond Thu, 08 Sep 2016 11:15:37 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=52315

[caption id="attachment_52319" align="alignnone" width="620"]Sound Off Yoga: These Headphones Will Transform Your Yoga Practice Photo: Robert Pettus [/caption]

I never really realized just how much my neighbor’s ujayii breathing actually sounds like Darth Vader, or how much the thud of your classmate who can’t keep their balance (OK, fine — I’m that girl) bothered me in yoga.

Until I tried silent yoga. The Sound Off Yoga experience takes those nuisances out of the equation by giving each yogi a set of wireless, noise-canceling headphones, which they use to tune into what the instructor is saying — and tune out of any distractions.

RELATED: How to Meditate: A Beginner’s Guide

Shhhhh! The Sound Off Experience

The idea for the unique spin on yoga came to Castel Valere-Couturier while using the technology at a music festival in Hong Kong. (The “silent” craze started with disco parties and is rooted in the music scene.) “Everyone was there to listen to great music,” he says, “so it was the perfect place to test it.”

As a typical high-strung New Yorker, I was hoping to achieve total zen but went in with low expectations. I was worried the headphones would fall off the second I dropped down into down dog. (Really, how do they stay on?) I was certain the equipment would malfunction for me and only me…and nobody would be able to hear my cries.

The Vinyasa flow started off slower than I would have liked, and I found myself frustrated at first with the workout. Until an imperceptible shift happened.

Suddenly, I was achieving that perfect flow, where the asana (or physical expression of the pose), the breath and my monkey mind melded into one.

RELATED: Your Complete Guide to Mindfulness

It felt as though the instructor, Julie Serow, was speaking directly to me since all other sound was blocked out. “Feeling as though you are receiving individual attention in a room full of other people is quite a special sensation,” says Serow. “It adds a whole new aspect to the act of listening which is such a vital part of the yoga practice that we often forget about if we are caught up in outside distractions.”

And sure enough, it was easier to pay attention and be mindful — something I usually struggle with, especially during a 60-minute class. Though I had to look up a few times to see form, Serow’s cuing was straight on and I didn’t need to look around much for extra clues. She also walked around and made adjustments where necessary.

[caption id="attachment_52341" align="alignnone" width="620"]Sound Off Yoga Photo: Whoopee Club[/caption]

Tuning In To the Music, Out of My Brain

By quite literally tuning into the instructions in my ears, I was able to tune out most thoughts other than what I wanted for dinner after (hey, it’s a class, not a miracle). But I’d reached my own personal nirvana: focusing on my own practice, not whether the woman next to me was getting deeper into poses. (She was.)

RELATED: Are You Doing These Yoga Poses All Wrong?

Carefully curated music — either live or with a DJ — adds another layer to the Sound Off class. Usually music can feel like it’s an afterthought to the practice. It’s either way too loud or too quiet, but in this case, I could control the volume myself.

In a typical yoga class, I’ll only close my eyes in savasana and if we are chanting at the beginning of class. But shutting out the world visually added a new layer to the experience.

“Closing the eyes definitely allows for a deeper aspect of sensation, and less worry about whether one is doing the pose well or not,” says Serow. “Yoga shouldn't be about competition, but rather a full sensory and blissful experience.”

It’s a lesson worth remembering even without headphones.

Currently, you can experience Sound Off at Yo Yoga in NYC or at a pop-up event. Check Sound Off’s website for an event near you.

The post These Headphones Will Transform Your Yoga Practice appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

]]>

[caption id="attachment_52319" align="alignnone" width="620"]Sound Off Yoga: These Headphones Will Transform Your Yoga Practice Photo: Robert Pettus [/caption] I never really realized just how much my neighbor’s ujayii breathing actually sounds like Darth Vader, or how much the thud of your classmate who can’t keep their balance (OK, fine — I’m that girl) bothered me in yoga. Until I tried silent yoga. The Sound Off Yoga experience takes those nuisances out of the equation by giving each yogi a set of wireless, noise-canceling headphones, which they use to tune into what the instructor is saying — and tune out of any distractions. RELATED: How to Meditate: A Beginner’s Guide

Shhhhh! The Sound Off Experience

The idea for the unique spin on yoga came to Castel Valere-Couturier while using the technology at a music festival in Hong Kong. (The “silent” craze started with disco parties and is rooted in the music scene.) “Everyone was there to listen to great music,” he says, “so it was the perfect place to test it.” As a typical high-strung New Yorker, I was hoping to achieve total zen but went in with low expectations. I was worried the headphones would fall off the second I dropped down into down dog. (Really, how do they stay on?) I was certain the equipment would malfunction for me and only me…and nobody would be able to hear my cries. The Vinyasa flow started off slower than I would have liked, and I found myself frustrated at first with the workout. Until an imperceptible shift happened. Suddenly, I was achieving that perfect flow, where the asana (or physical expression of the pose), the breath and my monkey mind melded into one. RELATED: Your Complete Guide to Mindfulness It felt as though the instructor, Julie Serow, was speaking directly to me since all other sound was blocked out. “Feeling as though you are receiving individual attention in a room full of other people is quite a special sensation,” says Serow. “It adds a whole new aspect to the act of listening which is such a vital part of the yoga practice that we often forget about if we are caught up in outside distractions.” And sure enough, it was easier to pay attention and be mindful — something I usually struggle with, especially during a 60-minute class. Though I had to look up a few times to see form, Serow’s cuing was straight on and I didn’t need to look around much for extra clues. She also walked around and made adjustments where necessary. [caption id="attachment_52341" align="alignnone" width="620"]Sound Off Yoga Photo: Whoopee Club[/caption]

Tuning In To the Music, Out of My Brain

By quite literally tuning into the instructions in my ears, I was able to tune out most thoughts other than what I wanted for dinner after (hey, it’s a class, not a miracle). But I’d reached my own personal nirvana: focusing on my own practice, not whether the woman next to me was getting deeper into poses. (She was.) RELATED: Are You Doing These Yoga Poses All Wrong? Carefully curated music — either live or with a DJ — adds another layer to the Sound Off class. Usually music can feel like it’s an afterthought to the practice. It’s either way too loud or too quiet, but in this case, I could control the volume myself. In a typical yoga class, I’ll only close my eyes in savasana and if we are chanting at the beginning of class. But shutting out the world visually added a new layer to the experience. “Closing the eyes definitely allows for a deeper aspect of sensation, and less worry about whether one is doing the pose well or not,” says Serow. “Yoga shouldn't be about competition, but rather a full sensory and blissful experience.” It’s a lesson worth remembering even without headphones. Currently, you can experience Sound Off at Yo Yoga in NYC or at a pop-up event. Check Sound Off’s website for an event near you.

The post These Headphones Will Transform Your Yoga Practice appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

]]>
http://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/sound-off-silent-yoga-headphones/feed/ 0
The 10 Happiest Places on the Internet http://dailyburn.com/life/lifestyle/happiness-best-apps-websites/ http://dailyburn.com/life/lifestyle/happiness-best-apps-websites/#respond Mon, 15 Aug 2016 15:15:08 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=46173

[caption id="attachment_51696" align="alignnone" width="620"]The 10 Happiest Places on the Internet Photo: Pond5[/caption]

Real talk: Being happy all the time (especially at the office) can be a bit of a challenge for even the happiest of folks. Whether it’s a case of the Monday blues, that Q4 report or just the stress of a jam-packed schedule that’s weighing you down, it's difficult to muster up a smile when you’re not feeling great. And research from Stanford University confirms that depressed workers are far less efficient than their happier counterparts.

RELATED: 9 Netflix Picks That’ll Be Sure to Inspire You

The good news is you can cheer yourself up (and chill out!) without stepping a foot from your cube. All you need is one of these 10 sites, designed to bring you joy, even if just for a second. Some will make you be more introspective, some will teach you new behaviors and some will simply make you LOL. And after all, isn’t a good LOL just what we need sometimes? On National Relaxation Day, it's the perfect way to get calm.

10 Sites to Browse for a Happiness Break

1. The Nicest Place on the Internet
There’s nothing like a good hug, right? And while you may not wanna hug your boss for support, this site provides the virtual squeeze you’re looking for with a continuous video stream of — you guessed it — strangers reaching out with a hug.

2. TED
TED, which stands for technology, entertainment and design, was founded in 1984 as a one-off event for thought leaders in those respective industries. Fast forward to 2015, and now the site features over 1,900 TED Talks, all with the goal of “spreading great ideas,” which are available to stream au gratis. When you're feeling down, check out “The Surprising Science of Happiness,” which will challenge your thoughts on the feelings of joy, leaving you empowered to create your own definition of happiness.

RELATED: 5 Ways to Banish Negative Self-Talk for Good

3. America’s Next Weatherman
In case you missed the memo, local television weathercasters have been living in the meme spotlight ever since Will Ferrell suited up for Anchorman in 2004. Thankfully, FunnyorDie.com got the memo as well — and the America’s Next Weatherman web series was born. “These ridiculous weather reports are sure to put a smile on your face,” says Nikki Martinez, a psychologist with the e-therapy service BetterHelp.

4. Happify
Take a look at your own happiness from a different angle with this app. Specifically, look at it as a skill set, and one you can improve, too. Follow one of Happify’s “tracks,” or mini-courses, which will guide you through various activities such as a gratitude check-in or a positive word-spreading game. The free version lets you play a few games a day, but pay up to $13 a month and you’ll get everything.

RELATED: 8 Signs You’re Way too Stressed (And How to Deal)

5. Emergency Compliment
“Hey, you over there: You are freakishly good at thumb wrestling.” That’s just one of the countless, random “emergency” compliments this site will throw your way with just a click. Because when it feels like nothing’s going the way you planned, any compliment will do.

 6. Happier
Tune out any negativity by plugging into Happier, a social network created so you can share the everyday moments in life that bring you joy — and hopefully make someone else crack a smile while you’re at it. The site offers mini-courses and coaching services, but it’s sharing the random moments that really give us that instant boost when we need it most.

RELATED: 17 Ways to Get Back to Being Happy

7. Make Everything OK
Remember when you were a kid and something was wrong and your mom would tell you “Everything is going to be OK,” and maybe give you a cookie? Good times. And while this site is no substitute for mom, it is oddly cathartic to hit the “Make Everything OK” button and watch “the download” progress.

8. Happy Now
This iOs-only app helps you track habit change — specifically habits that’ll make you feel better about yourself — concretely. Pick up to six goals, such as eating healthy, then track not only what you eat, but how you feel after everything you eat, too. Super-specific, quirky and slightly sassy affirmations follow: “You feel good when you eat broccoli” is just one example of a reminder. And the more you use Happy Now, the more precise (and silly) the affirmations become on the path to achieving your goal.

RELATED: 22 Simple Streps to a Healthy, Happy Morning

9. Action for Happiness
A nonprofit org, Action for Happiness brings together expert psychologists, economists, educators and social innovators to help people create a more positive and happier society. They do this through both small efforts, like teaching individuals to find three good things from each day, as well as larger-scale initiatives. “I frequently recommend this site to patients,” says Dr. Jessamy Hibberd, a clinical psychologist based in London and author of the This Book Will… series of self-help books.

10. CuteOverload.com
A ton of cute dogs and cats — need we say more?

The post The 10 Happiest Places on the Internet appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

]]>

[caption id="attachment_51696" align="alignnone" width="620"]The 10 Happiest Places on the Internet Photo: Pond5[/caption] Real talk: Being happy all the time (especially at the office) can be a bit of a challenge for even the happiest of folks. Whether it’s a case of the Monday blues, that Q4 report or just the stress of a jam-packed schedule that’s weighing you down, it's difficult to muster up a smile when you’re not feeling great. And research from Stanford University confirms that depressed workers are far less efficient than their happier counterparts. RELATED: 9 Netflix Picks That’ll Be Sure to Inspire You The good news is you can cheer yourself up (and chill out!) without stepping a foot from your cube. All you need is one of these 10 sites, designed to bring you joy, even if just for a second. Some will make you be more introspective, some will teach you new behaviors and some will simply make you LOL. And after all, isn’t a good LOL just what we need sometimes? On National Relaxation Day, it's the perfect way to get calm.

10 Sites to Browse for a Happiness Break

1. The Nicest Place on the Internet There’s nothing like a good hug, right? And while you may not wanna hug your boss for support, this site provides the virtual squeeze you’re looking for with a continuous video stream of — you guessed it — strangers reaching out with a hug. 2. TED TED, which stands for technology, entertainment and design, was founded in 1984 as a one-off event for thought leaders in those respective industries. Fast forward to 2015, and now the site features over 1,900 TED Talks, all with the goal of “spreading great ideas,” which are available to stream au gratis. When you're feeling down, check out “The Surprising Science of Happiness,” which will challenge your thoughts on the feelings of joy, leaving you empowered to create your own definition of happiness. RELATED: 5 Ways to Banish Negative Self-Talk for Good 3. America’s Next Weatherman In case you missed the memo, local television weathercasters have been living in the meme spotlight ever since Will Ferrell suited up for Anchorman in 2004. Thankfully, FunnyorDie.com got the memo as well — and the America’s Next Weatherman web series was born. “These ridiculous weather reports are sure to put a smile on your face,” says Nikki Martinez, a psychologist with the e-therapy service BetterHelp. 4. Happify Take a look at your own happiness from a different angle with this app. Specifically, look at it as a skill set, and one you can improve, too. Follow one of Happify’s “tracks,” or mini-courses, which will guide you through various activities such as a gratitude check-in or a positive word-spreading game. The free version lets you play a few games a day, but pay up to $13 a month and you’ll get everything. RELATED: 8 Signs You’re Way too Stressed (And How to Deal) 5. Emergency Compliment “Hey, you over there: You are freakishly good at thumb wrestling.” That’s just one of the countless, random “emergency” compliments this site will throw your way with just a click. Because when it feels like nothing’s going the way you planned, any compliment will do.  6. Happier Tune out any negativity by plugging into Happier, a social network created so you can share the everyday moments in life that bring you joy — and hopefully make someone else crack a smile while you’re at it. The site offers mini-courses and coaching services, but it’s sharing the random moments that really give us that instant boost when we need it most. RELATED: 17 Ways to Get Back to Being Happy 7. Make Everything OK Remember when you were a kid and something was wrong and your mom would tell you “Everything is going to be OK,” and maybe give you a cookie? Good times. And while this site is no substitute for mom, it is oddly cathartic to hit the “Make Everything OK” button and watch “the download” progress. 8. Happy Now This iOs-only app helps you track habit change — specifically habits that’ll make you feel better about yourself — concretely. Pick up to six goals, such as eating healthy, then track not only what you eat, but how you feel after everything you eat, too. Super-specific, quirky and slightly sassy affirmations follow: “You feel good when you eat broccoli” is just one example of a reminder. And the more you use Happy Now, the more precise (and silly) the affirmations become on the path to achieving your goal. RELATED: 22 Simple Streps to a Healthy, Happy Morning 9. Action for Happiness A nonprofit org, Action for Happiness brings together expert psychologists, economists, educators and social innovators to help people create a more positive and happier society. They do this through both small efforts, like teaching individuals to find three good things from each day, as well as larger-scale initiatives. “I frequently recommend this site to patients,” says Dr. Jessamy Hibberd, a clinical psychologist based in London and author of the This Book Will… series of self-help books. 10. CuteOverload.com A ton of cute dogs and cats — need we say more?

The post The 10 Happiest Places on the Internet appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

]]>
http://dailyburn.com/life/lifestyle/happiness-best-apps-websites/feed/ 0
Got Workout Burnout? 4 Tricks to Bounce Back http://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/avoid-workout-burnout-tricks/ http://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/avoid-workout-burnout-tricks/#respond Tue, 19 Jul 2016 11:15:56 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=50970 Workout Burnout

[caption id="attachment_50981" align="alignnone" width="620"]Workout Burnout Photo: Pond5[/caption]

Whether you’re a five-time marathoner or a yogi who can jump into crow pose on demand, we’ve all been there — your regular workout feels like a total slogfest. You worry that you’ll never get back to where you once were.

“But what you need to remember,” says Leanne Shear, founder of Uplift Studios and an ACE-certified personal trainer, “is that one, two or even 10 workouts isn’t going to make or break a person.”

So before you prepare to hang up your yoga mat or turn in your running shoes for life, consider these common reasons why your workout might not be working for you anymore, and what you can do to get back to those long-lost endorphins.

RELATED: Endorphins and the Truth About Why Exercise Makes You Happy

Beat the Burnout

1. Pay Attention to the Signs
Conventional wisdom says that the best workout is the one that you will actually stick with because you enjoy it. But “if running [or any other workout] is taking away from your life instead of adding to it, then it’s not working for you right now,” says running coach Jess Underhill. Other burnout signs may be fatigue or a prolonged lack of desire to go all-in — let alone show up.

The signs are obvious, says Shear, “but it's hard for most people to acknowledge that this is happening. We are so programmed to push through and be over-achievers and keep going that many people refuse to dial back or change it up.”

RELATED: Are You Too Sore to Work Out?

2. Know When to Take a Break
There’s a fine line between pushing through the difficulty to get stronger and your body telling you when to take a break. But there’s a big difference between discomfort and pain, says Bethany Lyons, co-founder of Lyons Den Power Yoga. Any time something causes pain, that’s your body signaling for you to stop doing that thing. You’ll also want to pay close attention to your breath, she says. “If you’re holding your breath or are unable to breath easily, it’s time to abort mission or back off.”

That said, if you've been training for a race for several weeks or months, it's normal to start to feel burnt out at a certain point, says Underhill. “So long as you aren't injured, don't quit training — see it through to the finish line,” she says. Just consider scaling back a bit. .“Take a look at your training schedule and see if you've included cutback weeks and enough easy runs.” It might be scary to someone who works out regularly, but “taking a week to lighten up physically can actually work wonders both physically and mentally in terms of recovery and rejuvenation,” says Shear.

3. Focus on Your Weaknesses
Are you a runner who neglects strength training when you have a big race on the calendar? Now’s the time to make these your focus, instead of piling on more mileage. But remember to make sure it’s something you want to do, says Lyons, not something you feel like you have to do. For yogis, she recommends cardio as a great complement to the “focus, balance and strength you’ve already gained from your yoga practice.” She also touts focusing on other parts of your practice, such as the breath work and meditation for yogis, or brain training for athletes “The body really responds to variety,” Shear says, “and so does the mind!”

RELATED: 6 Killer Cardio Workouts That Don’t Involve Running

4. Change Your Perspective
“Being able to run is a privilege,” Underhill says. “Focus on how lucky you are to be able to participate in a sport you love.” She recommends putting pen to paper and writing down all the ways movement enhances your life. Think about why you started doing your favorite activity in the first place.

You can even err on the side of relaxation — bordering on laziness — once in a while, says Shear. “Churning all the time is just as unhealthy as never picking up a dumbbell or strapping on a running shoe.”

If you’ve tried all of these tricks, and nothing works — that’s OK. “This, too, will change, and one day it won’t suck any more,” says Underhill. “On the off chance that one day never comes, find something else. Do what fuels you.

The post Got Workout Burnout? 4 Tricks to Bounce Back appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

]]>
Workout Burnout

[caption id="attachment_50981" align="alignnone" width="620"]Workout Burnout Photo: Pond5[/caption] Whether you’re a five-time marathoner or a yogi who can jump into crow pose on demand, we’ve all been there — your regular workout feels like a total slogfest. You worry that you’ll never get back to where you once were. “But what you need to remember,” says Leanne Shear, founder of Uplift Studios and an ACE-certified personal trainer, “is that one, two or even 10 workouts isn’t going to make or break a person.” So before you prepare to hang up your yoga mat or turn in your running shoes for life, consider these common reasons why your workout might not be working for you anymore, and what you can do to get back to those long-lost endorphins. RELATED: Endorphins and the Truth About Why Exercise Makes You Happy

Beat the Burnout

1. Pay Attention to the Signs Conventional wisdom says that the best workout is the one that you will actually stick with because you enjoy it. But “if running [or any other workout] is taking away from your life instead of adding to it, then it’s not working for you right now,” says running coach Jess Underhill. Other burnout signs may be fatigue or a prolonged lack of desire to go all-in — let alone show up. The signs are obvious, says Shear, “but it's hard for most people to acknowledge that this is happening. We are so programmed to push through and be over-achievers and keep going that many people refuse to dial back or change it up.” RELATED: Are You Too Sore to Work Out? 2. Know When to Take a Break There’s a fine line between pushing through the difficulty to get stronger and your body telling you when to take a break. But there’s a big difference between discomfort and pain, says Bethany Lyons, co-founder of Lyons Den Power Yoga. Any time something causes pain, that’s your body signaling for you to stop doing that thing. You’ll also want to pay close attention to your breath, she says. “If you’re holding your breath or are unable to breath easily, it’s time to abort mission or back off.” That said, if you've been training for a race for several weeks or months, it's normal to start to feel burnt out at a certain point, says Underhill. “So long as you aren't injured, don't quit training — see it through to the finish line,” she says. Just consider scaling back a bit. .“Take a look at your training schedule and see if you've included cutback weeks and enough easy runs.” It might be scary to someone who works out regularly, but “taking a week to lighten up physically can actually work wonders both physically and mentally in terms of recovery and rejuvenation,” says Shear. 3. Focus on Your Weaknesses Are you a runner who neglects strength training when you have a big race on the calendar? Now’s the time to make these your focus, instead of piling on more mileage. But remember to make sure it’s something you want to do, says Lyons, not something you feel like you have to do. For yogis, she recommends cardio as a great complement to the “focus, balance and strength you’ve already gained from your yoga practice.” She also touts focusing on other parts of your practice, such as the breath work and meditation for yogis, or brain training for athletes “The body really responds to variety,” Shear says, “and so does the mind!” RELATED: 6 Killer Cardio Workouts That Don’t Involve Running 4. Change Your Perspective “Being able to run is a privilege,” Underhill says. “Focus on how lucky you are to be able to participate in a sport you love.” She recommends putting pen to paper and writing down all the ways movement enhances your life. Think about why you started doing your favorite activity in the first place. You can even err on the side of relaxation — bordering on laziness — once in a while, says Shear. “Churning all the time is just as unhealthy as never picking up a dumbbell or strapping on a running shoe.” If you’ve tried all of these tricks, and nothing works — that’s OK. “This, too, will change, and one day it won’t suck any more,” says Underhill. “On the off chance that one day never comes, find something else. Do what fuels you.

The post Got Workout Burnout? 4 Tricks to Bounce Back appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

]]>
http://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/avoid-workout-burnout-tricks/feed/ 0
7 Secrets to Finding Your Perfect Running Shoe http://dailyburn.com/life/tech/perfect-running-shoes-guide/ http://dailyburn.com/life/tech/perfect-running-shoes-guide/#respond Thu, 25 Feb 2016 16:15:49 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=42161

How to Choose the Right Running Shoe

If you’ve ever walked into a sporting goods store and been overwhelmed by the sheer selection of shoes and sneakers displayed on the walls — not to mention terms like “pronation” and supination” being thrown around so casually — know that you’re not alone. But a new study finds that, ultimately, the shoe that is most comfortable for you will lead to less injuries.

Running shoes can be one of the most confusing products out there,” says Claire Wood, senior product manager of Performance Running at New Balance. “There are so many options and styles — even within the same brand,” she adds. So don’t discount one pair because you hated a previous one, or alternatively, don’t expect to fall in love with sneakers because you’ve worn and adored a brand’s pair in the past.

RELATED: 5 Calorie-Blasting Cardio Exercises 

Why the Sneaker Struggle Is Real

Before you even think about purchasing a pair of kicks, head over to your local running specialty store. You’ll get better-quality shoes for your money, since many brands send cheaper, lower-quality versions of their shoes to the big-box retailers. Bonus: Most running stores will also analyze your gait in order to recommend an appropriate fit — on the house, too.

Don’t have a running store nearby? Try doing your own gait analysis at home: Film yourself running (ideally on a treadmill), take notes on your stride and form (using our below list as your guidelines), then order a few pairs of shoes online designed for your own foot strike. You’ll be out the door and running in no time.

RELATED: The 25 Best Shoes for Every Workout

7 Insider Secrets to Find the Right Running Shoes

1. Assess Your Skills
How much you run and where you’re running are both key factors in finding the right shoe. Do you total five miles a week or are you pushing 50? The higher the mileage, the more cushioning your shoe should have to protect against the repeated impact. And if you’re a road warrior who loves to pound the pavement, you’ll need a completely different shoe than someone who’s regularly exploring the trails instead. Be honest about where you’re at — your body will thank you for wearing a shoe that meets your mileage needs.

RELATED: The Beginner’s Guide to Trail Running

2. When in Doubt, Size Up
If you’ve ever had a bruised toenail, you were probably running or wearing a shoe that’s too small for you, Woods says. Since your feet will move around in your sneakers (as they should!), Wood recommends trying on kicks that are at least half a size larger than what you buy for your street shoes. And when you’re trying them on, “take a look at which toe is the closest to the tip of the shoe,” she says, “then make sure that you have at least a fingernail’s length distance from that toe to the end of the shoe.” Otherwise, you know what to do — go up another half size.

3. Figure Out Where Your Foot Stands
Or, more specifically, how it rolls during your foot strike. This plays into those dictionary terms we threw at you at the beginning — pronation, supination and ultimately, the amount of support your feet need from a running shoe (which will then, in turn, help improve your overall running form).

A simple test you can do to figure out exactly how much support you need is to stand on both feet and bend your knees. If your arches and the insides of your legs tilt inward, Wood says, you may need some extra support in your shoes, because it suggests your feet and ankles have problems stabilizing the body. Try an aptly named stability shoe to address your overpronation, as shock will be absorbed more efficiently.

On the other hand, if all of the weight appears to be the outside of your foot, then you supinate, also referred to as underpronation. Avoid a stability shoe, which will irritate your arches. These clunky sneaks, while great for some, will improperly concentrate the force of impact, causing uneven weight distribution. Instead, look for shoes with flexible soles to help your foot roll outwards less.

Everything look in line? Then you’re neutral, which means you can wear just about any shoe — ones with cushioning are great for newer runners, while seasoned pros can give lightweight, minimal sneakers a try.

4. You Shouldn’t Hear a Sound
The sneaker you can run the most quietly in is the right one for you, says Spencer White, head of Saucony’s Human Performance and Innovation Lab. “The quieter the sneaker,” he explains, “the less impact and stress it will have on your body.” Hearing your foot slapping as your heel hits the ground means that a particular model is too stiff in your heel and isn’t moving with your foot, causing greater impact on your joints — far from ideal!

RELATED: Ultrarunning: Are We Meant to Go the Distance?

5. Take It Outside
If you’re at a specialty store, see if the employees will let you take a pair for quick jog around the block. While the treadmill can be a great training tool, it’s built with extra cushioning, so it’s already a much softer surface than the road. Going outdoors will give you a better feel for how the shoe will perform. But keep in mind that cushioning is a personal preference. “Some runners might prefer a lot; others might want to feel like they’re closer to the pavement,” says Wood. However, if you’re lacking cartilage in any of your joints or have had surgery, you might want to opt for more rather than less, she says (always check with your doctor first).

RELATED: You Got a Running Injury During Race Training, Now What? 

6. Buck the Trends
No matter how on point your street style is, trying to make super-chic sneaks work for your workouts could get you in trouble if you don’t do your research first. “Fads often lead to injury,” says Wendy Winn, PT, OCS at New York Custom Physical Therapy. For example, if you’re looking to run a marathon, you might want to forget about trendy, lightweight minimalist sneaks. The body requires more support over a long distance than those can provide. Winn recommends assessing what your body and foot really need before blindly going with the prettiest kicks on Pinterest.

7. Comfort Is King
Most important, though, is your own comfort, says White. The shoe shouldn’t pinch, crease on your foot in an uncomfortable way, or cause aches and pains to your leg. It should move with you, not push you around, White adds. “Our brains are way more sophisticated in how they sense their movement than someone watching us is. You need to trust yourself and how you move,” he says.

So remember: Rely on what your body is telling you, and don’t be afraid to take advantage of the liberal return policies many running stores now have. After all, you’re going to be racking up some serious mileage in these babies. They may as well feel amazing, right?

Originally posted August 2015. Updated February 2016. 

The post 7 Secrets to Finding Your Perfect Running Shoe appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

]]>

How to Choose the Right Running Shoe If you’ve ever walked into a sporting goods store and been overwhelmed by the sheer selection of shoes and sneakers displayed on the walls — not to mention terms like “pronation” and supination” being thrown around so casually — know that you’re not alone. But a new study finds that, ultimately, the shoe that is most comfortable for you will lead to less injuries. “Running shoes can be one of the most confusing products out there,” says Claire Wood, senior product manager of Performance Running at New Balance. “There are so many options and styles — even within the same brand,” she adds. So don’t discount one pair because you hated a previous one, or alternatively, don’t expect to fall in love with sneakers because you’ve worn and adored a brand’s pair in the past. RELATED: 5 Calorie-Blasting Cardio Exercises 

Why the Sneaker Struggle Is Real

Before you even think about purchasing a pair of kicks, head over to your local running specialty store. You’ll get better-quality shoes for your money, since many brands send cheaper, lower-quality versions of their shoes to the big-box retailers. Bonus: Most running stores will also analyze your gait in order to recommend an appropriate fit — on the house, too. Don’t have a running store nearby? Try doing your own gait analysis at home: Film yourself running (ideally on a treadmill), take notes on your stride and form (using our below list as your guidelines), then order a few pairs of shoes online designed for your own foot strike. You’ll be out the door and running in no time. RELATED: The 25 Best Shoes for Every Workout

7 Insider Secrets to Find the Right Running Shoes

1. Assess Your Skills How much you run and where you’re running are both key factors in finding the right shoe. Do you total five miles a week or are you pushing 50? The higher the mileage, the more cushioning your shoe should have to protect against the repeated impact. And if you’re a road warrior who loves to pound the pavement, you’ll need a completely different shoe than someone who’s regularly exploring the trails instead. Be honest about where you’re at — your body will thank you for wearing a shoe that meets your mileage needs. RELATED: The Beginner’s Guide to Trail Running 2. When in Doubt, Size Up If you’ve ever had a bruised toenail, you were probably running or wearing a shoe that’s too small for you, Woods says. Since your feet will move around in your sneakers (as they should!), Wood recommends trying on kicks that are at least half a size larger than what you buy for your street shoes. And when you’re trying them on, “take a look at which toe is the closest to the tip of the shoe,” she says, “then make sure that you have at least a fingernail’s length distance from that toe to the end of the shoe.” Otherwise, you know what to do — go up another half size. 3. Figure Out Where Your Foot Stands Or, more specifically, how it rolls during your foot strike. This plays into those dictionary terms we threw at you at the beginning — pronation, supination and ultimately, the amount of support your feet need from a running shoe (which will then, in turn, help improve your overall running form). A simple test you can do to figure out exactly how much support you need is to stand on both feet and bend your knees. If your arches and the insides of your legs tilt inward, Wood says, you may need some extra support in your shoes, because it suggests your feet and ankles have problems stabilizing the body. Try an aptly named stability shoe to address your overpronation, as shock will be absorbed more efficiently. On the other hand, if all of the weight appears to be the outside of your foot, then you supinate, also referred to as underpronation. Avoid a stability shoe, which will irritate your arches. These clunky sneaks, while great for some, will improperly concentrate the force of impact, causing uneven weight distribution. Instead, look for shoes with flexible soles to help your foot roll outwards less. Everything look in line? Then you’re neutral, which means you can wear just about any shoe — ones with cushioning are great for newer runners, while seasoned pros can give lightweight, minimal sneakers a try. 4. You Shouldn’t Hear a Sound The sneaker you can run the most quietly in is the right one for you, says Spencer White, head of Saucony’s Human Performance and Innovation Lab. “The quieter the sneaker,” he explains, “the less impact and stress it will have on your body.” Hearing your foot slapping as your heel hits the ground means that a particular model is too stiff in your heel and isn’t moving with your foot, causing greater impact on your joints — far from ideal! RELATED: Ultrarunning: Are We Meant to Go the Distance? 5. Take It Outside If you’re at a specialty store, see if the employees will let you take a pair for quick jog around the block. While the treadmill can be a great training tool, it’s built with extra cushioning, so it’s already a much softer surface than the road. Going outdoors will give you a better feel for how the shoe will perform. But keep in mind that cushioning is a personal preference. “Some runners might prefer a lot; others might want to feel like they’re closer to the pavement,” says Wood. However, if you’re lacking cartilage in any of your joints or have had surgery, you might want to opt for more rather than less, she says (always check with your doctor first). RELATED: You Got a Running Injury During Race Training, Now What?  6. Buck the Trends No matter how on point your street style is, trying to make super-chic sneaks work for your workouts could get you in trouble if you don’t do your research first. “Fads often lead to injury,” says Wendy Winn, PT, OCS at New York Custom Physical Therapy. For example, if you’re looking to run a marathon, you might want to forget about trendy, lightweight minimalist sneaks. The body requires more support over a long distance than those can provide. Winn recommends assessing what your body and foot really need before blindly going with the prettiest kicks on Pinterest. 7. Comfort Is King Most important, though, is your own comfort, says White. The shoe shouldn’t pinch, crease on your foot in an uncomfortable way, or cause aches and pains to your leg. It should move with you, not push you around, White adds. “Our brains are way more sophisticated in how they sense their movement than someone watching us is. You need to trust yourself and how you move,” he says. So remember: Rely on what your body is telling you, and don’t be afraid to take advantage of the liberal return policies many running stores now have. After all, you’re going to be racking up some serious mileage in these babies. They may as well feel amazing, right? Originally posted August 2015. Updated February 2016. 

The post 7 Secrets to Finding Your Perfect Running Shoe appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

]]>
http://dailyburn.com/life/tech/perfect-running-shoes-guide/feed/ 0
Want to Run Faster? Here’s How to Do It http://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/tips-to-run-faster-more-efficiently/ http://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/tips-to-run-faster-more-efficiently/#comments Fri, 06 Nov 2015 16:15:21 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=22561

[caption id="attachment_45288" align="alignnone" width="620"]5 Tips for Running Faster Photo: Pond5[/caption]

There’s no doubt about it: Running can be hard. But it doesn’t have to be!

“The goal of running faster,” says professional marathoner Stephanie Rothstein-Bruce, “is to run more economically and use the least amount of energy that you can.”

This becomes particularly important in long-distance running. After you’ve run 20 miles, the last thing you want to do is expend any extra energy — you don’t have much of it left! With a few smart tweaks to your routine, you can run much more efficiently with the energy you have — without having to pop an extra gel.

5 Tips to Run Faster, Starting Now

1. Roll Out.

You may foam roll after your workouts, but if you’re not foam rolling before, your body may not be ready for the workload you’re about to subject it to, says Daniel Viera, USA Triathlon Full Throttle Endurance coach. “Most of the time, the muscles can handle it,” he says, “but you want to make sure the tendons, ligaments and joints are ready.” Be sure to hit the glutes, hamstrings, quads, hips, calves and IT bands, spending 30 to 60  seconds on each muscle group before launching into your dynamic warm-up.

RELATED: 5 Foam Rolling Moves You Aren't Doing (But Should!)

2. Drill, baby, drill!

Running fast isn’t about just running forward in a straight line. Drills such as butt kicks, high knees and Russian kicks (resting on one leg and kicking the other) increase proprioception (one’s perception of his or her body and the strength of effort being used in movement) and coordination, says Viera. He recommends beginning the drills slowly and increasing speed and velocity as you get comfortable with them. The payoff: Your body will learn to fire the correct muscles at the proper time.

RELATED: 6 Core Exercises to Make You a Stronger, Faster Runner

3. Mix up the pace.

Running your fastest speed at every workout isn’t the key to getting faster, says Viera. As counterintuitive as it sounds, running slower can actually help you get faster! He suggests mixing things up with a slow endurance run, a tempo run and some speed work at a track at least once a week. “Working on your heart, lungs and muscles is the key to becoming a more efficient runner.”

RELATED: A Runner's Guide to Speedwork

4. Make your form work for you.

Guilty of swinging your arms across your body when you run? “The side to side motion is wasted energy for your arms as it forces your hips to counter the motion instead of powering you in a forward motion,” says Rothstein-Bruce (who runs a 2:29 marathon, so she knows a thing or two about running efficiently). She recommends practicing seated arm drills by sitting with the legs at 90 degrees and swinging your arms back like you’re beating a drum. And when it comes to “running tall,” imagine someone is pulling you up by your hair while maintaining a slight forward lean.

RELATED: 5 Expert Tips for Proper Running Form

5. Get new sneakers!

Often, pounding the pavement in old sneakers can lead to injury, says Viera, and injured muscles are certainly not as efficient. Make sure to get fitted for new sneakers every 300 to 500 miles. And be sure to properly break them in by walking for a few miles before lacing up for a long run. Check out how to find the perfect running shoe here.

What steps do you take to run more efficiently? Tell us below!

Originally posted December 2013. Updated November 2015. 

The post Want to Run Faster? Here’s How to Do It appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

]]>

[caption id="attachment_45288" align="alignnone" width="620"]5 Tips for Running Faster Photo: Pond5[/caption] There’s no doubt about it: Running can be hard. But it doesn’t have to be! “The goal of running faster,” says professional marathoner Stephanie Rothstein-Bruce, “is to run more economically and use the least amount of energy that you can.” This becomes particularly important in long-distance running. After you’ve run 20 miles, the last thing you want to do is expend any extra energy — you don’t have much of it left! With a few smart tweaks to your routine, you can run much more efficiently with the energy you have — without having to pop an extra gel.

5 Tips to Run Faster, Starting Now

1. Roll Out. You may foam roll after your workouts, but if you’re not foam rolling before, your body may not be ready for the workload you’re about to subject it to, says Daniel Viera, USA Triathlon Full Throttle Endurance coach. “Most of the time, the muscles can handle it,” he says, “but you want to make sure the tendons, ligaments and joints are ready.” Be sure to hit the glutes, hamstrings, quads, hips, calves and IT bands, spending 30 to 60  seconds on each muscle group before launching into your dynamic warm-up. RELATED: 5 Foam Rolling Moves You Aren't Doing (But Should!) 2. Drill, baby, drill! Running fast isn’t about just running forward in a straight line. Drills such as butt kicks, high knees and Russian kicks (resting on one leg and kicking the other) increase proprioception (one’s perception of his or her body and the strength of effort being used in movement) and coordination, says Viera. He recommends beginning the drills slowly and increasing speed and velocity as you get comfortable with them. The payoff: Your body will learn to fire the correct muscles at the proper time. RELATED: 6 Core Exercises to Make You a Stronger, Faster Runner 3. Mix up the pace. Running your fastest speed at every workout isn’t the key to getting faster, says Viera. As counterintuitive as it sounds, running slower can actually help you get faster! He suggests mixing things up with a slow endurance run, a tempo run and some speed work at a track at least once a week. “Working on your heart, lungs and muscles is the key to becoming a more efficient runner.” RELATED: A Runner's Guide to Speedwork 4. Make your form work for you. Guilty of swinging your arms across your body when you run? “The side to side motion is wasted energy for your arms as it forces your hips to counter the motion instead of powering you in a forward motion,” says Rothstein-Bruce (who runs a 2:29 marathon, so she knows a thing or two about running efficiently). She recommends practicing seated arm drills by sitting with the legs at 90 degrees and swinging your arms back like you’re beating a drum. And when it comes to “running tall,” imagine someone is pulling you up by your hair while maintaining a slight forward lean. RELATED: 5 Expert Tips for Proper Running Form 5. Get new sneakers! Often, pounding the pavement in old sneakers can lead to injury, says Viera, and injured muscles are certainly not as efficient. Make sure to get fitted for new sneakers every 300 to 500 miles. And be sure to properly break them in by walking for a few miles before lacing up for a long run. Check out how to find the perfect running shoe here. What steps do you take to run more efficiently? Tell us below! Originally posted December 2013. Updated November 2015. 

The post Want to Run Faster? Here’s How to Do It appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

]]>
http://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/tips-to-run-faster-more-efficiently/feed/ 3
8 Running Apps for Marathoners, Skeptics and Everyone in Between http://dailyburn.com/life/tech/best-running-apps-every-runner/ http://dailyburn.com/life/tech/best-running-apps-every-runner/#comments Tue, 15 Sep 2015 11:15:17 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=43443 running-apps-featured

[caption id="attachment_43458" align="alignnone" width="620"]The 8 Best Running Apps for Every Kind of Runner Photo: Pond5[/caption]

You’ve seen your friends bragging about their runs all over social media — from “I just crushed a 3.00 mi run” tweets to your pal’s #seenonmyrun selfie — and we don’t blame you for wanting to join the party. After all, if you didn’t post it, did it really happen? But you can’t get a cool share in unless you’re using one of those slick running apps. (Especially if you don’t want to shell out for a fancy watch just yet.) And let’s not forget these apps’ real function: making you a better runner. But with so many options available, it’s easy to end up using one that’s seriously subpar. So we downloaded ‘em all — so you don’t have to! — and found the eight best for lightning-fast sprinters, total beginners and everyone in between.

RELATED: Why Apps Might Be Just as Good as Wearables for Tracking Steps

The Best Running Apps for Every Type of Runner

[caption id="attachment_43447" align="alignnone" width="620"]iSmoothRun App Photo: iSmoothRun[/caption]

1. iSmoothRun
Best for:
Interval lovers
Have a need for speed? Then you’ll love iSmoothRun, which allows you to set custom intervals prior to lacing up. Preset your 400-meter repeats; it’ll also account for those much-needed rest breaks. Can’t remember why that one run last week didn’t go so well? iSmoothRun’s weather-logging feature adds in notes on temperature and humidity to jog your memory (sorry, we had to) so you’ll know that high humidity could be to blame. ($4.99; iOS)

[caption id="attachment_43448" align="alignnone" width="620"]Strava Running App Photo: Strava[/caption]

2. Strava
Best for: Weekend warriors
If teamwork is your thing (thrown in with a little healthy competition, of course), Strava is the app for you. Use one of over 50 compatible GPS devices — like your Garmin or your Timex — to upload your data, then compare it with your friends’ routes and paces. (You know, so you can identify which pals you’re going to pick off at your next half-marathon.) This app will even help you find local races, city running guides and running clubs. You’ll never have to run alone again! (Free; iOS, Android)

[caption id="attachment_43449" align="alignnone" width="620"]Map My Run App Photo: MapMyRun[/caption]

3. MapMyRun
Best for: Discovering new routes
The same site you know and love for, well, mapping your run, also has a reliable companion app for when you’re on the move. Every single route you’ve mapped will sync up to your smartphone, so you won’t forget the whereabouts of that hilly five-miler you ran on family vacation last year. Training for a race? You can also use their MapMyRun Trainer app to find training plans for races of distances between 5K and a 50K. (Free; iOS, Android)

RELATED: 13 Awesome Podcasts to Get You Through a Long Run

[caption id="attachment_43450" align="alignnone" width="620"]Runkeeper App Photo: RunKeeper[/caption]

4. RunKeeper
Best for:
Runners with rhythm
What’s a run without good tunes keeping you pumped up, right? And that’s the coolest feature of Runkeeper: its ability to seamlessly sync your pace up to your music. Specifically, the app’s “DJ” analyzes the music on your phone, detecting each song’s mood and tempo, then plays a track that matches up with your speed. If you tend to over-obsess about your pace, set RunKeeper to “stopwatch mode” and it’ll solely display time elapsed — but don’t worry, distance is still recorded, too. (Free; iOS, Android)

RELATED: 7 Killer Playlists to Get You Through Any Workout

[caption id="attachment_43451" align="alignnone" width="620"]Nike Plus Running App Photo: Nike[/caption]

5. Nike+ Running
Best for: Bragging rights
Consider this baby the OG of running apps. Released in 2006 and originally dubbed Nike+iPod, this DailyBurn staff-favorite has gone through four iterations, adding in cool features over the years like virtual coaching, an in-app camera for instant running pics and post-workout motivation from top Nike athletes like Alyson Felix. Was today the day you ran your #fastestmile, or logged your longest run? Earn some serious social media cred by sharing your feats (including a customized map of your route) instantly with your friends on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. (Free; iOS, Android)

RELATED: 50 Running Resources for Speed, Strength and Nutrition

[caption id="attachment_43452" align="alignnone" width="620"]Endomondo Running App Photo: Endomondo[/caption]

6. Endomondo
Best for:
Helping you go the extra mile
If you’re looking for a push to help you meet your goals, download Endomondo, stat. Its commitment feature will serve as a virtual accountability partner, gently reminding you via push notification to get those runs in for the week. And for six extra bucks a month, the app’s premium version provides a specific training plan designed around how you’ve been pacing on recent runs. Oh, and it can also show you the amount of hamburgers you burn off from every run — certainly a metric we can get behind. (Free; iOS, Android)

[caption id="attachment_43453" align="alignnone" width="620"]Fuel My Run Photo: Fuel My Run[/caption]

7. Fuel My Run
Best for: Avoiding the dreaded wall
If running a half-marathon or full marathon is in your future, you’re going to need to learn how to start fueling on the run. Yes, that means ingesting those weird foil packets of gel. But if you’re unsure of when to start taking down your energy chews or gels, this app will remind you when exactly to eat, swallow and repeat. And just like that, you pushed right through the wall. Take that, mile 21. ($1.99; iOS)

RELATED: The Easiest 5K and 10K Training Plan Ever (Walking, Allowed)

[caption id="attachment_43454" align="alignnone" width="620"]Couch to 5K Active App Photo: Couch to 5K[/caption]

8. Couch to 5K
Best for:
Undiscovered athletes
It’s totally cool if running’s new to you, and Couch to 5K ensures you can tackle a 3.1-mile race in just nine weeks. Clear 30 minutes a day, three days a week and you’ll be toeing that start line ready, physically prepped and mentally stoked. Throughout each workout, the app cues your run and walk intervals while the virtual trainer will whisper sweet motivational tips into your earbuds. Optional social badges help you share your successes along the road to your first race. ($1.99; iOS, Android)

Did we miss an app you love? Sound off in the comments below!

The post 8 Running Apps for Marathoners, Skeptics and Everyone in Between appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

]]>
running-apps-featured

[caption id="attachment_43458" align="alignnone" width="620"]The 8 Best Running Apps for Every Kind of Runner Photo: Pond5[/caption] You’ve seen your friends bragging about their runs all over social media — from “I just crushed a 3.00 mi run” tweets to your pal’s #seenonmyrun selfie — and we don’t blame you for wanting to join the party. After all, if you didn’t post it, did it really happen? But you can’t get a cool share in unless you’re using one of those slick running apps. (Especially if you don’t want to shell out for a fancy watch just yet.) And let’s not forget these apps’ real function: making you a better runner. But with so many options available, it’s easy to end up using one that’s seriously subpar. So we downloaded ‘em all — so you don’t have to! — and found the eight best for lightning-fast sprinters, total beginners and everyone in between. RELATED: Why Apps Might Be Just as Good as Wearables for Tracking Steps

The Best Running Apps for Every Type of Runner

[caption id="attachment_43447" align="alignnone" width="620"]iSmoothRun App Photo: iSmoothRun[/caption] 1. iSmoothRun Best for: Interval lovers Have a need for speed? Then you’ll love iSmoothRun, which allows you to set custom intervals prior to lacing up. Preset your 400-meter repeats; it’ll also account for those much-needed rest breaks. Can’t remember why that one run last week didn’t go so well? iSmoothRun’s weather-logging feature adds in notes on temperature and humidity to jog your memory (sorry, we had to) so you’ll know that high humidity could be to blame. ($4.99; iOS) [caption id="attachment_43448" align="alignnone" width="620"]Strava Running App Photo: Strava[/caption] 2. Strava Best for: Weekend warriors If teamwork is your thing (thrown in with a little healthy competition, of course), Strava is the app for you. Use one of over 50 compatible GPS devices — like your Garmin or your Timex — to upload your data, then compare it with your friends’ routes and paces. (You know, so you can identify which pals you’re going to pick off at your next half-marathon.) This app will even help you find local races, city running guides and running clubs. You’ll never have to run alone again! (Free; iOS, Android) [caption id="attachment_43449" align="alignnone" width="620"]Map My Run App Photo: MapMyRun[/caption] 3. MapMyRun Best for: Discovering new routes The same site you know and love for, well, mapping your run, also has a reliable companion app for when you’re on the move. Every single route you’ve mapped will sync up to your smartphone, so you won’t forget the whereabouts of that hilly five-miler you ran on family vacation last year. Training for a race? You can also use their MapMyRun Trainer app to find training plans for races of distances between 5K and a 50K. (Free; iOS, Android) RELATED: 13 Awesome Podcasts to Get You Through a Long Run [caption id="attachment_43450" align="alignnone" width="620"]Runkeeper App Photo: RunKeeper[/caption] 4. RunKeeper Best for: Runners with rhythm What’s a run without good tunes keeping you pumped up, right? And that’s the coolest feature of Runkeeper: its ability to seamlessly sync your pace up to your music. Specifically, the app’s “DJ” analyzes the music on your phone, detecting each song’s mood and tempo, then plays a track that matches up with your speed. If you tend to over-obsess about your pace, set RunKeeper to “stopwatch mode” and it’ll solely display time elapsed — but don’t worry, distance is still recorded, too. (Free; iOS, Android) RELATED: 7 Killer Playlists to Get You Through Any Workout [caption id="attachment_43451" align="alignnone" width="620"]Nike Plus Running App Photo: Nike[/caption] 5. Nike+ Running Best for: Bragging rights Consider this baby the OG of running apps. Released in 2006 and originally dubbed Nike+iPod, this DailyBurn staff-favorite has gone through four iterations, adding in cool features over the years like virtual coaching, an in-app camera for instant running pics and post-workout motivation from top Nike athletes like Alyson Felix. Was today the day you ran your #fastestmile, or logged your longest run? Earn some serious social media cred by sharing your feats (including a customized map of your route) instantly with your friends on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. (Free; iOS, Android) RELATED: 50 Running Resources for Speed, Strength and Nutrition [caption id="attachment_43452" align="alignnone" width="620"]Endomondo Running App Photo: Endomondo[/caption] 6. Endomondo Best for: Helping you go the extra mile If you’re looking for a push to help you meet your goals, download Endomondo, stat. Its commitment feature will serve as a virtual accountability partner, gently reminding you via push notification to get those runs in for the week. And for six extra bucks a month, the app’s premium version provides a specific training plan designed around how you’ve been pacing on recent runs. Oh, and it can also show you the amount of hamburgers you burn off from every run — certainly a metric we can get behind. (Free; iOS, Android) [caption id="attachment_43453" align="alignnone" width="620"]Fuel My Run Photo: Fuel My Run[/caption] 7. Fuel My Run Best for: Avoiding the dreaded wall If running a half-marathon or full marathon is in your future, you’re going to need to learn how to start fueling on the run. Yes, that means ingesting those weird foil packets of gel. But if you’re unsure of when to start taking down your energy chews or gels, this app will remind you when exactly to eat, swallow and repeat. And just like that, you pushed right through the wall. Take that, mile 21. ($1.99; iOS) RELATED: The Easiest 5K and 10K Training Plan Ever (Walking, Allowed) [caption id="attachment_43454" align="alignnone" width="620"]Couch to 5K Active App Photo: Couch to 5K[/caption] 8. Couch to 5K Best for: Undiscovered athletes It’s totally cool if running’s new to you, and Couch to 5K ensures you can tackle a 3.1-mile race in just nine weeks. Clear 30 minutes a day, three days a week and you’ll be toeing that start line ready, physically prepped and mentally stoked. Throughout each workout, the app cues your run and walk intervals while the virtual trainer will whisper sweet motivational tips into your earbuds. Optional social badges help you share your successes along the road to your first race. ($1.99; iOS, Android) Did we miss an app you love? Sound off in the comments below!

The post 8 Running Apps for Marathoners, Skeptics and Everyone in Between appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

]]>
http://dailyburn.com/life/tech/best-running-apps-every-runner/feed/ 1
5 Running Tweaks That Took an Hour Off My Marathon Time http://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/running-marathon-training-tips/ http://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/running-marathon-training-tips/#comments Sat, 08 Aug 2015 12:55:15 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=21502 NYC Marathon

[caption id="attachment_42400" align="alignnone" width="620"]Marathon Training Tips Photo: bobjagendorf[/caption]

In high school, I could barely run the timed mile test, walking most of it.

Five years ago, I ran my first marathon after losing 50 pounds. I finished in 4:59, and I was happy just to have finished. But I knew I had more in me.

RELATE: 15 Fun, Fast and Beginner-Friendly Marathons

Two years ago, I ran my fourth marathon in 3:56. I took more than an hour off my time in three years, without devoting my entire life to running. I work a full-time job, volunteer and have an active social life, but I never felt like I was giving anything up for running. If anything, it added to the quality of my life.

I trained hard to get there, but there are also a few important tweaks I made that helped. Of course, the marathon is a special beast, and anything can happen on race day. But most coaches agree that training smarter physically and mentally can get you to the starting line stronger and ready to tackle 26.2. Here are five strategies that can be effective across the board, along with insights from Bart Yasso, Chief Running Officer of Runner’s World.

1. Add Speedwork

When I started training for my first marathon, I was still pretty new to running. I’d been at it for about a year, and the thought of intentionally running faster sounded terrifying. I just wanted to finish. During subsequent training cycles, I learned that speedwork (pushing harder in the middle of a workout at a specific speed for a specific amount of time) would change everything. That’s right, running faster... helps you get faster. Crazy, right? Speedwork works best when you’re running hard at a distance relative to your race distance, so tempo runs or mile repeats are best for marathoners. “I always felt like I was getting a little bit of speed but lots of endurance from mile repeats,” says Yasso.

RELATED: A Runner's Guide to Speedwork

2. Log Race Pace Miles

How are you going to run your goal pace for hours on end if you don’t know what it feels like to run at that pace? Speedwork paces and goal race paces should be fairly different. Your speedwork pace is typically your pace for a 10K or a half-marathon, or, a pace you can hold for roughly one to two hours. Your race pace is something that you’re trying to hold for three-plus hours, unless you’re an elite athlete.

RELATED: The 50 Best Half-Marathons in the U.S.

I practiced at my goal pace for mid-distance runs and at the end of long runs, so that I knew what it felt like to hold it for a sustained amount of time, and what it felt like to hold it on tired legs. On race day, while I checked my watch obsessively, I easily could have told you if I were running faster or slower than my goal pace by how I felt the cadence in my legs. By running race pace miles, says Yasso, “I always felt that innate sense of rhythm that I can carry this pace on race day.”

3. Up Your Days and Your Mileage

The first time around, I ran between two and three times per week, supplementing that with other forms of cardio at the gym and lifting with a trainer. I finished that marathon at an 11:25 pace, hitting the wall colossally at mile 18. I knew if I wanted to get faster, though, that I would need to run more. I used to be terrified of running two days in a row, but in order to reach my goal, I typically ran five days per week, and I maxed out my mileage at 47 miles one week. I got to run on tired legs quite often, which was a huge mental boost at mile 22 of the marathon, when my legs felt like someone had strapped massive sandbags to them.

Though there are many variables to determining weekly mileage, says Yasso, the key is to listen to your body and not overtrain.

RELATED: Why the 10 Percent Rule Doesn't Always Work

4. Get Comfortable Being Uncomfortable

Running is hard. Running fast(er) is even harder. Miles 21 to 24 of the New York City Marathon were incredibly uncomfortable. Of course they were. I’d just run 20 miles! I reminded myself it was supposed to be uncomfortable and not to walk.

“The only way to advance in our sport,” says Yasso, “is to go to the uncomfortable zone. Embrace the pain, and you will be rewarded at the finish line.”

5. Never Set Limits

I took off 40 minutes between marathons 1 and 2. If I had believed that was impossible, I wouldn’t have had the guts to go for that time and make gutsier goals from there. But I thought about what I could do and shot high. I missed the mark the first time I tried, but if I hadn’t set such an audacious goal, it wouldn’t have lit the fire in my belly to chase, and achieve, the 3:56 time.

What strategies have helped you become a faster runner? Share them below! 

Originally posted November 2013. Updated August 2015.

The post 5 Running Tweaks That Took an Hour Off My Marathon Time appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

]]>
NYC Marathon

[caption id="attachment_42400" align="alignnone" width="620"]Marathon Training Tips Photo: bobjagendorf[/caption] In high school, I could barely run the timed mile test, walking most of it. Five years ago, I ran my first marathon after losing 50 pounds. I finished in 4:59, and I was happy just to have finished. But I knew I had more in me. RELATE: 15 Fun, Fast and Beginner-Friendly Marathons Two years ago, I ran my fourth marathon in 3:56. I took more than an hour off my time in three years, without devoting my entire life to running. I work a full-time job, volunteer and have an active social life, but I never felt like I was giving anything up for running. If anything, it added to the quality of my life. I trained hard to get there, but there are also a few important tweaks I made that helped. Of course, the marathon is a special beast, and anything can happen on race day. But most coaches agree that training smarter physically and mentally can get you to the starting line stronger and ready to tackle 26.2. Here are five strategies that can be effective across the board, along with insights from Bart Yasso, Chief Running Officer of Runner’s World.

1. Add Speedwork

When I started training for my first marathon, I was still pretty new to running. I’d been at it for about a year, and the thought of intentionally running faster sounded terrifying. I just wanted to finish. During subsequent training cycles, I learned that speedwork (pushing harder in the middle of a workout at a specific speed for a specific amount of time) would change everything. That’s right, running faster... helps you get faster. Crazy, right? Speedwork works best when you’re running hard at a distance relative to your race distance, so tempo runs or mile repeats are best for marathoners. “I always felt like I was getting a little bit of speed but lots of endurance from mile repeats,” says Yasso. RELATED: A Runner's Guide to Speedwork

2. Log Race Pace Miles

How are you going to run your goal pace for hours on end if you don’t know what it feels like to run at that pace? Speedwork paces and goal race paces should be fairly different. Your speedwork pace is typically your pace for a 10K or a half-marathon, or, a pace you can hold for roughly one to two hours. Your race pace is something that you’re trying to hold for three-plus hours, unless you’re an elite athlete. RELATED: The 50 Best Half-Marathons in the U.S. I practiced at my goal pace for mid-distance runs and at the end of long runs, so that I knew what it felt like to hold it for a sustained amount of time, and what it felt like to hold it on tired legs. On race day, while I checked my watch obsessively, I easily could have told you if I were running faster or slower than my goal pace by how I felt the cadence in my legs. By running race pace miles, says Yasso, “I always felt that innate sense of rhythm that I can carry this pace on race day.”

3. Up Your Days and Your Mileage

The first time around, I ran between two and three times per week, supplementing that with other forms of cardio at the gym and lifting with a trainer. I finished that marathon at an 11:25 pace, hitting the wall colossally at mile 18. I knew if I wanted to get faster, though, that I would need to run more. I used to be terrified of running two days in a row, but in order to reach my goal, I typically ran five days per week, and I maxed out my mileage at 47 miles one week. I got to run on tired legs quite often, which was a huge mental boost at mile 22 of the marathon, when my legs felt like someone had strapped massive sandbags to them. Though there are many variables to determining weekly mileage, says Yasso, the key is to listen to your body and not overtrain. RELATED: Why the 10 Percent Rule Doesn't Always Work

4. Get Comfortable Being Uncomfortable

Running is hard. Running fast(er) is even harder. Miles 21 to 24 of the New York City Marathon were incredibly uncomfortable. Of course they were. I’d just run 20 miles! I reminded myself it was supposed to be uncomfortable and not to walk. “The only way to advance in our sport,” says Yasso, “is to go to the uncomfortable zone. Embrace the pain, and you will be rewarded at the finish line.”

5. Never Set Limits

I took off 40 minutes between marathons 1 and 2. If I had believed that was impossible, I wouldn’t have had the guts to go for that time and make gutsier goals from there. But I thought about what I could do and shot high. I missed the mark the first time I tried, but if I hadn’t set such an audacious goal, it wouldn’t have lit the fire in my belly to chase, and achieve, the 3:56 time. What strategies have helped you become a faster runner? Share them below!  Originally posted November 2013. Updated August 2015.

The post 5 Running Tweaks That Took an Hour Off My Marathon Time appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

]]>
http://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/running-marathon-training-tips/feed/ 7
How to Get Off Your Spin Bike and Start Cycling Outside http://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/beginner-cycling-tips/ http://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/beginner-cycling-tips/#respond Fri, 24 Apr 2015 11:15:43 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=39442

[caption id="attachment_39449" align="alignnone" width="620"]Get Off Spin Bike and Cycle Outside Photo: Pond5[/caption]

It’s been a long, cold winter, and you’ve spent it tapping it back and racking up your torque points in spin class.

You’re in great shape, but as the weather gets nicer, you can’t help but feel like you’re pedaling to nowhere.

If the last time you were on a bike that could get you from point A to point B was back in high school, we have tips for you to transition your skills from those 45 minutes in the dark to the open road.

The Benefits of Cycling Outside

Feel like you could practically go pro after a winter full of SoulCycle? Taking a 45- to 60-minute indoor cycling class several times a week gives you the quick legs you need to keep a high cadence, says Jeanne Meyer, a founding partner at T2 Multisport NYC, an indoor cycling studio that teaches on real bikes.

But it’s “the equivalent of a treadmill for a runner,” says Allie Burdick, an indoor cycling instructor and competitive triathlete. “You can add resistance and intensity indoors, but there’s nothing like a real hill or climb to test your endurance and power.”

If you’ve been pedaling indoors, you can count on being able to ride for a comparable amount of time outside. Yet, if you’re tackling hilly terrain, you may want to attempt a shorter first excursion out, says Meyer. Don’t worry, though, you’ll still be getting in a good sweat. A recent study also shows that at the same rate of perceived effort, athletes were able to exercise at a higher intensity outdoors than inside, creating a more efficient workout.

Plus, while indoor cycling classes may rely on light weights to give your muscles an extra challenge, an outdoor bike gives you a serious core workout as you support yourself. “Think about it: every kind of ab workout has some sort of bicycle move,” Meyer says. “This is exactly what you’re doing on the bike — engaging your hip flexor, bringing it up to your midline and engaging your transverse abdominis.” You’ll also be working your quads more, as you power yourself up and down hills.

RELATED: 8 Ways to Learn to Love Spin Class

[caption id="attachment_39486" align="alignnone" width="620"]T2 NYC Computrainer Classes Photo: T2 Multisport NYC[/caption]

4 Skills to Brush Up on Before Hitting the Road

1. Check your posture.

Some of what you learn in spin class doesn’t translate when you head outside: You’re not tapping it back or swaying side to side. In fact, your upper body shouldn’t be moving much at all, so it’s important to keep good posture, says Meyer. If you do get out of the saddle, it will be to tackle a short hill or give your body a break from holding the same position throughout your ride.

Your posture should be similar to what you’ve learned in yoga class: Your shoulder blades are back and down, and you’re putting loose pressure on the handlebars of your bike so that you can absorb shock. Check in with your body every few minutes to make sure you’re maintaining that position. If you feel tense, sore or fatigued, verify that your shoulders are relaxed and your chest is open.

RELATED: How to Pick the Best Bicycle for You

2. Learn how to shift gears.

Wish you had someone to hold your hand the first time you hit the road? Meyer’s T2 studio helps riders transition with classes on a CompuTrainer, an indoor cycling trainer you can mount your bicycle on to mimic being outside. You’ll learn how to shift gears, when to use the small and big rings (easier and harder gears), and how to anticipate when you need to change gears going up or down a hill.

If you’re coming up on a big hill, says Meyer, you’ll want to use your left shifter to go from the big ring (harder gear) to the small ring (easier gear). As you climb, continue to make small adjustments with your right shifter. Once you’ve crested and are heading downhill, shift back to the big ring to avoid going downhill too quickly. Don’t stop pedaling — continuing to move your legs will spin out any lactic acid that might have built up on the climb, says Meyer.

Indoors, you’re used to piling on the resistance to make your ride more difficult. In the great outdoors, there’s no need to “mash a heavy gear all the time,” says Meyer. “You want to get the aerobic benefits of moving quickly by keeping a high cadence with a lower gear.”

RELATED: Bike Fittings: What Every Cyclist Needs to Know

3. Remember to pack for the ride.

In spin class, you don’t need much by way of gear. Some decent sweat-wicking clothes and spin shoes, and you’re good to go. Once you get outside, it’s a different story. Ever wonder why cyclists have those big pockets in the back of their jerseys? They exist to stash the goodies you might need on your ride!

If you’re cycling in the morning, make sure that you bring or wear sufficient layers to take on or off as needed. If you’re riding for an hour or more, you’ll also want to consider bringing a Gu or another type of nourishment.

Unlike spin studios that have staff to help you should your bike feel “off,” you’re on your own with any potential repairs. At a minimum, you should have an extra inner tube, patch kit, tire lever and CO2 cartridge, says Meyer. Most cycling shops offer clinics to teach these skills to newbies.

4. Know the rules of the road.

Riding outside, particularly in urban areas, can be stressful and require laser-focused attention. Here are a few safety guidelines to keep in mind. Affix blinking lights to your ride so you can be spotted, use hand signals to let other riders know where you’re going, and if you need to stop abruptly, drop your right arm and make a fist to indicate what you’re doing.

Ready to ride? Grab your helmet and hit the pavement!

The post How to Get Off Your Spin Bike and Start Cycling Outside appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

]]>

[caption id="attachment_39449" align="alignnone" width="620"]Get Off Spin Bike and Cycle Outside Photo: Pond5[/caption] It’s been a long, cold winter, and you’ve spent it tapping it back and racking up your torque points in spin class. You’re in great shape, but as the weather gets nicer, you can’t help but feel like you’re pedaling to nowhere. If the last time you were on a bike that could get you from point A to point B was back in high school, we have tips for you to transition your skills from those 45 minutes in the dark to the open road.

The Benefits of Cycling Outside

Feel like you could practically go pro after a winter full of SoulCycle? Taking a 45- to 60-minute indoor cycling class several times a week gives you the quick legs you need to keep a high cadence, says Jeanne Meyer, a founding partner at T2 Multisport NYC, an indoor cycling studio that teaches on real bikes. But it’s “the equivalent of a treadmill for a runner,” says Allie Burdick, an indoor cycling instructor and competitive triathlete. “You can add resistance and intensity indoors, but there’s nothing like a real hill or climb to test your endurance and power.” If you’ve been pedaling indoors, you can count on being able to ride for a comparable amount of time outside. Yet, if you’re tackling hilly terrain, you may want to attempt a shorter first excursion out, says Meyer. Don’t worry, though, you’ll still be getting in a good sweat. A recent study also shows that at the same rate of perceived effort, athletes were able to exercise at a higher intensity outdoors than inside, creating a more efficient workout. Plus, while indoor cycling classes may rely on light weights to give your muscles an extra challenge, an outdoor bike gives you a serious core workout as you support yourself. “Think about it: every kind of ab workout has some sort of bicycle move,” Meyer says. “This is exactly what you’re doing on the bike — engaging your hip flexor, bringing it up to your midline and engaging your transverse abdominis.” You’ll also be working your quads more, as you power yourself up and down hills. RELATED: 8 Ways to Learn to Love Spin Class [caption id="attachment_39486" align="alignnone" width="620"]T2 NYC Computrainer Classes Photo: T2 Multisport NYC[/caption]

4 Skills to Brush Up on Before Hitting the Road

1. Check your posture.

Some of what you learn in spin class doesn’t translate when you head outside: You’re not tapping it back or swaying side to side. In fact, your upper body shouldn’t be moving much at all, so it’s important to keep good posture, says Meyer. If you do get out of the saddle, it will be to tackle a short hill or give your body a break from holding the same position throughout your ride. Your posture should be similar to what you’ve learned in yoga class: Your shoulder blades are back and down, and you’re putting loose pressure on the handlebars of your bike so that you can absorb shock. Check in with your body every few minutes to make sure you’re maintaining that position. If you feel tense, sore or fatigued, verify that your shoulders are relaxed and your chest is open. RELATED: How to Pick the Best Bicycle for You 2. Learn how to shift gears. Wish you had someone to hold your hand the first time you hit the road? Meyer’s T2 studio helps riders transition with classes on a CompuTrainer, an indoor cycling trainer you can mount your bicycle on to mimic being outside. You’ll learn how to shift gears, when to use the small and big rings (easier and harder gears), and how to anticipate when you need to change gears going up or down a hill. If you’re coming up on a big hill, says Meyer, you’ll want to use your left shifter to go from the big ring (harder gear) to the small ring (easier gear). As you climb, continue to make small adjustments with your right shifter. Once you’ve crested and are heading downhill, shift back to the big ring to avoid going downhill too quickly. Don’t stop pedaling — continuing to move your legs will spin out any lactic acid that might have built up on the climb, says Meyer. Indoors, you’re used to piling on the resistance to make your ride more difficult. In the great outdoors, there’s no need to “mash a heavy gear all the time,” says Meyer. “You want to get the aerobic benefits of moving quickly by keeping a high cadence with a lower gear.” RELATED: Bike Fittings: What Every Cyclist Needs to Know 3. Remember to pack for the ride. In spin class, you don’t need much by way of gear. Some decent sweat-wicking clothes and spin shoes, and you’re good to go. Once you get outside, it’s a different story. Ever wonder why cyclists have those big pockets in the back of their jerseys? They exist to stash the goodies you might need on your ride! If you’re cycling in the morning, make sure that you bring or wear sufficient layers to take on or off as needed. If you’re riding for an hour or more, you’ll also want to consider bringing a Gu or another type of nourishment. Unlike spin studios that have staff to help you should your bike feel “off,” you’re on your own with any potential repairs. At a minimum, you should have an extra inner tube, patch kit, tire lever and CO2 cartridge, says Meyer. Most cycling shops offer clinics to teach these skills to newbies. 4. Know the rules of the road. Riding outside, particularly in urban areas, can be stressful and require laser-focused attention. Here are a few safety guidelines to keep in mind. Affix blinking lights to your ride so you can be spotted, use hand signals to let other riders know where you’re going, and if you need to stop abruptly, drop your right arm and make a fist to indicate what you’re doing. Ready to ride? Grab your helmet and hit the pavement!

The post How to Get Off Your Spin Bike and Start Cycling Outside appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

]]>
http://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/beginner-cycling-tips/feed/ 0