Hundreds of people stand waist-deep on the shores of Rancho Seco Lake, waiting for the starting signal. Emma stands nervously in the water – anxious to start her first triathlon. She adjusts her swim cap and goggles for the fifteenth time, and finally the countdown begins – ten…nine…eight… reviews her plan, remembering where her bike is, how she’s going to transition – five…four…three… She takes a deep breath – they sound the blowhorn – and Emma starts swimming. The first leg of her very first triathlon has begun.
Emma grew up running – she had played soccer competitively and also had run two half-marathons, so she was familiar with races. She also loved swimming – she was always in the water and swam the 50 free on the high school swim team. But biking – not so much. In fact, not at all. But despite her unfavorable history of bike accidents, Emma was ready for a new challenge. So, she signed up for a triathlon.
Unlike any other race, a triathlon combines three totally different exercises – and pushes your body to its absolute limit. For that reason, it’s one of the most challenging types of races – but also one of the most rewarding finish lines to cross.
You might be thinking – I’m a runner, but I’ve never swam or biked before – how am I supposed to do a triathlon? Where do I even start? Well, here’s everything you need to know for your first triathlon! We’ll cover everything from choosing the right distance for your first race to remembering to sight while you’re swimming. With all this triathlon advice, you’ll be more than ready to cross that finish line on race day – and you might even get hooked on triathlons! Continue reading
What’s harder – running a marathon or becoming a professional athlete? To some, running 26.2 miles might seem like an impossible feat – almost as hard as making it into the NFL or the MLB. But, with the right training and a good amount of determination, you can achieve your goal of running a marathon.
And although it might seem like some super-human task (I mean, 26 miles is pretty long), the truth is, anyone can do it! You’d be surprised to find that more people than you think have ran marathons.
From professional athletes and Hollywood actors to Grammy-award winning singers and famous comedians – many of your favorite celebrities have worn out their running shoes and crossed the marathon finish line. Here’s just a few familiar faces that have checked “run a marathon” off their bucket lists. Continue reading
Dieting. Just the word can make your head hurt and your stomach crave your favorite unhealthy foods (all of which are probably off-limits for most diets). If you’re like most people, you’ve probably tried dieting in the past. In fact, most Americans have. Every single year, 45 million Americans go on a diet (1).
Some of those diets are more effective than others. There are extreme dieting regimens like the Vegan diet, the Keto diet, and the Paleo diet, or there’s more lenient options like the Mediterranean diet, calorie-restriction based diets, or low-fat diets. It seems like every day there’s a new dieting trend on social media or the internet.
With so many different options to choose from – and differing professional opinions for each diet – choosing one that’s right for you can be a struggle. For a diet to work for you, it needs to be something that gets your body all the nutrients it needs, while helping you feel your best. There’s no one “best” diet for everyone. Every body is different, so not every diet will work for you. That’s why it’s important to really do your research before jumping into a new nutrition plan. Continue reading
You are the only one in charge of your health and physical fitness. No one is going to drag you out of bed every morning to go to the gym or force you to spend 30 minutes on the elliptical or the treadmill. No one is going to slap the donut out of your hand and replace it with an apple, or monitor what you eat 24/7. Your health is up to you.
Or is it? Could something outside of your control be affecting your weight, your happiness, and your overall health? Could where you live in the United States affect how likely you are to have diabetes, exercise, or go outside and walk?
The answer is…yes! It turns out, where you live and the overall health of your community can affect your health and fitness habits. That’s why researchers put together the 2021 American Fitness Index – a huge research project that ranked the 100 largest cities in the country according to their health and lifestyle habits, researching everything from “health behaviors and chronic diseases to city infrastructure.” (1)
So where does your city rank in the 2021 American Fitness Ratings? Is your city among the top 25 healthiest cities in America? What about the top five? Well, check out the top 5 healthiest cities in the United States below to find out… Continue reading
Tai chi is an art – a mind-body practice that involves mindfulness, slow movements and controlled breathing. It’s a practice that has been around for thousands of years. In fact, it was an ancient Chinese tradition that was originally made for self-defense. (1) And today, it’s practiced by almost 250 million people around the world. (2)
It’s often described as “meditation in motion” because it focuses on total harmony of both your mind and your body. (3) Tai chi can be a very peaceful exercise, not just to practice, but also to watch. The gentle, flowing movements are artistic and beautiful, creating a harmony that can be seen and felt.
This ancient exercise is not only great for summoning inner peace, but also has many health benefits. According to the Tai Chi for Health Institute, “numerous studies have shown tai chi improves muscular strength, flexibility, fitness, improves immunity, relieves pain and improves quality of life.” (3) Recently, researchers have also been studying whether tai chi can help you sleep better and reduce the risk of falls in older adults. Continue reading
When I was younger, my roommate Tammy and I would try to work out together every morning in our apartment. We were each other’s accountability partners, and we really tried to motivate each other to stick to our workout plans and achieve our fitness goals.
It was winter, so it was super cold outside, and it rained almost every single day where I lived. As you can imagine, finding motivation to get out of bed in the morning and workout in our living room was often a struggle.
But Tammy had a secret weapon that motivated her to get off the couch and start doing pushups or sit-ups or lift weights there in our living room. What was her secret weapon, you ask? I’m not just going to tell you… I’m going to give it to you!
Her secret motivational weapon was a Mohammad Ali YouTube video that you can check out right here. Every morning, she would watch the video, and it would motivate her to start working out. She watched the video so much that she had almost every word memorized, and every morning she would almost yell the line, “Imma show you how great I am!” (1) Continue reading
As travel restrictions are slowing going away, more and more people are packing their bags and traveling to new and exciting destinations. And while your vacation days are certainly meant for relaxing and re-charging, just because you’re away from home doesn’t mean you have to put a hold on your fitness goals.
I’m not saying you should stick to an intense fitness regimen and make yourself miserable on vacation. However, planning to exercise, even if it is just for 15 minutes a day, will help keep your body healthy and make it easier to get back into your normal fitness routine when you get back home.
There’s a lot of great options for working out on vacation – whether you’re staying at a hotel, a vacation rental or even your friend’s house – you can easily incorporate exercise into your vacation plans. Here’s some exercise tips you can use if you’re planning on traveling soon. Continue reading
Could a super simple app really help you eat less junk food? Well, according to researchers at the universities of Exeter and Helsinki – it can! Their research found that playing the online choice-based game they developed actually helped participants make better eating choices. In fact, participants who played every day for a month ate less junk food and even lost weight.The results of this simple experiment were impressive. Professor Natalia Lawrence from the University of Exeter, said that “someone who ate each junk food two to four times a week reduced this to once a week after using the app regularly for a month.” (1) And those that used the app even more had even bigger changes in their eating patterns.
It might seem outrageous that a simple game could really influence what you eat, but it’s worked for many people. One participant said, “my cravings have reduced dramatically and I no longer eat in the evening mindlessly.” (1)
If you’ve struggled to control your eating patterns or are really attached to those favorite comfort foods, this app could help you not only eat less junk food, but even help minimize your cravings for those foods, making it easier to lose weight and eat healthy. Continue reading
Every 36 seconds, someone dies from cardiovascular disease in the United States. In fact, heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women in our country (1). Heart attacks and other cardiovascular problems become more common every year. And as more and more people in the United States are diagnosed with diabetes and obesity, the number of people at risk of heart disease continues to grow.
Now, more than ever, your heart health should be your top priority. Many people know that eating right – especially staying away from sugary drinks and fatty foods that clog your arteries – and exercising regularly are key in keeping your heart healthy. But it turns out, certain exercises are better for your heart than others.
Stairclimbing is one of the best exercises for your heart – even if you’ve suffered from heart disease in the past! It’s a fast way to improve heart and muscle fitness and give you a great workout as well. Continue reading
Do you struggle to find motivation to workout every day? Do you have trouble sticking to your workout plans and programs for more than a month? Do you wonder why it’s so hard to get up in the morning and exercise?
If you’ve found yourself lacking long-term motivation to achieve your fitness goals, you’re not alone. Staying motivated is a human struggle that we all face. Our natural state is a resting, lazy state – that’s where our body is most comfortable. Getting out of that natural state, exercising, eating healthy – that’s exactly what we need to do to be healthy – but not at all what our lazy natural self wants to do.
To help you stay motivated to work out, here’s some tips from arguably one of the most motivated figures in sports – Arnold Schwarzenegger. Bodybuilding champion, successful businessman, Hollywood actor and politician, Schwarzenegger, in his own words, is a “disciplined super-achiever” who sets and achieves goals, over and over again. (1) Continue reading