A Little R&R

 
 
FOUR OF THE TOP SPORT PERFORMANCE & RECOVERY THERAPIES:
CRYOTHERAPY, ACTIVE RELEASE TECHNIQUE, GRASTON, ACUPUNCTURE

 

There is nothing worse for an athlete than being sidelined with an injury – many of which are not a result of trauma, but chronic overuse (believe me, I know!). With a little R&R — Relax and Recover — many of these injuries can be prevented and treated through a wide range of different therapy techniques. Here is our guide to 9 of the most popular and effective sport performance and recovery therapies — some old and some new. And as an added benefit, many are equally popular as wellness treatments for relaxation and overall wellbeing too.

CRYOTHERAPY

We first wrote about cryotherapy in 2015, when your intrepid editor decided to venture into a -238 degree chamber – yes, you heard right — before it became as widely popular as it is today. Cryotherapy was on our radar as a cutting-edge sports recovery tool, popular among top professional athletes, many of whom had their own cryochambers at home. Now cryotherapy studios can be found in everywhere and booking a session as easy as signing up for your favorite workout.  Read More

 

HIIT IT!

 

ROWGATTA

One of the new entries in the ever-expanding fitness landscape of New York City is Rowgatta – a combination rowing and strength training class. You might call it Barry’s Bootcamp meets rowing — and it fits right in with the popular HIIT style workouts that combine cardio intervals on a treadmill, heavy bag, or rower, with resistance training that’s centered around a custom designed step bench.

At Rowgatta, it’s a CrossFit reminiscent “FITBENCH” — complete with dumbbells, kettlebells, a slam ball, and resistance bands. Like Barry’s, Orange Theory, Rumble, and others in this category, Rowgatta features a night-club inspired design, colored mood lighting, and a pumping sound system. If you’re a fan of the formula, and prefer rowing over boxing or running, Rowgatta is for you!

Barry’s Bootcamp opened in 1998 and popularized High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) in a group setting. HIIT style classes are a fun, efficient, and effective way to get in shape — offering maximal results in minimal time. You get all the benefits of cardio and strength training in one 50-minute class. High Intensity Interval Training also generates a physiological reaction known as EPOC – Excess Post-exercise Oxygen Consumption – and these total body workouts are proven to offer continual calorie and fat burning up to 36 hours after the workout is done.

What started with Barry’s Bootcamp and the treadmill, has taken off and launched the opening of a host of other HIIT studios across the country. Boxing workouts like Rumble and GRIT BXNG have added or replaced the treadmill with heavy bags (water-filled, rubber boxing bags). LIT Method and now Rowgatta, have added rowing into the mix. No matter your cardio preference, there is a HIIT class for you. Here’s our guide to the most popular:  Read More

 

The Plant-Based Diet Takeover

 

NO ANIMALS WERE HARMED IN THE MAKING OF THIS FAST FOOD

 
I’ve got friends and family who have been vegan for years. The easiest way to understand vegan, one of them told me, is you don’t eat anything with a face. So in addition to the obvious meat, fish, and chicken — that means no dairy, eggs, and any other products that contain them. Veggie burgers, Tofurky, and soy cheese have been the basic go-to substitutions, available in a limited selection, and tailored primarily to a vegan taste palate. But all that has changed…

Go into any coffee shop or supermarket nowadays and you find menus and aisles of plant-based milks like almond, coconut, and oat — and freezer sections filled with delicious plant-based meat alternatives like Beyond Meat and Impossible Burger. Designed to taste and smell exactly like a hamburger, and engineered with the multi-faceted texture of one — these new savory “veggie” burgers are featured prominently on the menu at major fast food chains like Burger King and McDonalds – along with Beyond Sausage sandwiches at Dunkin’ Donuts and Beyond Fried Chicken at KFC. Plant-based eating has gone mainstream — and Hollywood. It was a veggies only dinner last Sunday at the Golden Globes Awards.

A recent article in the New Yorker quoted some powerful statistics on the environmental impact of eating meat. In a nutshell, agriculture consumes more freshwater than any other human activity, and nearly one-third of that water is devoted to raising livestock. One-third of the world’s arable land is used to grow feed for livestock, and cattle are responsible for 14.5 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions from the methane they produce in digestion. That’s as much each year as from all cars, trucks, airplanes, and ships combined! (NYT)
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5 Simple Fixes!

 

 
My edited food journal above may look overwhelming, but the changes come down to a few basic concepts. Back in July we launched a contest offering 2 lucky readers the chance to win a diet makeover by Sarah Wragge, our contributing nutrition editor, with just 5 Simple Fixes. Yes, there are the obvious splurges like pizza, ice cream, and cookies, but lurking in many of our diets are extra hidden calories of which we are completely unaware. I found that out firsthand when I asked Sarah to take a look at my diet.

Thinking I ate pretty clean and expecting a pat on the back, instead I got, “OMG… you eat so much sugar!” Unbeknownst to me, what I thought was my healthy fruit and rice cake snacking was like sugar dosing and carbo loading all day. With some simple substitutions like adding more healthy fats such as avocado and nuts; swapping dairy for plant based alternatives like almond milk and coconut yogurt; and replacing my fruit dessert with dark chocolate (yes!), those abs I work so hard for started to pop — and with no feeling of deprivation because I was eating satiating and nutritious foods.

Our 5 Simple Fixes contest winners, Suzanne Donaldson and Mike Loftus, learned some of the same lessons and few more of their own — along with some easy fixes to attain their fitness and nutrition goals. Our contest should probably have been called “1 Simple Fix” because the leading culprit for all 3 of us was hidden sugar.

We all want to look good and feel good. We want those workouts to show on our bodies. For those of you who entered the contest but didn’t win, we wanted to share a sample 3 days of our diets, with the changes Sarah made. Many of you might have similar habits, and we hope seeing our mistakes and the easy fixes can help you achieve your fitness and nutrition goals too.  Read More

 

Are These Beers Your New Sport Drink?

 

10 POPULAR NON-ALCOHOLIC BEERS

 
Runners take your mark, get set, go, HAVE A BEER! Turns out your favorite brew might be the best sports drink around — but before you start getting hammered after your workouts, we are talking non-alcoholic beer here…

Beer, as post workout beverage, has been marketed as of late to fitness enthusiasts — with craft brews like Sufferfest, whose tagline is “Will Sweat for Beer”, and Samuel Adams’ Boston 26.2 Brew, targeting athletes and weekend warriors. They are still alcoholic beverages, however, and not exactly healthy. Non-alcoholic beers are changing that, and gaining in popularity as a sports performance and recovery drink — thanks in large part to one of the active ingredients, malt.

Traditionally non-alcoholic beers have paled in flavor, compared to their alcoholic counterparts. Stripping the alcohol removes that beer flavor, and adding malt is what brings it back — along with all sorts of additional health benefits. Malt extract is rich in antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and amino acids. Some of you will remember Ovaltine — the healthy malted milk beverage that was a staple of our childhoods — which is still widely consumed in Europe by both adults and children. Read More

 

Get More Energy Now!

 

 

Everybody wants more energy — and we want it all day! In the insanely busy lives most of us live, balancing the demands of work and home, we go at full speed from the moment we wake up until we go to sleep. We need that energy sustained for our workouts, jobs, kids, and spouse — not just for the body, but also the mind. Whether you’re a busy exec or stay-at-home mom, our physical and psychological demands don’t discriminate.

64% of us start the day with a cup coffee, and the average American drinks about 3-4 cups per day. One cup of coffee is the morning is fine, but drinking too much coffee can have adverse effects, and leave us feeling more exhausted. When we feel tired, our brains do too. Not only is cognitive function impaired, but our emotional stability as well. We’ve all been known to “lose it” when we’re wiped out. The goal is to avoid the highs and the lows.

Since fatigue is not an option, we asked our resident nutrition and wellness guru, Sarah Wragge, for some tips and tricks to have more energy now. The good news is you don’t have to give up that morning brew!  Read More

 

The 10 Buzziest Superfoods

 

 

Apple cider vinegar, turmeric, activated charcoal, kombucha, and more… you hear people buzzing about these hot wellness favorites all the time! Walk into a smoothie bar and you see matcha on the menu, pick up a magazine and some celebrity is swearing by the miracle benefits of celery juice. We asked Sarah Wragge, our contributing nutrition editor to give us the real deal on 10 of the trendiest foods — and the ones we should be eating now!

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar started getting really popular a few years ago, with everybody talking about its health and weight loss benefits. Apple cider vinegar helps control blood sugar levels that lead to cravings, and is said to work as an appetite suppressant when consumed with meals. It contains organic acids and enzymes that help speed up metabolism and can increase the rate at which body fat is burned. It also works to detoxify the body, helping our digestive systems become more efficient.

SAYS SARAH: Like all fermented foods, apple cider vinegar it is a great probiotic remedy — something everyone should be taking for a healthy gut. Know that bloated feeling? Apple cider vinegar helps increase the good bacteria living inside our digestive tract, and fight the bad bacteria which are often the cause. Personally, I’d rather you take a great probiotic – look for one with 10 billion cultures or higher, and at least 5 different bacteria strains. I like Renew Life. For some people, raw vinegar on an empty stomach (when you should be consuming it) doesn’t feel great, especially first thing in the morning.  Read More

 

The Nutrition Buzz: Intermittent Fasting

 

 
Last month we introduced Sarah Wragge, our contributing nutrition guru who we’ve brought on board to give us the real deal on the latest wellness and nutrition trends buzzing around the fitness universe. “Intermittent fasting” is the trend du jour, which both athletes and those looking to lose weight are integrating into their eating plan. 16:8, Eat Fast Eat, and 5:2 are just a few of the specific types of intermittent fasts which all refer to a schedule of how many hours or days you eat vs. don’t eat — or fast.

Although it’s not a diet per se — as intermittent fasting doesn’t refer to what you eat, but when you eat — the results can be quite dramatic for both sport performance and weight loss. Like all diets however, there is a right and a wrong way to do it. After hearing a friend say she was going to try intermittent fasting because she could eat whatever she wanted all day and then starve until noon (wrong!), I knew we had to get the facts straight for our readers — the pros, cons, and whether it’s right for you.

STYLE OF SPORT: What is intermittent fasting?

SARAH WRAGGE: Intermittent fasting is giving your body a break from food for a certain period of time. There a several different ways to do the fast. The most common is to stop eating at certain time and allow at least 12-16 hours before you eat again. Read More

 
 

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