Heal Thyself

 

 

For many fitness lovers and weekend warriors, overuse injuries often come with the territory. Luckily there are chiropractors, acupuncturists, and massage therapists to get us back in action as fast as possible. When the coronavirus pandemic hit however, those practitioners’ offices closed, and with that went the treatments and therapies on which we’ve come to rely.

Though many sport and physical therapists’ offices are now open, with Covid fears and the pandemic lingering, some people are still reluctant to go, despite the safety precautions doctors and health practitioners have taken. While we can’t replace the hands-on techniques of a great physical therapist, there are a number of things we can do ourselves to keep those nagging injuries from becoming more serious.

One of my primary sport therapists is Duke Chiropractic in Manhattan, where in addition to skeletal adjustments, they use active release therapy, along with a variety of other muscular therapies like Graston and EPAT to treat both recreational and professional athletes. I spoke with one of my doctors there, Dr. Peter Duggan, about what recovery therapies we can do on our own when getting into the doctor’s office is not an option or as convenient as it once was. Read More

 

Power Brews

 

 

With the popularity of intermittent fasting, a nutritional tool that can help your body burn fat, that first cup of coffee is often the break-fast meal. For those who prefer training in the morning, while in a fasting state, fueling their workouts can be a challenge. Many athletes and fitness enthusiasts have conditioned their bodies to use fat for energy — as opposed to carbs which were once the norm — and have turned their morning brew into nutritional, fat-burning fuel.

Bulletproof coffee was one of the first fat-packed recipes to gain popularity: essentially black coffee with a scoop of grass-fed butter or ghee, and MCT or coconut oil. The added fat slows down caffeine absorption for more sustained energy. The theory is by adding fat to a cup of black coffee, you can transform it into an energy-boosting, brain-fueling, fat-burning meal. Grass-fed butter or ghee adds high-quality fats and essential nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids; fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K; and antioxidants. MCT Oil, which is derived from coconut oil, is said to help to increase energy levels, improve cognitive performance, regulate blood sugar, and boost fat burning. Bulletproof manufactures its own MCT oil called Brain Octane FuelRead More

 

Finding Calm

 

 

Photographs by Coliena Rentmeester

Art Direction Claudia Lebenthal

Back in October we did a feature with our contributing nutrition editor Sarah Wragge on energy and how to get more of it. With the crazy busy lives we were living then — going from home life, to the gym, to work, and out at night — energy seemed a priority. While we are certainly still living crazy lives, ones that have been upended by the Coronavirus pandemic, our priorities have shifted. What we really need now are strategies to stay calm and relax. Not easy to do!

We are all super stressed out by the direct and indirect effects of this virus in ways we might not even be consciously aware. All we hear is bad news 24-7 and there seems to be no end in sight. Our baseline emotional state is one of high anxiety, which is very taxing on the immune system as well. With all this in mind we conferred with Sarah again on some tactics to chill out and relax in these unprecedented times…
 

EXERCISE

STYLE OF SPORT: Exercise is a great emotional outlet and while most of us are trying to stay fit at home while gyms are closed, it’s not like we’re getting the same benefits from our workouts. I’m doing the best I can, but my workouts just aren’t as intense on my own.

SARAH WRAGGE: With screaming kids in the background, technology glitches with Zoom workouts, and other distractions at home, you’re not getting that exercise high you normally would with the energy and support of a classroom and teacher pushing you. Our usual stress outlets have been taken away, so our exercise needs to be more harmonious and calming. Maybe your workout style shifts. It might be different now than it was before. I find I’m doing more yoga because it’s relaxing, Yin and Restorative yoga in particular, as opposed to a HIIT workout which revs me up. Figure out what type of movement is going to benefit you not just physically but emotionally — after the workout as well. Read More

 

Staying Fit When Gyms Are Closed

 

 

CLOCKWISE TOP LEFT: PELOTON, ALOMOVES, NIKE TRAINING CLUB, INSANITY, MODELFIT, CLASSPASS LIVE, OBE, PHYSIQUE 57

 
Digital fitness has exploded in the last few years with streaming workouts, fitness apps, and interactive home gym equipment. With gyms now closed in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic, these at-home workouts are more popular than ever. Maintaining our health and fitness regimens is still of the utmost priority for many of us — and these digital workouts offer a multitude of options to stay in shape.

So if you can’t go to the gym, let the gym come to you. HIIT, cycling, yoga, dance, cardio, Pilates and more – take your favorite classes online in the germ-free environment of your own home. Whether it’s your regular workout or something new you’ve wanted to try, here are some of the most popular digital options.

MULTI-CLASS PLATFORMS

Fitness platforms like ClassPass, Jetsweat, and Peloton Digital offer a full range of cardio, yoga, dance, sculpt, boxing, barre classes, and more — available live or on-demand to stream on your phone, computer, or TV. With so many options for one monthly price – generally less than the cost of one boutique fitness class – these are the best bang for your buck. Just filter by workout, duration, difficulty – and press play! Read More

 

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

 

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)
Read More

 

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

 
 

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