Tag Archives: outdoor fitness

The No-Helmet Bicycling Movement is Harmful to Your Health

Every sport has its own built-in factions: If you’re a runner do you wear minimal shoes or full-support ones? If you do yoga, do you like traditional yoga or hot yoga? When I started cycling I was pretty surprised to find that the point of division was whether or not your wore a helmet.

bike helmet

“Who doesn’t wear a helmet?” was my initial thought when I saw fellow cyclists pedaling without any protection on their heads. Hadn’t they seen the stats showing that helmet save lives? I’m squarely in the helmet-wearing camp, using science (and common sense) to back-up my position. Because of that, I continue to be surprised that people on the no-helmet side of the argument also use science to support their claims. But it shouldn’t be too unexpected: The interesting thing with numbers is that you can spin them to support just about anything you want. (For a good example, see this tongue-in-cheek article on why seat belts and child restraints are hazardous.)

But back to bicycling. Yesterday, via Facebook, I was directed to yet another anti-helmet argument, this one written by a student at Yale. He had all sorts of supporting documents, pie charts, etc., that claimed to show: A.) that cycling is less dangerous than walking down the street, among other things; and B.) that helmets may actually be harmful.

I read the piece. Then I checked his math. And he was spinning the statistics to make his case. Here’s the beginning, and cornerstone, of his argument: (more…)

Have a Healthy Weekend! Make the Most of Your Last Saturday and Sunday of 2013!

Welcome to the weekend! Saturdays and Sundays may mean relaxed diet and fitness rules during much of the year, but the timing of this specific weekend—right between Christmas and New Year’s Eve—may inspire you to get in a few final acts of health in 2013. If you’re feeling like you could use a health reboot right now, here are 10 ways to have a healthy weekend.

weekend ahead

1. Limit your coffee intake. Inherently, coffee is full of all sorts of health-promoting properties. The beverage has been linked to a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and even some cancers. However, regularly loading up on caffeinated coffee can make you moody and dependent on its energy boosting effects; what started as one cup can quickly turn into three or four if you don’t keep your habit in check. So, if you need extra pep have a single cup, then switch to decaf, which has many of the same health-protecting properties but isn’t addictive.

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5 Summer Workout Dos and Don’ts

The first day of summer has come and gone and now we’re on the brink of a fast-approaching heat wave. But for health enthusiasts, intense heat doesn’t put a damper on their fitness routines as they eagerly seek new ways to adapt their outdoor routines to warmer weather.

There are many risks involved with intense heat, including sunburn, dehydration and heat exhaustion, just to name a few. So before diving in head first, it’s important to consider how to be proactive about safety to ensure we’re protected whether we’re out for a 10-mile run or just a leisurely stroll.

To get some insight on the subject, we called on DietsInReview.com’s own running expert Lacy Hansen. Lacy seems to be outdoors more often than in as she clocks close to 30-40 miles on any given week. Needless to say, she knows a thing or two about running safely outdoors. (more…)

4 Tips to Prepare for Working Out in Spring Weather

When we think of spring, we usually think of blooming flowers, birds chirping and crisp, sunny weather, which gets us itching to take our workouts outdoors. In actuality, Spring is often full of unpredictable, and not always pleasant weather. While one day may be full of gorgeous spring sunshine, the next may bring a bout of rain, or even a few dumps of snow. Don’t let that keep in your indoors, however. With a little prep and planning, you’ll be ready to run no matter what the weatherman says.

Lighten your layers.
Layers are essential for outdoor runs, and in spring you can switch to lighter jackets and hoodies, or even just an extra long sleeved tee. Make sure your layers are waterproof for those April showers, and you may even want to consider waterproof pants as well, which will completely protect you from the elements without weighing you down with heavy winter outerwear.

Plan ahead
Check the weather before you set out, and consider having separate bags or designated gear depending on the forecast. Take extra layers with you, or leave backup tops and pants in your car so if you are forgetful. Also consider having extra socks if puddles soak the ones you’re wearing, and no matter what is, or isn’t falling from the sky, pack a bottle of water and a healthy snack for pre- or post- workout fuel.

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5 Reasons Why Hiking Is a Good Workout

By Jenn Walters for FitBottomedGirls.com

I’m not your typical vacation goer. I don’t really do beaches or tropical destinations, as I need enough Aveeno 45 to cover a small army. And I’m not one to be content laying around for seven days in a row. Two or three maybe, but longer than that and I go a bit mad. So every year, we load up the car, and drive to Colorado for some wicked fun hiking and camping. A break from my usual fitness routine and one heck of a leg workout, here are five reasons to get hiking!

5 Reasons to Take a Hike
1. It burns tons of calories. Depending on how steep and how fast your pace is, hiking can easily burn more than 500 calories in an hour. And on many hikes, an hour is considered a short one. Pack water and high-density foods (we like trail mix and Clif Bars) to power you through. This isn’t the time to skimp on calories, as your body needs the fuel.

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How Health Makes Your Whole Life Better

Maruchy Lachance is president of Running Ninja!, a lifestyle brand for runners by runners. Running Ninja! offers a wide variety of apparel and gifts for runners to keep you happy and inspired while you’re on the run.

My husband and I are often asked how we remain committed to our healthy lifestyle in spite of being in our mid-40s, with a busy work schedule and social life. The truth is that our commitment stems from the fact that we are lazy and thrifty. We understand that health issues are one of the most time-consuming and costly expenses one can incur. We exercise on average an hour and a half a day and our only expenses are the yearly purchase of running shoes and workout clothes.

If we suffered from any of the countless diseases brought on by obesity we would be spending far more time and money treating our illnesses and worrying about our health.

Aside from keeping that dramatic reality in the forefront of our minds we also remain focused on our healthy lifestyle because of the activities, hobbies and events we choose to engage in. (more…)

Soffe’s New Styles Amp Up Summer Fitness Fashion

In the winter months, it is nice and easy to cover up in sweats and baggy t shirts in the confines of the gym, but in the summer, taking your fitness routine outdoors will give you an extra boost of mood enhancing vitamin D. That mood, however, can quickly drop when you realize that taking your workout outdoors means being seen in public- and those ratty cover ups aren’t going to cut it.

As shallow as it sounds, many women say their motivation to workout correlates directly to how they think they look: if you feel down about your appearance, you are less likely to workout. Conversely, if you feel good about the way you look, you are more likely to not only show your hot self off, but continue to improve on your appearance with exercise- and a cute outfit is the fastest and easiest way to feel good about yourself.

I know when I think of Soffe, I think of comfy baseball tees and solid cheer shorts, but Soffe is ramping up their style to help you not only beat the heat while exercising outdoors this summer, but make a fashion statement at the same time.

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Google Maps Gives Cyclists Their Own Directions

Take that old Schwinn out of the garage and wipe off the dust. In addition to walking and driving directions, Google maps also has biking directions.

Many people prefer biking to work or school to help the environment, save money, or just enjoy nature. So due to popular demand, Google maps introduced biking directions in March 2010 so that cyclists could more efficiently map out bike trips. The bike directions allow a user to personalize their trips, find bike lanes, and avoid big hills and major traffic zones. Google maps provides a useful tool for those who want to stake out the best routes and get reacquainted with a heart healthy childhood pastime.

In order to find bike trails in your town, type in the city on Google maps. Once you have found the correct city and zoomed in, click “more” on the options at the top of the map. The drag down list includes a “bicycling” option. Once you have selected the bicycling feature, the city map will now include dark green lines which indicate a bike-only trail, light green lines which indicate a bike lane on a road, and dashed green lines which indicate a road is designated as preferred for cyclists but without the specific bike lane.

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Your Anti-Itch Outdoor Survival Guide

Growing up in the middle of nowhere, I consider myself a lover of the outdoors. I enjoyed canoeing, fishing, hiking, and exploring Mother Nature.  With the economy on a downturn, people are going from pricey gym memberships to exercising at parks, hiking and maybe planking on the nearest boulder. Because of this, the most common summer question asked by my patients is how they can stop the itching that is driving them crazy.

Let’s take a step back. How can you prevent the itching in the first place? Here’s the trifecta; the most common things you may run into if you are exercising outside and how to avoid the irritants.

Poison Ivy/Oak/Sumac

The best way to avoid poison ivy is to be able to recognize it. It can grow on vines, bushes or be a plant on the ground, and usually has a 3-leaf structure. The oil that causes that itchy, allergic reaction is called urushiol and if you come into contact with it, first thing’s first: wash everything. Rinse your body, clothes, and anything else the urushiol may have touched.

Calamine lotion is a pink liquid that is usually that gold standard for relieving the symptoms of poison ivy. It has a skin protectant and pain reliever that helps to dry up any oozing blisters from the poison ivy. Hydrocortisone cream and antihistamines like Benadryl are other options to help with itching.

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Turn Summer Fun Into A Fun Workout

Christina is a mom, registered nurse, and blogger. She fully admits to both a love of too much food and a love of the couch, two vices she struggles to overcome on a daily basis. In the past two years, she’s lost nearly 50 pounds through diet and exercise, some of it chronicled on her blog, Losing My Hind.

Hooray for summer! With school out and the weather sunny and warm, my kids are always begging me to take them to the playground or go do something fun. (Because, of course, being at home is completely no fun at all.) As much as my daughters are enjoying their free time, I’m finding myself stressed out about not having enough time in my day. They may have no responsibilities, but I still have to go to work, buy groceries, do housework, and maybe find time for myself to exercise – all in addition to keeping my two little darlings entertained.

One time saver I’ve been trying to incorporate is taking the time to join in on summer activities with my kids. No, not just sit on the patio while they run through the sprinklers – I mean actually getting up and running through it with them. Think about it: not only do your kids get to have fun and spend time with you, but if done right, you can cross your workout for the day off your to-do list at the same time!

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