We all know that you can carve a pumpkin for Halloween or make pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving, but there’s more! Runtastic Fitness Coach Lunden created a really fun and creative workout that is sure to get you sweaty this season! Check it out and get fit for fall.
Workout with a Pumpkin
- 20 around-the-world’s (10 each way)
- 12 single leg pumpkin press (6 each leg)
- 20 quick feet pumpkin taps
- 20 low squats
- 10-15 narrow pumpkin push-ups
- 20 decline pumpkin plank & tap (10 each foot)
Rest & Repeat 3-5x
by Nick Palladino
At 31-years old, I am in better shape today than I have been in my entire life. I am physically stronger, more flexible, better balanced and can recover faster from almost any type of workout than most people. How is this possible you ask? One word; yoga. Practicing yoga has taken my mind and body from tight, under-developed and imbalanced to what it is today- supple, strong and adaptable. At 6’7’’, if my body can respond how it has to the practice of yoga, then honestly, anyone’s can too.
Shortly after my college basketball career came to an end, a teammate took me to yoga and it was the hardest thing I’d ever done. I was barely able to reach past my knees in a forward fold, I was unable to focus for more than a breath and everything hurt. I cannot even begin to express how inflexible and stiff my entire body was after a life-time of athletics and impact sports. I had borderline debilitating back pain from a car accident, bad knees from playing basketball and almost no shoulder range of motion from pitching. Eight years later, I’m now known as “The Big Yogi” due to my height and yogic ability. As a life-long athlete, I was sure I was in “good shape.” Yoga quickly made me realize that this was anything but the truth. The key to a strong, athletic and injury free body comes to down to a few key components: strength, flexibility/range of motion, balance and mental focus- all of which yoga provides, both physically and mentally.
Working from the outer body in, yoga first develops strong muscles. Think about this; when you practice yoga, you are literally holding your entire body weight up for an hour. Compare this to a traditional workout at the gym, in which you lift only a percentage of your total-body weight for a minute then rest, and you can see how much more yoga works the body. Yoga (especially Vinyasa and Power styles) challenges you from start to finish and engages muscles you’ve never even felt before. Most yoga students experience an exponential increase in full body strength within just months of practicing yoga. Many athletes also find the power they develop from practicing yoga directly affects how much they can lift in the gym, how long and well they can run and, most noticeably, how yoga minimizes muscle soreness from other forms of exercise.
As one continues to practice yoga a second benefit starts to creep-in: flexibility (and I purposely say “creep-in”, as increasing flexibility can be an arduous process, especially for athletes who’ve developed decades of muscle and joint stiffness). Flexible muscles, tendons and joints optimize performance and range of motion. If an athlete can’t touch their toes, they are not performing at their full potential. In my case, barely being able to touch my knees meant I was nowhere near my full potential of strength, speed, agility or recovery. Increased flexibility also leads to a lower risk of injury, as the body develops a greater range of motion. As range of motion is increased the chance of injury decreases, simply because the body can move further and freer, making fuller movement easier to achieve. Ever notice how often American Football players tear their ACLs? This is predominantly because they are so tight from their massive muscles that the smallest movement can take them out of their safe zone, causing serious injury and joint damage. My favorite benefit from increased flexibility is reduced recovery time. When the body is flexible, it takes less energy and effort to function. As a result of increased flexibility, the body expends less energy during exercise than it would have previously and is able to recover quicker. Elite athletes are both muscular and flexible, it’s a powerful combination.
The third and fourth athletic benefits of yoga take a little longer to develop than the first two, but are worth the time and effort required to achieve. Yoga develops a body awareness like no other, which creates superb balance and mental focus. Physical balance is key for being at the top of your game. It creates elite agility, hand-eye coordination and further prevents injuries. Superior mental alertness is the end product of a strong, balanced and flexible yoga practice, which allows you to focus clearer and better. At the end of the day, the stronger an athlete is mentally the better they are able perform on the field or on the road.
The biggest challenge for athletes in developing a yoga practice is getting through the first few awkward months and being ok with not being “good” at yoga. It will be challenging and it will hurt, but it’s no more uncomfortable than the last few miles of a marathon or the end of a long game. Many athletes are surprised by how quickly they begin to feel the mental and physical benefits of yoga and how the benefits far outweigh any initial discomfort they experience in class. Adding yoga to your training routine, whether that be once a week or daily, will have profound effects on your athletic performance; it will make you stronger, more flexible and improve your recovery time. From one athlete to another, do your body and performance a favor and test what I am saying here. My only regret about my sports career is that I didn’t know about yoga during my playing days. If I had, I truly believe I would have been twice the player I ever was.
Yoga for athletes: Takes your mind and body to the next level!
Nick Palladino, “The Big Yogi”, is a San Francisco based yoga teacher, personal trainer and wellness coach. His passion is facilitating change and growth through health and wellness and does so by combining techniques from yoga, strength training, sports and meditation. Visit Nick at his website www.thebigyogi.com to learn more about his teachings and his blog.
Today, we cede this space to Peter. His article about Runtastic Orbit arrived in our inbox a couple days ago. We were delighted after reading his sincere review and wanted to share it with you, too.
Since August 29th, I am one of those people who walk around with a fitness tracker around their wrist. In my case, it’s Runtastic’s “Orbit”. As I am writing these lines, I have been living with my Orbit for a couple of weeks and, turns out I don’t take it off… ever. Only to charge it, but that’s all.
The idea to write down my opinion about this fitness tracker was born while reading a rather withering review about the Orbit online entitled “BullshitBand.” It said the Orbit wasn’t able to recognize biking or swimming and that it didn’t actually count every single step of your day. It went on to say that it might even count a step where there wasn’t one, or the other way round, and it might not count on of your precious steps at all. Is that so?
The further I read on, the angrier I got about that review. This is why I wanted to provide you with an honest and, in my opinion, fair experience report or Runtastic’s fitness tracker.
The idea behind step trackers
Orbit counts my steps every day, all day– however, I do know that it counts a few extra steps or misses a couple of my steps. The thing is: I don’t care, as I’m not really interested in whether I can look back at exactly 9,345 or 9,337 steps at the end of the day. I just want to know if I was active enough or not. Working as a software developer, there definitely are days where the Orbit might wonder if I’m still alive. On these days, it’s nice to have Orbit remind you to take some more steps. For me, that’s what step or fitness trackers are made for in the first place: to promote awareness about my activity level and whether I move enough.
As for “swimming is not detected” or similar reproaches, I think they’re not worth a statement. Because nobody would criticize that a car lacks the possibility to attach an articulated trailer either, right?
A few words about its other features
The calories burned on average, which I suppose are calculated based on the basal metabolic rate as well as gender, weight, etc., in combination with the additionally burned calories based on your activity level, provide a nice overview on where one stands, calorie-wise.
I don’t consult my active minutes very often, but occasionally they can be of interest. My personal, favorite feature is Orbit Connect. As soon as you start your Runtastic app, this mode allows you to use Orbit as a second screen. Now, that’s what I call a comprehensive solution for running. Displaying my heart rate via Bluetooth on both my phone and the Orbit – bravo! Plus, being able to monitor my pace and distance covered at any time makes targeted training a whole lot easier.
Last but not least: Sleep mode
A nice feature, if it wasn’t for my apparent inability to remember changing to sleep mode. I’d love to be able to enter my average bedtime here. Based on this information and my current movements, Orbit could activate sleep mode on its own, then. If it were to get it wrong by 10 minutes from time to time – I wouldn’t care at all. As an alarm clock, the Orbit does a good job. It’s very practical and doesn’t bother your partner in case he/she can stay in bed longer.
One more thing I’d like to suggest: The alarm should switch the Orbit back into normal (day) mode. Being too forgetful to remember activating sleep mode at night, how could I possibly be able to change back two minutes after getting up?
However, never mind these tiny points of criticism, or let’s call them wishes, as I am sure that Runtastics are currently busy working on some of these features. After all, the Orbit still is a “baby” fitness tracker. In a nutshell, I’d say Orbit does what it should do – and it does so damn well!
I am excited to see which features will be thrown at us in the future.
Meanwhile, happy step tracking everyone!
About the author:
Peter Neunteufel is 29 years old and from Austria. The software developer with a background in Audio Engineering speaks of himself as a tech freak. After work, he unwinds either out running or playing with his band, Yellowframe.
My to-do list for the last few weeks looked like this:
- Interval training
- Trail runs
I wanted to be fit for the Business Run. However, intense training sessions were often followed by heavy legs and muscle soreness, I’m sure you’ve had sore muscles after a workout. That’s when I decided to do some research on natural sore muscle recovery remedies, at least, ease the pain. Here’s what I found out:
At last year’s ISSN Conference, the International Society of Sports Nutrition discovered the following: Seven perfectly trained runners, who had been drinking beet juice regularly over a period of two weeks, said their muscle soreness after intense training sessions had diminished significantly.
CaffeineStudies show that athletes are less prone to suffer from muscles soreness and aches post-workout when drinking caffeine before their training.
They are rich in antioxidants, which bind the free radicals caused by overstrain. Snacking on blueberries or enjoying them in a post workout berry smoothie to promotes muscle recovery.
Soothe sore muscles by drinking 1.5 oz of cherry juice both before and after your workout. Thanks to the juice’s anti-inflammatory effects and antioxidants, your muscles will recover more quickly.
The effects of gingerol, the active component responsible for the sting, are similar to those of the active agent contained in Aspirin. It can reduce muscle soreness by up to 24%.
By drinking tomato juice after your workout, you can reduce the amount of inflammatory markers in your blood. This effect is caused by the antioxidants contained in tomatoes.
Fish The omega-3 fatty acids contained in fish promote muscle recovery and healing.
This root, also known as turmeric, relaxes our muscles, eases pain and improves muscle mobility.
Coconut water Pure water from green coconuts is a great sports drink and reduces muscle soreness due to the electrolytes it contains.
Chili and green tea
Phytochemicals stimulate blood circulation and have positive effects on sore muscles.
Do they work, you might ask yourself? Well, I tried cherry and beet juice as well as coffee. And, honestly, I really think my muscles felt less sore during that time. Just try it out– if it doesn’t help, it won’t hurt, either.
Oh, and don’t forget to rest when you feel muscle soreness. Slowly ease back into your training routine after two days free of pain.
Do you follow a special recipe to relieve sore muscles? Share your secret in the comments.
Bye for now, Vera
Hi, I’m Vera. Dietitian at Runtastic. Being an dietitian is my job, but that doesn’t mean I want to sit around & make you count calories. It’s more about helping you get fit and healthy. Achieving a well-balanced life. That’s the mission of my biweekly Viewpoint.
Hi everyone! How are you doing? We hope you’re enjoying a productive 2014! You might have noticed or heard that our team has been on the road a lot lately, and we have a surprise for you.
Speaking at wearable tech conferences, connecting with the top guys in technology and meeting with influential media and the “movers and shakers” fitness and healthy lifestyle industries. What you may or may not have put together is that as of today, Runtastic has entered the wearable tech market with our new round-the-clock tracking device, Runtastic Orbit.
We know what you might be thinking – what makes Orbit different from other wearable tech? In the competitive wearables market, Orbit boasts a ton of fun features and reliable functionality that sets us apart from the competition. What’s also cool is just how much first-hand testing we did within our team to make sure our product would best serve your wants & needs! A few of our biggest differentiators include:
- Step Tracking, Distance & Active Minutes
- Sleep & Sleep Cycle Tracking
- Goal Tracking with Progress Indicator
- Time & Alarm
- Happy Tracking
- Waterproof (up to 100m/300ft)
- Versatile usability (wristbands and clip)
- Orbit Connect: View your Runtastic app stats on your Orbit
We want to help you get more familiar with your daily activity, optimize your life & live just a little bit better. How can Orbit make it happen? You could start by increasing your daily step count, having a more consistent sleep schedule or simply identifying the moments in your day where you can sneak in a bit of extra movement.
We hope you’re as excited about the Runtastic Orbit as we are! Well… What are you waiting for? Get your Orbit, download the accompanying Runtastic Me app (available on iOS and on Android) track your daily activity (and nights!), have fun & live better.
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