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The summer months are a great time to take a step back and reassess your fitness plan. With the changing seasons, you can examine what you’ve been doing with your workouts and diet to determine if they are in line with your goals – whether it’s to lose weight, complete a marathon or gain better endurance – and what changes you need to make.
Another excellent part of summer is that it gives most of us a chance to bring our workouts outdoors. Spending too much time doing the same sort of routine or program can cause exercise boredom and plateauing. To overcome these challenges and continue to see results, you need to constantly challenge your body. Since you’ve likely spent most of the cold weather months cooped up indoors using various workout equipment, now is a prime opportunity to head outside, soak up some much needed vitamin D and reinvigorate your workouts.
While it can be a fun challenge to exercise outdoors, it’s important to keep in mind that the heat can be dangerous. Extra sweating and high temperatures increase the risk for heat exhaustion, sunstroke and other heat-related issues. Because of this, it’s important to keep in mind these tips to stay cool during summer workouts:
When you change up your fitness routine and start to really challenge yourself, there’s a chance you’ll experience sore muscles. Luckily, massage is a great way to soothe this conditions and it also helps with athletic recovery for those who are in training for a race or competition. Using a portable massager allows you to work out knots and kinks whenever you need to, and it’s a cost-efficient method that can be used during a cool-down or whenever it’s needed.
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Is your daily routine negatively impacted by that relentless ache in your lower back? Can you feel it throbbing for attention as you read this? You’re not alone. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, around 80% of adults suffer from lower back pain at some point in their life.
Endurance athletes who take part in marathons, triathlons or century bike rides typically have fitness goals of strength and stamina. Your body needs to be strong enough to carry you long distances, and it needs to have the proper training in order to function for extended periods of time.
Before a race it’s crucial to plan a training program to prepare, and most of this will include running or cycling through intervals of faster and slower speeds, up and down hills and longer and shorter distances. It should also include cross training with strength exercises and core workouts such as Pilates for total body training.
Another factor that should be included in a pre-race program is athletic recovery and stretching. Whether you’re a new or seasoned endurance athlete, you’ll be putting your body through more intense challenges, which is sure to leave you with sore muscles from time to time, but it can also increase your risk of injury. To prevent getting hurt and having a setback, you need to take the proper precautions, which include stretching and massage.
A century bike ride will take you 100 miles, and it will certainly test your mental and physical prowess. This may seem like a lofty goal, but it’s certainly an achievable one that many endurance cyclists aspire to complete.
Being able to bike 100 miles requires serious commitment, dedication, planning and training. Once you decide to take part in a century ride, you need to starting working at least eight weeks beforehand to prepare your mind and body for the challenge ahead. Your training program should consist of long and short rides as well as intervals of different speeds, resistance levels, terrain and hills. It’s also a good idea to cross training with weight lifting to strengthen your muscles and exercises such as Pilates that provide stretching and improve posture.
Another key component is nutrition. Your body won’t be able to last long if it is not being fueled properly. Even slight dehydration can completely zap your energy levels and cause sore musclesand cramps. If this does happen, giving your muscles a massage can help. Additionally, eating the right amount of carbohydrates and fats is needed to fuel your muscles and provide you with the nutrients to keep you going mile after mile. You’ll certainly want to pack snacks to stop and eat during your ride to replenish fuel sources, curb hunger pangs and boost energy. Remember not to pack any foods that are too heavy or hard to transport. A muffin may sound delicious, but it can be messy to eat. Also, be sure not to try any new foods in case it affects your stomach negatively and you have to stop mid-race.
Here are some tasty, helpful snack options to pack for your century ride: