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How To Become A Faster Runner

Fredrick Ochami

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Running is one of the most effective ways of doing cardio. And with most gyms currently closed because of the COVID-19 pandemic, running has become even more crucial for men who want to keep fit. For many guys, just going on a quick jog is more than enough.

However, some might want to make the most of their sprint and run as fast as possible. For these guys, it’s rewarding to figure out a way to increase their speed.

Maybe they just want to push their body to the limit, or perhaps they want to make the most of their workout. Either way, there are a few ways to help them run faster.

Run More Often

This is a no-brainer. If you want to run faster, you just have to run more often. Your body will find it easier to adapt, and pushing yourself to go faster will be easier.

Ideally, you should aim to run three or more times a week. You can even run all seven days, if your body is up to it. However, we recommend at least one day of rest so your muscles can recharge.

The intensity of each day’s run can also vary. While running the same distance at the same speed can get old fast, switching up the intensity can help you avoid getting bored; which should help you remain focused.

Proper Form

Just like lifting weights, maintaining proper form is essential when running. Just watch some videos of the world’s fastest athletes and pay close attention to their form.

They generally keep a tall, relaxed posture, swing their arms front and back, and hit the ground with the midfoot beneath their hip. Not all of them are like this, though; sprinters tend to lean forward.

If you’re not sure that you’re maintaining the right form, you can always get someone more experienced. They can look at your form and tell you if you need to make any adjustments.

Run Up A Hill

If you run outdoors, try to look for a hill. Then sprint up the hill and walk back down. Depending on your fitness level and the size and steepness of the hill, you can do up to 10 circuits.

Hill sprints are incredibly effective when it comes to developing speed while simultaneously increasing muscle strength. The next time you run on a flat surface, you’ll realize that you’ve grown faster and stronger, and you’ll be able to run for longer.

If you run at home on a treadmill, you can just adjust it so it feels like you’re running up a hill.

Work Out

To run fast, you need strong legs. And to strengthen your legs, simply running isn’t enough. You can perform an extra workout at home that will help you to run faster. You can do squats, lunges, push-ups, pullups and bodyweight rows.

Just perform 10 to 20 reps of each exercise, for 2 to 3 sets. You can also use the jump rope. This will improve your balance and coordination, and help improve your running form.

Working out like this will help to make you stronger overall instead of just isolating your leg muscles.

Get A Journal

A journal is one of the best items you can get to keep you motivated, accountable and on track with your goals. Use it to record the results of your workouts so you can see how much you improve over time.

If you constantly push yourself and make even small improvements each day, you will note that you’re becoming faster. If you don’t notice a change, you can just change your process and push yourself a little harder. With a journal, you’re more likely to reach your goals faster.

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Health & Fitness

6 Great Ways to Get Rid of Love Handles

Fredrick Ochami

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love handles

There’s truly no love lost when it comes to love handles. These are sections of stubborn fat that stick to the front and sides of your stomach, and most of us would rather just get rid of them.

Love handles usually sneak upon us, and before we know it, we have a generous helping of fat around our midsection.

As easy as it is to get them, love handles are notoriously hard to lose. Many a man has struggled on the elliptical and doing countless abs, only for the slabs of fat to laugh at their efforts. But love handles don’t have to be a permanent resident. We’ve listed six ways you can use to get rid of that pesky flab.

Fiber Up

Add foods with soluble fibers to your diet, pronto. They help you to feel fuller for longer by slowing down your rate of digestion.

The fuller you feel, the less tempted you’ll be to grab a snack during the day. Your calorie intake will reduce, and with time, those annoying love handles will be relics of the past.

So, which foods have these soluble fibers? Look for fruits, vegetables, oats, nuts, beans and as a plus, these foods are also packing lots of nutrients. They will make you much healthier.

Go Organic

Yes, yes, we know. Organic foods can be a tad pricey. However, consider the benefits. For one, they are packing over 50% more omega-3 fatty acids.

Secondly, they also contain Conjugated Linoleic Acid or CLA. This has been proven to help in reducing fat around the midsection.

So, next time, don’t flinch at the asking price. Get your fix of organic cage-free eggs and grass-fed beef. A nice bonus is they also taste better.

Hit the HIIT

In a perfect world, we’d just do a ton of cardio and the love handles would burn right off. However, it doesn’t work like that. If you do too much cardio, you’ll just become a smaller version of how you look now; but the proportions will still be the same.

Instead, try some High-Intensity Interval Training, or HIIT. This is where you alternate between hard exercise and recovery in the same workout.

The beauty of HIIT is that your body will keep burning fat, even after you’re done working out. But don’t skimp on the cardio completely. A solid ten-minute cardio session after your HIIT workout is a nice balance.

Naturally, Shrink Love Handles By Bulking Up

Another way you can get rid of your love handles is to not focus on them so much. Instead, try to focus on other parts of your body. Build up the rest of your body, from your traps to your pecs.

When they inevitably increase in size, your love handles will look smaller in comparison and since you’ll be burning fat, that extra flab will also disappear eventually and give way to epic abs.

To achieve this, try to manage two to three total-body workouts each week. Then finish with interval training and some light cardio. You won’t just lose those bothersome love handles; you’ll also look like a proper beast.

Stop Stressing Out

Being stressed out can mess up more than just your mental health. It can also make your midsection rounder. This is because stress makes your body produce the hormone cortisol or the “stress hormone”. When you’re stressing out over something, your adrenal glands produce this cortisol.

While it’s normal to get stressed out or frustrated from time to time, being like this every day is not healthy. Your body will produce insane amounts of cortisol, which will build up around your midsection.

Also, you’ll also get some messed-up side effects, like digestive issues, headaches, and anxiety. So, just try to go to your happy place as often as possible so you can lower your stress.

Reduce The Booze

Do you drink alcohol more than society says you should? Then maybe you should try cutting back a little. When you indulge in alcohol a little too often, you can grow obese and increase your body fat, particularly in the midsection.

Drinking also makes you feel hungrier; it stimulates the brain cells that regulate appetite, which can make you eat more when you don’t really need to. In addition, alcohol is packed with sugar and calories, which will naturally make you plumper.

So, don’t forego booze entirely. Just try to cut back on it, and your body will thank you.

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Health & Fitness

10 Easy Ways Men Can Reduce Stress

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In this climate, we have to be very conscious about how we take care of ourselves especially during moments of high stress. With that said what should the modern man do to reduce the toxic effects on the body? Here are 10 ways men can reduce stress.

Exercise regularly.

Exercise has been proven to reduce stress levels, hit the gym, or just head to the park for a high-intensity workout and a dose of vitamin D. Excercise will help you to burn off pent-up energy and tension. It also improves overall health.

Eat and sleep well.

Good food nutrition and 6 to 8 hours of sleep each night can help your body recover from past stress and be better prepared to deal with new stress. Avoid caffeine and other stimulants that might promote stress and sleeplessness. Avoid alcohol, which might deepen any depression you may be feeling.

Meditate.

Spend at least 15 to 20 minutes a day in quiet contemplation we recommend. Depending on your preference, you might like to devote the time to meditation or prayer, or practicing yoga or tai chi if you want more of a physical component.

Breathe deeply and clear your mind.

Solve the cause of your stress. Dealing with the problems that cause tension can relieve you of that stress. Inaction just allows it to build. If your neighbor’s dog barks constantly, talk with him about it. Talk to your boss to figure out solutions for problems at work. Ask for help if you can’t meet all the demands placed on you.

 

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Avoid stressful situations.

There are a number of statistics that suggest research suggests that men’s stress levels soar 60 percent in traffic jams — seven times higher than women’s. If possible, time your driving to avoid rush hour. Shop when you know the store won’t be packed with people. And cut down on the time you spend with people who get on your nerves.

Accept things you can’t change.

There are going to be things in your life that you can’t control, no matter how hard you try. For example, there’s no use allowing snow or rain to bother you — how would you go about changing the weather? Instead, look for ways to enjoy uncontrollable circumstances. Play in the snow like you did when you were a kid; spend a rainy day reading, another stress reliever.

Don’t take on more than you can handle.

We often create our own stress by over-scheduling ourselves and failing to say no when too much is asked of us, whether it’s the boss, spouse, or friend making the request. Don’t overpromise, and give yourself time to finish the things you do agree to tackle.

Try a “glass half full” attitude.

Always looking on the sunny side sounds cliché, but it can make a world of difference. Having a negative outlook can turn even the most minor annoyances into huge problems in your mind.

Tackle first things first.

Become a master at triage — that’s determining the most important of the tasks you’re trying to handle and methodically completing those first, then moving on to less critical jobs. Resist trying to do multiple projects at once.

Savor your victories.

When you accomplish a personal goal or finish a major project, do something nice for yourself. It can be as simple as getting a massage or as extravagant as taking a weekend getaway. Celebrate your achievement before you jump into the next project.

Apps you should download now to help you reduce stress Via INC

reduce stress

1. Breathe2Relax:

Smartphone app with instructions and exercises in diaphragmatic breathing, a documented stress-management skill. Includes detailed information on the effects of stress on the body.

2. Headspace:

“A gym membership for the mind,” Headspace provides a series of guided meditation sessions and mindfulness training. A free trial is available with additional sessions available by subscription.

3. Finding Optimism:

A mood tracker where you can keep daily records of symptoms and triggers. Includes data visualization tools and information on wellness strategies.

4. Happify:

A brain-training app based on research showing that some types of activity can help you combat negativity, anxiety and stress while fostering positive traits like gratitude and empathy.

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This Is How Your Gym Should Protect You From Coronavirus

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Various countries have started to loosen their Coronavirus restrictions. And, as a result, numerous shops and businesses have reopened. This applies to gyms as well. But the gym is one of the riskiest places you can go to. If you have to return to the gym, there are some precautions you should ensure your gym is taking. Otherwise, you’ll be putting yourself and the people close to you at great risk.

Limit Gym Members

Some gyms usually have small spaces but many members. If everyone goes to the gym at the same time, the chances of infection are extremely high. To prevent this, the gym should prevent people from entering whenever they want.

Instead, they should agree with gym-goers on a time and date. A timetable is the best chance. Even if you won’t be able to go to the gym as often as you’d like, at least you’ll be minimizing your chances of getting infected.

Enforce Social Distancing

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When you’re working out at the gym, sweat droplets fly can everywhere around you. So, it’s crucial that you practice social distancing from other people. If you need your trainer for something, they should be wearing a mask.

With cardio machines, it’s best to use them if they are spaced out; if they aren’t, just keep one machine between you and another gym member. The same goes for using the gym’s other machines with weights.

If you’re going to the gym to attend a group fitness class, the number of people attending should be limited. And the few members present should be spread out over the room to maximize the distance between them.

Disinfect Equipment

Disinfecting equipment has always been normal in gyms. But now, it’s essential. For your part, use paper towels and disinfectant spray—your own, if you can manage. Wipe down any weights or equipment before and after you use them.

When you spray-clean, be sure to let them rest for at least one minute before you wipe. This will give the disinfectant time to work. Doing this will help to protect you along with the person using the equipment after you.

We also recommend asking your gym how they are disinfecting the equipment and space. They should be following all the appropriate safety measures and regularly and thoroughly cleaning their facilities.

Masks On

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Credit – (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

If everyone is wearing a mask, it helps to reduce the chances of spreading infection. So, you should always wear a mask for the gym. A breathable face mask is the best option since it lets you breathe easily as you work out while still protecting you.

The gym should ensure that everyone wears these masks. All gym staff should also be wearing masks at all times. They are the most at risk—and the most likely to infect others—since they interact with a significant number of people throughout the day. And if a member comes in without the required masks, the gym should have some in store for them.

Stay Home

If the gym limits the number of members using it at any given time, it’s natural that some people will feel dissatisfied. However, the gym can encourage its members to work out at home.

The trainers can even develop a timetable that merges both gym and home workouts so that someone doesn’t feel like they are losing all their hard-earned progress. You can even do go for a run if you want to do cardio.

That said, the gym is still a high-risk environment, even if you take all the necessary precautions. Staying home is the best way to avoid contracting the coronavirus. And if you feel sick, it’s doubly important that you avoid the gym so you don’t put others at risk.

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