Train Less. Perform Better.

  ·  3 min

Train Less. Perform Better.

A lot of the more traditional approaches to cardio look at longer distances and higher volume as the best ways to get and stay in shape. While there is certainly nothing wrong with that method, I tend to take the “less is more” philosophy into my cardio training.  This doesn’t mean I don’t lace up my running shoes as much as the next person; I simply have a much lower training volume than some people.  I do this through High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT).  HIIT is a type of cardio involving a specified period (generally short) of very hard activity followed by a short rest period.  It’s a very effective training method, one that has helped my speed and endurance greatly over the past few years.With that, I want to give you my top 5 benefits of interval training:Increased oxidative capacity.  A muscle’s oxidative capacity is essentially its maximal ability to utilize oxygen in order to produce energy.  It is a fancy term that basically says how much oxygen a muscle is capable of using at once.  Research shows that runners can increase oxidative capacity, and thus overall endurance, in as little as two weeks of high intensity intervals.Prevent Boredom.  If you’re like me, then a long distance run on the treadmill can get a little boring.  Interval training not only requires you to change speed and intensity often, but also allows you the chance to get away from the treadmill altogether.  Running tracks, public parks, and gymnasiums all provide a different environment to keep your training fun and interesting.Burn fat.  Research agrees that the higher our exercise intensity, the more glucose we will burn during a workout.  You might be asking: “Well, when does this ‘burn more fat’ come into play?”  The answer is simple; at rest.  Yes, while we are resting.  In short, we lose a great amount of energy while burning glucose at high intensities.  The thing most people do not realize is that we must replace this energy when we are done exercising.  The fuel source for replacing energy??  You guessed it – FAT!!  So, in essence, the more glucose we use during exercise, the more fat we burn following exercise!It’s challenging.  Put down the magazine.  Quit texting.  The goal of interval training is to work as hard as you can the entire time.  If you do that, you won’t be focusing on anything but your workout – which is the way it should be!Efficient.  Interval training is efficient in terms of both time and injury prevention.  Given that your intensity is at an appropriate level, you can get an effective interval workout done in less than 20 minutes.  Because you’re putting in less time, you can avoid the constant pounding that miles and miles of distance running places upon the lower body.To give you guys a little idea of what a typical HIIT session looks like, I will leave you all with one of my favorite interval workouts.  If you need some music for this workout, I’d recommend listening to “Go Hard” by DJ Prophecy.  It’s an up-beat mix, which I prefer for interval training.Work-to-Rest Ratio – 2:1Sprint – 30 SecondsRest – 15 SecondsRound 1: 8 Total Sets – Sprint 30 seconds – rest 15 secondsRound 2: 6 Total Sets – Sprint 30 seconds – rest 15 secondsRound 3: 4 Total Sets – Sprint 30 seconds – rest 15 secondsIt might take you a few sets to figure out what that speed is going to be if you’re on a treadmill, and that’s fine.  Just make sure you are pushing yourself on each and every set in order to get the best results possible!!Have you tried high intensity interval training?  If so, let me know what you think of it in the comments below.Post contributed by Brock Jones.  Brock is Co-Owner and Head Trainer with BodyFIT, Inc. in Lexington, KY. He holds a Masters of Science in Exercise Physiology from the University of Kentucky and is an NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist.  You can read more of Brock’s posts about fitness and exercise on the BodyFIT Punch Blog.


Train Less. Perform Better.

  ·  3 min

Train Less. Perform Better.

A lot of the more traditional approaches to cardio look at longer distances and higher volume as the best ways to get and stay in shape. While there is certainly nothing wrong with that method, I tend to take the “less is more” philosophy into my cardio training.  This doesn’t mean I don’t lace up my running shoes as much as the next person; I simply have a much lower training volume than some people.  I do this through High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT).  HIIT is a type of cardio involving a specified period (generally short) of very hard activity followed by a short rest period.  It’s a very effective training method, one that has helped my speed and endurance greatly over the past few years.With that, I want to give you my top 5 benefits of interval training:Increased oxidative capacity.  A muscle’s oxidative capacity is essentially its maximal ability to utilize oxygen in order to produce energy.  It is a fancy term that basically says how much oxygen a muscle is capable of using at once.  Research shows that runners can increase oxidative capacity, and thus overall endurance, in as little as two weeks of high intensity intervals.Prevent Boredom.  If you’re like me, then a long distance run on the treadmill can get a little boring.  Interval training not only requires you to change speed and intensity often, but also allows you the chance to get away from the treadmill altogether.  Running tracks, public parks, and gymnasiums all provide a different environment to keep your training fun and interesting.Burn fat.  Research agrees that the higher our exercise intensity, the more glucose we will burn during a workout.  You might be asking: “Well, when does this ‘burn more fat’ come into play?”  The answer is simple; at rest.  Yes, while we are resting.  In short, we lose a great amount of energy while burning glucose at high intensities.  The thing most people do not realize is that we must replace this energy when we are done exercising.  The fuel source for replacing energy??  You guessed it – FAT!!  So, in essence, the more glucose we use during exercise, the more fat we burn following exercise!It’s challenging.  Put down the magazine.  Quit texting.  The goal of interval training is to work as hard as you can the entire time.  If you do that, you won’t be focusing on anything but your workout – which is the way it should be!Efficient.  Interval training is efficient in terms of both time and injury prevention.  Given that your intensity is at an appropriate level, you can get an effective interval workout done in less than 20 minutes.  Because you’re putting in less time, you can avoid the constant pounding that miles and miles of distance running places upon the lower body.To give you guys a little idea of what a typical HIIT session looks like, I will leave you all with one of my favorite interval workouts.  If you need some music for this workout, I’d recommend listening to “Go Hard” by DJ Prophecy.  It’s an up-beat mix, which I prefer for interval training.Work-to-Rest Ratio – 2:1Sprint – 30 SecondsRest – 15 SecondsRound 1: 8 Total Sets – Sprint 30 seconds – rest 15 secondsRound 2: 6 Total Sets – Sprint 30 seconds – rest 15 secondsRound 3: 4 Total Sets – Sprint 30 seconds – rest 15 secondsIt might take you a few sets to figure out what that speed is going to be if you’re on a treadmill, and that’s fine.  Just make sure you are pushing yourself on each and every set in order to get the best results possible!!Have you tried high intensity interval training?  If so, let me know what you think of it in the comments below.Post contributed by Brock Jones.  Brock is Co-Owner and Head Trainer with BodyFIT, Inc. in Lexington, KY. He holds a Masters of Science in Exercise Physiology from the University of Kentucky and is an NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist.  You can read more of Brock’s posts about fitness and exercise on the BodyFIT Punch Blog.


Why We Run: The Physical and Psychological Benefits

  ·  3 min

Why We Run: The Physical and Psychological Benefits

If you are among the 29,478,000 Americans who run or jog 50 or more days a year then you know why you run. Running offers phenom­enal psychological and physical benefits and you’ve probably even experienced a “runner’s high.” You must be spreading the word too, since running shoe sales grew to a whopping $3.04 billion in 2012, up 23% from 2011.Slipping on a pair of running shoes is a common way to start the day, along with the ubiquitous headphones popping out of the ears of joggers and runners.Psychological and Physical Benefits of RunningSo what is this national, indeed international, sensation all about? What do we love about running?Perhaps we love the way we feel. After all, it is well known that the psychological benefits of running rival the physical benefits. Nearly three-quarters of runners who maintain at least a moderate level of fitness say that running keeps them in a positive, relaxed, happy, state of mind. My clients who struggle with depression find that running is a less expensive, highly preferable and equally effective mood booster, than taking side-effect prone medications.Runners report significant increases in the quality of their life, feel greater energy, patience, optimism and ambition. For many, running leads to significantly lower levels of stress, improved memory, increased verbal fluency and better cognitive functioning. Perhaps most importantly, runners report greater health benefits that include burning more calories, heart health, improved HDL cholesterol levels, a boost to the immune system, increases in bone density and improved lung capacity.Runner’s HighThen there’s always that “runner’s high.” It’s true, that invincible “what discomfort?” flow that runners feel, tied to a release of endorphins, norepinephrine, dopamine and serotonin, with an increase in body temperature, have been fully demonstrated by endorphin and neuroscience researchers. ­­­Want to power up that output? Then you need to introduce yourself to your nucleus accumbens, your prefrontal cortex and your amygdala. These are located in your brain and go into high gear, releasing feel-good chemicals, particularly when music activates these emotion and intellectual centers.Boost Performance with MusicWant to boost the impact of running and increase the positive benefits that running brings? Be sure to choose your favorite music mixes and performance enhancing beats per minute to keep you moving along a health-promoting pace. Fitness psychologists, who study the effects of music on athletic performance and exercise, find that listening to music while working out stimulates mental arousal and enhances brain functioning, at least for a short period of time.The key, the researchers tell us, is to choose music you enjoy, and note that the faster the music, the greater the power output. It’s all about the motivating power of the music you choose and how you choose to listen to it. Louder and faster music, according to research, leads to runners dialing up their pace, while slower and quieter music is best for cool downs. Research suggests that the right music can boost endurance by 15%.  Furthermore, while exercise promotes good endothelial functioning, so important to your heart and in preventing atherosclerosis, listening to music for 30 or more minutes while running or working out turbocharges that effect on the cells that line the inside of your blood vessels.Next time you hear about a marathon, half marathon, or 5K coming to town, or a buddy asks you to go for a jog at the park, now you know why running has the growth curve it does and why so many love running. It leaves you feeling better head to toe. And with RockMyRun rocking your health benefits, well, it’s hard to imagine anything better putting a smile on your—or your doctor’s–face!Why do you run?  What are your favorite benefits?  Let me know in the comments below.Post contributed by Michael R. Mantell, Ph.D.  Dr. Mantell has served as a long-time Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego and today is the Senior Fitness Consultant for Behavioral Sciences for the American Council on Exercise, a behavioral sciences coach, an author and a national fitness-health speaker. 


Why We Run: The Physical and Psychological Benefits

  ·  3 min

Why We Run: The Physical and Psychological Benefits

If you are among the 29,478,000 Americans who run or jog 50 or more days a year then you know why you run. Running offers phenom­enal psychological and physical benefits and you’ve probably even experienced a “runner’s high.” You must be spreading the word too, since running shoe sales grew to a whopping $3.04 billion in 2012, up 23% from 2011.Slipping on a pair of running shoes is a common way to start the day, along with the ubiquitous headphones popping out of the ears of joggers and runners.Psychological and Physical Benefits of RunningSo what is this national, indeed international, sensation all about? What do we love about running?Perhaps we love the way we feel. After all, it is well known that the psychological benefits of running rival the physical benefits. Nearly three-quarters of runners who maintain at least a moderate level of fitness say that running keeps them in a positive, relaxed, happy, state of mind. My clients who struggle with depression find that running is a less expensive, highly preferable and equally effective mood booster, than taking side-effect prone medications.Runners report significant increases in the quality of their life, feel greater energy, patience, optimism and ambition. For many, running leads to significantly lower levels of stress, improved memory, increased verbal fluency and better cognitive functioning. Perhaps most importantly, runners report greater health benefits that include burning more calories, heart health, improved HDL cholesterol levels, a boost to the immune system, increases in bone density and improved lung capacity.Runner’s HighThen there’s always that “runner’s high.” It’s true, that invincible “what discomfort?” flow that runners feel, tied to a release of endorphins, norepinephrine, dopamine and serotonin, with an increase in body temperature, have been fully demonstrated by endorphin and neuroscience researchers. ­­­Want to power up that output? Then you need to introduce yourself to your nucleus accumbens, your prefrontal cortex and your amygdala. These are located in your brain and go into high gear, releasing feel-good chemicals, particularly when music activates these emotion and intellectual centers.Boost Performance with MusicWant to boost the impact of running and increase the positive benefits that running brings? Be sure to choose your favorite music mixes and performance enhancing beats per minute to keep you moving along a health-promoting pace. Fitness psychologists, who study the effects of music on athletic performance and exercise, find that listening to music while working out stimulates mental arousal and enhances brain functioning, at least for a short period of time.The key, the researchers tell us, is to choose music you enjoy, and note that the faster the music, the greater the power output. It’s all about the motivating power of the music you choose and how you choose to listen to it. Louder and faster music, according to research, leads to runners dialing up their pace, while slower and quieter music is best for cool downs. Research suggests that the right music can boost endurance by 15%.  Furthermore, while exercise promotes good endothelial functioning, so important to your heart and in preventing atherosclerosis, listening to music for 30 or more minutes while running or working out turbocharges that effect on the cells that line the inside of your blood vessels.Next time you hear about a marathon, half marathon, or 5K coming to town, or a buddy asks you to go for a jog at the park, now you know why running has the growth curve it does and why so many love running. It leaves you feeling better head to toe. And with RockMyRun rocking your health benefits, well, it’s hard to imagine anything better putting a smile on your—or your doctor’s–face!Why do you run?  What are your favorite benefits?  Let me know in the comments below.Post contributed by Michael R. Mantell, Ph.D.  Dr. Mantell has served as a long-time Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego and today is the Senior Fitness Consultant for Behavioral Sciences for the American Council on Exercise, a behavioral sciences coach, an author and a national fitness-health speaker. 


Train Less. Perform Better.

  ·  3 min

Train Less. Perform Better.

A lot of the more traditional approaches to cardio look at longer distances and higher volume as the best ways to get and stay in shape. While there is certainly nothing wrong with that method, I tend to take the “less is more” philosophy into my cardio training.  This doesn’t mean I don’t lace up my running shoes as much as the next person; I simply have a much lower training volume than some people.  I do this through High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT).  HIIT is a type of cardio involving a specified period (generally short) of very hard activity followed by a short rest period.  It’s a very effective training method, one that has helped my speed and endurance greatly over the past few years.With that, I want to give you my top 5 benefits of interval training:Increased oxidative capacity.  A muscle’s oxidative capacity is essentially its maximal ability to utilize oxygen in order to produce energy.  It is a fancy term that basically says how much oxygen a muscle is capable of using at once.  Research shows that runners can increase oxidative capacity, and thus overall endurance, in as little as two weeks of high intensity intervals.Prevent Boredom.  If you’re like me, then a long distance run on the treadmill can get a little boring.  Interval training not only requires you to change speed and intensity often, but also allows you the chance to get away from the treadmill altogether.  Running tracks, public parks, and gymnasiums all provide a different environment to keep your training fun and interesting.Burn fat.  Research agrees that the higher our exercise intensity, the more glucose we will burn during a workout.  You might be asking: “Well, when does this ‘burn more fat’ come into play?”  The answer is simple; at rest.  Yes, while we are resting.  In short, we lose a great amount of energy while burning glucose at high intensities.  The thing most people do not realize is that we must replace this energy when we are done exercising.  The fuel source for replacing energy??  You guessed it – FAT!!  So, in essence, the more glucose we use during exercise, the more fat we burn following exercise!It’s challenging.  Put down the magazine.  Quit texting.  The goal of interval training is to work as hard as you can the entire time.  If you do that, you won’t be focusing on anything but your workout – which is the way it should be!Efficient.  Interval training is efficient in terms of both time and injury prevention.  Given that your intensity is at an appropriate level, you can get an effective interval workout done in less than 20 minutes.  Because you’re putting in less time, you can avoid the constant pounding that miles and miles of distance running places upon the lower body.To give you guys a little idea of what a typical HIIT session looks like, I will leave you all with one of my favorite interval workouts.  If you need some music for this workout, I’d recommend listening to “Go Hard” by DJ Prophecy.  It’s an up-beat mix, which I prefer for interval training.Work-to-Rest Ratio – 2:1Sprint – 30 SecondsRest – 15 SecondsRound 1: 8 Total Sets – Sprint 30 seconds – rest 15 secondsRound 2: 6 Total Sets – Sprint 30 seconds – rest 15 secondsRound 3: 4 Total Sets – Sprint 30 seconds – rest 15 secondsIt might take you a few sets to figure out what that speed is going to be if you’re on a treadmill, and that’s fine.  Just make sure you are pushing yourself on each and every set in order to get the best results possible!!Have you tried high intensity interval training?  If so, let me know what you think of it in the comments below.Post contributed by Brock Jones.  Brock is Co-Owner and Head Trainer with BodyFIT, Inc. in Lexington, KY. He holds a Masters of Science in Exercise Physiology from the University of Kentucky and is an NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist.  You can read more of Brock’s posts about fitness and exercise on the BodyFIT Punch Blog.


Train Less. Perform Better.

  ·  3 min

Train Less. Perform Better.

A lot of the more traditional approaches to cardio look at longer distances and higher volume as the best ways to get and stay in shape. While there is certainly nothing wrong with that method, I tend to take the “less is more” philosophy into my cardio training.  This doesn’t mean I don’t lace up my running shoes as much as the next person; I simply have a much lower training volume than some people.  I do this through High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT).  HIIT is a type of cardio involving a specified period (generally short) of very hard activity followed by a short rest period.  It’s a very effective training method, one that has helped my speed and endurance greatly over the past few years.With that, I want to give you my top 5 benefits of interval training:Increased oxidative capacity.  A muscle’s oxidative capacity is essentially its maximal ability to utilize oxygen in order to produce energy.  It is a fancy term that basically says how much oxygen a muscle is capable of using at once.  Research shows that runners can increase oxidative capacity, and thus overall endurance, in as little as two weeks of high intensity intervals.Prevent Boredom.  If you’re like me, then a long distance run on the treadmill can get a little boring.  Interval training not only requires you to change speed and intensity often, but also allows you the chance to get away from the treadmill altogether.  Running tracks, public parks, and gymnasiums all provide a different environment to keep your training fun and interesting.Burn fat.  Research agrees that the higher our exercise intensity, the more glucose we will burn during a workout.  You might be asking: “Well, when does this ‘burn more fat’ come into play?”  The answer is simple; at rest.  Yes, while we are resting.  In short, we lose a great amount of energy while burning glucose at high intensities.  The thing most people do not realize is that we must replace this energy when we are done exercising.  The fuel source for replacing energy??  You guessed it – FAT!!  So, in essence, the more glucose we use during exercise, the more fat we burn following exercise!It’s challenging.  Put down the magazine.  Quit texting.  The goal of interval training is to work as hard as you can the entire time.  If you do that, you won’t be focusing on anything but your workout – which is the way it should be!Efficient.  Interval training is efficient in terms of both time and injury prevention.  Given that your intensity is at an appropriate level, you can get an effective interval workout done in less than 20 minutes.  Because you’re putting in less time, you can avoid the constant pounding that miles and miles of distance running places upon the lower body.To give you guys a little idea of what a typical HIIT session looks like, I will leave you all with one of my favorite interval workouts.  If you need some music for this workout, I’d recommend listening to “Go Hard” by DJ Prophecy.  It’s an up-beat mix, which I prefer for interval training.Work-to-Rest Ratio – 2:1Sprint – 30 SecondsRest – 15 SecondsRound 1: 8 Total Sets – Sprint 30 seconds – rest 15 secondsRound 2: 6 Total Sets – Sprint 30 seconds – rest 15 secondsRound 3: 4 Total Sets – Sprint 30 seconds – rest 15 secondsIt might take you a few sets to figure out what that speed is going to be if you’re on a treadmill, and that’s fine.  Just make sure you are pushing yourself on each and every set in order to get the best results possible!!Have you tried high intensity interval training?  If so, let me know what you think of it in the comments below.Post contributed by Brock Jones.  Brock is Co-Owner and Head Trainer with BodyFIT, Inc. in Lexington, KY. He holds a Masters of Science in Exercise Physiology from the University of Kentucky and is an NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist.  You can read more of Brock’s posts about fitness and exercise on the BodyFIT Punch Blog.


Why We Run: The Physical and Psychological Benefits

  ·  3 min

Why We Run: The Physical and Psychological Benefits

If you are among the 29,478,000 Americans who run or jog 50 or more days a year then you know why you run. Running offers phenom­enal psychological and physical benefits and you’ve probably even experienced a “runner’s high.” You must be spreading the word too, since running shoe sales grew to a whopping $3.04 billion in 2012, up 23% from 2011.Slipping on a pair of running shoes is a common way to start the day, along with the ubiquitous headphones popping out of the ears of joggers and runners.Psychological and Physical Benefits of RunningSo what is this national, indeed international, sensation all about? What do we love about running?Perhaps we love the way we feel. After all, it is well known that the psychological benefits of running rival the physical benefits. Nearly three-quarters of runners who maintain at least a moderate level of fitness say that running keeps them in a positive, relaxed, happy, state of mind. My clients who struggle with depression find that running is a less expensive, highly preferable and equally effective mood booster, than taking side-effect prone medications.Runners report significant increases in the quality of their life, feel greater energy, patience, optimism and ambition. For many, running leads to significantly lower levels of stress, improved memory, increased verbal fluency and better cognitive functioning. Perhaps most importantly, runners report greater health benefits that include burning more calories, heart health, improved HDL cholesterol levels, a boost to the immune system, increases in bone density and improved lung capacity.Runner’s HighThen there’s always that “runner’s high.” It’s true, that invincible “what discomfort?” flow that runners feel, tied to a release of endorphins, norepinephrine, dopamine and serotonin, with an increase in body temperature, have been fully demonstrated by endorphin and neuroscience researchers. ­­­Want to power up that output? Then you need to introduce yourself to your nucleus accumbens, your prefrontal cortex and your amygdala. These are located in your brain and go into high gear, releasing feel-good chemicals, particularly when music activates these emotion and intellectual centers.Boost Performance with MusicWant to boost the impact of running and increase the positive benefits that running brings? Be sure to choose your favorite music mixes and performance enhancing beats per minute to keep you moving along a health-promoting pace. Fitness psychologists, who study the effects of music on athletic performance and exercise, find that listening to music while working out stimulates mental arousal and enhances brain functioning, at least for a short period of time.The key, the researchers tell us, is to choose music you enjoy, and note that the faster the music, the greater the power output. It’s all about the motivating power of the music you choose and how you choose to listen to it. Louder and faster music, according to research, leads to runners dialing up their pace, while slower and quieter music is best for cool downs. Research suggests that the right music can boost endurance by 15%.  Furthermore, while exercise promotes good endothelial functioning, so important to your heart and in preventing atherosclerosis, listening to music for 30 or more minutes while running or working out turbocharges that effect on the cells that line the inside of your blood vessels.Next time you hear about a marathon, half marathon, or 5K coming to town, or a buddy asks you to go for a jog at the park, now you know why running has the growth curve it does and why so many love running. It leaves you feeling better head to toe. And with RockMyRun rocking your health benefits, well, it’s hard to imagine anything better putting a smile on your—or your doctor’s–face!Why do you run?  What are your favorite benefits?  Let me know in the comments below.Post contributed by Michael R. Mantell, Ph.D.  Dr. Mantell has served as a long-time Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego and today is the Senior Fitness Consultant for Behavioral Sciences for the American Council on Exercise, a behavioral sciences coach, an author and a national fitness-health speaker. 


Why We Run: The Physical and Psychological Benefits

  ·  3 min

Why We Run: The Physical and Psychological Benefits

If you are among the 29,478,000 Americans who run or jog 50 or more days a year then you know why you run. Running offers phenom­enal psychological and physical benefits and you’ve probably even experienced a “runner’s high.” You must be spreading the word too, since running shoe sales grew to a whopping $3.04 billion in 2012, up 23% from 2011.Slipping on a pair of running shoes is a common way to start the day, along with the ubiquitous headphones popping out of the ears of joggers and runners.Psychological and Physical Benefits of RunningSo what is this national, indeed international, sensation all about? What do we love about running?Perhaps we love the way we feel. After all, it is well known that the psychological benefits of running rival the physical benefits. Nearly three-quarters of runners who maintain at least a moderate level of fitness say that running keeps them in a positive, relaxed, happy, state of mind. My clients who struggle with depression find that running is a less expensive, highly preferable and equally effective mood booster, than taking side-effect prone medications.Runners report significant increases in the quality of their life, feel greater energy, patience, optimism and ambition. For many, running leads to significantly lower levels of stress, improved memory, increased verbal fluency and better cognitive functioning. Perhaps most importantly, runners report greater health benefits that include burning more calories, heart health, improved HDL cholesterol levels, a boost to the immune system, increases in bone density and improved lung capacity.Runner’s HighThen there’s always that “runner’s high.” It’s true, that invincible “what discomfort?” flow that runners feel, tied to a release of endorphins, norepinephrine, dopamine and serotonin, with an increase in body temperature, have been fully demonstrated by endorphin and neuroscience researchers. ­­­Want to power up that output? Then you need to introduce yourself to your nucleus accumbens, your prefrontal cortex and your amygdala. These are located in your brain and go into high gear, releasing feel-good chemicals, particularly when music activates these emotion and intellectual centers.Boost Performance with MusicWant to boost the impact of running and increase the positive benefits that running brings? Be sure to choose your favorite music mixes and performance enhancing beats per minute to keep you moving along a health-promoting pace. Fitness psychologists, who study the effects of music on athletic performance and exercise, find that listening to music while working out stimulates mental arousal and enhances brain functioning, at least for a short period of time.The key, the researchers tell us, is to choose music you enjoy, and note that the faster the music, the greater the power output. It’s all about the motivating power of the music you choose and how you choose to listen to it. Louder and faster music, according to research, leads to runners dialing up their pace, while slower and quieter music is best for cool downs. Research suggests that the right music can boost endurance by 15%.  Furthermore, while exercise promotes good endothelial functioning, so important to your heart and in preventing atherosclerosis, listening to music for 30 or more minutes while running or working out turbocharges that effect on the cells that line the inside of your blood vessels.Next time you hear about a marathon, half marathon, or 5K coming to town, or a buddy asks you to go for a jog at the park, now you know why running has the growth curve it does and why so many love running. It leaves you feeling better head to toe. And with RockMyRun rocking your health benefits, well, it’s hard to imagine anything better putting a smile on your—or your doctor’s–face!Why do you run?  What are your favorite benefits?  Let me know in the comments below.Post contributed by Michael R. Mantell, Ph.D.  Dr. Mantell has served as a long-time Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego and today is the Senior Fitness Consultant for Behavioral Sciences for the American Council on Exercise, a behavioral sciences coach, an author and a national fitness-health speaker. 


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Train Less. Perform Better.

  ·  3 min

Train Less. Perform Better.

A lot of the more traditional approaches to cardio look at longer distances and higher volume as the best ways to get and stay in shape. While there is certainly nothing wrong with that method, I tend to take the “less is more” philosophy into my cardio training.  This doesn’t mean I don’t lace up my running shoes as much as the next person; I simply have a much lower training volume than some people.  I do this through High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT).  HIIT is a type of cardio involving a specified period (generally short) of very hard activity followed by a short rest period.  It’s a very effective training method, one that has helped my speed and endurance greatly over the past few years.With that, I want to give you my top 5 benefits of interval training:Increased oxidative capacity.  A muscle’s oxidative capacity is essentially its maximal ability to utilize oxygen in order to produce energy.  It is a fancy term that basically says how much oxygen a muscle is capable of using at once.  Research shows that runners can increase oxidative capacity, and thus overall endurance, in as little as two weeks of high intensity intervals.Prevent Boredom.  If you’re like me, then a long distance run on the treadmill can get a little boring.  Interval training not only requires you to change speed and intensity often, but also allows you the chance to get away from the treadmill altogether.  Running tracks, public parks, and gymnasiums all provide a different environment to keep your training fun and interesting.Burn fat.  Research agrees that the higher our exercise intensity, the more glucose we will burn during a workout.  You might be asking: “Well, when does this ‘burn more fat’ come into play?”  The answer is simple; at rest.  Yes, while we are resting.  In short, we lose a great amount of energy while burning glucose at high intensities.  The thing most people do not realize is that we must replace this energy when we are done exercising.  The fuel source for replacing energy??  You guessed it – FAT!!  So, in essence, the more glucose we use during exercise, the more fat we burn following exercise!It’s challenging.  Put down the magazine.  Quit texting.  The goal of interval training is to work as hard as you can the entire time.  If you do that, you won’t be focusing on anything but your workout – which is the way it should be!Efficient.  Interval training is efficient in terms of both time and injury prevention.  Given that your intensity is at an appropriate level, you can get an effective interval workout done in less than 20 minutes.  Because you’re putting in less time, you can avoid the constant pounding that miles and miles of distance running places upon the lower body.To give you guys a little idea of what a typical HIIT session looks like, I will leave you all with one of my favorite interval workouts.  If you need some music for this workout, I’d recommend listening to “Go Hard” by DJ Prophecy.  It’s an up-beat mix, which I prefer for interval training.Work-to-Rest Ratio – 2:1Sprint – 30 SecondsRest – 15 SecondsRound 1: 8 Total Sets – Sprint 30 seconds – rest 15 secondsRound 2: 6 Total Sets – Sprint 30 seconds – rest 15 secondsRound 3: 4 Total Sets – Sprint 30 seconds – rest 15 secondsIt might take you a few sets to figure out what that speed is going to be if you’re on a treadmill, and that’s fine.  Just make sure you are pushing yourself on each and every set in order to get the best results possible!!Have you tried high intensity interval training?  If so, let me know what you think of it in the comments below.Post contributed by Brock Jones.  Brock is Co-Owner and Head Trainer with BodyFIT, Inc. in Lexington, KY. He holds a Masters of Science in Exercise Physiology from the University of Kentucky and is an NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist.  You can read more of Brock’s posts about fitness and exercise on the BodyFIT Punch Blog.


Train Less. Perform Better.

  ·  3 min

Train Less. Perform Better.

A lot of the more traditional approaches to cardio look at longer distances and higher volume as the best ways to get and stay in shape. While there is certainly nothing wrong with that method, I tend to take the “less is more” philosophy into my cardio training.  This doesn’t mean I don’t lace up my running shoes as much as the next person; I simply have a much lower training volume than some people.  I do this through High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT).  HIIT is a type of cardio involving a specified period (generally short) of very hard activity followed by a short rest period.  It’s a very effective training method, one that has helped my speed and endurance greatly over the past few years.With that, I want to give you my top 5 benefits of interval training:Increased oxidative capacity.  A muscle’s oxidative capacity is essentially its maximal ability to utilize oxygen in order to produce energy.  It is a fancy term that basically says how much oxygen a muscle is capable of using at once.  Research shows that runners can increase oxidative capacity, and thus overall endurance, in as little as two weeks of high intensity intervals.Prevent Boredom.  If you’re like me, then a long distance run on the treadmill can get a little boring.  Interval training not only requires you to change speed and intensity often, but also allows you the chance to get away from the treadmill altogether.  Running tracks, public parks, and gymnasiums all provide a different environment to keep your training fun and interesting.Burn fat.  Research agrees that the higher our exercise intensity, the more glucose we will burn during a workout.  You might be asking: “Well, when does this ‘burn more fat’ come into play?”  The answer is simple; at rest.  Yes, while we are resting.  In short, we lose a great amount of energy while burning glucose at high intensities.  The thing most people do not realize is that we must replace this energy when we are done exercising.  The fuel source for replacing energy??  You guessed it – FAT!!  So, in essence, the more glucose we use during exercise, the more fat we burn following exercise!It’s challenging.  Put down the magazine.  Quit texting.  The goal of interval training is to work as hard as you can the entire time.  If you do that, you won’t be focusing on anything but your workout – which is the way it should be!Efficient.  Interval training is efficient in terms of both time and injury prevention.  Given that your intensity is at an appropriate level, you can get an effective interval workout done in less than 20 minutes.  Because you’re putting in less time, you can avoid the constant pounding that miles and miles of distance running places upon the lower body.To give you guys a little idea of what a typical HIIT session looks like, I will leave you all with one of my favorite interval workouts.  If you need some music for this workout, I’d recommend listening to “Go Hard” by DJ Prophecy.  It’s an up-beat mix, which I prefer for interval training.Work-to-Rest Ratio – 2:1Sprint – 30 SecondsRest – 15 SecondsRound 1: 8 Total Sets – Sprint 30 seconds – rest 15 secondsRound 2: 6 Total Sets – Sprint 30 seconds – rest 15 secondsRound 3: 4 Total Sets – Sprint 30 seconds – rest 15 secondsIt might take you a few sets to figure out what that speed is going to be if you’re on a treadmill, and that’s fine.  Just make sure you are pushing yourself on each and every set in order to get the best results possible!!Have you tried high intensity interval training?  If so, let me know what you think of it in the comments below.Post contributed by Brock Jones.  Brock is Co-Owner and Head Trainer with BodyFIT, Inc. in Lexington, KY. He holds a Masters of Science in Exercise Physiology from the University of Kentucky and is an NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist.  You can read more of Brock’s posts about fitness and exercise on the BodyFIT Punch Blog.


Why We Run: The Physical and Psychological Benefits

  ·  3 min

Why We Run: The Physical and Psychological Benefits

If you are among the 29,478,000 Americans who run or jog 50 or more days a year then you know why you run. Running offers phenom­enal psychological and physical benefits and you’ve probably even experienced a “runner’s high.” You must be spreading the word too, since running shoe sales grew to a whopping $3.04 billion in 2012, up 23% from 2011.Slipping on a pair of running shoes is a common way to start the day, along with the ubiquitous headphones popping out of the ears of joggers and runners.Psychological and Physical Benefits of RunningSo what is this national, indeed international, sensation all about? What do we love about running?Perhaps we love the way we feel. After all, it is well known that the psychological benefits of running rival the physical benefits. Nearly three-quarters of runners who maintain at least a moderate level of fitness say that running keeps them in a positive, relaxed, happy, state of mind. My clients who struggle with depression find that running is a less expensive, highly preferable and equally effective mood booster, than taking side-effect prone medications.Runners report significant increases in the quality of their life, feel greater energy, patience, optimism and ambition. For many, running leads to significantly lower levels of stress, improved memory, increased verbal fluency and better cognitive functioning. Perhaps most importantly, runners report greater health benefits that include burning more calories, heart health, improved HDL cholesterol levels, a boost to the immune system, increases in bone density and improved lung capacity.Runner’s HighThen there’s always that “runner’s high.” It’s true, that invincible “what discomfort?” flow that runners feel, tied to a release of endorphins, norepinephrine, dopamine and serotonin, with an increase in body temperature, have been fully demonstrated by endorphin and neuroscience researchers. ­­­Want to power up that output? Then you need to introduce yourself to your nucleus accumbens, your prefrontal cortex and your amygdala. These are located in your brain and go into high gear, releasing feel-good chemicals, particularly when music activates these emotion and intellectual centers.Boost Performance with MusicWant to boost the impact of running and increase the positive benefits that running brings? Be sure to choose your favorite music mixes and performance enhancing beats per minute to keep you moving along a health-promoting pace. Fitness psychologists, who study the effects of music on athletic performance and exercise, find that listening to music while working out stimulates mental arousal and enhances brain functioning, at least for a short period of time.The key, the researchers tell us, is to choose music you enjoy, and note that the faster the music, the greater the power output. It’s all about the motivating power of the music you choose and how you choose to listen to it. Louder and faster music, according to research, leads to runners dialing up their pace, while slower and quieter music is best for cool downs. Research suggests that the right music can boost endurance by 15%.  Furthermore, while exercise promotes good endothelial functioning, so important to your heart and in preventing atherosclerosis, listening to music for 30 or more minutes while running or working out turbocharges that effect on the cells that line the inside of your blood vessels.Next time you hear about a marathon, half marathon, or 5K coming to town, or a buddy asks you to go for a jog at the park, now you know why running has the growth curve it does and why so many love running. It leaves you feeling better head to toe. And with RockMyRun rocking your health benefits, well, it’s hard to imagine anything better putting a smile on your—or your doctor’s–face!Why do you run?  What are your favorite benefits?  Let me know in the comments below.Post contributed by Michael R. Mantell, Ph.D.  Dr. Mantell has served as a long-time Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego and today is the Senior Fitness Consultant for Behavioral Sciences for the American Council on Exercise, a behavioral sciences coach, an author and a national fitness-health speaker. 


Why We Run: The Physical and Psychological Benefits

  ·  3 min

Why We Run: The Physical and Psychological Benefits

If you are among the 29,478,000 Americans who run or jog 50 or more days a year then you know why you run. Running offers phenom­enal psychological and physical benefits and you’ve probably even experienced a “runner’s high.” You must be spreading the word too, since running shoe sales grew to a whopping $3.04 billion in 2012, up 23% from 2011.Slipping on a pair of running shoes is a common way to start the day, along with the ubiquitous headphones popping out of the ears of joggers and runners.Psychological and Physical Benefits of RunningSo what is this national, indeed international, sensation all about? What do we love about running?Perhaps we love the way we feel. After all, it is well known that the psychological benefits of running rival the physical benefits. Nearly three-quarters of runners who maintain at least a moderate level of fitness say that running keeps them in a positive, relaxed, happy, state of mind. My clients who struggle with depression find that running is a less expensive, highly preferable and equally effective mood booster, than taking side-effect prone medications.Runners report significant increases in the quality of their life, feel greater energy, patience, optimism and ambition. For many, running leads to significantly lower levels of stress, improved memory, increased verbal fluency and better cognitive functioning. Perhaps most importantly, runners report greater health benefits that include burning more calories, heart health, improved HDL cholesterol levels, a boost to the immune system, increases in bone density and improved lung capacity.Runner’s HighThen there’s always that “runner’s high.” It’s true, that invincible “what discomfort?” flow that runners feel, tied to a release of endorphins, norepinephrine, dopamine and serotonin, with an increase in body temperature, have been fully demonstrated by endorphin and neuroscience researchers. ­­­Want to power up that output? Then you need to introduce yourself to your nucleus accumbens, your prefrontal cortex and your amygdala. These are located in your brain and go into high gear, releasing feel-good chemicals, particularly when music activates these emotion and intellectual centers.Boost Performance with MusicWant to boost the impact of running and increase the positive benefits that running brings? Be sure to choose your favorite music mixes and performance enhancing beats per minute to keep you moving along a health-promoting pace. Fitness psychologists, who study the effects of music on athletic performance and exercise, find that listening to music while working out stimulates mental arousal and enhances brain functioning, at least for a short period of time.The key, the researchers tell us, is to choose music you enjoy, and note that the faster the music, the greater the power output. It’s all about the motivating power of the music you choose and how you choose to listen to it. Louder and faster music, according to research, leads to runners dialing up their pace, while slower and quieter music is best for cool downs. Research suggests that the right music can boost endurance by 15%.  Furthermore, while exercise promotes good endothelial functioning, so important to your heart and in preventing atherosclerosis, listening to music for 30 or more minutes while running or working out turbocharges that effect on the cells that line the inside of your blood vessels.Next time you hear about a marathon, half marathon, or 5K coming to town, or a buddy asks you to go for a jog at the park, now you know why running has the growth curve it does and why so many love running. It leaves you feeling better head to toe. And with RockMyRun rocking your health benefits, well, it’s hard to imagine anything better putting a smile on your—or your doctor’s–face!Why do you run?  What are your favorite benefits?  Let me know in the comments below.Post contributed by Michael R. Mantell, Ph.D.  Dr. Mantell has served as a long-time Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego and today is the Senior Fitness Consultant for Behavioral Sciences for the American Council on Exercise, a behavioral sciences coach, an author and a national fitness-health speaker. 


Train Less. Perform Better.

  ·  3 min

Train Less. Perform Better.

A lot of the more traditional approaches to cardio look at longer distances and higher volume as the best ways to get and stay in shape. While there is certainly nothing wrong with that method, I tend to take the “less is more” philosophy into my cardio training.  This doesn’t mean I don’t lace up my running shoes as much as the next person; I simply have a much lower training volume than some people.  I do this through High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT).  HIIT is a type of cardio involving a specified period (generally short) of very hard activity followed by a short rest period.  It’s a very effective training method, one that has helped my speed and endurance greatly over the past few years.With that, I want to give you my top 5 benefits of interval training:Increased oxidative capacity.  A muscle’s oxidative capacity is essentially its maximal ability to utilize oxygen in order to produce energy.  It is a fancy term that basically says how much oxygen a muscle is capable of using at once.  Research shows that runners can increase oxidative capacity, and thus overall endurance, in as little as two weeks of high intensity intervals.Prevent Boredom.  If you’re like me, then a long distance run on the treadmill can get a little boring.  Interval training not only requires you to change speed and intensity often, but also allows you the chance to get away from the treadmill altogether.  Running tracks, public parks, and gymnasiums all provide a different environment to keep your training fun and interesting.Burn fat.  Research agrees that the higher our exercise intensity, the more glucose we will burn during a workout.  You might be asking: “Well, when does this ‘burn more fat’ come into play?”  The answer is simple; at rest.  Yes, while we are resting.  In short, we lose a great amount of energy while burning glucose at high intensities.  The thing most people do not realize is that we must replace this energy when we are done exercising.  The fuel source for replacing energy??  You guessed it – FAT!!  So, in essence, the more glucose we use during exercise, the more fat we burn following exercise!It’s challenging.  Put down the magazine.  Quit texting.  The goal of interval training is to work as hard as you can the entire time.  If you do that, you won’t be focusing on anything but your workout – which is the way it should be!Efficient.  Interval training is efficient in terms of both time and injury prevention.  Given that your intensity is at an appropriate level, you can get an effective interval workout done in less than 20 minutes.  Because you’re putting in less time, you can avoid the constant pounding that miles and miles of distance running places upon the lower body.To give you guys a little idea of what a typical HIIT session looks like, I will leave you all with one of my favorite interval workouts.  If you need some music for this workout, I’d recommend listening to “Go Hard” by DJ Prophecy.  It’s an up-beat mix, which I prefer for interval training.Work-to-Rest Ratio – 2:1Sprint – 30 SecondsRest – 15 SecondsRound 1: 8 Total Sets – Sprint 30 seconds – rest 15 secondsRound 2: 6 Total Sets – Sprint 30 seconds – rest 15 secondsRound 3: 4 Total Sets – Sprint 30 seconds – rest 15 secondsIt might take you a few sets to figure out what that speed is going to be if you’re on a treadmill, and that’s fine.  Just make sure you are pushing yourself on each and every set in order to get the best results possible!!Have you tried high intensity interval training?  If so, let me know what you think of it in the comments below.Post contributed by Brock Jones.  Brock is Co-Owner and Head Trainer with BodyFIT, Inc. in Lexington, KY. He holds a Masters of Science in Exercise Physiology from the University of Kentucky and is an NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist.  You can read more of Brock’s posts about fitness and exercise on the BodyFIT Punch Blog.


Train Less. Perform Better.

  ·  3 min

Train Less. Perform Better.

A lot of the more traditional approaches to cardio look at longer distances and higher volume as the best ways to get and stay in shape. While there is certainly nothing wrong with that method, I tend to take the “less is more” philosophy into my cardio training.  This doesn’t mean I don’t lace up my running shoes as much as the next person; I simply have a much lower training volume than some people.  I do this through High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT).  HIIT is a type of cardio involving a specified period (generally short) of very hard activity followed by a short rest period.  It’s a very effective training method, one that has helped my speed and endurance greatly over the past few years.With that, I want to give you my top 5 benefits of interval training:Increased oxidative capacity.  A muscle’s oxidative capacity is essentially its maximal ability to utilize oxygen in order to produce energy.  It is a fancy term that basically says how much oxygen a muscle is capable of using at once.  Research shows that runners can increase oxidative capacity, and thus overall endurance, in as little as two weeks of high intensity intervals.Prevent Boredom.  If you’re like me, then a long distance run on the treadmill can get a little boring.  Interval training not only requires you to change speed and intensity often, but also allows you the chance to get away from the treadmill altogether.  Running tracks, public parks, and gymnasiums all provide a different environment to keep your training fun and interesting.Burn fat.  Research agrees that the higher our exercise intensity, the more glucose we will burn during a workout.  You might be asking: “Well, when does this ‘burn more fat’ come into play?”  The answer is simple; at rest.  Yes, while we are resting.  In short, we lose a great amount of energy while burning glucose at high intensities.  The thing most people do not realize is that we must replace this energy when we are done exercising.  The fuel source for replacing energy??  You guessed it – FAT!!  So, in essence, the more glucose we use during exercise, the more fat we burn following exercise!It’s challenging.  Put down the magazine.  Quit texting.  The goal of interval training is to work as hard as you can the entire time.  If you do that, you won’t be focusing on anything but your workout – which is the way it should be!Efficient.  Interval training is efficient in terms of both time and injury prevention.  Given that your intensity is at an appropriate level, you can get an effective interval workout done in less than 20 minutes.  Because you’re putting in less time, you can avoid the constant pounding that miles and miles of distance running places upon the lower body.To give you guys a little idea of what a typical HIIT session looks like, I will leave you all with one of my favorite interval workouts.  If you need some music for this workout, I’d recommend listening to “Go Hard” by DJ Prophecy.  It’s an up-beat mix, which I prefer for interval training.Work-to-Rest Ratio – 2:1Sprint – 30 SecondsRest – 15 SecondsRound 1: 8 Total Sets – Sprint 30 seconds – rest 15 secondsRound 2: 6 Total Sets – Sprint 30 seconds – rest 15 secondsRound 3: 4 Total Sets – Sprint 30 seconds – rest 15 secondsIt might take you a few sets to figure out what that speed is going to be if you’re on a treadmill, and that’s fine.  Just make sure you are pushing yourself on each and every set in order to get the best results possible!!Have you tried high intensity interval training?  If so, let me know what you think of it in the comments below.Post contributed by Brock Jones.  Brock is Co-Owner and Head Trainer with BodyFIT, Inc. in Lexington, KY. He holds a Masters of Science in Exercise Physiology from the University of Kentucky and is an NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist.  You can read more of Brock’s posts about fitness and exercise on the BodyFIT Punch Blog.


Why We Run: The Physical and Psychological Benefits

  ·  3 min

Why We Run: The Physical and Psychological Benefits

If you are among the 29,478,000 Americans who run or jog 50 or more days a year then you know why you run. Running offers phenom­enal psychological and physical benefits and you’ve probably even experienced a “runner’s high.” You must be spreading the word too, since running shoe sales grew to a whopping $3.04 billion in 2012, up 23% from 2011.Slipping on a pair of running shoes is a common way to start the day, along with the ubiquitous headphones popping out of the ears of joggers and runners.Psychological and Physical Benefits of RunningSo what is this national, indeed international, sensation all about? What do we love about running?Perhaps we love the way we feel. After all, it is well known that the psychological benefits of running rival the physical benefits. Nearly three-quarters of runners who maintain at least a moderate level of fitness say that running keeps them in a positive, relaxed, happy, state of mind. My clients who struggle with depression find that running is a less expensive, highly preferable and equally effective mood booster, than taking side-effect prone medications.Runners report significant increases in the quality of their life, feel greater energy, patience, optimism and ambition. For many, running leads to significantly lower levels of stress, improved memory, increased verbal fluency and better cognitive functioning. Perhaps most importantly, runners report greater health benefits that include burning more calories, heart health, improved HDL cholesterol levels, a boost to the immune system, increases in bone density and improved lung capacity.Runner’s HighThen there’s always that “runner’s high.” It’s true, that invincible “what discomfort?” flow that runners feel, tied to a release of endorphins, norepinephrine, dopamine and serotonin, with an increase in body temperature, have been fully demonstrated by endorphin and neuroscience researchers. ­­­Want to power up that output? Then you need to introduce yourself to your nucleus accumbens, your prefrontal cortex and your amygdala. These are located in your brain and go into high gear, releasing feel-good chemicals, particularly when music activates these emotion and intellectual centers.Boost Performance with MusicWant to boost the impact of running and increase the positive benefits that running brings? Be sure to choose your favorite music mixes and performance enhancing beats per minute to keep you moving along a health-promoting pace. Fitness psychologists, who study the effects of music on athletic performance and exercise, find that listening to music while working out stimulates mental arousal and enhances brain functioning, at least for a short period of time.The key, the researchers tell us, is to choose music you enjoy, and note that the faster the music, the greater the power output. It’s all about the motivating power of the music you choose and how you choose to listen to it. Louder and faster music, according to research, leads to runners dialing up their pace, while slower and quieter music is best for cool downs. Research suggests that the right music can boost endurance by 15%.  Furthermore, while exercise promotes good endothelial functioning, so important to your heart and in preventing atherosclerosis, listening to music for 30 or more minutes while running or working out turbocharges that effect on the cells that line the inside of your blood vessels.Next time you hear about a marathon, half marathon, or 5K coming to town, or a buddy asks you to go for a jog at the park, now you know why running has the growth curve it does and why so many love running. It leaves you feeling better head to toe. And with RockMyRun rocking your health benefits, well, it’s hard to imagine anything better putting a smile on your—or your doctor’s–face!Why do you run?  What are your favorite benefits?  Let me know in the comments below.Post contributed by Michael R. Mantell, Ph.D.  Dr. Mantell has served as a long-time Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego and today is the Senior Fitness Consultant for Behavioral Sciences for the American Council on Exercise, a behavioral sciences coach, an author and a national fitness-health speaker. 


Why We Run: The Physical and Psychological Benefits

  ·  3 min

Why We Run: The Physical and Psychological Benefits

If you are among the 29,478,000 Americans who run or jog 50 or more days a year then you know why you run. Running offers phenom­enal psychological and physical benefits and you’ve probably even experienced a “runner’s high.” You must be spreading the word too, since running shoe sales grew to a whopping $3.04 billion in 2012, up 23% from 2011.Slipping on a pair of running shoes is a common way to start the day, along with the ubiquitous headphones popping out of the ears of joggers and runners.Psychological and Physical Benefits of RunningSo what is this national, indeed international, sensation all about? What do we love about running?Perhaps we love the way we feel. After all, it is well known that the psychological benefits of running rival the physical benefits. Nearly three-quarters of runners who maintain at least a moderate level of fitness say that running keeps them in a positive, relaxed, happy, state of mind. My clients who struggle with depression find that running is a less expensive, highly preferable and equally effective mood booster, than taking side-effect prone medications.Runners report significant increases in the quality of their life, feel greater energy, patience, optimism and ambition. For many, running leads to significantly lower levels of stress, improved memory, increased verbal fluency and better cognitive functioning. Perhaps most importantly, runners report greater health benefits that include burning more calories, heart health, improved HDL cholesterol levels, a boost to the immune system, increases in bone density and improved lung capacity.Runner’s HighThen there’s always that “runner’s high.” It’s true, that invincible “what discomfort?” flow that runners feel, tied to a release of endorphins, norepinephrine, dopamine and serotonin, with an increase in body temperature, have been fully demonstrated by endorphin and neuroscience researchers. ­­­Want to power up that output? Then you need to introduce yourself to your nucleus accumbens, your prefrontal cortex and your amygdala. These are located in your brain and go into high gear, releasing feel-good chemicals, particularly when music activates these emotion and intellectual centers.Boost Performance with MusicWant to boost the impact of running and increase the positive benefits that running brings? Be sure to choose your favorite music mixes and performance enhancing beats per minute to keep you moving along a health-promoting pace. Fitness psychologists, who study the effects of music on athletic performance and exercise, find that listening to music while working out stimulates mental arousal and enhances brain functioning, at least for a short period of time.The key, the researchers tell us, is to choose music you enjoy, and note that the faster the music, the greater the power output. It’s all about the motivating power of the music you choose and how you choose to listen to it. Louder and faster music, according to research, leads to runners dialing up their pace, while slower and quieter music is best for cool downs. Research suggests that the right music can boost endurance by 15%.  Furthermore, while exercise promotes good endothelial functioning, so important to your heart and in preventing atherosclerosis, listening to music for 30 or more minutes while running or working out turbocharges that effect on the cells that line the inside of your blood vessels.Next time you hear about a marathon, half marathon, or 5K coming to town, or a buddy asks you to go for a jog at the park, now you know why running has the growth curve it does and why so many love running. It leaves you feeling better head to toe. And with RockMyRun rocking your health benefits, well, it’s hard to imagine anything better putting a smile on your—or your doctor’s–face!Why do you run?  What are your favorite benefits?  Let me know in the comments below.Post contributed by Michael R. Mantell, Ph.D.  Dr. Mantell has served as a long-time Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego and today is the Senior Fitness Consultant for Behavioral Sciences for the American Council on Exercise, a behavioral sciences coach, an author and a national fitness-health speaker. 


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Train Less. Perform Better.

  ·  3 min

Train Less. Perform Better.

A lot of the more traditional approaches to cardio look at longer distances and higher volume as the best ways to get and stay in shape. While there is certainly nothing wrong with that method, I tend to take the “less is more” philosophy into my cardio training.  This doesn’t mean I don’t lace up my running shoes as much as the next person; I simply have a much lower training volume than some people.  I do this through High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT).  HIIT is a type of cardio involving a specified period (generally short) of very hard activity followed by a short rest period.  It’s a very effective training method, one that has helped my speed and endurance greatly over the past few years.With that, I want to give you my top 5 benefits of interval training:Increased oxidative capacity.  A muscle’s oxidative capacity is essentially its maximal ability to utilize oxygen in order to produce energy.  It is a fancy term that basically says how much oxygen a muscle is capable of using at once.  Research shows that runners can increase oxidative capacity, and thus overall endurance, in as little as two weeks of high intensity intervals.Prevent Boredom.  If you’re like me, then a long distance run on the treadmill can get a little boring.  Interval training not only requires you to change speed and intensity often, but also allows you the chance to get away from the treadmill altogether.  Running tracks, public parks, and gymnasiums all provide a different environment to keep your training fun and interesting.Burn fat.  Research agrees that the higher our exercise intensity, the more glucose we will burn during a workout.  You might be asking: “Well, when does this ‘burn more fat’ come into play?”  The answer is simple; at rest.  Yes, while we are resting.  In short, we lose a great amount of energy while burning glucose at high intensities.  The thing most people do not realize is that we must replace this energy when we are done exercising.  The fuel source for replacing energy??  You guessed it – FAT!!  So, in essence, the more glucose we use during exercise, the more fat we burn following exercise!It’s challenging.  Put down the magazine.  Quit texting.  The goal of interval training is to work as hard as you can the entire time.  If you do that, you won’t be focusing on anything but your workout – which is the way it should be!Efficient.  Interval training is efficient in terms of both time and injury prevention.  Given that your intensity is at an appropriate level, you can get an effective interval workout done in less than 20 minutes.  Because you’re putting in less time, you can avoid the constant pounding that miles and miles of distance running places upon the lower body.To give you guys a little idea of what a typical HIIT session looks like, I will leave you all with one of my favorite interval workouts.  If you need some music for this workout, I’d recommend listening to “Go Hard” by DJ Prophecy.  It’s an up-beat mix, which I prefer for interval training.Work-to-Rest Ratio – 2:1Sprint – 30 SecondsRest – 15 SecondsRound 1: 8 Total Sets – Sprint 30 seconds – rest 15 secondsRound 2: 6 Total Sets – Sprint 30 seconds – rest 15 secondsRound 3: 4 Total Sets – Sprint 30 seconds – rest 15 secondsIt might take you a few sets to figure out what that speed is going to be if you’re on a treadmill, and that’s fine.  Just make sure you are pushing yourself on each and every set in order to get the best results possible!!Have you tried high intensity interval training?  If so, let me know what you think of it in the comments below.Post contributed by Brock Jones.  Brock is Co-Owner and Head Trainer with BodyFIT, Inc. in Lexington, KY. He holds a Masters of Science in Exercise Physiology from the University of Kentucky and is an NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist.  You can read more of Brock’s posts about fitness and exercise on the BodyFIT Punch Blog.


Train Less. Perform Better.

  ·  3 min

Train Less. Perform Better.

A lot of the more traditional approaches to cardio look at longer distances and higher volume as the best ways to get and stay in shape. While there is certainly nothing wrong with that method, I tend to take the “less is more” philosophy into my cardio training.  This doesn’t mean I don’t lace up my running shoes as much as the next person; I simply have a much lower training volume than some people.  I do this through High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT).  HIIT is a type of cardio involving a specified period (generally short) of very hard activity followed by a short rest period.  It’s a very effective training method, one that has helped my speed and endurance greatly over the past few years.With that, I want to give you my top 5 benefits of interval training:Increased oxidative capacity.  A muscle’s oxidative capacity is essentially its maximal ability to utilize oxygen in order to produce energy.  It is a fancy term that basically says how much oxygen a muscle is capable of using at once.  Research shows that runners can increase oxidative capacity, and thus overall endurance, in as little as two weeks of high intensity intervals.Prevent Boredom.  If you’re like me, then a long distance run on the treadmill can get a little boring.  Interval training not only requires you to change speed and intensity often, but also allows you the chance to get away from the treadmill altogether.  Running tracks, public parks, and gymnasiums all provide a different environment to keep your training fun and interesting.Burn fat.  Research agrees that the higher our exercise intensity, the more glucose we will burn during a workout.  You might be asking: “Well, when does this ‘burn more fat’ come into play?”  The answer is simple; at rest.  Yes, while we are resting.  In short, we lose a great amount of energy while burning glucose at high intensities.  The thing most people do not realize is that we must replace this energy when we are done exercising.  The fuel source for replacing energy??  You guessed it – FAT!!  So, in essence, the more glucose we use during exercise, the more fat we burn following exercise!It’s challenging.  Put down the magazine.  Quit texting.  The goal of interval training is to work as hard as you can the entire time.  If you do that, you won’t be focusing on anything but your workout – which is the way it should be!Efficient.  Interval training is efficient in terms of both time and injury prevention.  Given that your intensity is at an appropriate level, you can get an effective interval workout done in less than 20 minutes.  Because you’re putting in less time, you can avoid the constant pounding that miles and miles of distance running places upon the lower body.To give you guys a little idea of what a typical HIIT session looks like, I will leave you all with one of my favorite interval workouts.  If you need some music for this workout, I’d recommend listening to “Go Hard” by DJ Prophecy.  It’s an up-beat mix, which I prefer for interval training.Work-to-Rest Ratio – 2:1Sprint – 30 SecondsRest – 15 SecondsRound 1: 8 Total Sets – Sprint 30 seconds – rest 15 secondsRound 2: 6 Total Sets – Sprint 30 seconds – rest 15 secondsRound 3: 4 Total Sets – Sprint 30 seconds – rest 15 secondsIt might take you a few sets to figure out what that speed is going to be if you’re on a treadmill, and that’s fine.  Just make sure you are pushing yourself on each and every set in order to get the best results possible!!Have you tried high intensity interval training?  If so, let me know what you think of it in the comments below.Post contributed by Brock Jones.  Brock is Co-Owner and Head Trainer with BodyFIT, Inc. in Lexington, KY. He holds a Masters of Science in Exercise Physiology from the University of Kentucky and is an NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist.  You can read more of Brock’s posts about fitness and exercise on the BodyFIT Punch Blog.


Why We Run: The Physical and Psychological Benefits

  ·  3 min

Why We Run: The Physical and Psychological Benefits

If you are among the 29,478,000 Americans who run or jog 50 or more days a year then you know why you run. Running offers phenom­enal psychological and physical benefits and you’ve probably even experienced a “runner’s high.” You must be spreading the word too, since running shoe sales grew to a whopping $3.04 billion in 2012, up 23% from 2011.Slipping on a pair of running shoes is a common way to start the day, along with the ubiquitous headphones popping out of the ears of joggers and runners.Psychological and Physical Benefits of RunningSo what is this national, indeed international, sensation all about? What do we love about running?Perhaps we love the way we feel. After all, it is well known that the psychological benefits of running rival the physical benefits. Nearly three-quarters of runners who maintain at least a moderate level of fitness say that running keeps them in a positive, relaxed, happy, state of mind. My clients who struggle with depression find that running is a less expensive, highly preferable and equally effective mood booster, than taking side-effect prone medications.Runners report significant increases in the quality of their life, feel greater energy, patience, optimism and ambition. For many, running leads to significantly lower levels of stress, improved memory, increased verbal fluency and better cognitive functioning. Perhaps most importantly, runners report greater health benefits that include burning more calories, heart health, improved HDL cholesterol levels, a boost to the immune system, increases in bone density and improved lung capacity.Runner’s HighThen there’s always that “runner’s high.” It’s true, that invincible “what discomfort?” flow that runners feel, tied to a release of endorphins, norepinephrine, dopamine and serotonin, with an increase in body temperature, have been fully demonstrated by endorphin and neuroscience researchers. ­­­Want to power up that output? Then you need to introduce yourself to your nucleus accumbens, your prefrontal cortex and your amygdala. These are located in your brain and go into high gear, releasing feel-good chemicals, particularly when music activates these emotion and intellectual centers.Boost Performance with MusicWant to boost the impact of running and increase the positive benefits that running brings? Be sure to choose your favorite music mixes and performance enhancing beats per minute to keep you moving along a health-promoting pace. Fitness psychologists, who study the effects of music on athletic performance and exercise, find that listening to music while working out stimulates mental arousal and enhances brain functioning, at least for a short period of time.The key, the researchers tell us, is to choose music you enjoy, and note that the faster the music, the greater the power output. It’s all about the motivating power of the music you choose and how you choose to listen to it. Louder and faster music, according to research, leads to runners dialing up their pace, while slower and quieter music is best for cool downs. Research suggests that the right music can boost endurance by 15%.  Furthermore, while exercise promotes good endothelial functioning, so important to your heart and in preventing atherosclerosis, listening to music for 30 or more minutes while running or working out turbocharges that effect on the cells that line the inside of your blood vessels.Next time you hear about a marathon, half marathon, or 5K coming to town, or a buddy asks you to go for a jog at the park, now you know why running has the growth curve it does and why so many love running. It leaves you feeling better head to toe. And with RockMyRun rocking your health benefits, well, it’s hard to imagine anything better putting a smile on your—or your doctor’s–face!Why do you run?  What are your favorite benefits?  Let me know in the comments below.Post contributed by Michael R. Mantell, Ph.D.  Dr. Mantell has served as a long-time Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego and today is the Senior Fitness Consultant for Behavioral Sciences for the American Council on Exercise, a behavioral sciences coach, an author and a national fitness-health speaker. 


Why We Run: The Physical and Psychological Benefits

  ·  3 min

Why We Run: The Physical and Psychological Benefits

If you are among the 29,478,000 Americans who run or jog 50 or more days a year then you know why you run. Running offers phenom­enal psychological and physical benefits and you’ve probably even experienced a “runner’s high.” You must be spreading the word too, since running shoe sales grew to a whopping $3.04 billion in 2012, up 23% from 2011.Slipping on a pair of running shoes is a common way to start the day, along with the ubiquitous headphones popping out of the ears of joggers and runners.Psychological and Physical Benefits of RunningSo what is this national, indeed international, sensation all about? What do we love about running?Perhaps we love the way we feel. After all, it is well known that the psychological benefits of running rival the physical benefits. Nearly three-quarters of runners who maintain at least a moderate level of fitness say that running keeps them in a positive, relaxed, happy, state of mind. My clients who struggle with depression find that running is a less expensive, highly preferable and equally effective mood booster, than taking side-effect prone medications.Runners report significant increases in the quality of their life, feel greater energy, patience, optimism and ambition. For many, running leads to significantly lower levels of stress, improved memory, increased verbal fluency and better cognitive functioning. Perhaps most importantly, runners report greater health benefits that include burning more calories, heart health, improved HDL cholesterol levels, a boost to the immune system, increases in bone density and improved lung capacity.Runner’s HighThen there’s always that “runner’s high.” It’s true, that invincible “what discomfort?” flow that runners feel, tied to a release of endorphins, norepinephrine, dopamine and serotonin, with an increase in body temperature, have been fully demonstrated by endorphin and neuroscience researchers. ­­­Want to power up that output? Then you need to introduce yourself to your nucleus accumbens, your prefrontal cortex and your amygdala. These are located in your brain and go into high gear, releasing feel-good chemicals, particularly when music activates these emotion and intellectual centers.Boost Performance with MusicWant to boost the impact of running and increase the positive benefits that running brings? Be sure to choose your favorite music mixes and performance enhancing beats per minute to keep you moving along a health-promoting pace. Fitness psychologists, who study the effects of music on athletic performance and exercise, find that listening to music while working out stimulates mental arousal and enhances brain functioning, at least for a short period of time.The key, the researchers tell us, is to choose music you enjoy, and note that the faster the music, the greater the power output. It’s all about the motivating power of the music you choose and how you choose to listen to it. Louder and faster music, according to research, leads to runners dialing up their pace, while slower and quieter music is best for cool downs. Research suggests that the right music can boost endurance by 15%.  Furthermore, while exercise promotes good endothelial functioning, so important to your heart and in preventing atherosclerosis, listening to music for 30 or more minutes while running or working out turbocharges that effect on the cells that line the inside of your blood vessels.Next time you hear about a marathon, half marathon, or 5K coming to town, or a buddy asks you to go for a jog at the park, now you know why running has the growth curve it does and why so many love running. It leaves you feeling better head to toe. And with RockMyRun rocking your health benefits, well, it’s hard to imagine anything better putting a smile on your—or your doctor’s–face!Why do you run?  What are your favorite benefits?  Let me know in the comments below.Post contributed by Michael R. Mantell, Ph.D.  Dr. Mantell has served as a long-time Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego and today is the Senior Fitness Consultant for Behavioral Sciences for the American Council on Exercise, a behavioral sciences coach, an author and a national fitness-health speaker. 


Train Less. Perform Better.

  ·  3 min

Train Less. Perform Better.

A lot of the more traditional approaches to cardio look at longer distances and higher volume as the best ways to get and stay in shape. While there is certainly nothing wrong with that method, I tend to take the “less is more” philosophy into my cardio training.  This doesn’t mean I don’t lace up my running shoes as much as the next person; I simply have a much lower training volume than some people.  I do this through High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT).  HIIT is a type of cardio involving a specified period (generally short) of very hard activity followed by a short rest period.  It’s a very effective training method, one that has helped my speed and endurance greatly over the past few years.With that, I want to give you my top 5 benefits of interval training:Increased oxidative capacity.  A muscle’s oxidative capacity is essentially its maximal ability to utilize oxygen in order to produce energy.  It is a fancy term that basically says how much oxygen a muscle is capable of using at once.  Research shows that runners can increase oxidative capacity, and thus overall endurance, in as little as two weeks of high intensity intervals.Prevent Boredom.  If you’re like me, then a long distance run on the treadmill can get a little boring.  Interval training not only requires you to change speed and intensity often, but also allows you the chance to get away from the treadmill altogether.  Running tracks, public parks, and gymnasiums all provide a different environment to keep your training fun and interesting.Burn fat.  Research agrees that the higher our exercise intensity, the more glucose we will burn during a workout.  You might be asking: “Well, when does this ‘burn more fat’ come into play?”  The answer is simple; at rest.  Yes, while we are resting.  In short, we lose a great amount of energy while burning glucose at high intensities.  The thing most people do not realize is that we must replace this energy when we are done exercising.  The fuel source for replacing energy??  You guessed it – FAT!!  So, in essence, the more glucose we use during exercise, the more fat we burn following exercise!It’s challenging.  Put down the magazine.  Quit texting.  The goal of interval training is to work as hard as you can the entire time.  If you do that, you won’t be focusing on anything but your workout – which is the way it should be!Efficient.  Interval training is efficient in terms of both time and injury prevention.  Given that your intensity is at an appropriate level, you can get an effective interval workout done in less than 20 minutes.  Because you’re putting in less time, you can avoid the constant pounding that miles and miles of distance running places upon the lower body.To give you guys a little idea of what a typical HIIT session looks like, I will leave you all with one of my favorite interval workouts.  If you need some music for this workout, I’d recommend listening to “Go Hard” by DJ Prophecy.  It’s an up-beat mix, which I prefer for interval training.Work-to-Rest Ratio – 2:1Sprint – 30 SecondsRest – 15 SecondsRound 1: 8 Total Sets – Sprint 30 seconds – rest 15 secondsRound 2: 6 Total Sets – Sprint 30 seconds – rest 15 secondsRound 3: 4 Total Sets – Sprint 30 seconds – rest 15 secondsIt might take you a few sets to figure out what that speed is going to be if you’re on a treadmill, and that’s fine.  Just make sure you are pushing yourself on each and every set in order to get the best results possible!!Have you tried high intensity interval training?  If so, let me know what you think of it in the comments below.Post contributed by Brock Jones.  Brock is Co-Owner and Head Trainer with BodyFIT, Inc. in Lexington, KY. He holds a Masters of Science in Exercise Physiology from the University of Kentucky and is an NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist.  You can read more of Brock’s posts about fitness and exercise on the BodyFIT Punch Blog.


Train Less. Perform Better.

  ·  3 min

Train Less. Perform Better.

A lot of the more traditional approaches to cardio look at longer distances and higher volume as the best ways to get and stay in shape. While there is certainly nothing wrong with that method, I tend to take the “less is more” philosophy into my cardio training.  This doesn’t mean I don’t lace up my running shoes as much as the next person; I simply have a much lower training volume than some people.  I do this through High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT).  HIIT is a type of cardio involving a specified period (generally short) of very hard activity followed by a short rest period.  It’s a very effective training method, one that has helped my speed and endurance greatly over the past few years.With that, I want to give you my top 5 benefits of interval training:Increased oxidative capacity.  A muscle’s oxidative capacity is essentially its maximal ability to utilize oxygen in order to produce energy.  It is a fancy term that basically says how much oxygen a muscle is capable of using at once.  Research shows that runners can increase oxidative capacity, and thus overall endurance, in as little as two weeks of high intensity intervals.Prevent Boredom.  If you’re like me, then a long distance run on the treadmill can get a little boring.  Interval training not only requires you to change speed and intensity often, but also allows you the chance to get away from the treadmill altogether.  Running tracks, public parks, and gymnasiums all provide a different environment to keep your training fun and interesting.Burn fat.  Research agrees that the higher our exercise intensity, the more glucose we will burn during a workout.  You might be asking: “Well, when does this ‘burn more fat’ come into play?”  The answer is simple; at rest.  Yes, while we are resting.  In short, we lose a great amount of energy while burning glucose at high intensities.  The thing most people do not realize is that we must replace this energy when we are done exercising.  The fuel source for replacing energy??  You guessed it – FAT!!  So, in essence, the more glucose we use during exercise, the more fat we burn following exercise!It’s challenging.  Put down the magazine.  Quit texting.  The goal of interval training is to work as hard as you can the entire time.  If you do that, you won’t be focusing on anything but your workout – which is the way it should be!Efficient.  Interval training is efficient in terms of both time and injury prevention.  Given that your intensity is at an appropriate level, you can get an effective interval workout done in less than 20 minutes.  Because you’re putting in less time, you can avoid the constant pounding that miles and miles of distance running places upon the lower body.To give you guys a little idea of what a typical HIIT session looks like, I will leave you all with one of my favorite interval workouts.  If you need some music for this workout, I’d recommend listening to “Go Hard” by DJ Prophecy.  It’s an up-beat mix, which I prefer for interval training.Work-to-Rest Ratio – 2:1Sprint – 30 SecondsRest – 15 SecondsRound 1: 8 Total Sets – Sprint 30 seconds – rest 15 secondsRound 2: 6 Total Sets – Sprint 30 seconds – rest 15 secondsRound 3: 4 Total Sets – Sprint 30 seconds – rest 15 secondsIt might take you a few sets to figure out what that speed is going to be if you’re on a treadmill, and that’s fine.  Just make sure you are pushing yourself on each and every set in order to get the best results possible!!Have you tried high intensity interval training?  If so, let me know what you think of it in the comments below.Post contributed by Brock Jones.  Brock is Co-Owner and Head Trainer with BodyFIT, Inc. in Lexington, KY. He holds a Masters of Science in Exercise Physiology from the University of Kentucky and is an NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist.  You can read more of Brock’s posts about fitness and exercise on the BodyFIT Punch Blog.


Why We Run: The Physical and Psychological Benefits

  ·  3 min

Why We Run: The Physical and Psychological Benefits

If you are among the 29,478,000 Americans who run or jog 50 or more days a year then you know why you run. Running offers phenom­enal psychological and physical benefits and you’ve probably even experienced a “runner’s high.” You must be spreading the word too, since running shoe sales grew to a whopping $3.04 billion in 2012, up 23% from 2011.Slipping on a pair of running shoes is a common way to start the day, along with the ubiquitous headphones popping out of the ears of joggers and runners.Psychological and Physical Benefits of RunningSo what is this national, indeed international, sensation all about? What do we love about running?Perhaps we love the way we feel. After all, it is well known that the psychological benefits of running rival the physical benefits. Nearly three-quarters of runners who maintain at least a moderate level of fitness say that running keeps them in a positive, relaxed, happy, state of mind. My clients who struggle with depression find that running is a less expensive, highly preferable and equally effective mood booster, than taking side-effect prone medications.Runners report significant increases in the quality of their life, feel greater energy, patience, optimism and ambition. For many, running leads to significantly lower levels of stress, improved memory, increased verbal fluency and better cognitive functioning. Perhaps most importantly, runners report greater health benefits that include burning more calories, heart health, improved HDL cholesterol levels, a boost to the immune system, increases in bone density and improved lung capacity.Runner’s HighThen there’s always that “runner’s high.” It’s true, that invincible “what discomfort?” flow that runners feel, tied to a release of endorphins, norepinephrine, dopamine and serotonin, with an increase in body temperature, have been fully demonstrated by endorphin and neuroscience researchers. ­­­Want to power up that output? Then you need to introduce yourself to your nucleus accumbens, your prefrontal cortex and your amygdala. These are located in your brain and go into high gear, releasing feel-good chemicals, particularly when music activates these emotion and intellectual centers.Boost Performance with MusicWant to boost the impact of running and increase the positive benefits that running brings? Be sure to choose your favorite music mixes and performance enhancing beats per minute to keep you moving along a health-promoting pace. Fitness psychologists, who study the effects of music on athletic performance and exercise, find that listening to music while working out stimulates mental arousal and enhances brain functioning, at least for a short period of time.The key, the researchers tell us, is to choose music you enjoy, and note that the faster the music, the greater the power output. It’s all about the motivating power of the music you choose and how you choose to listen to it. Louder and faster music, according to research, leads to runners dialing up their pace, while slower and quieter music is best for cool downs. Research suggests that the right music can boost endurance by 15%.  Furthermore, while exercise promotes good endothelial functioning, so important to your heart and in preventing atherosclerosis, listening to music for 30 or more minutes while running or working out turbocharges that effect on the cells that line the inside of your blood vessels.Next time you hear about a marathon, half marathon, or 5K coming to town, or a buddy asks you to go for a jog at the park, now you know why running has the growth curve it does and why so many love running. It leaves you feeling better head to toe. And with RockMyRun rocking your health benefits, well, it’s hard to imagine anything better putting a smile on your—or your doctor’s–face!Why do you run?  What are your favorite benefits?  Let me know in the comments below.Post contributed by Michael R. Mantell, Ph.D.  Dr. Mantell has served as a long-time Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego and today is the Senior Fitness Consultant for Behavioral Sciences for the American Council on Exercise, a behavioral sciences coach, an author and a national fitness-health speaker. 


Why We Run: The Physical and Psychological Benefits

  ·  3 min

Why We Run: The Physical and Psychological Benefits

If you are among the 29,478,000 Americans who run or jog 50 or more days a year then you know why you run. Running offers phenom­enal psychological and physical benefits and you’ve probably even experienced a “runner’s high.” You must be spreading the word too, since running shoe sales grew to a whopping $3.04 billion in 2012, up 23% from 2011.Slipping on a pair of running shoes is a common way to start the day, along with the ubiquitous headphones popping out of the ears of joggers and runners.Psychological and Physical Benefits of RunningSo what is this national, indeed international, sensation all about? What do we love about running?Perhaps we love the way we feel. After all, it is well known that the psychological benefits of running rival the physical benefits. Nearly three-quarters of runners who maintain at least a moderate level of fitness say that running keeps them in a positive, relaxed, happy, state of mind. My clients who struggle with depression find that running is a less expensive, highly preferable and equally effective mood booster, than taking side-effect prone medications.Runners report significant increases in the quality of their life, feel greater energy, patience, optimism and ambition. For many, running leads to significantly lower levels of stress, improved memory, increased verbal fluency and better cognitive functioning. Perhaps most importantly, runners report greater health benefits that include burning more calories, heart health, improved HDL cholesterol levels, a boost to the immune system, increases in bone density and improved lung capacity.Runner’s HighThen there’s always that “runner’s high.” It’s true, that invincible “what discomfort?” flow that runners feel, tied to a release of endorphins, norepinephrine, dopamine and serotonin, with an increase in body temperature, have been fully demonstrated by endorphin and neuroscience researchers. ­­­Want to power up that output? Then you need to introduce yourself to your nucleus accumbens, your prefrontal cortex and your amygdala. These are located in your brain and go into high gear, releasing feel-good chemicals, particularly when music activates these emotion and intellectual centers.Boost Performance with MusicWant to boost the impact of running and increase the positive benefits that running brings? Be sure to choose your favorite music mixes and performance enhancing beats per minute to keep you moving along a health-promoting pace. Fitness psychologists, who study the effects of music on athletic performance and exercise, find that listening to music while working out stimulates mental arousal and enhances brain functioning, at least for a short period of time.The key, the researchers tell us, is to choose music you enjoy, and note that the faster the music, the greater the power output. It’s all about the motivating power of the music you choose and how you choose to listen to it. Louder and faster music, according to research, leads to runners dialing up their pace, while slower and quieter music is best for cool downs. Research suggests that the right music can boost endurance by 15%.  Furthermore, while exercise promotes good endothelial functioning, so important to your heart and in preventing atherosclerosis, listening to music for 30 or more minutes while running or working out turbocharges that effect on the cells that line the inside of your blood vessels.Next time you hear about a marathon, half marathon, or 5K coming to town, or a buddy asks you to go for a jog at the park, now you know why running has the growth curve it does and why so many love running. It leaves you feeling better head to toe. And with RockMyRun rocking your health benefits, well, it’s hard to imagine anything better putting a smile on your—or your doctor’s–face!Why do you run?  What are your favorite benefits?  Let me know in the comments below.Post contributed by Michael R. Mantell, Ph.D.  Dr. Mantell has served as a long-time Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego and today is the Senior Fitness Consultant for Behavioral Sciences for the American Council on Exercise, a behavioral sciences coach, an author and a national fitness-health speaker. 


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Train Less. Perform Better.

  ·  3 min

Train Less. Perform Better.

A lot of the more traditional approaches to cardio look at longer distances and higher volume as the best ways to get and stay in shape. While there is certainly nothing wrong with that method, I tend to take the “less is more” philosophy into my cardio training.  This doesn’t mean I don’t lace up my running shoes as much as the next person; I simply have a much lower training volume than some people.  I do this through High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT).  HIIT is a type of cardio involving a specified period (generally short) of very hard activity followed by a short rest period.  It’s a very effective training method, one that has helped my speed and endurance greatly over the past few years.With that, I want to give you my top 5 benefits of interval training:Increased oxidative capacity.  A muscle’s oxidative capacity is essentially its maximal ability to utilize oxygen in order to produce energy.  It is a fancy term that basically says how much oxygen a muscle is capable of using at once.  Research shows that runners can increase oxidative capacity, and thus overall endurance, in as little as two weeks of high intensity intervals.Prevent Boredom.  If you’re like me, then a long distance run on the treadmill can get a little boring.  Interval training not only requires you to change speed and intensity often, but also allows you the chance to get away from the treadmill altogether.  Running tracks, public parks, and gymnasiums all provide a different environment to keep your training fun and interesting.Burn fat.  Research agrees that the higher our exercise intensity, the more glucose we will burn during a workout.  You might be asking: “Well, when does this ‘burn more fat’ come into play?”  The answer is simple; at rest.  Yes, while we are resting.  In short, we lose a great amount of energy while burning glucose at high intensities.  The thing most people do not realize is that we must replace this energy when we are done exercising.  The fuel source for replacing energy??  You guessed it – FAT!!  So, in essence, the more glucose we use during exercise, the more fat we burn following exercise!It’s challenging.  Put down the magazine.  Quit texting.  The goal of interval training is to work as hard as you can the entire time.  If you do that, you won’t be focusing on anything but your workout – which is the way it should be!Efficient.  Interval training is efficient in terms of both time and injury prevention.  Given that your intensity is at an appropriate level, you can get an effective interval workout done in less than 20 minutes.  Because you’re putting in less time, you can avoid the constant pounding that miles and miles of distance running places upon the lower body.To give you guys a little idea of what a typical HIIT session looks like, I will leave you all with one of my favorite interval workouts.  If you need some music for this workout, I’d recommend listening to “Go Hard” by DJ Prophecy.  It’s an up-beat mix, which I prefer for interval training.Work-to-Rest Ratio – 2:1Sprint – 30 SecondsRest – 15 SecondsRound 1: 8 Total Sets – Sprint 30 seconds – rest 15 secondsRound 2: 6 Total Sets – Sprint 30 seconds – rest 15 secondsRound 3: 4 Total Sets – Sprint 30 seconds – rest 15 secondsIt might take you a few sets to figure out what that speed is going to be if you’re on a treadmill, and that’s fine.  Just make sure you are pushing yourself on each and every set in order to get the best results possible!!Have you tried high intensity interval training?  If so, let me know what you think of it in the comments below.Post contributed by Brock Jones.  Brock is Co-Owner and Head Trainer with BodyFIT, Inc. in Lexington, KY. He holds a Masters of Science in Exercise Physiology from the University of Kentucky and is an NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist.  You can read more of Brock’s posts about fitness and exercise on the BodyFIT Punch Blog.


Train Less. Perform Better.

  ·  3 min

Train Less. Perform Better.

A lot of the more traditional approaches to cardio look at longer distances and higher volume as the best ways to get and stay in shape. While there is certainly nothing wrong with that method, I tend to take the “less is more” philosophy into my cardio training.  This doesn’t mean I don’t lace up my running shoes as much as the next person; I simply have a much lower training volume than some people.  I do this through High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT).  HIIT is a type of cardio involving a specified period (generally short) of very hard activity followed by a short rest period.  It’s a very effective training method, one that has helped my speed and endurance greatly over the past few years.With that, I want to give you my top 5 benefits of interval training:Increased oxidative capacity.  A muscle’s oxidative capacity is essentially its maximal ability to utilize oxygen in order to produce energy.  It is a fancy term that basically says how much oxygen a muscle is capable of using at once.  Research shows that runners can increase oxidative capacity, and thus overall endurance, in as little as two weeks of high intensity intervals.Prevent Boredom.  If you’re like me, then a long distance run on the treadmill can get a little boring.  Interval training not only requires you to change speed and intensity often, but also allows you the chance to get away from the treadmill altogether.  Running tracks, public parks, and gymnasiums all provide a different environment to keep your training fun and interesting.Burn fat.  Research agrees that the higher our exercise intensity, the more glucose we will burn during a workout.  You might be asking: “Well, when does this ‘burn more fat’ come into play?”  The answer is simple; at rest.  Yes, while we are resting.  In short, we lose a great amount of energy while burning glucose at high intensities.  The thing most people do not realize is that we must replace this energy when we are done exercising.  The fuel source for replacing energy??  You guessed it – FAT!!  So, in essence, the more glucose we use during exercise, the more fat we burn following exercise!It’s challenging.  Put down the magazine.  Quit texting.  The goal of interval training is to work as hard as you can the entire time.  If you do that, you won’t be focusing on anything but your workout – which is the way it should be!Efficient.  Interval training is efficient in terms of both time and injury prevention.  Given that your intensity is at an appropriate level, you can get an effective interval workout done in less than 20 minutes.  Because you’re putting in less time, you can avoid the constant pounding that miles and miles of distance running places upon the lower body.To give you guys a little idea of what a typical HIIT session looks like, I will leave you all with one of my favorite interval workouts.  If you need some music for this workout, I’d recommend listening to “Go Hard” by DJ Prophecy.  It’s an up-beat mix, which I prefer for interval training.Work-to-Rest Ratio – 2:1Sprint – 30 SecondsRest – 15 SecondsRound 1: 8 Total Sets – Sprint 30 seconds – rest 15 secondsRound 2: 6 Total Sets – Sprint 30 seconds – rest 15 secondsRound 3: 4 Total Sets – Sprint 30 seconds – rest 15 secondsIt might take you a few sets to figure out what that speed is going to be if you’re on a treadmill, and that’s fine.  Just make sure you are pushing yourself on each and every set in order to get the best results possible!!Have you tried high intensity interval training?  If so, let me know what you think of it in the comments below.Post contributed by Brock Jones.  Brock is Co-Owner and Head Trainer with BodyFIT, Inc. in Lexington, KY. He holds a Masters of Science in Exercise Physiology from the University of Kentucky and is an NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist.  You can read more of Brock’s posts about fitness and exercise on the BodyFIT Punch Blog.


Why We Run: The Physical and Psychological Benefits

  ·  3 min

Why We Run: The Physical and Psychological Benefits

If you are among the 29,478,000 Americans who run or jog 50 or more days a year then you know why you run. Running offers phenom­enal psychological and physical benefits and you’ve probably even experienced a “runner’s high.” You must be spreading the word too, since running shoe sales grew to a whopping $3.04 billion in 2012, up 23% from 2011.Slipping on a pair of running shoes is a common way to start the day, along with the ubiquitous headphones popping out of the ears of joggers and runners.Psychological and Physical Benefits of RunningSo what is this national, indeed international, sensation all about? What do we love about running?Perhaps we love the way we feel. After all, it is well known that the psychological benefits of running rival the physical benefits. Nearly three-quarters of runners who maintain at least a moderate level of fitness say that running keeps them in a positive, relaxed, happy, state of mind. My clients who struggle with depression find that running is a less expensive, highly preferable and equally effective mood booster, than taking side-effect prone medications.Runners report significant increases in the quality of their life, feel greater energy, patience, optimism and ambition. For many, running leads to significantly lower levels of stress, improved memory, increased verbal fluency and better cognitive functioning. Perhaps most importantly, runners report greater health benefits that include burning more calories, heart health, improved HDL cholesterol levels, a boost to the immune system, increases in bone density and improved lung capacity.Runner’s HighThen there’s always that “runner’s high.” It’s true, that invincible “what discomfort?” flow that runners feel, tied to a release of endorphins, norepinephrine, dopamine and serotonin, with an increase in body temperature, have been fully demonstrated by endorphin and neuroscience researchers. ­­­Want to power up that output? Then you need to introduce yourself to your nucleus accumbens, your prefrontal cortex and your amygdala. These are located in your brain and go into high gear, releasing feel-good chemicals, particularly when music activates these emotion and intellectual centers.Boost Performance with MusicWant to boost the impact of running and increase the positive benefits that running brings? Be sure to choose your favorite music mixes and performance enhancing beats per minute to keep you moving along a health-promoting pace. Fitness psychologists, who study the effects of music on athletic performance and exercise, find that listening to music while working out stimulates mental arousal and enhances brain functioning, at least for a short period of time.The key, the researchers tell us, is to choose music you enjoy, and note that the faster the music, the greater the power output. It’s all about the motivating power of the music you choose and how you choose to listen to it. Louder and faster music, according to research, leads to runners dialing up their pace, while slower and quieter music is best for cool downs. Research suggests that the right music can boost endurance by 15%.  Furthermore, while exercise promotes good endothelial functioning, so important to your heart and in preventing atherosclerosis, listening to music for 30 or more minutes while running or working out turbocharges that effect on the cells that line the inside of your blood vessels.Next time you hear about a marathon, half marathon, or 5K coming to town, or a buddy asks you to go for a jog at the park, now you know why running has the growth curve it does and why so many love running. It leaves you feeling better head to toe. And with RockMyRun rocking your health benefits, well, it’s hard to imagine anything better putting a smile on your—or your doctor’s–face!Why do you run?  What are your favorite benefits?  Let me know in the comments below.Post contributed by Michael R. Mantell, Ph.D.  Dr. Mantell has served as a long-time Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego and today is the Senior Fitness Consultant for Behavioral Sciences for the American Council on Exercise, a behavioral sciences coach, an author and a national fitness-health speaker. 


Why We Run: The Physical and Psychological Benefits

  ·  3 min

Why We Run: The Physical and Psychological Benefits

If you are among the 29,478,000 Americans who run or jog 50 or more days a year then you know why you run. Running offers phenom­enal psychological and physical benefits and you’ve probably even experienced a “runner’s high.” You must be spreading the word too, since running shoe sales grew to a whopping $3.04 billion in 2012, up 23% from 2011.Slipping on a pair of running shoes is a common way to start the day, along with the ubiquitous headphones popping out of the ears of joggers and runners.Psychological and Physical Benefits of RunningSo what is this national, indeed international, sensation all about? What do we love about running?Perhaps we love the way we feel. After all, it is well known that the psychological benefits of running rival the physical benefits. Nearly three-quarters of runners who maintain at least a moderate level of fitness say that running keeps them in a positive, relaxed, happy, state of mind. My clients who struggle with depression find that running is a less expensive, highly preferable and equally effective mood booster, than taking side-effect prone medications.Runners report significant increases in the quality of their life, feel greater energy, patience, optimism and ambition. For many, running leads to significantly lower levels of stress, improved memory, increased verbal fluency and better cognitive functioning. Perhaps most importantly, runners report greater health benefits that include burning more calories, heart health, improved HDL cholesterol levels, a boost to the immune system, increases in bone density and improved lung capacity.Runner’s HighThen there’s always that “runner’s high.” It’s true, that invincible “what discomfort?” flow that runners feel, tied to a release of endorphins, norepinephrine, dopamine and serotonin, with an increase in body temperature, have been fully demonstrated by endorphin and neuroscience researchers. ­­­Want to power up that output? Then you need to introduce yourself to your nucleus accumbens, your prefrontal cortex and your amygdala. These are located in your brain and go into high gear, releasing feel-good chemicals, particularly when music activates these emotion and intellectual centers.Boost Performance with MusicWant to boost the impact of running and increase the positive benefits that running brings? Be sure to choose your favorite music mixes and performance enhancing beats per minute to keep you moving along a health-promoting pace. Fitness psychologists, who study the effects of music on athletic performance and exercise, find that listening to music while working out stimulates mental arousal and enhances brain functioning, at least for a short period of time.The key, the researchers tell us, is to choose music you enjoy, and note that the faster the music, the greater the power output. It’s all about the motivating power of the music you choose and how you choose to listen to it. Louder and faster music, according to research, leads to runners dialing up their pace, while slower and quieter music is best for cool downs. Research suggests that the right music can boost endurance by 15%.  Furthermore, while exercise promotes good endothelial functioning, so important to your heart and in preventing atherosclerosis, listening to music for 30 or more minutes while running or working out turbocharges that effect on the cells that line the inside of your blood vessels.Next time you hear about a marathon, half marathon, or 5K coming to town, or a buddy asks you to go for a jog at the park, now you know why running has the growth curve it does and why so many love running. It leaves you feeling better head to toe. And with RockMyRun rocking your health benefits, well, it’s hard to imagine anything better putting a smile on your—or your doctor’s–face!Why do you run?  What are your favorite benefits?  Let me know in the comments below.Post contributed by Michael R. Mantell, Ph.D.  Dr. Mantell has served as a long-time Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego and today is the Senior Fitness Consultant for Behavioral Sciences for the American Council on Exercise, a behavioral sciences coach, an author and a national fitness-health speaker. 


Train Less. Perform Better.

  ·  3 min

Train Less. Perform Better.

A lot of the more traditional approaches to cardio look at longer distances and higher volume as the best ways to get and stay in shape. While there is certainly nothing wrong with that method, I tend to take the “less is more” philosophy into my cardio training.  This doesn’t mean I don’t lace up my running shoes as much as the next person; I simply have a much lower training volume than some people.  I do this through High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT).  HIIT is a type of cardio involving a specified period (generally short) of very hard activity followed by a short rest period.  It’s a very effective training method, one that has helped my speed and endurance greatly over the past few years.With that, I want to give you my top 5 benefits of interval training:Increased oxidative capacity.  A muscle’s oxidative capacity is essentially its maximal ability to utilize oxygen in order to produce energy.  It is a fancy term that basically says how much oxygen a muscle is capable of using at once.  Research shows that runners can increase oxidative capacity, and thus overall endurance, in as little as two weeks of high intensity intervals.Prevent Boredom.  If you’re like me, then a long distance run on the treadmill can get a little boring.  Interval training not only requires you to change speed and intensity often, but also allows you the chance to get away from the treadmill altogether.  Running tracks, public parks, and gymnasiums all provide a different environment to keep your training fun and interesting.Burn fat.  Research agrees that the higher our exercise intensity, the more glucose we will burn during a workout.  You might be asking: “Well, when does this ‘burn more fat’ come into play?”  The answer is simple; at rest.  Yes, while we are resting.  In short, we lose a great amount of energy while burning glucose at high intensities.  The thing most people do not realize is that we must replace this energy when we are done exercising.  The fuel source for replacing energy??  You guessed it – FAT!!  So, in essence, the more glucose we use during exercise, the more fat we burn following exercise!It’s challenging.  Put down the magazine.  Quit texting.  The goal of interval training is to work as hard as you can the entire time.  If you do that, you won’t be focusing on anything but your workout – which is the way it should be!Efficient.  Interval training is efficient in terms of both time and injury prevention.  Given that your intensity is at an appropriate level, you can get an effective interval workout done in less than 20 minutes.  Because you’re putting in less time, you can avoid the constant pounding that miles and miles of distance running places upon the lower body.To give you guys a little idea of what a typical HIIT session looks like, I will leave you all with one of my favorite interval workouts.  If you need some music for this workout, I’d recommend listening to “Go Hard” by DJ Prophecy.  It’s an up-beat mix, which I prefer for interval training.Work-to-Rest Ratio – 2:1Sprint – 30 SecondsRest – 15 SecondsRound 1: 8 Total Sets – Sprint 30 seconds – rest 15 secondsRound 2: 6 Total Sets – Sprint 30 seconds – rest 15 secondsRound 3: 4 Total Sets – Sprint 30 seconds – rest 15 secondsIt might take you a few sets to figure out what that speed is going to be if you’re on a treadmill, and that’s fine.  Just make sure you are pushing yourself on each and every set in order to get the best results possible!!Have you tried high intensity interval training?  If so, let me know what you think of it in the comments below.Post contributed by Brock Jones.  Brock is Co-Owner and Head Trainer with BodyFIT, Inc. in Lexington, KY. He holds a Masters of Science in Exercise Physiology from the University of Kentucky and is an NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist.  You can read more of Brock’s posts about fitness and exercise on the BodyFIT Punch Blog.


Train Less. Perform Better.

  ·  3 min

Train Less. Perform Better.

A lot of the more traditional approaches to cardio look at longer distances and higher volume as the best ways to get and stay in shape. While there is certainly nothing wrong with that method, I tend to take the “less is more” philosophy into my cardio training.  This doesn’t mean I don’t lace up my running shoes as much as the next person; I simply have a much lower training volume than some people.  I do this through High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT).  HIIT is a type of cardio involving a specified period (generally short) of very hard activity followed by a short rest period.  It’s a very effective training method, one that has helped my speed and endurance greatly over the past few years.With that, I want to give you my top 5 benefits of interval training:Increased oxidative capacity.  A muscle’s oxidative capacity is essentially its maximal ability to utilize oxygen in order to produce energy.  It is a fancy term that basically says how much oxygen a muscle is capable of using at once.  Research shows that runners can increase oxidative capacity, and thus overall endurance, in as little as two weeks of high intensity intervals.Prevent Boredom.  If you’re like me, then a long distance run on the treadmill can get a little boring.  Interval training not only requires you to change speed and intensity often, but also allows you the chance to get away from the treadmill altogether.  Running tracks, public parks, and gymnasiums all provide a different environment to keep your training fun and interesting.Burn fat.  Research agrees that the higher our exercise intensity, the more glucose we will burn during a workout.  You might be asking: “Well, when does this ‘burn more fat’ come into play?”  The answer is simple; at rest.  Yes, while we are resting.  In short, we lose a great amount of energy while burning glucose at high intensities.  The thing most people do not realize is that we must replace this energy when we are done exercising.  The fuel source for replacing energy??  You guessed it – FAT!!  So, in essence, the more glucose we use during exercise, the more fat we burn following exercise!It’s challenging.  Put down the magazine.  Quit texting.  The goal of interval training is to work as hard as you can the entire time.  If you do that, you won’t be focusing on anything but your workout – which is the way it should be!Efficient.  Interval training is efficient in terms of both time and injury prevention.  Given that your intensity is at an appropriate level, you can get an effective interval workout done in less than 20 minutes.  Because you’re putting in less time, you can avoid the constant pounding that miles and miles of distance running places upon the lower body.To give you guys a little idea of what a typical HIIT session looks like, I will leave you all with one of my favorite interval workouts.  If you need some music for this workout, I’d recommend listening to “Go Hard” by DJ Prophecy.  It’s an up-beat mix, which I prefer for interval training.Work-to-Rest Ratio – 2:1Sprint – 30 SecondsRest – 15 SecondsRound 1: 8 Total Sets – Sprint 30 seconds – rest 15 secondsRound 2: 6 Total Sets – Sprint 30 seconds – rest 15 secondsRound 3: 4 Total Sets – Sprint 30 seconds – rest 15 secondsIt might take you a few sets to figure out what that speed is going to be if you’re on a treadmill, and that’s fine.  Just make sure you are pushing yourself on each and every set in order to get the best results possible!!Have you tried high intensity interval training?  If so, let me know what you think of it in the comments below.Post contributed by Brock Jones.  Brock is Co-Owner and Head Trainer with BodyFIT, Inc. in Lexington, KY. He holds a Masters of Science in Exercise Physiology from the University of Kentucky and is an NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist.  You can read more of Brock’s posts about fitness and exercise on the BodyFIT Punch Blog.


Why We Run: The Physical and Psychological Benefits

  ·  3 min

Why We Run: The Physical and Psychological Benefits

If you are among the 29,478,000 Americans who run or jog 50 or more days a year then you know why you run. Running offers phenom­enal psychological and physical benefits and you’ve probably even experienced a “runner’s high.” You must be spreading the word too, since running shoe sales grew to a whopping $3.04 billion in 2012, up 23% from 2011.Slipping on a pair of running shoes is a common way to start the day, along with the ubiquitous headphones popping out of the ears of joggers and runners.Psychological and Physical Benefits of RunningSo what is this national, indeed international, sensation all about? What do we love about running?Perhaps we love the way we feel. After all, it is well known that the psychological benefits of running rival the physical benefits. Nearly three-quarters of runners who maintain at least a moderate level of fitness say that running keeps them in a positive, relaxed, happy, state of mind. My clients who struggle with depression find that running is a less expensive, highly preferable and equally effective mood booster, than taking side-effect prone medications.Runners report significant increases in the quality of their life, feel greater energy, patience, optimism and ambition. For many, running leads to significantly lower levels of stress, improved memory, increased verbal fluency and better cognitive functioning. Perhaps most importantly, runners report greater health benefits that include burning more calories, heart health, improved HDL cholesterol levels, a boost to the immune system, increases in bone density and improved lung capacity.Runner’s HighThen there’s always that “runner’s high.” It’s true, that invincible “what discomfort?” flow that runners feel, tied to a release of endorphins, norepinephrine, dopamine and serotonin, with an increase in body temperature, have been fully demonstrated by endorphin and neuroscience researchers. ­­­Want to power up that output? Then you need to introduce yourself to your nucleus accumbens, your prefrontal cortex and your amygdala. These are located in your brain and go into high gear, releasing feel-good chemicals, particularly when music activates these emotion and intellectual centers.Boost Performance with MusicWant to boost the impact of running and increase the positive benefits that running brings? Be sure to choose your favorite music mixes and performance enhancing beats per minute to keep you moving along a health-promoting pace. Fitness psychologists, who study the effects of music on athletic performance and exercise, find that listening to music while working out stimulates mental arousal and enhances brain functioning, at least for a short period of time.The key, the researchers tell us, is to choose music you enjoy, and note that the faster the music, the greater the power output. It’s all about the motivating power of the music you choose and how you choose to listen to it. Louder and faster music, according to research, leads to runners dialing up their pace, while slower and quieter music is best for cool downs. Research suggests that the right music can boost endurance by 15%.  Furthermore, while exercise promotes good endothelial functioning, so important to your heart and in preventing atherosclerosis, listening to music for 30 or more minutes while running or working out turbocharges that effect on the cells that line the inside of your blood vessels.Next time you hear about a marathon, half marathon, or 5K coming to town, or a buddy asks you to go for a jog at the park, now you know why running has the growth curve it does and why so many love running. It leaves you feeling better head to toe. And with RockMyRun rocking your health benefits, well, it’s hard to imagine anything better putting a smile on your—or your doctor’s–face!Why do you run?  What are your favorite benefits?  Let me know in the comments below.Post contributed by Michael R. Mantell, Ph.D.  Dr. Mantell has served as a long-time Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego and today is the Senior Fitness Consultant for Behavioral Sciences for the American Council on Exercise, a behavioral sciences coach, an author and a national fitness-health speaker. 


Why We Run: The Physical and Psychological Benefits

  ·  3 min

Why We Run: The Physical and Psychological Benefits

If you are among the 29,478,000 Americans who run or jog 50 or more days a year then you know why you run. Running offers phenom­enal psychological and physical benefits and you’ve probably even experienced a “runner’s high.” You must be spreading the word too, since running shoe sales grew to a whopping $3.04 billion in 2012, up 23% from 2011.Slipping on a pair of running shoes is a common way to start the day, along with the ubiquitous headphones popping out of the ears of joggers and runners.Psychological and Physical Benefits of RunningSo what is this national, indeed international, sensation all about? What do we love about running?Perhaps we love the way we feel. After all, it is well known that the psychological benefits of running rival the physical benefits. Nearly three-quarters of runners who maintain at least a moderate level of fitness say that running keeps them in a positive, relaxed, happy, state of mind. My clients who struggle with depression find that running is a less expensive, highly preferable and equally effective mood booster, than taking side-effect prone medications.Runners report significant increases in the quality of their life, feel greater energy, patience, optimism and ambition. For many, running leads to significantly lower levels of stress, improved memory, increased verbal fluency and better cognitive functioning. Perhaps most importantly, runners report greater health benefits that include burning more calories, heart health, improved HDL cholesterol levels, a boost to the immune system, increases in bone density and improved lung capacity.Runner’s HighThen there’s always that “runner’s high.” It’s true, that invincible “what discomfort?” flow that runners feel, tied to a release of endorphins, norepinephrine, dopamine and serotonin, with an increase in body temperature, have been fully demonstrated by endorphin and neuroscience researchers. ­­­Want to power up that output? Then you need to introduce yourself to your nucleus accumbens, your prefrontal cortex and your amygdala. These are located in your brain and go into high gear, releasing feel-good chemicals, particularly when music activates these emotion and intellectual centers.Boost Performance with MusicWant to boost the impact of running and increase the positive benefits that running brings? Be sure to choose your favorite music mixes and performance enhancing beats per minute to keep you moving along a health-promoting pace. Fitness psychologists, who study the effects of music on athletic performance and exercise, find that listening to music while working out stimulates mental arousal and enhances brain functioning, at least for a short period of time.The key, the researchers tell us, is to choose music you enjoy, and note that the faster the music, the greater the power output. It’s all about the motivating power of the music you choose and how you choose to listen to it. Louder and faster music, according to research, leads to runners dialing up their pace, while slower and quieter music is best for cool downs. Research suggests that the right music can boost endurance by 15%.  Furthermore, while exercise promotes good endothelial functioning, so important to your heart and in preventing atherosclerosis, listening to music for 30 or more minutes while running or working out turbocharges that effect on the cells that line the inside of your blood vessels.Next time you hear about a marathon, half marathon, or 5K coming to town, or a buddy asks you to go for a jog at the park, now you know why running has the growth curve it does and why so many love running. It leaves you feeling better head to toe. And with RockMyRun rocking your health benefits, well, it’s hard to imagine anything better putting a smile on your—or your doctor’s–face!Why do you run?  What are your favorite benefits?  Let me know in the comments below.Post contributed by Michael R. Mantell, Ph.D.  Dr. Mantell has served as a long-time Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego and today is the Senior Fitness Consultant for Behavioral Sciences for the American Council on Exercise, a behavioral sciences coach, an author and a national fitness-health speaker. 


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