Your Go-To Treadmill Workout This Fall: Incline Sprints

  ·  2 min

Your Go-To Treadmill Workout This Fall: Incline Sprints

It’s that time of year again – the leaves start to change and the temperature starts to drop. While fall is beautiful, it means that soon cold weather will force us to kickoff treadmill season. For some, this is a welcomed change. For others, however, the ‘dreadmill’ is a last resort.Treadmills do however present us with benefits that road and trail running simply cannot. Here are four reasons to hop on a treadmill for your cardio this coming winter, as well as a killer treadmill workout to test out.Control. Treadmills allow you to control the speed and incline at which you’re running. Sure, you’re in control on the road, but with a treadmill you simply hit a button and it takes you where you want to be. There isn’t a guessing game as to what incline you’re running or how fast you’re going. I find this to be particularly helpful when I’m doing sprint or timed intervals.Efficient. The idea that every workout needs to be 90 minutes long is just wrong. If you work hard, you can get a great workout done in 30 minutes. Treadmills allow you to crank up speed and/or incline to levels that you probably wouldn’t hit out on the road.Variety. There are so many ways to change a workout using a treadmill. By altering your incline, speed or time intervals, you can come up with hundreds of workouts, all with their own unique settings. Some may think that treadmills are dull and repetitive, but with a little creativity, they are anything but boring.Weather. It’s always sunny and 75 on the treadmill. You don’t have to pack that extra pair of leggings when you’re running inside or need to worry about slipping on icy streets.This wouldn’t be much of a treadmill post if I didn’t also leave you with a solid workout to complete, would it? Well, you’re in luck. I’m leaving you with one of my favorite treadmill workouts. It targets both incline and speed, and keeps you changing things up to prevent boredom. *I use a Woodway treadmill that goes up to an incline of 25% and usually do 2 complete sets. With warmup and cooldown, it generally takes me almost exactly hour. Most treadmills will go up to 12-15% incline. If this is the case with you, I would recommend trying to do at least 2 sets. Also, if you’re pressed for time, you can also increase the speed, which will make it a MUCH more challenging workout.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.


Your Go-To Treadmill Workout This Fall: Incline Sprints

  ·  2 min

Your Go-To Treadmill Workout This Fall: Incline Sprints

It’s that time of year again – the leaves start to change and the temperature starts to drop. While fall is beautiful, it means that soon cold weather will force us to kickoff treadmill season. For some, this is a welcomed change. For others, however, the ‘dreadmill’ is a last resort.Treadmills do however present us with benefits that road and trail running simply cannot. Here are four reasons to hop on a treadmill for your cardio this coming winter, as well as a killer treadmill workout to test out.Control. Treadmills allow you to control the speed and incline at which you’re running. Sure, you’re in control on the road, but with a treadmill you simply hit a button and it takes you where you want to be. There isn’t a guessing game as to what incline you’re running or how fast you’re going. I find this to be particularly helpful when I’m doing sprint or timed intervals.Efficient. The idea that every workout needs to be 90 minutes long is just wrong. If you work hard, you can get a great workout done in 30 minutes. Treadmills allow you to crank up speed and/or incline to levels that you probably wouldn’t hit out on the road.Variety. There are so many ways to change a workout using a treadmill. By altering your incline, speed or time intervals, you can come up with hundreds of workouts, all with their own unique settings. Some may think that treadmills are dull and repetitive, but with a little creativity, they are anything but boring.Weather. It’s always sunny and 75 on the treadmill. You don’t have to pack that extra pair of leggings when you’re running inside or need to worry about slipping on icy streets.This wouldn’t be much of a treadmill post if I didn’t also leave you with a solid workout to complete, would it? Well, you’re in luck. I’m leaving you with one of my favorite treadmill workouts. It targets both incline and speed, and keeps you changing things up to prevent boredom. *I use a Woodway treadmill that goes up to an incline of 25% and usually do 2 complete sets. With warmup and cooldown, it generally takes me almost exactly hour. Most treadmills will go up to 12-15% incline. If this is the case with you, I would recommend trying to do at least 2 sets. Also, if you’re pressed for time, you can also increase the speed, which will make it a MUCH more challenging workout.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.


Cold as Ice…and Still Running

  ·  4 min

Cold as Ice…and Still Running

Baby, It’s Cold Outside is a Christmas song written in 1944 by Frank Loesser. It’s a conversation between a woman who has to go and a man who keeps telling her “But baby, it’s cold outside.”“I really can’t stay(But baby, it’s cold outside)I’ve got to go away(But baby, it’s cold outside)”Avoid the Common ExcusesIt’ll soon be cold out there with lots of excuses not to leave, to stay indoors, and surely not to exercise. Whether it’s Foreigner’s Cold as Ice, or Loesser’s Baby, It’s Cold Outside, there are many barriers to convince people that winter is a time to stay indoors and be sedentary.  It’s not. Of course winter activities can be challenging, but like everything else, “the link is what you think.”It’s just weather. If you think it’s a great opportunity to try new activities, to enjoy the crunch of falling leaves under your feet, to have snowball fights, or to do some hiking or jogging in the crisp fall air.  Then you’ll love the coming months and stay in shape.If you think instead that it’s too cold, that you’ll freeze to death, that you’ll get injured, that there isn’t enough daylight to be active, then you’ll surely believe it’s inevitable to put on some weight and be more sedentary.“The link is what you think.” I want you to think rationally, logically and accurately about the coming months wherever you live and use the fall and winter to think outside the box to keep your health, fitness and wellness levels up and move into next spring feeling great!Have a Positive MindsetSure some folks will deal with Seasonal Affective Disorder, but when the days grow short guess what helps? Running! It can promote the release of depression-fighting hormones leaving those suffering with this very real malady in better moods and feeling more positive.  And we know that positive thinking and a positive outlook, the kind that comes from physical activity, improves your overall health.Staying indoors, breathing all that heated air as many do during the colder months, isn’t the healthiest for your lungs or for your mind. Getting outside, properly dressed for the cold, enjoying the outdoor crisp air, gives you a chance to literally detox your mind and body. It doesn’t take as many changes as you might think to enjoy it all.So the first thing that’s needed is the right mindset. What do you enjoy about the fall and winter months? Keep your eye on those things.Fall and winter are great times to try on new activities, join new classes at your local gym, gain new skills, add new strength training activities and find new ways to integrate exercise and activities into your daily life.Some use the winter months to form a base, with activities that add to endurance.  Longer runs, along with swimming and cycling indoors will add to your volume.  Springtime is the time to build with added weight and resistance training, as well as more interval cardio training to increase speed and strength.  Summer and fall are great times to put it all into practice and get out there for your 5K, 10K, and marathon races.Get Prepared for Exercise OutdoorsExercising outdoors when it’s cold outside requires a bit of preparation to make your activities successful.  A few smart things you can do are:Dress properly in thin wicking insulating layers to prevent hypothermia and frostbite in some climates.Wear reflective gear or a headlamp for running in the dark.Put on a fleece or thermal hat to prevent 50% heat loss from your head.Keep your hands and feet warm with mittens, because you can lose 30% of your body heat through your extremities.Cover your face with a balaclava (ski mask).Carry some ChapStick.Plan a route with icy patches in mind.Always run with a buddy.Wear shoes that give you a bit more traction and are water-proof and socks that are wicking, not cotton, and made of wool or CoolMax.Get Active beyond Your WorkoutRemember that there are lots of everyday activities to rejuvenate you and give you more natural energy during your day, including:Shoveling snowWalking at lunchtime with friendsTaking the stairs instead of the elevatorParking further away from your destination or getting off the bus or subway a few stops earlierStaying active while indoors with physical movement during TV commercialsFind Music to Motivate YouWhen we think of the winter season, filled with holidays, music always tops the list along with food, friends and family get-togethers.  Crank up your RockMyRun mixes for the genre and beats per minute that inspire your body and soul, that promote your focus on your health and above all, to motivate you to enjoy the spirit of the season and the holidays happy, active and fit.What are your tips for staying active, once the temperatures drop outdoors?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. 


Cold as Ice…and Still Running

  ·  4 min

Cold as Ice…and Still Running

Baby, It’s Cold Outside is a Christmas song written in 1944 by Frank Loesser. It’s a conversation between a woman who has to go and a man who keeps telling her “But baby, it’s cold outside.”“I really can’t stay(But baby, it’s cold outside)I’ve got to go away(But baby, it’s cold outside)”Avoid the Common ExcusesIt’ll soon be cold out there with lots of excuses not to leave, to stay indoors, and surely not to exercise. Whether it’s Foreigner’s Cold as Ice, or Loesser’s Baby, It’s Cold Outside, there are many barriers to convince people that winter is a time to stay indoors and be sedentary.  It’s not. Of course winter activities can be challenging, but like everything else, “the link is what you think.”It’s just weather. If you think it’s a great opportunity to try new activities, to enjoy the crunch of falling leaves under your feet, to have snowball fights, or to do some hiking or jogging in the crisp fall air.  Then you’ll love the coming months and stay in shape.If you think instead that it’s too cold, that you’ll freeze to death, that you’ll get injured, that there isn’t enough daylight to be active, then you’ll surely believe it’s inevitable to put on some weight and be more sedentary.“The link is what you think.” I want you to think rationally, logically and accurately about the coming months wherever you live and use the fall and winter to think outside the box to keep your health, fitness and wellness levels up and move into next spring feeling great!Have a Positive MindsetSure some folks will deal with Seasonal Affective Disorder, but when the days grow short guess what helps? Running! It can promote the release of depression-fighting hormones leaving those suffering with this very real malady in better moods and feeling more positive.  And we know that positive thinking and a positive outlook, the kind that comes from physical activity, improves your overall health.Staying indoors, breathing all that heated air as many do during the colder months, isn’t the healthiest for your lungs or for your mind. Getting outside, properly dressed for the cold, enjoying the outdoor crisp air, gives you a chance to literally detox your mind and body. It doesn’t take as many changes as you might think to enjoy it all.So the first thing that’s needed is the right mindset. What do you enjoy about the fall and winter months? Keep your eye on those things.Fall and winter are great times to try on new activities, join new classes at your local gym, gain new skills, add new strength training activities and find new ways to integrate exercise and activities into your daily life.Some use the winter months to form a base, with activities that add to endurance.  Longer runs, along with swimming and cycling indoors will add to your volume.  Springtime is the time to build with added weight and resistance training, as well as more interval cardio training to increase speed and strength.  Summer and fall are great times to put it all into practice and get out there for your 5K, 10K, and marathon races.Get Prepared for Exercise OutdoorsExercising outdoors when it’s cold outside requires a bit of preparation to make your activities successful.  A few smart things you can do are:Dress properly in thin wicking insulating layers to prevent hypothermia and frostbite in some climates.Wear reflective gear or a headlamp for running in the dark.Put on a fleece or thermal hat to prevent 50% heat loss from your head.Keep your hands and feet warm with mittens, because you can lose 30% of your body heat through your extremities.Cover your face with a balaclava (ski mask).Carry some ChapStick.Plan a route with icy patches in mind.Always run with a buddy.Wear shoes that give you a bit more traction and are water-proof and socks that are wicking, not cotton, and made of wool or CoolMax.Get Active beyond Your WorkoutRemember that there are lots of everyday activities to rejuvenate you and give you more natural energy during your day, including:Shoveling snowWalking at lunchtime with friendsTaking the stairs instead of the elevatorParking further away from your destination or getting off the bus or subway a few stops earlierStaying active while indoors with physical movement during TV commercialsFind Music to Motivate YouWhen we think of the winter season, filled with holidays, music always tops the list along with food, friends and family get-togethers.  Crank up your RockMyRun mixes for the genre and beats per minute that inspire your body and soul, that promote your focus on your health and above all, to motivate you to enjoy the spirit of the season and the holidays happy, active and fit.What are your tips for staying active, once the temperatures drop outdoors?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. 


Think You Don’t Have Time to Exercise? Think Again.

  ·  5 min

Think You Don’t Have Time to Exercise? Think Again.

When it comes to finding time to exercise, let’s start with some facts. Each of us has 168 hours per week in life. Many of us work about 50 or so hours per week, sleep about 50-60 hours per week, spend another 15-20 hours each week on personal care and grooming, leaving most of us about 6+ hours each day to_____________________. Fill in the blank.We fill in our time with what’s most important to us. As I said in an article I wrote for Greatest: Many people who don’t work out regularly can rattle off many reasons they’re not motivated to exercise, from not understanding the benefits of activity to thoughts like “I’m too busy,” “I’m embarrassed by how I look,” “exercise is boring,” and so on. The folks who hold these (false) self-sabotaging beliefs often believe exercise doesn’t matter; they don’t enjoy it, or they simply have no interest in doing it. And, really, who could blame them? Who would be inspired to start a physical activity with negative thoughts running through their head? A person has to believe exercise is of value in order to build motivation to do it.Benefits of ExerciseAs you already know, there are many benefits of exercise:Weight managementHealth and disease managementMood and self-confidence enhancementEnergy boosterPromotes healthy sleepPuts oomph into your sex lifeReduces stress by increasing brain soothing chemicalsHelps your brain function betterSparks creativityYour muscles, lungs, diaphragm, heart, stomach, kidneys, skin, joints, agility, balance, coordination, endurance and strength will all “smile” and say thank you many years from now.Every Minute CountsToday we know that even brief bouts of exercise, just 10 minutes at a time or less, can add a great deal to your health and well being while also slimming your waistline. The good news, remarkable really, comes from researchers at the University of Utah who found that every minute of intense movement counts towards the magic number of 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity we are all supposed to achieve each week – but only 5% of us do. That’s 150 minutes out of the 48 or so hours we have available to us each week.The findings indicate that brief periods of intense activity are effective in preventing weight gain and promoting health as well as doing 10 minute+ intervals. Moderate to vigorous activity, by the way, is walking about 3 miles per hour, or 2,020 counts per minute on an accelerometer. Clearly, every minute you spend in intense activity, counts.This suggests that the data on the best time to workout may be ignoring an important element—your life. Sure there are those who believe that for A-list athletes aiming for performance it might be better to push heavy training to alter in the morning or afternoon, the fact is that most who adhere to exercise routines are early morning exercisers. Bottom line is whenever you enjoy hitting the gym or track, do it. There’s benefit throughout the day.Get Creative about Getting ActiveHow can you get in short bouts of more intense exercise and find the time to get in your 150 minutes or so a week? Try these tested ways:Like a good scout, always be prepared. Don’t leave your home without your workout clothes packedKeep your workouts scheduled in your day planner —make an appointment for yourself! Remember that every minute counts.Wake up earlier and get your health plan moving, and your heart rate pumping, at the start of the day.Park away from your office, get off the train, subway or bus a few blocks before your normal close stopWhen you watch TV, use the commercials as reminders to do your squats, lunges, push ups, burpees, jumping jacks, planks, and crunches during the one-minute break.  Keep hand weights next to your chair/couch, ride your stationary bike and never use the remote control to change volume or channel.Make your lawn mower your newest piece of fitness equipment—ever hear of Carioca mowing? It’s all in the step!Walk to the office of the person you’d normally call and keep a jump rope in your briefcase or office drawer too!Make your chores count by scrubbing with vigor, grinding and stirring with some beats per minute, vacuum-dance with energy, wash your own car with upper body pushes, and shovel the coming snow (if your health allows) in tune with your favorite RockMyRun music mix.While exercise is key, taking time for yourself every day is critical for your health, well being and longevity. It’s all in my CHAIR method I recently described in an article for Prevention.com.C stands for a deeply felt commitment to very specific goals. You see the goal; you know why you’re doing it.H is for healthier foods, healthy carbs and proteins, healthy fat. ‘Diet’ is a word I never use.  It has the word ‘die’ in it.A stands for activity.  Daily activity, daily tracking of food and exercise. If you track, you adhere. Shoot for 10,000 steps a day. But even raking leaves counts as activity.I is inner motivation—you have to have your ‘why.’  And it has to be internal to you.R is for a realistic set of goals. You need something very tangible, like you want to be off blood pressure medication—not just I want to lose some weight or tone up.At the end of the day it’s all about thinking. The ‘link’ is what you think.” When you think you don’t have the time ask yourself if what you think is True, Helpful, Inspirational, Necessary, Kind to yourself. Hey, that’s what “THINK” means! If your answer is “No,” then change your thought and get active. It only takes a minute!What tips to have to stay active?  I’d love to see your thoughts 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. 


Think You Don’t Have Time to Exercise? Think Again.

  ·  5 min

Think You Don’t Have Time to Exercise? Think Again.

When it comes to finding time to exercise, let’s start with some facts. Each of us has 168 hours per week in life. Many of us work about 50 or so hours per week, sleep about 50-60 hours per week, spend another 15-20 hours each week on personal care and grooming, leaving most of us about 6+ hours each day to_____________________. Fill in the blank.We fill in our time with what’s most important to us. As I said in an article I wrote for Greatest: Many people who don’t work out regularly can rattle off many reasons they’re not motivated to exercise, from not understanding the benefits of activity to thoughts like “I’m too busy,” “I’m embarrassed by how I look,” “exercise is boring,” and so on. The folks who hold these (false) self-sabotaging beliefs often believe exercise doesn’t matter; they don’t enjoy it, or they simply have no interest in doing it. And, really, who could blame them? Who would be inspired to start a physical activity with negative thoughts running through their head? A person has to believe exercise is of value in order to build motivation to do it.Benefits of ExerciseAs you already know, there are many benefits of exercise:Weight managementHealth and disease managementMood and self-confidence enhancementEnergy boosterPromotes healthy sleepPuts oomph into your sex lifeReduces stress by increasing brain soothing chemicalsHelps your brain function betterSparks creativityYour muscles, lungs, diaphragm, heart, stomach, kidneys, skin, joints, agility, balance, coordination, endurance and strength will all “smile” and say thank you many years from now.Every Minute CountsToday we know that even brief bouts of exercise, just 10 minutes at a time or less, can add a great deal to your health and well being while also slimming your waistline. The good news, remarkable really, comes from researchers at the University of Utah who found that every minute of intense movement counts towards the magic number of 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity we are all supposed to achieve each week – but only 5% of us do. That’s 150 minutes out of the 48 or so hours we have available to us each week.The findings indicate that brief periods of intense activity are effective in preventing weight gain and promoting health as well as doing 10 minute+ intervals. Moderate to vigorous activity, by the way, is walking about 3 miles per hour, or 2,020 counts per minute on an accelerometer. Clearly, every minute you spend in intense activity, counts.This suggests that the data on the best time to workout may be ignoring an important element—your life. Sure there are those who believe that for A-list athletes aiming for performance it might be better to push heavy training to alter in the morning or afternoon, the fact is that most who adhere to exercise routines are early morning exercisers. Bottom line is whenever you enjoy hitting the gym or track, do it. There’s benefit throughout the day.Get Creative about Getting ActiveHow can you get in short bouts of more intense exercise and find the time to get in your 150 minutes or so a week? Try these tested ways:Like a good scout, always be prepared. Don’t leave your home without your workout clothes packedKeep your workouts scheduled in your day planner —make an appointment for yourself! Remember that every minute counts.Wake up earlier and get your health plan moving, and your heart rate pumping, at the start of the day.Park away from your office, get off the train, subway or bus a few blocks before your normal close stopWhen you watch TV, use the commercials as reminders to do your squats, lunges, push ups, burpees, jumping jacks, planks, and crunches during the one-minute break.  Keep hand weights next to your chair/couch, ride your stationary bike and never use the remote control to change volume or channel.Make your lawn mower your newest piece of fitness equipment—ever hear of Carioca mowing? It’s all in the step!Walk to the office of the person you’d normally call and keep a jump rope in your briefcase or office drawer too!Make your chores count by scrubbing with vigor, grinding and stirring with some beats per minute, vacuum-dance with energy, wash your own car with upper body pushes, and shovel the coming snow (if your health allows) in tune with your favorite RockMyRun music mix.While exercise is key, taking time for yourself every day is critical for your health, well being and longevity. It’s all in my CHAIR method I recently described in an article for Prevention.com.C stands for a deeply felt commitment to very specific goals. You see the goal; you know why you’re doing it.H is for healthier foods, healthy carbs and proteins, healthy fat. ‘Diet’ is a word I never use.  It has the word ‘die’ in it.A stands for activity.  Daily activity, daily tracking of food and exercise. If you track, you adhere. Shoot for 10,000 steps a day. But even raking leaves counts as activity.I is inner motivation—you have to have your ‘why.’  And it has to be internal to you.R is for a realistic set of goals. You need something very tangible, like you want to be off blood pressure medication—not just I want to lose some weight or tone up.At the end of the day it’s all about thinking. The ‘link’ is what you think.” When you think you don’t have the time ask yourself if what you think is True, Helpful, Inspirational, Necessary, Kind to yourself. Hey, that’s what “THINK” means! If your answer is “No,” then change your thought and get active. It only takes a minute!What tips to have to stay active?  I’d love to see your thoughts 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. 


Music…The Legal Performance Enhancing Drug

  ·  2 min

Music…The Legal Performance Enhancing Drug

Did you know that the leading expert about the psychology of exercise and music, Dr. Costas Karageorghis, calls music the “legal performance enhancing drug” of fitness and exercise?There have been a large number of studies about the effects of music on athletic performance since 1911 and these are the key findings:Music promotes emotional and physiological arousal.Music reduces fatigue, especially at moderate levels of exercise, by distracting us from our physical awareness.Music turbocharges our mind’s focus on performance and muscle memory and as the beat of music increases, power output and exercise intensity increases for mild to moderate ranges of exercise.Music improves our motor coordination as we move to the rhythm.Music relaxes us as a result of dampening byproduct molecules associated with high levels of exercise.Workout Music Enhances Performance & MotivationResearch studies have shown that music can enhance performance, motivation and reduce exertion. Researchers first found that cyclists pedaled faster when a band was playing than when there was no music. A more recent study found that people who cycled to music required 7% less oxygen to do the same work as cyclists who didn’t synchronize their pedaling.  Another study found that swimmers with music got a 10% boost in motivation and a full 3-second improvement in performance.   So why wouldn’t you want to do everything you could to enhance your workout?Beats per Minute for Workout MusicNo matter what genre you like, the most common rhythm is about 120 beats per minute (BPM). Power walkers report enjoying 137-139 BPM, runners about 147-169 BPM, and cyclists about 135-170 BPM.  However, the BPM you choose for an activity depends on your mood and purpose for your workout.  Moving to synchronous music with a clear and steady beat can boost your performance by up to 15%, while listening to relaxing music, called asynchronous music, can reduce tension as much as 10%.Music Tied to MemoryMusic opens the floodgates of memories and emotions, working on the auditory – motor brain connection, so it’s important to have total control over what you listen to when you workout.  This covers the internal and external elements of music’s impact on exercise—our heart and our mind.Find Music for Your Next WorkoutTo enhance your performance and motivation, find the right music for your next workout.  With RockMyRun, you can choose the right tempo and genre for your music from more than one hundred music mixes by professional DJs.  Once you’ve found the right beat for you, get ready for an added dose of enhanced performance.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. 


Music…The Legal Performance Enhancing Drug

  ·  2 min

Music…The Legal Performance Enhancing Drug

Did you know that the leading expert about the psychology of exercise and music, Dr. Costas Karageorghis, calls music the “legal performance enhancing drug” of fitness and exercise?There have been a large number of studies about the effects of music on athletic performance since 1911 and these are the key findings:Music promotes emotional and physiological arousal.Music reduces fatigue, especially at moderate levels of exercise, by distracting us from our physical awareness.Music turbocharges our mind’s focus on performance and muscle memory and as the beat of music increases, power output and exercise intensity increases for mild to moderate ranges of exercise.Music improves our motor coordination as we move to the rhythm.Music relaxes us as a result of dampening byproduct molecules associated with high levels of exercise.Workout Music Enhances Performance & MotivationResearch studies have shown that music can enhance performance, motivation and reduce exertion. Researchers first found that cyclists pedaled faster when a band was playing than when there was no music. A more recent study found that people who cycled to music required 7% less oxygen to do the same work as cyclists who didn’t synchronize their pedaling.  Another study found that swimmers with music got a 10% boost in motivation and a full 3-second improvement in performance.   So why wouldn’t you want to do everything you could to enhance your workout?Beats per Minute for Workout MusicNo matter what genre you like, the most common rhythm is about 120 beats per minute (BPM). Power walkers report enjoying 137-139 BPM, runners about 147-169 BPM, and cyclists about 135-170 BPM.  However, the BPM you choose for an activity depends on your mood and purpose for your workout.  Moving to synchronous music with a clear and steady beat can boost your performance by up to 15%, while listening to relaxing music, called asynchronous music, can reduce tension as much as 10%.Music Tied to MemoryMusic opens the floodgates of memories and emotions, working on the auditory – motor brain connection, so it’s important to have total control over what you listen to when you workout.  This covers the internal and external elements of music’s impact on exercise—our heart and our mind.Find Music for Your Next WorkoutTo enhance your performance and motivation, find the right music for your next workout.  With RockMyRun, you can choose the right tempo and genre for your music from more than one hundred music mixes by professional DJs.  Once you’ve found the right beat for you, get ready for an added dose of enhanced performance.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. 


Creating Running Music Mixes – The Agony and the Ecstasy

  ·  4 min

Creating Running Music Mixes – The Agony and the Ecstasy

Any musician will tell you that whenever they create a piece of music, they pour their hearts and souls in their creation. Truly great music only comes about through the fusing of a musicians’ beliefs, emotions, influences and, of course, talents.While at Rock My Run we’re not creating the next Beethoven’s 5th Symphony (though sometimes we work like we are!), we do put a lot of time and energy into creating our mixes. They may not be double platinum albums, but many hours go into a mix that will help you as a runner have more energy, be more motivated and hopefully perform better.This blog post is to give you an idea of what the mix creation process entails and why it can be both incredibly frustrating and incredibly rewarding to create them for you.Part 1: The SongsIt all starts with inspirational songs. As DJ’s we are constantly hearing new music, seeing what new artists are coming up, what new songs are hitting on the radio and what underground or forgotten tracks we may be worth (re)discovering.Keep in mind though, not only do we hear the songs you hear on the radio, but we also are exposed to some of the amazing DJ mixes from other DJ’s around the world. A remix can take a pretty good song, like Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep” for example, and make it extraordinary. Often times the general public aren’t exposed to those mixes, and it’s our duty to brings these gems to your ears.Part 2: The OrderOnce the songlist is decided, it’s time to figure out the right order of the mix. This is especially key for us at Rock My Run – you want a different tempo, emotional reaction or vibe in different phases of your run and given these are seamless mixes and not playlists, we need to put the right songs in the right order so that you either get the right pick-me-up as you fatigue or don’t start off too quick and burn out.Take the mix “Sweat” by DJ JLouis for example: When he brings in “Rap Das Armas vs. Let The Bass Kick” from Lil Jon & Kassiano about 2/3rds the way through the mix, when you might be starting to tire, it’s done to help give you an added bit of motivation before the hitting the finish line. That track would not be nearly as good at the beginning of the mix, when you are just getting into the flow of your workout.Part 3: The Mixing(aka where the magic happens)With the songlist and order decided, it’s time for the DJ to really get down to business: Firing up the turntables, actually mixing the songs in a seamless manner and adding all those cool scratches, samples, loops and effects that only DJ’s can really do.This is by far the toughest part: not just mixing and the cool effects, but deciding when and how to mix from one track to the next. Do you leave a track to play for 3 minutes because it’s got such great energy? Or do you leave it on for only a minute so the runner gets a taste of the song and then moves on?Ah this my friends is the beauty of it! There is no one right answer, hence the art involved. And trust me, it can be agonizing to get it just right – so the tracks mix perfectly, there is no overlap on lyrics (nobody likes that!) and the energy remains consistent.Add to this the fact that most DJ’s are perfectionist and it can take anywhere from 10’s to 100’s of hours to put together a great, flawless DJ mix. Girl Talk, a DJ famous for his mashup mix sets has said before it can take 40 hours to do 1 min of a mix. Incredible!But at the end of this effort can be a great work of art – a mix that can stand the test of time and still be great running music years and years from now.So next time you are listening to one of our DJ mixes, take a moment to consider how it was created: There was a lot of TLC put in that mix to help you run faster, stronger and longer!


Creating Running Music Mixes – The Agony and the Ecstasy

  ·  4 min

Creating Running Music Mixes – The Agony and the Ecstasy

Any musician will tell you that whenever they create a piece of music, they pour their hearts and souls in their creation. Truly great music only comes about through the fusing of a musicians’ beliefs, emotions, influences and, of course, talents.While at Rock My Run we’re not creating the next Beethoven’s 5th Symphony (though sometimes we work like we are!), we do put a lot of time and energy into creating our mixes. They may not be double platinum albums, but many hours go into a mix that will help you as a runner have more energy, be more motivated and hopefully perform better.This blog post is to give you an idea of what the mix creation process entails and why it can be both incredibly frustrating and incredibly rewarding to create them for you.Part 1: The SongsIt all starts with inspirational songs. As DJ’s we are constantly hearing new music, seeing what new artists are coming up, what new songs are hitting on the radio and what underground or forgotten tracks we may be worth (re)discovering.Keep in mind though, not only do we hear the songs you hear on the radio, but we also are exposed to some of the amazing DJ mixes from other DJ’s around the world. A remix can take a pretty good song, like Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep” for example, and make it extraordinary. Often times the general public aren’t exposed to those mixes, and it’s our duty to brings these gems to your ears.Part 2: The OrderOnce the songlist is decided, it’s time to figure out the right order of the mix. This is especially key for us at Rock My Run – you want a different tempo, emotional reaction or vibe in different phases of your run and given these are seamless mixes and not playlists, we need to put the right songs in the right order so that you either get the right pick-me-up as you fatigue or don’t start off too quick and burn out.Take the mix “Sweat” by DJ JLouis for example: When he brings in “Rap Das Armas vs. Let The Bass Kick” from Lil Jon & Kassiano about 2/3rds the way through the mix, when you might be starting to tire, it’s done to help give you an added bit of motivation before the hitting the finish line. That track would not be nearly as good at the beginning of the mix, when you are just getting into the flow of your workout.Part 3: The Mixing(aka where the magic happens)With the songlist and order decided, it’s time for the DJ to really get down to business: Firing up the turntables, actually mixing the songs in a seamless manner and adding all those cool scratches, samples, loops and effects that only DJ’s can really do.This is by far the toughest part: not just mixing and the cool effects, but deciding when and how to mix from one track to the next. Do you leave a track to play for 3 minutes because it’s got such great energy? Or do you leave it on for only a minute so the runner gets a taste of the song and then moves on?Ah this my friends is the beauty of it! There is no one right answer, hence the art involved. And trust me, it can be agonizing to get it just right – so the tracks mix perfectly, there is no overlap on lyrics (nobody likes that!) and the energy remains consistent.Add to this the fact that most DJ’s are perfectionist and it can take anywhere from 10’s to 100’s of hours to put together a great, flawless DJ mix. Girl Talk, a DJ famous for his mashup mix sets has said before it can take 40 hours to do 1 min of a mix. Incredible!But at the end of this effort can be a great work of art – a mix that can stand the test of time and still be great running music years and years from now.So next time you are listening to one of our DJ mixes, take a moment to consider how it was created: There was a lot of TLC put in that mix to help you run faster, stronger and longer!


Your Go-To Treadmill Workout This Fall: Incline Sprints

  ·  2 min

Your Go-To Treadmill Workout This Fall: Incline Sprints

It’s that time of year again – the leaves start to change and the temperature starts to drop. While fall is beautiful, it means that soon cold weather will force us to kickoff treadmill season. For some, this is a welcomed change. For others, however, the ‘dreadmill’ is a last resort.Treadmills do however present us with benefits that road and trail running simply cannot. Here are four reasons to hop on a treadmill for your cardio this coming winter, as well as a killer treadmill workout to test out.Control. Treadmills allow you to control the speed and incline at which you’re running. Sure, you’re in control on the road, but with a treadmill you simply hit a button and it takes you where you want to be. There isn’t a guessing game as to what incline you’re running or how fast you’re going. I find this to be particularly helpful when I’m doing sprint or timed intervals.Efficient. The idea that every workout needs to be 90 minutes long is just wrong. If you work hard, you can get a great workout done in 30 minutes. Treadmills allow you to crank up speed and/or incline to levels that you probably wouldn’t hit out on the road.Variety. There are so many ways to change a workout using a treadmill. By altering your incline, speed or time intervals, you can come up with hundreds of workouts, all with their own unique settings. Some may think that treadmills are dull and repetitive, but with a little creativity, they are anything but boring.Weather. It’s always sunny and 75 on the treadmill. You don’t have to pack that extra pair of leggings when you’re running inside or need to worry about slipping on icy streets.This wouldn’t be much of a treadmill post if I didn’t also leave you with a solid workout to complete, would it? Well, you’re in luck. I’m leaving you with one of my favorite treadmill workouts. It targets both incline and speed, and keeps you changing things up to prevent boredom. *I use a Woodway treadmill that goes up to an incline of 25% and usually do 2 complete sets. With warmup and cooldown, it generally takes me almost exactly hour. Most treadmills will go up to 12-15% incline. If this is the case with you, I would recommend trying to do at least 2 sets. Also, if you’re pressed for time, you can also increase the speed, which will make it a MUCH more challenging workout.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.


Your Go-To Treadmill Workout This Fall: Incline Sprints

  ·  2 min

Your Go-To Treadmill Workout This Fall: Incline Sprints

It’s that time of year again – the leaves start to change and the temperature starts to drop. While fall is beautiful, it means that soon cold weather will force us to kickoff treadmill season. For some, this is a welcomed change. For others, however, the ‘dreadmill’ is a last resort.Treadmills do however present us with benefits that road and trail running simply cannot. Here are four reasons to hop on a treadmill for your cardio this coming winter, as well as a killer treadmill workout to test out.Control. Treadmills allow you to control the speed and incline at which you’re running. Sure, you’re in control on the road, but with a treadmill you simply hit a button and it takes you where you want to be. There isn’t a guessing game as to what incline you’re running or how fast you’re going. I find this to be particularly helpful when I’m doing sprint or timed intervals.Efficient. The idea that every workout needs to be 90 minutes long is just wrong. If you work hard, you can get a great workout done in 30 minutes. Treadmills allow you to crank up speed and/or incline to levels that you probably wouldn’t hit out on the road.Variety. There are so many ways to change a workout using a treadmill. By altering your incline, speed or time intervals, you can come up with hundreds of workouts, all with their own unique settings. Some may think that treadmills are dull and repetitive, but with a little creativity, they are anything but boring.Weather. It’s always sunny and 75 on the treadmill. You don’t have to pack that extra pair of leggings when you’re running inside or need to worry about slipping on icy streets.This wouldn’t be much of a treadmill post if I didn’t also leave you with a solid workout to complete, would it? Well, you’re in luck. I’m leaving you with one of my favorite treadmill workouts. It targets both incline and speed, and keeps you changing things up to prevent boredom. *I use a Woodway treadmill that goes up to an incline of 25% and usually do 2 complete sets. With warmup and cooldown, it generally takes me almost exactly hour. Most treadmills will go up to 12-15% incline. If this is the case with you, I would recommend trying to do at least 2 sets. Also, if you’re pressed for time, you can also increase the speed, which will make it a MUCH more challenging workout.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.


Cold as Ice…and Still Running

  ·  4 min

Cold as Ice…and Still Running

Baby, It’s Cold Outside is a Christmas song written in 1944 by Frank Loesser. It’s a conversation between a woman who has to go and a man who keeps telling her “But baby, it’s cold outside.”“I really can’t stay(But baby, it’s cold outside)I’ve got to go away(But baby, it’s cold outside)”Avoid the Common ExcusesIt’ll soon be cold out there with lots of excuses not to leave, to stay indoors, and surely not to exercise. Whether it’s Foreigner’s Cold as Ice, or Loesser’s Baby, It’s Cold Outside, there are many barriers to convince people that winter is a time to stay indoors and be sedentary.  It’s not. Of course winter activities can be challenging, but like everything else, “the link is what you think.”It’s just weather. If you think it’s a great opportunity to try new activities, to enjoy the crunch of falling leaves under your feet, to have snowball fights, or to do some hiking or jogging in the crisp fall air.  Then you’ll love the coming months and stay in shape.If you think instead that it’s too cold, that you’ll freeze to death, that you’ll get injured, that there isn’t enough daylight to be active, then you’ll surely believe it’s inevitable to put on some weight and be more sedentary.“The link is what you think.” I want you to think rationally, logically and accurately about the coming months wherever you live and use the fall and winter to think outside the box to keep your health, fitness and wellness levels up and move into next spring feeling great!Have a Positive MindsetSure some folks will deal with Seasonal Affective Disorder, but when the days grow short guess what helps? Running! It can promote the release of depression-fighting hormones leaving those suffering with this very real malady in better moods and feeling more positive.  And we know that positive thinking and a positive outlook, the kind that comes from physical activity, improves your overall health.Staying indoors, breathing all that heated air as many do during the colder months, isn’t the healthiest for your lungs or for your mind. Getting outside, properly dressed for the cold, enjoying the outdoor crisp air, gives you a chance to literally detox your mind and body. It doesn’t take as many changes as you might think to enjoy it all.So the first thing that’s needed is the right mindset. What do you enjoy about the fall and winter months? Keep your eye on those things.Fall and winter are great times to try on new activities, join new classes at your local gym, gain new skills, add new strength training activities and find new ways to integrate exercise and activities into your daily life.Some use the winter months to form a base, with activities that add to endurance.  Longer runs, along with swimming and cycling indoors will add to your volume.  Springtime is the time to build with added weight and resistance training, as well as more interval cardio training to increase speed and strength.  Summer and fall are great times to put it all into practice and get out there for your 5K, 10K, and marathon races.Get Prepared for Exercise OutdoorsExercising outdoors when it’s cold outside requires a bit of preparation to make your activities successful.  A few smart things you can do are:Dress properly in thin wicking insulating layers to prevent hypothermia and frostbite in some climates.Wear reflective gear or a headlamp for running in the dark.Put on a fleece or thermal hat to prevent 50% heat loss from your head.Keep your hands and feet warm with mittens, because you can lose 30% of your body heat through your extremities.Cover your face with a balaclava (ski mask).Carry some ChapStick.Plan a route with icy patches in mind.Always run with a buddy.Wear shoes that give you a bit more traction and are water-proof and socks that are wicking, not cotton, and made of wool or CoolMax.Get Active beyond Your WorkoutRemember that there are lots of everyday activities to rejuvenate you and give you more natural energy during your day, including:Shoveling snowWalking at lunchtime with friendsTaking the stairs instead of the elevatorParking further away from your destination or getting off the bus or subway a few stops earlierStaying active while indoors with physical movement during TV commercialsFind Music to Motivate YouWhen we think of the winter season, filled with holidays, music always tops the list along with food, friends and family get-togethers.  Crank up your RockMyRun mixes for the genre and beats per minute that inspire your body and soul, that promote your focus on your health and above all, to motivate you to enjoy the spirit of the season and the holidays happy, active and fit.What are your tips for staying active, once the temperatures drop outdoors?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. 


Cold as Ice…and Still Running

  ·  4 min

Cold as Ice…and Still Running

Baby, It’s Cold Outside is a Christmas song written in 1944 by Frank Loesser. It’s a conversation between a woman who has to go and a man who keeps telling her “But baby, it’s cold outside.”“I really can’t stay(But baby, it’s cold outside)I’ve got to go away(But baby, it’s cold outside)”Avoid the Common ExcusesIt’ll soon be cold out there with lots of excuses not to leave, to stay indoors, and surely not to exercise. Whether it’s Foreigner’s Cold as Ice, or Loesser’s Baby, It’s Cold Outside, there are many barriers to convince people that winter is a time to stay indoors and be sedentary.  It’s not. Of course winter activities can be challenging, but like everything else, “the link is what you think.”It’s just weather. If you think it’s a great opportunity to try new activities, to enjoy the crunch of falling leaves under your feet, to have snowball fights, or to do some hiking or jogging in the crisp fall air.  Then you’ll love the coming months and stay in shape.If you think instead that it’s too cold, that you’ll freeze to death, that you’ll get injured, that there isn’t enough daylight to be active, then you’ll surely believe it’s inevitable to put on some weight and be more sedentary.“The link is what you think.” I want you to think rationally, logically and accurately about the coming months wherever you live and use the fall and winter to think outside the box to keep your health, fitness and wellness levels up and move into next spring feeling great!Have a Positive MindsetSure some folks will deal with Seasonal Affective Disorder, but when the days grow short guess what helps? Running! It can promote the release of depression-fighting hormones leaving those suffering with this very real malady in better moods and feeling more positive.  And we know that positive thinking and a positive outlook, the kind that comes from physical activity, improves your overall health.Staying indoors, breathing all that heated air as many do during the colder months, isn’t the healthiest for your lungs or for your mind. Getting outside, properly dressed for the cold, enjoying the outdoor crisp air, gives you a chance to literally detox your mind and body. It doesn’t take as many changes as you might think to enjoy it all.So the first thing that’s needed is the right mindset. What do you enjoy about the fall and winter months? Keep your eye on those things.Fall and winter are great times to try on new activities, join new classes at your local gym, gain new skills, add new strength training activities and find new ways to integrate exercise and activities into your daily life.Some use the winter months to form a base, with activities that add to endurance.  Longer runs, along with swimming and cycling indoors will add to your volume.  Springtime is the time to build with added weight and resistance training, as well as more interval cardio training to increase speed and strength.  Summer and fall are great times to put it all into practice and get out there for your 5K, 10K, and marathon races.Get Prepared for Exercise OutdoorsExercising outdoors when it’s cold outside requires a bit of preparation to make your activities successful.  A few smart things you can do are:Dress properly in thin wicking insulating layers to prevent hypothermia and frostbite in some climates.Wear reflective gear or a headlamp for running in the dark.Put on a fleece or thermal hat to prevent 50% heat loss from your head.Keep your hands and feet warm with mittens, because you can lose 30% of your body heat through your extremities.Cover your face with a balaclava (ski mask).Carry some ChapStick.Plan a route with icy patches in mind.Always run with a buddy.Wear shoes that give you a bit more traction and are water-proof and socks that are wicking, not cotton, and made of wool or CoolMax.Get Active beyond Your WorkoutRemember that there are lots of everyday activities to rejuvenate you and give you more natural energy during your day, including:Shoveling snowWalking at lunchtime with friendsTaking the stairs instead of the elevatorParking further away from your destination or getting off the bus or subway a few stops earlierStaying active while indoors with physical movement during TV commercialsFind Music to Motivate YouWhen we think of the winter season, filled with holidays, music always tops the list along with food, friends and family get-togethers.  Crank up your RockMyRun mixes for the genre and beats per minute that inspire your body and soul, that promote your focus on your health and above all, to motivate you to enjoy the spirit of the season and the holidays happy, active and fit.What are your tips for staying active, once the temperatures drop outdoors?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. 


Think You Don’t Have Time to Exercise? Think Again.

  ·  5 min

Think You Don’t Have Time to Exercise? Think Again.

When it comes to finding time to exercise, let’s start with some facts. Each of us has 168 hours per week in life. Many of us work about 50 or so hours per week, sleep about 50-60 hours per week, spend another 15-20 hours each week on personal care and grooming, leaving most of us about 6+ hours each day to_____________________. Fill in the blank.We fill in our time with what’s most important to us. As I said in an article I wrote for Greatest: Many people who don’t work out regularly can rattle off many reasons they’re not motivated to exercise, from not understanding the benefits of activity to thoughts like “I’m too busy,” “I’m embarrassed by how I look,” “exercise is boring,” and so on. The folks who hold these (false) self-sabotaging beliefs often believe exercise doesn’t matter; they don’t enjoy it, or they simply have no interest in doing it. And, really, who could blame them? Who would be inspired to start a physical activity with negative thoughts running through their head? A person has to believe exercise is of value in order to build motivation to do it.Benefits of ExerciseAs you already know, there are many benefits of exercise:Weight managementHealth and disease managementMood and self-confidence enhancementEnergy boosterPromotes healthy sleepPuts oomph into your sex lifeReduces stress by increasing brain soothing chemicalsHelps your brain function betterSparks creativityYour muscles, lungs, diaphragm, heart, stomach, kidneys, skin, joints, agility, balance, coordination, endurance and strength will all “smile” and say thank you many years from now.Every Minute CountsToday we know that even brief bouts of exercise, just 10 minutes at a time or less, can add a great deal to your health and well being while also slimming your waistline. The good news, remarkable really, comes from researchers at the University of Utah who found that every minute of intense movement counts towards the magic number of 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity we are all supposed to achieve each week – but only 5% of us do. That’s 150 minutes out of the 48 or so hours we have available to us each week.The findings indicate that brief periods of intense activity are effective in preventing weight gain and promoting health as well as doing 10 minute+ intervals. Moderate to vigorous activity, by the way, is walking about 3 miles per hour, or 2,020 counts per minute on an accelerometer. Clearly, every minute you spend in intense activity, counts.This suggests that the data on the best time to workout may be ignoring an important element—your life. Sure there are those who believe that for A-list athletes aiming for performance it might be better to push heavy training to alter in the morning or afternoon, the fact is that most who adhere to exercise routines are early morning exercisers. Bottom line is whenever you enjoy hitting the gym or track, do it. There’s benefit throughout the day.Get Creative about Getting ActiveHow can you get in short bouts of more intense exercise and find the time to get in your 150 minutes or so a week? Try these tested ways:Like a good scout, always be prepared. Don’t leave your home without your workout clothes packedKeep your workouts scheduled in your day planner —make an appointment for yourself! Remember that every minute counts.Wake up earlier and get your health plan moving, and your heart rate pumping, at the start of the day.Park away from your office, get off the train, subway or bus a few blocks before your normal close stopWhen you watch TV, use the commercials as reminders to do your squats, lunges, push ups, burpees, jumping jacks, planks, and crunches during the one-minute break.  Keep hand weights next to your chair/couch, ride your stationary bike and never use the remote control to change volume or channel.Make your lawn mower your newest piece of fitness equipment—ever hear of Carioca mowing? It’s all in the step!Walk to the office of the person you’d normally call and keep a jump rope in your briefcase or office drawer too!Make your chores count by scrubbing with vigor, grinding and stirring with some beats per minute, vacuum-dance with energy, wash your own car with upper body pushes, and shovel the coming snow (if your health allows) in tune with your favorite RockMyRun music mix.While exercise is key, taking time for yourself every day is critical for your health, well being and longevity. It’s all in my CHAIR method I recently described in an article for Prevention.com.C stands for a deeply felt commitment to very specific goals. You see the goal; you know why you’re doing it.H is for healthier foods, healthy carbs and proteins, healthy fat. ‘Diet’ is a word I never use.  It has the word ‘die’ in it.A stands for activity.  Daily activity, daily tracking of food and exercise. If you track, you adhere. Shoot for 10,000 steps a day. But even raking leaves counts as activity.I is inner motivation—you have to have your ‘why.’  And it has to be internal to you.R is for a realistic set of goals. You need something very tangible, like you want to be off blood pressure medication—not just I want to lose some weight or tone up.At the end of the day it’s all about thinking. The ‘link’ is what you think.” When you think you don’t have the time ask yourself if what you think is True, Helpful, Inspirational, Necessary, Kind to yourself. Hey, that’s what “THINK” means! If your answer is “No,” then change your thought and get active. It only takes a minute!What tips to have to stay active?  I’d love to see your thoughts 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. 


Think You Don’t Have Time to Exercise? Think Again.

  ·  5 min

Think You Don’t Have Time to Exercise? Think Again.

When it comes to finding time to exercise, let’s start with some facts. Each of us has 168 hours per week in life. Many of us work about 50 or so hours per week, sleep about 50-60 hours per week, spend another 15-20 hours each week on personal care and grooming, leaving most of us about 6+ hours each day to_____________________. Fill in the blank.We fill in our time with what’s most important to us. As I said in an article I wrote for Greatest: Many people who don’t work out regularly can rattle off many reasons they’re not motivated to exercise, from not understanding the benefits of activity to thoughts like “I’m too busy,” “I’m embarrassed by how I look,” “exercise is boring,” and so on. The folks who hold these (false) self-sabotaging beliefs often believe exercise doesn’t matter; they don’t enjoy it, or they simply have no interest in doing it. And, really, who could blame them? Who would be inspired to start a physical activity with negative thoughts running through their head? A person has to believe exercise is of value in order to build motivation to do it.Benefits of ExerciseAs you already know, there are many benefits of exercise:Weight managementHealth and disease managementMood and self-confidence enhancementEnergy boosterPromotes healthy sleepPuts oomph into your sex lifeReduces stress by increasing brain soothing chemicalsHelps your brain function betterSparks creativityYour muscles, lungs, diaphragm, heart, stomach, kidneys, skin, joints, agility, balance, coordination, endurance and strength will all “smile” and say thank you many years from now.Every Minute CountsToday we know that even brief bouts of exercise, just 10 minutes at a time or less, can add a great deal to your health and well being while also slimming your waistline. The good news, remarkable really, comes from researchers at the University of Utah who found that every minute of intense movement counts towards the magic number of 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity we are all supposed to achieve each week – but only 5% of us do. That’s 150 minutes out of the 48 or so hours we have available to us each week.The findings indicate that brief periods of intense activity are effective in preventing weight gain and promoting health as well as doing 10 minute+ intervals. Moderate to vigorous activity, by the way, is walking about 3 miles per hour, or 2,020 counts per minute on an accelerometer. Clearly, every minute you spend in intense activity, counts.This suggests that the data on the best time to workout may be ignoring an important element—your life. Sure there are those who believe that for A-list athletes aiming for performance it might be better to push heavy training to alter in the morning or afternoon, the fact is that most who adhere to exercise routines are early morning exercisers. Bottom line is whenever you enjoy hitting the gym or track, do it. There’s benefit throughout the day.Get Creative about Getting ActiveHow can you get in short bouts of more intense exercise and find the time to get in your 150 minutes or so a week? Try these tested ways:Like a good scout, always be prepared. Don’t leave your home without your workout clothes packedKeep your workouts scheduled in your day planner —make an appointment for yourself! Remember that every minute counts.Wake up earlier and get your health plan moving, and your heart rate pumping, at the start of the day.Park away from your office, get off the train, subway or bus a few blocks before your normal close stopWhen you watch TV, use the commercials as reminders to do your squats, lunges, push ups, burpees, jumping jacks, planks, and crunches during the one-minute break.  Keep hand weights next to your chair/couch, ride your stationary bike and never use the remote control to change volume or channel.Make your lawn mower your newest piece of fitness equipment—ever hear of Carioca mowing? It’s all in the step!Walk to the office of the person you’d normally call and keep a jump rope in your briefcase or office drawer too!Make your chores count by scrubbing with vigor, grinding and stirring with some beats per minute, vacuum-dance with energy, wash your own car with upper body pushes, and shovel the coming snow (if your health allows) in tune with your favorite RockMyRun music mix.While exercise is key, taking time for yourself every day is critical for your health, well being and longevity. It’s all in my CHAIR method I recently described in an article for Prevention.com.C stands for a deeply felt commitment to very specific goals. You see the goal; you know why you’re doing it.H is for healthier foods, healthy carbs and proteins, healthy fat. ‘Diet’ is a word I never use.  It has the word ‘die’ in it.A stands for activity.  Daily activity, daily tracking of food and exercise. If you track, you adhere. Shoot for 10,000 steps a day. But even raking leaves counts as activity.I is inner motivation—you have to have your ‘why.’  And it has to be internal to you.R is for a realistic set of goals. You need something very tangible, like you want to be off blood pressure medication—not just I want to lose some weight or tone up.At the end of the day it’s all about thinking. The ‘link’ is what you think.” When you think you don’t have the time ask yourself if what you think is True, Helpful, Inspirational, Necessary, Kind to yourself. Hey, that’s what “THINK” means! If your answer is “No,” then change your thought and get active. It only takes a minute!What tips to have to stay active?  I’d love to see your thoughts 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. 


Music…The Legal Performance Enhancing Drug

  ·  2 min

Music…The Legal Performance Enhancing Drug

Did you know that the leading expert about the psychology of exercise and music, Dr. Costas Karageorghis, calls music the “legal performance enhancing drug” of fitness and exercise?There have been a large number of studies about the effects of music on athletic performance since 1911 and these are the key findings:Music promotes emotional and physiological arousal.Music reduces fatigue, especially at moderate levels of exercise, by distracting us from our physical awareness.Music turbocharges our mind’s focus on performance and muscle memory and as the beat of music increases, power output and exercise intensity increases for mild to moderate ranges of exercise.Music improves our motor coordination as we move to the rhythm.Music relaxes us as a result of dampening byproduct molecules associated with high levels of exercise.Workout Music Enhances Performance & MotivationResearch studies have shown that music can enhance performance, motivation and reduce exertion. Researchers first found that cyclists pedaled faster when a band was playing than when there was no music. A more recent study found that people who cycled to music required 7% less oxygen to do the same work as cyclists who didn’t synchronize their pedaling.  Another study found that swimmers with music got a 10% boost in motivation and a full 3-second improvement in performance.   So why wouldn’t you want to do everything you could to enhance your workout?Beats per Minute for Workout MusicNo matter what genre you like, the most common rhythm is about 120 beats per minute (BPM). Power walkers report enjoying 137-139 BPM, runners about 147-169 BPM, and cyclists about 135-170 BPM.  However, the BPM you choose for an activity depends on your mood and purpose for your workout.  Moving to synchronous music with a clear and steady beat can boost your performance by up to 15%, while listening to relaxing music, called asynchronous music, can reduce tension as much as 10%.Music Tied to MemoryMusic opens the floodgates of memories and emotions, working on the auditory – motor brain connection, so it’s important to have total control over what you listen to when you workout.  This covers the internal and external elements of music’s impact on exercise—our heart and our mind.Find Music for Your Next WorkoutTo enhance your performance and motivation, find the right music for your next workout.  With RockMyRun, you can choose the right tempo and genre for your music from more than one hundred music mixes by professional DJs.  Once you’ve found the right beat for you, get ready for an added dose of enhanced performance.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. 


Music…The Legal Performance Enhancing Drug

  ·  2 min

Music…The Legal Performance Enhancing Drug

Did you know that the leading expert about the psychology of exercise and music, Dr. Costas Karageorghis, calls music the “legal performance enhancing drug” of fitness and exercise?There have been a large number of studies about the effects of music on athletic performance since 1911 and these are the key findings:Music promotes emotional and physiological arousal.Music reduces fatigue, especially at moderate levels of exercise, by distracting us from our physical awareness.Music turbocharges our mind’s focus on performance and muscle memory and as the beat of music increases, power output and exercise intensity increases for mild to moderate ranges of exercise.Music improves our motor coordination as we move to the rhythm.Music relaxes us as a result of dampening byproduct molecules associated with high levels of exercise.Workout Music Enhances Performance & MotivationResearch studies have shown that music can enhance performance, motivation and reduce exertion. Researchers first found that cyclists pedaled faster when a band was playing than when there was no music. A more recent study found that people who cycled to music required 7% less oxygen to do the same work as cyclists who didn’t synchronize their pedaling.  Another study found that swimmers with music got a 10% boost in motivation and a full 3-second improvement in performance.   So why wouldn’t you want to do everything you could to enhance your workout?Beats per Minute for Workout MusicNo matter what genre you like, the most common rhythm is about 120 beats per minute (BPM). Power walkers report enjoying 137-139 BPM, runners about 147-169 BPM, and cyclists about 135-170 BPM.  However, the BPM you choose for an activity depends on your mood and purpose for your workout.  Moving to synchronous music with a clear and steady beat can boost your performance by up to 15%, while listening to relaxing music, called asynchronous music, can reduce tension as much as 10%.Music Tied to MemoryMusic opens the floodgates of memories and emotions, working on the auditory – motor brain connection, so it’s important to have total control over what you listen to when you workout.  This covers the internal and external elements of music’s impact on exercise—our heart and our mind.Find Music for Your Next WorkoutTo enhance your performance and motivation, find the right music for your next workout.  With RockMyRun, you can choose the right tempo and genre for your music from more than one hundred music mixes by professional DJs.  Once you’ve found the right beat for you, get ready for an added dose of enhanced performance.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. 


Creating Running Music Mixes – The Agony and the Ecstasy

  ·  4 min

Creating Running Music Mixes – The Agony and the Ecstasy

Any musician will tell you that whenever they create a piece of music, they pour their hearts and souls in their creation. Truly great music only comes about through the fusing of a musicians’ beliefs, emotions, influences and, of course, talents.While at Rock My Run we’re not creating the next Beethoven’s 5th Symphony (though sometimes we work like we are!), we do put a lot of time and energy into creating our mixes. They may not be double platinum albums, but many hours go into a mix that will help you as a runner have more energy, be more motivated and hopefully perform better.This blog post is to give you an idea of what the mix creation process entails and why it can be both incredibly frustrating and incredibly rewarding to create them for you.Part 1: The SongsIt all starts with inspirational songs. As DJ’s we are constantly hearing new music, seeing what new artists are coming up, what new songs are hitting on the radio and what underground or forgotten tracks we may be worth (re)discovering.Keep in mind though, not only do we hear the songs you hear on the radio, but we also are exposed to some of the amazing DJ mixes from other DJ’s around the world. A remix can take a pretty good song, like Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep” for example, and make it extraordinary. Often times the general public aren’t exposed to those mixes, and it’s our duty to brings these gems to your ears.Part 2: The OrderOnce the songlist is decided, it’s time to figure out the right order of the mix. This is especially key for us at Rock My Run – you want a different tempo, emotional reaction or vibe in different phases of your run and given these are seamless mixes and not playlists, we need to put the right songs in the right order so that you either get the right pick-me-up as you fatigue or don’t start off too quick and burn out.Take the mix “Sweat” by DJ JLouis for example: When he brings in “Rap Das Armas vs. Let The Bass Kick” from Lil Jon & Kassiano about 2/3rds the way through the mix, when you might be starting to tire, it’s done to help give you an added bit of motivation before the hitting the finish line. That track would not be nearly as good at the beginning of the mix, when you are just getting into the flow of your workout.Part 3: The Mixing(aka where the magic happens)With the songlist and order decided, it’s time for the DJ to really get down to business: Firing up the turntables, actually mixing the songs in a seamless manner and adding all those cool scratches, samples, loops and effects that only DJ’s can really do.This is by far the toughest part: not just mixing and the cool effects, but deciding when and how to mix from one track to the next. Do you leave a track to play for 3 minutes because it’s got such great energy? Or do you leave it on for only a minute so the runner gets a taste of the song and then moves on?Ah this my friends is the beauty of it! There is no one right answer, hence the art involved. And trust me, it can be agonizing to get it just right – so the tracks mix perfectly, there is no overlap on lyrics (nobody likes that!) and the energy remains consistent.Add to this the fact that most DJ’s are perfectionist and it can take anywhere from 10’s to 100’s of hours to put together a great, flawless DJ mix. Girl Talk, a DJ famous for his mashup mix sets has said before it can take 40 hours to do 1 min of a mix. Incredible!But at the end of this effort can be a great work of art – a mix that can stand the test of time and still be great running music years and years from now.So next time you are listening to one of our DJ mixes, take a moment to consider how it was created: There was a lot of TLC put in that mix to help you run faster, stronger and longer!


Creating Running Music Mixes – The Agony and the Ecstasy

  ·  4 min

Creating Running Music Mixes – The Agony and the Ecstasy

Any musician will tell you that whenever they create a piece of music, they pour their hearts and souls in their creation. Truly great music only comes about through the fusing of a musicians’ beliefs, emotions, influences and, of course, talents.While at Rock My Run we’re not creating the next Beethoven’s 5th Symphony (though sometimes we work like we are!), we do put a lot of time and energy into creating our mixes. They may not be double platinum albums, but many hours go into a mix that will help you as a runner have more energy, be more motivated and hopefully perform better.This blog post is to give you an idea of what the mix creation process entails and why it can be both incredibly frustrating and incredibly rewarding to create them for you.Part 1: The SongsIt all starts with inspirational songs. As DJ’s we are constantly hearing new music, seeing what new artists are coming up, what new songs are hitting on the radio and what underground or forgotten tracks we may be worth (re)discovering.Keep in mind though, not only do we hear the songs you hear on the radio, but we also are exposed to some of the amazing DJ mixes from other DJ’s around the world. A remix can take a pretty good song, like Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep” for example, and make it extraordinary. Often times the general public aren’t exposed to those mixes, and it’s our duty to brings these gems to your ears.Part 2: The OrderOnce the songlist is decided, it’s time to figure out the right order of the mix. This is especially key for us at Rock My Run – you want a different tempo, emotional reaction or vibe in different phases of your run and given these are seamless mixes and not playlists, we need to put the right songs in the right order so that you either get the right pick-me-up as you fatigue or don’t start off too quick and burn out.Take the mix “Sweat” by DJ JLouis for example: When he brings in “Rap Das Armas vs. Let The Bass Kick” from Lil Jon & Kassiano about 2/3rds the way through the mix, when you might be starting to tire, it’s done to help give you an added bit of motivation before the hitting the finish line. That track would not be nearly as good at the beginning of the mix, when you are just getting into the flow of your workout.Part 3: The Mixing(aka where the magic happens)With the songlist and order decided, it’s time for the DJ to really get down to business: Firing up the turntables, actually mixing the songs in a seamless manner and adding all those cool scratches, samples, loops and effects that only DJ’s can really do.This is by far the toughest part: not just mixing and the cool effects, but deciding when and how to mix from one track to the next. Do you leave a track to play for 3 minutes because it’s got such great energy? Or do you leave it on for only a minute so the runner gets a taste of the song and then moves on?Ah this my friends is the beauty of it! There is no one right answer, hence the art involved. And trust me, it can be agonizing to get it just right – so the tracks mix perfectly, there is no overlap on lyrics (nobody likes that!) and the energy remains consistent.Add to this the fact that most DJ’s are perfectionist and it can take anywhere from 10’s to 100’s of hours to put together a great, flawless DJ mix. Girl Talk, a DJ famous for his mashup mix sets has said before it can take 40 hours to do 1 min of a mix. Incredible!But at the end of this effort can be a great work of art – a mix that can stand the test of time and still be great running music years and years from now.So next time you are listening to one of our DJ mixes, take a moment to consider how it was created: There was a lot of TLC put in that mix to help you run faster, stronger and longer!


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Your Go-To Treadmill Workout This Fall: Incline Sprints

  ·  2 min

Your Go-To Treadmill Workout This Fall: Incline Sprints

It’s that time of year again – the leaves start to change and the temperature starts to drop. While fall is beautiful, it means that soon cold weather will force us to kickoff treadmill season. For some, this is a welcomed change. For others, however, the ‘dreadmill’ is a last resort.Treadmills do however present us with benefits that road and trail running simply cannot. Here are four reasons to hop on a treadmill for your cardio this coming winter, as well as a killer treadmill workout to test out.Control. Treadmills allow you to control the speed and incline at which you’re running. Sure, you’re in control on the road, but with a treadmill you simply hit a button and it takes you where you want to be. There isn’t a guessing game as to what incline you’re running or how fast you’re going. I find this to be particularly helpful when I’m doing sprint or timed intervals.Efficient. The idea that every workout needs to be 90 minutes long is just wrong. If you work hard, you can get a great workout done in 30 minutes. Treadmills allow you to crank up speed and/or incline to levels that you probably wouldn’t hit out on the road.Variety. There are so many ways to change a workout using a treadmill. By altering your incline, speed or time intervals, you can come up with hundreds of workouts, all with their own unique settings. Some may think that treadmills are dull and repetitive, but with a little creativity, they are anything but boring.Weather. It’s always sunny and 75 on the treadmill. You don’t have to pack that extra pair of leggings when you’re running inside or need to worry about slipping on icy streets.This wouldn’t be much of a treadmill post if I didn’t also leave you with a solid workout to complete, would it? Well, you’re in luck. I’m leaving you with one of my favorite treadmill workouts. It targets both incline and speed, and keeps you changing things up to prevent boredom. *I use a Woodway treadmill that goes up to an incline of 25% and usually do 2 complete sets. With warmup and cooldown, it generally takes me almost exactly hour. Most treadmills will go up to 12-15% incline. If this is the case with you, I would recommend trying to do at least 2 sets. Also, if you’re pressed for time, you can also increase the speed, which will make it a MUCH more challenging workout.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.


Your Go-To Treadmill Workout This Fall: Incline Sprints

  ·  2 min

Your Go-To Treadmill Workout This Fall: Incline Sprints

It’s that time of year again – the leaves start to change and the temperature starts to drop. While fall is beautiful, it means that soon cold weather will force us to kickoff treadmill season. For some, this is a welcomed change. For others, however, the ‘dreadmill’ is a last resort.Treadmills do however present us with benefits that road and trail running simply cannot. Here are four reasons to hop on a treadmill for your cardio this coming winter, as well as a killer treadmill workout to test out.Control. Treadmills allow you to control the speed and incline at which you’re running. Sure, you’re in control on the road, but with a treadmill you simply hit a button and it takes you where you want to be. There isn’t a guessing game as to what incline you’re running or how fast you’re going. I find this to be particularly helpful when I’m doing sprint or timed intervals.Efficient. The idea that every workout needs to be 90 minutes long is just wrong. If you work hard, you can get a great workout done in 30 minutes. Treadmills allow you to crank up speed and/or incline to levels that you probably wouldn’t hit out on the road.Variety. There are so many ways to change a workout using a treadmill. By altering your incline, speed or time intervals, you can come up with hundreds of workouts, all with their own unique settings. Some may think that treadmills are dull and repetitive, but with a little creativity, they are anything but boring.Weather. It’s always sunny and 75 on the treadmill. You don’t have to pack that extra pair of leggings when you’re running inside or need to worry about slipping on icy streets.This wouldn’t be much of a treadmill post if I didn’t also leave you with a solid workout to complete, would it? Well, you’re in luck. I’m leaving you with one of my favorite treadmill workouts. It targets both incline and speed, and keeps you changing things up to prevent boredom. *I use a Woodway treadmill that goes up to an incline of 25% and usually do 2 complete sets. With warmup and cooldown, it generally takes me almost exactly hour. Most treadmills will go up to 12-15% incline. If this is the case with you, I would recommend trying to do at least 2 sets. Also, if you’re pressed for time, you can also increase the speed, which will make it a MUCH more challenging workout.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.


Cold as Ice…and Still Running

  ·  4 min

Cold as Ice…and Still Running

Baby, It’s Cold Outside is a Christmas song written in 1944 by Frank Loesser. It’s a conversation between a woman who has to go and a man who keeps telling her “But baby, it’s cold outside.”“I really can’t stay(But baby, it’s cold outside)I’ve got to go away(But baby, it’s cold outside)”Avoid the Common ExcusesIt’ll soon be cold out there with lots of excuses not to leave, to stay indoors, and surely not to exercise. Whether it’s Foreigner’s Cold as Ice, or Loesser’s Baby, It’s Cold Outside, there are many barriers to convince people that winter is a time to stay indoors and be sedentary.  It’s not. Of course winter activities can be challenging, but like everything else, “the link is what you think.”It’s just weather. If you think it’s a great opportunity to try new activities, to enjoy the crunch of falling leaves under your feet, to have snowball fights, or to do some hiking or jogging in the crisp fall air.  Then you’ll love the coming months and stay in shape.If you think instead that it’s too cold, that you’ll freeze to death, that you’ll get injured, that there isn’t enough daylight to be active, then you’ll surely believe it’s inevitable to put on some weight and be more sedentary.“The link is what you think.” I want you to think rationally, logically and accurately about the coming months wherever you live and use the fall and winter to think outside the box to keep your health, fitness and wellness levels up and move into next spring feeling great!Have a Positive MindsetSure some folks will deal with Seasonal Affective Disorder, but when the days grow short guess what helps? Running! It can promote the release of depression-fighting hormones leaving those suffering with this very real malady in better moods and feeling more positive.  And we know that positive thinking and a positive outlook, the kind that comes from physical activity, improves your overall health.Staying indoors, breathing all that heated air as many do during the colder months, isn’t the healthiest for your lungs or for your mind. Getting outside, properly dressed for the cold, enjoying the outdoor crisp air, gives you a chance to literally detox your mind and body. It doesn’t take as many changes as you might think to enjoy it all.So the first thing that’s needed is the right mindset. What do you enjoy about the fall and winter months? Keep your eye on those things.Fall and winter are great times to try on new activities, join new classes at your local gym, gain new skills, add new strength training activities and find new ways to integrate exercise and activities into your daily life.Some use the winter months to form a base, with activities that add to endurance.  Longer runs, along with swimming and cycling indoors will add to your volume.  Springtime is the time to build with added weight and resistance training, as well as more interval cardio training to increase speed and strength.  Summer and fall are great times to put it all into practice and get out there for your 5K, 10K, and marathon races.Get Prepared for Exercise OutdoorsExercising outdoors when it’s cold outside requires a bit of preparation to make your activities successful.  A few smart things you can do are:Dress properly in thin wicking insulating layers to prevent hypothermia and frostbite in some climates.Wear reflective gear or a headlamp for running in the dark.Put on a fleece or thermal hat to prevent 50% heat loss from your head.Keep your hands and feet warm with mittens, because you can lose 30% of your body heat through your extremities.Cover your face with a balaclava (ski mask).Carry some ChapStick.Plan a route with icy patches in mind.Always run with a buddy.Wear shoes that give you a bit more traction and are water-proof and socks that are wicking, not cotton, and made of wool or CoolMax.Get Active beyond Your WorkoutRemember that there are lots of everyday activities to rejuvenate you and give you more natural energy during your day, including:Shoveling snowWalking at lunchtime with friendsTaking the stairs instead of the elevatorParking further away from your destination or getting off the bus or subway a few stops earlierStaying active while indoors with physical movement during TV commercialsFind Music to Motivate YouWhen we think of the winter season, filled with holidays, music always tops the list along with food, friends and family get-togethers.  Crank up your RockMyRun mixes for the genre and beats per minute that inspire your body and soul, that promote your focus on your health and above all, to motivate you to enjoy the spirit of the season and the holidays happy, active and fit.What are your tips for staying active, once the temperatures drop outdoors?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. 


Cold as Ice…and Still Running

  ·  4 min

Cold as Ice…and Still Running

Baby, It’s Cold Outside is a Christmas song written in 1944 by Frank Loesser. It’s a conversation between a woman who has to go and a man who keeps telling her “But baby, it’s cold outside.”“I really can’t stay(But baby, it’s cold outside)I’ve got to go away(But baby, it’s cold outside)”Avoid the Common ExcusesIt’ll soon be cold out there with lots of excuses not to leave, to stay indoors, and surely not to exercise. Whether it’s Foreigner’s Cold as Ice, or Loesser’s Baby, It’s Cold Outside, there are many barriers to convince people that winter is a time to stay indoors and be sedentary.  It’s not. Of course winter activities can be challenging, but like everything else, “the link is what you think.”It’s just weather. If you think it’s a great opportunity to try new activities, to enjoy the crunch of falling leaves under your feet, to have snowball fights, or to do some hiking or jogging in the crisp fall air.  Then you’ll love the coming months and stay in shape.If you think instead that it’s too cold, that you’ll freeze to death, that you’ll get injured, that there isn’t enough daylight to be active, then you’ll surely believe it’s inevitable to put on some weight and be more sedentary.“The link is what you think.” I want you to think rationally, logically and accurately about the coming months wherever you live and use the fall and winter to think outside the box to keep your health, fitness and wellness levels up and move into next spring feeling great!Have a Positive MindsetSure some folks will deal with Seasonal Affective Disorder, but when the days grow short guess what helps? Running! It can promote the release of depression-fighting hormones leaving those suffering with this very real malady in better moods and feeling more positive.  And we know that positive thinking and a positive outlook, the kind that comes from physical activity, improves your overall health.Staying indoors, breathing all that heated air as many do during the colder months, isn’t the healthiest for your lungs or for your mind. Getting outside, properly dressed for the cold, enjoying the outdoor crisp air, gives you a chance to literally detox your mind and body. It doesn’t take as many changes as you might think to enjoy it all.So the first thing that’s needed is the right mindset. What do you enjoy about the fall and winter months? Keep your eye on those things.Fall and winter are great times to try on new activities, join new classes at your local gym, gain new skills, add new strength training activities and find new ways to integrate exercise and activities into your daily life.Some use the winter months to form a base, with activities that add to endurance.  Longer runs, along with swimming and cycling indoors will add to your volume.  Springtime is the time to build with added weight and resistance training, as well as more interval cardio training to increase speed and strength.  Summer and fall are great times to put it all into practice and get out there for your 5K, 10K, and marathon races.Get Prepared for Exercise OutdoorsExercising outdoors when it’s cold outside requires a bit of preparation to make your activities successful.  A few smart things you can do are:Dress properly in thin wicking insulating layers to prevent hypothermia and frostbite in some climates.Wear reflective gear or a headlamp for running in the dark.Put on a fleece or thermal hat to prevent 50% heat loss from your head.Keep your hands and feet warm with mittens, because you can lose 30% of your body heat through your extremities.Cover your face with a balaclava (ski mask).Carry some ChapStick.Plan a route with icy patches in mind.Always run with a buddy.Wear shoes that give you a bit more traction and are water-proof and socks that are wicking, not cotton, and made of wool or CoolMax.Get Active beyond Your WorkoutRemember that there are lots of everyday activities to rejuvenate you and give you more natural energy during your day, including:Shoveling snowWalking at lunchtime with friendsTaking the stairs instead of the elevatorParking further away from your destination or getting off the bus or subway a few stops earlierStaying active while indoors with physical movement during TV commercialsFind Music to Motivate YouWhen we think of the winter season, filled with holidays, music always tops the list along with food, friends and family get-togethers.  Crank up your RockMyRun mixes for the genre and beats per minute that inspire your body and soul, that promote your focus on your health and above all, to motivate you to enjoy the spirit of the season and the holidays happy, active and fit.What are your tips for staying active, once the temperatures drop outdoors?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. 


Think You Don’t Have Time to Exercise? Think Again.

  ·  5 min

Think You Don’t Have Time to Exercise? Think Again.

When it comes to finding time to exercise, let’s start with some facts. Each of us has 168 hours per week in life. Many of us work about 50 or so hours per week, sleep about 50-60 hours per week, spend another 15-20 hours each week on personal care and grooming, leaving most of us about 6+ hours each day to_____________________. Fill in the blank.We fill in our time with what’s most important to us. As I said in an article I wrote for Greatest: Many people who don’t work out regularly can rattle off many reasons they’re not motivated to exercise, from not understanding the benefits of activity to thoughts like “I’m too busy,” “I’m embarrassed by how I look,” “exercise is boring,” and so on. The folks who hold these (false) self-sabotaging beliefs often believe exercise doesn’t matter; they don’t enjoy it, or they simply have no interest in doing it. And, really, who could blame them? Who would be inspired to start a physical activity with negative thoughts running through their head? A person has to believe exercise is of value in order to build motivation to do it.Benefits of ExerciseAs you already know, there are many benefits of exercise:Weight managementHealth and disease managementMood and self-confidence enhancementEnergy boosterPromotes healthy sleepPuts oomph into your sex lifeReduces stress by increasing brain soothing chemicalsHelps your brain function betterSparks creativityYour muscles, lungs, diaphragm, heart, stomach, kidneys, skin, joints, agility, balance, coordination, endurance and strength will all “smile” and say thank you many years from now.Every Minute CountsToday we know that even brief bouts of exercise, just 10 minutes at a time or less, can add a great deal to your health and well being while also slimming your waistline. The good news, remarkable really, comes from researchers at the University of Utah who found that every minute of intense movement counts towards the magic number of 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity we are all supposed to achieve each week – but only 5% of us do. That’s 150 minutes out of the 48 or so hours we have available to us each week.The findings indicate that brief periods of intense activity are effective in preventing weight gain and promoting health as well as doing 10 minute+ intervals. Moderate to vigorous activity, by the way, is walking about 3 miles per hour, or 2,020 counts per minute on an accelerometer. Clearly, every minute you spend in intense activity, counts.This suggests that the data on the best time to workout may be ignoring an important element—your life. Sure there are those who believe that for A-list athletes aiming for performance it might be better to push heavy training to alter in the morning or afternoon, the fact is that most who adhere to exercise routines are early morning exercisers. Bottom line is whenever you enjoy hitting the gym or track, do it. There’s benefit throughout the day.Get Creative about Getting ActiveHow can you get in short bouts of more intense exercise and find the time to get in your 150 minutes or so a week? Try these tested ways:Like a good scout, always be prepared. Don’t leave your home without your workout clothes packedKeep your workouts scheduled in your day planner —make an appointment for yourself! Remember that every minute counts.Wake up earlier and get your health plan moving, and your heart rate pumping, at the start of the day.Park away from your office, get off the train, subway or bus a few blocks before your normal close stopWhen you watch TV, use the commercials as reminders to do your squats, lunges, push ups, burpees, jumping jacks, planks, and crunches during the one-minute break.  Keep hand weights next to your chair/couch, ride your stationary bike and never use the remote control to change volume or channel.Make your lawn mower your newest piece of fitness equipment—ever hear of Carioca mowing? It’s all in the step!Walk to the office of the person you’d normally call and keep a jump rope in your briefcase or office drawer too!Make your chores count by scrubbing with vigor, grinding and stirring with some beats per minute, vacuum-dance with energy, wash your own car with upper body pushes, and shovel the coming snow (if your health allows) in tune with your favorite RockMyRun music mix.While exercise is key, taking time for yourself every day is critical for your health, well being and longevity. It’s all in my CHAIR method I recently described in an article for Prevention.com.C stands for a deeply felt commitment to very specific goals. You see the goal; you know why you’re doing it.H is for healthier foods, healthy carbs and proteins, healthy fat. ‘Diet’ is a word I never use.  It has the word ‘die’ in it.A stands for activity.  Daily activity, daily tracking of food and exercise. If you track, you adhere. Shoot for 10,000 steps a day. But even raking leaves counts as activity.I is inner motivation—you have to have your ‘why.’  And it has to be internal to you.R is for a realistic set of goals. You need something very tangible, like you want to be off blood pressure medication—not just I want to lose some weight or tone up.At the end of the day it’s all about thinking. The ‘link’ is what you think.” When you think you don’t have the time ask yourself if what you think is True, Helpful, Inspirational, Necessary, Kind to yourself. Hey, that’s what “THINK” means! If your answer is “No,” then change your thought and get active. It only takes a minute!What tips to have to stay active?  I’d love to see your thoughts 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. 


Think You Don’t Have Time to Exercise? Think Again.

  ·  5 min

Think You Don’t Have Time to Exercise? Think Again.

When it comes to finding time to exercise, let’s start with some facts. Each of us has 168 hours per week in life. Many of us work about 50 or so hours per week, sleep about 50-60 hours per week, spend another 15-20 hours each week on personal care and grooming, leaving most of us about 6+ hours each day to_____________________. Fill in the blank.We fill in our time with what’s most important to us. As I said in an article I wrote for Greatest: Many people who don’t work out regularly can rattle off many reasons they’re not motivated to exercise, from not understanding the benefits of activity to thoughts like “I’m too busy,” “I’m embarrassed by how I look,” “exercise is boring,” and so on. The folks who hold these (false) self-sabotaging beliefs often believe exercise doesn’t matter; they don’t enjoy it, or they simply have no interest in doing it. And, really, who could blame them? Who would be inspired to start a physical activity with negative thoughts running through their head? A person has to believe exercise is of value in order to build motivation to do it.Benefits of ExerciseAs you already know, there are many benefits of exercise:Weight managementHealth and disease managementMood and self-confidence enhancementEnergy boosterPromotes healthy sleepPuts oomph into your sex lifeReduces stress by increasing brain soothing chemicalsHelps your brain function betterSparks creativityYour muscles, lungs, diaphragm, heart, stomach, kidneys, skin, joints, agility, balance, coordination, endurance and strength will all “smile” and say thank you many years from now.Every Minute CountsToday we know that even brief bouts of exercise, just 10 minutes at a time or less, can add a great deal to your health and well being while also slimming your waistline. The good news, remarkable really, comes from researchers at the University of Utah who found that every minute of intense movement counts towards the magic number of 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity we are all supposed to achieve each week – but only 5% of us do. That’s 150 minutes out of the 48 or so hours we have available to us each week.The findings indicate that brief periods of intense activity are effective in preventing weight gain and promoting health as well as doing 10 minute+ intervals. Moderate to vigorous activity, by the way, is walking about 3 miles per hour, or 2,020 counts per minute on an accelerometer. Clearly, every minute you spend in intense activity, counts.This suggests that the data on the best time to workout may be ignoring an important element—your life. Sure there are those who believe that for A-list athletes aiming for performance it might be better to push heavy training to alter in the morning or afternoon, the fact is that most who adhere to exercise routines are early morning exercisers. Bottom line is whenever you enjoy hitting the gym or track, do it. There’s benefit throughout the day.Get Creative about Getting ActiveHow can you get in short bouts of more intense exercise and find the time to get in your 150 minutes or so a week? Try these tested ways:Like a good scout, always be prepared. Don’t leave your home without your workout clothes packedKeep your workouts scheduled in your day planner —make an appointment for yourself! Remember that every minute counts.Wake up earlier and get your health plan moving, and your heart rate pumping, at the start of the day.Park away from your office, get off the train, subway or bus a few blocks before your normal close stopWhen you watch TV, use the commercials as reminders to do your squats, lunges, push ups, burpees, jumping jacks, planks, and crunches during the one-minute break.  Keep hand weights next to your chair/couch, ride your stationary bike and never use the remote control to change volume or channel.Make your lawn mower your newest piece of fitness equipment—ever hear of Carioca mowing? It’s all in the step!Walk to the office of the person you’d normally call and keep a jump rope in your briefcase or office drawer too!Make your chores count by scrubbing with vigor, grinding and stirring with some beats per minute, vacuum-dance with energy, wash your own car with upper body pushes, and shovel the coming snow (if your health allows) in tune with your favorite RockMyRun music mix.While exercise is key, taking time for yourself every day is critical for your health, well being and longevity. It’s all in my CHAIR method I recently described in an article for Prevention.com.C stands for a deeply felt commitment to very specific goals. You see the goal; you know why you’re doing it.H is for healthier foods, healthy carbs and proteins, healthy fat. ‘Diet’ is a word I never use.  It has the word ‘die’ in it.A stands for activity.  Daily activity, daily tracking of food and exercise. If you track, you adhere. Shoot for 10,000 steps a day. But even raking leaves counts as activity.I is inner motivation—you have to have your ‘why.’  And it has to be internal to you.R is for a realistic set of goals. You need something very tangible, like you want to be off blood pressure medication—not just I want to lose some weight or tone up.At the end of the day it’s all about thinking. The ‘link’ is what you think.” When you think you don’t have the time ask yourself if what you think is True, Helpful, Inspirational, Necessary, Kind to yourself. Hey, that’s what “THINK” means! If your answer is “No,” then change your thought and get active. It only takes a minute!What tips to have to stay active?  I’d love to see your thoughts 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. 


Music…The Legal Performance Enhancing Drug

  ·  2 min

Music…The Legal Performance Enhancing Drug

Did you know that the leading expert about the psychology of exercise and music, Dr. Costas Karageorghis, calls music the “legal performance enhancing drug” of fitness and exercise?There have been a large number of studies about the effects of music on athletic performance since 1911 and these are the key findings:Music promotes emotional and physiological arousal.Music reduces fatigue, especially at moderate levels of exercise, by distracting us from our physical awareness.Music turbocharges our mind’s focus on performance and muscle memory and as the beat of music increases, power output and exercise intensity increases for mild to moderate ranges of exercise.Music improves our motor coordination as we move to the rhythm.Music relaxes us as a result of dampening byproduct molecules associated with high levels of exercise.Workout Music Enhances Performance & MotivationResearch studies have shown that music can enhance performance, motivation and reduce exertion. Researchers first found that cyclists pedaled faster when a band was playing than when there was no music. A more recent study found that people who cycled to music required 7% less oxygen to do the same work as cyclists who didn’t synchronize their pedaling.  Another study found that swimmers with music got a 10% boost in motivation and a full 3-second improvement in performance.   So why wouldn’t you want to do everything you could to enhance your workout?Beats per Minute for Workout MusicNo matter what genre you like, the most common rhythm is about 120 beats per minute (BPM). Power walkers report enjoying 137-139 BPM, runners about 147-169 BPM, and cyclists about 135-170 BPM.  However, the BPM you choose for an activity depends on your mood and purpose for your workout.  Moving to synchronous music with a clear and steady beat can boost your performance by up to 15%, while listening to relaxing music, called asynchronous music, can reduce tension as much as 10%.Music Tied to MemoryMusic opens the floodgates of memories and emotions, working on the auditory – motor brain connection, so it’s important to have total control over what you listen to when you workout.  This covers the internal and external elements of music’s impact on exercise—our heart and our mind.Find Music for Your Next WorkoutTo enhance your performance and motivation, find the right music for your next workout.  With RockMyRun, you can choose the right tempo and genre for your music from more than one hundred music mixes by professional DJs.  Once you’ve found the right beat for you, get ready for an added dose of enhanced performance.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. 


Music…The Legal Performance Enhancing Drug

  ·  2 min

Music…The Legal Performance Enhancing Drug

Did you know that the leading expert about the psychology of exercise and music, Dr. Costas Karageorghis, calls music the “legal performance enhancing drug” of fitness and exercise?There have been a large number of studies about the effects of music on athletic performance since 1911 and these are the key findings:Music promotes emotional and physiological arousal.Music reduces fatigue, especially at moderate levels of exercise, by distracting us from our physical awareness.Music turbocharges our mind’s focus on performance and muscle memory and as the beat of music increases, power output and exercise intensity increases for mild to moderate ranges of exercise.Music improves our motor coordination as we move to the rhythm.Music relaxes us as a result of dampening byproduct molecules associated with high levels of exercise.Workout Music Enhances Performance & MotivationResearch studies have shown that music can enhance performance, motivation and reduce exertion. Researchers first found that cyclists pedaled faster when a band was playing than when there was no music. A more recent study found that people who cycled to music required 7% less oxygen to do the same work as cyclists who didn’t synchronize their pedaling.  Another study found that swimmers with music got a 10% boost in motivation and a full 3-second improvement in performance.   So why wouldn’t you want to do everything you could to enhance your workout?Beats per Minute for Workout MusicNo matter what genre you like, the most common rhythm is about 120 beats per minute (BPM). Power walkers report enjoying 137-139 BPM, runners about 147-169 BPM, and cyclists about 135-170 BPM.  However, the BPM you choose for an activity depends on your mood and purpose for your workout.  Moving to synchronous music with a clear and steady beat can boost your performance by up to 15%, while listening to relaxing music, called asynchronous music, can reduce tension as much as 10%.Music Tied to MemoryMusic opens the floodgates of memories and emotions, working on the auditory – motor brain connection, so it’s important to have total control over what you listen to when you workout.  This covers the internal and external elements of music’s impact on exercise—our heart and our mind.Find Music for Your Next WorkoutTo enhance your performance and motivation, find the right music for your next workout.  With RockMyRun, you can choose the right tempo and genre for your music from more than one hundred music mixes by professional DJs.  Once you’ve found the right beat for you, get ready for an added dose of enhanced performance.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. 


Creating Running Music Mixes – The Agony and the Ecstasy

  ·  4 min

Creating Running Music Mixes – The Agony and the Ecstasy

Any musician will tell you that whenever they create a piece of music, they pour their hearts and souls in their creation. Truly great music only comes about through the fusing of a musicians’ beliefs, emotions, influences and, of course, talents.While at Rock My Run we’re not creating the next Beethoven’s 5th Symphony (though sometimes we work like we are!), we do put a lot of time and energy into creating our mixes. They may not be double platinum albums, but many hours go into a mix that will help you as a runner have more energy, be more motivated and hopefully perform better.This blog post is to give you an idea of what the mix creation process entails and why it can be both incredibly frustrating and incredibly rewarding to create them for you.Part 1: The SongsIt all starts with inspirational songs. As DJ’s we are constantly hearing new music, seeing what new artists are coming up, what new songs are hitting on the radio and what underground or forgotten tracks we may be worth (re)discovering.Keep in mind though, not only do we hear the songs you hear on the radio, but we also are exposed to some of the amazing DJ mixes from other DJ’s around the world. A remix can take a pretty good song, like Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep” for example, and make it extraordinary. Often times the general public aren’t exposed to those mixes, and it’s our duty to brings these gems to your ears.Part 2: The OrderOnce the songlist is decided, it’s time to figure out the right order of the mix. This is especially key for us at Rock My Run – you want a different tempo, emotional reaction or vibe in different phases of your run and given these are seamless mixes and not playlists, we need to put the right songs in the right order so that you either get the right pick-me-up as you fatigue or don’t start off too quick and burn out.Take the mix “Sweat” by DJ JLouis for example: When he brings in “Rap Das Armas vs. Let The Bass Kick” from Lil Jon & Kassiano about 2/3rds the way through the mix, when you might be starting to tire, it’s done to help give you an added bit of motivation before the hitting the finish line. That track would not be nearly as good at the beginning of the mix, when you are just getting into the flow of your workout.Part 3: The Mixing(aka where the magic happens)With the songlist and order decided, it’s time for the DJ to really get down to business: Firing up the turntables, actually mixing the songs in a seamless manner and adding all those cool scratches, samples, loops and effects that only DJ’s can really do.This is by far the toughest part: not just mixing and the cool effects, but deciding when and how to mix from one track to the next. Do you leave a track to play for 3 minutes because it’s got such great energy? Or do you leave it on for only a minute so the runner gets a taste of the song and then moves on?Ah this my friends is the beauty of it! There is no one right answer, hence the art involved. And trust me, it can be agonizing to get it just right – so the tracks mix perfectly, there is no overlap on lyrics (nobody likes that!) and the energy remains consistent.Add to this the fact that most DJ’s are perfectionist and it can take anywhere from 10’s to 100’s of hours to put together a great, flawless DJ mix. Girl Talk, a DJ famous for his mashup mix sets has said before it can take 40 hours to do 1 min of a mix. Incredible!But at the end of this effort can be a great work of art – a mix that can stand the test of time and still be great running music years and years from now.So next time you are listening to one of our DJ mixes, take a moment to consider how it was created: There was a lot of TLC put in that mix to help you run faster, stronger and longer!


Creating Running Music Mixes – The Agony and the Ecstasy

  ·  4 min

Creating Running Music Mixes – The Agony and the Ecstasy

Any musician will tell you that whenever they create a piece of music, they pour their hearts and souls in their creation. Truly great music only comes about through the fusing of a musicians’ beliefs, emotions, influences and, of course, talents.While at Rock My Run we’re not creating the next Beethoven’s 5th Symphony (though sometimes we work like we are!), we do put a lot of time and energy into creating our mixes. They may not be double platinum albums, but many hours go into a mix that will help you as a runner have more energy, be more motivated and hopefully perform better.This blog post is to give you an idea of what the mix creation process entails and why it can be both incredibly frustrating and incredibly rewarding to create them for you.Part 1: The SongsIt all starts with inspirational songs. As DJ’s we are constantly hearing new music, seeing what new artists are coming up, what new songs are hitting on the radio and what underground or forgotten tracks we may be worth (re)discovering.Keep in mind though, not only do we hear the songs you hear on the radio, but we also are exposed to some of the amazing DJ mixes from other DJ’s around the world. A remix can take a pretty good song, like Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep” for example, and make it extraordinary. Often times the general public aren’t exposed to those mixes, and it’s our duty to brings these gems to your ears.Part 2: The OrderOnce the songlist is decided, it’s time to figure out the right order of the mix. This is especially key for us at Rock My Run – you want a different tempo, emotional reaction or vibe in different phases of your run and given these are seamless mixes and not playlists, we need to put the right songs in the right order so that you either get the right pick-me-up as you fatigue or don’t start off too quick and burn out.Take the mix “Sweat” by DJ JLouis for example: When he brings in “Rap Das Armas vs. Let The Bass Kick” from Lil Jon & Kassiano about 2/3rds the way through the mix, when you might be starting to tire, it’s done to help give you an added bit of motivation before the hitting the finish line. That track would not be nearly as good at the beginning of the mix, when you are just getting into the flow of your workout.Part 3: The Mixing(aka where the magic happens)With the songlist and order decided, it’s time for the DJ to really get down to business: Firing up the turntables, actually mixing the songs in a seamless manner and adding all those cool scratches, samples, loops and effects that only DJ’s can really do.This is by far the toughest part: not just mixing and the cool effects, but deciding when and how to mix from one track to the next. Do you leave a track to play for 3 minutes because it’s got such great energy? Or do you leave it on for only a minute so the runner gets a taste of the song and then moves on?Ah this my friends is the beauty of it! There is no one right answer, hence the art involved. And trust me, it can be agonizing to get it just right – so the tracks mix perfectly, there is no overlap on lyrics (nobody likes that!) and the energy remains consistent.Add to this the fact that most DJ’s are perfectionist and it can take anywhere from 10’s to 100’s of hours to put together a great, flawless DJ mix. Girl Talk, a DJ famous for his mashup mix sets has said before it can take 40 hours to do 1 min of a mix. Incredible!But at the end of this effort can be a great work of art – a mix that can stand the test of time and still be great running music years and years from now.So next time you are listening to one of our DJ mixes, take a moment to consider how it was created: There was a lot of TLC put in that mix to help you run faster, stronger and longer!


Your Go-To Treadmill Workout This Fall: Incline Sprints

  ·  2 min

Your Go-To Treadmill Workout This Fall: Incline Sprints

It’s that time of year again – the leaves start to change and the temperature starts to drop. While fall is beautiful, it means that soon cold weather will force us to kickoff treadmill season. For some, this is a welcomed change. For others, however, the ‘dreadmill’ is a last resort.Treadmills do however present us with benefits that road and trail running simply cannot. Here are four reasons to hop on a treadmill for your cardio this coming winter, as well as a killer treadmill workout to test out.Control. Treadmills allow you to control the speed and incline at which you’re running. Sure, you’re in control on the road, but with a treadmill you simply hit a button and it takes you where you want to be. There isn’t a guessing game as to what incline you’re running or how fast you’re going. I find this to be particularly helpful when I’m doing sprint or timed intervals.Efficient. The idea that every workout needs to be 90 minutes long is just wrong. If you work hard, you can get a great workout done in 30 minutes. Treadmills allow you to crank up speed and/or incline to levels that you probably wouldn’t hit out on the road.Variety. There are so many ways to change a workout using a treadmill. By altering your incline, speed or time intervals, you can come up with hundreds of workouts, all with their own unique settings. Some may think that treadmills are dull and repetitive, but with a little creativity, they are anything but boring.Weather. It’s always sunny and 75 on the treadmill. You don’t have to pack that extra pair of leggings when you’re running inside or need to worry about slipping on icy streets.This wouldn’t be much of a treadmill post if I didn’t also leave you with a solid workout to complete, would it? Well, you’re in luck. I’m leaving you with one of my favorite treadmill workouts. It targets both incline and speed, and keeps you changing things up to prevent boredom. *I use a Woodway treadmill that goes up to an incline of 25% and usually do 2 complete sets. With warmup and cooldown, it generally takes me almost exactly hour. Most treadmills will go up to 12-15% incline. If this is the case with you, I would recommend trying to do at least 2 sets. Also, if you’re pressed for time, you can also increase the speed, which will make it a MUCH more challenging workout.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.


Your Go-To Treadmill Workout This Fall: Incline Sprints

  ·  2 min

Your Go-To Treadmill Workout This Fall: Incline Sprints

It’s that time of year again – the leaves start to change and the temperature starts to drop. While fall is beautiful, it means that soon cold weather will force us to kickoff treadmill season. For some, this is a welcomed change. For others, however, the ‘dreadmill’ is a last resort.Treadmills do however present us with benefits that road and trail running simply cannot. Here are four reasons to hop on a treadmill for your cardio this coming winter, as well as a killer treadmill workout to test out.Control. Treadmills allow you to control the speed and incline at which you’re running. Sure, you’re in control on the road, but with a treadmill you simply hit a button and it takes you where you want to be. There isn’t a guessing game as to what incline you’re running or how fast you’re going. I find this to be particularly helpful when I’m doing sprint or timed intervals.Efficient. The idea that every workout needs to be 90 minutes long is just wrong. If you work hard, you can get a great workout done in 30 minutes. Treadmills allow you to crank up speed and/or incline to levels that you probably wouldn’t hit out on the road.Variety. There are so many ways to change a workout using a treadmill. By altering your incline, speed or time intervals, you can come up with hundreds of workouts, all with their own unique settings. Some may think that treadmills are dull and repetitive, but with a little creativity, they are anything but boring.Weather. It’s always sunny and 75 on the treadmill. You don’t have to pack that extra pair of leggings when you’re running inside or need to worry about slipping on icy streets.This wouldn’t be much of a treadmill post if I didn’t also leave you with a solid workout to complete, would it? Well, you’re in luck. I’m leaving you with one of my favorite treadmill workouts. It targets both incline and speed, and keeps you changing things up to prevent boredom. *I use a Woodway treadmill that goes up to an incline of 25% and usually do 2 complete sets. With warmup and cooldown, it generally takes me almost exactly hour. Most treadmills will go up to 12-15% incline. If this is the case with you, I would recommend trying to do at least 2 sets. Also, if you’re pressed for time, you can also increase the speed, which will make it a MUCH more challenging workout.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.


Cold as Ice…and Still Running

  ·  4 min

Cold as Ice…and Still Running

Baby, It’s Cold Outside is a Christmas song written in 1944 by Frank Loesser. It’s a conversation between a woman who has to go and a man who keeps telling her “But baby, it’s cold outside.”“I really can’t stay(But baby, it’s cold outside)I’ve got to go away(But baby, it’s cold outside)”Avoid the Common ExcusesIt’ll soon be cold out there with lots of excuses not to leave, to stay indoors, and surely not to exercise. Whether it’s Foreigner’s Cold as Ice, or Loesser’s Baby, It’s Cold Outside, there are many barriers to convince people that winter is a time to stay indoors and be sedentary.  It’s not. Of course winter activities can be challenging, but like everything else, “the link is what you think.”It’s just weather. If you think it’s a great opportunity to try new activities, to enjoy the crunch of falling leaves under your feet, to have snowball fights, or to do some hiking or jogging in the crisp fall air.  Then you’ll love the coming months and stay in shape.If you think instead that it’s too cold, that you’ll freeze to death, that you’ll get injured, that there isn’t enough daylight to be active, then you’ll surely believe it’s inevitable to put on some weight and be more sedentary.“The link is what you think.” I want you to think rationally, logically and accurately about the coming months wherever you live and use the fall and winter to think outside the box to keep your health, fitness and wellness levels up and move into next spring feeling great!Have a Positive MindsetSure some folks will deal with Seasonal Affective Disorder, but when the days grow short guess what helps? Running! It can promote the release of depression-fighting hormones leaving those suffering with this very real malady in better moods and feeling more positive.  And we know that positive thinking and a positive outlook, the kind that comes from physical activity, improves your overall health.Staying indoors, breathing all that heated air as many do during the colder months, isn’t the healthiest for your lungs or for your mind. Getting outside, properly dressed for the cold, enjoying the outdoor crisp air, gives you a chance to literally detox your mind and body. It doesn’t take as many changes as you might think to enjoy it all.So the first thing that’s needed is the right mindset. What do you enjoy about the fall and winter months? Keep your eye on those things.Fall and winter are great times to try on new activities, join new classes at your local gym, gain new skills, add new strength training activities and find new ways to integrate exercise and activities into your daily life.Some use the winter months to form a base, with activities that add to endurance.  Longer runs, along with swimming and cycling indoors will add to your volume.  Springtime is the time to build with added weight and resistance training, as well as more interval cardio training to increase speed and strength.  Summer and fall are great times to put it all into practice and get out there for your 5K, 10K, and marathon races.Get Prepared for Exercise OutdoorsExercising outdoors when it’s cold outside requires a bit of preparation to make your activities successful.  A few smart things you can do are:Dress properly in thin wicking insulating layers to prevent hypothermia and frostbite in some climates.Wear reflective gear or a headlamp for running in the dark.Put on a fleece or thermal hat to prevent 50% heat loss from your head.Keep your hands and feet warm with mittens, because you can lose 30% of your body heat through your extremities.Cover your face with a balaclava (ski mask).Carry some ChapStick.Plan a route with icy patches in mind.Always run with a buddy.Wear shoes that give you a bit more traction and are water-proof and socks that are wicking, not cotton, and made of wool or CoolMax.Get Active beyond Your WorkoutRemember that there are lots of everyday activities to rejuvenate you and give you more natural energy during your day, including:Shoveling snowWalking at lunchtime with friendsTaking the stairs instead of the elevatorParking further away from your destination or getting off the bus or subway a few stops earlierStaying active while indoors with physical movement during TV commercialsFind Music to Motivate YouWhen we think of the winter season, filled with holidays, music always tops the list along with food, friends and family get-togethers.  Crank up your RockMyRun mixes for the genre and beats per minute that inspire your body and soul, that promote your focus on your health and above all, to motivate you to enjoy the spirit of the season and the holidays happy, active and fit.What are your tips for staying active, once the temperatures drop outdoors?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. 


Cold as Ice…and Still Running

  ·  4 min

Cold as Ice…and Still Running

Baby, It’s Cold Outside is a Christmas song written in 1944 by Frank Loesser. It’s a conversation between a woman who has to go and a man who keeps telling her “But baby, it’s cold outside.”“I really can’t stay(But baby, it’s cold outside)I’ve got to go away(But baby, it’s cold outside)”Avoid the Common ExcusesIt’ll soon be cold out there with lots of excuses not to leave, to stay indoors, and surely not to exercise. Whether it’s Foreigner’s Cold as Ice, or Loesser’s Baby, It’s Cold Outside, there are many barriers to convince people that winter is a time to stay indoors and be sedentary.  It’s not. Of course winter activities can be challenging, but like everything else, “the link is what you think.”It’s just weather. If you think it’s a great opportunity to try new activities, to enjoy the crunch of falling leaves under your feet, to have snowball fights, or to do some hiking or jogging in the crisp fall air.  Then you’ll love the coming months and stay in shape.If you think instead that it’s too cold, that you’ll freeze to death, that you’ll get injured, that there isn’t enough daylight to be active, then you’ll surely believe it’s inevitable to put on some weight and be more sedentary.“The link is what you think.” I want you to think rationally, logically and accurately about the coming months wherever you live and use the fall and winter to think outside the box to keep your health, fitness and wellness levels up and move into next spring feeling great!Have a Positive MindsetSure some folks will deal with Seasonal Affective Disorder, but when the days grow short guess what helps? Running! It can promote the release of depression-fighting hormones leaving those suffering with this very real malady in better moods and feeling more positive.  And we know that positive thinking and a positive outlook, the kind that comes from physical activity, improves your overall health.Staying indoors, breathing all that heated air as many do during the colder months, isn’t the healthiest for your lungs or for your mind. Getting outside, properly dressed for the cold, enjoying the outdoor crisp air, gives you a chance to literally detox your mind and body. It doesn’t take as many changes as you might think to enjoy it all.So the first thing that’s needed is the right mindset. What do you enjoy about the fall and winter months? Keep your eye on those things.Fall and winter are great times to try on new activities, join new classes at your local gym, gain new skills, add new strength training activities and find new ways to integrate exercise and activities into your daily life.Some use the winter months to form a base, with activities that add to endurance.  Longer runs, along with swimming and cycling indoors will add to your volume.  Springtime is the time to build with added weight and resistance training, as well as more interval cardio training to increase speed and strength.  Summer and fall are great times to put it all into practice and get out there for your 5K, 10K, and marathon races.Get Prepared for Exercise OutdoorsExercising outdoors when it’s cold outside requires a bit of preparation to make your activities successful.  A few smart things you can do are:Dress properly in thin wicking insulating layers to prevent hypothermia and frostbite in some climates.Wear reflective gear or a headlamp for running in the dark.Put on a fleece or thermal hat to prevent 50% heat loss from your head.Keep your hands and feet warm with mittens, because you can lose 30% of your body heat through your extremities.Cover your face with a balaclava (ski mask).Carry some ChapStick.Plan a route with icy patches in mind.Always run with a buddy.Wear shoes that give you a bit more traction and are water-proof and socks that are wicking, not cotton, and made of wool or CoolMax.Get Active beyond Your WorkoutRemember that there are lots of everyday activities to rejuvenate you and give you more natural energy during your day, including:Shoveling snowWalking at lunchtime with friendsTaking the stairs instead of the elevatorParking further away from your destination or getting off the bus or subway a few stops earlierStaying active while indoors with physical movement during TV commercialsFind Music to Motivate YouWhen we think of the winter season, filled with holidays, music always tops the list along with food, friends and family get-togethers.  Crank up your RockMyRun mixes for the genre and beats per minute that inspire your body and soul, that promote your focus on your health and above all, to motivate you to enjoy the spirit of the season and the holidays happy, active and fit.What are your tips for staying active, once the temperatures drop outdoors?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. 


Think You Don’t Have Time to Exercise? Think Again.

  ·  5 min

Think You Don’t Have Time to Exercise? Think Again.

When it comes to finding time to exercise, let’s start with some facts. Each of us has 168 hours per week in life. Many of us work about 50 or so hours per week, sleep about 50-60 hours per week, spend another 15-20 hours each week on personal care and grooming, leaving most of us about 6+ hours each day to_____________________. Fill in the blank.We fill in our time with what’s most important to us. As I said in an article I wrote for Greatest: Many people who don’t work out regularly can rattle off many reasons they’re not motivated to exercise, from not understanding the benefits of activity to thoughts like “I’m too busy,” “I’m embarrassed by how I look,” “exercise is boring,” and so on. The folks who hold these (false) self-sabotaging beliefs often believe exercise doesn’t matter; they don’t enjoy it, or they simply have no interest in doing it. And, really, who could blame them? Who would be inspired to start a physical activity with negative thoughts running through their head? A person has to believe exercise is of value in order to build motivation to do it.Benefits of ExerciseAs you already know, there are many benefits of exercise:Weight managementHealth and disease managementMood and self-confidence enhancementEnergy boosterPromotes healthy sleepPuts oomph into your sex lifeReduces stress by increasing brain soothing chemicalsHelps your brain function betterSparks creativityYour muscles, lungs, diaphragm, heart, stomach, kidneys, skin, joints, agility, balance, coordination, endurance and strength will all “smile” and say thank you many years from now.Every Minute CountsToday we know that even brief bouts of exercise, just 10 minutes at a time or less, can add a great deal to your health and well being while also slimming your waistline. The good news, remarkable really, comes from researchers at the University of Utah who found that every minute of intense movement counts towards the magic number of 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity we are all supposed to achieve each week – but only 5% of us do. That’s 150 minutes out of the 48 or so hours we have available to us each week.The findings indicate that brief periods of intense activity are effective in preventing weight gain and promoting health as well as doing 10 minute+ intervals. Moderate to vigorous activity, by the way, is walking about 3 miles per hour, or 2,020 counts per minute on an accelerometer. Clearly, every minute you spend in intense activity, counts.This suggests that the data on the best time to workout may be ignoring an important element—your life. Sure there are those who believe that for A-list athletes aiming for performance it might be better to push heavy training to alter in the morning or afternoon, the fact is that most who adhere to exercise routines are early morning exercisers. Bottom line is whenever you enjoy hitting the gym or track, do it. There’s benefit throughout the day.Get Creative about Getting ActiveHow can you get in short bouts of more intense exercise and find the time to get in your 150 minutes or so a week? Try these tested ways:Like a good scout, always be prepared. Don’t leave your home without your workout clothes packedKeep your workouts scheduled in your day planner —make an appointment for yourself! Remember that every minute counts.Wake up earlier and get your health plan moving, and your heart rate pumping, at the start of the day.Park away from your office, get off the train, subway or bus a few blocks before your normal close stopWhen you watch TV, use the commercials as reminders to do your squats, lunges, push ups, burpees, jumping jacks, planks, and crunches during the one-minute break.  Keep hand weights next to your chair/couch, ride your stationary bike and never use the remote control to change volume or channel.Make your lawn mower your newest piece of fitness equipment—ever hear of Carioca mowing? It’s all in the step!Walk to the office of the person you’d normally call and keep a jump rope in your briefcase or office drawer too!Make your chores count by scrubbing with vigor, grinding and stirring with some beats per minute, vacuum-dance with energy, wash your own car with upper body pushes, and shovel the coming snow (if your health allows) in tune with your favorite RockMyRun music mix.While exercise is key, taking time for yourself every day is critical for your health, well being and longevity. It’s all in my CHAIR method I recently described in an article for Prevention.com.C stands for a deeply felt commitment to very specific goals. You see the goal; you know why you’re doing it.H is for healthier foods, healthy carbs and proteins, healthy fat. ‘Diet’ is a word I never use.  It has the word ‘die’ in it.A stands for activity.  Daily activity, daily tracking of food and exercise. If you track, you adhere. Shoot for 10,000 steps a day. But even raking leaves counts as activity.I is inner motivation—you have to have your ‘why.’  And it has to be internal to you.R is for a realistic set of goals. You need something very tangible, like you want to be off blood pressure medication—not just I want to lose some weight or tone up.At the end of the day it’s all about thinking. The ‘link’ is what you think.” When you think you don’t have the time ask yourself if what you think is True, Helpful, Inspirational, Necessary, Kind to yourself. Hey, that’s what “THINK” means! If your answer is “No,” then change your thought and get active. It only takes a minute!What tips to have to stay active?  I’d love to see your thoughts 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. 


Think You Don’t Have Time to Exercise? Think Again.

  ·  5 min

Think You Don’t Have Time to Exercise? Think Again.

When it comes to finding time to exercise, let’s start with some facts. Each of us has 168 hours per week in life. Many of us work about 50 or so hours per week, sleep about 50-60 hours per week, spend another 15-20 hours each week on personal care and grooming, leaving most of us about 6+ hours each day to_____________________. Fill in the blank.We fill in our time with what’s most important to us. As I said in an article I wrote for Greatest: Many people who don’t work out regularly can rattle off many reasons they’re not motivated to exercise, from not understanding the benefits of activity to thoughts like “I’m too busy,” “I’m embarrassed by how I look,” “exercise is boring,” and so on. The folks who hold these (false) self-sabotaging beliefs often believe exercise doesn’t matter; they don’t enjoy it, or they simply have no interest in doing it. And, really, who could blame them? Who would be inspired to start a physical activity with negative thoughts running through their head? A person has to believe exercise is of value in order to build motivation to do it.Benefits of ExerciseAs you already know, there are many benefits of exercise:Weight managementHealth and disease managementMood and self-confidence enhancementEnergy boosterPromotes healthy sleepPuts oomph into your sex lifeReduces stress by increasing brain soothing chemicalsHelps your brain function betterSparks creativityYour muscles, lungs, diaphragm, heart, stomach, kidneys, skin, joints, agility, balance, coordination, endurance and strength will all “smile” and say thank you many years from now.Every Minute CountsToday we know that even brief bouts of exercise, just 10 minutes at a time or less, can add a great deal to your health and well being while also slimming your waistline. The good news, remarkable really, comes from researchers at the University of Utah who found that every minute of intense movement counts towards the magic number of 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity we are all supposed to achieve each week – but only 5% of us do. That’s 150 minutes out of the 48 or so hours we have available to us each week.The findings indicate that brief periods of intense activity are effective in preventing weight gain and promoting health as well as doing 10 minute+ intervals. Moderate to vigorous activity, by the way, is walking about 3 miles per hour, or 2,020 counts per minute on an accelerometer. Clearly, every minute you spend in intense activity, counts.This suggests that the data on the best time to workout may be ignoring an important element—your life. Sure there are those who believe that for A-list athletes aiming for performance it might be better to push heavy training to alter in the morning or afternoon, the fact is that most who adhere to exercise routines are early morning exercisers. Bottom line is whenever you enjoy hitting the gym or track, do it. There’s benefit throughout the day.Get Creative about Getting ActiveHow can you get in short bouts of more intense exercise and find the time to get in your 150 minutes or so a week? Try these tested ways:Like a good scout, always be prepared. Don’t leave your home without your workout clothes packedKeep your workouts scheduled in your day planner —make an appointment for yourself! Remember that every minute counts.Wake up earlier and get your health plan moving, and your heart rate pumping, at the start of the day.Park away from your office, get off the train, subway or bus a few blocks before your normal close stopWhen you watch TV, use the commercials as reminders to do your squats, lunges, push ups, burpees, jumping jacks, planks, and crunches during the one-minute break.  Keep hand weights next to your chair/couch, ride your stationary bike and never use the remote control to change volume or channel.Make your lawn mower your newest piece of fitness equipment—ever hear of Carioca mowing? It’s all in the step!Walk to the office of the person you’d normally call and keep a jump rope in your briefcase or office drawer too!Make your chores count by scrubbing with vigor, grinding and stirring with some beats per minute, vacuum-dance with energy, wash your own car with upper body pushes, and shovel the coming snow (if your health allows) in tune with your favorite RockMyRun music mix.While exercise is key, taking time for yourself every day is critical for your health, well being and longevity. It’s all in my CHAIR method I recently described in an article for Prevention.com.C stands for a deeply felt commitment to very specific goals. You see the goal; you know why you’re doing it.H is for healthier foods, healthy carbs and proteins, healthy fat. ‘Diet’ is a word I never use.  It has the word ‘die’ in it.A stands for activity.  Daily activity, daily tracking of food and exercise. If you track, you adhere. Shoot for 10,000 steps a day. But even raking leaves counts as activity.I is inner motivation—you have to have your ‘why.’  And it has to be internal to you.R is for a realistic set of goals. You need something very tangible, like you want to be off blood pressure medication—not just I want to lose some weight or tone up.At the end of the day it’s all about thinking. The ‘link’ is what you think.” When you think you don’t have the time ask yourself if what you think is True, Helpful, Inspirational, Necessary, Kind to yourself. Hey, that’s what “THINK” means! If your answer is “No,” then change your thought and get active. It only takes a minute!What tips to have to stay active?  I’d love to see your thoughts 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. 


Music…The Legal Performance Enhancing Drug

  ·  2 min

Music…The Legal Performance Enhancing Drug

Did you know that the leading expert about the psychology of exercise and music, Dr. Costas Karageorghis, calls music the “legal performance enhancing drug” of fitness and exercise?There have been a large number of studies about the effects of music on athletic performance since 1911 and these are the key findings:Music promotes emotional and physiological arousal.Music reduces fatigue, especially at moderate levels of exercise, by distracting us from our physical awareness.Music turbocharges our mind’s focus on performance and muscle memory and as the beat of music increases, power output and exercise intensity increases for mild to moderate ranges of exercise.Music improves our motor coordination as we move to the rhythm.Music relaxes us as a result of dampening byproduct molecules associated with high levels of exercise.Workout Music Enhances Performance & MotivationResearch studies have shown that music can enhance performance, motivation and reduce exertion. Researchers first found that cyclists pedaled faster when a band was playing than when there was no music. A more recent study found that people who cycled to music required 7% less oxygen to do the same work as cyclists who didn’t synchronize their pedaling.  Another study found that swimmers with music got a 10% boost in motivation and a full 3-second improvement in performance.   So why wouldn’t you want to do everything you could to enhance your workout?Beats per Minute for Workout MusicNo matter what genre you like, the most common rhythm is about 120 beats per minute (BPM). Power walkers report enjoying 137-139 BPM, runners about 147-169 BPM, and cyclists about 135-170 BPM.  However, the BPM you choose for an activity depends on your mood and purpose for your workout.  Moving to synchronous music with a clear and steady beat can boost your performance by up to 15%, while listening to relaxing music, called asynchronous music, can reduce tension as much as 10%.Music Tied to MemoryMusic opens the floodgates of memories and emotions, working on the auditory – motor brain connection, so it’s important to have total control over what you listen to when you workout.  This covers the internal and external elements of music’s impact on exercise—our heart and our mind.Find Music for Your Next WorkoutTo enhance your performance and motivation, find the right music for your next workout.  With RockMyRun, you can choose the right tempo and genre for your music from more than one hundred music mixes by professional DJs.  Once you’ve found the right beat for you, get ready for an added dose of enhanced performance.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. 


Music…The Legal Performance Enhancing Drug

  ·  2 min

Music…The Legal Performance Enhancing Drug

Did you know that the leading expert about the psychology of exercise and music, Dr. Costas Karageorghis, calls music the “legal performance enhancing drug” of fitness and exercise?There have been a large number of studies about the effects of music on athletic performance since 1911 and these are the key findings:Music promotes emotional and physiological arousal.Music reduces fatigue, especially at moderate levels of exercise, by distracting us from our physical awareness.Music turbocharges our mind’s focus on performance and muscle memory and as the beat of music increases, power output and exercise intensity increases for mild to moderate ranges of exercise.Music improves our motor coordination as we move to the rhythm.Music relaxes us as a result of dampening byproduct molecules associated with high levels of exercise.Workout Music Enhances Performance & MotivationResearch studies have shown that music can enhance performance, motivation and reduce exertion. Researchers first found that cyclists pedaled faster when a band was playing than when there was no music. A more recent study found that people who cycled to music required 7% less oxygen to do the same work as cyclists who didn’t synchronize their pedaling.  Another study found that swimmers with music got a 10% boost in motivation and a full 3-second improvement in performance.   So why wouldn’t you want to do everything you could to enhance your workout?Beats per Minute for Workout MusicNo matter what genre you like, the most common rhythm is about 120 beats per minute (BPM). Power walkers report enjoying 137-139 BPM, runners about 147-169 BPM, and cyclists about 135-170 BPM.  However, the BPM you choose for an activity depends on your mood and purpose for your workout.  Moving to synchronous music with a clear and steady beat can boost your performance by up to 15%, while listening to relaxing music, called asynchronous music, can reduce tension as much as 10%.Music Tied to MemoryMusic opens the floodgates of memories and emotions, working on the auditory – motor brain connection, so it’s important to have total control over what you listen to when you workout.  This covers the internal and external elements of music’s impact on exercise—our heart and our mind.Find Music for Your Next WorkoutTo enhance your performance and motivation, find the right music for your next workout.  With RockMyRun, you can choose the right tempo and genre for your music from more than one hundred music mixes by professional DJs.  Once you’ve found the right beat for you, get ready for an added dose of enhanced performance.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. 


Creating Running Music Mixes – The Agony and the Ecstasy

  ·  4 min

Creating Running Music Mixes – The Agony and the Ecstasy

Any musician will tell you that whenever they create a piece of music, they pour their hearts and souls in their creation. Truly great music only comes about through the fusing of a musicians’ beliefs, emotions, influences and, of course, talents.While at Rock My Run we’re not creating the next Beethoven’s 5th Symphony (though sometimes we work like we are!), we do put a lot of time and energy into creating our mixes. They may not be double platinum albums, but many hours go into a mix that will help you as a runner have more energy, be more motivated and hopefully perform better.This blog post is to give you an idea of what the mix creation process entails and why it can be both incredibly frustrating and incredibly rewarding to create them for you.Part 1: The SongsIt all starts with inspirational songs. As DJ’s we are constantly hearing new music, seeing what new artists are coming up, what new songs are hitting on the radio and what underground or forgotten tracks we may be worth (re)discovering.Keep in mind though, not only do we hear the songs you hear on the radio, but we also are exposed to some of the amazing DJ mixes from other DJ’s around the world. A remix can take a pretty good song, like Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep” for example, and make it extraordinary. Often times the general public aren’t exposed to those mixes, and it’s our duty to brings these gems to your ears.Part 2: The OrderOnce the songlist is decided, it’s time to figure out the right order of the mix. This is especially key for us at Rock My Run – you want a different tempo, emotional reaction or vibe in different phases of your run and given these are seamless mixes and not playlists, we need to put the right songs in the right order so that you either get the right pick-me-up as you fatigue or don’t start off too quick and burn out.Take the mix “Sweat” by DJ JLouis for example: When he brings in “Rap Das Armas vs. Let The Bass Kick” from Lil Jon & Kassiano about 2/3rds the way through the mix, when you might be starting to tire, it’s done to help give you an added bit of motivation before the hitting the finish line. That track would not be nearly as good at the beginning of the mix, when you are just getting into the flow of your workout.Part 3: The Mixing(aka where the magic happens)With the songlist and order decided, it’s time for the DJ to really get down to business: Firing up the turntables, actually mixing the songs in a seamless manner and adding all those cool scratches, samples, loops and effects that only DJ’s can really do.This is by far the toughest part: not just mixing and the cool effects, but deciding when and how to mix from one track to the next. Do you leave a track to play for 3 minutes because it’s got such great energy? Or do you leave it on for only a minute so the runner gets a taste of the song and then moves on?Ah this my friends is the beauty of it! There is no one right answer, hence the art involved. And trust me, it can be agonizing to get it just right – so the tracks mix perfectly, there is no overlap on lyrics (nobody likes that!) and the energy remains consistent.Add to this the fact that most DJ’s are perfectionist and it can take anywhere from 10’s to 100’s of hours to put together a great, flawless DJ mix. Girl Talk, a DJ famous for his mashup mix sets has said before it can take 40 hours to do 1 min of a mix. Incredible!But at the end of this effort can be a great work of art – a mix that can stand the test of time and still be great running music years and years from now.So next time you are listening to one of our DJ mixes, take a moment to consider how it was created: There was a lot of TLC put in that mix to help you run faster, stronger and longer!


Creating Running Music Mixes – The Agony and the Ecstasy

  ·  4 min

Creating Running Music Mixes – The Agony and the Ecstasy

Any musician will tell you that whenever they create a piece of music, they pour their hearts and souls in their creation. Truly great music only comes about through the fusing of a musicians’ beliefs, emotions, influences and, of course, talents.While at Rock My Run we’re not creating the next Beethoven’s 5th Symphony (though sometimes we work like we are!), we do put a lot of time and energy into creating our mixes. They may not be double platinum albums, but many hours go into a mix that will help you as a runner have more energy, be more motivated and hopefully perform better.This blog post is to give you an idea of what the mix creation process entails and why it can be both incredibly frustrating and incredibly rewarding to create them for you.Part 1: The SongsIt all starts with inspirational songs. As DJ’s we are constantly hearing new music, seeing what new artists are coming up, what new songs are hitting on the radio and what underground or forgotten tracks we may be worth (re)discovering.Keep in mind though, not only do we hear the songs you hear on the radio, but we also are exposed to some of the amazing DJ mixes from other DJ’s around the world. A remix can take a pretty good song, like Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep” for example, and make it extraordinary. Often times the general public aren’t exposed to those mixes, and it’s our duty to brings these gems to your ears.Part 2: The OrderOnce the songlist is decided, it’s time to figure out the right order of the mix. This is especially key for us at Rock My Run – you want a different tempo, emotional reaction or vibe in different phases of your run and given these are seamless mixes and not playlists, we need to put the right songs in the right order so that you either get the right pick-me-up as you fatigue or don’t start off too quick and burn out.Take the mix “Sweat” by DJ JLouis for example: When he brings in “Rap Das Armas vs. Let The Bass Kick” from Lil Jon & Kassiano about 2/3rds the way through the mix, when you might be starting to tire, it’s done to help give you an added bit of motivation before the hitting the finish line. That track would not be nearly as good at the beginning of the mix, when you are just getting into the flow of your workout.Part 3: The Mixing(aka where the magic happens)With the songlist and order decided, it’s time for the DJ to really get down to business: Firing up the turntables, actually mixing the songs in a seamless manner and adding all those cool scratches, samples, loops and effects that only DJ’s can really do.This is by far the toughest part: not just mixing and the cool effects, but deciding when and how to mix from one track to the next. Do you leave a track to play for 3 minutes because it’s got such great energy? Or do you leave it on for only a minute so the runner gets a taste of the song and then moves on?Ah this my friends is the beauty of it! There is no one right answer, hence the art involved. And trust me, it can be agonizing to get it just right – so the tracks mix perfectly, there is no overlap on lyrics (nobody likes that!) and the energy remains consistent.Add to this the fact that most DJ’s are perfectionist and it can take anywhere from 10’s to 100’s of hours to put together a great, flawless DJ mix. Girl Talk, a DJ famous for his mashup mix sets has said before it can take 40 hours to do 1 min of a mix. Incredible!But at the end of this effort can be a great work of art – a mix that can stand the test of time and still be great running music years and years from now.So next time you are listening to one of our DJ mixes, take a moment to consider how it was created: There was a lot of TLC put in that mix to help you run faster, stronger and longer!


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Your Go-To Treadmill Workout This Fall: Incline Sprints

  ·  2 min

Your Go-To Treadmill Workout This Fall: Incline Sprints

It’s that time of year again – the leaves start to change and the temperature starts to drop. While fall is beautiful, it means that soon cold weather will force us to kickoff treadmill season. For some, this is a welcomed change. For others, however, the ‘dreadmill’ is a last resort.Treadmills do however present us with benefits that road and trail running simply cannot. Here are four reasons to hop on a treadmill for your cardio this coming winter, as well as a killer treadmill workout to test out.Control. Treadmills allow you to control the speed and incline at which you’re running. Sure, you’re in control on the road, but with a treadmill you simply hit a button and it takes you where you want to be. There isn’t a guessing game as to what incline you’re running or how fast you’re going. I find this to be particularly helpful when I’m doing sprint or timed intervals.Efficient. The idea that every workout needs to be 90 minutes long is just wrong. If you work hard, you can get a great workout done in 30 minutes. Treadmills allow you to crank up speed and/or incline to levels that you probably wouldn’t hit out on the road.Variety. There are so many ways to change a workout using a treadmill. By altering your incline, speed or time intervals, you can come up with hundreds of workouts, all with their own unique settings. Some may think that treadmills are dull and repetitive, but with a little creativity, they are anything but boring.Weather. It’s always sunny and 75 on the treadmill. You don’t have to pack that extra pair of leggings when you’re running inside or need to worry about slipping on icy streets.This wouldn’t be much of a treadmill post if I didn’t also leave you with a solid workout to complete, would it? Well, you’re in luck. I’m leaving you with one of my favorite treadmill workouts. It targets both incline and speed, and keeps you changing things up to prevent boredom. *I use a Woodway treadmill that goes up to an incline of 25% and usually do 2 complete sets. With warmup and cooldown, it generally takes me almost exactly hour. Most treadmills will go up to 12-15% incline. If this is the case with you, I would recommend trying to do at least 2 sets. Also, if you’re pressed for time, you can also increase the speed, which will make it a MUCH more challenging workout.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.


Your Go-To Treadmill Workout This Fall: Incline Sprints

  ·  2 min

Your Go-To Treadmill Workout This Fall: Incline Sprints

It’s that time of year again – the leaves start to change and the temperature starts to drop. While fall is beautiful, it means that soon cold weather will force us to kickoff treadmill season. For some, this is a welcomed change. For others, however, the ‘dreadmill’ is a last resort.Treadmills do however present us with benefits that road and trail running simply cannot. Here are four reasons to hop on a treadmill for your cardio this coming winter, as well as a killer treadmill workout to test out.Control. Treadmills allow you to control the speed and incline at which you’re running. Sure, you’re in control on the road, but with a treadmill you simply hit a button and it takes you where you want to be. There isn’t a guessing game as to what incline you’re running or how fast you’re going. I find this to be particularly helpful when I’m doing sprint or timed intervals.Efficient. The idea that every workout needs to be 90 minutes long is just wrong. If you work hard, you can get a great workout done in 30 minutes. Treadmills allow you to crank up speed and/or incline to levels that you probably wouldn’t hit out on the road.Variety. There are so many ways to change a workout using a treadmill. By altering your incline, speed or time intervals, you can come up with hundreds of workouts, all with their own unique settings. Some may think that treadmills are dull and repetitive, but with a little creativity, they are anything but boring.Weather. It’s always sunny and 75 on the treadmill. You don’t have to pack that extra pair of leggings when you’re running inside or need to worry about slipping on icy streets.This wouldn’t be much of a treadmill post if I didn’t also leave you with a solid workout to complete, would it? Well, you’re in luck. I’m leaving you with one of my favorite treadmill workouts. It targets both incline and speed, and keeps you changing things up to prevent boredom. *I use a Woodway treadmill that goes up to an incline of 25% and usually do 2 complete sets. With warmup and cooldown, it generally takes me almost exactly hour. Most treadmills will go up to 12-15% incline. If this is the case with you, I would recommend trying to do at least 2 sets. Also, if you’re pressed for time, you can also increase the speed, which will make it a MUCH more challenging workout.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.


Cold as Ice…and Still Running

  ·  4 min

Cold as Ice…and Still Running

Baby, It’s Cold Outside is a Christmas song written in 1944 by Frank Loesser. It’s a conversation between a woman who has to go and a man who keeps telling her “But baby, it’s cold outside.”“I really can’t stay(But baby, it’s cold outside)I’ve got to go away(But baby, it’s cold outside)”Avoid the Common ExcusesIt’ll soon be cold out there with lots of excuses not to leave, to stay indoors, and surely not to exercise. Whether it’s Foreigner’s Cold as Ice, or Loesser’s Baby, It’s Cold Outside, there are many barriers to convince people that winter is a time to stay indoors and be sedentary.  It’s not. Of course winter activities can be challenging, but like everything else, “the link is what you think.”It’s just weather. If you think it’s a great opportunity to try new activities, to enjoy the crunch of falling leaves under your feet, to have snowball fights, or to do some hiking or jogging in the crisp fall air.  Then you’ll love the coming months and stay in shape.If you think instead that it’s too cold, that you’ll freeze to death, that you’ll get injured, that there isn’t enough daylight to be active, then you’ll surely believe it’s inevitable to put on some weight and be more sedentary.“The link is what you think.” I want you to think rationally, logically and accurately about the coming months wherever you live and use the fall and winter to think outside the box to keep your health, fitness and wellness levels up and move into next spring feeling great!Have a Positive MindsetSure some folks will deal with Seasonal Affective Disorder, but when the days grow short guess what helps? Running! It can promote the release of depression-fighting hormones leaving those suffering with this very real malady in better moods and feeling more positive.  And we know that positive thinking and a positive outlook, the kind that comes from physical activity, improves your overall health.Staying indoors, breathing all that heated air as many do during the colder months, isn’t the healthiest for your lungs or for your mind. Getting outside, properly dressed for the cold, enjoying the outdoor crisp air, gives you a chance to literally detox your mind and body. It doesn’t take as many changes as you might think to enjoy it all.So the first thing that’s needed is the right mindset. What do you enjoy about the fall and winter months? Keep your eye on those things.Fall and winter are great times to try on new activities, join new classes at your local gym, gain new skills, add new strength training activities and find new ways to integrate exercise and activities into your daily life.Some use the winter months to form a base, with activities that add to endurance.  Longer runs, along with swimming and cycling indoors will add to your volume.  Springtime is the time to build with added weight and resistance training, as well as more interval cardio training to increase speed and strength.  Summer and fall are great times to put it all into practice and get out there for your 5K, 10K, and marathon races.Get Prepared for Exercise OutdoorsExercising outdoors when it’s cold outside requires a bit of preparation to make your activities successful.  A few smart things you can do are:Dress properly in thin wicking insulating layers to prevent hypothermia and frostbite in some climates.Wear reflective gear or a headlamp for running in the dark.Put on a fleece or thermal hat to prevent 50% heat loss from your head.Keep your hands and feet warm with mittens, because you can lose 30% of your body heat through your extremities.Cover your face with a balaclava (ski mask).Carry some ChapStick.Plan a route with icy patches in mind.Always run with a buddy.Wear shoes that give you a bit more traction and are water-proof and socks that are wicking, not cotton, and made of wool or CoolMax.Get Active beyond Your WorkoutRemember that there are lots of everyday activities to rejuvenate you and give you more natural energy during your day, including:Shoveling snowWalking at lunchtime with friendsTaking the stairs instead of the elevatorParking further away from your destination or getting off the bus or subway a few stops earlierStaying active while indoors with physical movement during TV commercialsFind Music to Motivate YouWhen we think of the winter season, filled with holidays, music always tops the list along with food, friends and family get-togethers.  Crank up your RockMyRun mixes for the genre and beats per minute that inspire your body and soul, that promote your focus on your health and above all, to motivate you to enjoy the spirit of the season and the holidays happy, active and fit.What are your tips for staying active, once the temperatures drop outdoors?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. 


Cold as Ice…and Still Running

  ·  4 min

Cold as Ice…and Still Running

Baby, It’s Cold Outside is a Christmas song written in 1944 by Frank Loesser. It’s a conversation between a woman who has to go and a man who keeps telling her “But baby, it’s cold outside.”“I really can’t stay(But baby, it’s cold outside)I’ve got to go away(But baby, it’s cold outside)”Avoid the Common ExcusesIt’ll soon be cold out there with lots of excuses not to leave, to stay indoors, and surely not to exercise. Whether it’s Foreigner’s Cold as Ice, or Loesser’s Baby, It’s Cold Outside, there are many barriers to convince people that winter is a time to stay indoors and be sedentary.  It’s not. Of course winter activities can be challenging, but like everything else, “the link is what you think.”It’s just weather. If you think it’s a great opportunity to try new activities, to enjoy the crunch of falling leaves under your feet, to have snowball fights, or to do some hiking or jogging in the crisp fall air.  Then you’ll love the coming months and stay in shape.If you think instead that it’s too cold, that you’ll freeze to death, that you’ll get injured, that there isn’t enough daylight to be active, then you’ll surely believe it’s inevitable to put on some weight and be more sedentary.“The link is what you think.” I want you to think rationally, logically and accurately about the coming months wherever you live and use the fall and winter to think outside the box to keep your health, fitness and wellness levels up and move into next spring feeling great!Have a Positive MindsetSure some folks will deal with Seasonal Affective Disorder, but when the days grow short guess what helps? Running! It can promote the release of depression-fighting hormones leaving those suffering with this very real malady in better moods and feeling more positive.  And we know that positive thinking and a positive outlook, the kind that comes from physical activity, improves your overall health.Staying indoors, breathing all that heated air as many do during the colder months, isn’t the healthiest for your lungs or for your mind. Getting outside, properly dressed for the cold, enjoying the outdoor crisp air, gives you a chance to literally detox your mind and body. It doesn’t take as many changes as you might think to enjoy it all.So the first thing that’s needed is the right mindset. What do you enjoy about the fall and winter months? Keep your eye on those things.Fall and winter are great times to try on new activities, join new classes at your local gym, gain new skills, add new strength training activities and find new ways to integrate exercise and activities into your daily life.Some use the winter months to form a base, with activities that add to endurance.  Longer runs, along with swimming and cycling indoors will add to your volume.  Springtime is the time to build with added weight and resistance training, as well as more interval cardio training to increase speed and strength.  Summer and fall are great times to put it all into practice and get out there for your 5K, 10K, and marathon races.Get Prepared for Exercise OutdoorsExercising outdoors when it’s cold outside requires a bit of preparation to make your activities successful.  A few smart things you can do are:Dress properly in thin wicking insulating layers to prevent hypothermia and frostbite in some climates.Wear reflective gear or a headlamp for running in the dark.Put on a fleece or thermal hat to prevent 50% heat loss from your head.Keep your hands and feet warm with mittens, because you can lose 30% of your body heat through your extremities.Cover your face with a balaclava (ski mask).Carry some ChapStick.Plan a route with icy patches in mind.Always run with a buddy.Wear shoes that give you a bit more traction and are water-proof and socks that are wicking, not cotton, and made of wool or CoolMax.Get Active beyond Your WorkoutRemember that there are lots of everyday activities to rejuvenate you and give you more natural energy during your day, including:Shoveling snowWalking at lunchtime with friendsTaking the stairs instead of the elevatorParking further away from your destination or getting off the bus or subway a few stops earlierStaying active while indoors with physical movement during TV commercialsFind Music to Motivate YouWhen we think of the winter season, filled with holidays, music always tops the list along with food, friends and family get-togethers.  Crank up your RockMyRun mixes for the genre and beats per minute that inspire your body and soul, that promote your focus on your health and above all, to motivate you to enjoy the spirit of the season and the holidays happy, active and fit.What are your tips for staying active, once the temperatures drop outdoors?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. 


Think You Don’t Have Time to Exercise? Think Again.

  ·  5 min

Think You Don’t Have Time to Exercise? Think Again.

When it comes to finding time to exercise, let’s start with some facts. Each of us has 168 hours per week in life. Many of us work about 50 or so hours per week, sleep about 50-60 hours per week, spend another 15-20 hours each week on personal care and grooming, leaving most of us about 6+ hours each day to_____________________. Fill in the blank.We fill in our time with what’s most important to us. As I said in an article I wrote for Greatest: Many people who don’t work out regularly can rattle off many reasons they’re not motivated to exercise, from not understanding the benefits of activity to thoughts like “I’m too busy,” “I’m embarrassed by how I look,” “exercise is boring,” and so on. The folks who hold these (false) self-sabotaging beliefs often believe exercise doesn’t matter; they don’t enjoy it, or they simply have no interest in doing it. And, really, who could blame them? Who would be inspired to start a physical activity with negative thoughts running through their head? A person has to believe exercise is of value in order to build motivation to do it.Benefits of ExerciseAs you already know, there are many benefits of exercise:Weight managementHealth and disease managementMood and self-confidence enhancementEnergy boosterPromotes healthy sleepPuts oomph into your sex lifeReduces stress by increasing brain soothing chemicalsHelps your brain function betterSparks creativityYour muscles, lungs, diaphragm, heart, stomach, kidneys, skin, joints, agility, balance, coordination, endurance and strength will all “smile” and say thank you many years from now.Every Minute CountsToday we know that even brief bouts of exercise, just 10 minutes at a time or less, can add a great deal to your health and well being while also slimming your waistline. The good news, remarkable really, comes from researchers at the University of Utah who found that every minute of intense movement counts towards the magic number of 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity we are all supposed to achieve each week – but only 5% of us do. That’s 150 minutes out of the 48 or so hours we have available to us each week.The findings indicate that brief periods of intense activity are effective in preventing weight gain and promoting health as well as doing 10 minute+ intervals. Moderate to vigorous activity, by the way, is walking about 3 miles per hour, or 2,020 counts per minute on an accelerometer. Clearly, every minute you spend in intense activity, counts.This suggests that the data on the best time to workout may be ignoring an important element—your life. Sure there are those who believe that for A-list athletes aiming for performance it might be better to push heavy training to alter in the morning or afternoon, the fact is that most who adhere to exercise routines are early morning exercisers. Bottom line is whenever you enjoy hitting the gym or track, do it. There’s benefit throughout the day.Get Creative about Getting ActiveHow can you get in short bouts of more intense exercise and find the time to get in your 150 minutes or so a week? Try these tested ways:Like a good scout, always be prepared. Don’t leave your home without your workout clothes packedKeep your workouts scheduled in your day planner —make an appointment for yourself! Remember that every minute counts.Wake up earlier and get your health plan moving, and your heart rate pumping, at the start of the day.Park away from your office, get off the train, subway or bus a few blocks before your normal close stopWhen you watch TV, use the commercials as reminders to do your squats, lunges, push ups, burpees, jumping jacks, planks, and crunches during the one-minute break.  Keep hand weights next to your chair/couch, ride your stationary bike and never use the remote control to change volume or channel.Make your lawn mower your newest piece of fitness equipment—ever hear of Carioca mowing? It’s all in the step!Walk to the office of the person you’d normally call and keep a jump rope in your briefcase or office drawer too!Make your chores count by scrubbing with vigor, grinding and stirring with some beats per minute, vacuum-dance with energy, wash your own car with upper body pushes, and shovel the coming snow (if your health allows) in tune with your favorite RockMyRun music mix.While exercise is key, taking time for yourself every day is critical for your health, well being and longevity. It’s all in my CHAIR method I recently described in an article for Prevention.com.C stands for a deeply felt commitment to very specific goals. You see the goal; you know why you’re doing it.H is for healthier foods, healthy carbs and proteins, healthy fat. ‘Diet’ is a word I never use.  It has the word ‘die’ in it.A stands for activity.  Daily activity, daily tracking of food and exercise. If you track, you adhere. Shoot for 10,000 steps a day. But even raking leaves counts as activity.I is inner motivation—you have to have your ‘why.’  And it has to be internal to you.R is for a realistic set of goals. You need something very tangible, like you want to be off blood pressure medication—not just I want to lose some weight or tone up.At the end of the day it’s all about thinking. The ‘link’ is what you think.” When you think you don’t have the time ask yourself if what you think is True, Helpful, Inspirational, Necessary, Kind to yourself. Hey, that’s what “THINK” means! If your answer is “No,” then change your thought and get active. It only takes a minute!What tips to have to stay active?  I’d love to see your thoughts 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. 


Think You Don’t Have Time to Exercise? Think Again.

  ·  5 min

Think You Don’t Have Time to Exercise? Think Again.

When it comes to finding time to exercise, let’s start with some facts. Each of us has 168 hours per week in life. Many of us work about 50 or so hours per week, sleep about 50-60 hours per week, spend another 15-20 hours each week on personal care and grooming, leaving most of us about 6+ hours each day to_____________________. Fill in the blank.We fill in our time with what’s most important to us. As I said in an article I wrote for Greatest: Many people who don’t work out regularly can rattle off many reasons they’re not motivated to exercise, from not understanding the benefits of activity to thoughts like “I’m too busy,” “I’m embarrassed by how I look,” “exercise is boring,” and so on. The folks who hold these (false) self-sabotaging beliefs often believe exercise doesn’t matter; they don’t enjoy it, or they simply have no interest in doing it. And, really, who could blame them? Who would be inspired to start a physical activity with negative thoughts running through their head? A person has to believe exercise is of value in order to build motivation to do it.Benefits of ExerciseAs you already know, there are many benefits of exercise:Weight managementHealth and disease managementMood and self-confidence enhancementEnergy boosterPromotes healthy sleepPuts oomph into your sex lifeReduces stress by increasing brain soothing chemicalsHelps your brain function betterSparks creativityYour muscles, lungs, diaphragm, heart, stomach, kidneys, skin, joints, agility, balance, coordination, endurance and strength will all “smile” and say thank you many years from now.Every Minute CountsToday we know that even brief bouts of exercise, just 10 minutes at a time or less, can add a great deal to your health and well being while also slimming your waistline. The good news, remarkable really, comes from researchers at the University of Utah who found that every minute of intense movement counts towards the magic number of 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity we are all supposed to achieve each week – but only 5% of us do. That’s 150 minutes out of the 48 or so hours we have available to us each week.The findings indicate that brief periods of intense activity are effective in preventing weight gain and promoting health as well as doing 10 minute+ intervals. Moderate to vigorous activity, by the way, is walking about 3 miles per hour, or 2,020 counts per minute on an accelerometer. Clearly, every minute you spend in intense activity, counts.This suggests that the data on the best time to workout may be ignoring an important element—your life. Sure there are those who believe that for A-list athletes aiming for performance it might be better to push heavy training to alter in the morning or afternoon, the fact is that most who adhere to exercise routines are early morning exercisers. Bottom line is whenever you enjoy hitting the gym or track, do it. There’s benefit throughout the day.Get Creative about Getting ActiveHow can you get in short bouts of more intense exercise and find the time to get in your 150 minutes or so a week? Try these tested ways:Like a good scout, always be prepared. Don’t leave your home without your workout clothes packedKeep your workouts scheduled in your day planner —make an appointment for yourself! Remember that every minute counts.Wake up earlier and get your health plan moving, and your heart rate pumping, at the start of the day.Park away from your office, get off the train, subway or bus a few blocks before your normal close stopWhen you watch TV, use the commercials as reminders to do your squats, lunges, push ups, burpees, jumping jacks, planks, and crunches during the one-minute break.  Keep hand weights next to your chair/couch, ride your stationary bike and never use the remote control to change volume or channel.Make your lawn mower your newest piece of fitness equipment—ever hear of Carioca mowing? It’s all in the step!Walk to the office of the person you’d normally call and keep a jump rope in your briefcase or office drawer too!Make your chores count by scrubbing with vigor, grinding and stirring with some beats per minute, vacuum-dance with energy, wash your own car with upper body pushes, and shovel the coming snow (if your health allows) in tune with your favorite RockMyRun music mix.While exercise is key, taking time for yourself every day is critical for your health, well being and longevity. It’s all in my CHAIR method I recently described in an article for Prevention.com.C stands for a deeply felt commitment to very specific goals. You see the goal; you know why you’re doing it.H is for healthier foods, healthy carbs and proteins, healthy fat. ‘Diet’ is a word I never use.  It has the word ‘die’ in it.A stands for activity.  Daily activity, daily tracking of food and exercise. If you track, you adhere. Shoot for 10,000 steps a day. But even raking leaves counts as activity.I is inner motivation—you have to have your ‘why.’  And it has to be internal to you.R is for a realistic set of goals. You need something very tangible, like you want to be off blood pressure medication—not just I want to lose some weight or tone up.At the end of the day it’s all about thinking. The ‘link’ is what you think.” When you think you don’t have the time ask yourself if what you think is True, Helpful, Inspirational, Necessary, Kind to yourself. Hey, that’s what “THINK” means! If your answer is “No,” then change your thought and get active. It only takes a minute!What tips to have to stay active?  I’d love to see your thoughts 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. 


Music…The Legal Performance Enhancing Drug

  ·  2 min

Music…The Legal Performance Enhancing Drug

Did you know that the leading expert about the psychology of exercise and music, Dr. Costas Karageorghis, calls music the “legal performance enhancing drug” of fitness and exercise?There have been a large number of studies about the effects of music on athletic performance since 1911 and these are the key findings:Music promotes emotional and physiological arousal.Music reduces fatigue, especially at moderate levels of exercise, by distracting us from our physical awareness.Music turbocharges our mind’s focus on performance and muscle memory and as the beat of music increases, power output and exercise intensity increases for mild to moderate ranges of exercise.Music improves our motor coordination as we move to the rhythm.Music relaxes us as a result of dampening byproduct molecules associated with high levels of exercise.Workout Music Enhances Performance & MotivationResearch studies have shown that music can enhance performance, motivation and reduce exertion. Researchers first found that cyclists pedaled faster when a band was playing than when there was no music. A more recent study found that people who cycled to music required 7% less oxygen to do the same work as cyclists who didn’t synchronize their pedaling.  Another study found that swimmers with music got a 10% boost in motivation and a full 3-second improvement in performance.   So why wouldn’t you want to do everything you could to enhance your workout?Beats per Minute for Workout MusicNo matter what genre you like, the most common rhythm is about 120 beats per minute (BPM). Power walkers report enjoying 137-139 BPM, runners about 147-169 BPM, and cyclists about 135-170 BPM.  However, the BPM you choose for an activity depends on your mood and purpose for your workout.  Moving to synchronous music with a clear and steady beat can boost your performance by up to 15%, while listening to relaxing music, called asynchronous music, can reduce tension as much as 10%.Music Tied to MemoryMusic opens the floodgates of memories and emotions, working on the auditory – motor brain connection, so it’s important to have total control over what you listen to when you workout.  This covers the internal and external elements of music’s impact on exercise—our heart and our mind.Find Music for Your Next WorkoutTo enhance your performance and motivation, find the right music for your next workout.  With RockMyRun, you can choose the right tempo and genre for your music from more than one hundred music mixes by professional DJs.  Once you’ve found the right beat for you, get ready for an added dose of enhanced performance.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. 


Music…The Legal Performance Enhancing Drug

  ·  2 min

Music…The Legal Performance Enhancing Drug

Did you know that the leading expert about the psychology of exercise and music, Dr. Costas Karageorghis, calls music the “legal performance enhancing drug” of fitness and exercise?There have been a large number of studies about the effects of music on athletic performance since 1911 and these are the key findings:Music promotes emotional and physiological arousal.Music reduces fatigue, especially at moderate levels of exercise, by distracting us from our physical awareness.Music turbocharges our mind’s focus on performance and muscle memory and as the beat of music increases, power output and exercise intensity increases for mild to moderate ranges of exercise.Music improves our motor coordination as we move to the rhythm.Music relaxes us as a result of dampening byproduct molecules associated with high levels of exercise.Workout Music Enhances Performance & MotivationResearch studies have shown that music can enhance performance, motivation and reduce exertion. Researchers first found that cyclists pedaled faster when a band was playing than when there was no music. A more recent study found that people who cycled to music required 7% less oxygen to do the same work as cyclists who didn’t synchronize their pedaling.  Another study found that swimmers with music got a 10% boost in motivation and a full 3-second improvement in performance.   So why wouldn’t you want to do everything you could to enhance your workout?Beats per Minute for Workout MusicNo matter what genre you like, the most common rhythm is about 120 beats per minute (BPM). Power walkers report enjoying 137-139 BPM, runners about 147-169 BPM, and cyclists about 135-170 BPM.  However, the BPM you choose for an activity depends on your mood and purpose for your workout.  Moving to synchronous music with a clear and steady beat can boost your performance by up to 15%, while listening to relaxing music, called asynchronous music, can reduce tension as much as 10%.Music Tied to MemoryMusic opens the floodgates of memories and emotions, working on the auditory – motor brain connection, so it’s important to have total control over what you listen to when you workout.  This covers the internal and external elements of music’s impact on exercise—our heart and our mind.Find Music for Your Next WorkoutTo enhance your performance and motivation, find the right music for your next workout.  With RockMyRun, you can choose the right tempo and genre for your music from more than one hundred music mixes by professional DJs.  Once you’ve found the right beat for you, get ready for an added dose of enhanced performance.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. 


Creating Running Music Mixes – The Agony and the Ecstasy

  ·  4 min

Creating Running Music Mixes – The Agony and the Ecstasy

Any musician will tell you that whenever they create a piece of music, they pour their hearts and souls in their creation. Truly great music only comes about through the fusing of a musicians’ beliefs, emotions, influences and, of course, talents.While at Rock My Run we’re not creating the next Beethoven’s 5th Symphony (though sometimes we work like we are!), we do put a lot of time and energy into creating our mixes. They may not be double platinum albums, but many hours go into a mix that will help you as a runner have more energy, be more motivated and hopefully perform better.This blog post is to give you an idea of what the mix creation process entails and why it can be both incredibly frustrating and incredibly rewarding to create them for you.Part 1: The SongsIt all starts with inspirational songs. As DJ’s we are constantly hearing new music, seeing what new artists are coming up, what new songs are hitting on the radio and what underground or forgotten tracks we may be worth (re)discovering.Keep in mind though, not only do we hear the songs you hear on the radio, but we also are exposed to some of the amazing DJ mixes from other DJ’s around the world. A remix can take a pretty good song, like Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep” for example, and make it extraordinary. Often times the general public aren’t exposed to those mixes, and it’s our duty to brings these gems to your ears.Part 2: The OrderOnce the songlist is decided, it’s time to figure out the right order of the mix. This is especially key for us at Rock My Run – you want a different tempo, emotional reaction or vibe in different phases of your run and given these are seamless mixes and not playlists, we need to put the right songs in the right order so that you either get the right pick-me-up as you fatigue or don’t start off too quick and burn out.Take the mix “Sweat” by DJ JLouis for example: When he brings in “Rap Das Armas vs. Let The Bass Kick” from Lil Jon & Kassiano about 2/3rds the way through the mix, when you might be starting to tire, it’s done to help give you an added bit of motivation before the hitting the finish line. That track would not be nearly as good at the beginning of the mix, when you are just getting into the flow of your workout.Part 3: The Mixing(aka where the magic happens)With the songlist and order decided, it’s time for the DJ to really get down to business: Firing up the turntables, actually mixing the songs in a seamless manner and adding all those cool scratches, samples, loops and effects that only DJ’s can really do.This is by far the toughest part: not just mixing and the cool effects, but deciding when and how to mix from one track to the next. Do you leave a track to play for 3 minutes because it’s got such great energy? Or do you leave it on for only a minute so the runner gets a taste of the song and then moves on?Ah this my friends is the beauty of it! There is no one right answer, hence the art involved. And trust me, it can be agonizing to get it just right – so the tracks mix perfectly, there is no overlap on lyrics (nobody likes that!) and the energy remains consistent.Add to this the fact that most DJ’s are perfectionist and it can take anywhere from 10’s to 100’s of hours to put together a great, flawless DJ mix. Girl Talk, a DJ famous for his mashup mix sets has said before it can take 40 hours to do 1 min of a mix. Incredible!But at the end of this effort can be a great work of art – a mix that can stand the test of time and still be great running music years and years from now.So next time you are listening to one of our DJ mixes, take a moment to consider how it was created: There was a lot of TLC put in that mix to help you run faster, stronger and longer!


Creating Running Music Mixes – The Agony and the Ecstasy

  ·  4 min

Creating Running Music Mixes – The Agony and the Ecstasy

Any musician will tell you that whenever they create a piece of music, they pour their hearts and souls in their creation. Truly great music only comes about through the fusing of a musicians’ beliefs, emotions, influences and, of course, talents.While at Rock My Run we’re not creating the next Beethoven’s 5th Symphony (though sometimes we work like we are!), we do put a lot of time and energy into creating our mixes. They may not be double platinum albums, but many hours go into a mix that will help you as a runner have more energy, be more motivated and hopefully perform better.This blog post is to give you an idea of what the mix creation process entails and why it can be both incredibly frustrating and incredibly rewarding to create them for you.Part 1: The SongsIt all starts with inspirational songs. As DJ’s we are constantly hearing new music, seeing what new artists are coming up, what new songs are hitting on the radio and what underground or forgotten tracks we may be worth (re)discovering.Keep in mind though, not only do we hear the songs you hear on the radio, but we also are exposed to some of the amazing DJ mixes from other DJ’s around the world. A remix can take a pretty good song, like Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep” for example, and make it extraordinary. Often times the general public aren’t exposed to those mixes, and it’s our duty to brings these gems to your ears.Part 2: The OrderOnce the songlist is decided, it’s time to figure out the right order of the mix. This is especially key for us at Rock My Run – you want a different tempo, emotional reaction or vibe in different phases of your run and given these are seamless mixes and not playlists, we need to put the right songs in the right order so that you either get the right pick-me-up as you fatigue or don’t start off too quick and burn out.Take the mix “Sweat” by DJ JLouis for example: When he brings in “Rap Das Armas vs. Let The Bass Kick” from Lil Jon & Kassiano about 2/3rds the way through the mix, when you might be starting to tire, it’s done to help give you an added bit of motivation before the hitting the finish line. That track would not be nearly as good at the beginning of the mix, when you are just getting into the flow of your workout.Part 3: The Mixing(aka where the magic happens)With the songlist and order decided, it’s time for the DJ to really get down to business: Firing up the turntables, actually mixing the songs in a seamless manner and adding all those cool scratches, samples, loops and effects that only DJ’s can really do.This is by far the toughest part: not just mixing and the cool effects, but deciding when and how to mix from one track to the next. Do you leave a track to play for 3 minutes because it’s got such great energy? Or do you leave it on for only a minute so the runner gets a taste of the song and then moves on?Ah this my friends is the beauty of it! There is no one right answer, hence the art involved. And trust me, it can be agonizing to get it just right – so the tracks mix perfectly, there is no overlap on lyrics (nobody likes that!) and the energy remains consistent.Add to this the fact that most DJ’s are perfectionist and it can take anywhere from 10’s to 100’s of hours to put together a great, flawless DJ mix. Girl Talk, a DJ famous for his mashup mix sets has said before it can take 40 hours to do 1 min of a mix. Incredible!But at the end of this effort can be a great work of art – a mix that can stand the test of time and still be great running music years and years from now.So next time you are listening to one of our DJ mixes, take a moment to consider how it was created: There was a lot of TLC put in that mix to help you run faster, stronger and longer!


Your Go-To Treadmill Workout This Fall: Incline Sprints

  ·  2 min

Your Go-To Treadmill Workout This Fall: Incline Sprints

It’s that time of year again – the leaves start to change and the temperature starts to drop. While fall is beautiful, it means that soon cold weather will force us to kickoff treadmill season. For some, this is a welcomed change. For others, however, the ‘dreadmill’ is a last resort.Treadmills do however present us with benefits that road and trail running simply cannot. Here are four reasons to hop on a treadmill for your cardio this coming winter, as well as a killer treadmill workout to test out.Control. Treadmills allow you to control the speed and incline at which you’re running. Sure, you’re in control on the road, but with a treadmill you simply hit a button and it takes you where you want to be. There isn’t a guessing game as to what incline you’re running or how fast you’re going. I find this to be particularly helpful when I’m doing sprint or timed intervals.Efficient. The idea that every workout needs to be 90 minutes long is just wrong. If you work hard, you can get a great workout done in 30 minutes. Treadmills allow you to crank up speed and/or incline to levels that you probably wouldn’t hit out on the road.Variety. There are so many ways to change a workout using a treadmill. By altering your incline, speed or time intervals, you can come up with hundreds of workouts, all with their own unique settings. Some may think that treadmills are dull and repetitive, but with a little creativity, they are anything but boring.Weather. It’s always sunny and 75 on the treadmill. You don’t have to pack that extra pair of leggings when you’re running inside or need to worry about slipping on icy streets.This wouldn’t be much of a treadmill post if I didn’t also leave you with a solid workout to complete, would it? Well, you’re in luck. I’m leaving you with one of my favorite treadmill workouts. It targets both incline and speed, and keeps you changing things up to prevent boredom. *I use a Woodway treadmill that goes up to an incline of 25% and usually do 2 complete sets. With warmup and cooldown, it generally takes me almost exactly hour. Most treadmills will go up to 12-15% incline. If this is the case with you, I would recommend trying to do at least 2 sets. Also, if you’re pressed for time, you can also increase the speed, which will make it a MUCH more challenging workout.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.


Your Go-To Treadmill Workout This Fall: Incline Sprints

  ·  2 min

Your Go-To Treadmill Workout This Fall: Incline Sprints

It’s that time of year again – the leaves start to change and the temperature starts to drop. While fall is beautiful, it means that soon cold weather will force us to kickoff treadmill season. For some, this is a welcomed change. For others, however, the ‘dreadmill’ is a last resort.Treadmills do however present us with benefits that road and trail running simply cannot. Here are four reasons to hop on a treadmill for your cardio this coming winter, as well as a killer treadmill workout to test out.Control. Treadmills allow you to control the speed and incline at which you’re running. Sure, you’re in control on the road, but with a treadmill you simply hit a button and it takes you where you want to be. There isn’t a guessing game as to what incline you’re running or how fast you’re going. I find this to be particularly helpful when I’m doing sprint or timed intervals.Efficient. The idea that every workout needs to be 90 minutes long is just wrong. If you work hard, you can get a great workout done in 30 minutes. Treadmills allow you to crank up speed and/or incline to levels that you probably wouldn’t hit out on the road.Variety. There are so many ways to change a workout using a treadmill. By altering your incline, speed or time intervals, you can come up with hundreds of workouts, all with their own unique settings. Some may think that treadmills are dull and repetitive, but with a little creativity, they are anything but boring.Weather. It’s always sunny and 75 on the treadmill. You don’t have to pack that extra pair of leggings when you’re running inside or need to worry about slipping on icy streets.This wouldn’t be much of a treadmill post if I didn’t also leave you with a solid workout to complete, would it? Well, you’re in luck. I’m leaving you with one of my favorite treadmill workouts. It targets both incline and speed, and keeps you changing things up to prevent boredom. *I use a Woodway treadmill that goes up to an incline of 25% and usually do 2 complete sets. With warmup and cooldown, it generally takes me almost exactly hour. Most treadmills will go up to 12-15% incline. If this is the case with you, I would recommend trying to do at least 2 sets. Also, if you’re pressed for time, you can also increase the speed, which will make it a MUCH more challenging workout.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.


Cold as Ice…and Still Running

  ·  4 min

Cold as Ice…and Still Running

Baby, It’s Cold Outside is a Christmas song written in 1944 by Frank Loesser. It’s a conversation between a woman who has to go and a man who keeps telling her “But baby, it’s cold outside.”“I really can’t stay(But baby, it’s cold outside)I’ve got to go away(But baby, it’s cold outside)”Avoid the Common ExcusesIt’ll soon be cold out there with lots of excuses not to leave, to stay indoors, and surely not to exercise. Whether it’s Foreigner’s Cold as Ice, or Loesser’s Baby, It’s Cold Outside, there are many barriers to convince people that winter is a time to stay indoors and be sedentary.  It’s not. Of course winter activities can be challenging, but like everything else, “the link is what you think.”It’s just weather. If you think it’s a great opportunity to try new activities, to enjoy the crunch of falling leaves under your feet, to have snowball fights, or to do some hiking or jogging in the crisp fall air.  Then you’ll love the coming months and stay in shape.If you think instead that it’s too cold, that you’ll freeze to death, that you’ll get injured, that there isn’t enough daylight to be active, then you’ll surely believe it’s inevitable to put on some weight and be more sedentary.“The link is what you think.” I want you to think rationally, logically and accurately about the coming months wherever you live and use the fall and winter to think outside the box to keep your health, fitness and wellness levels up and move into next spring feeling great!Have a Positive MindsetSure some folks will deal with Seasonal Affective Disorder, but when the days grow short guess what helps? Running! It can promote the release of depression-fighting hormones leaving those suffering with this very real malady in better moods and feeling more positive.  And we know that positive thinking and a positive outlook, the kind that comes from physical activity, improves your overall health.Staying indoors, breathing all that heated air as many do during the colder months, isn’t the healthiest for your lungs or for your mind. Getting outside, properly dressed for the cold, enjoying the outdoor crisp air, gives you a chance to literally detox your mind and body. It doesn’t take as many changes as you might think to enjoy it all.So the first thing that’s needed is the right mindset. What do you enjoy about the fall and winter months? Keep your eye on those things.Fall and winter are great times to try on new activities, join new classes at your local gym, gain new skills, add new strength training activities and find new ways to integrate exercise and activities into your daily life.Some use the winter months to form a base, with activities that add to endurance.  Longer runs, along with swimming and cycling indoors will add to your volume.  Springtime is the time to build with added weight and resistance training, as well as more interval cardio training to increase speed and strength.  Summer and fall are great times to put it all into practice and get out there for your 5K, 10K, and marathon races.Get Prepared for Exercise OutdoorsExercising outdoors when it’s cold outside requires a bit of preparation to make your activities successful.  A few smart things you can do are:Dress properly in thin wicking insulating layers to prevent hypothermia and frostbite in some climates.Wear reflective gear or a headlamp for running in the dark.Put on a fleece or thermal hat to prevent 50% heat loss from your head.Keep your hands and feet warm with mittens, because you can lose 30% of your body heat through your extremities.Cover your face with a balaclava (ski mask).Carry some ChapStick.Plan a route with icy patches in mind.Always run with a buddy.Wear shoes that give you a bit more traction and are water-proof and socks that are wicking, not cotton, and made of wool or CoolMax.Get Active beyond Your WorkoutRemember that there are lots of everyday activities to rejuvenate you and give you more natural energy during your day, including:Shoveling snowWalking at lunchtime with friendsTaking the stairs instead of the elevatorParking further away from your destination or getting off the bus or subway a few stops earlierStaying active while indoors with physical movement during TV commercialsFind Music to Motivate YouWhen we think of the winter season, filled with holidays, music always tops the list along with food, friends and family get-togethers.  Crank up your RockMyRun mixes for the genre and beats per minute that inspire your body and soul, that promote your focus on your health and above all, to motivate you to enjoy the spirit of the season and the holidays happy, active and fit.What are your tips for staying active, once the temperatures drop outdoors?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. 


Cold as Ice…and Still Running

  ·  4 min

Cold as Ice…and Still Running

Baby, It’s Cold Outside is a Christmas song written in 1944 by Frank Loesser. It’s a conversation between a woman who has to go and a man who keeps telling her “But baby, it’s cold outside.”“I really can’t stay(But baby, it’s cold outside)I’ve got to go away(But baby, it’s cold outside)”Avoid the Common ExcusesIt’ll soon be cold out there with lots of excuses not to leave, to stay indoors, and surely not to exercise. Whether it’s Foreigner’s Cold as Ice, or Loesser’s Baby, It’s Cold Outside, there are many barriers to convince people that winter is a time to stay indoors and be sedentary.  It’s not. Of course winter activities can be challenging, but like everything else, “the link is what you think.”It’s just weather. If you think it’s a great opportunity to try new activities, to enjoy the crunch of falling leaves under your feet, to have snowball fights, or to do some hiking or jogging in the crisp fall air.  Then you’ll love the coming months and stay in shape.If you think instead that it’s too cold, that you’ll freeze to death, that you’ll get injured, that there isn’t enough daylight to be active, then you’ll surely believe it’s inevitable to put on some weight and be more sedentary.“The link is what you think.” I want you to think rationally, logically and accurately about the coming months wherever you live and use the fall and winter to think outside the box to keep your health, fitness and wellness levels up and move into next spring feeling great!Have a Positive MindsetSure some folks will deal with Seasonal Affective Disorder, but when the days grow short guess what helps? Running! It can promote the release of depression-fighting hormones leaving those suffering with this very real malady in better moods and feeling more positive.  And we know that positive thinking and a positive outlook, the kind that comes from physical activity, improves your overall health.Staying indoors, breathing all that heated air as many do during the colder months, isn’t the healthiest for your lungs or for your mind. Getting outside, properly dressed for the cold, enjoying the outdoor crisp air, gives you a chance to literally detox your mind and body. It doesn’t take as many changes as you might think to enjoy it all.So the first thing that’s needed is the right mindset. What do you enjoy about the fall and winter months? Keep your eye on those things.Fall and winter are great times to try on new activities, join new classes at your local gym, gain new skills, add new strength training activities and find new ways to integrate exercise and activities into your daily life.Some use the winter months to form a base, with activities that add to endurance.  Longer runs, along with swimming and cycling indoors will add to your volume.  Springtime is the time to build with added weight and resistance training, as well as more interval cardio training to increase speed and strength.  Summer and fall are great times to put it all into practice and get out there for your 5K, 10K, and marathon races.Get Prepared for Exercise OutdoorsExercising outdoors when it’s cold outside requires a bit of preparation to make your activities successful.  A few smart things you can do are:Dress properly in thin wicking insulating layers to prevent hypothermia and frostbite in some climates.Wear reflective gear or a headlamp for running in the dark.Put on a fleece or thermal hat to prevent 50% heat loss from your head.Keep your hands and feet warm with mittens, because you can lose 30% of your body heat through your extremities.Cover your face with a balaclava (ski mask).Carry some ChapStick.Plan a route with icy patches in mind.Always run with a buddy.Wear shoes that give you a bit more traction and are water-proof and socks that are wicking, not cotton, and made of wool or CoolMax.Get Active beyond Your WorkoutRemember that there are lots of everyday activities to rejuvenate you and give you more natural energy during your day, including:Shoveling snowWalking at lunchtime with friendsTaking the stairs instead of the elevatorParking further away from your destination or getting off the bus or subway a few stops earlierStaying active while indoors with physical movement during TV commercialsFind Music to Motivate YouWhen we think of the winter season, filled with holidays, music always tops the list along with food, friends and family get-togethers.  Crank up your RockMyRun mixes for the genre and beats per minute that inspire your body and soul, that promote your focus on your health and above all, to motivate you to enjoy the spirit of the season and the holidays happy, active and fit.What are your tips for staying active, once the temperatures drop outdoors?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. 


Think You Don’t Have Time to Exercise? Think Again.

  ·  5 min

Think You Don’t Have Time to Exercise? Think Again.

When it comes to finding time to exercise, let’s start with some facts. Each of us has 168 hours per week in life. Many of us work about 50 or so hours per week, sleep about 50-60 hours per week, spend another 15-20 hours each week on personal care and grooming, leaving most of us about 6+ hours each day to_____________________. Fill in the blank.We fill in our time with what’s most important to us. As I said in an article I wrote for Greatest: Many people who don’t work out regularly can rattle off many reasons they’re not motivated to exercise, from not understanding the benefits of activity to thoughts like “I’m too busy,” “I’m embarrassed by how I look,” “exercise is boring,” and so on. The folks who hold these (false) self-sabotaging beliefs often believe exercise doesn’t matter; they don’t enjoy it, or they simply have no interest in doing it. And, really, who could blame them? Who would be inspired to start a physical activity with negative thoughts running through their head? A person has to believe exercise is of value in order to build motivation to do it.Benefits of ExerciseAs you already know, there are many benefits of exercise:Weight managementHealth and disease managementMood and self-confidence enhancementEnergy boosterPromotes healthy sleepPuts oomph into your sex lifeReduces stress by increasing brain soothing chemicalsHelps your brain function betterSparks creativityYour muscles, lungs, diaphragm, heart, stomach, kidneys, skin, joints, agility, balance, coordination, endurance and strength will all “smile” and say thank you many years from now.Every Minute CountsToday we know that even brief bouts of exercise, just 10 minutes at a time or less, can add a great deal to your health and well being while also slimming your waistline. The good news, remarkable really, comes from researchers at the University of Utah who found that every minute of intense movement counts towards the magic number of 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity we are all supposed to achieve each week – but only 5% of us do. That’s 150 minutes out of the 48 or so hours we have available to us each week.The findings indicate that brief periods of intense activity are effective in preventing weight gain and promoting health as well as doing 10 minute+ intervals. Moderate to vigorous activity, by the way, is walking about 3 miles per hour, or 2,020 counts per minute on an accelerometer. Clearly, every minute you spend in intense activity, counts.This suggests that the data on the best time to workout may be ignoring an important element—your life. Sure there are those who believe that for A-list athletes aiming for performance it might be better to push heavy training to alter in the morning or afternoon, the fact is that most who adhere to exercise routines are early morning exercisers. Bottom line is whenever you enjoy hitting the gym or track, do it. There’s benefit throughout the day.Get Creative about Getting ActiveHow can you get in short bouts of more intense exercise and find the time to get in your 150 minutes or so a week? Try these tested ways:Like a good scout, always be prepared. Don’t leave your home without your workout clothes packedKeep your workouts scheduled in your day planner —make an appointment for yourself! Remember that every minute counts.Wake up earlier and get your health plan moving, and your heart rate pumping, at the start of the day.Park away from your office, get off the train, subway or bus a few blocks before your normal close stopWhen you watch TV, use the commercials as reminders to do your squats, lunges, push ups, burpees, jumping jacks, planks, and crunches during the one-minute break.  Keep hand weights next to your chair/couch, ride your stationary bike and never use the remote control to change volume or channel.Make your lawn mower your newest piece of fitness equipment—ever hear of Carioca mowing? It’s all in the step!Walk to the office of the person you’d normally call and keep a jump rope in your briefcase or office drawer too!Make your chores count by scrubbing with vigor, grinding and stirring with some beats per minute, vacuum-dance with energy, wash your own car with upper body pushes, and shovel the coming snow (if your health allows) in tune with your favorite RockMyRun music mix.While exercise is key, taking time for yourself every day is critical for your health, well being and longevity. It’s all in my CHAIR method I recently described in an article for Prevention.com.C stands for a deeply felt commitment to very specific goals. You see the goal; you know why you’re doing it.H is for healthier foods, healthy carbs and proteins, healthy fat. ‘Diet’ is a word I never use.  It has the word ‘die’ in it.A stands for activity.  Daily activity, daily tracking of food and exercise. If you track, you adhere. Shoot for 10,000 steps a day. But even raking leaves counts as activity.I is inner motivation—you have to have your ‘why.’  And it has to be internal to you.R is for a realistic set of goals. You need something very tangible, like you want to be off blood pressure medication—not just I want to lose some weight or tone up.At the end of the day it’s all about thinking. The ‘link’ is what you think.” When you think you don’t have the time ask yourself if what you think is True, Helpful, Inspirational, Necessary, Kind to yourself. Hey, that’s what “THINK” means! If your answer is “No,” then change your thought and get active. It only takes a minute!What tips to have to stay active?  I’d love to see your thoughts 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. 


Think You Don’t Have Time to Exercise? Think Again.

  ·  5 min

Think You Don’t Have Time to Exercise? Think Again.

When it comes to finding time to exercise, let’s start with some facts. Each of us has 168 hours per week in life. Many of us work about 50 or so hours per week, sleep about 50-60 hours per week, spend another 15-20 hours each week on personal care and grooming, leaving most of us about 6+ hours each day to_____________________. Fill in the blank.We fill in our time with what’s most important to us. As I said in an article I wrote for Greatest: Many people who don’t work out regularly can rattle off many reasons they’re not motivated to exercise, from not understanding the benefits of activity to thoughts like “I’m too busy,” “I’m embarrassed by how I look,” “exercise is boring,” and so on. The folks who hold these (false) self-sabotaging beliefs often believe exercise doesn’t matter; they don’t enjoy it, or they simply have no interest in doing it. And, really, who could blame them? Who would be inspired to start a physical activity with negative thoughts running through their head? A person has to believe exercise is of value in order to build motivation to do it.Benefits of ExerciseAs you already know, there are many benefits of exercise:Weight managementHealth and disease managementMood and self-confidence enhancementEnergy boosterPromotes healthy sleepPuts oomph into your sex lifeReduces stress by increasing brain soothing chemicalsHelps your brain function betterSparks creativityYour muscles, lungs, diaphragm, heart, stomach, kidneys, skin, joints, agility, balance, coordination, endurance and strength will all “smile” and say thank you many years from now.Every Minute CountsToday we know that even brief bouts of exercise, just 10 minutes at a time or less, can add a great deal to your health and well being while also slimming your waistline. The good news, remarkable really, comes from researchers at the University of Utah who found that every minute of intense movement counts towards the magic number of 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity we are all supposed to achieve each week – but only 5% of us do. That’s 150 minutes out of the 48 or so hours we have available to us each week.The findings indicate that brief periods of intense activity are effective in preventing weight gain and promoting health as well as doing 10 minute+ intervals. Moderate to vigorous activity, by the way, is walking about 3 miles per hour, or 2,020 counts per minute on an accelerometer. Clearly, every minute you spend in intense activity, counts.This suggests that the data on the best time to workout may be ignoring an important element—your life. Sure there are those who believe that for A-list athletes aiming for performance it might be better to push heavy training to alter in the morning or afternoon, the fact is that most who adhere to exercise routines are early morning exercisers. Bottom line is whenever you enjoy hitting the gym or track, do it. There’s benefit throughout the day.Get Creative about Getting ActiveHow can you get in short bouts of more intense exercise and find the time to get in your 150 minutes or so a week? Try these tested ways:Like a good scout, always be prepared. Don’t leave your home without your workout clothes packedKeep your workouts scheduled in your day planner —make an appointment for yourself! Remember that every minute counts.Wake up earlier and get your health plan moving, and your heart rate pumping, at the start of the day.Park away from your office, get off the train, subway or bus a few blocks before your normal close stopWhen you watch TV, use the commercials as reminders to do your squats, lunges, push ups, burpees, jumping jacks, planks, and crunches during the one-minute break.  Keep hand weights next to your chair/couch, ride your stationary bike and never use the remote control to change volume or channel.Make your lawn mower your newest piece of fitness equipment—ever hear of Carioca mowing? It’s all in the step!Walk to the office of the person you’d normally call and keep a jump rope in your briefcase or office drawer too!Make your chores count by scrubbing with vigor, grinding and stirring with some beats per minute, vacuum-dance with energy, wash your own car with upper body pushes, and shovel the coming snow (if your health allows) in tune with your favorite RockMyRun music mix.While exercise is key, taking time for yourself every day is critical for your health, well being and longevity. It’s all in my CHAIR method I recently described in an article for Prevention.com.C stands for a deeply felt commitment to very specific goals. You see the goal; you know why you’re doing it.H is for healthier foods, healthy carbs and proteins, healthy fat. ‘Diet’ is a word I never use.  It has the word ‘die’ in it.A stands for activity.  Daily activity, daily tracking of food and exercise. If you track, you adhere. Shoot for 10,000 steps a day. But even raking leaves counts as activity.I is inner motivation—you have to have your ‘why.’  And it has to be internal to you.R is for a realistic set of goals. You need something very tangible, like you want to be off blood pressure medication—not just I want to lose some weight or tone up.At the end of the day it’s all about thinking. The ‘link’ is what you think.” When you think you don’t have the time ask yourself if what you think is True, Helpful, Inspirational, Necessary, Kind to yourself. Hey, that’s what “THINK” means! If your answer is “No,” then change your thought and get active. It only takes a minute!What tips to have to stay active?  I’d love to see your thoughts 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. 


Music…The Legal Performance Enhancing Drug

  ·  2 min

Music…The Legal Performance Enhancing Drug

Did you know that the leading expert about the psychology of exercise and music, Dr. Costas Karageorghis, calls music the “legal performance enhancing drug” of fitness and exercise?There have been a large number of studies about the effects of music on athletic performance since 1911 and these are the key findings:Music promotes emotional and physiological arousal.Music reduces fatigue, especially at moderate levels of exercise, by distracting us from our physical awareness.Music turbocharges our mind’s focus on performance and muscle memory and as the beat of music increases, power output and exercise intensity increases for mild to moderate ranges of exercise.Music improves our motor coordination as we move to the rhythm.Music relaxes us as a result of dampening byproduct molecules associated with high levels of exercise.Workout Music Enhances Performance & MotivationResearch studies have shown that music can enhance performance, motivation and reduce exertion. Researchers first found that cyclists pedaled faster when a band was playing than when there was no music. A more recent study found that people who cycled to music required 7% less oxygen to do the same work as cyclists who didn’t synchronize their pedaling.  Another study found that swimmers with music got a 10% boost in motivation and a full 3-second improvement in performance.   So why wouldn’t you want to do everything you could to enhance your workout?Beats per Minute for Workout MusicNo matter what genre you like, the most common rhythm is about 120 beats per minute (BPM). Power walkers report enjoying 137-139 BPM, runners about 147-169 BPM, and cyclists about 135-170 BPM.  However, the BPM you choose for an activity depends on your mood and purpose for your workout.  Moving to synchronous music with a clear and steady beat can boost your performance by up to 15%, while listening to relaxing music, called asynchronous music, can reduce tension as much as 10%.Music Tied to MemoryMusic opens the floodgates of memories and emotions, working on the auditory – motor brain connection, so it’s important to have total control over what you listen to when you workout.  This covers the internal and external elements of music’s impact on exercise—our heart and our mind.Find Music for Your Next WorkoutTo enhance your performance and motivation, find the right music for your next workout.  With RockMyRun, you can choose the right tempo and genre for your music from more than one hundred music mixes by professional DJs.  Once you’ve found the right beat for you, get ready for an added dose of enhanced performance.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. 


Music…The Legal Performance Enhancing Drug

  ·  2 min

Music…The Legal Performance Enhancing Drug

Did you know that the leading expert about the psychology of exercise and music, Dr. Costas Karageorghis, calls music the “legal performance enhancing drug” of fitness and exercise?There have been a large number of studies about the effects of music on athletic performance since 1911 and these are the key findings:Music promotes emotional and physiological arousal.Music reduces fatigue, especially at moderate levels of exercise, by distracting us from our physical awareness.Music turbocharges our mind’s focus on performance and muscle memory and as the beat of music increases, power output and exercise intensity increases for mild to moderate ranges of exercise.Music improves our motor coordination as we move to the rhythm.Music relaxes us as a result of dampening byproduct molecules associated with high levels of exercise.Workout Music Enhances Performance & MotivationResearch studies have shown that music can enhance performance, motivation and reduce exertion. Researchers first found that cyclists pedaled faster when a band was playing than when there was no music. A more recent study found that people who cycled to music required 7% less oxygen to do the same work as cyclists who didn’t synchronize their pedaling.  Another study found that swimmers with music got a 10% boost in motivation and a full 3-second improvement in performance.   So why wouldn’t you want to do everything you could to enhance your workout?Beats per Minute for Workout MusicNo matter what genre you like, the most common rhythm is about 120 beats per minute (BPM). Power walkers report enjoying 137-139 BPM, runners about 147-169 BPM, and cyclists about 135-170 BPM.  However, the BPM you choose for an activity depends on your mood and purpose for your workout.  Moving to synchronous music with a clear and steady beat can boost your performance by up to 15%, while listening to relaxing music, called asynchronous music, can reduce tension as much as 10%.Music Tied to MemoryMusic opens the floodgates of memories and emotions, working on the auditory – motor brain connection, so it’s important to have total control over what you listen to when you workout.  This covers the internal and external elements of music’s impact on exercise—our heart and our mind.Find Music for Your Next WorkoutTo enhance your performance and motivation, find the right music for your next workout.  With RockMyRun, you can choose the right tempo and genre for your music from more than one hundred music mixes by professional DJs.  Once you’ve found the right beat for you, get ready for an added dose of enhanced performance.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. 


Creating Running Music Mixes – The Agony and the Ecstasy

  ·  4 min

Creating Running Music Mixes – The Agony and the Ecstasy

Any musician will tell you that whenever they create a piece of music, they pour their hearts and souls in their creation. Truly great music only comes about through the fusing of a musicians’ beliefs, emotions, influences and, of course, talents.While at Rock My Run we’re not creating the next Beethoven’s 5th Symphony (though sometimes we work like we are!), we do put a lot of time and energy into creating our mixes. They may not be double platinum albums, but many hours go into a mix that will help you as a runner have more energy, be more motivated and hopefully perform better.This blog post is to give you an idea of what the mix creation process entails and why it can be both incredibly frustrating and incredibly rewarding to create them for you.Part 1: The SongsIt all starts with inspirational songs. As DJ’s we are constantly hearing new music, seeing what new artists are coming up, what new songs are hitting on the radio and what underground or forgotten tracks we may be worth (re)discovering.Keep in mind though, not only do we hear the songs you hear on the radio, but we also are exposed to some of the amazing DJ mixes from other DJ’s around the world. A remix can take a pretty good song, like Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep” for example, and make it extraordinary. Often times the general public aren’t exposed to those mixes, and it’s our duty to brings these gems to your ears.Part 2: The OrderOnce the songlist is decided, it’s time to figure out the right order of the mix. This is especially key for us at Rock My Run – you want a different tempo, emotional reaction or vibe in different phases of your run and given these are seamless mixes and not playlists, we need to put the right songs in the right order so that you either get the right pick-me-up as you fatigue or don’t start off too quick and burn out.Take the mix “Sweat” by DJ JLouis for example: When he brings in “Rap Das Armas vs. Let The Bass Kick” from Lil Jon & Kassiano about 2/3rds the way through the mix, when you might be starting to tire, it’s done to help give you an added bit of motivation before the hitting the finish line. That track would not be nearly as good at the beginning of the mix, when you are just getting into the flow of your workout.Part 3: The Mixing(aka where the magic happens)With the songlist and order decided, it’s time for the DJ to really get down to business: Firing up the turntables, actually mixing the songs in a seamless manner and adding all those cool scratches, samples, loops and effects that only DJ’s can really do.This is by far the toughest part: not just mixing and the cool effects, but deciding when and how to mix from one track to the next. Do you leave a track to play for 3 minutes because it’s got such great energy? Or do you leave it on for only a minute so the runner gets a taste of the song and then moves on?Ah this my friends is the beauty of it! There is no one right answer, hence the art involved. And trust me, it can be agonizing to get it just right – so the tracks mix perfectly, there is no overlap on lyrics (nobody likes that!) and the energy remains consistent.Add to this the fact that most DJ’s are perfectionist and it can take anywhere from 10’s to 100’s of hours to put together a great, flawless DJ mix. Girl Talk, a DJ famous for his mashup mix sets has said before it can take 40 hours to do 1 min of a mix. Incredible!But at the end of this effort can be a great work of art – a mix that can stand the test of time and still be great running music years and years from now.So next time you are listening to one of our DJ mixes, take a moment to consider how it was created: There was a lot of TLC put in that mix to help you run faster, stronger and longer!


Creating Running Music Mixes – The Agony and the Ecstasy

  ·  4 min

Creating Running Music Mixes – The Agony and the Ecstasy

Any musician will tell you that whenever they create a piece of music, they pour their hearts and souls in their creation. Truly great music only comes about through the fusing of a musicians’ beliefs, emotions, influences and, of course, talents.While at Rock My Run we’re not creating the next Beethoven’s 5th Symphony (though sometimes we work like we are!), we do put a lot of time and energy into creating our mixes. They may not be double platinum albums, but many hours go into a mix that will help you as a runner have more energy, be more motivated and hopefully perform better.This blog post is to give you an idea of what the mix creation process entails and why it can be both incredibly frustrating and incredibly rewarding to create them for you.Part 1: The SongsIt all starts with inspirational songs. As DJ’s we are constantly hearing new music, seeing what new artists are coming up, what new songs are hitting on the radio and what underground or forgotten tracks we may be worth (re)discovering.Keep in mind though, not only do we hear the songs you hear on the radio, but we also are exposed to some of the amazing DJ mixes from other DJ’s around the world. A remix can take a pretty good song, like Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep” for example, and make it extraordinary. Often times the general public aren’t exposed to those mixes, and it’s our duty to brings these gems to your ears.Part 2: The OrderOnce the songlist is decided, it’s time to figure out the right order of the mix. This is especially key for us at Rock My Run – you want a different tempo, emotional reaction or vibe in different phases of your run and given these are seamless mixes and not playlists, we need to put the right songs in the right order so that you either get the right pick-me-up as you fatigue or don’t start off too quick and burn out.Take the mix “Sweat” by DJ JLouis for example: When he brings in “Rap Das Armas vs. Let The Bass Kick” from Lil Jon & Kassiano about 2/3rds the way through the mix, when you might be starting to tire, it’s done to help give you an added bit of motivation before the hitting the finish line. That track would not be nearly as good at the beginning of the mix, when you are just getting into the flow of your workout.Part 3: The Mixing(aka where the magic happens)With the songlist and order decided, it’s time for the DJ to really get down to business: Firing up the turntables, actually mixing the songs in a seamless manner and adding all those cool scratches, samples, loops and effects that only DJ’s can really do.This is by far the toughest part: not just mixing and the cool effects, but deciding when and how to mix from one track to the next. Do you leave a track to play for 3 minutes because it’s got such great energy? Or do you leave it on for only a minute so the runner gets a taste of the song and then moves on?Ah this my friends is the beauty of it! There is no one right answer, hence the art involved. And trust me, it can be agonizing to get it just right – so the tracks mix perfectly, there is no overlap on lyrics (nobody likes that!) and the energy remains consistent.Add to this the fact that most DJ’s are perfectionist and it can take anywhere from 10’s to 100’s of hours to put together a great, flawless DJ mix. Girl Talk, a DJ famous for his mashup mix sets has said before it can take 40 hours to do 1 min of a mix. Incredible!But at the end of this effort can be a great work of art – a mix that can stand the test of time and still be great running music years and years from now.So next time you are listening to one of our DJ mixes, take a moment to consider how it was created: There was a lot of TLC put in that mix to help you run faster, stronger and longer!


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Your Go-To Treadmill Workout This Fall: Incline Sprints

  ·  2 min

Your Go-To Treadmill Workout This Fall: Incline Sprints

It’s that time of year again – the leaves start to change and the temperature starts to drop. While fall is beautiful, it means that soon cold weather will force us to kickoff treadmill season. For some, this is a welcomed change. For others, however, the ‘dreadmill’ is a last resort.Treadmills do however present us with benefits that road and trail running simply cannot. Here are four reasons to hop on a treadmill for your cardio this coming winter, as well as a killer treadmill workout to test out.Control. Treadmills allow you to control the speed and incline at which you’re running. Sure, you’re in control on the road, but with a treadmill you simply hit a button and it takes you where you want to be. There isn’t a guessing game as to what incline you’re running or how fast you’re going. I find this to be particularly helpful when I’m doing sprint or timed intervals.Efficient. The idea that every workout needs to be 90 minutes long is just wrong. If you work hard, you can get a great workout done in 30 minutes. Treadmills allow you to crank up speed and/or incline to levels that you probably wouldn’t hit out on the road.Variety. There are so many ways to change a workout using a treadmill. By altering your incline, speed or time intervals, you can come up with hundreds of workouts, all with their own unique settings. Some may think that treadmills are dull and repetitive, but with a little creativity, they are anything but boring.Weather. It’s always sunny and 75 on the treadmill. You don’t have to pack that extra pair of leggings when you’re running inside or need to worry about slipping on icy streets.This wouldn’t be much of a treadmill post if I didn’t also leave you with a solid workout to complete, would it? Well, you’re in luck. I’m leaving you with one of my favorite treadmill workouts. It targets both incline and speed, and keeps you changing things up to prevent boredom. *I use a Woodway treadmill that goes up to an incline of 25% and usually do 2 complete sets. With warmup and cooldown, it generally takes me almost exactly hour. Most treadmills will go up to 12-15% incline. If this is the case with you, I would recommend trying to do at least 2 sets. Also, if you’re pressed for time, you can also increase the speed, which will make it a MUCH more challenging workout.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.


Your Go-To Treadmill Workout This Fall: Incline Sprints

  ·  2 min

Your Go-To Treadmill Workout This Fall: Incline Sprints

It’s that time of year again – the leaves start to change and the temperature starts to drop. While fall is beautiful, it means that soon cold weather will force us to kickoff treadmill season. For some, this is a welcomed change. For others, however, the ‘dreadmill’ is a last resort.Treadmills do however present us with benefits that road and trail running simply cannot. Here are four reasons to hop on a treadmill for your cardio this coming winter, as well as a killer treadmill workout to test out.Control. Treadmills allow you to control the speed and incline at which you’re running. Sure, you’re in control on the road, but with a treadmill you simply hit a button and it takes you where you want to be. There isn’t a guessing game as to what incline you’re running or how fast you’re going. I find this to be particularly helpful when I’m doing sprint or timed intervals.Efficient. The idea that every workout needs to be 90 minutes long is just wrong. If you work hard, you can get a great workout done in 30 minutes. Treadmills allow you to crank up speed and/or incline to levels that you probably wouldn’t hit out on the road.Variety. There are so many ways to change a workout using a treadmill. By altering your incline, speed or time intervals, you can come up with hundreds of workouts, all with their own unique settings. Some may think that treadmills are dull and repetitive, but with a little creativity, they are anything but boring.Weather. It’s always sunny and 75 on the treadmill. You don’t have to pack that extra pair of leggings when you’re running inside or need to worry about slipping on icy streets.This wouldn’t be much of a treadmill post if I didn’t also leave you with a solid workout to complete, would it? Well, you’re in luck. I’m leaving you with one of my favorite treadmill workouts. It targets both incline and speed, and keeps you changing things up to prevent boredom. *I use a Woodway treadmill that goes up to an incline of 25% and usually do 2 complete sets. With warmup and cooldown, it generally takes me almost exactly hour. Most treadmills will go up to 12-15% incline. If this is the case with you, I would recommend trying to do at least 2 sets. Also, if you’re pressed for time, you can also increase the speed, which will make it a MUCH more challenging workout.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.


Cold as Ice…and Still Running

  ·  4 min

Cold as Ice…and Still Running

Baby, It’s Cold Outside is a Christmas song written in 1944 by Frank Loesser. It’s a conversation between a woman who has to go and a man who keeps telling her “But baby, it’s cold outside.”“I really can’t stay(But baby, it’s cold outside)I’ve got to go away(But baby, it’s cold outside)”Avoid the Common ExcusesIt’ll soon be cold out there with lots of excuses not to leave, to stay indoors, and surely not to exercise. Whether it’s Foreigner’s Cold as Ice, or Loesser’s Baby, It’s Cold Outside, there are many barriers to convince people that winter is a time to stay indoors and be sedentary.  It’s not. Of course winter activities can be challenging, but like everything else, “the link is what you think.”It’s just weather. If you think it’s a great opportunity to try new activities, to enjoy the crunch of falling leaves under your feet, to have snowball fights, or to do some hiking or jogging in the crisp fall air.  Then you’ll love the coming months and stay in shape.If you think instead that it’s too cold, that you’ll freeze to death, that you’ll get injured, that there isn’t enough daylight to be active, then you’ll surely believe it’s inevitable to put on some weight and be more sedentary.“The link is what you think.” I want you to think rationally, logically and accurately about the coming months wherever you live and use the fall and winter to think outside the box to keep your health, fitness and wellness levels up and move into next spring feeling great!Have a Positive MindsetSure some folks will deal with Seasonal Affective Disorder, but when the days grow short guess what helps? Running! It can promote the release of depression-fighting hormones leaving those suffering with this very real malady in better moods and feeling more positive.  And we know that positive thinking and a positive outlook, the kind that comes from physical activity, improves your overall health.Staying indoors, breathing all that heated air as many do during the colder months, isn’t the healthiest for your lungs or for your mind. Getting outside, properly dressed for the cold, enjoying the outdoor crisp air, gives you a chance to literally detox your mind and body. It doesn’t take as many changes as you might think to enjoy it all.So the first thing that’s needed is the right mindset. What do you enjoy about the fall and winter months? Keep your eye on those things.Fall and winter are great times to try on new activities, join new classes at your local gym, gain new skills, add new strength training activities and find new ways to integrate exercise and activities into your daily life.Some use the winter months to form a base, with activities that add to endurance.  Longer runs, along with swimming and cycling indoors will add to your volume.  Springtime is the time to build with added weight and resistance training, as well as more interval cardio training to increase speed and strength.  Summer and fall are great times to put it all into practice and get out there for your 5K, 10K, and marathon races.Get Prepared for Exercise OutdoorsExercising outdoors when it’s cold outside requires a bit of preparation to make your activities successful.  A few smart things you can do are:Dress properly in thin wicking insulating layers to prevent hypothermia and frostbite in some climates.Wear reflective gear or a headlamp for running in the dark.Put on a fleece or thermal hat to prevent 50% heat loss from your head.Keep your hands and feet warm with mittens, because you can lose 30% of your body heat through your extremities.Cover your face with a balaclava (ski mask).Carry some ChapStick.Plan a route with icy patches in mind.Always run with a buddy.Wear shoes that give you a bit more traction and are water-proof and socks that are wicking, not cotton, and made of wool or CoolMax.Get Active beyond Your WorkoutRemember that there are lots of everyday activities to rejuvenate you and give you more natural energy during your day, including:Shoveling snowWalking at lunchtime with friendsTaking the stairs instead of the elevatorParking further away from your destination or getting off the bus or subway a few stops earlierStaying active while indoors with physical movement during TV commercialsFind Music to Motivate YouWhen we think of the winter season, filled with holidays, music always tops the list along with food, friends and family get-togethers.  Crank up your RockMyRun mixes for the genre and beats per minute that inspire your body and soul, that promote your focus on your health and above all, to motivate you to enjoy the spirit of the season and the holidays happy, active and fit.What are your tips for staying active, once the temperatures drop outdoors?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. 


Cold as Ice…and Still Running

  ·  4 min

Cold as Ice…and Still Running

Baby, It’s Cold Outside is a Christmas song written in 1944 by Frank Loesser. It’s a conversation between a woman who has to go and a man who keeps telling her “But baby, it’s cold outside.”“I really can’t stay(But baby, it’s cold outside)I’ve got to go away(But baby, it’s cold outside)”Avoid the Common ExcusesIt’ll soon be cold out there with lots of excuses not to leave, to stay indoors, and surely not to exercise. Whether it’s Foreigner’s Cold as Ice, or Loesser’s Baby, It’s Cold Outside, there are many barriers to convince people that winter is a time to stay indoors and be sedentary.  It’s not. Of course winter activities can be challenging, but like everything else, “the link is what you think.”It’s just weather. If you think it’s a great opportunity to try new activities, to enjoy the crunch of falling leaves under your feet, to have snowball fights, or to do some hiking or jogging in the crisp fall air.  Then you’ll love the coming months and stay in shape.If you think instead that it’s too cold, that you’ll freeze to death, that you’ll get injured, that there isn’t enough daylight to be active, then you’ll surely believe it’s inevitable to put on some weight and be more sedentary.“The link is what you think.” I want you to think rationally, logically and accurately about the coming months wherever you live and use the fall and winter to think outside the box to keep your health, fitness and wellness levels up and move into next spring feeling great!Have a Positive MindsetSure some folks will deal with Seasonal Affective Disorder, but when the days grow short guess what helps? Running! It can promote the release of depression-fighting hormones leaving those suffering with this very real malady in better moods and feeling more positive.  And we know that positive thinking and a positive outlook, the kind that comes from physical activity, improves your overall health.Staying indoors, breathing all that heated air as many do during the colder months, isn’t the healthiest for your lungs or for your mind. Getting outside, properly dressed for the cold, enjoying the outdoor crisp air, gives you a chance to literally detox your mind and body. It doesn’t take as many changes as you might think to enjoy it all.So the first thing that’s needed is the right mindset. What do you enjoy about the fall and winter months? Keep your eye on those things.Fall and winter are great times to try on new activities, join new classes at your local gym, gain new skills, add new strength training activities and find new ways to integrate exercise and activities into your daily life.Some use the winter months to form a base, with activities that add to endurance.  Longer runs, along with swimming and cycling indoors will add to your volume.  Springtime is the time to build with added weight and resistance training, as well as more interval cardio training to increase speed and strength.  Summer and fall are great times to put it all into practice and get out there for your 5K, 10K, and marathon races.Get Prepared for Exercise OutdoorsExercising outdoors when it’s cold outside requires a bit of preparation to make your activities successful.  A few smart things you can do are:Dress properly in thin wicking insulating layers to prevent hypothermia and frostbite in some climates.Wear reflective gear or a headlamp for running in the dark.Put on a fleece or thermal hat to prevent 50% heat loss from your head.Keep your hands and feet warm with mittens, because you can lose 30% of your body heat through your extremities.Cover your face with a balaclava (ski mask).Carry some ChapStick.Plan a route with icy patches in mind.Always run with a buddy.Wear shoes that give you a bit more traction and are water-proof and socks that are wicking, not cotton, and made of wool or CoolMax.Get Active beyond Your WorkoutRemember that there are lots of everyday activities to rejuvenate you and give you more natural energy during your day, including:Shoveling snowWalking at lunchtime with friendsTaking the stairs instead of the elevatorParking further away from your destination or getting off the bus or subway a few stops earlierStaying active while indoors with physical movement during TV commercialsFind Music to Motivate YouWhen we think of the winter season, filled with holidays, music always tops the list along with food, friends and family get-togethers.  Crank up your RockMyRun mixes for the genre and beats per minute that inspire your body and soul, that promote your focus on your health and above all, to motivate you to enjoy the spirit of the season and the holidays happy, active and fit.What are your tips for staying active, once the temperatures drop outdoors?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. 


Think You Don’t Have Time to Exercise? Think Again.

  ·  5 min

Think You Don’t Have Time to Exercise? Think Again.

When it comes to finding time to exercise, let’s start with some facts. Each of us has 168 hours per week in life. Many of us work about 50 or so hours per week, sleep about 50-60 hours per week, spend another 15-20 hours each week on personal care and grooming, leaving most of us about 6+ hours each day to_____________________. Fill in the blank.We fill in our time with what’s most important to us. As I said in an article I wrote for Greatest: Many people who don’t work out regularly can rattle off many reasons they’re not motivated to exercise, from not understanding the benefits of activity to thoughts like “I’m too busy,” “I’m embarrassed by how I look,” “exercise is boring,” and so on. The folks who hold these (false) self-sabotaging beliefs often believe exercise doesn’t matter; they don’t enjoy it, or they simply have no interest in doing it. And, really, who could blame them? Who would be inspired to start a physical activity with negative thoughts running through their head? A person has to believe exercise is of value in order to build motivation to do it.Benefits of ExerciseAs you already know, there are many benefits of exercise:Weight managementHealth and disease managementMood and self-confidence enhancementEnergy boosterPromotes healthy sleepPuts oomph into your sex lifeReduces stress by increasing brain soothing chemicalsHelps your brain function betterSparks creativityYour muscles, lungs, diaphragm, heart, stomach, kidneys, skin, joints, agility, balance, coordination, endurance and strength will all “smile” and say thank you many years from now.Every Minute CountsToday we know that even brief bouts of exercise, just 10 minutes at a time or less, can add a great deal to your health and well being while also slimming your waistline. The good news, remarkable really, comes from researchers at the University of Utah who found that every minute of intense movement counts towards the magic number of 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity we are all supposed to achieve each week – but only 5% of us do. That’s 150 minutes out of the 48 or so hours we have available to us each week.The findings indicate that brief periods of intense activity are effective in preventing weight gain and promoting health as well as doing 10 minute+ intervals. Moderate to vigorous activity, by the way, is walking about 3 miles per hour, or 2,020 counts per minute on an accelerometer. Clearly, every minute you spend in intense activity, counts.This suggests that the data on the best time to workout may be ignoring an important element—your life. Sure there are those who believe that for A-list athletes aiming for performance it might be better to push heavy training to alter in the morning or afternoon, the fact is that most who adhere to exercise routines are early morning exercisers. Bottom line is whenever you enjoy hitting the gym or track, do it. There’s benefit throughout the day.Get Creative about Getting ActiveHow can you get in short bouts of more intense exercise and find the time to get in your 150 minutes or so a week? Try these tested ways:Like a good scout, always be prepared. Don’t leave your home without your workout clothes packedKeep your workouts scheduled in your day planner —make an appointment for yourself! Remember that every minute counts.Wake up earlier and get your health plan moving, and your heart rate pumping, at the start of the day.Park away from your office, get off the train, subway or bus a few blocks before your normal close stopWhen you watch TV, use the commercials as reminders to do your squats, lunges, push ups, burpees, jumping jacks, planks, and crunches during the one-minute break.  Keep hand weights next to your chair/couch, ride your stationary bike and never use the remote control to change volume or channel.Make your lawn mower your newest piece of fitness equipment—ever hear of Carioca mowing? It’s all in the step!Walk to the office of the person you’d normally call and keep a jump rope in your briefcase or office drawer too!Make your chores count by scrubbing with vigor, grinding and stirring with some beats per minute, vacuum-dance with energy, wash your own car with upper body pushes, and shovel the coming snow (if your health allows) in tune with your favorite RockMyRun music mix.While exercise is key, taking time for yourself every day is critical for your health, well being and longevity. It’s all in my CHAIR method I recently described in an article for Prevention.com.C stands for a deeply felt commitment to very specific goals. You see the goal; you know why you’re doing it.H is for healthier foods, healthy carbs and proteins, healthy fat. ‘Diet’ is a word I never use.  It has the word ‘die’ in it.A stands for activity.  Daily activity, daily tracking of food and exercise. If you track, you adhere. Shoot for 10,000 steps a day. But even raking leaves counts as activity.I is inner motivation—you have to have your ‘why.’  And it has to be internal to you.R is for a realistic set of goals. You need something very tangible, like you want to be off blood pressure medication—not just I want to lose some weight or tone up.At the end of the day it’s all about thinking. The ‘link’ is what you think.” When you think you don’t have the time ask yourself if what you think is True, Helpful, Inspirational, Necessary, Kind to yourself. Hey, that’s what “THINK” means! If your answer is “No,” then change your thought and get active. It only takes a minute!What tips to have to stay active?  I’d love to see your thoughts 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. 


Think You Don’t Have Time to Exercise? Think Again.

  ·  5 min

Think You Don’t Have Time to Exercise? Think Again.

When it comes to finding time to exercise, let’s start with some facts. Each of us has 168 hours per week in life. Many of us work about 50 or so hours per week, sleep about 50-60 hours per week, spend another 15-20 hours each week on personal care and grooming, leaving most of us about 6+ hours each day to_____________________. Fill in the blank.We fill in our time with what’s most important to us. As I said in an article I wrote for Greatest: Many people who don’t work out regularly can rattle off many reasons they’re not motivated to exercise, from not understanding the benefits of activity to thoughts like “I’m too busy,” “I’m embarrassed by how I look,” “exercise is boring,” and so on. The folks who hold these (false) self-sabotaging beliefs often believe exercise doesn’t matter; they don’t enjoy it, or they simply have no interest in doing it. And, really, who could blame them? Who would be inspired to start a physical activity with negative thoughts running through their head? A person has to believe exercise is of value in order to build motivation to do it.Benefits of ExerciseAs you already know, there are many benefits of exercise:Weight managementHealth and disease managementMood and self-confidence enhancementEnergy boosterPromotes healthy sleepPuts oomph into your sex lifeReduces stress by increasing brain soothing chemicalsHelps your brain function betterSparks creativityYour muscles, lungs, diaphragm, heart, stomach, kidneys, skin, joints, agility, balance, coordination, endurance and strength will all “smile” and say thank you many years from now.Every Minute CountsToday we know that even brief bouts of exercise, just 10 minutes at a time or less, can add a great deal to your health and well being while also slimming your waistline. The good news, remarkable really, comes from researchers at the University of Utah who found that every minute of intense movement counts towards the magic number of 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity we are all supposed to achieve each week – but only 5% of us do. That’s 150 minutes out of the 48 or so hours we have available to us each week.The findings indicate that brief periods of intense activity are effective in preventing weight gain and promoting health as well as doing 10 minute+ intervals. Moderate to vigorous activity, by the way, is walking about 3 miles per hour, or 2,020 counts per minute on an accelerometer. Clearly, every minute you spend in intense activity, counts.This suggests that the data on the best time to workout may be ignoring an important element—your life. Sure there are those who believe that for A-list athletes aiming for performance it might be better to push heavy training to alter in the morning or afternoon, the fact is that most who adhere to exercise routines are early morning exercisers. Bottom line is whenever you enjoy hitting the gym or track, do it. There’s benefit throughout the day.Get Creative about Getting ActiveHow can you get in short bouts of more intense exercise and find the time to get in your 150 minutes or so a week? Try these tested ways:Like a good scout, always be prepared. Don’t leave your home without your workout clothes packedKeep your workouts scheduled in your day planner —make an appointment for yourself! Remember that every minute counts.Wake up earlier and get your health plan moving, and your heart rate pumping, at the start of the day.Park away from your office, get off the train, subway or bus a few blocks before your normal close stopWhen you watch TV, use the commercials as reminders to do your squats, lunges, push ups, burpees, jumping jacks, planks, and crunches during the one-minute break.  Keep hand weights next to your chair/couch, ride your stationary bike and never use the remote control to change volume or channel.Make your lawn mower your newest piece of fitness equipment—ever hear of Carioca mowing? It’s all in the step!Walk to the office of the person you’d normally call and keep a jump rope in your briefcase or office drawer too!Make your chores count by scrubbing with vigor, grinding and stirring with some beats per minute, vacuum-dance with energy, wash your own car with upper body pushes, and shovel the coming snow (if your health allows) in tune with your favorite RockMyRun music mix.While exercise is key, taking time for yourself every day is critical for your health, well being and longevity. It’s all in my CHAIR method I recently described in an article for Prevention.com.C stands for a deeply felt commitment to very specific goals. You see the goal; you know why you’re doing it.H is for healthier foods, healthy carbs and proteins, healthy fat. ‘Diet’ is a word I never use.  It has the word ‘die’ in it.A stands for activity.  Daily activity, daily tracking of food and exercise. If you track, you adhere. Shoot for 10,000 steps a day. But even raking leaves counts as activity.I is inner motivation—you have to have your ‘why.’  And it has to be internal to you.R is for a realistic set of goals. You need something very tangible, like you want to be off blood pressure medication—not just I want to lose some weight or tone up.At the end of the day it’s all about thinking. The ‘link’ is what you think.” When you think you don’t have the time ask yourself if what you think is True, Helpful, Inspirational, Necessary, Kind to yourself. Hey, that’s what “THINK” means! If your answer is “No,” then change your thought and get active. It only takes a minute!What tips to have to stay active?  I’d love to see your thoughts 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. 


Music…The Legal Performance Enhancing Drug

  ·  2 min

Music…The Legal Performance Enhancing Drug

Did you know that the leading expert about the psychology of exercise and music, Dr. Costas Karageorghis, calls music the “legal performance enhancing drug” of fitness and exercise?There have been a large number of studies about the effects of music on athletic performance since 1911 and these are the key findings:Music promotes emotional and physiological arousal.Music reduces fatigue, especially at moderate levels of exercise, by distracting us from our physical awareness.Music turbocharges our mind’s focus on performance and muscle memory and as the beat of music increases, power output and exercise intensity increases for mild to moderate ranges of exercise.Music improves our motor coordination as we move to the rhythm.Music relaxes us as a result of dampening byproduct molecules associated with high levels of exercise.Workout Music Enhances Performance & MotivationResearch studies have shown that music can enhance performance, motivation and reduce exertion. Researchers first found that cyclists pedaled faster when a band was playing than when there was no music. A more recent study found that people who cycled to music required 7% less oxygen to do the same work as cyclists who didn’t synchronize their pedaling.  Another study found that swimmers with music got a 10% boost in motivation and a full 3-second improvement in performance.   So why wouldn’t you want to do everything you could to enhance your workout?Beats per Minute for Workout MusicNo matter what genre you like, the most common rhythm is about 120 beats per minute (BPM). Power walkers report enjoying 137-139 BPM, runners about 147-169 BPM, and cyclists about 135-170 BPM.  However, the BPM you choose for an activity depends on your mood and purpose for your workout.  Moving to synchronous music with a clear and steady beat can boost your performance by up to 15%, while listening to relaxing music, called asynchronous music, can reduce tension as much as 10%.Music Tied to MemoryMusic opens the floodgates of memories and emotions, working on the auditory – motor brain connection, so it’s important to have total control over what you listen to when you workout.  This covers the internal and external elements of music’s impact on exercise—our heart and our mind.Find Music for Your Next WorkoutTo enhance your performance and motivation, find the right music for your next workout.  With RockMyRun, you can choose the right tempo and genre for your music from more than one hundred music mixes by professional DJs.  Once you’ve found the right beat for you, get ready for an added dose of enhanced performance.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. 


Music…The Legal Performance Enhancing Drug

  ·  2 min

Music…The Legal Performance Enhancing Drug

Did you know that the leading expert about the psychology of exercise and music, Dr. Costas Karageorghis, calls music the “legal performance enhancing drug” of fitness and exercise?There have been a large number of studies about the effects of music on athletic performance since 1911 and these are the key findings:Music promotes emotional and physiological arousal.Music reduces fatigue, especially at moderate levels of exercise, by distracting us from our physical awareness.Music turbocharges our mind’s focus on performance and muscle memory and as the beat of music increases, power output and exercise intensity increases for mild to moderate ranges of exercise.Music improves our motor coordination as we move to the rhythm.Music relaxes us as a result of dampening byproduct molecules associated with high levels of exercise.Workout Music Enhances Performance & MotivationResearch studies have shown that music can enhance performance, motivation and reduce exertion. Researchers first found that cyclists pedaled faster when a band was playing than when there was no music. A more recent study found that people who cycled to music required 7% less oxygen to do the same work as cyclists who didn’t synchronize their pedaling.  Another study found that swimmers with music got a 10% boost in motivation and a full 3-second improvement in performance.   So why wouldn’t you want to do everything you could to enhance your workout?Beats per Minute for Workout MusicNo matter what genre you like, the most common rhythm is about 120 beats per minute (BPM). Power walkers report enjoying 137-139 BPM, runners about 147-169 BPM, and cyclists about 135-170 BPM.  However, the BPM you choose for an activity depends on your mood and purpose for your workout.  Moving to synchronous music with a clear and steady beat can boost your performance by up to 15%, while listening to relaxing music, called asynchronous music, can reduce tension as much as 10%.Music Tied to MemoryMusic opens the floodgates of memories and emotions, working on the auditory – motor brain connection, so it’s important to have total control over what you listen to when you workout.  This covers the internal and external elements of music’s impact on exercise—our heart and our mind.Find Music for Your Next WorkoutTo enhance your performance and motivation, find the right music for your next workout.  With RockMyRun, you can choose the right tempo and genre for your music from more than one hundred music mixes by professional DJs.  Once you’ve found the right beat for you, get ready for an added dose of enhanced performance.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. 


Creating Running Music Mixes – The Agony and the Ecstasy

  ·  4 min

Creating Running Music Mixes – The Agony and the Ecstasy

Any musician will tell you that whenever they create a piece of music, they pour their hearts and souls in their creation. Truly great music only comes about through the fusing of a musicians’ beliefs, emotions, influences and, of course, talents.While at Rock My Run we’re not creating the next Beethoven’s 5th Symphony (though sometimes we work like we are!), we do put a lot of time and energy into creating our mixes. They may not be double platinum albums, but many hours go into a mix that will help you as a runner have more energy, be more motivated and hopefully perform better.This blog post is to give you an idea of what the mix creation process entails and why it can be both incredibly frustrating and incredibly rewarding to create them for you.Part 1: The SongsIt all starts with inspirational songs. As DJ’s we are constantly hearing new music, seeing what new artists are coming up, what new songs are hitting on the radio and what underground or forgotten tracks we may be worth (re)discovering.Keep in mind though, not only do we hear the songs you hear on the radio, but we also are exposed to some of the amazing DJ mixes from other DJ’s around the world. A remix can take a pretty good song, like Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep” for example, and make it extraordinary. Often times the general public aren’t exposed to those mixes, and it’s our duty to brings these gems to your ears.Part 2: The OrderOnce the songlist is decided, it’s time to figure out the right order of the mix. This is especially key for us at Rock My Run – you want a different tempo, emotional reaction or vibe in different phases of your run and given these are seamless mixes and not playlists, we need to put the right songs in the right order so that you either get the right pick-me-up as you fatigue or don’t start off too quick and burn out.Take the mix “Sweat” by DJ JLouis for example: When he brings in “Rap Das Armas vs. Let The Bass Kick” from Lil Jon & Kassiano about 2/3rds the way through the mix, when you might be starting to tire, it’s done to help give you an added bit of motivation before the hitting the finish line. That track would not be nearly as good at the beginning of the mix, when you are just getting into the flow of your workout.Part 3: The Mixing(aka where the magic happens)With the songlist and order decided, it’s time for the DJ to really get down to business: Firing up the turntables, actually mixing the songs in a seamless manner and adding all those cool scratches, samples, loops and effects that only DJ’s can really do.This is by far the toughest part: not just mixing and the cool effects, but deciding when and how to mix from one track to the next. Do you leave a track to play for 3 minutes because it’s got such great energy? Or do you leave it on for only a minute so the runner gets a taste of the song and then moves on?Ah this my friends is the beauty of it! There is no one right answer, hence the art involved. And trust me, it can be agonizing to get it just right – so the tracks mix perfectly, there is no overlap on lyrics (nobody likes that!) and the energy remains consistent.Add to this the fact that most DJ’s are perfectionist and it can take anywhere from 10’s to 100’s of hours to put together a great, flawless DJ mix. Girl Talk, a DJ famous for his mashup mix sets has said before it can take 40 hours to do 1 min of a mix. Incredible!But at the end of this effort can be a great work of art – a mix that can stand the test of time and still be great running music years and years from now.So next time you are listening to one of our DJ mixes, take a moment to consider how it was created: There was a lot of TLC put in that mix to help you run faster, stronger and longer!


Creating Running Music Mixes – The Agony and the Ecstasy

  ·  4 min

Creating Running Music Mixes – The Agony and the Ecstasy

Any musician will tell you that whenever they create a piece of music, they pour their hearts and souls in their creation. Truly great music only comes about through the fusing of a musicians’ beliefs, emotions, influences and, of course, talents.While at Rock My Run we’re not creating the next Beethoven’s 5th Symphony (though sometimes we work like we are!), we do put a lot of time and energy into creating our mixes. They may not be double platinum albums, but many hours go into a mix that will help you as a runner have more energy, be more motivated and hopefully perform better.This blog post is to give you an idea of what the mix creation process entails and why it can be both incredibly frustrating and incredibly rewarding to create them for you.Part 1: The SongsIt all starts with inspirational songs. As DJ’s we are constantly hearing new music, seeing what new artists are coming up, what new songs are hitting on the radio and what underground or forgotten tracks we may be worth (re)discovering.Keep in mind though, not only do we hear the songs you hear on the radio, but we also are exposed to some of the amazing DJ mixes from other DJ’s around the world. A remix can take a pretty good song, like Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep” for example, and make it extraordinary. Often times the general public aren’t exposed to those mixes, and it’s our duty to brings these gems to your ears.Part 2: The OrderOnce the songlist is decided, it’s time to figure out the right order of the mix. This is especially key for us at Rock My Run – you want a different tempo, emotional reaction or vibe in different phases of your run and given these are seamless mixes and not playlists, we need to put the right songs in the right order so that you either get the right pick-me-up as you fatigue or don’t start off too quick and burn out.Take the mix “Sweat” by DJ JLouis for example: When he brings in “Rap Das Armas vs. Let The Bass Kick” from Lil Jon & Kassiano about 2/3rds the way through the mix, when you might be starting to tire, it’s done to help give you an added bit of motivation before the hitting the finish line. That track would not be nearly as good at the beginning of the mix, when you are just getting into the flow of your workout.Part 3: The Mixing(aka where the magic happens)With the songlist and order decided, it’s time for the DJ to really get down to business: Firing up the turntables, actually mixing the songs in a seamless manner and adding all those cool scratches, samples, loops and effects that only DJ’s can really do.This is by far the toughest part: not just mixing and the cool effects, but deciding when and how to mix from one track to the next. Do you leave a track to play for 3 minutes because it’s got such great energy? Or do you leave it on for only a minute so the runner gets a taste of the song and then moves on?Ah this my friends is the beauty of it! There is no one right answer, hence the art involved. And trust me, it can be agonizing to get it just right – so the tracks mix perfectly, there is no overlap on lyrics (nobody likes that!) and the energy remains consistent.Add to this the fact that most DJ’s are perfectionist and it can take anywhere from 10’s to 100’s of hours to put together a great, flawless DJ mix. Girl Talk, a DJ famous for his mashup mix sets has said before it can take 40 hours to do 1 min of a mix. Incredible!But at the end of this effort can be a great work of art – a mix that can stand the test of time and still be great running music years and years from now.So next time you are listening to one of our DJ mixes, take a moment to consider how it was created: There was a lot of TLC put in that mix to help you run faster, stronger and longer!


Your Go-To Treadmill Workout This Fall: Incline Sprints

  ·  2 min

Your Go-To Treadmill Workout This Fall: Incline Sprints

It’s that time of year again – the leaves start to change and the temperature starts to drop. While fall is beautiful, it means that soon cold weather will force us to kickoff treadmill season. For some, this is a welcomed change. For others, however, the ‘dreadmill’ is a last resort.Treadmills do however present us with benefits that road and trail running simply cannot. Here are four reasons to hop on a treadmill for your cardio this coming winter, as well as a killer treadmill workout to test out.Control. Treadmills allow you to control the speed and incline at which you’re running. Sure, you’re in control on the road, but with a treadmill you simply hit a button and it takes you where you want to be. There isn’t a guessing game as to what incline you’re running or how fast you’re going. I find this to be particularly helpful when I’m doing sprint or timed intervals.Efficient. The idea that every workout needs to be 90 minutes long is just wrong. If you work hard, you can get a great workout done in 30 minutes. Treadmills allow you to crank up speed and/or incline to levels that you probably wouldn’t hit out on the road.Variety. There are so many ways to change a workout using a treadmill. By altering your incline, speed or time intervals, you can come up with hundreds of workouts, all with their own unique settings. Some may think that treadmills are dull and repetitive, but with a little creativity, they are anything but boring.Weather. It’s always sunny and 75 on the treadmill. You don’t have to pack that extra pair of leggings when you’re running inside or need to worry about slipping on icy streets.This wouldn’t be much of a treadmill post if I didn’t also leave you with a solid workout to complete, would it? Well, you’re in luck. I’m leaving you with one of my favorite treadmill workouts. It targets both incline and speed, and keeps you changing things up to prevent boredom. *I use a Woodway treadmill that goes up to an incline of 25% and usually do 2 complete sets. With warmup and cooldown, it generally takes me almost exactly hour. Most treadmills will go up to 12-15% incline. If this is the case with you, I would recommend trying to do at least 2 sets. Also, if you’re pressed for time, you can also increase the speed, which will make it a MUCH more challenging workout.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.


Your Go-To Treadmill Workout This Fall: Incline Sprints

  ·  2 min

Your Go-To Treadmill Workout This Fall: Incline Sprints

It’s that time of year again – the leaves start to change and the temperature starts to drop. While fall is beautiful, it means that soon cold weather will force us to kickoff treadmill season. For some, this is a welcomed change. For others, however, the ‘dreadmill’ is a last resort.Treadmills do however present us with benefits that road and trail running simply cannot. Here are four reasons to hop on a treadmill for your cardio this coming winter, as well as a killer treadmill workout to test out.Control. Treadmills allow you to control the speed and incline at which you’re running. Sure, you’re in control on the road, but with a treadmill you simply hit a button and it takes you where you want to be. There isn’t a guessing game as to what incline you’re running or how fast you’re going. I find this to be particularly helpful when I’m doing sprint or timed intervals.Efficient. The idea that every workout needs to be 90 minutes long is just wrong. If you work hard, you can get a great workout done in 30 minutes. Treadmills allow you to crank up speed and/or incline to levels that you probably wouldn’t hit out on the road.Variety. There are so many ways to change a workout using a treadmill. By altering your incline, speed or time intervals, you can come up with hundreds of workouts, all with their own unique settings. Some may think that treadmills are dull and repetitive, but with a little creativity, they are anything but boring.Weather. It’s always sunny and 75 on the treadmill. You don’t have to pack that extra pair of leggings when you’re running inside or need to worry about slipping on icy streets.This wouldn’t be much of a treadmill post if I didn’t also leave you with a solid workout to complete, would it? Well, you’re in luck. I’m leaving you with one of my favorite treadmill workouts. It targets both incline and speed, and keeps you changing things up to prevent boredom. *I use a Woodway treadmill that goes up to an incline of 25% and usually do 2 complete sets. With warmup and cooldown, it generally takes me almost exactly hour. Most treadmills will go up to 12-15% incline. If this is the case with you, I would recommend trying to do at least 2 sets. Also, if you’re pressed for time, you can also increase the speed, which will make it a MUCH more challenging workout.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.


Cold as Ice…and Still Running

  ·  4 min

Cold as Ice…and Still Running

Baby, It’s Cold Outside is a Christmas song written in 1944 by Frank Loesser. It’s a conversation between a woman who has to go and a man who keeps telling her “But baby, it’s cold outside.”“I really can’t stay(But baby, it’s cold outside)I’ve got to go away(But baby, it’s cold outside)”Avoid the Common ExcusesIt’ll soon be cold out there with lots of excuses not to leave, to stay indoors, and surely not to exercise. Whether it’s Foreigner’s Cold as Ice, or Loesser’s Baby, It’s Cold Outside, there are many barriers to convince people that winter is a time to stay indoors and be sedentary.  It’s not. Of course winter activities can be challenging, but like everything else, “the link is what you think.”It’s just weather. If you think it’s a great opportunity to try new activities, to enjoy the crunch of falling leaves under your feet, to have snowball fights, or to do some hiking or jogging in the crisp fall air.  Then you’ll love the coming months and stay in shape.If you think instead that it’s too cold, that you’ll freeze to death, that you’ll get injured, that there isn’t enough daylight to be active, then you’ll surely believe it’s inevitable to put on some weight and be more sedentary.“The link is what you think.” I want you to think rationally, logically and accurately about the coming months wherever you live and use the fall and winter to think outside the box to keep your health, fitness and wellness levels up and move into next spring feeling great!Have a Positive MindsetSure some folks will deal with Seasonal Affective Disorder, but when the days grow short guess what helps? Running! It can promote the release of depression-fighting hormones leaving those suffering with this very real malady in better moods and feeling more positive.  And we know that positive thinking and a positive outlook, the kind that comes from physical activity, improves your overall health.Staying indoors, breathing all that heated air as many do during the colder months, isn’t the healthiest for your lungs or for your mind. Getting outside, properly dressed for the cold, enjoying the outdoor crisp air, gives you a chance to literally detox your mind and body. It doesn’t take as many changes as you might think to enjoy it all.So the first thing that’s needed is the right mindset. What do you enjoy about the fall and winter months? Keep your eye on those things.Fall and winter are great times to try on new activities, join new classes at your local gym, gain new skills, add new strength training activities and find new ways to integrate exercise and activities into your daily life.Some use the winter months to form a base, with activities that add to endurance.  Longer runs, along with swimming and cycling indoors will add to your volume.  Springtime is the time to build with added weight and resistance training, as well as more interval cardio training to increase speed and strength.  Summer and fall are great times to put it all into practice and get out there for your 5K, 10K, and marathon races.Get Prepared for Exercise OutdoorsExercising outdoors when it’s cold outside requires a bit of preparation to make your activities successful.  A few smart things you can do are:Dress properly in thin wicking insulating layers to prevent hypothermia and frostbite in some climates.Wear reflective gear or a headlamp for running in the dark.Put on a fleece or thermal hat to prevent 50% heat loss from your head.Keep your hands and feet warm with mittens, because you can lose 30% of your body heat through your extremities.Cover your face with a balaclava (ski mask).Carry some ChapStick.Plan a route with icy patches in mind.Always run with a buddy.Wear shoes that give you a bit more traction and are water-proof and socks that are wicking, not cotton, and made of wool or CoolMax.Get Active beyond Your WorkoutRemember that there are lots of everyday activities to rejuvenate you and give you more natural energy during your day, including:Shoveling snowWalking at lunchtime with friendsTaking the stairs instead of the elevatorParking further away from your destination or getting off the bus or subway a few stops earlierStaying active while indoors with physical movement during TV commercialsFind Music to Motivate YouWhen we think of the winter season, filled with holidays, music always tops the list along with food, friends and family get-togethers.  Crank up your RockMyRun mixes for the genre and beats per minute that inspire your body and soul, that promote your focus on your health and above all, to motivate you to enjoy the spirit of the season and the holidays happy, active and fit.What are your tips for staying active, once the temperatures drop outdoors?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. 


Cold as Ice…and Still Running

  ·  4 min

Cold as Ice…and Still Running

Baby, It’s Cold Outside is a Christmas song written in 1944 by Frank Loesser. It’s a conversation between a woman who has to go and a man who keeps telling her “But baby, it’s cold outside.”“I really can’t stay(But baby, it’s cold outside)I’ve got to go away(But baby, it’s cold outside)”Avoid the Common ExcusesIt’ll soon be cold out there with lots of excuses not to leave, to stay indoors, and surely not to exercise. Whether it’s Foreigner’s Cold as Ice, or Loesser’s Baby, It’s Cold Outside, there are many barriers to convince people that winter is a time to stay indoors and be sedentary.  It’s not. Of course winter activities can be challenging, but like everything else, “the link is what you think.”It’s just weather. If you think it’s a great opportunity to try new activities, to enjoy the crunch of falling leaves under your feet, to have snowball fights, or to do some hiking or jogging in the crisp fall air.  Then you’ll love the coming months and stay in shape.If you think instead that it’s too cold, that you’ll freeze to death, that you’ll get injured, that there isn’t enough daylight to be active, then you’ll surely believe it’s inevitable to put on some weight and be more sedentary.“The link is what you think.” I want you to think rationally, logically and accurately about the coming months wherever you live and use the fall and winter to think outside the box to keep your health, fitness and wellness levels up and move into next spring feeling great!Have a Positive MindsetSure some folks will deal with Seasonal Affective Disorder, but when the days grow short guess what helps? Running! It can promote the release of depression-fighting hormones leaving those suffering with this very real malady in better moods and feeling more positive.  And we know that positive thinking and a positive outlook, the kind that comes from physical activity, improves your overall health.Staying indoors, breathing all that heated air as many do during the colder months, isn’t the healthiest for your lungs or for your mind. Getting outside, properly dressed for the cold, enjoying the outdoor crisp air, gives you a chance to literally detox your mind and body. It doesn’t take as many changes as you might think to enjoy it all.So the first thing that’s needed is the right mindset. What do you enjoy about the fall and winter months? Keep your eye on those things.Fall and winter are great times to try on new activities, join new classes at your local gym, gain new skills, add new strength training activities and find new ways to integrate exercise and activities into your daily life.Some use the winter months to form a base, with activities that add to endurance.  Longer runs, along with swimming and cycling indoors will add to your volume.  Springtime is the time to build with added weight and resistance training, as well as more interval cardio training to increase speed and strength.  Summer and fall are great times to put it all into practice and get out there for your 5K, 10K, and marathon races.Get Prepared for Exercise OutdoorsExercising outdoors when it’s cold outside requires a bit of preparation to make your activities successful.  A few smart things you can do are:Dress properly in thin wicking insulating layers to prevent hypothermia and frostbite in some climates.Wear reflective gear or a headlamp for running in the dark.Put on a fleece or thermal hat to prevent 50% heat loss from your head.Keep your hands and feet warm with mittens, because you can lose 30% of your body heat through your extremities.Cover your face with a balaclava (ski mask).Carry some ChapStick.Plan a route with icy patches in mind.Always run with a buddy.Wear shoes that give you a bit more traction and are water-proof and socks that are wicking, not cotton, and made of wool or CoolMax.Get Active beyond Your WorkoutRemember that there are lots of everyday activities to rejuvenate you and give you more natural energy during your day, including:Shoveling snowWalking at lunchtime with friendsTaking the stairs instead of the elevatorParking further away from your destination or getting off the bus or subway a few stops earlierStaying active while indoors with physical movement during TV commercialsFind Music to Motivate YouWhen we think of the winter season, filled with holidays, music always tops the list along with food, friends and family get-togethers.  Crank up your RockMyRun mixes for the genre and beats per minute that inspire your body and soul, that promote your focus on your health and above all, to motivate you to enjoy the spirit of the season and the holidays happy, active and fit.What are your tips for staying active, once the temperatures drop outdoors?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. 


Think You Don’t Have Time to Exercise? Think Again.

  ·  5 min

Think You Don’t Have Time to Exercise? Think Again.

When it comes to finding time to exercise, let’s start with some facts. Each of us has 168 hours per week in life. Many of us work about 50 or so hours per week, sleep about 50-60 hours per week, spend another 15-20 hours each week on personal care and grooming, leaving most of us about 6+ hours each day to_____________________. Fill in the blank.We fill in our time with what’s most important to us. As I said in an article I wrote for Greatest: Many people who don’t work out regularly can rattle off many reasons they’re not motivated to exercise, from not understanding the benefits of activity to thoughts like “I’m too busy,” “I’m embarrassed by how I look,” “exercise is boring,” and so on. The folks who hold these (false) self-sabotaging beliefs often believe exercise doesn’t matter; they don’t enjoy it, or they simply have no interest in doing it. And, really, who could blame them? Who would be inspired to start a physical activity with negative thoughts running through their head? A person has to believe exercise is of value in order to build motivation to do it.Benefits of ExerciseAs you already know, there are many benefits of exercise:Weight managementHealth and disease managementMood and self-confidence enhancementEnergy boosterPromotes healthy sleepPuts oomph into your sex lifeReduces stress by increasing brain soothing chemicalsHelps your brain function betterSparks creativityYour muscles, lungs, diaphragm, heart, stomach, kidneys, skin, joints, agility, balance, coordination, endurance and strength will all “smile” and say thank you many years from now.Every Minute CountsToday we know that even brief bouts of exercise, just 10 minutes at a time or less, can add a great deal to your health and well being while also slimming your waistline. The good news, remarkable really, comes from researchers at the University of Utah who found that every minute of intense movement counts towards the magic number of 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity we are all supposed to achieve each week – but only 5% of us do. That’s 150 minutes out of the 48 or so hours we have available to us each week.The findings indicate that brief periods of intense activity are effective in preventing weight gain and promoting health as well as doing 10 minute+ intervals. Moderate to vigorous activity, by the way, is walking about 3 miles per hour, or 2,020 counts per minute on an accelerometer. Clearly, every minute you spend in intense activity, counts.This suggests that the data on the best time to workout may be ignoring an important element—your life. Sure there are those who believe that for A-list athletes aiming for performance it might be better to push heavy training to alter in the morning or afternoon, the fact is that most who adhere to exercise routines are early morning exercisers. Bottom line is whenever you enjoy hitting the gym or track, do it. There’s benefit throughout the day.Get Creative about Getting ActiveHow can you get in short bouts of more intense exercise and find the time to get in your 150 minutes or so a week? Try these tested ways:Like a good scout, always be prepared. Don’t leave your home without your workout clothes packedKeep your workouts scheduled in your day planner —make an appointment for yourself! Remember that every minute counts.Wake up earlier and get your health plan moving, and your heart rate pumping, at the start of the day.Park away from your office, get off the train, subway or bus a few blocks before your normal close stopWhen you watch TV, use the commercials as reminders to do your squats, lunges, push ups, burpees, jumping jacks, planks, and crunches during the one-minute break.  Keep hand weights next to your chair/couch, ride your stationary bike and never use the remote control to change volume or channel.Make your lawn mower your newest piece of fitness equipment—ever hear of Carioca mowing? It’s all in the step!Walk to the office of the person you’d normally call and keep a jump rope in your briefcase or office drawer too!Make your chores count by scrubbing with vigor, grinding and stirring with some beats per minute, vacuum-dance with energy, wash your own car with upper body pushes, and shovel the coming snow (if your health allows) in tune with your favorite RockMyRun music mix.While exercise is key, taking time for yourself every day is critical for your health, well being and longevity. It’s all in my CHAIR method I recently described in an article for Prevention.com.C stands for a deeply felt commitment to very specific goals. You see the goal; you know why you’re doing it.H is for healthier foods, healthy carbs and proteins, healthy fat. ‘Diet’ is a word I never use.  It has the word ‘die’ in it.A stands for activity.  Daily activity, daily tracking of food and exercise. If you track, you adhere. Shoot for 10,000 steps a day. But even raking leaves counts as activity.I is inner motivation—you have to have your ‘why.’  And it has to be internal to you.R is for a realistic set of goals. You need something very tangible, like you want to be off blood pressure medication—not just I want to lose some weight or tone up.At the end of the day it’s all about thinking. The ‘link’ is what you think.” When you think you don’t have the time ask yourself if what you think is True, Helpful, Inspirational, Necessary, Kind to yourself. Hey, that’s what “THINK” means! If your answer is “No,” then change your thought and get active. It only takes a minute!What tips to have to stay active?  I’d love to see your thoughts 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. 


Think You Don’t Have Time to Exercise? Think Again.

  ·  5 min

Think You Don’t Have Time to Exercise? Think Again.

When it comes to finding time to exercise, let’s start with some facts. Each of us has 168 hours per week in life. Many of us work about 50 or so hours per week, sleep about 50-60 hours per week, spend another 15-20 hours each week on personal care and grooming, leaving most of us about 6+ hours each day to_____________________. Fill in the blank.We fill in our time with what’s most important to us. As I said in an article I wrote for Greatest: Many people who don’t work out regularly can rattle off many reasons they’re not motivated to exercise, from not understanding the benefits of activity to thoughts like “I’m too busy,” “I’m embarrassed by how I look,” “exercise is boring,” and so on. The folks who hold these (false) self-sabotaging beliefs often believe exercise doesn’t matter; they don’t enjoy it, or they simply have no interest in doing it. And, really, who could blame them? Who would be inspired to start a physical activity with negative thoughts running through their head? A person has to believe exercise is of value in order to build motivation to do it.Benefits of ExerciseAs you already know, there are many benefits of exercise:Weight managementHealth and disease managementMood and self-confidence enhancementEnergy boosterPromotes healthy sleepPuts oomph into your sex lifeReduces stress by increasing brain soothing chemicalsHelps your brain function betterSparks creativityYour muscles, lungs, diaphragm, heart, stomach, kidneys, skin, joints, agility, balance, coordination, endurance and strength will all “smile” and say thank you many years from now.Every Minute CountsToday we know that even brief bouts of exercise, just 10 minutes at a time or less, can add a great deal to your health and well being while also slimming your waistline. The good news, remarkable really, comes from researchers at the University of Utah who found that every minute of intense movement counts towards the magic number of 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity we are all supposed to achieve each week – but only 5% of us do. That’s 150 minutes out of the 48 or so hours we have available to us each week.The findings indicate that brief periods of intense activity are effective in preventing weight gain and promoting health as well as doing 10 minute+ intervals. Moderate to vigorous activity, by the way, is walking about 3 miles per hour, or 2,020 counts per minute on an accelerometer. Clearly, every minute you spend in intense activity, counts.This suggests that the data on the best time to workout may be ignoring an important element—your life. Sure there are those who believe that for A-list athletes aiming for performance it might be better to push heavy training to alter in the morning or afternoon, the fact is that most who adhere to exercise routines are early morning exercisers. Bottom line is whenever you enjoy hitting the gym or track, do it. There’s benefit throughout the day.Get Creative about Getting ActiveHow can you get in short bouts of more intense exercise and find the time to get in your 150 minutes or so a week? Try these tested ways:Like a good scout, always be prepared. Don’t leave your home without your workout clothes packedKeep your workouts scheduled in your day planner —make an appointment for yourself! Remember that every minute counts.Wake up earlier and get your health plan moving, and your heart rate pumping, at the start of the day.Park away from your office, get off the train, subway or bus a few blocks before your normal close stopWhen you watch TV, use the commercials as reminders to do your squats, lunges, push ups, burpees, jumping jacks, planks, and crunches during the one-minute break.  Keep hand weights next to your chair/couch, ride your stationary bike and never use the remote control to change volume or channel.Make your lawn mower your newest piece of fitness equipment—ever hear of Carioca mowing? It’s all in the step!Walk to the office of the person you’d normally call and keep a jump rope in your briefcase or office drawer too!Make your chores count by scrubbing with vigor, grinding and stirring with some beats per minute, vacuum-dance with energy, wash your own car with upper body pushes, and shovel the coming snow (if your health allows) in tune with your favorite RockMyRun music mix.While exercise is key, taking time for yourself every day is critical for your health, well being and longevity. It’s all in my CHAIR method I recently described in an article for Prevention.com.C stands for a deeply felt commitment to very specific goals. You see the goal; you know why you’re doing it.H is for healthier foods, healthy carbs and proteins, healthy fat. ‘Diet’ is a word I never use.  It has the word ‘die’ in it.A stands for activity.  Daily activity, daily tracking of food and exercise. If you track, you adhere. Shoot for 10,000 steps a day. But even raking leaves counts as activity.I is inner motivation—you have to have your ‘why.’  And it has to be internal to you.R is for a realistic set of goals. You need something very tangible, like you want to be off blood pressure medication—not just I want to lose some weight or tone up.At the end of the day it’s all about thinking. The ‘link’ is what you think.” When you think you don’t have the time ask yourself if what you think is True, Helpful, Inspirational, Necessary, Kind to yourself. Hey, that’s what “THINK” means! If your answer is “No,” then change your thought and get active. It only takes a minute!What tips to have to stay active?  I’d love to see your thoughts 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. 


Music…The Legal Performance Enhancing Drug

  ·  2 min

Music…The Legal Performance Enhancing Drug

Did you know that the leading expert about the psychology of exercise and music, Dr. Costas Karageorghis, calls music the “legal performance enhancing drug” of fitness and exercise?There have been a large number of studies about the effects of music on athletic performance since 1911 and these are the key findings:Music promotes emotional and physiological arousal.Music reduces fatigue, especially at moderate levels of exercise, by distracting us from our physical awareness.Music turbocharges our mind’s focus on performance and muscle memory and as the beat of music increases, power output and exercise intensity increases for mild to moderate ranges of exercise.Music improves our motor coordination as we move to the rhythm.Music relaxes us as a result of dampening byproduct molecules associated with high levels of exercise.Workout Music Enhances Performance & MotivationResearch studies have shown that music can enhance performance, motivation and reduce exertion. Researchers first found that cyclists pedaled faster when a band was playing than when there was no music. A more recent study found that people who cycled to music required 7% less oxygen to do the same work as cyclists who didn’t synchronize their pedaling.  Another study found that swimmers with music got a 10% boost in motivation and a full 3-second improvement in performance.   So why wouldn’t you want to do everything you could to enhance your workout?Beats per Minute for Workout MusicNo matter what genre you like, the most common rhythm is about 120 beats per minute (BPM). Power walkers report enjoying 137-139 BPM, runners about 147-169 BPM, and cyclists about 135-170 BPM.  However, the BPM you choose for an activity depends on your mood and purpose for your workout.  Moving to synchronous music with a clear and steady beat can boost your performance by up to 15%, while listening to relaxing music, called asynchronous music, can reduce tension as much as 10%.Music Tied to MemoryMusic opens the floodgates of memories and emotions, working on the auditory – motor brain connection, so it’s important to have total control over what you listen to when you workout.  This covers the internal and external elements of music’s impact on exercise—our heart and our mind.Find Music for Your Next WorkoutTo enhance your performance and motivation, find the right music for your next workout.  With RockMyRun, you can choose the right tempo and genre for your music from more than one hundred music mixes by professional DJs.  Once you’ve found the right beat for you, get ready for an added dose of enhanced performance.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. 


Music…The Legal Performance Enhancing Drug

  ·  2 min

Music…The Legal Performance Enhancing Drug

Did you know that the leading expert about the psychology of exercise and music, Dr. Costas Karageorghis, calls music the “legal performance enhancing drug” of fitness and exercise?There have been a large number of studies about the effects of music on athletic performance since 1911 and these are the key findings:Music promotes emotional and physiological arousal.Music reduces fatigue, especially at moderate levels of exercise, by distracting us from our physical awareness.Music turbocharges our mind’s focus on performance and muscle memory and as the beat of music increases, power output and exercise intensity increases for mild to moderate ranges of exercise.Music improves our motor coordination as we move to the rhythm.Music relaxes us as a result of dampening byproduct molecules associated with high levels of exercise.Workout Music Enhances Performance & MotivationResearch studies have shown that music can enhance performance, motivation and reduce exertion. Researchers first found that cyclists pedaled faster when a band was playing than when there was no music. A more recent study found that people who cycled to music required 7% less oxygen to do the same work as cyclists who didn’t synchronize their pedaling.  Another study found that swimmers with music got a 10% boost in motivation and a full 3-second improvement in performance.   So why wouldn’t you want to do everything you could to enhance your workout?Beats per Minute for Workout MusicNo matter what genre you like, the most common rhythm is about 120 beats per minute (BPM). Power walkers report enjoying 137-139 BPM, runners about 147-169 BPM, and cyclists about 135-170 BPM.  However, the BPM you choose for an activity depends on your mood and purpose for your workout.  Moving to synchronous music with a clear and steady beat can boost your performance by up to 15%, while listening to relaxing music, called asynchronous music, can reduce tension as much as 10%.Music Tied to MemoryMusic opens the floodgates of memories and emotions, working on the auditory – motor brain connection, so it’s important to have total control over what you listen to when you workout.  This covers the internal and external elements of music’s impact on exercise—our heart and our mind.Find Music for Your Next WorkoutTo enhance your performance and motivation, find the right music for your next workout.  With RockMyRun, you can choose the right tempo and genre for your music from more than one hundred music mixes by professional DJs.  Once you’ve found the right beat for you, get ready for an added dose of enhanced performance.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. 


Creating Running Music Mixes – The Agony and the Ecstasy

  ·  4 min

Creating Running Music Mixes – The Agony and the Ecstasy

Any musician will tell you that whenever they create a piece of music, they pour their hearts and souls in their creation. Truly great music only comes about through the fusing of a musicians’ beliefs, emotions, influences and, of course, talents.While at Rock My Run we’re not creating the next Beethoven’s 5th Symphony (though sometimes we work like we are!), we do put a lot of time and energy into creating our mixes. They may not be double platinum albums, but many hours go into a mix that will help you as a runner have more energy, be more motivated and hopefully perform better.This blog post is to give you an idea of what the mix creation process entails and why it can be both incredibly frustrating and incredibly rewarding to create them for you.Part 1: The SongsIt all starts with inspirational songs. As DJ’s we are constantly hearing new music, seeing what new artists are coming up, what new songs are hitting on the radio and what underground or forgotten tracks we may be worth (re)discovering.Keep in mind though, not only do we hear the songs you hear on the radio, but we also are exposed to some of the amazing DJ mixes from other DJ’s around the world. A remix can take a pretty good song, like Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep” for example, and make it extraordinary. Often times the general public aren’t exposed to those mixes, and it’s our duty to brings these gems to your ears.Part 2: The OrderOnce the songlist is decided, it’s time to figure out the right order of the mix. This is especially key for us at Rock My Run – you want a different tempo, emotional reaction or vibe in different phases of your run and given these are seamless mixes and not playlists, we need to put the right songs in the right order so that you either get the right pick-me-up as you fatigue or don’t start off too quick and burn out.Take the mix “Sweat” by DJ JLouis for example: When he brings in “Rap Das Armas vs. Let The Bass Kick” from Lil Jon & Kassiano about 2/3rds the way through the mix, when you might be starting to tire, it’s done to help give you an added bit of motivation before the hitting the finish line. That track would not be nearly as good at the beginning of the mix, when you are just getting into the flow of your workout.Part 3: The Mixing(aka where the magic happens)With the songlist and order decided, it’s time for the DJ to really get down to business: Firing up the turntables, actually mixing the songs in a seamless manner and adding all those cool scratches, samples, loops and effects that only DJ’s can really do.This is by far the toughest part: not just mixing and the cool effects, but deciding when and how to mix from one track to the next. Do you leave a track to play for 3 minutes because it’s got such great energy? Or do you leave it on for only a minute so the runner gets a taste of the song and then moves on?Ah this my friends is the beauty of it! There is no one right answer, hence the art involved. And trust me, it can be agonizing to get it just right – so the tracks mix perfectly, there is no overlap on lyrics (nobody likes that!) and the energy remains consistent.Add to this the fact that most DJ’s are perfectionist and it can take anywhere from 10’s to 100’s of hours to put together a great, flawless DJ mix. Girl Talk, a DJ famous for his mashup mix sets has said before it can take 40 hours to do 1 min of a mix. Incredible!But at the end of this effort can be a great work of art – a mix that can stand the test of time and still be great running music years and years from now.So next time you are listening to one of our DJ mixes, take a moment to consider how it was created: There was a lot of TLC put in that mix to help you run faster, stronger and longer!


Creating Running Music Mixes – The Agony and the Ecstasy

  ·  4 min

Creating Running Music Mixes – The Agony and the Ecstasy

Any musician will tell you that whenever they create a piece of music, they pour their hearts and souls in their creation. Truly great music only comes about through the fusing of a musicians’ beliefs, emotions, influences and, of course, talents.While at Rock My Run we’re not creating the next Beethoven’s 5th Symphony (though sometimes we work like we are!), we do put a lot of time and energy into creating our mixes. They may not be double platinum albums, but many hours go into a mix that will help you as a runner have more energy, be more motivated and hopefully perform better.This blog post is to give you an idea of what the mix creation process entails and why it can be both incredibly frustrating and incredibly rewarding to create them for you.Part 1: The SongsIt all starts with inspirational songs. As DJ’s we are constantly hearing new music, seeing what new artists are coming up, what new songs are hitting on the radio and what underground or forgotten tracks we may be worth (re)discovering.Keep in mind though, not only do we hear the songs you hear on the radio, but we also are exposed to some of the amazing DJ mixes from other DJ’s around the world. A remix can take a pretty good song, like Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep” for example, and make it extraordinary. Often times the general public aren’t exposed to those mixes, and it’s our duty to brings these gems to your ears.Part 2: The OrderOnce the songlist is decided, it’s time to figure out the right order of the mix. This is especially key for us at Rock My Run – you want a different tempo, emotional reaction or vibe in different phases of your run and given these are seamless mixes and not playlists, we need to put the right songs in the right order so that you either get the right pick-me-up as you fatigue or don’t start off too quick and burn out.Take the mix “Sweat” by DJ JLouis for example: When he brings in “Rap Das Armas vs. Let The Bass Kick” from Lil Jon & Kassiano about 2/3rds the way through the mix, when you might be starting to tire, it’s done to help give you an added bit of motivation before the hitting the finish line. That track would not be nearly as good at the beginning of the mix, when you are just getting into the flow of your workout.Part 3: The Mixing(aka where the magic happens)With the songlist and order decided, it’s time for the DJ to really get down to business: Firing up the turntables, actually mixing the songs in a seamless manner and adding all those cool scratches, samples, loops and effects that only DJ’s can really do.This is by far the toughest part: not just mixing and the cool effects, but deciding when and how to mix from one track to the next. Do you leave a track to play for 3 minutes because it’s got such great energy? Or do you leave it on for only a minute so the runner gets a taste of the song and then moves on?Ah this my friends is the beauty of it! There is no one right answer, hence the art involved. And trust me, it can be agonizing to get it just right – so the tracks mix perfectly, there is no overlap on lyrics (nobody likes that!) and the energy remains consistent.Add to this the fact that most DJ’s are perfectionist and it can take anywhere from 10’s to 100’s of hours to put together a great, flawless DJ mix. Girl Talk, a DJ famous for his mashup mix sets has said before it can take 40 hours to do 1 min of a mix. Incredible!But at the end of this effort can be a great work of art – a mix that can stand the test of time and still be great running music years and years from now.So next time you are listening to one of our DJ mixes, take a moment to consider how it was created: There was a lot of TLC put in that mix to help you run faster, stronger and longer!


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