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STRONG BODY, STRONG MIND: How to Make Time for Fitness

Our fitness editor describes how she learned to carve out time for exercise in her hectic schedule.

My day job used to be my dream job. I was a reporter for an acclaimed national newspaper in Washington, D.C., making a difference in people’s lives and touching readers all over the world.

My day started at 4:30 a.m. and often ended 14 hours later. For most of that time, I didn’t budge from my seat. As news stories broke, I was in charge of getting first iterations up online as other reporters and sources called me with leads. To move was to miss something: a shooting, a bombing, an earthquake, an overturned truck spilling pineapples onto the Beltway, a baby-panda birth. I had to stay put.

For hours on end, only my fingers moved. I barely drank anything for fear of having to use the bathroom. My posture and energy suffered. And over time, my dream job became a nightmare, affecting my health and my outlook on life.

After hours, I worked out as hard as I could, but it didn’t counter my daytime routine. We humans are made to move, and my mobility and energy were limited by my lack of consistent activity.

When I relocated to Minnesota to join the Experience Life team, I met new colleagues who walked the talk of the magazine, seeking out ways to maintain the integrity of our journalism without compromising our own wellness in the process.

I was inspired — and eager to follow the lead of my peers. But I struggled to fit in. The go-go-go lifestyle becomes a habit. And, like all habits, it’s hard to break. I filled my early days at EL with work that wasn’t needed or expected of me, and I quickly found myself deskbound for hours on end. When I realized that I was falling into old ways that I had hoped to leave behind, I knew I needed a change.

My new colleagues, whether they realized it or not, came to my rescue. They invited me to join them for midday walks. They periodically popped into my cube for exercise demos. They forced me out of my habitual work patterns. I’m not only a better version of myself for it — I’m a better employee.

Holding any one position for long periods doesn’t do us any favors. I now keep a kettlebell at my desk for impromptu swings and a sticky note on my laptop with a list of my favorite stretches to unglue my shoulders, back, and hips from my seated position. I go for walks around the neighborhood and hydrate as needed; I no longer fear what I might miss if I step away.

My work is not a matter of life and death, but my health ultimately is. So is yours.

Read “Workday Workouts” with many ideas for moving your body throughout a busy day. While editing the article, I had the opportunity to chat with a handful of my favorite fitness professionals about their techniques for fitting activity into each day, all day. (Yes, even personal trainers don’t naturally spend their entire days moving.) Here are my favorite inspiring quotes from them to help you put that advice to use:

“Determine what you want to do. The truth is that there is not one single approach that works for every person, even those who are working toward the same goals. The entry points to fitness are numerous, so treat it like you’re at a buffet: Where would you like to start? Consistency is the key to everything; it’s not hard to show up to an activity you really like doing (or don’t actively hate).”
— Jennifer Blake, NASM-CPT, RKC-II, Life Time personal trainer and powerlifting coach

“Be accountable. Create a plan, write it down, and share it with someone. Surround yourself with people who will motivate you to be the best you. You are a reflection of the company you keep, so have people around you who support your objectives and goals.”
— David Freeman, NASM-PES, OPEX CCP, national manager of Alpha Training at Life Time

“Value frequency and consistency over difficulty. The challenge is always time and the belief that if something is not challenging, it’s not worthwhile. This overlooks the fact that a walk versus a run can produce significant health benefits, for example. Take the stairs; get up and move every hour to break up the day.”
— Jeff Rosga, NASM- CPT, CES, PES, BCS, senior director at Life Time Academy

This originally appeared as “Strong Body, Strong Mind: Work It Out” in the March 2019 print issue ofExperience Life.

 , RKC, MFT-1, (pictured above with photographer Kelly Loverud) is an Experience Life senior editor.

Photo: Lydia Anderson

Full article can be found on Experience Life! 

Healthy Workday Snacks

Step away from the vending machine! These nourishing, whole-food snacks can keep you energized throughout the workday.
Snack Smart

Your midafternoon hunger has come knocking, and low blood sugar has left you sleepy and unfocused. You might be tempted to hold out until dinner — but you know resisting those hunger pangs now will actually make you more likely to overeat later.

Sugar or caffeine may seem like the answer to the afternoon slump, but they’ll lead to an inevitable crash.

Keeping your blood sugar steady throughout the day is the key to avoiding those energy dips. With that in mind, many experts recommend eating every three or four hours, ideally real food that offers a combination of protein, healthy fats, complex carbohydrates, and fiber.

These recipes are designed with that nourishing balance in mind. Plus, they’ll keep you satisfied and humming along until it’s time for your next meal.

 is a Minneapolis-based recipe developer and cookbook author. She is the author of Great Bowls of Food.

Photos: Andrea DAgosto; Prop Styling: Alicia Buszczak; Food Stylist: Paul Jackman

Full Article can be found on Experience Life!

How to Choose the Best Shoes for Your Feet

Here are some tips to pick the best shoes for foot health.

Cultures that routinely wear shoes have higher incidences of foot deformities and pain than cultures that go barefoot, says podiatrist Paul Langer. In an ideal world, we’d all be safe and comfortable walking around barefoot all the time, he says. And while there are some ways to increase time without shoes, very few of us can reasonably give them up completely. With that reality in mind, here are some of our experts’ top tips for minimizing the adverse effects of shoes.

Beware of lifted heels. Many shoes, including running shoes, are designed to prop your heel up. “It’s like you’re standing on a ramp,” explains perfor­mance physiotherapist Mike Gauvreau, and it ultimately changes the way you move.

High heels and even athletic shoes with a lift, such as supportive sneakers and weightlifting shoes, place your ankles and calves in a shortened position, ultimately creating more tension. This can cause trouble with extended use. Save dress shoes with higher heels for special occasions, and limit the use of athletic shoes with a lift by mixing in lower- and no-heeled sneakers.

Steer clear of flip-flops. “Shoes that make your foot hold on — instead of the shoe holding on to your foot — create tight, stiff feet,” says Lynn Shuck, an Eischens Yoga teacher based in Minneapolis. This can result in plantar fasciitis, tight hamstrings, and back pain, among other issues. Choose shoes that have a secure heel strap or well-fitting enclosed heel.

Avoid crowding your toes. Many shoes are too narrow — especially in the toe box — and compress your tarsal and metatarsal bones (the toes and the bones in your forefoot). If you compress your feet long enough, your mobility becomes limited, says Shuck. “If I’d worn gloves on my hands for 50-plus years, they wouldn’t move much. That’s what we’ve done with our feet.” Again, high heels and dress shoes are often the culprits, if they have a narrow toe box. Look for shoes with ample width so your toes can flex.

Don’t go soft. Shoes are often packed with cushioning, which actually weakens your feet over time, and the lack of sensory feedback alters your walking mechanics. Every time your foot hits the ground, it receives signals from the ground via nerve fibers. If you’re wearing shoes with thick padding, your feet need to land harder to pick up that feedback, and you’ll be less mindful of how you’re interacting with the ground. But if your feet are minimally cushioned, you’ll be more aware of how you’re walking. “You’ll wind up walking more naturally and efficiently,” Gauvreau says.

Avoid the quick fix. Runners are ­especially susceptible to developing pain as a result of their footwear. Interestingly, research suggests that the best way to minimize your risk of foot pain and injury is to choose running shoes based on comfort, as opposed to shoes that “fix” a biomechanical problem.

Runners may be familiar with this scenario: You visit a running store to have your gait assessed. The assessor determines your degree of pronation, or how far your foot rolls inward with each step. If you’re an overpronator, you land on the inside of your foot; if you’re an underpronator, you land on the outside. Neutral pronators land in the middle. The salesperson will recommend a shoe to resolve it, thus helping you avoid injury.

Sounds reasonable, but research has shown that this approach has no effect on injury prevention. A 2015 study of running injuries found no conclusive evidence that pronation had any effect on running-related injuries. Instead, the research authors suggest two alternative models for selecting shoes to mitigate injury risk: the comfort filter and the preferred movement pattern.

Choosing a shoe based on comfort will enable you to maintain your preferred movement pattern, reducing the risk of injury, a model first proposed by biomechanics expert and lead study author Benno Nigg, PhD.

“Our movement patterns are as unique as our signature,” explains Langer, “and anything that causes us to deviate from our preferred movement pattern will cause us to work harder, be less metabolically efficient, fatigue sooner, and increase our risk of injury.”

If you are free of foot pain, he recommends choosing running shoes based on what feels right: “Since comfort and movement patterns are very complex and can’t be measured, we recommend that people try shoes on, make comparisons, and then select the most comfortable shoe.”

This originally appeared as “Choosing the Best Shoes” in “The Best Foot Forward” in the January-February 2019 print issue of Experience Life.

Full Article can be found online via Experience Life: https://experiencelife.com/article/how-to-choose-the-best-shoes-for-your-feet/

Break It Down: The Lunge

 | 
Man performing a lunge

Fine-tune your form to strengthen your glutes, quads — and, yes, even your knees.

The list of reasons to do lunges is almost as long as your arm — although the move mostly benefits your legs.

Whether you do forward, reverse, lateral, curtsy, jumping, or rotational lunges, this exercise strengthens the muscles from your waist down, including your glutes, quads, and calves. 

Moreover, these moves can help build stability in your core and back, as well as around key joints like the hips, knees, and ankles. Lunges can also increase foot strength and improve your overall balance and stability. 

Many people avoid doing lunges, however, because they feel unsteady or worry about hurting their knees or lower back. Yet, by learning to perform this powerful move with proper form, you can head off these sometimes-painful annoyances during training — and over the long term.

These tips will help you tidy up your technique so you can reap the rewards of this effective lower-body move. 

  1. Stand with your feet about hip width apart. 
  2. Step forward with one foot, keeping your chest proud and shoulders squared over your hips. 
  3. Allow both knees to bend, with your back knee hovering just above the floor. (Adjust the length of your stride as needed.) 
  4. Keep your front knee in line with your middle toe. Take care not to relax the back leg at the bottom of the move.
  5. Reverse the movement by pressing through your heel and stepping your front foot back to the starting position.
  6. Complete the desired number of reps, and repeat on opposite side.

Tips

  • Keep your hands in front of you or on your hips for balance. If you’re using added weight, support the weight with your hands. 
  • Brace your abs to keep an upright posture and protect your lower back. 
  • Avoid letting your front knee turn inward; engage your hip and butt muscles. 
  • Widen your stance if you feel unstable — it shouldn’t feel like you’re on a tightrope. 
  • Squeeze your glutes throughout the movement, particularly as you press through your front foot.
WEB EXTRA!

Modify the Move: 5 Lunge Variations

Reverse Lunge

Man doing a reverse lunge
Photos: Kelly Loverud; Styling: Pam Brand; Fitness Model: Robert Clark
  • Stand with feet about hip width apart.
  • Keeping your chest proud and shoulders squared over your hips, step backward with one foot.
  • Allow both knees to bend until they form 90-degree angles. (Adjust the length of your stride as needed to accomplish this.)
  • Keep your front knee in line with the middle toe of that leg. Your back knee can graze the floor, but take care not to relax at the bottom of the move.
  • Reverse the movement by stepping your rear foot back to the starting position.
  • Repeat on both sides.

Lateral Lunge

man doing a lateral lunge
Photos: Kelly Loverud; Styling: Pam Brand; Fitness Model: Robert Clark
  • Stand with feet about hip width apart.
  • Keeping your chest proud and shoulders squared over your hips, step to the side with one foot.
  • Push your butt back to allow the knee of the lead leg to bend until it forms a 90-degree angle. (Adjust the length of your stride as needed to accomplish this.)
  • Keep the bent knee in line with the middle toe of that leg. Your other leg will be straight.
  • Reverse the movement by stepping your lead leg back to the starting position.
  • Complete desired number of reps, and repeat on opposite side.

Curtsy Lunge

man doing a curtsy lunge
Photos: Kelly Loverud; Styling: Pam Brand; Fitness Model: Robert Clark
  • Stand with feet about hip width apart.
  • Keeping your chest proud and shoulders squared over your hips, step your right foot back and to the left, allowing the front (left) knee to bend until it forms a 90-degree angle.
  • Allow both knees to bend, but keep your hips and shoulders squared to avoid wrenching your body.
  • Keep your front knee in line with the middle toe. Your back knee can graze the floor, but take care not to relax at the bottom of the move.
  • Reverse the movement by stepping your rear (right) foot back to the starting position.
  • Complete desired number of reps, and repeat on opposite side.

Rotational Lunge

Man doing a rotational lunge
Photos: Kelly Loverud; Styling: Pam Brand; Fitness Model: Robert Clark
  • Stand with feet about hip width apart.
  • Keeping your chest proud and shoulders squared over your hips, step forward with one foot. Simultaneously, rotate your upper body toward the front leg.
  • Allow both knees to bend until they form 90-degree angles.
  • Keep your front knee in line with the middle toe of that leg.
  • Reverse the movement by stepping your front foot back to the starting position, realigning your torso to once again face forward.
  • Complete desired number of reps, and repeat on opposite side.

Jumping Lunge

man doing a jumping lunge
Photos: Kelly Loverud; Styling: Pam Brand; Fitness Model: Robert Clark
  • Begin by lunging forward, allowing both knees to bend until they form 90-degree angles.
  • Brace your abs and squeeze your glutes, then extend your knees as you jump into the air. Mid-jump, swap legs so your previously back leg is now in front.
  • Land softly and with control, lowering yourself until your knees form 90-degree angles and the front knee tracks over the middle of the foot.
  • Repeat, alternating sides with each jump to complete desired number of reps.

 , RKC, is an Experience Life senior editor.

Photos: Kelly Loverud; Styling: Pam Brand; Fitness Model: Robert Clark

Full article can be found on Experience Life 

Stretch Yourself Strong

Tired of the same old stretching routine? Functional Range Conditioning can help you build flexibility, athleticism, and real-world strength in a whole new way.

Popular wisdom says stretching doesn’t build muscle, burn fat, or shave time off a 5K. As a result, many of us shortchange or skip the practice altogether in our workouts.

But according to many fitness experts, popular wisdom is wrong —and we’re missing out on its benefits.

Stretching has been shown to help prevent injury, heal old hurts, improve range of motion, reduce muscle tightness and imbalance, and improve athletic performance. In fact, it’s so important to overall fitness that it’s not something to approach haphazardly.

Welcome to stretching 2.0 by way of Functional Range Conditioning (FRC). This stretching protocol — created by Toronto-based sports-specialist chiropractor Andreo Spina, DC, FCCSS(C), CPT, who advises several pro sports teams — aims to build strength and flexibility systematically and progressively.

Though commonly treated as separate skills, flexibility and strength are closely related; together, they comprise mobility. Often, says Spina, mobility restrictions occur because our muscles lack strength or flexibility (or both) at their end-range positions.

This may take the form of tight hips that make it hard to squat, or tight shoulders that make it tough to raise your arms overhead.

Another expression is hyperflex-ibility, which often forces people to avoid certain movements for fear of going too far and injuring themselves. Common examples include over-rotating your lower back or overextending your neck.

Whether the problem is too little or too much flexibility, FRC practitioners address the issues with dedicated exercises that aim to find balance in strength. It’s an effective approach that has caught the attention of trainers, therapists, and pro athletes alike in recent years.

Spina based the FRC method-ology on careful analysis of existing research about the best ways to make muscles simultaneously stronger and more supple. It builds on tried-and-true techniques from yoga (in which practitioners actively move themselves into poses) and proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation, or PNF (in which a coach applies resistance as practitioners attempt to shorten a stretching muscle). (Learn more about PNF at “Smart Stretching“.)

By focusing on building strength and flexibility in the end ranges of motion, FRC is an innovative way to improve mobility and overall movement quality.

Length With Strength

Mobility is essential both in athletics and in daily life: It helps you maintain control of your body and avoid injury, even when unusual circumstances — slipping on ice, jumping to catch a Frisbee — place your joints in potentially dangerous positions.

It’s no secret that our modern lifestyle has deleterious effects on our health, joints included. “We sit rather than stand, drive rather than walk,” says Spina. “The body has no reason to hold on to mobility it doesn’t need. So we lose it and then wonder why we hurt ourselves squatting or doing Olympic lifts in the gym.”

FRC aims to restore those lost ranges of motion so that complex movements — be it reaching into the back seat of a car to retrieve a purse or performing a deficit deadlift — become easy once again.

One way FRC does this is by focusing on building your joints’ passive flexibility, while also increasing their active range of motion. To feel the difference, try this test: Stand on one foot and lift your other knee as high as you can. Then grab your knee and see how much higher you can pull it.

The first position is the limit of the active range of motion you can control, or your mobility. The second position is the passive range your joint can reach but over which you have little control — your flexibility. There will always be some difference between these two points; the goal of FRC is to reduce this gap.

“Passive flexibility isn’t very useful,” says FRC instructor Dewey Nielsen, owner of Impact Performance Training in Newberg, Ore. At best, haphazard stretching, no matter how well-intentioned, can be ineffective, resulting in little functional improvement. At worst, Nielsen notes, it can be outright dangerous to passively push your body into ranges of motion it can’t actively control.

Forcing your body into the full expression of an exercise when you cannot control it is asking for trouble, agrees personal trainer Hunter Cook, NASM, AFAA, FRCms, based in Long Beach, Calif.

“Injuries happen when your body encounters a force that exceeds the load-bearing capacity of the tissue,” he explains. Imagine, for instance, a 200-pound man who gets injured by putting his full weight on an ankle joint that can’t handle his weight. “If he doesn’t increase the capacity of the tissue to bear load beyond what it did before the injury, he’ll reinjure the same area when he puts that same force on it again.”

When FRC practitioners are working with injured clients, they take care to rehab the area so it can withstand more force than it could before the injury, resulting in an ankle, joint, or knee that’s more resilient and injury-proof.

Ready to try FRC? The following workout just might change your mind about the value of stretching.

The FRC Workout

An FRC-certified trainer can help you learn and refine the method, but having a coach isn’t necessary to get a feel for the FRC system. For a primer on this tough-but-effective approach to amping up your stretching routine, add these moves to your workout program — once or even several times a day. You can do the exercises on their own, or right after a workout, when muscles are warmed up and pliable.

CARs Shoulder Rotations

CARs Shoulder Rotations
Illustrations by Kveta

Purpose: To increase the functional range in your shoulder joint.

How to Do It:

  • Stand tall and contract your legs and core so that your body is stable.
  • Slowly and with maximal tension in your left shoulder, rotate your left hand so that the palm faces your thigh.
  • Keeping your elbow straight and your thumb pointed upward, lift your arm forward and overhead as high as possible.
  • When your arm is vertical, reach up as far as possible, then internally rotate your shoulder so that your thumb faces forward and your palm faces outward.
  • Without flaring your arm out to the side, continue circling your entire arm backward and down behind you until your arm is by your side again.
  • Repeat the same movement a total of three times.
  • Reverse the movement, circling your arm back, then forward in the same manner a total of three times.
  • Repeat the movement with your left hand.

Segmented Cat–Camel

Segmented Cat Camel
Illustrations by Kveta

Purpose: To increase control and awareness throughout your spine.

How to Do It:

  • Assume an all-fours position with your hands under your shoulders and knees below your hips.
  • Minimizing movement further up your spine, tip your pelvis forward so that your tailbone lifts slightly toward the ceiling.
  • Beginning with your lowest vertebra, slowly lower your back into a fully arched position, one vertebra at a time. Pay particular attention to the vertebrae between your shoulder blades. The entire sequence should last 30 to 45 seconds, and your head should be the last thing to come up.
  • Starting at your tailbone, slowly reverse the movement, taking 30 to 45 seconds, until your back is rounded up toward the ceiling and your head is hanging toward the floor.
  • Repeat three to four cycles.

DIY PAILs and RAILs

DIY PAILs and RAILs
Illustrations by Kveta

Purpose: Trains muscles to support the joint at the outer edges of their range of motion, giving you more control and usable range.

How to Do It:

  • Sit on the floor with your right leg straight and your left leg bent so your foot is near the inside of your right thigh.
  • Keeping your back straight, hinge from your hip joints and bend as far toward your right foot as you can, grabbing it if possible. Hold for 30 seconds.
  • Back off the stretch a little, then push your right heel into the floor as hard as possible for 10 seconds. (This is the PAIL stretch.)
  • Release the tension, then reach forward again. Hold the stretch for 10 to 20 seconds.
  • Back off the stretch again, and, keeping your right leg fully locked out and your toes pointed upward, raise your right heel from the floor as high as possible. Hold for 10 seconds. (This is the RAIL stretch.)
  • Release the tension, lowering your leg to the floor, and reach toward your foot again. Hold for another 10 seconds.
  • Repeat the entire sequence with your left leg extended in front of you.

90–90 Hip Opener

90-90 Hip Opener
Illustrations by Kveta

Purpose: Builds and maintains range of motion in the hips, and prepares joints for challenging strength-training and athletic movements like squats, deadlifts, and jumps.

How to Do It:

  • Sit on the floor with your feet flat and your knees bent.
  • Turn your body 90 degrees to the right, dropping your knees so that the outside of your right knee and the inside of your left knee are touching the floor. (This is the 90–90 position: The thighs form a 90-degree angle, and each knee is bent 90 degrees.)
  • Rotate your torso to the right so that your right thigh is on the floor directly in front of you (position 1).
  • Keeping your back straight, hinge forward at your hip joints until you feel a deep stretch in the muscles surrounding your right hip (2). Hold for 30 to 60 seconds.
  • Come back to an upright position and rotate your shoulders to the left so you are facing your left leg. Hold for 30 to 60 seconds (3).
  • Keeping your right leg planted, extend the toes of your left foot and lift your left knee. Forcefully contract your left glute, lifting your leg and opening your left knee as far to the left as you can; this is a RAIL stretch (4). Hold for a five-count.
  • Lower the inside of your left knee back to the floor in front of you, then hinge the left knee back and forth three times, contracting your left glute for a five-count each time (5).
  • Open your left knee to the left once more. Hold the middle position — legs splayed wide, the outside edges of the feet on the floor — for 15 seconds, squeezing the glutes so that your knees press closer toward the floor (6). This is also a RAIL stretch.
  • Keeping your feet on the floor, rotate your body so you are sitting in the 90–90 position on the left side.
  • Repeat the entire sequence on this side

Illustrations by Kveta

 Andrew Heffernan, CSCS, GCFP, is an Experience Life contributing editor.

Illustrations by Kveta

Full Article can be found on Experience Life Magazine: https://experiencelife.com/article/stretch-yourself-strong/

The Workout: The Cardio Challenge

Cardio Challenge

This HIIT routine reimagines the treadmill jog, burning fat and building endurance in a quick workout.

Whether you’re looking to round out your Easy Strength sessions or simply craving a sweat-heavy cardio burst, the following treadmill routine may be just the rut-busting routine you need.

Designed by Jill Coleman, the California-based owner of JillFit Physiques and creator of the TreadLift program, this 30-minute high-intensity routine will challenge you with alternating incline sprint and recovery segments, helping you build muscular endurance while supporting postworkout fat burn.

Perform this workout just two or three times per week. “This helps manage recovery so you can get up the next day and train hard again,” Coleman explains.

The routine can be done walking or running, making it scalable for both new and returning exercisers. The speeds and inclines for running and walking are suggestions, so feel free to adjust the levels to suit your needs.

Remember: Don’t skimp on the prescribed rest periods, and don’t be afraid to take a break — especially if you feel lightheaded or nauseated.

“The key with a workout this intense,” says Coleman, “is to listen to your body.”

The Routine

 is a Minnesota-based health and fitness writer.

This originally appeared as “The Workout – The Cardio Challenge” in the January 2018 print issue of Experience Life. View the original article on the Experience Life Magazine: https://experiencelife.com/article/the-workout-the-cardio-challenge/

Chicago Half Marathon Ignited by Athlinks

Expert Answers: Non-Running Exercises to Increase Your Speed

Our expert has tips to get you moving faster and more efficiently.

Q | I’m a runner, and I’m curious if there are any exercises I can do beyond running to get faster?

A | Because we run on one leg at a time, unilateral power movements are especially effective at building speed.

“Training modalities that have the individual on one leg have a great carryover to running performance,” says Andrew Long-Middleton, a personal trainer at Life Time in St. Louis Park, Minn. Practicing unilateral power movements “will translate into a more efficient, faster runner,” he explains.

Long-Middleton recommends exercises like the Single-Leg Bound (below) for building speed. Perform five to 10 sets no more than twice per week after a warm-up.

It’s important to remember that single-leg power moves increase the force affecting your lower legs. With running and jumping, some people may experience shin pain. Take care to land softly when jumping, and periodically check in with your body by running your thumb down your shin. If you feel pain, it may be helpful to increase the recovery time between sessions and make sure your whole-foods diet is well balanced (calcium; vitamins D, K, C, and E; phosphorus; and magnesium all play vital roles in bone health). If the pain continues, see your healthcare professional.

(For more on unilateral training, check out “Taking Sides: The One-Sided Strength Workout“. Learn more about speed training at “Speed Workouts X 3“.)

Single-Leg Bound

Single Leg Bound

  • Standing on your right leg, swing your arms back slightly, and gently bend your standing knee to assume a single-leg athletic stance.
  • Swing your arms forward for momentum and jump off your standing foot. Drive the left knee up for additional power.
  • Land softly on your right foot, slightly bending your knee, while allowing your arms to swing behind you once again. The distance of the bound will vary from person to person, but aim to keep each repetition about the same length.
  • Repeat the movement on the same leg without stopping until the distance between bounds shortens — or no longer than 20 seconds.

Illustrations by Colin Hayes

A version of this article first appeared in the July/August 2016 issue of Experience Life magazine. Click here to subscribe

WEB EXTRA!

Modifying and Progressing the Single-Leg Bound

Make It Easier: Double-Leg Bound

Newer exercisers can begin with a two-legged bound to get their bodies accustomed to the stress of power movements. Perform the above move while jumping with both legs. Once you build up your comfort with the bilateral version, try the exercise on one leg.

Make It Harder: Triple-Tuck Jump

  • Perform three single-leg bounds on one leg, then jump to bring that knee to your chest.
  • Land softly, and immediately perform the next series of three bounds on the same leg.
  • Stop when height or distance shortens, or no longer than 20 seconds. Repeat on the other leg.

Lauren Bedosky is a Minnesota-based health and fitness writer.

Chicago Half Marathon Celebrates Chicago History In 2018 Shirt and Medal Release

Chicago’s Hometown Race Draws Inspiration from Chicago’s Past to Lead Us Into the Future

The Chicago Half Marathon and 5K presented by My Fit Key is held annually in Chicago’s historic Jackson Park, once home to the 1893 World Columbian Exposition.  In 2018 Chicago celebrates the 125th Anniversary of the World Columbian Exposition.

The 1893 Worlds Columbian Exposition ushered in a new area and changes with the introduction of many new products, entertainment and technology. The first ferris wheel and brands such as Quaker Oats, Wrigley Gum, Aunt Jemima and Pabst Blue Ribbon to name a few.

As Chicago prepared to set the stage a contest, sponsored by Chicago’s Interocean Newspaper, was designed to place Chicago on the map and leave visitors with a lasting impression. As a result of this contest multiple Chicago icons were born. Most notable; the Chicago Y symbol, and artist Charles Holloway’s goddess and with the motto “I WILL”.

The Y symbolizes the three sides of Chicago; north, south and west. Forever divided by the branches of the Chicago River.  This symbol is found throughout Chicago in architecture and municipal seals.

Chicago Artist Charles Holloway entered one of these contests with his goddess figure suited for battle. Reflecting her defiant attitude, she wore a breastplate that read “I Will.” With her crown depicting a phoenix rising from the flames, she also seems to symbolize the resolve of Chicago to rise from the ashes of the Chicago Fire, which destroyed much of the city.

I WILL become the motto of Chicago. Symbolizing the spirit of the people of Chicago rising from the ashes of the Great Chicago Fire.

As we celebrate this historic event, we celebrate the changes coming to Jackson Park. The park will soon go under an expansion to include the site of the President Barack Obama Library and the existing golf course to transform to an 18-hole Tiger Woods Golf Course. 2018 maybe the last time we hold the Chicago Half Marathon and 5K in this exact location and certainly will be the last time we hold the event in it’s current state.

We couldn’t think of a better time to bring the Chicago motto and Holloway’s goddess to the Chicago Half Marathon & 5K.

2018 Chicago Half Marathon and 5K Participant Shirt

Half Marathon Participant Shirt

5K Participant Shirt

Chicagoland Half Marathon Series Medal

The Chicagoland Half Marathon Series honors participants who take on both the Byline Bank Chicago Spring Half Marathon and Chicago Half Marathon within the same year with the 26.2 Challenge medal.

It takes a lot of ambition and will to take on multiple endurance races just 5 months apart. It is with this, we reveal this year’s 26.2 Challenge medal featuring the Chicago “Y” which will hold the Chicago Spring Half Marathon medal and Chicago Half Marathon medal together as one.

26.2 Challenge Medal

26.2 Challenge Medal Set

Inspiration

Welcome My Fit Key to the Chicago Half Marathon | 5K

22nd Annual Chicago Half Marathon & 5K Announces New Partnership with MY FIT KEY

Chicago, June 6 — Life Time — Healthy Way of Life today announced a new partnership for one of its marquee Life Time Events, beginning a two-year presenting sponsorship between MY FIT KEY and the Chicago Half Marathon & 5K.

The 22nd Annual Chicago Half Marathon & 5K Presented by MY FIT KEY, will take place on Sept. 23, 2018 and will introduce the endurance community to DNA testing for athletes.

“More than 12,000 runners from across Chicagoland, the United States and the world join us for a truly unique Chicago event with sweeping views of the famed Chicago skyline and premium race amenities at the Chicago Half Marathon & 5K,” said Dan Lakin Senior Run Brand Manager at Life Time.  “Together with Life Time, the nation’s premier healthy living and entertainment brand, MY FIT KEY will help deliver the premium experience that makes the Chicago Half Marathon a signature event in the fall racing season for new and veteran athletes at every level.”

Fritz Gartner, President of MY FIT KEY said of the partnership; “MY FIT KEY is excited and proud to sponsor the Chicago Half Marathon & 5K.  This as an ideal opportunity to showcase one of the fall’s most anticipated races through one of the country’s most beloved cities, and we trust our products and services will help endurance athletes better understand how their DNA impacts their performance.”

The Chicago Half Marathon & 5K Presented by MY FIT KEY is the second of two races in the 2018 Chicagoland Half Marathon Series, which also included the May 20 Byline Bank Chicago Spring Half Marathon & 10K.  Participants who complete both half marathon distances will earn a custom, 26.2 Challenge finisher medal at the final event. Currently, more than 1500 athletes are registered for the Series.

Benefiting charity partner Chicago Run, the Chicago Half Marathon & 5K is centered around Chicago’s historic Jackson Park, once home to the 1893 World Columbian Exposition. The course highlights Chicago’s historic south shore and features a traffic-free Lake Shore Drive–the only Chicago race to completely shut down this main transportation artery.  Runners traverse the streets through Hyde Park and the Museum of Science and Industry before taking on the north and south Lake Shore Drive lanes and finishing at the Statue of the Republic or “Golden Lady” as she’s known to locals.

Participants receive a participant shirt commemorating the 125th Anniversary of the World Columbian Exposition, finisher medal (the largest in the midwest) and access to the legendary finish festival featuring a live concert, Lagunitas beer, pizza and more. Registration is $105 for the half-marathon distance and $40 for the 5K, and is available at chicagohalfmarathon.com

About MY FIT KEY

MY FIT KEY provides DNA testing for athletes.  We help unlock the potential for better training, improved performance, fewer injuries, and optimal recovery through genetic insights.  By marrying the knowledge, practice and standards of medicine with the science of DNA and genomics, we give athletes the tools to reach new levels of achievement, personal empowerment and health. More information is available at www.myfitkey.com

About Life Time® – Healthy Way of Life

Life Time champions a healthy and happy life for its members across 135 destinations in 38 major markets in the U.S. and Canada. As the nation’s only Healthy Way of Life brand, Life Time delivers an unmatched athletic resort experience and provides a comprehensive healthy living, healthy aging and healthy entertainment experience that goes well beyond fitness to encompasses the entire spectrum of daily life for individuals, couples and families of all ages. More info is available at www.lifetime.life.