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COMMITMENT IS EASY WITH THIS 3-STEP-STRATEGY TO NUTRITIONAL WELLNESS

Author / Drew Wilson 

It doesn’t matter if you’re well into your fitness journey or just beginning, everyone can use a little inspiration to get better at their wellness habits. What better way to do that than a simple 3-step strategy for not just beginning your wellness journey but maintaining it as well. Let’s jump right into it. . .

We say wellness “journey” because it’s exactly that: a long-term commitment to better health. This isn’t your typical “we’re dieting this week” philosophy (as my mother likes to say). That’s why it’s important to avoid the common mistake of diving into something like the ketogenic diet (keto), that requires great discipline and is quite restrictive. It’s important to find a plan that is sustainable, conducive, and one that you… dare I say… ENJOY.

Beginning a nutritional journey can be a daunting task, but I’m here to fix that! No more trying to stay on-top of the latest fad (Whole 30), trying to figure out if you should be eating eggs or not, and learning what, when, and how much you should be eating. There is no one-diet-fits-all. 

So to make it easier and increase the chances of success, we’ve laid out a 3-step strategy to beginning your sustainable nutritional wellness journey below:


Step 1: Set an intention

This is the why of your journey. A well-formed intention sets one’s attention and informs the goals we set along the way. Whether it’s to cut a few pounds, increase your athletic/cognitive performance or to maximize the quality and quantity of your lifespan, setting an intention that’s personal and meaningful might be the greatest overall indicator of success.

Step 2: Make incremental improvements

This is the how of your journey. At DC Run Crew, we refer to these as “small wins” (the story of that saying is not as pleasant as this one) and it ties back into the idea of not diving into some highly restrictive and foreign diet — a recipe (pun intended) for failure — but making small, incremental improvements (replacing cookies with an apple, pizza for roasted chicken and veggies, and generally replacing pre-packaged/processed meals for whole foods, and continuing this cycle until you’ve reached a healthy, sustainable place. You should save money doing this as well!

Step 3: Choose a diet

This is the what of your journey. Picking a diet that not only works for you from a nutritional perspective but also your tastebuds’ is a key factor in maintaining. I’m not here to tell you to go plant-based, but find what works for you (I always suggest a reduced-grain Mediterranean diet for easy entry). Equally important to the food that make-up the diet is making sure it’s something you can maintain logistically (that is, it’s easy for you to maintain daily at work, during travel and other unpredictable parts of your lifestyle).

Modifications:

  • Cheat meals: eating should not be miserable, it should be a time of enjoyment, nourishment, and, as much as possible, fellowship. GET the cheesecake when with family and friends and eat pizza when you’re craving it (believe me, I do). Cheat meals are a part of the plan, enjoy them at the moment and know that you’re not always getting dessert.
  • eggsIntermittent Fasting: want to take it a step further? Once you’ve hit your stride with the 3 steps above, look into time-restricted eating, commonly referred to as intermittent fasting (IF). It’s not a diet, but a daily fasting strategy that can be paired with a healthy diet for maximum effect (think roller skates with rocket boosters… weeeeeee!!!).
  • YES! EAT ALL THE EGGS! Okay, maybe not all of them… But, in 3 international studies of 177,000 subjects across 50 countries, the authors “did not find significant associations between egg intake and blood lipids, mortality, or major CVD [cardiovascular disease] events.

We hope you enjoyed this guide and it brings you better health in your future. How do you plan to start your journey? Or, if you’ve already started, what small-wins are you going to implement to take the next step? Let us know in the comments below!

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MEDITATION: GOOD FOR SOUL AND BODY

Author / Drea Osborne

Meditation is important for our well being. How? For starters, it’s a good stress reliever, allows you to feel more deep-seated feelings (unmasking your true feelings about an event or situation), and most importantly it can be an eye-opener. 

Now, most of us assume that you have to be sitting still to meditate. But what if I told you that you can do it while running?! Of course, you can meditate beforehand to get your mind right, but while running, it will challenge your body with the added bonus of clearing your mind. Meditating while running may seem different and, honestly, a bit more difficult, so here are some tips on how you can try adding this unexpected benefit to your running practice:

Choose A Mantra

Adopt a phrase that can keep you focused like, “Keep running”, “ I am strong,”, or, as simple as, “Right left, right left”.

Breathe

Having a consistent breathing pattern can help keep you moving through your run. 

The breathing pattern that I have found helps me is an alternating pattern which is “Slow breath in through the nose, slow breath out through the mouth, slow breath in through the mouth, slow breath out through the nose” and repeat.

Be Aware

Truly take in your surroundings. The scenery, sounds, feeling of the breeze, etc. Make a mental list of everything you see and feel.

Get A Guide

Meditation can be difficult in general and adding it to a run can seem daunting to most. Try to lookup apps that can help you with this level of focus. Here are some of the best meditation apps to use. 


Now that you have a better idea about how to meditate while you run, you may be thinking that’s all well and good, but why would I want to? What’s the benefit of dealing with extra work when I can just run? Some benefits include:

  • Decreases stress while running
  • Find more enjoyment in your runs
  • More energy throughout
  • Improves your speed and endurance

For those that have never meditated before and want to try meditation on their own, check out this post for meditation for beginners.

So now that you have a better idea of how to meditate while running, we would love to hear your thoughts. Comment below about how it goes for you!

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ZODIAC WORKOUTS: IN TIMES OF SOCIAL DISTANCING

Photo by Colin Stoecker

Author/ Umarah Mughnee

Social distancing might be hard, but starting a workout doesn’t have to be. Here are some workouts for each zodiac sign:

*Cue Signs by Beyonce*

Aries | Leo | Cancer | Pisces | Scorpio | Taurus | Sagittarius | Virgo | Libra | Capricorn | Aquarius


Aries

You feed off of intense “highs” and we have a solution. Get your serotonin soaring with a HIIT workout to keep your mind busy and your energy UP. Try this:

[5 Sets, :40 sec on, :15 sec off]

Burpees, Rest, Jump Squats, Rest, High Knee Sprint, Rest, Plank, Rest

Leo

You like to be in the spotlight, and we love to see it. For you? Try an Online Workout Challenge. See 10 pushups, Do 10 — but why stop there? See 50, do 50 or mix it up with 3 sets of 30. . .online tho.

Cancer

Pilates, breathing, stretching, and strengthening. Get out of bed and take it slow; this is a perfect way to come out of your shell. Cosmopolitan listed 23 of the best pilates workouts you can do right in your home. Start now, you have no excuse. 

Pisces

Yoga. Maybe sit in savasana for a couple of minutes, maybe hours, days? Trust me, this is better than being in your feelings. Take a load off and airplay this yoga video on the tv. 

Scorpio

Release some of that intensity, just not on the world. Let it out, in a healthy way. Box the air or a workout on a body bag if one is available. Yes, you guessed it, Kickboxing. Here’s a kickboxing workout to try. 

Taurus

It’s your season! You’re grounded and steadfast, so level your body by focusing on the core. How about this:

(3x) superset of Plank 1:00, Wall Sits 1:00, Superman :30 secs.

Sagittarius

You like to keep it real, so how about some bodyweight training. This superset will keep you honest with yourself, how fit are you? 

(4x) superset, 20 Push Ups, 10 Pull Ups, 400’s

*Don’t have a track? Run around your apartment building or the block. One lap equals one “400”.

Gemini

This will make your twin personalities get along. Try this superset to work both sides of you:

(3x) superset

Mountain Climbers 20 each leg

Bounce Lunges 10 each leg

Single-Leg Deadlift 10 each leg

Virgo

Your detailed oriented spirit will jump for joy with this targeted-toning superset. Pay special attention to the speed of your workout. Slower is better for strengthening and toning. Use a resistance band.

(5x) superset

20 ADL Calf Raises

20 Deadlifts 

25 Decline Pushups

Libra

You’re all about balance, so your workout should be just that. Check out this full-body superset so your indecisive-nature can be at ease when it comes to what body section to focus on. 

(3x) supersets

20 Burpees

20 Kettlebell Swings

20 Box Jumps [or] Step-Ups

Capricorn

Stop! Stop! Stop! We see you STILL trying to get work done for your job. Let’s lay low for a little bit. Go out for a run. For each chorus on your favorite songs, push yourself a bit harder and run more relaxed when the chorus is over. Here are some places around DC that are still open to the public to close your cardio activity circles. 

WWII Memorial

Rock Creek Park

Great Falls National Park

Aquarius

You’re eccentric by nature, and we have the perfect solution to mix up your workout. Try some squats…with one caveat. Instead of using weights, use a 40-pack of water, your 30-pound dog, or even a gallon of juice. Here’s your superset:

(3x) supersets

15 Sumo Squats

15 Jump Squats

15 Pulse Squats