3 Things I Do Before Every Run
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3 Things I Do Before Every Run

There are three things I do before every run to optimize performance. They take fifteen minutes total. And are meant to prevent injury, improve performance, and reinforce technique. So today, I’m taking you along my pre-run routine. Let’s get into it! I start with the most controversial of the three tasks. Foam rolling. I wrote on this topic in my post: What to Make of Foam Rollers? I concluded that the effects of foam rolling haven’t been backed up by much science. They may help with flexibility and muscle soreness, but if you’re time constrained, I’d skip this for more evidence-based activities. Today, this still rings true. Except that I’m dedicating a considerable amount of time to improving my running. And I’m willing to spend that extra time on things that may provide only incremental benefits.So, I grab a foam roller and

My Smoothie for Nutritional Excellence
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My Smoothie for Nutritional Excellence

My breakfast smoothie has double the fiber eaten by the average American. It’s packed with items from multiple food groups. And it has unusual ingredients you’ll rarely find in traditional smoothies. But it’s this nutrient variety that makes it such a nutritional powerhouse. So much, that I consume it six days a week for breakfast alongside my steel-cut oatmeal. And with that alone, I’ve nearly met all my daily micronutrient goals. What are the key elements for nutrient diverse smoothies? How do I make my breakfast smoothie? And what metrics are useful when analyzing a smoothie’s nutrient content? Well, let’s get into it! Traditionally, smoothies were made with fruit and water. Some add fiber depleted juice too. And others add supplements like protein powder. But it’s been quite rare for most smoothies to venture outside that realm. While

How I Use Training Zones for Performance and Longevity
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How I Use Training Zones for Performance and Longevity

I’ve improved my athletic performance and longevity biomarkers by minimizing high intensity workouts and training in zones. In December I walked into LA Fitness and saw their featured HIIT studio. Each month Men’s and Women’s Health have new articles on interval training. And Instagram is filled with trending workout challenges. But most Olympians, professional athletes, and longevity experts are focused on boring, old steady state cardio. The stationary bike and stair master have new life. But that doesn’t mean high intensity workouts should be omitted either. That’s why the VDOT training program I’m following focuses on training zones. And maybe your program should too. What are the 5 training zones? How is my training programmed? And why is each zone important for performance and longevity? Well, let’s get

I’m Using VDOT to Plan a Year of Running
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I’m Using VDOT to Plan a Year of Running

Last year I burst into spring ready to run and walked out of summer injured and sidelined. At the time, I didn’t know why my body broke down. Shin splints, a groin strain, and sore hamstrings had me puzzled. Upon further research, my mistakes with training volume, run intensity, and ignoring previous injuries did it (How to Prevent Running Injuries and What I Did Wrong). I never had a real training plan to begin with. I was just trying to do more today than yesterday. And that didn’t work. That’s not what smart runners do. That’s not what elite athletes do. But I didn’t know any better. This year, I’ve spent most of March researching proper run programming and progression. I’ve planned out a year of running all based on VDOT values to correct my previous mistakes. So, what is VDOT? How can you determine your value? And how have I

Four Months of Reflection

Four Months of Reflection

I went from being lost to still lost after four months of reflection. I had published a YouTube video, podcast episode, and email newsletter every week for a year. I had spent 20 hours a week on myHealthSciences. That was on top of my full-time job and robust health routines. I gained knowledge and skills in the process. But my audience size and engagement didn’t budge. It didn’t bother me but eventually I stopped posting. I wouldn’t even consider it burnout. Just confusion. A loss of purpose. One week off turned into a four-month hiatus. I reflected. Is this how I want to spend my weekends? Am I benefiting from this? Is this helping others? If not, what could I be doing instead? Now, four months later and I still don’t have those answers. I’m still lost. But the sun’s rays are emerging, my legs are bouncy, and my curiosity has risen. I may

What to Make of Foam Rollers and Massage Guns?
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What to Make of Foam Rollers and Massage Guns?

Sean Gallagher was the first physical therapist listed as using a foam roller as a self-message tool back in 1987 [1]. A couple decades later, foam rollers became all the rage. Not only do you still see foam rollers in every gym, but they’ve evolved with various patterns and grids to target deeper muscles and tissues. Additionally, vibration foam rollers (VFRs) that combine the vibration technology with foam rollers have been created [2]. And recently, you see massage guns widely marketed which combine many of these aspects of self-message, deep tissue manipulation, and vibration or percussive technology. A commercial of pro golfer Colin Morikawa was released showing him using his massage gun as a warm-up, cool-down, and mid-round tool [3]. But how do these self-massage tools work? What benefits do they actually provide? If they are

The Top Exercises for Optimal Core Strength
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The Top Exercises for Optimal Core Strength

Strong abdominal muscles help stabilize the trunk and unload lumbar spine stress [1]. This not only helps prevent lower back pain which is the number one cause of disability for people under 45 [2] but it can help improve posture and physical performance [3]. But more importantly, strong abdominal muscles provide you those 6-pack abs. Who cares about back pain, posture, or performance because what really matters is what our stomach looks like in the mirror right? Well, if that’s the case you’ll have much better luck reducing your body fat percentage down to around 10% as a male and 16% as a female because abs are built through exercise but more importantly revealed through nutrition [4]. Either way, a strong core will help with all these goals. But what muscles are in the core? What exercises does the science show best target and activate

From 150k in Debt to 300k Invested by 30
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From 150k in Debt to 300k Invested by 30

Back when I completed my undergraduate program at 21 years old, I entered the real world with 90k of student loan debt. Apparently, that didn’t intimidate me too much as I bought a new car and went back to school for my graduate degree. In total, I racked up over 150k of debt and knew I needed to not only get financially educated, but to put together a rock-solid plan to get back on track. This not only led me to minimalism where I’ve reduced my spending to only things that make me healthier or happier, but also to the world of financial literacy, independence, and investing. This plan has allowed me to not only become completely debt-free, but also to accumulate 300k in investments. And although I’ve detailed the 7-step plan I used to get here, today I’m going to detail exactly how that plan has played out including all my investments. All

Ranking The Healthiest Food Groups
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Ranking The Healthiest Food Groups

When looking at the top sources of calories consumed by the average American, we get: #1 Desserts. #2 Breads. #3 Chicken. #4 Soda. and #5 Pizza [1]. Ladies and gentlemen, the Standard American Diet. After seeing this list, it made me wonder, what are the healthiest foods? If we were to gauge the healthiness of foods based on their protective effects against chronic disease, their nutrition label, and their complete nutrient profile, what foods groups would rise to the top? And what food groups should be our top sources of calories? Well, let’s get into it! First, I wanted to look at the associations between food groups and the risk of diet-related chronic disease (DRCD). And for this, I found a fascinating study, of studies, of studies. That’s a mouthful. So, a meta-analysis or systematic review is a study of many studies. It’s an effective

Should You Nap Regularly? Here’s Why I Don’t
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Should You Nap Regularly? Here’s Why I Don’t

There are some people who nap in response to sleep loss. This is called replacement napping. If you only got 4 hours of sleep last night, then you may nap to replace that loss. That might not work but more on that later. There are other people who nap to prepare for sleep loss. This is called prophylactic napping. If you know you’re only going to get 4 hours of sleep, so you nap in preparation for that loss. That might work, but again more on that later. And there are others who nap for enjoyment. This is called appetitive napping [1]. If you nap because you have absolutely nothing better going on in your life. Then you’re just lazy. Just kidding, I’m 30 so I don’t judge people anymore. Nap away! But no matter your reason, does regular napping have evidence-based benefits? What is the optimal nap duration and time of day? And why