24 January, 2018
Hack Your Outdoor Workout: Train Better, Smarter and Healthier
A health trend that’s becoming more popular and accessible, "biohacking" can refer to everything from adding MCTs to your morning coffee to ensuring you get great sleep at night. At its core, biohacking simply means taking control of your own biology to help you to operate at maximum capacity. Of course, outdoor exercise itself has real benefits, which means it could be considered a biohack in its own right. But if you’re looking to improve further, consider integrating some of these methods and products into your routine.
Eating right and taking supplements are a great way to ensure your body is getting the fuel it needs to optimize performance and aid recovery. Here’s a rundown of some biohacking superstars that can help hack your outdoor workout to improve overall functionality to gain hyper-efficiency.
MCT Oil: MCTs (or medium-chain triglycerides) are fats that have been shown to support the immune system, improve gut health, and provide a great source of energy. A recent study showed that "the short-term ingestion of food containing a small amount of MCT suppresses the increase in blood lactate concentration and RPE during moderate-intensity exercise and extends the duration of subsequent high-intensity exercise.” That means when you’re hitting a hard outdoor workout, supplementing with MCT oil will help sustain energy and push your workout to the next level.
Omega-3s: It’s widely known that these essential fats are crucial for heart health, as well as for promoting muscle recovery and growth. While some get omega-3 fatty acids through the consumption of fish and fish oil, vegetarians, vegans, and those concerned about the environmental impact of overfishing should opt for plant-based omegas, which are found in sources ranging from chia seeds to walnuts. Specifically, the plant-based omega-3 alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) has been shown to lower the risk of cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, and arterial plaque—as well as inhibiting inflammatory response.
Turmeric: Another remarkable supplement to help with recovery and prevent inflammation is turmeric, the spice used to flavor curries and other brightly colored foods. A recent study published in the FASEB (Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology) Journal showed that curcumin, the active compound in turmeric, reduces muscle damage and soreness after a workout.
Another way to improve your outdoor workout performance and results is to take an inventory of your gear to see if it’s contributing to tangible results— and, more importantly, not contributing to any nagging soreness or injuries.
Shoe Swap: Are you a runner who suffers from knee or shin pain? Try changing up your shoe game. Many have found changing from traditional runners to minimalist shoes like Vibrams Fivefingers counteracts some common ailments from outdoor running.
Resistance: If you’ve found yourself plateauing with your usual workout, try adding resistance to improve your results and help burn fat and build muscle. Some runners opt for a resistance parachute, which uses the air to create resistance. If the paratrooper look isn't your style, resistance bands are another popular tool for delivering speed and results.
Kettle Bells: Not getting the results you want from those traditional dumbbells? Try switching to kettle bells, a great tool for keeping outdoor workouts intense and sending your metabolism into high gear.
Some of the best ways to optimize outdoor workout are built right into your body, just waiting for you to unlock them.
Stretching: For those who are serious about the benefits of stretching, a practice such as yoga can help prevent injury, aid recovery, increase range of motion and promote mental focus and relaxation. But even simpler stretches done post-workout provide benefits: Extensive cool-down stretches are proven to help with recovery and injury prevention.
Meditation: Another built-in biohack that's perfect for outdoors: meditation. A recent study found that meditation can actually increase gray-matter density in the brain, which greatly reduces your susceptibility to stress. Further research has shown a connection between mindfulness practice and an athlete’s ability to achieve a “flow state,” driving optimized performance. If you’re unsure of where to start, try one of the many meditation apps.
No matter which methods you choose to hack your workout, pay close attention to the results and listen to your body. Everyone is different, and the key to success is finding what works best for you.
Looking to fire up your performance—in your workout and in life? Flora's Omega Sport+™ oil has been formulated with both performance and recovery in mind. Omega Sport+™ provides omegas as the foundation for health, MCTs for energy, turmeric for recovery and vitamin D to support strength and bone health.* Gluten-free, soy-free, non-GMO and vegetarian. Think of it as fuel for your life.