Archive for April, 2022

Enitan Ekwotafia lists 7 tips for training for your first marathon

Every race has a starting point. But Enitan Ekwotafia can help get you to the finish line.

As a licensed personal trainer, Enitan Ekwotafia is used to helping her clients achieve their fitness goals. But running a marathon is different. It’s not as easy as lacing up some sneakers and hitting the pavement. It requires focused commitment and detailed planning.

Yet Enitan Ekwotafia is up for the challenge. Even if you’ve never run a mile, the seasoned professional steps up to provide seven must-have strategies for any marathon training program.

Save the date

Make race day the goal. So, circle your calendar. After all, race day is the culmination of your hard work. Simply select a date to use as the endpoint. Then, build your schedule by working backwards. But, stick close to home too. For your initial race, it helps to choose something local so you can familiarize yourself with the route.

Log miles

Enitan Ekwotafia recommends building distance for about a year before entering a race. Aspiring runners should shoot for approximately 50 miles each. But this should be regular and consistent. Avoid dramatic increases. She cautions against increasing more than 10% in a given week. Progressing too quickly may cause fatigue, injury, or burnout.

Schedule a long run

But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t push yourself. Test the limits by working in a longer run. Every couple of weeks, use a long run to evaluate your progress while still limiting major spikes in total mileage. These longer runs should only extend your normal route by a mile or two each time. You’ll want to adjust your pace too. As you extend your distance, start decreasing your speed to compensate.

Add speed

However, you shouldn’t go slow all the time. Mix up your runs. Speedwork boosts aerobic capacity. The most popular forms are interval and tempo training. For an interval workout, repeat sets of shorter distances at faster paces. Slow jog or walk between sets. Tempo training is usually longer.

Hit the gym

Running alone won’t cut it. Cross-training, lifting weights, and other strength exercises are the best ways to ensure your body is ready for the rigors of race day. And this might improve your overall health too. The repetitive movements of running produce a lot of wear and tear on the knees and joints. In addition to group fitness classes, Enitan Ekwotafia encourages her clients to try swimming or even yoga. These activities have a lower impact.

Eat healthy

Don’t leave the tank empty. To reach peak performance, you’ll need fuel. Replenish the nutrients lost during exercise. But you must be proactive. Focus on drinking and eating properly before, during, and after training. Although dietary needs are different for everyone, water is always essential. Enitan Ekwotafia advocates using a hydration belt on race day.

Rest

Just like adequate nutrition, recovery isn’t an option. Your muscles need an occasional day off. As Enitan Ekwotafia reminds her clients, the body builds muscle during these periods of rest. But recovery can also help fight fatigue and combat burnout. Listen to your body. If pains, aches, or other issues persist, take a little more time.

Music Enthusiast Michael Mullins out of New Jersey, Discusses the Health Benefits of Playing Guitar

Many people have heard that music is good for the soul. Music enthusiast Michael Mullins explained that it’s not just a rumor. Numerous scientific studies prove that playing guitar and other musical instruments has a lot of health benefits.

“Anyone who plays guitar will tell you that it’s good for their health,” Michael Mullins of New Jersey said. “It improves the mood, releases stress, and helps create lifelong relationships. Playing guitar changed my life, and I know it can benefit so many others too.”

It’s a Mood-Booster

It’s common for people to feel better after listening to music or creating it themselves. However, many do not know why. Mullins explained that the vibrations and sounds of music are therapeutic and are even effective in treating pain. Being creative is also therapeutic, and mastering new skills provides confidence. All of these elements combine to make guitar playing a significant mood-booster.

It Improves Brain Function

One of the most significant health benefits of playing guitar is that it can improve brain function. Countless studies show playing music can improve childhood development and help prevent dementia. An otolaryngologist from Johns Hopkins Medicine explained that the brain performs a lot of work to make sense of playing and listening to music. It can improve creativity, hand-eye coordination, and long-term memory recall.

Playing Guitar Reduces Stress

Michael Mullins from New Jersey explained that music helps reduce his stress, and he’s not the only one. Studies show that playing guitar and other instruments decreases heart rate, lowers blood pressure, reduces anxiety, and diminishes stress. It can even be a deterrent for depression. 

Research from the American Psychological Association states that music may be more successful than prescription drugs in reducing stress and anxiety before surgery. Mullins described guitar playing as an effective stress-reducer when the pressures of life are overwhelming.

It Provides Connection

Social interaction is therapeutic. It helps individuals develop support systems for life’s most difficult experiences. Playing guitar leads individuals to meet fellow musicians and make lifelong connections. It can even take individuals out of their comfort zones to open mics or talent shows, building confidence and opening opportunities for even more personal connections.

Relationships among family members can also be built or repaired through playing guitar and other instruments. Strumming around the bonfire or singing along to favorite songs can reinforce connections within the family as easily as it can build them with outsiders.

Michael Mullins and Guitar

New Jersey’s Michael Mullins is a self-taught guitar player who has been practicing for more than 20 years. He finds that guitar playing has improved his mental and physical health, including stress reduction, improved mood, and a clearer state of mind. Mullins encourages kids and adults to consider taking a guitar lesson if they’re looking for a sizeable life transformation.