Keeping to your running routine is a challenge at any time of year. Finding the energy to get up out of bed at dawn or go for a jog after work takes dedication – which may be in short supply more often that we’d like.
Still, one way to make running a little easier is to wear comfortable clothes and gear. This is especially true in winter, helping to maintain a pleasant temperature and prevent overheating.
If you’re keen to stay in shape through the colder months, take a look at our clothing rules for winter running for the advice you need …
Layer Up, Strip Down
Don’t just head out into the cold wearing a bulky hooded top with nothing underneath. Why?
Well, as you get into your rhythm, you’ll start to warm up – and if you feel too hot, you’ll want to pull that heavy thing off. Unless you love jogging topless, this is unlikely to be the best move.
Wear a base layer (ideally, a wicking thermal, with long sleeves), a T-shirt, and a zip-front hoody. As you heat up, you’ll be able to take that outer shell off, and then the T-shirt, leaving yourself with a base layer.
Be sure to buy your workout gear in fairly loose sizes, so you can remove tops easily and quickly.
Be Seen at All Times
Unless you’re running between daylight hours, chances are you’ll be out there in the dark during winter. Most of us find time to run before and after work, putting you into a slightly more dangerous situation.
When you’re running along roads, down country lanes, and in the city, you have to stay visible. It only takes one driver to miss you as you’re crossing the street to cause an accident.
Wear a high-visibility vest over your top, illuminated armbands, or strobing LED lights that clip to your clothes.
Be Willing to Change Straight Away
After your run, be sure to take your sweaty clothes off right away. Leaving your running gear on can leave you vulnerable to catching a chill, and make you colder as your body starts to sweat to cool you down.
Don’t Forget your Hands
Make sure you wear gloves. It’s easy to focus on keeping your torso and legs warm, but your hands are still just as vulnerable to the cold when you’re running.
Wear thin gloves which are resistant to the wind and rain. Ideally, they will be small enough to roll-up into your pockets if need be. Your gloves should also be fine enough to let you handle drinks and eat snacks without dropping them.
You may also want to put your gloves into a waterproof backpack, as with any snacks or drinks.
Spray your Sneakers Dry
Waterproofing your sneakers will help your feet stay dry and comfortable when running on wet days. We all know the frustration of tramping through a puddle and having to cope with damp socks the rest of your run.
Invest in a waterproofing spray, and treat your sneakers every couple of weeks.
Get a decent wardrobe of running clothes and accessories together for winter, and you’ll likely find your motivation staying at a high level – it’s easier to get yourself out there when you know you’ll stay comfortable.
People at almost every level of fitness can try cycling to stay healthy.
From young children accompanying Mom and Dad on a leisurely ride to Grampa enjoying a Sunday trek, cycling holds universal appeal. However, if you’re looking to compete in races, master high-octane tricks, or break world records, you have to be in the best shape possible.
Why? Not only do you need strong muscles and powerful reflexes for maximum control over your bike, you also have to work on your endurance. After all, the longer you can perform at the peak of your abilities, the better your results.
You’ll need to actually get off your bike to build a tougher body, though. Check out these four exercises for a little inspiration …
Crunches to Hone your Core
Don’t confuse crunches with sit-ups. You don’t need to bring your torso upright to make maximum impact on your abs.
Instead, lie flat on your back with your legs bent and your feet flat on the floor (you might want to slip them under your bed or ask a friend to hold them in place). Put your arms behind your head (without pushing on it) or stretched forward, with your hands on your thighs.
Now, curl your torso up, slowly, towards your knees. Get your shoulders elevated around four or six inches, without actually sitting fully. Lower yourself, and repeat.
Aim for between three and five sets of 10 to start with.
Squats to Refine your Legs
Squats are a fantastic way to strengthen your calves and thighs, building explosive power. They do take a toll on your first attempts, but you’ll notice the difference to your cycling over time.
Stand with your feet in line with your hips, and your abs taut. Then, bending your hips and knees, lower to a squat position. Stop when your thighs are parallel with the floor, and then rise.
You might want to perform this with a dumbell in each hand, or with your arms out in front of you.
Aim for three sets of 12, and then stop.
Planks for your Core, Back, and Shoulders
While crunches work your core too, planks also strengthen your shoulders and lower back at the same time.
These bodyweight exercises are simple to perform, requiring no equipment. Just lie on your front, and then come up onto your forearms and toes. Tighten your abs.
Hold this position for between 10 – 20 seconds, rest, and then repeat two more times.
As you get more used to it, increase the number of seconds or add more sets.
Burpees for your Whole Body
Anyone who’s had experience with burpees may break out into a cold sweat … but don’t worry: they’re not as bad as you remember!
Start off standing, before dropping into a squat, with your fingertips on the floor in front of you. Then, press your palms flat to support your weight as you kick your legs back behind you.
You should be in position to perform a push-up, without actually doing so.
Now, bring your legs back in, adopt that squat posture again, and rise into your stance. Repeat.
This will tire you out faster than the above three exercises, so just keep going until you really feel the burn.
As you get better at this, try actually mixing-in a push-up or two, but not until you feel ready.
With the right bike, cycling can be a fantastic way to stay fit, engage with the world around you, and get your adrenaline racing. These four exercises will keep you cycling faster, further, and better – so what are you waiting for?
However, please note that if you’re not currently exercising or you’re recovering from an operation or injury, speak with your doctor before embarking on ANY of these activities.
No matter how much you love cycling, there’s no shame in admitting that riding uphill is one of the sport’s less-fun aspects.
Even if you’ve been touring the States’ national parks for years, even if you’ve mastered a wide variety of bikes, you can always stand to learn new techniques. Making your rides easier can also help to make them more fun – so if you’ve been frustrated by a trail with several steep climbs, take a look at these pro tips!
Get Your Gears Right
Changing pedal too late can leave you facing a great uphill challenge. If you keep pedaling and striving to downshift, you may well find yourself struggling to make that climb at all.
Certain types of hub gears need a quick, punchy break to take effect. So, when you’re downshifting with these, take it easy on the pedaling just for a second or two. Otherwise, you might well end up at a gear that’s too high, leading to a complete stop.
You’re best pedaling at a steady, smooth pace as you climb. When your speed begins to drop, shift down and aim for the top.
Don’t be Afraid to Just Walk it
Let’s be honest: the idea of actually dismounting and walking your bike uphill might seem like an admission of defeat … or even shameful failure.
Well, it’s not. Not at all.
If you just can’t get your gears figured out, or the climb is too high or steep, reaching the top might well seem impossible. Instead, take It easy on yourself. It might not necessarily take less time, but you face less risk of straining yourself or falling.
Also, while you walk, you’ll be saving a little energy, meaning you’ll be less exhausted when you reach the top – making the rest of your ride easier and more fun.
Still, if you don’t like the idea of walking your bike uphill or feel the time taken to dismount would be counter-productive, why not try combining the two? Ride to the halfway point, and then walk the rest.
Getting your Posture Right
Should you stay seated or should you stand when tackling uphill climbs?
Well, for shorter hills, it’s best to keep yourself in a sitting position on the ascent. Ideally, you want to invest minimal effort into pedaling, without sacrificing momentum, to avoid over-exerting yourself.
While you might be tempted to stand, you may actually end up putting greater strain on your chains and possibly wearing out your gears faster.
With these pro tips, you can tackle uphill climbs with a little more confidence. If you’ve only just started cycling as a sport or exercise, you should try to stick to flatter terrain, otherwise you might find yourself having to cut one of your first rides short.
Steep hills are incredibly intimidating for novice cyclists, so work your way up from flat paths to more vertical trails. At Adamant, our bikes are made with the best components available today, to ensure they provide the best-quality experience for cyclists at all levels. Whether you need a model for mountain biking or something for your daily commute, our range has you covered.
Dedicated campers need little to no encouragement to pack their bags, load up the car, and head out to their favorite spot for a few days.
However, for the rest of us, why should you choose camping vacations over others? Aside from the fun of the outdoor lifestyle, camping actually offers several benefits for your physical and mental health.
Here are just a few …
You’ll Feel Happier and Less Stressed
Ever seen a friend or relative come back from a camping trip with a lighter step and a sunnier disposition?
Spending hours outside, in the fresh air and sunlight, can hep to increase your serotonin levels. This hormone is known to lift your mood and encourage feelings of calm and focus.
Likewise, darker settings activate the release of melatonin, another hormone. This is responsible for making you feel sleepy and ready to get some shut-eye.
As you’re outdoors when camping, you’ll spend more time soaking up the sunlight. Without the bright glow of streetlights or excessive artificial lighting, your melatonin levels may well help you enjoy longer, better sleep.
You can Get Away from Your Everyday Life
Camping lets you get away from the stresses and strains of everyday life.
Whether you’re under pressure at work, fed up with college, or having relationship issues, just taking a few days to leave that behind can work wonders. For the most part, you’ll have no signal or internet when in the great outdoors, preventing you taking bothersome work-related calls or checking social media every few minutes.
You can use this time to reduce your stress levels, get some exercise, and consider your life without the ongoing distractions of ‘the real world’.
You’ll Get More Exercise
Too many of us live sedentary lifestyles. This isn’t new, of course, but actually finding the motivation to get some exercise is hard. Especially when there’s so much outstanding entertainment to keep us inside nowadays.
Well, with camping vacations, you’ll find yourself surrounded by so many picturesque views and gorgeous landmarks, you’ll genuinely want to get out there and explore.
Even walking can work your muscles, get your blood pumping, and burn calories, so you’ll get much-needed exercise while enjoying some leisurely sightseeing.
You might be able to go even further, too: some campsites offer various activities, such as canoeing, swimming, and more.
While camping, you may discover a love for exercise or specific activities you never knew before – and carry them back home with you.
You’ll Connect with Friends, Family, and Yourself
Whether you go camping with friends or family, it’s a fantastic way to reinforce your relationships.
When you’re out in the woods, walking the hills, or just sitting around the campfire, you’ll have more time and less distractions than in ‘real life’. This gives you plenty of time and freedom to just … talk. You’ll form stronger bonds and feel closer for years to come.
Going solo? This applies to yourself, as well. Maybe not the talking part, but you can use the time alone to think about who you are, where you’re going, and other aspects of life you may have neglected at home.
You may well leave that campsite with a renewed love for yourself, your friends, or your family.
Feeling inspired? There are countless gorgeous campgrounds across the USA, catering to campers of different kinds. Make sure you take the right gear to stay dry, safe, and happy!
Unless you’re lucky enough to work from home, commuting is a necessary evil.
Whether you spend hours stuck in traffic, struggle to find a seat on the subway, or have to run for the bus every morning, the end result is usually the same:
Commuting just isn’t fun.
Of course, modern technology makes it a little more bearable. Being able to watch an episode of your favorite sitcom or part of a movie helps to pass the time, but isn’t there a way to bypass that long, frustrating journey?
Yes – cycling!
Riding your bike to work offers numerous benefits, both physical and mental. As long as you live within a comfortable range of your workplace, cycling to your job could transform your daily life.
Even if you can’t ride in every day, a few times each week makes all the difference.
You’ll Have More Fun
Riding a bike is always going to be more interactive, more engaging, and more fun than sitting on a train or bus.
Remember how much fun you used to have cycling as a kid? The sense of freedom you had with those two wheels under you?
Well, you can rediscover that now, as you ride past all of those unfortunate people trapped in their cars and buses, weaving between traffic as you cut minutes off your commute.
You can use any extra time you make to stop in at a bakery and pick up a snack, or just stay in bed a little longer.
You’ll Lose Weight
If you start cycling to work, even just a couple of times a week, you’ll be burning more calories than usual.
How many exactly? This varies for everyone, based on your weight etc. However, on average, someone weighing around 180lb burns close to 650 calories for every hour they cycle at a moderate speed.
While hopping onto the saddle first thing in the morning can feel like a chore, that exercise at the end of a long, hard day will also start to be a relief. You’ll get to loosen up, go home feeling more limber, and possibly have more energy for your evening.
Your Brain will Get a Workout too
We know cycling to work will keep you feeling energized and encourage weight-loss, but what about the cognitive benefits?
Exercise has been shown to give you a sharper memory, enhance your learning capabilities, and boost your general cerebral performance.
This is a great way to start the day, and will help to set you up for whatever tasks lie ahead.
You’ll Save Money
Not only can biking to work improve your fitness and brain-power, it can also save you money.
Even if your bike has a significant price attached to it, this is only a one-off investment. Sure, you may have to buy a new tire once in a while, but think how much cash you’ll save without having to pay for gas and insurance week after week.
You’ll also have no need to buy subway tickets or pay for bus fares.
Even just a few times a week, riding your bike to work can make a significant impact on your wallet.
Feeling convinced? Good. Cycling to work could help to bring more joy, activity, and free time to your daily life.
At Adamant Gear, we stock exceptional bikes made with only the finest components, guaranteeing outstanding performance – perfect for all commutes, whether you’re just riding a few blocks or crossing the city at rush-hour.
What type of terrain do you prefer to ride your mountain bike on?
Flat or steep? Dirt or grass? Do you like lots of jumps? Do sharp turns get your pulse racing or inspire cold dread inside you?
Whatever your tastes, the USA is filled with fantastic mountain-biking spots to visit, with something for everyone.
Join us as we look at five of the best ...
Munds Wagon Trail
This trail, in Sedona, Arizona, offers bikers eight glorious miles to explore.
The singletrack climbs to an amazing 1200 feet, though there’s a generous helping of dips to take a little of the strain off. You also get to ride along the creek bed for short intervals, giving you more time to take a breather.
The incredible surroundings offered by Arizona’s red-rock environment keeps this easy on the eye at all times, and is a must for mountain bikers more used to urban or green landscapes.
Tahoe Rim Trail
This is a stunning trail, though not all of it is accessible to bikers. Considering this runs 165 miles around Lake Tahoe (the biggest alpine lake in all of North America), that may not be such a bad thing.
Mountain bikers can enjoy riding around 80 miles of this trail, especially the singletrack connecting Tahoe Meadows and Spooner summit. This is about 23 miles, with plenty of steep descents, inclines that put you to work, and a wealth of beautiful views.
This is a complete contrast to Munds Wagon Trail, offering lush greenery, meadows, and lakes. A feast for the eyes and the wheels alike.
This is part of the Kingdom Trails in Vermont, which make up the biggest range of trails in America’s northeastern region.
The Mountain Loop itself runs over 15 miles, starting at Burke Mountain Campground, which leads on to singletrack. You’ll find bridges, jumps, and more, before you return to the campground later. It’s a great trail to try, in fantastic surroundings.
Poison Spider Mesa
For decades now, Moab has been a must-visit for serious mountain bikers. However, the expansive range of trails on offer continues to grow, with around 30 miles of new tracks appearing every year.
This is a stunning location, offering endless desert vistas as far as the eye can see. It provides slickrock steeps and trails for bikers of all levels, with a massive 13-mile run that reaches up to Poison Spider Mesa. This stands around 1,000 feet high,and benefits from one of the coolest, most dangerous-sounding names ever.
McKenzie River Trail
In Eugene, Oregon, the McKenzie River Trail runs for around 26 miles across the Cascade Mountains.
These are ideal for seasoned bikers as well as newcomers, with plenty of amazing sights to take in. There are hot springs, unforgettable forests, and even lava fields – what more could you ask for?
You’ll also see waterfalls, and get to enjoy tricksy turns and smooth terrain, keeping you on your toes from start to finish.
At Adamant Gear, our bikes provide experienced riders with the highest-quality designs and construction, ensuring reliability and stability.