The Checkup: How to Stay Energized All Day (Without Downing Buckets of Coffee)

• Fall is a comin’. And while I am overjoyed about the changing leaves and the lack of strangers’ perspiration dripping onto me on the subway, I am bummed that the sunshine-filled days will soon be getting a whole lot shorter. If you’re anticipating a dip in energy, take note of these caffeine-free tricks to stay energized throughout the day. [Women’s Health]

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Brains Behind Feast Pop-Up Dinners Now Offering BYOB Cooking Classes

Finding drool-worthy healthy food can be hard; making your own drool-worthy healthy food can be even harder. But sometimes all we want to do is make our own plant-packed pizzas — and have them look just as good as the versions on Pinterest.

Back in January, we told you guys all about Feast, a seasonal vegan supper club put on by local health coach Jessica Baumgardner that offers three-course plant-based pop-up dinners at Animo. And now, the nutrition and culinary experts behind Feast are helping to make your Pinterest-worthy homemade dinner dreams come true: Starting October 6th, Baumgardner and her partner, Jen Clark, will be offering pop-up healthy cooking classes at Bella Vista’s Function Coffee Labs, with the first class focusing on plant-based proteins.

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Philadelphia Marathon Training: Why You Need Rest Weeks, Not Just Rest Days

Marathon training is exhausting. There’s really no way around it. Week after week you head out the door on tired, achy legs preparing your body for the 26.2-mile journey. Run too little and you’ll crash and burn come race day, but run too much and you’ll also crash and burn come race day.

Running a great marathon means knowing how to fight off fatigue — being able to manage your energy throughout the race so that when you cross the finish line, you’ve just started to “run on empty.” Marathon training needs to prepare you for this long battle with fatigue and just as the saying goes, practice makes perfect. The best way to prepare is to practice running in a fatigued state. This not only includes a weekly long run but also accumulating fatigue over an extended period of time. For intermediate and advanced runners, this accumulated fatigued state is just as important as the weekly long run. Since virtually no marathon plans include running 26.2 miles at goal marathon pace, this accumulated fatigue helps prepare you for tackling 26.2 miles at goal pace without actually doing it in training.

However there is a huge risk that comes with training in an extended state of fatigue: Overtraining. Overtraining, caused by stressing the body too hard, too often, with not enough rest, can completely wreck marathon training. The key to balancing this fine line between an optimal fatigued state and overtraining is letting the body rest so it can adjust to higher workloads.

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Philly Free Streets: Group Runs and Bike Rides to Know About

The time has come: Time for Philly’s first-ever open streets event — an event where the city will shut down a stretch of streets to cars so that we can all run, walk, bike and frolic through them, sans traffic. Insert all the ecstatic squeals here.

In case you need a refresher, the open streets event, dubbed Philly Free Streets, will be going down this Saturday, September 24th, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. And the car-free route is nothing to scoff at: It spans nearly 10 miles long, from Front and South Street all the way into West Fairmount Park. Yeah, it’s going to be a good morning.

While you’re welcome to take to the streets in your running shoes or on two wheels on your own, there are also a few group bike rides and runs that will be going down throughout the day. Take your pick! (And note: Philly Free Streets has said they’ll have all sorts of fitness programming across the route, from zumba to boot camps, and more; they’ve yet to announce the schedule and locations of these events, but you can stay tuned here.)

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Spend Your SEPTA Commute Thinking About This, Science Says

This morning, I spent my SEPTA commute — a super-short ride compared to the commutes of some of my coworkers, who train in from places like Bucks County every single day — doing what I do every morning: Listening to Beyoncé’s “Lemonade” for the trillionth time and mentally cursing the person lacking any sense of self-awareness bumping me with their backpack over and over and over again. Because there is always, always one of these backpack-wielding, spatial-awareness-lacking humans on the El at 8 a.m. on a weekday.

But a new study suggests that if you want to turn a somewhat miserable morning commute into a beneficial activity, then rather than spending your train time daydreaming about what life would be like if Beyoncé were to swoop in on a unicorn (I’m sure she owns one) and adopt you right then and there, you should think about work. Yes: Science says we should all be thinking about work on our daily commutes into the office.

I know, that sounds kind of terrible. But hear me out.

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New Philly-Based Fitness App Makes Incentivizing Workouts Its Mission

A workout without added incentive — you know, aside from the endorphin rush — is a workout many people probably (definitely) won’t end up doing. So added workout incentive is just what the new Philly-based app Vea Fitness, launching this weekend in conjunction with the Philly Free Streets event (who else is excited??), is aiming to give folks.

As Vea co-founder Jonathan Maxim, a former graphic designer who started putting his all into the app about two years ago, tells us, “I was really inspired by my own fitness journey and realizing how much fitness does for your confidence, wellbeing and state of mind. I wanted to be able to share workout motivation on a grand scale.” And what’s the way to do that nowadays? Software, he says.

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Get Fresh, Local Produce All Year: Your 2016 Fall and Winter CSA Guide

Greensgrow Farms CSA share | Photo via Facebook

Greensgrow Farms CSA share | Photo via Facebook

If you missed the boat for a summer community-supported agriculture program (CSA), now’s your chance to get in on the farm-fresh veggie game: Believe it or not, it’s already time to start thinking about fall and winter CSAs.

In case you aren’t familiar, a CSA usually works like this: You buy a share of a farm’s harvest and, in return, you get a weekly or biweekly delivery of fresh produce that you grab at the nearest pick-up site. Most of the farms we’ve listed below sling a prepaid share for the whole season, but a couple are offering flexible pay-as-you-go options where you can choose which weeks you want a share. If you want in, sign up now so you don’t miss out on your fresh sweet potatoes, cauliflower, and kale!

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Voting in Round 2 of the Health Hero Challenge Semifinals Is Now Open!

hh round 2 lead

Aaaand it’s time for Round 2, guys!

This morning, at 10 a.m., we opened voting for the next batch of Health Hero Challenge semifinalists. You can cast your vote here! Just a reminder, you can vote for your Health Hero once every 24 hours.

This morning at 10, we opened Round 2 of the Health Hero Challenge semifinals. You can cast a vote right here.

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The Checkup: The Skin-Clearing Drink Your Fridge Should Be Stocked With

Kombucha. It’s all the rage — taking over the drink section at Whole Foods, on tap at your local watering hole, and even in cocktails. And reaching for a bottle of the fermented drink isn’t just oh so Gwyneth Paltrow of you, it’s also good for your skin. Long story short, when your digestive tract is happy, so is your face. [Health]

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