Here’s how to make it count

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Maybe you were one of those pandemic marathon people, or maybe life still feels so unpredictable or overwhelming that committing to a long workout seems impossible. And while the advent of boutique fitness over the past decade and a half made the 45- or 60-minute workout the norm, a growing body of research is giving people permission to rethink how they approach exercise.

In fact, when the government updated their recommendations for exercise in 2018, they declared that workouts of less than 10 minutes counted toward recommended weekly activity goals. …


The 20–20–20 rule can help

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The second I woke up this morning, I picked up my phone and checked my email before catching up on Instagram and Twitter. I spent the next eight or so hours switching between browser tabs for Gmail, Zoom, and Google Docs to work. Any time I took a break, I was back scrolling through social media or reading a few chapters of an e-book on my iPad. When I wrapped up work, I did an hour-long workout using the Nike Training Club app on my phone. Before bed, I watched two episodes of Schitt’s Creek.

Sounds pretty normal, right? Since…


The stress of working out adds to the stress the virus puts on your heart

Exercisers often push through pain when it comes to minor injuries or colds, but working out with even mild Covid-19 is looking to be a bad move.

According to a study published in JAMA Cardiology, Covid-19 patients are at risk for heart problems. When researchers performed cardiac MRI testing on 100 adults two to three months after Covid-19 recovery, 78 had structural changes to their hearts, and 60 had myocarditis — inflammation of the heart muscle that can lead to abnormal heartbeat, heart failure, and sudden death.

Those are serious issues, yet no participant had “serious” Covid-19 cases. Half experienced…


New technology tracks performance and provides cues to help you improve mid-run

An aerial photo of a person running on a track. Their shadow looks like it’s running.
An aerial photo of a person running on a track. Their shadow looks like it’s running.
Photo: Westend61/Getty Images

I was zoning out halfway through a long run when I heard a tinny voice in my ear: “Your cadence is low,” it said. “Step faster!” It was almost alarming, until I remembered I had switched out my AirPods for a pair of Soul Electronics earbuds with built-in A.I. coaching technology. As a seven-time marathoner, I usually rely on coaches or friends to help me pick up the pace or adjust my form when I’m bored or burned out; these headphones promised that same feedback while running solo.

Companies are starting to use artificial intelligence in fitness gear, with proprietary…


Researchers have known for years that wearables could be useful for detecting illness. Now they’re exploring whether fitness devices could help track and even contain Covid-19.

Photo: Mark Cacovic/Getty Images

As a runner, I live by my fitness tracker data — not just to record pace and distance, but to determine how I slept the night before, measure how recovered my body is from my last workout, and see how my training is progressing. I check my data every morning when I wake up, and after every run.

In January, I noticed that my resting heart rate had, out of nowhere, jumped 10 points. I knew that meant my body was working harder than normal, as if I were sick, although I didn’t have any typical cold symptoms, like a…

Ashley Mateo

Ashley Mateo has over a decade’s worth of experience covering fitness and health for publications including the WSJ, Men’s Journal, SELF, and more. @ashleymateo

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