• Helmets Could Become Compulsory For Cyclists

    Cycling road safety helmet

    Transport Minister Jesse Norman has said that a review will take place in the New Year in which the government will consider whether helmets and high visibility apparel should become compulsory for all cyclists. This move comes after a study found more than 100 cyclists were killed on British roads last year, which marks a 5% increase since the previous year. 

    A study commissioned by helmet company Lid Helmets found that only 70.5 per cent of cyclists riding on busy roads regularly wear a helmet. It is widely debated whether road deaths could be reduced by cyclists wearing helmets, or whether something deeper is at play, and tougher punishments for dangerous driving should be put in place. Sam Jones of Cycling UK said, "the effectiveness of helmets is not the black-and-white issue many think it is."

    Posted by Alexandra Parren
  • Fitness Wearable Brand Mio Global Changes To PAI Health

    Sundried has reviewed a few of the Mio Global fitness wearables over the years, including the Mio Fuse, Mio Alpha 2, and Mio Slice featuring Personal Activity Intelligence. Now, the global fitness wearables brand is making a big change.

    Mio's latest innovation is PAI (Personal Activity Intelligence) - the new activity tracking metric and app. PAI was first introduced on the Mio SLICE earlier this year. Moving forward, in order to accelerate the adoption of PAI, they are working with partners who have successfully scaled and are looking to grow further with innovations in sensor analytics. 
    As such, they have made the decision to no longer produce devices themselves, and are instead working on developing a cloud-based software platform that will integrate with other devices and systems to expand the PAI ecosystem. One of the biggest projects they are working on is developing a PAI Apple Watch app which will be available early 2018. This will allow many new people to benefit from using PAI.
    To align with their new focus, they will be changing their brand name from Mio Global to PAI Health. Their new website is PAIhealth.com and their social media is changing to PAIhealth as well.

    Posted by Alexandra Parren
  • Running Legend Kathrine Switzer Completes New York City Marathon 2017

    While leading a group of 13 dedicated runners from Team 261 Fearless through the five boroughs of New York, women’s running pioneer Kathrine Switzer completed the 2017 TCS New York City Marathon today, posting another amazing milestone in her legendary long-distance running career by running the NYC Marathon and this past April’s Boston Marathon in her fifth decade of competitive running. At the age of 70, she ran a time of 4:48.

    About Kathrine Switzer

    An iconic athlete, author, and advocate for sports and social causes, Kathrine Switzer was the first woman to officially enter and then run the Boston Marathon. Switzer has been honored for her achievements, most recently for running the Boston Marathon on the 50th anniversary of her historic run in 1967 and for her induction to the USA National Women’s Hall of Fame which recognized her for creating positive social change throughout her storied career. The ramifications of this work is both joyful and profound, changing forever the face of sports, health, creating opportunities for women around the world by fearlessly empowering millions beyond the finish line, and it is all activated through the recently launched non-profit 261 Fearless, so aptly named after her bib number in Boston back in 1967.

    Switzer started the race by crossing the famed Verrazano-Narrows Bridge from Staten Island to Brooklyn with a group of 13 charity runners representing the 261 Fearless organization, including 10 American women from seven states, and one each from Canada, Belgium, and Switzerland. Together these women raised $55,000 to help fund educational programs to train women to become 261 Coaches and form 261 Fearless running Clubs around the world. Their efforts were supported by adidas and Bose, the global sponsors for 261 Fearless.

    Since becoming the first woman to officially enter and finish the Boston Marathon in 1967 and then going on to win the New York City Marathon in 1974, Switzer pioneered an era of participation by women in all sports, not just running, and her story has inspired a generation of women athletes. Switzer recently launched the non-profit, 261 Fearless, with the mission to use running as a vehicle to empower and unite women globally through the creation of clubs, education opportunities, a new communication platform and special events.

    “It’s been 43 years since I ran my first New York City Marathon,” said Switzer. “It’s been an absolute honour to run through the five boroughs alongside 13 women from six countries representing 261 Fearless. I am so grateful to the New York Road Runners for their support in creating this fantastic day.”

    Caryn Kelly of Edina, Minnesota was one of the 13 runners. Today was her ninth marathon.

    “What an amazing experience! I ran my first marathon with my husband at the age of 40,” said Kelly. “I cannot thank Kathrine Switzer enough for the opportunity to help women around the world experience the sense of accomplishment I’ve felt through running.”

    About 261 Fearless

    The mission of 261 Fearless is to unite women through a global running network, creating a supportive community, while allowing fearless women to “pass forward” a new strength gained from running to women who are facing challenges, sparking a revolution of empowerment. “261” is the symbol that unites women as empowered runners. Women of all abilities, cultures and social backgrounds are welcome to participate. For more information, please visit http://www.261fearless.org.

    Posted by Alexandra Parren
  • New Research Finds Walking And Running Can Improve Spinal Health

    A new study in Nature Research Journal Scientific Reports has found for the first time that there is a positive link between exercise and a stronger, healthier spine.

    "Running exercise in men and women is associated with better IVD [intervertebral disc] composition" says lead author Daniel L. Belavý of Deakin University, Australia. "We further find that accelerations at fast walking and slow running (2 m/s), but not high-impact tasks, lower intensity walking or static positions, correlated to positive IVD characteristics." This means that a brisk walk or gentle jog really can improve the health and strength of your spine and help to prevent degenerative issues later in life. This groundbreaking research is important as there was previously no evidence to support the claim that exercise can improve the quality of the intervertebral discs in the spine.

    Intervertebral discs, or IVD, act to absorb shock in the spine as well as maintaining its alignment and allowing for free movement in the back. Whenever you twist, stretch, and turn, your IVD are working hard to keep your back and spine moving well. It was previously thought that high impact exercise like running would eventually cause wear and tear to the intervertebral discs thereby damaging them, so this new research shows an important enlightenment.

    The results of the study found that long-distance runners and joggers had healthier IVD tissue than non-exercisers. The long-distance runners showed slightly improved results than the casual joggers, but not much. So your daily or weekend jog is still important!

    This research has important implications for spinal health in relation to exercise and the guidelines set out for patients with spinal pain. "IVD degeneration and herniation is one important contributing factor to spinal pain. Knowing that the IVD can respond to certain kinds of loading, and understanding what kinds of loading are optimal, will result in better exercise guidelines for the prevention and management of spinal pain." State the authors of the paper. What this means is that as damage to the IVD is one of the biggest reasons for spinal pain, knowing that exercise can benefit back pain sufferers and reduce their pain means it's important to set out exercise guidelines for their rehabilitation and recovery.

    Posted by Alexandra Parren
  • Sundried Product Review By Alister Brown Founder of UKRunChat

    As a guy who practically lives in sports gear, I was very interested to test out the new Sundried Olperer T-Shirt and Furgler 2.0 Running Shorts. Before the items arrived and from my prior knowledge and experience of the brand, I was expecting great quality and well-presented pieces of clothing that would be long-lasting and very fit for purpose. So it’s fair to say I was pretty excited to get my hands on the parcel and get my running shoes on!

    First impressions are pretty ace. Each item came in a smart zip-up wallet and they certainly gave a good quality feeling. You get the feeling a lot of effort and thought has gone into first impressions and branding at Sundried.

    The t-shirt is made from 100% recycled materials including used coffee grounds, which I have to say is quite unique, cool, and very green. As a coffee lover, I was disappointed it didn’t smell of coffee! Joking aside, the material feels great and was very comfortable to wear when out on a run. I tend to sweat a lot when running which makes some fabrics heavy, but wearing this felt light and seemingly very fit for purpose in that respect. The branding is succinct and smart with just a red “SD” at the base of the t-shirt. The colour is nice and I even wear it out and about when I’m not training as it’s quite smart. I’m nearly 2 metres in height and not very wide so it can be hard to find clothes that fit me well, but the Large t-shirt was perfect for me and very comfortable. One other thing that I noticed was lacking, but present in other Sundried tees was the handy zip pocket for your house key, however there is pretty much always space in your shorts for that and on long runs I have my hydration back-pack on anyway for any electronics, keys and nutrition.

    Now I mention shorts, I have to say I was very impressed with them. The first thing that struck me was that they are different to conventional running shorts that I own. They’re a bit longer in the leg so perfect for my long legs, have more of a thicker waist line and two deep zip pockets.  Like the t-shirt, they don’t get heavy with sweat and have a free and light feel about them. They have a casual and smart feel to them and again are dual-purpose in that you could easily wear them walking round town doing your shopping as well as for training in.

    I view Sundried as a brand which really does think of what is useful for anyone who is an active person and design products with the user in mind. The effort in design certainly comes across in the final product which I am a big fan of. As someone who has experience in triathlon and duathlon as well as running, I’ve worn a range of different brands and not many compare with what Sundried offer. I’m a big advocate!

    About the author: Alister Brown is an avid runner and represents Great Britain as an age group duathlete. He also runs the successful runner's network UKRunChat.

    Posted by Guest Reviewer