Spring is in full swing, which means it’s time to enjoy some of nature’s best fitness activities. However, without the structure provided by the machines, trainers, and classes found at indoor gyms, a question arises: what’s the best way to transfer indoor exercise to the great outdoors? Luckily, we’ve compiled a list of five plant-powered resources to help you unlock your inner vegan athlete. Whether you’ve maintained your fitness throughout winter or are just now starting to work on that summer body, these books, blogs, podcasts, and social media sites will get your body moving.
1. Shut Up and Run
Perfect for beginners and experienced runners alike, this book by Robin Arzon leads readers through the various aspects of running, while offering advice on gear, basic nutrition, establishing a routine, and mapping out your weekly mileage. Experienced runners might already know these basics, but they will gain renewed motivation from Arzon’s words, as she reminds readers to “sweat with swagger.” The introductory chapter, which tells the author’s story of how she found running, is enough to propel anyone off the couch and onto the pavement. Arzon is also the queen of no-excuses, no-frills mantras (hence, the title), so if you need some tough love to push you through those last few miles, Shut Up and Run is for you.
2. Rich Roll
If you’re an adrenaline-seeking endurance athlete or triathlon junkie, Rich Roll has some form of media that will inspire you to train even harder. His memoir, Finding Ultra, chronicles the first 40-plus years of his life, which includes everything from his collegiate swimming achievements, his battle with alcohol addiction, and his completion of five Ironman challenges on the five islands of Hawaii in six days. For your listening pleasure on a long run or ride, subscribe to The Rich Roll Podcast to hear him interview fellow athletes who have accomplished seemingly impossible feats. To start, download Episode 166 (“The Iron Cowboy Did It!”), which features James Lawrence (aka, the Iron Cowboy) discussing how he completed 50 Ironmans in 50 states in 50 days.
3. The No Meat Athlete
The No Meat Athlete website is a versatile resource for runners and athletes of all levels who are interested in varying their exercise routines. The brand includes a blog and podcast, as well as marathon guides and two vegan-athlete cookbooks for purchase. Furthermore, the blog and podcast have also recently highlighted positive daily habits focused on fitness, nutrition, and productivity. Some episodes are more detailed than others, but this resource also provides a heavy dose of vital information that can be applied to a plethora of sports and training routines.
4. Robert Cheeke
For those who find joy in lifting heavy things, Robert Cheeke’s latest book, Shred It, will help you obtain those bulging biceps. Cheeke has practiced a vegan lifestyle since 1995, and as a two-time natural bodybuilding champion, he knows a thing or two about getting ripped. Shred It coaches its readers through the science of vegan bodybuilding with tips on how to set goals and the proper workout-and-nutrition combination for weightlifters. Beginners can learn how to get comfortable in the iron jungle of the weight room, while more experienced gym rats can gain inspiration from the personal wimp-to-stud anecdotes of fellow vegans.
5. Athletes on Instagram
For a quick shot of fitness motivation, the vegan athletes of Instagram have your back. For starters, The Vegan Fat Kid posts daily Insta-stories of his workouts, which include his six-and-a-half-mile runs and daily gym routines. Then there’s Brendan Brazier, a professional vegan endurance athlete and founder of Vega, who focuses on outdoor adventures such as trail runs and bicycle rides. Finally, Micah Risk, the professional vegan runner who graced the cover of Runner’s Magazine in a pair of “VEGAN” knee-high socks, will get you out the door for a round of stadium stairs, heavy lifting, and a long run. Her posts are positive, but her dedication to the sport is uncompromised, and she encourages her followers to adopt a similar mindset. In addition, Risk includes tantalizing pictures of vegan treats because she is a believer in the workout-reward cycle, so let that delicious-looking bagel-and-carrot-lox photo propel you through the final miles of your run.
Tanya Flink is an Orange County based vegan, foodie, and certified Master Personal Trainer.
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