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Not Crossfit, Better than Bootcamp…DUFF’s Annual Holiday Gift Guide

’Tis the season where Christmas lights are up all over Charleston and Mount Pleasant!  Thanksgiving is over, you’ve survived Black Friday and it’s time to start nailing down your annual gift list.  Fear not!  We have listed our TOP 5 FAVORITE gifts for your fitness-loving-friends! 

Gift Guide Rec #1: The North Face RUNNERS 2 ETIP™ GLOVE


We love Men’s Fitness’s recommendation of some great gloves.  Running outside during LowCountry winters can be challenging.  You don’t want to bundle up too much because you will inevitably get too hot…but skimping on the layers and you’ll freeze.  The North Face has come up with a solution for frosty fingers: “Tackle the problem of chronically cold hands during long runs with this midweight, weather-resistant fleece running glove that’s easy to layer for added versatility.” And now you don’t have to take off your gloves to change your playlist or answer a text mid-run: “Built-in touchscreen conductivity allows you to wear these fleece gloves while handling electronic devices.”  Note that according to the reviews, these unisex gloves run big, so you might want to size down.

Click HERE to purchase


Gift Guide Rec #2: Monkey Light M232 – 200 Lumen – Bike Wheel Light


Charleston’s mild climate allows us to be outside 24/7, even in the winter months…and if some you love is into cycling, that means that s/he might be riding in the dark.  No fear.  LiveScience recommends a super-cool solution, the Monkey Light.  According to MonkeyLectric, “Monkey Light is the world leader in bike wheel lights. Our products are the brightest and most durable on the market, providing 360 degree visibility for commuter cyclists. Each model includes color and theme choices for everyone – from bright safety colors to amazing disco party effects. Safety has never been this much fun! All lights are IP67 waterproof, designed for daily use in all weather conditions.”  Design your own display with 42 style options and 16 colors. Themes range from rainbow swirls to skulls to stars.

Click HERE to purchase


Gift Guide Rec #3: Paderno 4-Blade Spiralizer


Help your loved one make pasta night one of the healthiest nights of the week with Fitness  Magazine’s recommendation: the Paderno 4-Blade Spiralizer.  Instead of noodles, you can make a pile of gorgeous zoodles!  According to Williams Sonoma,“Equipped with four blades, this Paderno Spiralizer transforms vegetables into thin ‘angel-hair’ strands as well as spiral cuts, shoestrings and ribbon ‘noodles.’ Another plus is an accessory for creating accordion cuts.”  And be sure to check out great Zoodle recipes from Shape by clicking HERE.

Click HERE to purchase


Gift Guide Rec #4: InSpyr Socks


Give the gift of inspirations with these awesome socks from Inspyrgear.  With messages like “Courage”, “Hustle” and “Never Fear”, your loved one won’t be the only one getting pumped up at the gym!  Styles range from Ankle to Crew.

Click HERE to purchase


Gift Guide Rec #5: PainPod 3


Have someone in your life who pushes pain to the limit?  Get them the PainPod.  According to Forbes, “PainPod is FDA listed and claims to be able to “change the face of medicine as we know it”. The gadget is powered by a combination of microcurrents and biomedical technology that its makers state is not available on any other device available to the public right now. The bioelectrical tech is able to understand our peripheral nervous and body systems and how they actually work to manage pain, improve performance and speed recovery. Just slap it on an area that’s n pain and it will work its magic to get you back in tip-top shape.”

Click HERE to purchase.


Not Crossfit, Better than Bootcamp…DUFF on WORKOUT MUSIC

As DUFFNATICS, you know that music is a HUGE part of our environment here at DUFF.  Nothing gets your heart racing more than a killer tune…but WHY is that?  And WHAT are the BEST SONGS to get you pumped for a workout?  And what about if you want to take a playlist with you while you run/bike/swim all over Mount Pleasant and Charleston?  Read on to find out!


According to Scientific American, “Music distracts people from pain and fatigue, elevates mood, increases endurance, reduces perceived effort and may even promote metabolic efficiency. When listening to music, people run farther, bike longer and swim faster than usual—often without realizing it. In a 2012 review of the research, Costas Karageorghis of Brunel University in London, one of the world’s leading experts on the psychology of exercise music, wrote that one could think of music as ‘a type of legal performance-enhancing drug.’,”


The Huffington Post explains, “Listening to music while exercising can release feel-good chemicals in the brain — such as dopamine and opioids — that may boost your mood, dull pain and make you less tired, scientists say.” 

They continue to quote Dr. Daniel Levitin, a neuroscientist and author of This Is Your Brain On Music: “There are two possible mechanisms, and we haven’t sorted them out yet.  Either music acts as a distractor (and distractors are known to modulate pain levels — this is why combat soldiers don’t always realize they’ve been shot until after a busy maneuver is over) or music acts as a mood enhancer (because the release of endogenous mu-opioids and other mood-enhancing chemicals raises the pain threshold).”

“That’s not all. The brain’s neurons can even synchronize with the tempo of music,” continues Levitin, who according to the Huffington Post, has “conducted numerous studies on how music affects the brain”. The Huffington Post adds, “Depending on the tempo, this synchronization can help you to perform repetitive motions, such as running, more quickly.”


So how do we get the most from our music?  Take it from the New York Times, “Make up a playlist of your favorite songs, head to the gym or a running path and push yourself a bit. (If you have not been exercising, consult with your doctor first.) You may find that intervals are not only appealingly brief but also tolerable and even fun.”


With that in mind, we have compiled a DUFF playlist featuring our favorite songs and why they get us moving!  Click on the links to hear the songs & download them to add to your own playlists!

Eli: “One of my favorites is called ‘Remember the name’ by Fort Minor. It’s very motivational, has a good fast beat, and the lyrics are in line with the mental motivation that you need during a workout of what it takes to get it done.

Sarah: “Eminem- Lose Yourself. Enough said in the title.”

DUFF: “Jump Around-House of Pain. Great for plyometric exercises! And Rage Against the Machine-Bulls on Parade because the intensity will get you through any hard workout.”

Anna: “I have several! These are all for running/ sprints. When one of these songs come on while running my speed immediately increases!  And or classes/ hard workout or lifting, I second recommendation for “Remember the Name” and also like Boom by P.O.D.”

Brandon: “Beastie boys-sabotage. Fast tempo and chaotic, which helps me get through tough sets/exercises!”

Links to Our Playlist Faves:

Fort Minor-Remember the name

Eminem- Lose Yourself

House of Pain-Jump Around

Rage Against the Machine-Bulls on Parade

Gwen Stefani-Wind it Up

Janet Jackson-If

T.I.-Top Back


Beastie Boys-Sabotage 


There are also some awesome online playlists you can pick from—whether you prefer Rock, Techno, Rap, Country or Pop. 

Fitness Magazine: 100 Best Workout Songs

This link will get you literally DOZENS of playlists featuring HUNDREDS of the most popular workout songs ranging from Hip Hop, Power-Up, Dance, Motivating, Remixes…you name it!

Not Crossfit, Better than Bootcamp…DUFF on DIABETES AWARENESS

Last weekend we had the most EPIC DUFF DAY to date with friends from all over Charleston and Mount Pleasant coming together to have fun and SWEAT IT OUT!  But did you know that DUFF DAY is all in the name of a GREAT CAUSE? 

November is National Diabetes Awareness Month.  We donate a percentage of our proceeds from Duff Day towards the Juvenile Diabetes Research Fund, a cause that is near and dear to our hearts—because as many of you know, TD1 (Type-1 Diabetes) has effected our lives directly.

In the spirit of awareness, we thought it would be a great idea to go over exactly WHAT Diabetes is, how TD1 & TD2 are different, and WHY it’s a big deal to spread Diabetes awareness!

DIABETES AWARENESS—THE NUMBERS ARE STAGGERING lays it out like this: “Diabetes can strike anyone, from any walk of life. And it does – in numbers that are dramatically increasing. In the last decade [alone], the cases of people living with diabetes jumped almost 50 percent.” 

For a condition that was only just identified at the turn of the last century, Diabetes has become one of the most pressing health concerns in our nation.  According to the CDC, the number of people living with diabetes has grown from 1.58 million individuals in 1958 to 23.35 million in 2015.  And the numbers are only predicted to rise.

LiveStrong explains, “The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that by 2050, one in three American adults could have diabetes.”


So what exactly IS diabetes? explains, “When you eat, your body turns food into sugars, or glucose. At that point, your pancreas is supposed to release insulin.  Insulin serves as a “key” to open your cells, to allow the glucose to enter — and allow you to use the glucose for energy.  But with diabetes, this system does not work. Several major things can go wrong – causing the onset of diabetes. Type 1 and type 2 diabetes are the most common forms of the disease…”


HealthLine describes the differences between TD1 and TD2: “Both types of diabetes are chronic diseases that affect the way your body regulates blood sugar, or glucose. Glucose is the fuel that feeds your body’s cells, but to enter your cells it needs a key. Insulin is that key. People with type 1 diabetes don’t produce insulin. You can think of it as not having a key.”

“People with type 2 diabetes don’t respond to insulin as well as they should and later in the disease often don’t make enough insulin. You can think of this as having a broken key. Both types of diabetes can lead to chronically high blood sugar levels. That increases the risk of diabetes complications.”

While people with type 2 diabetes can affect whether or not they get the disease, unfortunately, those with type 1 have the condition typically from an early age (and it has nothing to do with weight, height, health or anything that doctors are able to pinpoint yet).  BUT the overall message is that no matter what type of diabetes one may have, diet and exercise are essential to good management (and if you’re type 2, is key in possibly overcoming it).


How do you get TD1 and TD2? HealthLine continues, “Type 1 and type 2 diabetes may have similar names, but they are different diseases with unique causes. In people with type 1 diabetes, the immune system mistakes the body’s own healthy cells for foreign invaders. The immune system attacks and destroys the insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas. After these beta cells are destroyed, the body is unable to produce insulin.  Researchers don’t know why the immune system attacks the body’s own cells. It may have something to do with genetic and environmental factors, like exposure to viruses. Research is ongoing.”

“People with type 2 diabetes have insulin resistance. The body still produces insulin, but it’s unable to use it effectively. Researchers aren’t sure why some people become insulin resistance and others don’t, but several lifestyle factors may contribute, including excess weight and inactivity.”


While TD1 and TD2 have different causes, BOTH can benefit from fitness and in many cases, TD2 can be PREVENTED through good diet and exercise.  According to, “Aerobic exercise makes your heart and bones strong, relieves stress and improves blood circulation. It also lowers your risk for type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke by keeping your blood glucose, blood pressure and cholesterol levels on target.“

LiveStrong agrees: “Exercise, whether aerobic or resistance-based such as weight training, is considered one of the most effective lifestyle habits individuals at risk can adopt to prevent potential cases from becoming actual cases. It has been shown that exercise has a greater protective effect for those at highest risk. In some instances, exercise has a greater beneficial effect than dietary modifications or even weight loss on the management of blood sugar.”

Not only does exercise help prevent Type 2 diabetes, it helps people with Type 1 diabetes manage their condition.  According to EndocrineWeb, “Exercise makes it easier to control your blood glucose (blood sugar) level. Exercise benefits people with type 1 because it increases your insulin sensitivity. In other words, after exercise, your body doesn’t need as much insulin to process carbohydrates.”

For more information, we recommend you check out these resources:

The American Diabetes Association

National Diabetes Education Program

Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF)

Not Crossfit, Better than Bootcamp…DUFF on PRE-HOLIDAY FITNESS TIPS

We blinked and Halloween is over.  It’s officially THE HOLIDAYS!  Radio stations all over Charleston & Mount Pleasant are playing Christmas music, Target has blissfully replaced pumpkins for holiday lights & Hanukah gifts and holiday parties are starting to pock your calendar.  Thanksgiving is a MERE TWO WEEKS AWAY!!!  With that in mind, we’ve decided to help you prepare for your (increasingly longer every year) holiday season by giving you some PRE-HOLIDAY Fitness Tips designed to keep you on your fitness track!

Pre-Holiday Fitness Tip #1: Schedule your Workouts

According to WebMD, “Take an honest look at your schedule and instead of trying to squeeze exercise into your schedule, take other things out,” lifestyle coach April Masini suggests. “The goal is not to do more (as we all have a tendency to do this time of year), but to do less, but do it all well.”  The article continues by quoting Rich Ray, chairman of the Kinesiology Department at Hope College in Holland, Mich: “It’s also important to keep fitness a priority in your schedule.  Whether or not you already have well-established exercise habits, make sure you actually schedule time into your day for your exercise.”

Pre-Holiday Fitness Tip #2: Remember That It’s Not All or Nothing

Muscle and Fitness recommends remembering to keep things in perspective.  A workout is supposed to help alleviate stress, not create more.  With that in mind, they recommend that you “Don’t over-obsess about your fitness and nutrition during the holidays; if you miss a training session or a meal, get back on track with the next scheduled item and make a mental note to do better next time-but stressing over it won’t help.”

Pre-Holiday Fitness Tip #3: Don’t Let Sweet Gifts Get You

Creator of Stroller Strides Lisa Druxman explains on Active that staying healthy doesn’t mean staying out of the kitchen.   “Do you make baked goods for giving? Chances are you eat much of what you bake. Who wouldn’t? Instead make non-food gifts, or prepare ingredients for baked goods and put them in pretty jars–let your gift recipient bake it up. That way, they can eat it when they want it and you don’t have to be tempted in the kitchen.”

Pre-Holiday Fitness Tip #4: Say NO to Salt

Whether its a planned night out or just because you’re too tired to cook, the holidays mean going out to dinner—a lot.  You may be versed in picking “healthy” dishes that contain more veggies and protein, but it turns out that even the low-fat options at some of our favorite restaurants have HIGH sodium.  Why is that bad?  According to Live Science, who consulted Rachel Johnson, professor of nutrition at the University of Vermont in Burlington, “The amount of salt that is available today, just like the amount of sugar that is available today, is far beyond what we were meant to have in our diets. Excess sodium increases blood pressure because it holds excess fluid in the body, and that creates an added burden on the heart. Too much sodium will increase your risk of stroke, heart failure, osteoporosis, stomach cancer and kidney disease. And, 1 in 3 Americans will develop high blood pressure in their lifetime.”  YIKES!

With that in mind, The Today Show published a list compiled by Eat This, Not That! of “dishes from popular restaurant chains that each have more than 4,000 milligrams of sodium — nearly twice your recommended daily amount.”  Dishes included seemingly healthy options like Bonefish Grill’s Ahi Tuna Poke (which packed in over 6,700 mg of sodium!!!).  To see more results click HERE.  When you order out, make sure to avoid adding extra salt and go for ingredients that are FRESH and LOCAL as much as possible.

Pre-Holiday Fitness Tip #5: Take Fitness With You on the Road

Even if you’re away from home (and DUFF), you can still workout!  USA Today advises: “If you’re staying in a hotel, use the swimming pool or the exercise room. If you’re staying with family or friends, invite them along for a walk after lunch or take some time for ice skating or cross-country skiing. If you’re vacationing in warmer climates, take a lengthy walk on the beach or go for a jog early in the morning.”  And be sure to pack your running shoes!

Not Crossfit, Better than Bootcamp…DUFF on Tricks to Avoid Overeating Halloween Candy!

We work hard all year.  Even in areas like Mount Pleasant and Charleston, with all of their tempting restaurants and local libations, we walk the straight and narrow…MOST of the time.  But as we leave October (scream: HALLOWEEN CANDY) and move into November and December, much of our hard-earned work and steely willpower will go out the window.  We are entering a time that we refer to as: THE EATING SEASON.

With our first obstacle directly in front of us this week, we thought it prudent to give you some tips on how to temper the temptation to gorge on candy corn, chocolate and candied apples.

Here are some of our favorite TRICKS TO AVOID OVEREATING ON HALLOWEEN from our favorite experts.

Candy Crush Tip #1: Timing is Everything

The smart people at Reader’s Digest remind you that JUST BECAUSE Publix has been promoting Halloween candy for months doesn’t mean that you have to load-up ahead of time.  Susan Albers, PsyD, a psychologist and author of the book Eating Mindfully, explains: “If you’re stocking up for trick-or-treaters, minimize the number of days the candy is in your house beforehand. Research shows just looking at food triggers the circuitry in our brains that makes us imagine eating it.  If you’ve already bought candy, keep it out of sight in the back of your pantry until your doorbell starts ringing. Also, many stores offer steep discounts on candy in the days following Halloween—resist the urge to buy just because it’s on sale!”  And on the flip side, we recommend you GET THAT CANDY OUT OF THERE once the festivities are over.  Click HERE for places around the LowCountry accepting Halloween candy donations.

Candy Crush Tip #2: Avoid Temptation

Better Homes and Garden consulted Jane Hemminger, R.D., L.D., who suggests  “Select[ing] trick-or-treat candy that you don’t personally enjoy.  Then you won’t be tempted to eat it.”

The article continues to explain, “Not a coconut fan? Buy coconut-filled chocolate candy for your trick-or-treaters. Or maybe nut-filled treats don’t tempt you — Snickers or peanut M&Ms may be a good solution for your candy dish.”

Candy Crush Tip #3: Fight Sugar with Sugar

Psychology Today asked Jen Wittman of what she does on Halloween and she suggests that instead of starving yourself to “make room” for all that candy coming your way, fight of your cravings with sugar. “It may sound counterintuitive but actually having healthier sweet treats keeps me away from Halloween candy. Our Halloween tradition: a bowl of homemade chili topped with avocado to keep blood sugar balanced and cravings at bay + a mug of warm spiced apple cider. Spiced cider comforts, warms and aids digestion while knocking out sweet cravings.”

Candy Crush Tip #4: Remember that Alcohol is Sugar Too

CNN reminds us that while we may not be shoveling in the candy, Witches’ Brew can do as much damage to your diet as the sweet stuff.  But instead of skipping out on all of the fun, play with your portions:  “Because it’s a long night of waiting for the doorbell to ring, there is an easy trick to fool yourself into drinking less: Try a skinnier glass.  Scientists at Iowa State University watched how much people pour and learned people struggle to assess volume, tending to focus more on the vertical rather than the horizontal measures.  Participants poured around 12% more wine into a wide glass than a standard one.  Drink from a narrower glass and you’ll only think you are drinking more. Plus, you’ll get a little exercise if you do have to get up for that refill.”

Candy Crush Tip #5: Create a Healthy Diversion

US News & World Reports recommends that we stock up on healthy snacks that can act as a diversion from the bad stuff: “Serve up popcorn, roasted pumpkin seeds, sliced apples, and fruit with nice dips.”

Candy Crush BONUS Tip: Work it Off!

Of course we would be remiss to leave out our FAVORITE way to crush that candy, by WORKING OUT!  What better way to sweat out all of that sugar than by joining us for DUFF DAY at the gym this SATURDAY 9-1!   We will be hosting team competitions and fun workouts fit for adults AND kids (6+).  Join us afterwards for local eats and drinks, great vendors and a post-event-party at Two Blokes Brewing! 

Go to our page on the MindBody App for tickets!

Not Crossfit, Better than Bootcamp…DUFF on HEALTHY BOOKS

Now that the school year is in full swing here in Charleston and Mount Pleasant, we figured it’s the perfect time to do a little studying of our own.  Here are some recommendations from our favorite sources of the best books of the season:

People Magazine‘s Book Choice: The Endurance Diet: Discover the 5 Core Habits of the World’s Greatest Athletes to Look, Feel, and Perform Better by Matt Fitzgerald

“This book is a compilation of sports nutritionist Matt Fitzgerald’s 20 years of research and experience with the world’s top professional endurance athletes, who are right up there as some of the fittest and healthiest in the world. Fitzgerald outlines five core habits and key strategies for top performance: eat everything, eat quality, eat carbohydrate, eat enough, and eat individually. The book is also backed by Olympic marathoner Shalane Flanagan, who has cookbook of her own called Run Fast, Eat Slow.”

To purchase, click HERE.


Eat This, Not That! Recommends the book: Run Fast, Eat Slow by Elyse Kopecky and Shalane Flanagan

“If you’re looking to boost your metabolism then this cookbook is something you’ll want to get your hands on. Run Fast, Eat Slow is a collection of wholesome recipes that whole-foods chef Elyse Kopecky and Olympic marathoner Shalane Flanagan co-wrote for runners specifically; however, those who strive to live healthy lifestyles will also greatly benefit from these recipes too. With over 100 recipes, Elyse and Shalane show that healthy fats are essential for flavor and should not be feared, or entirely avoided. They also demonstrate that counting calories, obsessing over protein intake, and participating in a restrictive diet do more damage to the body (and mind) than good.

To purchase, click HERE.


Publishers Weekly‘s favorite book: The Sweet Spot by Bill Yosses

“Yosses offers recipes for nontraditional desserts, such as kabocha persimmon pie and lemon kaffir semifreddo, that prioritize other flavors over sweetness. The idea, says Krauss, is that dessert doesn’t necessarily have to be overly saccharine. “The huge takeaway is that you should think about sugar the way savory chefs think about salt,” she says. “It’s a flavor enhancer, but it’s not the flavor.” She adds that most of the recipes in the book have 35%-75% less sugar than conventional desserts.”

To purchase click HERE.


Not Crossfit, Better than Bootcamp…DUFF on the Third Annual DUFF DAY!

With October in full swing here in Charleston and Mount Pleasant, we’re gearing up for our favorite annual event:


Saturday, November 4th from 9am-1pm

(ages 6 & up!)

WHY should YOU AND YOUR FAMILY should join us for our Third Annual DUFF DAY? 

Here are THREE REASONS why DUFF Day is a Must-Do on November 4th:

Family Competition is GOOD FOR YOU AND YOUR KIDS!

At DUFF we all like to put family first, which is why this year at DUFF DAY we are creating family competitions where kids will compete alongside their parents!  This is the perfect way to get everyone’s heart rates up (and to burn off some of that excess Halloween candy!) According to Aha Parenting, by working out together as a family, you’re not only getting exercise, “you’re also getting your child hooked on an active lifestyle, which is a great counter-balance to all that screen-time in our lives. Kids who are physically active into the preteen and teen years are 75% less likely to be overweight when they’re grown.”

DUFF Day supports an AMAZING CAUSE!

A percentage of our proceeds goes towards the Juvenile Diabetes Research Fund (or JDRF).  According to JDRF’s website, “JDRF is the leading global organization funding type 1 diabetes (T1D) research. Our mission is to accelerate life-changing breakthroughs to cure, prevent and treat T1D and its complications. To accomplish this, JDRF has invested nearly $2 billion in research funding since our inception.”  Click HERE for an amazing and inspiring video that explains exactly what JDRF does. 

Come for the workout, LEAVE WITH THE SWAG!

We aren’t all work(outs) and no play at DUFF Day! Not only will we have food and beverages from our favorite local vendors, everybody who registers will leave with a goody-bag full of awesomeness!  And for everyone that wants to keep the party going, we’re hosting a post-workout celebration at Two Blokes Brewing immediately following events at the gym!

Not Crossfit, Better than Bootcamp…DUFF on FRESH FALL GEAR!

With the weather finally changing around the LowCountry, we’re starting to emerge for the woodwork and get outside!  And with the fresh, dry air comes the excuse to buy FRESH FALL GEAR!  Read on for our top 3 Fall Gear Must-Haves.

Fresh Fall Gear Must-Have #1: Wireless Headphones

Now that the weather is cooperating, we’re running and biking all over Mount Pleasant and Charleston.  We don’t know about you, but in order to get your heart rate up, music is ESSENTIAL! Thankfully have been some leaps and bounds in technology lately and wireless headphones (that STAY IN YOUR EARS WHILE YOU WORK OUT) are key.  Men’s Health recommends the BeatsX Wireless In-Ear Headphones: “Speed, strength, stamina: Easy to set up, they run for eight hours, and the bass kicks like Bruce Lee.” 

Click HERE to for more info.  Click HERE to buy.


Fresh Fall Gear Must-Have #2: Layers

One thing about Fall in the LowCountry is that you know that the weather changes on a dime, so layering is important.  Check out these two amazing long-sleeved options that can double as a base layer or as a topper over a tank.

Women: Athleta Speedlight Top 

According to their website, “This seamless scoop-neck top has Unstinkable technology, wicks away sweat and is rated UPF 50+-feel free to train as long as you like.”  Click HERE for more info and to buy. 

Speedlight Top - Black

Speedlight Top – Black

Men: Lululemon Metal Vent Tech Long Sleeve

According to their website: “Be unstoppable in this lightweight, sweat-wicking, and four-way stretch long sleeve. Now you can push even further because this bad boy has anti-stink technology, seamless construction for reduced chafe, and mesh construction for maximum breathability. Whether you’re running or training, it’s the perfect way to get some coverage without overheating.”  Click HERE for more info and to buy.


Fresh Fall Gear Must-Have #3: Arm Candy

Being outdoors means having to deal with all of your stuff and Shape Magazine recommends The FitHolster:  “Arm bands for stashing your phone or iPod while you work out can be annoying and hard to reach. Now, thanks to the power of magnets The FitHolster gives you a better carrying option for your electronics by magnetically attaching the case to your shorts or workout pants.”  Click HERE to buy.


Not Crossfit, Better than Bootcamp…DUFF on PUMPKIN SPICE

It’s that time of year again!  PUMPKIN SPICE time!!!  You can see the lines already forming at Starbucks around Charleston and Mount Pleasant.  It’s a holiday staple and according to Forbes, a financial institution: “[We] pegged the pumpkin spice industry at more than $500 million in 2015.“ That’s a lotta Lattes!!!

And while we all love getting in the holiday mood, it turns out that this particular tradition is NOT so healthy.  In spite of it’s benevolent name, these pumpkin-y treats are not exactly wholesome.  HealthLine quotes Kristin Kirkpatrick, M.S., R.D., L.D., a dietitian and manager of wellness nutrition services at Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute: “The concept of pumpkin and spices, there are so many health benefits.  Unfortunately, that’s similar to saying apple pie is healthy because it’s apple. It’s taking a concept that’s healthy and making it more of a dessert type of drink.”  It appears that our sweet seasonal obsession has a sour side. 

What Happens When You Drink a Pumpkin Spice Latte

So what actually happens to your body when you drink a Pumpkin Spice (or any sugary flavor) Latte?  This infographic from Cosmo says it all:


The article continues: “A grande Starbucks PSL with 2 percent milk and whipped cream contains about 20 percent of a day’s worth of calories and fat without providing the body any actual food. It also contains the equivalent of 12 teaspoons of sugar.”   So essentially your body becomes loaded with sugar and caffeine which produces an instant high that lasts…oh about 15 minutes.  And then you CRASH, leaving your body to crave more sugar and caffeine. It’s a vicious cycle!

Why Pumpkin Spice is So Addictive

Considering how terrible it is for our overall system, WHAT IS IT about these seasonal treats that keeps us coming back?  According to the Today Show, we are BIOLOGICALLY wired to like these drinks.  Madelyn Fernstrom, NBC News Health and Nutrition Editor explains: “Any combination of fat and sugar is a big draw for us. The sugar and fat interact on our taste buds to boost the flavors and make them ‘pop’ more than either one alone.  Meanwhile, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves are particular taste enhancers. This is a real treat to the taste buds.  Then, there’s the salt. That 16-ounce Pumpkin Spice Latte contains one-tenth of the amount of salt you should be consuming in a whole day.  Salt, added to boost the overall taste, is nature’s most powerful food enhancer — to your taste buds, and ultimately to your brain.”  And don’t forget the fact that caffeine is addicting in itself and THEN add in the fact that these “special” drinks are often associated with good memories and the holiday spirit—it’s no wonder that we’re hooked.

How to Pumpkin Spice Without All the Chemicals, Calories and Fat

So how can we get in the spirit of the holidays without all the calories and crashes? PopSugar offers this tasty and NATURAL recipe from Eating Bird Food by Brittany Mullins:

Cut Calories and Sugar With This Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte Hack

Not Crossfit, Better than Bootcamp…DUFF on GIVING BACK!

With all of the devastation that we’ve been seeing on the news, from Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria to the tragic earthquakes in Mexico, there has never been a better time to help others.  This week we’ve decided to dedicate our blog to discussing the health benefits of giving back.  Whether it’s volunteering around Mount Pleasant and Charleston or donating money, supplies and time abroad, studies show that giving back does more than just help others—it helps your health!

Read on to get our favorite expert’s take on 3 ways that GIVING BACK helps your health!

Giving Back Lowers Blood Pressure

According to Health Magazine, “Helping out friends and family could be one way to boost your cardiovascular health this holiday season. A 2006 study in the International Journal of Psychophysiology found that participants who gave social support to people within their network had lower overall blood pressure and arterial pressure than those who didn’t. Not to mention those in the study who were more likely to give to others also reported they received greater social support in return.”

Giving Back Helps you Live Longer

The Huffington Post explains, “Researchers from the University of Buffalo found a link between giving and unselfishness and having a lower risk of early death. Published in the American Journal of Public Health, the findings show that helping others — whether it be by helping to run errands, watching their children or giving them a lift somewhere — is linked with a decreased mortality risk.”

Giving Back Makes your Brain Happy

An article in US News and World Report quotes Stephen G. Post, director of the Center for Medical Humanities, Compassionate Care and Bioethics at New York’s Stony Brook University: “The feel-good effects of giving begin in the brain. It’s called ‘giver’s glow.’ The response…is triggered by brain chemistry in the mesolimbic pathway, which recognizes rewarding stimuli.  Philanthropy “doles out several different happiness chemicals…including dopamine, endorphins that give people a sense of euphoria and oxytocin, which is associated with tranquility, serenity or inner peace.”

DUFF’s own Do-Gooder

We also want to give a special shoutout to our ROCKSTAR trainer Eli Goldstein and his quest to help others.  On top of spending his days training DUFFNATICS, he also finds time to give back.  According to an interview he gave in Mount Pleasant Lifestyle Magazine, Eli found a way to enrich his life by donating his time to community service.  “I didn’t know how to go about it, so a client gave me the idea to donate my time to help people who couldn’t afford to train.”

One of those clients is Jenn, a hard-working mother of a special-needs child.  Read her account below:

Blake Eli.docx - Google Docs

We just want to thank Eli for his hard work and kind heart!  He’s a great example for all!