Subscribe to Dr. Mirkin's free FITNESS & HEALTH NEWSLETTER
Intensity of Workout Determines Recovery Time

You train for competitive sports by taking a hard workout, which makes your muscles sore for the next day or two and then when your muscles feel fresh again, you take another hard workout. Every intense workout causes muscle damage and soreness. Biopsies taken on the day after a hard workout from the muscles of athletes show bleeding into the muscles and disruption of the muscle fibers. If you try to exercise intensely when your muscles are still sore from a previous workout, you are at great risk for injuring yourself. Regular exercisers and competitive athletes improve most with a weekly schedule that includes one or two intense workouts and one longer session for endurance. To prevent injury, they follow each of these three harder workouts with easy workouts or days off.

Intense workouts cause far more muscle damage than longer endurance workouts. That means that an athlete can exercise harder on the day after an endurance workout than the day after an intense one. So weightlifters should not lift weights with the same muscle groups on the day after the one day a week that they lift very heavy weights. Runners should run very slowly on the days after the two days a week that they run very fast. Most training programs include two intense workouts, say Tuesday and Friday, followed by days of very easy workouts on Wednesday and Saturday and a longer workout on Sunday followed by a moderate workout on Monday.


Reports from
Is early puberty a reason for concern?
What is Gilbert's disease?
How can I tell if a spot on my skin is cancer?


Dear Dr. Mirkin: How reliable are the health claims on food labels?

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has loosened restrictions on how much scientific proof is required before possible health benefits appear on food labels. For example, the FDA now allows sellers of certain nuts to claim that "Scientific evidence suggests, but does not prove, that eating 1.5 ounces per day of some nuts, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol, may reduce the risk of heart disease." Sellers of seafood that is rich in omega-3 fatty acids will want to claim that their products prevent heart attacks, and so forth, so we will probably see a proliferation of these statements on food labels in the years ahead.

A manufacturer cannot claim that a product prevents heart attacks just because it contains nuts. For example, putting nuts in ice cream will not allow a manufacturer to claim that ice cream with nuts prevents heart attacks. The claims are supposed to help you understand that the specific food only helps to prevent heart attacks when a person does not take in too many calories, does not eat too much saturated and partially hydrogenated fats, and does eat lots of vegetables and other foods derived from plants. You cannot say that eating nuts prevents heart attacks, but you can say that eating nuts as part of a healthful diet helps to prevent heart attacks.


Dear Dr. Mirkin: Can you help me convince my mother that watching television all day is harmful to her health?

A study from Harvard School of Public Health shows that the longer women watch television, the more likely they are to become obese and develop diabetes (Journal of the American Medical Association, April 9, 2003). Lack of exercise is a strong risk factor for obesity, high blood pressure, heart disease, some types of cancer, and diabetes.

The Nurses' Health Study followed more than 50,000 women for six years, and in that time 1,500 of the women became diabetic. Those who watched the most television doubled their risk for developing diabetes. Even light activity was associated with substantially lower risk.

In this study, the women watched television from zero to more than 40 hours a week, and those who watched the most TV didn't have time to do much of anything else. People who are addicted to television should have a stationary bicycle or some other piece of exercise equipment in front of every set so they can exercise whenever they watch TV.


Crowd-pleaser recipes:
Chafing Dish Chili
Tex-Mex Bean Dip
Fresh Salsa

More healthful soups, main dishes, salads and desserts

June 27th, 2013
|   Share this Report!

About the Author: Gabe Mirkin, MD

Sports medicine doctor, fitness guru and long-time radio host Gabe Mirkin, M.D., brings you news and tips for your healthful lifestyle. A practicing physician for more than 50 years and a radio talk show host for 25 years, Dr. Mirkin is a graduate of Harvard University and Baylor University College of Medicine. He is board-certified in four specialties: Sports Medicine, Allergy and Immunology, Pediatrics and Pediatric Immunology. The Dr. Mirkin Show, his call-in show on fitness and health, was syndicated in more than 120 cities. Read More
Subscribe to Dr. Mirkin's free FITNESS & HEALTH NEWSLETTER
Copyright 2019 Drmirkin | All Rights Reserved | Powered by Xindesigns