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Can Intense Exercise Increase Your Risk for a Heart Attack?

The American Heart Association has cautioned that, "Exercise, particularly when performed by unfit individuals, can acutely increase the risk of sudden cardiac death and acute myocardial infarction in susceptible people." However, a recent review of 48 research articles found no reduction in lifespan, no matter how much a person exercises

Lack of Fitness, Not Too Much Sitting, Shortens Lives

A new study suggests that it is the level of fitness, not time spent sitting, that predicts susceptibility to disease and longevity.

Avoiding Overtraining

Exercising too much can affect your brain as well as your muscles. Athletes and dedicated exercisers often suffer from an overtraining syndrome in which their performance drops, their muscles feel sore and they are tired all the time.

Sit-ups the Right Way

Sit-ups can strengthen your belly muscles, but doing them incorrectly can hurt your back. Sit-ups should be done while you lie on your back with your knees bent enough for the soles of your feet to touch the floor. Place both hands on your chest and slowly raise your head off the ground.

Temperature During Exercise

You sweat more after you finish exercising than you do while you exercise. More than 70 percent of the energy that powers your muscles is lost as heat, causing your body temperature to rise during exercise. To keep your body temperature from rising too high, your heart pumps the heat in your blood from your muscles to your skin

Protein Shakes for Muscle Building May Not Be Safe

People who want to grow larger muscles spend more than 10 million dollars a year on whey protein shakes. A new study on mice shows that these whey protein shakes contain very high levels of branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs), which can reduce certain brain hormones to increase risk for obesity and premature death.

Standing Is Not Much Better Than Sitting

A study from Westmont College in California and the University of Bath in England shows that standing at work or while watching television is not likely to do much to protect you from the increased risk for obesity, diabetes and heart attacks that have been associated with prolonged sitting. Standing up at work is just about the same as sitting because there is very little metabolic difference between sitting and standing.

Piriformis Syndrome

If it hurts to touch a point that's in the middle of one side of your buttocks, you probably have piriformis syndrome. This chronic condition is very difficult to diagnose, because other injuries may produce exactly the same symptoms.

The Placebo Effect and Supplements

Fifty-two percent of North Americans spend $41 billion a year on over-the-counter food supplements. Athletes and exercisers spend more than 14 percent of the $41 billion, or $5.67 billion, for supplements that are supposed to make them faster or stronger.

Maximum Heart Rate Formula

Many exercise programs and tests used to measure heart function are based on an unreliable MAXIMUM HEART RATE formula that predicts the fastest your heart can beat and still pump blood through your body. Although this formula is the golden standard used today, it is not based on science.

Caffeine Boosts Endurance and Strength

A review of 34 recent studies shows that taking caffeine before and during exercise can increase muscle strength and endurance.

Don’t Use Aspirin or NSAIDs for Muscle Pain from Exercise

Some athletes and exercisers take pain medication (aspirin or NSAIDs) because they think it may prevent muscle soreness or will help them to heal faster after a workout. However, taking pain medicines before or during exercise will not block pain, help you to exercise longer or recover faster from exercise.

More Reasons to Exercise as You Grow Older

Muscles are made up of thousands of muscle fibers just as a rope is made up of many strands. Each muscle fiber has a nerve that innervates it. With aging you can lose nerve fibers that, in turn, cause you to lose the corresponding muscle fibers, but exercising against resistance will make the remaining muscle fibers larger so they can generate more force. The repetition of a regular and consistent training program teaches your brain how to contract your muscles more efficiently.

How to Start an Exercise Program

If you want to become fit and use exercise to help prevent a heart attack, first check with your doctor to make sure that you do not have anything wrong with your heart or blood vessels. Intense exercise can increase your risk for a heart attack if you already have a damaged heart.

Warming Up

Warming up before you exercise helps to prevent injuries and lets you jump higher, run faster, lift heavier or throw further. Your warm-up should involve the same muscles and motions you plan to use in your sport. For example, before you start to run very fast, do a series of runs of gradually-increasing intensity...

Making Muscles Stronger

If you want to make a muscle stronger, you have to exercise it intensely enough to damage the muscle fibers and when they heal, they will be stronger than they were. You can tell you are causing muscle damage because of the burning you will feel during exercise and the soreness in that muscle you feel four to eight hours later.

Runner’s Knee (Knee Cap Pain)

The most common long-term running injury is runners knee, pain behind the knee cap during running. You probably have runner's knee if your knee cap hurts when you walk or run, particularly when you walk down stairs; and it hurts a lot when you push the kneecap against the bone behind it.

Push-Ups: Train to Do the Most

If you want to be able to do 100 push-ups in a row, do not try to do as many push-ups as possible every day. You'll probably injure yourself and end up unable to do any push-ups at all.

Cold-Weather Exercise Tips

You feel cold most in your fingers, ears and toes. To help keep your hands warm on very cold days, wear an inner layer of thin gloves made from loosely-woven material that permits sweat to pass through. Gloves allow you to control your fingers better than mittens when you shift gears or use ski poles.

Arm Exercises: Many Conductors Have Long Lives

Pablo Cassals, Nadia Boulanger, Arturo Toscanini, Arthur Rubinstein and Paul Paray all conducted major orchestras into their nineties, and Walter Demrosch, Arthur Fiedler, Serge Kousevitsky, Leopold Stokowski, Sir Thomas Beecham and Eugene Ormandy conducted into their eighties. The constant exercise involved in the act of conducting may be a strong part of the reason for their long lives.

How Exercise Prolongs Your Life

Several recent studies show that exercise helps to prolong your life by strengthening heart muscle, increasing the ability of the heart to pump increased amounts of oxygen through the body, reducing belly fat, and increasing the diversity of bacteria in your colon.

Don’t Straighten Your Knees While Running

Always try to keep at least a slight bend in your knee when you run or bike. When you run, you are supposed to land on each foot with a partially-bent knee. Otherwise you transmit the shock of your foot hitting the ground directly onto your knees, hips and back. Straightening your knees when you pedal markedly increases risk for knee pain by increasing the force on your joints.

Extra Protein Does Not Enlarge Muscles

A new review of 15 studies shows that protein supplementation offered no added benefit for older weight lifters.

Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS)

To make muscles stronger, you need to exercise intensely enough to damage the muscles. You can tell that you are damaging muscles when you exercise vigorously enough to feel soreness in those muscles eight to 24 hours later, which is called Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness or DOMS.

Flat Feet, Pigeon Toes and Bow Legs

Many of the world's great sprinters have flat feet. Most football coaches can pick their halfbacks just by watching them walk. The fastest runners are often flat footed, pigeon toed and bow-legged.

Inactivity Causes Muscle Loss

Even short periods of inactivity cause dramatic loss of muscle size and strength. After just two weeks of having one leg put in a cast, all 32 men in the study lost a tremendous amount in all measures of physical fitness, strength and muscle size in the immobilized leg. After six weeks of pedaling a bicycle for rehabilitation, they still did not regain all of the strength that they had lost

Cycling Cadence

Cycling is a power sport. The stronger you are, the faster you can go on a bike. Power = [force that your feet apply to the pedals] x [cadence, or how fast you spin your pedals]. Cadence is the number of pedal revolutions per minute (RPMs). Fatigue for a bicycle rider comes primarily from how hard you press on the pedals, not how fast you turn them.

How to Walk Faster

To become fit you need to exercise vigorously enough to increase your heart rate by at least 20 beats a minute. Walking slowly doesn't make you fit.

Strength Training May Reduce Deaths from Heart Attacks and Cancers

You can expect to lose muscle size and strength as you age. Between 40 and 50 years of age, you lose more than eight percent of your muscle size. This loss increases to 15 percent per decade after age 75. The people who lose the most muscle usually are the least active, exercise the least and are the ones who die earliest.

Short Intervals are Best

Interval training means that you alternate bursts of intense exercise with slow exercise until you feel tired. Short intervals are defined as lasting less than 30 seconds each, while long intervals usually last more than two minutes each. The most efficient, time-saving and health-benefiting way to exercise is to use short intervals