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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.

Recovery: the Key to Improvement in Your Sport

If you want to become stronger and faster and have greater endurance, you need to exercise so intensely on one day that you damage your muscles and feel sore on the next day and then train at a reduced intensity for as many days as it takes for your muscles to heal and the soreness to lessen. Then you take your next intense workout.

Creatine

Creatine is a substance found in muscle cells that helps your muscles produce energy, particularly while lifting heavy weights or exercising intensely. Your body makes creatine from three amino acids (protein building blocks) called L-arginine, glycine, and L-methionine. You also get creatine when you eat animal protein: meat, poultry or seafood.

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.

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.

Retaining Strength with Aging

If you don't exercise regularly and vigorously, expect to lose a significant amount of muscle strength as you age, and expect that loss of strength to reduce the quality of your life. A 15-year follow-up study showed that older people who lift weights at least twice a week had a 46 percent lower death rate within the study period.

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.

Restricting Carbohydrates Slows You Down

Restricting carbohydrates with a keto diet or fasting will tire you earlier when you exercise. Many studies show that low-carbohydrate diets impair performance in sports that require speed. On a low-carbohydrate diet, you can't train very fast and you can't move as fast in races.

Exercise Treats Insulin Resistance

Up to 70 percent of North Americans adults will develop diabetes or pre-diabetes, usually from insulin resistance caused by excess fat in the liver and muscles. Exercise helps to empty fat from the liver and muscles, so exercise helps to prevent and treat diabetes.

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.

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.

All Exercisers Can Gain Health Benefits from Elite Training Methods

The training principles that improve performance in competitive athletes can be used by all exercisers, even those who have never exercised previously, and can help to prevent heart attacks and prolong lives. Exercise helps to prevent heart attacks because exercise makes muscles stronger, including your heart muscle.

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.

What to Eat Before, During and After a Bicycle Ride

Healthy and fit people usually don't need to eat during a ride when they cycle at a casual pace for less than two hours. However, you can prolong your endurance for a hard ride by taking a source of sugar when you ride very hard for more than an hour, and a source of salt when you ride for more than three hours.

Mary Cain and Forced Weight Loss for Sports

Mary Cain was unbeatable in high school races. At age 16, she became the youngest athlete ever to represent the U.S at a World Championship track meet, and at age 17, she was the 2014 World Junior Champion in the 3000 meter run.

Exercise Improves Gut Bacteria

Many studies show that exercise helps to prevent heart attacks, and it may do so by changing the bacteria in your colon. A recent study from Finland shows that exercising for just six weeks can increase healthful anti-inflammatory bacteria in your colon.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Don’t Straighten Your Knees When You Ride a Bicycle

The most common cause of knee pain in bicycle riders is having the seat set so high that it forces you to fully straighten the knee as the pedal reaches its lowest level. You are never supposed to fully straighten your knee when you do any kind of exercise, particularly cycling or running.

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.

Lactic Acid is Good for You: Why Everyone with a Healthy Heart Should Do Interval Exercise

Athletes use interval training to make themselves faster and stronger, and everyone with a healthy heart can benefit from this technique. A typical interval workout for non-competitive exercisers would be a session of jogging, walking or cycling in which they sarm up by moving slowly for about 10 minutes, pick up the pace until they feel a slight burning in their muscles (this usually takes 10-20 seconds), slow down as soon as they feel this muscle burning, and go slowly until the burning is gone and breathing is back to normal.

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

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

Sarcopenia (Muscle Loss with Aging) Linked to Inflammation

We can now add sarcopenia, loss of strength and muscle size with aging, to the list of medical problems associated with inflammation. Older people who suffer from sarcopenia are far more likely to have high blood levels of the markers of inflammation such as CRP, SED rate and adiponectin.

Extra Protein Does Not Enlarge Muscles

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

Keep Moving for a Longer and Better Life

Everyone should try to keep on moving their muscles every day. Sitting around for long periods of time can cause you to become diabetic and increase your risk for a heart attack, and lying in bed for long periods puts you at increased risk for heart failure and premature death

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.

You Can’t Be Too Fit

Dramatic results in a new study from the Cleveland Clinic show that you can't be too fit, and that not exercising is worse for your health than smoking, diabetes or heart disease.