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Belly Cramps During Exercise

The most common cause of belly cramps during exercise is having a full colon. The best way to prevent exercise-induced belly cramps is to completely empty your colon before you start to exercise. Belly cramps are rarely caused by having food in your stomach. To meet their energy needs, bicycle racers have to eat...

Exercise Every Day or Every Other Day?

The old guideline recommending 30 minutes of exercise three times a week just isn't enough, according to the latest research. Athletes know that they need to work out every day, and all people who just want to stay healthy can benefit from the same type of exercise program.

How to Keep Running as You Age

I do not run anymore and virtually all of the runners who ran with me in the 1940s through 1960s don't run either, mostly because of the very high rate of running injuries. Eighty percent of long-distance runners suffer injuries that force them to take time off from running each year.

Blisters

If you feel discomfort or pain in the skin of your feet while you are exercising, stop exercising immediately and correct the problem. Continuously rubbing your skin can cause very painful blisters that can break and leave you with open painful areas for many weeks.

Eat Carbohydrates During Competition, Not Fat

Taking extra fat during long distance running or cycling races will not help you to go faster or win the race. When you exercise intensely, your muscles burn mostly sugar and the more intensely you race, the greater the percentage of sugar that your muscles use.

Exercise Preserves Brain Function

People who exercise into later life are smarter than those who do not exercise. To prove that exercise preserves brain function, studies must show that the loss of brain function with aging is not just genetic. Identical twins have exactly the same genes, so a study on twins can yield stronger results to show which environmental factors help to prevent loss of brain function.

Overnight Fasting to Increase Speed and Endurance

A new study from France shows that night-time fasting after intense workouts on alternate days helps athletes exercise longer and faster. The test group ate a low-carbohydrate dinner after their intense afternoon workout and then fasted for 13 hours before their morning recovery workout, then ate larger amounts of carbohydrates after their recovery workouts. The control group ate their meals as they wished, with no fasting requirement.

Why You Sweat More After Exercise

It's normal to sweat more after you finish exercising than you do while you exercise. Your body temperature varies throughout the day, going from around 97 degrees in the early morning to about 99 degrees in the early evening. Exercise raises body temperature considerably.

Electric-Assist Bikes and Trikes

I predict that in the next few years, virtually all cyclists will have motors on their bikes. I think that you can get a better training effect with a motor than without it. Anyone who has difficulty accelerating a bike will benefit from an added boost from an electric motor.

Good News for Male Cyclists

Cycling is not associated with increased risk for impotence or urinary symptoms. The largest and best study on the subject to date shows that serious cyclists are no more likely to suffer impotence or urinary problems than swimmers or runners.

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.

How to Pedal a Bicycle

You should pedal with the ball of your foot, not your arch. The ankle is the fulcrum for the force you generate with your feet. The ball of your foot is further away from the ankle than your arch so you generate far more force with the ball of your foot. As you straighten your...

Fitness for Cancer Patients and Survivors

Exercise is now recommended as part of the treatment for cancer by the American College of Sports Medicine, American Society of Clinical Oncology, National Comprehensive Cancer Network, American Cancer Society, Oncology Nursing Society, the Commission on Cancer, and the Cancer Foundation For Life. A regular exercise program reduces carcinogenic inflammation, strengthens the immune system, and improves mental processing by lowering cancer-inducing insulin-like growth factor 1, DNA damage and gene mutations, and increasing apoptosis.

Dizziness in Athletes

Athletes and other very fit people may feel dizzy when they rise from lying to standing because of their slow pulse rates. Exercise makes your heart stronger so it can pump more blood with each beat and it doesn't have to beat as often.

Should Runners and Cyclists Lift Weights?

A review of many scientific articles shows that runners and bicycle racers can run and cycle faster with added strength training because it makes them stronger, so that they can run and cycle more efficiently with less effort. However, the improvement in racing performance with added weightlifting is small, and sometimes nonexistent, because lifting weights does not improve VO2max (the ability to take in and use oxygen).

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.

More Mitochondria for Better Athletes?

The huge number of mitochondria in dogs' muscles explains why sled dogs can run more than 100 miles a day, at sub-8-minute-mile pace for weeks on end, while humans could not possibly run as long or as fast and recover from such abuse of their muscles.

Interval Training for Sports

If you want to compete in sports that require speed, such as running, cycling, swimming, skiing, skating, or team sports such as football, basketball, baseball or hockey, you have to train at a pace fast enough to exceed your lactic acid threshold. Lactic acid threshold is the pace that causes lactic acid to...

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.

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.

Competitive Athletes and Doping

An important article in the May 19, 2017 New York Times discusses the latest accusations that some of America's top athletes are using supplements, both legal and illegal, in the hope that they will improve athletic performance. I will present a brief review of some of the supplements that the accused U.S. athletes are taking and comment on their effectiveness or worthlessness, side effects and potential dangers to their health.

Mild Dehydration Does Not Impair Exercise

There is no data anywhere to show that mild dehydration affects health or athletic performance. Fit humans can tolerate significant fluid loss before their performance suffers, and most cases of muscle cramps are not caused by dehydration or salt loss.

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.

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.

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.

How to Get Your Second Wind

When you run very fast, you reach a point where you gasp for breath. You keep on pushing the pace and after a few seconds, you feel that you have recovered and that you can pick up the pace again. It’s called second wind and your apparent recovery is caused by lactic acid.

Strength Training Guidelines

1. People need to learn a correct range of motion for each exercise that is within their capability and practice that with lighter resistance. 2. There is not a lot of convincing data on repetition duration, but what there is including work we have done here, suggests for each exercise taking about three seconds for the concentric part of the rep, and three seconds for the eccentric part.

Can You Exercise Too Much?

Countless studies have shown that exercise helps to prevent heart attacks, but some researchers have found scarring in heart muscle and increased plaques in the heart arteries of men who have run many marathons and triathlons, resulting in news headlines warning of "too much exercise."

Cooling Down After Intense Exercise

"Cooling down" means that after you exercise intensely, you slow down and exercise at low intensity for a while before you stop exercising for that session. The scientific literature is controversial on whether cooling down helps to reduce next-day muscle soreness to help muscles to recover faster.

How Exercise Helps to Prevent Diabetes and Heart Attacks

Everyone should try to exercise every day because exercise helps to prevent diabetes and heart attacks by lowering high blood sugar and stabilizing plaques. A review of 12 studies shows that exercising within three hours after eating lowers blood sugar levels significantly because contracting muscles remove sugar from the bloodstream at a very high rate and don't even need insulin to do so.