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Brain Benefits from Exercise

Three new studies help us understand the many good things that exercise does for your brain. The first study shows that a regular exercise program alters blood flow to the brain to improve mental function in older people who suffer from mild cognitive impairment that often precedes dementia. The second study shows that exercise can improve thinking skills in people of all ages. The third study shows that exercise-induced muscle changes may help to boost mood in older adults

Ten-Minute Workouts for Fitness

One minute of intense exercise can give you the same level of fitness as 45 minutes of more casual exercise. Two groups of out-of-shape men exercised three times a week for 12 weeks. . .

The 30-20-10 Plan to Boost Your Exercise Progam

If you hate the idea of intense exercise, try the 30-20-10 Plan developed by Jens Bangsbo at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark. Dr. Bangsbo asked 132 middle-aged recreational runners to replace their casual workouts with his 30-20-10 Plan.

Super Slow Training

Moving a weight very slowly in sets of ten causes the same amount of damage as moving a much heavier weight rapidly, and causes the same type of muscle damage. Lifting lighter weights slowly is far less likely to cause injuries than heavy lifting.

Lack of Vitamin D May Harm Exercisers

A study in mice suggests that having low levels of vitamin D may harm athletes and exercisers by limiting how long they can exercise. Many exercisers and competitive athletes are vitamin D deficient even if they live in the sunbelt.

Research on Intense Exercise

The more intensely you exercise, the less likely you are to suffer a heart attack, even though heart attacks can be caused by intense exercise in some people who already have irregular heartbeats or blocked arteries leading to their hearts.

Why Do Sled Dogs have So Much More Endurance than Humans?

How can sled dogs run more than 100 miles a day for weeks on end, while humans couldn’t possibly recover from such abuse of their muscles? A study from Ohio State University shows why.

How To Run Faster

If you don't run very fast in practice, you won't be able to run very fast in races.

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.

Second Wind

Second wind means that when you run very fast, you reach a point where you gasp for breath and your muscles burn so much that you feel like you have to slow down, but you try to keep on pushing. After several seconds, you feel recovered and pick up the pace.

Slope on Treadmills

Good treadmills have a lever that raises the front end to simulate running up hills, because running on level ground does not do much to strengthen your upper leg muscles. Running strengthens primarily your lower leg muscles.

Weight Training for Middle-Aged and Older People

A review of 22 studies specifically on how to grow larger and stronger muscles found that the best way for untrained people to grow muscles is to use lighter weights with more repetitions. On the other hand, most trained athletes gained more strength by using heavier weights with fewer repetitions

Sleep to Recover

Every athlete who trains for competition in sports that require endurance learns sooner or later that after exercising long and hard, you feel sleepy and need to go to sleep to recover. Older people may need even more sleep after intense exercise than younger people. If you don’t get lots of extra sleep when you do prolonged intense exercise, you don’t recover as quickly and are at increased risk for injuring yourself.

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.

How to Avoid Overtraining

Athletes and serious exercisers can get into an overtraining syndrome in which they become injured or suffer frequent infections, feel exhausted, don't perform up to their usual levels, and even lose interest in training.  One of the most difficult problems for athletes is knowing when they are training too much.   You make a muscle stronger...

Is Napping Healthful?

Power napping for an hour can help you to learn, remember and interpret more efficiently. The frequency of daytime napping increases with age, and up to 70 percent of older adults around the world take daytime naps.

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.

How to Jump Higher

When Kent Benson, the former National Basketball Association player, came to the University of Indiana he could jump only 9 inches off the ground. That's an embarrassing jump for a seven-foot All-American. One year later, he was able to jump three times that high because he had a good coach. How high you can...

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.

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.

Exercise May Change Gut Bacteria for More Endurance

An interesting study showed that after finishing the 26-mile Boston Marathon, runners had changes in the bacteria in their colons that may have helped them to run faster and longer.

Exercise to Reduce Risk for High Blood Pressure

The CARDIA study followed 5115 adults in nine separate examinations over a period of 30-40 years, from ages 18-60. By age 60, 73.1 percent of the subjects in this study had developed high blood pressure, and the lower the level of physical activity, the more likely a person was to develop high blood pressure

Preparing for Baseball

Parents often ask me what their children can do to prepare for their baseball season. Because training is specific, they should be training for baseball 12 months a year. There are very few kids who are so gifted that they can be very good in several sports. Many children start training in one...

Motor-Assist Bicycles: Benefits of Passive Exercise

Most bicycle shops are now selling motor-driven bicycles, which can be an ideal solution for a person who is out of shape or just not strong enough to ride a regular bike. Motor-driven stationary bicycles make it possible for just about anyone to gain the benefits of an exercise program, even those with severe disabilities.

Some Health Benefits of Exercise May Come from Changes in Colon Bacteria

A six-week program of exercise markedly increased the types of healthful colon bacteria and their functions in healthy but previously sedentary people. At the end of the six-week exercise program, the lean group had more of the healthful types of colon bacteria that ferment unabsorbed soluble fiber into short chain fatty acids (SCFAs).

Cupping for Faster Recovery

When Michael Phelps won a gold medal in the 4 x 100 meter freestyle relay at the Rio Olympics, he was covered with red circles on his back and shoulders from cupping. Many of the U.S. swimmers and gymnasts at the Olympics are using cupping, along with massage, saunas, ice baths and compression garments, to help them recover faster after a race or a hard training session.

How to Prepare for Skiing When There’s No Snow

The best way to train for skiing is to ski, but snow isn’t always available. To prepare for a skiing trip, you need to strengthen both your heart muscles and your skeletal muscles. You can strengthen your heart for skiing with any exercise that will raise your heart rate for at least 10 minutes, at least three times a week.

How Often Should You Lift Weights?

You can become very strong and grow large muscles just by lifting a single set of 6 to 12 repetitions of a weight that is 75 percent of your maximum, three times a week

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.

Recreational Exercise Better Than Physically Active Jobs

A new study from Denmark shows that while leisure-time physical activity is associated with reduced heart attack risk, occupational physical activity is associated with increased risk. Participants with leisure-time physical activity had a 15 percent reduced risk for heart attacks, while those with heavy physical activity at work had a 35 percent increased risk.