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Exercise for Endurance AND Strength

If you want to gain maximum benefit from your exercise program, you should try to do both endurance (heart-lung) activities and resistance (muscle strength) training.

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.

Exercise Promotes Good Gut Bacteria

Good bacteria that live in your gut can help to keep you healthy, while the bad colon bacteria increase your risk for heart attacks, strokes, diabetes, certain cancers and autoimmune diseases. Exercise encourages the growth of good bacteria in your colon and reduces the number of bad ones.

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.

Exercise May Help to Prevent Dementia

More than 80 percent of North Americans over the age of 85 suffer from some form of dementia. A new study in rats helps to explain why exercise could help to prevent or delay this dreaded condition (Sci Rep, 2017 Sep 7;7(1):10903). A group of rats were kept in cages that had exercise wheels,...

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.

What is Lactic Acid?

When you exercise, sugar is broken down into different chemicals, to produce energy for muscles. As long as you get all the oxygen you need, the final products are carbon dioxide and water, but if you exercise so vigorously that you can't get the oxygen that you need, the reactions stop, causing a chemical called lactic acid to accumulate in your muscles and spill into you bloodstream.

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.

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

Families with Diabetes Produce Strong Athletes

A study from Italy confirms that elite track and field athletes who have a family history of diabetes have larger muscles, weigh more, and are better athletes (Springerplus, 2014;3:224). Forty six young male élite athletes were tested; thirteen with a family history of diabetes and thirty-three without. The athletes were asked to pedal or...

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.

NSAIDs May Block Gains in Endurance and Strength

A new study io mice showed that taking NSAIDS (Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs), to reduce muscle pain before, during or after exercise, can reduce the gains in endurance from aerobic training.

Bicycles Are Most Energy Efficient

A positive outcome of the many COVID-19 restrictions has been a huge boom in bicycling. If you are a regular cyclist or are new to the sport, be proud. Humans riding on bicycles are more energy-efficient than any other form of transportation and any other animal. Vance Tucker of Duke University compared bicyclists to people and animals running, birds flying and fish swimming, as well as to people in motor-powered cars, boats, trains and planes

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...

Muscle Stimulating Machines

Advertisements on television claim that you can wrap a special belt around your belly, plug it into an electric outlet, turn on the electricity, and then watch your belly muscles contract to give you rock-hard belly muscles. You can bet that the beautiful people who demonstrate the machines on television didn't get their belly muscles...

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

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.

Heat Stroke

Nobody should ever die of heat stroke, a rapid uncontrolled rise in body temperature that causes you to pass out. Your body sends you warning signals as your temperature rises.

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.

Exercise to Help Prevent a Heart Attack

The same training principles that improve athletic performance in competitive athletes also help to prevent heart attacks and prolong lives. The SUN Study on 18,737 middle-aged people showed that those who exercise intensely have half the rate of heart attacks as those who do the same amount of exercise less intensely.

Everyone Should Exercise After Meals

A study from New Zealand shows that walking 10 minutes after meals lowers high blood sugar by more than 22 percent in diabetics, which is more effective than 30 minutes of exercise done once a day.

Robert Marchand Sets Amazing World Record at 105

On January 4, 2017, 105-year-old Robert Marchand rode his bicycle 14.01 miles to set the world record for his age for the one-hour ride. He rode 92 laps at the Velodrome National near Paris and as he completed his ride, the fans gave him a standing ovation, chanting "Robert, Robert" while dozens of TV crews and cameramen captured the moment.

Walk Faster, Live Longer

The faster you walk, the longer you live. Picking up the pace is more healthful than just walking slowly, even if you go longer than the recommended 30 minutes per day. 

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.

The Rime of The Ancient Marathoner

At age 86, I can look back at more than 75 years of daily exercising and can tell you that there is a huge difference between the way that your body responds to exercise when you are young and when you are old. The key to healthy exercising for younger people is to try to put some intensity into some of their workouts.

Stress Fractures – Prevention and Treatment

If you are an exerciser and develop a sharp pain on a bone that hurts when you press directly on that spot and does not hurt to touch an inch away, you probably have a stress fracture. Stress fractures are very common injuries, particularly in runners.

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.

Cold Weather Exercise in 2021

This winter is more dangerous than previous winters because cold weather increases your risk for COVID-19, since it increases the time that people spend indoors where the virus can accumulate in the air. More than 95 percent of COVID-19 appears to be acquired indoors, particularly where people congregate.

Sit Ups for Belly Strength

Sit ups strengthen your belly muscles, provided that you know how to do them. Lie on your back with your knees bent with your soles on the floor. Place your hands on your chest and slowly raise your head off the ground. Then, slowly raise your shoulders off the ground to a height...

Why Humans Can Run Marathons and Apes Cannot

Extensive research by Dr. Ajit Varki at UC/San Diego suggest that 2-3 million years ago, our pre-human ancestors had a single genetic mutation that could explain why humans can outrun their primate relatives.