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Eating During and After Intense Workouts Makes You a Better Athlete

Eating during and after long, intense workouts helps competitive athletes recover faster from their workouts and therefore helps to make them stronger and faster. It is the intense workout that makes you stronger and faster, so the more rapidly you recover from an intense workout, the sooner you can take your next intense workout and the more improvement you will gain.

Why Ice Delays Recovery

When I wrote my best-selling Sportsmedicine Book in 1978, I coined the term RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) for the treatment of athletic injuries (Little Brown and Co., page 94). Ice has been a standard treatment for injuries and sore muscles because it helps to relieve pain caused by injured tissue. Coaches have used my "RICE" guideline for decades, but now it appears that both Ice and complete Rest may delay healing, instead of helping.

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.

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

Do You Need a Heart Rate Monitor?

All maximum heart rate formulae are based on averages. They can be used to help you plan and monitor your exercise program, but they should not be interpreted as absolute limits or goals. Your maximum heart rate may differ from these averages. Whether you are a competitive athlete or an ordinary exerciser, you really do not need a heart rate monitor.

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.

Exercisers – Know the Side Effects of Your Medications

If you are an exerciser, make sure you know about the side effects of any medications or over-the-counter drugs you take. They may hinder your exercise program or cause harm if you fall.

Strengthen Quad Muscles to Help Your Knees

Having weak quad muscles (in the front of your upper legs) increases risk for damage to the cartilage in your knees. A study from Purdue University showed that strengthening these muscles slows down knee cartilage damage and may even improve knee function.

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.

Should You Cool Down after Exercise?

Cooling down means that after vigorous exercise, you move far more slowly for several minutes before you stop exercising for that session. The only known benefit of "cooling down" is to keep you from feeling dizzy or passing out after very vigorous exercise.

Exercise-Induced Asthma (EIA)

Exercise-induced asthma (EIA) is wheezing and shortness of breath that occur during exercise. It can occur in people who never wheeze at any other time, those who wheeze only when they have an infection or allergy, and those who have asthma at other times.

Slow Runners Don’t Come Out Ahead

A Danish study agrees with most previous studies that regular joggers as a group live longer than sedentary non-joggers (Journal of the American College of Cardiology, February 2, 2015). However, most of the news media reported that this study showed that slow, low-intensity joggers are less likely to die than intense exercisers ("Slow Runners Come Out Ahead," proclaimed the New York Times headline). The joggers who ran faster than 7 mph for more than four hours a week had the same death rate as the non-joggers.

Cold Weather May Help You Lose Weight

A new study shows that exposing mice to cold temperatures increases their body’s production of calorie-burning "brown fat" (Molecular Cell, published online Jan. 8, 2015). You have two types of fat in your body: • white fat that your body stores when you eat too much or exercise too little, and • brown fat...

Placebos to Race Faster

Fifteen endurance-trained runners, average age 27, ran three kilometers (1.8 miles) 1.2% faster after injecting themselves with a placebo than they did after taking no injections (Med Sci Sports Exerc, published online Nov 19, 2014). The runners were initially evaluated with a 1.8 mile time trial. Then they were randomly distributed to either: • take no...

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.

Sugar for Prolonged, Hard Exercise

If you are going to exercise at a relaxed pace for a few hours, you rarely need to eat or drink unless you feel hungry or thirsty. However, if you are going to compete in sports or exercise intensely for more than 70 minutes, you should take sugar just before you start and while you exercise.

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...

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...

No More Junk Miles

Junk miles means adding extra miles to your training plan with no purpose other than to increase the number of miles that you ride or run each week. They are done at such low intensity that you do not become short of breath and you do not push yourself very hard.

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.

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.

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.

Muscle Cramps: Prevention and Treatment

The most common cause of muscle cramps during intense exercise is damage to the muscle fibers themselves. Doctors in South Africa studied triathletes and found that most of the time muscle cramps are not caused by dehydration, thyroid disease, mineral abnormalities (calcium, sodium, magnesium or potassium), blocked blood flow or nerve damage.

Interval Training Helps Your Heart

A heart attack is caused by lack of oxygen. Anything that increases the supply of oxygen to the heart markedly reduces risk for suffering a heart attack, improves a heart attack victim’s chances of surviving a heart attack and of not having another heart attack, and makes him or her able to be far...

Don’t Just Sit at Any Age

Older people who move around live longer than those who are consistently sedentary, and sedentary older people who become more active live longer than those who remain sedentary.

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...

Sugar for Intense Exercise

The best time to take sugar to help you prolong your intense exercise is 30 minutes or less before you start. Researchers in Scotland showed that taking a sugared drink 30 minutes before exercise allowed the subjects to exercise at 90 percent of their maximum capacity for 12 percent longer than when they took the same sugared drink two hours before exercise.

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.

Calculate Your Fitness Age

VO2max can be used to predict a person’s risk of premature death from a heart attack. Researchers at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology have developed a simple way to estimate a person’s VO2max, his maximal ability to take in and use oxygen.

Try a Trike

If you're 60, 70, 80 or any age and want a really fun way to exercise, try a Trike! You have no problem with balance, no risk of falling, and you can move as fast (or slow) as you like. Climbing hills is no problem because the gears go down really low, you won't fall over no matter how slow you are, and you can stop right in the middle of the hill if you get tired.