Subscribe to Dr. Mirkin's free FITNESS & HEALTH NEWSLETTER      

Knee Injury Rehabilitation

You are supposed to exercise. It makes you stronger, faster, healthier and may even prolong your life. However, every time you exercise, you risk injury and many sports injuries last forever. Depression, heart attacks, strokes, obesity and diabetes are all associated with a sedentary lifestyle. A twisted ankle can change an active person into a sedentary one. A torn anterior cruciate ligament or meniscus of the knee has a greater than 50 percent chance of causing permanent pain within five years, regardless of the treatment.

Rotator Cuff Injuries

The rotator cuff muscles hold the head of the long bone of your upper arm tightly in the socket of your shoulder. Sports that require moving the arm over the head repeatedly can cause tearing and swelling of the tendons of these muscles. Baseball pitchers, swimmers, weight lifters and tennis players often suffer this...

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.

Jump Higher

When former NBA player Kent Benson arrived at the University of Indiana he could jump only nine 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 jump is determined...

Calories Burned in Running vs Cycling

Which burns more calories, running or cycling? The standard comparison is that one mile of running equals four miles of cycling, but that's lousy science. Although running requires the same amount of energy per mile at any speed (110 calories per mile), riding is affected by wind resistance so the faster you ride, the...

Triathalon Training

Will training for a triathalon make you a better cyclist? World-class triathletes are slower runners, swimmers and cyclists than athletes who compete in only one sport. A study from the University of Toulon-Var in France shows that swimming before cycling slows you down (Canadian Journal of Applied Physiology, August 2005). Well-trained male triathletes pedaled...

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 Protein Builds Muscles

Many body builders and weight lifters are overly concerned about what they eat and what food supplements they take. If you want to grow larger and stronger muscles, it helps to understand how food can help your training program. Anything that helps you recover faster from a hard workout will allow you to do more work to make you stronger. Scientists have known for years that you recover faster by eating immediately after you finish your hard workout.

Should You Carry Weights during Exercise?

The only advantage to exercising while carrying weights is that you can get more exercise while moving slowly. To strengthen your heart, you have to exercise vigorously enough to increase your heart rate at least 20 beats a minute above resting.

How to Start a Running Program

If you think you would enjoy jogging or running, here's how to get started. First, check with your doctor and get a good pair of running shoes. Start out by jogging slowly until your legs feel heavy or hurt or you feel tired.

Should You Carry Weights while Walking or Jogging?

The only advantage to exercising while carrying weights is that you can get more exercise while moving slowly. To strengthen your heart, you have to exercise vigorously enough to increase your heart rate at least 20 beats a minute above resting. How fast your heart beats depends on how much blood it has to pump to your body.

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.

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.

Support Stockings

Elastic compression stockings have no effect whatever on exercise, according to a study from France (European Journal of Applied Physiology, July 2006). They neither increase nor decrease endurance, strength, speed, recovery, or blood flow to the limbs.

Weight Lifting for Middle-Age and Beyond

Many middle-aged and older people have started to lift weights, since extensive data show that lack of muscles increases risk for diabetes, heart attacks and premature death. However, within the first few weeks of their new weight-lifting programs, most get injured and quit.