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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

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.

Resistance Training for Endurance Sports

A recent review of 22 scientific studies shows that adding a resistance program such as lifting weights to endurance sports such as running or cycling can increase muscle size and strength, with greater benefit from low volume, high-resistance weight lifting than high volume, lower-resistance exercise.

Benefits of More Activity

In the largest study so far of accelerometer-measured physical activity, 96,476 healthy men and women in Great Britain (mean age 62 years) wore wrist accelerometers for one week and were then followed for an average of 3.1 years. The people who were more active had a lower risk of dying, and adding intensity to their exercise increased that protection.

High Blood Sugar Limits Benefits from Exercise

A study from Harvard Medical School shows that a high rise in blood sugar after meals can limit increases in your ability to take in and use oxygen during exercise. This means that if your diet causes high blood sugar levels when you eat, you lose one of the major health benefits of exercise.

Restricting Carbohydrates Slows You Down

Restricting carbohydrates with a keto diet or fasting will tire you earlier when you exercise. Many studies show that low-carbohydrate diets impair performance in sports that require speed. On a low-carbohydrate diet, you can't train very fast and you can't move as fast in races.

Resistance Exercise You Can Do at Home

Resistance exercise is the best way to slow down the loss of muscle strength that occurs with aging, and I believe that everyone should do some type of resistance exercise (moving your muscles against an opposing force) as part of their regular exercise program.

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.

Drink Sugar and Caffeine during Vigorous Exercise

I have often recommended that exercisers take a sugared, caffeinated soft drink for a performance boost during prolonged vigorous exercise. I still think this is good advice, but people who are exercising at a casual pace for an extended time may want to restrict their intake of soft drinks

Your Muscles Make Your Heart Stronger

When you contract your skeletal muscles, they squeeze the veins near them to pump extra blood back to your heart. The extra blood flowing back to your heart fills up your heart, which stretches your heart muscle, causing the heart muscle to contract with greater force and pump more blood back your body.

Should You Wear a Mask When You Exercise Outdoors?

The problem with wearing masks when you exercise outdoors is that they can limit your ability to breathe. This may not be an issue if you are doing casual exercise, but if you are running or cycling vigorously, you will probably find yourself gasping for air.

Don’t Straighten Your Knees When You Ride a Bicycle

The most common cause of knee pain in bicycle riders is having the seat set so high that it forces you to fully straighten the knee as the pedal reaches its lowest level. You are never supposed to fully straighten your knee when you do any kind of exercise, particularly cycling or running.

Don’t Straighten Your Knees While Running

Always try to keep at least a slight bend in your knee when you run or bike. When you run, you are supposed to land on each foot with a partially-bent knee. Otherwise you transmit the shock of your foot hitting the ground directly onto your knees, hips and back. Straightening your knees when you pedal markedly increases risk for knee pain by increasing the force on your joints.

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.

Which Burns More Calories, Running or Cycling?

Have you wondered whether you burn more calories when you run or when you ride a bicycle? Running requires the same amount of energy per mile at any speed, but cycling is slowed so much by wind resistance that the faster you ride, the harder you have to pedal and more energy you use.

Should You Exercise During the COVID-19 Pandemic?

Committed exercisers should try to continue to exercise during this COVID-19 pandemic, but they should realize that both too much exercise and exercising while sick increase risk for medical complications, such as irregular heartbeats, and death

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

Sleep to Recover from Hard Exercise

Sleeping can help to prevent exercise injuries. Healthy U.S. soldiers in training are less likely to suffer exercise-related injuries such as fractures, sprains and muscle strains when they sleep at least eight hours at night.

Weight Lifting for Middle-Aged and Older People

A resistance exercise program can help to slow the loss of muscle fibers and improve mobility as people age. Lifting weights or using Nautilus-type resistance training machines will strengthen your skeletal muscles, help to prevent broken bones from falls, and make your heart stronger to reduce risk of heart failure.

Can Intense Exercise Increase Your Risk for a Heart Attack?

The American Heart Association has cautioned that, "Exercise, particularly when performed by unfit individuals, can acutely increase the risk of sudden cardiac death and acute myocardial infarction in susceptible people." However, a recent review of 48 research articles found no reduction in lifespan, no matter how much a person exercises

Keep Moving for a Longer and Better Life

Everyone should try to keep on moving their muscles every day. Sitting around for long periods of time can cause you to become diabetic and increase your risk for a heart attack, and lying in bed for long periods puts you at increased risk for heart failure and premature death

The Placebo Effect and Supplements

Fifty-two percent of North Americans spend $41 billion a year on over-the-counter food supplements. Athletes and exercisers spend more than 14 percent of the $41 billion, or $5.67 billion, for supplements that are supposed to make them faster or stronger.

All Exercisers Can Gain Health Benefits from Elite Training Methods

The training principles that improve performance in competitive athletes can be used by all exercisers, even those who have never exercised previously, and can help to prevent heart attacks and prolong lives. Exercise helps to prevent heart attacks because exercise makes muscles stronger, including your heart muscle.

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.

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.

Challenging Your Brain During Exercise May Help to Prevent Dementia

Scientific American has a fascinating article that explains why you should exercise your brain while you exercise your body. There is evidence that you may be able to make You can make new brain cells as you age by exercising your skeletal muscles and brain at the same time

Running May Help to Protect Your Knees

Running a marathon may strengthen the cartilage and muscles in knee joints. Marathon runners their MRIs showed a remarkable reduction in the knee bone and cartilage damage and marked strengthening of the knees.

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.

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.

Mary Cain and Forced Weight Loss for Sports

Mary Cain was unbeatable in high school races. At age 16, she became the youngest athlete ever to represent the U.S at a World Championship track meet, and at age 17, she was the 2014 World Junior Champion in the 3000 meter run.