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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.

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.

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

Piriformis Syndrome

If it hurts to touch a point that's in the middle of one side of your buttocks, you probably have piriformis syndrome. This chronic condition is very difficult to diagnose, because other injuries may produce exactly the same symptoms.

How to Become Strong

Would you like to become stronger? Pick six to ten weight-machine exercises and do them in three sessions a week. In each exercise, try to lift the heaviest weight that you can lift comfortably ten times in a row without hurting yourself.

Recreational Runners and Cyclists Should Lift Weights

To preserve muscle and bone size and strength, recreational runners and cyclists should do upper body and core weight lifting and resistance training. Everybody will lose muscle and bone size and strength with aging. Your bones weaken progressively after age 30, and between ages 35 and 50, about 28 percent of North American men and women suffer from bone weakening called osteopenia.

How to Walk Faster

To become fit you need to exercise vigorously enough to increase your heart rate by at least 20 beats a minute. Walking slowly doesn't make you fit.

High-Intensity Interval Training Can Increase Injuries

A recent study shows that people who use high-intensity interval training (HIIT) are far more likely to become injured than people who use less intense exercise and that the highest injury rate from interval training is in men at ages 20 to 39, the ages when they are at their highest potential to be at their best competitive level to become champion athletes.

Spinning Classes

Whether you're out of shape or very fit, spinning classes can help you improve. You ride a stationary bicycle in a group, with a leader who tells you what to do and plays lively music to set the tempo. Many health clubs and gyms offer these classes, and I recommend them to all of...

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.

Spot Reduction Doesn’t Work

You'll see lots of exercise programs, devices and machines in television commercials that claim to get rid of fat from your belly. While they can strengthen your belly muscles, there is no such thing as spot reduction. When you take in more calories than your body burns, you store them as fat. Some people...

Physically Active Jobs vs Leisure-Time Exercise

A review of 17 studies, covering almost 200,000 people, found that men who work at the most physically active jobs have an 18 percent higher risk of premature death compared to people with less physically-demanding jobs. The authors did not find that women who had to keep moving at work had shortened life spans, probably because work-related physical activity for women is usually not as demanding as it is for men.

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.

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.

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.

How Many Miles Cycling Equal Miles Running?

During the cold winter months when snow and ice are on the ground, it's too dangerous to ride a bike, so many cyclists run instead. 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 more energy you use. So you have to compare running and cycling at different cycling speeds.

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...

Competitive Athletes and Doping

An important article in the May 19, 2017 New York Times discusses the latest accusations that some of America's top athletes are using supplements, both legal and illegal, in the hope that they will improve athletic performance. I will present a brief review of some of the supplements that the accused U.S. athletes are taking and comment on their effectiveness or worthlessness, side effects and potential dangers to their health.

Running Stride Length and Speed

Your most efficient stride length is determined by what feels most comfortable to you. You cannot run faster by consciously trying to increase your stride length. When you run, your foot hits the ground with great force. The tendons in your legs absorb some of this energy and then contract forcibly after your heel hits the ground, so you regain about 60 to 75 percent of that stored energy. When you try to take a stride that is longer than your natural one, you lose a great deal of this stored energy, tire much earlier and move your legs at a slower rate.

Lifting Weights Won’t Make You Musclebound

Training for strength improves coordination. Your brain is a master switchboard that coordinates your muscles. Lifting weights does not interfere with brain function; it improves coordination in events that require strength, such as playing sports, working as a carpenter, opening a stuck door or beating a drum.

Drink Sugar and Caffeine Only 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

Helmets Save Lives

A study from Imperial College in London shows that increased use of helmets by bicycle riders has markedly reduced head injuries (1). Do you know why woodpeckers don't damage their brains when they peck on wood? Their skulls fit so tightly that they don't allow the brain to move inside. Human skulls are enclosed...

Listen to Your Body

The best way to achieve a high level of fitness without injuring yourself is to listen to your body. Don't depend on heart rate monitors, fitness trackers or other gadgets.

Principles of Training

You will not become more fit by doing the same training regimen every day. Athletes train by taking hard workouts on one day, feeling sore on the next, and not taking another hard workout until the muscles stop feeling sore.

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. . .

Prepare for a Marathon

Many marathon runners think that they have to run 100 miles a week to compete successfully, but most will be able to run a marathon faster if they run fewer than 50 miles a week. Top marathon runners can run 100 miles a week and not be injured because of their superior genes.

Cold-Weather Exercise Tips

You feel cold most in your fingers, ears and toes. To help keep your hands warm on very cold days, wear an inner layer of thin gloves made from loosely-woven material that permits sweat to pass through. Gloves allow you to control your fingers better than mittens when you shift gears or use ski poles.

Exercise Really Does Help You

Researchers reviewed eight studies that used accelerometers to follow 36,383 adults, 40 years of age and older, for six years. They found that exercising regularly, regardless of intensity, was associated with reduced risk for death during the study period, while sitting for more than nine hours a day was associated with increased risk of death.

Fitness for Cancer Patients and Survivors

Exercise is now recommended as part of the treatment for cancer by the American College of Sports Medicine, American Society of Clinical Oncology, National Comprehensive Cancer Network, American Cancer Society, Oncology Nursing Society, the Commission on Cancer, and the Cancer Foundation For Life. A regular exercise program reduces carcinogenic inflammation, strengthens the immune system, and improves mental processing by lowering cancer-inducing insulin-like growth factor 1, DNA damage and gene mutations, and increasing apoptosis.

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.