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How to Pedal a Bicycle

You should pedal with the ball of your foot, not your arch. The ankle is the fulcrum for the force you generate with your feet. The ball of your foot is further away from the ankle than your arch so you generate far more force with the ball of your foot. As you straighten your...

Carbohydrate Loading DOES NOT Work

"Carbohydrate loading" the night before a big race can harm your performance and your health. More than forty years ago, I reported the case of a marathon runner who had a heart attack after carbohydrate loading in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

How We Learned That Lactic Acid Is Good For You

In the 1920s, experiments suggested that the accumulation of lactate acid in the bloodstream interfered with a person’s ability to exercise by causing muscles to stop contracting. However, Carl and Gerty Cori won the 1947 Nobel Prize for discovering the “Cori Cycle,” in which lactic acid produced by reduced oxygen levels from intense exercise may be good for exercisers when it travels from muscles to the liver, where lactic acid is converted to the sugar, glucose, to be used by muscles to supply extra energy

Dizziness in Athletes

Athletes and other very fit people may feel dizzy when they rise from lying to standing because of their slow pulse rates. Exercise makes your heart stronger so it can pump more blood with each beat and it doesn't have to beat as often.

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.

Exercise to Reduce Muscle Loss and Inflammation

Women and men who exercise regularly have larger and stronger hearts, and greater endurance and strength, than those who do not exercise regularly. Their muscles are stronger and more coordinated.  We can all expect to become weaker as we age, but you can markedly delay this inevitable loss of muscle strength by having a regular exercise program and following the same anti-inflammatory lifestyle rules that are recommended to help prevent heart attacks, arthritis and many other diseases. 

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.

Muscle Cramps: Prevention and Treatment

Muscle cramps occur most often at night when you are sleeping, but they also can occur when you exercise vigorously, tear a muscle, or keep one leg in an awkward position, such as sitting in a chair in the same position for a long time. Muscle cramps are classified into those that occur during exercise and those that can occur at any time not related to exercise, usually at night.

Exercise Improves Gut Bacteria

Many studies show that exercise helps to prevent heart attacks, and it may do so by changing the bacteria in your colon. A recent study from Finland shows that exercising for just six weeks can increase healthful anti-inflammatory bacteria in your colon.

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.

Eat to Compete

What you eat before and during a major competition can affect your performance enough to give you an edge over your peers. The days of "carbohydrate loading" are gone, but now athletes are being lured to try the LCHF fad -- a low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet.

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.

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.

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

Too Much Intense Exercise May Harm You

Exercising regularly helps to prevent disease and prolong lives, and exercising intensely can prevent disease and prolong lives even more. However, a study from Karolinska Institute suggests that exercising intensely too often can harm your health, and perhaps even shorten your life.

Intervals: The Best Way to Increase Intensity

The most efficient way to increase the intensity of your exercise program and feel less stress on your muscles is to use interval training. When you exercise, pick up the pace for a short period. As you start to feel burning or fatigue in your muscles, slow down. When the burning and fatigue are gone, pick up the pace.

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...

How to Become Stronger: Weight Training for Middle-Aged and Older People

A review of 22 studies specifically on how to grow larger and stronger muscles found that the best way for untrained people to grow muscles is to use lighter weights with more repetitions. On the other hand, most trained athletes gained more strength by using heavier weights with fewer repetitions

Plantar Fasciitis

One of the most common injuries in tennis and jogging is plantar fasciitis, pain on the bottom of the heel. A band of tissue called the plantar fascia extends from your five toes, along the bottom of your foot to attach on the bottom of your heel. When you run, you land on your heel and raise yourself on your toes as you shift your weight to your other foot, causing all your weight to be held up by your plantar fascia.

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.

What to Eat and Drink for Hot Weather Exercise

You don't need special sports drinks or power bars. Even the most elite athletes can get the nutrients they need from ordinary foods, water and salt. Healthy and fit people usually don't need to drink or eat when they exercise at a casual pace for less than two hours.

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.

Mitochondria and Gut Bacteria Work Together for More Endurance

Endurance training for six weeks in humans and mammals has been shown to increase mitochondrial content from 30 to 100 percent and volume density up to 40 percent.

Knee Pain in Bicycle Riders

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.

How to Jump Higher

When Kent Benson, the former National Basketball Association player, came to the University of Indiana he could jump only 9 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...

Sleep Improves Athletic Performance

Sooner or later, every serious exerciser learns that after a hard workout, they feel sleepy and need to go to sleep to recover. Older people may need even more sleep after intense exercise than younger people. A recent review of 37 studies recommends that competitive athletes and serious exercisers should consider napping 20 to 90 minutes every afternoon.

Exercise to Boost Your Immune System

A review of 54 studies found that a regular exercise program strengthens the immune system, increases antibody response to vaccinations, and reduces risks for community-acquired infectious disease by 31 percent and death from infections by 37 percent in various populations. It does this by increasing IGA antibodies in all body cavities and CD4 T cells that help to kill invading germs.

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.

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.

How to Strengthen Your Immunity

If you want to protect yourself from infections, exercise regularly and lose weight if you are overweight. A new study on mice shows how exercise helps to strengthen your immunity. Exercise that is vigorous enough to damage muscles stimulates the same immune cells that heal muscles to help your immunity respond to and kill invading germs.