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Runner’s Knee

Runners are far more likely to suffer knee pain than cyclists. The most common long term injury in runners is a condition called runner�s knee in which the back of the knee cap rubs against the front bottom of the femur, the long bone of the upper leg. If it hurts to push the...

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.

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.

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.

Weak Muscles Increase Risk for Dementia

Many studies show that having excess fat in your belly is associated with increased risk for dementia, but a new study shows that as a person ages, lack of muscle size and strength appears to be an even stronger predictor of dementia than having excess belly fat.

Oxygenated Water: Good for Fish, Worthless for Humans

Do you believe ads that claim oxygenated water cures tiredness, improves memory, prevents diseases, treats lung disease, helps you to exercise longer and makes you a better athlete? These and all of their other claims are not supported by scientific evidence. Lungs are the only organ humans have to provide adequate oxygen to the bloodstream. Water is not broken down into hydrogen and oxygen in your digestive tract; it is absorbed, used and excreted as water.

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.

Sarcopenia (Muscle Loss with Aging) Linked to Inflammation

Recent research shows that we can now add sarcopenia, loss of strength and muscle size with aging, to the list of medical problems associated with inflammation. Older people who suffer from sarcopenia are far more likely to have high blood levels of the markers of inflammation such as CRP, SED rate and adiponectin.

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.

How to Start an Exercise Program

If you want to become fit and use exercise to help prevent a heart attack, first check with your doctor to make sure that you do not have anything wrong with your heart or blood vessels. Intense exercise can increase your risk for a heart attack if you already have a damaged heart.

Side Stitch: Belly Pain while Running

When you get a side stitch, stop running and press your hand deep into your liver to raise it up toward your diaphragm. At the same time, purse your lips tightly and blow out. Pushing the liver up stops stretching the ligaments. Breathing against pursed lips retards fully emptying your lungs and doesn't let your diaphragm rise too high.

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.

Flat Feet, Pigeon Toes and Bow Legs

Many of the world's great sprinters have flat feet. Most football coaches can pick their halfbacks just by watching them walk. The fastest runners are often flat footed, pigeon toed and bow-legged.

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.

Even a 100-Year-Old Can Improve with Training

You can improve athletic performance at any age with proper training, even if you are over 100 years old. Traditional feeling among scientists is that aging is progressive and inevitable, and that your genetic programming causes you to age no matter what you do. This paper shows that physical training can reverse established markers of aging.

Short Intervals are Best

Interval training means that you alternate bursts of intense exercise with slow exercise until you feel tired. Short intervals are defined as lasting less than 30 seconds each, while long intervals usually last more than two minutes each. The most efficient, time-saving and health-benefiting way to exercise is to use short intervals

Prepare for Skiing

The best way to train for skiing is to ski, but snow isn't always available. To prepare for a skiing vacation, you need to strengthen both your heart muscles and your skeletal muscles. You can strengthen your heart for skiing with any exercise that will raise your heart rate for at least 10 minutes,...

Extra Protein Does Not Enlarge Muscles

A new review of 15 studies shows that protein supplementation offered no added benefit for older weight lifters.

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.

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.

Temperature During Exercise

You sweat more after you finish exercising than you do while you exercise. More than 70 percent of the energy that powers your muscles is lost as heat, causing your body temperature to rise during exercise. To keep your body temperature from rising too high, your heart pumps the heat in your blood from your muscles to your skin

Prepare for Skiing When There’s No Snow

The best way to train for skiing is to ski, but snow isn't always available. You ski by bouncing up and down on your knees and shushing forward from your hips, so the best sports to prepare for skiing stress primarily your thigh and upper leg muscles: skiing, skating and cycling. Running strengthens your...

Low Carbohydrate, High-Fat Diets for Endurance?

Can athletes improve their performance by following a diet that is low in carbohydrates and high in fat (LCHF)? Several popular sports magazines have carried articles advocating LCHF diets, even though at present there is no data to support this regimen for sports that require speed, including marathon running and long-distance bicycle racing. LCHF diets can slow you down in both training and racing.

How Exercise Helps to Prevent Diabetes and Heart Attacks

Everyone should try to exercise every day because exercise helps to prevent diabetes and heart attacks by lowering high blood sugar and stabilizing plaques. A review of 12 studies shows that exercising within three hours after eating lowers blood sugar levels significantly because contracting muscles remove sugar from the bloodstream at a very high rate and don't even need insulin to do so.

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.

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...

Low-Carbohydrate Diets Harm Athletic Performance

A study of elite race walkers shows that a low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet will slow their race times and training. Your muscles burn primarily fat and carbohydrates for energy. You have enough fat stored in your body to exercise for many days. However, you can store only 1600-2000 calories worth of sugar (carbohydrate) in your muscles and liver, and will start to run out of your meager supply of sugar after 70 minutes of intense exercise.

Keto Diet Not Likely to Help Athletes

A low-carbohydrate, high-fat (LCHF) ketogenic diet impairs 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. Your body uses primarily carbohydrates and fats, and a small amount of protein, to supply you with energy when you exercise. A ketogenic diet means that you try to get your body to use fat as the prime energy source for your muscles.

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.

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.