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Stress Fractures – Prevention and Treatment

If you are an exerciser and develop a sharp pain on a bone that hurts when you press directly on that spot and does not hurt to touch an inch away, you probably have a stress fracture. Stress fractures are very common injuries, particularly in runners.

Inactivity Causes Muscle Loss

Even short periods of inactivity cause dramatic loss of muscle size and strength. After just two weeks of having one leg put in a cast, all 32 men in the study lost a tremendous amount in all measures of physical fitness, strength and muscle size in the immobilized leg. After six weeks of pedaling a bicycle for rehabilitation, they still did not regain all of the strength that they had lost

Recreational Exercise Better Than Physically Active Jobs

A new study from Denmark shows that while leisure-time physical activity is associated with reduced heart attack risk, occupational physical activity is associated with increased risk. Participants with leisure-time physical activity had a 15 percent reduced risk for heart attacks, while those with heavy physical activity at work had a 35 percent increased risk.

Overnight Fasting to Increase Speed and Endurance

A new study from France shows that night-time fasting after intense workouts on alternate days helps athletes exercise longer and faster. The test group ate a low-carbohydrate dinner after their intense afternoon workout and then fasted for 13 hours before their morning recovery workout, then ate larger amounts of carbohydrates after their recovery workouts. The control group ate their meals as they wished, with no fasting requirement.

Our New Tandem Ti-Trike

Ever since we got our first tandem trike and installed the electric motor, we have been looking for someone who would build us a custom trike. Three months ago we met the makers of Ti-Trikes at a bike show and were impressed with their all-titanium single trikes. They had never built a tandem trike but agreed to do one for us, incorporating their many design innovations as well as our specifications. They brought us our new tandem trike two weeks ago, and we are delighted.

Exercise Preserves Brain Function

People who exercise into later life are smarter than those who do not exercise. To prove that exercise preserves brain function, studies must show that the loss of brain function with aging is not just genetic. Identical twins have exactly the same genes, so a study on twins can yield stronger results to show which environmental factors help to prevent loss of brain function.

Exercise May Help to Prevent Dementia

More than 80 percent of North Americans over the age of 85 suffer from some form of dementia. A new study in rats helps to explain why exercise could help to prevent or delay this dreaded condition (Sci Rep, 2017 Sep 7;7(1):10903). A group of rats were kept in cages that had exercise wheels,...

Cold Weather Can Kill

The majority of cold weather deaths are from its effects on the heart and lungs to cause heart attacks or pneumonia. The major causes of sudden death in cold weather are elevated blood pressure and increased clotting. High blood pressure damages arteries to cause heart attacks and strokes. If you have blood vessel disease, heart disease or lung disease, try to stay out of the cold.

Making Muscles Stronger

If you want to make a muscle stronger, you have to exercise it intensely enough to damage the muscle fibers and when they heal, they will be stronger than they were. You can tell you are causing muscle damage because of the burning you will feel during exercise and the soreness in that muscle you feel four to eight hours later.

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.

The 30-20-10 Plan to Boost Your Exercise Progam

If you hate the idea of intense exercise, try the 30-20-10 Plan developed by Jens Bangsbo at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark. Dr. Bangsbo asked 132 middle-aged recreational runners to replace their casual workouts with his 30-20-10 Plan.

Heat Stroke

Nobody should ever die of heat stroke, a rapid uncontrolled rise in body temperature that causes you to pass out. Your body sends you warning signals as your temperature rises.

Placebos to Race Faster

Fifteen endurance-trained runners, average age 27, ran three kilometers (1.8 miles) 1.2% faster after injecting themselves with a placebo than they did after taking no injections (Med Sci Sports Exerc, published online Nov 19, 2014). The runners were initially evaluated with a 1.8 mile time trial. Then they were randomly distributed to either: • take no...

All Exercise is Good, and Vigorous Exercise is Better

A new study suggests that the more intensely you exercise, the less likely you are to suffer a heart attack. Researchers followed 403,681 U.S. adults for an average 10 years and found that those who spent a greater proportion of their exercise time exercising intensely had a significantly lower risk of death from heart attacks than those who exercised for the same amount of time but at lower intensity.

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.

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.

Should You Breathe Through Your Nose or Your Mouth When You Exercise?

Just about everyone with an unobstructed nose will breathe through their nose when at rest or during casual activities, but most people will breathe through their mouth during exercise. The more intensely you exercise, the more likely that you will have to breathe through your mouth because you may not be able to get enough air through your nose to feel comfortable back of your mouth.

Muscle Loss from Inactivity: 34 Percent in Just Two Weeks

A study from the University of Copenhagen shows that wearing an immobilizing knee brace for just two weeks caused men in their 20s to lose 22 to 34 percent of their leg muscle strength, while men in their 60s lost 20 to 26 percent.

Repairing Damaged Knee Cartilage

The ends of bones are soft, so they must be covered with a thick white gristle called cartilage. Once damaged, cartilage can never heal. When knee cartilage is damaged, the person spends the rest of his life losing more cartilage until it is completely gone and the knee hurts 24 hours a day.

Exercise for Endurance AND Strength

If you want to gain maximum benefit from your exercise program, you should try to do both endurance (heart-lung) activities and resistance (muscle strength) training.

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.

How to Keep Running as You Age

I do not run anymore and virtually all of the runners who ran with me in the 1940s through 1960s don't run either, mostly because of the very high rate of running injuries. Eighty percent of long-distance runners suffer injuries that force them to take time off from running each year.

How Inactivity Can Cause Heart Failure

People who lie in bed without moving day after day suffer progressive weakening of their heart muscle. Eventually the heart becomes too weak to pump enough oxygen to the brain, they stop breathing and die from heart failure. A recent study on mice shows how this is likely to happen.

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.

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

What is Lactic Acid?

When you exercise, sugar is broken down into different chemicals, to produce energy for muscles. As long as you get all the oxygen you need, the final products are carbon dioxide and water, but if you exercise so vigorously that you can't get the oxygen that you need, the reactions stop, causing a chemical called lactic acid to accumulate in your muscles and spill into you bloodstream.

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.

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...

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.

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.