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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.

Avoiding Overtraining

Exercising too much can affect your brain as well as your muscles. Athletes and dedicated exercisers often suffer from an overtraining syndrome in which their performance drops, their muscles feel sore and they are tired all the time.

Extra Protein Does Not Enlarge Muscles

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

Recovery: the Key to Improvement in Your Sport

If you want to become stronger and faster and have greater endurance, you need to exercise so intensely on one day that you damage your muscles and feel sore on the next day and then train at a reduced intensity for as many days as it takes for your muscles to heal and the soreness to lessen. Then you take your next intense workout.

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.

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.

Electric-Assist Bikes and Trikes

I predict that in the next few years, virtually all cyclists will have motors on their bikes. I think that you can get a better training effect with a motor than without it. Anyone who has difficulty accelerating a bike will benefit from an added boost from an electric motor.

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

Running Injuries from Over-Striding

Most running injuries are caused by the high impact of your foot hitting the ground, which is determined most by the length of person's natural stride. Unnecessarily high impact can be caused by over-striding. Contrary to common belief, it is not important whether you land on the front of your foot or the heel.

Standing Is Not Much Better Than Sitting

A recent study from Westmont College in California and the University of Bath in England shows that standing at work or while watching television is not likely to do much to protect you from the increased risk for obesity, diabetes and heart attacks that have been associated with prolonged sitting. Standing up at work is just about the same as sitting because there is very little metabolic difference between sitting and standing.

What to Eat Before, During and After a Bicycle Ride

Healthy and fit people usually don't need to eat during a ride when they cycle at a casual pace for less than two hours. However, you can prolong your endurance for a hard ride by taking a source of sugar when you ride very hard for more than an hour, and a source of salt when you ride for more than three hours.

Protein Shakes for Muscle Building May Not Be Safe

People who want to grow larger muscles spend more than 10 million dollars a year on whey protein shakes. A new study on mice shows that these whey protein shakes contain very high levels of branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs), which can reduce certain brain hormones to increase risk for obesity and premature death.

New Research on Intense Exercise

The more intensely you exercise, the less likely you are to suffer a heart attack, even though heart attacks can be caused by intense exercise in some people who already have irregular heartbeats or blocked arteries leading to their hearts.

Don’t Use Aspirin or NSAIDs for Muscle Pain from Exercise

Some athletes and exercisers take pain medication (aspirin or NSAIDs) because they think it may prevent muscle soreness or will help them to heal faster after a workout. However, taking pain medicines before or during exercise will not block pain, help you to exercise longer or recover faster from exercise.

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.

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.

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.

Sarcopenia of Aging: Loss of Muscle Size and Strength

Aging causes you to lose strength, no matter how much you exercise. Muscles are made up of hundreds of thousands of individual fibers, like a rope is made up of many strands. Each muscle fiber is innervated by a single motor nerve. With aging you lose motor nerves, and with each loss of a nerve, you also lose the corresponding muscle fiber that it innervates.

How Exercise Prolongs Your Life

Several recent studies show that exercise helps to prolong your life by strengthening heart muscle, increasing the ability of the heart to pump increased amounts of oxygen through the body, reducing belly fat, and increasing the diversity of bacteria in your colon.

How to Do Interval Training

If you want to improve your level of fitness, you can try interval training, the technique used by athletes in sports requiring speed and endurance such as cycling, skiing, running or swimming. They exercise very intensely, rest, and then alternate intense bursts of exercise and rest until their muscles start to feel heavy or tired.

Brain Benefits from Exercise

Three new studies help us understand the many good things that exercise does for your brain. The first study shows that a regular exercise program alters blood flow to the brain to improve mental function in older people who suffer from mild cognitive impairment that often precedes dementia. The second study shows that exercise can improve thinking skills in people of all ages. The third study shows that exercise-induced muscle changes may help to boost mood in older adults

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.

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.

Arm Exercises: Many Conductors Have Long Lives

Pablo Cassals, Nadia Boulanger, Arturo Toscanini, Arthur Rubinstein and Paul Paray all conducted major orchestras into their nineties, and Walter Demrosch, Arthur Fiedler, Serge Kousevitsky, Leopold Stokowski, Sir Thomas Beecham and Eugene Ormandy conducted into their eighties. The constant exercise involved in the act of conducting may be a strong part of the reason for their long lives.

NSAIDs Interfere with Exercise Training

Some athletes and exercisers use pain medication, such as ibuprofin (Advil, Motrin) and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), because they think it will help them to recover faster from muscle soreness so they will be able to do more training and become better athletes. NSAIDs do not prevent DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness).

Cycling Cadence

Cycling is a power sport. The stronger you are, the faster you can go on a bike. Power = [force that your feet apply to the pedals] x [cadence, or how fast you spin your pedals]. Cadence is the number of pedal revolutions per minute (RPMs). Fatigue for a bicycle rider comes primarily from how hard you press on the pedals, not how fast you turn them.

Lactic Acid is Good for You: Why Everyone with a Healthy Heart Should Do Interval Exercise

Athletes use interval training to make themselves faster and stronger, and everyone with a healthy heart can benefit from this technique. A typical interval workout for non-competitive exercisers would be a session of jogging, walking or cycling in which they sarm up by moving slowly for about 10 minutes, pick up the pace until they feel a slight burning in their muscles (this usually takes 10-20 seconds), slow down as soon as they feel this muscle burning, and go slowly until the burning is gone and breathing is back to normal.

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, without any additional change in diet or lifestyle, can increase healthful anti-inflammatory bacteria (Akkermansia) and reduce harmful inflammation-promoting Proteobacteria in your colon.

You Can’t Be Too Fit

Dramatic results in a new study from the Cleveland Clinic show that you can't be too fit, and that not exercising is worse for your health than smoking, diabetes or heart disease.

Cooling Down After Intense Exercise

"Cooling down" means that after you exercise intensely, you slow down and exercise at low intensity for a while before you stop exercising for that session. The scientific literature is controversial on whether cooling down helps to reduce next-day muscle soreness to help muscles to recover faster.