1. The 13 Worst Health and Fitness Trends of 2022:
One trend was so dumb that the FDA put out a warning about it.
When it comes to health and fitness trends, we’ve seen some doozies this year. Some are silly and ineffective; others are potentially lethal. Let’s reminisce about the worst of them, and promise ourselves we won’t fall for any of their ilk in the new year
2. How Much Should You Train Over the Holidays?
For some, exercising is a fundamental part of the holiday season, but for others, the idea brings dread. How much should you train during the holidays?
For some, the tradition of going for a ride or run on New Years Day is a fundamental part of the holiday season. But for others, the thought of training through the festive (and cold) weeks at the end of December brings dread. How much should an athlete train during the holidays? As always, the answer is: it depends. Here are a few scenarios to consider.
Off Work? Get Outside!
If your work schedule drops off this time of year, it might be a great excuse to get outside more and increase your volume. While the family sits around digesting the readily-available Christmas candy, you’ll be a nicer person and enjoy their company more if you’ve already done a workout. Get out early while everyone is still enjoying their morning coffee, and you’ll be back in time to join the celebrations. On December 25th, the roads are often empty early in the morning, making you feel like you’re the only person alive as you enjoy a chilly run or cruise on the bike paths.
More...from Training Peaks.
3. Build Speed in 20 Minutes with a HIIT Treadmill Workout:
Seriously, all it takes is 20 minutes to increase speed and burn calories.
Treadmill season is fast approaching (and for some snowy parts of the country, is already here). And while many runners firmly dread the machine, it can be a useful training tool. “The treadmill provides the option to run in relative comfort even when the weather outside is dangerously cold, snowy, and icy, or, on the flipside, extremely hot, humid, or polluted,” says Coach Angie Spencer of The Marathon Training Academy podcast and blog. But despite the upsides, it can still be a bit more boring than running the roads or trails.
One of the easiest ways to banish boredom during a treadmill workout is to change things up, and one of the easiest ways to change things up is through intervals. Not only does it keep your mind occupied (so the minutes fly by), but high-intensity efforts also get your heart pumping and challenge your main run muscles in a different way than steady-state efforts. Another bonus: High-intensity intervals can boost your run speed, too.
More...from Women's Running.
4. Sports and Sex:
Why Females Deserve Their Own Space in Sports.
Sex Is Not Gender Identity
Sex in an extremely important biological factor for the continuation of life for any species on earth. It is an indisputable biological fact that human reproduction requires the male gamete (a sperm) to unite with the female gamete (an egg) to propagate the human species. The anatomical and physiological organization of a human body around the production of either sperm or eggs results in a wide range of important sex related differences between human males (boys and men) and human females (girls and women).
Sex is an extremely important factor in terms of growth, development, and physical, mental, and emotional health. Certain disorders and diseases affect and manifest differently in males and females. While males are more likely to suffer a heart attack at a young age, females are more likely to suffer a fatal heart attack due to differences in how a heart attack manifests. Some disorders only affect men (e.g. testicular cancer) and some disorders only affect women (ovarian cancer, endometriosis). It is also well known that women have a higher lifetime prevalence of mood or anxiety disorders than men, while men are more likely to experience substance abuse or antisocial disorders. And yet in many countries, including Spain, Germany, Scotland, the United States of America, and others, there are efforts underway to redefine sex to mean gender identity. These efforts to replace sex with gender identity are often driven by support for transgender ideology and are couched in aspirations of inclusion and equity. But the goals of equity and inclusion for transgender people cannot supersede the cold hard reality that humans are either male or female based on biological factors.
More...from Forward Nebraska.
5. Can You Pass the Flexibility Test?
aving a good range of motion is essential for athletics as well as everyday life.
Bending down to put on your socks. Looking over your shoulder to change lanes. Reaching up to pluck a box of cereal from a high shelf at the grocery store.
When most of us think about flexibility, we imagine a yogi with their legs wrapped around their heads or a ballet dancer doing the splits. The truth is, there are countless everyday movements that require flexibility. And being able to do them takes maintenance.
“Flexibility is very much a case of use it or lose it,” said Dan Van Zandt, a flexibility coach and educator.
Instead of shying away from movements that are painful, Mr. Van Zandt said, you can work on your flexibility and improve your range of motion. Even though most of us won’t ever become flexible enough to do the splits, with time and patience we can squat a little deeper, reach a little higher and maybe even sit cross-legged on the floor.
More...from the New York Times.
6. Adidas Adizero SL Review: Entry-Level Performance:
What You Need To Know
Weighs 9.7 oz. (274 g) for a US M10.5 / oz. ( g) for a US W8
Lightstrike midsole with a forefoot puck of Lightstrike Pro
Stack height: 35 mm in the heel/ 26.5 mm in the forefoot (8 mm drop)
Entry level shoe into the Adizero (i.e. performance) line
Available now for $120
The legacy of Adidas is legendary. Two German brothers, Adolf (Adi) and Rudolf Dassler, started what would become the second largest sportswear company in the world after Nike.
One foundational pillar of their company was set during the 1936 Olympic Games in Nazi Germany. At the time, the brothers supplied German athletes with their footwear, but they also wanted their new canvas and rubber spikes on the best track athlete. Adi tracked down Jesse Owens and presented him with the shoes, and footwear history was made when Owens responded that he would have Adidas on his feet or nothing at all. Of course, Jesse Owens went on to win four Olympic gold medals right in front of Hitler’s weird toothbrush mustache, ruining his moth-holed theory of human genetics.
There are some blemishes to this heartfelt story; after all, both brothers joined the Nazi Party and Rudolf was even sent to a POW camp for a short time on suspicion of feeding information to the Gestapo.
More...from Beleive in the Run.
7. Is non-alcoholic beer an effective recovery drink for athletes?
Since non-alcoholic beer was first invented in 1973, German beer companies have historically marketed it as the ‘car driver’s beer’ - the responsible alternative to regular beer. The initial reception to alcohol free-beer was lukewarm at best, thanks in large part to its reputation for being of poor quality and taste.
This outlook has changed considerably in recent years and the market is now booming. There are more than 400 non-alcoholic beers available and, over the past decade or so, a number of breweries such as Erdinger and Krombacher, have expanded their offerings to non-alcoholic athletic beers.
That’s right, non-alcoholic beers marketed explicitly for athletes and recovery.
The rise of non-alcoholic beer in sport
From 2011 to 2016, German consumption of non-alcoholic beer grew 43%. This isn’t just because Germans can’t get enough beer (although it’s true that they drink more beer per capita than almost any other nation); non-alcoholic beer is extremely popular amongst athletes in Germany because it has been ear-marked as an effective recovery drink.
More...from Precision Hydration.
8. How effective is weight training for athletes?
It is often seen as a vital tool but does pumping iron really help create faster, more powerful and enduring athletes?
Nearly all athletes use weight training as part of their routines. However, the science behind how to get the most from it for direct athletic improvement is neither consistent, nor even fully understood.
So many variables influence how successful a weight training programme will be. For a start, not all athletes will respond to weight training in the same way. Some may bulk up considerably in response to specific protocols, while others won’t.
Firstly, it should be noted that an increase in lean mass, although potentially allowing for the expression of more power, can also result in more weight to be carried on the athlete’s body. An increase in muscle mass can slow all distance run times if the athlete’s power-to-weight ratio is negatively affected.
More...from Athletics Weekly.
9. These 6 Brilliant Biohacks Will Give You Crazy-High Energy in No Time:
Need to get your energy levels up ASAP? Try these science-backed tips that’ll have you feeling awake and reenergized in mere minutes.
There are a lot of tips and tricks that are meant to help you increase your energy, from eating the right nutrients to incorporating energizing supplements into your daily routine. But unfortunately, these habits can take some time to deliver the motivation, productivity, and “awake” level of energy you’re looking for. Fortunately, they aren’t the only solutions; there are certain energy-revving biohacks you can use when you’re feeling sleepy and sluggish, and they’ll get you alert and focused in no time.
We’ve got easy—and, to be honest, kind of brilliant—biohacks that’ll raise your energy levels quickly. From HIIT workouts to autophagy to mitochondrial manipulation and beyond, these six science-backed ways to hack your system will boost your energy. And you can try them right now.
More...from Women's Running*.
10. Training Outside in the Winter? Be Sure to Fuel Correctly:
It’s important to tweak your nutrition to keep your training in full gear as temperatures plunge. Here's how to fuel in cold-weather conditions.
For those who like to train outdoors throughout the winter months, we salute you. From slippery sleet to skin-peeling wind chill, there’s seemingly nothing that can keep you inside. But if you’re brave enough to face the cold, then you need to understand how to properly adjust your fueling for your wintry outdoor pursuits.
The season of layers can be a time to make a few important tweaks to your sports nutrition habits. That’s because exercising in cold temperatures presents some unique nutrition and hydration challenges you’re not faced with during the summer months. Make a few missteps and it could suck all the remaining warmth out of your winter training.
Here’s everything you need to know to stay comfortable and safe while still performing at an optimal level—even when the weather outside is frightful.
More...from Outside Online.
11. Does Running Have a Drinking Problem?
A growing body of research says that no amount of alcohol is good for our fitness and health. It’s time to rethink our relationship with booze.
Pro ultrarunner Coree Woltering doesn’t do anything halfway. “If I’m going to do it, I want to do like 120 percent, no matter what it is,” he says. When he brings that attitude to his running and racing, the results speak for themselves—like setting a new fastest known time on the 1,000-plus-mile Ice Age Trail across Wisconsin in 2020.
However, Woltering also brought that attitude to the bar. “It wasn’t just a ‘let’s have two beers and be done’ thing,” says the 32-year-old from Dalton, Georgia. Two beers at his house would lead to four more at the bar. “Six a night would be normal.” The results were noteworthy—but in all the wrong ways. His training became inconsistent. After long nights out, he’d sometimes skip sessions. When he did get out to run, he found his focus and mental fortitude lacking. Woltering doesn’t take over-the-counter pain management medications like Tylenol or ibuprofen. Instead, he’d slam a beer or two late in a race, hoping to hush the screaming of his feet and legs.
More...from Runner's World.
12. Heart health, women and the limits of exercise:
Heart disease remains the No. 1 killer of American women -- and the risk extends to women like my friend Anne, who by all appearances was in great shape.
I want to talk to you about my friend Anne, who was 61, kind and capable, modest and fit. Anne passed away suddenly this month from a bolt-of-lightning heart attack, which is why I want to talk to you about my friend Anne and heart health and the solace — and limits — of exercise.
Anne and I met when our children joined the same sweet, crunchy elementary school, its curriculum more idealistic than clear-eyed about childhood. (Sample lesson: You and Jade each have two cookies. How many will you have after you share with Tristan and Isabelle?)
Anne and I bonded over our shared cynicism about our offsprings’ willingness to share cookies and our mutual interest in being outdoors. In the following years, we began regularly hiking and mountain biking together, in combination with various squads of spouses, friends, children and dogs. In 2017, with another friend, we trained for a half marathon, their first, my fourth. We all finished, and within a hairbreadth of our goal times.
More...from the Washington Post.
13. Key Micronutrients: Study Identifies Supplements That Benefit Cardiovascular Health:
A meta-analysis of more than 884 studies finds omega-3, folic acid, and CoQ10 among the micronutrients that reduce cardiovascular risk.
Healthy diets are rich in antioxidants like amino acids, omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamin C, but exactly how beneficial these micronutrients are for cardiovascular health has long been controversial. Now a new meta-analysis published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology provides some clarity.
Researchers systematically reviewed a total of 884 studies available to date on micronutrients taken as dietary supplements and analyzed their data. They identified several micronutrients that do reduce cardiovascular risk—as well as others that offer no benefit or even have a negative effect. More than 883,000 patients were involved in the combined studies.
“For the first time, we developed a comprehensive, evidence-based integrative map to characterize and quantify micronutrient supplements’ potential effects on cardiometabolic outcomes,” said Simin Liu, MD, MS, MPH, ScD, professor of epidemiology and medicine at Brown University and a principal investigator for the study. “Our study highlights the importance of micronutrient diversity and the balance of health benefits and risks.”
14. Life Time Survey: Building Muscle Tops Weight Loss As Primary Focus For 2023:
Life Time’s annual health and wellness survey of more than 1,000 fitness enthusiasts found that although separated by just two percent, building muscle topped weight loss as the primary focus for 2023, an increase of 10 percent from the 2022 survey and a departure from “losing weight,” which typically tops most New Year’s resolutions.
Life Time’s 2023 survey showed that 67 percent of respondents felt better about their health in 2022, having exercised more than in 2022 compared to 2021.
Respondents noted the following top fitness goals for 2023:
* Building muscle, 32 percent
* Weight loss, 30 percent
* Moving more, 14.6 percent
* Eating better, 12.9 percent
* Improving mental health, 10.5 percent
“The benefits of building and maintaining muscle go far beyond defined arms, abs and legs. In fact, it’s one of the most important aspects of long-term health and longevity, so this finding is music to my ears,” said Anika Christ, senior director of fitness and nutrition and RD, CPT, Life Time. “More often than not, people get fixated on dropping pounds as their priority when the reality is building strength leads to weight loss, the ability to do more in our daily tasks, an improved mental state, and so much more.”
More...from SBG Media.
15. These Are the Key Differences Between Road and Trail Runners:
A head-to-head lab showdown finds that power and efficiency depend on your preferred running surface.
There are two schools of thought about the differences between trail running and road running. One is that running is running: terrain and environment are minor details, and the best athletes in one discipline will probably also succeed in the other one. The other is that they’re two separate sports whose demands favor different characteristics. Drop Kilian Jornet into a road race or Emily Sisson into a trail race, and they’d be suddenly mortal.
A new study from French researchers at the University of Lyon, published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, probes this question by bringing elite road and trail runners into the lab for testing. Actually, that’s not quite right—the researchers brought the lab to national-team training camps hosted by the French Athletics Federation for their trail and road-running teams. That meant using a treadmill that only went up to around 7:00 miles and 10 percent incline—modest challenges for athletes of that caliber. But the results still offer some interesting insights about the similarities and differences between top road and trail runners.
More...from Sweat Science on Outside Online.