1. Resolve to Get Strong:
Skip the fad diets and detoxes. This year, resolve to do the one thing that improves health-span and lifespan—make muscle.
The new year inevitably ushers in a fresh crop of diet books and 30-day detoxes. Skip the keto, low-carb, and fasting. Detoxes and cleanses are no more than marketing scams with no real research support. If you want to do one thing that will improve your health, body composition, and lifespan—start a dedicated resistance training program and make muscle. This is especially true for females who start with less muscle mass, are at higher risk for muscle loss with age, and suffer a greater risk for premature death when muscle is low than males.
Women generally have less muscle than our male counterparts, especially in the upper body. We also go through the menopause transition, which research describes as a “vulnerable period for the loss of muscle mass” because of the loss in sex hormones. Muscle cell studies show that when researchers take estrogen away from animals, their ability to regenerate muscle stem cells can drop 30 to 60 percent. Muscle biopsies in women during the menopause transition show the same thing. A 2021 study found that women in late perimenopause had 10 percent less appendicular (i.e., arms and legs) skeletal muscle mass than those in early perimenopause. Late perimenopausal and postmenopausal women also had a greater likelihood of having sarcopenia (involuntary muscle loss) than early perimenopausal or premenopausal women.
More...from Dr. Stacy Sims.
2. Don’t exercise too hard in 2023, according to science:
hen you work out this year, don’t be afraid to take it easy,
If you’re one of the many people out there who don’t enjoy exercise, you probably envision working out as a grueling hour of pain and sweating. It’s a punishment for all those unhealthy snacks, a necessary evil but a horrible experience.
Lots of people view exercise this way, and it stops people from lacing up their best running shoes, or closing their rings on their Apple Watch, because they can’t bear the thought of another awful run. However, if you want to make 2023 your healthiest year ever, it’s helpful to know exercise doesn’t have to be hard, or intense. Research says doing something you enjoy, little and often, is the key to making a workout habit stick.
A paper published in the journal Frontiers in Psychology (opens in new tab) looks at what it takes for people to retain a workout habit. The researchers from universities in the US and Portugal, write “decades of reports have shown that health clubs register high dropout rates, particularly in the first three to six months of practice”.
3. At 85, regular exercise is keeping me active and healthy:
Octogenarian Douglas Cross on how he is keeping his blood pressure under control.
Devi Sridhar’s recommendation for people of all ages to exercise is absolutely on the ball (I’m an expert in public health. Which is why, aged 38, I’ve qualified as a personal trainer, 1 January). For years, up to my late 50s, I trained in and taught aikido. Now I have eight acres of field, wood and garden to manage, so every summer I cut, split and stack a couple of tons of logs for our winter fires.
But when my long-term cancer, under remission for 20 years, started to play up again, my medication pushed my blood pressure way up. I was prescribed pills to bring it back down again, but they only do so marginally. So, as I still lead a pretty active life, I needed to find a way to keep mobile while dealing with that potentially life-threatening condition.
I decided to set up a little home gym to improve flexibility and mobility. It’s very basic, with an exercise bike and electric treadmill, together with a blood pressure monitor. I started off gently, doing half an hour of exercise three times a week, and taking short breaks when my pulse rate doubled. And within a month, those little rests became ever less necessary.
More...from The Guardian.
4. Should Beginners Focus on Running More or Running Faster?
You have recently started your running journey and are excited to put your best foot forward. You decide to run as fast as you can and sprint your first 100m. However, a few minutes into the run, you end up with side stitches and feel exhausted with no energy to run further. The next day, you decide to run slowly to cover more distance, but eventually, you get tired and demotivated to keep running. So, what went wrong?
As a new runner, you may wonder if you should work on your ability to run faster or improve your distance. However, before you make that decision, let us help you in understanding the basics of running.
Distance vs speed for beginner runners
Every runner has goals like losing weight, improving overall health, or training for a race. However, regardless of the goal, the two important training variables for your running plan are speed and distance.
Now, let us compare a human body to the engine of a sports car, like a Ferrari. This sports automobile is known for its superior speed. However, its capability to go fast depends on the power of its engine. Similarly, your body needs a powerful engine, in this case, a strong aerobic base, to run fast and sustain good speed over a longer duration.
5. Best Puma Running Shoes of 2023: What We Know:
What You Need To Know
Our takeaways from The Running Event 2022 in Austin, Texas
Highlights from Puma include the Deviate Elite 2, Magnify Nitro 2, and Voyage Nitro 3
Some minor and major upgrades, with a promising trail segment
Not fully inclusive of all 2023 shoes
Puma seemingly didn’t exist in running, until they did. And damn did they show up in 2021 with a statement that put them right back into the run conversation. With a core lineup of the Velocity Nitro, Deviate Nitro, and Liberate Nitro, they gave us a set of reliable shoes at a fair price point.
The supercritical Nitro midsole provided a responsive ride that embraced the simplistic joy of running. And they didn’t stop there, refining those models in concurrent versions, fixing the things that didn’t work and keeping the things that did. Oh, and they also put a race day shoe (Deviate Nitro Elite) on Molly Seidel as she took home bronze at the Tokyo Olympics.
That said, probably no company struggled more than Puma during the logistics debacle of Covid. For the better part of a year, the shoes would randomly go on sale, then disappear. After Molly’s performance in Tokyo, the Deviate Nitro Elite was just… nowhere to be found. For a long time. And then there was the Fast-R, the next generation of racing, which is again currently sold out, but was apparently available at some point.
More...from Believe in the Run.
6. I Run With Nothing But Coffee In My Stomach. Is That Destroying My Insides?
Let's talk about the hot topic of coffee with Endurance nutritionist and elite mountain athlete Alex Hasenohr fields common questions about fueling and running.
Question: I run super early in the morning and only slug a cup of caffeinated coffee before my run. No food. Is that bad for my stomach?
Caffeine is a hot topic in the world of sports nutrition, and there has been so much research in the recent past about its benefits on exercise and performance. Caffeine is a natural stimulant and can be an effective performance enhancer when consumed by athletes in low to moderate dosages. For both strength and endurance athletes, it may increase muscular strength and power, increase aerobic endurance, increase jumping, sprinting and throwing performance, and enhance alertness. It can also spare glycogen sources, allowing your body to utilize fat as its main fuel source.
But, before we get into running with caffeine, what does drinking a cup of coffee on an empty stomach do? Let’s talk about that.
More...from Women's Running.
7. Benefits of Working Out in the Morning:
our schedule dictates when you can work out, but are you missing substantial performance benefits if you train in the evening instead of the morning?
College and pro athletes and members of the military often don’t have a choice when they train. But for everyone else, you can usually fit your workouts around your schedule to some extent. Whether you’re already an early bird exerciser or are considering switching up some of your later sessions, let’s look at why morning training can be beneficial.
Improved Cognitive Function
Research conducted by Dr. John Ratey, associate clinical professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, has shown that morning movement increases the production of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). This potent protein prompts the growth, maturation, and development of new brain cells.
During an episode of the Barbell Shrugged podcast, Ratey described it as “the queen of all brain growth factors” and stated that “BDNF increases dramatically when you exercise. And it does that because when you’re exercising, when you’re moving, you are using more brain cells than in any other activity.” In his book Spark, Ratey revealed that kids who worked out in the morning before class improved their test scores by 17%, increased their attendance, and stabilized their mood. The same benefits could cross over into your own workdays if you get an earlier start to your training.
More...from Training Pweaks.
8. New cycling training app connects power and recovery data to tell you when to train:
Data from Whoop, Zwift, Garmin and more are laid over a traditional training plan to help you hit your goals.
It's well known that the adaptation to training stimulus only occurs during the subsequent rest and recovery period. Therefore if done correctly, combining training data with recovery data has the potential to revolutionize the way athletes train. However, despite recovery apps such as Whoop having been around for more than a decade already, the integration of this data with training platforms is still in its infantry. Training Peaks overlays the data into its PMC (Performance Management Chart), it has been suggested as a 'coming soon' feature by Wahoo Systm and considered by TrainerRoad as a possible future development.
However, now, little-known American cycling training company FasCat Coaching has an app that takes the data and turns it into a simple view that helps its users decide when to train and when to take it easy. It's called FasCat, with the key feature being known as 'Optimize', and it is the brainchild of pioneering sports scientist Frank Overton.
More...from Cycling Weekly.
9. The Fallacy Of Failure:
What happens if we accept and embrace failure? British sprinter Imani-Lara Lansiquot talks about failure and how she learnt to come out on top
We can all picture what the perfect student at school used to look like. Seated at the front of the class, pens neatly arranged in a fresh pencil case and a ruler-straight line underneath the date on the page of a new notebook. Shrinking unless she’s 99.9% sure she can give the correct answer and doubting the ones she knows are true. I was this student at school. At times, I felt as if I was living in a tiny constructed box of possible outcomes, where my ultimate mission was to avoid failing at all costs.
It turns out that I was not a rare case. Findings from a Programme for International Student Assessment study concluded that British teenage girls rank alarmingly highly for their fear of failure, ranking fifth in this measure across 79 nations. Another study taken by Borgonovi and Han (2021) also found a statistically greater prevalence of fear of failure amongst 15-year-old girls compared to their male classmates. Strikingly, this finding was even higher amongst girls who were “high achievers” in schoo
10. Self Reported History of Eating Disorders, Training, Weight Control Methods, and Body Satisfaction in Elite Female Runners Competing at the 2020 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials:
Athletes participating in endurance sports report frequent attempts to lose weight and greater training volumes in attempt to gain a competitive advantage. Increased exercise energy expenditure through training, weight periodization, and prevalence of eating disorder (ED) may affect energy availability. Low energy availability (LEA) is associated with negative physiological effects and an increased risk of bone fractures and illness in athletes. This study investigated the relationship between self-reported history of an ED with training, body satisfaction, and weight-control methods among female Olympic marathon trials participants. Female runners (n = 146; 30.8 ± 5.0 years of age) who participated in the 2020 U.S. Olympic Team Trials Marathon completed an online questionnaire examining training volume, weight-control methods, and self-reported diagnosis of an ED. 32% of participants reported previous ED while 6% reported a current ED and were grouped together based on a self-reported lifetime diagnosis of ED (current or past) or no ED for further analysis. A Chi-square analysis indicated a statistical difference when p = 0.05. Runners who reported ED were significantly more likely to experience weight dissatisfaction (?2 3,146 = 9.59, p = .022) and restricting or reducing food in the three months prior to the marathon (?2 5,146 = 17.58, p = .004). Consistent with previous literature, a substantial percentage of participants reported ED. This investigation suggests that ED may be associated with weight control methods and feelings of body dissatisfaction in competitive female runners.
More...from International Journale of Exercise Science.
11. Researchers warn of potentially fatal condition for open-water swimmers:
Swimming-induced pulmonary oedema involves the accumulation of fluid in the lungs of swimmers without it having been inhaled
A potentially life-threatening condition that can affect fit and healthy open-water swimmers causing them to “drown from the inside” may involve a buildup of fluid in the heart muscle, researchers have suggested.
Swimming-induced pulmonary oedema – SIPE – is a form of immersion pulmonary oedema and involves the accumulation of fluid in the lungs of swimmers without it having been inhaled. The condition is thought to be a result of increased pressure on the body’s blood vessels as a result of exertion, immersion and cold.
The condition can cause breathing difficulties, low blood oxygen levels, coughing, frothy or blood-stained spit and, in some cases, death.
More...from The Guardian.
12. Think you might be low on iron? Here’s what to do about it"
Iron deficiency anemia is the most common nutrient deficiency in the world, with women and young children being affected the most.
Because iron is needed for many different functions in the body, deficiency symptoms can vary among individuals. The most common sign, though, is fatigue – even a mild dip in iron stores can make you feel sluggish and weak.
Here’s what to know about iron deficiency anemia – how to identify and treat it, plus diet strategies to maintain healthy iron stores.
Why you need iron
Your body uses iron to make hemoglobin, a protein in red blood cells that transports oxygen from your lungs to your organs and other bodily tissues. Without adequate iron, your body can’t produce enough oxygen-carrying hemoglobin, which can leave you feeling tired and short of breath.
More...from the Globe and Mail.
13. The Heartache of Being Sidelined From Your Favorite Sport:
Sitting out during an injury can feel a lot like grief. Experts provide tips on how to handle it.
Kate Mroz was training for the 2019 Chicago Marathon when her leg gave out during a run along the Charles River in Cambridge, Mass. The 33-year-old theology professor called an Uber to take her home. Later, she learned she’d sustained a hairline fracture on her thigh bone. With two weeks until race day, her marathon plans were thwarted; even jogging caused unbearable pain.
“I remember missing the bus to work one day because I could not run across the street to catch it,” said Mrs. Mroz, who also works as a run coach. “Thinking that, just weeks before, I was knocking out 15- to 20-mile runs was devastating.”
Ms. Mroz was cleared to run after a 14 week hiatus, but the time away challenged her mental health. “I fell into a deep depression that often went unnoticed — with the exception of my husband, who had to live with me,” she said. “I was still doing well at my job and had recently published a paper. Inside, however, I was hurting.”
More...from the New York Times.
14. When it comes to staying on pace in warmer conditions, women trump men:
Female runners slow down less than male runners in warmer weather conditions, according to new study of marathon runners.
Staying on pace during the second half of a marathon can be a challenge in even the most favourable of weather conditions. Add in a little heat and the task becomes harder still – but women are better at it than men.
That’s according to a new study, published in the journal Science & Sports, that assessed 167 recreational runners (123 women and 44 men). The researchers were interested in examining the degree of slowing (first- vs second-half time) in the marathon between sexes and environmental conditions.
The participants were assessed over the course of two marathons: one in cool conditions, the other in warm conditions. The researchers found that the degree of slowing differed between cool and warm weather conditions and between males and females. 'Males slow more than females during the marathon, and warm weather leads to a greater degree of slowing in both [although more so in men].’
More...from Runner's World.
15. Sitting too much is bad for your health, but offsetting the impact is easy, study shows:
Sure, you’ve heard the dangers of sitting all day, but with most jobs there isn’t much you can do about it, right?
Not according to a new study, which looked into the impacts of prolonged sitting.
Five minutes of light walking every half hour can help alleviate some of the increased risk that comes with sitting for long stretches of the day, according to the study published Thursday in the journal of the American College of Sports Medicine.
The scientific community has known for decades that sitting can increase risk of chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease and certain types of cancers, said Keith Diaz, the study’s lead author and assistant professor of behavioral medicine at Columbia University Medical Center. But until now there haven’t been clear guidelines about how long you can sit and how often you should be moving.