1. Is it safe to run when pregnant?
Fear, misinformation and outdated attitudes lead many pregnant women to park their running shoes, but the latest science and lived experience shows running can bring many benefits for mums and their babies
Fear of harming their unborn child has led to many women giving up running during pregnancy. And it’s easy to see why. When a public figure is seen exercising while heavily pregnant there’s often a backlash accusing her of acting selfishly. The stats show that almost half of women stop running during pregnancy, with many citing anxiety, nervousness or fear of miscarriage as the reasons, according to a 2022 survey published in the Journal of Women's Health Physical Therapy.
‘I miscarried at seven weeks when first pregnant. I had been running three times a week. My partner, family and midwife at the time made me feel like this had something to do with the miscarriage. So, I've never ran pregnant since then,’ says one telling survey response.
More...from Runner's World.
2. “Critical Power” Exercise Prescriptions – Greater Improvements and Longer-Lasting Benefits:
Using something known as ‘critical power,’ the team hopes to develop exercise prescriptions.
Anyone who frequently exercises is familiar with the phenomenon wherein two individuals with comparable levels of fitness may do the same exercise and have vastly different outcomes. It’s extremely frustrating for individuals who can’t seem to progress despite their best efforts.
Exercise science researchers at Brigham Young University have tried to address the issue since they are familiar with the feeling. Good news: they think they’ve figured out the code.
3. Sleep, Recovery, and Athletic Performance:
A Brief Review and Recommendations.
For elite athletes, to achieve optimal athletic performance, they must follow a systematic approach to training centered on the fundamental principle of the “training response” (16), which focuses on obtaining a balance between stress, fatigue, and recovery, termed the stress/fatigue state (1). Kentta and Hassmen (10) described the stress/fatigue state as a psychosociophysiological phenomenon (9) with psychological, social, and physiological factors recognized to have the greatest impact on this state. Therefore, athletes must consider strategies with the potential to promote recovery, thereby reducing the stress/fatigue state. However, one such strategy is sleep; despite the importance of sleep in optimizing recovery and athletic performance (8), sleep as a recovery strategy is often inadequately addressed and/or overlooked by athletes (3,25). This is surprising as Fallon (6) reported that sleep not only ranked as the most prominent problem among athletes when asked to identify main causes of fatigue and tiredness but also (its characteristics such as quality and quantity) ranked first when asked about the aspects they thought were important causes of short-term fatigue
More...from Strength & Conditioning Journal.
4. Brooks Hyperion Max Review: Not Max, But Still Pretty Great:
What You Need To Know
Weighs 7.9 oz. (223 g) for a US M10.5/ 6.7 oz. (190 g) for a US W8
Nitrogen-infused DNA Flash midsole, higher stack than the Hyperion Tempo
Works great as a lightweight daily trainer or tempo shoe
Stack height of 33 mm in the heel/25 mm in forefoot (8 mm drop)
Available January 1, 2023 for $170
ROBBE: Sometimes you fall in love with a shoe, and sometimes it falls in love with you. It follows you around, DMs you with things like “when are we going out?” and “Would love to get to know you better,” and “Can you go buy an Apple gift card from Royal Farms and send me the code?” But I only send gift cards to those in need via Instagram DM, not to a pair of shoes with a fake profile pic. Nevertheless, I still went on a handful of dates with the Brooks Hyperion Max. And while its profile pic looks a bit different irl, I’d still give it my social security number if it promised not to share it.
There was much discussion on our YouTube first thoughts on this shoe as to whether the name “Hyperion Max” is a misnomer or an oxymoron. It’s kind of both. Because it’s not a max cushion shoe, in the way that the Hoka Bondi, New Balance More v4, or Saucony Triumph 20 are max cushion shoes. It’s more of a “mid-Max.” It’s only max in that Brooks designed it to be a maxed-out version of the Hyperion Tempo (now simply called the Hyperion). It’s also not really that either, so the Hyperion Max is also a misnomer. For those experiencing insomnia, reread that paragraph 10 times over for your daily dose of word melatonin.
More...from Belive in the Run.
5. Tips for Maintaining Gut Health During the Holidays:
These three tips will help you feel lighter and healthier during the holidays — even when feasting.
With COVID cases soaring, nasty respiratory infections on the rise, and the usual cold and flu doing the rounds, your immune system is facing a stern test this winter. One of the keys to keeping yourself and your family healthy as you head into the holidays is preserving your gut health, and yet the typical festive diet is hardly conducive to that. Let’s look at which foods and beverages to limit and those you should load up on to help ward off sickness and promote overall well-being.
1. Find Fermented Foods
Historically, the aim of fermenting foods was to preserve them, particularly before refrigeration was a thing. But more recently, science has shown that they also support optimal gut health.
Researchers from Stanford School of Medicine compared two groups over 10 weeks. The first followed a high-fiber diet while the second incorporated fermented products like kimchi, kombucha, and pickled vegetables. The second group had an increase in the diversity of gut microbiota and had lower levels of 19 inflammatory markers related to immunity. The researchers noted that while the high-fiber group didn’t experience the microbiome changes they hypothesized over the 10-week study period, eating a lot of fiber for a longer period might.
More...from TRaining Peaks.
6.Why it’s so hard for athletes to hang up their spikes:
Most athletes don’t choose when they get to retire, writes Katharine Merry, and it can be an incredibly difficult transition to make for many reasons
Retirement has felt like a recurring theme across the sporting world lately. Roger Federer and Serena Williams saying farewell to tennis have of course been the most high-profile examples but, even a little closer to home, Tom Bosworth and James Dasaolu have stepped off the track for good, while Mo Farah’s late withdrawal from the London Marathon in October heightened the discussion around how much longer he can keep going for.
Former British Lion Brian O’Driscoll made a TV documentary this year, speaking to a number of former sports stars about how difficult it is to move on from that purpose which defined your identity. I can completely relate to that. It really isn’t easy.
In my experience, I’ve found that most track and field athletes don’t choose to retire on their own terms. Jessica Ennis-Hill is probably the last one I can remember who was able to decide her retirement plan and not be forced out through injury.
More...from Athletics Weekly.
7. How gut bacteria helps you exercise by sending dopamine hits to the brain:
A compelling new study has identified a gut-brain pathway in mice that connects specific gut bacteria with an animal's motivation for exercise. If the same pathway is confirmed in humans it could mean modifying one's microbiome may help prompt a desire for exercise.
The relationship between exercise and gut bacteria is a relatively nascent corner of the microbiome research world. A few years ago researchers from Harvard Medical School presented a compelling hypothesis: could the microbes living in our gut be influencing our athletic performance?
Studying the microbiomes of 15 elite marathon runners, the research found not only were specific bacterial species detected in greater abundance in the athletes compared to normal individuals, but there were intriguing changes to the runners' microbiomes in the lead up to, and aftermath of, a big marathon. The study speculated certain bacteria could be "performance enhancing."
More...from New Atlas.
8. Harsh reality of coaching:
Being an athletics coach can be a hugely rewarding pursuit but it can also be costly and undervalued with a culture desperately in need of change
This year I coached at the European Championships, went warm-weather training in Portugal with England Athletics, guided English Schools winners, national age group champions and top-ranked athletes in the horizontal jumps and multi-events across all age groups. I had athletes from the USA and Singapore come and train with me while, on my social media channels, I have close to 60,000 followers and my YouTube channel gets thousands of views every day. On the face of it, I appear to be pretty good at coaching, yet the reality is that financially it can be a real struggle.
I often say to myself that I shouldn’t complain – after all I am being paid to teach people to jump into sand and run faster. I’ve done what I call much harder, “proper” jobs in my life. The trouble is, though, I shouldn’t be thinking like that. Coaching athletics is a proper job and it needs to be rewarded and acknowledged as such.
More...from Athletics Weekly.
9. Why an Australian woman does NOT want transgender women competing against biological females who are being 'sacrificed on the altar of woke':
* Australian YouTube pundit Sydney Watson says trans women are not real women
* She argues there are fundamental biological differences that can't be erased
* It is sad if trans people can't play a sport but this is a small minority, she says
* Ms Watson says 'normal' people should not be dictated to by a small group
Popular YouTube right-wing pundit Sydney Watson says allowing gender transitioned women who have gone through male puberty to compete in female sports is 'crazy'.
The Melbourne-raised commentator, who has nearly 800,000 subscribers to her YouTube channel, said female athletes are being sacrificed 'on the altar of woke' by having to compete with biological men.
Ms Watson, who is visiting family in Australia but has lived in the US since 2019, says that she will calls a trans person by their preferred pronoun but won't pretend they are something they are not.
More...from the Daily Mail.
10. Best Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis in 2022:
Finding ways to improve your health and wellness can be an exciting process. Depending on your goals, there are different approaches you can take. Some opt for the nutritional route, exploring things like the best vitamin E supplements or the difference between whey and pea protein.
Of the many changes you can make, staying active can be one of the greatest steps you take toward greater health and longevity. Recent studies have concluded that regular activity, such as walking, may help reduce anxiety and tension, improve cholesterol, manage hypertension, and even help with weight loss.(1)
One of the most overlooked tools that help with increased activity is shoes. If you’re looking to become more active, having the proper support in the form of the best insoles or best shoes will help ensure you can stay active for a long time. If you missed it, we recently did a roundup of the best running shoes and the best shoes for flat feet.
11. Should you go training on Christmas Day?
There's a pretty infamous story in athletic circles about Seb Coe going training on Christmas Day in 1979. That winter was particularly harsh in the U.K. but, despite the nasty weather, he got up and did a hard 12-mile run early in the morning before sitting down to enjoy the Coe family’s turkey dinner.
In the afternoon Seb sat around relaxing with the family but, after a while, he noticed he was beginning to feel a bit uneasy. Eventually he realised that the source of his growing discontent was not the amount of sprouts he’d eaten, but the fact he was pretty sure his rival Steve Ovett was out doing his second run of the day whilst he was just slobbing out on the sofa!
So, he got kitted up again and went and did some hill reps in the ice and snow to make sure he wasn't being outdone by his nemesis.
Many years later, Seb and Steve met for dinner and Coe told Ovett about what he’d done all those Christmases a go. Steve was highly amused and quipped back ‘Did you only go out twice that day?!’ (For the full story, see this Daily Telegraph article from 2009).
More...from Precision Hydration.
12. A Winter Workout That Can Take You Somewhere Stunning:
Snowshoeing is a strenuous, affordable antidote to cabin fever.
If you’re like a growing number of people, your holiday gift haul might include a pair of snowshoes. Some 3.6 million Americans took part in the sport in the winter of 2019-2020, and that was before the surge in outdoor activities brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic. As snow hits the ground in record-breaking amounts in some parts of the country, now is a good time to give the sport a try.
Snowshoeing not only helps you maintain your fitness through the winter, but can often even improve it. The sport is accessible, has a relatively short learning curve and doesn’t require a big investment in equipment, unlike other winter activities like skiing. Today’s sleek, lightweight snowshoes are a far cry from the webbed wooden tennis rackets of the 1970s and there’s a type for everyone, from casual walkers to competitive runners.
More...from the New York Times.
13. Impact of menstrual cycle on athletics performance:
Earlier this year the comments of a number of high-profile athletes sparked an important discussion about periods – a complex issue which requires careful management
Dina Asher-Smith grabbed the headlines at the European Championships in Munich as much for her comments off the track as her performances on it. After limping out of the women’s 100m final with calf cramps, she later admitted it was “girls’ stuff” that had caused the issue and called for more research to be done on the menstrual cycle and its impact on performance.
“We see girls that have been consistent have a random dip. Behind the scenes they are really struggling, while everyone is thinking, ‘What’s that? That’s random’. We just need more funding,” she said. “I feel like if it was a men’s issue there would be a million different ways to combat things. But with women there just needs to be more funding in that area.”
More...from Athletics Weekly.
14. Netflix branches out into fitness content with upcoming launch of Nike Training Club classes:
Netflix is officially branching out into fitness content, as the company announced today that it’s going to start streaming Nike Training Club classes next week. The streaming service will release a total of 30 hours of exercise sessions in two separate batches. The programs, which include workouts for all fitness levels, will be available in multiple languages on all Netflix plans.
The first batch of fitness classes will launch on December 30, with the second batch releasing in 2023. A total of 45 episodes will be part of the first batch, which will include the following classes: Kickstart Fitness with the Basics, Two Weeks to a Stronger Core, Fall in Love with Vinyasa Yoga, HIIT & Strength with Tara, and Feel-Good Fitness. Once the classes are released, Netflix users will be able to search “Nike” to access them.
For those unfamiliar with the Nike Training Club app, it offers a range of options for people of all fitness levels, including strength training, yoga and high-intensity workouts led by Nike’s certified trainers. Nike Training Club can in some ways be compared to Apple Fitness+ or Peloton.
More...from Tech Crunch+.
15. The blunt scientific truth about transgender women’s athletic ability:
Even after a decade of hormone therapy, trans women are stronger and faster than cis women
n a new study, researchers at the University of São Paulo assessed the strength and aerobic ability of transgender women undergoing long-term hormone therapy as well as those of cisgender men and women matched by age and physical activity levels. The researchers found that transgender women had about 40% greater muscle mass than cisgender women. Moreover, they were about 19% stronger and had 20% greater cardiopulmonary capacity. By current NCAA and Olympic rules, these women are allowed to compete in women's sporting events.
Whether or not transgender women should be allowed to participate in sports along with cisgender women has been controversial (to put it mildly), with strong feelings and compelling arguments on both sides of the debate.
Those opposed to their participation generally contend that transgender women — who were born as biological males — have an unfair advantage over their cisgendered competitors owing to their earlier development as men, which boosted their physical ability. Those in favor of their participation argue that excluding them harms their well-being and violates their human rights.
More...from Big Think.