Did you know?
the years of research and mountains of data, there is still no
definitive answer to whether stretching is worth your time and effort.
Proponents argue that stretching prevents injury, diminishes delayed
onset muscle soreness and improves athletic performance. Opponents
will argue that stretching can actually cause injury, and does nothing
to improve performance or prevent delayed onset muscle soreness. In
fact, there are many experts who not only believe stretching does nothing
to improve performance, but that it can significantly hinder it. Researchers
from the Eastern Washington University found that pre-exercise stretching
caused hamstring fatigue. As a rule of thumb, stretch after you train. (J
Sports Sci, 21: 163-170,2003)
…sport specific-training is becoming very popular, even among weekend warriors for the simple reason that it works. Single leg squats, which I highlight in my “Exercise of the Month” column, are an excellent way to strengthen and build the major muscles of the leg. Sport-specific training dictates that you train according to your sports needs. The action of single leg squats is a basic movement similarly used in tennis, baseball, football, wrestling and basketball, just to name a few. Use this movement to help develop power and technique on and off the field.
…endurance athletes tend to have low testosterone levels. Most endurance athletes are grossly over-trained. This high work load lowers the amount of hormones produced by the hypothalamus and pituitary gland. These hormones control testosterone levels in men. A study performed at the University of North Carolina Found that hormone suppression increases as the work load increases. (Eur. J. Appl. Physiology, 89: 198-201, 2003)
…that scientists are studying what exercises work their targeted muscles best. Scientists do this by using EMG (electromiograqphy), which measures the electrical activity of muscles during exercise. The higher the electrical activity, the more the muscle is working. A study done at the University of Miami found that wide grip anterior (front) lat pull downs are best for building the lats than behind the neck or closed grip versions. (J Strength Cond. Res., 16: 539-546, 2002)
…that eating a diet high in carbohydrates, especially high glycemic carbs, can lead to heart disease. Eating a high amount of sugars leads to high insulin levels which over time have been shown to correlate with low levels of HDL or good cholesterol and high triglyceride levels. Insulin is directly involved with plaque buildup in arteries. Stay away from simple carbs as much as possible.
…fructose can switch your metabolism from a fat-burning to a fat-storage machine by promoting the formation of long-chain fatty acids, which are resistant to oxidation. Whatever you eat that doesn’t get oxidized (burned for fuel) gets stored in the body. The more long-chain fatty acids you produce, the fatter you will become.
…that according to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, there was a sharp increase in the rate of obesity right around 1980 that continues today. What could have caused this? There was also an increase in the number of candy, gum, baked goods and snacks being produced. What do these foods have in common? SUGAR! In particular, fructose.
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