Do you find yourself twiddling your thumbs or tapping your feet and fingers out of boredom? You may be taking part in what some experts call “incidental physical activity.” A study published last month took a look at physical movements people make that don’t involve formal exercise and what kind of role they may play in people’s health.
Some of the incidental activity they considered had more purpose than tapping toes, such as preparing dinner or pulling weeds in the yard.
What ultimately matters is, do these activities have an impact on our physical fitness? The key may be in something called VO2 max, which is a reference to the amount of oxygen a person can utilize during an intense exercise. While it is used to measure an athletes cardiovascular and endurance fitness level, it has also been seen as an important predictor of the risk for premature death. (more…)
My marathon career began in 2007. My journey began as a slow and uninformed runner. Today I am proud to be a a two time Boston Marathon finisher. My journey may be unique, but I believe the lessons I’ve learned along the way could be of value to any runner or hopeful Boston Qualifier.
1. Respect the Distance
Every race distance must be respected. However, many gifted runners can water down the training for shorter distances. But not the marathon. The marathon is a beast that will eat you up and spit you out if you don’t properly train. The distance is tough enough, do not add insult to injury by not sticking to proper training. If the week day plan says to run 10 miles, a slap of the snooze button and a 5 miler will cost you. If the plan says your long run this weekend is to be 20 miles, 16 IS NOT 20. That choice could equal you pleading with your maker at mile 21 of the race to just “make it all go away!”
Bottom line. Keep the beast happy and train properly.
I recently took my jogging stroller out for a spin for the first time. With an April 2010 baby, she was never big enough to go for runs last summer and fall. But when the weather finally broke this spring, my 20-pound daughter was able to join me. So I dusted off the jogger, put an organic graham cracker and sippy of water in her hands, and headed through the neighborhood on my usual three-mile route.
The run was fairly typical – mentally I’m a much stronger runner than I am physically. I know I can, and I tell myself “Just make it to that mailbox. Good job. Now make it to that shrub,” but my legs are always back talking!
However, I wasn’t a full mile in to the run when my upper arms started throbbing. I thought maybe there was something wrong with my circulation, not being used to grasping the stroller handles while running. By the time I made it home by legs and arms were feeling the burn, but I couldn’t figure out why.
The next day I asked our resident fitness expert and blog editor, Kelly Turner, what the heck was going on. It was a double dose of good news – my circulation was fine, and I was getting an upper-body workout. (more…)
While studying mice, researchers in Canada found that endurance exercise protected them against premature aging. The mice were even genetically engineered to age faster than normal.
The mice that ran on a treadmill three times a week for five months looked as young as the mice that were not genetically engineered. However, those mice that didn’t exercise exhibited similar aging traits as human males – they were graying, balding, and became less fertile. (more…)
Without a doubt, physical exercise is important for each and every person on this planet. Unfortunately, some people don’t receive all the benefits of every workout, and may even incur some unwanted side effects. When this happens, it’s usually because of a chosen lifestyle that inhibits the body’s ability to function properly. For example, a lot of smokers believe that exercise can cancel out the negative effects of their habit. This is simply not true.
Everyone knows by now that smoking is dangerous; it causes numerous health complications and even death. Cigarettes affect the body in the exact opposite way that exercise does. All of the hard work you do during a workout is negated by the poisonous chemicals in a cigarette. Besides that, even a mild smoker prevents their organs from performing in top condition and then demands that those same organs support their body during an intense workout.