5. How fitness can be a form of self-care and self-compassion:
Over the last few years there’s been a subtle yet powerful paradigm shift within the fitness industry. Sure, the marketing machine still promotes the same old nonsense about abs and aesthetics, but pay attention and you’ll see signs of something else – the idea that fitness can be a form of self-care and self-compassion.
I had to learn this the hard way. Leading up to the COVID-19 pandemic, my own mental health was a mess. The slow creep of dementia had finally stolen my mother for good; my family and I were left to pick up the pieces of our shared and shattered lives as best we could, though as anyone who has experienced this sort of pain can attest, there really is no return to normalcy. You just adapt to a weird new world inhabited by ghosts.
As a fitness professional, I figured I knew exactly how to handle all of this distress. I was exercising in the gym nearly every day before the world shut down, pushing myself as hard as I could as often as I could. It wasn’t until most of my hair fell out that I began to question this approach. Soon after, I started seeing a therapist who taught me just how our brains benefit from exercise – as long as you do it right.
More...from the Globe and Mail.
6. Does exercise weaken your immune system?
t’s been suggested that prolonged and vigorous exercise weakens (or suppresses) our immune system and increases susceptibility to 'opportunistic' infection. Certainly, this was the conclusion that researchers were drawing from studies in the 1980s and 1990s.
But recent reviews of the research offer an alternative angle to this 'immunosuppressive' viewpoint as exercise has been found to boost our immune function and strengthen our resistance to illness and long-term disease, IF we find the 'sweet spot' when it comes to exercise duration and intensity...
Exercise and immunosuppression - early research
Early exercise-illness studies conducted at the end of the 20th century asked runners whether they were experiencing any symptoms of an upper respiratory infection (valid symptoms included a runny nose, cough, or sore throat) after competing in a mass participation, long distance event.
Many of the participants confirmed that they were indeed suffering one or more of these symptoms, which led to the link between exercise and a greater risk of infection.
And so the seed for the argument that exercise has an ‘immunosuppressive’ effect on people was sown...
More...from Precision Hydration.
7. Strength to keep running - Training through the menopause:
For sports educator Irene Clarke, digging deep into research around menopausal athletes and offering a tailored programme to suit specific needs came about by chance.
The West Waterford AC athlete began coaching a large group for the 2016 Dublin marathon, when a pattern quickly emerged.
The majority of the men, and younger females in her group were progressing through the programme, but women from their mid-40s on were having more difficulties.
"They weren't responding in the same way," she told the RTÉ Running Podcast.
The symptoms ranged from increased fatigue, lack of sleep, joint aches, increased need of recovery time and greater susceptibility to injury. There were also instances of low level anxiety and mood issues which impacted on training.
Clarke decided to immerse herself in menopause education, learning more around nutrition, recovery and training for menopausal women.
8. I’m Obsessed With My Massage Gun. Is That a Bad Thing?
They’re the hot new recovery tool. Here’s what to keep in mind when using one, according to physical therapists.
There’s one thing that keeps me going back to my gym. It’s not the classes, the weight section, or even the sauna—it’s the massage guns. At least a dozen Theragun Pros, which retail at $599, are available for member use. And after just a few times of hammering the percussive device into my quads, calves, and glutes, I was completely addicted.
The tool mimicked the feeling of the massages I couldn’t afford. As I applied the device’s powerful vibrations to my major muscle groups, recovery seemed so simple and accessible. Whether it was the placebo effect or a true physical benefit, I felt my day-after-training soreness decrease.
Sensing my obsession with the device, my roommate gifted me a more affordable version for my birthday. I no longer had to walk four blocks to use a massage gun. Just got home from a run? Here was time for my favorite recovery tool. Curled up on the couch watching Netflix? I reached for the instrument.
But as I continuously grabbed my massage gun, I stopped engaging in other forms of recovery. My stretching regimen became lackluster. My foam roller gathered dust under the bed. Noticing this, I reminded myself of a past lesson I’d learned when it came to training: too much of a good thing can actually be a bad thing. Did the same ethos apply to a recovery device?
More...from Outside Online.
9. What running does to the knees, according to a large survey of marathon runners:
Many doctors see osteoarthritis as a “wear-and-tear” condition, but a large survey among long-distance runners found no increased knee or hip risks
Runners often hear the warning “Keep pounding the pavement and you’ll destroy your knees.” A new study found that runners were not more likely to develop hip or knee osteoarthritis the longer, faster and more frequently they ran.
Osteoarthritis, a condition marked by deteriorating cartilage where the bones meet, affects more than 32.5 million adults in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. As the cartilage cushioning the bones wears down, osteoarthritis can cause pain, stiffness and even disability. It’s the most common form of arthritis, especially among older adults, and there’s no known cure.
“Once it’s there, it’s there,” said Dr. Matthew Hartwell, an orthopedic surgeon at the University of California, San Francisco, and a lead author on the new study, which is scheduled to be presented Thursday during the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons' annual meeting. “You can’t re-form the cartilage.”
More...from "I really struggled to get the diagnosis that I needed [for] years and years. As a consequence, I wound further and further into this energy deficit, developed all sorts of health consequences."
More...from the Frontiers.
12. Nike ZoomX Invincible 3 Review: What The Heel:
ROBBE: “Everybody Loves ZoomX” was a failed sitcom that nobody watched or even noticed. Released in 2019, the show only lasted for a single pilot on local access television, which we’re not even sure exists anymore. Critics said the show was judged by its title alone; audiences simply assumed it was a pitch for an already-existent Elon Musk pet project. In reality, it was just a documentary about shoe nerds talking about a midsole foam. This explains its failure to resonate with the general public.
Nevertheless, its title doesn’t lie: everybody really does love ZoomX. Despite its micro cult status within the world at large, ZoomX changed the game when it first landed a starring role in the first version of the Vaporfly 4%. Since then, it’s been used in various forms, some to resounding affectation (Pegasus Turbo 2), some to booing and hissing (the garbage recycled version found in the Zoom Fly 5).
But only one shoe fully encapsulated ZoomX in all its bouncy, gooey goodness– the Nike Invincible. Full transparency, we weren’t huge fans of the original Invincible. It was more of a personal preference on our end, but we get why a lot of people absolutely loved it. The upper was extremely comfortable, the midsole was thick and bouncy, the stack height provided protection for long miles on the road. For whatever reason, we just didn’t get along with it. If you did– well, that’s awesome.
More...from Believe in the Run.
13. HIIT vs SIT: Do They Get You Equally Fit?
There are 1001 different intervals, and each athlete and coach has their favourite. Does a 4×4 interval get you the same fitness changes as Tabata-style sprint intervals, or is it a case of horses for courses?
Whether you ascribe to polarized training, pyramidal training, or sweet-spot training, ultimately all different training philosophies come down to mixing up easy training with hard training in various combinations and percentages. Regardless of the style of training you go with, this means that there will come a time where you put in a really hard effort, typically involving a race or an interval workout.
Interval workouts, as the name suggests, involve going hard for a certain period of time, interspersed with recovery periods at lower intensities. By doing so, you can accumulate much more volume of work at high intensities than you can if you just did a single hard effort.
In turn, two common styles of intervals are longer duration efforts at an intensity slightly above (e.g. 110-120%) above your threshold, or else Tabata-style sprint intervals consisting of many brief periods (10-30 s) of very intense effort (150-200% threshold) with equally brief (10-40 s) of recovery.
More...from PEZ Cycling.
14. Not lifting weights may be as bad as smoking:
Aging is often thought of something completely out of our control. Not true.
We all have two distinctive ages: chronological and biological. Chronological age is the one we’re most familiar with. It’s the actual time in years, months and days since you were born. Biological age is the age your body acts or functions like.
“Chronologically, we all age at the same rate,” says Dr. Stephanie Maves, family medicine physician at Aurora Health Care in Port Washington, Wis. “But biologically, that’s where everyone ages at a different pace depending on lifestyle choices. For example, if you’re a nonsmoker, eat right and exercise, you may have a body or the abilities of a person 15 years younger. On the other hand, if you smoke, eat a lot of high-fat fast food and are physically inactive, your biological age may be 15 years older than your chronological age.”
Smoking, an unhealthy diet and other lifestyle choices can contribute to your risk for disease and early death. Doctors often use these factors to determine your biological age.
And now, researchers have found that grip strength may be another key factor to determine biological age.
More...from Health eNews.
15. Are Some of Your Well-Intended Eating Habits a Problem?
The fitness industry is rife with harmful messaging around food and exercise. Here’s what to know about when food behaviors are a problem.
This article includes frank discussions of eating disorders and disordered eating. Take care of yourself, and reach out for immediate help from the National Eating Disorders Association if you feel you need additional support.
Unhealthy eating patterns are pervasive in fitness culture. Whether it’s the latest “wellness” trend on TikTok, advice from elite athletes, or general messaging from an industry that thrives on athletes’ desire to perform optimally or meet an unattainable aesthetic standard, this messaging can lead to patterns of consumption or restriction that are disordered, and eventually, meet a diagnostic standard for an eating disorder.
An eating disorder (ED) is a diagnosis, defined in The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition, where a person’s disordered relationship with food meets specific diagnostic criteria determined by the American Psychiatric Association. There is an ongoing and robust debate about these criteria (which center the BMI, a notoriously fraught measurement that fails to capture the extent to which behaviors can negatively impact a person’s life), which many ED experts feel is imperfect and insufficient.
More...from Outside Online.