Saturday, January 9, 2010

News on Shoes, Sun, and Fitness

Here are some recent articles on topics of interest at Positive Massage.  There's a common theme:  Less artificial and more natural is more healthful for us.

Vitamin D deficiency increasingly common 
Erin Allday, San Francisco Chronicle, January 9, 2010
"Today, research suggests that vitamin D does much more than help build strong bones, and the findings come at a time when a high number of people are no longer getting enough of the nutrient, doctors say." "Aside from its well-known reputation for building and maintaining strong bones, vitamin D could be tied to cancer prevention and cardiovascular health... 'It helps boost your ability to fight infection, and it also reduces some destructive inflammation in your body, including inflammation with periodontal disease...'"

I'm fascinated by vitamin D because it seems to show such a strong confirmation that being outdoors is good for us.  The article mentions both supplements and sunshine, but of course I prefer the more natural sunlight method.  The subject is more extensively blogged in my post Vitamin D, Sunlight, and Health and is mentioned in a few other places in this blog.

The Vita Myth  Do supplements really do any good?
By Emily Anthes, Slate

"During the past few years, study after study has raised doubts about what, if any, good vitamins actually do a body. They could even pose some real medical risks."

Popping pills doesn't seem to be a good way to get healthy.  This article does mentions vitamin D as something which some(postmenopausal women) may need to supplement.  I guess that means I can stick with sunshine.

Running Shoes May Cause Damage to Knees, Hips and Ankles, New Study Suggests
Elsevier Health Sciences (2010, January 6). Running shoes may cause damage to knees, hips and ankles, new study suggests. ScienceDaily

It seems that in the quest to protect the feet, more stress is being put on the rest of the leg.  Although support, bracing, padding, etc may be needed to recover from trauma, long term they can cause weakening and dependency, and possibly increase the chance of future injury, and, as the study shows, just move a problem somewhere else.

Going barefoot or using footwear that closely emulates being barefoot is a hot topic in fitness right now.  To be fair though, there's nothing natural about a concrete sidewalk, so I think there's a lot more to learn about when shoes and what kind are appropriate.

I've heard the same thing(but not seen any research) about shoes for weightlifting.  I do regret springing for a fancy pair of sneaks last year.

Long-Term Physical Activity Has an Anti-Aging Effect  
American Heart Association (2009, December 2). Long-term physical activity has an anti-aging effect at the cellular level. ScienceDaily

Stay fit, live longer!  Bodies are made to move!

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