Friday, March 4, 2011

Articles on Exercise and Aging, Treating Tendonopathy, Vitamin D, and Training Like a Niner

Another roundup of topics broadly concerning fitness.

Two from the New York Times on the value of exercise, from living longer to healing injury:
Can Exercise Keep You Young?
"We all know that physical activity is beneficial in countless ways, but even so, Dr. Mark Tarnopolsky, a professor of pediatrics at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, was startled to discover that exercise kept a strain of mice from becoming gray prematurely.

But shiny fur was the least of its benefits. Indeed, in heartening new research published last week in The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, exercise reduced or eliminated almost every detrimental effect of aging in mice that had been genetically programmed to grow old at an accelerated pace."
 For Tendon Pain, Think Beyond the Needle
Two time-honored remedies for injured tendons seem to be falling on their faces in well-designed clinical trials.

The first, corticosteroid injections into the injured tendon, has been shown to provide only short-term relief, sometimes with poorer long-term results than doing nothing at all.

The second, resting the injured joint, is supposed to prevent matters from getting worse. But it may also fail to make them any better.

Rather, working the joint in a way that doesn’t aggravate the injury but strengthens supporting tissues and stimulates blood flow to the painful area may promote healing faster than “a tincture of time.”
I'm fascinated by vitamin D. As a hormone regulator it has a huge influence on health. The cool part though is that our bodies can manufacture it from sunlight, showing a connection to the natural world way beyond what we eat. Some previous posts are here and here, this is a new bit of research:
Markedly Higher Vitamin D Intake Needed to Reduce Cancer Risk
ScienceDaily (Feb. 28, 2011)
Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and Creighton University School of Medicine in Omaha have reported that markedly higher intake of vitamin D is needed to reach blood levels that can prevent or markedly cut the incidence of breast cancer and several other major diseases than had been originally thought.
How do the San Francisco 49ers train?  Here's a tour of their weight room with some ideas that my clients also hear from me.

Notable moments:
0.25 Woodway treadmills rule!
2:32 Notice the player working his abs isn't rolling forward, he's lifting the shoulders and chest up up.
3:22 OK, this guy is curling forward, but if you look like him, go ahead.
3:09,4:39 Close your eyes!  These players are sitting down, using single plane of movement machines.  They will get cut from the team soon.
3:29 "We train movements, not muscles"
3:51 Dumbbells, kettlebells, barbells... Ignore the bosu's, they never get used.
4:43 Freemotion machine. My favorite too! Notice the rotation/anti-rotation exercises, and the face-pulls.
6:43 "The whole goal here[this device] is to maintain a stable core while moving the limbs."
7:55 Hip thrusts, great glute exercise, but you need a barbell for serious weight.
8:39 Kettlebells again! Even though the video shows a few single plane of motion machines, what the head strength coach Duane Carlisle talks about is the opposite- full body, multi-planar movements.