Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Fitness Articles of Interest

Here's a small sampling of the many interesting articles related to fitness over the past few months.

The 9 Workout Mistakes Women Make Most
Men, too.

Lift to Lose Weight
"If you want to get leaner, say the latest studies and the smartest trainers, it’s time to start strength training."
Fitness Playgrounds Grow as Machines Go
The single purpose, fixed motion machine is thankfully falling out of fashion. Moving your body and moving free weights is ticket to fitness. From the New York Times:
"Simple exercises with no-tech equipment (call them paleo or playground exercises, depending on how much fun they are) have long found disciples at niche gyms and in movements such as CrossFit. But in the last year and a half, major health-club chains have begun making hefting sandbags and shaking 25-pound ropes the standard, ditching the fancy weight machines that have dominated gym floors for more than 30 years."
Building Up Bones, With a Little Bashing
Another great NYT article, on maintaining bone density, with some points I've been making for a long time:
"So in combing recently through the professional literature on exercise and bone health, I was quite disappointed to learn that neither swimming nor cycling is especially good for my bones — at least, not the ones most susceptible to fracture. Swimming, in fact, might compromise the strength of those bones because it lacks the tug of gravity.

That’s what researchers have found when they measured bone mineral density in young athletes who swim or cycle, and even in some who run. There are two reasons for this. One is the continuous nature of these activities. Bones, it seems, don’t like constant pressure. They respond better to exercise that involves forceful muscle contractions, occurring in starts and stops and with some variety — as happens, for example, when playing tennis or training with weights.

To maintain strength, bones also need the stress of gravity, which is lacking in cycling and swimming and not as powerful when walking as it is when running. Being suspended in water is like floating in space for a short time: once they leave Earth, astronauts lose bone."

Strong Vs Toned: The Truth About Gender-Specific Workouts
"When you talk about "toning," "enhancing," or "shaping" certain areas of your body, what you're really talking about is muscle. Muscle creates the shape of your body, and therefore more muscle equals more muscle tone. You can't build a perkier, rounder, or sexier anything without building muscle."
Fat Loss Guide: A Hierarchy of Exercise Choice
"There is a common belief that “you can’t lose weight without cardio”. This just couldn’t be further from the truth. Low intensity, long duration exercise is not your ticket to quick weight loss. In fact, the very opposite may be the case.

I’m not saying steady state cardio doesn’t have it’s place. It can definitely serve a

John Salley on veganism in the NBA
Former Detroit Pistons big man John Salley has spent a lot of his retirement advocating for veganism. He does so at a time when the lifestyle’s gaining powerful advocates in Bill Clinton and Serena Williams.
Selecting the right shoe? – By Simon Bartold
Excellent read for anyone interested in running footwear, esp. the barefoot/minimalist debate.

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