Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Fitness Reading Roundup

A few of the interesting articles from recent months, starting with a new offering for equestrians.

Fitness for Horseback Riding

Equestrian Fitness and Cross Training
This explains the Steven Rice Fitness approach to training a rider on the ground to be better when on the horse.

Core fitness training for riders boosts symmetry in the saddle – research
"The physical influence of the rider is increasingly being recognized as an important contributor to equine back pain and lameness, and research demonstrates that asymmetrical loading in particular can be damaging to the horse."

Strength Leads To Confidence | Ride Magazine
"The beautiful thing about workouts that focus on core-strength and balance, is that by the second day you can already feel a difference and after a week or a month, the difference is tremendous. Knowing that your balance is better and that you can move with the horse easier, most definitely will give you more confidence when you are stepping onto that keg of dynamite (I mean, horse)."

Fizz Marshall’s therapy centre blog: Our new rider performance facility is offically open!
This is how fitness training is done
"Riders must realise their worth if we are to continue to move forward as a sport and be taken seriously by our sporting peers. Coordination, strength, balance, mental toughness, dedication, mettle and patience (in abundance) – riders have the lot. We want to create a culture whereby we recongnise these traits and treat ourselves as well as we treat our horses."

Fitness and Physiology

Task-specificity of balance training.
Balance training is very task specific. The other problem is that being unbalanced limits how hard your muscles can work, so neither balance nor strength improves. Unilateral and asymmetric training on solid ground is very good though, for example single leg deadlifts.

Lifting Weights, Twice a Week, May Aid the Brain
"Now a new experiment suggests that light resistance training may also slow the age-related shrinking of some parts of our brains."

Why Do Muscles Feel Tight?
"Why do muscles feel tight? Does that mean they are short? That they can't relax? And what can you do about it? Here are some of my thoughts about why muscles feel tight and what to do about it."

Resistance Training Seems to Preserve BMD in Seniors
-However, modest bone loss seen with aerobic training
Bone mineral density preserved better with strength training than cardio, at least for the population studied. Cardio training is good for you, but shouldn't be all you do, and if you pick only one, IMHO go with strength.

Note this part about what constitutes resistance(strength) training:
"In one trial, the participants were randomized to a structured resistance training program in which three sets of 10 repetitions of eight upper and lower body exercises were done 3 days each week at 70% of one repetition maximum for 5 weeks, with or without calorie restriction of 600 calories per day."

The one repetition maxium(RM) is how much you could lift one time if you tried as hard as you possibly could. If you could pick up a 100 lb child once, the 70% 1 RM would be picking up a 70 lb child, and doing it 10 times. Holding a 2 or 5 lb dumbbell while you do aerobics is not strength training.

Lifting: The Cure to Cramping Might Be Hidden in a Dumbbell
Cramps are still a medical mystery, but evidence shows strength training might help
Great article, reminding us of one of the many benefits to strength training.

Keep Moving to Stay a Step Ahead of Arthritis
This is an excellent article that applies not only to arthritis, but most chronic aches and pains.

Pain Science

Explainer: what is pain and what is happening when we feel it?
"Pain is not actually coming from the wrist you broke, or the ankle you sprained. Pain is the result of the brain evaluating information, including danger data from the danger detection system, cognitive data such as expectations, previous exposure, cultural and social norms and beliefs, and other sensory data such as what you see, hear and otherwise sense."

Stabbed in the back: Moving the knife out of back pain
Very thoughtful look at treatment of low back pain.
"We need to assess and treat the human body less like a machine and more like an ecosystem."

Can we please stop blaming the doctor (at least some of the time)?
Enjoyable essay on how much the mind can influence the body.
"If person expects that a treatment is going to have a positive effect, it greatly increases the chance of that occurring – isn’t that an amazingly wonderful and slightly mysterious phenomenon? Studies that look at these interactions in clinical situations are plentiful and it is such a  well documented phenomenon that it almost seems not worth mentioning.  But it is amazing isn’t it?"


Diet, exercise or diet with exercise: comparing the effectiveness of treatment options for weight-loss and changes in fitness for adults...
Large meta-analysis of weight reduction by diet, or exercise, or both. The combination of diet and resistance training(RT, aka strength training) was more effective than just diet or diet and endurance training(aka cardio).
"Most importantly is that protocols utilizing exercise were more effective than those that employed just a hypocaloric diet. With the combination of diet with exercise (especially RT) being more effective than diet or diet with ET in reduction of body mass and fat mass while retaining of FFM following treatment."

RT- resistance training, ie weight lifting
ET- endurance training, ie cardio
FFM- fat free mass, ie keeping muscle as you lose fat

The Fats You Don’t Need to Fear, and the Carbs That You Do
“The mistake made in earlier dietary guidelines was an emphasis on low-fat without emphasizing the quality of carbohydrates, creating the impression that all fats are bad and all carbs are good,” Dr. Hu, a professor of nutrition and epidemiology, said. “It’s really important to distinguish between healthy fats and bad fats, healthy carbs and bad carbs.”


Dogs Love Steven Rice Fitness!

Updated with even more dogs visiting in the park.

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