If you’re like most of us, you were taught the importance of warm-up exercises back in grade school, and you’ve likely continued with pretty much the same routine ever since. Science, however, has moved on. Researchers now believe that some of the more entrenched elements of many athletes’ warm-up regimens are not only a waste of time but actually bad for you. The old presumption that holding a stretch for 20 to 30 seconds – known as static stretching – primes muscles for a workout is dead wrong. It actually weakens them.

In a recent study conducted at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, athletes generated less force from their leg muscles after static stretching than they did after not stretching at all. Other studies have found that this stretching decreases muscle strength by as much as 30 percent. Also, stretching one leg’s muscles can reduce strength in the other leg as well, probably because the central nervous system rebels against the movements.

Controversy remains about the extent to which dynamic warm-ups prevent injury. But studies have been increasingly clear that static stretching alone before exercise does little or nothing to help. The largest study has been done on military recruits; results showed that an almost equal number of subjects developed lower-limb injuries (shin splints, stress fractures, etc.), regardless of whether they had performed static stretches before training sessions.

A major study published earlier this year by the Centers for Disease Control, on the other hand, found that knee injuries were cut nearly in half among female collegiate soccer players who followed a warm-up program that included both dynamic warm-up exercises and static stretching. (For a sample routine, visit www.aclprevent.com/pepprogram.htm.) And in golf, new research by Andrea Fradkin, an assistant professor of exercise science at Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania, suggests that those who warm up are nine times less likely to be injured.

By GRETCHEN REYNOLDS


read more

Simple gestures, like opening a door for someone or allowing a fellow motorist in front of your vehicle, can reap great internal rewards, according to research. In two separate studies involving nearly 300 people, Japanese researchers correlated acts of kindness by study participants with feelings of happiness.  The more frequently the kindness to others, the more the participants reported their a significant increase in their own feelings of emotional well-being.
– from The Doctors’ 5-Minute Health Fixes: The Prescription for a Lifetime of Great Health, (Rodale Books)


read more

When German researchers gathered middle-aged test subjects for a study, one group sedentary and the other hardy athletes who ran an average of 50 miles per week , one aspect was “striking,” noted Dr. Christian Werner, an internal-medicine resident at Saarland University Clinic in Homburg.  The middle-aged athletes “looked much younger” than their sedentary peers.

The  insides of their test subjects may hold a clue as to why.  The cells of the sedentary group showed signs of aging, while the cells of the middle-aged athletes were comparable – with a mere 10 percent difference – to those of athletes decades younger.   The study’s findings are congruent with the results of  a separate study by  Thomas LaRocca, a Ph.D. candidate in the department of integrative physiology at the University of Colorado in Boulder, who found that the fitter a person was in middle age or onward, the younger their cells.   According to Dr. Werner, exercise “at the molecular level has an anti-aging effect.”

-Courtesy of the New York Times


read more

Congratulations to Carina’s Training Client and Julia’s Nutrition Client Kim who lost 100lbs as of November 23! It took a year and a half. What do you want to weigh next year?!?!


read more


read more

The holidays are here and they are bringing lots of parties with them! If you have a get-together or two on your calendar, putting a few of these pointers to use could mean you finish out the season without gaining a pound! Here are some practical tips to avoid overeating at holiday parties: 

Create a Game Plan

Plan what you are going to eat and drink the night before the party. While the spread may vary somewhat, you will always have some general idea of what will be on offer and be able plan accordingly. Doing so will help you allocate your calories how you want to rather than “winging it” at the get-together. For example, if you know you want to have a cocktail then you know you’ll need to say no to dessert, or vice versa.

Take a Pew

Whenever possible, sit down to eat. The old joke that calories consumed when standing do not count is, sadly, not true; but they may not “count” in the sense that your brain isn’t registering what — and how much — you are eating when you are standing. Taking a seat and paying more attention to what’s passing through your lips will help you notice the sense fullness when it arrives, too.

Keep Temptation Out of Sight

We naturally tend to eat more when food is in sight. Even smelling savory fare could break down your willpower. Try to find an area of the room that ensures the buffet is out of your line of sight and then occupy your mind (and mouth!) by talking to as many people as possible. Distraction can be your best weight-loss ally.

Don’t Skimp on Snoozing

Get plenty of sleep in the nights leading up to the big get-together. The amount of sleep you get can have a direct influence on how much you eat, whether. Considering how busy as the holiday season can be, getting your eight hours can often be a challenge, but it’s worth shuffling your schedule to ensure you to get plenty of shut-eye: Research has shown sleep deprived people are more likely to overeat during the day than those who get adequate rest.

Start Over This Second

Don’t keep telling yourself that tomorrow is another day each time you slip-up. That is the holiday-season equivalent of saying “I’ll start my diet next Monday.” When you realize you’re overeating or drinking too much at a celebration, put a stop to it right away. Rather than looking at tomorrow — or January 1st — as the “start over” day, look at the next moment as the “start over” moment


read more