Worse than a negative split, the truth about jogging

Tuesday, 18 June, 2013

There’s nothing like hitting the track at the end of the work-day for a run. It’s a great way to burn off all the negative energy that has accumulated over the previous eight to ten hours, and at the end of it there is the endorphin rush, or whatever sense of well-being and serenity that seems to kick in, to look forward to afterwards.

“5K” seems to be a term that many pro-amateur runners bandy about, it’s a term that refers to a five kilometre run, but “2K” is probably more my style. So it’s probably not an endorphin surge I seem to find myself experiencing, but so what… aren’t these, after all, the truths of running?

I headed to my gym and picked the treadmill closest to the mirror, so I could continually admire my form (and before the smart-ass comments start – yes, I know that the “only way to run” is outdoors, but you know what? It was really freaking hot this week and I wasn’t having it, so leave me alone). I start with a slow jog for the first minute, then amp it up to an intense eleven-minute-mile pace. A quarter mile in, and I’m not feeling tired or achy or like I want to stop at all. Dare I say it on record? I may have, for the first time ever, actually enjoyed it.

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The fountain of youth may be as near as the local gym

Friday, 4 March, 2011

Not merely a way of keeping fit or in peak athletic condition, exercise may play a part in slowing down the aging process, if studies of lab mice – some of who were active while others weren’t – are anything to go by.

At 8 months, when their sedentary lab mates were bald, frail and dying, the running rats remained youthful. They had full pelts of dark fur, no salt-and-pepper shadings. They also had maintained almost all of their muscle mass and brain volume. Their gonads were normal, as were their hearts. They could balance on narrow rods, the showoffs.

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Short, needless, elevator jaunts may one day prove embarrassing

Tuesday, 25 January, 2011

Annoyed by having your lift/elevator ride slowed down by able-bodied people who are only going up (or down) one level, and could easily have walked instead? Presenting the “double opt-in” elevator ride, which potentially shames such characters into thinking twice about such a short jaunt:

One solution that I have often yearned for is the use of public shame. Imagine you get on at the first floor and press the button for the second floor. The elevator responds with a recorded message: “You have pressed the button for a floor that is only one flight away. Please press the button again to confirm that you cannot use the stairs.” If you’re carrying a package, having trouble walking, or any other socially acceptable reason, no doubt the other passengers will think nothing of you pressing the button again to confirm your selection. However, if you are in fact an able-bodied human being, who is using the elevator out of nothing but sheer laziness, perhaps public shame will force you to reconsider your choice.

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Could intense physical training be the key to a long healthy life?

Friday, 3 December, 2010

Olga Kotelko, a record breaking masters athlete who is 91 years old, has some scientists wondering if intense physical training, as opposed to light exercise, could play some part in regenerating aging human bodies.

Exactly how exercise affects older people is complicated. On one level, exercise is a flat-out insult to the body. Downhill running tears quadriceps muscles as reliably as an injection of snake venom. All kinds of free radicals and other toxins are let loose. But the damage also triggers the production of antioxidants that boost the health of the body generally. So when you see a track athlete who looks as if that last 1,500-meter race damn near killed him, you’re right. It might have made him stronger in the deal.

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disassociated.com is 98% fat free and other ways to lose weight

Wednesday, 4 August, 2010

Rather than gaining weight through endlessly sitting about surfing the net, some websites can actually help their visitors do the opposite.

What made the website work, the authors of the study believe, was its mixture of accountability and sociability. Users were asked log in once a week to enter their weight and the amount of exercise they’d done. If they didn’t log in regularly, they got a little nudge by e-mail, then an automated phone call. Once on the site, users could chat with other participants of the study in a kind of mini-Facebook setting.

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We may not be so big after all if the BMI scale is warped

Monday, 27 July, 2009

The effectiveness of the Body Mass Index (BMI) has been called into question as an accurate indicator of body fat

For years, critics of the body mass index have griped that it fails to distinguish between lean and fatty mass. (Muscular people are often misclassifed as overweight or obese.) The measure is mum, too, about the distribution of body fat, which makes a big difference when it comes to health risks. And the BMI cutoffs for “underweight,” “normal,” “overweight,” and “obese” have an undeserved air of mathematical authority. So how did we end up with such a lousy statistic?

I once asked my doctor how the BMI could possibly be applied to athletes and sport-players, particularly rugby front-rowers, whose weight-to-height ratio would be well outside the BMI “safe” scales, and he replied that it is just one measure used to gauge levels of body fat.

It made me wonder why use the BMI at all, rather why not use the same metric for everyone then?

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Walkability, something to consider when buying in the suburbs

Wednesday, 10 June, 2009

Older suburbs tend to better for our health as they were designed to be within walking distance of shops and amenities, unlike newer residential developments which are far more “car dependent”.

They found that neighborhoods built before 1950 tended to offer greater overall walkability because they had been designed for pedestrians. Newer neighborhoods often were designed primarily to facilitate car travel, the researchers noted.

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The Dark Knight wins Olympic gold… for all events

Thursday, 17 July, 2008

If Batman took part in the Olympic games, he would likely win most the events, such is his fitness and agility. If you too wanted to be a Batman, it would be possible… in addition to high levels of fitness, being a billionaire would also be an advantage.

There’s a quote from Neal Adams, the great Batman illustrator, who said Batman would win place or show in every event in the Olympics. Probably if I were Batman’s handler, I’d put him in the decathlon. Although Batman is shown in the comics as being the fastest and the strongest and all these other things, in reality you can’t actually be all of that at once. To be Batman properly, what you really need to do is be exceptionally good at many different things. It’s when you take all the pieces and put them together that you get the Batman.

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