And now for information that is useful… how to start running

Wednesday, 6 April, 2016

The Internet, I’m sorry, internet, is a fount of knowledge, that leaves no gaps in our knowledge. Pick a topic, anything at all, and you’re bound to an array of articles and resources relating to it. The question is though, how much of this information is actually useful? I guess that depends on who is looking up information on whatever they’re interested in.

Here is something useful though, how to start running. It’s a great source of exercise, and goes along way to reducing stress as well, to name a couple of benefits. This is knowledge to acquire.

The absolute best way to keep yourself running is to find a race, sign up for it, pay for it and put it on your calendar. A fixed race date will help you stay focused, and keep you on a regular running schedule. A beginner can run any race – you just need to allow enough time to train for it.

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I’m actively active buying active wear but otherwise I’m inactive

Tuesday, 15 December, 2015

Australians are increasingly becoming obese. Thirty years ago sixty percent of adults were of a healthy weight, today that has dropped to thirty-five percent.

That’s not only alarming for the nation as a whole, but also the individuals who fall on the wrong side of that ratio. On top of that, these people also stand to miss out on incentives that some health insurance providers are offering to members, who they consider are fit.

These numbers however conflict with the view on the street. Go to any busy city centre, park, beach, or retail complex, and you’ll see no shortage of people clad in work-out and running gear, or active wear. And how about all those yoga mats you see slung across many of those lycra adorned shoulders?

Surely a turnaround in obesity numbers is on the cards, if so many people are becoming more active? Unfortunately not, what you see is largely a false positive. Many of those attired in active wear are making a statement about their fashion tastes, rather than any interest in fitness.

It’s part of what Julie Stevanja, founder of online fitness clothing retailer Stylerunner, calls a lifestyle change, rather than a trend. Instead of wearing say a t-shirt and jeans when they want to dress casually, people have taken to dressing in active wear.

That’s not to say adherents are inactive, or uninterested in fitness, many are, just not everyone. Who knows though, perhaps dressing as such might encourage more people to consider becoming more physically active, which may make a dent in the obesity numbers.

For the entrepreneurs among us though, there’s a lesson in picking out trends, or lifestyle changes, before they become established. Stylerunner, whose customers are from both camps, now has a turnover of close to ten million dollars a year. Wouldn’t you rather be dressed in active wear?

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To juice cleanse, or detox, or not?

Monday, 26 January, 2015

Go into, say, Sydney’s Centennial Park on the first work day of the year, in the early evening, and see how many people are out running. Go back a week later, and see how few there are. Hmm, behold the fickle sway of new year’s resolutions…

If then, by chance, one of your resolutions for the new year, was to try out a detox, or juice cleanse, you ought to read this BuzzFeed piece on the subject… assuming that particular undertaking hasn’t already gone by the wayside.

“I don’t know why someone would do a juice cleanse,” Dr. John Buse, M.D., Ph.D., chief of the division of endocrinology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, told BuzzFeed Life. “There’s very little evidence that it does anything good for you.”

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Running, a great to keep walking faster

Monday, 15 December, 2014

As we age, the speed at which we walk tends to slow down. I guess that would make sense. Or would it?

Given the speed at which we walk though is some sort of indicator of lifespan, one of a great many I’d say, people may therefore be wondering how to keep their walking speeds on the up. Seemingly it is quite possible, all it takes is a little running. Well, when I say a little, that means thirty minutes a day, three times a week.

Many of us probably would assume that this physical slowing is inevitable. And in past studies of aging walkers, physiologists have found that, almost invariably, their walking economy declines over time. That is, they begin using more energy with each step, which makes moving harder and more tiring. But researchers at the University of Colorado in Boulder and Humboldt State University in Arcata, Calif., began to wonder whether this slow decay of older people’s physical ease really is inexorable or if it might be slowed or reversed by other types of exercise and, in particular, by running.

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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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, , , , 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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