Most of us who are very active know how important it is to consume fluids, carbohydrate, and electrolytes (salts) during endurance exercise. Doing so helps to prevent dehydration and hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), which in turn helps to delay fatigue. The scientific literature is chock full of studies regarding the beneficial effect of sports drinks during long-term exercise. However, less is known about post-exercise nutrition. For endurance athletes who are training on a daily basis, what and when they consume foods and beverages post-exercise has become a hot topic in the exercise science research world over the past few years.
Does Exercise Make Us Hungry? There has been much debate about the effect of exercise on appetite and energy intake throughout the years. Although some scientists have proposed that exercise stimulates appetite; most studies do not support this finding. A study published in Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise4 examined the effect of walking on appetite and food intake. In the study, subjects participated in two different trials – an exercise and a non-exercise (control) trial. On one day subjects walked for 60 minutes on a treadmill at an intensity where they had some mild shortness of breath, but were still able to
As the summer nears, you may notice more people getting in shape for swimsuit season. Shedding a few pounds and toning muscles in order to look their best at the pool, lake, or beach. Let’s bounce back to an earlier post that reminds us how logging your food and physical activity can help modify your behaviors in support of healthier choices. Study after study has found that people who keep a daily record of foods and beverages consumed as well as minutes of physical activity have greater success balancing calories and achieving and maintaining a healthy weight. In fact, a large
Are you sitting down? If so, I hope that in a few minutes, you’ll be motivated to hop to your feet! You are probably aware of the harms of a sedentary lifestyle – the increased risk for obesity, chronic illness, and a shortened life span – but knowing the tragic facts and figures unfortunately doesn’t solve the problem that so many of us face.1,2 Over 80% of working Americans are in sedentary jobs, and on average these workers are at work 47 hours per week.3 If we’re supposed to be moving more, we’re probably not going to find time…we’re going
March is National Nutrition Month. This campaign raises awareness of the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits, which brings to mind an earlier post that encourages healthy behaviors. Year after year national guidelines urge Americans to do physical activity and eat a healthy plant-based diet. And year after year Americans become more sedentary and choose more highly-processed foods high in fat and calories. So what’s the disconnect? Are our healthy messages too complex? Do Americans not see the benefits of a healthy lifestyle? Or, perhaps, are Americans trying to change, but just not using
Cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) is defined as the body’s maximal ability to transport and utilize oxygen at the tissue level. Results from the Cooper Center Longitudinal Study (CCLS)1 and other large studies, have consistently shown that individuals with low CRF have higher all-cause, cardiovascular disease, and cancer mortality (death) rates than those with moderate CRF, and that the risk continues to decrease when we look at those with high CRF (Figure 1). In the CCLS, low CRF is defined as a treadmill stress test performance in the bottom 20% compared to others of the same age group and gender. This is
Happy Valentine’s Day weekend! As you consider the heart-shaped candies, red roses, and sweet treats for your loved ones, think about doing something for your heart health, too! Each year since 1963, the President of the United States has proclaimed February as American Heart Month. As the proclamation states, “It is the number one killer of American women and men, and it is a leading cause of serious illness and disability. Across our Nation, we have lost devoted mothers and fathers, loved siblings, and cherished friends to this devastating epidemic.”1 More than 2,200 Americans die of cardiovascular disease each day.
Although foam rollers are very popular among athletes, they have been shown to provide health benefits that everyone can gain. Foam rolling is used as a form of self-myofascial release (SMR), which is a basic technique used to release tightness in the muscles, tendons, fascia, and/or soft tissues, as well as improve the range of motion of a joint. But recent findings suggest that the benefits of SMR may reach beyond the muscles and joints and to the cardiovascular system. Normal healthy arteries are capable of dilating (relaxing) or contracting, depending on whether the goal is to increase or decrease
As we eagerly prepare our gym bags and raw veggies in support of our 2015 resolutions to exercise and watch what we eat (you are still at them right?!), I flash back to a previous discussion on training expectations that will come in handy as we move forward with our goals. When setting expectations for your results with exercise training it is important to consider the “window of adaptation.” Whenever you begin something new, you have a very large window of adaptation meaning there is a great potential to see significant (and often large) increases in performance. As you become
Happy holidays from The Cooper Institute! On this day when people are celebrating with family and friends, I have a vision of an earlier post that reminds us to balance our calories with physical activity. The holidays have descended upon you and you can’t pass on Uncle Bert’s special eggnog. Perhaps you have visions of Grandma’s sugar cookies dancing in your head (and on your tongue!). Maybe you also have not-so-nice visions of having to let your belt out a notch or two the first week of January. Fear not. You can have your holiday fruitcake and eat it, too. The antidote for