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Category Archives: Weight Training
Belly fat is probably the number one physical health issue that gets people to start exercising. Getting rid of belly fat is usually attempted for cosmetic reasons, but it can also greatly reduce the risk of serious conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, asthma, hypertension and stroke. Unfortunately, over half the U.S. population now has abdominal obesity, meaning that one out of every two people need to start watching their waistline if they’re going to avoid the negative health risks. Typically, aerobic exercise is considered the most essential element of cutting belly fat, along with a diet plan and strategies for coping with stress. “Spot reducing” fat doesn’t really work, meaning that you can’t simply do crunches and expect to lose abdominal weight. Now, however, a new study shows that weight training could be just as effective – if not more – than aerobic exercise, specifically for men.
If you exercise regularly, chances are good that you listen to music while doing so. It seems like common sense: music can give you a surge of energy, it’s a good way to take the boredom out of repetition, and it’s just plain fun. Science occasionally confirms these notions, as several studies have deemed exercising with music to be advantageous. For example, this 2000 study suggests that many different types of music can make moderately intense exercise seem easier when it’s played during a workout. The effect of music on high-intensity exercise, however, has not been been widely studied. This is mainly due to scientists’ assumption that strenuous exercise produces enough “physiological noise” in a person’s body that any music being played would be drowned out or ignored. However, a new study shows that exercising with music can indeed be beneficial even under intense circumstances.
There’s no shortage of scientific studies that suggest a positive relationship between exercise and brain function. We know that exercise can increase kids’ brainpower and help to prevent Alzheimer’s in older people. Also, Yoga is often though to help treat depression and sleep disorders. Even as recently as this week, scientists have made progress in determining why exercise prevents depression.
By now, you’ve probably seen (or at least heard of) some of the horrible videos of people supposedly being injured while doing CrossFit. You may have even heard of Kevin Ogar, a top CrossFit competitor who became paralyzed after making a mistake during a snatch lift in a January CrossFit competition. Ogar’s case, along with the many negative videos and stories, has many people asking, “is CrossFit safe?” The problem with stories like these, however, is that they’re precisely that: stories. People who claim CrossFit is unsafe are often pointing to anecdotal evidence as opposed to real, scientifically confirmed data. Unfortunately, the only studies available on the subject are small or inconclusive. Proponents of CrossFit seem to tout it as the most effective exercise program, while opponents are adamant that other programs work just as well with less risk. Who’s right?
Although elevating your heart rate for a minimum of 20 consecutive minutes allows you to achieve an aerobic effect that has several health benefits, many studies have shown that even very light doses of exercise that do not even cause you to break a sweat may be valuable to your health as well. The latest study, conducted by Kentucky’s Bellarmine University, concluded that if individuals spend more time off their butt than on the couch each day, their blood fat and insulin levels will probably be at healthy levels even if the individual does not regularly engage in some form of specific workout sessions. Regularly engaging in some form of activity that stimulates the body to burn calories and engage muscle movement such as yard work, walking, hiking and cleaning the house will provide several physical and mental health benefits.
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