Time to Apply…

As this course ends there is only one thing to do….take this information and make something of it. The point of this class is not only to learn something but to be able to apply it to life. This isn’t only if your an athlete. You can take these simple facts learned in class and use it to become a more fit, healthy person.

Earlier this afternoon my track coach Jared decided he wanted to give an optional training lecture for any distance guys interested before practice. I was free so decided to go down to hear what he had to say. And it was very interesting! He was applying many of the things we talked about and learned in class to his coaching methods and our training schedules. For example, when planning a week out for each of the different distance groups (based on events), he has to think about many different things. One of the most important is intensity. He says that intensity does not just mean “going hard,” but it is a variable based around three other things: effort, duration, and rest. For example, if you want to pick up the intesnity of a track workout, either make it faster paced, longer distance, or less rest between reps. The exertion scale that he uses is based off an estimated VO2 Max he assigns to each person. He uses this estimate to find different perecentages that apply to training thresholds such as the aerobic threshold or lactate threshold….things we learned about in class. The length of the workout also can affect which energy system is in use. For example, if we are doing repeat 100m sprints, we will most likely stay in the phosphagen system or delve into the glycogen system as the workout progresses. If he wanted us to work aerobically, he would have us do longer distance reps, such as a mile. Lastly, the rest is adjusted to alter the amount of wastes that is removed/recycled. For example, if the rest is only 30 seconds between reps, lots of the waste will still remain, making the body find other sources of energy, where if the rep was 5 minutes, some of the wastes can be recycled back to energy fuel, making it easier to keep working hard.

Other than these points there were many things that he told us were very important about training that applied to the class. The thing I will end my last blog post with is this quote….”Rest is when you get paid.” By this he is referring to an analogy he has created. Everyday of practice and training is like going to work for a week. When one hits their payday (rest/sleep), they get paid. If there is no rest, they will not get paid. Then on gameday, this is when you get to spend all that money you earned and as he put it so eloquently…”time to make it rain.” This just highlights the importance of sleep and rest, and sometimes can go unemphasized in the college setting. So for you athletes reading this, remember….got to rest up after hard days if you expect to improve.

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You say you’re a woman… That IS enough!

After reading the article, “You say you are a woman? That should be enough.” I completely changed my views on women with naturally high levels of testosterone. I used to think it was highly unfair for women with that kind of advantage, but now I don’t get the difference between having lots of testosterone compared to big lungs, or long legs, or even height. Athletes are competitive beings, created with amazing genetic combinations from the body to the mind. It takes determination, motivation and strength to endure the kind of training elite athletes go through to become great along with a whole lot of talent and good genetics. Not everyone has what it take to be an elite athlete and this is because every single person’s body is made differently. Lance Armstrong was built to ride a bike, Michael Phelps was built to swim. No one is taking away their achievements for their physical advantages.

Men don’t get tested for high levels of testosterone, so why should women? Testosterone gives an advantage in both categories. Even though we learned today women are more effected by it, both genders will have an advantage with greater levels of testosterone. A high jumper is great with long legs; should we disqualify her for having an advantage? A sprinter is great if he or she was born with fast muscle fibers. Should we or the IOC discriminate with the more fast fibers he or she has? I don’t think so.

I agree with the authors that if a woman is legally a woman, she should be able to compete. An issue I could foresee is countries trying to mask the gender of a particular person. This is where is gets tricky because then tests would have to be issued, and where does that testing stop after checking the reproductive systems?

I don’t have the answer to that but I do know that testosterone levels should not be the deal breaker. Advantages are everywhere in sports, and I think the first problem we, as a world, have to conquer is eliminating doping. As we talked about today, many world records have been set mainly due to the athletes’ use of illegal drugs. This should be the first priority.

I also agree with the authors that if any tests are being executed the athlete should be allowed to compete while undergoing the scrutiny. It is unfair for the individual to have their season come to a complete halt just because someone, somewhere, guesses that their success is due to factors besides hard work. If tests come back positive then awards can be revoked, but until then the athletes should be allowed to compete. It is unfortunate to see Caster Semenya’s, and many athletes like her, career go down the drain because she lost so much time off of training due to testing.

 

I have attached a picture of Lance Armstrong and a video about Michael Phelps. Their bodies were built for their sports and let them have unfair advantages. Should they be disqualified? (Disregarding Armstrong’s other* advantages.)

lance-page2

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The BMI Roller Coaster and Pants on the Ground

At the beginning of January, no one would have said I needed to lose weight. Sure, I knew I had a little extra fat on my hips that I could probably lose, but my BMI was 18.9, very close to the line for being underweight. If I had told anyone I wanted to lose weight, I would have been sent to a counselor. However this month, I was actually concerned with becoming underweight as I have in the past. I am a professional Scottish Highland dancer, which means I was competing at the most strenuous level. I never once sacrificed food in an attempt to get skinnier, as happens in dance types like ballet a lot, but actually ate more (and more unhealthily) than my older brother. I stayed thin, however, because of the rigors of dance. When I was a freshman in high school, I was training for regionals and, despite my masculine eating habits, managed to become underweight due to the sheer amount of hours of practice that I was putting in per day. Since Scottish Highland Dancing is a sport that was intended only for men and bases itself upon plyometric principals, it is incredibly strenuous to maintain for long periods of time. When you train for 5 or more hours a day, burning an approximated 1,500 kcal an hour, you can see how easy it was for me to become underweight. It was not healthy, the state I was in, and it led some to be concerned about me as well as negatively affecting my athletic performance. Fortunately for my body, I began to gain my weight back after that season was over. Due to numerous injuries and time commitment, I quit dancing my sophomore year of high school. My weight has been consistently in the lowest part of the “normal” range since then, which has been fine by me.

From then until this summer, I have been actively participating in tennis year round, and volleyball each fall. This summer however, I had some suspected heart problems and was not allowed to exercise. I was cleared in mid August (just in time for the hiking COOT trip to kick me in the derriere) and was able to begin moderate workouts up until the end of September, when I was diagnosed with pneumonia. Illness throughout the entire fall kept me from doing any working out, leading to a slight weight gain of a few pound only noticeable in my hips (I still ate healthily), loss of muscle, and loss of stamina.

Because of this, I expected to possibly lose a pound or two when I changed my diet and started exercising this January, but when my pants stopped fitting after a week and a half, I began to get a little concerned. I had dropped 4 pounds (meaning a BMI of 18.2 which is underweight) and I wanted to be sure that the same thing that happened to me as a dancer didn’t occur now. My worry was humorously exacerbated by the fact that I now had no pants that would stay up and didn’t own a single belt. I actually had to go to the store to buy a belt to keep myself decent in public.

Fortunately, the rapid weight loss I experienced was in body fat. I knew that because I was working out, it wasn’t muscle loss, and in fact, as the next week and a half went on, I gained back 6 pounds and my pants are still falling off. My BMI is now a healthy 19.2 The conclusion? That six pounds has to be in muscle mass (and possibly some water weight of course). My experience was sort of a lesson learned about what happens to someone over the course of beginning an exercise regime. The first notable occurrence is the drop of body fat, as shown in a dropping weight. Meanwhile, the muscles are beginning to grow. As you reach your optimal body fat level, the weight loss slows, and even reverses as muscle mass begins to grow.

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Gym Magic

After a grueling few weeks of trials and tribulations, I have finally found success in the most important aspect of fitness training: how to pick up women at the gym.  Many failures, and eventually successes (along with many broken hearts, as this was strictly meant for research purposes only), have finally paid off, leading to the discovery of a fail-proof method for success.  This wisdom I now pass along to you.

Step 1: The Attire

Since outer appearance means everything these days, this is the first and most important aspect for success.  I have experimented with multiple types of garments and have concluded that the loud, bright and slightly obnoxious garb of the 80’s is sure to draw anyone’s attention.  A nice track suit as pictured below, accessorized with a headband and sunglasses will show everyone that you mean business when entering the gym.  Strip this off to reveal neon lycra (to show off the curves) and a tight-fitting t-shirt, preferably with the sleeves cut off (to show off the guns) and you will find yourself already half-way there.  Note, the leotard as well as the unitard were not quite as successful.

Proper Gym Attire

Step 2: The Warm-up

Because actually working out is hard and tiring, this is how you should spend the majority of your time at the gym.  After stripping off the track-suit, position yourself directly in front of your target when she is on the treadmill, stationary bike, Stair Master, etc.  It is crucial that she is on one of these machines for this because she will be forced to look in your direction for the duration of your suggestive stretching techniques.  Take your time, make sure you hit every position you can think of to give her the full view.

Step 3: The Workout

If that didn’t seal the deal already, it is time for the workout.  In the weight room, you don’t actually have to be strong to look strong.  The first step to the workout is to pick out a machine, load it up with enough weights to make the bar bend and wait patiently.  You only need to be able to lift it up high enough so that it will make a loud bang as you slam it back down, yelling “100!” to grab her attention.  Pouring water all over yourself before, to mimic sweat, is also a deal maker, showing her just how intense you are.  This will surely have her thinking that you are the strongest guy in the gym.

Step 4: The Cool-Down

Just in case she didn’t catch the burley workout you faked your way through, the cool-down will certainly set the hook.  Go back over to her on the Stair Master and continue to suggestively stretch right in-front of her where she can’t look away.  Move in closer to use the machine for balance as you stretch out those quads.  I found that it helps if you haven’t showered in multiple days, because the smell will quickly pull her attention away from that Cosmo she’s reading, and will also let he know how hardcore your workout must have been.  When she looks up with a disgusted face, stare right into her eyes and say, “that’s hard work you smell,” give a little bicep flex, then head for the door.  You want to try to play a little hard to get.

If you follow these steps correctly, don’t be surprised if your phone is ringing off the hook the next few days.  Women will think that you are the definition of fitness, the alpha male, an irresistible ladies’ man.  You’re welcome.

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A case for DRUGS

I really enjoyed learning about all of different ways to optimize performance this week. I especially liked getting into the ethics of what was ok and what wasn’t. Coincidentally, a couple weeks ago, after the Lance Armstrong bust hit the media, my friends were debating the very ethics that we’ve been discussing in class. What makes one advantage ethical and another not? Does it come down to health risk? Is it ok if we’re born with such an advantage like Caster Semenya?

Though I have never taken any performance enhancing drugs past a vitamin D supplement or Tylenol, I honestly think that they are kind of cool. I don’t mean to condone the use of them in the Olympics to beat out natural competitors. Ethically, under the premise of the Olympic games, that is wrong. What I am trying to draw attention to is how cool it is that humans have isolated various means of pushing their bodies past the natural limit. Maybe it isn’t safe, but there is something to be said for the thrill at moving at speeds faster than any other human, faster than humans should be able to move. Its super-human.

`           It would be interesting to see even informal competitions where people were allowed to use whatever method of performance enhancement they choose, be it EPO, or amphetamines or whatever. People do dangerous things all the time that put their life at risk or decrease their life span. Cliff jumping, for example strikes me as a one such sport – very cool but very dangerous. I saw an IMAX documentary this year, which claimed that one in three cliff jumpers die on a jump. Personally, as someone who would prefer to live long and healthy I do not wish to engage in such activities, but as a scientist interested in human limits I think it is intellectually fascinating.

Who gets to draw the ethical line anyways? Caffeine is ok, but Coke isn’t – except it is, just not where we live. I realize at this point I may sound like a high-risk druggy. That’s fine. I just want to play devil’s advocate and highlight some of the enticing aspects of banned practices or substances. Scientifically and philosophically it is an interesting concept to kick around.

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Built for Speed

As an admirer of birds of prey, I was a bit disappointed when the peregrine falcon video didn’t load the other day in class. So, I decided to look up a few videos for myself that could capture the remarkable speed of this amazing animal. Sure enough, there are several, and in every single one the bird is estimated to be reaching speeds well over 180 mph. This led me to wonder, what aspects of a peregrine falcon’s physiology allow it to move at speeds comparable to even the fastest race cars in the world? Here’s what I found.

First of all, the peregrine falcon has an especially large keel. A bird’s keel is located at its sternum, and is where its major flight muscles are attached. The size of the peregrine falcon’s keel account for its extraordinarily powerful flight muscles, which allow the bird to operate its wings at very high speeds. Not only are the muscles powering the wings remarkably strong, but the wings themselves are designed for optimal swiftness. A peregrine falcon has pointed wings with thin, rigged, unslotted feathers. These features limit the drag experienced in flight by birds equipped with broader wings, or those with loose feathers.

While other birds can’t even breathe at speeds close to 200 mph, a peregrine falcon’s aerobic fitness allow it do so with apparent ease. It has an abundance of red muscle fibers, resulting in increased oxygen uptake and consequential prolonged, powerful flight. In addition, it has incredibly efficient cardiovascular and respiratory systems that constantly keep its muscles fueled with oxygen. The peregrine falcon’s sleek, bullet-like build, combines with its suberb endurance, make it an animal indisputably built for speed.

Here’s the link to the article where I got this information:

http://animals.howstuffworks.com/birds/peregrine-falcon-speed1.htm

And here’s a cool video all about the flight of the peregrine falcon:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j3mTPEuFcWk

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Playing through the Pain

At the tender age of 3 the doctor noticed that Aidan, my younger brother, had a “lazy eye” and that he would need glasses to correct his vision.  Surprisingly enough there aren’t too many glasses made for 3 year olds that won’t break every week.  I remember his first pair had big circular frames and Mickey Mouse pictures on them.  They also had arms that wrapped around his ears so that they wouldn’t fall off.  Unfortunately these cute little glasses with extra support around the ears were not enough to stand up to the beating Aidan gave them.  They got glued and repaired almost every night by my father.  It was either that he fell down, got hit in the face with a ball, or they just fell off and got trampled.  No matter the excuse, the glasses were destroyed, glued all over, and mangled after the first month.  Needless to say, after this first pair my parents would just go into the store and ask for the toughest pair, but each fell to my tough brother. Continue reading

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Too Much Caffeine, Too Little Time

It was YMCA States for swimming, and everyone was so excited to be there.  YMCA States was the last meet of the year for people that didn’t swim USA Winter Championships or decided not to attend another meet at Harvard.  We were all tapered and ready to go.  Most of the swimmers that were going on to USA Winter Championships were relaxed and just awaiting to see how taper had treated us, but others were so uptight and focused that it was difficult to be around them.  One of my teammates, who will remain unnamed for anonymity, was dying to drop just three seconds in her 200 yard freestyle to get the record at our home pool.  She had decided that the best way to do this was to only eat carbohydrates for almost two weeks leading up to the meet, and load up on caffeinated sports drinks before the race.  None of us thought that her life choices were particularly healthy, but we knew how serious she was about her race.  No one said a word to her. Continue reading

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New Insanity fan

I just got through my first Insanity workout, and survived. We’ll see what tomorrow brings in terms of muscle soreness, but it was great “fun”. Our noon workout group of faculty and staff has come a long way over the last 6 years, and  workout options have expanded from 2 days/week to every weekday!  The camaraderie and variation in workouts keeps me going back for more week after week. Lifelong learning and exercise are good practices to keep!

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Live a Little

What started as a relatively minor change in my diet, away from refined and sugary foods, has, over several years, developed into something more than I had anticipated. While many people adopt diets in pursuit of short-term goals, whether it is losing weight, increasing muscle, or improving health, the most successful approaches must take a longer-term perspective. In my desire to improve myself physically and ensure long-term health, I unconsciously began to adopt a lifestyle change. This transition manifested itself both the types and quantity of foods I ate as well as in my training program. However, I made these difficult changes to my life because I believe they will benefit me in the long run. The key to success is to make sure you are truly committed to making a change in your life and are putting in the effort for your own benefit, not for someone else’s.

More and more frequently, I hear my friends say to me “live a little” or “have some fun for a change.” These are most likely to occur in the dining hall, when I bring my third serving of dry turkey and raw veggies back to the table, or on a Friday night, after I refuse a second round at the pub. Having a long-term mindset allows me to brush off these comments and focus on my eventual goal. Just because some of my friend’s ideas of a good time include drinking more than a few beers and eating multiple bowls of popcorn at the pub doesn’t make that same activity fun for me. I get much more enjoyment out of beating a personal best lifting at the gym than getting drunk on the weekends. While these two things are not necessary mutually exclusive and this is not to say you can’t indulge in “unhealthy” eating or drinking once in awhile, there are costs associated with every action. Making the sacrifices to hasten the pace towards your goals is necessary, but you will only achieve consistency with your behavior if you are truly committed.

The basic message here is you should do what makes you happy because then the sacrifices necessary to achieve any desired outcome don’t seem so bad. Personally, I get the most enjoyment out of attaining a long-term goal. As a result, have improved my ability to delay short term gratification in exchange for faster progress. Keeping this perspective has helped me improve in my physical endeavors despite limited support from my friends whose interests are elsewhere.

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Would I Know the Line?

It is so easy to sit and cast judgment on Lance Armstrong and other U.S. cyclists that admitted to doping for years. The same mentality is directed to athletes like Barry Bonds,   Mark McGwire, or other athletes detected of using steroids in their careers. When I sat in lecture today learning of the Eastern Germans, the U.S. cyclists, and many other Olympic athletes stripped of their medals due to performance enhancing drugs or blood doping I couldn’t help but think about what I would do in the same scenario. I’d love to say I’d be the noble one and say no performance enhancing drugs, but I don’t think I’d be as honorable as I wish.

From an athlete’s perspective I completely understand the burning desire to improve your game and be the best of the best. If I were on that cycling team and all of my teammates around me were getting all of the press and praise and accolades of a winner, yet I was riding alongside them struggling to keep up because I was the only one not doping, it’d downright piss me off. It wouldn’t even be a fair fight and I’d feel like I had to dope just to compete. I’d always wonder if I could’ve beaten them if I were “at their level” too.

This fact makes me sad because it kind of defeats one of the greatest phenomenons of sports: hard work pays off. Even the hardest working individual stands no chance against an individual who may be training slightly less, yet is taking performance enhancing drugs or doping. It also is unfortunate that there is no way to prove the steroid use in the early 1980′s when several world records were set because now it might be physically impossible for any individual, no matter how hard they train or how many natural physiological advances they have, to break these records. They shouldn’t even be counted as records because they were artificially set.

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Old School vs Modern Day: How Far We’ve Come

In the early and mid 1900’s, a human breaking four minutes in a mile was a radical concept.  It was thought that it was physically impossible for a human to accomplish this feat; Roger Bannister thought differently. On May 6th, 1954 on the Iffley Road Track in Oxford, Roger Bannister became the first man to break four minutes in the mile, finishing in 3:59.4.

I bring this up because in class today we talked about ergogenic aids in athletics. In track and field, mechanical aids have definitely helped in the development of faster times in the track events. Shoes, apparel, and even the track itself have been engineered to optimize performance. For example, in the 1950’s, track spikes were made out of heavy leather and were fairly bulky (picture below). Today, track spikes are much more light weight. One of the most commonly used distance spikes are the Nike Victory’s (picture shown below). A pair of size 11 spikes weigh only 4 ounces per shoe. While I don’t know the exact weight of the running spike from the 1950’s, I am very confident that they are significantly heavier. Running apparel has not changed quite as much as shoes, but racing clothes today are more light weight and breathable. Finally, one of the biggest factors in improved performance on the track is due to the track itself. In the 1950’s, most tracks were grass or gravel and cinder. In modern times, most tracks are made of polyurethanes and rubber. This combination makes for a firm, yet slightly elastic surface, generating fast times. Like the 1950’s, metal spikes can be worn on the modern track surface without tearing it up. Finally, some indoor tracks are banked, providing an easier turn for athletes running at high speeds, which improves their times.

This past weekend, a huge indoor track meet was held at Boston University. The meet was an invitational where unattached athletes could enter if fast enough. One of the athletes that competed was the London Olympic 10k silver medalist, Galen Rupp. In the race, Rupp was looking to break the American World Record in the indoor mile (Bernard Lagat currently holds the record at 3:49.89). Rupp wore his lightweight apparel and state of the art spikes on what is considered to be one of the fastest indoor tracks in the nation. This track is banked and firm yet incredibly elastic. The race also featured former Bangor High School, University of Maine, and current Oklahoma Sooner, Riley Masters (although the camera was only focusing on Rupp and he was running so fast that Riley wasn’t even in the picture. Still really cool though!). The race took off with Rupp tucked behind two guys pacing him though the race. The two guys led him through the first ¾ mile just about on pace before letting him take on the last 400 meters alone. The entire facility was raucous, all cheering Rupp on as he chased history. Rupp ended up crossing the line in 3:50.92, just about a second away from the record.

I bring this up because it is interesting to see how ergogenic aids have helped in athletics. Close to 60 years ago, Roger Bannister broke the four minute barrier for the first time in history. Fast forwarding to modern times, Galen Rupp just ran roughly 9 seconds faster than a time considered impossible to reach just 60 short years ago. As any runner knows, cutting down time in a race gets exponentially more difficult as performance increases. So while 9 seconds might not seem like a lot of time to the average person, it is huge in an event like the mile.  Though I believe that training and preparation for distance running has improved over the years, I believe that the main generator of these faster times is because of the ergonomic aids such as the track surfaces, apparel, and track spikes.

It would be very interesting if Roger Bannister could magically be in his prime running form and if he ran the indoor mile using modern day technology. I’m not confident that he could beat Rupp, but I do believe that his times would be much faster than his 3:59.4 back in the 1950’s. What do you think his time would be?

Obviously this scenario is impossible. Maybe the more sensible solution would be to have Galen Rupp lace up some old school leather spikes and give the unbanked, gravel track a run.

 

santeeshoe        Unknown

 

You can probably guess which shoe is modern and which is from the 1950′s.

 

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The Greatest American Cyclist; Greg Lemond

Today’s lecture focused on the dark and unsavory side of bicycle racing. To contrast, I’d like to bring to your attention Greg Lemond, the first and only American cyclist to win the Tour de France.

He had and still has the reputation of being a clean rider during his career. Greg started racing as a young teenager and immediately people took notice. As a 14 or 15 year old (junior category racer) he competed and often won senior category races. His published VO2max was 92.5!

lemondteen

Greg won the Tour de France three times , and probably would have added to that if not for a life threatening hunting accident at the peak of his career. The recovery period caused him to loose about two complete seasons from high level competition . Two photos from the Tour de France.

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greg-lemond

And a two photos of the world championship road race..which he won (twice)!!

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LeMond-732_NX2

Greg is currently active in eliminating doping from cycling, working with the governing bodies of the sport.

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Alternative Training Methods

 

 

I follow a lot of fitness blogs, and one in particular that focuses a lot on the scientific side of sports, specifically triathlons. http://www.bengreenfieldfitness.com

 

Recently he’s been posting a lot of alternative ways to train using methods I first thought seemed strange, but they obviously seem to be working for him and his clients (he’s a personal trainer).

 

Here a couple of the more interesting ones:

 

Cool fat burner vest

CFB- How To Use --BAT-coverage

As you may know, cooling your body makes it work harder to keep you warm, thus burning more calories. This vest works using cold thermogenesis to specifically target “brown fat,” brown adipose tissue. There’s a lot of science behind this that’s explained pretty well here: https://www.coolfatburner.com//the-Science.htm

Here are some of the benefits:

  • boost metabolism upwards of 500%
  • activate Brown Fat
  • burn calories and fat
  • clearing blood glucose levels
  • help build muscle
  • enhance exercise recovery
  • reduce inflammation
  • injury management
  • increase adiponectin levels
  • increase cellular longevity
  • immune system enhancement
  • sleep enhancement
  • rest and relaxation
  • rebalance hormones, achieve primal health

 

 

Electrical stimulation

benshock

Apparently hooking your abs up to this machine for 10+ minutes can lead to incredible abs. The electrodes contract every muscle in your abdomen, leaving you feel as if you’ve just “literally done 1000 sit-ups” or “worked [your] core for a full hour”.

 

Vibration platform

bulletproof_vibe-300x162

This platform is designed for yoga lovers looking for a new challenge. As the name suggests, the platform vibrates and makes it difficult to get into many balancing poses, which works your core and your nervous system. If you aren’t a yoga lover you can also use this platform to do squats, pushups and other types of body weight exercises.  Apparently this method can also:

“-Detoxify and strengthen the immune system (pumps the lymph system thoroughly)
-Help regain muscle strength and bone density
-Reduce recovery time
-Stimulate healthier brain function”

 

Personally I don’t think I’ll try any of these methods any time soon. But I’d like to give them a try someday maybe.  What do you think?

 

Posted in Week 4 | 3 Comments

Why Do We Sleep?

We all know it’s important…but why?? Whenever I don’t get enough sleep, it is usually a terrible day.  Why do we spend a third of our lives sleeping?

When reading an article about this, I learned that scientists have developed many theories to answer this question, one of them being the inactivity theory. The inactivity theory talks about how animals adapted thousands of years ago to remain still at night in order to avoid predators. Another theory, called energy conservation, says that because night is the least efficient time to hunt for food, we try to fall into a state of sleep in order to conserve energy. One of the most popular theories of this scientific age is the restorative theory, claiming that all our repair and rejuvenation happens while we sleep. All of the great feelings we get when we wake up, like feeling more alert, come from rejuvenation and clearing of wastes.

It is so interesting to think about how our bodies work. Sleep consumes so much of our life and our life revolves so much around sleep. It is interesting to think about physiology and how some people don’t need as much sleep as others, some people have sleeping disorders like insomnia, and some people last for days without sleep. Our society expects doctors and emergency room staff to stay awake and be competent when dealing with such important issues like the healthy of others, all while lasting on an insufficient amount of sleep.

I feel as though teenagers, especially our technology-obsessed generation does not get nearly as much sleep as possible. Different age ranges require different amounts of sleep. It is important for teenagers to get a lot, but we don’t really have enough time to do that. I wonder if eventually our bodies will learn to adapt to the lack of sleep we get, just the opposite of the theories that claimed we started sleeping in order to adapt. I think in some ways, we have already done this. As we grow we learn to function on less and less sleep because there is more to do. As our bodies age and begin to shut down, we can’t help but be more tired and require more sleep.

For More Info:

http://healthysleep.med.harvard.edu/healthy/matters/benefits-of-sleep/why-do-we-sleep

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