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Related eBooks               Super-short workouts are a favourite topic in this column. I have written about seven-minute, six-minute, four-minute, and even one-minute workouts. They are appealing because they require so little time, but they also demand straining effort. Martin Gibala is the scientist we most have to thank for the popularity of very brief, very hard exercise. All of these workouts are built around the concept of high-intensity interval training, in which you push yourself almost to exhaustion for a brief spurt of minutes or seconds, and then rest and recover for a few minutes before repeating the intense interval. Athletes have long used interval sessions as part of a varied weekly training program to improve their competitiveness. But Gibala, a professor of kinesiology at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, has helped to popularise the idea that we can rely on high-intensity intervals asContinue Reading
Breaking the Cardio Rut (and Some Stubborn Myths)                 Since the first time I ran a mile without stopping 15 years ago, running has been my exercise of choice. I don’t always enjoy the run itself, but I love the way I feel afterward: Sweaty, exhilarated and a couple hundred calories lighter. Regardless of the chaos lurking in the other corners of life, I can always count on that hour of solitude and stress relief, when I can plug in my headphones and zone out. But recently, as I rounded my 39th birthday and headed toward the big 4-0, I started noticing some changes. Random pains flared up more often—traveling from knee to ankle and back again—and they hung around longer than they used to. I started wondering what I would do if I couldn’t run anymore. At the same time, things startedContinue Reading
Why This Type of Training is Right for You                 Have you noticed that reaching for a can on the top shelf of the pantry, zipping up the back of a dress or picking up a bag of groceries from the floor has become more difficult, maybe even more painful over time? When your kids ask you to play tag or shoot hoops, do you worry about pulling a muscle or other injuries? As you get older, simple daily activities can become more challenging or even dangerous if you aren’t strength training regularly, and more importantly, doing the right kind of strength training exercises. Functional fitness, or training specifically designed to improve balance and power as related to everyday routines, is rising in popularity. Adding it to your strength training routine could mean the end of the everyday aches and pains.   WhatContinue Reading
Build Strength and Power, Decrease Injury Risk                 Runners are a breed all their own. I can say that because I am a runner. We can be quirky about our race rituals and to outsiders looking in, our lives seem to revolve around a “boring” sport of putting one foot in front of the other. But as any runner knows, it’s not really that simple (or boring!), to try to fit in fartleks, quarters, repeats and speed work along with your hills, distance runs, and race days. Mile after mile, we pound the pavement—rain, cold or sun—to reach our goals. No matter what type of runner you are, or how many races you have under your belt, we all share one common goal: to be better runners. We want to get faster, run farther, be more efficient, and stay injury-free. But if weContinue Reading
ARE you one of the many people who told themselves that 2017 was going to be the year that you got healthy and lost those extra kilos that had suddenly became your constant companion in recent times? If you’re like most people, here we are nearly two months into the New Year and the scales have not shifted, nor have your bad habits. Despite this, somehow your conscience feels nearly as comfortable as your waistline does in elastic pants thanks to the seemingly legitimate excuse of I don’t have time to exercise. Let’s be frank. In today’s busy world, how many of us truly have the time to do the recommended 150 minutes a week of aerobic exercise? I know my two kids always ensure I don’t. If only we could fit in just a few minutes a day. Well, believe it or not, researchers from McMasters University in CanadaContinue Reading
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