Many athletes like to “psyche up” as part of their precompetition ritual, but does this really make a difference? And is one psyching-up method more effective than another? According to new research, imagery—visualizing oneself performing a task to the best of one’s ability—seems to be the most effective approach, at least for running sports.
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), children and teens should be physically active for at least 60 minutes on most, if not all, days of the week. This recommendation states that the 60 minutes may be accrued in “smaller chunks” of time throughout the day (HHS 2010). However, Troiano et al. (2008) report that only 8% of youth aged 12–19 years are active for a full 60 minutes per day.
Although the list of exercise benefits is impressive, it is apparent that just hearing about them does not assure consistent exercise compliance in most individuals. Regular exercise is a complex, multifactorial behavior that fitness professionals and scientists need to understand better in order to help clients stay active and healthy.
Exercise professionals inspire clients to adopt lifestyles filled with regular physical activity, positive behaviors and healthy eating plans. When clients want to lose weight, three dietary approaches often enter the conversation:
Despite best intentions, many people fall prey to unhealthy snack cravings in the late evening. But before you beat yourself up for being seduced by the siren song of your favorite duo—Ben and Jerry—new research suggests that perhaps we are hardwired for such eating patterns.newsletter_teaser: Despite best intentions, many people fall prey to unhealthy snack cravings in the late evening. But before you beat yourself up for being seduced by the siren song of your favorite duo—Ben and Jerry—new research suggests that perhaps we are hardwired for such eating patterns.
One variable of interest in Paoli and colleagues’ study was excess postexercise oxygen consumption, or EPOC. This represents the oxygen consumption, or energy expenditure (above the baseline, or pre-exercise, level), that occurs after an exercise bout. It is sometimes called “after-burn,” implying the burning of calories after the workout.
Imagine this science fiction scenario: While preparing your client for a set of back squats, the Training Scene Investigators (TSI) interrupt with a spot check. After your client has undergone a DNA mouth swab, a quick noninvasive laser muscle biopsy and a family history interview, the agents issue a comprehensive report.
Exercise professionals devote fervent attention to learning the intricate mechanisms of muscle actions and understanding how the contractile proteins (such as myosin and actin) create force to do an array of exercises. But the source of that force—the biochemistry of energy—often remains a mystery. This column will discuss recent explanations that help demystify the processes happening at the molecular level, where cells channel energy from food into the work accomplished by exercise.