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Len Kravitz, PhD

Len Kravitz, PhD, is the program coordinator of exercise science and a researcher at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, where he recently won the Outstanding Teacher of the Year award. Len was also honored as the 2006 Fitness Educator of the Year by the American Council on Exercise.

Article Archive

Ouch! What Causes Muscle Cramps?

September 11, 2019

Muscle cramps can stop athletes in their tracks. Although they usually self-extinguish within seconds or minutes, the abrupt, harsh, involuntary muscle contractions can cause mild-to-severe agony and immobility, often accompanied by knotting of the affected muscle (Minetto et al. 2013). And cramps are common; 50%–60% of healthy people suffer muscle cramps during exercise, sleep or pregnancy or after vigorous physical exertion (Giuriato et al. 2018).

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The Weight Debate: Obesity and Health Risks

August 16, 2019

Think of it as the point-counterpoint discussion on obesity: Is the healthcare profession overemphasizing the negative consequences of extra weight? What are the risks? Is the focus on obesity helping or hurting our clients?

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Break Up a Sedentary Day With Active Standing

June 24, 2019

It is an inspiring time to be a fitness professional. Now, more than at any other time, we have scientific evidence that physical activity and exercise are tremendously beneficial for managing and reducing chronic diseases, improving brain health, lowering blood pressure, reducing depression and anxiety, controlling obesity, and more. How do we help people gain these benefits? Three scientific reports begin to define a road map of where we are headed to effectively combat sedentary lifestyles.

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Inside the Latest Physical Activity Guidelines

April 17, 2019

The more we move, the better we live. Even a few minutes of exercise is better than sitting still.

These are just two of the conclusions in the recent report from the 2018 Physical Activity Guidelines Advisory Committee, whose recommendations form a sound foundation for integrating exercise into our daily lives.

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Neuromuscular Power Circuits

April 1, 2019

The dynamic motions of sport require peak power—that is, the most strength a muscular contraction can muster in one of these quick bursts. Sporting athletes depend on peak power for jumping, running, throwing, striking, swinging and kicking. Scientists prefer the term “neuromuscular power” (to just “power” itself) because neural factors—including motor unit recruitment, muscle fiber firing frequency and synchronization of a muscle’s contractile forces—are involved.

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Carbohydrate Controversy: “Good” Sugars vs. “Bad” Sugars?

March 13, 2019

Physiologists regularly extol the importance of carbohydrates as a vital fuel that drives exercise and sport performance. Before the Industrial Revolution, carbohydrates were the major source of nutrients and energy for people throughout the world. Carbohydrates that come primarily from plants in the form of vegetables, fruits and grains are a direct link to the earth’s food chain. However, evidence is mounting that carbs from added sugars in cookies and soft drinks present several health risks.

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Peak Neuromuscular Power for Your Athlete Clients

February 13, 2019

STUDIES REVIEWED: Cormie, P., McGuigan, M.R., & Newton, R.U. 2011a. Developing maximal neuromuscular power: Part 1—Biological basis of maximal power production. Sports Medicine, 41 (1), 17–38.

Cormie, P., McGuigan, M.R., & Newton, R.U. 2011b. Developing maximal neuromuscular power: Part 2—Training considerations for improving maximal power production. Sports Medicine, 41 (2), 125–46.

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