ABOUT SIMPLY FIT
CONTACT US
SCIENTIFIC PUBLICATIONS
RESEARCH LIBRARY
FEATURED ARTICLES
RELIABLE RESOURCES

          HOME                      CLIENTS                    MAGAZINE ARTICLES

   RESEARCH LIBRARY  

 EXERCISE

 

 

Endurance Training
Climb Your Way To Fitness
Cardiovascular Fitness
 

General Training
Aerobic Exercise
Best Time To Train
Glycogen And Recovery
One Workout A Week
Stale Crazy After All These Years
Propriocptive Neuromuscular
Too Much Training
Focus On The Base First
Training Frequency
On And Off-Season Training
Don't Forget To Warm Down
Aging and Strength
Pedaling Calories Away

Nutrient Intake Standards

How do scientists determine the amounts of nutrients healthy people need?

Scientists have determined the nutrient needs of many species of animals and of humans by examining statistical relationships between nutrient intake and disease, conducting short- and long-term clinical studies, and studying cellular metabolism. The dietary recommendations of many nation, as well as those of the World Health Organization, are based on these research findings.


Who uses nutrient intake standards?



Nutrient intake standards were developed to help professionals determine precise dietary needs of animals, including humans. These standards then were used as the basis for the food intake recommendations provided to consumers. In the United States, nutrition and health professionals-who plan school lunch programs, design food assistance programs, assess the nutritional content of processed foods, and evaluate the nutritional adequacy of the nation?s food supply-all rely on a nutrient intake standard known as the Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDA). Healthy diets also are planned using such guidelines as the Dietary Goals for the United States and the National Institute of Health (NIH) recommendations on fiber.


RDA



The federal government in 1941 convened a scientific committee to develop Recommended Dietary Allowances, or desirable nutrient intake levels, for healthy individuals. The committee established separate standards for men, women, infants, children, teenagers, young adults, and older adults because some nutrient requirements vary with age and gender. From age 11 on, separate RDA are given for males and females, reflecting the gender-linked changes in nutrient requirements that occur at puberty. In addition to providing for everyday needs, the RDA contains information about desired nutrient intake during special metabolic conditions such as pregnancy and lactation. The RDA are based on the best available scientific data. Because new discoveries are constantly being made, the tables are updated approximately every 5 to 10 years. The latest version, published in 1989 contains recommendations for consumption of energy (kcalories), protein, 13 vitamins, and 12 minerals. The RDA do not
give specific recommendations for carbohydrate or fat intake, on the assumption that people will consume adequate quantities of these nutrients in the process of meeting their energy needs.


NIH Recommendations for Fiber Intake



Prompted by mounting evidence that consuming greater amounts of insoluble as well as soluble fiber can reduce the incidence of colon cancer and decrease blood cholesterol levels, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) issued recommendations for fiber intake. Americans currently consume an average of 13 g of fiber per day. While acknowledging that individuals require varying amounts of fiber to maintain good gastrointestinal function, most experts agree that Americans should strive to consume between 20 and 35 g of fiber each day from a variety of fruits, vegetables, and grains. Any program to increase dietary fiber intake should be undertaken gradually to prevent intestinal problems.

TOP


 

CLIMB YOUR WAY TO FITNESS


STAIR CLIMB


Many people are apprehensive about trying stair machines because the equipment loads awkward and has so many functions. They also wonder if these apparatuses really do anything, preferring to use the treadmill and stationary bicycle instead. The fact is, stair machines are very effective.

Running is one of the best cardiovascular exercises you can do, but unfortunately, avid runners experience a lot of stress at their hip, knee and ankle joints. Cycling as another good cardiovascular exercise, but, because you're usually seated when you do it, it doesn't challenge you aerobically as much as running does, The stair master is a very happy medium; that is, the cardiovascular benefits are comparable to those of running while the stress to your body is significantly less.

When used correctly, the stair machine is a true aerobic challenge in that you're supporting a large portion of your bodyweight as you climb. What's more, the machine variable speeds make it easy to get in an interval workout complete with warm-up and cool down. In a study done on physically active college students, stair machine workout proved to be as effective as running for achieving overall fitness, as measured by the body's oxygen consumption, or VO2 Max, and heart rate. Climbing on the stair machine is a beneficial part of rehab for injured runners because of the limited range of leg motion, and it's an effective means changing a monotonous workout schedule for both runners and cyclists. To maximize your stair machine workout, keep you arms relaxed, not locked, and support your upper body by holding onto the sides. Your back should be straight, not leaning for forward.
March95IM


TOP

 

 

 

CARDIOVASCULAR FITNESS

 

EXERCISE HEART RATE



Exercise heart rate is a common measure of exercise intensity in endurance activities. During aerobic exercise there is a linear relationship between oxygen consumption and heart rate, where the increase in heart rate is designed to supply adequate oxygen to the working muscles. Heart rate also increases during weightlifting, which is due to an increased level of adrenaline rather than an increased demand for oxygen.

While your heart rate and blood pressure are elevated during training, there is no gain in cardiovascular fitness. Weight training has been shown to improve short-term endurance, which is measured by performing exercise to exhaustion for four to eight minutes. To improve your cardiovascular fitness and long-term endurance, you must do prolonged aerobic exercise. Although the increased heart rate and blood pressure that occur during weight training do not help improve cardiovascular fitness, the response does not appear to be detrimental.
July91IM

TOP

 

 

 

AEROBIC EXERCISE



Ping-Pong

Q: Is Ping-Pong an aerobic exercise? I love playing the game and wondered how many calories I burn while playing it?



A: Any pastime in which you can maintain your activity, or exercise, intensity for prolonged periods of time is considered aerobic. This means that your aerobic metabolism supplies your body with energy, as opposed to your anaerobic metabolism, which results in the buildup of lactic acid and is there fore duration, or time, limited.

As long as you play continuously, you will burn, an average, between 350 and 450 calories per hour. This is about the same amount you'd burn by walking briskly, playing doubles tennis or riding a bicycle for at six to eight miles per hour. A fast fame also helps to improve your agility, coordination, reflexes and flexibility. Research has shown that elite Ping-Pong players maintain an average heart rate of 75 percent of maximum during a game, a level that conditions your cardiovascular system. So by all means continue to enjoy your passion and feel good about the benefits to your body and heart.
Feb93IM


  TOP

 

 

 

 
BEST TIME TO TRAIN

 

TIME TO TRAIN



Is it better to train in the morning or at night? Morning people feel they perform better earlier in the day and enjoy starting their day with exercise. Night owls, on the other hand, prefer to train later, when their bodies are awake.

Recent evidence suggests that there is no difference in terms of performance, health benefits or stress reduction whether you train early in the day or late at night. While researchers thought that training later improvement in mood, they found no difference. In fact, from the research it appears that exercise performed at any time will help improve your body and mind. Whether you're a morning person or a night person, the most important factor in terms of when you should train is time-whenever your schedule permits. Morning or night, exercise will work it's magic.
Feb92IM

  TOP

 

 

 

ADEQUATE GLYCONGEN STORES


Muscle glycogen is utilized as both a short-term and long-term energy source. If you don't maintain adequate glycogen stores, your workouts will be impaired, you'll feel fatigue, and you may end up becoming overtrained.

To keep glycogen stores high most athletes eat a diet consisting of 70 percent carbohydrates. Even so, the majority of them don't realize how long it takes for their glycogen stores to return to normal levels once they've been depleted.

While the length of time this process takes depends on numerous factors, including the intensity of exercise and the duration of the workout, most of the resynthesis of muscle glycogen occurs during the first few hours following exercise-provided the athlete ingests adequate amounts of carbohydrates.

For endurance athletes, who must recover from prolonged, continuous exercise, muscle glycogen replenishment is complete within 46 hours. About 60 percent of the stores are replaced in the first 10 hours of recovery. The replenishment of glycogen stores following a gym workout-that is, short-term, high-intensity, intermittent exercise-is complete within 24 hours. In this case 45 percent of the stores are replaced in the first few hours of recovery.

When you consider how long recovery takes, you can understand the rationale for allowing at least one recovery day between hard, intense workouts.
Nov92IM

  TOP

 

  

 

ONE WORKOUT A WEEK


ADEQUATE TO MAINTAIN



Many Athletes use resistance training in the off-season to improve their strength and power. Once the season begins, however, both their time and recuperative abilities become limited, and so they generally curtail their nonspecific resistance training, which is exactly what they should do. One workout per week is the weight-training guideline for athletes during their competitive seasons.

Once you have attained your desired strength level during the off-season, once-a-week weight training should be adequate to maintain it, and the stress imposed on the sports-specific muscles during the competitive season will aid in that effort. Training more frequently during the on-season will likely result in overtraining and chronic fatigue; so while you're training intensely for another sport, once-per-week resistance training is plenty.
March93IM

TOP

 

 

 

Stale Crazy After All These Years


OVERTRAINING



Optimally, we'd all like to be able to train hard all the time. The pleasure we get from intense workouts is difficult to describe, but it's a feeling that keeps us coming back time an again. We all want to hit a peak, so we generally taper our workouts to avoid overtraining. Eventually, however, we all experience stale periods.

While no one knows for sure what happens when we get stale, it's probably related to-or caused by chronic fatigue. Pushing your limits continuously without adequate recovery time between intense workouts is a sure way to put yourself in this condition.

As we began training and our condition improves, we want to keep pushing ourselves more and more. Sooner or later, however, without adequate planning and cycling of workouts we're likely to experience feelings of overtraining and staleness. Other causes of staleness are probably related to psychological factors, including boredom, depression and lack of interest. Varying your workouts, maintaining an adequate diet and carbohydrate intake and, most important, paying as much attention to your rest and recovery as you do to your training should help you avoid feeling stale and overtrained.
Dec92IM

TOP

 

 

 

 

PROPROCEPTIVE NEUROMUSCULAR FACILITATION




PNF


Proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF) is a form of stretching and flexibility training that involves the combination of muscle contraction and relaxation/stretch. While there are several recognized types of stretching-including static, ballistic and PNF-PNF has become a favorite among therapists and trainers for rehabilitating injured athletes and correcting flexibility limitations and imbalance.

PNF technique involves passively stretching a muscle to the point of tension, then isometrically contracting it. The contraction is then released, and the muscle is stretched even further as it relaxes. While studies suggest that PNF may be more effective than the other two forms of stretching, PNF methods are more difficult and require more instruction and assistance than the simple static method.

The question also arises as to how strong a contraction is necessary during PNF flexibility training. Research shows that isometric contractions of 50 percent intensity yield results similar to those elicited by 100 percent contractions. Therefore, it's not necessary to go full blast on the contractions to get the desired results.

Despite the current preference for PNF among some training authorities, all three basic stretching methods are effective, all can be varied, and they can all be used in combination. Whatever form of stretching you choose, you should make flexibility training an important part of data suggests that more-flexible athletes achieve better performances and that proper stretching and flexibility training may prevent injury.
May92IM

TOP

 

 

 

TOO MUCH TRAINING



FASTER GAINS


The mentality of most athletes is that "more is better," but if you can control your obsessiveness about training you'll have a healthier life and make faster gains. It's important to look at training in the long term. If you avoid staleness, injury and overtraining, you'll ultimately achieve the best results possible. Working out should be a healthy, fun activity, not one that forces you to train out of guilt, obsession or fear that you won't make progress.

Remember that rest is an important component of any training program, one that is all too often overlooked. Many athletes don't get a lot of rest in general, and they apply this same attitude to their training. Always allow sore and injured bodyparts enough time to heal. Most experts recommend a few light workouts each week as well as days off. In fact, skipping a workout every so often may help improve your performance more than training will.
July93IM

  TOP

 

 

FOCUS ON THE BASE FIRST


BUILDING A BASE



When it come to training, always concentrate on building a base before you do any sport-specific work. For an endurance athlete this means running long, steady miles to build an endurance base before progressing to interval training. For a power athlete it means building a strength foundation before performing explosive, power exercises. For a bodybuilder it means building a solid foundation before graduating to work that emphasizes quality.

By periodizing, or cycling, your training intensity, you'll enjoy sustained progress and avoid injury. If you don't build a proper base, your body will both mentally and physically be unable to withstand the rigors of specificity training. If you do have that base, however, intense specificity training will subject your body to less stress and trauma. There are no shortcuts.
July93IM

 

TOP 

 

TRAINING FREQUENCY



RECOVERY



You often hear about professional bodybuilders who train twice a day on what is called a double-split routine. While this regimen may work for some, it most likely won't work for you. Present evidence indicates that it's not necessarily more productive to train more than once a day. While ultra-endurance athletes such as runners, cyclist, swimmers and triathletes often must train twice a day in order to accommodate their rather large volume of training, this is generally not required for power or strength athletes. Remember that too many training sessions-in whatever combination-will increase the risk of chronic fatigue.

One major reason that bodybuilders shouldn't train too frequently is that unlike endurance training, where athletes mix "easy," or less-intense, workouts with "hard," or more-intense, ones, weight training must generally be high intensity for it to be effective. This means that the body requires a longer time between sessions for complete recovery.
June92IM

TOP

 

ON AND OFF-SEASON TRAINING

WEIGHT TRAINING



Many athletes follow a weight-training program during the off-season to increase their strength and power. Research has shown that both power and endurance athletes benefit from this kind of regimen. By training with weights in the off-season, they enhance performance and reduce fatigue during the competitive season. The optimum type of training for this purpose is isokinetic, although free-weights and most machines, which is what these athletes generally use, involve isotonic resistance.

Whether you should train with weights during your competitive season depends on your level of strength and the importance o strength as a limiting factor in your sport. If you're losing strength or need to gain strength during the season, you should work out with weights at least twice a week; however, if you've already attained your desired strength level through you off-season program, then you'll only need one workout per week for strength maintenance. Just before major competitions or while tapering to reach a peak is the time to abstain completely.
June92IM

TOP

 

 

DON'T FORGET TO WARM DOWN


COOL-DOWN



Many bodybuilders ride a stationary bike for 10 minutes or do light sets of an exercise as a warm-up before training. The benefits of a proper warm-up are well documented. A proper warm-down, however, may be just as important.

Perhaps the single most significant effect of a warm-down, or cool-down, as it's also called, is the removal of lactic acid from the muscles and the blood. Without a warm-down lactic acid removal can take twice as long. Rapid removal of lactic acid may help reduce subsequent soreness and stiffness. A warm-down involves light movement and/or stretching, which helps keep the lactic acid and blood from pooling in any given region.
June92IM

TOP

 

 

AGING AND STRENGTH

STRENGTH REACHES A PEAK



Strength reaches a peak in the early 20s and declines slowly until age 35 or so, when the decline becomes more rapid. This is what current research tells us, yet most of these studies were performed on moderately trained or sedentary individuals.

While strength losses do generally accelerate after the mid-30s, they don't have to. When a person uses his or her strength, it hardly declines at all, even into that person's 60s. Many athletes who have continued to train throughout their lives are stronger in their 50s and 60s than sedentary people who are half their age, and world-class weightlifters have achieved personal records in their 40s.

Training before puberty leads to improvements that are due mostly to changes in the nervous system. Training after puberty combines nervous system changes with changes in the muscle tissue; however, when testosterone declines with old age, senior citizens may be limited to neurogenic changes. Even so, training at any age improves or maintains strength. So either start today or keep up with your training to maintain you strength as you get older.
April92IM

TOP

 

 

PEDALING CALORIES AWAY

ENERGY EXPENDITURE



Most gyms have stationary bicycles that help burn fat and calories when you're on a weight-loss program. Many of the computerized machines tell you your heart rate, work load and caloric expenditure, most of which information is pretty accurate. For example, you get accurate readings on the distance you ride and your speed, pace and work load, but don't count on these machines for a correct measure of the calories you burn. Most models base their findings on norms for average expenditures for a given time or distance of riding. The latest research shows, however, that bodyweight and body composition are also important in calculation how many calories an individual burns.

It is generally assumed that energy expenditure during cycling is independent of bodyweight, since you are supported on the seat throughout the exercise session. The equations used to determine calorie expenditure are based on that assumption. From these new studies, we now know that a heavier person will burn more calories than a lighter person during similar exercise sessions even though the machine reports the same caloric expenditure. Prefigured tables are no more helpful than machines, since most current tables don't take bodyweight into consideration either.

Don't let this less-than-accurate measurement keep you off the bicycle, however. Although you won't know your exact caloric expenditure, the value will give you a goal to meet or exceed during subsequent rides.
Sept91IM

TOP