Monday, July 2, 2012

The First 20 Minutes by Gretchen Reynolds

Takeaways from The First 20 Minutes: Surprising Science Reveals How We Can Exercise Better, Train Smarter and Live Longer by Gretchen Reynolds.

  • "In the past decade, a growing number of studies gave shown that static stretching not only does not prepare muscles for activity; it almost certainly does the reverse. ... For runners and other endurance athletes, the utility of being limber at all is in question. "
  • "To a large degree, flexibility is genetic, ... you've been born stretchy or not."
  • A "warm-up should be a prelude to exertion, not the exertion itself."
  • "Plenty of people still believe that eight glasses (of water) a day nonsense...The lesson is to drink what you need but no more and no less....If you're thirsty, drink. If you're not, you probably are hydrated."
  • For the most bang from your workout, in terms of weight loss, intensity is the way to go."
  • To better approximate running over ground, set your treadmill to a !% grade.
  • Weight training may be more effective against diabetes than endurance exercise. Weight trainers had better sugar control.
  • Weight training appears to be the best remedy against loss of joint flexibility; more effective than stretching.
  • Pickle juice is effective against cramping.
  • Exercise speeds the brain's production of serotonin. Abnormally low levels of serotonin have been associated with anxiety and depression.
  • Exercise at the molecular level has a strong anti-aging effect.

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