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Welcome to the HPRC Blog. We've got lots of information here, from quick tips to in-depth posts about detailed human performance optimization topics.

HPRC Fitness Arena: Physical Fitness

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How to help your skin survive the summer sun

HPRC Fitness Arena:
Summer sun can damage your skin.

Whether you are working out or relaxing, the summer sun can damage your skin. The American Academy of Dermotology recommends that you use a sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher, apply 15 to 30 minutes before going outdoors, and reapply every two hours. Make sure to cover all of your skin and use even if it’s cloudy outside.

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How to get over a workout plateau

HPRC Fitness Arena:
Not seeing the results you used to from your workout?

Not seeing the results you used to from your workout? Your body may have adapted to it. The American Council on Exercise suggests that you need to shake things up and surprise your body a bit. Change your cardio and weight workout periodically so that you continue to see results. Click here for more information how to "periodize" your workout.

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Patella Bands: Do they help runners?

HPRC Fitness Arena:
Patella bands are knee braces often worn by runners in order to alleviate the aches of a knee injury. However, there are underlying issues that remain in determining their effectiveness.

Patella bands are knee braces often worn by runners in order to alleviate the aches of a knee injury. However, do they actually get rid of knee pain? The Wall Street Journal reports that doctors say patella bands can work, but only temporarily. According to the article, their are underlying issues that remain in determining their effectiveness.

Read the article here.

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Monitor your heart rate to improve your performance

HPRC Fitness Arena:

Monitoring your heart rate during exercise is an excellent way to optimize your training and improve your performance. Review this article by Medicinenet on how to make sure you are in the best training zone for your goals.

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Buy the right running shoe

HPRC Fitness Arena:
Some tips from MedicineNet to help you find the right running shoe.

To ensure that your running shoes fit properly, take care to shop at the end of the day when feet are largest, and take your running socks with you!  Review these tips from MedicineNet for more suggestions to buy the best shoe for you.

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Work out with a friend

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A little friendly competition with a friend benefits you both.

Working out with a friend can ramp up performance and help you reach your fitness goals by helping you stick to your regimen and providing a source of friendly competition. Taking a friend along for a run or other workout will help you both.  Click here for more information.

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Exercise has mental benefits.

HPRC Fitness Arena:
Exercise works wonders!

It not only helps you maintain a healthy weight and look better, but it also improves your mood and energy level while decreasing anxiety.  As little as a 10 minute walk will provide benefits (APA article). For more detailed information and more tips visit the American Psychological Association (APA).

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Staying fit on a budget

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There are plenty of low-cost alternatives to expensive gyms that can help you lose weight and build muscle without breaking your budget. Read on for a few examples.

Count your steps! Get a pedometer and see if you close you can get to 10,000 steps each day.

Jump rope – it not only gets your body moving but it's also a great family activity to share.

Start a fitness group. Having a buddy and working out together is a lot of fun. You can create your own fitness groups and include fun activities such as walking, hiking, running, using exercise DVDs, and playing at the park with children.

Join a local adult recreational sports league and play sports like soccer, basketball, and softball, and make new friends, to boot.

Simple exercises like push-ups, dips, crunches, and stretches can be done in a few minutes. Set aside time every day to be active.

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Strengthen your core with a few core moves

HPRC Fitness Arena:
Improve your performance with core moves.

A strong core can enhance balance and stability and may even improve your performance. For more reasons to strengthen your core,  here are seven from the Mayo Clinic. Additionally, visit the Mayo Clinic’s slideshow for core strengthening exercises.

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Questions raised on the effectiveness of toning shoes

HPRC Fitness Arena:
Toning shoes are exercise shoes that have a uniquely shaped rocker type sole and extra cushioning to alter the wearer’s normal walking gait. They are the latest trend in fitness footwear, but is all the buzz and manufacturer’s claims too good to be true?

Toning shoes are exercise shoes that have a uniquely shaped rocker type sole and extra cushioning to alter the wearer’s normal walking gait.  Manufacturers of toning shoes claim that wearers can tighten and shape their lower-body muscles just by walking in the shoes. They are the latest trend in fitness footwear, but is all the buzz and manufacturer’s claims too good to be true? Proponents of toning shoes cite that “instability of the shoes” forces the user to activate muscles that otherwise would not be used with regular exercise shoes. Additionally,  advocates for the shoes claim that by wearing toning shoes, you can change your posture and take pressure off aching, overused joints. However, a growing share of medical skeptics say no independent studies have shown benefits from these types of shoes over traditional pairs.

The American Council on Exercise (ACE), in conjunction with researchers from the University of Wisconsin, LaCrosse, released results of a study comparing the effects of wearing toning to traditional running shoes. Seems the claims may not be true.

Read the press release from ACE here.

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