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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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Sitting can be harmful for your health

HPRC Fitness Arena:
Couch potatoes – read on!

An American Cancer Society study found that individuals who sit more during their leisure hours and are less active, died sooner than those who sat less and were more active. According to researchers, "sit more, die more." If you are a couch potato, stand up and walk around! Get out and walk the dog, plant some flowers, or play ball with the kids… your own or the neighbor's!

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Runners: To strech or not to stretch?

HPRC Fitness Arena:
The USA Track and Field (USATF), the National Governing Body for track and field, long-distance running and race walking in the United States has just released a study to determine the effect of pre-run stretching on running injuries.

Runner stretchingPhoto: Blake Cable

The USA Track and Field (USATF), the National Governing Body for track and field, long-distance running and race walking in the United States has released a study to determine the effect of pre-run stretching on running injuries. The purpose of the study was to determine specifically if pre-run stretching of the three major leg muscle groups is beneficial for overall injury prevention or reduction.

According to the study, this was a clinical trial that involved close to 3,000 runners and the results confirm there is no difference in the risk of injury for those who stretched before running and those who did not. The study randomly assigned people to perform a specified pre-run stretching routine or to perform no pre-run stretching for a period of 3 months.

The findings of the stretch study can be viewed as a PDF here.

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The power of muscle memory

HPRC Fitness Arena:
The number of hours a person spends pumping iron may make it easier to get back into shape and could also stave off weakness and decline in muscle function in old age. That's according to findings recently published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The number of hours a person spends pumping iron may make it easier to get back into shape and could also stave off weakness and decline of muscle function in old age.  That's according to findings recently published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

In an interview with National Public Radio (NPR), Kristian Gundersen , one of the researchers of this study explains that muscles actually have a memory of their former strength — and that memory may last indefinitely. The article can be accessed here.

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Choosing your next pair of running shoes

HPRC Fitness Arena:

Recent research challenges the notion that flat-footed runners need motion-control shoes while high-arched runners need well-cushioned ones. In a recent military study, assigning shoes based on the shape of the arch of one’s foot did little to prevent juries. Previous studies by scientists in Canada and Australia found similar results. When you go to the footwear store on your next visit, listen to what your feet tell you. Choose a pair that fits and feels right!

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Fluid replacement during operations or exercise

HPRC Fitness Arena:
There's a right way to replace the fluids you lose when you sweat.

If you sweat a lot during exercise, be sure to drink lots of fluids – but do not exceed 1.5 L/hour. Sip frequently rather than gulp; drinking small amounts of fluids at a time are more effective than drinking large amounts occasionally. Also, start drinking before you become thirsty. Click here for more information.

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Dealing with repeat injuries

HPRC Fitness Arena:
The August 16 edition of the New York Times has an interesting piece on how athletes try to follow their passion for sport while at the same time coping with the frustration of repeated injuries.

The August 16 edition of the New York Times has an interesting piece on how athletes try to follow their passion for sport while at the same time coping with the frustration of repeated injuries.

Read the article here.

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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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