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: Total Force Fitness
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.
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.
Social support after deployment significantly decreases symptoms of PTSD and depression, a recent study found. Individuals who have emotional support from family, friends, coworkers, employers, and community members had less PTSD and depression. Warfighters who received social support immediately following deployment reported substantially reduced symptoms.
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.
A study of National Guard reserve troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, and their families, identified five stressors experienced by family members: worrying, waiting, going it alone, pulling double duty, and loneliness.
What helped these families most? Keeping busy and involved in activities at home, using technology to stay in touch, and staying connected to each other on a daily or weekly basis.
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.
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).
Recent surveys of dietary supplement use indicate that about 20 percent of active duty personnel are using some type of protein powder. The percentage of users is likely higher among special operations personnel, and this is of concern given the July 2010 Consumer Reports® Alert on protein drinks. These powder products are typically mixed with milk, water, or another liquid to make a shake and promoted as a sure way to increase muscle mass. The products often come in different flavors, with strawberry and chocolate the mainstays.
The Consumer Reports® Alert indicated that most of the 15 protein drink products analyzed contained miniscule to concerning amounts of selected contaminants – arsenic, cadmium, lead, and/or mercury – each of which is toxic to various organs in the body. Military personnel commonly use several of the products noted in the report. These include EAS Myoplex Original Rich Dark Chocolate Shakes; Muscle Milk chocolate, vanilla crème, and nutritional shake beverages; MuscleTech Nitro-Tech Hardcore Pro-Series Vanilla Milkshake; selected GNC products, and BSN and Optimum Nutrition whey protein products.
It is important to note that if three servings of these products were taken per day, consumers could be ingesting amounts of these contaminants in excess of the maximum limits proposed by the United States Pharmacopeia, the authoritative standard for health products. Importantly, toxic effects have been reported from using these products and are of concern because the Food and Drug Administration does not require such products to be tested to confirm the absence of contaminants and other potentially dangerous products before they are sold.
Take Home Message: A chicken breast, three 8-oz glasses of milk, and three eggs are inexpensive sources of high quality protein, whereas protein powders are expensive sources of uncertain quality, and potentially contaminated, protein. It is both better and cheaper to eat real foods.
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.
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.