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Studies look at the effect of running has on your knees

HPRC Fitness Arena:
The October 13, 2010 Health section of the New York Times has an article discussing recent research on knees, arthritis and vigorous exercise.

Man with radiating knee pain

The October 13, 2010 Health section of the New York Times has an article discussing recent research on knees, arthritis, and vigorous exercise.

There's no question that physical activity over time takes its toll; however, your body is capable of adapting to it. The question is whether this adaptation is healthy.

Read the full article here.

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Who wants to wear "toe shoes"?

HPRC Fitness Arena:
Vibram’s line of FiveFingers shoes, or VFFs (also known as toe shoes), has become the most controversial item in military running.

Vibram’s line of FiveFingers shoes, or VFFs (also known as toe shoes), has become the most controversial item in military running.  Army officials have banned them from the PT test over worries they might give some soldiers an unfair advantage. The Navy has also nixed them while Air Force and Marine Corps leaders have given the OK for them to be used. A recent article in Army Times.com take a closer look at the toe shoe controversy and provides current policy stands for the service branches.

Read the full article here.

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Avoiding the "weekend-warrior" injury syndrome

HPRC Fitness Arena:
Are you putting yourself at risk by training too hard on the weekends?

Man with cast on his leg

Each day, more than 10,000 Americans visit emergency rooms for sports and exercise-related injuries, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Many of those who get injured are getting hurt due to being inactive and then suddenly taking on a major exercise program, such as training for a half-marathon – hence the weekend-warrior syndrome. Physorg.com has an article that provides common sense tips for avoiding the weekend-warrior pitfall of doing too much, too fast, too soon.

Read the full article here.

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Runners: How to pace yourself on hills

HPRC Fitness Arena:
A study published this year in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise suggests that most runners make two key mistakes: They try to run too fast uphill and don’t run fast enough downhill.

Woman running

In a study published this year in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise,  the research suggests that most runners make two key mistakes: They try to run too fast uphill and don’t run fast enough downhill. The Globe and Mail (Toronto) has an article that asks the questions on the best way to run hills. Access the article here.

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Is high endurance running harmful to your heart?

HPRC Fitness Arena:
MedicalNewsToday.com presents an article that reports on a 2009 study from the European Journal of Echocardiography that assesses the effects of running in ultra-endurance races.

Lone runner

Medical News Today reports on a 2009 study from the European Journal of Echocardiography that examines the effects of running in ultra-endurance races.

According to the article, the conclusions of the study suggest that some damage is likely to occur to the heart muscle of competitors, while 12 percent of the study group showed signs of significant cardiac damage.

The full article is here:  Ultra-Endurance Running May Not Be Good For The Heart

A strong country stays fit

HPRC Fitness Arena:
Why aren't there more of us out there exercising?

Research from the Harvard School of Public Health showed many years ago that individuals who exercise regularly die less from all causes. Although vigorous exercise, like running, produces greater gains, all that’s needed for good health is regular exercise. Regular physical activity has a positive effect on all of your body systems – it improves your mood and decreases anxiety, improves cognitive function, makes you stronger, and reduces your risk for many diseases like stroke, cardiovascular disease, many types of cancer, and adult onset diabetes. Even so, public health data from the Centers for Disease Control still shows that obesity and physical inactivity among adults in our country is high.

We at the Human Performance Resource Center are not only concerned with the total fitness of our Warfighters, but of all Americans. And like in many offices across the country, we work at desks, and fitness is something we have to carve out time for. But still, we do, as one of our staff members reports.

A few weeks ago, I went running with my super-tough Airborne Army son, a jumpmaster and SSG who’s been deployed many months over the last four years. When we last ran several years ago prior to his initial boot camp experience, I could outdistance him. Fortunately, that didn’t last long – six years and many runs later, this is no longer the case. The stories abound, and are hilarious. Like when he returned from his first 15-month deployment to Iraq: I had been running a lot and wanted to impress him with what good shape I was in. We hadn’t even made it out of my neighborhood, or hit the hills yet, and I was sucking wind. At that point he looked over and said, “Hey, Ma…we walkin’ or runnin’ today?” Fast forward to our five-mile run a few weeks ago in the midday July heat. I straggled back, having taken only a couple of one-minute walk breaks to catch my breath. Of course, he beat me back, and his greeting was, “Ma, you can do better than that!” But I know that underneath the teasing, he’s proud that his 50-year old mother is out that running with him, eating his dust. My response is, “Why aren’t there more mothers, sisters, brothers, fathers, sons, and daughters out here running with their Warfighter?”

So I challenge you: if we expect our Warfighters to be in optimal condition because their role, protecting our country, demands it – don’t we also have a responsibility to ourselves, our loved ones, and our country, to improve our health and reduce our healthcare costs? It doesn’t matter what you do to stay fit, only that you do something. Walk the dog, play outside with the kids, join an adult sports league, or go for a run – the possibilities are endless.

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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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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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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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