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It's not easy to make time to work out every day. Gym sessions cut into your work time, family time, snooze time and downtime. But here's some fitness news that will make you smile. A new study in the Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology found that as little as 15 minutes of physical activity increases levels of feelings like enthusiasm, pride, happiness and excitement. (Think you're too busy? Here are 15 Ways To Find 15 Minutes For Exercise.)
The study tracked the daily activities of 190 college students. They kept a journal logging the amount and level of exercise they got and their overall emotional states. The more physically active people reported greater levels of pleasant feelings, compared to their less-active counterparts, reported the Penn State University researchers. In fact, the participants had higher levels of these feelings on days when they are more physically active than usual. (Plus, a regular workout could land you raise: Discover How Exercise Makes You Smarter.)
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Meet Giuliano and Claudi Stroe, two little dudes that certainly have an argument as the world's strongest seven- and five-year old, respectively.
They live in Galati, Romania, about three hours from Bucharest, and what one can only assume are the country's finest gyms. No matter, as the Stroe brothers know how to get work done. They'll put your morning routine to shame. They don't come more adorable than this duo, and this duo thinks your total number of chin-up repetitions is cute, at best. Prepare to be shamed by little boys. [Video by DiagonalView]
Joe Wilk loves Kansas so much that he has the official state seal tattooed on his side. Inside the seal is the state motto, "Ad Astra Per Aspera," which is Latin for "To the stars with difficulty."
That motto, as much as anything, sums up Wilk's professional situation right now.
It's "Meat Day" at the Imperial Athletics Gym in Boca Raton, Fla. Today is, as former UFC light heavyweight champion Rashad Evans explains, "the day where we really beat the hell out of each other, where we chop each other up like a piece of meat."
In other words, it's a day where, if you're not a top-level professional and you don't know what you're doing, it's best to avoid the gym.
Joe Wilk is not a top-level professional. Not yet. But here he is, with pride and loyalty to his roots, ready for the fight of his life.
Wilk is a featherweight mixed martial arts fighter. He's long dreamed of making it to the UFC, the pinnacle of MMA, and he's sacrificed greatly in his bid to get there. He concedes he has much yet to learn, which is why on Feb. 16 he made the 1,500-mile trek from his hometown in Manhattan, Kan., to Boca Raton to train for a couple of days at Imperial Athletics.Full Story >>
The doors clang outside my Miami hotel room at 3:30 a.m. as I make out the runner talk in the hallway. I slowly comprehend that this is quite likely the first of the 500 teams heading to the start line for Ragnar's 199 mile relay race from Miami to Key West. It wouldn't be fair to just call it an adventure race. It's two days and one night of constant grinding, adrenaline, sweat and burn. Racing in America is no longer just about pounding pavement and cutting times; it's about an experience. And overnight racing is one of the hottest racing experiences in the U.S. There's enough of a market to schedule 15 more of these events this year.
This race will begin as early as 5 a.m. for some teams, and bring about 5,000 runners to the southernmost point of the US. I'm running it for the first time. I shut my eyes, unaware that the next three hours of sleep will be of the best I get in the next 48 hours.
“At 150 feet, here is what a runner that is not wearing a vest or headlamp looks like,” the safety instructor informs our team while holding up a large poster board that is largely dark to illustrate his point in the pre-race safety briefing.
He switches to the poster board showing the properly illuminated runner, and the two distinct images resonate nicely in my mind along with the directions that it’s not a choice to wear these in the night time hours. I nod in agreement with my six newly formed team members, whom I’ve known for a grand total of two hours.Full Story >>
While you plow your way through seven-layer dip and a pile of wings this Super Bowl Sunday, you can bet that the Patriots will be fueling up, too. Only they'll be taking a far more scientific approach. You might even say they have a secret weapon. Its name: Superstarch.
Turns out, a slew of New England players -- including Vince Wilfork, Ron Brace and Mike Wright -- have been using this powdery, slow-digesting carbohydrate to up their games all season. And by all accounts, it's working pretty darn well.
New England defensive tackle Ron Brace has been taking the supplement since the off-season, and says it's been his key to giving his all at every practice. "A lot of energy supplements I've used in the past would give me an immediate jolt, but then a crash afterward,” Brace told Men's Health. "With this I feel neither -- just sustained energy and I’m able to keep going through my training day." He says he plans to chug the product before Sunday’s game. (As for you: Make sure you’re eating The Perfect Diet.)
So what is it? The raw material is the same cornstarch sitting in your cupboard, says Jeff Volek, Ph.D., R.D., associate professor in the department of kinesiology at the University of Connecticut. “The difference is that it’s been through a proprietary heat-moisture treatment, which changes the way the starch gets absorbed.”
Essentially, superstarch is digested more slowly than both regular starch and sugar. As a result, it’s absorbed into your bloodstream at a steady and much slower rate than the sugars in popular sports drinks. The result: sustained energy throughout 4 hours of battle with the Giants. “Consuming a regular carb drink that is rapidly absorbed is like emptying your entire gas tank into your engine at once,” says Volek. “It’s overkill.” (Is your workout overkill? Discover how you can blast fat -- in almost no time -- with The Ultimate Two-Exercise Workout.)
One performance benefit of superstarch: Volek says that using it provides a steady source of blood sugar as opposed to the highs and lows that can occur with rapidly absorbed sports drinks. “This more sustained fuel flow has many advantages such as promoting greater use of fat and potentially sparing muscle glycogen,” explains Volek. Glycogen refers to the carbohydrate that’s stored in your muscles. These carb stores are a finite resource -- your carb intake and activity the day before will determine how loaded-up they are. “Most sports like football, basketball, tennis, and hockey, require short bursts of high intensity effort that draw on glycogen,” says Volek. “So anything that spares their use could translate into performance gains.” (If you want to perform your best, you also need a strong core. Take our test to Find Out If Your Abs Are Weak.)Full Story >>
The process of developing from youth football player to NFL player doesn't happen overnight. It comes from studying plays, working on drills, watching game film, and of course, time in the gym. Three Giants at the Super Bowl weighed in with tips on how young players should work out.
Running back D.J. Ware
Ware says youth players should not try to do anything too erratic or too fancy in the gym.
"It's kind of hard to really tell a kid how to work out because you don't really know how their body is, and you don't really know how they respond to working out," Ware says. "I just try to do the basics. I try to do a little bench, squats, some power cleans for explosion and some shrugs."
Ware, a 6-0, 225-pounder, makes up for a lack of height with tremendous bulk. Putting meat on Ware's bones began as a project in middle school thanks to some advice from his father, Danny, Sr.
"I've been working out and running since about 13, so I've been going kind of hard since I can remember," Ware says. "My dad always told me you got to have thick legs, so they can't tackle you. That's pretty much what I've been trying to do ever since."Full Story >>