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Tips and research you need to know!
STRONG IS THE NEW SKINNY
Let’s settle this once and for all: Your tness level is way more important than your weight. Working toward a stronger self is always healthier mentally and emotionally than aiming for a thinner body—and research now suggests that it’s more important for your long-term health as well. In the book Big Fat Lies, exercise physiologist Glenn A. Gaesser, Ph.D., cites proof that overweight fit people are less likely to die from chronic disease than those who are thin and out of shape. Remember, no matter what your body size—keep on running!
BURST YOUR BUBBLE
You know soda’s not a health food—but how dangerous can a beverage be? Researchers at Children’s Hospital in Boston found that when overweight children were encouraged to drink water rather than sugary drinks, their weight gain decreased by more than 50 percent. And Danish researchers discovered that when subjects drank milk rather than cola (both with the same number of calories), they were less likely to experience spikes in visceral fat and triglyceride levels. Break your soda habit today by opting for unsweetened iced tea or all-natural, sugar-free electrolyte beverages (like Nuun or Ultima) when you’re craving a flavorful drink.
Need another reason to stay away from processed foods? The plastic additive Bisphenol A (BPA) often found in food and beverage packaging (and thereby leached into food) is linked to a number of health issues. Recent research says BPA consumption leads to an increased risk of birth defects, miscarriage and childhood obesity. The good news is you can avoid BPA easily by enjoying fresh, whole foods that come from the farmers market—not from metal cans or plastic containers.
LESS IS MORE
Increasing your mileage doesn’t always build speed. Researchers from Denmark discovered that runners who traded distance runs for interval workouts were able to shave one minute off their 5k times over a seven-week period. During the study, runners who normally ran 40 to 60 minutes per day switched to a 20-to-30 minutes per-day schedule. Instead of steady-paced runs, they varied their speed during the workout, switching between low, moderate and maximum effort. The takeaway? Train smarter, not harder.
RUN YOUR HEART OUT
Is marathon running a life-threatening activity? Tragic casualties suffered by race participants in recent years have forced runners to ask themselves this question. According to researchers, there is good news: The chance of becoming a statistic is extremely low. A study published in The American Journal of Sports Medicine found a runner’s risk of dying during a 26.2-mile or 13.1-mile race is only 0.75 in 10,000. To put that number into perspective, you are almost twice as likely to be struck by lightning. That said, always listen to your body and never skip a physical!