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There’s a great article from Lisa Collier Cool on Yahoo!Health titled 7 Fitness Rules kigfisher-1You Should Break.”   So much of what is passed down from generation to generation from a health and fitness standpoint has been updated, modified, or proven wrong in the past decade, that I’m a fan of information that allows me to evolve my own health heuristic.  I particularly like the fact that there seems to be a solid base of research underlying these changing points of view, and I always reserve the right to argue with the findings, since we all know that study design, sample, bias, co-variates and other variables can greatly influence the findings.  Here’s a quick listing of the “rules to break.”

The Rules to Break Include:

  1. Avoid Exercising In The Heat
  2. Drink Before You’re Thirsty
  3. Cardio Burns The Most Calories
  4. Workout Longer & Faster to Boost Your Health
  5. Subtract Your Age from 220 to Get Your Maximum Heart Rate
  6. Stretch (static) Before You Workout to Prevent Injuries
  7. Prevent or Treat Over-Use Injuries With Custom Foot Orthotics

weight-lifting-belt-420I’ll let you read the article for yourself, but there are a couple of rules to break that I want to highlight and comment on, since I just can’t help myself.  First, I think we’re well past the point of “rule 3” being a rule.  If you want to lose weight, prefer the weight loss to be more than just water, and ensure you’re not eating away at your own muscle (and undermining your metabolism), you need to eat right and include weight training into your exercise routine.  Improving and/or maintaining a healthy muscle mass is a very crucial metabolic component to your health.  I’d like to propose a combination of “Sore Muscles” and “Cardio” as the recipe for maximum calorie burn, and thus, I’d like to coin the term “SMARTIO” – – OK, so maybe it’s not that catchy, but it’s is the right combo.  Second, the recent research on stretching has demonstrated that some light, static stretching (about 15 seconds per muscle group) can improve your performance and reduce the risk of injuries.  However, this static stretching should be minimal and you must be sure you’re not doing something that will actually cause a problem (e.g. stretching incorrectly, or pushing it too far).  I personally wouldn’t give up on static stretching, but I now ensure it’s only about 20% KarateStretchingof my stretching routine, and a good dynamic warm-up feels better anyway.  Lastly, I’m sure their research will disprove my opinion, but I have found custom foot orthotics make a big difference for me.  A placebo?  Perhaps.  However, I’ll spend the money on my running shoes and the inserts, because my legs feel much better after 5-10 miles with the good stuff.

So go break a few rules.  Small steps add up!