Fitness Matters: Things You Should Know About Fitness

Hatfield (1993) defines fitness as “Your ability to meet the exigenics of your lifestyle with ease- and room to spare for life’s little emergencies. Thus, what constitutes ‘fitness’ for one person isn’t necessarily fitness for another” (p.419). Hatfield goes on the list 15 components of general fitness. Siff (2000) provides the following definition: “physical fitness refers to the functional state of the slow changing physiological components relating to motor activity. One’s fitness state does not vary significantly over any period up to as much as several days in length, but one’s ability to express fitness at any instant may be substantially affected positively or negatively by mental state, sickness, fatigue, sleepiness and other fairly transient factors. This ability, or instantaneous preparedness, is defined at any given instant and varies from moment to moment” (p.33). I define general fitness as demonstrating at least a moderate level of speed, strength, agility, range of motion and endurance. Fitness is concerned with motor, motivation and cognitive factors. Eating behavior is an important factor when considering fitness.  I agree with Siff and Hatfield in identifying fitness as a concept-complex (involves different components and varies contextually). So, looking fit (lean and or muscular) doesn’t always mean that one is fit.

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Why Exercise is Good for the Brain?

Computerized brain training games and dietary supplements will make your brain healthier, and you will get smarter—according to companies selling those products. There are many products aimed at improving brain health and cognition, but research is inconclusive regarding the benefits of many of these products. So what has been shown to enhance brain functioning? 

Exercise may lead to better cardiovascular health, stronger bones and muscles, stronger connective tissue, general fitness, athleticism, treatment of type 2 diabetes, treatment of insulin resistance, prevention of osteoporosis, and improved appearance. Better brain functioning is another possible benefit of exercise. Extensive research indicates exercise may offer an array of benefits, including physiological, behavioral, and cognitive (van Praag 2009). Full article

Are You Drinking Enough Water?

Claims such as “everyone needs to drink at least eight glasses of water per day,” “society is chronically dehydrated,” and “you aren’t drinking enough water” are promoted by the media, personal trainers, and healthcare personnel.

“We lug around huge water bottles and do our best to force down the recommended eight glasses per day, often believing that drinking enough water will help us lose weight. The problem with all of this is that there’s no medical reason for the recommendation” (Carroll and Vreeman 2009, 131). Full article

What Makes The Best Diet?

Diet is an important factor when considering overall health. Television shows, books, and various media outlets are saturated with advice on what and how to eat. A lot of information is conflicting, which often makes it hard to choose the right diet. How can there be so many “best” diets?  Low carb proponents would have us believe low carb is the way to go. Proponents of a low-fat diet insist that’s the way to go if health and weight loss are your primary concerns. Those are two of the many diets on the market. Is there a single best diet? Full article

Lactate is Not the Source?

Lactate is not lactic acid; lactate is proton consuming. Acidosis is a condition that tends to lower ph levels (increases acidosis). An acid may be proton donating, or may be defined as a molecular substance that releases positive hydrogen ions in a neutral, aqueous solution.  Lactate buffers against acidosis. In an experimental study conducted by Smith et al. (1993) when lactate was decreased and there was a greater rate of non-mitochondrial ATP hydrolysis, ph levels dropped- increased acidity. Full article

A Decade of Knowledge and Nonsense

K&N (Knowledge and Nonsense) was published in 2007.  Publication of the book had a big influence on my career in the exercise and nutrition industry. The book has been published in Greek, led to the publication of a condensed version (Should I Eat The Yolk: Separating Facts From Myths To Get You Lean, Fit and Healthy) paved the path for many articles (translated to various languages), seminars and internet battles. K&N covers an array of topics, but is best recognized as a myth-busting book. Many of the myths addressed in the book still exist; they  refuse to die.  I have attempted to lay them to rest on many occasions. Full article

 

 

Jamie Hale