Training News Roundup: Fall 2021

Here's the latest in fitness research.

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We know you work to stay up to date on the latest in fitness and nutrition research, so we did the hard work for you. Here are a few of the latest studies and facts about fitness that should be on your radar this fall.

Does a Crowd Affect Performance?

Does sports performance have anything to do with being observed? Perhaps. According to research published in Psychology of Sport and Exercise, the lack of spectators at sporting events during the pandemic had a noticeable effect on the performance of the athletes at the 2020 Biathlon World Cup: The female athletes ran faster without spectators, while the male athletes ran slower. However, women performed better with an audience when doing complex tasks such as shooting, while men performed worse when in the spotlight.

Peak Performance

If you run like you’re diving headfirst into the wind, stand up and listen: Research published in Human Movement Science found that the greater your angle of trunk flexion — e.g., forward lean — the more you’re at risk for injury. The weight of your upper body (everything above your hips) comprises about 70 percent of your total body mass, and even minor fluctuations in angle can mean significant changes in lower-body mechanics and ground reaction forces. Why? Leaning forward increases the angle at your hips and knees, which translates to a harder impact with each foot strike. Over time, this can lead to knee and back pain and conditions such as medial tibial stress syndrome. Have a running coach analyze your gait for some tips about leaning less.

Light Up Your Metabolism

Plenty of studies have shown that the blue light emanating from electronic devices can wreak havoc on your sleeping patterns and metabolic health, but Japanese researchers have discovered that not all light is created equal: Light-emitting diodes (LEDs) give off a lot of blue light, but organic light- emitting diodes (OLEDs) give off more white light. In the study, which was published in Scientific American, subjects were exposed to either LED or OLED light for four hours before hitting the sack. When the numbers were tallied, the OLED group experienced greater fat oxidation and more melatonin activity during sleep than the LED group.

Up-level your technology to give your body and brain a boost. Purchase devices that use OLEDs such as the iPhone 12 Pro Max and the Samsung Galaxy S21, as well some LG, Hisense, Panasonic and Sony TVs.

Movement and Mentality

People who exercise regularly experienced poor mental health 43 percent fewer days than those who don’t exercise regularly, according to a study published in The Lancet Psychiatry.

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