Bad habits up teen headache risk

Tech and Science | Updated today at 09:51 AM


CHICAGO – OVERWEIGHT teens who smoke and exercise infrequently are three times more likely to get headaches and migraines than teens with healthier lifestyles, Norwegian researchers said on Wednesday.

More than half of the teens in a study who had all three negative lifestyle factors had frequent headaches compared with 25 per cent of normal-weight, non-smoking teens who exercised.

Teens with two of the negative factors were 1.8 times more likely to have frequent headaches than those who had none of them, Dr. John-Anker Zwart of the University of Oslo and colleagues reported in the journal Neurology.

The researchers did not determine whether the obesity, smoking and lack of exercise caused the headaches, or were connected in some other way.

‘These lifestyle factors have rarely been studied in teens,’ said Dr. Andrew Hershey of the University of Cincinnati, who wrote a commentary on the findings.

‘This study is a vital step toward a better understanding of lifestyle factors and potential preventive measures that can be taken,’ Hershey said in a statement

10 safety rules for running on the road

1. Turn down the volume
be sure that you can hear the traffic (horns)

2. Always hydrate yourself
even on cooling days, drinking of water before and after exercise is a must.

3. Fuel up before running –
make sure your body has enough carbohydrate to burn

4. Antixodants to fight off air pollution

5. Proper warm up

6. Prepare for terrain
different terrain requires different footwear. Be sure to have the correct shoes for the correct workout

7. Steer clear of traffic

8. Keep hill work on a level plane
Hill work are great for training. But include them gradually to get the best workout improvements as well as to avoid injury.

9. Run with a partner
wear reflective apparel or light coloured top if running at night. Choose an area that you are familiar with.

prepared and written by Zac Leow

5 Fitness Myths You Need to Forget

1. Walking is not as effective as running.
You will be more likely to burn about twice as many calories running for 30 minutes, versus walking for 30 minutes. We should be focusing on the distance covered during a workout rather than the time taken to complete the workout. Hence, if one is willing to take a walk that takes 30 minutes to cover via running, the walk would be an effective outwork too.

2. Exercise increases hunger
It’s a common misconception: If you burn hundreds of calories during a workout, you’ll end up eating more. But research shows that exercise has no effect on a person’s food needs, with the exception of endurance athletes who exercise for two hours a day or more. In fact, research shows that exercise often suppresses hunger during and after the workout.

3. It doesn’t matter where your calories come from
Calories are not created equal. First, some foods (in particular, proteins) take more energy to chew, digest, metabolize, and store than others. Others (such as fats and carbohydrates) require fewer calories to digest and store. Second, different food types have different effects on your blood sugar. Refined carbohydrates (think white bread, cookies, and fruit drinks) raise blood sugar levels dramatically, which encourages fat storage, weight gain, and hunger. Fibrous foods like apples, as well as proteins, raise blood sugar less, making them friendlier to your waistline. Finally, foods that contain a lot of water, such as vegetables and soup, tend to fill the belly on fewer calories, so you’ll stop eating them way before you stop eating more calorie-dense foods.

4. Diet alone is enough for sustained weight loss
You’ll lose weight in the short term by slashing calories, but experts say exercise is what keeps pounds off for good. Exercise burns calories, of course. It also builds muscle, which takes up less space than fat. Muscle tissue also requires more calories to sustain it than fat tissue does. In other words, the more muscle tissue you have, the more calories you’ll burn at rest. In fact, some studies suggest that over the long term, if you had a choice of eating consistently less or exercising consistently more, exercise would be the better weight-loss choice. The best option is definitely to combine both exercise and diet.

5. There is no best time for exercise
If you’re simply walking to get healthy or take off some weight, it doesn’t matter when you do it, as long as you do it. Remember, any exercise is always better than no exercise. The harder you push yourself during a workout,the more calories you will burn.

prepared and written by Zac Leow

Seven Keys to Proper Running Mechanics

1. Pull your toes up

Most running injuries occur by running with your toes pointed down toward the ground. Aim to land through the middle of your arch by keeping your toes pulled up. Thinking about sliding your heel back and up underneath your butt. This will automatically force you into the proper position to land on the balls of your feet.

2. Don’t overstride

Your feet should land beneath your hips, not out in front of your body. One way to avoid overstriding: Speed up your stride rate. If you’re running with a faster stride rate, you’ll pick your feet up and put them down quickly, making it very hard to overstride. Your feet should strike the ground roughly 170-180 times a minute. miCoach displays stride rate in every completed Workout Details chart.

3. Keep your torso engaged

Your abdominal muscles should stay flexed if you’re running tall. Try lifting your head as far away from your tailbone as possible to maximize the muscle contraction and train your core while you run. Another way to think about it: Focus on running tall as if a string was pulling the front your hips forward.

4. Relax the iron fist

Keep your hands lightly cupped, but don’t make a fist. Fists cause your forearms to tense up, which impedes proper shoulder motion. Also be careful not to tense your fingers and slice through the air. This could cause your arms to move in a circular action instead of moving forward.

5. Keep your shoulders back and down

There’s a tendency to hunch over as you get tired. Resist it by keeping your shoulders back and down so your chest is lifted. Also, move your arms from your shoulder, like a pendulum, so your elbow angle remains the same.

6. Look for an angle

Keep your elbows fixed at right angles (bent 90 degrees) and pulled close towards your body. Don’t allow them to flare out. This way your arm action will be more efficient.

7. Eyes up

Keep your head up and your eyes fixed on the horizon to stay tall and upright while you run.

taken from

written by Scott Quill