New news from the research world … .
Cool(ing) technology: It’s 99 out and the humidity is even higher. You want to workout, you yearn to workout. On the other hand, you’re not big into heat stroke, either. Clever entrepreneurs have discovered this about you, which is why you’re starting to see an increasing number of PCDs — personal cooling devices — on the market. From the $50 Bex Runner cool pack that straps to your palm to the $189 Arctic Heat cooling vest by Cool Down Fire Up to $3,000 gizmo called CoreControl, devices abound to help you work out when it’s way hot.
But do they work? A July 20 Wall Street Journal article explores the issue. Read it here.
Hotter strategy: Even if it is 100 out and the humidity is somehow higher, you don’t necessarily need a $3,000 personal AC unit to survive. According to a report in the Dallas Morning News, the folks at the Institute for Exercise and Environmental Medicine, a collaboration of University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas, say the key is to acclimatize. Scale back your workout as the temperature rises, then slowly bring it back up to speed. “It’s amazing how well the body learns to acclimatize,” the Morning News quotes cardiologist and Institute Director Benjamin Levine as saying.
Read more about thriving in, not just surviving, the heat, here.
Buff mice, brainy mice: In the mouse world, what separates the achievers from the alsorans? A half hour on the treadmill and a few laps in the pool, apparently. From the Saudi Gazette comes news of a study at National Cheng Kung University in Taiwan that mice who spend more time in the gym — on rodent wheels, on mini-treadmills (really!) — scored better on their WMTs (water maze tests). Further, according to SG, “The mice who raced on the treadmills showed evidence of molecular changes in several portions of their brains when viewed under a microscope, while the voluntary wheel-runners had changes in only one area.” Said Chauying J. Jen, a professor of physiology and an author of the study, “Our results support the notion that different forms of exercise induce neuroplasticity changes in different brain regions.”
Read more about these brawny, brainy mice here.
Compression confession? When I first saw them on elite runners, I thought the tube sock was making a comeback. Then I discovered these new-fangled knee-highs were actually pricey compression socks, used by some athletes to boost circulation and maximize oxygen flow. But do they? A pair of studies presented at the American College of Sports Medicine’s annual meeting last month suggest they may not be that effective.
Photo: That’s the fashion-conscious 1965 version of L.A. Laker’s coach Phil Jackson during his NoDak playing days.