Why am I getting headaches during my workouts?

Posted by Alex Hoffman on Apr 6, 2020 5:00:00 AM

Oh my aching head!  Many individuals who exercise have exertional headaches. Recent studies have delineated a clear-cut exertionial headache syndrome: Straining or a Valsalva-type maneuver precipitates the acute onset of severe throbbing pain, usually occipital, for a few seconds to a few minutes. The headache then settles to a dull ache lasting 4 to 6 hours. In subsequent weeks to months, the headache recurs with exertion. The patient has no history of migraine and a normal neurologic exam. Exertional headaches are thought to be vascular, but this is unproven. According to one theory, exertional headache occurs because exertion increases cerebral arterial pressure, causing the pain-sensitive venous sinuses at the base of the brain to dilate. Studies of weight lifters demonstrate that, with maximal lifts, systolic blood pressure may reach levels above 400 mm Hg and diastolic pressures above 300 mm Hg. The throbbing, migrainous nature of these headaches, together with the finding that intravenous dihydroergotamine mesylate can relieve them, supports the supposition that these headaches have a vascular basis. 


Curr Neurol Neurosci Rep. 2018 Apr 19;18(6):28
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Is it Possible to Be Fit and Fat?

Posted by Alex Hoffman on Mar 30, 2020 5:45:00 AM

Regular physical activity improves metabolic health, even in the face of excess fat. Fit but fat people are metabolically healthier than thinner people who don’t exercise. Measures of poor metabolic health include high blood pressure, elevated levels of triglycerides, blood sugar, and C-reactive protein; insulin resistance, and low levels of HDL (the good cholesterol). A study presented at the European Congress on Obesity found that obese but metabolically healthy people showed a higher risk of heart disease, stroke, and heart failure than leaner people. The study, however, did not consider levels of physical activity. People who exercise vigorously have a lower risk of cardiovascular incidents than non-exercisers— regardless of weight or body mass index. The three most important risk factors for poor metabolic health are age, physical inactivity, and waist circumference. Physically active people have smaller waists circumferences, regardless of overall body fat. Conversely, many physically active overweight and obese people are metabolically healthy. Regular exercise trims belly fat and improves metabolic health— even in people who are overweight or obese.

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Acetaminophen for more than just pain relief

Posted by Alex Hoffman on Mar 23, 2020 6:30:00 AM

Almost all of us at one time or another have used Tylenol, Midol, etc. to combat pain or maybe even muscle soreness.  While Acetaminophen is commonly used for pain relief, emerging evidence suggests that it may improve endurance exercise performance too.   In addition to altering pain sensation and neuromuscular function, ACT ingestion might attenuate fatigue development and enhance performance by modulating aspects of the power or torque-duration relationship. In a study by Morgan, P.T., Bowtell, J.L., Vanhatalo, A. et al.  it was revealed that acute ACT ingestion increased the mean torque across 60 Maximal Voluntary Contractions (MVCs) of the knee extensors in agreement with earlier reports that ACT can attenuate neuromuscular fatigue development and improve exercise performance. The improved mean torque was accompanied by an increase in Critical Torque (CT) and greater muscle activation during the latter stages of the 60 MVC protocol. Therefore, ACT ingestion appears to attenuate fatigue development during repeated skeletal muscle MVCs by enabling a better preservation of muscle activation during exercise.

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Crunches When Pregnant?

Posted by Alex Hoffman on Mar 16, 2020 8:45:00 AM

Clients who are pregnant should NOT be in a supine position for more than 5 minutes. 

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GMCT Shows Promise in Improving Muscle Strength and Endurance Performance

Posted by Alex Hoffman on Mar 9, 2020 6:30:00 AM

With the US supplements market valued at over $100 billion, it is no wonder that manufacturers are on the lookout for the next big thing. A new study suggests that perhaps the next big thing might be two popular Asian herbs.

In a study of resistance-trained male participants (aged 20-30), Laila Nutraceuticals R&D Center found that the combination of two extracts -- Garcinia mangostana fruit rind and Cinnamomum tamala leaf, known together as “GMCT” -- was effective in increasing muscle strength, muscle size, total lean mass, and improving endurance performance.

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Power Packed Polyphenol Montmorency cherries

Posted by Alex Hoffman on Mar 2, 2020 11:36:00 AM

As fitness enthusiast constantly looking for practical, natural and non-pharmacological ways to enhance our performance, the benefits of fruit derived polyphenol supplementation may prove promising.  The reason for the enthusiasm is in the efficacy of fruit-derived polyphenol supplements, which possess antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, in improving exercise performance and/or tolerance both acutely and chronically. Montmorency cherries are rich in polyphenols that possess antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and vasoactive properties. Montmorency cherry polyphenols have been shown to enhance recovery of muscle strength following a bout of muscle-damaging exercise. In a recent study Morgan, Barton and Bowtell proved that Montmorency cherry powder supplementation enhanced 15-km cycling performance. This improvement in exercise performance seems to involve enhanced muscle perfusion as evidenced by increased muscle oxygenation presumably due to the vasoactive and anti-oxidative effects of the phytochemicals within the Montmorency cherries. The results of this study suggest that supplementation with MC concentrate might represent, a practical, non-pharmacological, dietary intervention to enhance performance in trained individuals. However, further research is required to investigate the dose–response between MC supplementation and performance as well as the precise mechanisms responsible for this ergogenic potential, especially in the presence of a diet high in polyphenols.

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Vitamin D deficiency may contribute to the development of muscle atrophy.

Posted by Alex Hoffman on Feb 24, 2020 7:45:00 AM

Getting your daily dose of Vitamin D through direct sunlight exposure is well known. But how does vitamin D contribute to your training goals?

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Reduced-Exertion High-Intensity Interval Training promising protocol for those with Type 2 diabetes?

Posted by Alex Hoffman on Feb 17, 2020 7:15:00 AM

The reasons for poor exercise adherence are numerous and complex, but a perceived lack of time is consistently reported as one of the main barriers in people with type 2 diabetes. In response to this, submaximal high-intensity interval training (HIIT) and supramaximal sprint interval training (SIT) have been proposed as possible time-efficient alternative exercise options for improving glycaemic control. In a study by Metcalfe, R.S., Fitzpatrick, B., Fitzpatrick, S. et al., it was proven that a brief bout of reduced exertion high intensity interval training improves markers of postprandial glycaemic control over the following 24h period when compared with no exercise. The exercise bouts consisted of 10 min of unloaded pedaling interspersed with two ‘all-out’ sprints against a resistance equivalent to 5% of body mass. Just before each sprint, participants increased their pedal cadence to their maximal speed; the braking force was applied to the ergometer and participants maintained the highest possible cadence against the resistance for 20s. Sprints were performed at 2min 40s and 6min 40s into the 10-min exercise session. The findings suggest that reduced exertion high intensity interval training may offer a genuinely time-efficient exercise option for men with type 2 diabetes.

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Low calories adversely affect basic training

Posted by Alex Hoffman on Feb 10, 2020 11:21:00 AM

Inadequate calorie consumption adversely affects performance and injury frequency in Military Initial Entry Training.

The College of Exercise Science is proud to serve our military servicemembers and their families, and is vested in their success as they enter initial training, actively serve, or transition as veterans. 

To date, the American population has become less active due to changes in lifestyle factors such as increases in screentime in the place of physical activity, reductions in physically active jobs, and reduced active transportation. Consequently, fitness levels of civilians entering military service are lower, as evidenced by increases in failure rates on the initial fitness assessment.

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Post-exercise gift: chocolate milk

Posted by Alex Hoffman on Feb 3, 2020 11:10:00 AM

Chocolate milk outperforms carbohydrates in improving strength as a post workout choice.

The Department of Kinesiology and Health Education at The University of Texas at Austin conducted a first-of-its-kind field-based study, lead by Katelyn A. Born, Erin E. Dooley, P. et al that compared the impact of chocolate milk and carbohydrates alone on athletic outcomes in an adolescent population. The chocolate milk group had significantly greater improvements in composite strength from pre- to post-test at a 12.3% increase in comparison to carbohydrates alone with a 2.7% increase. Chocolate milk had a more positive effect on strength development and should be considered an appropriate post-exercise recovery supplement for adolescents.

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