Part hair, stretch it at appropriate times, and be gentle with the fangs

Part hair, stretch it at appropriate times, and be gentle with the fangs

Written by Kevin Kolodziejski

Please don’t play psychiatrist and diagnose me with kick the dog syndrome. I don’t even have a dog. Honestly, my habit is to split hairs while writing this column no A case of displaced aggression just because a little bit of it remains above my head – or a lot of it is now growing in my ears and nose.

Even though I’m being very honest, let me explain exactly why I don’t want you to feel that way about me (or Turks at all). That would mean that the statement I made at the beginning of this column three years and three months ago that we ultimately ride to feel deeply and fully — “three weeks of emotions in a three-hour ride” — was wrong. So, when it comes to riding a bike, it’s you and me no Both.

This in turn means you are not a “cycling guru,” which is the term I use to describe the mindset that naturally develops when you truly embrace a cycling lifestyle. When you’re better able to recognize the interconnectedness of the world, as a result of ruminating on things during the ride (as well as their inevitable continuation afterward). Like associating your very good mood after dinner with something you did after breakfast. You turned yourself upside down and somehow stayed with the leaders on that series of runners’ hills at the end of a really fast group ride.

But acknowledging all the interconnectedness of the world can lead to a disoriented and brutal mental chaos.

Unless you do what the card-carrying cycling world often does: split hair. And man, have I ever split them when it comes to stretching. This is because published research on this topic is also a huge, jumbled mess.

The need to section hair when stretching

A comprehensive review first published in December 2015 by Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism revealed 119 studies where stretching actually made athletic performance significantly worse, 145 studies where its effect was considered uncertain, and 6 studies where athletic performance was significantly improved as a result. So. . With such a mixed bag, I’d be a complete idiot – or a more corrupt used car salesman – to try to sell you on the stretch right before you get into the ride.

Especially since I don’t do that.

after However, a long weekend trip is a completely different matter. But the stretching I’m doing may not seem like a stretch at all to you. It’s not the static, stretching, and static set that has long been associated with gym classes. It’s a dynamic stretching exercise, closer to yoga, tai chi and Pilates than anything that’s been done in tight white gym shorts and gender-only gym classes for a long time.

To do this, I use the RumbleRoller, which is a knobby and firmer-than-usual foam roller. A couple of 20-25 minute sessions every weekend works wonders for me. . . But the recycling scientist in me admits that much of that benefit may be because I’m eight years closer to 102 than 32. And I sell you on foam rolling too.

“Mother’s Little Helper”

I mention my age because Mick Jagger, the now-wrinkled Rolling Stones member, showed dazzling insight when he declared nearly sixty years ago: “What a drag it is to be old” in “Mother’s Little Helper.” Even though I don’t have the pedal power I had five years ago, let alone 10 years ago, I refuse to resort to the kind of help the song suggests. Instead, I squat once a week with dumbbells or a weighted vest, with lower-than-traditional stops, as hard as I can.

However, I can’t imagine trying to do any leg exercises right now — or do any upper body lifting, for that matter — without stretching beforehand. But this is not only because of my age. Stretching before lifting became the final part of my mental preparation. A time when I review my goals for that session and beyond. A time when any doubts about torturing myself that day give way to a feeling of “you can do this.”

There’s no doubt: stretching prolongs your life

While you may not have such doubts and therefore feel no need for such mental preparation, I have no doubt that you would like to prolong your life. That’s why you’re about to read about a study published online by BMC Public Health in June of 2023.

In this study, researchers analyzed exercise information collected through the 2007-2013 Korean National Health and Nutrition Survey provided by more than 34,000 Korean adults (57% female, 43% male, and on average 48 years old). Using questionnaires, participants cataloged all the exercise (occupational and recreational) they had done during the past week. Accordingly, the researchers created three groups, separating hardcore exercisers from moderate ones and moderate exercisers from those who barely or did not exercise at all. The sets are created based not only on the total amount of exercise, but also on the specific types of exercise.

While you wouldn’t be shocked to learn that both hardcore and moderate exercisers were less likely to die of any kind during an average follow-up time of 9.2 years, a real shocker emerged. Dilation was “statistically significantly associated with a reduced risk of all-cause mortality.” In fact, compared to those who did not stretch in some way, shape or form, those who stretched at least one day a week had a 20% lower risk of death during the follow-up period.

However, there was an even greater shock.

The 20 percent reduction in death risk associated with stretching just one day a week was actually slightly higher than the benefit received by vigorous exercisers or strength coaches. However, this double jolt is not unprecedented. It’s just that a December 2020 study published by the Journal of Medicine and Science in Exercise that found something similar was originally viewed as strange.

In that study, nearly 27,000 American adults reported their frequency, degree and type of exercise, which the researchers then understood. Well, at least most of them.

What did make sense was that after taking into account all the outside elements that could have influenced their findings — such as the total amount of exercise, demographic factors, and socioeconomic status — the researchers determined that all exercise led to a lower risk of premature death. What wasn’t was that stretching was one of the two activities (volleyball was the other) “uniquely associated with a lower risk of death.”

Why this is actually the case may not make sense to you either. However, it makes a strong case for stretching — at appropriate times — to be part of cycling, general exercise, and wellness plans.

Kevin Kolodziejski He began his writing career in earnest in 1989. Since then he has written a weekly health and fitness column and his articles have appeared in magazines such as MuscleMag, Ironman, Vegetarian Times and Bicycle Guide. He earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in English from DeSales and Kutztown Universities.

A competitive cyclist for over 30 years, Kevin won two Pennsylvania State Time Trial Championships in his 30s, the Pain Mountain Time Trial Championship 4 out of 5 times in his 40s, two more TT State Championships in his 50s, and the Season Long Championship Pennsylvania 40+ bar at 43.

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