exercise

Miami-Dade Reopening Gyms, Fitness Studios On June 8 After Months Of COVID-19 Closures

Jun 4, 2020
Sam Turken / WLRN

Gyms and fitness studios across Miami-Dade may reopen June 8 after 12 weeks of closures ordered by Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez in March as an emergency measure against the spread of the coronavirus.

Gimenez announced the reopening date in a Thursday morning press conference. “This wasn’t an easy one because there’s a lot of heavy breathing and sweating going on,” Gimenez said.

He also said June 8 would be the first day for summer camps to reopen, along with short-term vacation rentals.

This post was updated Tuesday at 5:15 p.m. with new details about a Miami-Dade County meeting and town hall this week.

The coronavirus pandemic is limiting the amount of time that we spend outside our homes.

Parks and beaches remain closed, and that means if you want to get some fresh air, you essentially have to do it in your own neighborhood, which might not be set up for walking or riding a bike.

Parents and caregivers face a daunting task right now: keeping their children safe, active and engaged for what will likely be several weeks of school closings. The good news is that all kinds of people — families, educators, artists — are sharing best practices.

Perhaps the biggest challenge for kids will be staying active, while at the same time staying socially distant, says pediatrician Dr. David Hill. He says families should get outside, but avoid playgrounds because they encourage children to play in close contact with one another.

If you've ever considered training for a marathon, but you're a bit intimidated by the idea of 26.2 miles, here's some motivation.

A slow and steady six-month training program designed to gradually build up endurance and mileage gave a group of novice runners, ages 21 to 69, an impressive boost to their heart health.

"What we found in this study is that we're able to reverse the processes of aging that occur in the [blood] vessels," says study author Dr. Anish Bhuva, a British Heart Foundation Cardiology Fellow at Barts Heart Centre in the United Kingdom.

Nirmal Mulaikal/WLRN

About 150 runners trotted along a 0.5K race route in Delray Beach while enjoying beers, snacking on doughnuts and raising money for veterans seeking non-invasive, drug-free therapy. 

 

No, not 5K. 0.5K — about 1,600 feet.

Too much physical exertion appears to make the brain tired.

That's the conclusion of a study of triathletes published Thursday in the journal Current Biology.

Researchers found that after several weeks of overtraining, athletes became more likely to choose immediate gratification over long-term rewards. At the same time, brain scans showed the athletes had decreased activity in an area of the brain involved in decision-making.

There's nothing magical about the number 10,000.

In fact, the idea of walking at least 10,000 steps a day for health goes back decades to a marketing campaign launched in Japan to promote a pedometer. And, in subsequent years, it was adopted in the U.S. as a goal to promote good health. It's often the default setting on fitness trackers, but what's it really based on?

"The original basis of the number was not scientifically determined," says researcher I-Min Lee of Brigham and Women's Hospital.

Can muscles remember their younger, fitter selves?

Muscle physiology lore has long held that it is easier to regain muscle mass in once-fit muscles than build it anew, especially as we age. But scientists haven't been able to pin down how that would actually work.

I have become the type of person that used to mystify me. I ... am a fitness fanatic.

That was certainly not the case a year and a half ago. Back then, like a lot of Americans, I was mostly sedentary (unless you count walking to meetings). Which is ironic, because, as a senior editor for NPR's science, food and health team, it is literally my job to know better. But, with two small kids, a full-time job and recurring insomnia, I didn't have the time or energy to work out. And I'm not going tell you how much I used to weigh, but it wasn't healthy.

Why do some people not respond to exercise? A new $170 million study funded by the National Institutes of Health will attempt to answer that question.

You've likely heard the idea that sitting is the new smoking.

Compared with 1960, workers in the U.S. burn about 140 fewer calories, on average, per day due to our sedentary office jobs. And, while it's true that sitting for prolonged periods is bad for your health, the good news is that we can offset the damage by adding more physical activity to our days.

Young women, especially young women of color, tend to get less exercise than their male counterparts, and the disparities worsen after high school ends.

This is the finding of a study published Monday in the journal JAMA Pediatrics.

To see if you're bending correctly, try a simple experiment.

"Stand up and put your hands on your waist," says Jean Couch, who has been helping people get out of back pain for 25 years at her studio in Palo Alto, Calif.

"Now imagine I've dropped a feather in front of your feet and asked to pick it up," Couch says. "Usually everybody immediately moves their heads and looks down."

Editor's Note: This encore story, originally published in September, seems especially relevant this week, as we all relax (aka sit! binge-watch! eat!) for the holidays.

Count the number of hours you sit each day. Be honest.

For runners of road races, spring is a busy season. As temperatures rise, weekend racing ramps up — especially for those training for this month's Boston Marathon.

It's also crunch time for the sleuths sniffing out runners who cheat to get to that crown jewel of races.

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