In this January 7 free audio episode: steam room vs. sauna, barefoot running on treadmills, CLA for fat loss, water running, healthy coffeeshop drinks, tightening loose skin, heart rate monitors, fat pads, and citruvol.
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Listener Zo asks: “Ben, I run in the mornings for a 1/2 hour and then I do quick stretching in the steam room at my gym, after stretching I sit in the sauna for about ten minutes. It occurred to me that I don't know why I do either, but the rooms must be beneficial or they wouldn't have them at the gym. Can you explain the benefits of the steam room and the sauna, and also explain to me which one is better for certain things? It seems that I feel better afterwards but don't know if it is mental or if there is an actual physical benefit.”
Listener Zo follow-up question: “Also, I went to Itunes to try to rate you, and I am not very “internet knowing” so can you email me back and walk me through the process?”
Just click here to go to our iTunes page and leave feedback.
Listener Matt asks: “Ben…Worth paying the money for the Under Armour mouth guard? And do you run barefoot on any type of treadmill or does it have to be a specialized one?”
Listener Jeff asks: “Hi Ben – Love your podcast. Great information. Thanks. What’s your opinion of CLA? I’ve had great success with this “all-natural” (whatever that means anymore) fat burner (from safflower oil) in conjunction with my running – a run marathons and halfs. I notice a big difference when I don’t take my daily 3,000 mg (3 softgels). Thanks much and I wish you God’s very best in 2010!”
Listener Lisa asks: “I was at the gym and one of the trainers suggested taking Glutamine in my water to help tighten loose skin and restore muscle from weight loss. Is this true and if so can you recommend something to use?”
Listener Chip asks: “I am currently training for the Boston Marathon. If I water run for 45 minute periods what is the approximately mileage equivalent. I'm trying to maintain 50+ miles a week and would like to use water running for some of those miles.”
Listener Eric asks: “I train with a Garmin 310XT which is, as you know, pretty big and bulky, but gives you gobs of useful data that you can use. The downside to this watch is that it can feel like you are wearing a brink on your wrist. For that reason, I am not planning on wearing it for any races this year, especially during Ironman as I don’t think I would be able to ‘stand’ the weight on my wrist and would likely toss it into my special needs bag half way through race – leaving me no way to monitor my heart rate.
My question is this – with so many options out there for watches with HRM’s to choose from, what do you recommend? I assume I would need to know “average HR” and not minute by minute (inclination is to chase HR too much in that mode). I have Timex that I use for swimming (really big numbers) but does not have a HRM, but since I wear it facing into my wrist, I tend to bump the big “lap” button on top as I ride, and when looking at the Times with the HRM, most, if not all, have that big lap button sitting on top, as do many other brands…any suggestions?”
Listener Steve asks: “The triathlon dominator plan has the strength-bike workouts (Mon and Wed workouts) listed the strength first, but the download plan for training peaks has the bike listed as the first workout then the strength. Does it matter what workout you do first? What is ideal? Bought the thermal and lean factor, what is the best/recommended way to take these?”
Listener Chuck asks: “You mentioned how you recorded this at your desk drinking your cup of coffee–could you talk a little bit about coffee drinks. Which are good and which would be bad for health. I would assume black coffee would be good, but a vanilla latte from Starbucks would not be. But what about just a straight latte with skim milk–would that be “healthy”? Thanks!”
Listener Patrick asks: “Hey Ben, I've got a question for you. I recently turned 24 and got kicked off my parents' health insurance policy, as per Tennessee Law. Now that I have it in my own name, I figure the next step would be finding a doctor. I read an article in Triathlete Mag that said, to summarize an entire article in one sentence, to find a Doctor with a knowledge of bike fit and swimming, biking and running biomechanics to maximize the likelihood of correct diagnosis when nagging overuse injuries spring up. What should one look for when shopping for a Doctor? What should an endurance athlete know to stay away from? 2nd question: same thing for a good sports massage therapist. I'd like to incorporate semi-regular massage to promote recovery and am equally lost on what to look for.”
Listener Chuck asks: “Is there a difference between a long workout and essentially a “brick”? If that matters at all. Would doing a tough spin class at the gym and then getting on the treadmill for 4 or 5 be considered one, or is there more to it that that? Another question, is a swim workout comparable to weight lifting workout? I know they are very different, in terms of endurance vs. strength, but aren't they essentially using larger muscle group? Thanks a lot for your thoughts and time!”
Listener Jeff asks: “Awesome blog with great information concerning fitness and supplements. I am not one of you usual listeners. I’m not a triathelete, runner or athlete of any type, just a 55 year old winemaker from Northern California struggling with sarcopenia, belly fat and other maladies of middle age. I’ve recently developed a chronic condition common to older runners and am hoping you can give me some advice.
Some background, 4 years ago I was obese and suffered from a long list of health issues that included high blood pressure, pre-diabetes, ulcers and angina. I started a self-directed program of heathy eating and exercise with some interaction with a personal trainer. My transformation was slow and steady, but after about 14 months I went from about 32% body fat and a 40 inch waist to about 12% body fat and a 31 inch waist and regained the body that I had in my early twenties. I can happily say that all my health issues were resolved without pharmaceuticals and I’ve been able to successfully maintain my weight loss for over 2 1/2 years.
Unfortunately, starting about 6 months ago I developed chronic metatarsalgia in my right foot. I went to my doctor and went through a thorough check for stress fractures, arthritis, and neurological problems but everything came out negative. His only explanation was that I’m getting older, stuff happens, and I should learn to live with it. My treatment consists of shoe inserts and analgesics.
To compensate for a slight gait change because of the pain in the ball of my foot, I’ve noticed that my quads and hamstrings become over worked and fatigued. I deal with the upper leg muscle strain with yoga exercises from the book “The athlete's guide to Yoga” by Sage Rountree that you recommended on an earlier podcast and a monthly session with a certified massage therapist.
I spoke informally with a chiropractor who specializes in sports injuries. He suggested that the metatarsalgia is due to atrophy of the plantar fat pad partly from age and partly from my diet and exercise regime. He thought that 10-12% body fat on a 55 year old male is too low. What are your thoughts and suggestions? What do you advise senior runners and clients with chronic foot pain? It may sound silly, but will the fat pad plump up if I eat more and exercise less?”
Listener Avril asks: “I have just come back from seeing the Physio, who is trying to sort out my kneecap problem, which she said Spinning, Squats and Lunges were the cause, and perhaps for the future I should not do Spinning, Squats and Lunges. I am mad on my fitness, and feel quite depressed at this news; although I don't believe her to be sports minded person, she is older and overweight, although that could be wrong of me to judge. I have had arthroscopy on knee 5 years ago, and has been fine with running etc until now. In your experience, is there any reason why a person cannot get there kneecap back to full working order? (apparently my kneecap is going slightly off to the side). If you can reply that would be great.”
Listener Eric asks: “Quick question….in the triathlon dominator, you review several supplements – one of which is Citruvol XS, but you do not say if you recommend taking these daily or only before races. What do you recommend for your athletes, and what dosage?”
For the next 4 weeks, the podcasts from Ben Greenfield Fitness will primarily focus on “Listener Q&A's”, due to Ben's undertaking of a huge triathlon-focused side project that is going to bring you over 12 free live teleconferences with triathlon pros and coaches over the next 6 weeks! For more information on that project, and to stay in the loop on what's going on with that project (called the Rock Star Triathlete Academy) simply go to http://www.rockstartriathlete.com.