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Showing posts with label Myth Busting. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Myth Busting. Show all posts

35 Benefits of Exercising During Pregnancy

Guest Post by Jessica Walter.

Did you know that if you're pregnant, you're not only allowed to exercise, but that it's actually encouraged you do so, for the health of both you and your baby?

With that in mind, and to encourage more women to move around a bit during their pregnancy, we've compiled this list of 35 amazing benefits of exercising while pregnant.

The American College of Obstetricians suggests women who are pregnant exercise a minimum of 20-30 minutes a day for maximum benefits.

Use this guide to motivate you to get started today.​

35 Benefits of Exercising During Pregnancy

Physical Benefits of Exercising While Pregnant
#1. Expectant mothers who exercise are less likely to have unplanned c-sections
#2. Running while pregnant is a great way to boost your heart
#3. Weight training during your first trimester will help prepare your body for the added weight of your baby
#4. During your first trimester, you can try riding a bike for a healthy way to increase your heart rate
#5. Doing Pilates can help you with balance issues associated with pregnancy
#6. Activities such as yoga can help reduce blood pressure
#7. Exercising throughout your pregnancy can lead to a faster, easier labor
#8. Exercising during pregnancy can help tame your lower-back pain
#9. Regular exercise can prevent pregnancy complications such as gestational diabetes
#10. Pregnant women who exercise have improved circulation and blood flow
#11. Women who exercise often will feel less pain from symptoms of pregnancy
#12. You'll notice less swelling of your legs and ankles once you start exercising

Emotional Benefits of Exercising While Pregnant
#13. Light to moderate exercise can give you a better self-image
#14. Regular exercise can help curb mood swings
#15. Doing daily exercises will help boost your energy levels
#16. Exercise can give you an overwhelming sense of accomplishment while pregnant
#17. Light exercise throughout the day can help combat fatigue and give you a better night’s rest
#18. You'll learn proper breathing techniques that can help during your delivery
#19. You'll feel better about going into childbirth
#20. Exercising during pregnancy can take your mind off of things

Exercising Benefits for Both You and Baby
#21. Regular exercise can increase your baby’s brain function
#22. Expectant mothers who exercise tend to keep up the habit after their babies are born
#23. Studies show that mothers who exercise produce children that are leaner than mothers who don’t
#24. Baby will be less likely to incur complications such as cerebral palsy
#25. Babies of mothers who exercise regularly are more likely to have a healthier heart
#26. You're less inclined to have an overweight child
#27. You're more likely to carry your baby to full term
#28. Babies born to mothers who exercise semi-regularly are less at risk for learning disabilities

Post-Delivery Benefits of Exercising During Pregnancy
#29. Exercise can help promote better sleeping habits
#30. Women who exercise during and after pregnancy are less likely to have postpartum depression
#31. Exercise can make it easier to drop weight once you have your baby
#32. Incorporating physical activity into your daily routine will ultimately give your child a positive example for years to come
#33. Abdominal workouts can help lead to a faster recovery
#34. Regular exercise while pregnant will help you bounce back quicker from pregnancy
#35. You'll be more likely to continue your exercise once you child is born
Final Thoughts

Physical Benefits of Exercising While Pregnant

#1. Expectant mothers who exercise are less likely to have unplanned c-sections

More and more mothers are being diagnosed with gestational diabetes, which can lead to your baby growing too large. In this case, your baby may be too hard to deliver, requiring a cesarean delivery (11). Moms who exercise during their pregnancy are less like to have unplanned c-sections (12).

#2. Running while pregnant is a great way to boost your heart

If you’re fit and your baby is healthy, it’s perfectly okay for you to continue your normal routine up until your final trimester—it's a great way to boost your heart (2, 5). Expectant mothers who are new to running should start slower and build up to running. Don’t overdo it too quickly, and be sure always to listen to what your body is telling you.

#3. Weight training during your first trimester will help prepare your body for the added weight of your baby

Studies from the Journal of Physical Activity and Health reports low to moderate training twice a week is safe and effective for pregnant women—and weight training during your first trimester can help prepare your body for your baby's added weight (6).

#4. During your first trimester, you can try riding a bike for a healthy way to increase your heart rate

Once you enter your second trimester, your balance may not be what it used to be. At this time you may want to consider switching your bike out with a stationary bicycle, which is a healthy way to increase your heart rate (9).

#5. Doing Pilates can help you with balance issues associated with pregnancy

Pilates focuses on building core muscles and challenging your strength and balance. When you become pregnant, your body begins to produce higher levels of relaxin, which softens the ligaments in your pelvis to make room for your growing baby (7).

This relaxing circulates throughout your entire body, not just your pelvis which can lead to wobbly hips, knees, and ankles. Over time you will learn what your body is capable of and how to control your balance (6).

#6. Activities such as yoga can help reduce blood pressure

High blood pressure is common in pregnant women and even up to 20 weeks after delivery. High blood pressure can decrease the blood flow to the placenta (8), and your baby may receive less oxygen and fewer nutrients if you are diagnosed with high blood pressure. Doing a little yoga during your pregnancy can help to reduce your blood pressure (6).

#7. Exercising throughout your pregnancy can lead to a faster, easier labor

Strengthening your abdominal area, core, and pelvic floor can aid in speeding up both labor and delivery (1, 2). The average first-time mom has a labor of 12-14 hours (3)—cutting this time down will lead to a happier, healthier mother and child.

#8. Exercising during pregnancy can help tame your lower-back pain

Pregnancy related back pain is a common complaint in pregnant women. The added strain caused by your baby bump can have a negative impact on your quality of life.

It's estimated that 50 percent of women will suffer from lower back pain due to pregnancy. Of those women, one-third will experience severe pain (13).

Doing low-impact weight training or stretching exercises such as yoga can significantly help lessen your pain (1).

#9. Regular exercise can prevent pregnancy complications such as gestational diabetes

If untreated, gestational diabetes can deliver excessive sugar to your baby’s bloodstream, which can cause potentially serious complications for both you and your unborn child (12).

Doing regular exercise during your pregnancy can help prevent this (11).

#10. Pregnant women who exercise have improved circulation and blood flow

You can increase your circulation and blood flow by doing consistent exercise (14).

This will allow your baby to receive nutrients it needs more efficiently. Better circulation also helps prevent constipation, varicose veins, and leg cramps.

#11. Women who exercise often will feel less pain from symptoms of pregnancy

By strengthening your muscles, you are essentially giving your body the ability to cope with aches and pains associated with being pregnant (17).

To relieve back pain, try exercises that involve stretching such as yoga. If you are suffering from abdominal pain, try swimming.

#12. You'll notice less swelling of your legs and ankles once you start exercising

Swelling of the legs is common in pregnant women, but increasing your circulation will help calm this swelling. Walking helps increase this circulation by pushing excess fluid in your legs through blood valves and back to the heart (18).

Check out this YouTube video for some great ways to start incorporating exercise into your pregnancy.

Emotional Benefits of Exercising While Pregnant

#13. Light to moderate exercise can give you a better self-image

A lot of women struggle with the changes to their body goes through while they're pregnant, but exercise can help you feel more comfortable by making you feel more in control (14).

#14. Regular exercise can help curb mood swings

Exercise releases endorphins that trigger a positive feeling in the body, making you feel good (9).

Start with 10 minutes of light exercise a day and add more based on how you feel, both physically and mentally.

#15. Doing daily exercises will help boost your energy levels

After exercising, you will begin to feel more motivated to do other activities as well, improving your mood.Staying active also keeps you from becoming restless and anxious (16, 17).

#16. Exercise can give you an overwhelming sense of accomplishment while pregnant

The things you can do while you're pregnant are sometimes limited, but exercising during pregnancy doesn’t have to be one of those things.

Enjoy the satisfaction of completing a task such as a yoga class or a morning jog.

#17. Light exercise throughout the day can help combat fatigue and give you a better night’s rest

Even if you never exercised previous to your pregnancy, you may want to consider taking a short walk or a relaxing swim on a semi-regular basis—this can help you fight fatigue and get a better night's sleep (4).

#18. You'll learn proper breathing techniques that can help during your delivery

Exercises such as yoga can help you learn the breathing rhythms that are essential in keeping you calm and focused while giving birth (6).

#19. You'll feel better about going into childbirth

First-time mothers may question their ability to give birth, but when you exercise, you are setting yourself up for success.

Childbirth will be easier for you when your body is prepared. This knowledge will give you confidence and relieve some stress you may be feeling.

#20. Exercising during pregnancy can take your mind off of things

Being pregnant can definitely be stressful, but taking the time to exercise will give you the much needed relief to clear your head of all the what ifs.

Exercising Benefits for Both You and Baby

#21. Regular exercise can increase your baby’s brain function

Studies have indicated that babies of mice who exercised daily were less prone to neurodegeneration, which are changes in the brain that can lead to Alzheimer’s disease (11).

#22. Expectant mothers who exercise tend to keep up the habit after their babies are born

If you're still exercising after you've given birth, you'll have a lot more energy to be active with your little one once they arrive.

#23. Studies show that mothers who exercise produce children that are leaner than mothers who don’t

And even though the baby is thinner, its organ size and head circumference remain the same healthy standard doctors look for when delivering children (17).

#24. Baby will be less likely to incur complications such as cerebral palsy

Exercising during pregnancy increases the blood flow to your child. And without a good flow, your baby could be at risk for oxygen deprivation from birth (21).

#25. Babies of mothers who exercise regularly are more likely to have a healthier heart

A 2014 study showed that infants born to mothers who participated in regular exercise were more likely to have a healthy fetal heart rate variability (13) (15).

#26. You're less inclined to have an overweight child

Babies who are born with excess fat are more likely to be overweight throughout their early childhood (19), and babies born 20% or more over the recommended weight are at risk of becoming obese adults.

#27. You're more likely to carry your baby to full term

Exercising during your pregnancy can help prevent a premature birth, which can lead to many complications for baby, such as immature lungs, infections, inability to maintain body heat, and pneumonia (22).

#28. Babies born to mothers who exercise semi-regularly are less at risk for learning disabilities

Placental insufficiency can lead to a variety of learning issues, if not caught early on in your pregnancy (21).

Post-Delivery Benefits of Exercising During Pregnancy

#29. Exercise can help promote better sleeping habits

Did you know that exercising during your pregnancy can help you sleep better once baby comes along? (23). And as a new mother, you are going to need all the quality sleep you can get!

#30. Women who exercise during and after pregnancy are less likely to have postpartum depression

The endorphins released from exercise can help you feel relaxed (9). Moderate exercise has been prescribed for patients with mild to moderate depression (10).

Exercising as a social event can create a fun atmosphere that will boost your mood even further. Try exercising with a friend or a group.

#31. Exercise can make it easier to drop weight once you have your baby

Studies have shown that women who gain more than the recommended 25-35 pounds throughout their pregnancy will have a harder time losing that weight (14).

#32. Incorporating physical activity into your daily routine will ultimately give your child a positive example for years to come

Exercise at an early age can boost your child’s brain function (24).

#33. Abdominal workouts can help lead to a faster recovery

After the first trimester, stick to exercises that don’t require you to be on your back.

Some great abdominal exercises include standing pelvic tilts, seated belly tightening, along with any other core exercises you can complete seated (2).

#34. Regular exercise while pregnant will help you bounce back quicker from pregnancy

Completing the American College of Obstetricians guide of 20-30 minutes of exercise daily can assist in preparing you for bouncing back from your postpartum period (20).

#35. You'll be more likely to continue your exercise once you child is born

Starting healthy habits can keep you lean and strong through your lifetime giving you more memories with your child.

Final Thoughts

​Hopefully, this list of 35 benefits of exercising during pregnancy gave you the motivation you needed to start exercising today. Whether you decide to go on an afternoon walk, dance your heart out to your favorite tunes, or join a prenatal yoga class, both you and your baby will benefit greatly.

If you found this guide helpful, please share it with your family and friends. It may just give them the extra push they need to get off the sofa. Don’t forget to comment with your favorite ways to exercise while pregnant!

Sources

1 http://www.webmd.com/baby/features/exercise-during-pregnancy-myth-vs-fact#1
2 http://www.webmd.com/baby/features/exercise-during-pregnancy-myth-vs-fact#2
3 http://www.webmd.com/baby/guide/normal-labor-and-delivery-process#1
4 http://www.webmd.com/baby/features/exercise-during-pregnancy-myth-vs-fact#3
5 http://www.babycenter.com/0_running-during-pregnancy_7877.bc
6 http://www.healthline.com/health/pregnancy/first-trimester-exercise-fitness
7 http://www.fitpregnancy.com/pregnancy/pregnancy-health/5-ways-pregnancy-affects-your-balance
8 http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/pregnancy-week-by-week/in-depth/pregnancy/art-20046098
9 http://www.parents.com/pregnancy/my-body/fitness/exercise-during-pregnancy/
10 http://www.webmd.com/depression/guide/exercise-depression
11 http://www.whattoexpect.com/pregnancy/exercise-benefits
12 http://www.whattoexpect.com/pregnancy/gestational-diabetes/
13 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24287100
14 http://americanpregnancy.org/pregnancy-health/effects-of-exercise-on-pregnancy/
15 http://www.livescience.com/13628-exercise-pregnancy-baby-heart-benefits-cardiovascular-disease.html
16 http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/pregnancy-week-by-week/in-depth/pregnancy-and-exercise/art-20046896
17 http://www.babycenter.com/0_eight-great-benefits-of-pregnancy-exercise_7864.bc
18 http://www.livestrong.com/article/370099-exercises-to-reduce-leg-swelling/
19 http://www.webmd.com/parenting/baby/news/20051013/do-bigger-babies-become-fatter-adults#1
20 http://www.babycenter.com/0_the-best-kinds-of-exercise-for-pregnancy_7880.bc
21 http://www.healthline.com/health/placental-insufficiency
22 http://americanpregnancy.org/labor-and-birth/premature-birth-complications/
23 http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/labor-and-delivery/in-depth/exercise-after-pregnancy/art-20044596
24 http://www.webmd.com/parenting/raising-fit-kids/move/kid-brain-exercise

Three Unusual Questions about Archery

I have heard some of these questions before, and one of them (the last one) I have only encountered today. I thought the last question was rather odd, so I thought I would talk about the three questions in hopes of Busting some Myths.

Question #1: Do I need a license to do archery?

No.

You do not need a license to practice archery.

 You need a hunting license (H1 or H2) to go bowhunting, but you do not need any sort of license to practice archery for recreation or competitions. And even if you do have a hunting license, you can only hunt during specific hunting seasons, only for game allowed during that season, and only if you have any required tags for that specific animal. eg. deer tags for deer hunting season. You have to abide by all of the laws and regulations with respect to bowhunting, and not following those laws can result in the forfeiture of your hunting license, a large fine and even prison time.

For example: In 2014 a Peterborough man, Dave Sager, was fined $1,000 and had his hunting license suspended for a year for accidentally shooting his son with a crossbow bolt. He was trying to unload his crossbow incorrectly. He was allowed to get his hunting license back after a year and after retaking the hunter education training course.

There is also bowfishing, for which you need a fishing license, can only bowfish during carp bowfishing season, and must follow all laws and regulations regarding where and when you are allowed to fish.

Question #2: Do I need a hunting license to purchase a bow or crossbow?

No.

Like the above question, this is a frequently asked question. The answer is no. You only need a hunting license if you are intending to go hunting. Anyone can legally buy a bow or a crossbow and they don't need a hunting license or any other kind of license to do so. There is however a requirement that you don't have any kind of weapons ban (due to past criminal activity).

eg. I know of an individual in the GTA who was involved in an aggravated assault (he beat up someone who was abusing a kid) and as a result he spent some time in prison and ended up with a lifetime weapons ban. This resulted in him having to sell any weapons he owned, including his Excalibur crossbow. He is the only person I know of personally who is banned from owning any kind of archery equipment.

Also we should note that certain weapons are just plain prohibited in Canada. Hand Crossbows for example are illegal in Canada.

As long as you are not an ex-con and you are not trying to purchase a prohibited weapon, then you will be just fine.

Question #3: Do I need a certificate proving that I know how to do archery to join an archery club?

No.

Or at least none of the archery clubs that I know of, and I am the president of both the Toronto Archery Club and Archery Niagara. To my knowledge none of the other clubs require any sort of certificate either.

I found this last one rather odd. Someone had apparently told the individual that they needed a certificate in order to join various archery clubs in Toronto. Sadly they were given false information. As president of the Toronto Archery Club I have made a mental note to someday have a chat with the person giving out false information and let them know that, no, the Toronto Archery Club does not require any sort of certificate whatsoever.

I have never seen the need to offer any kind of certificate to archery students, with one exception: I do offer an Archery Instructor Certificate Program, designed for people who want to teach recreational archery (usually at summer camps, resorts, etc).

If you have additional archery related questions or if you wish to sign up for archery lessons in Toronto simply email cardiotrek@gmail.com to learn more.

Happy Shooting!

Bras Vs Bust Firming Exercises

According to a study that came out of France in 2013, bras don't actually alleviate back pain in women and don't do anything to prevent women's breasts from sagging. In fact, the study says that it actually makes back pain worse and the breasts to sag more.

Of course, anyone familiar with Bust Firming Exercises already know this. Marilyn Monroe knew this and she has been dead for almost 54 years.

While she was living however Marilyn Monroe did a number of daily exercises in order to stay in shape and keep her famous figure.

They included:

Push-ups - which act as bust firming exercise, increasing the strength of the pectoral muscles on the chest, which hold up the breasts and keep them from sagging.

Weightlifting, including Chest Flyes (below) which also work the pectoral muscles.


Jogging, for the legs and arms.

Archery, for the back muscles and arms.

Swimming, good as a full body workout.

Stretches (some of which look suspiciously like yoga).


And while she may have occasionally worn something that looked similar to a bra (due to society's convention against women appearing topless in public), she almost never is shown wearing a bra. Many of her iconic pieces of fashion went in quite the opposite direction. No bra at all.

And she certainly did not need to wear one either. Due to her regular exercises and specifically bust firming exercises, she had no need of wearing a bra which at the time conventional thinking was that women needed to wear bras in order to prevent back pain.

According to the 2013 French study, everything we've ever been told about supporting the upper back has it all wrong. Wearing a bra does nothing to decrease back pain, and the support offered by a brassiere actually encourages the breasts to sag. The study was a lengthy one too, starting in 1997 and ending in 2012, before being published in 2013. 15 years of women in the study group either wearing a bra or wearing no bra, and comparing which ones had back pain and which ones did not, and measuring how much sagging was really happening.

Led by Jean-Denis Rouillon, a sports scientist from the University of Besançon in eastern France, he found that "bras are a false necessity."

"Medically, physiologically, anatomically — breasts gain no benefit from being denied gravity. On the contrary, they get saggier with a bra," says Rouillon.

Rouillon spent a decade and a half measuring the changes in breasts of hundreds of women using a slide rule and caliper at the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire in Besançon. The participants were all between the ages of 18 and 35.

Of the braless women, the researchers concluded that "on average their nipples lifted on average seven millimeters in one year in relation to the shoulders." This meant that they effectively became "perkier" over time as their pectoral muscles became stronger from the added weight, as opposed to the extra strain going to the shoulders and back muscles instead.

According to one 28-year-old woman who took part in the study she hasn't worn a bra for two years now, and doesn’t expect to go back. "There are multiple benefits: I breathe more easily, I carry myself better, and I have less back pain," she says.

So less back pain, less shoulder pain, stronger pectoral muscles, better posture, stronger lungs. Lots of benefits. Learn more about Bust Firming Exercises.

Note, men who want larger pecs / chest muscles can also benefit from these exercises. eg. Arnold Schwarzenegger is a huge advocate of Chest Flyes, shown below, for its benefits of building huge pectorals on men.

The Myth of Spot Training for Skinny Arms

Earlier today I saw a website promoting the myth that doing weight lifting exercises for your arms can help women to get "skinny arms". The website contained a list of exercises, mostly weight lifting exercises like bicep curls and body weight exercises like push ups. It made me so angry I wrote a lengthy comment on their website.

My comment below:

"Wow. Such misinformation. The exercises listed above would give people BIGGER arms, not skinny arms. I am a personal trainer and I come across misinformation like this way too often.

#1. Doing weight lifting or body weight exercises will make your arms get BIGGER, not smaller, because you will be building more muscle.

#2. Spot Training for Weight Loss is a MYTH. You cannot do weight training with your triceps and expect your triceps to shed fat. It doesn't work that way.

#3. If you want to shed fat you need to be doing cardio. Jogging, swimming, cycling, aerobics, etc.

#4. Extra skin is normal after sudden weight loss, but there are tricks to fixing that problem - they're listed on my website."

The level of misinformation in the exercise industry boggles my mind quite often. It is due to a combination of factors:

#1. People who just plain don't know what they are talking about. They are perpetuating a myth due to sheer ignorance.

#2. Companies that are trying to sell you a product and are deliberately giving you false information in an effort to trick you into buying their product.

#3. Personal Trainers who have become so focused on one style of training that they warp, twist the truth and outright lie to their clients. Eg. Weight lifting trainers telling people that they can lose weights using weightlifting - or vice versa, cardio trainers telling people they can build lots of muscle by going jogging.

The third cause above makes me so angry because it means my own industry is partly to blame for the misinformation. It not that my fellow colleagues are stupid or anything, they are simply doing math: more clients = more money, and men who can easily be tricked into thinking weightlifting sheds fat is an easy way to get more clients. It is basically preying on the gullible and/or the ignorant.

But for a website that isn't actually selling anything, that is just posting free information (or free misinformation) what is the purpose of that? They don't make any extra money off perpetuating a myth. Unless they were selling a product I wasn't aware of, or maybe it was the advertising on the website - which implies that their primary goal is to keep their advertisers happy, not to inform the public.

And so to summarize:

Weightlifting and resistance training builds lots of muscle. It will not give you skinny arms. Spot Training to build muscle does actually work, but it only works for building muscle - not for shedding fat.

Cardio exercises shed fat. So if you are looking to shed the extra arm fat, you need to be thinking of a full body workout like jogging or swimming.

Spot Training to remove fat in specific areas is a myth. You can build muscle in specific spots, but you cannot shed fat in that manner.

If your goal is to do BOTH, to build muscle and shed fat at the same time you need to be doing a combination of both cardio and weightlifting. Eg. 15 minutes of weightlifting and a 15 minute jog every day.

FACT - 30 minutes of exercise per day is approx. 2% of your day, but that 30 minutes of exercise can make a big difference towards your exercise goals.

The #1 Reason Why So Many People Fail To Lose Weight

Do you want to know the #1 reason why many people who set out to lose weight via exercise fail to lose the weight they are looking for?

The answer is...

NOT ENOUGH CARDIO

Many people who go to the gym (or set up a home gym) do so by lifting weights or doing various forms resistance training, which in turn builds muscle.

What often happens is the person ends up GAINING WEIGHT due to increased muscle mass. They aren't reducing their overall weight and while their body fat percentage may go down slightly, they are not going to get the results they are looking for.

It is basically an issue of people equating cardio exercises like running, jogging, swimming, cycling, etc with weightlifting exercises and thinking that they can get the benefits of weight loss from weight lifting - and instead they gain weight by building muscle, while seeing no change at all in their waistline. They have fallen victim to the myth that "you can lose weight by weightlifting".

There are of course, exceptions. I will give you a few:

#1. Put weights around your ankles and go for long walks. That is basically combining weight lifting for your legs with cardio - but it is still effectively cardio.

#2. Put a 20 lb backpack on and then go cycling. Yes, you are lifting extra weight on your back, but the more important factor is that cycling = cardio.

#3. Combine aerobic exercises with small 5 lb dumbbells. Yes, you are lifting weights, but again the bigger factor is that aerobic exercises = cardio.

So yes, of course, if you combine weightlifting with cardio you could lose weight - but the bigger weight loss factor is always going to be the cardio.

Your primary goal during a cardio exercise is to get your heart rate going - and trigger the Afterburn Effect (heightened metabolism as your body burns fat for energy). If you don't get your heart rate high enough to trigger the Afterburn Effect, then you are going to have difficulty trying to lose weight. Often people exercising with just weightlifting are just going to use up the energy in their blood (sugar, fat, etc) and then feel hungry and tired.

In contrast if you trigger the Afterburn Effect you suddenly feel energized - more energetic and alive, for the rest of the day as your body starts burning fat to refuel your body's energy levels. Scientific studies show that the Afterburn Effect can last up to 48 hours after the person achieves a high heart rate from doing cardio - and the more prolonged their heart rate is higher, the more their body starts burning fat.

Triggering the Afterburn Effect is part of High Intensity Interval Training and other forms of Interval Training. So if your goal is to lose weight, you might want to consider Interval Training as a method of getting your heart rate up in your goal of losing weight.

The goal during High Intensity Interval Training is to get your heart rate up doing one intense exercise, and then relax while doing a less stressful exercise, and then get your heart rate back up again by doing another intense exercise.

Example 1. Sprinting, Walking, Sprinting, Walking, Sprinting, Walking, etc.

Example 2. Aggressive Mountain Biking, Relaxing Cruise, Aggressive Mountain Biking, Relaxing Cruise, Aggressive Mountain Biking, Relaxing Cruise, etc.

Example 3. Fast Swimming, Leisurely Swimming, Fast Swimming, Leisurely Swimming, Fast Swimming, Leisurely Swimming, etc.

Scientific studies have also shown that 30 minutes of  High Intensity Interval Training is more effective for weight loss than 30 minutes of jogging - because your heart rate gets higher while sprinting, and a higher heart rate triggers the Afterburn Effect better.

So not only are people often doing the wrong exercises for their goal, people are often opting for exercises they consider to be easier - because they know sprinting and similar intense exercises are pretty hard.

But not impossible.

Sprinting is basically just running as fast as possible for a short period of time. Anyone with working legs can do it, so chances are likely you have no excuses.

Anyone with bad knees would be advised to do swimming instead.

But once you start doing more intense cardio on a regular basis you will feel invigorated every time you do - that is how you will know the Afterburn Effect is working. The feeling of invigoration.

Exercise + Nutrition Vs Advertising

I am going to go a bit off topic today, but my goal here is to talk about the advertising industry and its place when it comes to both the exercise industry and the food industry. Time for some myth busting!

SAY CHEESE

You would think, judging by TV commercials for cheese that cheese is inherently good for you because it contains lots of calcium. This is only partially true.

It only takes a Google search to find hundreds of articles about the Cheese Lobby in both the USA and Canada, and how it is being used to sell everything from fattening cheese pizza to cheesy Taco Bell to cheeseburgers and more...

eg. Read the NY Times article: While Warning About Fat, U.S. Pushes Cheese Sales

Fun Fact: "Americans now eat an average of 33 pounds of cheese a year, nearly triple the 1970 rate."

The Cheese Lobby in the USA is HUGE. They represent every fast food chain that has cheese on the menu, whether it be cheese pizza or cheeseburgers. Their goal? To fool North Americans into thinking cheese is healthy for you because it contains calcium.

Truth be told when you actually check milk and cheese isn't actually a good source of calcium. Milk is actually a good source of protein, and cheese is a good source of fat. Cheese is something you should be asking for less of, not more of.

Want a good source for calcium? Check out the vegetables below.


FIVE RED FLAGS

To demonstrate how bad the food industry is sometimes I am going to show 5 Red Flags to look for when you are watching advertising:

#1. Exotic Ingredients from Asia, Brazil, Africa, Etc.

The idea here is simply: To fool people into thinking that you can lose weight by eating some kind of exotic berry (acai berries for example) or fruit from a place you've never been to (South African Hoodia Extract). If they're pushing something exotic for a hefty price, they're basically just selling you juice or extract for something you don't actually need.

#2. Fake Studies with Fake Doctors

If they have to back up their product with a study from a doctor, most likely the doctor in question is either not a real doctor or he/she is being paid oodles of money to push a bogus study that says their product works. Often there will be a photo of a doctor dressed in white holding a supplement.

#3. Free Trial

Free Trials are a great way to get gullible people hooked on a product that doesn't really work any better than a placebo. Plus when you try to cancel they make it very difficult to do so - you basically have to cancel your credit card to get rid of them. Note - Many companies stick an addictive agent (caffeine usually) in the product so you become addicted to the product.

#4. Celebrity Testimonials

It doesn't matter whether the celebrity is a bodybuilder or Oprah, if they are pushing the product using a celebrity then then company's primary goal is to make money off gullible people.

#5.  Too Good to be True

If it contains the words "Lose Weight Fast and Easy" or some similar slogan, you know they're lying to you.

THE FITNESS LOBBY

If you Google the words fitness lobby you will get a bunch of gym websites and photos of lobbies of gyms. The reason why, apparently, is because there is no "Fitness Lobby" in the USA or Canada (or in any other country for that matter).

I did manage to find one article about fitness groups lobbying for a tax break, but it wasn't an actual lobby group being paid to lobby the government, it was simply a selection of fitness groups trying to get a tax break. They only had one cause and they weren't being paid to do it, whereas lobby groups are basically hired thugs being paid to fight on behalf of the tobacco industry, the cheese industry, the oil industry, and basically any industry which everyone knows is doing something bad.

How many decades did the tobacco industry use lobbying to keep cigarettes being sold and how many more decades will they continue to do so before smoking cigarettes gets banned in North America for causing ridiculous amounts of cancer and killing two thirds of smokers? An industry that kills 66% of its customers is doomed to eventually get banned.

In contrast the fitness industry doesn't kill people when they are selling new fitness gadgets.

But it does use false advertising, like the Fake Doctors, Free Trials, Celebrity Endorsements, and Too Good To Be True slogans mentioned above.

But here are additional tricks used in advertisements:

#1. The fitness industry often uses people who were already thin and attractive (or already lost weight) before they started using whatever new fitness gadget is being pushed at the consumer. So regardless of whether they are trying to sell a Thigh Master or a Bowflex, their goal is to show you people who are already fit using the product. They don't show you people who overweight and not fit using it and then the slow progression of them losing weight - that would be too time consuming, and also impossible because people would realize that the people using the product are also using other kinds of exercises.

#2. They don't mention that people using the product should also be using a wide variety of other exercises - such as jogging, swimming or cycling - in their goal to lose weight.

#3. They ignore the fact that a home gym composed of weight machines really only builds muscle and is useless to someone who wants to lose weight by shedding fat. To shed fat they need to be doing cardio exercises.

#4. Fitness gyms sign people up for 1 year contracts and then make it difficult to cancel the contract by charging the membership fee every month even after the contract has been finished or cancelled. Fitness gyms claim it is due to clerical errors that people are routinely charged again and again even after their contract has expired or been cancelled.

#5. Fitness gyms routinely overcharge members for their membership fee, for an inflated amount with hidden fees - or sometimes charge the membership fee twice in the same month. Or both.

#6. Fitness gyms offer personal training services, but often charge ridiculous rates for those services while paying their staff peanuts. eg. Extreme Fitness charges $80 to $90 per hour for the services of a personal trainer, but only pays the trainer $17 to $20 per hour.

So the fitness industry doesn't really need a fitness lobby because they're already making lots of money off gullible people signing up for fitness gadgets they don't need and gym memberships they likewise don't need.

Want to get some exercise? Start by going outside more often and doing fun activities that require exercise.

Want to lose weight through dieting? Start by learning how to cook healthier food.

Instinctive Archery Vs Anchor Points

Q

"Hello!

I saw a video recently about Lars Anderson in which the narrator made a number of claims about archery and people on the internet have been having a heated debate it ever since. I am curious as to what your opinion of Lars Anderson's new video is? I see you have an older post which talks about him. [See Different Techniques of Rapid Fire Archery to see the post he is referring to.]

- Jamie Y."

A

Hey Jamie!

Yes, I have seen the video numerous times, but just in case other people have not seen it lets shows it again.

Warning - The following video contains many falsehoods, many of which I will explain below why they are false, myths, half-truths or complete fabrications.



So during the video the narrator does make quite a few claims - many of which have been proved erroneous, as the internet is filled with people who are Fact Checkers and take any wild claim as a chance to Fact Check the claims being made. This is especially true of Fact Checkers who look for lies made by politicians.

My personal opinion on that style of archery, known as Instinctive Archery in archery circles, is that it is fun for shooting things at close range (point blank). However it is utterly useless for long range or even mid range accuracy, absolutely useless for hunting, and really only useful for showing off at point blank distances. (Little kids with zero experience can hit the target at point blank distances.)

For more details on the erroneous statements made in the video here is a list of statements and why they are wrong / false assumptions / outright lies.

#1. The narrator claims at the start of the video that ancient techniques of archery have been forgotten. This is wholly untrue. Those techniques have been preserved by the Cherokee (and similar tribes) in North America, by Persian archers in the middle-east and by several different cultures in Asia (most notably Mongolia and Korea). So claiming that the techniques have been forgotten is an outright lie.

#2. Lars Anderson is not "reinventing" anything which has been lost. He is just copying what has already been preserved. He is not using any "forgotten historical methods" because they were never forgotten and are still used in various parts of the world.

#3. Holding the arrows in the drawing hand is nothing new, nor is it reinventing something new.

#4. While the technique of holding arrows in the drawing hand is not as widespread as it once was, it is certainly not gone entirely.

#5. Quoting a book that says "This is the best type of shooting and there is nothing beyond it in power or accuracy" does not make it true. Quite the opposite. If you want power and accuracy with a traditional bow, use an English yew longbow or a Cherokee osage flatbow. The osage flatbow is believed to be similar to the design of the famed Welsh bow (which is believed to have been a yew flatbow). Longbows and flatbows are waaaaaaaay more powerful than the shortbow Lars Anderson is using in the videos, and that power translate into faster arrow speed and more accuracy both at close range and longer distances. In contrast Instinctive Archery is only really accurate within point blank range and comes with a measure of luck (the video of Lars shooting omits all of the failed attempts he did).

#6. "Why has it been forgotten today?" asks the narrator. Again, beating a dead horse here. It wasn't forgotten. It just isn't as commonly used any more.

#7. Modern archers don't actually use back quivers most of the time anyway. They use hip quivers or quivers that attach to their bow like in the images below.



#8. Yes, it is true that modern archers do stand still while firing at a target. This is very important for accuracy at long distances. It is equally important that they use proper form and have a consistent anchor spot with drawing back their arrow to aim. Shooting at long distance targets are exponentially harder to hit - the difference between shooting at 20 yards and shooting at 40 yards is not twice as difficult, in my opinion it is more like four times as difficult. Thus 60 yards is roughly 16 times more difficult and 80 yards is roughly 64 times more difficult than shooting at a target at 20 yards.

To put this in perspective Howard Hill (one of the greatest archers of the last century) once shot an eagle that was 150 yards away (that is roughly twice the distance of what modern Olympic archers shoot at, a mere 70 meters). Shooting a relatively small target like an eagle is not easy, especially at an extreme distance. I guarantee Howard Hill was standing extremely still when he performed that shot.

#8. Not all archers use one eye aiming. While it is true that it is more accurate to use one eye while aiming, not all archers do this. It is a matter of personal choice but some archers do prefer to shoot with both eyes open. This is not an Instinctive Archery method per se, but rather personal preference.

#9. "and other technical gadgets, but that is another story" says the narrator. In this case the narrator completely skips over the purpose of the gadgets which is to help archers to shoot more accurately at longer distances with less reliance on skill or experience (eg. compound bows have so many gadgets that they are very forgiving in terms of accuracy, but you have to learn how to tune them properly in order to attain that accuracy). I myself favour my students learning how to aim the traditional way with no gadgets or sights, with one eye open. How many gadgets or lack of gadgets people use is really a matter of personal preference. It is not "wrong" to want to use gadgets, it just means you are trying to get an advantage so you don't have rely on skill / perfect form so much.

#10. "several movements before you can actually shoot". Okay, so what? Yes, using right-side arrow rests (on a bow where you draw with your right hand) is slower - but it is also more accurate. So what if you can shoot faster? If you are shooting at a target, do you want to shoot at it quickly and miss or do you want to shoot at it accurately and actually hit it? The purpose of archery is not a contest to see who can shoot the fastest. It is to see who can shoot and hit the target - being fastest is just a perk.

There is a story about Byron Ferguson (one of the three greatest archers of the last century) who was at an archery event in the USA when a compound shooter decided to challenge him to a duel of sorts, in which they would both shoot at a target and whoever hit it first won. So speed was a factor in this little duel, but I should note that Byron did not rush it either. The target was a small moving target on a track a long distance away - an incredibly difficult shot for most archers. Byron drew an arrow from his hip quiver. He nocked it, drew back the arrow, aimed for a brief moment and then shot the moving target. He didn't rush through the steps, but he was faster than the compound shooter he was still fiddling with his gadgets by the time Byron's arrow hit the target. Was Byron shooting super fast with his longbow? No. He didn't need to. He just needed to shoot accurately and hit the target. The compound shooter was slower just because he was reliant on his gadgets and sights to do most of the work for him.

In the same contest however, Byron Ferguson Vs Lars Anderson, I guarantee Lars would have got a shot off first - and would have completely missed the target because of the distance. By the time he got to his second or third shot Byron would have hit it accurately.

Accuracy matters more than speed. Shooting quickest doesn't matter squat if you can't hit the target.

#11. So apparently Lars studied old paintings and drawings of archers holding their arrows on the right side of the bow. I am sorry, but I studied painting and art history in university but basing your assumptions on old art pieces opens you up to the problem of the 'ignorant artist'. People who don't know how to do archery at all often depict archery in drawings and paintings in the wrong manner. It is like Picasso's Left Handed Picador, artists make mistakes when draw things they know little about. You cannot use drawings or paintings as historical evidence because often the artist simply doesn't have a clue. Artists also frequently archers drawing bow strings back with two fingers instead of three (the proper way to draw back a bow string). The arrowheads are also frequently painted wrong, and the woulds on Saint Sebastian don't show the shape of the arrowheads penetrating. Paintings are wholly inaccurate on multiple levels.

#12. "which is both faster and better" says the narrator. Nope, no it is not better. Faster yes. Definitely not more accurate.

#13. The narrator assumes that historical archers all used the same techniques of archery. Completely false. Archery techniques not only varied from culture to culture, but also from archer to archer. One style of archery might be more popular in Bhutan for example, but that doesn't mean every Bhutanese archer uses the same techniques and the exact same style. (Bhutan's national sport is archery and modern Bhutan now uses a wide variety of different styles of bows and different styles of archery. The styles uses historically in Bhutan likely also varied wildly from archer to archer and there was no set style common to all Bhutanese archers.)

#14. "and start reading historical manuscripts" says the narrator. Actually no, you don't need to read those at all. Yes, Lars may have read lots of historical manuscripts during his research of so-called 'ancient techniques', but those same techniques are still used today by many different cultures.

#15. "and ultimately it is also more fun." says the narrator. Yes, this is partially true, Instinctive Archery is fun - but not everyone wants to do Instinctive so whether it is "more fun" is a matter of personal preference. Myself I love shooting at moving targets, but I also love shooting long distances on a windy day. Both are those activities are quite a bit of fun, but I wouldn't go telling people it is "more fun" in an authoritative way as if my opinion is somehow the rule of law.

#16. I wonder how many times Lars dropped his bow when trying to toss it in the air and catch it.

#17. "master archers shoot the bow with both hands" says the narrator. Not necessarily. The narrator is quoting a book Lars Anderson supposedly read. Just because the book says so does not make it true.

For example Awa Kenzo - one of the three greatest archers of the last century - always shot right handed. He was reputedly "able to shoot 100 bullseyes with 100 arrows" and during a demonstration in Japan he once shot the filament out of a lightbulb, without shattering the lightbulb. Awa Kenzo is the epitome of the zen master archer - but he only shot with his right hand.

So sorry, but I am calling bogus on the narrator's quote from that book.

#18. "must be able to hit a blade so the arrow splits into two parts". Wow. This book just claims all sorts of stuff. I will also note that Lars does many of these trick shots while standing less than 10 feet (3.33 yards) from the target. Lets see him repeat that shot while at a greater distance.

There is a video of Byron Anderson on YouTube shooting a tylenol pill in the air at a distance of roughly 10 yards (30 feet). That is still a relatively short distance, but I think Lars needs more practice if he wants to catch up to Byron Anderson.

#19. "Archers could also pick up enemy arrows and shoot them back." So what? Anybody can do that. Seriously, anybody with working arms and fingers can pick up an enemy's arrow and shoot it back. How is that an important skill?

#20. Notice how Lars catches the arrow in mid air and then shoots it at a target that is literally a few feet from him. At that distance he would be better off just stabbing the enemy with the arrow.

#21. Shooting at a target up close is not an impressive ability. Sitting at a table and shooting two people across the table from you is something anyone could do. Yes, speed would be handy in that situation, but the moment he takes out his bow wouldn't the enemies just stand up and stab him with a sword?

#22. Again with the claim that "this technique was forgotten". I am really getting tired of these. It was never forgotten, it continued to be practiced. Just because firearms became the primary choice for hunters does not mean people neglected to do archery and preserve old techniques. The Cherokee tribe in the USA for example has maintained an unbroken succession of both archery skills and also bow-making / arrow-making techniques. This means that the skills that are being passed down to young members of the Cherokee tribe today are the same skills that were passed down pre-European settlements in the USA, skills that have been passed down from fathers, grandfathers, great-grandfathers - doubtlessly skills dating back to the pre-history of their tribe.

#23. Penetrating chainmail armour is not hard to do with an arrow. It is actually ridiculously easy because the chinks in chainmail are designed to reflect blades, not arrows. The arrows go right through the chinks in the armour like a hot knife through butter. Penetrating plate armour, that is difficult. There is a story about a group of Saxons who were chased into a tower by a group of Welsh archers. The Welsh bow was so infamously powerful, but this story demonstrates how much. The Saxons barricaded themselves inside the tower, behind a door made of 4 inches thick oak. The Saxons were wearing chainmail armour, but the arrows from the Welsh archers went right through the 4-inch thick doors, right through the armour, and killed them easily.

#24. I think the reference to using "both hands" to give a bow more power is actually a reference to foot bows. I think Lars / the narrator has misinterpreted the meaning of using both hands. Likely it was used in a manner similar to the footbow shown on the right.

#25. So the narrator says ancient archers were expected to shoot 3 arrows in 1.5 seconds. So... Weird question, but how were they measuring time without a stop watch? Was it really 1.5 seconds or were they using a different measurement of time?

#26. "while speed is important hitting the target is essential" says the narrator. Finally, some truth in this video full of lies, half-truths and glaring historical inaccuracies.

#27. At which point he then tries shooting at a moving arrow with his own arrow. Yes, that clearly requires some skill - although again he does it a ridiculously short distance of mere feet from him - and again we don't get to see all of the failed attempts. And trust me, there would have been plenty of failed attempts before they finally managed to succeed at this archery stunt.

#28. So in the 1938 film "The Adventures of Robin Hood" (featuring a young Howard Hill as a cameo and performing all of the archery stunts) Robin Hood splits an arrow with another arrow. The narrator in Lars' video then says "some consider this to be the ultimate archery trick". Yes, some people might consider that to be the ultimate archery trick. However myself personally, I have hit and split my own arrow on moving targets (and have the photos to prove it) at 60 feet away on a windy day. See my post Robin Hooding a Moving Target from 2014 for details of this feat.


So then the narrator says that "They are wrong. The ultimate archery trick is splitting an incoming arrow in two with one of your own." Apparently at a very short distance - and apparently by editing out all of the failed shots in which he completely missed.

So yes, Lars Anderson does have some impressive speed and accuracy at short distances, but speed is not everything - in fact speed is pretty useless and impractical when it comes to any situation that doesn't involve short range combat.

For hunting purposes, for warfare (which means volleys of arrows), or for competitions then accuracy at longer distances is more important. Most bowhunting occurs at ranges of 20 to 40 yards (60 to 120 feet) and in war archers would be shooting volleys extreme distances anywhere from two hundred yards away to 1400 yards - wherein accuracy was less important because they were counting on the sheer number of arrows raining down death upon the enemy. At short, mid range and long range distances that is when the archers would begin actually aiming at specific targets. Aiming at a target point blank almost never happened because if you were that close to an enemy it is time to get your shield and sword out lest they start hacking you to pieces.

Persian archery - for which Lars Anderson claims to base much of his research on - was specifically a style of horseback archery, which meant archers were shooting at targets that were close range while riding by them on horseback. It is basically the "driveby shooting" style of archery. Horseback archery is not famed for its long or even mid distance accuracy. It is really only accurate at point blank distances.

There have been many websites and videos that have refuted Lars Anderson's newest video and the wild lies from the narrator. My nitpicking of each of the points in the video is nothing new or unusual. I am not "reinventing how to nitpick a video" or making any wild claims of "discovering ancient techniques of how to nitpick videos". I am not the first person to nitpick this video full of outrageous statements, half-truths and lies. We live in a society of people who know how to Fact Check. Deal with it.

The world has lots of trick shooters out there. I am content to be one of them, but I don't need to make phony misinformation to garner attention.

Want to learn how to shoot an arrow? Practice. Preferably by practicing proper techniques with the aid of an archery instructor who knows what they are doing. I do not recommend copying anything you saw in the Lars Anderson video. Copying what he does is just plain dangerous and will likely damage your archery equipment. (For archery lessons in Toronto, contact me or one of the other local archery instructors.)

Learning how to draw back to a consistent anchor point is one of the first steps archers need to learn how to do. Subscribe to Cardio Trek and stay tuned for an upcoming post about consistent anchor points. Update - See Archery Anchor Points.

Below is an art piece of sorts I created using the faces of 8 different archers with their faces overlapped. In the photos they are all pulling back the arrow to approximately the same anchor point.

"Eight Archers, One Anchor Spot"

I ended up making a 2nd version of the image to align their heads and the bow string better than the first draft.

"Eight Archers, One Anchor Spot" (Version II)



Update - If you do want to see a video response to Lars video, I recommend watching "A Response to Lars Andersen: a New Level of Archery" posted by YouTube user "skepticallypwnd". I didn't see that particular video response until after I finished writing this, but it does make some of the many same point I have made and many other archers have made about the ridiculous statements made in Lars' video.

Including one statement which I skipped over, the idea that "the back quiver is a Hollywood myth". The response video points out that the back quiver has existed for millennia - and unlike Lars who apparently is clueless about some things - there are plenty of historical images showing people using back quivers, and while the style of archery used may not be accurately depicted by artists, we can safely say that back quivers are not a "Hollywood myth".

I would like to point out that ancient hunters knew how to stuff a back quiver with fur so their arrows didn't move around / fall out easily, making them both quieter (for hunting purposes, having a quiet quiver is handy) and also helping to prevent the loss of arrows by making it more difficult for arrows to fall out haphazardly.

The video by skepticallypwnd also points out that the mass media sort of jumped on the bandwagon with headlines like "Everything you know about archery is a lie", and then proceeded to quote a video that was itself full of lies, half-truths and misinformation.

I am also happy to see in their video that I am not the only one who caught the "1.5 seconds" lie and asked how they managed to measure time.

Also another page you might be interested in reading is Geek Dad's posting titled "Danish 'Archer' Demonstrates Gullibility of Audience".



UPDATE, February 2016: Glossary of Terms

There seems to be some confusion about the term "Instinctive Archery" and what makes instinctive archery so different from other styles of archery so I have decide to add a quick glossary for those people who don't understand the differences.

Traditional Archery - Aims off the tip of the arrow, utilizes a high anchor point sometimes referred to as North Anchor, Traditional Anchor or High Anchor. Usually no gadgets, although arrowrests are sometimes used. Sometimes also called "Barebow Archery". Commonly uses many kinds of more traditional styles of bows, longbows, shortbows and traditional recurves, including ethnic varieties like the Turkish horsebow, the Korean horsebow, the Japanese yumi, the English longbow, the Cherokee flatbow, etc.

Gap-Shooting Traditional Archery - This is a sub-type of Traditional Archery, which uses the same techniques as Traditional Archery, with the exception of how to aim. Instead of aiming off the tip of the arrow, Gap Shooting involves using the gap between the target and the side of the bow / shooting window. Gap Shooting is usually used by experienced archers who have been shooting for a very long time.

Olympic Archery - Aims off a sight attached to the bow, utilizes gadgets like a clicker, stabilizer, and arrowrest. Also uses a low anchor point sometimes referred to as South Anchor, Olympic Anchor or Low Anchor. Utilizes Olympic archery equipment designed specifically for shooting at 70 meter targets during competitions.

Compound Bow Archery - Aims through a smaller peep sight and off a sight attached to the bow. utilizes pulley cams to create a let off on draw weight, stabilizer, complex arrowrests (eg. drop away arrowrests, whisker-biscuits, etc) and does not normally use a fixed anchor point because the peep sight is doing most of the work in that respect and worrying about an anchor point is considered unnecessary on a compound bow.

Instinctive Archery - Doesn't aim off anything in particular, does not use any kind of sights or gadgets, does not necessarily have a fixed draw length or a fixed anchor point - this doesn't mean the archer doesn't sometimes use an anchor point, it merely means that most instinctive shooters do not use a fixed anchor point. However it should be noted that if they are looking at the target and using a fixed anchor point, then they might be technically Gap-Shooting without realizing it and they are not doing instinctive archery. eg. Lars Anderson does not use a fixed anchor point. Many people confuse Gap-Shooting with Instinctive Archery, mostly because they don't know what the difference is.

Equestrian Archery - Firing a bow from the back of a horse, usually while the horse is in motion. Often utilizes either Traditional or Instinctive archery techniques, as well as specific techniques designed for equestrian archery, eg. a "live" horseman's release, during which the drawing arm moves backwards away from the bow after releasing the arrow.

Visual Standards of Beauty Vs Physical Standards of Health

If she was alive today, Marilyn Monroe would fail the Thigh Gap Test.

Why? Because her thighs would be touching. The standard for passing the Thigh Gap Test is whether you can stand with your feet together, your knees touching and there is a gap between your thighs, where the thighs don't touch at all. That is it.

It is a ridiculous standard of beauty perpetuated in western culture where being super skinny is considered by some to be attractive - a standard which then dictates that countries with the highest starvation rates therefore must have the most attractive people. Except since beauty contestants from Sub-Saharan Africa are not usually winning any international beauty contests, I do think that standard of beauty is really just a MYTH because it has no basis in reality.

Name a historical beauty, a really famous one, like Sophia Loren for example and I will bet they would fail the Thigh Gap Test. Twiggy, the fashion model from the 1960s/70s would pass it, but she was no great beauty.

Notice also that men are not being held to this ridiculous standard of beauty either. Any man who can pass the Thigh Gap Test probably has ridiculously skinny legs.

There are other standards of beauty out there too. Some are just really silly.

For example:

The Finger Test - Touch your index finger in a line from your nose to your chin. Do your lips touch your index finger? If so, you're probably beautiful according to the test. The test is also known as "The Finger Trap" or "The Rickett’s E-line Test".

This particular test is popular in China and other Asian countries. The test has no scientific basis and supposed has to do facial proportions, but if you read actual science into what humans perceive to be beautiful, symmetry is considered to be more important. The Finger Test doesn't even consider Symmetry.

The Anaface Test - Anaface stands for Analyze Face, it is a website where you upload a photo of yourself and then they supposedly check how symmetrical and proportional your face is. However the website has since been debunked for being inaccurate and based on facial proportions that apparently expect the perfect 10 score to look more like an alien.


The Beach Perfect Body Test - This is pretty simple test. Go to the crowded beach wearing a swimsuit and walk around and check how many people you catch staring at you. If you catch more than 5 people staring then you are beautiful. Unlike the Thigh Gap Test, this is one test men can actually pass.

The Golden Ratio - The Golden Ratio is a mathematical ratio considered to be visually pleasing to humans. It is a ratio of 1.6180339~. It is known as phi (Φ) in Geometry, and was used historically in Greek/Egyptian architecture, in India, in Feng Shui, in Da Vinci's Vitruvian Man, etc. In terms of beauty it means that various proportions of the human body should follow a ratio of roughly 1 to 1.6180339~, so if width of your ear is a distance of 1, the height of your ear should be a distance of 1.6180339~. Although honestly, this is really just an excuse for mathematicians to force their ideas unto others.

On the plus side, the Golden Ratio is one test that Marilyn Monroe passes.

But you know what, over 90% of people pass the Golden Ratio Test. So the good news is that according to the Golden Ratio Test we're all pretty much beautiful because it is very easy to get the math to conveniently fit.


So those are some commonly used (and often inaccurate) standards of beauty.

But what are some physical standards of health?

Well there is BMI (Body Mass Index), which compares your height to your weight and then estimates whether you are anorexic, underweight, average, overweight, obese or morbidly obese.

The BMI system works for most people, but ignores the possibility that someone might have a lot of muscle mass. Bodybuilders for example cannot be accurately measured by BMI.

Next there is Body Fat Percentage (BFP), which is more accurate than BMI because it calculates your total weight, the fat content of your body, and how much fat is in your body by percentage. The trick to BFP is that it is tricky to calculate accurately. People can try doing it using measurements, or by using machines, but both just provide an estimate that could be off by as much as 5%.

For women between ages 20 and 40, 19% to 26% body fat is good (26%)  to excellent (19%). For women age 41+, 23% to 30% is considered good (30%) to excellent (23%).

For men between ages 20 and 40, 10% to 20% body fat is generally good (20%) to excellent (10%). For men age 41+, 19% to 23% is considered good (23%) to excellent (19%).
Having more body fat than the amounts listed above is considered unhealthy because the person is overweight, whereas having lesser amounts is likewise considered unhealthy because the person might be at risk for anorexia*.

* However we should note that some athletes fall into the very low body fat percentage and thus having a low BFP does not necessarily mean the person is unhealthy.

Lastly Heart Rate is a great measurement for determining whether a person is unhealthy as it is tied to a strong and healthy heart and a diet that is free from cholesterol. A person's normal heart rate is between 60 and 80 beats per minute when at rest. In contrast a professional athlete will have a heart rate between 40 to 60 beats per minute when at rest. Someone who has over 90 beats per minute while at rest is considered unhealthy because they have high blood pressure, which is often a sign that they have a weaker heart or a cholesterol problem.

Doctors also routinely check Blood Pressure too, which is measured as a comparison between a resting heart rate (diastolic) and a post-intense-exercise heart rate (systolic). Blood Pressure is then measured as the larger systolic number over the smaller diastolic number.

So for example 105 over 70 is considered normal.

80 over 50 is the blood pressure of a professional athlete.

190 over 100, omigod, how have you not died from an heart attack? Please see a doctor right away!

CONCLUSIONS

What I hope people will take away from reading all of this is that hopefully you will focus on the healthy standards over the false standards of beauty. Yes, a person can have a thigh gap, but they might also be anorexic, have dangerously low body fat and have high blood pressure (anorexic people often die from heart attacks due to weak hearts).

Be healthy and happy and your beautiful smile will be all that matters.
Looking to sign up for archery lessons, boxing lessons, swimming lessons, ice skating lessons or personal training sessions? Start by emailing cardiotrek@gmail.com and lets talk fitness!

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