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June 2007 Archives

Cooling off before heating up

Heat alerts, smog alerts. Welcome to summer in the 21st century and more excuses to sit around and not get exercise.

"It's just too damn hot" is a slightly better excuse for not getting out and maintaining your fitness than "I've got to find out who gets voted off tonight."

Well, most of the folks who study risks and benefits of exercise say the benefits of getting your butt off the couch on a hot day outweigh the risks, as long as you're a healthy and somewhat normal person.

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Growing up cheating

So Jason Giambi has finally agreed to come clean and talk to Major League Baseball's recently-found steroid conscience. The battle against drugs in sports is finally turning a corner.

Sure it is.

If Giambi says that he used performance-enhancing drugs, he can rightly point out that it was at a time when baseball had no steroid policy — it wasn't against the rules to do what you could to hit the ball harder and farther than anyone else. And, of course, you had to do what you could to compete and hang on to your very well-paying job in a field where you might be an extended slump away from losing your livelihood.

It's human nature to want an advantage, to look for an easy way to achieve a difficult goal.

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Don't you get bored?

Sitting around a table at a local watering hole the other day, chilling out after one of those action-packed CBC softball league games during which no one pulled any muscles, took a line drive in the face or collided with an outfielder while screaming "I got it, I got it, I got it, oops!", the topic turned to other forms of exercise.

And — as is sometimes the case during these malted beverage discussions — I got peppered with the why's and wherefore's of long-distance running.

Randi — who favours inline skating and throwing the ball hard enough to leave a nasty red welt in the palm of your catching hand — said she could understand running a bit. Maybe a few kilometres.

"Don't you get bored?" she asked.

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Relieving sore muscles

Nothing says it's been an active weekend more than showing up for work Monday morning and being bowled over by that unmistakable nasal-clearing odour of someone's attempt to chemically mask muscle aches.

Yup, rub that stuff onto your skin and the muscle soreness will be gone within a few days.

Guess what? Don't rub anything onto your skin and the soreness will be gone within a few days.

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Elite athletes and their not-so-elite diets

I'd be the first to admit that I'm not proud of some of my eating habits. For instance, I just scarfed two doughnuts during a one-hour meeting. Had to restrain myself from grabbing a third. And — damn the trans fats — there's a box of Girl Guide cookies sitting at home with my name on it.

But — hey — I'm just human.

What surprises me is the terrible eating habits of some of our best athletes.

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