ALL MY JOINTS CRACK WHEN I GET OUT OF BED. AM I JUST GET­TING OLD?

Men's Health (Singapore) - - ASK MEN'S HEALTH -

NNot to worry, it’s only your joints pre­par­ing for the day ahead. As you move dur­ing the day, bub­bles form in the fluid that lu­bri­cates your joints, says Greg Kawchuk, a pro­fes­sor of re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion medicine at the Univer­sity of Al­berta. When they col­lapse, you hear them pop.

It’s a harm­less phe­nom­e­non – and it might even help your joints glide as you move. Now if a joint cracks ev­ery time you move it, that’s dif­fer­ent. It could be a ten­don snap­ping

against a bone as a re­sult of an in­jury, a change in your work­out rou­tine, or a mus­cle im­bal­ance.

Fi­nally, if ev­ery pop is painful, talk to your doc­tor. It could be a sign of arthri­tis.

IS FRESH FISH ANY HEALTH­IER THAN WHAT I CAN GRAB IN THE FROZEN FOOD AISLE? – Harry

The cold, hard truth: It’s all pretty much frozen. Com­mer­cial fish op­er­a­tions flash-freeze their catch – of­ten right on the boat – be­fore send­ing it to dis­trib­u­tors, who then de­cide whether it’ll stay frozen for pur­chase or be thawed and pre­sented “fresh” by the re­tailer.

Nu­tri­tion­ally, there’s not much dif­fer­ence be­tween the two. As for taste, the ma­jor­ity of peo­ple in a Ja­panese study ei­ther favoured frozen fish or couldn’t tell the dif­fer­ence be­tween fresh and frozen.

Bot­tom line? Buy it in any form, but just eat it.

I HATE STRETCH­ING. IS THERE ONE MOVE I CAN DO THAT WARMS UP EV­ERY­THING? – Jor­dan

The trou­ble when you start work­ing out is hav­ing the dis­ci­pline to warm out be­fore ex­er­cise, since you’re rar­ing to get started. For an easy one, try the re­verse lunge to ham­string stretch. “It stretches your hips, ham­strings and lats, and ac­ti­vates your glutes” – key ar­eas to prep be­fore any work­out, says Kevin Larrabee of Mike Boyle Strength and Con­di­tion­ing.

To do it, stand with your feet to­gether. Step back into a re­verse lunge and raise your arms over­head, stretch­ing your lats. Place your hands on each side of your front foot, raise your hips, and lift your front toes, stretch­ing your front ham­string. Drop your back knee, stretch­ing your back hip. Re­turn to the start. Re­peat on the other leg.

IS IN­TER­VAL TRAIN­ING BET­TER THAN LONGDIS­TANCE RUN­NING FOR BURN­ING BODY FAT? – Sean

Long-dis­tance run­ning is a great work­out. The trou­ble is how much time it takes.

A tip for time-poor men: While steady-state car­dio packs plenty of per­for­mance ben­e­fits, high-in­ten­sity in­ter­val train­ing (HIIT) smacks your fat stores hard­est.

In an East Ten­nessee State Univer­sity study, those on an in­ter­val train­ing regime lost 2 per­cent body fat, while men who slugged on the tread­mill saw no change. HIIT also burned more calo­ries in the 24 hours post-work­out.

Re­claim your morn­ings.

IT’S A HARM­LESS PHE­NOM­E­NON — AND IT MIGHT EVEN HELP YOUR JOINTS GLIDE AS YOU MOVE.

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