Contrary to what trainers have told us for decades, pre-run stretching isn't helpful, according to one recent study, which also found that nonstretchers ran 3.4 percent farther than stretchers. "Stretching appears to acutely decrease muscle-force production capacity," its authors write, citing decreased leg-press performance, vertical jumping height, knee-extensor concentric torque, and maximum plantar flexion torque, which "remained depressed even 60 minutes after the stretching routine."
Who Knew? We've found 14 more Shocking Exercise Facts on the Daily Beast. Curious about a few more of these facts? Check these out then read the full article.
Workers increase their physical activity by 8 percent and burn 25 more calories on casual-clothing workdays than on workdays when they wear regular office attire.
Who needs suits? "Wearing casual clothing every day for 50 weeks of work would translate into burning an additional 125 calories per week or 6,250 calories per year—the equivalent of almost two pounds," write the authors of the study that yielded this stat.
People who want to quit smoking are twice as likely to succeed in quitting if they lift weights than if they don't lift weights.
In the study that yielded this stat, one group of struggling-to-stop smokers engaged in two hours of weight training per week. Another group didn't exercise, but watched health-related videos instead. Twelve weeks later, 16 percent of the weightlifters had quit smoking. They had also lost weight. Only 8 percent of the nonlifters had quit smoking, and all 8 percent had gained weight. Resistance training is key, says Parham: "Strength training builds muscle, which burns calories and knocks the weight off. Whatever you're doing, do it more."