Archive for September, 2012|Monthly archive page

Cardio vs. Strength Training: Which is Better?

In Health and Beauty, Lifestyle on September 19, 2012 at 6:37 pm

In recent years, a subtle battle seems to have been waged between those who focus most of their workouts on cardio and strength training enthusiasts. The latter group cites studies showing cardio is ineffective, while cardio lovers quote numerous studies touting the many health benefits of aerobic activity.

The truth is, both types of workouts have their strengths and weaknesses. Below is a breakdown of each.

Cardio Pros

  • Mental benefits. Cardio elevates the brain’s serotonin levels, which is thought to reduce depression and feelings of stress.
  • Burn more calories. While strength training burns its share of calories, too, cardio training usually involves steady, consistent exercise, where strength training incorporates quite a few breaks as weights and exercises are changed. For this reason, cardio workouts will usually burn more calories in a set period.

Cardio Cons

  • Extreme cardio has been linked to cardiovascular problems in some studies. This is often seen in cases where individuals exercise to excess, as seen in marathon runners.
  • Cardio increases appetite. The theory here is that as you burn calories, you’ll crave more and unless you’re careful, you may end up undoing all your progress.

Strength Training Pros

  • Muscle burns fat. The benefits of strength training continue long after you’ve left the gym. Because muscle requires your body to exert more energy, you actually burn calories throughout the day.
  • Long-term effects. Strength training has been found to have more long-term weight loss effects than cardio training.

Strength Training Cons

  • Joint damage. If done improperly, strength training can damage joints, especially if a person doesn’t give the muscles time to repair between workouts.
  • Less cardiovascular benefits. The health benefits of cardio have been stated repeatedly. Strength training isn’t thought to have the same benefits, although it’s hard to do strength training without getting your heart rate up, which is what provides those health benefits.

Which is better? In truth, the answer is that any exercise you do each day has significant health benefits. Most experts believe a combination of both is best, but if you’re doing an exercise regime you enjoy, you’re more likely to stick with it, so base your choice on the activities you enjoy doing.

Dr. William Knudson Discusses Fallen Arches

In Health and Beauty on September 13, 2012 at 4:57 pm
  Dr. William Knudson

Dr. William Knudson

Dr. William Knudson is an Iowa native who serves patients from his Leesville, Virginia office. Through Podiatric Care of Northern Virginia, Dr. William Knudson regularly sees patients complaining of foot pain and discomfort. One of the primary causes of foot pain, Dr. William Knudson explains, is fallen arches. Today he talks to the staff of Presentation Solutions about the causes of fallen arches, what can be done to prevent them, and what he does to treat them.

Presentation Solutions: How do I know when my foot pain is due to fallen arches?

Dr. William Knudson: Well, with fallen arches, the pain is usually isolated to one area of the foot.

Presentation Solutions: The arch of the foot, right?

Dr. William Knudson: Actually, not necessarily the entire arch. Often the pain is within the arch but in one small area.

Presentation Solutions: Will I notice that pain when I’m standing or sitting?

Dr. William Knudson: Many of my patients first notice the pain while standing. It gets worse after they’ve walked around for a while. In some cases, the pain radiates through the entire foot.

Presentation Solutions: Is pain the only symptom?

Dr. William Knudson: Some of my patients also see swelling.

Presentation Solutions: What causes the arches to fall?

Dr. William Knudson: There can be a variety of causes. In some cases, aging causes the arches to fall and in others, a sports injury can develop after repetitive use. We also see patients who have worked in jobs that require standing throughout the day on a hard surface, especially if those patients were wearing shoes with inadequate arch support.

Presentation Solutions: What happens in the foot when an arch falls?

Dr. William Knudson: As I tell my patients, the arch of the foot is comprised of joints and muscles, which are bound together to form a sort of bridge. With improper force over time, that bridge can begin to collapse, which is where the pain comes in.

Presentation Solutions: How do you treat fallen arches?

Dr. William Knudson: There are over-the-counter arch supports that can help. I also recommend ice and rest for short-term relief.

Presentation Solutions: Is more long-term relief available?

Dr. William Knudson: There are several long-term treatments that are much more intensive. I recommend anyone suffering from ongoing pain due to fallen arches see a podiatrist as soon as possible for more effective treatment.

For Virginia residents suffering pain from fallen arches, Dr. William Knudson practices in the Leesburg area at Podiatric Care of Northern Virginia. If your busy schedule prohibits daytime office visits, Dr. William Knudson and his staff offer extended hours. In addition to care for fallen arches, Dr. William Knudson can help with a variety of foot problems, including bunions, heel pain, corns, and plantar warts.