Saturday, January 16, 2010

No More Sit-ups;Running Can Be Bad Too

One Professor Says Sit-ups are Bad for you. Another warns against excessive running. What's Left?

Here's my personal trainer, Blake Wood from First Choice Fitness, showing how to do healthy lunges. Yes, I do those in the gym.

As for running (or a fast walk on the treadmill) and sit-ups, I do those too, under his guidance, because it's all about variety in moderation and what is best for each person.

The warning about sit-ups comes from a Canadian professor of spine biomechanics, Stuart McGill, who is concerned about disc damage with the crunch or traditional sit-ups (Maclean's magazine, Jan 18, 2010) "There are only so many bends in your spine until the discs eventually herniate."

As for damage from running or biking, a new study presented to the Radiological Society of North America in December, 2009, found middle-aged men and women with high levels of physical activity may be unwittingly damaging their knees and boosting their risk of osteoarthritis.

So, exercise is good for us, and can be damaging too. I have chosen to do a variety of exercises with a personal trainer, 3 times a week for an hour each time, and then take Usana's optimal nutritional supplements on a daily basis to fortify the cells, strengthen my immune system and minimize damage.

Their glucosamine product, Procosa II, is especially helpful for the joints...and the Active Calcium Plus and the Vitamin D build up the bones. You just can't eat enough to provide everything the cells need.

Again, it's all about balance. Extra care every day pays off for many healthy years ahead.


  1. The confusion is understandable, but we learn more as the science progresses. It's also worthwhile to not hang your hat on one particular study, but to look to the trends in the research. As for your workout, Deanna, keep doing the Bulgarian split squats that Blake is admirably demonstrating, but hang up the sit ups. See a full regimine of safe core exercises recommended by Stuart McGill at The attached blog has advanced versions and some links to ways to run that won't trash your knees.

    Dr. Phillip Snell

  2. Thanks for taking the time to comment Dr. Snell - I'll let Blake know as well. He's well read and works with professional athletes.