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Yoga Korunta

Life & Politics

Location: United States

One learns, as nothing endures but change.

26 March 2007

Tuesday's Word: triathlon

Triathlon is an athletic event consisting of swimming, cycling and running. In most modern triathlons, these events are placed back-to-back in immediate sequence and a competitor's official time includes the time required to "transition" between the individual legs of the race, including any time necessary for changing clothes and shoes.

According to former Ironman Champion, triathlon historian and author Scott Tinley, the origin of Triathlon is anecdotally attributed to a race in France during the 1920-1930s that was called "Les trois sports", "La Course des Débrouillards" and "La course des Touche à Tout". The sport made its debut on the Olympic program at the Sydney Games. The history of the sport is documented in Scott Tinley's book, "Triathlon: A Personal History" (Velo Press, 2002).

How a triathlon works
In a typical triathlon, racers arrive at the venue to set up their spots in the "transition area". Here they will generally have a rack to hold their bicycles and a small area of ground space for shoes, clothing, etc. Racers run out of the water and attempt to change from their swim gear into cycling gear as rapidly as possible. The cycling stage proceeds around a marked course and finishes back at the transition area, where racers rack their bicycles and change quickly into running shoes before heading out for the final stage. In most races, "aid stations" located on the bike and run courses provide water and energy drinks to the athletes as they pass through.

Rules of triathlon
Traditionally, triathlon is an individual sport: each athlete is competing against the course and the clock for the best time. As such, athletes are not allowed to receive assistance from anyone else inside or outside the race, with the exception of race-sanctioned aid volunteers who distribute food and water on the course. Should a competitor's bike malfunction he may proceed with the race as long as it is done with the bicycle in tow.

Triathlon and fitness
Triathletes tend to be extraordinarily fit, and many amateur athletes choose triathlon specifically for its fitness benefits. Because all three events are endurance sports, nearly all of triathlon training is cardiovascular exercise.

Triathletes will use their legs less vigorously and more carefully than other swimmers, conserving their leg muscles for the cycle and run to follow. Many triathletes use altered swim strokes to compensate for turbulent, aerated water and to conserve energy for a long swim.

Triathlon cycling is very different from most professional bicycle racing because it does not allow drafting.

The primary distinguishing feature of running in a triathlon is that it occurs after the athlete has already been exercising in two other disciplines for an extended period of time, so many muscles are already tired.

Legendary and well-known events
Hundreds (perhaps thousands) of individual triathlons are held around the world each year. A few of these races are legendary and/or favorites of the triathlon community because they have a long history, or because they have particularly grueling courses and race conditions. A few are listed here.

Hawaii Ironman World Championship, Escape from Alcatraz, Wildflower, Life Time Fitness Triathlon, HP Norseman Xtreme Triathlon, Enduroman "Arch to Arc Challenge," Chicago Triathlon.



20 March 2007

Tuesday's Word: exercise

Physical exercise is the performance of some activity in order to develop or maintain physical fitness and overall health. It is often directed toward also honing athletic ability or skill. Frequent and regular physical exercise is an important component in the prevention of some of the diseases of affluence such as heart disease, cardiovascular disease, Type 2 diabetes and obesity.[1][2]
1 Types of exercise
2 Exercise benefits
3 Common myths
3.1 Targeted fat reduction
3.2 Muscle and fat tissue
4 Excessive exercise
5 Nutrition and recovery
6 Exercise and brain function
7 Activities providing physical exercise
8 Categories of physical exercise
9 Breathing
10 See also

Types of exercise
Exercises are generally grouped into three types depending on the overall effect they have on the human body:
Flexibility exercises such as stretching improves the range of motion of muscles and joints.[3]
Aerobic exercises such as cycling, walking and running focus on increasing cardiovascular endurance.[4]
Anaerobic exercises such as weight training, functional training or sprinting increases short-term muscle strength.[5]

Exercise benefits
Physical exercise is important for maintaining physical fitness and can contribute positively to maintaining a healthy weight; building and maintaining healthy bone density, muscle strength, and joint mobility; promoting physiological well-being; reducing surgical risks; and strengthening the immune system.
Frequent and regular aerobic exercise has been shown to help prevent or treat serious and life-threatening chronic conditions such as high blood pressure, obesity, heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, insomnia, and depression. Strength training appears to have continuous energy-burning effects that persist for about 24 hours after the training, though they do not offer the same cardio vascular benefits of aerobic exercises. Exercise can also increase energy and raise one's threshold for pain.
There is conflicting evidence as to whether vigorous exercise (more than 70% of VO2 Max) is more or less beneficial than moderate exercise (40 to 70% of VO2 Max). Some studies have shown that vigorous exercise executed by healthy individuals can effectively increase opioid peptides (aka endorphins, a naturally occurring opiate that in conjunction with other neurotransmitters is responsible for exercise induced euphoria and has been shown to be addictive), positively influence hormone production (i.e., increase testosterone and growth hormone), and help prevent neuromuscular diseases,[6] benefits that are not as fully realised with moderate exercise.
Both aerobic and anaerobic exercise also work to increase the mechanical efficiency of the heart by increasing cardiac volume (aerobic exercise), or myocardial thickness (strength training, see Organ hypertrophy).

Common myths
Many myths have arisen surrounding exercise, some of which have a basis in reality, and some which are completely false. Myths include:
That excessive exercise can cause immediate death. Death by exercise has some small basis in fact. Water intoxication can result from prolific sweating (producing electrolyte losses) combined with consumption of large amounts of water (e.g. when running a marathon). It is also possible to die from a heart attack or similar affliction if overly intense exercise is performed by someone who is not in a reasonable state of fitness for that particular activity. A doctor should always be consulted before any radical changes are made to a person's current exercise regimen. Rhabdomyolysis is also a risk.
That weightlifting makes you short or stops growth. One caveat is that heavy weight training in adolescents can damage the epiphyseal plate of long bones.[7]

Targeted fat reduction
It is a common belief that exercise and training a particular body part will preferentially shed the fat on that part; for example, that doing sit-ups is the most direct way to reduce subcutaneous belly fat. This is false: one cannot reduce fat from one area of the body to the exclusion of others. Most of the energy derived from fat gets to the muscle through the bloodstream and reduces stored fat in the entire body, from the last place where fat was deposited. Sit-ups may improve the size and shape of abdominal muscles but will not specifically target belly fat for loss. Instead, such exercise will help reduce overall body fat and shrink the size of fat cells.

Muscle and fat tissue
Some people incorrectly believe that muscle tissue will turn into fat once a person stops exercising. In reality, fat tissue and muscle tissue are fundamentally different. However, the more common expression of this myth "the will turn to fat" has a grain of truth. Although a muscle cell will not become a fat cell, the material that makes up muscle can in fact turn to fat. The catabolism of muscle fibers releases protein, which can be converted to glucose that can be burned as fuel, and excesses of which can be stored as fat.[8] Moreover, the composition of a body part can change toward less muscle and more fat, so that a cross-section of the upper-arm for example, will have a greater area corresponding to fat and a smaller area corresponding to muscle. This is not muscle "turning to fat" however, it is simply a combination of muscle atrophy and increased fat storage in different tissues of the same body part. Another element of increased fatty deposits is that of diet, as most trainees will not significantly reduce their diet in order to compensate for the lack of exercise/activity.

Excessive exercise
Exercise is a stressor and the stresses of exercise has a catabolic effect on the body - contractile proteins within muscles are consumed for energy, carbohydrates and fats are similarly consumed and connective tissues are stressed and can microtears. However, given adequate nutrition and sufficient rest to avoid overtraining, the body's reaction to this stimulus is to adapt and replete tissues at a higher level than what existed before exercising. The results are all the training effects of regularly exercise - increased muscular strength, endurance, bone density and connective tissue toughness.
Too much exercise can be harmful. The body part exercised needs at least a day of rest, which is why some health experts say one should exercise every other day or 3 times a week. Without proper rest, the chance of stroke or other circulation problems increases,[9] and muscle tissue may develop slowly.
Inappropriate exercise can do more harm than good, with the definition of "inappropriate" varying according to the individual. For many activities, especially running, there are significant injuries that occur with poorly regimented exercise schedules. In extreme instances, over-exercising induces serious performance loss. Unaccustomed overexertion of muscles leads to rhabdomyolysis (damage to muscle) most often seen in new army recruits.[10] Another danger is overtraining in which the intensity or volume of training exceeds the body's capacity to recover between bouts.[11]
Stopping excessive exercise suddenly can also create a change in mood. Feelings of depression and agitation can occur when withdrawal from the natural endorphins produced by exercise occurs. Exercise should be controlled by each body's inherent limitations. While one set of joints and muscles may have the tolerance to withstand multiple marathons, another body may be damaged by 20 minutes of light jogging. This must be determined by each individual.

Nutrition and recovery
Proper nutrition is at least as important to health as exercise. When exercising it becomes even more important to have good diet to ensure the body has the correct ratio of macronutrients whilst providing ample micronutrients, this is to aid the body with the recovery process following strenuous exercise.[12]
Proper rest and recovery are also as important to health as exercise, otherwise the body exists in a permanently injured state and will not improve or adapt adequately to the exercise. Hence, it is important to remember not to do the same type of exercise two days in a row.
The above two factors can be compromised by psychological compulsions (eating disorders such as exercise bulimia, anorexia, and other bulimias), misinformation, a lack of organization, or a lack of motivation. These all lead to a decreased state of health.
Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness can occur after any kind of exercise, particularly if the body is in an unconditioned state relative to that exercise.[13]

Exercise and brain function

Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to:
Physical exercise
In the long term, exercise is beneficial to the brain by:
increasing the blood and oxygen flow to the brain
increasing growth factors that help create new nerve cells
increasing chemicals in the brain that help cognition[14]

Activities providing physical exercise
Functional training
Martial arts
Metal-rod exercises
Rock climbing
Strength training

Categories of physical exercise
Aerobic exercise
Anaerobic exercise
Circuit training
Strength training
Agility training
Sometimes the terms 'dynamic' and 'static' are used. 'Dynamic' exercises such as steady running, tend to produce a lowering of the diastolic blood pressure during exercise, due to the improved blood flow. Conversely, static exercise (such as weight-lifting) can cause the systolic pressure to rise significantly.

Active exhalation during physical exercise helps the body to increase its maximum lung capacity, and oxygen uptake. This results in greater cardiac efficiency, since the heart has to do less work to oxygenate the muscles, and there is also increased muscular efficiency through greater blood flow. Consciously breathing deeply during aerobic exercise helps this development of the heart lung efficiency.[15]

See also
List of basic exercise topics
Exercise physiology
Delayed onset muscle soreness
Exercise bulimia
Exercise equipment
Exercise hypertension
Exercise-induced anaphylaxis
Exercise-induced asthma
Exercise intensity
Exercise intolerance
Metabolic equivalent
Training effect
Army Physical Fitness Test (APFT)

Bloggers, I love exercise and feel guilt if not doing enough.



17 March 2007

Irish Day

Margaret Ella Boles was just off the boat when she established her bloodline on American soil. My maternal great grandmother, born in NOV 1853, was Irish. St. Pat's is the day on which all of the civilized world dreams of being Irish. For bloggers near and far, please help celebrate the day Paddy drove out the English snakes from the Republic of Ireland. Have a shot o' poteen or a pint o' stout!

Remember, also, that this is the B-day of the Lady of Tart!


13 March 2007

Tuesday's Word: pi

The mathematical constant π is an irrational real number, approximately equal to 3.14159, which is the ratio of a circle's circumference to its diameter in Euclidean geometry, and has many uses in mathematics, physics, and engineering.

1 The letter π
2 Definition
3 Numerical value

The letter π

Main article: pi (letter)

The name of the Greek letter π is pi, and this spelling is used in typographical contexts where the Greek letter is not available or where its usage could be problematic. When referring to this constant, the symbol π is always pronounced like "pie" in English, the conventional English pronunciation of the letter.
The constant is named "π" because it is the first letter of the Greek words περιφέρεια 'periphery'[1] and περίμετρος 'perimeter', i.e. 'circumference'.
π is Unicode character U+03C0 ("Greek small letter pi").


Area of the circle = π × area of the shaded square
In Euclidean plane geometry, π is defined either as the ratio of a circle's circumference to its diameter, or as the ratio of a circle's area to the area of a square whose side is the radius. The constant π may be defined in other ways that avoid the concepts of arc length and area, for example as twice the smallest positive x for which cos(x) = 0.[2] The formulæ below illustrate other (equivalent) definitions.

Numerical value

The numerical value of π truncated to 50 decimal places is:
3.14159 26535 89793 23846 26433 83279 50288 41971 69399 37510
While the value of pi has been computed to billions of digits, practical science and engineering will rarely require more than 10 decimal places. As an example, computing the circumference of the Earth's equator from its radius using only 10 decimal places of pi yields an error of less than 0.2 millimeters. The exact value of π has an infinite decimal expansion: its decimal expansion never ends and does not repeat, since π is an irrational number (and indeed, a transcendental number). This infinite sequence of digits has fascinated mathematicians and laymen alike, and much effort over the last few centuries has been put into computing more digits and investigating the number's properties. Despite much analytical work, and supercomputer calculations that have determined over 1 trillion digits of π, no simple pattern in the digits has ever been found.

Bloggers, tomorrow is Pi Day! There is a club for Pi people. One may be certain they wouldn't have a dum blogger who counts on his fingers!



06 March 2007

Tuesday's Word: botany

Botany is the scientific study of plantlife. As a branch of biology, it is also called plant science(s) or plant biology. Botany covers a wide range of scientific disciplines that study plants including: structure, growth, reproduction, metabolism, development and diseases of plants, chemical properties and evolutionary relationships between different plant groups. The study of plants and botany began with tribal lore, used to identify edible, medicinal and poisonous plants, making botany one of the oldest sciences. From this ancient interest in plants, the scope of botany has increased to include the study of over 550,000 kinds or species of living organisms.


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