Oh dear, is it Friday already?
For those regular readers expecting the usual "Random Friday" post, complete with an assemblage of bizarro web links--um, sorry! A certain crab didn't manage to put in the usual hours of
So instead, we have some breaking news about weight training and mouse fitness.
Did you know there are some really strong mice out there hoisting barbells with their tiny paws? And that these mice are better off than the mice who put on their itsy bitsy running shoes and go for a nice long run?
You'd sure think so from this strange little press release (discussed here in case the link screws up again):
"Researchers from the Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) have demonstrated that in mice, the use of barbells may be as important to losing weight and improving health as the use of running shoes."
Can't you just picture these determined little rodents in their gym outfits and teeny tiny little ipods? How adorable! A whole new kind of gym rat.
Well, turns out that the press release is either (a) trying to be funny or (b) written while on drugs, because despite my hopes there was no actual miniature mice exercise equipment involved at all.
The researchers just genetically engineered a mouse so that they could mess with a muscle growth-regulating gene. (They're called "MyoMice," not "mighty mice," alas). The upshot of the research seems to be that, at least if you're a mouse, weight lifting as you age will keep you slimmer and healthier and more junk-food resistant than running mouse-marathons. It has to do with all the swell things that type II muscle fiber can do for your metabolism.
The implications are that humans could do a better job fighting obesity if they'd lift weights. Good point! However, I just was SO disappointed after that initial paragraph to find out they did not actually design any little mouse-sized Nike's.
But here's what I'm curious about:
We've been hearing for quite a while now that we're supposed to be doing strength training, not just cardio. I make myself do it, even though I don't like it much. (Okay, some days, honestly, I loathe it). But it really does help you slim down and burn more fat and makes you feel all strong and virtuous and smug.
And yet... I get the feeling a lot of people, particular female people, tend to avoid strength training. When I work out at a gym, there are lots of gals on the treadmills and ellipticals, yet I don't have much female competition for the weight equipment. (And among my friends and relatives--far more pay attention to cardio than bother with weights) .What's up with that? Is it fear of bulk? Is it psychological? Does strength training truly feel more miserable to women than to men?
I'm curious if you all have any theories. Or whether you guys do weights yourselves. Or is it perhaps something you keep meaning to get around to.. "some day?"