Sports Science

By Peter Gwynne, Inside Science – "Drive for show and putt for dough."

In the world of professional golf, this catchphrase means that a perfect drive down the middle of the fairway has little value if the golfer can't complete the hole by sinking a sinuous 10-foot putt into the cup.

As they prepare for the U.S. Open championship, starting on June 18 in Chambers Bay, Washington, players will devote at least as much practice time to reading the greens, pacing their putts, and maintaining a steady hand with what they call their "flat sticks" as they do to those 300-yard drives.

A growing body of advice suggests doing small amounts of moderate exercise can make a significant difference to your health.

Perhaps Lance Armstrong needs to get his Tour de France victories back - a new study shows that winning all of those may not have been because of performance-enhancing drugs, it may have been spite of them, which would make his successes all that more amazing.

It's time to bust the myth that anyone, and that includes athletes, can outrun a bad diet, say experts in an editorial in the British Journal of Sports Medicine. Excess carbohydrates, not physical inactivity, are behind the surge in obesity.

Regular exercise is key to staving off serious disease, such as diabetes, heart disease, and dementia, write the authors, but our calorie-laden diets now generate more ill health than physical inactivity, alcohol, and smoking - combined. The evidence they cite suggests that up to 40% of those within a normal weight (BMI) range will nonetheless harbor harmful metabolic abnormalities typically associated with obesity.

Businesses have been expanding their marketing and communication efforts to engage people with their brands through sites such as Facebook and Twitter and they discovered that being open, rather than just engaging in push marketing, helps.

If you just watched the Master's Tournament in Augusta, Georgia, you saw the second-youngest player ever to win. That is a pretty good way for a young man to spend the next year.

But for most golfers, like most young baseball players, the reality is much different. 

An EPGA tour player for 12 years commented to Dr. John Fry of Myerscough College on the life: "The word that jumps in my head is lonely".

The tragic death recently of a young Queensland boxer raised the question of safety in the sport and whether boxing should be banned.

Claims that boxing is safer than a number of very popular and well-accepted sports warrant careful scrutiny as they often derive from overly simplistic analyses.

The risks associated with boxing should never be trivialized, but science and technology could possibly help to mitigate them.

It's become a popular idea among endurance athletes that salt consumption during competition will help, but a new study finds no evidence that is true.

A small kernel of truth is involved in the belief, the authors write in the the Journal of Sports Science and Medicine - that there are sodium losses due to sweat during exercise and our bodies function on a principle of thermoregulation - but then some endurance athletes have taken that to believe they should consume large quantities of salt or other electrolyte supplements containing sodium during training and competition to improve performance. 
Physical activity, and that means enough to generate some sweat and breathe hard, is key to avoiding an early death, according to an analysis of 204,542 people followed for more than six years.

A short burst of intensive exercise before eating a high-fat meal is better for blood vessel function than the currently recommended moderate-intensity exercise, at least in young people.

Cardiovascular diseases including heart attacks and stroke are a leading cause of death and the process underlying these diseases start in youth. An impairment in the function of blood vessels is thought to be the earliest event in this process, and this is known to occur in the hours after consuming a high fat meal.