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Entries Tagged as 'Fitness'

Just Exercise – With or Without a Mask

February 10th, 2021 · Comments Off on Just Exercise – With or Without a Mask · Fitness, Sports Medicine

It is not easy to exercise while wearing a mask. While the science behind the benefits of wearing a mask for limiting the spread of coronavirus is clear, the act of wearing one has become politicised in some parts of the world. Whatever fence you sit on, to wear a mask or not, I want to encourage you all to keep on exercising.

The benefits of exercise are hopefully very clear and widely accepted. Here are just some of the reasons to exercise. It is good for managing your weight, strengthening muscles and bones, improving heart health, reducing the risk of many diseases, improving quality of sleep, improving mood, and it gets you out of the house. Do you need any more reasons?

Some people have stopped or significantly reduced the amount of exercise they are doing. Some of the restrictions in place make it hard to exercise, with gyms closed, community sports cancelled and curfews in place. However, it is important that people continue to exercise. There are enough people with coronavirus-related health issues in the community, we don’t need to add the effects of lack of exercise. Also, if by chance you catch COVID-19, being fitter and healthier with help your immune system fight the virus.


So make sure you exercise, and wear a mask if you are asked to by the authorities, and are able to. In some places, it is recommended to wear a mask whenever you are outdoors. Some regulations state that you have to wear them while exercising, while others allow that exception. If you are not wearing a mask, at least practice good social distancing, this works too.

The potential problem of exercising with facemasks is that the face covering could decrease airflow, making it slightly harder to breathe and to get enough oxygen. Also, the mask could trap carbon dioxide and make you feel unwell.

However, a study by Shaw et al. 2020, is one of many which have found that wearing face masks has no effect on athletic performance. Any decrease in airflow and CO2 trapping, while possibly making it uncomfortable, is not going to slow you down.

Individuals may differ in their response, and anyone with asthma or breathing issues should be careful. It is important to take it easy, particularly at first, and take breaks when you need to. Any exercise is better than none at all.

Just make sure you still exercise.

Some References

  • Shaw K, Butcher S, Ko J, Zello GA, Chilibeck PD. Wearing of Cloth or Disposable Surgical Face Masks has no Effect on Vigorous Exercise Performance in Healthy Individuals. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2020; 17(21):8110.
  • Chandrasekaran B, Fernandes S. “Exercise with facemask; Are we handling a devil’s sword?” – A physiological hypothesis. Med Hypotheses. 2020;144:110002.

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Topend Sports and the Coronavirus

May 5th, 2020 · No Comments · Fitness, Fitness Testing, Sports Nutrition

To all the visitors to my site, the Topend Sports community, I hope that you are staying safe and healthy.

I am fortunate to run this website from my home and have been able to continue as before, though like many other businesses around the world, we are being impacted by the lockdowns.

Most sporting competitions around the world have stopped, people are not searching for sport-related information, so website traffic has been reduced. Many businesses are struggling too, and cannot afford the same advertising budgets as before.

It is not all bad news though, the forced stay at home and extra time available is enabling me to get on top of lots of projects, fix things that are broken, add content and update information that I have long been meaning to do.

For the visitors to my site, there are many resources that can be useful during your forced downtime. Here are some of them.

Keeping Fit at Home

Lunge Exercise

Being confined to your home while doing your bit to slow down the spread of coronavirus is a balancing act. Trying to do some work, maintaining the household, looking after kids, and staying fit and healthy – it all takes up a lot of time. Therefore, many things drop down on your priority list, including your fitness.

However, your fitness workouts do not have to stop. A really effective workout you can do is the 7-minute Workout, or make up your own using this list of fitness exercises you can do at home. For a detailed discussion about staying healthy while working from home, see this article How To Stay Fit While Working From Home.

Don’t forget to stretch during long hours at a desk. Take a couple of minutes every hour to stand up and stretch your entire body. Check out our list of stretches, and use with these stretching guidelines.

Home Fitness Testing

Home Push Up Test

Many of the hundreds of fitness tests described on this site require specialist equipment or training, however not all do. Some fitness tests can be performed at home with equipment you can find around the home. Check out these home fitness tests which are designed to quickly and simply assess a person’s general fitness level.

On our partner website, you can download the Home fitness Test, a free ebook manual to guide you through a fitness assessment program that can be done at home with minimal equipment. The ebook includes all you need to know to perform 10 fitness tests that you can do yourself.

Staying Healthy

Spending more time at home means it is easy to eat more and exercise less (with the result being weight gain!). Find out about what is your healthy weight, and measure it too. Now might be the right time to make changes to improve your health and weight. Aim to follow these simple strategies for weight loss, and avoid some common fad diets.

It is easy to fall into the trap of snacking too often. Make sure you keep healthy snacks available for when you do get low in energy and need a boost, especially if you spend long hours doing tedious or tough work. Always follow a healthy diet, based on solid science-based principles. A well-balanced diet with good variety ensures adequate intake of all the essential nutrients in the diet.

Thank You

Thanks for your time on my site and I hope you can continue to find the information useful, and by supporting my advertisers you can help my business a little too.


The World’s Fittest Sport is Ironman Triathlon

July 17th, 2015 · No Comments · Fitness, Fitness Testing, Sport

Here at Topend Sports we have been through a long process to determine the World’s Fittest Sport. We used a head-to-head competition format to compare sports (similar to the ESPN World’s Greatest Athlete competition which compared athletes). Starting from an initial list of 32 sports from around the world, each sport went head to head in an online vote, until only one sport was left. After many rounds of voting (it started two years ago), the most physically demanding sport was found to be ironman triathlon!

ironman triathlon - the fittest sport

In the final, ironman triathlon beat MMA, with swimming and water polo taking up the next two places. You can see all the results here. This was not scientific research – there was no actual measure of fitness, the results are just based on the opinion of this website’s visitors. There will be bias of course, as fans and participants of a particular sport will be more inclined to vote for their sport or a sport they are familiar with, and a geographical bias as the majority of this site’s visitors come from USA, England and Australia. Despite these limitations, it was an interesting exercise nonetheless.

Although there is no doubting the extreme physical demands of ironman triathlon, the results were still unexpected. In ironman triathlon, the extreme physical demands are almost exclusively aerobic. I personally put boxing at the top of the list for its all-round fitness requirements. Previous votes and analyses have found the most demanding sports to be boxing, squash and gymnastics, and actual testing has found alpine skiing to be the fittest. So there is no consensus.

Is ironman triathlon really the world’s most physically demanding sport? To reinforce the results, we have listed all 32 of the sports in a single poll, where you can again cast your vote for “Which Sport Is The Most Physically Demanding?

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Individual Diet and Workout Plans for just $5

August 29th, 2014 · No Comments · Fitness, Sports Nutrition

$5 diet and workout plan from oatmeal

Have you heard of the website fiverr before? Until recently I hadn’t. It is a fascinating site where people offer to do tasks and services for just $5. I can’t get enough of it. I have been ordering services for my website, as well as fun things too. Now I have partnered with Fiverr to bring you this great deal. For only $5 you can get a great workout or diet plan designed just for you. (no longer active)

The plan is provided by a Certified Personal Trainer with over 5 years of experience. You can read his reviews and see that he has many very satisfied customers. Whether you want to lose body fat, build muscle mass, or just be healthy, he can help you achieve your personal fitness or diet goals for just $5. If you’re looking for healthy supplements then checkout pre workouts for vegans.


It’s good to be king…

August 25th, 2014 · No Comments · Basketball, Fitness

LeBron James has recently added yet another title to his illustrious career of accolades, and his latest one is now World’s Most Fit Athlete according to a poll conducted by Sports Illustrated. The poll consisted of four criteria categories related to their athletic ability. LeBron scored an impressive perfect score of 40 out of 40.

Impressive to say the least, but I wonder how the rest of the NBA feels about this poll. NBA players Nate Robinson, Serge Ibaka, and Dwight Howard are all specimens to rival LeBron so here we will stack up the King against 3 other formidable opponents for the distinction of the Fittest Player currently in the NBA.

Nate Robinson (PG/SG, Nuggets)

Nate brings tremendous energy to every team he’s a part of. Can this pint-sized, fiery point guard challenge LeBron for his fit title? Don’t let the size fool you, Nate has never been one to shy away from contact.

Size: 5’8’’ 180 lbs. Ability: High flying, speedy

Evaluation: Speed: 10, Strength: 6, Agility: 10, Endurance: 10

Overall Score: 36

Serge Ibaka (PF Thunder)

Serge Ibaka is a 6’10’’ chiseled specimen who resembles a statuesque Greek God. Could he be in fact more fit than LeBron?This shot-blocking virtuoso is one of the most intimidating players in the NBA. Serge was ranked #7 on SI’s poll. How will he fare here?

Size: 6’10’’ 245 lbs. Ability: Serge is a super athletic specimen. Thrives off of thunderous shot blocking ability, and excellent ability to run the floor to get a power slam dunk.

Evaluation: Speed: 8, Strength: 8, Agility: 9, Endurance: 10

Overall Score: 37

Dwight Howard (C Rockets)

Dwight Howard strikes fear all around the NBA. His massive frame and explosive athleticism hasn’t been seen since Wilt Chamberlain at his size. Dwight is a freak of nature being that he’s 6’11 and moves and jumps like a guard. Many players are reluctant to attempt to score at the rim when they see #12 close to the area.

Size: 6’11’’ 265. Ability: Dwight has explosive athleticism and elite interior strength.

Evaluation: Speed: 7, Strength: 10, Agility: 8, Endurance: 8

Overall Score: 33

LeBron remains on top as NBA’s most fit

After the final tabulations, the winner of our fit challenge remains LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers. After a summer of dieting and working out harder, he has been turning heads with his new slimmer and muscular physique. This spells disaster for the rest of the league in 2014, we may have only seen the tip of the iceberg from what LeBron will accomplish in his career.

Howard 33
Nate 36
Ibaka 37
LeBron 40


Funny Fitness

July 9th, 2014 · No Comments · Fitness

Fitness and sport is not all serious. On Topendsports we have a whole section on sports fun such as Funny Sports Quotes, as well as my favourite Apt Sporting Names – such as 1986 400m hurdle WR holder Marina Stepanova and Chuck Long the former NFL quarterback for the Detroit Lions and the Los Angeles Rams.


Photo courtesy of:


Battle of the World’s Fittest Sports

March 4th, 2013 · 1 Comment · Fitness, Sport

Formula One FlagESPN SportsNation recently held a competition to determine the World’s Greatest Athlete (won by Bo Jackson). We have decided to hold our own competition using a similar format, but this time comparing the sports themselves rather than the athletes, to determine which world sport is more physically demanding.

I started by selecting 32 sports, from which a draw was created so there are one-on-one match-ups which you can vote on, which will continue until only one sport remains – The World’s Fittest Sport! See our full list of nominated sports.

The first sport comparison is between Formula One and Team Handball – which one is more demanding? The physical demands of formula one often goes unappreciated, requiring a high aerobic capacity and good upper body and leg strength. Drivers perform with heart beats of up to 200 per minute for extended periods. Team Handball is not well known outside of Europe, where it is a popular sport.  Similar in many ways to basketball, however the demands are possibly greater for handball as the players move faster up and down the court and throw the ball more powerfully.

UPDATE: see the full results

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The Beep Test Can Kill

January 30th, 2011 · 1 Comment · Fitness, Rugby Union, Sports Medicine

The beep fitness test should not be taken lightly. It is a maximal test, which means the participants are required to go as hard as they can for as long as they can (though they do not always do this).

This was highlighted recently when 27-year-old Welsh man Adam Rumming died while performing the bleep test as part of an army fitness test at the Sandhurst Academy where elite British Army officers are trained.

He is believed to have had an undiagnosed heart problem, which is often the case for sudden death during exercise in seemingly healthy young people.

If you are ever in charge of conducting fitness testing, particularly exhausting tests, you should exclude anyone with a fever or other risky medical condition, or even better get them to complete a PAR-Q (Physical Activity Readiness Questionnaire).


RPE is Now Easy

September 12th, 2010 · Comments Off on RPE is Now Easy · Fitness

I’ve just updated my pages on Rating of Perceived Exertion Scales, and I decided to make up my own! Instead of a 1-10 or 6-20 scale, my RPE Scale uses the hand to indicate the 1 to 5 ratings. It utilizes the ‘thumbs up’ sign which is fairly universally used to indicate that you are doing OK, while the five fingers hand out is also a familiar signal for stopping. Compared to the other RPE Scales, this is so simple to use, it does not need any printouts (all you need is a hand), the 5-point Likert scale is familiar to a lot of people, and it is non-verbal so is great for research where the subject is unable to talk. See more about my RPE-5 Hand Scale.

  1. Not all all hard (I’m feeling great and could keep up this pace all day long)
  2. slightly hard (I’m still comfortable, but am breathing a little harder and starting to sweat)
  3. moderately hard (This is a good workout)
  4. very hard (It is getting pretty tough, I could only keep at this pace for a short time)
  5. extremely hard (It’s too hard, I need to STOP!)

To see the original RPE scales, and now download a printable version, see RPE Scale 1-10 and RPE Scale 6-20.


Perth City2Surf 2010

September 6th, 2010 · Comments Off on Perth City2Surf 2010 · Fitness, Track & Field

Last weekend I joined a record number of 40,468 people in the Perth city to surf event, from the city centre to City Beach, a distance of 12 km. As a sign of my increasing age, I had opted to join the walkers of the 12 km event, pushing my 3 year old and 9 mth old in a stroller. It was still a  brisk walk to complete the course in 2 hrs 10 minutes, with plenty of people still behind us, and the sore feet to show for it.I would have just beaten the marathon runners!

I’m glad I was not in the half marathon event, as the lead out cyclist took the runners the wrong way, requiring the leaders to backtrack quite a bit. I cannot imagine they would be too happy about that.

As usual there were plenty of characters, people dressed up like the one pictured. It was a fairly warm day, so he would have been feeling the heat. As would have the two dressed in Storm Trooper outfits. All done to raise funds for a worthy charity.

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