Gretchen Reynolds

Author's Bio

Static stretching decreases short-term muscle strength.

Myth #1: Stretching prevents injuries

In 2010, researchers at Florida State University asked ten male athletes to stretch for 16 minutes, then run for an hour on a treadmill. In a later session, the same crew sat quietly for 16 minutes,...

Going barefoot isn't a cure-all.

Myth #2: Running barefoot is better

Shoes alter how we move. As soon as you put toddlers in cute little loafers, their walking changes: they take longer steps and land with more force on their heels.

Water and electrolytes have little to do with muscles seizing up.

Myth #4: Guzzling water prevents cramps

Miller can’t tell you how to eliminate cramps altogether—there isn’t enough research—but stretching seems to be the best option to relieve acute cramping once it’s set in.

Post-race icing

Myth #7: Ice baths speed recovery

If you like freezing your butt off, soak away, but the benefits are strictly psychological. Any physiological effects won’t last longer than the ice itself.

Up for Debate: Massage boosts recovery

Studies are needed that examine whether post-exercise massage might have other benefits. Most athletes swear they feel better after being kneaded, but so far there’s no evidence at the cellular level...

Up for Debate: Cortisone Shots Speed Healing

Trying to figure out exactly what’s going on inside overtaxed tendons and ligaments. In fact, scientists don’t fully understand the mechanics of injuries like tennis elbow and Achilles problems, so...

Body of Evidence

The research is in, and the conclusions are clear: Many of our old athletic habits are bad for us, and much of what we think we know about sports science is wrong. Here, a guide to rediscovering your...

Acadia National Park, Maine

Acadia

Maine

Free Newsletters

Dispatch This week's featured articles, reviews, and videos. Sent twice weekly.
News From the Field The most important breaking news from around the Web. Sent daily.
Outside GOOur hottest adventure-travel tips and trips. Sent occasionally.
Outside Partners Outside-approved deals and special offers from select partners. Sent occasionally.

Subscribe
to Outside
Save Over
70%

Magazine Cover

iPad Outside+ App Access Now Included!

GUIDES

Find the Best

Current Issue Outside Magazine

Subscribe and get a great deal! Two free Buyer's Guides plus a free GoLite Sport Bottle. Monthly delivery of Outside—your ultimate resource for today's active lifestyle. All that and big savings!

Free Newsletters

Dispatch This week's featured articles, reviews, and videos. Sent twice weekly.
News From the Field The most important breaking news from around the Web. Sent daily.
Gear of the Day The latest products, reviews, and editors' picks. Coming soon.
Outside Partners Outside-approved deals and special offers from select partners. Sent occasionally.

Ask a Question

Our gear experts await your outdoor-gear-related questions. Go ahead, ask them anything.

* We might edit your question for length or clarity. If it's not about gear, we'll just ignore it.