26 June 2007

physical demands on F1 drivers

Brains and brawn perfect formula for fastest men@The Australian

To control a Renault, Ferrari or Toyota at speeds in excess of 300kph around Albert Park, a driver needs four physical attributes.

The first is an aerobic capacity that enables him to perform for one hour and 40 minutes while his heart is pounding at about 180 beats per minute. David Coulthard, the oldest man on the Albert Park grid, has a resting rate of about 40 beats per minute, a figure normally associated with endurance cyclists and runners.

The second is neck strength, to withstand up to 25kg of sideways force, on every corner, through a 58-lap race. The third is sufficient strength through the arms and chest to control the wheel. The fourth is the leg power to provide 80kg downward pressure each time you brake.

Beyond this, however, a driver needs something else.

"It is not only the physical stress but the brain stress," Ceccarelli explained. "A driver's brain has to run faster than his car, which is more than 300kmh, with no rest. That makes this sport very difficult."

21 June 2007

extra sleep for performance enhancement

Athletes' Performance Improved By Extra Sleep@Medical News Today

Athletes who get an extra amount of sleep are more likely to improve their performance in a game, according to a research abstract presented at SLEEP 2007, the 21st Annual Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies (APSS).

The study, authored by Cheri Mah of Stanford University, was conducted on six healthy students on the Stanford men's basketball team, who maintained their typical sleep-wake patterns for a two-week baseline followed by an extended sleep period in which they obtained as much extra sleep as possible. To assess improvements in athletic performance, the students were judged based on their sprint time and shooting percentages.

Significant improvements in athletic performance were observed, including faster sprint time and increased free-throws. Athletes also reported increased energy and improved mood during practices and games, as well as a decreased level of fatigue.

"Although much research has established the detrimental effects of sleep deprivation on cognitive function, mood and performance, relatively little research has investigated the effects of extra sleep over multiple nights on these variables, and even less on the specific relationship between extra sleep and athletic performance. This study illuminated this latter relationship and showed that obtaining extra sleep was associated with improvements in indicators of athletic performance and mood among members of the men's basketball team."

The amount of sleep a person gets affects his or her physical health, emotional well-being, mental abilities, productivity and performance. Recent studies associate lack of sleep with serious health problems such as an increased risk of depression, obesity, cardiovascular disease and diabetes.


Experts recommend that adults get between seven and eight hours of sleep each night to maintain good health and optimum performance.

Persons who think they might be suffering from a sleep disorder are encouraged to consult with their primary care physician, who will refer them to a sleep specialist.

20 June 2007

British National Tennis Centre

The National Tennis Centre in Roehampton, south west London, opened in March 2007 after setting the Blueprint for British tennis in 2004.

The aim of the NTC is to provide a one-site national focus for the sport in Great Britain and offer players the best opportunity to realise their potential by offering world-class facilities and back-up.

The NTC has 22 courts, including six indoors, high performance training facilities, a Sports Medicine and Science Centre, player accommodation and facilities, and a cafeteria.