The claim: running outdoors burns more calories
Pavement or treadmill? Most avid runners have a strong preference for one or the other, but how do the two differ in producing results?
According to several studies, the answer is not so simple. Researchers have found in general that while outdoor running tends to promote more intense exercise, running on a treadmill helps reduce the likelihood of injury, and thus may allow some people to run longer and farther.
A number of studies have shown that, in general, outdoor running burns about 5% more calories than on treadmills, in part because there is greater wind resistance and no assistance from the treadmill belt. Some studies show, for example, that when adults are allowed to set their own pace on treadmills and on tracks, they move more slowly and with shorter strides when they train on treadmills. But, other studies show that treadmill exercisers suffer fewer stress injuries in the leg. One study published in 2003 in the ‘British Journal of Sports Medicine’, for example, analysed a group of runners and found significantly higher rates of bone strain and tension during pavement running than during treadmill running, particularly in the tibia or shinbone. This increased strain can heighten the risk of stress fractures by more than 50%, the study found.
The bottom line
Studies suggest that running on pavements generally burns slightly more calories, but also raises the risk of stress fractures.
The claim: tilt your head back to treat a nosebleed
Most people know the right way to stop a nosebleed: lean the head back and apply pressure to the nose.
But medical experts say that what most people know about nosebleeds is wrong. Tilting the head back, a technique widely considered proper first aid, can create complications by allowing blood into the esophagus. It risks choking, and it can cause blood to travel to the stomach, possibly leading to irritation and vomiting.
The American Academy of Family Physicians says the best treatment is to sit down, lean forward and keep your head above your heart, which lessens the bleeding. Leaning forward also helps drain the blood from the nose and keeps it from the esophagus.
A report in the British journal ‘BMJ’ says you can stop the bleeding by using your thumb and index finger to squeeze the soft tissue just below the bridge of your nose for 5-10 minutes. A cold compress or ice pack placed across the bridge of the nose can also help.
If all of this fails and the bleeding lasts for more than 20 minutes, or the nosebleed was caused by a blow to the head, seek medical attention.
The bottom line
Never treat a nosebleed by leaning your head back.
(ANAHAD O’CONNOR/ ©2008/ The New York Times)