Category Archives: Exercise/Fitness

Too much jogging ‘as bad as no exercise at all’

ID-100133983A study in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology says that too much jogging may be just as bad as not jogging at all. Over a 12 year period, scientists studied more than 1,000 healthy joggers and non-joggers. They found that those who ran at a steady pace for less than 2 1/2 hours a week were least likely to die in this time. Meanwhile, those who ran more than 4 hours a week or did no exercise had the highest death rates. Researchers suggest that “long-term strenuous endurance exercise may induce pathological structural remodeling of the heart and arteries.” Guidelines recommend moderate-intensity exercising for at least 150 minutes a week and for those who are just starting, even a brisk walk is a good place to begin. What types of exercise do you recommend? What about for people that are new to working out?

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Ask Well: The Best Time of Day to Exercise to Lose Weight

ID-100110814Researchers in Belgium have found that exercising in the very early hours of the morning can help the body to burn more fat and potentially keep off weight gain, compared to exercising at other times. In the study, researchers had young, healthy men to gorge themselves for 6 weeks with a diet consisting of 30% more calories and 50% more fat than what they had been eating prior. The first group of the volunteers remained sedentary while eating. The second began a strenuous, midmorning exercise routine after they had had breakfast while the third group followed the same workout regimen, but before they had eaten anything. After the 6 weeks, the first group predictably had gained the most weight, at 6 pounds, and had begun to develop insulin resistance. The second group gained 3 pounds and also developed insulin problems. But the third group of men gained almost no weight and retained healthy insulin levels. Their bodies were also burning more fat throughout the day than were the other men. It is important to note though that the early-morning exercise prevented weight gain, which is not the same thing as inducing weight loss. But the results are encouraging to anyone who is looking to have a healthier lifestyle. Does this study motivate you to work out early in the morning? What about in this weather?

 

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Fitness apps lack evidence-based tools

ID-100132827A new study shows smartphone fitness apps aren’t always effective in helping people stay healthy. More than half of American adults own smartphones – and half of those owners use some type of fitness app, explains David Conroy, the study’s lead researcher from Northwestern University in Chicago. Unfortunately, a vast number of them have no research defending their effectiveness. In November 2013, Conroy and colleagues identified the 100 top-selling health and fitness apps in the Apple iTunes and Google Play marketplaces. Researchers looked for any of 93 possible behavior-changing techniques and found only an average of 7 techniques per app. The study shows that social media integration is pervasive, Conroy said, even though there is only limited research showing social media can positively affect behavior. “A lot of these apps, it turns out, are kind of hollow,” he said, adding they look nice and have many features, but no techniques to motivate people who are not currently active. What do you think of fitness apps? Do youfavorite ones that truly help you to stay active?

 

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In search of a personalised diet

ID-100123942A new study lead by BBC Science and obesity experts explains every person has different eating habits and specific diets are needed for each person based on their hormones, genes,cognitive behavior etc. Instead of following a standard diet it is important to focus on your eating habits first to develop a diet specific for you. Scientists from Oxford and Cambridge followed and observed eating trends of 5 dieters for three months in their homes. The study looked at three types of over eaters, feasters, constant cravers and emotional eaters. The study found diets are based off habits. The feasters, people who have a hard time stopping eating, have a problem with their gut hormone balance. Constant cravers, people that are always hungry, have certain genes that disrupt the signals sent to the brain so they do not know when they are full. Emotional eaters eat when they feel anxious or stressed which is a habit they have developed. Overall, feasters lost the most weight and constant cravers had the hardest time losing weight. Dieters learned what type of eater they were and experts came up with plans to help them change their eating habits and practice the best diet for them. Although personalized diets are a new trend, experts say there is a lot of potential to help people lose more weight once they know more about their own body and how it affects their eating habits. Depending on the type of eater you are determines the type of diet you should try.

Would a personalized diet help people to lose weight?

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Scoliosis: Daily Yoga Pose May Reduce Spinal Curve

yoga-pose-shows-feel-posture-and-feeling-100281567According to a new study published in Global Advances in Health and Medicine, practicing a single yoga pose for one to two minutes a day for multiple days a week can greatly improve spinal curvature. There are currently 25 recommended yoga poses for scoliosis from the National Scoliosis Foundation. One group of children, ages 10-18, experienced a 49.2% improvement from practicing the side plank pose on their weaker side four times a week.  For some, especially children, this may be a great alternative or a helpful addition to the more unappealing treatments available, such as back braces or even surgery. On average, practicing this pose gave patients a 32% reduction in their spinal curvature. Larger studies must be conducted to confirm these findings, but this may be exciting news to the 2-3% of Americans who currently suffer from scoliosis. What other non-invasive therapies do you feel comfortable recommending to your patients with scoliosis?

 

For additional information, go to WebMD.

 

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How Exercise Can Boost Young Brains

kids-playing-soccer-10078413A new study by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has found that exercise improves the cognitive ability in children. By performing 70 minutes of physical activity in two-hour session daily for nine months, the 110 children enrolled in the test group has showcased substantial improvements in the assigned cognitive tests at the end of the program in comparison to the corresponding control group. Based on these new findings, how would you pursue your patients to incorporate regular exercise in their lifestyle, and to encourage their children to do so?
For more reading, please visit The New York Times.
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How physical exercise protects the brain from stress-induced depression.

badminton-player-isolated-on-white-background-100204162For years, exercise has been recognized as an effective way to prevent stress-induced depression, yet until now the mechanism had not been understood. It was initially believed that trained skeletal muscle produced a substance protective towards the brain. However, researchers at the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden shared their findings using mice models showing something different. Instead of generating a protective substance in the body, the exercised skeletal muscle produces an enzyme that helps to excrete damaging, stress-related substances from the blood. Depression remains to be a widely misunderstood disorder, but this research reinforces the importance of exercise in its treatment and could provide insight into novel therapies.  What other non-pharmacological interventions do you recommend to patients who experience stress-induced depression?

 

 

For additional information, please visit ScienceDaily.

 

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Nutrition Basics Help Fight Child Obesity

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The Food and Drug Administration just released Nutrition Basics reminder to help parents look at nutrition facts labels (ingredients, percent daily value, nutrients, and serving size) before buying food for their children. The main goal of this program is to fight childhood obesity with better food choices. How often do you discuss food labeling with your patients?

For additional information, please see the FDA Consumer Update .

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5 reasons to drink coffee before your workout

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A recent research published in the International Journal of Sport and Exercise Metabolism suggests that caffeine consumption before exercise might increase weight loss. Previous findings highlighted other effects including increase in blood flow, decrease in pain, muscle preservation, memory enhancement and increase in muscle fuel.  Have you or your patients experimented with coffee around the time of your exercise?  What are your thoughts?

For additional information, please see CNN.

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Are exercise cool-downs necessary?

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The Australian Journal of Physiotherapy published a study to answer the question of how useful cool-down exercises in removing soreness post-workout. This randomized controlled trial evaluated whether or not warm-up or cool-down exercises helped reduce soreness post-workout in 52 adults. The study revealed that warm-up exercises reduce soreness over a 48 hour period after workout while cool-down exercises do not. What is your typical exercise routine? How do you counsel your patients about exercise?

For additional information, please visit NYT. To see the abstract of the original researchplease visit AJP

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