Researchers 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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A 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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For 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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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?
Those with vitamin D deficiency, especially among New Englanders, are linked to a multitude of health risks. A new study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism found that those who were obese and vitamin D deficient walked slower and were less physically active than their comparators who were not deficient. The results of this study suggest that vitamin D status may contribute to the reduction of physical functioning, leading to a more sedentary lifestyle. What are some ways you encourage or increase physical activity in your patients? How does this study influence your recommendation of vitamin D?
For additional information, please visit Medical News Today
We are traditionally taught that exercise promotes a healthier lifestyle, however, where do we draw the line at too much exercise. Recent study performed by the American College of Cardiology suggests that those who run more than 20 miles a week do not have an increased life expectancy compared to those who run less. The article references a 2012 study performed by the Mayo Clinic suggest that excessive training may cause cardiovascular damage. With this being said, the author notes that like everything in life, moderation is key. How will this information change your workout and your recommendations to your patients?
The article can be found at CNN
The study can be found at ACC
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1. Plan ahead. Plan excursions, travel and accommodations ahead of time.
2. Craft a budget. Figure out how much you want to spend prior to leaving therefore you can enjoy the vacation and not think about budget.
3. Choose your companions wisely. Vacation with family and close friends to minimize frustration.
4. Allow time to unwind. Be able to incorporate room for some down time between activities.
5. Try new things. Experiment with something new mentally and physically, like taking a walk down the beach.
6. Remember to refuel and stay hydrated.
7. Take a deep breath. Unexpected delays or miscommunication may arise, instead of feeling miserable, relax and enjoy your time away.
What strategies do you typically recommend your patients to unwind stress-free?
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In an analysis of the trial recently published in Lancet, more than 9300 patients with impaired glucose tolerance and cardiovascular disease or risk factors from 40 countries were given a pedometer and followed for the next 6 years. The ambulatory activity or walking was inversely associated with risk of cardiovascular events. What types of pedometers or similar devices have you tried yourself or recommended to your patients to encourage a more active lifestyle?
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