Your Road to Wellness

Exercise

This exercise is effective for stimulating the nervous system.

Posted by on 9:45 am Exercise | 0 comments

Research has proven that the nervous system like most other tissue can be stimulated to regenerate, we just have to find the most effective stimuli.

Exercise is one activity that has been found to be effective in stimulating the nervous system.

If you think about it, it is remarkable how many benefits a simple thing like exercise provides.

Exercise can, however, be many things, and not all exercises provide the same benefits.

This particular study compared two exercise protocols, both known to improve cardiovascular health, but here the effectiveness in raising brain-derived neurotrophic factor processes (BDNF)were tested (Saucedo Marquez CM, et al. 2015).

BDNF has shown to help support the survival of existing neurons, and encourage the growth and differentiation of new neurons.

One group of participants performed continuous exercise at 70% of maximal work for 20 minutes, and another group did high intensity interval training at 90% of maximal work for 1 minute with 1 minute of rest in between repetitions for 20 minutes. This was compared with a rest condition as a control.

Both exercise groups were found to increase BDNF levels compared to the the rest condition, but the high intensity exercise protocol was slightly more effective for elevating the BDNF levels.

73% of the participants also preferred this way of exercising.

High intensity short interval training has shown to also provide many other benefits, usually with much less time spent exercising.

This type of exercise can be performed different ways.

If you are going to exercise, why not do it the most effective way.

If you have not exercised in a while, you should gradually increase the intensity, and as with all exercises be sure you can tolerate it. Get advice from a competent health care professional in case you have any joint degeneration or any other medical condition.

Saucedo Marquez CM1, Vanaudenaerde B2, Troosters T3, Wenderoth N4. High-intensity interval training evokes larger serum BDNF levels compared with intense continuous exercise. J Appl Physiol (1985). 2015 Dec 15;119(12):1363-73. doi: 10.1152/japplphysiol.00126.2015. Epub 2015 Oct 15.

Exercise for Maximum Benefits

Spending Minimum Time

stress picture 3What if you could increase your odds of living longer and also reduce your risk for

serious disease without spending much time and without it interfering with your schedule.

You could even implement it at work, it takes literally a few seconds, a few times a day, to implement.

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An easy habit to reduce your risk for depression.

Posted by on 9:03 am Brain, Depression, Exercise | 0 comments

Fotolia,tiredThis research was convincing because it involved 11,000 people who were followed for 50 years (Pinto Pereira SM, et al. 2014).

A sample of persons born in England, Scotland and Wales in a single week in March, 1958 were followed up to the age of 50 years. Depressive symptoms were measured and frequency of physical activity (times per week) were recorded at the age of 23, 33, 42 and 50 years.

It was concluded that physical activity may alleviate depressive symptoms.

 

Physical activity needs to be included in your lifestyle. It will make you feel better both physically and psychologically.

For those who don’t like to exercise, the good news is that numerous studies has documented that you don’t have to spend a lot of time exercising to receive a lot of benefits as long as you exercise at a high intensity.

 

 

 

 

Pinto Pereira SM1, Geoffroy MC2, Power C1. Depressive Symptoms and Physical Activity During 3 Decades in Adult Life: Bidirectional Associations in a Prospective Cohort Study. JAMA Psychiatry. 2014 Oct 15. doi: 10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2014.1240. [Epub ahead of print]

This is how you can quickly improve your memory performance.

Posted by on 2:53 pm Brain, Exercise, Memory | 0 comments

Thoughtful middle aged man isolated on whiteDid you know that exercise can improve your memory?

Maybe you have heard that before, but how long do you think it takes? Not very long depending on how you exercise.

You may not think of exercise as stress, but exercise is putting stress on your body, that’s why it works. The body responds to the stress, and you will for example get stronger or improve your endurance depending on how you exercise.

Because exercise is stressful, you will also release stress hormones.

The reviewed research measured participants nor-adrenaline one of the hormones released when under stress, and showed the participants pictures they should try to remember (Weinberg L et al. 2014).

One group did resistance exercise with one leg after they were shown the pictures, while the control group sat and had the machine move their leg for them.

2 days later they were tested for recall of the pictures. The group that exercised remembered more of the pictures. Also interesting was that the ones that had the strongest response to the exercise, nor-epinephrine increased the most, also performed better on the memory test.

The researchers also found that emotional pictures were remembered better than neutral ones. This has also been documented in other studies.

This is even another example of the importance of the intensity you exercise with. The more intense it is, the less time you have to spend exercising. You will also stimulate more muscle growth, and more release of beneficial hormones, and it will even improve your memory.

 

 

Weinberg L, Hasni A, Shinohara M, Duarte A. A single bout of resistance exercise can enhance episodic memory performance. Acta Psychol (Amst). 2014 Sep 25;153C:13-19. doi: 10.1016/j.actpsy.2014.06.011. [Epub ahead of print]

Do you have to be in good shape to tolerate high-intensity short interval training?

Posted by on 6:51 pm Body fat, Exercise, General Health, Get in shape, Intensity Training, Muscles, Sports performance, Tennis, Vigorous Activity | 0 comments

Running on treadmillHigh/intensity short/interval training is a type of exercise that stresses the body hard for a very short period of time. In other words, it is hard exercise, but you don’t have to spend much time doing it.
That you don’t have to spend much time exercising appeals to most people, but you may wonder if you can tolerate it. Is it safe to exercise this way if you are not in great shape?

The reviewed research should answer that question, but make up your own mind after reading this.

It may surprise you that anybody would even try this with people in the shape that they were. The researchers took patients with signs of chronic heart failure and had one group do high/intensity short/interval training, and had another group do the regular continuous aerobic exercise training(Koufaki P et al. 2014).

The program lasted for 6 months and the participants were tested for cardiorespiratory fitness at the start and at the end.

Peak oxygen uptake, sit to stand and gait speed improved equality in both groups, no difference in results.

The researchers concluded that the training adaptations were achieved in the high intensity short interval training group despite a significant reduced time commitment  and reduced work volume when compared to continuous aerobic exercise training.

There is really no reason to waist time exercising for a long period of time unless you enjoy the exercise itself. The high intensity training was also tolerated well.

Maybe it should not be a surprise that people with heart failure can exercise like this.
Years ago people were advised not to do any exercise after they had a heart attack, believing exercise would increase their risk for another heart attack. That has been changed because we know better now, that exercise is one of the things that will help prevent heart problems.

 

 

 

 
Koufaki P1, Mercer TH, George KP, Nolan J. Low-volume high-intensity interval training vs continuous aerobic cycling in patients with chronic heart failure: a pragmatic randomised clinical trial of feasibility and effectiveness. J Rehabil Med. 2014 Apr;46(4):348-56. doi: 10.2340/16501977-1278.

Is systemic inflammation making your pain worse?

Posted by on 5:18 pm Anti-aging, Arthritis, Eating, Exercise, Inflammation, Inflammation, C-reactive protein, Inflammatory factor, Tendonitis, The Learn to Eat Plan, Tissue Recovery Blog | 0 comments

Fotolia,painKnee pain is very common as we get older, and so is systemic inflammation, but what is systemic inflammation?
Systemic inflammation is the type of inflammation that you may not even know you have an issue with, because you don’t have to have a swollen joint. This type of inflammation is low grade, and it affects your whole body. It can, however, be measured by checking certain inflammatory markers.
The reviewed research investigated if there was an association between increased knee pain and systemic inflammation(Stannus OP et al. 2013). The participants were 149 men and women with an average age of 63 years. Knee pain was determined using an osteoarthritis pain questionnaire at the start of the study and then five years later. Radio graphs as well as MRI were used in the examination.
Several inflammatory markers were tested, highly sensitive C-reactive protein (hs-CRP), tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha) and interleukin-6 (IL-6).

The conclusion was that systemic inflammation is an independent predictor of worsening knee pain over 5 years. Adjustments for radio graphic osteoarthritis or structural abnormalities detected on the MRI did not make much difference regarding that association.

Does this mean that you can’t do anything about this?

No, you can do something about this, and I suggest you do, because systemic inflammation is also a risk factor for chronic disease.

Research has documented that the food you eat can be quite effective in reducing this type of inflammation.

This is one of the things you learn in “The Learn to Eat Plan“. You can read more about it here.

 
 
 
 
Stannus OP1, Jones G, Blizzard L, Cicuttini FM, Ding C. Associations between serum levels of inflammatory markers and change in knee pain over 5 years in older adults: a prospective cohort study. Ann Rheum Dis. 2013 Apr;72(4):535-40. doi: 10.1136/annrheumdis-2011-201047. Epub 2012 May 12.

Can you change your estrogen metabolites by exercising?

Posted by on 11:31 pm Breast cancer, Cervical Cancer, Endometrial cancer, Exercise, Exercise, Women, Womens health | 0 comments

Beautiful skinny woman riding a bike in fitnessWhat would be the benefits of changing your estrogen metabolites?
Certain estrogen metabolites are related to a higher risk for estrogen related diseases. Breast cancer is one of those diseases. If you could change the ratio between the harmless metabolites and the ones related to an increased risk for estrogen related problems you would be better off.
The reviewed research investigated if exercise could do that since exercise has shown to reduce the risk for breast cancer.(Smith AJ,et al. 2013).

The participants were healthy young women who were divided into either an exercise group doing 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous aerobic exercise 5 days a week or a sedentary control group.  The study went on for approximately 16 weeks.

Estrogen’s and estrogen metabolites were measured,and the rates of the different metabolites were calculated. The change from the baseline measurements increased significantly in the exercise group for 2-OHE1/16α-OHE1 which is the ratio of the estrogen metabolites associated with a decreased risk for estrogen related diseases. This change was not seen in the control group.
 

The researchers concluded that this may be the mechanism by which increased physical activity is decreasing the risk for breast cancer.

Smith AJ1, Phipps WR, Thomas W, Schmitz KH, Kurzer MS. The effects of aerobic exercise on estrogen metabolism in healthy premenopausal women. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2013 May;22(5):756-64. doi: 10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-12-1325.