Your Road to Wellness

Intensity Training

What type of exercise improves memory the most?

Posted by on 9:00 am Exercise, General Health, Intensity Training | 0 comments

older people exercising

 

Exercise, in general, is beneficial for the brain, but is one type of exercise more beneficial for
memory? That’s what the following research investigated.
Sixty-four sedentary older adults either did high-intensity interval training, moderate continuous
training or stretching as a control (Kovacevic A, et.al., 2019).
The researchers found that high-intensity interval training resulted in the greatest
memory performance in inactive older adults compared to moderate continuous training
or stretching.

 

 

They also found that improvement in fitness correlated with improvement in memory
performance since moderate exercise also helped.
Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) which is a protein plays an important role in the
survival and growth of the nervous system. This means that BDNF is important for keeping the
brain healthy.

 

older man stretching

 

This research tested the effectiveness of two high-intensity exercise protocols, both known to
improve cardiovascular health, to determine whether they have similar efficacy in affecting
BDNF levels ( Saucedo Marquez CM , et.al., 2015).
Participants performed a continuous exercise protocol at 70% of maximal work rate and a
high-intensity interval training protocol at 90% of maximal work rate for periods of 1 minute
alternating with 1 min of rest (both protocols lasted 20 min).
Both protocols increased BDNF levels, but the high-intensity interval training improved
BDNF levels the most.

References:

Kovacevic A, Fenesi B, Paolucci E, Heisz JJ. The effects of aerobic exercise intensity on
memory in older adults. Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 2019 Oct 30.
Saucedo Marquez CM, Vanaudenaerde B, Troosters T, Wenderoth N. 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

This mineral can influence muscle strength, be sure you get enough of it!

Posted by on 9:15 am BMJ Formula, General Health, Intensity Training, Joint health, magnesium, Muscles, Supplements | 0 comments

This mineral can influence muscle strength, be sure you get enough of it!

 

 

We lose minerals when we perspire. Hot weather and exercise will for that reason make us lose
more.

Some minerals are also more important than others. Magnesium is one of the most important
ones and many people don’t get enough of it.

Magnesium is involved in energy metabolism and numerous enzymatic reactions.

 

 

Athletes often don’t get enough magnesium to compensate for what they lose. This study investigated the impact magnesium can have on muscle strength in elite male
basketball, handball, and volleyball players (Santos DA, et. al, 2011).

It was found that the intake of magnesium was directly associated with maximal isometric
trunk flexion, rotation, and handgrip strength.

Magnesium does not only work for athletes.
The following research included 1138 men and women with an average age of 66.7 years
(Dominguez LJ, et.al., 2006).

The participants were evaluated by testing grip strength, lower-leg muscle power, knee
extension torque, and ankle extension isometric strength.

The researchers found that blood levels of magnesium were significantly associated with
muscle strength and performance as evaluated with the above tests.

 

strength

 

Magnesium in the form of an amino acid chelate is a good choice since it is both well tolerated
and better absorbed than the more common form of magnesium oxide which can cause GI
irritation.

References:

Dominguez LJ, Barbagallo M, Lauretani F, Bandinelli S, Bos A, Corsi AM, Simonsick EM,
Ferrucci L. Magnesium and muscle performance in older persons: the InCHIANTI study. Am J
Clin Nutr. 2006 Aug;84(2):419-26.
Santos DA, Matias CN, Monteiro CP, Silva AM, Rocha PM, Minderico CS, Bettencourt Sardinha
L, Laires MJ. Magnesium intake is associated with strength performance in elite basketball,
handball and volleyball players. Magnes Res. 2011 Dec;24(4):215-9.

 

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How much do you have to exercise to improve your endurance and aerobic fitness?

Posted by on 7:28 am Exercise, Health, Intensity Training, Research, Sports performance, Vigorous Activity, Weight loss, Wellness | 0 comments

 

A lot of people don’t exercise because they think they have to spend a lot of time doing it every week, and that does not appeal to them.  Let’s see what research has found.

Several years ago research was conducted on what was called high intensity short interval training. Since the start of that, a lot of research has been published on that topic, experimenting with different durations of exercise.

The original research started using a stationary bike doing 30 seconds intervals, peddling as hard as possible, then resting for up to 4 minutes. This was then repeated 4 to 6 times.

This regime was very effective documenting that just 2 minutes of actual exercise time produced the same results as an hour of regular intensity aerobic exercise.

So how little can you exercise and still improve your performance? Is 30 seconds interval as low as you can go?

The following research tested six sub elite triathletes comparing them with 6 endurance-trained sub elite athletes maintaining their normal training routine .(Jakeman J, et.al., 2012).

These athletes were already in good shape. It’s harder to improve the performance at that level, compared to starting with people out of shape.

6 of the participants did 10, 6 seconds sprints on a stationary bike with a resting period of 1 minute in between, 3 times a week for 2 weeks. The resistance on the bike was set to 7.5% of the body weight.

Two weeks of the high intensity short interval training resulted in a 10% decrease in a 10-km time trial.

The time taken to reach the onset of blood lactate accumulation, defined as the point where blood lactate reaches 4 mmol·L⁻¹) was significantly increased. This is another way of measuring improved aerobic fitness.

The actual exercise time was only 1 minute 3 times a week.

It is amazing, spending only 3 minutes a week for 2 weeks can improve aerobic performance.

If you want to improve cardiovascular fitness, but want to spend as little time as possible exercising, this is the way to do it.

You need a stationary bike to implement this protocol, but if you have that at home, you don’t necessarily even have to do the 10 sprints at one time. You can split them up throughout the day depending on what’s most convenient for you.

Other studies has documented that it is more beneficial to be active several times a day compared to exercising longer only once a day.

Lack of time is no longer a valid reason not to exercise. Most people would most likely have 3 minutes a week to spend on exercise considering the benefits.

Reference

Jakeman J, Adamson S, Babraj J.Extremely short duration high-intensity training substantially improves endurance performance in triathletes. Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 2012 Oct;37(5):976-81.

 

Research has shown that sitting for a long time can be bad, but you don’t have to be active for very long to reap huge benefits.

The program Exercise for Maximum Benefits incorporates the latest research to be sure that you really get maximum benefits.

Click here to learn more.

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

Posted by on 6:51 pm BMJ Formula, Body fat, Exercise, 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.

Can exercise be dangerous?

Posted by on 9:32 am BMJ Formula, Exercise, Intensity Training, Vigorous Activity | 0 comments

Maraton AvituallamientoWe have all heard that exercise is healthy and it is, but is it healthy for everybody and are all types of exercises healthy?

This is what you need to know.

When lifelong competitive endurance veteran athletes were compared with younger endurance athletes and control age-matched participants, they were found to have myocardial fibrosis which is abnormal changes to the heart muscle(Wilson M,et al. 2011).

This finding was significantly associated with the years spent training, the number of competitive marathons and ultra endurance marathons completed.

Keep in mind that this was hard endurance training and extreme endurance competition over a lifetime, it does not mean that exercise is not good, it just means that this type of activity does not seem to be the best.

Another study compared participants with coronary heart disease with different levels of physical activity(Mons U,et al. 2014). They found that participating in strenuous endurance exercises more than 5 hours per week increased cardiovascular mortality. Exercising less than twice per week also increased the risk.

What does this all mean? It means that it is important to be sure you get enough recovery time, and long hours of endurance training is not the best way of spending your time. You are more likely going to reap more benefits if you do high intensity, short interval training and include some resistance training the other days.

One of the important things to keep in mind is that recovery from the exercise is as important as the exercise itself. Without proper recovery it just adds stress.

 

Mons U, Hahmann H, Brenner H. A reverse J-shaped association of leisure time physical activity with prognosis in patients with stable coronary heart disease: evidence from a large cohort with repeated measurements. Heart. 2014 May 14. pii: heartjnl-2013-305242. doi: 10.1136/heartjnl-2013-305242. [Epub ahead of print]
Wilson M, O’Hanlon R, Prasad S, Deighan A, Macmillan P, Oxborough D, Godfrey R, Smith G, Maceira A, Sharma S, George K, Whyte G.  Diverse patterns of myocardial fibrosis in lifelong, veteran endurance athletes. J Appl Physiol (1985). 2011 Jun;110(6):1622-6. doi: 10.1152/japplphysiol.01280.2010. Epub 2011 Feb 17.

Reduce your blood glucose with short breaks of physical activity.

Posted by on 12:41 pm Diabetes, Exercise, Exercise, Glucose, Intensity Training | 0 comments

people walking grayElevated blood glucose causes damage to tissue and can increase low grade inflammation which increases the risk for chronic diseases.
We have known for a long time that exercise helps to transfer the blood glucose into the cells, that way lowering the blood glucose.

As it turns out it does not take a lot of activity to do that. The reviewed research is interesting because it compared two approaches of activity during 9 hours of sitting(Peddie MC, et al. 2013).
The participants were 70 adults who were each given 3 meal replacement drinks during the 9 hours. On one occasion they walked for 30 minutes and were then sitting for 9 hours and on another occasion they were breaking up the sitting with walking for 1 minute and 40 seconds every 30 minutes.
The results showed that both blood glucose levels and insulin levels were reduced more when they walked for 1 minute and 40 seconds every 30 minutes as compared to continuous walking for 30 minutes.
In my experience, you don’t even have to spend that much time being active if you practice a certain type of activity.
I will be writing more about that in a future article.

 

 

 

 

Peddie MC1, Bone JL, Rehrer NJ, Skeaff CM, Gray AR, Perry TL.   Breaking prolonged sitting reduces postprandial glycemia in healthy, normal-weight adults: a randomized crossover trial.  Am J Clin Nutr. 2013 Aug;98(2):358-66. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.112.051763. Epub 2013 Jun 26.