Category Archives: Exercise

You Don’t Have to Lose Muscle as You Age

young woman, exercise, weight training, gym
Not enough weight!

Axel Sigurdsson, MD, PhD, published a great article on prevention of age-related sarcopenia (loss of muscle mass). Click through for details. To stay vigorous as you age, you want to preserve muscle mass and the strength it provides. If you’ve lost muscle mass, you can re-build it. Summary from the good doctor:

Age-related loss of muscle mass (sarcopenia) may start as early as in our thirties and appears to continue for the rest of our lives.

There is also a loss of muscle strength and muscle function. The consequences may often be severe, particularly in the elderly.

Increased physical activity and adequate nutrition are the most powerful tools at our disposal to delay age-related loss of muscle mass.

Well-rounded exercise programs consisting of aerobic and resistance exercises are believed to be most effective.

Modification of dietary habits may be an important tool to prevent the decline in muscle mass and function that occurs with aging.

Adequate protein intake is of key importance. Animal-derived protein may provide a higher and broader biological value than vegetable protein.

Fish consumption is recommended and fruits and vegetables should be consumed regularly.

Nutritional supplements containing essential amino acids may be helpful. This is particularly true for whey protein.

Fish-derived protein hydrolysates also appear promising.

Pro Tip: Hold your fish in front of your body with outstretched arms to make it look bigger!

Adequate intake of vitamin D is essential.

“Fish-derived protein hydrolysates” doesn’t sound very appetizing. I’ll stick with real fish for now, especially cold-water fatty fish.

Steve Parker, M.D.

Resistance Training Improves Insulin Resistance in Overweight Men

Didn’t we already know this?

Insulin is a blood-borne hormone that the pancreas gland secretes in order to keep blood sugar levels from getting too high. (Insulin does many other things, but table that for now.) Insulin triggers certain body cells to absorb glucose from the bloodstream. “Insulin resistance” means that these cells don’t respond to insulin as well as they should, so either the pancreas secretes even more insulin (hyperinsulinemia) or blood sugar levels rise. Insulin resistance is a harbinger of type 2 diabetes mellitus. Most overweight or obese type 2 diabetics have insulin resistance. Many experts think hyperinsulinemia causes disease by itself, regardless of blood sugar levels. So it may be best to avoid insulin resistance and hyperinsulinemia.

The aim of the study was to investigate the effects of 6 weeks of resistance exercise training, composed of one set of each exercise to voluntary failure, on insulin sensitivity and the time course of adaptations in muscle strength/mass. Ten overweight men (age 36 ± 8 years; height 175 ± 9 cm; weight 89 ± 14 kg; body mass index 29 ± 3 kg m−2) were recruited to the study. Resistance exercise training involved three sessions per week for 6 weeks. Each session involved one set of nine exercises, performed at 80% of one‐repetition maximum to volitional failure. Sessions lasted 15–20 min. Oral glucose tolerance tests were performed at baseline and post‐intervention. Vastus lateralis muscle thickness, knee‐extensor maximal isometric torque and rate of torque development (measured between 0 and 50, 0 and 100, 0 and 200, and 0 and 300 ms) were measured at baseline, each week of the intervention, and after the intervention. Resistance training resulted in a 16.3 ± 18.7% (P < 0.05) increase in insulin sensitivity (Cederholm index). Muscle thickness, maximal isometric torque and one‐repetition maximum increased with training, and at the end of the intervention were 10.3 ± 2.5, 26.9 ± 8.3, 18.3 ± 4.5% higher (P < 0.05 for both) than baseline, respectively. The rate of torque development at 50 and 100 ms, but not at 200 and 300 ms, increased (P < 0.05) over the intervention period. Six weeks of single‐set resistance exercise to failure results in improvements in insulin sensitivity and increases in muscle size and strength in young overweight men.

Source: The effect of short‐duration resistance training on insulin sensitivity and muscle adaptations in overweight men – Ismail – 2019 – Experimental Physiology – Wiley Online Library

Steve Parker, M.D.

Trainer Mark Rippetoe On the Impact of the Pandemic

young woman, exercise, weight training, gym
Not enough weight!
<p value="<amp-fit-text layout="fixed-height" min-font-size="6" max-font-size="72" height="80">Mark Rippetoe posted an interesting <a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="https://startingstrength.com/article/the-new-fitness-industry&quot; data-type="URL" data-id="https://startingstrength.com/article/the-new-fitness-industry&quot; target="_blank">article on changes in the fitness industry precipitated by the coronavirus pandemic</a>. He also appreciates the difference between exercise/recreation and <em>training</em>:Mark Rippetoe posted an interesting article on changes in the fitness industry precipitated by the coronavirus pandemic. He also appreciates the difference between exercise/recreation and training:

When the opportunity to expand the government’s control in the name of Public Health or Safety or Your Continued Well-being or Not Overwhelming the Healthcare System or whatever comes along next, suddenly your having fun is not nearly as important as obeying the commands of the petty little fucks that enjoy telling other people what to do. Fun is “non-essential,” you see. Your obedience isessential. And that is why your globogym is now closed. 

Depending on where you live and how much cash the corporation has on hand, it may be closed for a long time, or it might be closed permanently. Because it is viewed as Recreation, and is therefore “non-essential,” the petty fucks in charge feel no responsibility to ensure your fun – as if the kind of innocent fun a person has is their decision to make. 

And the government has already described their ideas about exercise. I wrote an article about this several years ago that shows you how completely divorced from our particular reality these fools are. It could be argued that their version of exercise is so utterly wasteful of time that you would in fact be better off locked in your house. And that is what they intend to do.

So it’s time for a paradigm shift. Training – the process we employ to intentionally increase our strength and our health over time – is fundamentally different than stopping by the club on the way home, catching a pump, catching a sweat, catching a shower, and finishing the trip having had fun. Training may actually be no fun at all. The results of training are enjoyable, but the process is hard, and it requires commitment, patience, and eventually the courage to do things you’re not sure you can do. It is an educational process, of teaching both your body and mind to be stronger.

Steve Parker, M.D.

What’s the Best Type of Exercise to Reduce Obesity?

Steve Parker MD
Resistance training on left; treadmill on right can be high intensity

From Obesity Reviews:

Current international guidelines recommend people living with obesity should be prescribed a minimum of 300 min of moderately intense activity per week for weight loss. However, the most efficacious exercise prescription to improve anthropometry [measurements and proportions of the body], cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) and metabolic health in this population remains unknown. Thus, this network meta‐analysis was conducted to assess and rank comparative efficacy of different exercise interventions on anthropometry, CRF and other metabolic risk factors.

* * *

Results reveal that while any type of exercise intervention is more effective than control [no particular exercise, if any], weight loss induced is modest. Interventions that combine high‐intensity aerobic and high‐load resistance training exert beneficial effects that are superior to any other exercise modality at decreasing abdominal adiposity, improving lean body mass and increasing cardiorespiratory fitness. Clinicians should consider this evidence when prescribing exercise for adults living with obesity, to ensure optimal effectiveness.

Source: What exercise prescription is optimal to improve body composition and cardiorespiratory fitness in adults living with obesity? A network meta‐analysis – O’Donoghue – – Obesity Reviews – Wiley Online Library

So, “combine high‐intensity aerobic and high‐load resistance training” to reduce body fat and increase fitness.

Steve Parker, M.D.

 

Image

Seen at my Local AnyTime Fitness #Humor

From ConsumersAdvocate: The Best Fitness Trackers For 2020

ConsumersAdvocate.org has an article comparing and contrasting some of the available fitness trackers:

young woman, exercise, weight training, gym
You go, girl!
HOW WE FOUND THE BEST FITNESS TRACKERFEATURES

We checked for fitness trackers with diverse features that users could choose to best match their lifestyle and goals. This includes multiple health and activity monitoring options.

CONNECTIVITY

Many fitness trackers sync with smartphones or Bluetooth to receive calls, get message notifications, and send data to their corresponding fitness apps. We looked at trackers that were easy to connect.

COST

Regular fitness trackers can range from $50 to $200, while hybrid smartwatches can cost over $400. We compared prices to special features to make sure consumers get the most out of their investment.

CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE

Fitness trackers should be durable, lightweight, and comfortable. We interviewed customers and read dozens of reviews and testimonies for thorough feedback on each product.

Source: The Best Fitness Trackers For 2020

Click through for details. I use none of these trackers, so have no dog in the fight.

Steve Parker, M.D.

Exercise Reduces Risk for Cancer By Up to 25 Percent

Recreation, not exercise

Exercise isn’t supposed to be fun. Ken Hutchins wrote, “Do not try to make exercise enjoyable.”  Getting your teeth cleaned isn’t supposed to be fun, either.

Once I got that through my thick skull, it made it easier for me to slog through my  twice weekly workouts.

Hutchins again: “We accept that both exercise and recreation are important in the overall scheme of fitness, and they overlap to a great degree. But to reap maximum benefits of both or either they must first be well-defined and then be segregated in practice.”

Back on topic…

From UPI:

In findings published Thursday in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, researchers at the National Cancer Institute, the American Cancer Society, and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health report that people who engaged in physical activity as recommended by the National Institutes of Health were able to reduce their risk for seven different types of cancer by as much as 25 percent.

This included common—and deadly—forms of the disease like colon and breast cancers, as well as endometrial cancer, kidney cancer, myeloma, liver cancer, and non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

*  *  *

Updated federal guidelines for physical activity recommend that people should aim for two and a half to five hours per week of moderate-intensity activity or 75 to 150 minutes per week of “vigorous activity.”

Source: Exercise may reduce risk for cancer by as much as 25 percent – UPI.com

Steve Parker, M.D.

Steve Parker MD, Advanced Mediterranean Diet

Click the pic to purchase at Amazon.com. E-book versions also available at Smashwords. com.

Stretching Doesn’t Prevent Running Injuries

Romeo doesn’t stretch before he runs

From MedScape:

It’s a common and persistent myth that static stretching improves running performance and decreases the risk of injuries, researchers say.

Instead, an active warm-up can help with running performance, and progressive training can reduce injury risk, they write in the British Journal of Sports Medicine. There’s evidence stretching can help keep joints flexible and that it won’t harm performance, but it won’t help either, they write.

Source: No Evidence Stretching Prevents Running Injuries

Steve Parker, M.D.

Steve Parker MD, Advanced Mediterranean Diet

Click the pic to purchase at Amazon.com. E-book versions also available at Smashwords. com.

Bad Posture Isn’t Causing Most Neck Pain

For your consideration, an article at Science Alert:

While most episodes of neck pain are likely to get better within a few months, half to three-quarters of people who have neck pain will experience repeated episodes of pain.

It’s often said there are “good and bad postures” and that specific postures can contribute to spinal pain but this belief is not supported by scientific evidence. Indeed, research shows that poor sleep, reduced physical activity and increased stress appear to be more important factors.

So despite attempts by health professionals to correct your posture and the use of “ergonomic” chairs, desks, keyboards and other gadgets chances are so-called “lifestyle factors” – such as getting enough sleep, making sure you exercise and keeping stress to a minimum – seem to be more salient in relieving and preventing the pain in your neck.

Source: The Real Cause of Your Neck Pain Probably Has Very Little to Do With Bad Posture

84% of Women Fail New Army Combat Fitness Test 

More time at the gym may help

Don’t feel too bad, ladies. 30% of the men failed, too.

(CNSNews.com) – In a new report, the Center for Military Readiness says that 84% of women fail the New Army Combat Fitness Test and that “all military officials should drop the ‘gender diversity’ agenda and put mission readiness and ‘combat lethality’ first.”

“It makes no sense for recruiters to devote more time and money recruiting ‘gender diverse’ trainees who are more likely to be injured, less likely to want infantry assignments, and less likely to remain through basic training or physically-demanding combat arms assignments for twenty years or more,” states the  CMR report.

Source: Report: 84% of Women Fail New Army Combat Fitness Test | CNSNews

Steve Parker, M.D.

Steve Parker MD, Advanced Mediterranean Diet

Click the pic to purchase at Amazon.com. E-book versions also available at Smashwords. com.