Category Archives: Exercise

What Are the Better Blood Pressure Meds for Athletes?

Not that serious…yet

Seriously athletic folks, particularly those in sports with high aerobic demand, should avoid these BP drug classes:

  • Diuretics (they predispose to dehydration)
  • Beta blockers (they may decrease exercise tolerance via slowing of heart rate)

Better choices for athletes are:

  • Angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors (ACEIs)
  • Angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs)
  • long-acting dihydropyridine calcium channel blockers

These latter drugs are not likely to affect athletic performance or cause other complications. If you can’t figure out which class of drug you take, ask your physician or pharmacist.

Steve Parker, M.D.

Diet Gets the Weight Off; Exercise Keeps It Off

From The New York Times:

It is a question that plagues all who struggle with weight: Why do some of us manage to keep off lost pounds, while others regain them?

Now, a study of 14 participants from the “Biggest Loser” television show provides an answer: physical activity — and much more of it than public health guidelines suggest.

On average, those who managed to maintain a significant weight loss had 80 minutes a day of moderate activity, like walking, or 35 minutes a day of vigorous exercise, like running.

My patients taught me this lesson years ago.

Yes: You Can You Regain Muscle Mass After Age 60

She'll lose muscle fibers if she gets too sedentary as she ages

She’ll lose muscle fibers if she gets too sedentary as she ages

“Our lab and others have shown repeatedly that older muscles will grow and strengthen,” says Marcas Bamman, a professor of integrative biology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. In his studies, men and women in their 60s and 70s who began supervised weight training developed muscles that were as large and strong as those of your average 40-year-old.”

Source: Can You Regain Muscle Mass After Age 60? – The New York Times

Dr. Bamman says older folks (over 60?) don’t add new muscle fibers like young’uns do. But an effective exercise program will cause hypertrophy (growth) of the existing muscle fibers. “Effectiveness” probably depends on exhausting muscle groups during weigh training.

Mark Rippetoe Argues That Older Folks Need Strength Training

Of course, he’s right. Click the link below for his reasons.

“Strength – as well as a tolerance for childish nonsense – is the thing we all lose as we age. Squatting down, standing back up, putting things overhead, pulling things up the driveway, loading the groceries, wrestling with the grandkids, teaching the dog who’s boss, mowing the yard, putting the broken lawnmower in the truck again: simple physical tasks we took for granted years ago are often problems for older, weaker people, as well as a source of potential injury that can be expensive and debilitating.

For most of us, this happens because of inactivity. If you do not use your muscles to produce enough force to convince them to maintain their ability to do so, it shouldn’t be surprising that they become less capable of doing it. And walking, running, riding a bicycle – physical activities whose performance is not limited by strength for even moderately active people – cannot increase or even maintain strength.”

Source: Strength Training for People My Age | Mark Rippetoe

We Don’t Know How to Get Overweight Kids to Exercise

From a recent meta-analysis:

“In conclusion, there is no evidence that currently available interventions are able to increase physical activity among overweight or obese children. This questions the contribution of physical activity to the treatment of overweight and obesity in children in the studied interventions and calls for other treatment strategies.”

Source: Effectiveness of interventions on physical activity in overweight or obese children: a systematic review and meta-analysis including studies with o… – PubMed – NCBI

For weight loss in overweight and obese children, you have to focus on diet modification. Same as adults.

Is Your Workout Routine a Good Match for Your Genetics?

It’s well known among experts but not the hoi poloi that some folks don’t respond to exercise programs with an increase in fitness. And if you’re not responding, your exercise program may be a massive waste of time.

Check out this article at NYT:
“These data suggest that “there is no one-size-fits-all approach to exercise,” says Brendon Gurd, an associate professor of kinesiology at Queen’s University who oversaw the study. “But it does seem as if there is some size that fits everyone.”

The question is how to determine which form of exercise best fits you [endurance versus high-intensity interval training].

The answer, Dr. Gurd says, is simple trial and error.”

Read the article for a three-week test that may tell you which is best for you.

How Much Exercise Does It Take to Prevent Diabetes?

Hop on and ride, ride, ride to prevent diabetes

Hop on and ride, ride, ride to prevent diabetes

Even if you have type 2 diabetes already, share this post with someone who has prediabetes or risk of getting T2 diabetes. You could save a life and prevent a lot of hassle.

From MNT:

A new study, published this week in the journal Diabetologia, takes a deeper look at the role of exercise in the development of type 2 diabetes. It is the most in-depth study to examine exercise independent from other influential factors, such as diet. The conclusions from the report are clear: “This research shows that some physical activity is good, but more is better.” (says study co-author Dr. Soren Brage)

Currently, physical activity guidelines in the U.S. and the United Kingdom recommend 150 minutes of moderate activity or 75 minutes of vigorous activity per week; this could include cycling, walking, or sports. However, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), fewer than 50 percent of American adults meet these recommendations.

The current study was a result of collaborative work between two institutions – University College London and the University of Cambridge, both of which are based in the U.K. Data from more than 1 million people was collated. In all, the team analyzed 23 studies from the U.S., Asia, Australia, and Europe.


According to the analysis, cycling or walking briskly for 150 minutes each week cuts the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by up to 26 percent.

Those who exercise moderately or vigorously for an hour each day reduced their risk by 40 percent. At the other end of the scale, for those who did not manage to reach the 150 minute target, any amount of physical activity they carried out still reduced the risk of type 2 diabetes, but to a lesser extent.

Source: Exercise vs. diabetes: New level of detail uncovered – Medical News Today

Steve Parker, M.D.

PS: If you want to start an exercise program, my books will get you started.