Posts about exercise

Can Just A Few Minute of Exercise a Day Prevent Diabetes?

That just 1 minute of exercise a day could help prevent diabetes seems to good to be true. But research at the University of Bath indicates it might be true. I am a bit of a soft touch for seeing the benefits of exercise. And I also love health care that focuses on achieving healthy lives instead of what most of the spending focuses on: treating illness.

Performing short cycle sprints three times a week could be enough to prevent and possibly treat Type 2 diabetes researchers at the University of Bath believe.

Volunteers were asked to perform two 20-second cycle sprints, three times per week (but really this works out to under 10 minutes of total time including warm up). After six weeks researchers saw a 28% improvement in their insulin function. Type 2 diabetes occurs when blood sugar levels build up to dangerously high levels due to reduced insulin function, often caused by a sedentary lifestyle. The condition can cause life-threatening complications to the heart, kidneys, eyes and limbs, and has huge costs (monetarily and to people’s lives).

Regular exercise can help keep blood sugar levels low but busy lifestyles and lack of motivation mean 66% of the population is not getting the recommended five 30-minute sessions of moderate exercise a week.

Dr Niels Vollaard who is leading the study, said: “Our muscles have sugar stores, called glycogen, for use during exercise. To restock these after exercise the muscle needs to take up sugar from the blood. In inactive people there is less need for the muscles to do this, which can lead to poor sensitivity to insulin, high blood sugar levels, and eventually type 2 diabetes… We already knew that very intense sprint training can improve insulin sensitivity but we wanted to see if the exercise sessions could be made easier and shorter.”

In the study the resistance on the exercise bikes could be rapidly increased so volunteers were able to briefly exercise at much higher intensities than they would otherwise be able to achieve. With an undemanding warm-up and cool-down the total time of each session was only 10 minutes.

This type of study is very helpful in identifying solutions that will allow more people to lead healthy lives and save our economies large amount of money. Medical studies can’t be accepted on face value. They are often not confirmed by future studies and therefore it is unwise to rely on the results of 1 study. The results provide interesting information but need to be confirmed (and in the area of studies on human health this has been shown to be problematic – are health is quite a tricky area to study).

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Aerobic Exercise Plus Resistance Training Helps Control Type 2 Diabetes

Exercise Combo Best for Controlling Diabetes

A combination of aerobic exercise and resistance training may offer the biggest benefits for people with type 2 diabetes in helping them control their disease.

HbA1c is a test that measures blood sugar control for the previous few months. Normal HbA1c is 6% or less. People with diabetes are urged to keep their HbA1c below 7%.

In the study, researchers compared the effects of a nine-month aerobic exercise program, a resistance training program, and combination exercise program vs. not exercising in 262 previously sedentary men and women with type 2 diabetes. The results showed that improvements in HbA1c levels were greatest among those who were in the combination group.

Thirty-nine percent of non-exercisers had to increase these medications compared with 32% in the resistance training group, 22% in the aerobic exercise group, and 18% in the combination group.

Diabetes is a huge and growing problem. Exercise is a good strategy to remain healthy. It is best to exercise and avoid becoming sick. But if you do get diabetes then it is even more important to take care to exercise properly.

Related: Surprising New Diabetes DataDiabetes up 90% in USA since 1997 – Study Finds Obesity as Teen as Deadly as Smoking

Volkswagen Fun Theory: Piano Staircase

Volkswagen built this piano stairway in Stockholm, Sweden as part of their fun theory project, which aims to change people’s behavior for the better through fun. That is a great strategy.

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Bike Folds To Footprint of 1 Wheel

Inventor’s Bike Folds Into Its Own Wheel

Dominic Hargreaves‘s bike, The Contortionist, has been shortlisted for this year’s James Dyson Award for innovation. It may bag the young inventor £10,000.

The 24-year-old, from Battersea, London, said he wanted to create a decent folding bike after the one he was using collapsed. “I couldn’t find a folding bicycle I liked,” he added. “I wanted something that could take a bit of punishment and that you could have fun with. “So I made one myself.”

Mr Hargreaves has been in contact with various manufacturers and hopes to get the bike into production soon.

His bike lock system (see photo) won the Toyota IQ Awards.

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Study Finds Obesity as Teen as Deadly as Smoking

A Swedish study has found obesity is as deadly (increasing adult mortality) as smoking for teens. Combined effects of overweight and smoking in late adolescence on subsequent mortality: nationwide cohort study

Regardless of smoking status, overweight and obesity in late adolescence increases the risk of adult mortality. Obesity and overweight were as hazardous as heavy and light smoking, respectively, but there was no interaction between BMI and smoking status. The global obesity epidemic and smoking among adolescents remain important targets for intensified public health initiatives.

Obesity Just as Risky for Teens as Heavy Smoking

Dr. Martin Neovius of the Karolinska Institute and colleagues analyzed data from more than 45,000 18-year-olds who underwent military conscription tests in which their body mass index (BMI) and smoking status were recorded. The men were followed for an average of 38 years.

During the follow-up period, 2,897 of the men died. The incidence of death was highest among obese men and lowest among those of normal weight. Compared with those who had a normal weight at age 18, those who had been overweight were about a third more likely to die early, whereas those who were obese were more than twice as likely to die prematurely.

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Fast Fitness Forecast is False, it Takes Time

Fitness Isn’t an Overnight Sensation

“To make a change in how you look, you are talking about a significant period of training,” Dr. Kraemer said. “In our studies it takes six months to a year.” And, he added, that is with regular strength-training workouts, using the appropriate weights and with a carefully designed individualized program. “That is what the reality is,” he said.

And genetic differences among individuals mean some people respond much better to exercise than others

Now, said Mr. Antane, who runs with a group in Princeton on Thursday nights, “everything changed — my outlook on life, who I hung out with, how I felt about myself.”

Our bodies evolved under conditions with much more exercise than we currently get if we sit in an office all day. And we had less food. It is no surprise with more food and less exercise that we gain weight. And given that the benefit of fat was to help us survive when we had little food out bodies don’t change overnight. If they did then our ancestors would have had much more difficulty surviving – the whole point was to provide a resource to tap in bad times. If that resource dissipated quickly it would not have helped much.

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How Aerobic Exercise Suppresses Appetite

How aerobic exercise suppresses appetite

Those of you who run, bike, swim, or otherwise engage in aerobic exercise have probably noticed that in spite of burning scads of calories during your chosen activity, the last thing you feel when you’re finished is hungry.

The researchers discovered that aerobic exercise produces increased peptide YY levels while lowering ghrelin, leading to decreased appetite. Weight training was associated with a decrease in ghrelin, but no change in peptide YY, meaning that there was a net suppression of appetite, but not to the same degree as observed with treadmill training. In both cases, changes in appetite lasted for about two hours.

I know I find this to be true for me.

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Static Stretching Decreases Muscle Strength

Stretching: The Truth

Researchers now believe that some of the more entrenched elements of many athletes’ warm-up regimens are not only a waste of time but actually bad for you. The old presumption that holding a stretch for 20 to 30 seconds – known as static stretching – primes muscles for a workout is dead wrong. It actually weakens them.

A well-designed warm-up starts by increasing body heat and blood flow.

To raise the body’s temperature, a warm-up must begin with aerobic activity, usually light jogging. Most coaches and athletes have known this for years.

Athletes who need to move rapidly in different directions, like soccer, tennis or basketball players, should do dynamic stretches that involve many parts of the body. “Spider-Man” is a particularly good drill: drop onto all fours and crawl the width of the court, as if you were climbing a wall.

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The Glove – Engineering Coolness

photo of The Glove - core control

Cool invention helps tired players bounce back

The device, called the Glove and invented by two Stanford biologists, is used by the Niners during games and at practice for players’ health. But its applications are far broader: from treating stroke and heart attack victims to allowing soldiers to remain in the field longer under intense heat.

It’s also a proven athletic performance enhancer – billed as better than steroids without any ill effects.

“We use the Glove primarily for health reasons,” said Dan Garza, the 49ers’ medical director. “But outside of sports, it has potential for a lot of exciting things. This technology is a much more effective way of cooling the core temperature than what we would typically do – misting, fanning, cold towels, fluids.”

The Glove works by cooling the body from inside out, rather than conventional approaches that cool from outside in. The device creates an airtight seal around the wrist, pulls blood into the palm of the hand and cools it before returning it to the heart and to overheated muscles and organs. The palm is the ideal place for rapid cooling because blood flow increases to the hands (and feet and face) as body temperature rises.

“These are natural mammalian radiators,” said Dennis Grahn, who invented the device with Stanford colleague Craig Heller.

Cool, you can buy your own for only $2,000 🙂 (The Glove used to be called Core Control) High resolution image. Related: Research on Reducing Hamstring InjuriesThe Science of the Football SwerveRandomization in Sportsposts on science and athletics

Science Based Triathlete

The Making of a Olympian by Arianne Cohen

In a break with training orthodoxy, Potts and his coach have created a regimen called feedback training in which the training plan is reassessed every 24 hours based on the constant monitoring of three variables: wattage (the power Potts’s body produces), cadence (the tempo of his arm and leg movements) and heart rate. No lap times. No mileage. No grand training schedules planned months in advance. Only raw biological data. “My coach and I talk a lot about engines,” Potts says. “In auto racing, you want to put out the highest amount of power with the least amount of fuel. We do the same thing. My heart and lungs are my engine. The goal is to always increase the efficiency of the engine.”

Every night, Doane analyzes his athlete’s response to the day’s training. He’s looking for the best way to expand Potts’s aerobic capacity, power output and lactate threshold, without overtraining. If Doane sees that Potts’s heartbeat has been sluggish—say, beating 140 times per minute while Potts is trying to produce 410 watts—that means his body is struggling to recover from earlier training, so he’ll dial back the intensity of his workouts. If, on the other hand, his heart rate stays in the sweet spot around 165 while he churns through a series of 360- to 400-watt intervals, that means he’s fully recovered and ready to be pushed again. “We’ve created a feedback loop,” Doane says. In other words, Doane subjects Potts to a careful dose of punishment, and Potts’s body tells Doane, through empirical data, what he needs to do next.

Nice article. As it mentions really almost all Olympic athletes today use a great deal of science in their training.

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Big Fat Lie

cover of diet delusion

Big fat lie

‘I got actively attacked, but I guess I had to be,’ Taubes says. ‘What are the chances of writing an article that says the entire medical establishment is wrong, and them going, ” Good point, thank you, Gary. Can we give you an award?” When people challenge the establishment, 99.9 per cent of the time they are wrong. If I was writing about me, I’d begin from the assumption that I am both wrong and a quack.’

At least he is right on this. You challenge the accepted scientific understanding and this is what will happen. But if the evidence is there scientists will be won over by the evidence over time.

‘Reading the research was a reawakening for me,’ he says. ‘I did all the things that the rest of us did. I ate a low-fat diet, went to the gym and was getting heavier anyway. But once you flip your way of thinking about it, it seems so absurd: the idea that what you put in minus what you expend equals how fat you are. Our bodies don’t work like a car. We are not thermodynamic black boxes; we are biological organisms and we have evolved complex systems of hormones and enzymes and proteins. That’s how we are regulated.’

The obesity epidemic began in America during the late 1970s, which is also when the low-fat, high-carb diet-and-exercise revolution began. ‘You have a starting point,’ says Taubes. ‘The question is what is causing it? Then I realised that we were first told to eat less fat in the late 1970s, and, if you eat less fat, you start to eat more carbohydrates – it’s a trade-off.’

The whole healthy eating debate is sure not easy to figure out. But I think some things are clear. Eating too many calories and not exercising enough are problems. And it also makes sense that it is not only the number of calories that matter but what type. We are biological beings and how we process food is not just by a count of the calories. It seems the evidence of bad effects of too much carbohydrates is growing.

It also makes perfect sense that our bodies evolved to store energy for worse times (and some of us have bodies better at doing that). Now we are in a new environment where (at least for many people alive today) finding enough calories is not going to be a problem so it would be nice if we could tell our bodies to get less efficient at storing fat for bad times ahead. But we can’t so we need to take actions to remain healthy given the how our body reacts to what we eat and do. And it seems one of those actions might mean we have to eat less than we might want to.

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