Monday, February 23, 2015

The top fitness trend of 2015

 


  
(Reuters) – New balance devices that improve stability have made shifting the new lifting of resistance training, fitness experts say, adding the challenge of instability to back-to-basic workouts. Exercise balls, sandbags and load-shifting body bars are among the tools popping up in bodyweight training, the minimal-equipment exercise routine that the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) tagged as the top trend for 2015.
“The idea of bringing the body into an environment that challenges stability and balance is on the up rise,” said Michigan-based trainer Derek Mikulski. “Shifting resistance constantly challenges the body’s center of mass so the core has to work harder.”
  
The core refers to the muscles of the abdominals and back that support the spine and keep the body stable and balanced.
Mikulski is the creator of a new balance device called ActivMotion Bar. It looks like a body bar but is hollow and filled with steel balls that shift back and forth when moved.
It is designed so that gripping, steadying and moving the bars, which come in weights from four and one-half to 18 pounds, (two to eight kilograms), in basic moves from curls to lunges will boost calorie burn, core strength and balance.
Several U.S. fitness chains, including Life Time Fitness and Powerhouse Gym, have introduced the bar, which was rolled out earlier this year.
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Friday, February 20, 2015

Higher Intake of Fruit, but Not Vegetables or Fiber, at Baseline Is Associated with Lower Risk of Becoming Overweight or Obese in Middle-Aged and Older Women of Normal BMI at Baseline

 


  
Higher Intake of Fruit, but Not Vegetables or Fiber, at Baseline Is Associated with Lower Risk of Becoming Overweight or Obese in Middle-Aged and Older Women of Normal BMI at Baseline1,2,3
J. Nutr. April 1, 2015 jn.114.199158
  
Susanne Rautiainen4,6,7,*,
Lu Wang4,6,
I-Min Lee4,6,8,
JoAnn E Manson4,6,8,
Julie E Buring4,6,8, and
Howard D Sesso4–6,8
+ Author Affiliations
4Divisions of Preventive Medicine and
5Aging, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, MA;
6Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA;
7Institute of Environmental Medicine, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden; and
8Department of Epidemiology, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA
Abstract
Background: Fruit, vegetable, and dietary fiber intake have been associated with lower risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD); however, little is known about their role in obesity prevention.
Objective: Our goal was to investigate whether intake of fruits, vegetables, and dietary fiber is associated with weight change and the risk of becoming overweight and obese.
Methods: We studied 18,146 women aged ≥45 y from the Women’s Health Study free of CVD and cancer with an initial body mass index (BMI) of 18.5 to
Results: During a mean follow-up of 15.9 y, 8125 women became overweight or obese (BMI ≥25 kg/m2). Intakes of total fruits and vegetables, fruits, and dietary fiber were not associated with the longitudinal changes in body weight, whereas higher vegetable intake was associated with greater weight gain (P-trend: 0.02). In multivariable analyses, controlling for total energy intake and physical activity along with other lifestyle, clinical, and dietary factors, women in the highest vs. lowest quintile of fruit intake had an HR of 0.87 (95% CI: 0.80, 0.94; P-trend: 0.01) of becoming overweight or obese. No association was observed for vegetable or dietary fiber intake. The association between fruit intake and risk of becoming overweight or obese was modified by baseline BMI (P-interaction: <0.0001) where the strongest inverse association was observed among women with a BMI
Conclusion: Our results suggest that greater baseline intake of fruit, but not vegetables or fiber, by middle-aged and older women with a normal BMI at baseline is associated with lower risk of becoming overweight or obese.
Source

Muscle could burn more energy, even during low to moderate exercise, with new ‘approach’

 


  
What started as an evolutionary protection against starvation has become a biological “bad joke” for people who need to lose weight. The human body doesn’t distinguish between dieting and possible starvation, so when there is a decrease in calories consumed, human metabolism increases its energy efficiency and weight loss is resisted.
In a new study published in the journal Molecular Therapy, a team from the University of Iowa and the Iowa City VA Medical Center has developed a targeted approach to override this “energy saving” mode and allow muscle to burn more energy, even during low to moderate exercise. The new findings might provide the basis of a therapy that could help people get a head start on losing weight by helping to overcome the body’s natural resistance to weight loss.
  
“Our bodies are geared to be energetically efficient and this often works against us when we are trying to control or reduce our weight,” says study co-author Denice Hodgson-Zingman, MD, UI associate professor of internal medicine. “This study shows for the first time that this energy efficiency can be manipulated in a clinically translatable way. While such an approach would not replace the need for a healthy diet or exercise, it could jump start the process of weight loss by overcoming the initial hurdles imposed by our energy-efficient physiology.”
The new study builds on previous research, which found that a protein called ATP-sensitive potassium (KATP) channel is a powerful modulator of energy efficiency in skeletal muscle even during low-intensity activity. The UI team showed that altering the activity of the KATP protein causes skeletal muscles to become less efficient and burn more calories.
To turn this finding into a therapy, however, the team needed an approach that disrupted the channel’s activity in a very isolated and controlled way. The gene therapy method used in the earlier mouse studies is not feasible for human patients, and a drug that inhibits the channel protein would target not only the channels in muscle but also those in the heart, which could produce very dangerous side effects.
In the new study, the researchers devised a relatively simple solution. They made a compound called a vivo-morpholino, which suppresses production of KATP. Injecting this compound into the thigh muscles of mice produced a local loss of the protein but did not affect the protein in other organs or even in neighboring skeletal muscles. The study showed that the injected muscles burned more calories than untreated muscle without significantly affecting the muscle’s ability to tolerate exercise.
Obesity is a significant public health problem in the developed world, and the CDC estimates that more than one in three American adults are obese. Exercise is considered a mainstay of weight control or weight loss, but many people find it difficult to engage in moderate or strenuous exercise because of other health problems or limitations such as lung or heart disease, arthritis, neuropathy, or stroke.
“By making skeletal muscles less energy efficient, they burn more calories, even while doing [normal] daily activities,” says study co-author Leonid Zingman, MD, UI associate professor of internal medicine and a staff physician at the Iowa City VA Medical Center. “With this intervention, the benefits of exercise in burning calories could be accessible to a broader range of people by making the calorie burning effects of skeletal muscle greater even at low levels of activity that most people would be able to undertake.”
###
Zingman and Hodgson-Zingman both are members of the Francois M Abboud Cardiovascular Research Center and the Fraternal Order of Eagles Diabetes Research Center at the UI. The research team also included UI scientists Siva Rama Krishna Koganti, Zhiyong Zhu, Ekaterina Subbotina, Zhan Gao, Ana Sierra, Manuel Proenza, and Liping Yang, and Mayo Clinic researcher Alexey Alekseev.
The research was funded in part by grants from the National Institutes of Health and the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Source

6 Rules for Post-Workout Meals

 


  
Eat within 30 to 60 minutes after exercise If you’ve had a particularly tough workout, try to eat a “recovery” meal as soon as possible. Exercise puts stress on your muscles, joints, and bones, and your body “uses up” nutrients during workouts. Post-exercise foods are all about putting back what you’ve lost and providing the raw materials needed for repair and healing.
In fact, it’s the recovery from exercise that really allows you to see results in terms of building strength, endurance and lean muscle tissue. Not recovering properly can leave you weaker as you go into your next workout and up your injury risk.
  
Think beyond protein Protein is a building block of muscle, so it is important after exercise, but an ideal recovery meal should also include good fat (also needed for healing muscles and joints), as well as plenty of nutrient-rich produce and a healthy source of starch such as quinoa, sweet potato or beans. These foods replenish nutrients that have been depleted and provide energy to fuel your post-exercise metabolism. A great post-workout meal might be something like a smoothie made with either pea protein powder or grass-fed organic whey protein, whipped with fruit, leafy greens, almond butter or coconut oil, and oats or quinoa, or an omelet made with one whole organic egg and three whites, paired with veggies, avocado and black beans.
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Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Why People with Type 2 Diabetes Should Exercise After Dinner

 


  
COLUMBIA, Mo. – Individuals with Type 2 diabetes have heightened amounts of sugars and fats in their blood, which increases their risks for cardiovascular diseases such as strokes and heart attacks. Exercise is a popular prescription for individuals suffering from the symptoms of Type 2 diabetes, but little research has explored whether these individuals receive more benefits from working out before or after dinner. Now, researchers at the University of Missouri have found that individuals with Type 2 diabetes can lower their risks of cardiovascular diseases more effectively by exercising after a meal.
“This study shows that it is not just the intensity or duration of exercising that is important but also the timing of when it occurs,” said Jill Kanaley, professor in the MU Department of Nutrition and Exercise Physiology. “Results from this study show that resistance exercise has its most powerful effect on reducing glucose and fat levels in one’s blood when performed after dinner.”
Kanaley and her colleagues studied a group of obese individuals with Type 2 diabetes. On one occasion, participants performed resistance exercises before eating dinner. During another visit, participants exercised 45 minutes after eating dinner. Participants performed resistance exercises such as leg curls, seated calf raises and abdominal crunches. Compared to levels on a non-exercise day, Kanaley found that the participants who exercised before dinner were able to only reduce the sugar levels in their blood; however, participants who exercised after dinner were able to reduce both sugar and fat levels. Participants consumed a moderate carbohydrate dinner on the evenings of the study.
Kanaley said her research is particularly helpful for health care providers who have patients who exercise every day but are not seeing benefits.
  
“Knowing that the best time to exercise is after a meal could provide health care professionals with a better understanding of how to personalize exercise prescriptions to optimize health benefits,” Kanaley said.
Kanaley also found that improvements in participants’ blood sugar and fat levels were short-lived and did not extend to the next day. She suggests individuals practice daily resistance exercise after dinner to maintain improvements.
“Individuals who exercise in the morning have usually fasted for 10 hours beforehand,” Kanaley said. “Also, it is natural for individuals’ hormone levels to be different at different times of day, which is another factor to consider when determining the best time to exercise.”
  
In the future, Kanaley said she plans to research how exercising in the morning differs from exercising after dinner and how individuals’ hormone levels also affect exercise results.
The study, “Post-dinner resistance exercise improves postprandial risk factors more effectively than pre-dinner resistance exercise in patients with type 2 diabetes,” was published in the Journal of Applied Physiology.
Faculty members in the Department of Nutrition and Exercise Physiology have appointments in MU’s College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources, College of Human Environmental Sciences and School of Medicine.
By Diamond Dixon
Source

Osteoarthritis patients will benefit from jumping exercise

 




  
Progressive high-impact training improved the patellar cartilage quality of the postmenopausal women who may be at risk of osteoporosis (bone loss) as well as at risk of osteoarthritis. This was found out in the study carry out in the Department of Health Sciences at University of Jyväskylä, Finland. The effects of high-impact exercise were examined on knee cartilages, osteoarthritis symptoms and physical function in postmenopausal women with mild knee osteoarthritis. The study was conducted in cooperation with the Central Finland Central Hospital and the Department of Medical Technology, Institute of Biomedicine in University of Oulu in Finland.
Eighty eligible postmenopausal women from 50 to 65 -years of age and having knee pain on most days of the month, were enrolled into the study and randomly assigned into either a training group or a control group. The mild knee osteoarthritis of all participants was confirmed prior the randomization and intervention by radiographs. Training group exercised according a supervised progressive high-impact exercise program three times a week for 12-months, while the control group continued their normal physical activity. The effects of exercise on patellar cartilage texture and the amount of liquid was measured by T2 relaxation time at MRI imaging.
– The breaking of the collagen network and increased free water in the articular cartilage is considered to represent the onset of the degenerative process of osteoarthritis. If those cartilage breaking changes can be hindered, stopped or even improved the quality of the cartilage via appropriate physical activity, it might slow down the disease progression, says Doctoral Student and OMT -physiotherapist Jarmo Koli from the Department of Health Sciences.
The quality of patellar cartilage improved with jumping and versatile rapid movements exercises
  
The most efficient exercise modality to improve bone strength is shown to be high-impact loading (jumping type of exercise), as well as rapid change of movement directions. Previously, this type of exercise has been thought to be harmful for the integrity of articular cartilage, although the issue has never been scientifically proven. Our research group has reported earlier (Multanen et al. 2014) that jumping exercise is safe for the cartilage of tibio-femoral -joint.
This study showed that training improved the quality of the patellar cartilage and physical function such as knee extensors strength and cardiorespiratory fitness. The most important finding was that high-impact jumping exercise improved the biochemical composition of cartilage as investigated by MRI in subjects with mild knee osteoarthritis. In addition, the 12-month training was very well tolerated; it did not induce knee pain or stiffness, and the general training compliance was high. The clinical significance of this study is, postmenopausal women in mind, that despite of mild knee osteoarthritis, a person is allowed and even encouraged to progressively implement high-impact loading exercises to maintain and improve her health and functional ability.
Full bibliographic information
  
Koli J, Multanen J, Kujala UM, Häkkinen A, Nieminen MT, Kautiainen H, Lammentausta E, Jämsä T, Ahola R, Selänne H, Kiviranta I, Heinonen A. Effect of Exercise on Patellar Cartilage in Women with Mild Knee Osteoarthritis. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise; Post Acceptance: February 9, 2015. doi: 10.1249/MSS.0000000000000629 [Published Ahead-of-Print].
Source

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

13 ways inflammation can affect you

 


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You’ve heard of anti-inflammatory medications and anti-inflammatory diets, but do you really know what inflammation is? In short, it’s the body’s response to outside threats like stress, infection, or toxic chemicals. When the immune system senses one of these dangers, it responds by activating proteins meant to protect cells and tissues.
“In a healthy situation, inflammation serves as a good friend to our body,” says Mansour Mohamadzadeh, PhD, director of the Center for Inflammation and Mucosal Immunology at the University of Florida.
“But if immune cells start to overreact, that inflammation can be totally directed against us.” This type of harmful, chronic inflammation can have a number of causes, including a virus or bacteria, an autoimmune disorder, sugary and fatty foods, or the way you handle stress. Here are a few ways it can affect your health, both short-term and long.
It fights infection
Inflammation is most visible (and most beneficial) when it’s helping to repair a wound or fight off an illness: “You’ve noticed your body’s inflammatory response if you’ve ever had a fever or a sore throat with swollen glands,” says Timothy Denning, PhD, associate professor and immunology researcher at Georgia State University, or an infected cut that’s become red and warm to the touch.
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