Tag Archives: exercise

Weight and Exercise

If you are fighting being overweight, exercise alone is not the answer. There was a recent study by the American Diabetes Association done with mice. They had running wheels in their cages but they would lock them for several days at a time. What they found was interesting.

When the wheels were locked, the mice roamed around the cage expending energy through walking around. When the wheels were then unlocked, they would run the wheel, but decreased expending their energy off the wheel.

Let’s equate that to us. When we exercise at a gym, on a treadmill, take a walk or however we get our spurts of exercise, do we tend to sit around more because we “got our exercise in” rather than keep the momentum going?

Do we tend to eat more when we do more vigorous exercise thinking you can because you exercised? We may need to take a step back and look at what we are doing with exercise and eating regimen.

Use Caution When Active in High Heat Weather

While it might seem like common sense that hot weather stresses our bodies, even more if there is high humidity. If we don’t take precautions it can be dangerous and even lethal to over work our bodies in the heat.

Despite this feeling like common sense the number of deaths related to participating in sports during high heat has doubled in the US since 1975 (National Institutes of Health). The US CDC reported that about 650 people die from extreme heat every year.

If you are planning on any kind of outside activity in extreme heat keep the following in mind.

Consider the time of day. Generally speaking, between 10am-3pm is going to be the hottest part of the day and intense activity should be avoided during this time.

Knowing your risk level is important as well, things like diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure or medication restrictions may make one at higher risk for heat related injury or death.

Your body may need to get used to the heat, so if transitioning to working out in the heat you may want to make your workouts less intense and shorter and build back up to your normal.

Keep hydrated! This doesn’t mean just drinking water but also consuming high water content foods before or after your workout.

Know the symptoms of heat distress like nausea, vomiting, cramps, weakness, or fatigue. Use the body system, have an activity partner and watch out of each other.

Even More Evidence Confirms Exercise Not Just for the Body, but Also the Mind

 



A JAMA journal study recently found that depressive symptoms have tripled in the US during the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic. High risk groups such as people under 30 and health care workers were even more likely to develop anxiety or depression because of the pandemic concluded a study from the Journal of Psychiatric Research.

 

Regular exercise like swimming, yoga, running, tai chi or weight training remains one of the best tools individuals have to improve their overall mood and general mental health.

 

A five year old meta-analysis of 23 controlled trials that regular exercise could be as effective of antidepressants and psychotherapy in treating depression.

 

Part of this is due to the creation of endorphins. However, exercise results in important structural changes to the brain. These changes take place in the hippocampus which is involved in the memory formation and emotional regulation.

 

Over time exercise like running and swimming reduces inflammation and increased nerve growth in the hippocampus. This will have positive effects on memory and mood, according to many studies. On the other hand, shrinking of the hippocampus has been demonstrated to be linked to development of mood disorders like depression or even the more serious bipolar disorder.

 

 

Jumping Rope: Not Just For Kids

If you are looking for the next trendy but true activity to add to your exercise routine look no further than jumping rope.

According to some experts jumping rope is a great exercise routine. It is said it is one of the most efficient activities one can do as a workout.

Jump roping burns calories, is vigorous and works out the entire body at once. It has been incorporated as part of high-intensity interval training and warm-ups for many sports teams.

A mere 10 minutes of jumping rope is the cardio equivalent of 30 minutes of running according to a 2013 study from Arizona State Univ. It can also help increase bone density according to a study in the Journal of Applied physiology from 2005.

Besides being one of the most intense cardio workouts one can do, there is also a mental health benefit in that jumping rope is an exciting and satisfying way to escape the stress and worry of everyday life.

 

10,000 Steps a Day: Myth or Reality?

The 10,000 step a day target that is often touted can seem impossible to achieve, but where did it actually come from and how accurate is it? If we look all the way back to 1965 in Japan we may find one possible answer.

A pedometer made by Yamasa Clock was named “Manpo-kei” which translates to “10, 000 steps meter.” This was simply a marketing tool, however it seems to have stuck across the world as daily goal for walking. It even appears in modern devices such as smartwatches.

Research has shown that the 10k step target does have benefits for lowering diabetes risk, mental health and heart health other research shows why we might have stuck with this arbitrary number.

In ancient Rome distances were measured by counting steps. The word mile comes from the Latin phrase “mila passum” or 1,000 paces (or 2,000 steps). It is said people walk about 100 steps a minute or one mile in about 30 minutes for the average person. So this person would need to walk 4-5 miles (two hours of activity) to reach 10,000 stpes.

Recent research has shown significant benefits to walking less than 10,000 steps. One study from Harvard Medical that about 4,400 steps a day is enough to lower the risk of death in women (when compare to only 2,700 steps a day). The more people walked, the lower the risk of dying. But this benefit leveled off at about 7,500 steps a day. No additional benefits were seen with more steps.

The World Health Organization recommends 150 minutes of moderate activity (or 75 minutes of vigorous activity) per week for adults. Research also shows even low intensity exercise improves health so your steps per day can contribute to that 150 recommended minutes.

Research also shows that people who sit all day for their job had a 59% increased risk of death compared to those sitting less than four hours a day. But the study also found 60-75 minutes per day of moderately intense activity eliminated the increased risk of sitting. So even some brisk walking can help.

So if you aren’t quite hitting that 10k step target, don’t get down on yourself, just keep walking!