Category Archives: Exercise

High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) Improves Memory in Older Adults, May Prevent Dementia

Steve Parker MD

A slow leisurely pace won’t cut it

Dementia is a devastating and expensive development for an individual and his family. Most dementias are progressive and incurable. If it can be prevented, it should be. Exercise is one preventative. But how much and what kind of exercise?

Nine percent of U.S. adults over 65 have dementia. That’s 3.650,000 folks.

From The Globe and Mail:

In 2017, a team led by the lab’s director, Jennifer Heisz, published a five-year study of more than 1,600 adults older than 65 that concluded that genetics and exercise habits contribute roughly equally to the risk of eventually developing dementia. Only one of those two factors is under your control, so researchers around the world have been striving to pin down exactly what sort of workout routine will best nourish your neurons.

Heisz’s latest study, published last month in the journal Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism, offers a tentative answer to this much-debated question. Older adults who sweated through 12 weeks of high-intensity interval training improved their performance on a memory test by 30 per cent compared with those who did a more moderate exercise routine.

This was a small study, only about 20 sedentary participants (all over 60 years old) subjected to one of three protocols for twelve weeks, exercising thrice weekly:

  1. Four-minute bouts of vigorous treadmill walking at 90-95% of maximum heart rate, repeated four times, with three minutes easy walking between the high-intensity spells intervals (HIIT)
  2. Walking at 70-75% of max heart rate for 47 minutes (burning the same number of calories as group #1
  3. Thirty minutes of relaxed stretching

Alex Hutchinson’s full article is well worth a couple minutes of your time if you want to avoid dementia.

Source: New study shows the right workout routine can help fight dementia – The Globe and Mail

Steve Parker, M.D.

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

Fitness Markers Deteriorate After Just Two Weeks of Sedentary Behavior

Starting a hundred-yard dash

From UPI:

A new study proves that the old adage “use it or lose it” is definitely true when it comes to fitness.After just two weeks of sedentary behavior, formerly fit people had:

—A decline in heart and lung health

—Increased waist circumference

—Greater body fat and liver fat

—Higher levels of insulin resistance

Source: Study: Two weeks of no exercise enough to damage fit people’s bodies – UPI.com

It’s a small study, just 28 subjects, so may not be reproducible.

Steve Parker, M.D.

Click pic to purchase book at Amazon.com

Training for Fitness In Midlife and Beyond

You won’t see her at your home gym

From American Partisan:

If you have chronic pain or have been out of the gym a long time, build up volume (number of sets x number of reps x weight) slowly.  Pick weights you can lift without pain and increase weight and volume in pain-free steps.  The great thing about weight training is it allows you to easily control training variables in a safe, measurable, and repeatable manner while building work capacity and strength.  If one exercise hurts, substitute for another.  For example, if it hurts to back squat, substitute for a front squat….Right now, for example, I’ve built up a bit of pain in my biceps so I’ve substitute pull-ups for chin-ups which seem to take the stress off my biceps due to the weird angle between my upper and lower arms.

Cardio is built-up in a similar manner.  If one thing hurts, do something else or do it only within a pain-free time-interval and intensity to prevent pain flare-ups.  Develop a large variety of ways of doing cardio rather than do the same thing every day since training benefits heavily from novelty.  For example, you can use the assault bike one day, the agility ladder the next, barbell complexes a third day, and agility ladders a fourth day.  If you’re very overweight, start with walking.

Source: Fitness through midlife | American Partisan

The article recommends a book by Bill Hartman called All Gain No Pain. The numerous five-star reviews (and very few with lesser stars) at Amazon.com seem a bit fishy to me due to over-the-top praise and few details. Do you have an opinion on the book?

Check out the quality of Amazon.com book reviews at ReviewMeta.com.

Click pic to purchase book at Amazon.com

Burn More Fat With Interval Training Versus Continuous Exercise

From JAMA Network:

Exercisers can burn slightly more body fat with interval training than moderate-intensity continuous training, according to a recent systematic review and meta-analysis in the British Journal of Sports Medicine. Although the differences in fat loss weren’t huge, the interval workouts were shorter, which could make it easier for people to adhere to them.

Source: For Fat Burning, Interval Training Beats Continuous Exercise | Lifestyle Behaviors | JAMA | JAMA Network

Click pic to purchase book at Amazon in the U.S.

How to Strengthen Your Core Without Injuring Your Back

A position you’ll see in the Five Tibetan Rituals for prevention and treatment of back pain

Fanatic Cook posted some (potentially) myth-busting videos featuring Dr Stuart McGill that may challenge your preconceptions about core exercises.

He [Dr McGill] says that a flexible back or a strong back are not protective of back injury. In fact, they are associated with more injury. The muscles of the back are meant to stabilize, to prevent movement. This is true for abdominal muscles and others of the core or torso. However, since back and stomach muscles are in constant use, they need to be maintained to provide endurance.

Now I don’t feel so bad about not being able to touch my toes by bending over at the waist. I regained the ability to do that eight years ago by following the Core Performance program. But that regimen took about five hours a week—more than I wanted to invest long-term

Source: How To Strengthen Abdominals Without Injuring The Back | Fanatic Cook

Exercise Training Adds Heart and Metabolic  Benefits to a Paleolithic Diet in Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus

Caveman selfie

“Abstract

Background

The accumulation of myocardial triglycerides and remodeling of the left ventricle are common features in type 2 diabetes mellitus and represent potential risk factors for the development of diastolic and systolic dysfunction. A few studies have investigated the separate effects of diet and exercise training on cardiac function, but none have investigated myocardial changes in response to a combined diet and exercise intervention. This 12-week randomized study assessed the effects of a Paleolithic diet, with and without additional supervised exercise training, on cardiac fat, structure, and function.

Methods and Results

Twenty-two overweight and obese subjects with type 2 diabetes mellitus were randomized to either a Paleolithic diet and standard-care exercise recommendations ( PD ) or to a Paleolithic diet plus supervised exercise training 3 hours per week ( PD – EX ). This study includes secondary end points related to cardiac structure and function, ie, myocardial triglycerides levels, cardiac morphology, and strain were measured using cardiovascular magnetic resonance, including proton spectroscopy, at baseline and after 12 weeks. Both groups showed major favorable metabolic changes. The PD – EX group showed significant decreases in myocardial triglycerides levels (-45%, P=0.038) and left ventricle mass to end-diastolic volume ratio (-13%, P=0.008) while the left ventricle end-diastolic volume and stroke volume increased significantly (+14%, P=0.004 and +17%, P=0.008, respectively). These variables were unchanged in the PD group.

Conclusions

Exercise training plus a Paleolithic diet reduced myocardial triglycerides levels and improved left ventricle remodeling in overweight/obese subjects with type 2 diabetes mellitus.

Clinical Trial Registration URL : http://www.clinicaltrials.gov . Unique identifier: NCT 01513798.”

Source: Exercise Training Adds Cardiometabolic Benefits of a Paleolithic Diet in Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus. – PubMed – NCBI

Carbohydrate Restriction: What’s the Effect on  Resistance-Based Exercise Performance? 

Should she load up on carbs before weight training?

From a recent scientific article:

“Highlights

•The metabolic glycolytic response to resistance exercise is diverse and likely most attributable to volume, duration, and intensity of effort.

•Low muscle glycogen may not impair all resistance exercise performance, but increasing blood glucose before exercise may enhance higher-volume, longer-duration performance.

•Carbohydrate-restricted hypocaloric diets are effective for reducing fat mass during resistance exercise, but carbohydrate-sufficient hypercaloric diets are likely optimal for inducing muscle hypertrophy.

Source: Carbohydrate restriction: Friend or foe of resistance-based exercise performance? – ScienceDirect

Weight Training Rather Than Aerobics Is Better for Heart Health

One…..more…..rep!

“Lifting weights is healthier for the heart than going for a run or a walk, new research has found.Scientists looking at the health records of more than 4,000 people have concluded that, while both forms of exercise reduce the risk of developing heart disease, static activities such as weight lifting or press-ups have a greater effect than an equivalent amount of dynamic exercise such as running, walking or cycling.

The research challenges commonly held assumption that so-called “cardiovascular” pursuits like running are of greatest benefit to the heart.”

Source: Weight lifting better for heart health than running, new study finds

I like these findings, but wonder if they can be replicated.

Sitting is the new smoking? No, it’s worse than that.

exercise for weight loss and management, dumbbells

At least he’s trying…

I’ve long advocated that life-and health-insurance companies base their premiums on results of individual treadmill exercise tests or similar. Here’s why.

From CNN:

We’ve all heard exercise helps you live longer. But a new study goes one step further, finding that a sedentary lifestyle is worse for your health than smoking, diabetes and heart disease.

Dr. Wael Jaber, a cardiologist at the Cleveland Clinic and senior author of the study, called the results “extremely surprising.”

“Being unfit on a treadmill or in an exercise stress test has a worse prognosis, as far as death, than being hypertensive, being diabetic or being a current smoker,” Jaber told CNN. “We’ve never seen something as pronounced as this and as objective as this.”

Source: Not exercising worse for your health than smoking, diabetes and heart disease – CNN

Most folks can improve their fitness by exercising regularly. But what about nonresponders?

Steve Parker, M.D.

PS: All of my weight-loss books recommend and teach you how to improve your level of fitness.

ACFT to Replace APFT

Push-ups are a classic component of the Army Physical Fitness Test

I have long advocated measuring your fitness level periodically and seeing how you stack up against a benchmark. My favorite benchmark is the U.S. Army Physical Fitness Test (APFT).

The new Army standard testing will be too complicated for most non-military folks.

UPI has the story:

The U.S. Army is introducing an extensive overhaul of its physical fitness test that, with minor changes, has mostly been the same since 1980.The new test, announced this week, changes the name from the Army Physical Fitness Test to the Army Combat Fitness Test and is planned to become gender and age neutral. It will include a series of physical events, while the APFT was a series of pushups, situps and a 2-mile run.

The new standards call for deadlift tests, throwing ten-pound balls for distance backwards, and hand-relaese pushups that require hands to be taken off the ground for greater muscle tension. It also includes sled drags to simulate casualties, sprints with 40-pound kettle bells, hanging from a pull-up bar with legs up and the standard 2-mile run.

Source: U.S. Army to introduce new physical fitness test – UPI.com

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