Category Archives: Exercise

Certain Blood Pressure Meds Interfere With Exercise

If you have to choose between aerobic and resistance training, I favor the latter. The combination is better.

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.

Even If You’re Old, You Can Preserve Muscle Mass During Weight Loss. Here’s How.

dementia, memory loss, Mediterranean diet, low-carb diet, glycemic index, dementia memory loss

“Honey, please come to the gym with me.”

We’ve known for a while that resistance training helps preserve muscle mass in younger folks during weight-loss programs. I’ve always figured the principle applied to older folks, too. Now we have proof. Average age of these study participants was 67.

From UPI.com:

Seniors who want to lose weight should hit the weight room while they cut calories, a new study suggests.

Older folks who performed resistance training while dieting were able to lose fat but still preserve most of their lean muscle mass, compared with those who walked for exercise, researchers report.

“The thought is if you lose too much lean mass, that this will exacerbate risk of disability in older adults,” said lead researcher Kristen Beavers, an assistant professor of health and exercise science at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, N.C. “Our findings show if your treatment goal is to maximize fat loss and minimize lean mass loss, then the resistance training is probably the way to go.”

 

 

Lose Weight With Diet; Maintain Weight Loss With Exercise

Exercise was natural when we were kids

It’s a lesson most of us working in the field learned years ago.

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.

Steve Parker, M.D.

For T2 Diabetes: Diet, Exercise Better Than Drugs According to Canadian University Study

Exercise is more helpful for preventing weight gain than for inducing weight loss

From the Vancouver Sun:

“Taking medication to tightly control and lower blood glucose levels is the advice frequently given by doctors to the 400,000 British Columbia residents with Type 2 diabetes — but it’s a “misguided” approach, according to the University of B.C. Therapeutics Initiative [the TI].

More than $1 billion is spent annually on diabetes drugs in this province, but in its latest bulletin to doctors, the TI says a growing body of research casts doubt on the effectiveness of Type 2 diabetes treatment. Doctors should focus instead on prescribing lifestyle modifications such as weight loss, exercise and healthier diets instead of medications to many patients, it says.

Type 2 diabetes, characterized by resistance to insulin, is largely caused by obesity, lack of exercise, high-carbohydrate diets and aging.”

Source: Type 2 diabetes: Exercise, diet better than medicine, says UBC study | Vancouver Sun

Read the short article for an opposing viewpoint. Namely, some diabetes drugs may help prevent cardiovascular disease (I’m not yet convinced).

h/t The Low Carb Diabetic

Hey, I know a diet that helps!

No degludec up in here!

Regain Muscle Mass Even If Over 60

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

She’ll lose muscle 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 depend on exhausting muscle groups during weight training.

What’s More Important For Longevity: Level of Fitness Or Minutes of Exercise Per Week?

She can increase intensity by increasing the weight of those dumbbells

She can increase intensity by increasing the weight of those dumbbells

You’ve heard that “sitting is the new smoking,” right?

Regular physical activity prevents disease and prolongs life. But if you nevertheless still spend to much time sitting around either at work or home, the sitting tends to counteract the benefits of your exercise.

A new study says that your fitness level is more important for long-term health than the number of hours you exercise. Fitness level in this context was cardiorespiratory fitness, probably measured by a maximal-effort treadmill or bicycle test.

Some of your fitness level is inherited, but you can also improve your fitness with the proper intensity or duration of exercise. Rather than exercise longer, I prefer more intensity. Just strolling around the mall at 2 mph for two hours isn’t going to improve fitness in most folks.

From MNT:

“The team conducted a cross-sectional study of 495 women and 379 men from Norway aged between 70-77 years. Sedentary time and physical activity were assessed by accelerometers, while cardiorespiratory fitness was determined by peak oxygen uptake (VO2 peak) – the measurement of the volume of oxygen that the body can utilize during physical exertion.

Researchers compared different levels of activity with fitness levels and cardiovascular risk factor clusters. A cardiovascular risk factor cluster was defined as the presence of three to five risk factors for heart disease.

These risk factors included: elevated waist circumference, elevated blood triglycerides or reduced “good” cholesterol levels, high blood pressure or treatment for hypertension, and elevated fasting blood sugar levels – combined symptoms commonly referred to as metabolic syndrome.

High cardiorespiratory fitness reduced risk of heart diseaseFindings – published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings – showed that when compared with women and men who were the least sedentary, women and men from the most sedentary group were 83 percent and 63 percent more likely to have cardiovascular risk factors from extended time sitting, respectively.

However, when the team took participants’ level of fitness into consideration – measured by having high age-specific cardiorespiratory fitness – they found that the fittest 40 percent had a decreased likelihood of cardiovascular risk factors from prolonged sitting.This finding held true even though the fittest participants spent between 12-13 hours per day sedentary and did not meet current moderate to vigorous physical activity guidelines.”

Source: Fitness, not physical activity, mitigates negative effects of prolonged sitting – Medical News Today

PS: If you’re new to exercise, I teach you how to get started in my books.

Considering Weight Training? P.D. Mangan Lists the Essentials for Effectiveness

No evidence of anabolic steroids here. Primarily estrogen.

She won’t be at your home gym

I am a huge advocate of weight training (aka resistance or strength training).

Folks new to weight training, or simply thinking about starting a program, are often intimidated by the jargon and contradictory information available. P.D. Mangan clears up a lot of the confusion in a brief article.

I quote:

“Misconceptions and wrong ideas abound in weight training, probably because so many enthusiastic amateurs are involved in it. In this article, I’ll try to clear up some of the misconceptions with a look at at science-based weight training.

In recent articles, we saw that brief workouts, at 15 minutes, done infrequently, at twice a week, can produce significant strength gains. We saw that compound lifts, not isolation lifts, are the most effective strength exercises, and are essential for the serious strength trainer. And we saw that hard weight lifting causes muscle damage, which necessitates recovery time.

Here I’ll focus on what science has to say about additional aspects of weight lifting (resistance training). These come from “Evidence-Based Resistance Training Recommendations” by Fisher et al.”

Source: Science-Based Weight Training – Rogue Health and Fitness

Bodybuilders Sell Steroids to Maintain Social Status and Maintain Their Own Usage

Exercise helps postpone death

I doubt she’s juicing (i.e., taking anabolic steroids)

This study was based in Europe, so may not apply to the U.S.

Anyway…

“Many bodybuilders illegally sell steroids to help fund their own use of performance and image enhancing drugs and maintain their social status in the weightlifting community, a new academic study has found. Researchers at Birmingham City University analysed more than 60 criminal cases and interviewed dozens of people involved in the purchase and sale of performance enhancers in the Netherlands and Belgium, to identify the different types of people drawn to selling the drugs.

The report found that sellers often broke the law to help fund their own use of steroids and that most viewed the substances no differently to high street supplements such as protein powders, energy bars or sports drinks.”

Source: Bodybuilders illegally sell steroids to fund own use and maintain social status, finds report

Women Reduce Risk of Cardiovascular Disease and Diabetes With Strength Training

That's a dumbbell in her right hand. I work-out with those myself.

That’s a dumbbell in her right hand. I work-out with those myself.

I don’t have access to the full scientific report, but I’ve posted part of the abstract below.

The biggest problem with the study at hand is that physical activity apparently was surveyed only at the start of this 14-year study. Results would be much more robust if activity was surveyed every year or two. My overall activity level seems to change every two or three years. How about you?

Moving on.

“Compared to women who reported no strength training, women engaging in any strength training experienced a reduced rate of type 2 diabetes of 30% when controlling for time spent in other activities and other confounders. A risk reduction of 17% was observed for cardiovascular disease among women engaging in strength training. Participation in both strength training and aerobic activity was associated with additional risk reductions for both type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease compared to participation in aerobic activity only.

CONCLUSIONS: These data support the inclusion of muscle-strengthening exercises in physical activity regimens for reduced risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease, independent of aerobic exercise. Further research is needed to determine the optimum dose and intensity of muscle-strengthening exercises.”

PMID 27580152

Source: Strength Training and the Risk of Type 2 Diabetes and Cardiovascular Disease. – PubMed – NCBI

Steve Parker, M.D.

PS: Cardiovascular disease includes heart attack, cardiac death, stroke, coronary angioplasty, and coronary artery bypass grafting.

Joe Friel on Age-Related Weight Gain

Steve Parker MD

Not Joe Friel

Joe is an endurance athlete and a trainer of the same. His specialty is cycling. Last I heard, he lives in southern Arizona, probably close to me.

Anyway, he wrote a blog post in 2013 about how he tended to gain 10 lb every winter once he hit his 60s, heavier than he wanted to be. Counting calories to lose the weight didn’t work very well for him because of hunger. So he put together a low-carb paleo-style diet that did the trick. And without a loss of athletic performance.

Joe sez:

“The primary change I made was greatly reducing sugar and cutting back on fruit. I used to eat 5 to 7 servings of fruit a day. That’s roughly 600 calories of carbs from fruit, about 20 to 25% of my calories for the day. I now eat less than one serving per day on average. Foods high in fat I now eat a lot more of are olive oil, coconut milk, nuts, nut butter, eggs, avocado, and bacon along with the normal Paleo foods I’ve eaten since 1994 — animal products, especially fish and poultry, and vegetables. Foods high in fat I eat only a little of are dairy products. I avoid as best I can trans fats (“hydrogenated” on the label) and omega 6 oils (for example, soy, peanut, cottonseed, corn, safflower). Both categories are found in almost all processed and packaged foods in the grocery, especially junk foods. I seldom eat grains — probably less than one serving per month. I once used these as recovery foods on an almost daily basis.”

Click to RTWT: Joe Friel – Aging: My Race Weight