Tag Archives: aerobic exercise

Exercise linked to improved mental health – The Lancet

More exercise was not always better, and the study found that exercising for 45 minutes three to five times a week was associated with the biggest benefits.

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Riding a bike scored really high in the study

The study included all types of physical activity, ranging from childcare, housework, lawn-mowing and fishing to cycling, going to the gym, running and skiing.

Exercise reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke, diabetes, and mortality from all causes, but its association with mental health remains unclear.

Previous research into the effect of exercise on mental health has conflicting results. While some evidence suggests that exercise may improve mental health, the relationship could go both ways – for example inactivity could be a symptom of and contributor to poor mental health, and being active could be a sign of or contribute to resilience. The authors note that their study cannot confirm cause and effect.

 

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Filed under aerobics, cardio exercise, Exercise, exercise and brain health, exercise benefits, mental health

Cardio exercise strengthens both body and brain

With Thanksgiving looming, this is a great time to reaffirm our resolve to exercise regularly. OR, it is the ideal time to resolve to exercise regularly in the coming year and maybe begin to address physical and weight problems that we have neglected.

Regular readers know that I have posted numerous times on the value of exercise not only for our bodies, but also for our brains. On the top of this page is IMPORTANT FACTS ABOUT YOUR BRAIN.

If you click on that link you can find a page full of blog posts on the subject.

Our ancestors engaged in some serious cardio exercise just to get food.

Our ancestors engaged in some serious cardio exercise just to get food. No walking down a supermarket aisle for them.

And now, the New York Times joins in the fray with Gretchen Reynolds’s article Exercise and the Ever-Smarter Human Brain.
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Filed under aerobics, aging brain, brain, brain function, brain health, cardio exercise, cardiovascular health

Time Magazine cover story – Exercise

It’s really thrilling to see stuff we write about here pop up in the popular press. Time has a cover story on exercise in its latest, 12 Sep 2016, issue. Please buy it! I guarantee you will learn valuable information on this important subject.

Mandy Oaklander does a bang up job and it is well worth the cover price if you are not already a Time subscriber.

Before quoting from it, I want to direct you to my Page – Important facts about your brain (and exercise benefits).

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I loved the following: “Eating alone will not keep a man well,” Hippocrates famously wrote. “He must also take exercise.”(my emphasis)

Following is the conclusion of the Time piece:

“Everyone knows exercise is healthy. Now scientists are understanding exactly why. Here are some of the amazing things that happen to a body in motion.

“Increased blood flow to the brain creates new blood vessels. Exercise also triggers the release of chemicals that dull pain and lighten mood.

“Exercise revs up blood flow to the skin, delivering nutrients to the epidermis and helping wounds heal faster.

“The body is better able to burn fat for energy instead of carbs, causing fat cells to shrink.

“Moving quickly makes the heart pump more blood to the body’s tissues, including the muscles. That extra oxygen helps muscles better withstand fatigue.

“Repeated weight-bearing contractions make muscles grow and put pressure on the bones, increasing their density.

“Exercise may protect telomeres, the tiny caps on the ends of chromosomes. This appears to slow the aging of cells.”

Tony

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Filed under cardio exercise, Exercise, exercise and brain health, weight-bearing exercise

Why You Need to do Strength Training – Harvard

Eat less; move more; live longer is the mantra of this blog. Part of moving more includes weight-bearing exercise. Turns out our bones need to be worked, too. Not just our muscles.

Harvard Healthbeat says, “Regular physical activity promotes general good health, reduces the risk of developing many diseases, and helps you live a longer and healthier life. For many of us, “exercise” means walking, jogging, treadmill work, or other activities that get the heart pumping.

cardio-vs-weight-training-1“But often overlooked is the value of strength-building exercises. Once you reach your 50s and beyond, strength (or resistance) training is critical to preserving the ability to perform the most ordinary activities of daily living — and to maintain an active and independent lifestyle. Continue reading

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Tufts on Exercise and Brain Health

As regular readers know I feel very strongly about the benefits of exercising, not only on the body, but equally on the brain. You can check out my Page – Important Facts About Your Brain (and Exercise Benefits) for further details. So, I was thrilled to see the latest from Tufts on that subject.

Tufts Health and Nutrition Update says, “A new study reports that the more physically fit you are when you’re younger, the more likely you are to keep your brain sharp as you get older. But there’s also good news for those who slacked off in their youth: Even starting to get more fit now might still improve your cognitive health.

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“There is growing evidence that physical exercise can benefit cognitive function in middle-aged and older adults, possibly through improved cardio- and cerebro-vascular health,” says Tammy Scott, PhD, a scientist at Tufts’ HNRCA Nutrition and Neurocognition Laboratory.

“THEN AND NOW: The new findings, published in Neurology, used data from the CARDIA (Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults) study, begun in 1985-86. Participants, originally ages 18 to 30, were tested for blood pressure, cholesterol levels and other measures, and also walked at an increasingly fast pace on a treadmill until they couldn’t continue. The young adults could stick with the treadmill test an average of 10 minutes. Continue reading

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Eat Less Calories and Live Longer, Better – NIH Study

Eat less; move more; live longer. I have written those words hundreds of times in this blog. Now I am happy to see that the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has a study that agrees with those sentiments.

A National Institutes of Health-supported study provides some of the first clues about the impact of sustained calorie restriction in adults. Eat a little less each day and you may have more days and better health to enjoy those days.

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Researchers in a two-year clinical study found calorie restriction modified risk factors for age-related diseases and influenced indicators associated with longer life span, such as blood pressure, cholesterol, and insulin resistance. The study was reported in the September, 2015 issue of the Journal of Gerontology: Medical Sciences. Continue reading

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How to Keep Your Brain Young – Infographic

Regular readers know that the brain is a subject near and dear to my heart. Talk about vital organs. The brain is it.

My family has had both Alzheimer’s and dementia in the last generation. I am resolved to do everything in my power to escape them. To learn more check out my Page – Important Facts About Your Brain (and Exercise benefits).

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How My Apple Watch Helps Me to Exercise

This is the specific follow up to my previous post on how the Apple Watch keeps me healthy in general.

As regular readers know, my go to exercise is riding a bicycle so what I am going to tell you about is my first hand experience using the Apple Watch to ride my bike. I think it is fair to say, however, that since biking is aerobic, what I am about to tell you applies also to any aerobic exercise. In fact, the Watch offers the following types of exercise to choose, Outdoor Walk, Outdoor Cycle, Stair Stepper, Outdoor Run, Indoor Walk, Indoor Run, Indoor Cycle, Elliptical, Rower. There is also an Other category.

First of all, these segments are from the Workout App on the Watch. I am going to offer the same link as last time and I recommend that you go there and watch the Guided Tour for the Workout App.

Here is the Watch face with the icons. The Workout one is the little green running man on the left.

Here is the Watch face with the icons. The Workout one is the little green running man on the left.

This page will give you a total of 21 different aspects of the Watch and explain their use. I am focusing on the Workout one today.

To start, I go to the screen with all the icons and tap on the one with the little figure running. This gives me the list that I enumerated. I select the Outdoor Cycle workout.

The watch then allows me to set a goal based on calories or time. I don’t evaluate my rides that way. It also offers for outdoor choices the option of setting a distance goal. That’s not my style. I just want to get on and ride. The Watch allows me to do that with the Open option which simply features a Start button. For the record, if I chose a distance to ride, the Watch would remember it and it will become the default next time. Very handy if that is your cup of tea.

When I press Start, the Watch goes into a typical Apple elegance move. It starts a three second countdown punctuated with beeps. The actual time keeping is done in 100ths of a second, way more detail than I need. Once I am enroute, it offers the following info: Pace, Distance, Heart rate.

In the upper right hand corner is a time metric. I can simply swipe to get my present elapsed time, the time of day or my speed.

As an old guy who takes breaks on his rides I am happy to report that I can do that and pause the watch at any time. I can restart the Watch when I restart my ride.

Because the Watch is paired with my iPhone, all of the data from my workouts is automatically stored in the Health App on my phone.

I hope this explanation hasn’t sounded too complicated. I haven’t felt that. I have used the app on all my bike rides since I bought the Watch. In addition, when I walk my dog, I included that as a Walking Workout and get the data on that activity, too.

One caveat I would like to add is that while the Watch can give you a heart rate readout as well as tell your average heart rate for the workout. You have the option of turning off the heart rate monitor as an energy saver.

Another aspect of the Watch that I need to mention is that is greatly simplifies my rides in that I don’t lose phone calls any more. Without the Watch, I have to stop the bike, dig out my phone from the rear pocket on my jersey, open the case and answer the call. By the time I accomplished this, I would often lose calls in this physical confusion.7d0d5df44b163aafb6b11fe751886da2

Now with the Watch, I simply pull over, raise the Watch and check the screen to see who is calling. So, I have the option of not answering. I can also scroll up and choose to send the caller a message, or simply answer it – on my wrist or on my iPhone. Readers old enough to remember the Dick Tracy comics will be reminded of Dick with his famous Wrist Radio. When I take a call on my Watch, I look (and feel) exactly like the legendary Dick Tracy talking into his wrist radio.

In summary, the Apple Watch has added a great deal of fun and also information to my daily bike rides. I hope I have told you enough to be able to translate it to your go to exercise.

As always, you are invited to share your experiences and ideas.

Tony

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What About When You Can’t Exercise?

I had periodontal surgery yesterday. The procedure took just short of an hour and I left the office with stitches inside my mouth and packing over them. I also exited with a full page print out of “Post Operative Care Following Periodontal Surgery.” The operation was over, but the experience will extend for at least a week. The number two instruction on the sheet read, “Avoid strenuous activity, including aerobic exercise for the first few days…”

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I know that a lot of people don’t exercise on a daily or even a weekly basis, but exercise in the form of riding my bicycle is a part of my daily life. I am sitting here, granted I am low on energy, but I just looked out my window and watched my fellow cyclists riding on the bike path below. I could feel a void in my day.

When I saw the restriction on aerobic activity, I thought it would be a good day to catch up on my yoga, but that seems to qualify as strenuous activity, so that is out, too.

While bike riding is aerobic exercise, that is not the reason I ride every day. I look forward to my daily rides because they are fun. I love to ride. There is a sensuous thrill to the wind blowing over my face and the sensation of rolling across the pavement driven by the strength of my legs. I have included the picture of Albert Einstein riding his bike because it is one of my favorite posters. It hangs in my living room and demonstrates exactly how I feel when I ride my bike.

It’s not just that I can’t exercise today. I can’t enjoy the fun of riding today … and maybe tomorrow, too.

Besides writing this post, I have some housekeeping projects I can tackle and there is always an errand I can run not to mention several books I have been meaning to dive in to over the past month. If I walk at a reasonable pace on the errands, I can enjoy that without breaking the stricture on aerobic exercise. Indeed, I consider walking to be the ugly stepsister of the exercise world, so all is not lost. You can read my post on Why you should walk more.

The old ‘absence makes the heart grow fonder’ adage pops into mind. I will certainly fully enjoy the feeling of mounting my bike and taking off over the smooth pavement when I am free to ride again, possibly as soon as tomorrow.

Until then I will make do with the possibility of a walk later and other projects.

Count your blessings. Eat less; move more.

Tony

Post Post Script: After a light breakfast with my girlfriend, I walked the dog and wrote this post. Then I lay down and slept for two hours. I think the Post Operative Case sheet could have said, “Try and do aerobics or something strenuous …” because there is no way I had the energy for either.

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Filed under aerobics, biking, cardio exercise, cardiovascular diseases, Exercise, walking