Tag Archives: Exercise

Pumping iron may help you live longer – CSPI

We wanted to know if weightlifting alone—or in combination with aerobic exercise—influences one’s risk of early death,” says Jess Gorzelitz, assistant professor of health and human physiology at the University of Iowa, according to the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI).


“So we asked a group of roughly 100,000 older adults about their lifestyle, and then we followed them for about 10 years.”
Those who hit the U.S. Physical Activity Guidelines for aerobic activity—150 minutes of moderate or 75 minutes of vigorous activity a week—were nearly a third less likely to die over those 10 years. That’s no surprise, since aerobic activity improves cardiovascular fitness and is linked to a lower risk of several cancers.

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“But we also found that weightlifting, independent of aerobic activity, was linked to a 10 to 20 percent lower risk of dying,” says Gorzelitz.


Want the most bang for your buck? Get your heart and your muscles pumping.

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Octogenarians should walk 10 minutes a day to prolong life

I realize that writing about 80-year-olds and above is ‘rarified atmosphere,’ but I loved the fact that walking was still a tangible benefit to the person. You can never hear enough about the benefits of exercise or the damage of being sedentary.

One hour of walking per week is associated with greater longevity in people aged 85 years and above, according to research presented at ESC Congress 2022.

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Regardless of age, adults are advised to do at least 150 minutes a week of moderate intensity activity or 75 minutes a week of vigorous intensity activity, or an equivalent combination.2 However, in adults, sedentary time tends to increase with age while the amount of physical activity declines.

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5 Reasons Stair Climbing is Good For You – Part One

I wanted to rerun this item on stair-climbing as a superb alternative to trying to exercise in the sub-zero weather which we have been experiencing in much of the country.

Regular readers know that I have been an avid bicycle rider for years. I logged over 7000 miles in the year just ended. And, I have not stopped riding. I have, however, begun a new exercise, for me – climbing stairs.

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Although this person is walking down the stairs, I don’t recommend it. You can develop knee problems among others.

How come? Well, the only drawback to cycling I know of is that it is not weight-bearing. So, while the aerobic activity benefits my cardiovascular system greatly, I get no benefits for my skeletal system. I need both and I just can’t get into weight workouts.

An additional benefit of  stair climbing over bike riding is that you can do it indoors so the weather conditions do not present a problem. Having just suffered through historic cold weather with much of the country, this is particularly relevant now. While current temps here in Chicago range in the mid 30’s, there is still a lot of snow, ice and slush around that makes for dangerous biking conditions.

So, what about climbing stairs? It burns more calories than running and doesn’t beat up your legs as much as running does. RunSociety says, “When you stair climb for exercise, you burn twice the fat in half the time than if you run and three times more than walking. An intense stair-climbing exercise session will produce more aerobic benefits in a shorter amount of time than running or walking. One hour of stair climbing will burn approximately 1000 calories.”

Nonetheless, you can climb at your own pace and still get a good workout.

A New York Times article by Dr. Harvey Simon on the heath sciences technology faculty at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and founding editor of the Harvard Men’s Health Watch, wrote, “What’s so special about climbing stairs? Researchers in Canada answered the question by monitoring 17 healthy male volunteers with an average age of 64 while they walked on the level, lifted weights or climbed stairs. Stair climbing was the most demanding. It was twice as taxing as brisk walking on the level and 50 percent harder than walking up a steep incline or lifting weights. And peak exertion was attained much faster climbing stairs than walking, which is why nearly everyone huffs and puffs going up stairs, at least until their “second wind” kicks in after a few flights.”
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What you can learn from my lung cancer

I have spent the last dozen years writing about living a long healthy, happy life with your brain functioning well the entire time. Not a day goes by when I don’t read about some aspect of living a healthy life. I have taken courses in anatomy, exercise, sleep, nutrition to name only a few since starting this blog.

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And yet, despite all my focus on health, if you had asked me about my chances of getting lung cancer, I would have said – very slim. I would have been wrong.

Here are some basic statistics about the disease. The average age for a lung cancer diagnosis is 70. Only about 10% of lung cancer cases occur in people younger than 50 years old. So, age is a risk factor that I had been unaware of – at 82 years old.

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One-minute bursts of activity during daily tasks could prolong your life – Study

In good news for those who don’t like playing sport or going to the gym, new research finds just three to four one-minute bursts of huffing and puffing during daily tasks is associated with large reductions in the risk of premature death, particularly from cardiovascular disease.

Published in Nature Medicine, the study is led by the University of Sydney’s Charles Perkins Centre in Australia. It is the first to accurately measure the health benefits of what researchers have termed ‘vigorous intermittent lifestyle physical activity’ or VILPA.

VILPA is the very short bouts of vigorous activity (up to one to two minutes) we do with gusto each day, like running for the bus, bursts of power walking while doing errands or playing high-energy games with the kids.  

The researchers found that just three to four one-minute bouts of VILPA every day is associated with up to 40 percent reduction in all-cause and cancer-related mortality, and up to a 49 percent reduction in death related to cardiovascular disease. 

 

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“Our study shows similar benefits to high-intensity interval training (HIIT) can be achieved through increasing the intensity of incidental activities done as part of daily living, and the more the better,” said lead author Emmanuel Stamatakis, Professor of Physical Activity, Lifestyle and Population Health at the University of Sydney’s Charles Perkins Centre.

 “A few very short bouts totaling three to four minutes a day could go a long way, and there are many daily activities that can be tweaked to raise your heart rate for a minute or so.”

The majority of adults aged 40 and over do not take part in regular exercise or sport, but Professor Stamatakis said the study reveals how incidental physical activity can overcome many barriers.

“Upping the intensity of daily activities requires no time commitment, no preparation, no club memberships, no special skills. It simply involves stepping up the pace while walking or doing the housework with a bit more energy,” he said.

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Metastatic cancer risk reduced by as much as 72% with high intensity exercise – Study MNT

Metastatic cancer is cancer that has spread from where it started to another part of the body. 

Researchers behind a 2022 studyTrusted Source estimated that 623,405 individuals in the United States were living with metastatic breastprostatelungcolorectal, or bladder cancer, or metastatic melanoma in 2018.

While working with other researchers, Prof. Carmit Levy, Ph.D., associate professor of human molecular genetics and biochemistry at Tel Aviv University, became interested in how muscle is resistant to metastatic cancer. 

That work led to a new study from Tel Aviv University, recently published in Cancer Research, which suggests people may be able to reduce their risk of developing metastatic cancer by regularly engaging in high intensity aerobic exercise.

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“From [being curious] about the muscle, we ended up investigating physical activity,” Prof. Levy told Medical News Today. (MNT). “We said, ‘OK, there’s something about the activity of the muscle that maybe protects this organ from being a common site for metastasis for all types of cancers.’”

With their work, the researchers identified the mechanism behind the preventive effect of exercise. They found that physical activity increases glucose consumption by internal organs, which means less energy available to the tumor.

Erica Rees-PuniaTrusted Source, Ph.D., MPH, a senior principal scientist in epidemiology and behavioral research at the American Cancer Society, not involved in the study, described the underlying mechanism to MNT:

“Simply put, exercise ‘reprograms’ our organs to require more nutrients. At the same time, healthy organs of exercisers are more easily able to out-compete cancer cells (specifically melanoma cells, in the case of this study) for nutrients. This leaves fewer nutrients available for the tumor to use to grow.”

Studying the effects of exercise in cancer-free individuals

For the study, Prof. Levy and Dr. Yftach Gepner, senior lecturer in the School of Public Health at Tel Aviv University, combined data from a prospective study conducted by the Israel Center for Disease ControlTrusted Source and the Nutrition Department of the Israeli Ministry of HealthTrusted Source



They looked at 2,734 men and women selected from the Israeli general population who were originally cancer free and between the ages of 25 and 64 who were examined before and after running.

Participants responded to two physical activity questionnaires about vigorous and moderate activity that lasted for 10 minutes. They were followed over a 20-year period.

Additionally, researchers recruited 14 male and female runners ages 25 to 45.

Participants were excluded for being smokers, taking prescribed medications, or having a history of chronic pulmonary, cardiac, metabolic, or orthopedic conditions. 

They were also asked to avoid caffeine for 12 hours, food for 3 hours, and strenuous physical activity for at least 24 hours before arriving at the laboratory for testing. 

Participants ran for 30 minutes on a treadmill at the highest speed they could manage for the entire duration. 

Next, researchers collected ventilator and metabolic measurements using breath-by-breath analysis and monitored the heart rate of participants using a chest strap. They collected blood from the participants before and after they exercised.

Effects of exercise on metastatic cancer in mice

In another study, the researchers used an animal model where mice were subjected to exercise regimens. 

One group of mice was used as a control. The other was subjected to an exercise training protocol on a treadmill. Mice exercised every other day. Gradually, the researchers increased the duration and intensity of the exercise. This went on for 8 weeks. 

They selected female mice because they’ve shown an increased metabolic response to exercise compared with males. 

Some of the mice were then injected with melanoma cells. After 4 days of recovery, researchers again subjected these mice to regular exercise on the treadmill for 4 additional weeks. 

Later, researchers harvested the lungs, lymph nodes, livers, and skeletal muscles of both sedentary mice and mice subjected to exercise for proteomicTrusted Source and ex vivo metabolic capacity analyses.

“We took organs that usually host metastasis,” Levy told MNT

“And we said, ‘Let’s dissect those organs and see how these organs behave after long-term physical activity.” 

Impact of exercise on internal organs

Proteomic analysis of the blood of the routinely active participants showed increased carbohydrate usage after exercise.

Data from the prospective study showed that exercise prior to developing cancer had a modest impact on diagnoses of slow-growing cancer. 

However, exercise “significantly reduced the likelihood of highly metastatic cancer,” according to the researchers. 

Among the participants studied, those who reported regular aerobic exercise at high intensity had 72% less metastatic cancer than sedentary participants. 

In the mouse study, researchers found that mice subjected to exercise prior to being injected with cancer cells were “significantly protected” against metastases in distant organs.

Proteomic and ex vivo metabolic capacity analyses of the mice organs showed that exercise induces catabolic processes, glucose uptake, mitochondrial activity, and GLUT expression.

When researchers looked at the mice organs, they discovered that long-term physical activity changes muscles (increasing muscle mass) and changes organs. 

“We discovered that internal organs like lymph nodes, like lung, like liver, those organs that are usually hosting cancer [are] changing when there is chronic physical activity,” Levy told MNT

“They change in [the] sense that they become super metabolic. And when I say super metabolic, I mean their demand for glucose and demand for their mitochondria is increasing [and] their glucose uptake is increasing. They’re becoming like superhero organs.”

When cancer attempts to attack these organs, it loses the fight, the researchers believe. 

Dr. Adrian Cristian, chief of cancer rehabilitation at Miami Cancer Institute, part of Baptist Health South Florida, explained to MNT that with this study, the researchers demonstrated “that exercise induces changes in the micro-environment of cancer cells that make it inhospitable for them to grow when they are out-competed by non-cancer cells for nutrients.”

Areas for future study on exercise and metastatic cancer

In future research, Levy told MNT, researchers could look at whether exercise needs high intensity to gain the protective effect. 

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Healthy Bones for Life – Rush

There are many misconceptions about osteoporosis. This might be the biggest: It’s a disease of aging, the inevitable result of losing bone mass over the years.

“Osteoporosis risk actually begins at birth,” says Sanford Baim, MD, a rheumatologist at Rush University Medical Center. “It’s a lifelong issue, and you have to think about all of the factors that go into your risk of fractures, from genetics to lifestyle to medical conditions.”

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While you can’t change your family history, you can — and should — take the following steps to protect your bones at every stage of life.

1. Keep tabs on your bone density

Women 65 and older and men 70 and older should get regular bone density tests, or DXA scans. You may need to start earlier if you have an increased risk of osteoporosis-related fractures.

Factors that increase your risk include the following:

If you do have a chronic health issue, make sure you are managing it properly. “If you don’t control the disease, you increase your risk of complications, including those that can weaken bones,” Baim says.

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Finding the solution to obesity

In the 20 years since Barbara Corkey, PhD, was named Editor in Chief of the journal Obesity, obesity among adults has risen significantly. Data from the National Center for Health Statistics show that one third of U.S. adults 20 years of age and older have obesity. Obesity continues to be a common, serious and costly disease.

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In an editorial in Obesity, Corkey discusses the many different theories explaining why obesity continues to increase despite best efforts at controlling weight gain in this environment, including increased availability and marketing of high-calorie and high-glycemic-index foods and drinks, larger food portions, leisure time physical activities being replaced with sedentary activities such as watching television and use of electronic devices, inadequate sleep, and the use of medications that increase weight.

According to Corkey, all of these purported explanations assume an environmental cause that is detrimental to the organism involved, (humans). “However, if we use the principle of symbiosis and Darwin’s theory of evolution, perhaps we can understand obesity prevalence as an interim stage in the evolution of man reacting to his environment in order to gain long-term survival and ultimate longevity,” says corresponding author Corkey, professor emeritus of medicine and biochemistry at Boston University Chobanian & Avedisian School of Medicine.

Humans have developed a method to feed the billions of people on the planet, by developing processed foods with preservatives and other chemicals that can make food last longer and can be made cheaply to increase calorie density in small packages. Corkey points out that those who develop obesity store body fat in response to excess calories. “Therefore the cause of obesity has as much to do as the human reaction to overfeeding as it does the production of foods that are being overfed,” she states.

Corkey notes that key developments in the obesity/diabetes field include bariatric surgery as well as multiple agents (drugs) with different mechanisms of action to treat obesity and prevent weight regain. “Novel drug combinations are beginning to close the gap with bariatric surgery and appear to be very powerful new tools to treat obesity as a disease.”

Corkey believes recognition of obesity as a disease and earlier diagnosis of diabetes and other consequences of obesity will support early and more effective treatment and prevention. “Importantly, disease recognition will help to support insurance coverage of effective obesity treatments,” she adds.

Lastly, Corkey examines culinary medicine as an emerging evidence-based field that brings together nutrition and culinary knowledge and skills to assist patients in maintaining health and preventing and treating food-related disease by choosing high-quality, healthy food in conjunction with appropriate medical care. “Culinary medicine has the advantage of being an intervention that can be implemented at the earliest time point in the development of obesity with no negative side effects,” says Corkey.

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My unpleasant health news …

I recently got some very unpleasant news about my personal health.

I suffer from a ‘post nasal drip,’ have all my life. It means that I have mucous dripping from behind my nose down my throat. As a result, I have to spit a lot, have a tender, raw throat because it has to keep contracting and I think I have a bit of a smoker’s deeper voice because of it even though I don’t smoke.

A week or two ago, I noticed that occasionally, when I spat, there was blood in it. This was sporadic, not every time or even every day, So, I thought ‘no big deal.’ However, when it continued over more than a week, I consulted my physician. She said she needed to look at me.

I went in last week and after an examination, she could not find anything wrong. Before I left, however, she said she wanted me to get a chest X Ray because I am 82 years old. I went the next day. On the following day, I was in Costco shopping when my phone rang. It was my doctor calling to tell me that the X Ray showed a mass on my left lung. She said the next step would be to get a CT Scan for more information and then a biopsy.

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Periodic “activity snacks” may help maintain muscle mass

Interrupting prolonged sitting with periodic “activity snacks” may help maintain muscle mass and quality, according to a new study by researchers at the University of Toronto.

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Daniel Moore, an associate professor of muscle physiology at the Faculty of Kinesiology & Physical Eduction (KPE) who led the study, found that short bouts of activity, such as two minutes of walking or body weight sit-to-stand squats, allow the body to use more amino acids from meals to build muscle proteins.

The research was recently published in the Journal of Applied Physiology.

“We know that prolonged sedentary periods impair the body’s ability to filter sugar from the blood following a meal,” says Moore, who heads the Iovate/Muscletech Metabolism & Sports Science Lab at KPE.

“However, breaking up this sedentary period with brief bouts of activity such as two minutes of moderate intensity walking or rising and lowering 15 times from a chair (i.e. body weight squats), can improve the way our body clears sugar from our meals.”

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Five Simple SuperAger Tips

These aren’t SuperAger secrets at all, they are very simple techniques to keep your body and brain functioning for a long time. I believe that they are simple, but not necessarily easy, for a lot of people.

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Exercise can modify fat tissue in ways that improve health—even without weight loss – UM

Exercise is one of the first strategies used to treat obesity-related health problems like Type 2 diabetes and other cardiovascular disease, but scientists don’t understand exactly how it works to improve metabolic health.

To that end, University of Michigan researchers examined the effects of three months of exercise on people with obesity, and found that exercise can favorably modify abdominal subcutaneous adipose tissue, the fat tissue just beneath the skin, in ways that can improve metabolic health—even without weight loss.

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Surprisingly, moderate and high-intensity exercise yielded the same positive changes in fat tissue composition and structure, and fat cells shrank a bit even without weight loss, said principal investigator Jeffrey Horowitz, U-M professor of kinesiology.

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My Ticket to Ride …

I am thrilled to report that today marks the 22nd anniversary of my retirement. On October 2 of 2000, I bade the financial world adieu and started my life as a guy who didn’t have to get up for work every morning.
I got my first job at the age of 10 sweeping the floor of a dry cleaner and continued to work till I reached 60. Although my degree is in Finance, I went into the publishing world writing and editing. I liked markets, but always knew I would write. I wrote and practiced journalism for most of my career, spending 20 years working for Reuters covering international markets and then teaching journalism at the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University for several years. Because I had written about markets for 30 years, my boss at the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation asked me if I would like to manage some money So, I managed $900 million in bond investments for the final five years of my working life.

No mas. I thought I would celebrate with this biking post. When I was working I used to tell my friends at the office that when I retired I was going to ride my bike on the Chicago lakefront every day. They thought that was funny. I was never more serious.
You all know how I ride my bike nearly every day year ’round here in Chicago. I do it because I love it. Period. Everything else is gravy. As you know from my numerous posts on exercise and the brain I absolutely believe that my riding aids in my still thinking straight at the ripe of age of 82. For the record, my family has five cases of Alzheimer’s on both sides – my father’s father, my father’s sister and her daughter. On my mother’s side, she and her sister.

Tony

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Leisure activities may improve seniors’ longevity – NIH

Eat less; move more; live longer … How many times have you read that on these pages? Now comes the National Institutes of Health with more of the same.

Physical activity is vital for your health. Exercise helps you maintain a healthy weight and prevent chronic diseases ranging from heart disease to diabetes. The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommend that adults get a minimum of 2.5 to 5 hours of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity each week, or at least half that amount of vigorous-intensity activity.

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Previous studies have found that a wide variety of leisure-time physical activities can provide health benefits. But these studies have largely been done in younger adults. And many did not track different levels of various types of activities.

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Diet change may return bigger heart health rewards than other lifestyle changes

Lifestyle changes are known to reduce the risk for heart attacks and strokes. A new study that simulated the effect of lifestyle change on future cardiovascular risks for people with high blood pressure suggests one change – adopting a heart-healthy diet – may do more than others.

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The findings predict adopting the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet would do more to cut cardiovascular events over a 10-year period than changes such as weight loss and physical activity for young and middle-aged adults with stage 1 hypertension that isn’t being treated.

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Deep dive on exercise and the heart – JACC

The Journal of the American College of Cardiology (JACC) has issued a four-part focus seminar series on sports cardiology and of the impact of physical activity, cardio-respiratory fitness and exercise training on the general U.S. population and professional athletes’ cardiovascular health.

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“The field of sports cardiology is a well-established but still rapidly evolving sub-specialty,” said Jason C. Kovacic, professor at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and author of the accompanying introduction article to the focus seminar series. “Given the mounting interest in sports cardiology, its key relevance to all cardiovascular practitioners, and the knowledge explosion in this field, we felt it was particularly timely to pay special attention to this broad topic with a JACC Focus Seminar series.”

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