Physical Activity

Stronger Muscles for Improved Brain Function

Workout.Female.DumbellIn Australia, a University of Sydney study has linked improved cognitive function with stronger muscles using a steady regime of weightlifting exercises. Published in the Journal of American Geriatrics, the study used a system known as SMART (Study of Mental and Resistance Training). A trial was done on a group of patients age 55 to 68, suffering MCI (mild cognitive impairment). This condition is not as serious as full-blown dementia, as people affected only have mild cognitive symptoms not severe enough to disable them from normal daily life.

The aim of the study was to measure the effects of different physical and mental activities on the human brain. Researchers examined 100 people affected by MCI. They were divided into four groups, and assigned the activities as seen below:

  • Weightlifting exercises
  • Seated stretching exercises
  • Real cognitive training on a computer
  • Placebo training on a computer

The weightlifting trial lasted for 6 months with exercising done twice a week. As the participants got stronger, they increased the amount of weight for each exercise. The exercises were done while trying to maintain 80% or greater at their peak strength.

Surprisingly, only the weight training activity demonstrated a measured improvement in brain function. The stretching exercises, cognitive training, and placebo training did not yield any results. This proved a link between muscle strength gained through physical training and the improved cognitive functions. According to Doctor Yorgi Mavros, lead author of the study, there was a clear relationship between mental functions and increased muscular strength. And the stronger the muscles got the greater the mental improvement.

Doctor Mavros is a strong advocate for encouraging resistance exercises as people start to grow older. The result could be a much healthier aging population. Mavros stressed the need for exercising at least 2-3 time per week at a high enough intensity in order to get the maximum cognitive benefits.

Read the full story.

Source: WorldHealth.net.

The Quintessential Anti-Aging Essential

Support.Walking.FootprintA mountain of evidence documents that physical inactivity raises a person’s risk of premature death, as well as increases the risks of diseases such as heart disease and cancer. Ulf Ekelund, from, the University of Cambridge (United Kingdom), and colleagues assessed the link between physical inactivity and premature death. The team analyzed data collected on 334,161 men and women across Europe, enrolled in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) Study. Over an average of 12 years, the researchers measured height, weight and waist circumference, and used self-assessment to measure levels of physical activity.

Data analysis revealed that the greatest reduction in risk of premature death occurred in the comparison between inactive and moderately inactive groups. The investigators estimated that daily exercise burning between 90 and 110 kcal (‘calories’) – roughly equivalent to a 20-minute brisk walk – would take an individual from the inactive to moderately inactive group, and reduce their risk of premature death by between 16-30%. The impact was greatest among normal weight individuals, but even those with higher BMI saw a benefit.

In further calculations, the team reveals that 337,000 of the 9.2 million deaths among European men and women may be attributed to obesity (classed as a BMI greater than 30) – with double this number of deaths (676,000) attributable to physical inactivity. The study authors report that: “The greatest reductions in mortality risk were observed between the 2 lowest activity groups across levels of general and abdominal adiposity, which suggests that efforts to encourage even small increases in activity in inactive individuals may be beneficial to public health.”

Read the full story.

Source: WorldHealth.net

Getting Stronger to Live Longer

Workout.Female.DumbellBetween the age of 30 and 70, the average person will have lost about a quarter of their muscle strength. Half will be lost by the age of 90. As crucial as it is to promoting overall health and warding off disease, aerobic exercise alone is not enough to forestall this. Without the inclusion of strength training, muscles become progressively weaker, as well as less functional. Strength training can enable people over the age of 50 to live longer, more quality lives.

Beginning a strength training regimen takes as little as twenty minutes per session and does not require excessive stress or straining. The key is to use proper form, in a consistent manner, tackling both upper and lower body muscles. Noticeable strength gains can be realized in as little as four weeks. Methods of strength training include the use of free weights, ankle cuffs and vests, resistance bands, and exercises that employ body weight to create resistance against gravity. A slow pace starting off is important, in order to avoid injury.

Read the full story.

Source: WorldHealth.net

Latin Dancing May Have Health Benefits for Older Adults

Activity.DanceA four-month dance program helped older Latino adults walk faster and improved their physical fitness, which may reduce their risk for heart disease, according to research presented at the American Heart Association’s Epidemiology/Lifestyle 2016 Scientific Sessions.

Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago tested whether a community-based intervention focused on Latin dancing could benefit 54 Spanish-speaking adults (about 65 years old, 80 percent Mexican female) who were not very physically active. Participants were randomly assigned to either participate in a dance program twice a week for four months or to attend a health education program. All participants completed questionnaires about their leisure time physical activity and a 400-meter walk test at the start and end of the study.

After four months of twice-weekly Latin dancing, researchers found:

  • Dancers walked faster and were more physically active during their leisure time than before they started dancing.
  • Dancers completed a 400-meter walk in just under 392 seconds compared with almost 430 seconds at the start of the study.
  • Leisure physical activity rose from 650 minutes to nearly a total of 818 minutes per week.
  • Those in the health education classes had a smaller improvements in their fitness – they finished the 400-meter walk in about 409 seconds at the end of the study compared with 419 seconds four months earlier; total time spent on weekly leisure physical activity increased from 522 minutes to 628 minutes over the course of the study.

The dance program is a program called BAILAMOS©, a culturally-tailored, community-based lifestyle intervention developed at the University of Illinois at Chicago by David X. Marquez and Miguel Mendez, included four different dance styles – merengue, bachata, cha cha cha and salsa – led by the dance instructor, with more complex choreography as the program progressed.

Dancing could have wider health implications, too. Priscilla Vásquez, M.P.H., said the research team is interested in testing whether BAILAMOS© can help older Latinos already experiencing mild cognitive impairment. “We are interested in using magnetic resonance imaging to see if dancing positively affects their brains,” she said.

Read the full story.

Source: American Heart Association. “Latin dancing may have health benefits for older adults.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 March 2016.

Regular Exercise Critical for Heart Health, Longevity

Workout.ExerciseDictThe majority of citizens in developed countries should not be concerned by potential harm from exercise but rather by the lack of exercise in their lives, according to a clinical perspective published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology from the ACC Sports and Exercise Cardiology Leadership Council. According to the council, small amounts of physical activity, including standing, are associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease, but more exercise leads to even greater reduction in risk of death from cardiovascular disease.

“The evidence with regard to exercise continues to unfold and educate the cardiovascular clinical community,” said JACC Editor-in-Chief Valentin Fuster, M.D., Ph.D. “The greatest benefit is to simply exercise, regardless of the intensity, while the danger is two-fold: to not exercise at all or to exercise intensely, without due preparation.”

The council found that moderate and vigorous intensity exercise lower mortality risk in different populations around the globe. Increasing the amount of moderate intensity exercise a person engages in results in increased reductions in cardiovascular disease mortality; however, the reductions in cardiovascular mortality benefits from vigorous intensity exercise do level out at a certain point.

There is no evidence for an upper limit to exercise-induced health benefits and all amounts of both moderate and vigorous intensity exercise result in a reduction of both all-cause and cardiovascular disease mortality compared to physical inactivity.

Check the full story.

Source: ScienceDaily, 18 January 2016.

Fitness Programme: OCR Obstacle Course Racing Programme, 8 Weeks

Workout.TrainingProgramme1Introduction

  • This is a an intense training programme that targets the whole body.
  • It spans over eight weeks.
  • Bodyweight exercises make up most of the programme.
  • The number of sets and reps are suitable at an intermediate level. Scale basis your current form.
  • The programme is perfect preparing for an obstacle course event.
  • You will be in the best shape of your life after completing the programme.
  • Good luck and have fun!

Download

Click to download the programme and start an intense period: Obstacle Course Racing Programme

Workout (M): Weekend Challenge – Card Shuffle

Workout.ExerciseDictIntroduction

  • This is a full body routine that uses a deck of cards (52 cards) to determine the exercises. This brings a lot of variety to the workout. ‘Which will be the next exercise?’, you will wonder.
  • It is basically a strength routine, but if you keep the rest time between exercises to a minimum, the cardio effect will also be great.
  • Bodyweight exercises only.
  • Workout Structure: Card Shuffle.
  • Have fun and good luck!

Click here for complete details (Member).


Want to become a member of Club One Fifty? Click here to initiate your membership.

Exercise Boosts the Brain

Body.Brain.ThinkThe ability of the circulatory and respiratory systems to supply oxygen to skeletal muscles during sustained physical activity is known as cardiorespiratory fitness. Scott Hayes, from Boston University School of Medicine (Massachusetts, USA), and colleagues assessed a group of adults ages 18-31 years, and a group aged 55-82 years.

All participants underwent brain MRIs and were assessed for cardiorespiratory (heart and lung) fitness via treadmill test. Among the older adults, the team observed that cardiorespiratory fitness was positively linked to the structural integrity of white matter fiber bundles in the brain; no such association was observed in younger adults. The study authors observe that: “[cardiorespiratory fitness] is positively associated with neural white matter microstructure in aging. The association between peak VO2 and [fractional anisotropy – an indicator of white matter integrity] appears to be age-dependent.”

Read the full story.

Source: WorldHealth.net.

Workout: Upper PT Ladder

Workout.ExerciseDictIntroduction

  • This is an upper body routine that includes bodyweight exercises.
  • It is a tough routine – you will significantly improve your upper body strength.
  • Workout Structure: Ladder.
  • Have fun and good luck!

Exercises

  • Pullups, Ladder Level (“LL”) X 1
  • Pushups, LL X 2
  • Let Me Ins, LL X 2
  • Dips, LL X 1

Explanation

Perform the routine in the following manner:

  • You start the ladder on level 1.
  • Do 1 x 1 Pullup, i.e. 1 Pullup.
  • 1 x 2 Pushups = 2 Pushups.
  • 1 x 2 Let Me Ins = 2.
  • 1 x 1 Dips = 1.
  • That was the first level, move on to level 2.
  • Do 2 x 1 Pullups = 2.
  • And so on, until you max out on the Pullups.
  • Then you go down the ladder one step at a time until you are back at level 1.
  • Well done!