Cycling and Risk for Erectile Dysfunction, Infertility, Prostate Cancer

Sports.Cycling1Cycling is a popular activity that offers clear health benefits, but there is an ongoing controversy about whether men who ride have a higher risk of urogenital disorders such as erectile dysfunction, infertility, or prostate cancer. The results of a study of nearly 5,300 male cyclists who participated in the Cycling for Health UK Study are presented in an article in Journal of Men’s Health, a peer-reviewed publication from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers.

Milo Hollingworth, MBBS and Alice Harper, MBBS, University College London Medical School, and Mark Hamer, PhD, University College London, analyzed the risk for these three disorders in relation to the amount of weekly cycling time, ranging from 8.5 hours per week. They report their findings in the article “An Observational Study of Erectile Dysfunction, Infertility and Prostate Cancer in Regular Cyclists: Cycling for Health UK Study.”

The results show that there was no association between cycling time and ED or infertility, disputing the existence of a simple causal relationship. However, a graded increase in the risk of prostate cancer in men aged over 50 years (odds ratios: 2.94, 2.89, and 6.14) was found in relation to cycling 3.75–5.75, 5.76–8.5, and >8.5 hours/week, respectively, compared to cycling less than 3.75 hours/week.

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Source: Medical News Today

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World Cup Is On: Soccer For Untrained 70-Year-Old Men Yields Amazing Results

Sports.Soccer1Untrained elderly men get markedly fitter and healthier as a result of playing soccer. After only four months of twice-weekly one-hour training sessions, the men achieved marked improvements in maximum oxygen uptake, muscle function and bone mineralization. The study revealed that inactive elderly men improved their maximum oxygen uptake by 15% and their performance during interval exercise by as much as 50% by playing soccer for 1 hour two times per week over 4 months.

“The results provide strong evidence that soccer is an intense, versatile and effective form of training, including for untrained elderly men. It is definitely never too late to start playing soccer. Soccer boosts physical capacity and heart health, and minimizes the risk of falls and fractures in elderly, men who have never played soccer before or have not played for decades,” says Professor Peter Krustrup.

“The remarkable improvements in aerobic fitness and muscle strength make it easier for the players to live an active life and overcome the physical challenges of everyday life such as climbing stairs, shopping, cycling and gardening. This benefits not only the players themselves, but also their families and friends,” says Krustrup.

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Source: University of Copenhagen. “Soccer for untrained 70-year-old men yields amazing results.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 June 2014.

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Mathematics to Improve Running

Sports.Shoes.RunningHow can runners improve their performance, weight and fitness? Amandine Aftalion from the Mathematics Laboratory in Versailles (CNRS/University of Versailles-Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines) and Frédéric Bonnans from the Center of Applied Mathematics (CNRS/Inria/École polytechnique) have produced a mathematical model to optimize running, which could lead to personal e-coaching customized to each individual’s physiological state. It also confirms a well-known fact in the sports community: runners who vary their speed spend their energy better and thus run longer. Mathematics gives them the opportunity to switch from simple statistical tools to personalized sporting advice.

The applications of this model target two categories of individuals. In the case of “semi-professionals” runners who do not have the opportunity to work with a coach or for physical training purposes in schools, researchers hope to develop a software that could act as a personal e-coach by indicating which physiological parameters need improving and by implementing racing strategies based on instantaneous velocity. On the other hand, the system of equations, which can be adapted to all variables of interest to athletes (and not just speed), could enable occasional runners to find out the exact number of calories lost during a race (and not a simple average as with today’s available tools) in order to improve weight loss.

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Source: CNRS (Délégation Paris Michel-Ange). “Mathematics to improve running.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 May 2014.

Basketball’s Fitness Benefits a Sure Bet

Sports.Basketball1“Watching a basketball tournament on TV can be fun, but actually playing the game provides you with a number of health benefits,” said Tim Howell, an assistant professor of physical therapy and athletic training at Saint Louis University.

“Basketball is good for your heart because it can help you develop cardiovascular endurance and reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke,” he said in a university news release.

“The game also helps develop both upper- and lower-body strength. Having strong muscles helps your balance and reduces your risk of falling,” Howell said. You’ll also lose fat. Depending on your intensity, you can burn 700 or more calories an hour when playing basketball.

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Source: MedicineNet.