Category Archives: Exercise

Obesity & Covid-19: Death Rates 10X Higher In ‘50%+ Overweight Nations’

The majority of global COVID-19 deaths have been in countries where many people are obese, with coronavirus fatality rates 10 times higher in nations where at least 50% of adults are overweight, a global study found.

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Infographic: ‘Stay Active To Lower Blood Pressure’

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  • High blood pressure is one of the most common modifiable risk factors for heart disease and stroke in women.
  • Approximately, 1 in 2 adult women in the US has elevated blood pressure (>120/80).
  • Physical activity can help to prevent and control blood pressure by strengthening the heart, contributing to a healthy weight, and reducing stress. 

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Exercise: Benefits Of HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) – Mayo Clinic

Mayo Clinic Division of Preventive Cardiology will be preparing a series of recordings focusing on Cardiovascular Disease states. This is the Exercise Series and this particular one focuses on HIIT and its benefits. Results in physiological adaptations linked to improved health (even with a very small volume of exercise).

Health: ‘Ideal Exercise For The Heart’ (Mayo Clinic)

Mayo Clinic Division of Preventive Cardiology will be preparing a series of recordings focusing on Cardiovascular Disease states. This is the Exercise Series and this particular one focuses on exercise and the heart.

Health: Side Effects Of ‘Steroids & Performance-Enhancing Drugs’ (Video)

Heart failure or other heart complications are often brought on by steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs. A former bodybuilder tells his story and begins the road to recovery.

Profiles: 100-Year Old Sir Captain Tom Moore – How He Stays In Shape (Video)

In walking 100 laps of his garden, the Second World War veteran set out to raise £1,000 for NHS charities; instead, on his 100th birthday, his appeal topped £32 million. The journey continued, not in his garden, but on talk shows, breakfast television and interviews, all for the benefit of causes that touched his own life across the century. Here, the GQ Inspiration Award recipient shows us just how he got in shape…

Captain Sir Thomas Moore, popularly known as “Captain Tom”, is a former British Army officer and centenarian, known for his achievements raising money for charity in the run-up to his 100th birthday during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Health: Three Exercise Benefits For The Brain

Memory

Many studies suggest that exercise can help protect our memory as we age. This is because exercise has been shown to prevent the loss of total brain volume (which can lead to lower cognitive function), as well as preventing shrinkage in specific brain regions associated with memory. For example, one magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan study revealed that in older adults, six months of exercise training increases brain volume.

Another study showed that shrinkage of the hippocampus (a brain region essential for learning and memory) in older people can be reversed by regular walking. This change was accompanied by improved memory function and an increase of the protein brain-derived neutropic factor (BDNF) in the bloodstream.

Blood vessels

The brain is highly dependent on blood flow, receiving approximately 15% of the body’s entire supply – despite being only 2-3% of our body’s total mass. This is because our nervous tissues need a constant supply of oxygen to function and survive. When neurons become more active, blood flow in the region where these neurons are located increases to meet demand. As such, maintaining a healthy brain depends on maintaining a healthy network of blood vessels.

Regular exercise increases the growth of new blood vessels in the brain regions where neurogenesis occurs, providing the increased blood supply that supports the development of these new neurons. Exercise also improves the health and function of existing blood vessels, ensuring that brain tissue consistently receives adequate blood supply to meet its needs and preserve its function.

Inflammation

Recently, a growing body of research has centred on microglia, which are the resident immune cells of the brain. Their main function is to constantly check the brain for potential threats from microbes or dying or damaged cells, and to clear any damage they find.

With age, normal immune function declines and chronic, low-level inflammation occurs in body organs, including the brain, where it increases risk of neurodegenerative disease, such as Alzheimer’s disease. As we age, microglia become less efficient at clearing damage, and less able to prevent disease and inflammation. This means neuroinflammation can progress, impairing brain functions – including memory.

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Infographic: Exercise For ‘Claudication’ (BMJ Study)

Exercise training is a safe, effective and low-cost intervention for improving walking ability in patients with IC. Additional benefits may include improvements in QoL, muscle strength and cardiorespiratory fitness. Clinical guidelines advocate supervised exercise training as a primary therapy for IC, with walking as the primary modality.

However, evidence is emerging for the role of various other modes of exercise including cycling and progressive resistance training to supplement walking training. In addition, there is emerging evidence for home-based exercise programmes. Revascularisation or drug treatment options should only be considered in patients if exercise training provides insufficient symptomatic relief.

Abstract

Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is caused by atherosclerotic narrowing of the arteries supplying the lower limbs often resulting in intermittent claudication, evident as pain or cramping while walking. Supervised exercise training elicits clinically meaningful benefits in walking ability and quality of life. Walking is the modality of exercise with the strongest evidence and is recommended in several national and international guidelines. Alternate forms of exercise such as upper- or lower-body cycling may be used, if required by certain patients, although there is less evidence for these types of programmes. The evidence for progressive resistance training is growing and patients can also engage in strength-based training alongside a walking programme. For those unable to attend a supervised class (strongest evidence), home-based or ‘self-facilitated’ exercise programmes are known to improve walking distance when compared to simple advice. All exercise programmes, independent of the mode of delivery, should be progressive and individually prescribed where possible, considering disease severity, comorbidities and initial exercise capacity. All patients should aim to accumulate at least 30 min of aerobic activity, at least three times a week, for at least 3 months, ideally in the form of walking exercise to near-maximal claudication pain.

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