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Exercise and Insulin Resistance

Posted on March 19, 2011 at 9:07 PM

Insulin Resistance:

 

Not Just for People with Diabetes?

 

What is insulin resistance? It's when insulin is not able to lower blood glucose as it should primarily because the receptors in the muscle and fat cells for insulin are no longer sensitive to the insulin. This can lead to metabolic syndrome which is categorized as having triglycerides above 150 mg/dL, HDL cholesterol below 40 mg/dL, blood pressure above 130 mm Hg for systolic or 85 mm Hg for diastolic, a fasting glucose greater than 100 mg/dL and BMI greater than 30. Therefore, it's not just about glucose.

Many studies have shown that exercise is key to preventing or controlling Type 2 diabetes, but that can be challenging to squeeze that in during the day for some. Strong evidence has also found that "unplanned" activity is also very helpful, especially for those who have sedentary jobs. This type of activity can be taking the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator. One study done on a university hospital setting found employees who took the stairs increased maximal aerobic capacity by 9% while lowering LDL-cholesterol, BMI, and blood pressure. A little exercise really can go a long way.

 

Volpe, Stella L., Ph.D, R.D., L.D.N., FACSM. ACSM's Certified News, Oct-Dec 2010. Vol. 20:4, pp. 5-6

100 Reasons to Exercise

Posted on March 8, 2011 at 4:00 PM

1. Reduces your risk of getting heart disease.

2. Increases your level of muscle strength.

3. Improves the functioning of your immune system.

4. Enhances sexual desire, performance and satisfaction.

5. Helps you to more effectively manage stress.

6. Helps you to lose weight -- especially fat weight.

7. Improves the likelihood of survival from a myocardial infarction (heart attack).

8. Can help relieve the pain of tension headaches -- perhaps the most common type of headache.

9. Improves your body's ability to use fat for energy during physical activity.

10. Increases the density and breaking strength of bones.

11.Helps to preserve lean body tissue.

12. Reduces the risk of developing hypertension (high blood pressure).

13. Increases the density and breaking strength of ligaments and tendons.

14. Improves coronary (heart) circulation.

15.Increases circulating level of HDL (good) cholesterol.

16. Assists in efforts to stop smoking.

17. Reduces your risk of developing Type 2 (non-insulin dependent) diabetes.

18. Can help improve short-tem memory in older individuals.

19. Helps to maintain weight loss -- unlike dieting, alone.

20. Helps relieve many of the common discomforts of pregnancy (backache, heartburn, constipation, etc).

21. Reduces your anxiety level.

22. Helps control blood pressure in people with hypertension.

23. Reduces the viscosity of your blood.

24. Reduces vulnerability to various cardiac dysrhythmias (abnormal heart rhythms).

25. Increases your maximal oxygen uptake ( VO2 max--perhaps the best measure of your physical working capacity).

26. Helps to overcome jet lag.

27. Slows the rate of joint degeneration in people with osteoarthritis.

28. Lowers your resting heart rate.

29. Helps to boost creativity.

30. Reduces circulating levels of triglycerides.

31. Helps the body resist upper respiratory tract infections.

32. Increases your anaerobic threshold, allowing you to work or exercise longer at a higher level, before a significant amount of lactic acid builds up.

33.Reduces medical and healthcare expenses.

34. Improves ability to recover from physical exertion.

35. Helps speed recovery from chemotherapy treatments.

36. Increases ability to supply blood to the skin for cooling.

37. Increases the thickness of the cartilage in your joints.

38. Gives you more energy to meet the demands of daily life, and provides you with a reserve to meet the demands of unexpected emergencies.

39. Increase your level of muscle endurance.

40. Helps you sleep easier and better..

41. Improves posture.

42. Improves athletic performance.

43. Helps you to maintain your resting metabolic rate.

44. Reduces the risk of developing colon cancer.

45. Increases your tissues' responsiveness to the actions of insulin (i.e., improves tissue sensitivity for insulin), helping to better control blood sugar, particularly if you are a Type2 diabetic.

46. Helps to relieve constipation.

47. Expands blood plasma volume.

48. Reduces the risk of developing prostate cancer.

49. Helps to combat substance abuse.

50. Helps to alleviate depression.

51. Increases your ability to adapt to cold environments.

52. Helps you maintain proper muscle balance.

53. Reduces the rate and severity of medical complications associated with hypertension.

54. Helps to alleviate certain menstrual symptoms.

55. Lowers your heart rate response to sub maximal physical exertion.

56. Helps to alleviate low-back pain.

57. Helps to reduce the amount for insulin required to control blood sugar level in Type1(insuline-dependent) diabetics.

58. Improves mental alertness.

59. Improves respiratory muscle strength and muscle endurance -- particularly important for asthmatics.

60. Reduces your risk of having a stroke.

61. Helps you to burn excess calories.

62. Increases your cardiac reserve.

63. Improves your physical appearance.

64. Offsets some of the negative side-effects of certain antihypertensive drugs.

65.Increases your stroke volume (the amount of blood the heart pumps with each beat).

66. Improves your self-esteem.

67. Reduces your susceptibility for coronary thrombosis (clot in an artery that supplies the hear with blood).

68. Helps you to relax.

69. Reduces the risk of developing breast cancer.

70. Improves mental cognition (a short-term effect only).

71. Maintains or improves joint flexibility.

72. Improves your glucose tolerance.

73. Reduces workdays missed due to illness.

74. Protects against "creeping obesity"( the slow but steady weight gain that occurs as you age).

75. Enhances your muscles' abilities to contract.

76. Increases your productivity at work.

77. Reduces your likelihood of developing low-back problems.

78. Improves your balance and coordination.

79. Allows you to consume greater quantities of food and still maintain caloric balance.

80. Provides protection against injury.

81. Decrease (by 20 to 30 percent ) the need for antihypertensive medication if you are hypertensive.

82. Improves your decision-making abilities.

83. Helps reduce and prevent the immediate symptoms of menopause (hot flashes, sleep disturbances, irritability), and decrease the long-term risks of cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis and obesity.

84. Helps to relieve and prevent "migraine headache attacks".

85. Reduces the risk of endometriosis (a common cause of infertility).

86. Helps to retard bone loss as you age, thereby reducing your risk of developing osteoporosis.

87. Helps decrease your appetite ( a short-term effect only).

88. Improves the pain tolerance and mood if you suffer from osteoarthritis.

89. Helps prevent and relieve the stresses that cause carpal tunnel syndrome.

90. Makes your heart more efficient pump.

91. Helps to decrease left ventricular hypertrophy (a thickening of the walls of the left ventricle) in people with hypertension.

92. Improves your mood.

93. Helps to increase your overall health awareness.

94. Reduces the risk of gastrointestinal bleeding.

95. Helps you to maintain an independent lifestyle.

96. Reduces the level of abdominal obesity -- a significant health-risk factor.

97. Increases the diffusion capacity of the lungs, enhancing the exchange of oxygen from your lungs to your blood.

98. Improves heat tolerance.

99. Improves your overall quality of life.

100. Lifelong regular exercise may be protective against the development of Alzheimer's disease

Exercise Recommendations

Posted on January 19, 2011 at 1:04 PM

Back in 1970, 25% of Americans were overweight or obese.

In 2008, 65% of Americans were overweight or obese.

A new study suggests that 86% (or 9 out of 10) Americans could be

overweight or obese by 2030.

 

Researchers estimate that children and young adults may have a shorter

life expectancy than their parents if the obesity epidemic is left

unaddressed.

In response to this the American College of Sports Medicine and the

American Heart Association have issued some basic recommendations for

healthy adults under age 65.

 

1. Do moderately intense cardio 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week, or

2. Do vigorously intense cardio 20 minutes a day , 3 days a week, and

3. Do eight to ten strength training exercises, eight to twelve repetitions of

each exercise twice per week.

 

Moderate-intensity physical activity means working hard enough to raise

your heart rate and break a sweat, yet still being able to carry a

conversation.

It should be noted that to lose weight or maintain weight loss,

60- 90 minutes of physical activity may be necessary.

The 30- minute recommendation is for the average healthy adult to maintain health and

reduce the risk of chronic disease.

Proper Squat Technique

Posted on January 18, 2011 at 7:14 PM

Squatting Kinematics and Kinetics & Their Application to Exercise Performance

This study's intention was to examine the dynamic squat in relation to the ankle, knee, hip, and spine as well as to provide recommendations for optimizing muscular development from the exercise. When properly performed, the squat leads to very few injuries; however poor technique or exercise recommendation can increase the risk.

 

What this investigation found are as follows:

 

Quadriceps development is maximized by squatting to parallel. No additional quadriceps activity takes place at higher flexion angles. Therefore, going "deeper" not only lacks benefit, it increases injury to those who already have knee injuries. For those with knee issues, 50-60 degrees of knee flexion is ideal, especially PCL injuries.

 

Hip extensor strength does increase with increase depth of the squat, but again, knee injury potential or existence of a current injury must be considered.

 

Speed should be controlled unless athletic goals dictate otherwise. Otherwise, a decent with at least a 2-3 second eccentric tempo is ideal.

 

Front squats produce much lower compression on the knee and lumbar spine as opposed to low or high bar back squats.

The spine is the most vulnerable area of the body during squats. Therefore, maintaining a normal lordotic curve should be maintained throughout the movement.

 

Brad J. Schoenfeld, M.S., CSCS, Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research: December 2010, Vol.24, Issue 12, pp. 3497-3506.

Krill Oil Study

Posted on January 2, 2011 at 8:51 PM

Omega-3 DHA and EPA for cognition, behavior, and mood: clinical findings and structural-functional synergies with cell membrane phospholipids.

 

Kidd PM.

 

University of California, Berkeley, California, USA.

 

The omega-3 fatty acids docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) are orthomolecular, conditionally essential nutrients that enhance quality of life and lower the risk of premature death. They function exclusively via cell membranes, in which they are anchored by phospholipid molecules. DHA is proven essential to pre- and postnatal brain development, whereas EPA seems more influential on behavior and mood. Both DHA and EPA generate neuroprotective metabolites. In double-blind, randomized, controlled trials, DHA and EPA combinations have been shown to benefit attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (AD/HD), autism, dyspraxia, dyslexia, and aggression. For the affective disorders, meta-analyses confirm benefits in major depressive disorder (MDD) and bipolar disorder, with promising results in schizophrenia and initial benefit for borderline personality disorder. Accelerated cognitive decline and mild cognitive impairment (MCI) correlate with lowered tissue levels of DHA/EPA, and supplementation has improved cognitive function. Huntington disease has responded to EPA. Omega-3 phospholipid supplements that combine DHA/EPA and phospholipids into the same molecule have shown marked promise in early clinical trials. Phosphatidylserine with DHA/EPA attached (Omega-3 PS) has been shown to alleviate AD/HD symptoms. Krill omega-3 phospholipids, containing mostly phosphatidylcholine (PC) with DHA/EPA attached, markedly outperformed conventional fish oil DHA/EPA triglycerides in double-blind trials for premenstrual syndrome/dysmenorrhea and for normalizing blood lipid profiles. Krill omega-3 phospholipids demonstrated anti-inflammatory activity, lowering C-reactive protein (CRP) levels in a double-blind trial. Utilizing DHA and EPA together with phospholipids and membrane antioxidants to achieve a triple cell membrane synergy may further diversify their currently wide range of clinical applications.

 

PMID: 18072818 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Green Tea's Record Against Cancer Grows

Posted on December 15, 2010 at 4:21 PM

Green Tea's Record Against Cancer Grows

 

Green Tea Extract Targets Cancer Without Hurting Healthy Cells

February 15, 2005

 

Green tea's reputation as a powerhouse against cancer keeps growing. Now, scientists have new insights on how green tea thwarts cancer.

 

Green tea extract has shown promise against cancer in numerous studies. Those findings came from animal studies and epidemiologic research, which tracks a disease's occurrence in a large population of people.

 

In other words, the human studies on green tea are mainly based on observation and don't prove that tea is responsible for results. But as one of the world's most popular drinks, tea is widely considered healthy, whether it's green, black, or white tea.

 

However, green tea and green tea supplements generally contain higher amounts of disease-fighting antioxidants called polyphenols than black tea.

 

For instance, studies on mice showed that green tea helped prevent prostate cancer growth. Green tea extract is also reported to induce cancer cell death and starve tumors by curbing the growth of new blood vessels that feed them.

 

But exactly how that happens isn't clear. Tea's antioxidants may protect against some forms of cancer. They may also help prevent heart disease by relaxing blood vessels and preventing blood clots. But the precise ways green tea affects cancer aren't fully understood.

 

Uncovering a Clue to Green Tea's Power

University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) researchers used green tea extract on human bladder cells, some of which were cancerous. Their findings appear in the Feb. 15 issue of Clinical Cancer Research.

 

The green tea extract targeted the cancer cells without harming healthy cells, say the researchers. Taking a closer look, they noticed something unusual about the cancer cells.

 

The green tea extract apparently made the cancer cells more mature, making them bind together more closely. That made it harder for the cancer cells to become invasive and spread.

 

'In effect, the green tea extract may keep the cancer cells confined and localized, where they are easier to treat and the prognosis is better,' says researcher JianYu Rao, MD, in a news release.

 

That's an important clue, but it's not the final verdict on how green tea works against cancer. More work is still needed to understand the process, say the scientists.

 

Meanwhile, if you're interested in trying green tea, be aware that the FDA hasn't evaluated claims about green tea's powers and that supplements are not regulated by the government. If you're watching your caffeine intake, green tea does contain some caffeine (but much less than coffee).

 

To get green tea's potential disease-fighting benefits, studies have suggested that you should drink four cups a day. Green tea supplements are also available, and at least one study has shown that you may actually get more powerful antioxidants from supplements than from drinking tea.

 

As always, let your doctor know about any over-the-counter health products you're taking.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

SOURCES: Lu, Q. Clinical Cancer Research, Feb. 15, 2005; vol 11: pages 1-9. News release, UCLA's Jonsson Cancer Center. WebMD Medical News: 'Green Tea May Stall Prostate Cancer Growth.' WebMD Medical News: 'The Green Tea Taste Test.' WebMD Medical News: 'Green Tea Capsules Loaded With Antioxidants.'


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