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(Health) Exercise and Health: Motivate Children to Exercise
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adedios
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2007 1:27 pm    Post subject: Study Shows Some Athletic Men May Risk Low Bone Density Reply with quote

Study Shows Some Athletic Men May Risk Low Bone Density
Oct. 15, 2007

University of Missouri - Columbia

COLUMBIA, Mo. — According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, osteoporosis affects more than 2 million men in the United States and nearly 12 million more have osteopenia—clinically significant low bone density that is less severe than osteoporosis. Now, a new study from the University of Missouri-Columbia has found that men engaging predominantly in low-impact forms of exercise have an increased incidence of osteopenia—a condition resulting in two times the risk of bone fracture.

"Unfortunately, some individuals who believe they are doing everything right in terms of their health might be surprised and upset by our finding," said Pamela Hinton, an associate professor of nutritional sciences in MU's College of Human Environmental Sciences, who co-authored the study. "We believe, however, that these results will ultimately serve as education and motivation for these people."

Hinton said the effects of osteopenia can be mitigated by integration of weight-bearing activities into the lifestyle of active individuals. Studies in pre- and post-menopausal women suggest that bone mineral density will increase 2 percent to 3 percent after six months of resistance training three times per week. Small changes in bone density translate into much larger changes in bone strength—a 1 percent increase in bone density reduces the risk of fracture by up to 5 percent.

"Regular, non-weight-bearing activities, such as swimming and cycling are effective measures for preventing the leading risk factors for death and disability in our society,” Hinton said. “But the results of this study suggest that regular weight-bearing activities, such as running, jogging, or rope jumping, are important for the maintenance of healthy bones."

The researchers measured bone mineral density in 43 competitive male cyclists and runners ages 20 to 59. Findings of the study included:

The cyclists had significantly lower bone mineral density of the whole body, especially of the lumbar spine, compared to runners.
63 percent of the cyclists had osteopenia of the spine or hip compared with 19 percent of the runners.
Cyclists were seven-times more likely to have osteopenia of the spine than the runners.
Background facts:

The risk of fracture is increased approximately two-fold in osteopenic individuals and five-fold in people with osteopenia.
Low bone density in males often remains undiagnosed and inadequately treated and, after suffering a fracture, men are less likely to receive follow-up care than women.
Risk factors for osteoporosis in men are similar to those identified in women: family history, age, low body weight, smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, inadequate calcium or vitamin D intake, low reproductive hormone levels, physical inactivity, and disease or medication affecting bone metabolism.
The study, "Participation in road cycling versus running is associated with lower bone mineral density in men," will be published in Metabolism, and is authored by MU researchers R.S. Rector, R. Rogers, M. Ruebel and P.S. Hinton, in the Department of Nutritional Sciences.
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2007 12:38 pm    Post subject: Exercise improves thinking, reduces diabetes risk in overwei Reply with quote

Exercise improves thinking, reduces diabetes risk in overweight children
Toni Baker - 2007 October 22


Just three months of daily, vigorous physical activity in overweight children improves their thinking and reduces their diabetes risk, researchers say.

Studies of about 200 overweight, inactive children ages 7-11 also showed that a regular exercise program reduces body fat and improves bone density.

“Is exercise a magic wand that turns them into lean, healthy kids? No. They are still overweight but less so, with less fat, a healthier metabolism and an improved ability to handle life,” says Dr. Catherine Davis, clinical health psychologist at the Medical College of Georgia and lead investigator.

All study participants learned about healthy nutrition and the benefits of physical activity; one-third also exercised 20 minutes after school and another third exercised for 40 minutes. Children played hard, with running games, hula hoops and jump ropes, raising their heart rates to 79 percent of maximum, which is considered vigorous.

“Aerobic exercise training showed dose-response benefits on executive function (decision-making) and possibly math achievement, in overweight children,” researchers write in an abstract being presented during The Obesity Society’s Annual Scientific Meeting Oct. 20-24 in New Orleans. “Regular exercise may be a simple, important method of enhancing children’s cognitive and academic development. These results may persuade educators to implement vigorous physical activity curricula during a childhood obesity epidemic.”

Functional magnetic resonance imaging studies, which show the brain at work, were performed on a percentage of children in each group and found those who exercised had different patterns of brain activity during an executive function task.

“Look what good it does when they exercise,” says Dr. Davis. “This is an important public health issue we need to look at as a nation to help our children learn and keep them well.”

Unprecedented obesity and inactivity rates in America’s children are impacting health, including dramatic increases in the incidence of type 2 diabetes, a disease formerly known as adult-onset diabetes. Overweight children also have slightly lower school achievement, on average.

“We hope these findings will help persuade policymakers, schools and communities that time spent being physically active enhances, rather than detracts, from learning,” says Dr. Davis.

“There have been several studies that have shown that exercise produces kind of a selective effect, particularly with older adults, in cognitive tasks that require regulation of behaviors,” says Dr. Phillip D. Tomporowski, experimental psychologist at the University of Georgia and a key collaborator.

For this study, researchers gave the children tests that look at their decision-making processes. In the first such studies in children, the researchers found small to moderate improvements in children who exercised as well as a hint of increased math achievement.

“We have a number of studies conducted with animals that examined what influence physical activity has on blood flow, metabolic activity, brain function, glucose regulation, and they all demonstrate the same theme: that physical activity done on a regular basis has a protective effect,” says Dr. Tomporowski. “It doesn’t take too much to make the leap that it might influence developing children as well.”

Looking at the children’s insulin resistance, a precursor of type 2 diabetes in which it takes more insulin to convert glucose into energy, researchers found levels dropped 15 percent in the 20-minute exercise group and 21 percent in the 40-minute group. The control group stayed about the same.

“Increasing volume of regular aerobic exercise shows increased benefits on insulin resistance in overweight children, indicating reduced risk of type 2 diabetes, regardless of sex or race,” they write.

“We also know that if you stop exercising, you lose all the benefits,” adds Dr. Davis. “Exercise works if you do it.”

Adult studies have yielded comparable findings regarding exercise’s impact on insulin resistance and cognition.

The researchers tested oral glucose tolerance, measuring insulin response after children drank a small amount of glucose, before and after the studies. “Once your glucose levels start to rise, it’s called impaired glucose tolerance and that is a precursor of diabetes. It’s called pre-diabetes now,” says Dr. Davis, noting that overweight children typically have higher insulin resistance than their leaner peers. Insulin resistance is an early sign of diabetes risk that appears before glucose levels start to rise. Growth associated with puberty can temporarily increase insulin resistance, Dr. Davis notes, so because some of the children were beginning puberty, they made adjustments for the level of sex hormones.

DEXA scanning, which uses a small amount of radiation to quantify bone, tissue and fat, was used to accurately assess body composition. Executive function was measured using the Cognitive Assessment System and math skills using the Woodcock Johnson Test of Achievement III.

“If physical education were ideal, which it’s not – it’s not daily and it’s not active – then children could achieve this within the school day,” Dr. Davis says, pointing to benefits derived by children exercising just 20 minutes a day. “We are not there. To achieve maximum benefit, we were able to show it will take more than PE.”

The researchers are submitting grants that will enable further studies.

The studies were funded by the National Institute of Health.
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2007 5:40 pm    Post subject: Breaking a sweat helps control weight gain over 20 years Reply with quote

Northwestern University
5 November 2007

Breaking a sweat helps control weight gain over 20 years

Just 30 minutes vigorous exercise a day can stabilize body mass index
CHICAGO --- Don't slack off on exercise if you want to avoid packing on the pounds as you age.

A consistently high level of physical activity from young adulthood into middle age increases the odds of maintaining a stable weight and lessens the amount of weight gained over time, according to a new analysis from Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine.

People who reported at least 30 minutes of vigorous activity a day such as jogging, bicycling or swimming were more than twice as likely to maintain a stable Body Mass Index (BMI) over 20 years. BMI is a measure of body fat based on height and weight. But even highly active people who gained weight, gained 14 pounds less over 20 years than those with consistently low activity.

Although activity is often recommended as a way to prevent weight gain, this is one of the first studies to examine the relationship between activity and weight by looking at patterns of exercise over a long period of time.

Researchers examined data from over 2,600 participants in the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) study to determine if high activity patterns over time were associated with maintaining a stable BMI. Participants in CARDIA, who were 18 to 30 years old when the study began, have been tracked for 20 years.

"The results will hopefully encourage young people to become more active and to maintain high activity over a lifetime," said Arlene Hankinson, lead author and an instructor in preventive medicine at the Feinberg School. Hankinson presented her findings on Monday, Nov. 5, at the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions in Orlando, Fla.
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2007 1:28 pm    Post subject: 'Use it or lose it' Reply with quote

The Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry

'Use it or lose it'
28 November 2007

Research proves that maintaining physical activity in middle age leads to better basic physical abilities as we age, and that weight is not a deciding factor
Researchers from the Peninsula Medical School in Exeter, UK, have concluded a study that proves a direct link between levels of physical activity in middle age and physical ability later in life – regardless of body weight.

Dr. Iain Lang headed the research team from the Epidemiology and Public Health Group at the Peninsula Medical School. The team found that middle-aged people who maintained a reasonable level of physical activity were less likely to become unable to walk distances, climb stairs, maintain their sense of balance, stand from a seated position with their arms folded, or sustain their hand grip as they get older.

Research showed that, among men and women aged 50 to 69 years and across all weight ranges, the rate of decreased physical ability later in life was twice as high among those who were less physically active.

The research team studied 8,702 participants in the US Health and Retirement Study and 1,507 people taking part in the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing. Each subject was followed for up to six years.

Findings showed that being overweight or obese was associated with an overall increased risk of physical impairment but that, regardless of weight, people who engaged in heavy housework or gardening, who played sport or who had a physically active job, were more likely to remain mobile later in life.

Physical activity of about 30 minutes three or more times a week resulted in fewer than 13 per cent of people developing some sort of physical disability, while this rate increased to 24 per cent where subjects were less active.

Dr. Lang commented: “There are three truly interesting results from this research. The first is that our findings were similar from the US and the UK, which suggests that they are universal. The second is that exercise in middle age does not just benefit people in terms of weight loss – it also helps them to remain physically healthy and active later in life. The third is that, in terms of results from activity, weight does not seem to be an issue.”


###
For more information, log on to www.pms.ac.uk
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2007 1:59 pm    Post subject: Fitness, Not Fatness, Predicts a Longer Life Reply with quote

Fitness, Not Fatness, Predicts a Longer Life
By Steven Reinberg, HealthDay Reporter

posted: 04 December 2007 05:04 pm ET

(HealthDay News) -- In the quest for a longer life, a new study suggests fit is where it's at -- even if you're fat.

Overweight and obese seniors who were physically fit outlived their contemporaries -- even thin ones who weren't physically fit, the researchers said.

"Cardio-respiratory fitness is a strong determinate of mortality in older men and women," said lead researcher Steven N. Blair, a professor at the University of South Carolina Arnold School of Public Health.

For the full article:

http://www.livescience.com/healthday/610579.html
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2007 6:42 pm    Post subject: Regular Walking Protects the Aging Brain Reply with quote

Regular Walking Protects the Aging Brain
By Robert Preidt, HealthDay Reporter

posted: 19 December 2007 05:20 pm ET

(HealthDay News) -- In people age 65 and older, simply walking regularly or engaging in other moderate exercise can reduce dementia risk, a new Italian study finds.

Vascular dementia is the second most common form of dementia after Alzheimer's disease.

For the full article:

http://www.livescience.com/healthday/610885.html
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2008 7:50 pm    Post subject: Eat less or exercise more? Either way leads to more youthful Reply with quote

Washington University School of Medicine
10 January 2008

Eat less or exercise more? Either way leads to more youthful hearts

Overweight people who lose a moderate amount of weight get an immediate benefit in the form of better heart health, according to a study conducted at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. And the heart improvements happen whether that weight is shed by eating less or exercising more.

"If individuals want to do something that's good for their heart, then my message to them is lose weight by the method they find most tolerable," says the study's senior author Sándor J. Kovács, Ph.D, M.D., director of the Cardiovascular Biophysics Laboratory and professor of medicine. "They're virtually guaranteed that it will have a salutary effect on their cardiovascular system."

Studying a group of healthy, overweight but not obese, middle-aged men and women, the researchers found that a yearlong regimen of either calorie restriction or exercise increase had positive effects on heart function. Their analysis revealed that heart function was restored to a more youthful state so that during the heart's filling phase (called diastole) it took less time for participants' hearts to relax and fill with blood. The findings will appear in an upcoming issue of the American Journal of Physiology and are now available online.

"As we get older, our tissues become more fibrotic as collagen fibers accumulate," says study co-author John O. Holloszy, M.D., professor of medicine in the Division of Geriatrics and Nutritional Science. "So the arteries and heart muscle stiffen, and the heart doesn't relax as well after contracting. Similar studies that we've conducted with members of the Caloric Restriction with Optimal Nutrition Society (CRONies) show they have heart function resembling much younger people." CRONies voluntarily consume about 25 percent fewer calories than the average American while still maintaining good nutrition.

The scientists used ultrasound imaging (echocardiography) to measure the diastolic or filling phase of the cardiac cycle because it is a crucial indicator of heart health. "During filling, the left ventricle is a suction pump," Kovács explains. "Think of the rubber bulb of an old-fashioned bicycle horn — you squeeze it (the analog of the ejection phase of the cardiac cycle), then let go (the analog of the filling or diastolic phase) and the rubber bulb springs back to its original shape, sucking air back in. Similarly, the heart's muscle and connective tissue are elastic, and after ejecting blood to the body during contraction (systole), the left ventricle springs back to draw in new blood (diastole). It's during this filling phase of the cardiac cycle that subtle changes in heart health can be most readily detected."

By the end of the yearlong study, both the calorie restriction and exercise groups of volunteers lost 12 percent of their weight and 12 percent of their body mass index (BMI), a measurement considered to be a fairly reliable indicator of the amount of body fat. In both groups, participants' hearts responded to this weight loss by gaining the ability to relax more quickly, recovering some of the elasticity characteristic of younger heart tissue. Those in the calorie restriction group achieved slightly more reduction of heart stiffness.

Cardiologists can measure delicate alterations in diastolic function because of the work of Kovács, also professor of cell biology and physiology and adjunct professor of physics and of biomedical engineering, who developed a methodology called parameterized diastolic filling (PDF) formalism, which analyzes the filling of the heart according to physical laws and determines the chamber's elasticity and stiffness. Previous studies in humans using the PDF formalism have shown that it's a more sensitive and specific predictor of cardiovascular health than conventional indexes of heart function determined by echocardiography.

Although previous studies also have indicated that the heart benefits from weight loss, those studies were performed on morbidly obese people, few focused on diastolic function and none used the sophisticated PDF formalism. By looking at filling function in healthy, non-obese people using PDF formalism, the researchers in the current study were able to understand in more detail how normal hearts react to moderate weight loss.

The detailed analysis showed that in both groups, the left ventricle gained an increased capacity to expand to accommodate blood entering during diastole. In the calorie restriction group, the global stiffness of the left ventricle decreased, suggesting that the muscle and connective tissue of the heart more readily sprang back after the contraction phase. This group also experienced a decrease in the internal pressure gradient, indicating that their left ventricles had better suction ability.

The study participants were nonsmokers between ages 50 and 60 and had BMIs between 23.5 and 30, making them high normal to overweight. None of the participants had diabetes, coronary artery disease, stroke, hypertension, cancer or lung disease. Before enrolling in the study, all were relatively sedentary — they exercised less than 20 minutes a day or twice a week.

Twelve participants (four men and eight women) were in the calorie restriction group, in which volunteers reduced the amount of calories they ate between 12 percent and 15 percent. Their physical activity did not change. Thirteen participants (six men and seven women) were in the exercise group and increased their exercise to burn the caloric equivalent of the other group's caloric reduction. The exercise group exercised about six days a week for an hour each session walking, running, cycling or doing elliptical training. Their caloric intake did not change.

Kovács said he feels the study offers encouragement for those who are overweight. "One reason that it's hard to get people to change their behavior and lose weight is that we warn them about consequences of being overweight that might occur sometime in the future — we say if your BMI is too high, eventually you'll develop heart disease, diabetes or hypertension," Kovács says. "But now we can tell them, lose weight and right away you can have better cardiovascular health."

This study was part of a larger trial, CALERIE (Comprehensive Assessment of Long-term Effects of Reducing Intake of Energy), designed to investigate the feasibility of long-term calorie restriction in humans. CALERIE investigators have begun a second phase of their study in which they will determine the effect of calorie restriction in younger people, age 25 to 45.
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