Endurance-training but not resistance-training is keeping our cells young

As the days are getting longer and warmer, more and more people feel attracted to go out and enjoy nature. You can also see more people out there bicycling or jogging and it seems that together with nature our drive to sports is awakening. The positive effects of sport are widely known. Activity is strengthening our cardiovascular system and it is able to prevent us from many kinds of various diseases. People who are doing sport are healthier, more balanced and live longer than people who are not active.

Just recently I was reading an article about the effects of sport on our cells that was very interesting to me. Professor Laufs from the University of Leipzig in Germany was examining the effects of different types of sport on the cells of our body and he found out, that it makes a great difference, what kind of sport we are doing! If you want to do sport, you have principally two choices: Either you can do endurance-training like swimming, running or cycling, or you can do resistance-training, and strengthen your muscles. You would typically do this with dumbbells or other fitness-devices in a gym. It was astonishing to me, that Professor Laufs found out, that endurance-training had a much greater benefit on the health of our cells, than resistance-training!  

Professor Laufs and his team were examining 266 inactive young people and putting them basically into 3 different groups. The first group was starting with endurance-training (running) 3 times a week, the second group was doing resistance-training (pumping iron) 3 times a week and the third group was continuing their inactive lifestyle from before. After six months blood-examinations were taken from the participants and their Leukocytes were examined for length of telomeres in the cell nucleus. Now Professor Laufs found out, that the length of telomeres in the “running-group” was increased, while resistance-training did not show these effects! But what does this mean?

The DNA contains our genetic information in the cell nucleus. It is packed in 46 Chromosomes. Now each Chromosome is “protected and sealed” by a special cap on each end, which is called “telomere”. The problem is, that this cap is shortening with each replication of the cell and that this shortening of telomeres is viewed to be an important mechanism of cellular aging. But there is one enzyme in our body, called “Telomerase” that can reverse this shortening of Telomeres. Now Professor Laufs found out, that the length of Telomeres and the activity of Telomerase was increased in the “running-group” compared to the “inactivity-group”, but that resistance-training (pumping) did not show the same effects! That means, that endurance-training like running, cycling or swimming has an outstanding potential of keeping our cells young!

To my knowledge this was for the first time, that it could have been scientifically shown, that sport can keep our cells young on a molecular level! The reason for the increased activity of telomerase in the running-group may be due to an increased level of nitric-oxide in the blood-vessels during endurance-training, which is acting like a hormone and providing different cellular changes. You can say, that we are made for moving outside and that by doing so, we can do our part for “healthy aging”. It was very interesting to me also, that sport is not all the same, but that endurance-training seems to be more healthie for our body than resistance-training! Resistance-training can be an addition or complement to endurance-training, but it can never replace it.  Another advantage of endurance-training is, that you can easily do it outside and get an additional extra-portion of fresh air and sunlight! And you can practice it in a group together with other people! So why don’t use the warmer and brighter days of springtime to go out and do some exercise? Your cells will love it!    

Source: “Endurance but not resistance training has anti-aging effects”, European Society of Cardiology, 27.11.2018 (ESC Press Office)

Link: https://www.escardio.org/The-ESC/Press-Office/Press-releases/endurance-but-not-resistance-training-has-anti-aging-effects

The Secret To Winter Exercise You Need To Know

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The holiday season is strange. It’s filled with happy things, like food, family, and fun, but as the season grows colder and darker, and the holidays throw your schedule off kilter, you end up getting out of whack, too. Exercise gets put off until the New Year when you realize that a whole ‘nother year has passed, and you haven’t made any progress – or worse, you’ve gone backward – on your health goals. Well, I’m here to tell you that this doesn’t have to be the case. There are some secrets to exercising in the winter.

Okay, I’ll admit I did click bait you just a little with the title of this post. There is no secret, per se, to getting good exercise in winter. First off it’s not just one secret, but several. Also, the secrets are not bound by any season. Excuses like, “it’s too cold today,” or “it’s too dark outside,” or “I’m too busy” are just that: excuses. They can be and are used all year-round. The same goes for the “secrets” I’m about to share – they can be used all year-round, too.

So listen up. These principles will help you exercise regularly, regardless of location, people, time, climate, and virtually any other excuse for not exercising.

1. What is your “why”?

The biggest reason people don’t exercise is because they cannot find a good enough reason to do it. It may sound too simple to be true but please read on, because it’s true. If the reason isn’t important to you, you’re not going to spend the time and effort on it.

There’s a flip side to this. Nowadays, medical care is so good that a lot of people just don’t care about their health. They think, when I have my heart attack they’ll just put one of those stent things in me through my wrist and I’ll go home in a day. As a cardiologist, I see this all the time. Years ago, heart attack patients used to have to be placed under medical care for months. (The medical community stopped requiring this after many of those patients died from blood clots from inactivity). When I was in training to be a cardiologist, the typical stay after a heart attack was one week. In the past twenty years, that has dropped down to just 48 hours for an uncomplicated heart attack! It’s no wonder people don’t worry about their health – it just doesn’t seem as serious as it did before!

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Global Wellness Day

Have you heard of “Global Wellness Day”? Wellness is far more than spa and beauty. They define wellness as:

“Wellness is an active process of becoming aware of and making choices towards a healthy and fulfilling life.  It is more than being free from illness, it is a dynamic process of change and growth. A good or satisfactory condition of existence; a state characterized by health, happiness, and prosperity; welfare.

“Wellness is a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” – The World Health Organization.”

In their 7 step manifesto they promote

  1. walking an hour a day
  2. drinking more water
  3. don’t use plastic bottles
  4. eat healthy food
  5. do a good deed
  6. have a family dinner with your loved ones
  7. sleep at 10:00pm

Sound familiar to anything you know?

This year its on Saturday June 10. Is there a way we can use this to connect with people?

Check out there website for more info at http://www.globalwellnessday.org

Taking a stand: Balancing the benefits, risks of physical activity in children

childrenTwo days ago, Aug 19, the Canadian Society of Exercise Physiology took a stand on the promotion of childhood physical activity and published their position and recommendations in the journal Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism (APNM). This position stand provides an important overview of knowledge in the area of risk of physical activity for children and suggests both practical guidelines and a research agenda. Uniquely, this position stand addresses both benefits and risks of physical activity for children. From the position stand:

Key recommendations for the responsible promotion of childhood physical activity:

  1. Professionals/researchers encouraging children to change the type of physical activity or to increase the frequency, intensity or duration of their activity should inquire whether a child has primary healthcare provider-prescribed activity limitations before the child’s activity participation changes.
  2. Physical activity researchers should prioritize the development of evidence regarding the benefits and risks of childhood physical activity and inactivity, particularly the risks of sedentary lifestyles, physical activity associated injury risks accounting for amount of activity performed, and effectiveness of current risk management strategies and screening approaches.
  3. Professionals and researchers should prioritize the dissemination of information regarding the benefits of physical activity and the risks of sedentary behaviour in children.
  4. Parents and professionals should encourage all children to accumulate at least 60 minutes of physical activity daily.

Dr. Pat Longmuir, lead author, a scientist with the Healthy Active Living and Obesity (HALO) Research Group at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute (CHEO-RI) explains why this project started:

“Essentially, it was because of concerns that encouraging children to do vigorous activity was ‘dangerous’ in that it might precipitate a cardiac arrest due to an unrecognized cardiac condition (e.g., the child who dies playing ice hockey). There were equally strong desires to encourage greater physical activity, including vigorous intensity activities, based on current guidelines and recommendations for optimal health (60 mins/day and vigorous at least 3 days/week). We also knew that decisions on this topic are often made based on the personal experiences/beliefs of the individual making the decision because the research/data is almost non-existent. The goal with the position stand was really two-fold:

  1. Make it clear that there is very little to no good data on this topic (and research needs to be done)
  2. Until we have better data, our expert group recommendation is to determine if a child has healthcare provider-prescribed activity restrictions before suggesting any physical activity changes.”

Lori Zehr, President of the Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology comments: “The Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology is extremely supportive of the research conducted in the making of this position stand. The impact of physical activity on children has and always will be an important goal for us. Our physical activity/sedentary behavior guidelines outline the evidence-based recommendations for newborns to youth 17 years of age. We have confidence that this position stand highlights the importance of evidence supporting the benefits, and risks, of childhood physical activity as well as the particular risks associated with their inactivity.”

Dr. Terry Graham, Editor APNM comments: “CSEP, the national voice for exercise physiology, has published an objective report that considers not only the benefits but also the risks of physical activity. The latter have rarely been considered in such young individuals; these may be serious injuries with long term health implications and in rare circumstances sudden death. In today’s world many young children are under the supervision of professionals for extended periods of time while both parents work and furthermore, children are often encouraged to take part in ‘sport camps’ that may provide prolonged, intense exercise. Thus this position stand is particularly timely and applicable to our society.”

Read full article. Source: Canadian Science Publishing (NRC Research Press)

Why Coconut Water Could Replace Your Sports Drink

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Coconut water has taken over the shelves of grocery stores in the past few years, and nutritionists say that some of the hype may in fact be deserved. The drink comes from young, green coconuts, and is rich in potassium and antioxidants. And, compared with sodas or even sports drinks, coconut water is relatively low in calories and sugar. However, the product should not replace water as the main source of hydration, according to experts.

“Coconut water is another beverage option on the market that does offer some nutritional benefits,” Allison Massey, a registered dietician at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore, told Live Science in an email. For instance, it is a source of potassium and small amounts of sodium, magnesium, calcium and phosphorus, she said. However, experts stress that regular water should still be the main source of hydration, and it is best to incorporate coconut water as an additional beverage option from time to time.

“Generally, water should be a staple when it comes to hydration,” Massey said. “Coconut water is simply another beverage option that can be incorporated in moderation as part of a well-balanced diet, if individuals enjoy drinking it.” [10 New Ways to Eat Well] Read full article.

Source: LiveScience, Photo: Shutterstock

Showdown: Vegetarier vs Fleischesser – ZDF

Amüsante Sendung mit überraschenden Ergebnissen:

Ist fleischlos leben wirklich gesünder und besser für die Umwelt? ZDFzeit macht den Test: Vier leidenschaftliche Fleischesser und vier überzeugte Vegetarier müssen gegeneinander antreten.

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