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Scientists dive deep into the different effects of morning and evening exercise -- ScienceDaily

New insights include a deeper understanding of how tissues communicate with each other, and how exercise can help to 'realign' faulty circadian rhythms in specific tissues -- faulty circadian clocks have been linked to increased risks of obesity and type 2 diabetes. Finally, the study identified new exercise-induced signaling molecules in multiple tissues, which need further investigation to understand how they can individually or collectively influence health. "Not only do we show how different tissues respond to exercise at different times of the day, but we also propose how these responses are connected to induce an orchestrated adaptation that controls systemic energy homeostasis," says Associate Professor Jonas Thue Treebak from CBMR at the University of Copenhagen, and co-first author of the publication.

Exercise alters brain chemistry to protect aging synapses: Enhanced nerve transmission seen in older adults who remained active -- ScienceDaily

Honer and Casaletto found that elderly people who remained active had higher levels of proteins that facilitate the exchange of information between neurons. This result dovetailed with Honer's earlier finding that people who had more of these proteins in their brains when they died were better able to maintain their cognition late in life. To their surprise, Honer said, the researchers found that the effects ranged beyond the hippocampus, the brain's seat of memory, to encompass other brain regions associated with cognitive function. "It may be that physical activity exerts a global sustaining effect, supporting and stimulating healthy function of proteins that facilitate synaptic transmission throughout the brain," Honer said.

Uncovered: Key to how exercise protects against consequences of aging -- ScienceDaily

The team of scientists at the Monash University Biomedicine Discovery Institute (BDI), led by Professor Tony Tiganis, reveals that reductions in skeletal muscle reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation during ageing is instrumental in the development of insulin resistance. According to Professor Tiganis, skeletal muscle constantly produces ROS and this is increased during exercise. "Exercise-induced ROS drives adaptive responses that are integral to the health-promoting effects of exercise," he said. In a paper published Dec. 15 in the journal Science Advances, the research team show how an enzyme called NOX-4 is essential for exercise-induced ROS and the adaptive responses that drive metabolic health.

Anxiety effectively treated with exercise -- ScienceDaily

Most individuals in the treatment groups went from a baseline level of moderate to high anxiety to a low anxiety level after the 12-week program. For those who exercised at relatively low intensity, the chance of improvement in terms of anxiety symptoms rose by a factor of 3.62. The corresponding factor for those who exercised at higher intensity was 4.88. Participants had no knowledge of the physical training or counseling people outside their own group were receiving.

Crosstalk among muscles and fat

After the rodents’ resistance exercise, which consisted of walking around, though, the animals’ leg muscles appeared depleted of miR-1. At the same time, the vesicles in their bloodstream now thronged with the stuff, as did nearby fat tissue. It seems, the scientists concluded, that the animals’ muscle cells somehow packed those bits of microRNA that retard hypertrophy into vesicles and posted them to neighboring fat cells, which then allowed the muscles immediately to grow.

The bidirectional relationship between sense of purpose in life and physical activity: a longitudinal study | SpringerLink

An increase in sense of purpose in life was associated with higher physical activity four years later, above and beyond past activity levels. Physical activity was positively associated with future levels of sense of purpose in life, controlling for prior levels of purpose in life.

Keeping fit with HIIT really does work: Short bursts of activity you can easily do at home keep your fitness up -- ScienceDaily

The findings of this study show that low-volume HIIT (typically involving less than ~20 mins total exercise time -- inclusive of warm up and cool down) yields comparable improvements to interventions meeting the current guidelines despite requiring significantly less time. So, what is low-volume HIIT? As HIIT involves active periods of work interspersed with recovery periods, the researchers defined low-volume HIIT as interventions which included less than 15 minutes of high intensity exercise per session (not including recovery periods). This review builds on the authors' recent study published in Diabetes Care which showed that as little as 4-min of HIIT 3 times per week for 12 weeks significantly improved blood sugar levels, fat in the liver, and cardiorespiratory fitness in adults with type 2 diabetes. They also showed that these improvements were comparable to an intervention involving 45-min of moderate intensity aerobic exercise (2).

Exercise promotes healthy living and a healthy liver -- ScienceDaily

Remarkably, ultrasound elastography revealed that the exercise regimen reduced liver steatosis by an additional 9.5%, liver stiffness by an additional 6.8%, and the FibroScan-AST Score (a measure of liver fibrosis) by an additional 16.4% over the weight-loss regimen. Additionally, the exercise regimen altered the circulating concentrations of specific organokines and apparently induced anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative stress responses through activation of the Nrf2 (nuclear factor E2-related factor 2), an oxidative stress sensor. It also enhanced the phagocytic capacity of Kupffer cells which help maintain liver function.

Exercise boosts blood flow to the brain, study finds: The results add to growing evidence that exercise programs may help older adults slow the onset of memory loss and dementia -- ScienceDaily

Scientists have previously shown that lower-than-usual levels of blood flow to the brain, and stiffer blood vessels leading to the brain, are associated with MCI and dementia. Studies have also suggested that regular aerobic exercise may help improve cognition and memory in healthy older adults. However, scientists have not established whether there is a direct link between exercise, stiffer blood vessels, and brain blood flow. "There is still a lot we don't know about the effects of exercise on cognitive decline later in life," says C. Munro Cullum, Ph.D., professor of psychiatry at UTSW and co-senior author of the study. "MCI and dementia are likely to be influenced by a complex interplay of many factors, and we think that, at least for some people, exercise is one of those factors." In the study, Zhang, Cullum, and their colleagues followed 70 men and women aged 55 to 80 who had been diagnosed with MCI. Participants underwent cognitive exams, fitness tests, and brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans. Then they were randomly assigned to either follow a moderate aerobic exercise program or a stretching program for one year. The exercise program involved three to five exercise sessions a week, each with 30-40 minutes of moderate exercise such as a brisk walk.

Migraineurs Not Taking Advantage of an 'Effective Prophylactic'

Depression was reported by 47% of patients who reported no exercise compared with 25% of people who reported the recommended amount of weekly exercise. Anxiety was reported by 39% of people who did not exercise compared with 28% of those who got the recommended 150+ minutes of exercise. Sleep problems were reported by 77% of the nonexercisers versus 61% of those who achieved the recommended exercise amount. Exercise also appeared to reduce the risk for migraine attacks.

Can 4 Seconds of Exercise Make a Difference? - The New York Times

So, they recruited 39 of them, men and women aged 50 to 68 who were sedentary but had no other major health concerns. They tested the volunteers’ current aerobic fitness, muscular power and mass, arterial flexibility, and ability to perform what are called “activities of daily living,” such as getting up out of a chair. The volunteers began visiting the performance lab three times a week. There, they completed a brief workout of repeated four-second intervals on the lab’s specialized bikes. At first, they sprinted for four seconds, with Dr. Allen calling out a second-by-second countdown, followed by 56 seconds of rest, repeating that sequence 15 times, for a total of 60 seconds of intervals. Over two months, though, the riders’ rest periods declined to 26 seconds and they increased their total number of sprints to 30 per session. At the end of eight weeks, the scientists retested everyone and found substantial differences. On average, riders had increased their fitness by about 10 percent, gained considerable muscle mass and strength in their legs, reduced the stiffness of their arteries and outperformed their previous selves in activities of daily living, all from about three to six minutes a week of actual exercise.

Effect of time of day of recreational and household physical activity on prostate and breast cancer risk (MCC‐Spain study) - Weitzer - - International Journal of Cancer - Wiley Online Library

We examined in a population‐based case‐control study (MCC‐Spain) if the time‐of‐day when physical activity is done affects prostate and breast cancer risk. Lifetime recreational and household physical activity was assessed by in‐person interviews. Information on time‐of‐day of activity (assessed approximately 3 years after the assessment of lifetime physical activity and confounders) was available for 781 breast cancer cases, 865 population female controls, 504 prostate cases and 645 population male controls from 10 Spanish regions, 2008‐2013. We estimated odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CI) for different activity timings compared to inactive subjects using unconditional logistic regression adjusting for confounders. Early morning (8‐10 am) activity was associated with a protective effect compared to no physical activity for both breast (OR = 0.74, 95% CI = 0.48‐1.15) and prostate cancer (OR = 0.73, 95% CI = 0.44‐1.20); meta‐OR for the two cancers combined 0.74 (95%CI = 0.53‐1.02).

Opinion: COVID-19 is like running a marathon with no finish line. What does sports science say about how we can win it? - The Globe and Mail

In studies where, instead of racing, volunteers were asked to run or cycle at a preassigned pace with or without being told how long they would have to maintain that pace, those with no knowledge of the endpoint showed a lower heart rate and reported a lower subjective perception of effort. Their brain activity also shifted away from high-energy executive function regions to the more restful default network associated with daydreaming. When we’re settling in for the long haul, in other words, our bodies and minds make appropriate adjustments.

Bursts of exercise can lead to significant improvements in indicators of metabolic health -- ScienceDaily

The MGH study drew on data from the Framingham Heart Study to measure the levels of 588 circulating metabolites before and immediately after 12 minutes of vigorous exercise in 411 middle-aged men and women. The research team detected favorable shifts in a number of metabolites for which resting levels were previously shown to be associated with cardiometabolic disease. For example, glutamate, a key metabolite linked to heart disease, diabetes and decreased longevity, fell by 29%. And DMGV, a metabolite associated with increased risk of diabetes and liver disease, dropped by 18%. The study further found that metabolic responses may be modulated by factors other than exercise, including a person's sex and body mass index, with obesity possibly conferring partial resistance to the benefits of exercise.

How exercise stalls cancer growth through the immune system -- ScienceDaily

They divided mice with cancer into two groups and let one group exercise regularly in a spinning wheel while the other remained inactive. The result showed that cancer growth slowed and mortality decreased in the trained animals compared with the untrained. Next, the researchers examined the importance of cytotoxic T cells by injecting antibodies that remove these T cells in both trained and untrained mice. The antibodies knocked out the positive effect of exercise on both cancer growth and survival, which according to the researchers demonstrates the significance of these T cells for exercise-induced suppression of cancer.

Effectiveness of fitness-boosting strategies may be linked to personality traits: Approach could help identify subgroups likely to benefit from competitive, collaborative or supportive activities -- ScienceDaily

By reanalyzing the trial data, the researchers found that the competition-based strategy was effective in boosting physical activity for extroverted and motivated participants, but these participants were less likely to stay active after the program ended. Competition-, collaboration-, and social support-based strategies were all effective for less active and less social participants, who all stayed active afterwards. None of the strategies were effective for less motivated and at-risk participants.

Sport and memory go hand in hand -- ScienceDaily

To test the effect of sport on motor learning, scientists asked a group of 15 young and healthy men, who were not athletes, to take a memory test under three conditions of physical exercise: after 30 minutes of moderate cycling, after 15 minutes of intensive cycling (defined as 80% of their maximum heart rate), or after a period of rest. "The exercise was as follows: a screen showed four points placed next to each other. Each time one of the dots briefly changed into a star, the participant had to press the corresponding button as quickly as possible," explains Blanca Marin Bosch, researcher in the same laboratory. "It followed a predefined and repeated sequence in order to precisely evaluate how movements were learnt. This is very similar to what we do when, for example, we learn to type on a keyboard as quickly as possible. After an intensive sports session, the performance was much better."

Exercise improves learning and memory in young adults -- ScienceDaily

The review, which is published in Translational Sports Medicine, included 13 relevant studies. The types of exercise that were studied involved walking, running, and bicycling in individuals between 18 to 35 years of age. Investigators found that aerobic exercise for 2 minutes to 1 hour at moderate to high intensity improved attention, concentration, and learning and memory functions for up to 2 hours. They noted that the results may have important education-related implications.

Social connection boosts fitness app appeal -- ScienceDaily

This study shows that the social components of physical activity apps are particularly beneficial in promoting engagement in physical activity due to their capacity to facilitate social support, and positively influence motivation and beliefs in one's ability to perform physical activity.

Brain benefits of exercise can be gained with a single protein: Findings open door to drugs that could help protect the aging brain -- ScienceDaily

The new study, published July 9, 2020 in Science, showed that after mice exercise, their livers secrete a protein called Gpld1 into the blood. Levels of this protein in the blood correspond to improved cognitive function in aged mice, and a collaboration with the UCSF Memory and Aging Center found that the enzyme is also elevated in the blood of elderly humans who exercise regularly. But the researchers showed that simply increasing the amount of Gpld1 produced by the mouse liver could confer many of the same brain benefits as regular exercise.

60 minutes of endurance training is enough to shift body clock in mice -- ScienceDaily

This means that exercise is a cue for setting the clocks in muscles. The researchers determined this by studying mice that ran in different phases of the day: in the middle of their rest phase, an hour before starting their active phase, and in the middle of their active phase. Active and rest phases in mice are equivalent to day and night in humans. They then looked at how the amount of a primary clock protein changed over the course of multiple days following muscle contractions. Their results showed that depending on the timing of contractions the clocks shifted about an hour to either an earlier or later time and that this does not require circulating hormones or the central clock.

Exercise improves memory, boosts blood flow to brain: Study: 1-year workout program shows benefits for older people at risk of dementia -- ScienceDaily

The study, published in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, documented changes in long-term memory and cerebral blood flow in 30 participants, each of them 60 or older with memory problems. Half of them underwent 12 months of aerobic exercise training; the rest did only stretching. The exercise group showed 47 percent improvement in memory scores after one year compared with minimal change in the stretch participants. Brain imaging of the exercise group, taken while they were at rest at the beginning and end of the study, showed increased blood flow into the anterior cingulate cortex and the hippocampus -- neural regions that play important roles in memory function.

Exercise rejuvenates quiescent skeletal muscle stem cells in old mice through restoration of Cyclin D1 | Nature Metabolism

Here, we show that exercise in the form of voluntary wheel running accelerates muscle repair in old mice and improves old MuSC function.

PsycNET Record Display - PsycNET

In the present study, we test the effects of a 3-month randomized controlled trial of aerobic exercise training in young to midlife adults on trait measures of depression, anxiety, hostility, and anger. Method: One-hundred and 19 men (n = 56) and women (n = 63) aged 20–45 were randomized to 1 of 2 conditions: (a) 12 weeks of aerobic exercise after which they were asked to halt exercising and decondition for 4 weeks, or (b) a 16-week waitlist control group. Assessments of depression, anxiety, hostility and anger were completed at study entry, Week 12 and Week 16. Results: At study entry, participants scored low on measures of depression, anxiety, hostility and anger. Analyses among the intent-to-treat and per protocol samples found significant treatment effects of aerobic training for hostility and depression, but not for anxiety and anger. Within-group analyses demonstrated that depression and hostility scores decreased in the exercise group over the course of the intervention, while remaining stable in the control group. These effects persisted for the exercise group at nonsignificant levels after 4 weeks of deconditioning. Conclusions: Aerobic exercise training has significant psychological effects even in sedentary yet euthymic adults, adding experimental data on the known benefits of exercise in this population.

Step it up: Higher daily step counts linked with lower blood pressure: Smart watches prove useful as a research tool for insights on physical activity and heart health -- ScienceDaily

Over the course of about five months, participants averaged about 7,500 steps per day. Those with a higher daily step count had significantly lower systolic and diastolic blood pressure. In a secondary analysis, the researchers found the association between step count and blood pressure was no longer significant if BMI was taken into account, which suggests BMI might be a mediating factor in the relationship.

Squatting or kneeling may have health benefits -- ScienceDaily

For the study, Hadza participants wore devices that measured physical activity and periods of rest. The scientists found that they had high levels of physical activity -- over three times as much as the 22 minutes per day advised by U.S. federal health guidelines. But the scientists also found that they had high levels of inactivity. In fact, the Hadza are sedentary for about as much time -- around 9 to 10 hours per day -- as humans in more developed countries. However, they appear to lack the markers of chronic diseases that are associated, in industrialized societies, with long periods of sitting. The reason for this disconnect may lie in how they rest. "Even though there were long periods of inactivity, one of the key differences we noticed is that the Hadza are often resting in postures that require their muscles to maintain light levels of activity -- either in a squat or kneeling," Raichlen said. In addition to tracking activity and inactivity, the researchers used specialized equipment to measure muscle activity in the lower limbs in different resting postures. Squatting involved more muscle activity compared to sitting.