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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.

Sitting still linked to increased risk of depression in adolescents -- ScienceDaily

The Lancet Psychiatry study found that an additional 60 minutes of light activity (such as walking or doing chores) daily at age 12 was associated with a 10% reduction in depressive symptoms at age 18. "Our findings show that young people who are inactive for large proportions of the day throughout adolescence face a greater risk of depression by age 18. We found that it's not just more intense forms of activity that are good for our mental health, but any degree of physical activity that can reduce the time we spend sitting down is likely to be beneficial," said the study's lead author, PhD student Aaron Kandola (UCL Psychiatry).

Physical activity is good for your appetite, too: Exercise to be a protective factor against diet lapse in real-world environment study. -- ScienceDaily

The study found that exercise was protective against overeating. When participants did not engage in exercise, the risk of overeating in the following hours was 12 percent. Whereas when participants engaged in 60 minutes of exercise, the risk of overeating was cut by more than half, to five percent. For every additional 10 minutes of exercise a participant engaged in, the likelihood of overeating decreased by one percent in the few hours following exercise.

Upper respiratory tract infection is reduced in physically fit and active adults | British Journal of Sports Medicine

We combined data from two cohorts of approximately 500 subjects each that were studied during the winter and fall seasons. After controlling for important confounders, total days with URTI during the 12-week study were 43–46% lower in the high versus low tertiles for aerobic activity and perceived physical fitness level, respectively, and URTI severity and symptomatology were reduced 32–41%. Limitations in this study include lack of adjustment for all potential confounders including exposure to URTI pathogens at work and from children in the home. Although methodology varies widely, other epidemiologic and randomised exercise training studies consistently report a reduction in URTI incidence or risk of 18–67%.11,–,19 Within certain subgroups such as the elderly or those with high mental stress, the reduction in URTI with aerobic exercise training may have more significance. Fondell et al,15 eg, reported an 18% reduction in URTI risk between high and low physical activity quartiles, but this risk reduction improved to 42% among those with high perceived mental stress. A randomised study of elderly women (mean age, 73 years) showed that walking 30–40 min, 5 days/week, for 12 weeks at 60% heart rate reserve, reduced URTI rates to 20% as compared with 50% among sedentary controls.18 A 1-year randomised study of 115 overweight, postmenopausal women showed that regular moderate exercise (166 min/week, ∼4 days/week) lowered URTI risk compared to controls modestly during the first half year, but then more strongly during the final months.19 The underlying mechanisms for the reduction in URTI risk with aerobic exercise training are still being explored and debated. Each aerobic exercise bout causes a transient increase in the recirculation of immunoglobulins, and neutrophils and natural killer cells, two cells involved in innate immune defenses.16 17 Animal data indicate that lung macrophages play an important role in mediating the beneficial effects of moderate exercise on lowered susceptibility to infection.36 Stress hormones, which can suppress immunity, and pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines, indicative of intense metabolic activity, are not elevated during moderate aerobic exercise.16 17 Although the immune system returns to pre-exercise levels within a few hours after the exercise session is over, each session may improve immunosurveillance against pathogens that reduce overall URTI incidence and symptomatology.

Effect of Regular Exercise on Inflammation Induced by Drug-resistant Staphylococcus aureus 3089 in ICR mice

Infectious microorganisms also elicit acute inflammatory responses mediated by cytokines secreted from immune cells, akin to inflammation associated with obesity52. In this study, we examined the effect of 3 weeks of exercise (swimming) on the immune response induced by infection with DRSA. Our findings show that regular exercise suppresses infection-induced inflammation, as indicated by reductions in the levels in two inflammatory cytokines (TNF-α and IL1-β) and two inflammation markers (NO and PGC-1), and it increases cathelicidin levels in the blood, adipose tissue and whole lung tissue. Earlier reports indicate that production of TNF-α and IL1-β is significantly increased by regular exercise53,54,55, resulting in improved immune responses, prevention of various diseases, increased signal transduction and reduced body mass through β-oxidation56,57. Secretion of large amounts of cytokines stimulated by infectious pathogens results in strong activation of immune cells58. TNF-α and IL-1β, in particular, are key mediators of the signal transduction initiating immediate immune cell activity upon release from the site of infection59,60. We observed that serum TNF-α and IL-1β levels were lower in SW-EX and SW-EX + DRAS mice than No-EX + DRSA mice, and were even lower in SW-EX + DRSA than SW-EX mice. We also observed that production of TNF-α and IL-1β was reduced in exercising mice, while cathelicidin production was increased, suggesting that suppression of the infection by cathelicidin led to a decrease in cytokine production. We therefore suggest that the immediate action (autocrine and/or paracrine) of cathelicidin on the infected tissues contributed to a reduction in serum cytokine levels.

High and low exercise intensity found to influence brain function differently: Study suggests that exercise could play a role as a therapeutic strategy in neurological and psychiatric disorders -- ScienceDaily

The behavioral data showed a significant increase in positive mood after both exercise intensities and no significant change in negative mood. The results of the Rs-fMRI tests showed that low-intensity exercise led to increased functional connectivity in networks associated with cognitive processing and attention. High-intensity exercise, on the other hand, led to increased functional connectivity in networks related to affective, emotional processes. High-intensity exercise also led to a decreased functional connectivity in networks associated with motor function.

How to Make Your Strength Routine Evidence-Based | Outside Online

Put all these results together, shake them around, and you emerge with some fairly simple guidelines for people who want to get stronger but aren’t planning to enter any bodybuilding competitions. Pick a range of exercises covering the body’s major muscle groups (here’s a good place to start, courtesy of Brad Stulberg). Do at least one set of each, several times a week, aiming for about 8 to 12 reps, and be consistent about your routine. If you use lighter weights, push close to failure on each set. To maximize size gains, do more sets.

Cardiorespiratory Fitness and Gray Matter Volume in the Temporal, Frontal, and Cerebellar Regions in the General Population - Mayo Clinic Proceedings

Volumetric analyses revealed associations of CRF with gray matter (GM) volume and total brain volume. After multivariable adjustment, a 1–standard deviation increase in VO2peak was related to a 5.31 cm³ (95% CI, 3.27 to 7.35 cm³) higher GM volume. Whole-brain voxel-based morphometry analyses revealed significant positive relations between CRF and local GM volumes. The VO2peak was strongly associated with GM volume of the left middle temporal gyrus (228 voxels), the right hippocampal gyrus (146 voxels), the left orbitofrontal cortex (348 voxels), and the bilateral cingulate cortex (68 and 43 voxels).

The Quiet Brain of the Athlete - The New York Times

What interested […]Dr. Kraus, though, was that the athletes’ brains could focus on the “da” sound so well because they had filtered out more background noise beforehand than other students. Their brain wave response to the kind of constant, murmurous aural clutter around us was lower than among the other students, allowing the athletes to better amplify and pinpoint the sound they wanted.

Sauna Use as an Exercise Mimetic for Heart and Healthspan

Some of the positive benefits of the sauna on heart health may have to do with similar physiological changes that also occur during physical exercise. For example, there is a 50-70% redistribution of blood flow away from the core to the skin to facilitate sweating. You start to sweat. Heart rate increases up to 150 beats per minute which correspond to moderate-intensity physical exercise. Cardiac output (which is a measure of the amount of work the heart performs in response to the body’s need for oxygen) increases by 60-70%. Immediately after sauna use, blood pressure and resting heart rate are lower than baseline similar to physical activity.

Why grandmasters like Magnus Carlsen and Fabiano Caruana lose weight playing chess

In 2004, winner Rustam Kasimdzhanov walked away from the six-game world championship having lost 17 pounds. In October 2018, Polar, a U.S.-based company that tracks heart rates, monitored chess players during a tournament and found that 21-year-old Russian grandmaster Mikhail Antipov had burned 560 calories in two hours of sitting and playing chess -- or roughly what Roger Federer would burn in an hour of singles tennis.

Coca-Cola Funds Scientists Who Shift Blame for Obesity Away From Bad Diets - The New York Times

“Coca-Cola’s sales are slipping, and there’s this huge political and public backlash against soda, with every major city trying to do something to curb consumption,” said Michele Simon, a public health lawyer. “This is a direct response to the ways that the company is losing. They’re desperate to stop the bleeding.” Coke has made a substantial investment in the new nonprofit. In response to requests based on state open-records laws, two universities that employ leaders of the Global Energy Balance Network disclosed that Coke had donated $1.5 million last year to start the organization.

One or the other: Why strength training might come at the expense of endurance muscles -- ScienceDaily

This remodeling of the neuromuscular synapses during strength training results in the body developing more strength muscle fibers. "However, strength muscle growth occurs at the expense of the endurance fibers. More precisely, through the release of BDNF, the endurance muscles are transformed into strength muscles," clarifies Handschin. This makes BDNF a factor proven to be produced by the muscle itself and to influence the type of muscle fibers formed.

Performance-enhancing bacteria found in the microbiomes of elite athletes: Introducing this bacteria to sedentary individuals improves exercise capacity -- ScienceDaily

Colonies of bacteria residing in our guts have a powerful impact on our health. Exercise is an important component of a healthy lifestyle meant to ward off diseases such as type 2 diabetes. Many people with metabolic disorders are not able to exercise at the level needed to see such benefits. Supplementing their microbiome using a probiotic capsule containing Veillonella could give them the boost they need for effective exercise. (Direct dosing with propionate pill would not work, as the short chain fatty acid would be broken down by digestive juices before it could take effect.) Dr. Scheiman has since spun this idea off into a company targeted at athletes. "The microbiome is such a powerful metabolic engine," says Dr. Kostic. This is one of the first studies to directly show a strong example of symbiosis between microbes and their human host. "It's very clear. It creates this positive feedback loop. The host is producing something that this particular microbe favors. Then in return, the microbe is creating something that benefits the host," he says. "This is a really important example of how the microbiome has evolved ways to become this symbiotic presence in the human host."

Exercise: Psych patients' new primary prescription -- ScienceDaily

Tomasi, in collaboration with UVMMC's Sheri Gates and Emily Reyns, built a gym exclusively for roughly 100 patients in the medical center's inpatient psychiatry unit, and led and introduced 60-minute structured exercise and nutrition education programs into their treatment plans. The psychotherapists surveyed patients on their mood, self-esteem and self-image both before and after the exercise sessions to gauge the effects of exercise on psychiatric symptoms. Patients reported lower levels of anger, anxiety and depression, higher self-esteem, and overall improved moods. Tomasi, Gates and Reyns found an average of 95 percent of patients reported that their moods improved after doing the structured exercises, while 63 percent of the patients reported being happy or very happy, as opposed to neutral, sad or very sad, after the exercises. An average of 91.8 of patients also reported that they were pleased with the way their bodies felt after doing the structured exercises.

Allen Neuringer's Many Decades of Self-Experimentation - Quantified Self

Allen proceeded to test the effects of movement on his cognitive abilities. He tested memory at first. He had flashcards with faces on one side and names on the other. His A condition would be to run two miles or swim 20 laps and then review 20 of the cards recording how many he got right. The B condition would be to spend the same amount of time working at his desk before reviewing the cards. The effect was clear. His ability to memorize was better after activity. But how does one test idea generation? Allen’s method was to spend 15 minutes moving around in a “quasi-dance” manner and noted any ideas he had on a notecard, writing the date and the condition on the back side, in this case, “move”. He then compared those cards to ones generated during a 15 minute period sitting at a desk. He repeated these AB intervals over the course of weeks, accumulating piles of cards. Months later he went through the cards and evaluated the quality of the ideas, looking at whether or not they were good and how creative they were. He didn’t know which conditions they were, since “sit” and “move” were written on the back side. He calculated the number of subjectively judged “good” ideas for each condition. Again, he noticed there were clear differences. Movement helped. Movement also helped with reading. Allen rigged a book holder out of an old backpack and through his testing found out that he surprisingly reads faster while moving and retains more. But was moving always better? Allen looked at his problem solving abilities in the move and sit conditions, using a similar method that he used for testing idea generation. He found that moving tended to make problem solving easier, with one significant exception: problems involving mathematical reasoning were more difficult to do while moving.

Exercise activates memory neural networks in older adults: Study shows acute exercise has the ability to impact brain regions important to memory -- ScienceDaily

Dr. Smith's research team measured the brain activity (using fMRI) of healthy participants ages 55-85 who were asked to perform a memory task that involves identifying famous names and non famous ones. The action of remembering famous names activates a neural network related to semantic memory, which is known to deteriorate over time with memory loss. This test was conducted 30 minutes after a session of moderately intense exercise (70% of max effort) on an exercise bike and on a separate day after a period of rest. Participants' brain activation while correctly remembering names was significantly greater in four brain cortical regions (including the middle frontal gyrus, inferior temporal gryus, middle temporal gyrus, and fusiform gyrus) after exercise compared to after rest. The increased activation of the hippocampus was also seen on both sides of the brain. "Just like a muscle adapts to repeated use, single sessions of exercise may flex cognitive neural networks in ways that promote adaptations over time and lend to increased network integrity and function and allow more efficient access to memories," Dr. Smith explained.

Morning exercise for optimal metabolic impact

They found that a protein called hypoxia-inducible factor 1-alpha (HIF-1α) plays an important role and that it is activated by exercise in different ways depending on the time of day. HIF-1α is a transcription factor that is known to stimulate certain genes based on oxygen levels in tissue. “It makes sense that HIF-1α would be important here, but until now we didn’t know that its levels fluctuate based on the time of day,” Sassone-Corsi says. “This is a new finding.” Based on the work from the UC Irvine team, exercise seemed to have the most beneficial impact on the metabolism at the beginning of the active phase phase (equivalent to late morning in humans) compared with the resting phase (evening).

Two studies explore whether time of day can affect the body's response to exercise - Neuroscience News

The researchers also studied 12 humans and found similar effects. Overall, the people in the study had lower oxygen consumption while exercising in the evening compared with the morning; this translated to better exercise efficiency.

How to increase serotonin in the human brain without drugs

Relatively few generations ago, most of the world population was involved in agriculture and was outdoors for much of the day. This would have resulted in high levels of bright light exposure even in winter. Even on a cloudy day, the light outside can be greater than 1000 lux, a level never normally achieved indoors. In a recent study carried out at around latitude 45° N, daily exposure to light greater than 1000 lux averaged about 30 minutes in winter and only about 90 minutes in summer50 among people working at least 30 hours weekly; weekends were included. In this group, summer bright light exposure was probably considerably less than the winter exposure of our agricultural ancestors. We may be living in a bright light–deprived society. A large literature that is beyond the scope of this editorial exists on the beneficial effect of bright light exposure in healthy individuals. Lamps designed for the treatment of seasonal affective disorder, which provide more lux than is ever achieved by normal indoor lighting, are readily available, although incorporating their use into a daily routine may be a challenge for some. However, other strategies, both personal and institutional, exist. “Light cafes” pioneered in Scandinavia have come to the United Kingdom,51 and an Austrian village that receives no sunshine in the winter because of its surrounding mountains is building a series of giant mirrors to reflect sunlight into the valley.52 Better use of daylight in buildings is an issue that architects are increasingly aware of. Working indoors does not have to be associated with suboptimal exposure to bright light. A third strategy that may raise brain serotonin is exercise. A comprehensive review of the relation between exercise and mood concluded that antidepressant and anxiolytic effects have been clearly demonstrated.53 In the United Kingdom the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence, which works on behalf of the National Health Service and makes recommendations on treatments according to the best available evidence, has published a guide on the treatment of depression.54 The guide recommends treating mild clinical depression with various strategies, including exercise rather than antidepressants, because the risk–benefit ratio is poor for antidepressant use in patients with mild depression. Exercise improves mood in subclinical populations as well as in patients. The most consistent effect is seen when regular exercisers undertake aerobic exercise at a level with which they are familiar.53 However, some skepticism remains about the antidepressant effect of exercise, and the National Institute of Mental Health in the United States is currently funding a clinical trial of the antidepressant effect of exercise that is designed to overcome sources of potential bias and threats to internal and external validity that have limited previous research.55 Several lines of research suggest that exercise increases brain serotonin function in the human brain. Post and colleagues56 measured biogenic amine metabolites in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of patients with depression before and after they increased their physical activity to simulate mania. Physical activity increased 5-HIAA, but it is not clear that this was due to increased serotonin turnover or to mixing of CSF from higher regions, which contain higher levels of 5-HIAA, with lumbar CSF (or to a combination of both mechanisms). Nonetheless, this finding stimulated many animal studies on the effects of exercise. For example, Chaouloff and colleagues57 showed that exercise increased tryptophan and 5-HIAA in rat ventricles. More recent studies using intracerebral dialysis have shown that exercise increases extracellular serotonin and 5-HIAA in various brain areas, including the hippocampus and cortex (for example, see58–60). Two different mechanisms may be involved in this effect. As reviewed by Jacobs and Fornal,61 motor activity increases the firing rates of serotonin neurons, and this results in increased release and synthesis of serotonin.62 In addition, there is an increase in the brain of the serotonin precursor tryptophan that persists after exercise.63 The largest body of work in humans looking at the effect of exercise on tryptophan availability to the brain is concerned with the hypothesis that fatigue during exercise is associated with elevated brain tryptophan and serotonin synthesis. A large body of evidence supports the idea that exercise, including exercise to fatigue, is associated with an increase in plasma tryptophan and a decrease in the plasma level of the branched chain amino acids (BCAAs) leucine, isoleucine and valine (see64,65 for reviews). The BCAAs inhibit tryptophan transport into the brain.66 Because of the increase in plasma tryptophan and decrease in BCAA, there is a substantial increase in tryptophan availability to the brain. Tryptophan is an effective mild hypnotic,67 a fact that stimulated the hypothesis that it may be involved in fatigue. A full discussion of this topic is not within the scope of this editorial; however, it is notable that several clinical trials of BCAA investigated whether it was possible to counter fatigue by lowering brain tryptophan, with results that provided little support for the hypothesis. Further, exercise results in an increase in the plasma ratio of tryptophan to the BCAAs before the onset of fatigue.64,65 The conclusion of these studies is that, in humans, a rise in precursor availability should increase serotonin synthesis during and after exercise and that this is not related to fatigue, although it may be related to improved mood. Whether motor activity increases the firing rate of serotonin neurons in humans, as in animals, is not known. However, it is clear that aerobic exercise can improve mood.

Exercise is more critical than diet to maintain weight loss: Physical activity helps to prevent weight regain when previously overweight -- ScienceDaily

The total calories burned (and consumed) each day by weight-loss maintainers was significantly higher (300 kcal/day) compared with that in individuals with normal body weight controls but was not significantly different from that in the individuals with overweight/obesity. Notably, of the total calories burned, the amount burned in physical activity by weight-loss maintainers was significantly higher (180 kcal/day) compared with that in both individuals of normal body weight and individuals with overweight/obesity. Despite the higher energy cost of moving a larger body mass incurred by individuals with overweight/obesity, weight-loss maintainers were burning more energy in physical activity, suggesting they were moving more. This is supported by the fact that the weight-loss maintainer group also demonstrated significantly higher levels of steps per day (12,000 steps per day) compared to participants at a normal body weight (9,000 steps per day) and participants with overweight/obesity (6,500 steps per day).

Inactivity Induces Resistance to the Metabolic Benefits Following Acute Exercise. - PubMed - NCBI

METHODS: Ten untrained to recreationally active men (n=5) and women (n=5) completed a counterbalanced, crossover study. Four days of prolonged sitting without exercise (SIT) were compared to four days of prolonged sitting with a 1-hr bout of treadmill exercise (SIT+EX; 63.1±5.2% V̇O2max) on the evening of the fourth day. The following morning, participants completed a high fat/glucose tolerance test (HFGTT), during which plasma was collected over a 6-hr period and analyzed for triglycerides, glucose, and insulin. RESULTS: No differences between trials ( P > 0.05) were found in the overall plasma triglyceride, glucose, or insulin responses during the HFGTT. This lack of difference between trials comes with similarly low physical activity (~3,500-4,000 steps/day) on each day except for the 1-hr bout of exercise during SIT+EX the day before the HFGTT.