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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.

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.