Recent quotes:

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.

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.