06 April 2010
7 Facts About Exercise
Catching Up
So here it is April 6 and I am catching up on the blog site. I am happy to announce that we are working on changes for the FET website in the near future. It should be more interactive, educational, and fun to read. Meanwhile, the weather is getting nice (even if we are having 50 mile/hour gusts today) and more people are outside having fun. Here are some facts you  may not be aware of regarding exercise: (Information adapted from Nutrition Action Healthcare; Dec. 2009)

7 Facts You May Not Know About Exercise

1. Exercise Can Curb Your Risk of Cancer - Exercise may indirectly lower your risk by reducing excess weight / body fat and directly by reducing cancer risk. A study by Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis reviewed 52 studies of colon cancer and the most active people were about 21 % less likely to be diagnosed with colon cancer. The fact that light to moderate regular exercise is related to less cancer risk is well documented in other studies too.   In the NIH-AARP study to hose who reported more than on hour a day of moderate to vigorous exercise were 16 % less likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer.

2. Exercise Creates New Brain Cells - Regular exercise seems to improve relational memory, spatial memory, and executive function by increasing blood flow to the brain, improving connections and synapses between cells, and growth of new brain cells.

3. Exercise Boosts Insulin Sensitivity - Insulin hormone transports allows blood sugar to enter the body's cells, where it is used as fuel. As weight increases and age increases, our cells become less sensitive to insulin resulting in less glucose inside the cells to be used as fuel. As a consequence, blood glucose levels begin to rise which is very harmful to the body and may ultimately lead to diabetes.  There a lots of studies that show aerobic exercise and strength training improve the cells sensitivity to insulin so that blood glucose levels are better regulated. Don't forget about your strength training too. Both aerobic exercise and strength training increase the number of proteins (GLUT4) that transport glucose from the blood into muscles and fat cells.

4. Creatine Builds Muscles - For those that want to strengthen muscles and bone, weightlifting and strength training is all you need. But some want to build even more and use the compound creatine for more strength. Actually your kidneys and liver produces about two grams of creatine a day from three amino acids that are in the protein we eat. If you are a vegetarian and want to improve your muscle strength and bone strength, you may want to consider using a pure form of creatine powder or pill. There are some side effects from creatine and creatine makes the liver and kidneys work harder so it is not for those with liver or kidney problems.

5. Sitting Can Kill You - "People who sit for the majority of their day have much higher mortality rates than people who don't, even if they're physically active during another part of the day" says Peter Katazmarzyk, an epidemiologist at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Sitting causes muscles to be extremely inactive, impedes blood flow to tissues and may affect the regulation of insulin and glucose. People who sit the majority of their day are at risk for metabolic syndrome and they are more likely to be obese. Just stand up periodically throughout the day (every 120 minutes) and walk around to encourage blood flow and increase muscle activity.

6. You're Never to Old To Build Muscle - You might not look like a 20 year old again but strength training two to three times a week will result in increased muscle strength quality especially in women. Women increase muscle mass only half as much as men but women improve their strength as much as men. Why does this happen? Women improve the muscle "quality" - the amount of force they can exert per muscle unit - more than men do when they train. Women, don't be afraid to pick up those weights or add some type of strength training to your exercise program.

7. Exercise Prevents Visceral Fat Gain - We all gain visceral fat, the type of fat that accumulates around the internal organs deep inside the belly, as we age UNLESS we do something about it. That something is a regular aerobic exercise program of 150 minutes or more a week. Dieting may also help you lose visceral fat but once the diet stops, many revert back to the same level of visceral fat or more.  Visceral fat is linked to insulin resistance, heart disease, and diabetes.

Do any of these surprise you?


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