A new study identifies a pattern of inflammation associated with cardio-metabolic risks among participants in the Black Women’s Health Study, as well as two independent groups of vulnerable women. These findings could help under-served patients benefit from precision medicine and personalized profiles of disease risk.
After a heart attack, patients must create new heart muscle cells to heal. A new study shows that mice make more new heart muscle cells when they exercise compared to when they do not. This was true for both healthy mice and those that had experienced a heart attack. Findings demonstrate that one reason exercise is beneficial to health is that it increases the heart’s capacity to regenerate.
By analyzing reported physical activity levels over time in more than 11,000 American adults, researchers conclude that increasing physical activity to recommended levels over as few as six years in middle age is associated with a significantly decreased risk of heart failure, a condition that affects an estimated 5 million to 6 million Americans.
The study finds that running mitigates the negative impacts chronic stress has on the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for learning and memory.
Get High With HIIT
The release of endorphins during exercise has been observed for some time. The relationship between type of exercise and the magnitude of endorphin release is becoming better understood. “…high-intensity interval training (HIIT) leads to endorphin release in the brain, which might alleviate the physical and emotional stress caused by the high-intensity exercise. A less demanding, traditional one-hour aerobic exercise does not cause similar endorphin release.” The study also found that HIIT causes the release of opioid peptides that control pain and emotions.
High or Low?
When doing strength training, one of the big differences in how a program is set up is the load, either high or low. A recent meta-analysis has found that “…strength were significantly greater in favor of high- versus low-load training.” The same analysis found little to no difference for the two parameters as far as hypertrophy.
Anything Men Can Do, Women Can Do…Longer
While there is no denying that men have a greater potential for strength and muscle size, a recent study has found that women have greater muscle endurance than men. “…women are considerably less exhausted after natural, dynamic muscle exercises than men of similar age and athletic ability.” The study had men and women do a simple exercise (flexing the foot against an array of sensors) as fast as they could, for 200 repetitions. The researchers found that while the men were faster and stronger in the beginning, they also tired out much more quickly.
High intensity interval training is arguably the most effective form of cardio for burning fat and preserving muscle. Yes, H.I.I.T. does both. H.I.I.T. is typically defined as alternating periods of very high intensity exercise (sprinting, cycling, swimming, etc.) with periods of low intensity periods. Despite it being developed long ago by track coaches, it is very useful today. Let’s be honest, cardio can be pretty boring. H.I.I.T. allows people to get more out of cardio sessions and in less time. Not to mention that it can be done anywhere and with no equipment.
There are a constant stream of studies, but the gist is that H.I.I.T. is great for burning fat, especially compared to steady-state cardio. Depending on the research one can burn fat up to 6 times faster using H.I.I.T. and there are even cases of study participants decreasing body fat by 2% in only 2 months. H.I.I.T. burns more calories faster, and the metabolism is boosted for up to 24 hours following a session, for even more calorie burn. H.I.I.T. has also been shown to promote the utilization of fat for energy.
H.I.I.T. promotes muscle growth for the above reason, the body utilizing fat for fuel prevents if from breaking down muscle for fuel. One study found that during a 6-week H.I.I.T. program participants, supplementing with beta-alanine, gained an average of 2 lbs. Of muscle after only 3 weeks, WITH NO WEIGHT TRAINING. H.I.I.T. can increase testosterone production in men as well. Some studies have seen a 100% increase in testosterone levels.
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