Resistance training (i.e., weightlifting) is increasing in popularity and is now recognized as an important component of a general exercise program. The current Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommend regular muscle-strengthening exercise for healthy men and women, older adults and adults with chronic conditions. The proposed benefits of regular resistance training typically focus on improved neuromuscular function, strength, endurance and bone density. However, a growing body of evidence suggests resistance exercise may also induce adaptations to the cardiovascular system…
With help from 2,000 Framingham Heart Study participants, BU researchers studied how much being sedentary, walking, and routine exercise impacts fitness.
Two studies suggest the sweet spot for longevity lies around 7,000 to 8,000 daily steps or about 30 to 45 minutes of exercise most days.
The health benefits of aerobic exercise cannot be over emphasized in preventing cardiometabolic diseases. Exercise interventions are also commonly proposed to help lose weight and seem efficacious for weight loss maintenance. In the U.S., 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per day for five days per week (150 minutes total per week) is recommended for health benefits and possibly improved weight control. To support weight loss efforts, the recommended dose increases to 200 to 300 minutes per week for individuals with overweight/obesity. However, when exercise interventions are prescribed without reductions in caloric intake, they often result in less weight loss than expected. Thus, the use of exercise alone as an effective strategy for weight loss can be challenged.
Memory loss is one of the most common complaints of older adults. Lifestyle interventions, including exercise, are increasingly popular to preserve brain health in older age. While there is ample empirical evidence to support the cognitive benefits of a physically active lifestyle, the neurophysiological mechanisms are difficult to determine conclusively in humans. Over months or years, it may not be possible to disentangle the independent effects of exercise from those attributed to factors such as social interactions and diet. However, if daily exercise accumulates to produce brain benefits over time, then it stands to reason that each session of exercise may produce effects from which these long-term adaptations occur.
Take a work break: A small, new study suggests that getting out of your chair every half hour may help improve your blood sugar levels and your overall health.
Every hour spent sitting or lying down increases the risk for metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes, the study authors said. But moving around during those sedentary hours is an easy way to improve insulin sensitivity and reduce the odds of developing metabolic syndrome, which is a group of conditions that can lead to heart disease, diabetes, stroke and other health problems.
“Breaking a sedentary lifestyle has positive metabolic benefits in free-living humans, thus it is beneficial to not sit the whole day — get up and move,” said senior study author Dr. Erik Naslund. He is a professor in the department of clinical sciences at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm.
Starting March 2020, near the beginning of the pandemic, exercise scientists and clinicians published blogs about the mechanisms by which physical activity could likely reduce harm from COVID-19. There was strong evidence that physical activity improves immune function, reduces inflammation, prevents and treats most common chronic diseases, decreases the psychological and physiological burden of stress, and improves immune responses to vaccinations among older adults.
Physical fitness has been identified as one of the most important predictors of all-cause mortality among adults. Specifically, low cardiorespiratory fitness has been shown to be responsible for a greater number of deaths than other risk factors such as hypertension, smoking or metabolic disease.1 2 The relevance of achieving an adequate physical fitness status is such that people with obesity or metabolic disease who present adequate cardiorespiratory fitness exhibit a diminished mortality risk when compared with people without obesity or metabolic disease but presenting low cardiorespiratory fitness.3 This has been described as the ‘fat but fit’ paradox.4