Friday, 30 May 2014

Would you try NAKED CROSSFIT

naked crossfit

This Danish chain has come up with the perfect antidote for your fitness fatigue: naked CrossFit (a mix of weightlifting, rope climbing and, err, tyre flipping).

The idea of naked CrossFit originally started off as an April Fool’s prank when the owners of Danish gym, Spartan Mentality, mocked up an ad for the exercise class featuring very buff men in their birthday suits.

Owner Steffen Haldrup Andersen said of the joke ad: ‘People are already so scantily-clad at CrossFit that we thought we might as well throw the rest away.’

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Parents gets a call that their children are too Fat

School nurses are required to phone parents as public health watchdogs issue guidance as they find out that many children are becoming too fat and provide techniques on how to lose weight.

Parents will be telephoned and told their children are too fat and given advice on the nearest slimming club, under guidance issued by a public health watchdog.

The scheme follows official advice by the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (Nice) that two thirds of the population should be prescribed Weight Watchers sessions on the NHS in a bid to tackle Britain's obesity problem.

The guidance issued by Public Health England to schools, local councils and the NHS, suggests children identified as underweight, overweight or obese should receive a “sensitive” phone call from a school nurse offering advice on how their children can lose weight. This could include a referral to a child’s slimming club.

Saturday, 24 May 2014

Groups call for more exercise after stroke

(Reuters Health) - People who have had a stroke can often benefit from moderate exercise, doctors and physical therapists report.

In a scientific statement from the American Heart Association and the American Stroke Association, they write that both aerobic exercise and strength training may help stroke survivors keep up their daily activities and improve their quality of life.

Becoming more active may also lower their risk of having a heart attack or a second stroke, but that remains to be shown definitively.

“Physical activity really has to be at the base of any sort of recommendation post-stroke,” said James Rimmer, from the University of Alabama at Birmingham and the Lakeshore Foundation.

Rimmer was not involved in writing the scientific statement, but has studied the effects of exercise after stroke.

About 795,000 people in the U.S. have a stroke every year, the authors of the report note. Most of them survive, but with some stroke-related impairment. Many people who have had a stroke also have other co-occurring health problems.

For those reasons and others - including a lack of support - stroke survivors typically don’t get much exercise, according to the statement. But being sedentary can only compound some of their symptoms, like fatigue and declining fitness.

The statement is an update to a 2004 document that also recommended people be more active after a stroke. Now, the authors are even more confident in that prescription, said Sandra A. Billinger, of the University of Kansas Medical Center in Kansas City.

She and her colleagues outline the importance of physical activity soon after a stroke and as part of a permanent lifestyle change.

Within the first 24 hours after a stroke, patients should try getting out of bed and moving around, they write. As the recovery process goes on, adding more movement will help them get back to performing daily activities. Ultimately, people who have had a stroke and are capable of exercise should aim for at least three days a week of aerobic activity, such as on a treadmill or stationary bike, and two to three days a week of resistance training.

One of the key times for patients to stay active is when their stroke rehabilitation program is wrapping up, Billinger said. It can be intimidating, she said, to go from working one-on-one with a physical therapist to exercising in a gym, for instance.

“There’s a gap after rehabilitation in the U.S. specifically,” she told Reuters Health. “We haven’t quite bridged that as well as some of the other countries.”

The authors note that evidence is lacking on how to encourage activity among people who can’t walk after a stroke or who have trouble communicating.

Any guidance should be tailored to the needs of a particular patient, they add.

Rimmer agreed. “Exercise really needs to be as individualized as medication,” he said.

He told Reuters Health that recumbent steppers can be an option for people with more limited mobility, because they are easy to get on and off and are very safe.

More research is needed to help find the optimal dose of exercise to lower the risk of falls or second strokes, for instance, Rimmer said.

Billinger said patients should talk with their doctor before starting any intensive exercise. She emphasized that for people who are limited in their exercise capabilities, even walking back and forth to the mailbox a few times a day is a good start.

“Anything to get them moving is better than nothing,” she said.

SOURCE: Stroke, online May 20, 2014.

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Endurance exercise 'interferes with heart rhythm'

Athletes beware - endurance training may make it more likely that you will need a pacemaker, scientists believe.

A British Heart Foundation team found exercise in mice triggers molecular changes in the part of the heart that generates its natural beating rhythm.

This may explain why elite athletes have low resting heart rates and a higher risk heart rhythm disturbances, they told Nature Communications.

However, the benefits of exercising still outweigh any risks, experts say.


Endurance athletes are generally very fit.

Yet, paradoxically, they are more likely to have heart rhythm disturbances, known as arrhythmias, especially as they get older - although the risk is still small.

Experts have suspected that this is because long-term training for extreme endurance events such as marathons and triathlons slows the heartbeat down.

While normal adults have resting heart rates between 60-100 beats per minute, hearts of endurance athletes can beat only 30 times per minute or even less at night time when there can be long pauses between heart beats.

Cyclists Sir Chris Hoy and Miguel Indurain reportedly had resting heart rates of 30 and 28 beats per minute.

The heart rate is set by the heart's pacemaker, which is controlled by the nervous system.

And so it was assumed that the low heart rate of athletes was a result of the autonomic nervous system going into overdrive.

Sense of purpose could add years to your life

Some may call you crazy if you reveal your lofty dreams and what you want to achieve in your life, but sooner you find a purpose in life, greater are your chances of living longer, according to IANS. Greater purpose in life is linked to lower mortality risk, the findings showed.

“Our findings point to the fact that finding a direction for life, and setting overarching goals for what you want to achieve can help you actually live longer, regardless of when you find your purpose,” said Patrick Hill of Carleton University in Canada.

So the earlier someone comes to a direction for life, the earlier these protective effects may be able to occur, Hill added.
Previous studies have suggested that finding a purpose in life lowers risk of mortality above and beyond other factors that are known to predict longevity, reports PTI. Hill and colleague Nicholas Turiano of the University of Rochester Medical Center took advantage of the nationally representative data available from the Midlife in the US (MIDUS) study.

For the study, researchers looked at data from over 6000 participants, focusing on their self-reported purpose in life and other psychosocial variables that gauged their positive relations with others and their experience of positive and negative emotions.

Over a 14-year follow-up period, 569 of the participants had died. Those who had died had reported lower purpose in life and fewer positive relations than did survivor

Greater purpose in life consistently predicted lower mortality risk across the lifespan, showing the same benefit for younger, middle-aged, and older participants across the follow-up period. And the longevity benefits of purpose in life held even after other indicators of psychological well-being, such as positive relations and positive emotions, were taken into account.

“There are a lot of reasons to believe that being purposeful might help protect older adults more so than younger ones,” said Hill. “For instance, adults might need a sense of direction more, after they have left the workplace and lost that source for organising their daily events. In addition, older adults are more likely to face mortality risks than younger adults,” said Hill.

“These findings suggest that there is something unique about finding a purpose that seems to be leading to greater longevity,” Hill noted. The study appeared in the journal Psychological Science.

Aerobic exercise better for weight loss than high intensity interval training, research from the Charles Perkins Centre finds

Researchers find aerobic exercise has the best ‘fat furnace’ effect
High intensity training workouts not a magic bullet for weight loss

HIGH-INTENSITY interval training and Crossfit has been touted as the quickest way to get lean but according to new research, it’s no fast track to fat loss.

A world-first controlled trial has found regular continuous aerobic exercise yields better fat loss results than high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts for overweight people.

The trial was conducted by University of Sydney exercise physiologists Shelley Keating of the Faculty of Health Sciences eand Dr Nathan Johnson at the Charles Perkins Centre.

Forget the claims HIIT workouts can whip overweight people into shape in less time than regular aerobic exercise

Dr Keating said a growing number of people were substituting HIIT for regular aerobic workouts in their exercise routine.

“High-intensity burst training does deliver important benefits like increased fitness, but it doesn’t have a ‘fat furnace’ effect if you carry weight around the middle,” she said.

“The message is if you’re hitting the gym to lose weight and trim your waistline, stick with steady aerobic exercise to shift abdominal fat and see better results on the scales.”

Home workouts on the rise because of expensive gyms

Gym memberships can be expensive, especially when you work out cost per visit if you struggle to visit on regular occurrence.

In fact, new research has revealed that 61% of Britons partake in home workouts, compared to 21% who visit an actual gym for their exercise.

The top home workouts were revealed in the poll to be exercise DVDs, YouTube videos, running and workouts using exercise equipment you have in the house, like treadmills or bikes.

But if people don’t have gym equipment at home, they’re not opposed to making the most of the situation, using tinned foods as weights and stairs for exercises.

George Charles, spokesperson for, said the following: “It’s really good to see that plenty of people aren’t wasting their money on gym memberships and are getting inventive to work out at home instead. Using heavy objects from the kitchen cupboards as tins of beans and running up and down the stairs are fantastic ways to keep fit, as long as it’s done safely.

“There’s no point paying for a gym membership when you can throw on a pair of trainers and go running in your local area. However, those doing home exercise should be careful that they don’t end up spending a small fortune on the latest workout gear, DVDs and fitness gadgets or you may end up paying more than you would on a gym membership!”

Saturday, 10 May 2014

Adults who follow exercise guidelines still gain weight

(Reuters Health) - For people who want to avoid packing on extra pounds, a new study suggests going above and beyond commonly cited exercise guidelines.

“Current recommendations of 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise or 60 minutes of vigorous exercise per week might not be sufficient to prevent long-term weight gain,” lead researcher Trine Moholdt told Reuters Health in an email. “More is needed.”

How much more remains an open question. Moholdt, from the KG Jebsen Center of Exercise in Medicine at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim, advocates as big a dose of exercise as possible to stave off chronic illnesses and maintain weight.

The Institute of Medicine, a nonprofit group that is the health arm of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, suggests normal-weight adults spend an hour a day doing moderate-intensity physical activity.

But the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services sets a lower bar, recommending at least 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity for general health, though in prior research that amount has failed to be sufficient for weight control.

The American College of Sports Medicine says at least 20 minutes of vigorous-intensity exercise three days per week can also fulfill exercise recommendations.

The guidelines were set as a goalpost for adults aiming to avoid chronic illness, not to maintain weight.

Moholdt and her team studied the weight and exercise patterns of more than 19,000 adults, assessing them three times over 22 years. During that time, women gained nearly 19 pounds, on average, and men almost 17 pounds.

Only those who exceeded the recommended weekly 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise or 60 minutes of vigorous activity were able to avoid significant weight gain over both the first and second half of the study period, according to findings published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

Even participants who reported getting more exercise than prescribed gained weight, the authors write, calling some weight gain throughout adult life “inevitable.”

“The study clearly shows we gain weight over time,” Dr. I-Min Lee told Reuters Health. “If we want to slow the gain in weight, we need to increase the physical activity.”

“People with the largest gains in weight were the least active. Those with the smallest gains were the most active,” she said. An epidemiologist from the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, Lee was not involved in the current study but has done similar research.

In a 2010 study, she found that middle-aged women who averaged about an hour a day of moderate-intensity exercise successfully kept off excess weight.

She described moderate-intensity exercise as walking briskly enough to be able to continue a conversation but being unable to sing.

The National Weight Control Registry, which gathers information from people who have successfully lost at least 30 pounds and kept it off for a least one year, reports that 90 percent of its members exercise, on average for about one hour a day.

In the U.S., where health experts predict half of adults will be obese by 2030 unless lifestyle habits change, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that less than 48 percent of adults exercise enough to improve their health.

In the current study, inactive women gained 12.5 pounds more than women who exercised in excess of U.S. guidelines, and inactive men gained nearly eight pounds more than their most active counterparts. The research did not take participants’ diets into consideration.

Lee and Moholdt both stressed that any exercise is better than none.

“Everything counts,” Moholdt said. In another study, people who reported doing just one sweaty exercise session a week lived longer than those who weren’t active at all, she said.

“For weight-gain prevention, however, it seems that more is required,” she said.

“If you’re heavy and you are physically active,” Lee said, “you still are better off compared to someone who is overweight and not physically active.”

SOURCE: British Journal of Sports Medicine, online April 29, 2014.

Heart risk for women who shun exercise in their 30s: Inactive almost 50% more likely to develop problems

  • Study finds lack of exercise puts younger women at greater heart attack risk than smokers
  • Inactive women in 30s 50 per cent more likely to develop heart disease
  • Researchers call for public health campaigns on importance of exercise

A lack of exercise puts younger women at far greater risk of heart attacks than smoking or being obese, a major study has found.

Researchers found inactive women in their 30s are almost 50 per cent more likely to develop heart disease in their lifetime than those who are fit.

Now the team has called on governments to launch public health campaigns on the importance of exercise, arguing it would have a far greater impact on reducing heart disease deaths than drives to discourage smoking or promote healthy eating.

The scientists looked at the records of 32,541 women aged 22 to 90, including details about lifestyle and whether they had heart disease.

Armed with this data, they used a mathematical formula to work out their risk of heart disease during their lifetime based on whether they were inactive, were smokers, had high blood pressure or were obese.

A lack of exercise was found to pose the greatest risk to women across all age groups.

Those in their early 30s who were classed as inactive were nearly 50 per cent more likely to suffer from the condition in their lifetime than active women.

The risk decreased slightly with age. Inactive women in their late 40s were 38 per cent more at risk, falling to 28 per cent in the late 50s.

Read more:

CHILDREN who play sport and exercise can improve their academic performance, experts have claimed.

While boosting health and fitness are often promoted as the key benefits to increased physical activity, growing ­attention is now being given to its potential to impact across all areas of life.

Gregor Henderson, who advises the UK government on public health and well being issues, said there was now good scientific evidence that taking part in sport boosted educational achievement, ­increased confidence and ­improved mental health.

But he said these benefits were not always recognised, which made young people less likely to take part if they believed only winning and being good at sport were important.

One example of the wider benefits of sport is in the field of educational achievement, with growing scientific evidence that activity boosts learning ability. A study by researchers at the universities of Strathclyde and Dundee last year found links between exercise and exam success in English, maths and science.

They claimed that every 15 minutes of daily exercise improved performance by an average of about a quarter of a grade, meaning it was possible that children who carried out 60 minutes of exercise every day could improve their academic performance by a full grade – for example, from a C to a B, or a B to an A.

Another project in Scottish schools – Better Movers and Thinkers (BMT) – is also ­taking different approaches to physical exercise using rhythm, balance and movement to improve performance in the classroom.

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

The benefits of exercise: Does workout intensity matter?

Which is better for your health – a two-hour leisurely stroll, jogging for 40 minutes or a brief, intense, Cross-Fit-style “workout of the day?” Ask 10 fitness professionals and you will likely get a range of nuanced opinions, but in fact, we really do not know the answer.

The American Heart Association recently sponsored a debate on the topic at a meeting held in San Francisco. I was asked to present the argument in favour of high-intensity interval training, owing to laboratory research we’ve done. My opponent was Dr. William Kraus, a professor of Medicine at Duke University and widely regarded expert in preventive cardiology.

Current Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines state that adults should accumulate at least 150 minutes of “moderate- to vigorous-intensity” aerobic physical activity a week to achieve health benefits. This recommendation is consistent with those from other organizations, although some acknowledge the potential influence of exercise intensity. For example, the American College of Sports Medicine advocates a weekly dose of at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity, or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity activity, to promote health.

Of course, health is complex phenomenon with physical, mental, social and psychological dimensions. With regards to physical health at least, this is where the debate is at:

The Pro Side: Intensity Matters

Several large observational studies have suggested that relative exercise intensity is more important than duration to improve life expectancy and reduce risk factors for chronic disease. The Copenhagen City Heart Study followed 5,000 individuals over 20 years and included survey data on their self-reported daily cycling habits. It found that the “fast” compared to “slow” cyclists lived longer, were leaner, and had lower blood pressure, cholesterol levels and frequency of diabetes. In contrast, life expectancy and risk factor burden were unrelated to the total amount of daily cycling. The main conclusion was that exercise intensity, and not duration, was most important to promote health.

Other smaller studies have examined adaptations to different exercise intensities, while attempting to control for total volume; that is, by matching energy expenditure or the number of calories burned per session. These studies have typically compared subjects who performed interval training (alternating periods of high- and low-intensity exercise) or an equivalent amount of moderate-intensity continuous training. Interval training has shown to be superior for improving cardiorespiratory fitness and clinical markers of health status, in both healthy individuals and people with cardiometabolic disorders.

The Con Side: Volume is Key

Several large-scale, randomized clinical trials have addressed the issue by having groups of subjects perform different amounts and different intensities of exercise, and making comparisons to a control group who does not exercise. While simple in concept, these studies are logistically complex, expensive and typically involve only a few different conditions. One of the most influential has been STRRIDE (Studies of a Targeted Risk Reduction Intervention through Defined Exercise), a project conducted by Dr. Kraus and colleagues.

The STRRIDE study examined the effect of low-amount/moderate-intensity, low-amount/vigorous-intensity or high-amount/vigorous-intensity exercise on metabolic risk factors for cardiovascular disease and diabetes. One of the key findings was a dose-response effect across the various amounts of exercise on clinical markers such as insulin sensitivity and cholesterol levels. This suggests there is a threshold volume or minimal amount of exercise necessary to promote health, with higher intensities conferring no greater benefits.

Thursday, 1 May 2014

Inversion exercise

'Inversion', or hanging upside-down, is current must-do work-out in gyms

Claims to boost muscle power and circulation, cure back pain and reduce the effects of ageing

A middle-aged woman hanging upside down from a gate in the middle of a field must be a strange sight. 
Indeed, the few dog walkers who wander past me don’t hesitate to stop and stare. As well they might. 
Not only do I look bonkers, I’m in agony. The blood is pooling in my head and my thigh muscles are screaming at the unaccustomed work-out.

You’d be forgiven for thinking I’ve lost my marbles. In fact, I am simply following the newest fitness craze — exercising upside down.

Inversion (hanging upside-down to you and me) might not sound like the best way to get fit, but it’s currently the must-do work-out in gyms and parks up and down the country.

It claims to boost muscle power and circulation, cure back pain and reduce the effects of ageing.

Best of all, you might even get a six-pack, and banish your mummy tummy for good — apparently doing sit-ups from this position has about ten times the impact on your muscles.