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High Intensity Workouts Can Reverse Cell Damage

Exercise is good for your health, but did you know that it can even reverse damage to your cells? Researchers at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota recently conducted a study that confirmed that age-related decline in the cellular health of muscles can be corrected with exercise — and the more intense the better.

The study authors collected a group of 72 sedentary men and women who were in overall good health. The participants made up two age groups: 30 and below and older than 64. Initial baseline measures of aerobic fitness, blood-sugar levels, gene activity, and mitochondrial health were recorded for each person. The volunteers were then randomly assigned to a particular exercise routine, which they performed several times a week:

  1. Vigorous weight training
  2. High-intensity interval training
  3. Combined low-intensity cardio and weightlifting
  4. No exercise at all

After a 12-week period, each participant had his or her labs repeated. After 12 weeks of high-intensity aerobic intervals (HIIT), resistant (RT) and combined exercise training, the study saw enhanced insulin sensitivity and lean mass in all active participants. But those that performed the high-intensity interval training (HIIT) benefited the most, showing an improvement in the age-related decline in their muscle mitochondria.

This data demonstrates the benefits of higher intensity interval workouts as a means of keeping muscles strong and healthy. And that’s not all of the benefits of doing HIIT. The American Physiological Society (APS) found that resistance-based interval training can improve endothelial function, leading to an increase in nitric oxide production, better blood vessel dilation, and improved blood flow. Others advantages to engaging in higher intensity workouts include a healthier heart, reduced blood pressure, an energy boost, and an increased metabolism.

What is HIIT?

High-intensity interval training involves using 100% effort in a series of quick, intense bursts of exercise, typically 20 to 30 seconds long. This is followed by short recovery periods while your body refuels. The idea behind the workout is to get your heart rate up and start burning fat more quickly compared to traditional lower-intensity but sustained workouts, like going for a run. “The rules of HIIT are pretty simple: work really hard, rest, then work really hard again,” says fitness expert and celebrity trainer Rob Sulaver.

30-Minute HITT Plan

Interested in reaping the benefits of HITT for yourself? Try your hand at this HITT Program created by celebrity trainer Tina Hill, co-owner of Happy Hour Gym in Beverly Hills, California. Tina explains that her program is completely modifiable, especially in the event of an injury or physical limitation. “Make sure to go at your own pace,” she notes. “Sprint speeds, for instance, are different for everyone. The general idea is just to push yourself to the best of your ability.”

  1. Warm up: Walk a block, jog a block 3 times.
  2. Do 15 squats, followed by 10 jump squats.
  3. 15 push-ups
  4. 15 lunges per leg, alternating

Repeat # 2-4 three times

  1. 5 wind sprints (1/2 block, walk back, then repeat 5 times)
  2. 15 bench dips
  3. 10 burpees
  4. 20 bicycles

Repeat #6-8 three times:

  1. 5 wind sprints
  2. Finish your workout with a stretch

How to do these exercises

Squats: Sit like you are sitting down in a chair, then stand up again, making sure you engage your bum.

Lunges: Take a big step forward, bending both knees to 90 degrees, then returning feet to starting position. Alternate with the other leg. Try not to let your knee extend past your toes on the front leg.

Wind sprints: For ½ a block, run as fast as you can, then turn and walk back to where you started.

Bench dips: Sit on a bench with your bum close to the edge, one hand on each side of your hips, with fingers coming over the front of the seat. Slide your bum off the front of the bench. Bend your arms behind you, parallel to each other.  Lower yourself halfway to the ground, then push up until your arms are straight.

Burpees: Start in standing position. Crouch to the ground, placing hands on the ground. Jump back into push up position, then jump back to crouch position, and stand up. To make it more difficult, add a jump every time you stand back up.

Bicycles: Lying on your back with your hands by your ears, elbow dropped open, lift the back of your shoulders off the floor. Also lift your legs off the floor, pulling left knee in toward your chest, while the right leg is extended. Now alternate right elbow to left knee and left elbow to right knee. Keep your lower and mid back pressed into the floor.

Strength training

The Mayo Clinic study also touted the benefits of weight lifting for toning your body maintaining muscles. Research shows, however, that less than one-quarter of adults over 45 are meeting the muscle-strengthening recommendations as set by the Department of Health and Human Services. According to the Center for Disease Control’s recommendations, older adults should opt for at least two days of strength training activities per week that work all the major muscle groups (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders, and arms).

Per the National Institute of Health, here are some exercises that middle-aged and senior Americans can do to keep their muscles strong.

Upper Body Exercises

  1. wrist curls
  2. arm curls
  3. side arm raises
  4. elbow extensions
  5. chair dips
  6. seated rows with resistance band

Lower Body Exercises

  1. back leg raises
  2. knee curls
  3. leg straightening exercises
  4. toe stands

If you are new to weightlifting, start slow. Opt for lighter weights and gradually build up your resistance levels. When lifting weights, take 3 seconds to lift or push the weight into place, pause for a second, and then spend 3 seconds lowering the weight to its starting position. Make sure to breathe in as you lift or push a weight and exhale as you relax. Aim for 10 to 15 repetitions and two sets of each move.

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Not exercising worse for your health than smoking, diabetes and heart disease, study reveals.

Atlanta, Georgia (CNN) We’ve all heard exercise helps you live longer. But a new study goes one step further, finding that a sedentary lifestyle is worse for your health than smoking, diabetes and heart disease.

Dr. Wael Jaber, a cardiologist at the Cleveland Clinic and senior author of the study, called the results “extremely surprising.” “Being unfit on a treadmill or in an exercise stress test has a worse prognosis, as far as death, than being hypertensive, being diabetic or being a current smoker,” Jaber told CNN. “We’ve never seen something as pronounced as this and as objective as this.”

Jaber said researchers must now convey the risks to the general population that “being unfit should be considered as strong of a risk factor as hypertension, diabetes and smoking — if not stronger than all of them.” “It should be treated almost as a disease that has a prescription, which is called exercise,” he said.

Researchers retrospectively studied 122,007 patients who underwent exercise treadmill testing at Cleveland Clinic between January 1, 1991 and December 31, 2014 to measure all-cause mortality relating to the benefits of exercise and fitness. Those with the lowest exercise rate accounted for 12% of the participants.

The study was published Friday in the journal JAMA Network Open. “Cardiovascular disease and diabetes are the most expensive diseases in the United States. We spend more than $200 billion per year treating these diseases and their complications. Rather than pay huge sums for disease treatment, we should be encouraging our patients and communities to be active and exercise daily,” said Dr. Jordan Metzl, sports medicine physician at the Hospital for Special Surgery and author of the book “The Exercise Cure.”
Jaber said the other big revelation from the research is that fitness leads to a longer life, with no limit to the benefit of aerobic exercise. ResearcheExercise: It's what the doctor orderedrs have always been concerned that “ultra” exercisers might be at a higher risk of death, but the study found that not to be the case.

“There is no level of exercise or fitness that exposes you to risk,” he said. “We can see from the study that the ultra-fit still have lower mortality.”

“In this study, the most fit individuals did the best,” said Metzl, who was not involved in the study. “Once cleared by their physicians, patients shouldn’t be afraid of exercise intensity.”

The benefits of exercise were seen across all ages and in both men and women, “probably a little more pronounced in females,” Jaber said. “Whether you’re in your 40s or your 80s, you will benefit in the same way.”

The risks, he said, became more shocking when comparing those who don’t exercise much. “We all know that a sedentary lifestyle or being unfit has some risk. But I’m surprised they overwhelm even the risk factors as strong as smoking, diabetes or even end-stage disease.”

“People who do not perform very well on a treadmill test,” Jaber said, “have almost double the risk of people with kidney failure on dialysis.”

Exercise is good for your body and your mind, study says

What made the study so unique, beyond the sheer number of people studied, he said was that researchers weren’t relying on patients self-reporting their exercise. “This is not the patients telling us what they do,” Jaber said. “This is us testing them and figuring out objectively the real measure of what they do.”

Comparing those with a sedentary lifestyle to the top exercise performers, he said, the risk associated with death is “500% higher.” “If you compare the risk of sitting versus the highest performing on the exercise test, the risk is about three times higher than smoking,” Jaber explained.

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Comparing somebody who doesn’t exercise much to somebody who exercises regularly, he said, still showed a risk 390% higher. “There actually is no ceiling for the benefit of exercise,” he said. “”There’s no age limit that doesn’t benefit from being physically fit.” Dr. Satjit Bhusri, a cardiologist at Lenox Hill Hospital, who was not involved in the study, said this reinforces what we know. “Sedentary, Western lifestyles have lead to a higher incidence in heart disease and this shows that it’s modifiable. It’s reversible,” he explained, adding that doctors are really good at treating patients who have had cardiovascular events but they can be prevented. “We’re meant to walk, run, exercise. It’s all about getting up and moving.” For patients, especially those who live a sedentary lifestyle, Jaber said, “You should demand a prescription from your doctor for exercise.”
So get moving.

New to Virtual Races? 5 Steps to get your started.

What to Eat Before a 5k/10k Run

Carb loading for a 5K race isn’t really necessary. When it comes to a 5K you will really just want to make sure you are doing these following steps when it comes to eating before your race:

Eat A Light Breakfast

For morning races, a light 200-300 calorie breakfast one to two hours before the race should hold you over well. Try to make sure that most of the calories are coming from whole, unprocessed carbs. Try to avoid too much fiber or fats due to the amount of time they take to digest. 10 grams of fiber/fat or less is best!  Be sure to avoid spicy! Spicy foods or seasoning can upset your stomach and may cause heartburn during your race. Make sure that you try different meal choices during your training to see what works best with your body, so on the race day you will know exactly what to eat.

Pre-Race Snacking

No need to starve yourself! If you are hungry right before your race, it is perfectly OK to have a small snack of 150-250 calories that settles the hunger, but not fill you up. Something like a banana, or energy bar would suffice. Try to choose something that is high in carbohydrates and low in fat. Make sure to drink 7-10 ounces of water or a sports drink to wash it down. Drinking  will aid in quicker digestion, giving your body the quick burn nutrients you need to succeed!

Stay Hydrated

Wash your pre-race meal down with plenty of water or your favorite sports drinks. 17-20 ounces of water before the race is about what you should consume. Then sipping water throughout the day and before the race is a good idea. Avoid drinking so much that you get sick once you start running. Stay hydrated but pace yourself.

Late-Day Race

If your race is later in the day or evening, be sure to keep all your meals very light. Breakfast and lunch meals will be very important in how you feel by the time the race starts. Again, avoid high fiber and fat. Granola with fruit, a bagel with egg, etc. are all good choices for breakfast if your race is late in the day.

Best of luck on your upcoming Virtual 5k or 10k! Let us know what you do to prepare for your race and as always we would love to hear and see the results on social media!

Fuel For A 5k

What to Eat Before a 5k/10k Run

 

Carb loading for a 5K race isn’t really necessary. When it comes to a 5K you will really just want to make sure you are doing these following steps when it comes to eating before your race:

Eat A Light Breakfast

For morning races, a light 200-300 calorie breakfast one to two hours before the race should hold you over well. Try to make sure that most of the calories are coming from whole, unprocessed carbs. Try to avoid too much fiber or fats due to the amount of time they take to digest. 10 grams of fiber/fat or less is best!  Be sure to avoid spicy! Spicy foods or seasoning can upset your stomach and may cause heartburn during your race. Make sure that you try different meal choices during your training to see what works best with your body, so on the race day you will know exactly what to eat.

Pre-Race Snacking

No need to starve yourself! If you are hungry right before your race, it is perfectly OK to have a small snack of 150-250 calories that settles the hunger, but not fill you up. Something like a banana, or energy bar would suffice. Try to choose something that is high in carbohydrates and low in fat. Make sure to drink 7-10 ounces of water or a sports drink to wash it down. Drinking  will aid in quicker digestion, giving your body the quick burn nutrients you need to succeed!

Stay Hydrated

Wash your pre-race meal down with plenty of water or your favorite sports drinks. 17-20 ounces of water before the race is about what you should consume. Then sipping water throughout the day and before the race is a good idea. Avoid drinking so much that you get sick once you start running. Stay hydrated but pace yourself.

Late-Day Race

If your race is later in the day or evening, be sure to keep all your meals very light. Breakfast and lunch meals will be very important in how you feel by the time the race starts. Again, avoid high fiber and fat. Granola with fruit, a bagel with egg, etc. are all good choices for breakfast if your race is late in the day.

 

Best of luck on your upcoming Virtual 5k or 10k! Let us know what you do to prepare for your race and as always we would love to hear and see the results on social media!