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This Type of Exercise May Guard Against Dementia

People who worked out on a bike, a treadmill, or the elliptical showed improvement in their memory and problem solving skills after six months, a new study found.

Working out is good for you in more ways than we can count, but a new study may have uncovered a new perk for people with memory problems.

Researchers from the Wake Forest School of Medicine found that aerobic exercise appears to boost thinking skills and brain volume in adults diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment, a condition that sits in between normal age-related memory decline and more serious dementia. Stretching routines also increased brain volume over a six-month period, but had no noticeable impact on brain function.

The study was presented today at an annual meeting of radiologists in Chicago, and hasn’t yet been peer-reviewed or published.

Researchers used a new MRI technique to measure both volume and shape changes in specific areas of the brain, which are both important indicators for tracking the development of dementia.

At the start of the study, the researchers performed MRI scans on 35 people with mild cognitive impairment, which is a risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease. The participants were then divided into two groups and assigned to four weekly sessions of either stretching exercises or aerobic activity—walking on a treadmill, cycling on a stationary bike, or training on an elliptical machine. After six months, the researchers did a second MRI scan and compared the two sets of scans.

aerobic_exercise_at_gym

Both groups showed increases in most gray matter regions of the brain, including the temporal lobe, which supports short-term memory. But those increases were greater in the group that walked, pedaled, or spent time on the elliptical.

“Even over a short period of time, we saw aerobic exercise lead to a remarkable change in the brain,” said lead investigator Laura D. Baker, PhD, associate professor of gerontology and geriatric medicine at Wake Forest, in a press release.

People in the stretching group had less total brain volume increase, and their brain scans also showed signs of “directional deformation”—shape changes possibly related to volume loss—within the brain’s white matter. The researchers believe these hard-to-detect signs could be early indicators of dementia. “Directional changes in the brain without local volume changes could be a novel biomarker for neurological disease,” co-author Jeongchul Kim, PhD, said in a press release.

In an abstract presented at the conference, the researchers concluded that aerobic exercise “could preserve or possibly even improve brain volumes” in people with early cognitive problems.

What’s more, the researchers also reported that over a six-month period, participants in the aerobic exercise group improved in tests that measure executive function—a set of thinking processes that include working memory, reasoning, and problem solving—while the stretching group showed no change.

That doesn’t mean stretching didn’t help in some way, the authors say, especially when compared to completely sedentary behavior. It does suggest, however, that aerobic activity may be a better bet for overall brain functioning.

Plenty of previous research has tied exercise to better brain outcomes in older adults; a 2014 Canadian study, for example, found that brisk walking (but not resistance training, balance exercises, or muscle toning) was associated with enlargement of the hippocampus. Aerobic exercise may have some competition when it comes to brain health, however. Last month, an Australian study found that women who lifted weights regularly had better cognitive function than those who did regular stretching and calisthenics.

This newest study, although small and preliminary, is in line with previous research suggesting that “any type of exercise can be beneficial,” said Kim—good news for older adults who perhaps can’t get out and walk, ride, or otherwise break a sweat. However, he added, “If possible, aerobic activity may create potential benefits for higher cognitive functioning.”

 

 By Amanda MacMillan      November 30, 2016


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Sitting 8 Hours A Day? An Hour A Day Of Physical Activity Could Offset The Health Risks

Brisk walking or cycling found to eliminate the increased risk of death associated with prolonged sitting

Office workers and others who sit for eight hours a day can avoid the health risks associated with that inactivity by doing an hour of physical activity a day, a new study suggests.

The research team behind the study wanted to know if it was possible for people who sit all day at an office job to compensate for the harmful effects of that lack of activity by getting some exercise. In short, the answer is yes.

Researchers arrived at their findings by analyzing data from 16 studies involving more than a million people. They found that people who were physically active, but sat for eight hours a day, had a much lower risk of death compared to people who weren’t physically active, even if they sat for fewer hours.

cycling
The researchers found that doing at least one hour a day
of moderately intensive physical activity a day
was enough to completely offset the increased risk
of death from sitting for eight hours a day.

“This suggests that physical activity is particularly important, no matter how many hours a day are spent sitting,” the study’s authors said.

The researchers found that doing at least one hour a day of physical activity a day was enough to completely offset the increased risk of death from doing all that sitting.

By physical activity, researchers said walking at 5.6 km/h meets the standard, as would cycling at 16 km/h.

“Our message is a positive one: it is possible to reduce — or even eliminate — these risks if we are active enough, even without having to take up sports or go to the gym,” said lead author Ulf Ekelung, a professor at the Norwegian School of Sports Sciences and the University of Cambridge.

That message was welcome news for Toronto lawyer Kiran Gill, who often bikes to and from work. “I am surprised it only takes one hour to mitigate the effects of eight hours of sitting. I would think that would take a lot more,” she told CBC News.

While an hour a day of physical activity is ideal, researchers said getting less than an hour of daily exercise can still reduce the health risks of sitting for hours.

The key message from the study is that if long periods of sitting each day can’t be avoided, it’s crucial to be physically active.

Heavy TV viewing

Researchers also looked at the health risks of one particular type of sedentary activity — watching a lot of television.

They found that those who sat and watched at least three hours of TV per day had an increased risk of death for all groups, except those who engaged in moderately intensive physical activity for 60 to 75 minutes per day.

But for those watched at least five hours of TV per day, even high levels of physical activity were not enough to eliminate higher mortality risks.

Why does TV watching for hours at a time seem to be more unhealthy than a similar amount of time sitting at a desk?

Researchers suggest that watching a lot of TV may be a marker of a more unhealthy lifestyle in general. They also suggest that because people tend to watch TV in the evenings after dinner, it may affect their metabolism. People also tend to snack while watching TV.

The study was published Wednesday in The Lancet.

With files from the CBC’s Christine Birak and Melanie Glanz
CBC News        Posted: Jul 27, 2016 

source: www.cbc.ca


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Exercise In Disguise: 5 Ways To Burn Calories Without Hitting The Gym

For those who have trouble finding time to play sports, there are plenty of ways to get some exercise without even realizing. Getting moving with day-to-day activities like gardening, cleaning, dancing, grocery shopping and brisk walking can burn up to 400 calories per hour.

Get out in the garden

You don’t have to be retired to enjoy gardening. Take to the task with vigor and this outdoor activity can burn calories and work up a sweat. Mowing the lawn, digging, turning soil, stacking logs, weeding and raking leaves can burn as much as 400 calories per hour. For city dwellers, why not sign up to one of the shared allotments or community garden projects that are springing up in towns and cities? This can be a great way to relax and take a breather from urban life.

Keep it clean

Cleaning may not be the sexiest of activities, but it’s a chore that’s got to be done. It’s also a great way of getting moving and burning calories without even realizing. Vacuuming, cleaning windows and mopping floors can burn 250 calories per hour. Stick on your favorite music and get to work with gusto.

clean-windows

 

Stay active in the office

Getting up and taking a five-minute walk once an hour is a great way to stay active. Why not go see a colleague at the other end of the office or in a different department, trekking across corridors and staircases if possible. Or go get a glass of water from a water fountain or kitchen on a higher floor, for example. And when heading to the restroom, choose facilities that are far away from your desk. Simply getting up and getting moving eight times a day can soon add up to 40 minutes of physical activity, burning around 300 calories with relative ease.

Bust a groove, even at home

Not everyone has the time or energy to go out dancing in a nightclub, bar or gym after work. Busting a groove in the comfort of your own home is a simple alternative that’s easy and effective. Whether alone or with family and friends, push back the sofa, stick on your favorite tunes and get moving. Dancing is a great way to work up a sweat and get a smile on your face. An hour of dancing can easily burn 400 calories.

Go on foot, walk briskly

Brisk walking is a great activity for losing weight. Walking for 30 minutes at a reasonably fast, steady pace (around 5 to 6 km/h) can burn up to 175 calories. Don’t miss any opportunity to take the stairs or use public transport. Go get groceries yourself instead of having them delivered, even if the convenience of delivery is seriously tempting. Heading out shopping is a great form of exercise in disguise. An hour spent walking around a supermarket or mall can burn up to 200 calories.

Relaxnews    Published Saturday, April 23, 2016 


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Real Preventive Medicine: The 5 Keys to Staying Healthy

Elson M. Haas, MD

What is called “Preventive Medicine” in America in the 21st Century is really more appropriately termed early intervention and early diagnosis. Having immunization injections or taking tests such as x-rays and mammograms, prostate exams, and blood tests are not really preventive in nature. Rather, they are an attempt to detect diseases in an early state. What is promoted as cancer prevention with the use of mammograms or prostate exams, sigmoidoscopes or colonoscopes is really early cancer diagnosis. This is done in hopes that cancer can be aggressively attacked before it spreads and destroys the entire body and life. Cancer represents a state of toxicity and its reaction on cellular mechanisms in the body; it is a disease of our body and not separate from it, and represents some breakdown or misguidance of our intricate immune system. After it occurs, it clearly is difficult to treat without great measures. Preventing cancer (and cardiovascular diseases, for that matter) is indeed an important goal in preventive medicine.

Real Preventive Medicine—preventing acute and chronic diseases—in other words, Staying Healthy, results from the way we live. We are a culmination of our life experiences. Our health is a by-product of our life, our genes and constitutional state, our upbringing and the habits we develop, our diets, our stresses and how we deal with them, our illnesses and how we treat them (whether we attempt to discover the underlying cause and change our lifestyle so we no longer manifest disease patterns)—all of this and more affects the level of health and vitality we experience. How we live—our lifestyle choices—is the key to long-term health, quality of life, and vitality in our later years.

The five keys to good health and disease prevention are:

  • Diet—what we eat and how, i.e. our intake habits.
  • Exercise—stretching and working our body regularly to keep it flexible and strong.
  • Sleep—adequate rest and sleep (and dream time) for each of us is crucial to “recharging our batteries,” healing many problems, keeping our moods balanced and staying healthy.
  • Stress Management—learning to deal with life’s ups and downs.
  • Attitude—keeping a positive outlook so we treat our self and others with the life-supporting respect and care we deserve.

The first level of dietary reform involves assessing potentially-toxic daily habits, such as the regular use of sugar, nicotine, alcohol, caffeine, and chemicals—what I call our SNACCs—and cleaning these up or taking breaks from them to re-assess our health potential and how we feel. I believe all of these substance abuses so common in modern-day cultures act as insidious poisons when used consistently over the years. The incidence of chronic, debilitating disease is steadily growing in our culture and these long-term habits are also prime contributors to this poor health in our aging years.

My nutritional message in my personal life, practice and my books has been to turn back (or forward) to a nature-based diet for greater vitality and health, to eat closer to the earth’s food source, from the gardens, farmer’s market, from the orchards, away from the boxed and canned foods and the refined and “chemicalized” cuisine. Focusing on fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains and legumes, nuts and seeds, and much less animal-based foods and refined/processed foods will greatly improve health, both in our immediate future and over the years.

5keys

Our exercise program must be frequent (at least three to four times a week), consistent over the years, and balanced, which is very important. A balanced exercise program should include regular stretching for flexibility, weight work for building tone and strength, and aerobics for endurance and stamina. Exercising regularly commonly improves body function and health as well as attitude. It is one of our best stress managers, relaxers, and mood elevators.

We should exercise realistically at our current level of physical strength and endurance so that we can progress consistently and avoid injury. If we are just beginning and not in great shape, we can start slowly and build as our stamina and strength improve. If we have been working out regularly and are already fit, then it is beneficial to periodically evaluate our state and progress, and then make appropriate changes to exercise at our full potential.

Sleep offers life’s balance for all of our activity, and that’s physical, mental and emotional activity, too. Like breathing fresh air, drinking good quality water, and eating a nourishing diet, our nightly quality sleep is crucial to our well-being. There are many stages of sleep important to our body’s recharging itself, and although we all do not regularly recollect our dreams, we need to sleep deeply enough to go into that theta wave, REM (rapid-eye-movement), dream sleep. If we are not sleeping well, applying the other principles of Preventive Medicine, such as eating well and avoiding stimulants, exercising regularly earlier in the day, and managing stress may all be helpful. And we don’t have to turn to medications for sleep because there are many natural remedies that can help, such as calcium and magnesium, L-tryptophan, and many herbal relaxers.

Managing stress is a key element in minimizing health risk and enjoying life. Stresses are our body/mind responses to our personal experiences and we are individual in the issues to which we respond and react. There are so many illnesses and diseases that are generated or worsened by stress that it is imperative each of us develop skills to deal with mental and physical demands and emotional challenges. Simple relaxation techniques, meditation, exercise, sports, outdoor activities, and especially internal disciplines like yoga or tai chi are all extremely valuable in dealing with both daily and long-term stress.

I believe one of the greatest problems of modern day life is the Indigestion of Life. Most of us do not have enough personal time to digest and assimilate our daily experiences— work, relationships, and food that we experience rapid-fire throughout our day-to-day existence. This leads to the implosion of energy and the potential explosion of emotions or bodily symptoms. These are our body’s attempt to convey messages we do not have time to receive and incorporate. Here again, it would be helpful if we were to take time to quiet ourselves, to breathe and listen, to digest and assimilate, to experience and enjoy. Taking time to clear ourselves, to become current and ready for new creativity and life is a concept and an activity that can lead us to more optimum health.

Likewise, staying positive and motivated to experience life, unafraid to handle challenges or deal with uncomfortable emotions is also crucial to health. Lifestyle Medicine is the highest art of healing for each of us. As a doctor, I believe the most important thing I can do is to encourage my patients and readers to make personal changes in their lifestyle—diet, exercise, proper sleep, stress management, and attitude. If our lifestyle supports health, then we can influence our own health over the course of our entire lives.

Our personal health and well-being is up to each of us. We can begin by first assessing our health and lifestyle. What changes will provide us with more energy, greater clarity and vitality, and better overall health and longevity? We can create a plan to implement and experience a better quality of health with fewer sick days, fewer doctor’s visits, and a more enjoyable and livable life.

Elson M. Haas, MD is a medical practitioner with nearly 40 years experience in patient care, always with in an interest in natural medicine. For the past 30 years, he has been instrumental in the development and practice of Integrated Medicine at the Preventive Medical Center of Marin (PMCM), which he founded in 1984 and where he is the Medical Director. Dr Haas has been perfecting a model of healthcare that integrates sophisticated Western diagnostics and Family Medicine with time-honored natural therapies from around the world.
This educating, writing doctor is also the author of many books including Staying Healthy with Nutrition: The Complete Guide to Diet and Nutritional Medicine, 21st Century Edition, The NEW Detox Diet: The Complete Guide for Lifelong Vitality with Recipes, Menus, & Detox Plans and more. Visit his website for more information on his work, books and to sign up for his newsletter.


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How Exercise May Help Us Fight Off Colds

By GRETCHEN REYNOLDS     DECEMBER 16, 2015   

Working out could help us fight off colds and other infections, according to a timely new study. The study, which found that regular exercise strengthens the body’s immune system in part by repeatedly stressing it, was conducted in animals. But the results most likely apply to people, the researchers say, and could offer further incentive for us to remain physically active this winter.

In broad terms, our immune system reacts to invading microbes through a variety of cells. Some of these cells don’t directly combat the infection, but instead promote the development of inflammation. When we think of inflammation, we usually think of fever, swelling and redness. But inflammation can also be a good thing, helping the body to heal itself as it fights invading microbes.

The problem is that inflammation can easily get out of hand. If the inflammatory response to an infection or injury is too robust or indiscriminate, the inflammation can ultimately cause more tissue damage and lingering health problems than it prevents.

Scientists have long tried to determine why inflammation sometimes grows rampant in the body. One thing they’ve noticed is that fat cells are particularly adept at producing substances that promote inflammation, in part as a response to messages from the immune system.

But fat cells also often produce inflammatory substances in greater amounts than needed to fight germs, in some cases even when there is no actual infection. As a result, past studies have found, obesity in animals and people can lead to elevated levels of inflammation throughout the body and, interestingly, a weaker overall immune response to an infection or illness.

Because of these links between fat cells and the immune response, scientists at Chosun University in Gwangju, South Korea, and other institutions recently began to consider whether exercise might affect the body’s response to germs. Among the many effects of physical activity, exercise generally reduces the amount of fat in the body and also alters levels of inflammation.

So for the new study, which was published last month in Scientific Reports, they gathered 28 average-weight male laboratory mice and tested their blood and fat cells for markers of inflammation and other immune cells. They then had half of the mice begin a swimming regimen, during which the animals paddled around a warmish pool for 10 minutes, five days a week, for three weeks.

Mice aren’t natural or eager swimmers and tend to thrash in the water, so the exercise was moderately strenuous for them, the equivalent of what 30 minutes or so of jogging might be for us.

The other mice remained sedentary.

Throughout the three weeks, the scientists monitored all of the animals’ levels of inflammation and what was happening, if anything, to their fat cells.

cold

As expected, the swimmers showed increases in markers of inflammation, especially in their muscles, as their bodies worked to heal the slight tissue damage that occurs during regular exercise. Over all, they displayed higher levels of inflammation than the unexercised animals. Meanwhile, their fat cells were shrinking in size.

After three weeks, to test the animals’ immune response, half of the swimmers and half of the inactive mice were inoculated with Staphylococcus germs. In both mice and people, these germs cause skin infections and serious lung problems that resemble pneumonia.

Both the mice that had exercised and those that had remained sedentary began to grow ill from the Staph infections. But the differences in the animals’ immune responses proved to be considerable, the scientists found.

Inflammation rapidly blossomed in the sedentary, infected animals, as their immune systems pumped out high numbers of cells that promote inflammation. Many of these cells migrated to the animals’ lungs, suggesting that excessive inflammation was taking hold there.

Meanwhile, the infected swimmers had much lower levels of these pro-inflammatory cells, lower even than in the uninfected swimmers. The numbers of these cells in their lungs were particularly low. At the same time, the sickening swimmers were producing far more of a potent type of antimicrobial immune cell that, like internal Purell, directly kills germs, especially in their lungs.

Over all, the infected swimmers did not become as sick as the infected sedentary mice. They also experienced much less lung damage.

Precisely how swimming had changed these animals’ immune systems remains somewhat unclear. But, said Yoonkyung Park, a professor of biomedical science at Chosun University who oversaw the new study, the exercise seemed to have had two signal effects.

Most obviously, it reduced fatness, which, in turn, lessened the often-excessive levels of pro-inflammatory substances produced by fat cells.

At the same time, however, the workouts caused small amounts of continuous tissue damage and inflammation. This process, the researchers said, seems to have familiarized the animals’ bodies with trauma and how best to initiate healing.

The swimmers, in effect, appeared to have developed a more refined and effective immune response. Their immune systems appear to have learned to produce a beneficial amount of inflammation, but not too much. So when germs invaded, the system could rely less on indiscriminate, blunt-force inflammation and instead turn to targeted, antimicrobial killers.

Of course, as we all know, rodents are not people.

But Dr. Park believes that the effects are likely to be similar in people. “We strongly believe that long-term, regular exercise can considerably improve the immune defense mechanism,” he said, including, thankfully, “against viral infections such as colds and the flu.”


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13 Secrets Gyms Probably Won’t Tell You

Ever wonder just how germy gyms are? Or how they convince you to buy those pricey training packages? Here, inside tips to get the most out of your membership.

By Michelle Crouch       Also in Reader’s Digest Magazine May 2015

1. We count on you not to show up. About 50 percent of people who start an exercise program quit within six months. If more members started coming regularly, it would be chaos in here. Here’s a tip to help you stick with it: Start slow. People who quit typically push themselves too hard at first and get discouraged.

2. It’s often cheaper to pay per visit. Economists at the University of California, Berkeley, found that the average gym user who enrolls in a monthly or annual membership pays 70 percent more—about $300 more a year—than those who pay per visit.

3. Many of you use the treadmills totally wrong. Holding on for balance is OK, but some people support almost all their body weight on their arms. That’s unsafe—and it prevents you from burning as many calories. If you can’t manage to loosen your grip, try slowing down.

4. What’s hot right now? Functional fitness, or doing exercises that help you in everyday life, which is important for older adults hoping to prevent injury. That means fewer exercises like leg extensions, a movement you likely will never do outside the gym, and more multi-joint, full-body exercises (like squats) that strengthen you for real-life activities like lifting heavy boxes.

5. Don’t drop your kid off at our daycare and leave the premises. It’s just rude—and it’s against our rules. If you want to get your nails done or go shopping, hire a babysitter.

6. Enjoy the free personal-training session when you join. But if your trainer shows you complex exercises and doesn’t write anything down, it might be per management orders. The goal: to make exercise seem complicated so you buy training sessions.

gym

7. Patience, people! TV shows may give you the idea that you can lose 25 pounds and transform your body in a few weeks, but unless you’re spending eight hours a day in the gym, that’s just not reality. Stick with us for three months, and you will see a noticeable difference in your physique.

8. Beware the smoothie station. Some smoothies pack as many as 500 calories, which may negate the workout you just did. Plus, we sell those products at a big markup. You can save money—and calories—by making them at home.

9. Want us to offer a class at a different time? That’s great. But we won’t create a new class just because one person asks; we need about 12 people to come regularly to make it work. Get a group of coworkers or friends who are interested, and request it together.

10. Members can be unbelievably territorial. Once, I was teaching a spin class when two people came in late and saw other members on their reserved bikes. They started yelling and pulling the people off. It was like a scene out of a movie.

11. See those bottles of disinfectant spray and paper towels? They’re not there for decoration. Please wipe down your sweaty machine after you use it. One poll found that 74 percent of gym-goers notice other members skipping post-workout wipe downs.

12. Don’t automatically pay the initiation fee. Most of the time, it’s completely negotiable.

13. What I look for in a gym: a friendly front-desk staff, which tells me it’s well managed, and a high-quality rug just inside the front door, which means the gym takes cleanliness seriously.

Sources: Tom Holland, MS, CSCS, former gym owner and author of Beat the Gym; Tiffany Richards, former employee at a fitness chain; Charlie Sims, owner of a CrossFit gym in Louisville, Kentucky; Jim Thornton, MA, ATC, CES, president of the National Athletic Trainers’ Association; and economist Stefano DellaVigna, who studied gym users for three years

source: www.rd.com


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Fat Burning Is Maximized With High Intensity Exercise

by Jake Dowd on March 3, 2015.

Burning fat is difficult, but simple; high intensity exercise is better for shedding unwanted fat. High intensity exercise usually involves intervals, but can be as simple as raising inclination on the treadmill or speeding up.

Spending an hour or an hour and a half at the gym solely on the treadmill with low intensity is not the way to go for changing that spare tire and losing fat. Spending an hour at the gym may drench the person in sweat, but it is not maximizing the fat burning process.

Another benefit of the higher intensity is that it burns more fat in less time. A person who uses higher intensity or HIIT (high-intensity interval training) cardio (cardiovascular activity), may see that their workout times will go down from one hour to anywhere from 10 minutes to 40 minutes.

Admittedly if someone is trying to lose a few pounds of fat, low intensity cardio will do the trick. However, higher intensity or HIIT cardio will make it so that more fat will be lost.

Yes some exercise is better than no exercise, but when making an effort to ramp things up a bit to burn more fat, HIIT or high intensity cardio exercise may be the way to go. The catch is that the cardio exercise session has to be intense.

An item that is needed for the first option is a timer (usually on the machine). Here are two ways it is done, pick a cardio machine such as an elliptical, indoor bike, rowing machine, or even the track. Set the resistance to a more difficult setting but that can still be moved easily.

Look at the timer and do the movement for 45 seconds and then do the movement much faster for 15 seconds. When the timer reaches one minute, repeat the low intensity cardio for 45 seconds followed by higher intensity for 15 seconds. When on a track just sprint for 15 seconds and walk or jog for 45 seconds. Complete at least 10 minutes or ten rounds, to maximize fat loss, do 20 minutes.

Another option is to simply perform a higher intensity exercise such as a higher incline or higher resistance on any of the cardio equipment that applies. This option is easy and simple according to Robert Ross an exercise physiologist at the Queen’s University in Canada, he said “It was very doable.”

In addition to the weight loss, the intense exercises are said to regulate blood sugar better than low intensity cardio because of the muscle’s absorption of sugar from the blood. People usually do not pay attention to blood sugar unless they are diabetic or pre-diabetic, but blood sugar to do with more than just body fat according to Dr. Timothy Church, professor of preventative        medicine at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Louisiana.

A majority of the research conducted on exercise had little to do with intensity. In a recent six month study, participants were assigned to three different groups; one with low intensity for 30 minutes, the second with low intensity for 60 minutes, and the third with higher intensity but for 40 minutes. The second and third groups burned the same amount of calories but the third group burned the calories in less time. The same amount of fat was lost in the second and third groups but the third group had better blood sugar levels.

What is intense for an inexperienced person is usually not intense for someone who is an athlete. Intensity is based on the heart rate of an individual or just how he or she feels; fat burning is maximized with high intensity and when it is not easy to complete the exercise.

Sources:  Time  Doctors Lounge  Today Health  Muscle&Fitness
Source:  guardianlv.com
exercise

No more excuses!
Just 2.5 minutes of intense exercise a day can burn 200 calories

By ANNA HODGEKISS   12 October 2012 
If your usual excuse for not exercising is a lack of time, then it’s bad news.
Exercising intensely for as little as 2.5 minutes a day can burn around 200 calories, say researchers from Colorado State University.
They compared the energy expenditure of a group of men on two different days – one spent watching TV, the other doing high-intensity exercise followed by long periods of recovery.
High-intensity exercise is where maximum effort is put in to work the body as hard as possible.
The theory is that a quick burst of sprinting is more productive than jogging or walking for a prolonged period.
To determine how many calories a typical sprint interval training workout might burn, lead researcher Kyle Sevits and his colleagues recruited five healthy male volunteers, all between the ages of 25 and 31.
Over three days, the men ate a diet calculated to give their bodies exactly the right amount of calories, so they weren’t over or under-eating.
High intensity exercise such as sprinting can be fit into a smaller time frame
After that, they spent one day being sedentary, watching TV, and another exercising.
This involved pedaling as fast as possible on an exercise bike set at a high resistance (i.e. effort rate)  for five 30-second periods.
Each was separated by four-minute periods of recovery, in which they pedalled slowly with very little resistance.
During the intense, 30-second bouts, the researchers coached the volunteers over an intercom system, encouraging them to give 100 per cent effort.
On the sprint interval workout day the men burned an average of an extra 200 calories, despite spending just 2.5 minutes engaged in hard exercise.
‘Research shows that many people start an exercise program but just can’t keep it up,’ said Mr Sevits.
‘The biggest factor people quote is that they don’t have the time to fit in exercise.
‘We hope if exercise can be fit into a smaller period of time,then they may give exercise a go and stick with it.
‘Burning an extra 200 calories from these exercises a couple of times a week can help keep away that pound or two that many of us gain each year.’
Official guidelines suggest we do 150 minutes of moderate exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise per week.
Yet research suggests less than a quarter of people in the UK actually manage it.