CERG discussed their research projects with “America’s Doctor”

Professor Ulrik Wisløff, the United States Surgeon General, Vivek H. Murthy and PhD Candidate Atefe TariLast week the United States Surgeon General, Vivek H. Murthy, held a lecture at the annual meeting of the American College of Sport Medicine (ACSM) about his Call to Action to Promote Walking and Walkable Communities.

In his initiative to improve the health of the American people he stated that he aimed to walk the talk by implementing the best science for the benefit of the society. He wants to help people of all ages protect and improve their health and reduce risk of obesity and disease through regular physical activity and a healthy diet.

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The Physically Active Less Prone to Post-Heart Attack Depression

Linda ErnstsenDepression is common and estimates suggest that in a family of four, one of the family members will likely suffer from mental health problems. Depression is even 3 times more common in patients after a heart attack than in the general population. Depression after a heart attack is bad not only because of the accompanying emotional distress, it also increases the risk of having another heart attack or premature death.

Studies of patients with coronary heart disease with elevated depressive symptoms support that exercise is just as effective as antidepressant drugs, and that the reduction in depressive symptoms among those participating in cardiac rehabilitation is related to improvements in fitness. All together the existing literature gives support for a positive effect of aerobic exercise on depressive symptoms in patients with established heart disease.

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Diet and exercise – important ingredients for quality of life and successful cognitive aging?

Eldre mann og eldre dame på spinningsykler. Foto: Andrea Hegdahl Tiltnes /NTNUThe biological level ageing results from the impact of the accumulation of a wide variety of molecular and cellular damage over time. But these changes are neither linear nor consistent, and they are only loosely associated with a person’s age in years. There is no ‘typical’ older person and some 80 year-olds have physical and mental capacities similar to many 20 year-olds.

However, as we grow older our bodies are changing. We may grow a little rounder around the waistline, or wake in the night, or feel a little stiffer in the morning. Most of us have to start to use glasses, and slowly our hear turns grey. Some even loose it. As we grow older increased forgetfulness that not is impairing our daily life is considered to be a part of the normal aging process. Generally, information processing also slows as we grow older, and older people have more trouble multitasking. However, research find that problems with memory, language, thinking and judgment that are greater than normal age-related changes, also called cognitive impairment may increase the risk of later progressing to dementia. Still, some people with mild cognitive impairment never get worse, and a few eventually get better.

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Exercise for a healthy brain

hjerne2Most people know that exercise is good for their physical health, but not everyone knows that it also has beneficial effects for cognitive functions and mental health. Cognitive performance decreases with old age, and a growing elderly population increases the amount of people that will get diseases such as dementia and Alzheimer’s. In addition, mood related disorders are a major worldwide problem. Exercise can improve the lives of people who are at the risk of developing these brain-associated disorders.

Exercise can increase your memory

A study performed on elderly people showed that increased physical activity resulted in an enhanced memory performance. It did not matter if the increased activity came from organized training sessions or from routines embedded into the daily life such as walking to the supermarket, take the stairs instead of the elevator, and generally move around more in the house. One of the symptoms of diseases such as dementia and Alzheimer’s is impaired memory, and regular aerobic exercise is therefore recommended to prevent or delay the onset of these diseases.

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The Optimus Tempus of your Life?

D-eldre1Getting old itself is associated with numerous shortcomings, or are there advantages of being older?

The notion of prime time of life has been changing with the changing era. Some say that life begins at 40, or 60 is the new 50. Is there a way to figure out what is the best age to be? I try to summarize the writings of already published BBC article on this topic, published on 26th May 2015.

When we talk about physical fitness, mid 20s seems to be the best age for sprint running, shot put, javelin or other associated sports activities with a sharp decline after hitting 30s. Professional footballers have their prime time in sports in early 20 years of their life.

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Mental health and healthy aging – benefits of exercise in healthy and diseased populations

hodepineThe evidence supporting the physical and mental health benefits of exercise across the life span is compelling. In a recent review of prospective population based studies the authors concluded that those practicing regular physical activity at had significantly lower risk of depressive symptoms. Further, the latest Cochrane review of randomized controlled studies on exercise among patients with medical diagnosed depression concluded that exercise had the same antidepressant effect as psychological or pharmacological therapies.

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Congratulations to Linda Ernstsen

Warm congratulations to CERG Post Doctor Linda Ernstsen who recived the 2015 Oded Bar-Or International Scholar Award at the 2015 ACSM’s 6th World Congress on Exercise is Medicine in San Diego California.

We are very proud of her achievements, and wish her good luck with her future studies. She is currently working on new studies on fitness and mental health together with professor Steven Blair and associated professor Mei Sui at The University of South Carolina.

Read more about the award and her stay in South Carolina in this blogpost: International Scholar Award to Linda Ernstsen