Are the Norwegians born with skis on their feet?

cross-country-skiingCross country skiing has long traditions in Norway, and Norwegians are known to perform cross-country skiing at the highest international level. There is no doubt that Norway is one of the best cross country skiing nations in the world. And the best skiers today are treated as “pop star icons” by the Norwegian population and the media.

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Does training intensity differ with upper vs. lower body exercise?

Arnt_ErikWe are now in the first autumn month, and the winter is fast approaching. For some, this is a sad part of the year, but for others (like me) winter is something to look forward to. We have the woods with all its beautiful colors, the excitement of the first approaching snow and a chance to try out our new cross country skis.

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– Trening gir masse glede selv når det gjør litt vondt

“Å være fysisk aktiv er for meg å leve med samspillet av mine egen fysiske og mentale evner, en uendelig lang og spennende reise. Å være fysisk aktiv betyr også glede ved å oppdage nye miljøer og værforhold gjennom varierte aktiviteter. Selv som liten gutt lærte jeg at det er en fascinasjon i å teste sine grenser og at “smerte” i målrettet og hardt fysisk trening gir meg et sunt perspektiv på hva som er et sunt og verdig liv. Fysisk aktivitet gir meg indre fred og masse glede, selv når det gjør litt vondt!:)”
Johan Skullman, ekspert på friluftsliv og driver konsulentselskapet JOS Experience hvor han blant annet tester utstyr og utvikler produkter for kunder som Fjällräven, Fenix, Vattenfall og Försvarsmakten. Tidligere utviklings- og testansvarlig i det svenske forsvaret. 

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Exercise as medicine – not only for your heart and other muscles

Photo: iStockLes dette innlegget på norsk her!

Here in Norway, we have four beautiful seasons. We are finishing one of the finest summers in modern time, and now the autumn is knocking heavily on our doors. Following the change of season also comes a colder weather, and shortened time of sunlight during the day. Importantly, also comes increased incidence of bad colds, fever and different airway infections. Some swear to vitamins, honey, and a number of other nutrients and experimental ways of avoiding these unpleasant, but usually mild and harmless diseases. However, have you taken your daily dose of exercise as medicine?

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Kyssesyke ødela langrennskarrieren

Stipendiat ved CERG, Silvana Bucher Sandbakk, var tidligere landslagsløper i langrenn for Sveits. I 2007 ble hun U23 verdensmester, og hun har blant annet deltatt i OL i Vancouver i 2010 og VM i Holmenkollen i 2011. I 2012 måtte gi opp langrenn på toppnivå på grunn av ettervirkningene av kyssesyke og en annen virussykdom.
– Selve sykdommen trenger ikke å være verre enn en sterk influensa, men ettervirkningene kan sitte lenge i kroppen, forteller hun.
Som toppidrettsutøver er man nødt til å klare å belaste kroppen 100 prosent. 90 prosent holder ikke til å være med i toppen.

Sportssendingene til den sveitsiske TV-kanalen SRF besøkte Sandbakk i Trondheim for å lage en reportasje om henne og virussykdom i toppidretten.
Se reporasjen fra sveitsisk TV her. Reportasjen er på tysk.

Silvana

Andrea Hegdahl Tiltnes, CERG

What is the energy cost of falling into cold water?

At ”Enjoy the cold 2014” at Ny-Ålesund we challenge the participants to test themself in different ways in different situations. One of the days we tested survival suits in cold water (2 degrees Celsius). In addition to that Henning Kaspersen from the Norwegian school of winter warfare wanted to demonstrate for us how it is to fall into such cold water in regular outdoor clothing.

In arctic waters with normal clothing

We tested his resting metabolism (resting oxygen uptake) and his maximal metabolism (maximal oxygen uptake) in order to compare the metabolic response of laying into the water for some time.

Standing metabolism measurements Testing maximal oxygen uptake

His maximal oxygen uptake was 49 ml/kg/min and resting oxygen uptake 4 ml/kg/min. Standing by the water just before jumping into the water his oxygen uptake was 7 ml/kg/min followed by 13 ml/kg/min after being 1 minute in the water. The increase in oxygen uptake while staying in the water is due to the need of heat production in order to keep a normal body temperature. This “heating process” requires oxygen.

IMG_3313

After 10 minutes in the cold water the oxygen uptake was again 7 ml/kg/min. How is that possible? Henning stayed completely still in the water and the water inside his clothes got warmed-up by heat production and less oxygen is needed to produce heat in such conditions. Every time he moved his arms or feet oxygen uptake increased because the “warm water” became exchanged with cold water that cools down his body temperature whereupon the body responds with increased heat production. After 20 minutes in the water the oxygen uptake was 15 ml/kg/min reflecting that the isolation of the clothing’s was substantially reduced making his body continuously exposed to cold water that send the signal to the body to start to produce heat.

Getting out of the water

After 20 minutes we took him out of the water – he was not able to get up him self. He did not want to go out and he thinks that he could have stayed 20 more minutes but in a less “comfortable” way than the first 20 minutes. 15 minutes (inside) after getting up from the 2 degrees Celsius water we had him to stand completely still. He was shivering a lot and his oxygen uptake was 30 ml/kg/min – just to produce heat to increase his body temperature! 

The cold heart

The good thing for Henning is that he is fit and therefore had an “oxygen capacity buffer” that enabled him to relatively quickly produce the heat necessary to increase the body temperature back to normal. If he had a maximal oxygen uptake lower than 30 ml/kg/min he could have had a problem! So fitness may be important also for surviving in cold water….

 

Ulrik Wisløff, Professor and head of CERG