When my son was young (he is now 22), Pokémon was all the craze. So much so that he amassed an impressive collection of Pokémon cards. At that time Pokémon was all about getting the parents to spend money. So when I heard that Pokémon is back, I thought –Oh, here we go again. I managed to find my son’s Pokémon card collection somewhere in the storage and when I offered it to my two younger children, they were not interested….lucky me I thought…
“Confused about how much exercise to take for a healthy heart? Norwegian researchers have come up with a useful app that allows you to personalise the amount of exercise needed to reduce your risk of death from heart attack and stroke”, The Irish Times writes about our reserach that lies behind the app PAI (Personal activity intelligence).
This weekend our senior researcher Javaid Nauman was invited to speak about this reserch in front of other researchers and the press at the large congress for heart research, ESC in Rome.
“Individuals do not know how much exercise they need to prevent cardiovascular disease”, Nauman said during the session.
Much is written about physical exercise and mostly in the context that we don´t get enough of it. Most of the world’s population is NOT meeting the recommendations from health authorities. On the other hand, there are people who do not get enough of it. In recent years there has been a large increase of competitions and events of extreme physical challenges such as ultra races, Norse-man, Iron Man and similar. For many, the result itself is not important, but having completed hours of activity that is being described as pure joy and where self-torture is used as self-realization.
Some of us are wondering whether all exercise is healthy, or if there is an upper threshold where exercise is no longer healthy? I have previously written about exercise addiction, but want in this post to highlight some scientific findings that looks more on the acute response of prolonged exhausting exercise / competition.
Every parent wants to provide whatever they can to help their child grow up happy and healthy. Most people will immediately think of things like a safe place to live, healthy food to eat, a good education, and so on. However, the very first thing that a parent provides is something much more fundamental: the genes that determine the biological makeup of their child. As I have written about before in this blog post, our gene DNA sequences determine the functions of the proteins, cells, tissues and organs that biologically define us. But we can’t change our DNA sequences (at least not yet, though maybe one day it will be possible through genome editing technology such as CRISPR/Cas9), so is there any way of controlling the genetic information we pass on to our children?
Beetroot juice was found to enhance athletic performance by providing the body with nitrates, which the body transforms into nitrites, and then into nitric oxide. Nitric oxide affects performance in two ways. Firstly nitric oxide dilates the blood vessels, allowing more blood to pass through them, and secondly it improves the efficiency of the mitochondria, the power-houses of the cells, allowing them to create the same energy while using less oxygen.
Guest blog: Carl “Chip” Lavie
Sudden cardiac death (SCD) is a catastrophic cardiac event, that is often the first, last and only cardiac event for unfortunate victims. In a study published July 1,2016 in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings, led by David Jimenez-Pavon, Enrique Artero, DC Lee and senior author , Dr Steven Blair from the Aerobics Center Longitudinal Study, my colleagues and I reported on a cohort of over 55,000 followed for 15 years on average , during which 109 SCDs occurred.
The Crown Prince of Norway tested his fitness using our Fitness Calculator during an event at Egertorget in Oslo at the World Activity Day in May – and as expected he was quite fit.
Physical fitness is key to a long, healthy life. Your body’s ability to transport and use oxygen during exercise is the most precise measure of overall cardiovascular fitness. The more oxygen your body can transport and utilize, the higher your maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max) and hence your cardiovascular fitness. Your fitness depends, among other things, on your age, gender and how often and how hard you train. You can increase your fitness though training!
Last 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.
Many people believe that the frequency of our heart beats follows a fixed rhythm, but that is not the fact. Measurement of the electrical signals from the heart show that tiny differences occur between each heartbeat, also called heart rate variability (HRV). An average heart rate of 60 beat per minute does not mean that the interval between successive heartbeats would be exactly one second. In fact the heart beats may vary from 0.5 to 2.0 second. The interplay between the circulatory system organs and the autonomic nervous system is affected by complex biosignals (such as heart rate) which in turn contribute to a dynamic balance between the brain and the cardiovascular system. HRV is used as an indicator of the activity of the autonomic nervous system. A high HRV, which is evaluated to be associated with good cardiovascular health, indicates dominance of the parasympathetic response, the side of the autonomic nervous system that promotes relaxation, digestion, sleep, and recovery. The research literature has also established that individuals with a range of psychiatric disorders have reduced HRV, but more research in this field is needed.
Physical inactivity is a major threat for health and longevity on a global scale. We at CERG, together with many other research communities, aim to explain the underlying mechanisms for disease development due to insufficient amount of physical activity, and furthermore, to advocate simple and motivating ways for people to choose an active lifestyle.
In everyday life, grey and monotone as it can be, it is easy to succumb to routines when trying to ad up the schedule. Lack of time is one of the most common explanations for why people don’t exercise, but oddly enough, time spent watching TV has steadily increased during the last couple of decades. So, may it be that if you make time, you find that there is room for a quick workout more often than not?