On our website we have a seven-week training program present to give you who follow us a simple recipe for improved fitness and health. This program is designed as an aid to getting started with exercise, and is designed both for those who hate and those who love to exercise. It is based on our previous studies on effective training, but is deliberately made more time-efficient to fit into a busy schedule. We’ve however never really tested exactly whether this program gives a good training effect – Until now.
There is now plenty of evidence that prolonged sitting increases diseases such as heart disease and diabetes. Some office workers who also sit when commuting can sit for up to 13 hours/day, and data shows that sitting kills more people than smoking.
In an analysis of 26,483 (14,209 women) healthy Norwegians, more than 7 hours of sitting/day increased the risk for heart disease by 35% with every additional hour of increasing the risk by 5%. The study was recently published in Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise (MSSE).
Guest blog: Collaborator Jasna Marinovic, Assistant professor at University of Split School of Medicine
Department of Integrative Physiology
Membrane potential is one of the most basic properties of all living cells that is vital for proper cellular function and homeostasis. At rest, most cells in our body exhibit negative membrane potential, which is primarily established via continuous efflux of potassium (K+) ions through their respective channels. In excitable cells, such as cardiac myocytes, K+-channel opening affects cellular excitability, action potential frequency and duration, with resulting impact on contraction strength, ionic balance, oxygen demand, etc.
Among different subtypes of channels specialized for conducting potassium, a unique group, which is expressed at high density in membrane of cardiac cells, are the ATP-sensitive K+ (KATP) channels. Although under no-stress conditions they do not actively participate in action potential formation, their evolutionary conservation and abundance implicate their physiological importance. Indeed, the KATP channels serve as cellular metabolic sensors, opening in situations of cardiac stress and translating metabolic changes into alterations of membrane potential. Intactness of the KATP channels was shown essential for cardiac tolerance to stress and adaptations to increased workload, such as during increased blood pressure, chronic exercise, oxidative stress, as well as acute damage by cardiac ischemia. In humans, mutations in KATP channel subunits were found in a subset of patients with idiopathic heart failure and were associated with worse clinical outcome as compared to patients without the mutations.
Most 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.
Agathe – Ageing At Home, is a Grundtvig Learning Partnership under the European Commission’s program for Lifelong Learning, and last month they came to visit us at CERG, and learn more about our project on exercise on elderly, Generation 100.
– We are five partners from Germany, Poland, Spain and Norway who visit each other and learn about how each country try to make it possible for elderly people to live longer at home. Our project aims at building in each country support structures for elder people’s self-determined living at home in structurally weak rural regions, i.e. to create good conditions in order to enable people to live longer at home, project leader Øivind Solheim explains.
Idar Gjertsen (72) is a participant in our major research project on exercise in the elderly, Generation 100. Last year he impressed the young pilgrims in Spain during his two week pilgrimage, and now he has started on a new tour. It began in St. Jean de Pied de Port in France close to the Spainish border on April 28th. His goal is the famous pilgrimage site of Santiago de Compostela about 815 km away. Also this year, we will share some glimpses of his trip here on the blog.
Now my pulse is high. Am I sure this is a smart plan…?
Tomorrow I will go to the airport. I will stay for one night in Bayonne. The next morning I shall proceed to St. Jean de Pied de Port where I will stamp in my pilgrim passport, firmly grasp my new light poles and then I start this year’s Camino.
We all know that we need to exercise in order to get more fit and research has shown that high intensity training will get us fit much faster than moderate intensity training. Increasing our fitness should, at least in theory, give us more energy, which would in turn enable us to increase our daily activity levels, even when we are not exercising. We at K. G. Jebsen – Center of Exercise in Medicine at NTNU wanted to test if this was in fact true. Do we become more active when we become fore fit?