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.
We all know that a sedentary lifestyle is unhealthy and that we should be physical active. However, why is that? Why does evolutionary biologist describe natural selection as survival of the fittest meaning that the “fit” has a greater probability for survival than the “unfit”. Under follows a brief and simplified history lesson on why we become “born to be active”.
Once superior locomotive skills and physical capacity were essential for human survival and certainly a reason that Homo sapiens developed and prospered. Physical capacity was important in order to evade predators and secures food supply. Comparative physiologists (Hochachka et al., 1999) together with anthropologist (Bramble and Lieberman, 2004) has hypothesized that superior traits of endurance capacity together with an impressive ability to thermoregulate was essential for ancestral humans from the high plains of East Africa to succeed as game hunters. A success which ensured high protein sources of food which again was important for the development of larger brains and complex cooperative behavior compared to other primates. Simply stated: Physical capacity was necessary for human survival and development.
Just before Christmas we arranged our 6th seminar on Exercise in Medicine in Trondheim. Over 100 scientists were gatered to present and discuss existing and future research projects within exercise in medicine. We want to thank all our guests for coming all the way to Trondheim to participate in the seminar. We had some interesting and inspiring days, and are looking forward to future collaborations.
«A Journey to Hell and Back» is the name of the unsupported expedition to the South Pole and back, carried out by Justin Jones and James Castrission. December 18th they told their breathtaking story during our event «Man in Extreme Environment» at Brukbar/Blæst in Trondheim. Who would believe that two guys from Australia would be the first persons ever managing this? It’s a saying that Norwegians are born with skis, but Australians for sure aren’t. They skied for the very first time 15 months before the expedition started.
In fact, a Norwegian, Aleksander Gamme, could have beaten the Justin Jones and James Castrission, but he waited for the Australians three kilometers before the finish line, so they all could cross it together. Great sportsmanship from our own Aleksander Gamme.
Emil Eide Erikssen was also on stage telling his story of rowing across the Atlantic Sea. An impressing story about two years of preparing, sore buttocks, courage, and battling the harsh sea.
Three fantastic men on stage with impressive, entertaining and inspiring stories to tell, made this a great night to remember. Thank you Cas, Jones and Emil!
In 1966 a legendary study from Dallas was published where they studied the effect of total inactivity for 3 weeks. After this 3 week period, the so-called “Dallas bed-rest study” found an increase in body weight, body-fat and a marked decline in fitness level. 30 years later they followed up the same participants and re-examined their health status. As one might expect after 30 years of aging, both body weight, body fat percentage and fitness declined from the happy 20s (before the 3 weeks of bed-rest). However, they found that they were in better shape after 30 years of aging than they were after 3 weeks of inactivity! What many researchers are asking now is if the decline in fitness associated with aging is caused by lower activity level with aging compared to activity level as young.
The UTFORSK project is a collaboration between CERG at NTNU and the University of Sao Paulo. Our primary aim with the project is to promote exchange of staff and students for a variety of activities such as collaboration in research projects, joint teaching, workshops and seminars in the field of Exercise Science. Last week we organized our first Seminar in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The goals of the Seminar were to summarize the research projects in collaboration and also to build new partnerships in research that will last beyond the duration of the project.
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.
As medical scientists, we work towards a major goal: to improve human health through prevention and treatment of disease. Given the size of this challenge, a key feature of the most successful projects is capacity to bring together collaborators with complementary expertise and common interests. We at CERG have established partnership with scientists from all over the world, and in recent years we have strengthened our collaborations with researchers from the University of Sao Paulo (Brazil). As a highlight of this collaboration, we are excited to join our colleagues in Sao Paulo this week for the first UTFORSK Seminar in Exercise Physiology.
Movember is here and it’s time to focus on prostate cancer and male health. Exercise both prevent cancer and play an important role in both treatment and rehabilitation of cancer. This year Movember has made the campaign Move that encourages people to be active. Get active with our 4 -week Movember program!