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Whole body of research underscores the importance of exercise
10.12.2012As obesity reaches epidemic proportions worldwide, a new set of studies has been published pointing out new information regarding the benefits of keeping in shape.
A plethora of scientific evidence has already shown how a regular workout routine in one's own personal healthcare wellness program can lessen the odds of developing numerous conditions that may lead to episodes requiring immediate care from emergency department physicians. These include heart attack and stroke.
Meanwhile, a number of studies newly released by colleges and medical organizations based in Colorado show that exercise doesn't necessarily need to be time-consuming to be effective. Scientists from the University of Colorado examined a group of male subjects with no preexisting conditions who were all between 25 and 31 years old. These subjects were fed a diet tailored specifically for their individual metabolisms. Participants were instructed to engage in sedentary activities for the majority of the three-day study, except for one day when they were subjected to a sprinting test on a stationary bike for 2.5 minutes. During that short period of time, the subjects burned an extra 200 calories than they did on their rest days.
"Research shows that many people start an exercise program but just can't keep it up," said Kyle Sevitis, one of the study authors. "The biggest factor people quote is that they don't have the time to fit in exercise. We hope if exercise can be fit into a smaller period of time, then they may give exercise a go and stick with it."
Workouts may mitigate accelerated aging in diabetes
Slated for discussion at the Integrative Biology of Exercise VI meeting in Westminister, Colorado, another study shows that 12 to 20 weeks of habitual exercise improves the overall fitness levels of individuals with type 2 diabetes by almost 50 percent. Getting in shape, researchers say, can reduce premature cardiovascular aging in diabetics. According to the scientists, cardiovascular aging happens to everyone when they approach middle-age, but it strikes diabetics 20 percent harder.
"People with diabetes are typically less physically active, but the majority of those patients say that their doctors told them to be active," said lead author Amy Huebschmann, of the University of Colorado School of Medicine. "There's a disconnect between what patients know they should do and what they actually do."
Recovery from cancer aided by exercise
Meanwhile, scientists from the Rocky Mountain Cancer Rehabilitation Institute say the immune systems of cancer survivors improve more quickly when patients exercise following their chemotherapy treatments. In this way, the odds of their cancer returning are lessened, although the preliminary study can't say to what degree.
To bring about these findings, researchers drew blood from 16 cancer survivors who had almost all recently undergone chemotherapy. Study participants then underwent a program that required them to steadily improve their strength, endurance, flexibility, posture and balance for 12 weeks. After the 12 weeks, study participants had their blood drawn once more, and the researchers saw that their ratio of functional to dysfunctional T cells had shifted in favor of the useful disease-fighting blood cells.
"There's a litany of positive benefits from exercise," said study co-author Laura Bilek. "If exercise indeed strengthens the immune system and potentially improves cancer surveillance, it's one more thing we should educate patients about as a reason they should schedule regular activity throughout their day and make it a priority in their lives."
Categories: Health and Wellness
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