Fitness

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    AHealthCorps answered
    We all know that exercise has a range of physical and mental benefits. That’s why kids (and adults) should exercise daily. A new study now suggests that watching nature scenes on video while exercising may offer additional health benefits.

    The Conventry University study published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health asked kids 9 and 10 years old to cycle at a moderate pace for about 15 minutes. In one cycling experience, they viewed a video of a forest track that paced in relationship to their cycling efforts. In another exercise experience, they just cycled without viewing any videos.

    Measurements taken after viewing the video showed that post-activity blood pressure was significantly lower, compared to cycling without watching the simulated forest video. Lower blood pressure is associated with a lower risk of developing heart-related health problems. Experts suggest that it may be worthwhile to expose kids to these green, calming videos while they exercise.
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    AScripps Health answered
    The need for exercise cannot be overemphasized. More often than not, people who exercise regularly are healthier. This is partially because regular exercisers tend to have other healthy habits.

    The exercise recommendation is 150 minutes per week. Exercise doesn’t need to be painful. Moderate activity, such as brisk walking, is adequate to maintain cardiovascular health. 
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    Studies have found that sodium bicarbonate may have a small but positive effect on sprinting performance in men. Other benefits include improved overall exercise performance, time to exhaustion, total work, performance time, and power. More research is needed on the effects of sodium bicarbonate in women.

    You should read product labels, and discuss all therapies with a qualified healthcare provider. Natural Standard information does not constitute medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

    Copyright © 2012 by Natural Standard Research Collaboration. All Rights Reserved.

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    ARobin Miller, MD, Integrative Medicine, answered
    Will it ever be possible to get the positive effects of exercise in a pill?

    It is possible that there will be a pill that creates the same positive effects of exercise. In this video, Robin Miller, MD, reports on a compound recently created by scientists.

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    AHealthCorps answered

    There is a style of yoga called Bikram Yoga that uses higher room temperatures during yoga classes. Disciples of this particular approach believe there are benefits to the body in terms of pliability, circulation, toxin removal and focus.  Hotter rooms are also trending in the world of aerobic exercise, specifically during spinning, despite there being little evidence of better outcomes with a heated environment.

    Experts feel that for the average exerciser, a heated environment actually makes the person less able to perform maximally, because their body has to work so much harder to stay cool. In particular, the heart is asked to provide adequate oxygen to the muscles, remove waste that accumulates during exercise AND pump even more blood to help dissipate the heat. There are no current studies that suggest any benefits that warrant the risks involved.

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    AHealthCorps answered

    Recent exercise trends suggest that you move quickly from exercise to exercise to keep your heart rate elevated; that way you benefit from an aerobic component during your weight-training effort.  That’s fine for circuit training, where you exercise different parts of the body, or for the Tabata training method, which encourages very short rest intervals. Otherwise, short rest periods (30 seconds to a minute in duration) between sets and between different weight-training exercises allows for muscle recovery and helps to minimize injuries.

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    AHealthCorps answered

    Recently, experts have taken a new stance on stretching and workouts, strongly suggesting that a warm up before exercise is a good idea, but stretching at the start of a workout is a no-no.  The concern is that stretching “cold muscles,” which describes muscles before they are warm and pliable, can actually prime them for damage during a workout. The recommendation is to walk, lightly jog, jump in place or do other active movements to “warm muscles up,” and then proceed with your workout. Save the stretching for the end of the workout. 

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    AHealthCorps answered

    A little soreness is OK, but significant pain in a muscle or joint can mean that you over-stressed or overstretched a ligament, tendon or muscle, or it can indicate actual joint injury.  Rest the area for several days, initially icing and then switching to applications of warm, moist heat a couple to several times a day.  If there is little relief, persistent pain or increasing pain, see a health professional.

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    AReza Yavari, MD, Endocrinology/diabetes/metabolism, answered
    The best way to gain lean muscle is to exercise regularly (weight or resistance training is recommended), and consume protein within 30 minutes of a workout. Watch endocrinologist Reza Yavari, MD, explain the best way to build lean muscle, not fat. 
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    ARobin Miller, MD, Integrative Medicine, answered
    Is there a minimum amount of exercise that I may be able to get away with and remain fit?

    High intensity, low volume exercise may work. In this video, Robin Miller, MD, reports on a Norwegian study where short bursts of exercise helped increase oxygen in-take and lowered cholesterol and body fat.

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