Fat reduces strength of muscle tissue, SFU study finds

Fat reduces strength of muscle tissue, SFU study finds

Intramuscular fat changes the way muscles work, possibly creating impediments to recovering from obesity.
Photograph by: VINCENZO D’ALTO


High-fat content changes muscle fibres and robs them of strength, according to new research published by researchers at Simon Fraser University.

“Understanding how this fat alters the ability of our muscles to develop force will mark an important step to help maintain mobility and a healthy lifestyle in all Canadians, even if we can’t halt the process completely,” said lead researcher James Wakeling.

Intramuscular fat — which may reside within muscle fibres or accumulate as blobs that bloat and reshape entire muscles — tends to increase in people as they age and in people who become obese.

“Accumulation of intramuscular fat seems to be ubiquitous during aging and for people with obesity,” said Wakeling.

Graduate student Hadi Rahemi stumbled onto the effect while studying the properties of different kinds of muscle fibres and discovered that muscles containing more fat are less powerful.

The fibres in fat-bloated muscles are oriented at different angles because of increased muscle size in obese people and due to muscle shrinkage in the elderly.

When the fibres of the muscle don’t line up with the main direction of force in the muscle, it is robbed of strength, explained Wakeling. In addition, the quality of muscle fibre changes with fat content, which makes them stiffer so more energy is required and muscle force is reduced.

So, our ability to perform everyday tasks declines as fat accumulates in muscles.

With the help of SFU math professor Nilima Nigam, the researchers were able to create mathematical and computational models of five different fat content scenarios, some in which fat was simply added and the amount of muscle fibre remained constant and others where it replaced some muscle tissue.

“I thought that adding fat to muscle would decrease force in proportion to the amount of contractile tissue that was replaced by fat,” said Wakeling. “But the force went down far more than expected.”

The finding suggests that fat content alters the performance and mechanics of the muscle tissue itself, decreasing the force it generates.

“It appears to be working harder against itself or the fat within it,” said Wakeling.



Get a Massage Immediately After a Workout, Says Science (Well, If You Insist)

After busting your butt in a 10K race or killer SoulCycle class, nothing sounds better than a nap (or maybe a beer). That’s fine, but get a massage first—having one immediately after a tough workout helps your muscles bounce back more quickly, according to new research from Ohio State University.


The study authors found that post-rubdown, muscles showed only half the scar tissue as non-massaged muscles, and they had 14 percent higher blood vessel formation. Massage a day or two later helped too, but not as much as one right after exercise. Researchers say it has something to do with a process called mechanotranduction—which is SAT-level vocab that, basically, has to do with how your cells respond to external stimuli.

If you can’t swing an afternoon at the spa ASAP after your run (or you just want to skip the hefty price tag), try rubbing muscles yourself with a foam roller. Previous research has shown that just 10 minutes of massage is all it takes to help nix inflammation in worn-out muscles. So post-workout, take a quick breather to get rolling.

It’s not exactly a happy ending—but we think the reduced soreness might just put a smile on your face.


Laurel Leicht  June 12, 2015

Glamour Health & Diet

We asked an exercise scientist how many days a week you need to work out to actually make a difference

How much should you exercise? Many of us have certain ideas in our heads about what works best to keep us “in shape” and what does not.

Five days a week, four days a week? Is two enough?

We spoke recently to Shawn Arent, an exercise scientist at Rutgers University, and asked him about this.

He said there was a huge difference between working out two and three days a week.

While any amount of exercise is an improvement over none at all, if you’re already in decent shape, exercising for just two days a week will not get you much additional benefit.

Here’s what he told us when we asked him how often you should exercise:

“A minimum of three days per week, for a structured exercise program. Technically, you should do something every day, and by something I mean physical activity — just move. Because we’re finding more and more that the act of sitting counteracts any of the activity you do.

“So let’s say you go work out for an hour a day and then you sit for the rest of the day — the health consequences are awful from the sitting standpoint. There’s a recent study that just came out on that. So, you need to be active at other points in the day as well besides just the exercise.

“But there’s an interesting split between exercising two days per week and three days per week, and it has to do with the frequency you stimulate the system. So with three days per week — you get significant gains early on, and you’re going to want to progress beyond that three, ideally. Two days per week, you don’t get much change — you just don’t do it frequently enough to have some of the other positive health outcomes that come along with it.

“In terms of resistance training — [you should do it] two to five days per week, it depends on the level you’re at, in terms of how advanced you are and how you train your body. Early on we can get pretty good gains in kids and older adults with two days per week, but we still want to progress them pretty quickly to three or four days per week.
Matt Johnston – TECH Insider
Aug. 1, 2015


How Fit Are You Really?

Physical fitness is key to a long life and good health. Your body’s capacity to transport and use oxygen during exercise (VO2max) is the most precise measure of overall cardiovascular fitness. Based on the extensive research of The K. G. Jebsen Center of Exercise in Medicine at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, you can easily estimate your fitness level by answering a few questions.

Check out this site:



This Is Your Brain on Exercise

Right now the front of your brain is firing signals about what you’re reading and how much of it you soak up has a lot to do with whether there is a proper balance of neurochemicals and growth factors to bind neurons together. Exercise has a documented, dramatic effect on these essential ingredients. It sets the stage, and when you sit down to learn something new, that stimulation strengthens the relevant connections; with practise, the circuit develops definition, as if you’re wearing down a path through a forest.
I’ve talked about how different I feel after yoga or a long walk; things become clearer and I become calmer. The fascinating book Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain, by John Ratey, explains biologically what accounts for these significant changes in our mind and body.

This is your brain on exercise.

… physical activity sparks biological changes that encourage brain cells to bind to one another. For the brain to learn, these connections must be made; they reflect the brain’s fundamental ability to adapt to challenges. The more neuroscientists discover about this process, the clearer it becomes that exercise provides an unparalleled stimulus, creating an environment in which the brain is ready, willing, and able to learn. Aerobic activity has a dramatic effect on adaptation, regulating systems that might be out of balance and optimizing those that are not – it’s an indispensable tool for anyone who wants to reach his or her full potential.
Exercise can have a dramatic affect on our ability to learn.

Darwin taught us that learning is the survival mechanism we use to adapt to constantly changing environments. Inside the microenvironment of the brain, that means forging new connections between cells to relay information. When we learn something, whether it’s a French word or a salsa step, cells morph in order to encode that information; the memory physically becomes part of the brain.

Exercise affects how primed our brain is to take on this new information and create these new connections. If you think of your mind as a garden, the more you move, the more you enrich the soil with positive neurotransmitters like dopamine (attention, motivation, pleasure), serotonin (mood, self-esteem, learning), and norepinephrine (arousal, alertness, attention, mood). More importantly you sprinkle the ground with something called ‘brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a protein produced inside nerve cells which Ratey has dubbed ‘Miracle-Gro for the brain.’

Researchers found that if they sprinkled BDNF onto neurons in a petri dish, the cells automatically sprouted new branches, producing the same structural growth required for learning.
Spark goes into detail regarding the types of exercise that best produce this cocktail of neurotransmitters and proteins for your brain to sip on but at the end of the day any movement is good, especially if it’s something you want to do.

“Experiments with lab rats suggest that forced exercise doesn’t do the trick quite like voluntary exercise”
So next time you get in a bit of a rut or you simply want to maximize your potential, get up and get moving.

This piece originally appeared on Farnam Street.Shane Parrish-July 15 2015

Five Foods to Never Eat

Five Foods to Never Eat: cut down a bit of stomach fat every day by

never eating these 5 foods.


Fruits That Burn Belly Fat

 Fruits are often talked about on both ends of the weight loss spectrum. Are there really fruits that burn belly fat? Some people argue that eating a lot of fruit can be bad for fat loss due to the high amounts of sugar contained in fruit, while others boast that while fruit may be high in sugar and overall calories, the nutrients contained in fruits overpower the negative effects of the sugar. In my opinion, both sides have valid points.

Just Eat A lot of Healthy Foods, Right?

Eating “healthy” foods like fruit is a great start to any good diet. Diets full of processed and artificial ingredients are not healthy, and should be consumed in small portions, if at all. The healthier foods have higher levels of good-for-you things like antioxidants, flavonoids and vitamins. It goes back to the comparison between donuts and chicken. Eating 100 calories worth of blueberries is a lot better than eating 100 calories worth of candy.

What’s The Problem with Fruit?

The problem with fruit is that it IS high in calories, more specifically sugar. If you sit around eating fruit all day, you’ll probably end up gaining weight, because, while all sugars aren’t exactly the same,

consuming a lot of fast absorbing carbs, like sugar, often leads to fat storage.

In other words, eating too much “healthy” food is still a problem, because over-consuming calories will lead to weight gain. This can be offset with a proper exercise program, but always remember, while all calories are not created equal, too many healthy calories is still too many calories.

So, Are There Actually Fruits That Burn Belly Fat?

Kind of. Many fruits have higher levels of flavonoids, and in a 14 year study, participants who consumed more flavonoids saw less of an increase in belly fat. It’s important to note that most foods higher in flavonoids are also healthier foods, like fruits, veggies and tea.

Here are some fruits that are higher in antioxidants, low-moderate in sugar, and high in fiber. Stick to these in moderation and you might just start to lose belly fat.

1. Bananas

2. Pomegranate

3. Blueberries, Raspberries, and Blackberries

4. Apples

5. Pears

6. Grapefruit

Eating clean is always a great place to start when it comes to weight loss, but you always have to remember that too many healthy calories is still too many calories. Monitor your portions and stick to non-starchy carbs like these fruits and veggies and you’ll start to see progress.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Ryan_M_York

New Study Finds Certain Exercises Lead to Better Sleep

If you’re doing it right, you will probably spend a third of your life sleeping, or at least trying to sleep. And unless you’re some kind of super-driven, workaholic, go-go-go type who treats the saying “sleep is the cousin of death” as a motto for life, chances are you enjoy a good night’s rest. Science knows your body and mind do. Now science may know what types of exercise can help assure that once your head hits the pillow, it doesn’t rise until your alarm clock (or doctor, mother, significant other, dog, crying baby) says so.

Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine recently released the findings of a study conducted on 429,110 adults in which survey respondents were asked what type of physical activity they spent the most time doing the past month and how many hours per 24 hour cycle they slept. The results? The more intensely you exercise, the better you sleep. In particular, calisthenics, biking, gardening, golfing, running, weightlifting, yoga, and Pilates were all connected to fewer instances of inadequate sleep. Even walking made the cut.

The study also found one interesting phenomenon: People who spend most of their daily activity on household chores and childcare activities experienced higher instances of inadequate sleep. That would seem to explain another phenomenon: desperate housewives.
BY SAMUEL BLACKSTONE Sunday, June 14, 2015 details.com

4 Minutes for a Total Body Workout?

Studies on the Benefits of High Intensity Training Using the ROM Machine

High-Intensity Exercise on the ROM Training Device Improves VO2 Max and Endurance Capacity in Untrained Adults Eline M. van Es, Hanno van der Loo. TNO Defence, Security and Safety, Soesterberg, The Netherlands Official Journal of the American College of Sports Medicine Vol. 39 No.5 Supplement S349 – 2005 (May 2007)

Participants’ endurance and VO2max were tested before and after 8 weeks of using the ROM machine; participants exhibited significant increases in both measurements.
Read More >

Effects of High-Intensity Exercise on the ROM Training Device On Muscular Strength and Body Composition Hanno van der Loo, Eline M. van Es. TNO Defence, Security and Safety, Soesterberg, The Netherlands Official Journal of the American College of Sports Medicine Vol. 39 No.5 Supplement S349 – 1816 (May 2007)

This study investigated whether high intensity training on the ROM machine has a positive effect on whole body strength, body weight, and fat percentage. After the 8 week trial, participants exhibited small, but significant positive improvements in whole body strength and body composition.
Read More >

Pilot Study of ROM machine Robert Girandola, Department of Exercise Sciences, USC, Los Angeles, California January, 1995

This study, which had participants using the ROM machine for 8 weeks, aimed to test the aerobic training effects and fat burning effects of the ROM machine. After testing VO2 Max values and body fat percentages of the participants before and after the 8 weeks, it was concluded that the ROM machine improves cardio respiratory fitness levels and body composition.
Read More >

Shake It Up With We Fit Gym

WE Fit Gym in Long Beach is like no other.

The TurboSonic, Hypergravity, Vibraflex and Pineapple vibrating machines plus the full-body approach of training make it truly unique.
At other gyms, you’ll wake up sore and tired – it becomes an endless cycle of pain.

At WE Fit Gym, founder Clint Bigham has combined state-of-the-art technology and Pilates to offer a workout program custom-fit for your particular needs.

His equipment helps you to recover quicker by reducing the body’s buildup of lactaid acid and Clint offers gentle ways for you to warm up and cool down.

“With me, you won’t feel exhausted and sore. You’ll feel excited to come back again.”

His philosophy? To provide a service based on not only exercising the body, but healing it as well.

Clint Bigham, Long Beach Personal Trainer

It all started with a bad back. As a child, WE Fit founder/trainer Clint Bigham played in the same junior golf tournaments as Tiger Woods and Sergio Garcia. But when he injured his lower back at 18, he wound up in “too much pain and on too many prescription drugs.”

He continued to play golf – through the pain – and turned pro at the age of 20. But when his doctor declared that his only option was to undergo surgery, Clint knew that something had to change.

He put golf on the back burner and set out to heal himself, drug-free, by changing his lifestyle, taking up yoga and Pilates. After graduating from the University of San Diego in 2002 with a bachelor’ s degree in international business administration, Clint enrolled in a three-year yoga certification program while simultaneously learning Pilates.

Clint is a certified personal trainer through the Titleist Performance Institute, holds a Pilates and dance conditioning certification from the University of Nevada Las Vegas, a Yoga Method Alliance certification, Artform® and BodyCode® certifications, and he continues his education in the Feldenkrais® Technique.

He credits his business know-how to his mentor Gloria Gonzalez, founder of Eight Elements West in La Jolla, who gave him his first job teaching yoga and Pilates. Getting back in shape has helped him in his career as a working actor as well. His improved posture and body appearance has given him confidence to focus on his craft – and not judge himself. And being in Hollywood keeps him plugged into the latest health and fitness trends.

Clint says he firmly believes that living a yogic lifestyle has brought him to where he is today. Conditioning his body – and teaching others how to treat their bodies like it’ s a precious monument – is his personal and professional mission. And through it all, whether it was perfecting his golf swing, bucking Western medicine to heal himself, or going into business for himself, it’ s the pressure that makes Clint shine.

“I’ d rather be uncomfortable to force myself to work harder,” he says. “The bigger the obstacle, the more pressure, the harder I’ ll have to work. I thrive on making the challenges in my life bigger so that I’ ll work harder.”

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