Friday, January 27, 2017

ST Article On The Benefits Of Being A Weekend Warrior

ST 270117
Sports Solutions wrote about the weekend warrior phenomenon exactly two weeks ago.

Today, Straits Times published about the same topic from The Washington Post taken from a JAMA Internal Medicine journal.

You can find the ST article on page A4 under the "Top of the news" section. Or you can read our blog's article here. Well, more reason to read our blogs.

So hopefully you can get a chance a exercise at least once in the next few days to reap the benefits.

And here's wishing everyone a Happy Chinese New Year.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Exercise Can Reduce Inflammation

Let's go for a 20 minute walk
I've written before that just running 5-10 minutes daily at really slow speeds is enough to reduce your risk of dying from all causes and cardiovascular disease.

You will be very happy to know that just one bout of moderate exercise can act like an anti-inflammatory. This findings by researchers have encouraging implications for obesity and chronic "inflammatory diseases" like arthritis, fibromyalgia and other autoimmune diseases.

The study found that one 20- minute session of moderate treadmill exercise  can stimulate the immune system, producing an anti-inflammatory cellular response.

The researchers had 47 subjects walking on a treadmill at an intensity level that was adjusted based on their fitness levels. Blood was collected before and immediately after the session showed changes in inflammatory protein TNF, which produced an anti inflammatory cellular response throughout the body. (TNF is a key regulator of local and systemic inflammation that also boosts immune responses).

We all have inflammation occurring normally in our bodies as part of the body's immune response. It is how our bodies heal itself after an injury, defend itself against viruses and bacteria and also repairing damaged tissue. When the inflammation is chronic, it can lead to serious health issues.

Exercise is often taboo to patients with chronic inflammatory arthritis or fibromyalgia as they think it going to make their condition worse. But this study may contribute to developing new strategies for using exercise to treat patients who suffer from chronic inflammation.

I know what some of you must be thinking after reading this. Hmmm, after my hard training, I can probably do a short 20 minute workout to reduce inflammation and recover.

Well, if you ran hard for the past 3 days etc, then you need a real day off (yes that means no swimming, no cycling etc). You need to rest.

Reference

Dimitrov S, Hulteng E and Hong S (2016). Inflammation And Exercise: Inhibition Of Monocytic Intracellular TNF Production By Acute Exercise Via β2-adrenergic activation. Brain, Behaviour and Immunity. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbi.2016.12.017.

Friday, January 13, 2017

The Weekend Warrior Phenomenon

Picture by Naval Surface Warriors from Flickr
We see a fair amount of "weekend warriors" in our clinics. By definition, a weekend warrior is a person who holds a regular 9-5 job and has a family to take care of on a daily basis. They are usually too busy to exercise on a week day so they try to cramp all their exercises on the week end.

In other words, these weekend warriors are compressing their total physical activity into one or two prolonged runs, bike sessions or a single vigorous basketball or football game each week.

We see them in our clinics because they are more likely to face a higher risk of sports-related injuries than people who exercise more often. This may be due to the fact that their sessions are more vigorous and are higher intensities compared to those who exercise more regularly.

However, published evidence from a large study of 63,591 adults showed that exercising even just once or twice per week  appears to be enough to significantly reduce all-cause mortality risk.

The risk of death from all causes was nearly 30 percent lower among weekend warrior adults compared to inactive adults. Risk of cardiovascular (or heart) death was 40 percent lower for weekend warriors while the risk of cancer death was 18 percent lower.

Among those who exercised regularly compared with the inactive group, risk of death from all causes were 35 percent, 41 percent for cardiovascular death and 21 percent for cancer death respectively.

As you can read, the researchers concluded that such fitness regimes (that are restricted to one or two days a week) can be almost as effective as those who require you to work out on a much more regular basis.

If you look at the stats more carefully, you'll see that the weekend warriors were mostly male and nearly half exercised only once a week. Almost 90 percent reported that their exercise occurred during vigorous sports like competitive running and cycling or team sports like football.

So even if you do not have the time to exercise in the week day, that single session you do on the weekend is gonna be of benefit too.And if you do get injured (hopefully you don't), you can come and get treated in our clinics.

Reference

O'Donovan G, I-Min Lee, Hamer M et al (2017). Association Of "Weekend Warrior" Amd Other Leisure Time Physical Activity Patterns With Risks For All-cause, Cardiovascular Disease, And Cancer Mortality. JAMA Int Med. Published online 9 Jan 2017.
 DOI: 10.1001/jamainternmed.2016.8014.

*Thanks to Rachel Wong for helping me with the photo above.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Another Pair Of Running Sandals To Try- Luna Sandals


Some time last month, I was contacted by Fred from Run Minimal to try a pair Luna of running sandals. I gave my size to Fred and received the sandals in the mail today.

This is my second pair of running sandals as previously I had received a pair of Earth Runners Huraches running sandals to try as well.

First impressions were that they feel more comfy than the Earth Runners. The Luna Mono Mgt which I received felt softer for sure (compared to the leather made Earth Runners).

Well, I don't think I can ever run as far and as fast as the Tarahumara Indians even if I'm wearing sandals modelled after what they use. But I'm happy to try them.

Let me have a few runs in them before I tell you how they feel.

Here are a couple more pictures





Monday, January 2, 2017

A Brand New Start


It's a brand new month (and a new year of course), and another month of temptations from the way I look at it.

Hot on the heels of Christmas and the new year is Chinese New Year on 28/1/17- more Chinese New Year goodies and feasts heading your way.

With all the rain we've got recently (and more to come according to weather forecasts), this is the not great for exercising outdoors. Not when there also seems to be endless events filling your calendar with school re opening for the children and work etc.

I'll try to take all this as motivation to keep running (cycling, going to the gym etc, fill in your favourite exercise).

Need some "me" time in between. I'll go for a run. Want to eat some "bak kwa"? Go for a run. Need to kick start your exercise routine? You got it. Go for a run (or any exercise of your choice).

Don't fret if you miss a few runs this month, do go out and exercise when you can. Your body will definitely thank you for it.

Have a great 2017.