Evidence is still sparse, but acupuncture may improve both exercise performance and postexercise recovery, according to preliminary evidence published in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine (2013; 19 , 9–16).
Hoping to improve their health, many people opt for vigorous styles of exercise. New research, however, suggests that minimal-intensity, longer-duration physical activity may be best for insulin action and plasma lipids.
The study, published in PLoS ONE (2013; 8 ; doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0055542), included 18 apparently healthy subjects around 21 years of age. Each participant was randomly selected to follow one of three protocols.
In other sleep news, results of a recent poll might offer a solution for those suffering from poor sleep quality. The findings
present yet another benefit
of exercising regularly.
Produced by the National Sleep Foundation, the 2013 Sleep in America® poll gathered responses from a sampling of adults, aged 23–60, who were asked about exercise levels and sleep quality. Here is a rundown of what the poll found:
1. Since high blood glucose is dangerous, is low blood glucose healthy?
When blood glucose levels fall below 70 mg/dl, the condition is called hypoglycemia or low blood glucose. Since the primary fuel of the central nervous system (CNS) is glucose, low blood glucose can dramatically impair CNS function. Hypoglycemia can lead to dizziness, confusion, slurred speech, blurred vision and sleepiness (Gulve 2008).
2. What is glycosylated hemoglobin and the HbA1c test?
Irvine, C., & Taylor, N.F. 2009. Progressive resistance exercise improves glycaemic control in people with type 2 diabetes mellitus: A systematic review. Australian Journal of Physiotherapy, 55, 237–46.
Unlike its white counterpart, brown fat is thought to be metabolically active in that it helps burn calories and may ward against weight gain and diabetes. New research shows that exercise can increase the body’s “good” fat.
Presented at the American Diabetes Association’s meeting in Chicago in June, the research involved both men and mice, each assigned to a specific protocol. The 10 men trained on an exercise bike for 12 weeks, and the mice underwent 11 days of “voluntary wheel training.”
Experts often recommend keeping smartphones and tablets out of the bedroom to improve sleep quality. While this practice may be optimal, it’s likely many people remain connected up until bedtime. Are they doomed to a life of inadequate sleep? Maybe not, say scientists from the Mayo Clinic.
Exercisers use various devices to track progress and determine intensity. However, recent research suggests that some trackers may not be accurate.
The goal of the study, published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise (May 10, 2013; [Epub ahead of print]), was to compare how accurately various activity monitors estimated energy expenditure.
Nineteen healthy young men and women spent 4 hours in a room calorimeter, where EE could be measured from air samples.
Demonstrating the power of the mind-body connection, familiar music can lower stress and reduce sedative use among intensive-care-unit patients requiring ventilators, says a report in the Journal of the American Medical Association (2013; doi:10.1001/jama.2013.5670).