Barefoot-style shoes are growing in popularity, with some users convinced they improve running economy and help prevent injury. A new study suggests that wearing Vibram® FiveFingers “toe” shoes may have other positive benefits.
As a personal trainer, you may recognize this scenario:
“Mary” is a fictional 30-year-old woman who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis soon after her 21st birthday. She is often tired in the morning, even when she gets a full night’s worth of restful sleep, which is rare. The fatigue is unpredictable, gets worse throughout the day and tends to be triggered easily. Muscle spasms and weakness in her legs make it difficult for her to walk long distances.
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.