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Chronic Diseases

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Weight Training and Diabetes

By Gilles Beaudin, MSc | March 14, 2019 |

At the medical clinic where I work as an exercise physiologist, a patient came to see me; let’s call him John. He was healthy, but his fasting blood glucose levels were high. He was in his mid-40s and had low muscle mass. John was not on medication and wanted to avoid it. He asked my advice.

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The State of Metabolic Health

By Shirley Archer, JD, MA | March 13, 2019 |

Public health may be compromised unless people shift their lifestyle choices from bad to better, according to new research. A recent study found that only 12% of American adults are “metabolically healthy,” and current trends raise a red flag on efforts to lower associated risks of type 2 diabetes, heart disease and other complications.

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5 Ways to Eat to Beat Diabetes

By Matthew Kadey, MS, RD | February 11, 2019 |

The numbers are startling: More than 100 million American adults have diabetes or prediabetes, meaning they have poor blood sugar control, which, if untreated, often leads to type 2 diabetes within a few years. It’s therefore not surprising that a great deal of research is trying to suss out how eating habits affect diabetes risk. Here’s what the white coats have uncovered of late:

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Muscle Mass as a New Vital Sign

By Shirley Archer, JD, MA | January 11, 2019 |

Fitness professionals understand the importance of building and maintaining lean body mass for functional mobility and health. New research shows that medical professionals should also be promoting this message to their patients. “Muscle mass should be looked at as a new vital sign,” said principal investigator Carla Prado, PhD, RD, associate professor at the University of Alberta, Canada. “If healthcare professionals identify and treat low muscle mass, they can significantly improve their patients’ health outcomes.

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Boosting the Brain Health of Older Adults

By Cody Sipe, PhD | December 6, 2018 |

Exercise is good for the aging brain. Indeed, the right kind of exercise can protect against neurodegeneration, the natural decline of brain functions that accompanies aging.

You could encourage your older clients to play “brain games” on computers or mobile apps. Alas, multiple studies say this approach helps only with the specific cognitive functions the games use (Bamidis et al. 2014). Hence, a computer game that requires a lot of visuospatial processing tends to improve visuospatial processing—but not much else.

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Highly Fit Women and Dementia

By Shirley Archer, JD, MA | December 4, 2018 |

Middle-aged women with high cardiovascular fitness levels were almost 90% less likely to develop dementia in older age than women with moderate aerobic fitness, according to a recent study in the journal Neurology (2018; doi:
10.1212/WNL.0000000000005290).

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To Fight Diabetes, Jump on the Whole-Grain Train

By Matthew Kadey, MS, RD | October 11, 2018 |

The numbers are startling: About 30 million Americans—more than 9% of the population—have diabetes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Another 84 million have prediabetes, a condition of poor blood sugar control that often leads to type 2 diabetes. But it looks like adding whole grains to our diets could reduce the disease’s collective burden.

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The Optimal Amount of Exercise for Heart Health

By Ryan Halvorson | September 20, 2018 |

Arterial stiffness, which increases with sedentary living, is associated with higher risk of heart disease. It’s well known that exercise can help, but how much—or how little—is enough?
“While near-daily, vigorous lifelong (>25 years) endurance exercise training prevents arterial stiffening with ageing, this rigorous routine of exercise training over a lifetime is impractical for most individuals,” noted the authors of a new study, which aimed to determine the least amount of exercise necessary to reduce arterial stiffness.

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Exercise Doesn’t Slow Dementia, Say Researchers

By Ryan Halvorson | September 20, 2018 |

Research has supported exercise as having the potential to keep dementia at bay or at least to impede its progression. A recent study suggests that physical activity may not be as effective at warding off cognitive decline as previously thought.
In this study, published in BMJ (2018; 361, k1675), 329 individuals were assigned to an exercise intervention, while 165 subjects received “usual care.” Average age was 77, and each participant had a clinically confirmed dementia diagnosis.

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Weight Training’s Surprising Effects on Depression

By Ryan Halvorson | September 20, 2018 |

Could a cure for depression be found in the weight room? Data from a study published in JAMA Psychiatry (2018; 75 [6], 566–76) points to that conclusion. The meta-analysis of 33 clinical trials, featuring 1,877 participants, found a link between resistance training (RET) and a reduction in depressive symptoms.

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Plant Foods Are Good for Our Gut Bugs

By Matthew Kadey, MS, RD | September 20, 2018 |

Our bodies host a huge population of microorganisms, dubbed the human microbiome. In recent years, the makeup of critters in our guts has been linked to a plethora of conditions, including depression, heart disease and obesity. And now bug-friendly scientists at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have presented initial findings from the American Gut Project, a crowdsourced initiative that analyzes people’s survey responses and fecal samples to better understand how things like diet, lifestyle and disease affect the human microbiome.

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Ask the RD

By Sanna Delmonico, MS, RDS, CHES | September 19, 2018 |

Question: I have a sensitivity or allergy to tomatoes. My mouth and esophagus get itchy and sore when I eat them. Is there any way to make tomatoes less irritating? Is there a good substitute for tomatoes in recipes?
Answer: You may suffer from oral allergy syndrome (OAS), a relatively common reaction to plant foods, including tomatoes. People who have pollen allergies are more likely to have OAS (Asero 2013) because they react to similar proteins in vegetables, fruits and/or nuts.

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The Importance of Exercise for Addiction Recovery

By Shirley Archer, JD, MA | August 23, 2018 |

Substance use disorder can wreak havoc on people’s lives. Fitness activity can be a
transformative way for those in recovery to heal, rebuild their lives and find a community of healthy supporters.
According to a study published in Mental Health and Physical Activity in 2011, patients with substance use disorder who exercised while in recovery reported feeling greater strength, improved health, a sense of accomplishment, and increased confidence about staying clean and sober.

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Study Launched on Molecular Changes Related to Exercise

By Shirley Archer, JD, MA | August 23, 2018 |

In April, Louisiana State University researchers in Baton Rouge held a training for 120 scientists to kick off a national research consortium designed to create a comprehensive map of the body’s molecular responses during and after exercise. The purpose of the $170 million, multicenter, 6-year research project is to promote understanding of how physical activity improves health and prevents disease.

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An Eye on Vision Health

By Joy Keller | August 22, 2018 |

When it comes to muscles, we rarely think about our eyes, and yet the eye is the fastest and most active muscle in the human body (VSP 2018). We say “in the blink of an eye” for a reason! While you probably don’t program “eye lifts” into your strength training routines, exercise does support healthy vision. Read on to find out more about the benefits, along with a few fun facts you can share with clients to further inspire them to keep moving.

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Researchers Find a Link Between Activity Level, ALS

By Ryan Halvorson | June 19, 2018 |

Made famous by legendary baseball player Lou Gehrig, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS—a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord—has affected many athletes. As such, researchers have wondered if high levels of physical activity might have something to do with the disease. Data from a new study out of Europe furthers the conversation.

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