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TheraGear Staff
Health and Fitness News Article - TheraGear Article Resource

New research may change exercise forever.

Article #30

A new study published by the National Institutes of Health pulls together a body
of previous studies and makes it clear that middle-age and older adults should
be doing anaerobic exercise - high-intensity wind sprints rather than standard,
long, slow cardio. Anaerobic sprinting types of exercise - running, cycling, swimming,
cross country skiing - is shown by medical researchers to make the body produce
significant amounts of anti-aging growth hormone. It's no secret that several
well-known entertainers take growth hormone (GH) injections for its body fat cutting,
muscle toning, youth rejuvenating properties, but there can be serious side-effects
from GH injections.

Unquestionably "natural". Natural is always best.

 And producing growth hormone from high-intensity exercise is unquestionably
 "natural." Growth hormone injections are given to children with clinical
 stature growth problems to help them grow normally. Growth hormone does not
 make adults grow taller." For middle-age adults, GH can reverse several
 measurable clinical factors of the middle-age bulge - officially named "the
 somatopause" by researchers. The middle-age somatopause is signified by
 energy decline, weight-gain (around the middle, and hips), loss of muscle, and
 wrinkled skin after the age of 30. Researchers report; "Aging is often
 associated with a progressive decrease in the volume and, especially, the intensity
 of exercise. A growing body of evidence suggests that higher intensity exercise
 is effective in eliciting beneficial health, well-being and training outcomes.
 In a great many cases, the impact of some of the deleterious effects of aging
 could be reduced if exercise focused on promoting exercise produced growth hormone,"
 ("The exercise-induced growth hormone response in athletes," Godfrey,
 Sports Med. 2003;33(8):599-613.2003)


 Overweight causes Cancer.

 Being overweight, which is far less than obesity, now accounts for 14 to 20%
 of deaths by cancer, report researchers in a major new study, (Overweight, obesity,
 and mortality from cancer in a prospectively studied cohort of US adults, 2003,
 Calle). This wasn't a small, out-of-context study. Over 900,000 adults were
 studied over 16 years. And the researchers estimate that more than 90,000 cancer
 deaths each year could be avoided if every American maintained a healthy weight.
 Researchers report; "we estimate that current patterns of overweight and
 obesity in the U.S. could account for 14 percent of all deaths from cancer in
 men and 20 percent of those in women." The study shows that the risk of
 dying from cancer from being overweight is 52% greater than men of normal weight,
 and 62% higher for women. All the more reason to start and maintain lifestyle
 that makes time for fitness training.


 Long, slow, and boring.

 Long, slow forms of cardio - like walking - is a great place to begin if someone
 is inactive. But don't be misled. The research is clear. This form of exercise
 doesn't compare to the benefits of anaerobic exercise. We're talking about the
 difference between kindergarten and college. Low-intensity exercise is absolutely
 necessary as a starting point, but it needs to be the starting point and a building
 block for moderate-intensity, which in turn, is the building block before moving
 into high-intensity

 anaerobic exercise.

Low-intensity does not prevent death from heart disease.

 For years, the gold standard for exercise was 30 minutes of activity a day.
 And walking for 30 minutes a day was said to be adequate enough to delay heart
 disease and premature death. Not true, report researchers. A new study of 2,000
 men over 10 years destroys the low-intensity, walking standard. Researchers
 show that low-intensity does nothing to prevent death from heart disease. Nearly
 2,000 men, ages 45 and 59, were tracked for 10 years. Initially, none of the
 men had any evidence of heart disease. Exercise was performed and measured by
 three levels of intensity; low, moderate, and high. Low-intensity included walking
 & bowling. Golf & dancing qualified as moderate-intensity. Running &
 swimming were in the high-intensity category. Of the 252 deaths that occurred
 during the 10 year study, 75% were linked to heart disease and stroke. And cancer
 accounted for 25%.

 Conclusion: Walking 30-minutes five times a week is not enough to prevent
 early death from heart disease. Moderate-intensity also failed to reduce premature
 deaths. Only the highest levels of exercise intensity lowered death rates.


 Solution - add anaerobic exercise. Wisely.

 Be wise. Don't read this and go run a 200 meter sprint full speed. Pulling a
 hamstring or killing yourself to improve fitness misses the point. Anaerobic
 exercise is the most productive form of exercise, and it should be a part of
 every fitness routine. However, anaerobic exercise is also the most dangerous
 form of exercise, and physician clearance is a must. A progressive build-up
 program - from low, to moderate, to high-intensity - is necessary to prevent


 National Institutes of Health Research links cited in article:


If you would like to discuss this article click the link below.
Phil Campbell, M.S., M.A., FACHE