New research is showing that lifting weights may have an effect on lifting a person’s mood. It has already been established that exercise can reduce symptoms of depression but until recently most of this evidence had to do with studies based on the effects of aerobic exercise. In 2017 research on the positive effects of resistance training on anxiety were published in JAMA Psychiatry but that particular research did not address the effects on depression. These researchers decided to reevaluate 200 previous studies to see if they could determine if indeed weight training eased symptoms of depression. What they found was all subjects had a decrease in depression no matter how severe the symptoms were. It did not matter how often they weight-trained, whether it was 2 times or 5 times a week. What mattered was consistency. The reduction on levels of depression seemed to occur no matter what age the subject was. The results did not suggest that resistance training was better then aerobics or medication but it showed that there is also another avenue to explore when someone suffers from depression.
While most spitting by individuals is uncalled for and unsanitary, it seems that there is a hidden purpose that it is often done by elite athletes. A member of a team will take a mouthful of liquid, rinse and then instead of swallowing spit it out. They choose a particular sports drink recipe which is usually their own concoction. Reluctant to discuss the ingredients, this technique is known as “carb rinsing” or “mouthing washing”. After a decade of research it has been discovered that athletes can gain an edge or boost in performance by rinsing with a carb solution. Messages are sent to the brain that there is extra energy being ingested and this in turn allows the muscles to push further. The 10 second process can increase performance by as much as 30 Minutes. It is the oral receptors in the mouth receiving signals that carbohydrates are being ingested. This is a way of simply tricking the brain into thinking it is receiving more energy. However, this can have its limits in which the body will actually need carb intake. Not beneficial or acceptable when performed on subway platforms or while walking in the street.
What exactly is meant by brisk walking? What is the pace that should be sustained? Some say it is that which is faster then a leisurely stroll. Some say that it requires that we increase our metabolic rate to three times that of sitting still. Other say that it should increase our heart rate to 70% of its maximum. The Centers for Disease Control recommend a pace in which you can talk but not sing. How are we able to figure this out? A study published in The British Journal of Sports Medicine put together the results of 38 previous studies that concentrated on the number of steps per minute, heart rates, respiration intensity, different ages and varying body mass indexes to try to come up with a number of steps per minute that would constitute brisk walking. What they came up with was 2.7 miles per hour or simply 100 steps per minute. How do we make this as simple as possible to figure out? Just count the number of steps you take in 6 seconds and multiply it by 10. Following this pace for 30 minutes should be enough for most people to maintain a healthy blood flow throughout their body.
It is a fact that carbohydrates fuel muscles while decreasing physiological and inflammatory stress brought on by working out. Sugar is the most digestible whether it is in the form of glucose, fructose, or sucrose. However, most athletes resort to a sports drink which not only supplies the necessary carbohydrates but also provides the body with unnecessary artificial flavorings and dyes. A study was done at the lab in Appalachian State University in which cyclists competed in a 47 mile race. Some used only water, others leaned on a sports drink and the last group bananas. The groups that had either the sports drink or eaten a banana had less inflammatory markers in their blood after the race. However, the group that had eaten bananas had less of a particular enzyme known as COX-2 which increases inflammation in the body. Athletes sometimes have a problem with eating bananas because they feel bloated after eating the fruit. The solution may lie in dates which have a considerable higher level of fructose, a natural fruit sugar. This along with the fact that they are a much smaller fruit and are more economical than the cost of a sports drink makes this a better choice.