Latest science is showing that endurance exercise will not make you more vulnerable to sickness as previously thought. How is it that long tiring workouts can have this effect. In the 1980’s most scientists believed that these intense workouts would leave the body so fatigued that it would be susceptible to any number of illnesses. In the decades that followed scientists began to look more closely at the immune system.The findings contradicted what had been previously thought. It seems that during strenuous exercise the immune cells begin to flow into the bloodstream from all parts of the body saturating all the tissues. After extreme exercise the number of immune cells had actually increased which would be in accordance to what our ancestors experienced while they were escaping predators or chasing prey. Research published in Frontiers of Immunology showed that when mice were put through intense exercise their number of immune cells increased and were flooded into the bloodstream. Unlike previously thought, they did not decrease and die off. Instead they migrated to other organs and tissues strengthening the animals immune system. Testing is now being done to verify this in humans and is showing more and more evidence of the benefits of any form of exercise and how it strengthens our immune system.
Scientists have always believed that the human heart stops producing new cells after birth and that these cells do not multiply but only grow in size as we age. However, according to a new study published in the “Journal of Physiology” exercise at an early age can increase the number of these cells and that these cells will remain with us for life. Scientists divided rodents into three groups. They started them on an exercise routine at ages that were equivalent to what humans would classify as childhood, adolescence and adulthood. All the groups had bigger cardiac-muscle cells but the childhood group had as many as 20 million additional cardiomyocytes (the type of cells that contract). The group that began as adolescents had some but fewer. Although exercise will benefit a heart at any age, these extra cells make it more likely to survive a heart attack in later years. Time to get the kids out there away from the TV, computer and video games and have them start adding those extra heart cells.
Extreme mental focus such as preparing for an exam or just solving problems that require intense concentration can actually drain the brain. Since the brain has a limited capacity to store fuel, the results can be similar to using stored energy from caloric expenditure through physical movement. This is the reason why college students not only eat poorly but also overeat. Scientists experimented with thirty eight college students. After 35 minutes of sitting quietly in a peaceful setting to establish a baseline for what they would normally consume, all were given as much pizza as they wished. After a few weeks they were called back and were all given intense college exams that required extreme mental focus. Afterwards, half were given pizza to consume and half were put on a treadmill. The group on the treadmill consumed less than they would normally consume while the other group consumed much more. The increased flow of fuel-rich blood to the brain brought on by intense exercise increased both the amount of blood sugar and lactate circulating in the blood. This in turn reduced the desire to overeat by feeding an exhausted brain.
A new study has revealed that letting out a powerful sound during exercise may have a beneficial effect in spite of the fact that it may alarm all that surround you. It seems that letting out a grunting noise during explosive movements required while lifting weights, practicing martial arts and even tennis strokes can be traced to our historic ancestors and the noises they made as they heaved giant stones as projectiles. To test the theory researchers gathered 20 martial arts men and women to test their power on a kicking bag. The bag contained a device to measure force. When the kick was accompanied by a grunt or a yell the force of the kick was 10% greater which proved that it can be a useful competitive tool.