Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Thanks for Joining us on Mother’s Day!

On Mothers’ Day - Sunday May 13 - the University of Washington’s Women’s Sports Medicine and Lifetime Fitness Program and UW Sports Medicine Clinic held a 5k Walk/Run in Seattle’s beautiful Seward Park
There was no entry fee, no timing, no competition, just a great time for families to kick off Mom’s special day in a healthy way.
Pictures of the event can be viewed here.

If you missed the event this year, save the date for Mothers’ Day 2013 – Sunday May 12, 2013 – and plan to join other families to celebrate the mothers in  your family.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Reducing Cholesterol when you are Overweight

The power of exercise as medicine is getting more and more attention.  In a recent study in the Journal of Obesity (www.hindawi.com/journals/jobes), a group of scientists from the West Virginia University School of Medicine summarized all studies in the literature where the effect of exercise and diet on lipid lowering was compared to the control condition of usual care or no treatment in overweight and obese adults.  This kind of study (known as a meta-analysis) can be extremely powerful since it combines many more subjects than is usually possible to include in a single study.

The analysis of more than 859 men and women with body mass index  ≥25 kg/m2 showed that exercise and diet were effective in reducing several important components of the lipid profile including total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and triglycerides. One important measure – high density lipoprotein cholesterol was not affected.

The findings of the study are clinically important because they imply that the exercise performed by study participants reduced the risk of death from heart disease by up to 8%. This is one more piece of strong evidence that reaching for your running shoes before – or at least at the same time as – you reach for the pill bottle might be a very wise move.

Read the abstract here and learn more about the types of exercise and the subjects studied here.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Age and Gender Affect Sport-Related Concussion Symptoms and Outcomes

High school football players have made the news frequently in the past year regarding the unreasonably high rate of concussions.  Steps have been taken on both a government and school level to start improving how such injuries are evaluated.  However, girls have remained an under-served group when it comes to sport-related concussions.
Researchers at Michigan State University studied 296 athletes of different ages and genders over a two year period.  They measured the baseline neurocognitive performance of athletes and then repeated the same measurements on several days in the two weeks following the occurrence of a concussion.  They discovered that, on average, female athletes performed worse on visual memory tests and reported more symptoms as compared to their male counterparts in the two weeks post-concussion.  In addition, when comparing the effects of age on memory following the incidence of a concussion, high school athletes performed worse than college athletes in both visual and verbal memory.
The high incidence of sport-related concussions is of great concern over all ages and genders.  However, based on this research, perhaps it is time to take extra precaution when it comes to younger athletes and female athletes who are participating in contact sports.
 Read the abstract here.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Can Aerobic Training and Strength Training Complement Each Other?

The effect of concurrent training, which combines both strength and aerobic exercise, has been debated in the past.  A controversy exists as to whether the combination of the two forms of exercise in a training regimen is likely to enhance one’s overall increase in strength as compared to a regimen of only strength training.  It is an especially important issue for those hoping to maximize their performance.

A recent paper in the International Journal of Sport Medicine from the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul in Brazil, described research on 44 women in 4 different exercise groups.  The first group combined strength running with running; the second combined strength training with interval running training; the third combined strength training with cycling; and the fourth group only performed strength training.  Each group trained for 11 weeks, twice a week.  The researchers found no significant difference between groups when comparing initial and final measurements of maximal strength in knee extension, bench press and leg press exercises, endurance in knee extension and bench press exercises, and isometric and isokinetic peak torque of knee extension.  The absence of significant difference in strength based on the presence of aerobic training suggests that there is no interference effect when adding in aerobic exercise to a strength training regimen.

This research suggests that,if you are trying to maximize your performance for an event or sport that focuses on strength, you will not detract from your training by supplementing your workouts with aerobic exercise.

Read the abstract of the paper here.