5 Ways Regular Exercise Benefits College Students

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By Tess Pajaron

teensThere is an array of ways that exercise is beneficial, and this is especially true when it comes to college students. And while it can be difficult to find time for exercise between classes and homework, it is well-worth the effort. Here are 5 ways regular exercise benefits college students.

Improves Memory

Research has shown that memory begins to decrease in people as young as twenty years old, and this progresses as we age. However, it is well-known that exercise can help improve memory and even prevent memory loss. It is for this reason that college students should fit exercise into their schedule. After all, when you are trying to learn new disciplines you will need to make sure that your memory is functioning at the highest level possible.

Increases Focus

Maintaining focus during class is vital to the learning process and without the proper level of attention grades can slip. Fortunately for college students, exercising regularly will help the brain to stay more focused. In fact, studies have shown that even light exercise, such as a twenty-minute bike ride, can actually help relieve the symptoms of Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and similar learning disabilities. This goes a long way in showing how powerful exercise can be in staying focused.

Improves Mood

When you are in college, having the proper mindset is crucial to success and exercising can actually improve one’s mood. There are certain chemicals that are produced by the brain that affect our mood, such as dopamine and serotonin, and exercising helps to promote the release of these chemicals, which leads to an improved mood. And while maintaining high grades is important in college, so is meeting new friends, and there is a greater chance of being sociable when your mood is right.

Relieves Stress

It is no secret that stress can cause us to lose focus on the things that are most important to us, and for college students stress can be especially problematic. Similar to improving mood, exercise will reduce the amount of stress that the brain perceives by releasing natural stress fighting chemicals, which can help ease the mind. If you are attending a university and feel that you are becoming stressed for any reason, consider going for a short jog or a bicycle ride, and you will certainly feel stress levels begin to subside.

Promotes Brain Development

There is perhaps no greater benefit of exercise for college students than its ability to promote brain cell development. Exercise is noted for increasing the number of neurons, or braincells, and this bodes well for those in an environment where higher learning is taking place. Not only does exercise help in brain development, but it also increases the flexibility at which our brains access information. In laboratory tests on mice, this flexibility has been shown to improve the ability of mice in solving mazes and other cognitive tests.

College is often regarded as one of the most important steps in a person’s life, and therefore it is necessary that students are able to function at the highest level possible. To increase the potential of students while in college it is recommended that they exercise regularly. Exercising will help to increase the level of focus within the brain, while at the same time, drastically improving one’s mood. In addition, staying active will lower the amount of stress that the brain perceives and this is vital in limiting external distractions. Furthermore, exercise promotes brain development by allowing for added flexibility and thus improving cognitive processes. If you are a student in college, keep in mind these 5 ways that regular exercise will be beneficial.

– With a background in business administration and management, Tess Pajaron currently works at Open Colleges, Australia’s leading online educator. She likes to cover stories in careers and marketing.

Are You Really Getting Enough Exercise?

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An interesting topic from this past May courtesy of PRWeb, please share your comments below…..

BikingWorkouts that promise fitness with as little as four to seven minutes of high-intensity exercise a day are alluring. But can you really stay fit with such a small time commitment? “No,” says Dr. Howard Knuttgen, research associate in physical medicine and rehabilitation at Harvard-affiliated Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, in the May 2015 Harvard Women’s Health Watch.

Dr. Knuttgen has a file of articles and ads dating back to the 1960s promoting exercise regimens that offer to keep you fit with little investment of either time or effort. “This is exercise quackery. If a program sounds too good to be true, it probably is,” he says.

Exercise is any activity that uses muscles to generate force. The more force exerted, the more exercise. In general, aerobic workouts (also called cardiovascular workouts) call for moving the body by walking, running, cycling, rowing, swimming, or another activity. Strength-building workouts involve moving an object like a weight or working against resistance.

It doesn’t work to skimp on either intensity or amount of exercise. So how much aerobic activity is enough? Current guidelines suggest 150 minutes a week of “moderate aerobic exercise.” But a brisk clip for some people can be a snail’s pace for others. Using the talk test can help identify moderate activity: Not being able to carry on a conversation during the activity means it is strenuous. Being able to sing easily means it is too easy, and warrants stepping up the pace.

Strength training two to three times a week is also helpful. Always rest a day in between strength-training sessions.

Read the full-length article: “Are you getting enough exercise?”

Also in the May 2015 Harvard Women’s Health Watch:

* New options for treating menopause symptoms

* Easier colonoscopy preps

* 6 ways to use the mind to control pain

* How to get personalized healthcare

The Harvard Women’s Health Watch is available from Harvard Health Publications, the publishing division of Harvard Medical School, for $20 per year. Subscribe at http://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletters/womens or by calling 877-649-9457 (toll-free).

Best & Worst Exercise Equipment For People With Back Pain

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Thank you to PRWeb and Dr. Michael A. Gleiber, MD, FAAOS for supplying this article, please share your thoughts below…..

humanbodyMinimally invasive spine surgeon Dr. Michael A. Gleiber, MD, FAAOS has published a new article in which he lists the four kinds of exercise equipment that can help alleviate back pain and support recovery from a spine injury, and the three kinds of exercise equipment that people with back pain should definitely avoid.

Minimally invasive spine surgeon Dr. Michael A. Gleiber, MD, FAAOS has published a new article in which he lists the best and worst exercise equipment for people with back pain.

“Many people who suffer from back pain or have a spine injury believe that they must give up their gym membership,” commented Dr. Gleiber, who specializes in treating all spinal disorders including herniated discs, spinal stenosis, scoliosis, myelopathy, degenerative disc disease, spondylolisthesis, spinal trauma, and tumors and infections of the spine. “However, exercise can actually help alleviate their back pain and support their recovery — provided that they are using the right equipment in the right way, and steering well clear of the wrong equipment.”

According to Dr. Gleiber, the four kinds of exercise equipment he recommends for people suffering from back pain are:

1. Elliptical machines, which place minimal stress on the back and other joints.

2. Stationary bikes (both upright and recumbent), which provide an aerobic workout and strengthen the lower body, with little to no impact.

3. Treadmills, which are ideal for people who are out of shape, or resuming an exercise program after a lengthy break.

4. Weight machines, which can be particularly helpful for upper body exercises, and unlike free weights, do not require bending of the knee in order to lift the weight.

And on the other end of the spectrum, the three kinds of exercise equipment that people with back pain should definitely avoid are:

1. Lying leg press machines, which place enormous stress on the lower back.

2. Hip abductor machines, which strain the spine with each squeeze or pull.

3. Loaded standing calf raise machines, which place excessive weight on the shoulders and stress on the spine.

Added Dr. Gleiber: “Even when using this recommended equipment, people should immediately stop exercising if they experience additional back pain. And if they have any doubt about an exercise machine, they should check with their medical doctor – and not gym staff!”

The full version of Dr. Gleiber’s latest article entitled “The Best (and Worst) Exercise Equipment for Back Pain” is available on his practice’s website at http://michaelgleibermd.com/news/best-worst-exercise-equipment-back-pain/

Additional articles by Dr. Gleiber on spine health, pain relief, effective exercising and more are available at http://michaelgleibermd.com/news.

About Dr. Michael A. Gleiber, MD

– Dr. Michael A. Gleiber, MD is a trusted expert in the field of minimally invasive spine surgery. He currently serves as Spokesperson for the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, is a writer for The Huffington Post, and is frequently invited to provide his medical expertise in the media. Dr. Gleiber has been honored with multiple recognitions, including Castle Connolly Top Doctors for Spine Surgery, SuperDoctors of South Florida, Top 10 Spine Surgical Specialists Florida by Vitals.com, and is listed amongst Top 50 Spine Surgeon Leaders. Learn more at http://michaelgleibermd.com

Teaching Children To Be Healthy With Diet And Exercise

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By Steve Barker

kidseatinghealthyWith all the issues associated with obesity and a sedentary lifestyle, it’s incredibly important to stay healthy yourself and help your children learn how to make wise choices. For most people (without unique circumstances involving chronic health issues), the two biggest contributors to health are nutrition and exercise. It’s tempting to only focus on one of these things, but the fact is that you need both a nutritious diet and an active lifestyle to stay fit and keep your body healthy.

As important as it is for every person to eat well and stay active, it can be even more important to teach children how to make proper choices regarding food and exercise. It can be difficult for children, with all the junk food available and a school schedule that has little time for recess, to eat properly and get enough exercise. However, if you can teach your children how to balance nutrition and exercise into a daily routine, you can give them the tools to live a long and healthy life.

Why Exercise Is Necessary

There are numerous benefits to regular exercise including many physical results from a regular exercise regimen. Your body will burn more calories, which could lead to weight loss or help the body maintain a healthy weight. Increased muscle mass also improves the metabolism and helps every part of the body function properly. Many diseases are far less common to people who exercise and the effects of aging are usually reduced or slowed as well. The body is a complex machine, and regular exercise helps keep all the parts working well individually and together.

Exercise not only helps condition your physical body, it also contributes to a healthy mental and emotional state. Exercise releases endorphins that make you feel happy. Many people who exercise regularly also report a calmer emotional state. Additionally, regular exercise can improve your physical appearance, leading to more self-confidence. Concentrating on your body’s physical state can help you be more aware of your personal goals and find ways to achieve them.

How to Encourage Kids to Exercise

Many children get enough physical exercise when they are young simply by playing actively. However, as children get older, they often spend more time sitting at school and leading a sedentary lifestyle at home. Physical education classes are important, and you can also encourage exercise by enrolling children in sports they enjoy. There are numerous types of exercise, so if your children aren’t interested in weightlifting or soccer, you could encourage them to try yoga, swimming or hiking.

Why Proper Nutrition Is Necessary

Getting the proper nutrition is just as important as maintaining a regular exercise schedule. A balanced diet helps every part of the body function well and is especially important for growing children so they can develop and mature properly. A poor diet can be a major contributing factor to heart disease, diabetes and some kinds of cancer. However, when your body gets the right amount of nutrition, you feel better, have more energy, sleep well and have mental clarity. A proper diet also helps maintain a healthy weight and gives your body the energy to perform all your daily tasks.

Helping Kids Make Good Food Choices

kidsunningtogetherIt can be a challenge to help children develop healthy eating habits, especially when they are picky and dislike many healthy foods. However, it’s worth the work to teach your kids the importance of a nutritious diet and help them understand which foods are healthy. Thankfully, there are more healthy products on the market than ever before. Hampton Creek is one company dedicated to making nutritious, affordable food products in a sustainable way. As more people choose the healthier options at the grocery store, the rest of the food production system will respond and provide more choices.

Personal health involves both exercise and a nutritious diet. It’s extremely important for everyone to make healthy choices in life, and to teach children how to make those choices as well. Kids should learn how important exercise is to physical, mental and emotional health, and why the body requires a nutritious balanced diet. It’s just as vital to then teach children the specific keys to maintaining an active lifestyle and sticking to a healthy diet. Encouraging the next generation to make good choices can lower the rates of disease and help every person live a long and happy life.

How To Teach Kids To Exercise

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By Dhmhtrhs Papadopoulos

kidsjumpingIt’s one thing to keep yourself fit – but keeping others in good shape is an entirely different kettle of fish. You already know the ins and outs of your body quite literally like the back of your hand. You know what you like to eat, what quantity of food will lead you to put on weight, and how much exercise you need to keep yourself energised.

But everybody and everybody is different. Some are fat and need to control their diets, others are too thin and need to bulk up if they want to reach their fullest fitness potential. And the vast majority of us barely know how to look after our own bodies.

Evidence of this is the sheer number of people who shovel food down their gullets without consideration for the long-term damage they’re doing to their body. And training kids to stay fit is an even more mammoth task.

Think of the number or kids who’ll avoid broccoli and love nothing more than sitting in front of the telly all day.

And trying to motivate a lazy child is like getting blood from a stone. Give them too much leeway and they’ll plop back down on the settee and gain more weight than Johnny Vegas on a burger binge.

So you’ll have to come up with a few tricks to keep your kids feeling fit and healthy. That’s why we’ve come up with a few tips to help you out. Take a look.

Get a course

Training your kids up doesn’t require military style strictness, but it does require communication skills and applied knowledge to get the most from your little sprogs.

Personal training courses are available online and can give you the information you need to train kids and adults alike, and make sure they stay healthy. Choose the right one and you’ll enjoy nutritional information, in-depth exercise regimes and motivation techniques to get your kids off the sofa and fighting fit.

Study for long enough and you could even graduate to a professional level.

Use the carrot

Kids are, let’s face it, selfish little blighters. They need to know that they’ll receive some kind of benefit from their actions, some kind of reward. It’s the reason why you struggle to get your child to eat their greens without coercion. They don’t see the benefit.

So put a carrot on that exercising stick to keep your kids healthy. Promise them something they’ll enjoy if they do some exercise, like getting an hour of iPad time after going running.

Above all, make exercising fun. Without a sense of joy in your routines, your kids will become the type of person who doesn’t understand what goodness their body needs.

May 4 Is Project ACES Day – All Children Exercise Simultaneously!

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kidsrunningIn conjunction with May’s Exercise is Medicine® Month, “The World’s Largest Exercise Class” is coming to children and schools around the world May 4.

Millions of participants across the globe will be celebrating the 28th annual Project ACES® Day beginning at 10 a.m. This Youth Fitness Coalition (YFC) signature program, in partnership with American College of Sports Medicine’s Exercise is Medicine® initiative, promotes physical activity to children in order to decrease the prevalence of childhood obesity.

Project ACES, an acronym for All Children Exercise Simultaneously, also coincides with National Physical Fitness and Sports Month and National Physical Education Week.
According to Olympic Gold Medal Decathlete Dan O’Brien, “Project ACES engages millions of children, parents, and teachers each year to participate in physical activity at their schools and at home. Through Project ACES, children learn the value and importance of good nutrition, adequate physical fitness and healthy decision-making – lessons they can carry well into adulthood.”

Schools can choose their activity, from walking or jogging to martial arts or dancing. Students typically exercise for 15 to 45 minutes following an educational component. In the past, schools have incorporated celebrity guest speakers or used music in their Project ACES activities. The program has been recognized by multiple presidents, including Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan, and has inspired events in 50 different countries. As the time zones change, this chain of local events creates a global wave of exercise.

“Project ACES is a great way to teach children how to live a healthy lifestyle through adequate physical activity,” said physical education teacher Len Saunders, who created the program in 1989 to motivate children to exercise. “Childhood obesity is an issue plaguing many young people today, and Project ACES is designed to make physical activity and nutrition fun.”

Schools and students will celebrate Project ACES Day by making physical activity a priority. Federal physical activity guidelines recommend children and adolescents do 60 minutes of physical activity per day. Project ACES helps children reach this goal from activities ranging from running to sports and games. Teachers can also make physical activity a priority throughout the year by creating a Project ACES Club at their school to teach and learn healthy lifestyle food and exercise choices.

kidsexercise“We’re all in this together,” said Shihan H. J. Saunders, president of the Youth Fitness Coalition and an exercise physiologist. “Something magical happens when we synchronize our collective consciousness in the spirit of fun on Project ACES Day.”

Parents are invited to participate by joining their kids at school or by celebrating on May
7 for the 9th annual PACES Day: Parents and Children Exercise Simultaneously. PACES Day kicks off a 52-week exercise program with various fun activities parents can enjoy with their children. The PACES website offers resources including a list of family activity ideas for every week of the year.

“If we feel good about ourselves, we can lead by example, and inspire our kids to be their fit best, not just on Project ACES and PACES Day, but every day and toward each other,” said Shihan Saunders.

For more information on Exercise is Medicine® and how to get involved with Project ACES, visit www.projectaces.com.

The American College of Sports Medicine is the largest sports medicine and exercise science organization in the world. More than 35,000 international, national, and regional members and certified professionals are dedicated to advancing and integrating scientific research to provide educational and practical applications of exercise science and sports medicine.

The Youth Fitness Coalition, Inc. is a New Jersey-based non-profit organization committed to combating childhood obesity by making exercise programs fun and by educating children, parents and teachers about the importance of lifelong fitness and making healthy lifestyle choices.

Millions Of Children Set To Exercise Simultaneously In The 28th Annual Project ACES Event

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kidsexercisevectorOn May 4th, millions of children from all over the world will be fighting childhood obesity, heart disease, and Type 2 diabetes by exercising simultaneously in the award winning Project ACES event.

Since its inception 1989, Project ACES has been one of the most successful programs specifically designed to motivate children to exercise. This spring, the program will mark the 28th anniversary of a unique worldwide event known as the “world largest exercise class” by the media. Project ACES is the signature program of the nonprofit Youth Fitness Coalition.

On May 4th, 2016, millions of children from all 50 states and 50 countries are going to exercise in unison to promote world peace, unity, nutrition, health and fitness. Project ACES aims to educate children on the importance of leading a healthy lifestyle. The program has received recognition from many organizations including The President’s Council on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition (PCFSN), and The American College Of Sports Medicine.

The program was created by physical education teacher, Len Saunders of New Jersey who provides an exclusive comment about the event stating, “If I can get one child out of the millions who participate to exercise on a daily basis, the event is a huge success.”  Currently, the program is organized by Len and HJ Saunders, President of the Youth Fitness Coalition.

Since its start, millions of children from all over the world have exercised together to promote proper health and fitness habits. With the obesity epidemic facing the youth of the world, children’s fitness plays a major role in fighting the number one preventable killer in the United States, heart disease. Project ACES hopes to address these issues with its big event each May, as well as schools that participate in daily Project ACES Clubs throughout the year while promoting a healthier lifestyle for children and their families.

Heart disease is still the number one killer in the United States, and Project ACES is working every year to fight this preventable disease. Those interested in registering for the event or wish to show their support are encouraged to visit ProjectACES.com for more information.

To sign up, click here.

How Exercise Can Prevent Childhood Obesity

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This article is courtesy of PRWeb, please share your comments below…..

jumpingsacsIn the past 30 years, the number of adolescents (14-18 years old) with childhood obesity has doubled and the number of children (up to age 13) with childhood obesity has tripled. Childhood obesity increases the risk of developing conditions such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and osteoporosis as an adult.

There are many causes of the sedentary lifestyle that now challenges the youth of today. These causes include physical education no longer present in school, the increased use of electronics including video games, computers, cell phones, etc., TV watching, not walking/biking to school, not eating enough fruits and vegetables, and eating foods high in sugar and fat.

The main goal of developing an exercise program and healthy eating habits in childhood is to help kids gain an appreciation for the value of taking care of oneself as well as living a healthy lifestyle that will last into adulthood.

Tips for creating a fitness program for children/adolescents

* The exercise goals for a kids’ fitness program are different than those for adults. In order for a child/adolescent to stick with an exercise program, it is important to make the exercise fun and positive. Additionally, kids are interested in making friends and learning skills. If kids experience success and gain confidence in their physical abilities, then they will feel good about themselves.

* Kids mature at different rates, they are still growing, and many children/adolescents are doing physical activities for the first time; all which should be considered when planning a fitness program.

* Play is a very important part of fitness for kids. Without play, a kid will likely quit the physical activity. Furthermore, variety is important to ensure adhering to an exercise program. Children/adolescents will get bored of a repetitive routine and should be exposed to a wide variety of sports and activities.

* 60 minutes per day of exercise is ideal for kids. This 60 minutes should be broken up throughout the day and can include recess, sports, walking/biking to and from school, recreational activities, chores, and playing on the playground. For a very inactive child/adolescent, increase activity 10% per week to reach a goal of 60 minutes per day.

* It is important to incorporate games that include fundamental movements such as skipping, hopping, throwing, kicking etc. in order to create a base of movement for other sports and activities. These skills also ensure that a child/adolescent is moving his/her body safely and reduces embarrassment or failure in the future if they are unable to perform basic movements.

* A fitness program for children/adolescents should incorporate a warm up and cool down, aerobics, strength training, and stretching. Cardiovascular exercise (with breaks) should be made up of skipping, jumping, etc. and using balls, hoops etc. Muscular strength and endurance exercises are now considered safe and effective for kids who are emotionally mature enough and can improve body composition, but should not be performed two days in a row.

waterbottle* It is important for kids to stay hydrated while exercising. Aim to drink water every 15-20 minutes during physical activity.

There is a lot that can be done to make a big difference in preventing childhood obesity and future health problems. We have already seen that gym memberships have increased over 50% for kids who are 6-17 years old. Not only is exercise and fitness beneficial in preventing and treating childhood obesity, but it also lowers body fat, strengthens bones, builds muscle, improves physical/sports performance, improves well-being and self esteem, and enhances academic performance!

I will see you at your next workout!

Aaron Wright
Look Younger. Feel Stronger. Live Longer.

Aaron Wright, CSCS, AHFS, CPT, creator of the Wright Now Fitness System, a comprehensive DVD and digital exercise system “for everyone”, is a certified strength and conditioning specialist, an ACE advanced health and fitness specialist, ACE certified personal trainer, orthopedic exercise specialist, functional training specialist, sports conditioning specialist, therapeutic exercise specialist, exercise programming expert, and health and wellness speaker.

Please visit us at http://www.wrightnowfitness.com for more information on our DVD and digital download/instant streaming workouts and more tips and advice on the benefits of diet and exercise to prevent childhood obesity.

NOTE: Always consult your physician or health care provider before beginning any exercise program.

References

1. Faigenbaum, Avery D. (2012). Youth In Ace Advanced Health & Fitness Specialist Manual (pp. 552-572) United States of America: American Council on Exercise (ACE).

Moderate Exercise May Make Cancer Treatments More Effective

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News from Kansas State University

newsKansas State University kinesiology research offers encouraging information for cancer patients: A brisk walk or a slow jog on a regular basis may be the key to improved cancer treatments.

Brad Behnke, associate professor of exercise physiology, and collaborators have shown that moderate exercise on a regular basis enhances tumor oxygenation, which may improve treatments in cancer patients. Now Behnke is using a $750,000 American Cancer Society grant to study moderate exercise as a way to make radiation treatments more effective, especially for difficult-to-treat tumors.

“If we can increase the efficacy of radiation treatment, then the patient’s prognosis is enhanced,” Behnke said. “An intervention like exercise has almost universally positive side effects versus other treatments that can have deleterious side effects. Exercise is a type of therapy that benefits multiple systems in the body, and may permanently alter the environment within the tumor.”

The National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health recommends exercise for cancer patients and cancer survivors, but little research shows what happens within the tumors during such exercise. That prompted Behnke to combine his expertise in integrative physiology with cancer research. He also has received support from the university’s Johnson Cancer Research Center.

“I became interested in finding out what happens within the tumor during and after exercise as a means to enhance treatment outcomes,” Behnke said.

For the latest research, Behnke is using prostate cancer tumor models to find ways to enhance oxygen delivery to tumors. When a tumor is hypoxic, or has low oxygen, it is often very aggressive, Behnke said. Because oxygen is a “radiosensitizer,” it helps destroy cancer cells. As a result, low-oxygen tumors often are resistant to traditional cancer therapies, such as radiation therapy, and interventions, such as concentrated oxygen breathing, are used to get more oxygen to the tumor before treatment.

“If we manipulate all the systems in the body — the lungs, the heart and the blood vessels — with exercise, we can take advantage of the dysfunctional vasculature in the tumor and enhance blood flow to the tumor,” Behnke said. “The tumor becomes the path of least resistance for the elevated cardiac output of exercise, which results in a substantial increase in tumor oxygenation during and after exercise.”

But the key is moderate exercise, said Behnke. Too little exercise may have no effect, but too much exercise may have a negative effect and may shut down blood flow to the tumor region or impair the immune system.

Moderate exercise is an activity that uses 30 to 60 percent of someone’s aerobic capacity, Behnke said. The activity is nonstrenuous and is something that most people can perform, such as a brisk walk or a slow jog.

Research also has shown that moderate exercise can help cancer patients counteract some of the side effects of treatment — such as low blood count, fatigue, cachexia and lost muscle mass — which has led to many researchers labeling this as “aerobic exercise therapy” for patients with cancer, Behnke said.

“There really aren’t any negative side effects of moderate-intensity exercise,” Behnke said. “Exercise is often prescribed to improve the side effects of cancer and treatment, but what exercise is doing within the tumor itself is likely beneficial as well.”

Behnke and collaborators have published their exercise and cancer research in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

At Kansas State University, Behnke is collaborating with Mary Lynn Higginbotham, assistant professor of clinical sciences; Katie Heinrich, assistant professor of kinesiology; and David Poole, professor of kinesiology. The American Cancer Society grant, “Modulation of tumor oxygenation to enhance radiotherapy,” also involves University of Florida researchers in tumor microenvironment biology.

Is It Okay To Exercise When Sick?

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This article is courtesy of PRWeb and Medicine in Motion, please share your thoughts in the comments section below…..

temperturefaceCold and flu season has arrived. Adults will catch one or two colds per year, while seasonal influenza affects up to 20 percent of people in the United States each year. During this season, people who regularly exercise (and those attempting to make their healthy New Year’s resolutions part of their ongoing routine) often don’t want to skip out on gym visits and physical fitness just because of a sniffle or a sneeze – but should they?

“As a rule of thumb for exercise and illness, I recommend using the ‘neck check’,” said Dr. Martha Pyron, Austin sports medicine doctor and owner of Medicine in Motion. “If your symptoms are all above the neck, it’s generally okay to exercise. For example, a runny nose shouldn’t hold you back, but chest congestion is reason to stay at home and get some rest.”

It’s generally acceptable to exercise when experiencing these “above the neck symptoms” include:

Low energy
Sneezing
Sinus pressure
Runny nose
Nasal congestion
Tearing eyes
Minor sore throat

When facing the following “below the neck symptoms,” get plenty of rest while your immune system recovers:

Body aches
Chills
Upset stomach
Diarrhea
Fever
Hacking cough
Chest congestion
Fatigue

Light to moderate exercise often helps provide energy, clear sinuses, and increase circulation – all of which can help a person feel better when overcoming a cold. Some exercises to consider when suffering from a mild illness include: walking, jogging (if it’s already a part of the regular workout routine), yoga, and cardio dance.

When contemplating a return to the gym, remember the following workout etiquette tips:

* Use a towel to cover surfaces that would otherwise be touched.

* Wipe off equipment when finished with it.

* Wash hands before and after the workout.

* Carry alcohol-based hand sanitizer gel in a gym bag for regular use.

* Cover mouth when coughing or sneezing.

* If excessive sneezing or coughing is occurring, consider staying home.

* Germs spread easily on workout equipment. If still contagious, stay home.

exerciseDr. Pyron added, “It’s important to listen to your body. Your strength and performance will probably be functioning at a reduced capacity, so don’t attempt to match your normal routine, particularly if you’re feeling irregular strain or discomfort. When in doubt, it’s always best to consult your doctor with any questions.”

Medicine in Motion (MIM) specializes in providing top quality sports medicine in Austin, Texas, for athletic individuals of all ages and levels. The staff at MIM believes active bodies are healthy bodies, therefore it is the office’s goal to keep patients energetic and fit. To that end, MIM provides treatment of injuries and illnesses, including the use of physical rehabilitation; promotes healthy living with personal training and nutrition coaching; and offers comprehensive sports medicine evaluations to optimize health, activity level and sports performance. For more information or for questions regarding sports medicine in Austin, contact Medicine in Motion at 512-257-2500 or visit the website at http://www.medinmotion.com.