Physical Activity For The Gold!

With the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games starting. My blog is a timely reminder to endorse physical activity.

As the Australian public cheer on their favorite athletes from the comfort of her/his living room. An oxymoron of sorts is: the likely proposition of more gluteus maximus (plural – glutei maximi) on the couch, equates to: more sedentary behavior, and less hip extensions!

A recent perspective paper in the Medical Journal of Australia discusses: an “evidence-practice gap” of physicians, with inadequacy in discussing and prescribing physical activity to patients. NOW, in no way am I slanting a bias towards exercise physiologist/scientists. However, physicians are typically the first line of contact for patient care, and thus, with physical inactivity being the fourth leading cause of morbidity/mortality worldwide (1) my premise is thus justified right? The authors found: that physicians who were themselves physically active, were more adept at discussing exercise as an adjunct; over physicians and medical students who are physically inactive (3).

The benefits of physical activity are very well known (2). I am an evidence based analytical thinker; so when the evidence is very strong and robust – the likelihood for adherence is highly likely. Of course, there are “health professionals” and unfortunate reality television shows; that promote unhealthy physical activity.

Which is why,

I challenge the reader, to ask her/his medical/health professional: about the recommended physical activity guidelines. Do you know yourself, what the minimum physical activity guidelines are? What if your job entails eight hours of sitting a day… how much physical activity should one be achieving, based on evidence?

So many interrogatives!

In summary:

Query your medical and allied health team about the physical activity guidelines.

Ask your medical and allied health team – “am I safe to move”? 

Lastly, trust your source of information, including mine – by doing further research, while being mindful for confirmation biases.

Enjoy the games, and cheers to moving more!

James 👨🏼‍⚕️🏅

References:

  1. Lee IM, Shiroma EJ, Lobelo F, et al. Effect of physical inactivity on major non-communicable diseases worldwide: an analysis of burden of disease and life expectancy. Lancet 2012; 380: 219-229.
  2. Pedersen BK, Saltin B. Exercise as medicine – evidence for prescribing exercise as therapy in 26 different chronic diseases. Scand J Med Sci Sports2015; 25: 1-72.
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Anti Ageing: Part 2.

Part 1: sought to give the reader a general understanding of oxidative stress, and the importance of anti inflammatory’s for a robust immune, neuro, endocrine system(s), along with the host microbiota.

Let me keep you all again to the molecular level, and introduce you all to your genetic best friend: your Telomere. Telomere (singular) pronounced, tee-lo-mere, is a book on it’s own! (1). However analogously think of your telomere as your protective cap at the end of your shoelace, a neat analogy indeed. Why so? in order for genetic material to be replicated (mRNA). Your genetic best friend, plays an important role in maintaining the length of your telomere, so, cell division can take place, and your shoelace remains rancid free.  Now, the aforementioned is a very simple explanation, without going into nucelotide base pairs (TTAGGG – AATCCC),  and SNP’s (single nucleotide polymorphism) complicated we human beings are!

Image result for Telomere

Remember the nasty free radical? Free radicals damage telomeres, just like a worn out shoelace. Due to an array of environmental factors discussed in Part 1. Continued insult to one’s telomeres can result in the reduction of the enzyme telomerase. Secondly,  telomere length does naturally decline with age (2). However, Lastly: telomere length predicts mortality (3) meaning, how well you sleep, what you put in your mouth, exposure to carcinogens, psychological stress, and how much you move (Part 3), determines the length of your telemeres (3).

Want to learn more before part 3? Watch the following TED talk by the Nobel laureate Dr. Elizabeth Blackburn.

So many “T’s” not including the nucleotide Thymine to take in peeps (excuse the alliteration). And a tricky topic to simplify!

 

I encourage you to follow up on the links, and take a healthy interest!

 

Stay tuned for Part 3: where I discuss: what form(s) of exercise is best for your telomeres!

 

James 🙂

 

References:

1. BLACKBURN, E. H. AND EPEL, E. The telomere effect  In-text: (Blackburn and Epel, n.d.)

2. Baker, D. J., et al., “Clearance of p16Ink4a-positive Senescent Cells Delays Ageing-        Associated Disorders.” Nature 479, no. 7372 (November 2, 2011): 232-36, doi:10.1038/nature10600.

3. Rode, L., B. G. Nordestgaard, snd S. E. Bojesen, “Peripheral Blood Leukocyte Telomere Length and Mortality Among 64, 637 Individuals from the General Population.” Journal of the National Cancer Institute107, no. 6 (May 2015): djv074, doi:10.1093/jnci/djv074.