Exercise releases hormone that helps shed, prevent fat



250m Row + 10 Thrusters (65/45)

rest 2:00

From University of Florida


If a workout feels like more pain than gain, here’s some motivation: Exercise releases a hormone that helps the body shed fat and keeps it from forming.

A group led by a University of Florida Health researcher has learned more about how the hormone irisin helps convert calorie-storing white fat cells into brown fat cells that burn energy. Irisin, which surges when the heart and other muscles are exerted, also inhibits the formation of fatty tissue, according to the researchers.

The findings, published recently in the American Journal of Physiology — Endocrinology and Metabolism, show that irisin may be an attractive target for fighting obesity and diabetes, said Li-Jun Yang, M.D., a professor of hematopathology in the UF College of Medicine’s department of pathology, immunology and laboratory medicine. The study is believed to be the first of its kind to examine the mechanisms of irisin’s effect on human fat tissue and fat cells, researchers said.

Irisin appears to work by boosting the activity of genes and a protein that are crucial to turning white fat cells into brown cells, the researchers found. It also significantly increases the amount of energy used by those cells, indicating it has a role in burning fat.

Researchers collected fat cells donated by 28 patients who had breast reduction surgery. After exposing the samples to irisin, they found a nearly fivefold increase in cells that contain a protein known as UCP1 that is crucial to fat “burning.”

“We used human fat tissue cultures to prove that irisin has a positive effect by turning white fat into brown fat and that it increases the body’s fat-burning ability,” Yang said.

Likewise, Yang and her collaborators found that irisin suppresses fat-cell formation. Among the tested fat-tissue samples, irisin reduced the number of mature fat cells by 20 to 60 percent compared with those of a control group. That suggests irisin reduces fat storage in the body by hindering the process that turns undifferentiated stem cells into fat cells while also promoting the stem cells’ differentiation into bone-forming cells, the researchers said.

Knowing that the body produces small quantities of fat-fighting irisin underscores the importance of regular exercise, Yang said. More than two-thirds of U.S. adults are overweight or obese, according to the National Institutes of Health. While it’s possible that the beneficial effects of irisin could be developed into a prescription medication, Yang said that is uncertain and remains a long time away.

“Instead of waiting for a miracle drug, you can help yourself by changing your lifestyle. Exercise produces more irisin, which has many beneficial effects including fat reduction, stronger bones and better cardiovascular health,” Yang said.

The present study builds on other findings about irisin’s beneficial effects. In 2015, Yang’s group found that the hormone helps improve heart function in several ways, including boosting calcium levels that are critical for heart contractions. In June, Yang and a group of scientists in China showed that irisin reduced arterial plaque buildup in mouse models by preventing inflammatory cells from accumulating, resulting in reducing reduction of atherosclerosis. Those findings were published in the journal PLOS One.

The findings about irisin’s role in regulating fat cells sheds more light on how working out helps people stay slender, Yang said.

“Irisin can do a lot of things. This is another piece of evidence about the mechanisms that prevent fat buildup and promote the development of strong bones when you exercise,” she said.

Want to optimize those 10,000 (or fewer) steps? Walk faster, sit less


30:00 Row for distance.

From Oregon State University

CORVALLIS, Ore. — That popular daily target of 10,000 steps is a worthwhile goal, but a new study at Oregon State University suggests that if you find that unattainable, don’t despair – a smaller number, especially at moderate or greater intensity, can lead to health benefits too.

It’s especially helpful if 3,000 of the steps come at a brisk pace, and limiting sedentary time also plays a role in healthy readings for cholesterol and other risk factors.

The average American takes between 5,000 and 7,000 steps per day, researchers say.

“Some physical activity is better than none, and typically more is better than less,” said John Schuna Jr., assistant professor of kinesiology in OSU’s College of Public Health and Human Sciences.

“When it comes to steps, more is better than fewer, and steps at higher cadences for a significant amount of time are beneficial. A good target for healthy adults is 150 minutes per week spent at 100 or more steps per minute. And in terms of time spent sedentary, less is better – you want to spend as little time not moving as possible within reason.”

Schuna, lead author Catrine Tudor-Locke of the University of Massachusetts and six other researchers analyzed data from 3,388 participants age 20 and older in a National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.

Their findings were recently published in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise.

The research builds on earlier Read more Want to optimize those 10,000 (or fewer) steps? Walk faster, sit less



Back Squats

4 reps @ 60%
4 reps @ 70%
4 reps @ 75%
4 reps @ 80%


Then 4 reps EVERY MINUTE ON THE MINUTE for 10 minutes @ 60%.

From ABC News

One teenage runner in Iowa didn’t cross the finish line first, but many say he’s the true winner.

Evan Hansen, a sophomore at City High, was running in his cross country meet when he saw Adam Todd from Cedar Rapids Washington, a competing school, KCRG reported.

Adam, who has epilepsy and autism, was distracted by an ambulance. When he veered off course to check it out, Evan came to his rescue.

Evan held Adam’s hand for 1.5 miles, pushing Adam on.

“It was pretty amazing actually. I kind of pushed him in front of me when he finished. I wanted him to be in front of me because he finished it by himself, I’d like to say,” Evan said.

As they neared the finish line, other members of Evan’s team ran along with them, encouraging Adam the whole way.

“I can’t tell you the immense pride I felt,” said Jayme Skay, Evan’s coach. Skay said he and the opposing team’s coach both got choked up at the scene. “You coach 20, 30 years, and it’s moments like that, that make it all worth it.”

Adam’s father said his son was thrilled to finish the race and knows he has a special buddy on the course.

5 Running Mistakes Beginners Always Make


Alternating from the Assault Bike to the Concept II Rower, complete:


From Health.com

5 Running Mistakes Beginners Always Make

Getty Images

Getty Images

Starting too fast

The most common mistake new runners make: going too hard, too fast. By not easing into it, you end up exhausted much sooner than expected, and the tail end of your run becomes a wind-sucking session. This can make running seem too hard, which can lead you to quit your program all together.

Solution: The key is pacing yourself; running is a sport in which progress is especially slow and gradual. If you’re running outside, downloading a pacing app like RunKeeper (free, iTunes and Google Play) can help you keep track of your speed. Start off at a moderate pace, and gradually increase throughout your run. This will make for not only a more enjoyable run, but it’s also the key to building endurance.

Wearing the wrong shoes

Maybeyou’ve heard this one before, but it’s worth repeating. You may think because your feet feel okay, and Read more 5 Running Mistakes Beginners Always Make

How Exercise May Turn White Fat Into Brown

CreditGetty Images

Exercise may aid in weight control and help to fend off diabetes by improving the ability of fat cells to burn calories, a new study reports. It may do this in part by boosting levels of a hormone called irisin, which is produced during exercise and which may help to turn ordinary white fat into much more metabolically active brown fat, the findings suggest.

Irisin (named for the Greek goddess Iris) entered the scientific literature in 2012 after researchers from Harvard and other universities published a study in Nature that showed the previously unknown hormone was created in working muscles in mice. From there, it would enter the bloodstream and migrate to other tissues, particularly to fat, where it would jump-start a series of biochemical processes that caused some of the fat cells, normally white, to turn brown.

Brown fat, which is actually brown in color, burns calories. It also is known to contribute to improved insulin and blood sugar control, lessening the risk for Type 2 diabetes. Most babies, including human infants, Read more How Exercise May Turn White Fat Into Brown

The Bigger Your Brain, the Longer Your Yawn

From Scientific America
Credit: HISASHI Flickr

While every STAT story aims to stimulate your cortex, if this one falls short and makes you yawn, you can thank us anyway—at least if a study published Tuesday is right.

If you have a big brain, you can credit yawning for promoting brain growth and activity, the researchers found. And if you have a small brain, you can blame the fact that you don’t yawn long enough.

By “you,” psychologist Andrew Gallup of the State University of New York at Oneonta and his colleagues mean “your species.” In the paper in Biology Letters, they report that the average duration of yawns in 109 individuals from 19 species—from humans, African elephants, and walruses to mice, and rabbits, and capuchin monkeys—predicts a species’ brain weight and its number of cortical neurons.

While that may seem like just another bizarre correlation, Read more The Bigger Your Brain, the Longer Your Yawn

After Just 10 Days of Rest, Brain Benefits of Exercise Diminis

CreditGetty Images

Before you skip another workout, you might think about your brain. A provocative new study finds that some of the benefits of exercise for brain health may evaporate if we take to the couch and stop being active, even just for a week or so.

I have frequently written about how physical activity,especially endurance exercise like running, aids our brains and minds. Studies with animals and people show that working out can lead to the creation of new neurons, blood vessels and synapses and greater overall volume in areas of the brain related to memory and higher-level thinking.

Presumably as a result, people and animals that exercise tend to have sturdier memories and cognitive skills than their sedentary counterparts.

Exercise prompts these changes in large part by increasing blood flow to the brain, many exercise scientists believe. Blood carries fuel and oxygen to brain cells, along with other substances that help to jump-start desirable biochemical processes there, so more blood circulating in the brain is generally a good thing.

Exercise is particularly important for brain health because it appears to ramp up blood flow through the skull not only during the actual activity, but throughout the rest of the day. In past neurological studies, when sedentary people began an exercise program, they soon developed augmented blood flow to their brains, even when they were resting and not running or otherwise moving.

But whether those improvements in blood flow are permanent or how long they might last was not clear.

So for the new study, which was published in August in Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, researchers from the department of kinesiology at the University of Maryland in College Park decided to ask a group of exceedingly fit older men and women to stop exercising for awhile.

“We wanted to study longtime, serious endurance athletes because they would be expected to have a very high baseline” level of aerobic fitness and established habits of frequent exercise, says J. Carson Smith, an associate professor of kinesiology at the University of Maryland and senior author of the study. If these people abruptly stopped exercising, he says, the impacts could be expected to be more outsized than among people who worked out only lightly.

The researchers eventually found 12 competitive masters runners between the ages of 50 and 80 who agreed to join the study. All had been running and racing for at least 15 years and still regularly ran 35 miles a week or more.

At the start of the experiment, the runners visited the researchers’ lab for tests of their cognitive skills. They also had a special brain M.R.I. that tracks how much blood is flowing to various parts of the brain.

The researchers were particularly interested in blood flow to the hippocampus, a portion of the brain that is essential for memory function.

Then the athletes sat around for 10 days. They did not run or otherwise exercise and were asked to engage in as little physical activity as possible.

While some people might find such a directive easy to follow, these men and women loved to work out, Dr. Smith says, and might have been tempted to cheat and jog just a little. But researchers “called them frequently,” he says, to gently remind them to remain couch-bound.

After 10 days of being sedentary, the erstwhile runners returned to the lab to repeat the earlier tests, including the M.R.I. scan of their brains.

The results showed striking changes in blood flow now. Much less blood streamed to most of the areas in the runners’ brains, and the flow declined significantly to both the left and right lobes of the hippocampus.

Encouragingly, the volunteers did not perform noticeably worse now on the tests of cognitive function than they had at the start.

But the results do suggest that the improvements in brain blood flow because of exercise will diminish if you stop training, Dr. Smith says.

Dr. Smith also suspects that the runners regained their exercise-related boost in blood flow to the head after returning to training, though he and his colleagues did not retest their volunteers and so cannot say for certain.

They also do not know whether the effects on brain blood flow would be as pronounced among moderate exercisers who quit for 10 days or whether shorter or longer periods of exercise abstinence would have comparable effects.

“I would not want someone to think that if they are on deadline or on vacation for a week or so and don’t manage to work out,” that they have necessarily starved their brains of blood, he says.

He also points out that although brain blood flow dropped significantly after the 10 days of rest among the runners, their performance on cognitive tests did not decline.

“We need far more research” into the time course of changes to the brain and to thinking skills because of exercise and skipping workouts, he says.

But for now, the study’s message seems fairly straightforward. For the continued health of your brain, try to keep moving.

Fatigue Is All in Your Head

First day of Fall.  Great day to break out the Prowlers.



150m Prowler Pushes

150m Run


This is the worst kind of science…junk science.  It is full of anecdotal information, no peer review, “facts” that cannot be replicated…where’s the double blind study?!  I hate this!  From Outside

New research shows that perceptions of fatigue and pain stop us from hitting our physical limits long before our bodies do. Can athletes train their brains to reach unheard-of levels of peak performance?

Fatigue Is All in Your Head

Get out of your head.    Photo: Dustin Sammann

Samuele Marcora, the 47-year-old director of research at the School of Sport and Exercise Sciences at England’s University of Kent, doesn’t consider himself an endurance athlete. But he’s fast becoming one of the most talked-about researchers in the field. Marcora, who is originally from Italy, started making Maverick’s-size waves in 2009, with a study showing that a tired brain can have nearly as much impact on athletic performance as muscle exhaustion. The article, titled “Mental Fatigue Impairs Physical Performance in Humans” and published in the Journal of Applied Physiology, suggested that fatigue and the role it plays in endurance sports might be mostly in your head.

The implications are huge. If fatigue is grounded in perception, the logic goes, then an athlete can train to manage it, opening up new frontiers of performance. The theory, which Marcora calls the psychobiological model of exercise tolerance, because it combines the fields of psychology and biology, revises the long-dominant “central governor” theory, attributed to South African exercise physiologist Tim Noakes. Noakes argues that fatigue is a largely physical phenomenon that occurs when the brain signals depleted muscles that they’re out of gas. Read more Fatigue Is All in Your Head

Activity Trackers May Undermine Weight Loss Efforts

 Wearable activity monitors can count your steps and track your movements, but they don’t, apparently, help you lose weight. In fact, you might lose more weight without them.

The fascinating finding comes from a study published today in JAMA that found dieting adults who wore activity monitors for 18 months lost significantly fewer pounds over that time than those who did not.

The results suggest that activity monitors may not change our behavior in the way we expected, and raise interesting questions about the tangled relationships between exercise, eating, our willpower and our waistlines.

There have been tantalizing hints in a few studies recently that new technologies such as wearable activity monitors, which tell us how much we are moving and how many calories we have burned during the day, might help some people to drop pounds.

Those studies, however, had typically been small scale and short term, so it was still unclear how much activity monitors might aid in weight loss.

So for the new study, University of Pittsburgh scientists from the Physical Activity and Weight Management Research Center and their colleagues gathered almost 500 young, overweight men and women who wanted to lose weight. The recruits ranged in age from 18 to 35 since, presumably, these younger volunteers would be familiar with and competent using technologies such as activity trackers and any learning curve would be slight.

The volunteers were weighed and their general health and fitness assessed.

Then, for the first six months of the study, the volunteers Read more Activity Trackers May Undermine Weight Loss Efforts

The End of Antibacterial Soap

From The Atlantic

The FDA is banning certain chemicals it says may have harmful side effects.

Mariana Bazo / Reuters

The Food and Drug Administration on Friday banned soap companies from using more than a dozen chemicals in antibacterial soaps, citing the possibility they could have harmful side effects.

Regulators also say there is a lack of evidence that soaps with antibacterial chemicals are more effective than soaps without them. The FDA, in a statement, said:

Companies will no longer be able to market antibacterial washes with these ingredients because manufacturers did not demonstrate that the ingredients are both safe for long-term daily use and more effective than plain soap and water in preventing illness and the spread of certain infections.
The new FDA mandate targets two ingredients that are widely used: triclosan and triclocarban, reports the Associated Press. Previous animal research has shown those chemicals can encourage drug-resistant bacteria and affect hormone levels.

The FDA has scrutinized the soaps for years. In December 2013, the FDA proposed that companies prove their soap products were safe and more effective than plain soap. A study in November 2014 linked the chemical triclosan to tumor growth.

According to the FDA, some companies are already removing the chemicals from their products. The FDA has not yet ruled on hand sanitizers. While some use antibacterial chemicals, many of them use alcohol instead.