May / June 2003 Fit Bits
By Robert Forney ISSA CFT

My view of the latest research studies on fitness, supplements, and exercise.

Effects of Heavy Resistance Training and Creatine Supplementation on the Elderly.  

Creatine has once again been shown to increase muscle mass and strength in the elderly without any significant side effects. In addition, this study also shows that heavy resistance training combined with supervision is safe for the elderly. This study was conducted at the Department of Kinesiology, McMaster University, Ontario, Canada, and consisted of twenty eight subjects. STUDY AUTHORS: Brose A, Parise G, Tarnopolsky MA.

Results of a Six Week Study on Creatine Supplementation

In another creatine study, scientists at the Nutrition and Toxicology Research Institute Maastricht (NUTRIM), Department of Human Biology, Maastricht University, Maastricht, The Netherlands, conducted a six week study on creatine supplementation. The researchers found that creatine loading increased muscle free creatine, creatine phosphate, and total creatine content as would be expected. The scientists found that performance in sprinting activities and cycle ergometer improved. In addition, fat free mass also increased and was maintained throughout the six week period.  They also found that substrate utilization, and muscle oxidative capacity did not change. The subject were give a loading phase of 20 grams a day for five day and then a maintenance phase of 2 grams a day. STUDY AUTHORS: van Loon LJ, Oosterlaar AM, Hartgens F, Hesselink MK, Snow RJ, Wagenmakers AJ.

Weight Training and Yard Work Superior Method of Increasing Bone Density

According to scientists at the Department of Health Science, Kinesiology, Recreation and Dance, 309 HPER Building, The University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR 72701, USA., weight training and yard work were "strong and independent predictors for positive bone density.". Dancing, Aerobics, Biking, and walking were mild predictors, and jogging, swimming, and calisthenics were weak predictors. The puzzling part of the study is why walking was a mild predictor while jogging was a weak predictor. Jogging places more stress on the bones than walking, so I am puzzled by the results. STUDY AUTHORS: Turner LW, Bass MA, Ting L, Brown B. 

10 Week Strength Training Program Improves Muscle Strength and Walking Ability in Adults with Cerebral Palsy

In a 10 week study on progressive strength training on adults with cerebral palsy showed strength training can have a positive effect on muscle strength and walking ability. The study consisted of 17 subjects, 10 participants and 7 control. STUDY AUTHORS: Andersson C, Grooten W, Hellsten M, Kaping K, Mattsson E.

Strength Training is Effective in Post Polio Patients

Although this study consisted of a small sample size, it shows what iron heads have always known, strength training works! It is about time strength training is getting the attention it deserves. The study was conducted at the Division of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Faculty of Medicine, Alberta, Canada and post polio patients were placed on a strength training program. Strength training improved their strength without adversely effecting their motor unit survival, and the increases in strength were due to voluntary motor drive.

Exercise has Positive Effects on Postmenopausal Women

Exercise in postmenopausal women has been shown to decrease body fat percentage and increase fat free mass. The subjects consisted of those on hormone replacement therapy and those not on hormone replacement therapy. Hormone replacement therapy did not have any effect on these results. The study was conducted at the Department of Exercise Science, Syracuse University, New York. STUDY AUTHORS: Figueroa A, Going SB, Milliken LA, Blew RM, Sharp S, Teixeira PJ, Lohman TG

Effects of Exercise and Strength Training on Bone Density

In another study on the effects of exercise and strength training on bone density, scientists have once again shown exercise and strength training to increase bone density in older women. The benefits of Strength training and Exercise are far reaching and everyone who can should  participate. STUDY AUTHORS:Jessup JV, Horne C, Vishen RK, Wheeler D.

Pelvic Floor Strength Training and Prevents Urinary Incontinence in Pregnant Women

In a study conducted at Department of Community Medicine and General Practice, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway, scientists studied 301 pregnant women. The scientists found that the women who engaged in intense pelvic floor strength training had an extremely lower rate of urinary incontinence even up to 3 months after delivery. STUDY AUTHORS: Morkved S, Bo K, Schei B, Salvesen KA.

Ephedra and Ephedrine, the Good, Bad, and Unkown

In a review of the research, the scientists found that Ephedra and Ephedrine had modest effects for short term weight loss. As for long term weight loss, there wasn't any research or proof of the long term effects. In addition, there wasn't any proof of increased sporting performance. For the down side, "Use of ephedra or ephedrine and caffeine is associated with increased risk of psychiatric, autonomic, or gastrointestinal symptoms, and heart palpitations". My suggestion? Stay away from these quick fix drugs and make life long changes in your eating exercise habits. STUDY AUTHORS: Shekelle PG, Hardy ML, Morton SC, Maglione M, Mojica WA, Suttorp MJ, Rhodes SL, Jungvig L, Gagne J.

 

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