Fitness Factoid: Volume 4
The Heart Attack App
Just when you thought your iphone couldn’t possibly get any better, Swiss scientists created the world’s smallest medical implant to monitor chemicals in the blood. The 14mm device measures up to five indicators, including proteins like troponin, that show if and when a heart attack has occurred. Using Bluetooth, the device can then transmit the data to a smartphone for tracking. Often in the hours before a heart attack, fatigued or oxygen-starved muscle begins to break down, and fragments of a heart-specific smooth muscle protein, the troponin mentioned above, are dumped into the blood. A standard ringtone with universal appeal would let bystanders know what was going on and assistance could, at least in theory, be had.
Allergic to Exercise
Remember the weird kid in gym who never did anything because he said he was allergic to exercise? Believe or not, he may have been telling the truth. As it turns out there’s a life-threatening allergic reaction to exercise known as exercise-induced angioedema – or EIA. The condition and a less severe form of exercise allergy called exercise-induced urticaria are so exceedingly rare, there are no estimates for the number of sufferers. The immune system mistakes a harmless substance for a dangerous intruder and responds by producing antibodies. These trigger special "mast cells" to produce chemical "histamines" that react with the rest of the body to produce the physical symptoms of an allergy, although allergy to exercise generally isn't considered life-threatening.
Physically Fit Doctors More Likely to Prescribe Exercise
Many doctors aren’t in good health themselves but, those who do exercise regularly are more likely to advise their patients to begin an exercise regimen. Research found that physically fit doctors were more likely to push for physical activity in patients than inactive doctors. The research team analyzed the findings of 28 previous studies on health care providers’ physical activity and the exercise counseling they gave to patients. The review revealed that physically active health care providers were much more likely to advise their patients to get daily exercise. The researchers also discovered that medical school students who took part in a program to improve their lifestyle habits were 56 percent more likely than other medical students to provide patients with regular physical activity counseling.
Fit Kids do Better on Math and Reading Tests
Score one for the meatheads. A recent study published in the Journal of Pediatrics on Thursday, showed that children who are more physically fit tended to do better in the math and reading tests than children who were less active and heavier. The study found that physically fit children had a 2.4 times greater chance of passing math tests and a 2.2 times greater chance of passing reading tests compared with aerobically unfit children. “There is some emerging research that regular physical activity can improve cognition,” Hashim said, noting that the study did not find that weight, or BMI, had any significant effect on test results.
“Healthier Hormones” through Diet and Exercise
New evidence indicates that up to 80% of common diseases may linked to severe over weight and obesity and a sedentary lifestyle. Changes in hormonal signaling are believed to be among the culprits of these processes. "Adipose tissue produces various hormones which have a great impact on metabolism," says Prof. Dr. Cornelia Ulrich. "The important ones are anti-inflammatory adiponectin, which increases the effect of insulin, and leptin, which can promote tumor cell growth.” A randomized controlled study was designed with 439 overweight postmenopausal women participating. Study participants were divided into three "intervention groups" as well as a control group. Leptin production decreased in all three intervention groups, most noticeably (up to 40 percent) in the diet+exercise group. By contrast, adiponectin production increased most in women who were on a reduced calorie diet only.