Thursday, January 28, 2016

Small Periods of Exercise Can Be Beneficial


With overweight and obesity continuing to be worldwide problems, measures to deal with the problems continue to garner an increasing amount of attention. And because of recent research results, some of the guidelines that health care professionals commonly use to advise overweight individuals may receive modification. For example, short periods of exercise may be beneficial to our health. Indeed, short periods of high intensity (HIT) exercise may be as healthy as long periods of exercise. And short periods of moderate intensity exercise that interrupt sedentary activity can also have beneficial effects.

Since we are using the term "intensity," let's get some idea of how "intensity" is measured when it comes to exercise. There are different ways of measuring exercise intensity. One common method looks at the heart rate during exercise. The measurement is called the percentage of maximum heart rate or %-MHR. And when one engages in highly intense activity, the person's %-MHR is high.
The Weight Watchers Website defines three exercise intensity exercise levels.  "Low, moderate and high levels of exercise intensity, as measured by heart rate, are defined as follows: Low (or Light) is about 40-54% MHR. Moderate is 55-69% MHR, and High (or Vigorous) is equal to or greater than 70% MHR."

Concerning HIT, studies have shown that HIT can be as effective as longer bouts of exercise, while being more efficient. The investigators concluded that 'Doing 10 one-minute sprints on a standard stationary bike with about one minute of rest in between, three times a week, works as well in improving muscle as many hours of conventional long-term biking.'

And concerning light intensity exercise as a positive interrupter of sedentary activity, one study indicated that "The theory that interrupting bouts of sedentary behavior with light-intensity activity might help control adiposity and postprandial glycemia was supported by the evidence."

More research is, of course, needed to determine why short bouts of exercise appear to be helpful to health. Still, advocating short periods of exercise might be something a health care provider might want to consider for his or her patients, at some time in the future.

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Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Exercise and Pharmacotherapy Can Improve Bariatric Surgery Treatment

Bariatric surgery is one of the most effective treatments for weight loss. The most popular forms of the surgery are gastric bypass surgery (Roux-en-Y gastric bypass), laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy (LSG), and lap band surgery (Laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding). Not only does bariatric surgery lead to weight loss in many cases, but it can also cause type 2 diabetes remission. Further, exercise and obesity drugs can help maintain the effects of the surgery long term.
Of the three most popular forms of bariatric surgery, gastric bypass is probably the most effective form of the surgery. Gastric bypass surgery is both restrictive and malabsorptive. It is restrictive in that by reducing the size of the usable stomach, it limits the amount of food a person eats. The surgery is malabsorptive in that it reduces the amount of calories taken in by the body during digestion. Still, the surgery is just one event in the process of weight loss and weight loss maintenance.
Therefore, additional measures should be taken to maintain the weight loss and to improve the effectiveness of the surgery. According to one study, phentermine and the combination of phentermine and topiramate plus exercise can enable a person to keep the weight from returning after gastric bypass surgery. The researchers concluded that "Phentermine and phentermine-topiramate in addition to diet and exercise appear to be viable options for weight loss in post-RYGB and LAGB patients who experience WR [weight recidivism] or WLP [weight loss plateau]."
Not only does exercise, post gastric bypass surgery, help maintain weight loss, but exercise, post bariatric surgery, also can maintain the improvement in metabolic conditions associated with type 2 diabetes, including insulin sensitivity. In one study, the investigators indicated that "Levels and activities of insulin-controlled proteins increased in both fat and muscle tissues after gastric bypass surgery, changes that enhance insulin sensitivity."
Bariatric surgery is an important weight loss treatment. But the surgery is only one event in the process of weight loss and weight loss maintenance. Weight loss maintenance is a lifetime endeavor. And exercise and pharmacotherapy can be helpful in this endeavor.
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