Latest News & Research: 16 October 2018

This week: Hot and bothered when exercising? • Seed oils and heart health • No place for ageism in exercise prescription.

Hot and bothered when exercising?

New research from the University at Buffalo in New York has, for the first time, identified differences between men and women in their preferences for maintaining comfort both while exercising and in recovery.

Using a custom-made cooling device on exercising study subjects, researchers found that female participants wanted more cooling than the males – despite similar overall changes in body temperature – as evidenced by the females’ more frequent use of the cooling device while exercising.

Lead author Nicole Vargas, a postdoctoral fellow in exercise and nutrition sciences, said ‘The really interesting thing we found was during recovery. The dynamic of how skin temperature recovers versus core temperature in females compared to males was a lot different.’

Whereas skin temperature in males gradually fell following exercise, returning to normal levels within 60 minutes, skin temperature fell more rapidly in females, returning to normal levels within 10 minutes following exercise.

This rapid fall in skin temperature should theoretically decrease the desire for neck cooling in females. However, the women in the study continued to thermally behave by releasing the flow of the extremely cold liquid, likely because their core temperature remained elevated. This highlighted the importance of core temperature as a major contributor to thermal behaviour following exercise, which was more apparent in females.

Source: University at Buffalo

Seed oils and heart health

Replacing saturated fat in the diet with unsaturated fat reduces low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, the bad cholesterol that is a risk factor for heart disease, according to an analysis of data from dozens of studies – and of the various unsaturated fats, seed oils such as sunflower had the strongest effect.

Dr Lukas Schwingshackl, from the German Institute of Human Nutrition Potsdam-Rehbruecke, led a network meta-analysis study which compared huge amounts of data from numerous studies over the past four decades.

Their analysis compared the effect of 13 oils and solid fats: safflower oil, sunflower oil, rapeseed oil, flaxseed oil, olive oil, hempseed oil, corn oil, coconut oil, palm oil, soybean oil, butter, beef fat, and lard.

Although it has previously been established that replacing saturated fatty acids with either mono- or polyunsaturated fatty acids reduces ‘bad’ cholesterol (low-density lipoprotein – LDL), this is the first analysis to enable more comprehensive comparisons of the plant-based oils to see which had the greatest positive effect.

Source: Medical News Today

No place for ageism in exercise prescription

Counter to advice in a recent Reader’s Digest article, the Australian Physiotherapy Association (APA) has advised that exercise programs should be based on individual ability and needs, rather than age.
APA National President Phil Calvert stated that exercise limitations based on age are contrary to the best available evidence and urged Reader’s Digest to retract the article titled ‘14 Exercises to Never Do After Age 50.’

‘Our role is to guide the community to adopt evidence-informed choices that will optimise their health and quality of life. This includes highlighting information that is contrary to current evidence.’

Last month the APA hosted a debate titled ‘Does ageism influence how we prescribe exercise to older adults?’ Physiotherapist Meg Lowry, chair of the Queensland Gerontology committee for the APA, highlighted the prevalence of ageism in our community, saying ‘It is important that we recognise we all have the potential to make inaccurate assumptions about what is and is not appropriate for a person’s age. But there is a strong body of evidence to suggest that heavy strength training, challenging balance exercises and high intensity interval training (HIIT) are in fact advantageous for many older adults.’

‘In some cases, 80 year olds can be capable of more than the average 40 year old, including heavy gym-based exercise. It’s our role as physiotherapists to treat every person as an individual, based on their needs rather than age.’

‘To suggest that a leg press or a loaded squat is unsuitable for a person over 50 actually steers them away from the very exercises that are scientifically proven to benefit their mood, metabolism, brain health, bone density, and many other health factors. Recent research has demonstrated that leg press exercises can reduce the risk of falls and sparked a call for greater investment in physiotherapy and quality resistance training machines within residential aged care.’

‘Not everybody who walks in off the street is ready for squats with a heavy barbell on their shoulders. We don’t need to start with those exercises day one, but they should never be taken off the menu based on somebody’s age.’

Dr Christian Barton, a post-doctoral researcher at La Trobe University, currently leads a research program to provide physiotherapy led exercise, including strength training, for Australians with osteoarthritis.

‘Exercise is the most evidence based treatment for people with osteoarthritis, and in many cases can allow them to avoid surgery and reduce the need for pain killers. But, it must be progressed to ensure people get stronger. The article in Readers Digest sends the wrong message.’

Source: Australian Physiotherapy Association (APA)