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This week: Eating brekkie may prime body for exercise carb burn • Exercise boost to kidney patients • Step it up with your clients for cerebral palsy this Steptember

Eating brekkie may prime body for exercise carb burn

Eating breakfast before exercise may prime the body to burn carbohydrates during exercise and more rapidly digest food after working out, according to recent research.

Scientists from the University of Bath in the UK, working with colleagues at the universities of Birmingham, Newcastle and Stirling, studied the effect of eating breakfast versus fasting overnight before an hour’s cycling. In a control test, breakfast was followed by three hours’ rest.

Post exercise or rest, the researchers tested the blood glucose levels and muscle glycogen levels of the 12 healthy male volunteers who took part. They discovered that eating breakfast increased the rate at which the body burned carbohydrates during exercise, and also increased the rate at which the body digested and metabolised food eaten after exercise.

Dr Javier Gonzalez, senior lecturer in the Department of Health who co-led the study, said, ‘This is the first study to examine the ways in which breakfast before exercise influences our responses to meals after exercise. We found that, compared to skipping breakfast, eating breakfast before exercise increases the speed at which we digest, absorb and metabolise carbohydrate that we may eat after exercise.’

Rob Edinburgh, PhD student also in the Department who co-led the study, said, ‘We also found that breakfast before exercise increases carbohydrate burning during exercise, and that this carbohydrate wasn’t just coming from the breakfast that was just eaten, but also from carbohydrate stored in our muscles as glycogen. This increase in the use of muscle glycogen may explain why there was more rapid clearance of blood sugar after ‘lunch’ when breakfast had been consumed before exercise.

‘This study suggests that, at least after a single bout of exercise, eating breakfast before exercise may ‘prime’ our body, ready for rapid storage of nutrition when we eat meals after exercise.’

Source: University of Bath

Exercise boost to kidney patients

Just 12 weeks of aerobic and strength-based exercise reduces symptoms and levels of fatigue in patients with chronic kidney disease, a new study has found.

The study by Leicester’s Hospitals and University of Leicester Kidney Lifestyle Team, led by Professor Alice Smith, looked at how both aerobic, and aerobic plus resistance exercise affected 36 non-dialysis patients with chronic kidney disease.

Across both groups, the total number of symptoms was reduced by 17 per cent, with large improvements seen in fatigue, with reductions between 10 and 16 per cent. Performing aerobic exercise reduced the symptom ‘shortness of breath’ by 40 per cent, and ‘itching’ by 35 per cent.
By adding strength training exercises, participants reported an increase in ‘muscle strength and power’ by 41 per cent, as well as feeling less weak and having fewer muscle spasms and episodes of stiffness.

Dr Tom Wilkinson, from the University of Leicester said: ‘Patients with chronic kidney disease experience many unpleasant symptoms, including fatigue and pain. We know that – in general – exercise improves physical fitness levels and strength but until now we had little evidence that exercise also has a significant positive effect on symptoms in this patient group, as well as on their self-reported quality of life.

‘We have now shown that exercise has positive benefits on patients’ reported symptoms. These include sleep problems, weakness, muscle spasms and restless legs. To maximise the health benefits, patients should undertake both aerobic and strength training exercises.’

One 80-year-old female study participant said ‘I found that the exercise routine was brilliant, my muscles were really strong afterwards and I felt really, really good; really, really well. I felt great, actually’.

Along with improvements in physical fitness and reductions in symptoms, exercise also has other favourable benefits for patients with chronic kidney disease, including improvements in blood pressure, cholesterol and diabetic control.

Source: University of Leicester

Step it up with your clients for cerebral palsy this Steptember

Steptember, the team-based 28-day fundraiser which challenges team members to take the equivalent of 10,000 steps a day throughout September to raise funds for people living with cerebral palsy, is almost here.

New research from Steptember reveals that while Australians find it difficult to ask for donations, two-thirds admit that they raise more when fundraising as part of a team.

Steptember’s Health Coach, Mark Liberatore said, ‘Raising funds in a collective environment is very powerful, particularly for events like Steptember, where people register in a team. When a team of people are competing to raise the most funds, the friendly competition helps motivate individuals, whilst also assisting them to reach their own fundraising goals.’

‘Fundraisers are pivotal for organisations like Cerebral Palsy Alliance to assist people living with this condition.’

One in 500 babies born is diagnosed with cerebral palsy, a life-long physical disability caused by damage to the developing brain leaving 3 in 4 of those living with cerebral palsy in chronic pain and 1 in 4 unable to talk.

Steptember raises funds to provide support, therapy and equipment for the 40,000 Australians affected by cerebral palsy.

You can register yourself and a team of colleagues, clients or members at

Source: Cerebral Palsy Alliance

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