Latest News & Research: 6 March 2018

This week: Eating disorders in the fitness industry event; Music prolongs exercise duration; Beetroot juice boosts activity capacity + Fasting and exercise endurance

Exercise endurance prolonged with music

We recently reported on some research that had emphasised the ability of music to make people happier during their workouts, and this week there’s more good news about exercising to tunes.

New research from the US has found that listening to music while undergoing a cardiac stress test enabled study subjects to exercise for longer.

This standard test is used to gauge the effects of physical activity on heart health, so the findings make interesting reading. Those listening to music while being physically tested were able to work out for an average of 1 minute longer than those who didn’t have the added aural stimulus, which equated to around 10% longer workout time.

Lead author Waseem Shami, MD, a cardiology fellow at Texas Tech University Health Sciences said ‘At least on a small scale, this study provides some evidence that music may help serve as an extra tool to help motivate someone to exercise more, which is critical to heart health. I think it's something we intuitively knew, but we found [to be true]. I suspect if it had been a larger study, we'd see a bigger difference.’

Get beet

Beetroot juice has long been touted as a superfood, or perhaps more accurately, superdrink. New research has further bolstered its reputation by showing positive correlations between consumption of the juice and exercise capacity in heart failure patients.

Many patients with heart failure struggle to breathe and uptake adequate oxygen, and as such use more energy during physical activity, getting fatigued more quickly.

In a study involving eight heart failure patients, researchers from Indiana University in the US found that consuming a beetroot supplement saw the study participants experience significant increases in peak power and peak oxygen uptake while working out, as well as in the length of time they were able to exercise.

Commenting on the importance of preventing loss of aerobic capacity, researcher and associate professor Andrew Coggan said ‘Abnormalities in aerobic exercise responses play a major role in the disability, loss of independence and reduced quality of life that accompany heart failure. Perhaps more importantly, elevations in ventilatory demand and decreases in peak oxygen uptake are highly predictive of mortality in patients with heart failure.’

Understanding eating disorders event

There is a fine line between healthy and unhealthy and it is crossed in the mind before any physical signs may appear. Body size is not always the indicator that someone is in the grips of, or developing, an eating disorder.

This May at the DisguisED event in Melbourne, a group of inspiring speakers with experience of these serious illnesses of the mind will share their insights into how eating disorders negatively impact physical, mental and social health, discuss how to recognise the signs and explore how to manage them.

Speakers include Dr Sarah Maguire, the Director of The Centre of Eating and Dieting Disorders, and Australian Women’s Cricketer Sarah Coyte, who will share her story of battling anorexia. Author Jacqueline Cripps, a strong ambassador for removing stigma around eating disorders will also present, as will fitness professional, eating disorder educator and figure competitor Eleni Psillakis.

Natalie Deane, an author, mind coach, clinical hypnotherapist and strength and conditioning coach will share lessons learnt from working with hundreds of professional athletes over many years, as will ‘The Running Man' David Eadie, an international long-distance runner whose engagement with fellow athletes has provided him with valuable insights into the issue of eating disorders in this field.

The presenters are rounded out by ultra-marathon world champion Nikki Wynd, a well-recognised professional runner.

If you want to learn more about eating disorders, and how these mental illnesses could be affecting your clients, register your attendance at this full evening event today.

Tickets include a 2-course meal, drinks, speakers and entertainment, and funds raised will go to the Centre for Eating and Dieting Disorders (CEDD) and the Victorian Centre of Excellence in Eating Disorders (CEED).

The event takes place on the evening of Friday 11 May, 6:30–11pm in Ivanhoe, VIC.

The fast track to endurance

Intermittent fasting, an approach to eating that has become increasingly popular in recent years, may enhance exercise endurance.

A new study found that mice that were exercised daily and fed a restricted diet on alternate days over a two-month period were able to run further and for longer in endurance tests than mice that were exercised daily and allowed to eat whenever they liked. They also, perhaps unsurprisingly, performed better than mice that could eat whenever they liked and did not exercise, and mice that were fed intermittently and did not exercise.

Regardless of whether they exercised or not, both fasting groups were found to have better glucose tolerance and to be better able to maintain their body weight.

This effect, the researchers theorised, was due to the body shifting from using carbohydrates for fuel, to using fatty acids – a process activated in the ketone diet.