Thumbs Up For Evening Exercise
Contrary to popular perception, researchers have found that evening exercise is as good as a morning workout.
The study published in the journal Cell Metabolism shows that the effect of exercise may differ depending on the time of day it is performed.
"There appear to be rather significant differences between the effect of exercise performed in the morning and evening and these differences are probably controlled by the body's circadian clock," said Jonas Thue Treebak, Associate Professor at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark.
"Morning exercise initiates gene programmes in the muscle cells, making them more effective and better capable of metabolising sugar and fat. Evening exercise, on the other hand, increases whole-body energy expenditure for an extended period of time," Treebak said.
For the study, the research team examined mice and found that exercise in the morning results in an increased metabolic response in skeletal muscle, while exercise later in the day increases energy expenditure for an extended period of time.
The researchers have measured a number of effects in the muscle cells, including the transcriptional response and effects on the metabolites.
The results show that responses are far stronger in both areas following exercise in the morning and it is likely to be controlled by a central mechanism involving the protein HIF 1-alpha, which directly regulates the body's circadian clock.
Morning exercise appears to increase the ability of muscle cells to metabolise sugar and fat and this type of effect interests the researchers in relation to people with severe overweight and type 2 diabetes.
Those looking for that elusive secret to good health and wellbeing may stop doing so now as a new large-scale study has found that spending just two hours a week in the neighbourhood park may do wonders for the mind and body.
People who spend at least 120 minutes a week with nature are significantly more likely to report good health and higher psychological wellbeing than those who do not visit nature at all during an average week, said the study published in the journal Scientific Reports.
"It's well known that getting outdoors in nature can be good for people's health and wellbeing but until now we've not been able to say how much is enough," said lead researcher Mat White of the University of Exeter Medical School in Britain.
"The majority of nature visits in this research took place within just two miles of home so even visiting local urban green spaces seems to be a good thing," White said.
However, no such benefits were found for people who visited natural settings such as town parks, woodlands, country parks and beaches for less than 120 minutes a week.
The study used data from nearly 20,000 people in England and found that it didn't matter whether the 120 minutes was achieved in a single visit or over several shorter visits.
It also found that the 120 minute threshold applied to both men and women, to older and younger adults, across different occupational and ethnic groups, among those living in both rich and poor areas, and even among people with long term illnesses or disabilities.
"There are many reasons why spending time in nature may be good for health and wellbeing, including getting perspective on life circumstances, reducing stress, and enjoying quality time with friends and family," said study co-author Terry Hartig of Uppsala University in Sweden.
"The current findings offer valuable support to health practitioners in making recommendations about spending time in nature to promote basic health and wellbeing," Hartig said.
Every 20 seconds, one Indian suffers a brain stroke, or three every minute, and the numbers are increasing alarmingly due to changing lifestyles.
At this rate, around 1.54 million Indians are affected by strokes every year and the worse is 90 per cent of stroke patients failed to reach hospital on time.
The lifetime risk of stroke after the age of 55 is 1 in 5 for women and 1 in 6 for men. These revelations came at the ongoing 3-day Fourth Congress of Society of Neuro Vascular Intervention (SNVICON) Mumbai 2019, with international participation, recently.
Prominent speakers said the message was simple but alarming - that in India, the numbers of brain strokes are increasing and it would not be wrong to say they are "life-style related".
Two top Bollywood actors - Jackie Shroff and Sanjay Dutt - came out in support of India's neurological fraternity to spread the message and awareness that "stroke is beatable".
Breach Candy Hospital's Senior Consultant Neurosurgeon and Interventional Neurosurgeon Dr Anil P. Karapurkar said that like a healthy heart, a healthy brain is important, for which precautions need to be taken.
"In case of a heart attack, it is either you are gone or you recover. In case of a brain stroke, you may be gone, you may recover and come to normal, or you become dependent for life," Karapurkar warned.
He explained that in case of a heart attack, there are half a dozen basic symptoms such as chest pain, breathlessness, pain in left shoulder and upper abdomen, but in case of strokes, symptoms may vary depending on which side of the brain is affected.
"Stroke is a sudden loss of function of a part of the body. It can happen out of the blue. The simple rule to follow in case of a stroke is - 'BE FAST' - Balance, Eyes, Face, Arms, Speech, Time," he advised.
If a person suffers from problems in balancing, hoarseness in voice, sudden loss of vision, drops an object, giddiness, the first thing is to rush him to hospital without wasting time.
Karapurkar cautioned that treatment for brain strokes cannot start at home and a CT Scan or a MRI Scan is necessary, and since 2015, doctors follow a protocol of CT plus angio or MRI plus angio to tackle such cases.
The neurological fraternity is now contemplating launching a massive outreach programme with family doctors and general practitioners to create more awareness about how to deal with brain stroke emergencies.
Some of the other prominent speakers included medicos P. S. Ramani, Dileep R. Yavagal, Orlando Diaz, Abhidha Shah, Sukhdeep Khawar, Philippe Mercier and Nitin N. Dange.
The SNVICON also saw the latest technologies being deployed for treatment of stroke. A new web device was also launched.
Some of the major subjects covered are neurovascular anatomy, understanding of cerebral artery and 3D anatomy to understand a person's condition and treatment better, 3D spine vascular anatomy as a booming field with more to come.