Exercise boosts tumour-fighting ability of chemotherapy

Study after study has proven it true: exercise is good for you. But new research from University of Pennsylvania scientists suggests that exercise may have an added benefit for cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy.

Exercise boosts tumour-fighting ability of chemotherapy

Their work, performed in a mouse model of melanoma, found that combining exercise with chemotherapy shrunk tumors more than chemotherapy alone.
Joseph Libonati, an associate professor in the School of Nursing and director of the Laboratory of Innovative and Translational Nursing Research, was the senior author on the study, which appears in the American Journal of Physiology. His collaborators included Penn Nursing’s Geetha Muthukumaran, Dennis Ding and Akinyemi Bajulaiye plus Kathleen Sturgeon, Keri Schadler, Nicholas J. Thomas, Victor Ferrari and Sandra Ryeom of Penn’s Perelman School of Medicine.

Exercise has long been recommended to cancer patients for its physical and psychological benefits. Libonati and colleagues were particularly interested in testing whether exercise could protect against the negative cardiac-related side effects of the common cancer drug doxorubicin. Though effective at treating a variety of types of cancer, doxorubicin has is known to damage heart cells, which could lead to heart failure in the long-term.

“The immediate concern for these patients is, of course, the cancer, and they’ll do whatever it takes to get rid of it,” Libonati said. “But then when you get over that hump you have to deal with the long-term elevated risk of cardiovascular disease.”

Previous studies had shown that an exercise regime prior to receiving chemotherapy could protect heart cells from the toxic effects of doxorubicin, but few had looked to see whether an exercise regimen during chemotherapy could be beneficial.

To do so, Libonati’s team set up an experiment with four groups of mice. All were given an injection of melanoma cells in the scruffs of their neck. During the next two weeks, two of the groups received doxorubicin in two doses while the other two groups received placebo injections. Mice in one of the treated groups and one of the placebo groups were put on exercise regimens, walking 45 minutes five days a week on mouse-sized treadmills, while the rest of the mice remained sedentary.

After the two-week trial, the researchers examined the animals’ hearts using echocardiogram and tissue analysis. As expected, doxorubicin was found to reduce the heart’s function and size and increased fibrosis — a damaging thickening of tissue. Mice that exercised were not protected from this damage.

“We looked, and the exercise didn’t do anything to the heart — it didn’t worsen it, it didn’t help it,” Libonati said. “But the tumor data — I find them actually amazing.”

The “amazing” result was that the mice that both received chemotherapy and exercised had significantly smaller tumors after two weeks than mice that only received doxorubicin.

Further studies will investigate exactly how exercise enhances the effect of doxorubicin, but the Penn team believes it could be in part because exercise increases blood flow to the tumor, bringing with it more of the drug in the bloodstream.

“If exercise helps in this way, you could potentially use a smaller dose of the drug and get fewer side effects,” Libonati said.

Gaining a clearer understanding of the many ways that exercise affects various systems of the body could also pave the way for developing drugs that mimic the effects of exercise.

“People don’t take a drug and then sit down all day,” Libonati says. “Something as simple as moving affects how drugs are metabolized. We’re only just beginning to understand the complexities.”

Source: science daily

Yoga can fight off obesity!

Most of us are suffering from health risks due to the sedentary life style and the busy daily routine that allows us to dedicate very less or no time for physical activity. The most common problem that we see today is obesity.

yoga prayer

Obesity refers to weight gain in which excess of body fat has been accumulated to an extent that it may have a negative effect on health. It could also lead to reduced life expectancy or increased health problems. While obesity is most commonly caused by wrong dietary and lifestyle patterns, it can also be caused by endocrine disorders, genes, medications, or psychiatric illness.

It is said that yoga can be very beneficial for obese people as it can help them to lose weight effectively. Exercises of yoga require movements such as stretching, twisting, bending and balancing,
which helps us to lose extra calories.
It also stimulates the heart and lungs, increasing intake of oxygen, which leads to enhanced energy for physical activity and in turn can result in greater weight loss.

Yoga is a tool that helps the body, mind and spirit. It has different types of postures set for individuals that fits all of age groups and health conditions. For better benefits of yoga to full extent, it is suggested to practise it under the guidance of professionals in the initial days until all the postures are known in right manner.Yoga is the best practice to lose weight slowly as losing weight in a short period damages your skin and makes it look saggy. Some of the yoga postures that help in your weight loss regime are sun salutations, dog pose, cobra pose, angle pose, squat and rise pose, the two alterations of bridge pose (face up and face down), spinal twist, tree pose and butterfly pose.

Meditation which is another form of yoga also helps us in losing weight. Practising of yoga regularly helps improve self control and hence, you can easily gain control over your food cravings and reduce your food intake. It also helps to strengthen and tone muscles, leading to greater physical activity.

Pranayama, a set of breathing exercises of yoga, has profound influence on our health.
It is a well known fact that most of the toxic elements which are eliminated from the body during breathing can help maintain good health.

Naturopathic, a treatment which involves the practice of regular yoga postures combined with treatment with things offered by nature. If yoga postures are used daily, correctly and consistently in combination with good food habits, then balance will return to the body and mind and the health of the practitioner will be restored quickly.

Source: zee news

Heart exercises protect your brain too

Daily exercises to maintain good cardiovascular health also benefits brain, protecting us from cognitive impairment as we age, according to a promising study.

Researchers found that healthy lifestyle helps maintain the elasticity of arteries, thereby preventing downstream cerebrovascular damage and resulting in preserved cognitive abilities in later life.

Our body’s arteries stiffen with age and the vessel hardening is believed to begin in the aorta – the main vessel coming out of the heart before reaching the brain.

Heart exercises protect your brain too

“Indeed, the hardening may contribute to cognitive changes that occur during a similar time frame,” said lead researcher Claudine Gauthier from University of Montreal, Canada.

They found that older adults whose aortas were in a better condition and who had greater aerobic fitness performed better on a cognitive test.

“We think that the preservation of vessel elasticity may be one of the mechanisms that enables exercise to slow cognitive aging,” Gauthier added.

For the study, they worked with 31 young people between ages 18 and 30 and 54 older participants aged between 55 and 75.

This enabled the team to compare the older participants within their peer group and against the younger group who obviously have not begun the ageing processes in question.

The results demonstrated age-related declines in executive function, aortic elasticity and cardiorespiratory fitness, a link between vascular health and brain function, and a positive association between aerobic fitness and brain function.

Source: Times of India

Healthy lifestyle cuts down negative effects of stress

Healthy lifestyle cuts down negative effects of stressA new study has revealed that following a healthy lifestyle, that comprises of a healthy diet, sleep and exercise, counters the negative effects of stress.

According to the study by UC San Francisco, the participants who exercised, slept well and ate well had less telomere shortening than the ones who didn’t maintain healthy lifestyles, even when they had similar levels of stress.

Eli Puterman said that it’s very important that we promote healthy living, especially under circumstances of typical experiences of life stressors like death, caregiving and job loss.

The researchers found that women who engaged in lower levels of healthy behaviors, there was a significantly greater decline in telomere length in their immune cells for every major life stressor that occurred during the year.

Yet women who maintained active lifestyles, healthy diets, and good quality sleep appeared protected when exposed to stress – accumulated life stressors did not appear to lead to greater shortening.

The study was published in Molecular Psychiatry.

Source: dna india

Exercise Makes you Smarter


Science now believes exercise is not just good for your heart it can also make you smarter and that means it can make you better at what you do. It works fast too…stimulating your nervous system is one of the best ways to perform at a higher level within a short period of time. Doctor John Tatey, an associate professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School says, “I like to say that exercise is like taking a little Prozac or Ritalin at just the right moment…it affects mood, vitality, alertness and feelings of well-being.”

Medical science has now concluded that as little as 30 minutes of moderate exercise a day is enough for “Brain Training” for most adults. More is better if you want to enhance the other health benefits we all know exercise provides. If you’re looking for motivation to help you get started perhaps focusing on the mental clarity it provides will get you going. Here are some of the ways exercise can make you smarter…

The “Mind Body Connection” is cutting edge science today. It may have been the ancient Greeks that discovered the the mind body connection, but today we know areobic exercise not only pumps more blood to your muscles it helps your heart send more blood to the rest of your body as well, including your Brain. More blood means more oxygen and more oxygen means healthier brain cells. Better nourished brain cells improve cognition which fuels higher levels of thought.

The endorphins exercise produces also improves your ability to Concentrate, which assists you in blocking out distractions and improves your ability to set priorities. When you are less impulsive it sharpens your focus which enhances your memory. Improved recall makes your thinking more accurate, giving you greater access to your most important skills. “High Levels of Productive Thought” require lots of energy…especially when you need a boost in creativity. Serious creativity is more than a jolt from out of the blue. It’s hard work and you have to stay with it which means you need mental and physical endurance. Several studies indicate you are better able to use both sides of your brain when it is well nourished which leads to more balanced thinking.

Sometimes we all need incentives to perform well and unlike the physical benefits exercise provides which build up over time, “The Mental Rewards Are Immediate.” Even as little as 10 minutes of vigorous exercise can trigger the release of pleasure chemicals within our nervous system that calm us down, make us think more clearly, perform better and even make us happier. If you exercise today your Brain will reward you today…and if you lack patience just knowing a fast solution is out there can be very comforting.


Experiments show that most children rank highly creative (right brain) before entering school. Because our educational systems place a higher value on left brain skills such as mathematics, logic and language than they do on drawing or using our imagination, only ten percent of these same children will rank “highly creative” by age 7. By the time we are adults, high creativity remains in only 2 percent of the population. New studies indicate that exercising consistently stimulates the whole brain which may increase your access to more skills. And since most of us aren’t as creative as we would like to be an extra “Jolt” from time to time could be very valuable indeed.

Source: world life expectancy

Water exercise leads to fitter frame: Expert


Cristiana Pipoli, aqua aerobics trainer at Jaypee Vasant Continental, feels that aqua aerobics can work wonders for those who do not believe in “working out” in the conventional way.

“This water workout reduces the weight of a person by up to 90 percent, thus reducing the stress burden on your body’s joints. The water also provides a natural resistance to your movements, making your aerobatics workout intense without you realising it. Aqua Aerobics also provides you with cardiovascular and strength training,” Pipoli said in a statement.

“Another great advantage of Aqua Aerobics is that water makes you less prone to the exercise injuries. It does not matter what age you are, or at what level of fitness you are, it is suitable for all and is an enjoyable method of exercise, that can be altered to your specific needs and or fitness levels to ensure a safe and effective workout,” Pipoli said in a statement.

Some of the water exercises suggested by the expert:

* Cross Country Sky – excellent for lifting the heart rate. Movement of both arms and legs.
* Back Curl – great exercise for glute.
* Straight Leg Lift Forward – Excellent to raise heart beat.
* Side Leg Left – for legs and inner thighs
* Frog Lift – inner thighs one can do this thing only in water
* Knees to Elbow Twist – for waist and for strong core.

Source: Post

Why jogging in the park is healthiest for your kid

Researchers have suggested that children who are exposed to scenes of nature while exercising are more likely to experience health-enhancing effects after activity. Sports science academics in the University’s Department of Applied Sciences and Health asked kids aged 9-10 years to complete a series of 15 minute moderate intensity cycling activities – one whilst viewing a video of a forest track synced to the exercise bike and another with no visual stimulus.

The researchers found that after the ‘green exercise’ the children’s post-activity blood pressure was significantly lower than it was without the simulated forest environment, indicating that the nature scenes promoted positive health effects. Data showed that the children’s mean systolic blood pressure – the pressure in the arteries when the heart beats – was 97.2 mmHg a quarter of an hour after green exercise, compared with 102.7 mmHg after normal activity (over 5 per cent lower).

Lower blood pressure is normally associated with a lower risk of developing health problems, whereas high blood pressure – also known as hypertension – is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Dr Michael Duncan, lead author of the study and associate head of the Department of Applied Sciences and Health at Coventry University, said that hypertension is a chronic health problem across the world, so given the results they’ve seen in our study it’s crucial that we continue to try to understand the role physical activity and – in particular – green exercise plays in blood pressure.

The study has been published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.

Source: The Health site

Outdoor exercise becoming popular

The gym appears to be giving way to outdoor exercises. Research shows that one in three women are shunning working out at the gym.

In an effort to workout in fresh air, 56 percent of health enthusiasts said they would definitely not be returning to the gym, femalefirst.co.uk reports.

The increasing popularity of functional workouts, boot camps and small group personal training sessions has fuelled the growth in the number of outdoor exercise options.

Being cheaper is also one of the main reasons women have decided to ditch the gym. But they also admitted that they feel more comfortable exercising in a less confined space with people watching.

Source: business standard

Three ways to keep your heart healthy

Though cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death, there are ways by which you can significantly reduce the risk.

Judith Mackall, MD, Cardiologist at University Hospitals (UH) Case Medical Centre in Cleveland, Ohio, offers three tips to help reduce risk of heart diseases.

1. Exercise: Thirty minutes of moderate exercise every day can have a big impact on heart health. If 30 minutes is too much time to dedicate, then divide it into ten minutes and exercise thrice a day. Within ten weeks your cholesterol numbers will improve, blood pressure will come down and you will lose a few pounds. Just running a few miles can help improve cardiovascular fitness by increasing the flexibility of the coronary arteries.

2. Eat healthy: Eat a healthy, balanced diet. Remember the “Five Rule”, i.e. consume at least five fruits and vegetables every day as part of a balanced diet. This helps manage blood pressure and decrease inflammation in the body, preventing risk of cardiovascular disease. Replace saturated fats with mono or polyunsaturated fats and reduce salt intake to ensure blood pressure and cholesterol levels remain in healthy ranges.

3. Quit smoking: If you are a heavy smoker or even a social smoker, it’s time to call it quits. Smoking knocks off seven years of your life. And, if you have cardiovascular disease and you smoke, you’ll die 15 years sooner than you would otherwise, Dr Mackall adds.

Source: Zee news

Diabetes: Tips for stable, steady blood sugar levels

Diabetes is a lifelong medical condition that makes people resistant to insulin, a hormone that allows blood glucose to enter the body’s cells where it is used as energy.

Diabetics have too much glucose in the blood because the body cannot use it properly and they need extra insulin to allow their cells to take in sugar from their blood.

Diabetes has three distinct classifications. These include Type 1 Diabetes wherein a glitch in immune system attacks its own beta cells in the pancreas. A person with type 1 diabetics is dependent on insulin shots for life.
Type 2 Diabetes is triggered by reduced insulin sensitivity combined with reduced insulin secretions. As the disease progresses therapeutic replacement of insulin becomes necessary. The third, gestational diabetes occurs during pregnancies and is fully treatable but requires careful medical supervision throughout pregnancy.

What causes diabetes?
According to experts, nature as well as nurture play a vital role in triggering diabetes. Though, the ailment is said to be passed down from parents to offspring, the gene susceptibility is just 25 percent. A sedentary lifestyle, adhering to unhealthy diet high in saturated fats and junk food, makes us more vulnerable to the ailment.

If diabetes goes uncontrolled it can lead to loss of eye sight, renal failure, cardiovascular problems, gangrene, and amputations, hence maintaining blood sugars within the target range is crucial.

Tips to control diabetes
Though not many can control diabetes without medication, awareness of what makes your blood sugar spike, plus a few simple lifestyle changes can make a real difference.

In terms of food intake, what you eat, how much you eat and when you eat is paramount for diabetes management. Switch to vegetables and fruits, whole grains, lean meats, or proteins and avoid heavy, processed or refined foods and sweets. Eat five to six small portions throughout the day at a regular time rather than when you feel like it. Balance out all the nutrients in every meal as this will help you keep your insulin level on an even keel.

Regular exercise regimen
Diabetes need to adhere to a regular exercise regimen. Physical activity not only increases insulin sensitivity, but it reduces stress, improves blood pressure and cholesterol and also controls weight. Aim to exercise at least 30 minutes a day, five times a week. Any activity ranging from brisk walking, using stairs instead of elevators, vacuuming that raises metabolic rate and levels out blood sugar counts toward your daily total.

Keeping weight in check
Being overweight is an indicator of diabetes. Excess body fat, especially stored around the abdomen, can increase the body’s resistance to the hormone insulin. Though shedding pounds and keeping it off is a challenging task, losing even a relatively small amount of weight can go a long way in keeping blood sugars levels steady.

Visit an ophthalmologist experienced in treating diabetic to look for diseases such as retinopathy, one of the most common complications of the disease.

Quit smoking
Smokers are twice as likely to develop diabetes as opposed to non-smokers. Lighting up reportedly increases insulin resistance and also narrows blood vessels which in turn limit circulation to your legs and feet.

Drink moderately
Excessive alcohol consumption can pile on the pounds and also spike blood pressure and triglyceride levels. Two standard drinks a day for men and no more than one for women is recommended

Get enough sleep
Adjust the hours so that you get a consistent eight hours of shut eye. Researches have established that inadequate sleep has a significant effect on your blood sugar and insulin levels.

Stay hydrated.
Drink water to stay energized and hydrated. Swapping coffee, soda or juices with water will slash the total sugar and calories in your diet. You can add a dash of lemon or lime or an orange wedge for flavor.

Diabetes is serious, but is a manageable disease. Just incorporate these simple tips to prevent or delay some of the serious problems related with diabetes.

Source: the med guru