Category: General (Page 1 of 4)

Tahko MTB – 20 years and going even stronger

An epic Tahko mountain bike race was raced today for the 20th time in a row. My first race there was in 2002 and this has been a must race since then. It did not dissapoint this year either. Simple thing is that it is tough (60K, few minutes over 3 hours max effort), and that is the reason I have done that several times, basically always when I have been in Finland. And I am not the only one as many other exercisers have also found it and this year over 2300 cyclists were doing the race. Conditions were wet and tough, but this is why we do it.

Another reason to go and do Tahko  MTB is Kuopio/Nilsiä region. If you are interested, check out more information from Tahko webpages.

How hot is your brain?

There has been some previous studies suggesting that particularly high-intensity exercise can blunt appetite and reduce food intake. New  study might have shed light in this respect. According to a new study exercise-induced elevation in brain temperature namely reduces food intake, and may thus contribute to body weight regulation.

On the other hand, we have also previously shown that food high in sugar and/or fat changes gene expression in the brain in those genes that regulate appetite. Thus, both exercise and food matter in the regulation of food intake and body weight regulation.

Earth day

Earth day was some days ago, check out the video:

Sports is for all

“If we are to have peace on earth, our loyalties must become ecumenical rather than sectional. Our loyalties must transcend our race, our tribe, our class, and our nation; and this means we must develop a world perspective.”

Martin Luther King Jr., Christmas speech 1967

April 4th 2018, thus today, marks the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at the Lorraine Hotel in Memphis, TN, USA.

In remembrance of Dr. King, I also thought to write few words on the topic, in light of sports. On 28th of August 1963, thus almost 55 years ago, Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his influential speech – ‘I have a dream’. At the age of 34 and standing on the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC, US, in the front of about 250 000 people that came to listen, pastor King essentially called for equal rights for black and white people. In this regard much still remains to be done, but much progress has fortunately also occurred from those times.

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Altitude training – Benefits for “normal” people

Many elite athletes go high up in the mountains to do some altitude training as hypoxia (reduced oxygen pressure in the air) may give some physiological gains on top of normal training at the sea level. They still do that even if science does not really support these ideas. Some say believing is everything, but it is likely that good training camp in a good terrain where you can devote all your efforts just to training and recovering explains most of the fitness gains due to high altitude training period.

However, hypoxia or altitude training may atually be more beneficial for us “normal”people, who are not training like elite athletes. Recent evidence to support these ideas comes from a study by Camacho-Cardenosa et al. who recently showed that high-intensity interval training under normobaric intermittent hypoxia for 12 weeks in overweight/obese women seems to be promising for reducing body fat content with a concomitant increase in muscle mass.

We have also already some two years ago reviewed the acute responses of exercise and hypoxia in a human body, and health benefits of living and being and training in altitude. Acute responses are summarized in the figure below, but check out also this table for studies showing health benefits in health and disease.

Source: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fendo.2016.00116/full

Get moving in March

March is physical inactivity awareness month and here are some reasons why this is the case and what physical inactivity does to your body:

  • 150% more at risk of having depression
  • 23% higher risk of developing hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • 82% higher risk of getting Alzheimer’s disease (severe brain disorder)
  • Plus, a scary number of other negative statistics…

These facts and good movements to counteract inactivity can be found from Australian Exercise and Sport Science association -supported Exercise Right pages, which are worth checking out.

Twitter – One way to stay tuned!

I have not been able to write any new blog texts for a month, but I joined Twitter in the beginning of this year. Mostly because so many of the readers have been asking whether I have any newsletter or so that they could subscribe. As I do not have that yet, Twitter is one easy solution to let everyone know what is going on and when new blog text is released. Another reason to join was that few of my collegues have been saying to me many times that I should also be there. So now I am and you can indeed find very good information there. I have also already been quite active there, so if you want you can check out which kind of things I regard important as those are the things I am tweeting forward!

Holiday weight gain tends to make us fat for life, but no worries, exercise helps

Nobody gains weight overnight. It happens gradually over the years or decades. Average adult tends to gain 0.5-1.0 kg per year, which is quite a lot actually. But no worries if there has been some weight gain, exercise helps.

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Take BBC’s 60-second test to figure out which sport are you made for?

I have recently been writing about cross-country skiing, but if it is not your sport you might want to take this BBC’s 60-second test to figure out more suitable sport for you. Check out also their related story where Santa Claus is most likely coming from, as well as their story about Finland which also shows Finns cross-country skiing.

New research confirms the superior health benefits of cross-country skiing

I have been writing lately about cross-country skiing and also previously about its great effects on fitness and health. There has also been large epidemiological studies showing its benefits.

New research from Finland also confirms this as it shows that cross-country skiing is actually superior to other sport and physical activity habits in terms of health (all-cause mortality). This is because researchers in this recent study took also into consideration other and total physical activity habits (as well as numerous other confounding factors that could have affected the results), and showed that cross-country skiing showed independent effects on mortality, thus skiers lived longer.

Like I have previously written, cross-country skiing activates basically all of our muscles stimulating cardiovascular function and metabolism substantially. It is also great “natural” interval training, even when practised at slow pace, particularly when you are skiing in mountaneous terrain. Therefore, if you have a chance, cross-country skiing is really something that could be practised to be physically active and fit!

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Copyright © 2018 Ilkka Heinonen / ileximius. All rights reserved.

The views expressed on this website do not neccasarily reflect the views of University of Turku or other institutions or organisations Dr. Heinonen represents.