Tag: physiology

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

Circadian clock and sleep and their relation to physical activity

It has been in my mind to write few words regarding sleep as it is clearly one of the most important though many times neglected factors affecting human health. As Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded this week for the researchers who had made significant contributions in the area of circadian clock, I thought that this is good moment to emphasize the importance of sleep for our wellbeing.

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Eliud Kipchoge – 2:00:25 – Simply astonishing

Sounds basically impossible but Eliud Kipchoge was yesterday able to run some 2,5 minutes faster than is the current marathon world record, which is already amazing time and these type of records are not usually beaten by that large margin. He stopped clocks in a time 2:00:25 in Nike’s sub-2 marathon attempt which was held on a racetrack in Monza, Italy. There has been quite a lot of speculation about his shoes and other things and it was not accepted as an official world record due to numerous reasons such as there was a car setting the pace for him and other runners. In a way that should not matter, that is unbeliavably fast!

To find out all the details Runner’s World has covered the topic well and it might also be worth of wathing the entire run. Read also their report on the attempt as well as Mike Joyner’s analyses what we should still expect. I have listened to many of Mike’s presentations on the topic but also researchers such as Andy Jones and many others have presented very interesting ideas and calculations which are worth of visiting if you are interested in reading some more what these running velocities for such a long periods require physiologically. I would say Kipchoge’s run was simply astonishing and I hope there is nothing else behind that time but unique genetics and very hard training.

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