Done all my classes, now I’ve just got exams in the way of my Christmas break! Spent most of my day studying… then came home and made myself cauliflower mash (delicious) and the tastiest desert I’ve made in a long time! Lol I mixed 3 tablespoons of hemp hearts, 1 mashed banana,1 cut up apple, half a tablespoon of coconut oil, cinnamon and a teaspoon of coconut sugar and baked it… soooooo indescribably good :p. I ate this feast while giving into my guilty pleasure (and procrastinating) of ‘the vampire diaries’ lol.
Here are some more pictures of me climbing in Ontario, cannot wait for the spring!
And a showcase of extreme flexibility :p…
Exercise is something that everyone should actively incorporate into their life; the benefit of even a single bout of exercise has huge implications towards our health. Exercise has been linked to lower rates of chronic diseases such as diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular disease. Physiological function, fitness and health are improved through regular exercise which ultimately leads to significant beneficial adaptations. So what’s going on here? This blog post will briefly discuss the implications of exercise to our health and well-being. Why should you exercise? Here are some good reasons for ya lol…
So you’ve probably heard that people who have more muscle burn more calories and fat, how does that work? Well, there are a number of reasons that include the following…Exercise increases the activity of an enzyme called hormone sensitive lipase (HSL); this enzyme ultimately increases the breakdown of triglycerides to fatty acids for fuel. Exercise also increases mitochondrial content (necessary for aerobic metabolism) of our adipose tissue; fatty acid oxidation is seen to rise approximately four-fold. The rate of ‘futile cycling’ also increases; futile cycling is essentially us wasting energy, i.e. burning more calories. Our bodies respond to low energy environments by giving them more fat than is actually required (fat is an incredibly rich source for energy); the unused fat needs to then be re-esterified which takes energy. Futile cycling is associated with improved insulin sensitivity. Take home point- our muscles get better at burning fat through exercise.
How can exercise make us healthier? This is also multifactorial but I will primarily focus on the implications towards the electron chain transfer (ETC) at the mitochondria (a huge source of aerobically derived energy) (beware, this is about to get even techier- bear with me, I’ll sum things up at the end!)…
To paint a better picture, I’ll describe the implications of over-eating. When our food intake increases, more substrates are sent to the ETC resulting in more ions being pushed through. Our metabolism cannot keep up with this and eventually the ETC will slow down and a back pressure will be created. Ions will spend more time at each complex in the ETC and as a result have a greater chance of combining with oxygen to form superoxide. More reactive oxygen species are then created which is very bad news for our health (e.g. ROS can be linked with cancer risk). Typically when our body use the energy created by the ETC, the energy available will decrease. The lower energy environment will help dissipate this membrane potential and in turn decrease the ROS production. At increased food intakes, the energy will still be too high and the membrane potential will not be dissipated. During exercise, the low energy environment in the mitochondria will decrease reactive oxygen species (ROS) by dissipating the above membrane potential and ultimately allowing hydrogen ions to flow through. Take home point- exercise decreases the ROS from the ETC.
Exercise also decreases our risks for diabetes. Exercise increases glucose uptake by our cells by stimulating more GLUT4 (glucose transporters) to membranes, this helps improve insulin sensitivity. Improved lifestyles, following the American food pyramid and exercising 150 minutes per week, has been shown to improve risks for diabetes by 58%! Just one bout of exercise is able to prevent lipid-induced insulin resistance. Furthermore, exercise can decrease insulin and insulin growth factor and effectively reduce risks for cancer (which requires glucose for growth). Exercise has also been shown to improve drug efficacy.
Not only is exercise good for our well-being, it also allows us to get strong (duh lol :p)!Our bodies adapt to high stress exercises in order to make them easier the next time. Exercise stimulates protein synthesis and breakdown; we need positive nitrogen balances to build muscles (otherwise we will lose muscle mass). Exercise improves the efficiency of amino acid conservation and protein synthesis during training. Furthermore, resistance training has been shown to enhance elderly sit to stand strength.
Exercise may have been an essential ingredient for the evolution of human intelligence! The hunter gatherer lifestyle of our ancestors required large increases in aerobic activity which altered the human physiology to enable the utilization of new resources in their changing environments. Recent studies suggest both acute and long term exercise increases brain size and improves cognitive performance in humans as well as other animals. Recently, work suggests that the rise in exercise may have been a factor for increased brain sizes and overall intelligence in our ancestors.
So a summary of everything we’ve discussed; exercise makes us better at burning fat, improves insulin sensitivity, helps us avoid ROS formation AND makes us smarter. There are soooooo many other positive effects derived from exercise, but for the sake of keeping this post (relatively) reader friendly, I’ll end it here. In future posts I’ll delve more into other topics surrounding exercise including implications on cardiovascular disease. Now that winter weather is in full swing, hopefully this will give some of you guys the motivation to keep at your workout regimes!
Hope everyone has a good weekend!
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