A little bit…
Goes a LONG way.
Especially when it comes to your health.
[via jneurosci.org] We have previously found that healthy aged rats are more likely to suffer profound memory impairments following a severe bacterial infection than are younger adult rats. Such a peripheral challenge is capable of producing a neuroinflammatory response, and in the aged brain this response is exaggerated and prolonged. Normal aging primes, or sensitizes, microglia, and this appears to be the source of this amplified inflammatory response. Among the outcomes of this exaggerated neuroinflammatory response are impairments in synaptic plasticity and reductions of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), both of which have been associated with cognitive impairments. Since it has been shown that physical exercise increases BDNF mRNA in the hippocampus, the present study examined voluntary exercise in 24-month-old F344×BN rats as a neuroprotective therapeutic in our bacterial infection model. Although aged rats ran only an average of 0.7 km per week, this small amount of exercise was sufficient to completely reverse infection-induced impairments in hippocampus-dependent long-term memory compared with sedentary animals. Strikingly, exercise prevented the infection-induced exaggerated neuroinflammatory response and the blunted BDNF mRNA induction seen in the hippocampus of sedentary rats. Moreover, voluntary exercise abrogated age-related microglial sensitization, suggesting a possible mechanism for exercise-induced neuroprotection in aging. [Read More]
Not a fan of running, or complex exercise routines?
How about doing just two exercises, to get/keep you totally fit?
[via The Post Game]A few months ago, I asked Alwyn Cosgrove, C.S.C.S. — one of the world’s top trainers — to create a cutting-edge fat loss program for Men’s Health. And, of course, he obliged. But a curious thing: One of the workouts in the plan featured just two exercises.
That’s right: When asked to create a super-effective, calorie-torching routine, Cosgrove gave us a workout that had readers do only a kettlebell swing and a squat thrust. This confused some folks, who wondered, “How can you lose fat with just two exercises?”
Cosgrove’s response: “Running is just one exercise, but no one questions that when it comes to burning fat.”
He makes a good point. And in fact, once you understand the philosophy behind Cosgrove’s routine, you start to see why it works so well. But first, an explanation of the actual routine itself.
Here’s how it works: You do 15 repetitions of the kettlebell swing (you can also use a dumbbell for this), followed immediately by 15 reps of the squat thrust. (See below for descriptions of both exercises.) Without resting, do 14 reps of the swing and then 14 reps of the squat thrust. Continue this pattern until you complete only one rep of each exercise. This is called a countdown workout.
Sure, that’s just two exercises, but do the math: If you complete the entire routine — from 15 down to 1 — you’ll do 120 repetitions of each exercise. That’s 240 repetitions. And these aren’t just any exercises: They’re movements that challenge your entire body.
They’re also done at a fast pace. On average, it’ll only take you about three seconds per rep. So you’ll do those 240 reps in just 12 minutes or so. That’ll light your muscles on fire, and have you gasping for air (in a good way).
If you think that sounds too easy or too fast, I suggest you try it. You may find you can’t even finish. But that’s okay — you can just start with a lower number, like 8, and work your way up as you improve your fitness. (In fact, I recommend this strategy.) What’s more, if you want an even greater challenge, you can always take a breather and repeat the routine. [Read More]
You can two-exercise your way to better cognitive health!
So why don’t you?