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Here’s your regular dose of knowledge in the realm of healthy living. Bottom Line Up Front:
Exercises makes you younger at a subcellular level.
There are shady places to go outside in the heat.
Get on a bicycle.
That giant leaf of Aloe Vera that you see at the grocery store is indeed edible.
The Study Robinson MM, Dasari S, Konopka AR, et al. Enhanced Protein Translation Underlies Improved Metabolic and Physical Adaptations to Different Exercise Training Modes in Young and Old Humans. Cell Metab. 2017;25(3):581-592. doi:10.1016/j.cmet.2017.02.009 Key point: Exercise makes you younger at a subcellular level. Consistent exercise training can get older people's (avg age 70 years old) mitochondria to the place where younger people’s (average age 25 years old) typically are. What are mitochondria: “the powerhouses of the cell” is what you might remember from biology class. Inside of a cell, they make energy (ATP) from nutrients in a process known as mitochondrial respiration.
Details: This research group from the Mayo Clinic took young adults ages 18-30 and compared them to older adults ages 65-80. Within these groups, they placed people into three different categories for training. They did exclude people with chronic medical conditions. The older group had a higher body fat range than the younger group: 28-34% vs 36-39% in the older group. There was a HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) group that did 3 days of cycling with 2 days a week of moderate treadmill walking, a Resistance Training group that did 4 sets of 8-12 reps twice per week, and a combination training group that did 5 days a week of moderate cycling & 4 days a week of resistance training with fewer reps than the main resistance group. There was a sedentary group for control; this was the same group that would later become the combination therapy group. At baseline, as expected, the older group had less mitochondrial respiration than the younger group. With HIIT that respiration activity (looking at both the amount and activity of the mitochondria), went up by 69% in older adults and 49% in younger adults. The combination training took it up 39% in younger adults, but no significant change in the older adults. Resistance training did not affect respiration in either group, but it did improve muscle mass and strength. Additionally, almost every kind of training helped improve insulin sensitivity. In younger adults, all training helped. In older adults, everything except combination training helped. Resistance training helped more than the other modalities. If you’re wondering, how they could look at the mitochondria, it was with muscle biopsies. This study looked at a much greater breadth and depth of effects than what I’ve mentioned here, so you can read it online if you want the full story. My Takeaway: 1)Whatever your age, exercise is helping you on a subcellular level! 2) Intensity matters, no matter your age and whether you’re doing “cardio” or “resistance” (these words are in quotes because they overlap with each other when done at high effort) You may think that HIIT sounds a little…intense… but it doesn’t have to be intimidating. If you play a sport like basketball or soccer, you’re already doing it: You run fast, you stop, you run fast, you stop. If you are chronically out of breath, then you’re already doing it: you move til you are winded, you rest, you move until you are winded, you rest. Start with a level of working out that is intense for you and go from there. There are studies that have found people more satisfied with HIIT than long bouts of moderate-level activity. If you’re worried about your underlying health with this, feel some comfort knowing that HIIT is integrated into some of the rehab people do after heart attacks. Also, there are many other exercise protocols out there, eg GXP, and you can get into the weeds in comparing them. The most important thing to realize in this study is: 3) The sedentary group did the worst in every category. So if you don’t have a movement routine, make one and stick to it. It pays off. If you’re starting out with a chronic medical condition, or with problems breathing, make sure you’ve talked with your doctor about what is safe for you. Even better, you could also see us at CPR 😊 A few other things to mention: The weight training here seems less intense than the HIIT, and thus not the best comparison for resistance training. I would like to have seen a resistance training group that also focused on high effort being put forth. The measured the V02 max to know the aerobic groups were getting where they needed to be, but no mention of whether they tried to measure intensity for the resistance group. Also, for the HIIT group, there were 2 days of treadmill walking for 45 minutes… why not have just kept it as purely HIIT? Overall, cool study, my summary was longer than normal, moving on now. Place to Go: Rocky Fork
This place has walking trails through the woods, both paved and grassy. It has parts that are good for kids, adults, dogs, horses, feet, and non-motorized wheels. Importantly, for this time of year, there are big sections that stay shady. So, if the only time you can move outside is during the high sun, there is respite. Imagine a cool breeze, bird songs, and that sweet forest smell.
Thing to Do Get on something with wheels and feel the wind. Be it a bicycle, longboard, rollerblades, or rollator – just get moving. Recipe Aloe Vera Jelly Part of keeping cooking fun is to do new and interesting things or use new and interesting ingredients. Every time I go to the grocery store, I see giant aloe vera leaves and wonder what people do with them. So, I bought it and tried it a couple of ways. The first way I tried was boiling it with the peel on… that was terrible. I have since learned that pressure cooking is the way to prepare it with the peel (2 whistles). The other way I tried is this boba-type creation that produced a subtly sweet, refreshing flavor, with a firm squish. The recipe calls for sugar or maple syrup – that step can be skipped, if you want to keep out all the sugar, and still provide a nice product. Another option here is to use date sugar, but I think that you’ll need to stir it frequently, so the date sugar doesn’t sink. This is a really fun food to work with. It’s completely different than anything I’ve cooked with before; it’s juicy, it’s gooey, and nearly invisible. Thus, the kids are quite interested in helping. Next time I use Aloe, I’ll try a Rajasthani (part of India) Aloe recipe for an entirely different flavor.
Here's the recipe from fullofplants.com: Healthy, good for your skin jelly that is perfect to add to iced teas or lattes! It is chewy, not too sweet, and will definitely make your favorite drinks more exciting! Yield: About 1 cup INGREDIENTS
2 large aloe vera leaves
2 cups (473ml) water
2 tbsp sugar (or maple syrup) (*you can cut this in half, or skip)
Wash the aloe vera leaves under cold water. Using a large and sharp knife, cut off the top and bottom of each leaf and discard. Slice the aloe vera in half, lengthwise, trying to slice it so you have two pieces with an even thickness.
Next, cut off the green skin by running a sharp knife between the aloe vera gel and the skin. Discard the skin and cut the aloe vera gel into 1/2-inch cubes. Repeat with the remaining aloe vera and transfer the cubes to a large bowl. Cover with cold water and let it sit for about 15 minutes.
Drain the aloe vera cubes and transfer to a medium saucepan. Add the 2 cups of water and sugar.
Bring to a boil and let simmer for about 10 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water, this step will keep the aloe vera from being slimy. Drain again and transfer to a bowl to cool.
Use as a topping for iced teas, lattes, fruit juices, or even smoothies! Aloe very jelly will keep for up to 3 days in the refrigerator.
Also, remember we have various ways we can help you overcome, prevent, and reverse, your medical conditions – or just generally improve your health.
1) You can go on a learning journey with us in our CPR for Life podcast. If you like it, please give us a 5-star rating and tell your friends. Your health is in your hands.
2) You can join our CPR for the Mind Course. The self-paced course is available right now. You can then upgrade to the workshop course for a discount, if you get on the waiting list. Learn more about what mindfulness is, how it works, and how to do it. Take Care Out There, Sagar Doshi, MD FAAEM Dipl ACLM