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</P> Yet another reason to get up and get moving--sweat! New research suggests that certain skin infections may be avoided by working up a good sweat. Researchers from Eberhard Karls University in Germany have discovered dermcidin in human sweat..

Sweat = Healthy Skin

Yet another reason to get up and get moving--sweat! New research suggests that certain skin infections may be avoided by working up a good sweat. Researchers from Eberhard Karls University in Germany have discovered dermcidin in human sweat. This natural antibiotic can limit disease-causing bacteria responsible for skin infections like impetigo. So, add healthier skin to the growing list of reasons for incorporating regular exercise into each day.
--Schittek, B. et al. Nature Immunology 2 (2002):1133-137

A Little Is Better Than Nothing

Good news for those of us who are short on time--another study has backed up the benefits of short bouts of exercise. Since many people have difficulty setting aside the recommended 30 to 60 minutes for exercise each day, researchers from Ireland decided to check out if three 10-minute "brisk" activity periods would do the job. By taking two groups of exercisers, one doing three short bouts of activity throughout the day and one doing a single longer bout, the study found that three 10-minute sessions yield similar health benefits to one continuous 30-minute routine. Both groups saw slight decreases in total cholesterol and increases in "good" cholesterol and cardiovascular fitness. There were also similar decreases in anxiety and stress reported by participants in both groups. Unfortunately for many, these results also mean no more excuses about lack of time!
--Medco Health, Oct. 14, 2002, merck-medco.com

Posture Perfect With Pilates

Need stress relief and relaxation? Want longer, leaner muscles, increased strength and flexibility, and improved posture, balance, co-ordination and sports performance? An intriguing form of exercise called Pilates (pi-la-teez) gives you all these benefits and more. This conditioning method features hundreds of stretching and strengthening exercises completed on a mat or on specialized equipment like the ball. Originally accepted by elite athletes and dancers, the public has now embraced this challenging yet gentle mind-body workout.

Pilates is a whole-body experience with emphasis on the core muscles--those that stabilize and co-ordinate movement of the spine. Therefore, the abdominal and back muscles, particularly those of the lower back, are challenged during any Pilates repertoire. Not that Pilates is only for the strong and able--it is very versatile and can be adapted for just about everyone, from high-end athletes to those in rehabilitation.

The past decade has seen a huge increase in awareness and demand for Pilates. Check out your local Y, community or fitness centre for a class today.

Pumping Iron Pumps the Heart

Recent research reported in the Archives of Internal Medicine show that older adults can not only improve muscular strength by weight training, they can also improve cardiovascular fitness.
The study put 62 men and women aged 60 to 83 into three groups--a control group (which did not exercise), a low-intensity (lighter weights used) resistance training group and a high-intensity (heavier weights used) resistance training group. Each exercise group trained for 24 weeks, three times a week, performing one set of 12 repetitions for 12 different exercises.

At the end of the study, participants in both exercise groups showed improved overall strength. Both groups also showed better cardiovascular capacity--the low-intensity group increased aerobic capacity by 23.5 per cent and the high-intensity group increased by 20.1 per cent. This indicates that a consistent weight-training program can benefit both strength and cardiovascular fitness in older adults.
--IDEA Personal Trainer, September 2002:10

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