Brawn matters: Stronger adolescents, teens have less risk of diabetes, heart disease

Adolescents with stronger muscles have a lower risk of heart disease and diabetes, according to a new study that examined the influence of muscle strength in sixth grade boys and girls.

Stronger kids also have lower body mass index (weight to height ratio), lower percent body fat, smaller waist circumferences, and higher fitness levels, according to the study that appears in Pediatrics.

Researchers analyzed health data for more than 1,400 children ages 10 to 12, including their percent body fat, glucose level, blood pressure, cholesterol levels and triglycerides (a type of fat, or lipid, which may increase risk of heart disease). Those with greater strength-to-body-mass ratios — or pound-for-pound strength capacities — had significantly lower risks of heart disease and diabetes.

“It’s a widely-held belief that BMI, sedentary behaviors and low cardiovascular fitness levels are linked to diabetes, heart disease and stroke, but our findings suggest muscle strength possibly may play an equally important role in cardiometabolic health in children,” says lead author Mark D. Peterson, Ph.D, M.S., research assistant professor in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the University of Michigan Medical School.

The study’s corresponding author was Paul M. Gordon, Ph.D., M.P.H, who is a Professor at Baylor University in Texas. Gordon suggests that strengthening activities may be equally important to physical activity participation.

The research is based on data from the Cardiovascular Health Intervention Program (CHIP), a study of sixth graders from 17 mid-area Michigan schools between 2005 and 2008.

Participants were tested for strength capacity using a standardized handgrip strength assessment, which is recently recommended by the Institute of Medicine (IOM). Researchers also measured cardiorespiratory fitness — how well the body is able to transport oxygen to muscles during prolonged exercise, and how well muscles are able to absorb and use it.

The study is believed to be the first to show a robust link between strength capacity and a lower chance of having diabetes, heart disease or stroke (cardiometabolic risk) in adolescents, even after controlling for the influence of BMI, physical activity participation, and cardiorespiratory fitness.

“The stronger you are relative to your body mass, the healthier you are,” Peterson says. “Exercise, sports, and even recreational activity that supports early muscular strength acquisition, should complement traditional weight loss interventions among children and teens in order to reduce risks of serious diseases throughout adolescence.”

Previous, large-scale studies have found low muscular strength in teen boys is a risk factor for several major causes of death in young adulthood, such as suicide and cardiovascular diseases.

Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Michigan Health

… Continue reading here.
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<p>Question by : Benefits of Exercise – What are the Benefits of Exercise..?
Also, what are the mental benefits of exercise…?

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-lose weight
-feel confident

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    • Chris Milton
    • March 31, 2014


    • kell♥
    • April 1, 2014

    – it improves your mood
    – Reduces Anxiety
    -Aids In Stress management
    – Self Esteem Self Confidence
    -Afflilation wth others

    More Physical
    – More Sleep because youre tired from the workout
    – better grades because you get more sleep
    – look better
    – feel better

    And of course all the obvious reasons like weight loss/ toning etc…

    • Rose .
    • April 1, 2014

    •Exercise Benefit #1…Increased energy: The right combination of exercise and nutrition creates an hormonal environment conducive to fat loss, increased muscle strength and increased energy. When your body is working at peak efficiency, your energy levels soar!
    Everyday things become much easier to do.

    •Exercise Benefit #2…Increased Self-Esteem: Gaining control of your body size and weight through fitness is an amazing way to increase self-esteem. You look better and are more confident which empowers you in everything you do. You will find that the self-discipline required and learned through regular exercise spills over into other areas of your life and you will be better able to make other necessary and desireable changes.

    •Exercise Benefit #3…Increase Mental Focus: Did you know that the latest research shows that exercise helps keep the brain sharp well into old age? Anything that involves mental acuity (focus and concentration) is improved. You also stand a much better chance of avoiding such diseases as Alzheimer’s and senility.

    •Exercise Benefit #4…Decreased Risk of a Heart Attack: By exercising regularly and making positive changes in your diet, you lower your cholesterol and blood pressure and greatly diminish the chances of having a heart attack.

    •Exercise Benefit #5…Decreased Risk of Osteoporosis: Regular exercise, especially weight-bearing exercise, reduces the risk of osteoporosis, and can even reverse it buy building bone tissue!

    •Exercise Benefit #6…Reduce the Risk of Breast Cancer by up to 60% Estradiol and progesterone, two ovarian hormones linked to breast cancer tumor production are lowered in the body by exercise.
    A womans body is most susceptible to these hormones during the time between ovulation and menstruation. Habitual exercise can actually delay ovulation until later in the menstrual cycle. This reduces the time she must fight these hormones.
    Fat has long been known to be a catalyst in the production of estrogen (estradiol). Regular exercise burns body fat and thus decreases the rate of estrogen production.
    So there you have it!… A two pronged, cancer preventing exercise benefit!

    •Exercise Benefit #7…Increased Strength and Stamina: Every physical thing you do becomes easier which is immensely useful in everyday life.

    •Exercise Benefit #8…Reduced Depression: The production of Endorphins (Feel good hormones) is increased through exercise. Nothing improves mood and suppresses depression better than those endorphins.

    •Exercise Benefit #9…Decreased Stress Levels: The worries and stresses of everyday living (commuting, work demands, conflicts etc.) can stick with you long after the work day is done. Exercise right after work is the perfect natural therapy that can change your mood. You’ll sleep better too!

    •Exercise Benefit #10…Well actually, here are another 50 benefits…
    ◦Improved digestion.
    ◦Enhances quality of sleep.
    ◦Adds a sparkle and radiance to complexion.
    ◦Improves body shape.
    ◦Tones and firms muscles.
    ◦Provides more muscular definition.
    ◦Enables weight loss and keeps it off.
    ◦Makes you limber.
    ◦Improves endurance.
    ◦Burns extra calories.
    ◦Improves circulation and helps reduce blood pressure.
    ◦Increases lean muscle tissue in the body.
    ◦Improves appetite for healthy foods.
    ◦Alleviates menstrual cramps.
    ◦Alters and improves muscle chemistry.
    ◦Increases metabolic rate.
    ◦Enhances coordination and balance.
    ◦Improves posture.
    ◦Eases and possibly eliminates back problems and pain.
    ◦Makes the body use calories more efficiently.
    ◦Lowers resting heart rate.
    ◦Increases muscle size through an increase in muscle fibers.
    ◦Improves body composition.
    ◦Increases body density.
    ◦Decreases fat tissue more easily.
    ◦Makes body more agile.
    ◦Is the greatest body tune-up.
    ◦Reduces joint discomfort.
    ◦Improves athletic performance.
    ◦Enriches sexuality.
    ◦May add a few years to life.
    ◦Increases your range of motion.
    ◦Enhances immune system.
    ◦Improves glycogen storage.
    ◦Enables the body to utilize energy more efficiently.
    ◦Increases enzymes in the body which burn fat.
    ◦Increases the number and size of mitochondria in muscle cells.
    ◦Increases concentration of myoglobin (carries oxygen in muscles) in skeletal muscles.
    ◦Enhances oxygen transport throughout the body.
    ◦Improves liver functioning.
    ◦Increases speed of muscle contraction and reaction time.
    ◦Enhances feedback through the nervous system.
    ◦Strengthens the heart.
    ◦Improves blood flow.
    ◦Helps to alleviate varicose veins.
    ◦Increases maximum cardiac output.
    ◦Increases contractility of the heart’s ventricles.
    ◦Increases the weight and size of the heart.
    ◦Improves contractile function of the whole heart.
    ◦Makes calcium transport in the heart and body more efficient.


    • Sameer
    • April 1, 2014

    Exercise implies physical activity to improve co-ordination, enhance strength and flexibility and build endurance. When exercise comes under physical therapy, it means specially designed exercise that helps heal injury or relieve pain or prevent future health issues. You might be stretching, lifting weights, doing aerobics or any other physical activity that your therapist suggests and teaches you. You need to continue the exercise at home, on your own to achieve your fitness goals as well as keep future problems at bay.

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