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Friday 08/05/2020

Forty six days since the UK-wide lockdown began. I think I may have eaten a similar number of Dairy Milk’s since then…and a similar number of Wispa’s…and Twix’s.

But, I digress…

Running back the clock

Marathons aren’t the most enticing thing to me, it’s a serious amount of running (26.2 miles) and if it’s routed through a city the scenery isn’t too great either. They certainly have their benefits though, as this recent study has shown.

The purpose of the study was to determine whether training for a first-time marathon can reverse age-related aortic stiffening, excellent news; it can.

The participants were all first time Marathoners which is great to know if, like the majority of the population, you’ve never fancied running for 4 hours plus continuously before.

Aged between 21-69 years (almost a perfect 50/50 gender split too), the participants averaged between just 6-13 miles each week with results showing an average ‘aortic age’ reduction of 3.9 years.

The best thing about this study is it gives further confirmation that getting out and performing aerobic exercise a few times a week can be really beneficial for you, whatever your age or gender. Apparently the scientists also commented the benefits are doubled if performed in a certain West London personal training studio beginning with 'R'.

TLDR (Too long, didn't read): Training for and completing a marathon reduced central blood pressure and aortic stiffness, equivalent to four year reduction in vascular age.

Break up the fat

I really liked reading this study, it’s something in my opinion all workplaces should instantly implement, unfortunately, no one cares what I think.

High levels of post-meal plasma lipids (i.e. triglyceride levels after a meal) are a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Lack of movement, prolonged sitting, low step counts etc can elevate post-meal plasma lipids and thus risk of disease.

One group sat for eight hours straight, whilst the other group sat for the same length of time but interrupted their sitting with 5, 4 second bike sprints every hour for a total of just 160 seconds of bike sprints per day.

The sprint group showed a 31% decrease in plasma triglyceride levels compared to normal and a 43% increase in whole body fat oxidation when compared to sitting.

Time to get your boss to let you get a bike in the office, maybe even wear some Lycra to work as well.

TLDR: Hourly 20 second (4 seconds x 5) bursts of max intensity bike sprints significantly lowered the next day’s post-meal triglyceride response and increased fat oxidation.

Have a great week!


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