Why exercise is good is you…
27 Dec 2012
1. Precooling before exercise to improve endurance
Precooling is known to improve exercise endurance in hot conditions but what method is the most effective? A systematic review and metanaysis, led by Prof Nicola Maffulli, finds that while immersion in cold water may be the most effective method of pre-cooling to improve endurance it may not be the most practical. Instead eating ice slurry appears to be a promising practical alternative. Interestingly, cooling garments appear of limited effectiveness.
BMC Medicine 2012, 10:166 doi:10.1186/1741-7015-10-166
2. Exercise is good for what ails you
In a systematic review of scientific studies into the effect of exercise therapy on musculoskeletal diseases, a team from Norway have found that it has beneficial clinical effects. The effects were most pronounced for knee osteoarthritis, lower back and shoulder pain (but less so for neck pain, hip osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis, where improvements were small and less significant). For osteoporosis, exercise therapy helped increase bone mass density, and, encouragingly, for lower back pain and knee osteoarthritis the amount of improvement increased with the number of treatment sessions.
BMC Medicine 2012, 10:167 doi:10.1186/1741-7015-10-167
3. Cyclists beware of low bone density
Some types of cycling are more beneficial to bone density than others, suggests a systematic review published in BMC Medicine. It has been thought that low impact sports such as cycling may be good for cardiovascular and strength but do not necessarily improve bone health. However researchers from Spain have found that while road cycling does not improve bone density, leaving riders at risk of weakened bones, mountain biking does improve bone health. Road cyclists at risk of osteoporosis need to think about supplementing their exercise regime with impact loading.
BMC Medicine 2012, 10:168 doi:10.1186/1741-7015-10-168
BMC Medicine 2012, 10:169 doi:10.1186/1741-7015-10-169
4. Endurance running affects brain size
15 runners from the 2009, 4,487 km, ultramarathon TransEurope-FootRace underwent MRI brain scans, before during and after the race. The results of the scans showed that runners lost brain volume as well as body weight. Both gray matter volume and body weight decreased by 6% during the race. However this effect was transient and, after 8 months, both gray matter volume and body weight had returned to normal. The loss in brain volume did not appear to cause long term damage the brain since no new brain lesions were found.
BMC Medicine 2012, 10:170 doi:10.1186/1741-7015-10-170
BMC Medicine 2012, 10:171 doi:10.1186/1741-7015-10-171
A blog is available about this research ‘Sports medicine, physiological changes and improving endurance’ at
These articles are part of the ‘Advances in Sports Nutrition, Exercise and Medicine’ series
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Notes to Editors
1. BMC Medicine is the flagship medical journal of the BMC series, publishing original research, commentaries and reviews that are either of significant interest to all areas of medicine and clinical practice, or provide key translational or clinical advances in a specific field. @BMCMedicine
2. BioMed Central (http://www.biomedcentral.com/) is an STM (Science, Technology and Medicine) publisher which has pioneered the open access publishing model. All peer-reviewed research articles published by BioMed Central are made immediately and freely accessible online, and are licensed to allow redistribution and reuse. BioMed Central is part of Springer Science+Business Media, a leading global publisher in the STM sector. @BioMedCentral