Why it’s never too late to start lifting weights

It may not be how you intended to spend older age, but there it is; a study by researchers at the University of Dublin has shown so conclusively how much older people benefit from resistance training – working their muscles, even drinking protein shakes – that they have concluded GPs should prescribe it.

Twenty to 25 minutes of activity, four days a week at home, with an emphasis on a high-protein diet, is ideal.

Dorian Jones, who runs the London-based Marigold Fitness classes, may be the country’s foremost senior-trainer. The 42-year-old is a certified boxing coach, a level three personal trainer and used to be on the basketball team for the police force, but he developed a passion for working with older people. Most of his clients are in their 70s or 80s. A handful are in their 90s. “I had a woman who was 102, and she unfortunately passed. But she looked amazing!”

Full story at The Guardian

Dr. James Andrews, on preventing youth sports injuries: Take time off, don’t specialize

One of the nation’s foremost sports orthopedic surgeons said Wednesday night in Orlando that the best medicine to help prevent youth sports injuries is to avoid playing year-round and not to specialize in one sport.

And don’t approach a child’s athletic pursuits like he is a miniature version of Tom Brady or LeBron James.

“Don’t treat 6- and 7-year-old kids like they’re professional athletes,” Dr. James Andrews told an audience of about 100 at Florida Hospital Orlando. “They’re not ready for that level of high-intensity training.”

Andrews, 73, has operated on many top professional athletes and is the team doctor for several franchises, including the Tampa Bay Rays. He was in Central Florida as part of the hospital’s Distinguished Lecture Series and in support of his book, “Any Given Monday,” about how to avoid injuries in youth athletes.

Full story at the Orlando Sentinel

This Virtual Physical Therapy Is Better and Cheaper Than the Old-Fashioned Kind, Study Says

Digital tech is slowly but surely creeping into the medical sphere. Just consider the ways in which patients are clamoring for more telemedicine and virtual doctor visit options while medical schools are harnessing virtual reality systems like Microsoft’s Hololens to teach anatomy to young surgeons. Now, a new study suggests that virtual physical therapy (PT) may be more effective and cheaper than the old-school variety.

The research was conducted by Cleveland Clinic scientists, centered on technology developed by Reflexion Health, and was published in the Journal of Knee Surgery(because, well, it featured patients going through PT after hip or knee surgeries).

Full story at Fortune

Blood clot risk — and other problems — might be tied to how tall you are

How tall you are might hold clues to your risk of various health problems, such as blood clots, according to a new study.

Height can be an independent predictor of your risk for venous thromboembolism, or VTE, also known as blood clots, according to the study, published Tuesday in the journal Circulation: Cardiovascular Genetics.
That blood clot risk was lowest among the shortest women and men and appeared to increase with height, the research showed.

Sports and Recreation-Related Injuries Top 8.6 Million Annually

A growing number of Americans may be engaging in physical activity, but that also means a growing number of Americans are getting injured while doing so—to the tune of about 8.6 million episodes in 2014, according to a recent study from the US Department of Health and Human Services. The analysis, based on National Health Interview Survey data from 2011 to 2014, also sheds light on where injuries are taking place, what activities were involved, and what areas of the body are most often affected.

Authors of the study claim their analysis is the first to take a broad look at recreation-related injuries by using data that reflects, among other things, all medically attended injuries, not just emergency department (ED) visits. They write that focusing solely on ED data “may underestimate the overall burden of injury from sports and recreation activities.”

Full story of growing number of sports related injuries at APTA

The enzyme that makes physical activity healthy: AMPK

ampk Physical activity benefits diabetics and others with insulin resistance. One of the reasons is that a single bout of physical activity increases the effectiveness of insulin. Thus, physical activity helps to reduce the risk of developing diabetes, while also reducing the effects of diabetes if it does set in. Until now, no one has understood the underlying mechanism of this phenomenon.

New research from the University of Copenhagen’s Department of Nutrition, Exercise and Sports reports that the enzyme AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) plays a crucial role in enhancing the ability of insulin to stimulate glucose uptake in muscles. The discovery may be a breakthrough in finding a medical pathway to improve the health of people with limitations for physical activity.

“AMPK is central for insulin sensitivity in muscles, and thereby for the ability of muscles to take up glucose immediately after physical activity. That our research group has been able to demonstrate such an important and basic physiological role of AMPK in muscles is fantastic, and a reward after many years of effort,” according to Professor Jørgen Wojtaszewski, who had overall responsibility for the group’s work.

Full story on enzyme AMP-activated protein kinase at Science Daily

Social internet-based activities important for healthy aging

Meaningful and Internet-based activities promote experiences of participation in society and are important for healthy aging. In a new dissertation at Umeå University in Sweden, occupational therapists are shown to promote participation, reduce experiences of loneliness and strengthen seniors’ social network using an Internet-based intervention program.

“Digitalization is increasing the risk of excluding seniors who often can have limited experiences of Internet-based activities,” says Ellinor Larsson, doctoral student at the Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation.

“A steadily increasing amount of everyday activities require access to the Internet, and to achieve increased participation in society, we need to pay attention to an increased inclusion of seniors. The senior citizen can also experience social change at the loss of loved ones, which makes the loneliness more evident. A joint effort focusing on how the well-being of the elderly can be promoted through meaningful Internet-based activities, is becoming more important in order to support the aging population of today’s society.”

Full story of social internet-based activities for healthy aging at Science Daily

Fewer Than a Third of HS Students Receive Recommended Amount of Phys Ed

When it comes to the number of US high school students participating in physical education in school, the good news is that rates haven’t declined much since 1995. The bad news is, rates haven’t gone up, either—and remain well below national recommendations.

Recently, the National Physical Activity Plan Alliance (NPAPA) released an analysis of 22 years’ worth of data on US high-schooler participation in physical education classes. They found that after a notable drop between 1991 and 1995, rates have remained fairly consistent, with only 29.4% of students meeting national recommendations for daily classes. Former APTA Board of Directors member Dianne V. Jewell, PT, DPT, PhD, represents APTA on the NPAPA. APTA is an organizational partner of the NPAPA.

Full story of high school students and physical education at APTA

From PTJ: New Recommendations for PT Treatment of Childhood Obesity

Primary care providers, rather than simply prescribing physical activity to young patients with obesity, should involve physical therapists (PTs) who can assess the child’s risk factors and evaluate and monitor the child’s increasing level of physical activity, say authors of a clinical recommendation in Physical Therapy(PTJ), APTA’s science journal.

While children with obesity need to increase their level of physical activity, they also are more likely to have comorbid conditions such as diabetes, asthma, or hypertension, and they also are at increased risk of injury from exercise. The authors, who represent the Belgian Physical Therapy Association (AXXON), present clinical recommendations for “first-line” PTs treating children and adolescents with obesity in a private practice or home care setting.

Full story on PT treatment for childhood obesity at APTA

Study: Could Reducing Smoking, Drinking, Physical Inactivity Affect Prevalence of LBP?

Authors of a new study say that public health efforts to reduce smoking, alcohol use, obesity, physical inactivity, and irregular sleep may also pay off in reducing the prevalence of low back pain (LBP).

In an article e-published ahead of print in Spine, researchers shared findings from what they believe is the first study to document the association between behavior-related factors and LBP in US adults. Authors gathered data from a series of cross-sectional surveys pulled from the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), a population that featured adults between the ages of 18 and 85, with a population size totaling 122,337.

When authors cross-referenced individuals with LBP with various behaviors, they found some telling connections. Among them:

Full story of smoking, drinking, and physical inactivity affect LBP at APTA