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“Exercise is one of the best ways to improve your gut health. Like I’m fond of saying, if you’re not moving, neither are your bowels. Runners and other people who exercise regularly actually have better bowel movements, not as hard, bigger, and more frequent – what I like to call stool nirvana. A January 2018 University of Illinois study sheds light on why exercise might be so important for our gut, as well as overall health. The study found that exercise alone can positively alter the gut microbiome…” Watch the video to learn more! While exercise has incredible benefits for the microbiome, can it help you lose weight? Check out our article Does Exercise Help You Lose Weight.

Does exercise help you lose weight? Of course it does… right? Well, maybe not. As the research piles up on exercise and its true contributions to weight loss, it turns out that while exercise has astounding benefits for health, it may not actually move us closer toward our weight loss goals – and too much exercise could in fact sabotage our goals altogether. Let’s delve into the research and find out more. Burning more calories than we consume (or the “move more, eat less” philosophy) is the gold standard for weight loss. Yet, studies show that this formula doesn’t always work. Exercise contributes only a small amount to our overall daily calorie expenditure, making it challenging to create a meaningful calorie deficit for weight loss. There are three components that contribute to energy expenditure: 1) Food digestion, 2) Basal metabolic rate (BMR), or the set amount of baseline calories your…

A high level of cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) dramatically reduces the risk of getting lung and colorectal cancer (CRC) and significantly increases survival rates. In one of the most diverse retrospective cohort studies, researchers analyzed data from over 49,000 participants with a median age of 54 years. Those with the highest CRF levels (>12 METs, measured using a treadmill stress test) possessed a 77% lower risk of lung cancer and a 61% lower risk of CRC than those with the lowest fitness levels (<6 METs). Participants diagnosed with cancer who were in the highest CRF range prior to diagnosis also saw great benefits. Following diagnosis, those with lung cancer had a 44% lower risk of all-cause mortality and those with CRC, an 89% lower risk, compared to those who were less fit. American Cancer Society Takeaway: Researchers who conducted the study believe that these results act as some of the strongest evidence…

Short sessions of high intensity exercise may limit colorectal cancer (CRC) growth. Researchers recruited 20 patients who survived CRC and split them into an acute group who completed a single session of high intensity interval training (HIIT) (serum samples were collected at baseline and at 0 and 120 minutes after exercise) and a chronic group who participated in 12 HIIT sessions over 4 weeks (resting serum samples were collected before and after the 4 weeks of training). In addition, cells from the acute group were incubated and analyzed for number of cells present. Results showed significant increases in serum interleukin-6 & 8 as well as TNF-alpha – cytokines that are associated with cancer growth reduction. But these increased cytokine levels were only observed in serum collected immediately after exercise and not in those collected 120 minutes post-exercise. Journal of Physiology →Takeaway: Past studies have shown a link between exercise and CRC survival. Researchers who…

Lifestyle changes reduced the need for blood pressure medication in just 16 weeks. 129 men and women with high blood pressure engaged in 1 of the following programs: 1) diet plus a weight loss program including 3 exercise sessions per week, 2) diet only, and 3) no changes in diet or lifestyle. After 16 weeks, researchers found that the first group lost an average of 19 pounds and reduced their blood pressure so that 85% of them no longer needed blood pressure medication. In the second group, 77% of participants no longer needed blood pressure medication. The third group experienced only a minimal improvement in blood pressure. The American Heart Association’s Joint Hypertension Scientific Sessions →Takeaway: It’s important to remember that all medications pose risk. In the case of high blood pressure medicines, common side effects include cough, diarrhea or constipation, dizziness, erection problems, feeling nervous, feeling tired and weak, headache, nausea or…

Watching television for extended periods of time raises colorectal (CRC) risk in men. A recent study analyzed data from 500,000 men and women and found that men who watched TV 4+ hours per day had a 35% greater CRC risk than those who watched 1 hour per day. Increased time spent watching TV did not elevate CRC risk in women. Surprisingly, increased time spent at the computer did not raise CRC risk in men. British Journal of Cancer →Takeaway: Why is prolonged TV watching a CRC risk factor in men but not women? And why is increased time spent at the computer not a CRC risk factor in men? Researchers believe that men (more so than women) eat more unhealthy food and/or drink alcohol while watching TV. If you watch excessive amounts of television, think about reducing your screen time and be mindful of what you’re consuming. Exercise goes a long way –…