Friday, October 24, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Exercise good sense, and get off the couch

By Lee Bowman
Although science has established that we feel better, sleep better and remember better when we get regular exercise more or less every day, it’s also clear that most people don’t.
Studies suggest that 97 percent of American adults get less than 30 minutes of exercise per day. The spiral away from physical activity has been blamed on everything from lack of time to lack of safe places to work out.
Some guidelines set 150 minutes of workout a week as a minimum goal, while other recent research suggests even 15 minutes a day may be sufficient to improve heath.
One Canadian study of more than 2,300 adults, published earlier this month, found that when it comes to reducing risk for diabetes, heart disease and stroke, the benefit from exercise is about the same whether the 150 minutes comes in short spurts over five to seven days or all in one weekend-warrior gulp.
Even so, motivation is hard to come by. In fact, our genes may work to keep us sedentary.
A recent study of rats at the University of Missouri suggests that certain genetic traits may predispose rodents, and presumably humans, to be motivated to exercise or remain sedentary. Researchers bred rats who liked to run with other rodents similarly inclined — and also inbred a couch-potato strain — over 10 generations, then looked at differences in body makeup, cell metabolism and genes in each group.
They focused on more than 17,000 genes in the brain and found 36 that seem to play a role in motivation to exercise. The study was published in April in the American Journal of Physiology: Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology.
But what if we’re forced to exercise? Another rat study, done by researchers at the University of Colorado in Boulder, found that, at least as far as stress reduction and mental health are concerned, the benefits of exercise apply no matter if the activity is voluntary or imposed.
Over a six-week period, rats either ran on a wheel as they liked or were put on a mechanized wheel that forced them to run for a similar period of time. Later, when they were stressed in the lab and then tested for anxiety, both groups showed they were much less prone to stress and anxiety than a group of rats that had never exercised. The report was published in February in the European Journal of Neuroscience.
Of course, few adults are required to exercise. And it appears relatively few children are, either.
According to a national assessment of physical activity in schools — the National Association for Sport and Physical Education’s “2012 Shape of the Nation” report — only Alabama, Florida, Louisiana and New Jersey mandate 150 minutes of physical activity for elementary school students, as recommended by the association. Louisiana, Montana, Utah and West Virginia require 225 minutes for middle schoolers and Montana, Utah and West Virginia mandate the same for high schoolers, again following the association’s recommendations.
Even with the mandates, a 2011 report on recess and PE in more than 1,700 elementary schools in 47 states found that just under 18 percent offered at least 150 minutes a week of PE. But 70 percent did offer at least 20 minutes of recess a day.
The researchers at the University of Illinois in Chicago noted that students were much more likely to get the minimum of 150 minutes of exercise in states that had a law requiring PE than in states that only recommended or did not address physical education.
Physical education requirements are also scarce at four-year colleges and universities, a new study by researchers at Oregon State University shows. Brad Cardinal, a professor of exercise and sport science and colleagues, randomly selected 354 colleges and looked at their physical education requirements going back to 1920.
That year, 97 percent of the schools required students to take PE classes; today, just 39 percent require any exercise courses. Cardinal notes that other studies show even though many colleges offer recreation centers and fitness facilities, they tend to be used mostly by students who are already among the most physically fit.
The study was published in June in the Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport.
— Contact Scripps health and science writer Lee Bowman at bowmanl@shns.com. Distributed by Scripps Howard News Service, www.shns.com

Comments

comments

Scripps Howard News Service

.

News

UC researchers: How low-water can our landscapes go?

By Katie F. Hetrick | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Testimony begins in Winters murder trial

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A1 | Gallery

A-Z: Downtown Davis is the place to celebrate

By Kimberly Yarris | From Page: C1

 
Courageous Thompson tapped for cycling shrine

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Hong Kong protesters to vote on staying in streets

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Cloud business lifts Microsoft’s quarterly results

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Can you give them a home?

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3 | Gallery

Scientists work to save endangered desert mammal

By Kat Kerlin | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Host families needed for students and teachers from Mexico

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

Halloween Dance set Friday for teens

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Yoga and chanting workshop planned

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Downtown menu: coffee, boba tea, dessert

By Wendy Weitzel | From Page: C3

 
Enjoy A Taste of Capay at historic ranch

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Red-hot tunes set at Blues Harvest

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Learn how to fill a cornucopia with flowers

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Video highlights Props. 1 and 2

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
‘Homeopathy at Home’ program planned

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Celebrate origami at Davis library

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Garden sale and open house features water-wise demos

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: C4

Meet Poppenga at dog park Sunday

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Day of the Dead folk art class set

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Flea Market planned Sunday

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Bay Bridge art project needs $4 million to keep shining

By San Francisco Chronicle | From Page: A5 | Gallery

Weir honored, a year early

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

 
Explorit: Poison-proof your home with free lecture

By Lisa Justice | From Page: A6

For a good cause

By Fred Gladdis | From Page: A6

 
Americans, internationals make connections

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A6

School board hopefuls discuss homework policy

By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A7

 
Sutter auxiliary seeks volunteers

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

Walkers welcome to join Sierra Club outings

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

 
Project Linus seeks donations

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

.

Forum

The magic is long gone

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

 
Water returns to its source

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

A solution to the drought

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

 
Experience nature’s treasures

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

 
Subs have other concerns

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

Tom Meyer cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: A10

 
What’s next with Ebola?

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

More theories on the abstention

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

 
Rights beget responsibilities

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

.

Sports

Bump, set, playoffs: Blue Devil girls clinch spot in postseason

By Thomas Oide | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Aggies expect a bonny meeting in Sacramento

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1

DHS footballers take on Pleasant Grove

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

 
Bye No. 2 comes at perfect time for nicked-up UCD

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Shhh. Are Aggie women BWC’s best-kept secret?

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1

 
UCD roundup: Preseason awards roll in for Aggie hoopster Hawkins

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
Sharks suffer from road woes

By The Associated Press | From Page: B12

.

Features

.

Arts

‘St. Vincent:’ Quite a character

By Derrick Bang | From Page: A11 | Gallery

 
Rumpledethumps to play at Village Homes Performers’ Circle

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11 | Gallery

DMTC plans ‘My Fair Lady’

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A11

 
Czech Philharmonic Orchestra to perform

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

Calling all artists for upcoming show

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

 
.

Business

 
Car Care: Five things to ask yourself when shopping for a new vehicle

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B7

.

Obituaries

Lewis Melvin Dudman

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
Ann Foley Scheuring

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

.

Comics

Comics: Friday, October 24, 2014

By Creator | From Page: B3