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Why You Should Exercise Every Day

Researchers at the University of Michigan show that exercise helps to control blood sugar only while you do it and for a few hours afterwards (Journal of Applied Physiology, February 2010). The authors also showed that restricting food after exercising does not clear blood sugar any better than eating a regular meal. The second point is very important because eating after exercising helps you to recover faster for your next exercise session, and you recover faster from exercise by eating a sugar- and protein-rich meal within one hour after you stop. Previous studies show that contracting muscles remove sugar rapidly from the bloodstream, without needing insulin, during and up to one hour after exercise. The effect tapers off to zero at about 17 hours after you finish exercising (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, July 2008).

This study from the University of Michigan adds to the abundant evidence that exercise helps to prevent diabetes and its horrible side effects. Diabetes will affect one out of every three Americans. When your blood sugar rises too high, sugar sticks to cells. Once there, it can never get off. Eventually it is converted to sorbitol which destroys the cell to cause heart attacks, strokes, blindness, deafness, amputations, brain damage, impotence and so forth.

Doctors measure the amount of sugar stuck on cells with a blood test called HBA1C. A study from the University of Calgary shows that both aerobic and strength exercise lower HBA1C by 0.5 per cent in diabetics (Annals of Internal Medicine, September 18, 2007). Those who did both types of exercise lowered it by twice as much. A decrease of 1.0 percent in HBA1C value (from 7.0 to 6.0) is associated with a 20 percent decreased risk for heart attacks and strokes, and a 25 percent to 40 percent decrease in risk of diabetes-related eye disease or kidney disease.


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Dear Dr. Mirkin: Can bicycle riding cause an enlarged prostate (benign prostatic hyperplasia)?

There is no evidence that it does. More than 14 studies show that regular exercisers have a much lower risk than non-exercisers for enlarged prostates: night time urination, discomfort on urination, urinary frequency, difficulty and delay in starting urinary stream, and bladder discomfort (The Physician and Sportsmedicine, January 12, 2009). All men with these symptoms should get semen and urine cultures to look for causative bacteria or viruses. Many affected men remember the night they picked up their first symptoms, even though their cultures often fail to show a cause.
Does cycling cause impotence?


Dear Dr. Mirkin: Is napping healthful or harmful?

Researchers from the University of California at Berkeley show that an hour's nap makes you smarter. Four hours after a 90-minute nap, students performed much better on memory and reasoning tests (reported at the annual meeting of the American Association of the Advancement of Science, San Diego, February 21, 2010). The same author reported these results more than eight years ago (Neuron, July 3, 2002). Another study showed that a 60-minute nap helps you learn better than one of 30 minutes (Nature Neuroscience, July 2002). I learned to nap when I was in the 7th grade, and started a life-time habit of sleeping every afternoon. The benefit of sleeping before learning increases with aging. A regular afternoon nap can help older people remain awake afternoon and evenings (Sleep, June 2001). Napping does not interfere with sleeping at night.

Tiredness is a signal that your brain needs a rest. Exercise does not perk you up when you are tired. Eating does not prevent afternoon tiredness that causes a drop in mental and physical performance. The only effective treatment for tiredness is rest. Set a radio to wake you to music, rather than a harsh sound that will jolt you, and expect to be far more productive than you were when you struggled to get through afternoons and evenings without napping.


Recipe of the Week:

Turkish Three-Bean Soup

You'll find lots of recipes and helpful tips in The Good Food Book - it's FREE

June 21st, 2013
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About the Author: Gabe Mirkin, MD

Sports medicine doctor, fitness guru and long-time radio host Gabe Mirkin, M.D., brings you news and tips for your healthful lifestyle. A practicing physician for more than 50 years and a radio talk show host for 25 years, Dr. Mirkin is a graduate of Harvard University and Baylor University College of Medicine. He is board-certified in four specialties: Sports Medicine, Allergy and Immunology, Pediatrics and Pediatric Immunology. The Dr. Mirkin Show, his call-in show on fitness and health, was syndicated in more than 120 cities. Read More
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