John Kelly's blog


Doctor says asthmatic's improvement using high intensity interval training is remarkable

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I am an asthmatic prone to bronchitis and debilitating migraines induced by sinusitis.

A year and half ago I got pneumonia, chronic bronchitis, and my asthma flared up and stay flared.  I was weeks using a nebulizer to get the asthma under control.  

My oxygen consumption level was in the low 80 percent range.  My heart had to work harder to get the oxygen I needed. As a result my blood pressure rose, and my resting pulse was twenty beats per minute higher. I was listless and constantly tired. 

Forced expiratory volume (FEV) measures how much air a person can exhale during a forced breath.  My FEV test was one long wheeze.  I was a mess.


Americans heavier than 20 years ago

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According to this AOL article Americans weigh 15 more pounds than they did 20 years ago - AOL as the title says:

“According to a new federal report U.S. men and women weigh about 15 pounds more than they did 20 years ago!”

The number is for average adults, but the average adult has changed over the years. The average age of Americans has gone from 30 years of age in 1980 to 37.7 years of age in 2014, and 37 year olds tend to weigh more than 30 year olds.   


Lifting lighter weights produces the same results as heavier weights, a point to consider

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From this NYT article Lifting Lighter Weights Can Be Just as Effective as Heavy Ones:

“A new study finds that people who lift relatively light weights can build just as much strength and muscle size as those who grunt through sessions using much heftier weights.”

If lifting heavy or lighter weights produce the same strength increases you might do well to consider which produces those results in the safest manner. Increasing strength should not be the cause of injuries, but rather it should give you protection from injuries.

Whether the weights lifted are lighter or heavier in both instances the stress imposed on the body needs to be sufficient to affect a positive change. When the body is exposed to more than it’s used to handling, as an act of self-preservation, the body responds by making a positive adaptation if given enough time and resources to recover from the imposed stress.


How many more calories are burned standing instead of sitting? Not much

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Researchers measured the caloric expenditure of four groups doing four different activities: typing while sitting, watching TV while sitting, standing, and walking. In 15 minutes it turns out that standing burns 2 more calories than sitting. From this article How Many Calories We Burn When We Sit, Stand or Walk, some quotes:

“Someone who stood up while working instead of sitting would burn about 8 or 9 extra calories per hour. (Just for comparison, a single cup of coffee with cream and sugar contains around 50 calories.)”


“When the volunteers walked for 15 minutes, even at a fairly easy pace, they burned about three times as many calories as when they sat or stood. If they walked for an hour, the researchers calculated, they would incinerate about 130 more calories than if they stayed in their chairs or stood up at their desks.”

You’ve got options for creating a caloric deficit. You could stand at work for most of the day and earn cream and sugar in your coffee, or you could sit at work and drink your coffee black.


Lumbar exercises increased bone density significantly for post transplant patients

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From this study, Resistance training prevents vertebral osteoporosis in lung transplant patients:

“Osteoporosis and vertebral fractures are a consequence of glucocorticoid immunosuppression therapy in lung transplant recipients…Vertebral fractures are the most prevalent type of fracture in transplant recipients, representing approximately 35% of all fractures, and they can be the most debilitating and activity-restricting injuries in organ transplant recipients.”


60 studies say exercising is not the key to weight loss

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The opening lines from this article, Why you shouldn't exercise to lose weight, explained with 60+ studies:

"'I'm going to make you work hard', a blonde and perfectly muscled fitness instructor screamed at me in a recent spinning class, 'so you can have that second drink at happy hour!'

At the end of the 45-minute workout, my body was dripping with sweat. I felt like I had worked really, really hard. And according to my bike, I had burned more than 700 calories. Surely I had earned an extra margarita."  


Got Sarcopenia? If you are over forty you have it

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The term sarcopenia has not been in common usage for very long (see graph), but the condition has been around forever.  Sarcopenia is the loss of muscle tissue that occurs as a natural part of the aging process. According to this article, Why You're Aging Ungracefully, there are two things we can do to help maintain our muscle as we age - lift weights and eat high-quality protein.

A quote from the article:

Sarcopenia begins naturally in the 4th and 5th decades of life, making your 40s and 50s an ideal time to increase dietary protein and weight training, but even those in their 60s and beyond can benefit."

Another quote:

"The stronger you are, the more muscle you have, the less likely you are to become sick or die."  


Your mother infected you with an alien

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Your body is an amazing feat of construction.Ten trillion living cells all working together to make you. All the instructions required to build the You that You became are encoded in your DNA. Forty-Six chromosomes containing more than 25,000 genes have all the instructions required to build a human. Except…Nothing in your DNA explains how to make fuel for the engines that run inside you. Imagine if we had 1000 car manufacturers making millions of cars but no gasoline refineries. A car without fuel is just… art.

The fuel you need is call Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP). For your cells to move, grow, repair, and reproduce they need ATP. To make your muscles move you need ATP, but your DNA doesn’t have any instructions for making ATP.


Strength training study shows seniors improving far more than younger set

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Two groups of men and women strength trained for six months. One group was older and the other younger. At the start of the study the older group was 59% weaker than the younger group. After six months the older adults were only 38% weaker than younger adults. Both groups improved, but the older group improved much more. 

From this study Resistance Exercise Reverses Aging in Human Skeletal Muscle

“We conclude that healthy older adults show evidence of mitochondrial impairment and muscle weakness, but that this can be partially reversed at the phenotypic level, and substantially reversed at the transcriptome level, following six months of resistance exercise training”.

Mitochondria, found in most cells, is where respiration and energy production takes place. Six months of strength training partially reversed mitochondria impairments to a level consistent with a younger stage in life. It is like having a fountain of youth.

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