Every week, we’re bringing you a roundup of the latest health and wellness news to hit the wire. This week, the latest on exercise and kids, why strenuous training won’t leave you open to a cold, why you should skip zero-calorie sweeteners—and more.
Kids have more energy than endurance athletes
Anyone who’s ever chased a kid around can tell you who will tire out first. Don’t feel bad. Turns out, children have greater energy levels than even endurance athletes, according to a recent study.
Those little muscles fatigue more slowly and recover faster from higher intensity exercise than both trained and untrained adults. The study analyzed 12 children between the ages of 9 and 11, 12 untrained men and 13 male endurance athletes performing wind sprints and then the Wingate Cycle test, which requires participants to cycle at maximum speed for 30 seconds. After that test, adults’ power output fell by 51.8 percent and athletes’ by 41.8 percent, while the kids’ output only declined 35.2 percent.
What does this mean?
First, it explains why it’s so hard to keep up with your kiddo, but it also suggests that it makes more sense to work on sports technique and coordination in the early years, given kids’ already-high muscle endurance. If you want to find out just how much exercise is the right amount for your child or teen, you can check out the latest guidelines here.
Intense exercise won’t wreck your immune system
That marathon or intense CrossFit WOD might take it out of you, leaving you sore and exhausted, but it’s not going to leave you more susceptible to colds and illness, according to a new review of existing science on strenuous exercise and immunity published in Frontiers of Immunology. In fact, according to UK researchers at the University of Bath, it may strengthen your immune response rather than suppress it, as decades of previous research had suggested when marathoners reporting a greater incidence of colds after their races compared with family or the general population.
Why the flip-flop?
First, tests showed that runners aren’t good at diagnosing their own colds, reporting what was in many cases allergies or simply post-run scratchy throats. Saliva tests showed that only a third who thought they had a cold actually did. Second, immune cells returned to normal levels 24 hours after the race, according to research. New animal studies show the migration of immune cells to tissues after exercise, rather than the death of immune cells as many researchers had thought. But more research is needed to show exactly what happens to these cells in humans.
Zero calorie sweeteners can also cause health changes that are linked with diabetes and obesity
As if you didn’t already know that it’s time to quit the Splenda and Equal, a new study—the largest examination to date of biochemical changes in the body after ingesting these diet aids—showed significant differences in the concentrations of biochemicals, fats and amino acids in the blood samples of rats, suggesting that these sweeteners (used in everything from diet soda to processed foods) change how the body processes fat and gets its energy. One substance, in particular, acesulfame potassium, sold under the names Sunett and Sweet One, seemed to accumulate in the blood, with higher concentrations having a harmful effect on the cells that line blood vessels.
Your body has the ability to handle moderate amounts of sugar, researchers say, so maybe focus on slowly dialing back your sweet tooth, rather than swapping it out for another potentially harmful substance?
Just leave room for dark chocolate …
And just when you were wrapping your mind around face yoga …
Eye yoga is the latest international fitness sensation.
Photo credit: Filip Mroz, Unsplash