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Exercise now to keep bones healthy in old age, say experts

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New Delhi, May 1: If you want to have a pain-free ride in your golden years, better ditch the couch now and get walking. According to health experts, failing to adopt regular exercise regime early may lead to weaker bones later, leading to joint and bone problems such as arthritis and osteoporosis and, even, bone fractures.

Studies suggest that bones respond better to particular types of exercise, including weight-bearing exercises, resistance training, high-impact exercise and balance training.

“Resistance training or plyometric training help reduce the levels of protein sclerostin, the excess of which can adversely affect bone density. On the other hand, it increases insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1, a hormone that improves bone growth),” Rishabh Telang, a fitness expert and level-2 CrossFit trainer with Bengaluru-based Cult fitness chain, told IANS.

“In response to weight bearing activities, Osteo-blasts (bone-forming cells) get migrated to the surface of the bone and starts the process of bone modelling. This entire process of Osteo blast migrating to the bony area improves bone density,” Telang added.

A recent study, published in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research, found that adolescents who participated in moderate-to intense physical activity during growth years exhibited greater bone mass in areas that contribute to superior bone strength.

“Bone health is crucial to our fitness and it begins with maintaining a healthy bone mass. For young adults, regular exercise, well-balanced calcium diet, exposure to sunlight are extremely important,” Rajiv Thukral, Senior Consultant-Orthopedics, Max Super Speciality Hospital, Saket, told IANS.

Muscle-strengthening exercises are any activity that requires your muscles to work harder than normal.

This type of resistance exercise works the tendons that attach muscle to bone, which in turn boosts bone strength.

Strength training also results into muscle hypertrophy — increase in size of muscle cells — which increases the force exerted on the bones.

“In response to that, the bones must increase in mass and strength to support the structure of hypertrophied muscles. Thus, an increase in muscle mass and strength may result in a corresponding increase in bone mineral density,” Telang said.

“People can also start with daily brisk walks and should not exhaust their body by sudden and extreme exercises in the gym,” Thukral cautioned.

Yoga is another option that can be explored by people who do not want to go to the gym.

“Stretching, yoga and brisk walk, etc. could be extremely beneficial in strengthening the bones,” Thukral added.

The experts also warned that women over age 50, especially post-menopausal women, have the greatest risk of developing weaker bones.

“One should also get the regular bone densitometry test done to know the real status of bone health. Older adults should do some physical activity — let be it a simple morning walk,” noted Ishwar Bohra, Senior Consultant Joint Replacement & Arthroscopy Surgeon, BLK Super Speciality Hospital.

It is also pertinent to focus on foods that are rich in calcium, Vitamin D and other nutrients as these are important for bone and overall health. A diet low in calcium can also lead to diminished bone density, early bone loss and susceptibility to fractures.

“It is very important to start exercising at an early age as it indirectly keeps joints well lubricated as well as bones strong and healthy by doing load-sharing between bone and shoulders,” added Sanjay Gupta, Associate Director (Orthopaedics and Joint Replacement Department) at Jaypee Hospital.
By Vivek Singh Chauhan
IANS

Health

Radiation from smartphones may up miscarriage risk: Study

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New York, Dec 14: Pregnant women’s exposure to non-ionising radiation from smartphones, Bluetooth devices and laptops may more than double the risk of miscarriage, a study has showed.

Non-ionising radiation — radiation that produces enough energy to move around atoms in a molecule, but not enough to remove electrons completely — from magnetic fields is produced when electric devices are in use and electricity is flowing.

It can be generated by a number of environmental sources, including electric appliances, power lines and transformers, wireless devices and wireless networks.

While the health hazards from ionising radiation are well-established and include radiation sickness, cancer and genetic damage, the evidence of health risks to humans from non-ionising radiation remains limited, said De-Kun Li, a reproductive and perinatal epidemiologist at the Kaiser Permanente — a US-based health care firm.

For the study, published in the journal Scientific Reports, the team asked for 913 pregnant women over age 18 to wear a small (a bit larger than a deck of cards) magnetic-field monitoring device for 24 hours.

After controlling for multiple other factors, women who were exposed to higher magnetic fields levels had 2.72 times the risk of miscarriage than those with lower magnetic fields exposure.

The increased risk of miscarriage associated with high magnetic fields was consistently observed regardless of the sources of high magnetic fields. The association was much stronger if magnetic fields was measured on a typical day of participants’ pregnancies.

The finding also demonstrated that accurate measurement of magnetic field exposure is vital for examining magnetic field health effects.

“This study provides evidence from a human population that magnetic field non-ionising radiation could have adverse biological impacts on human health,” Li noted.

“We hope that the finding from this study will stimulate much-needed additional studies into the potential environmental hazards to human health, including the health of pregnant women,” he said.

IANS
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Use of Smartphone before sleep may make your kid obese: Study

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New York, Dec 10: Beware if your children have a habit of playing games on smartphones before sleeping, he or she may face an increased risk of becoming obese, warns a study.

It was discovered kids who used digital devices such as watching TV or playing games on smartphones before going to bed got an average of 30 minutes less sleep in comparison to those who did not.

This lack of proper sleep not only caused fatigue and attention problems in school, but also disrupted their eating habits. This leads to higher body mass indexes (BMI), news agency IANS reported.

“We saw technology before bed being associated with less sleep and higher BMIs,”stated Caitlyn Fuller, researcher at the Pennsylvania State University in the US.

“We also saw this technology use being associated with more fatigue in the morning, which circling back, is another risk factor for higher BMIs. So we’re seeing a loop pattern forming,” Fuller further asserted.

The study, published in the journal Global Pediatric Health, examined the sleep and technology habits of 234 children, between the age of eight to 17 years.

As per the suggestions from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), parents should set some limitations regarding the use of technology, like requiring their kids to put away their devices during meal times and keeping phones out of bedrooms at night.

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Health

How jet lag could increase cancer risk

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London, Dec 10: Frequent travelling that causes jet lag could increase risk of cancer as it tends to disrupt our body clocks that are controlled by the same mechanism that causes tumors, reveals study.

The findings, reported in the Daily Mail, discovered that internal human body clocks have a major influence on cell multiplication and has the potential to prevent cancer.

“Our internal clock is in sync with external light and dark cues, and prompts people’s behaviour and activity levels,” lead author Angela Relogio from the Charite-Medical University in Berlin, was quoted as saying by Daily Mail.

“Based on our results, it seems to us that the clock is likely to act as a tumor suppressor,” Relogio added.

For the study, published in the journal PLOS Biology, researchers examined a protein known as RAS, which is inappropriately activated in around a quarter of cancerous cells, in mice.

This takes place via two proteins — INK4 and ARF — that are known to conquer cancer.

“One cannot stop wondering whether disrupted circadian timing should be included as a next potential hallmark of cancer,” Relogio asserted.

Changes in the biological clock have also been known to up the risk of heart related diseases and diabetes.

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