Myself and Robyn Yin are up in sunny Brisbane attending the bi-annual Exercise and Sports Science conference. Our association (ESSA) puts together a program which endeavours to bring "Research to Practice", so us EP's can remain cutting edge in our delivery of movement and exercise interventions.
A common theme across all talks has highlighted our need to consider and sell the idea that exercise is medicine. Here are some of my highlights so far.
- Health behaviours MATTER (like.. a LOT)
Some powerful information was presented by Dr Robert Sallis in regards to what effects our overall health status. Emerging technology has meant that many of us are interested in our genetic make-up or DNA, and how these factors may effect our risk profile for certain health conditions. Although these factors have been shown to impact our health , it is our health BEHAVIOURS that effect our overall health status in the biggest way. The research suggests that a whopping 50% of our health status is directly linked to our eating, sleeping, exercise and stress management behaviours. Some good food for thought.
- Exercise is a cheap drug!
Dr Sallis also showed some interesting cost comparisons between exercise and common drugs prescribed for blood pressure, osteoporosis and mental health conditions. It was an interesting way of helping re-shape how many of us think about our activity habits. When viewed as a drug, exercise has shown its capacity to consistently create enormous health benefits to those who "take it" regularly, and has next to no side effects when administered by a professional! Was a good reminder that compared to many other drugs, exercise can be wonderfully cheap...(but just not as easy to do!)
- Interval training doesn't have to be HIGH INTENSITY
I wrote last week detailing some ways you can start interval training. Some compelling evidence was presented this morning in support of high intensity interval training (commonly referred to as HIIT). But we also heard how low and moderate intensity interval training can still create benefits to cardiovascular fitness, body composition and mortality when compared to steady state training. This is great news for us, as we appreciate how uncomfortable the high intensity stuff can be! Know that you can still get benefits by walking that bit faster for a few blocks, or swimming one lap that little bit quicker.
So there you have it, my top three take homes so far. Check out our Facebook page with more nuggets of info about all things exercise and sport science!
Now back to the pool....