29 August 2007

link between exercise and intelligence

Lobes of Steel@New York Times

* Now an expanding body of research shows that exercise can improve the performance of the brain by boosting memory and cognitive processing speed. Exercise can, in fact, create a stronger, faster brain.

* This spring, neuroscientists at Columbia University in New York City published a study in which a group of men and women, ranging in age from 21 to 45, began working out for one hour four times a week. After 12 weeks, the test subjects, predictably, became more fit. Their VO2 max, the standard measure of how much oxygen a person takes in while exercising, rose significantly.

But something else happened as a result of all those workouts: blood flowed at a much higher volume to a part of the brain responsible for neurogenesis. Functional M.R.I.’s showed that a portion of each person’s hippocampus received almost twice the blood volume as it did before. Scientists suspect that the blood pumping into that part of the brain was helping to produce fresh neurons.

The Columbia study suggests that shrinkage to parts of the hippocampus can be slowed via exercise. The subjects showed significant improvements in memory, as measured by a word-recall test. Those with the biggest increases in VO2 max had the best scores of all.

* Other recent studies support this theory. At the University of Illinois at Urbana- Champaign, a group of elderly sedentary people were assigned to either an aerobic exercise program or a regimen of stretching. (The aerobic group walked for at least one hour three times a week.) After six months, their brains were scanned using an M.R.I. Those who had been doing aerobic exercise showed significant growth in several areas of the brain. These results raise the hope that the human brain has the capacity not only to produce new cells but also to add new blood vessels and strengthen neural connections, allowing young neurons to integrate themselves into the wider neural network. “The current findings are the first, to our knowledge, to confirm the benefits of exercise training on brain volume in aging humans,” the authors concluded.

* Other University of Illinois scientists have studied school-age children and found that those who have a higher level of aerobic fitness processed information more efficiently; they were quicker on a battery of computerized flashcard tests. The researchers also found that higher levels of aerobic fitness corresponded to better standardized test scores among a set of Illinois public school students. The scientists next plan to study how students’ scores change as their fitness improves.

16 August 2007

New physical exercise guidelines

The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and the American Heart Association (AHA) have updated physical activity guidelines. These guidelines outline exercise recommendations for healthy adults and older adults and are an update from the 1995 guidelines. Choose your category below, and find recommendations, research and tips from ACSM and AHA. Together, we are proud to serve as a public resource to help people live healthier, more active lives.


extreme cold for recovery

Ice-cold And In Great Shape: A Cold Kick To Jolt Athletes Into Action Despite The Heat@medical news today

For a few moments, scientists from Dortmund and Münster universities put more than 50 hobby and top athletes into a cryochamber with a temperature of minus 120 degrees. The first result: icy cold temperatures does lead test athletes to stay in optimal shape. The scientists will investigate how the application can be further improved by using other cooling methods such as cooling vests, cold air appliances, crushed ice or cold showers.

For this purpose, the test athletes stay in a polarium at minus 120 degree celsius for two and a half minutes, then do a endurance run at 90% of their maximum capacity. After only six months, the scientists noticed that the subjects' performance had considerably improved due to optimal blood circulation and better oxygen supply.

13 August 2007

new doping test of autologous transfusion

New weapon in the fight against blood doping@play the game

Together with Australian colleagues, Jakob Mørkeberg, a doctoral student at Bispebjerg Hospital in Copenhagen, Denmark, is in the midst of developing a precise test to detect whether athletes have illegally doped themselves with their own blood.

In developing a test that can detect autologous transfusion, the researchers are working on four different test methods examining: blood parameters, total haemoglobin, gene-expression and membrane proteins.

"We’re on to something,” he said. “But I expect it will still require some work to reach our goal. We’ll know a lot more in three months when we report our results to WADA.”

10 August 2007

Singapore to bid for Youth Olympics Games 2010

Singapore to bid for inaugural Youth Olympics Games 2010@CNA

This will be a golden opportunity for Singapore to host talented young athletes from all over the world to celebrate diversity, friendship and hope for a better future through the promotion of the Olympic ideals. We believe our young, small, multicultural nation will be an ideal site to fulfil the objectives of the Youth Olympic Games as conceptualised by the IOC

03 August 2007

SPEEDO new swim suit

New Suit Makes Splash in Debut@Washington Post

Speedo began creating the suit two years ago, when it asked a small Italian fabric shop to experiment with weaving a combination of spandex and nylon yarn. The weave that resulted felt almost like a windbreaker when dry, and its performance during early testing stunned Speedo executives. The fabric, patented and dubbed LZR Pulse, weighed 70 percent less than other swimsuits but showed 15 percent better compression. It retained almost no water. Speedo's previous suit, the Fastskin, took 16 hours to dry after one hour in the water; the FS-Pro only needed 45 minutes.

02 August 2007

Malaysia talent ID programme

Bukit Jalil and Bandar Penawar schools urged to improve results@the star online

Malaysia’s two sports schools in Bukit Jalil and Bandar Penawar have been urged to improve their achievements and gain worldwide recognition as a model for academic and sporting excellence.

The Minister yesterday launched the School High Performance Sports Programme, which will target at identifying talented schoolchildren in the lower age groups and groom them into champions.

The programme is divided into three categories. The first involves strengthening the fabrics of the existing two sports schools and ensuring the three new schools to be built will also have good programmes in place, initiating exchange programmes with sports schools from other countries and finally a programme for schools at the grassroots level throughout Malaysia.

Hishammuddin said that for the moment eight sports would be selected to be the core sports under the programme.

They are artistic gymnastics, rhythmic gymnastics, diving, hockey, athletics, sepaktakraw, badminton and football.