The Zombie Cyclist

The main results from Howden et al., the paper that inspired this blog post. Middle-aged participants who engaged in aerobic training improved VO2maximum and still left ventricular end-diastolic volume, both markers for reduced occurrence of heart disease, whereas participants who engaged in versatility and strength training did not. Between ages 21 and 56, my level of exercise was inadequate to non-existent.

Had I waited too much time to restart working out, or got I were able to squeak under the cable just? MAY I really anyway believe any of this? Howden et al.1 is the original paper which shaped the basis for the article in BBC News. Fujimoto et al.2 is the sooner paper from the same group.

The group that released these two papers is a cardiology group. I’ve no expertise in cardiology so cannot touch upon this part of their work critically, I just have to take the authors at their term. Given that, my knowledge of what they say is that one form of heart failure is associated with a decrease in left ventricular end-diastolic volume or LVEDV.

LVEDV decreases with age group, but is higher in older people who’ve exercised their entire lives (“master athletes”). The question both documents are asking is, for one of those unfortunates who have not exercised, does exercise in life reverse the reduction in LVEDV later? The hope is that if exercise can increase LVEDV, this will result in a lower possibility of the development of the one kind of heart failure and therefore increase longevity. Furthermore to LVEDV, the authors of both documents measured lots of other parameters.

The one that caught my attention was VO2max, because VO2maximum is probably the most typical biomarker for the beneficial ramifications of exercise on durability, one that I’ve talked about quite with this blog often. The authors barely mentioned their results with VO2max, but I shall spend significant focus on them. The good reason behind considering Howden et al.

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What we notice is that the age groups studied is different and that for younger age group, LVEDV raises significantly, whereas for the older age group, the difference is not significant statistically. We note that Howden et al also. I’ll discuss within the next section. Finally, we remember that VO2max, the workhorse biomarker used in a large variety of studies as a proxy for health benefits increased in both studies by similar amounts. 0.0001 for Howden et al. The first number in each column in the above is the number of rides of this kind done per month.

The intensity of the ride is given in the column header. Thus, 15 @ 25 min in the bottom Pace column means that 15 rides a month are done at Base Pace, where each trip long is 25 minutes. The fitness plan in Fujimoto et al. Howden et al. which was two years long, but Howden et al. I only show the total results of the first ten weeks.

Fujimoto et al. defined their exercise process very clearly, so that it was possible for me to put it in to the physique above and I am relatively confident I correctly referred to it. On the other hand, I found the description of the fitness plan in Howden et al. I am less assured I have defined it accurately. As noted above, I am not just a cardiologist so cannot touch upon the protocols used in the two papers to measure cardiac parameters, but to my untrained eye, it seemed that both papers used different protocols. Finally, there are distinctions between the papers that concern parts of the studies not relevant to this blog post.