Watermelon Juice Soothes Muscle Pain After Excercise

Watermelon juice is a popular drink among athletes, who have long praised it for replenishing fluids, electrolytes and glucose that get depleted during a workout. A new study identifies an additional benefit: juice from the summer fruit can relieve post-exercise muscle pain [1]. The study is published in the American Chemical Society’s Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

Watermelon juice

Regular Use of High-Heeled Shoes Changes Mechanics of Walking

High-heeled shoes are a fashion statement for many women. They define the calf muscle, make legs appear longer, and cause the buttocks to protrude slightly. While most women who wear high-heeled shoes know that they’re not the most supportive footwear option, a new study shows that they have a much more profound effect than previously thought. Published in the Journal of Applied Physiology, a recent study shows that high-heeled shoes change the mechanics of walking in a habitual user, even when the user is walking barefoot [1].

Walking in high heelsImage credit: Walking in high heels via Shutterstock

Massage Therapy Reduces Inflammatory Signaling After Exercise-induced Muscle Damage

When most of us get a massage, we leave in a trance with muscles feeling like jelly. But when Mark Tarnopolsky, Professor of Pediatrics in the Department of Medicine at McMaster University, got a massage — as part of a therapeutic regimen for a hamstring injured while waterskiing — he left determined to figure out exactly what was happening in his muscles at the molecular level to make them feel like jelly. His results are reported in Science Translational Medicine.

Massage therapyImage credit: A luxurious massage via Shutterstock

Lowering Physical Activity Impairs Glycemic Control, Even in Healthy People

Low levels of physical activity — like the 5,000 steps per day that Americans typically achieve, which is only about half of the recommended amount — have been implicated in the development of insulin resistance and its progression to full blown type 2 diabetes. However, the studies that suggested this connection were performed under laboratory conditions; they did not use people eating real meals, and they did not assess glycemic variability, so the direct impact of physical activity on glycemic control is not completely clear.

People walking down the street

Elevated postprandial glucose (PPG) often precedes the development of type 2 diabetes, and is a risk factor for adverse cardiovascular events, independently of diabetes status. Thus, Dr. Catherine Mikus and her colleagues at the University of Missouri set out to precisely define the impact of reducing physical activity on PPG and glycemic variability in healthy, active volunteers as they went about their daily lives. The results of their study were recently published in the journal Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise [1].

New Go4Life Campaign Focuses on Fitness for Older Adults

Being physically active is vital to maintaining health and independence as we age, and a new federal campaign for people 50 and older will help them to get active and keep going. Introduced today by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Go4Life campaign encourages sedentary older adults to reap health benefits by making physical activity part of their daily lives. Only 25 percent of people aged 65-74 say they engage in regular physical activity.