Sitting for long periods of time has become a global epidemic. There is such a muscle in the body: its weight only accounts for 1% of the body weight, but as long as it is exercised, it can burn blood sugar and blood lipids in the blood, reduce the effects of sitting for a long time, and eating. energy similar to walking.
Sedentary is becoming an epidemic, lack of exercise is the 4th leading cause of human death
Sitting for long periods is a common problem in modern lifestyles. Whether it’s due to the demands of the nature of work or a change in lifestyle, people are sitting more and longer. In 2012, The Lancet made it clear that physical inactivity and sedentary behavior was another “epidemic” in the world..
A trend survey shows that between 2007 and 2016, people’s self-reported daily sedentary time increased by around 1 hour on average..Data from the US National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey and a meta-analysis of systematic reviews suggest that average daily sedentary time in adults may be much higher than self-reported estimates, ranging from 7 to 11.5 hours ..
Inactivity increases with age, higher in women than men, and more severe in high-income countries.
And one of the consequences of a lack of regular and sedentary exercise is a significantly higher risk of cardiovascular disease. Compared to people in all other age groups, those over 65 had the lowest levels of physical activity and correspondingly the highest risk of cardiovascular disease.
In addition, physical inactivity can lead to diseases such as stroke, type 2 diabetes, breast cancer and colon cancer.According to a 2017 article in The Lancet, among adults over the age of 25, the death rate due to physical inactivity is 17 per 100,000.According to the World Health Organization, physical inactivity is now the fourth leading cause of human death, accounting for 3.2 million deaths each year..
Muscles that only make up 1% of body weight can leverage the entire body’s metabolism
Marc Hamilton, professor of health and human performance at the University of Houston, and his team have just published a breakthrough discovery in iScience.
The soleus muscle on our calf, although it only weighs around 1kg, makes up only 1% of body weight, but it has magical power. If exercised correctly, it can burn a lot of blood lipids and blood sugar, stimulating the body’s oxidative metabolism. And this high level of burning can last for hours..
Normal muscles usually get energy by breaking down glycogen. The soleus muscle relies less on glycogen and more on fat and sugar to provide energy, which makes this muscle greatly promote the metabolism of the human body.
“We never thought this muscle had this ability,” Hamilton said.
The soleus muscle of the lower human leg is a flat, long soleus-shaped muscle.
It runs from the back of the knee to the ankle and joins two other muscles to form the triceps of the lower leg.The only one with the largest physiological cross-sectional area of the calf muscle and provides up to 71% of the strength of the calf tricepsit also allows us to maintain a standing posture.
It has curved capillaries that narrow relatively slowly and resist fatigue. In the soleus muscle, the majority are slow twitch fibres, with an average proportion of 80%. In contrast, the average proportion of slow twitch fibers in the adjacent gastrocnemius and vastus lateralis is approximately 57%.
Unlike fast twitch fibres, which burn a lot of energy quickly during exercise and then feel tired and need to rest, slow twitch fibers burn energy slowly and evenly, which makes them help to stay on track for long periods without running out of energy. quickly.
Soleus pushes to control blood sugar and counteract the effects of being sedentary
Sometimes our sedentary behavior can be unconscious, but more often than not we can’t help ourselves, such as the need to work at a desk or recover from illness, or the mobility of the elderly or disabled has worsened, making it impossible to we are independent and stable.
Hamilton designed a special exercise for the characteristics of the soleus muscle – the soleus push-up, which provides a new solution for people who want to change the bad habit of sitting for a long time and it is inconvenient to get up and move.
In Hamilton’s experiment, subjects were divided into two groups, each of whom drank a liquid containing 75 grams of glucose. One group mostly meditated, while the other group continued to push up flounder. During the following three hours, by testing related indicators, the researchers found that those who did the push-up greatly improved glucose homeostasis, reduced postprandial blood sugar fluctuations by an average of 52%, and reduced hyperinsulinemia by an average of 60%..
In another experiment by Hamilton, those who did push-ups expended 2.25 times more energy overall than the sitting group.
Furthermore, the body’s oxygen consumption in the slatted push-up group was more than twice that of the seated group. This is because flounder push-ups seem to eat up a lot of fat and blood sugar.
Therefore, compared to the sitting group, the people who did the push-up group also had significantly lower blood triglycerides.
The experimenters also tested the oxygen consumption of specific lower extremity muscles of the subjects and the energy expenditure of the lower extremity muscles. It has been found that plank pushing allows muscles to use more oxygen than walking and running on a treadmill.
And, overall, there is a smaller range of motion involved in flipping than walking, but the energy expenditure is close to walking.
This is because the soleus muscle can use oxygen directly to burn fat and blood sugar instead of breaking down glycogen for energy.
The movement of the soleus muscle can be said to be like a lever, and depending on a small fulcrum, it can improve the metabolism of the whole body.
How to do soleus push-ups?
The individual push-up is actually very simple, just lift a seated heel:
1. Sit with your feet flat on the floor, shoulder width apart, and relax your muscles; your knees may naturally be at a 90-degree angle or less.
2. Lift your heels while the toes are still touching the ground and stay still.
2. After the heel reaches the highest point, it falls naturally and touches the ground.
This is a full individual push-up, which allows this muscle to contract effectively.
It is worth noting that when we take the sitting position, our knees are bent at about 90 degrees, and at this time the heel is raised, the gastrocnemius muscle on the calf is almost inactive , and the load is carried almost entirely by the soleus muscle.. In this way, the soleus muscles get the most efficient workout.
The researchers also explained that although the soleus push-up looks similar to walking, the mechanism of the exercise is the opposite – due to the structure of our bodies, walking reduces the use of soleus energy, ie, the use of’ the soleus muscle is exactly the opposite. is the smallest. The researchers designed this movement to reverse the fact that the soleus muscle uses less energy when walking, so that it uses as much energy as possible.
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Responsible editor: Li Qingfeng◇