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Hillside Family Medicine
& Occupational Medicine

Hillside Family Medicine
& Occupational Medicine

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Ten-Minute Workouts for Fitness

 ~Dr. Gabe Mirkin's Fitness and Health e-Zine

One minute of intense exercise can give you the same level of fitness as 45 minutes of more casual exercise (PLoS One, April 26, 2016;11(4):e0154075). Two groups of out-of-shape men exercised three times a week for 12 weeks.

One group pedaled stationary bicycles for 45 minutes. The other group did the following 10-minute workout:
* warm up for two minutes on a stationary bicycle
* pedal as hard as possible for 20 seconds followed by very slow pedaling for two minutes (recovery)
* repeat the 20-second all-out pedaling followed by two minutes of slow recovery
* pedal all-out for the last 20-second sprint and then cool down for three minutes.

Both groups made the same improvements in fitness as measured by:
* Maximal amount of oxygen uptake (Vo2max) - 20 percent increase in both groups
* Insulin sensitivity index (to prevent diabetes) - more than 50 percent increase in both groups
* Skeletal muscle mitochondrial content also increased by the same amount, even though the intense exercise group worked out for only 10 minutes per session while the casual-exercise group's workout took 45 minutes, or 4.5 times as long.

Benefits of Exercise
* Your fitness level determines, in part, your susceptibility for suffering heart attacks (Prog Cardiovasc Dis, 2014;56:382–90), diabetes, certain cancers and premature death (Ex and Spts Sci Reviews, 2017;45(1):7-15).
* Regular exercise helps to prevent many chronic diseases including type 2 diabetes (Can Med Assoc J, 2006;174: 801–809).
* High levels of fitness predict a long lifespan (Arch Int Med, 2012;172:1333-1340), and low levels of fitness predict a shortened lifespan (Circulation, 2008;117:614-622). * Not exercising is the most common modifiable cause of chronic disease (Can Med Assoc J, 2006;174: 801–809).
* The most common excuse for not exercising is lack of time (Med Sci Sports Exerc, 2002;34: 1996–2001). This new study shows that ONE minute of intense exercise, in a regular program of ten-minute workouts, is enough to gain significant fitness benefits.

My Recommendations
* Everyone should try to exercise every day because a high level of fitness helps to prevent disease and to prolong life.
* Intense exercise takes far less time than more casual exercise for the same health benefits.
Caution: Always check with your doctor before starting a new exercise program or making a sudden change in the intensity of your existing exercise program.

How Soluble Fiber Helps to Prevent Heart Attacks

~Dr. Gabe Mirkin's Fitness and Health e-Zine

Forty percent of deaths in the United States are from heart disease, which kills more than 400,000 people each year. Soluble fiber (from beans, oats, peas, barley, nuts, fruits and vegetables) reduces high blood levels of Low-Density Cholesterol (LDL), one of the strongest predictors of heart attack risk (Curr Atheroscler Rep, Dec 2016;18(12):75). Soluble fiber also improves immune function and lowers other risk factors for heart attacks:
* high blood pressure,
* high blood sugar,
* high blood insulin,
* high triglycerides,
* excess body fat (particularly belly fat), and
* inflammation

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Lack of Fitness, Not Too Much Sitting, Shortens Lives

~Dr. Gabe Mirkin's Fitness and Health e-Zine

A new study suggests that it is the level of fitness, not time spent sitting, that predicts susceptibility to disease and longevity (Mayo Clinic Proceedings, published online October 18, 2016). Heart-lung fitness is the ability of the heart and lungs to provide oxygenated blood to contracting muscles for prolonged periods. In this study from Norway, the authors followed 495 women and 379 men, aged 70 to 77 years. They measured sitting time with accelerometers and heart-lung fitness by peak oxygen uptake (VO2 peak). They found that:

* People who spent 12-13 hours sitting each day were 75 percent more likely to have heart attack risk factors (high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes, high cholesterol, high waist circumference, high triglycerides, reduced good HDL cholesterol, high blood pressure, and high fasting blood sugar levels).

* The most fit people were more than 40 percent less like to have abnormal heart attack risk factors, even if they sat for 12 to 13 hours a day and did not meet the criteria for the recommended amount of exercise done each day.

* People who exercised, but were not physically fit, were not protected from the heart attack risk factors.

Another new study from Rotterdam shows that exercisers live significantly longer than non-exercisers and suffer far fewer heart attacks. For the average Rotterdam citizen, cycling provided the highest level of fitness and was associated with a man living 3.7 years longer than his non-cycling countrymen (Journal of Public Health, 10/31/2016).

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