Hump Day Hustling – Weekly Research Summary – August 23, 2023

Breath work, benefits of lower load resistance training, increasing employee well-being through exercise, and more in this episode of Hump Day Hustling! Enjoy, and if you want to dive deeper with ICE Physio content make sure to check out our Upcoming Course Dates and Locations!

Breath Work

More effective than mindfulness meditation?

Finally a study where the methods for each breath work protocol are very detailed and easy to apply. This open access RCT published earlier this year in Cell Reports Medicine looked at 1 month of breath work (cyclic sigh, box breathing, and cyclic hyperventilation with retention respectively) compared to mindfulness mediation sessions. Primary outcome measures were improvement in mood and anxiety as well as reduced physiological arousal (respiratory rate, heart rate, and heart rate variability).

Good news: everything worked. breath work was slightly more effective than mindfulness, cyclic sigh was the most effective tool. Considering we’re talking about a 5 minute daily practice this is truly a high ROI tool for clinical practice.

Fear and Injurious Falls

What is the relationship?

This open access study from August’s Journal of the American Medical Directors took 1,250 folks (1,250 >60yo in Sweden) and looked at the influence of fear of falling and balance ability in injurious fall rates over 5 year span. (Injurious fall = one that required care). The authors categorized fear of falls by asking two questions: 1. Are you afraid of falling when you go outdoors in winter? and 2. Are you afraid of falling when you go outdoors in seasons other than winter?

Notable and perhaps unexpected finding: “the association between concerns about falling and injurious falls was more evident in people with better balance and the younger-old participants (60-72)

ICE hot take: This really speaks to the power of asking questions like these and assessing fear…regardless of age or balance ability. Our biggest gripe with this study is they had a pretty weak balance assessment to establish balance ability – single leg stance for 60s. Nonetheless…interesting publication with clinical relevance.

Employee Well Being

Role of morning physical activity

Want to like work more? Workout before it. Want your employees to like work more? Make space and resources for them to workout before it. At least that is what findings from this new paper in the Journal of Occupational Health Psychology suggest.

“Conclusion, our results show that physical activity before work is beneficially related to several types of well-being outcomes by increasing challenge appraisal and decreasing threat appraisal.”

Cardiac Rehab

Is high load resistance training ok?

Results of this secondary analysis of a RCT looking at low load vs high load RT in Cardiac rehab suggest YES.

Inclusion was between 18-85 (we’re not sure why the upper limit?) and over one month post cardiac event.

Prescription here was beautifully outlined:

  • Low Load: 3×10-22 reps at 35-40% of 1 RM leg press
  • High load was 3×6-12 reps between 70-80% of 1 RM leg press.

This paper showed both safety & feasibility, and the high load inched out the low load with an interaction group x time for strength improvements.

A Case for Lower Load

Exploring benefits of <50% 1RM training

You DON’T always have to be bending the barbell in order to move things forward, however it seems you DO need to keep load above 30% 1RM AND work relatively close to concentric failure. Here are a list of select key points pulled directly from the paper published in Sports Medicine

  • Lower load (i.e., < 50% of 1RM) resistance training can be a viable and effective method of developing muscle hypertrophy and strength. Furthermore, it can have tangible benefits for healthy populations and those at risk for developing chronic diseases.
  • To maximize the benefits of lower load resistance training, high levels of effort and training in close proximity to concentric failure are required. Furthermore, it could be recommended that it is implemented 2–3 times per week with 3–4 sets per exercise, and loads no lower than 30% of 1RM.
  • Lower load resistance training can be used in conjunction with higher loads (i.e., < 50% of 1RM) and should be a personal choice based on individual goals. This may help reduce participation barriers and promote exercise adherence.

PTonICE Rewind

Did you miss any of our ICE Physio podcasts last week? Well here you go!

Wednesday: “Balance intervention framework” (Christina Prevett)
Thursday: “Reschedules, cancellations, and no shows oh my!” (Alan Fredendall)
Friday: “Post CrossFit Games for the rest of us” (Mitch Babcock)

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📢 On Virtual ICE next week we’ll be chatting “Budgeting and financial health for PTs” with special guest Clancy Brown! Not in our virtual mentorship program? Find out how to enroll and learn more HERE