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A Decade of Fitness

来源:纽约时报    2019-12-26 05:08

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        For the past 10 years (and change), I have been covering exercise science in this column. During that time, I have seen interest in high-intensity exercise soar and enthusiasm for barefoot running fizzle. We have learned contracting muscles talk to baby neurons, creativity blooms from walking, a minute of exertion can be ample, aging is elastic and a chubby dog may be our best exercise motivator.        在过去10年多一点的时间里,我一直在这个专栏做健身科学报道。在这期间,我看到人们对高强度运动的兴趣高涨,对赤脚跑步的热情减退。我们了解到,收缩肌肉可以影响婴儿的神经元,散步可以促进创造力,一分钟的锻炼是足够的,衰老是可以改善的,一只胖狗可能是最好的锻炼激励。
        With 2019 ending, I thought it worthwhile to look back at some of the persistent themes, revelations and surprises from the past decade in fitness.        随着2019年的结束,我觉得有必要回顾一下过去十年健身运动中持续出现的主题、发现和意外。
        Perhaps most obviously, this has been a decade of greatest HIITs, with multiple studies and subsequent columns reiterating that super-short, strenuous workouts — known as high-intensity interval training — improve fitness and health to about the same extent as much longer, more moderate exercise. Since 2010, I have covered seven-minute, four-minute, one-minute, 20-second and 10-second interval routines, with each workout’s declining length increasing its allure. For many of us, the exercise of choice may be the briefest.        也许最明显的是,这十年是高强度间歇训练(HIIT)发展最快的十年,多项研究和随后的专栏文章都不断重申,这种超短、高强度的锻炼,和时间长很多且较和缓的锻炼比起来,对体能和健康的改善效果是差不多的。从2010年开始,我介绍过7分钟、4分钟、1分钟、20秒和10秒的间歇训练,时间越短越受欢迎。对我们许多人来说,首选的健身可能就是最短的那个。
        At the same time, though, a wealth of other studies this decade underscored that gentle exercise is also meaningful, even if it barely qualifies as exercise. In one of my favorite studies from this year, researchers found that older women who regularly strolled about two miles a day, or a little more than 4,000 steps, lived longer than women who covered only about 2,000 steps, or a mile. Going that lone extra mile altered how long and well women lived.        然而,与此同时,这十年来大量的其他研究也强调,和缓的锻炼也是有意义的,即使几乎算不上是锻炼。在今年我最喜欢的研究之一中,研究人员发现,经常每天散步约两英里(相当于4000步多一点,约合3.2公里)的老年女性比每天只散步一英里(2000步)的女性寿命更长。这额外的一英里能改变女性的寿命和健康状况。
        In fact, a recurring concern of exercise science this decade has been whether and how exercise reshapes aging, and the results generally suggest that it does — and pervasively. In various recent studies, active older people’s muscles, immune systems, blood cells and even skin appeared biologically younger, at a molecular level, than those of sedentary people.        事实上,近十年来,健身科学反复关注的一个问题是,运动能否及如何改变衰老过程,研究结果普遍表明,运动确实在许多方面影响衰老。在最近的各种研究中,在分子层面上,经常运动的老年人的肌肉、免疫系统、血细胞甚至皮肤的生理年龄比久坐不动的人小。
        Their brains also tended to look and work differently. In what may be, for me, the most inspiring area of fitness research from the past decade, scientists have found and reaffirmed the extent to which movement, of almost any kind and amount, may remake how we think and feel. In one study after another, physical activity beneficially remodeled the brains of children and the middle-aged; lowered people’s risks for dementia or, if dementia had already begun, slowed memory loss; and increased brain volume, tissue health and the quality of connections between neurons and different portions of the brain.        二者大脑的外观和运转也往往不同。对我来说,过去十年的健身研究可能是最鼓舞人心的领域,科学家们发现并一再确认,几乎任何种类和数量的运动都可能在很大程度上重塑我们的思维和感觉。在多项研究中,体育活动被证明有益地重塑了儿童和中年人的大脑;降低人患失智症的风险,或者减缓失智症患者的记忆丧失;增加脑容量、促进组织健康,增进神经元和大脑不同部分之间连接的质量。
        Exercise also seems able to buoy moods far more than most of us, including scientists, might have expected 10 years ago. In observational studies, physically active people proved to be much less likely to develop depression or anxiety than sedentary people, no matter what types of activities they chose.        锻炼对情绪的提振效果似乎远远超出我们大多数人——包括科学家——在10年前的估计。观察性研究证明,无论选择何种类型的活动,久坐不动者比经常锻炼者更易罹患抑郁症或焦虑症。
        Walking, jogging, gardening, weight training, swimming, biking, hiking or even rising from an office or living room chair often and strolling across the room seemed to make people happier and less prone to mood problems than remaining still.        散步、慢跑、园艺、举重、游泳、骑车、徒步旅行,甚至经常从办公室或客厅的椅子上站起来,在房间里散步,似乎都比静止更能让人快乐,更不易出现情绪问题。
        And in mice, exercise changed the inner workings of some of their neurons in ways that then made them less excitable and less prone to patterns of biochemical activity associated with anxiety. Exercise made their cells and brains calmer.        在对小鼠的研究中,锻炼改变了一些神经元的内部运转机制,从而使它们更不容易受刺激,更不容易出现与焦虑相关的生化活动模式。锻炼使它们的细胞和大脑更平静。
        One of the other big themes of exercise science in the 2010s is that bodies in motion seem to develop interior ecosystems that differ, in fundamental ways, from those of the sedentary. People who exercise harbor different types and amounts of proteins in their bloodstreams, for instance, even if they have not been working out recently, and these patterns of proteins may play a role in reducing risks for metabolic problems such as diabetes or heart disease.        2010年代健身科学的另一个重大主题是,经常运动者体内似乎可以发展出内在的生态系统,而且在根本上不同于那些久坐不动的人。例如,经常运动者的血液中含有不同类型和数量的蛋白质,即使他们近期内没有健身,这些蛋白质的模式依然可能在降低糖尿病或心脏病等代谢问题风险中发挥作用。
        Exercisers’ muscles also produce and release various vesicles, or tiny bubbles of cellular material, that carry biochemical messages from one tissue to another, recent research shows. The vesicles are not found to the same extent in the bloodstreams of the sedentary. Such microscopic messages between muscles and other tissues may be jump-starting biochemical processes that improve health.        近期研究显示,锻炼者的肌肉还会产生和释放各种小囊泡,即将生化信息从一个组织传递到另一个组织的细胞质小泡。在久坐不动者的血液中,小囊泡的规模与正常人不同。肌肉和其他组织之间的这种微观讯息可能会启动改善健康的生化过程。
        But many questions remain unanswered about the cellular effects of exercise throughout the body. It’s also unknown whether changes at the cellular level differ depending on factors like how much and in what fashion we exercise, our age, our health history and whether we happen to be a man, a woman or a mouse. I suspect this will be of great interest to exercise scientists in the decade ahead.        但是,关于运动对全身细胞的影响,还有许多问题没有得到解答。我们也不知道细胞水平的变化是否会因我们锻炼的程度、方式、年龄、健康状况以及我们的性别等因素而有所不同,人类和小鼠的情况是否会有不同。我想这个问题对未来十年的健身科学家来说会很有趣。
        I also look forward to researchers refining more precisely just how much — or little — exercise we need, and whether those needs differ as we age or if wish to deploy exercise to fend off or treat specific conditions, such as high blood pressure, diabetes or a family history of weight problems.        我也期待研究人员更精确地总结出,我们究竟需要多少锻炼,或者至少需要多少锻炼,这个标准是否应该因年龄而异;如果需要通过锻炼来预防或治疗高血压、糖尿病或遗传体重问题等特定疾病,这个标准是否也应有所变化。
        I hope, too, that scientists might eventually help us to better understand why, with everything we know about the benefits of exercise, so few of us manage to get up and work out regularly. But there could be hope in redirecting our focus. In what may be the most charming fitness study of the 2010s, sedentary dog owners who had been reluctant to exercise but were told by their veterinarians that their pets were too heavy and in danger of health problems increased both their own and their pets’ walking times.        既然我们都知道运动的好处,为什么我们当中还是很少有人能够有规律地起床锻炼呢?我也希望科学家最终能够帮助我们改善这种状况。但是,我们也有望将关注点转移到别的地方。在一项可能是十年来最有意思的健康研究中,研究者发现,虽然久坐不动的狗主人不愿锻炼,但是当兽医告诉他们,他们的宠物太重,有健康风险后,他们自己和宠物都增加了行走时间。
        Happy, healthy 2020 to you, your family and any furry workout partners.        祝你和家人以及各种毛绒绒的健身伙伴们2020年健康快乐。

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