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Biologic Regulation of Physical Activity PDF

Biologic Regulation of Physical Activity PDF

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    The benefits of a healthy lifestyle are well documented, yet many people continue to struggle with sedentary behavior and obesity. In Biologic Regulation of Physical Activity, Dr. Thomas W. Rowland posits a distinct possibility of the existence of a central biologic controller of activity. If harnessed, this mechanism could lead to breakthroughs in health science professionals’ quest for more effective ways of helping people be more active and, as a result, healthier.

    Rowland is one of the most well-respected pediatric cardiologists in the United States. He has authored three other books and more than 150 journal articles and has served in several key national leadership positions in pediatric medicine. In Biologic Regulation of Physical Activity, Rowland uses his expertise, along with numerous references and direct quotes from expert witnesses, to provide a detailed account of how current research may support the existence of a biologic regulator—a mechanism in the brain that involuntarily controls biological processes—associated with physical activity. Rowland proposes a possible mechanism for such a control and explores the implications of this theory. This developing area of research and theory offers a new lens through which health professionals and those who research issues related to obesity, physical activity adherence, and sedentary behaviors can view their work.

    The book moves methodically through the research, rationale, and implications of a biologic regulator of physical activity. In part I, Surveying the Evidence, readers are guided through a litany of research—both on humans and on animals—that provides support for the existence of a biologic regulator. This section synthesizes evidence from an interdisciplinary perspective, covering research on topics such as behavioral disorders, brain damage, lifetime activity patterns, and sex differences.

    Part II, Rationale and Mechanisms details the possible biologic explanation for control of energy output through activity and proposes a mechanism by which it might function in order to maintain an energy in–energy out balance. The hypothesis presented in this section is that the body has a need for energy balance that leads to activity regulation, similar to how the body regulates appetite.

    In part III, Implications of Biologic Regulation of Activity, some clear implications from current research, which may help health science professionals in their treatment and prevention efforts against patients’ obesity and inactivity, are discussed. Rowland also poses some critical questions for further research, if indeed a biologic controller of activity exists, such as how much effect a biologic controller might have on activity level as compared to environmental factors and whether this biologic regulator could be altered.

    This book will initiate further discussion, examination, and research into the idea that physical activity may be, at least in part, controlled by a central biologic regulator. Further study may lead to a widespread realization that there is an involuntary biologic regulator of activity that, once fully understood, could lead researchers to discover alternative interventions in the fight against inactivity and obesity.

    Part I. Surveying the Evidence

    Chapter 1. Nature of Physical Activity

    Measuring Physical Activity

    Categorizing Physical Activity

    Chapter 2. Physical Activity Through the Life Span

    Human Beings

    Physical Activity of Animals

    Chapter 3. Effects of Sex

    Sexual Maturation

    Sex Differences in Infancy

    Chapter 4. Neurochemical Models


    Other Neurochemical Mediators

    Chapter 5. Perturbations of Brain Function

    Lesions in Animal Brains


    Anorexia Nervosa

    Restless Legs Syndrome

    Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

    Chapter 6. Organized Variability

    Animal Circadian Rhythms

    Human Circadian Rhythms

    Other Variability

    Chapter 7. Genetic Influences

    Familial and Twin Studies

    Animal Selection

    Genetic Markers

    Epigenetic Influences

    Chapter 8. Physical Activity Play

    Function of Physical Play

    Neurological Basis

    Part II. Rationale and Mechanisms

    Chapter 9. Activity Regulation and the Need for Energy Balance

    Energy Balance as a Biological Need

    Role of Physical Activity in Energy Balance

    Biologic Origin of Other Contributors to Energy Balance

    Parallel Decline With Aging

    Compensatory Responses in Energy Balance

    Chapter 10. Mechanisms for Biologic Control

    Feedback Systems

    Proposed Biologic Control System for Habitual Physical Activity

    Activity-Stat Versus Energy-Stat

    Part III. Implications of Biologic Regulation of Activity

    Chapter 11. Responses to Activity Interventions

    Compensatory Changes in Physical Activity

    Compensatory Changes in Caloric Intake

    Long-Term Changes in Physical Activity Habits

    Implications for Health Promotion

    Chapter 12. Understanding Obesity: The Biologic Perspective

    First Law of Thermodynamics

    Obesity as an Error in Energy Balance

    Behavioral Explanations for Energy Imbalance

    Genetic Explanations for Energy Imbalance

    Implications for Treatment and Prevention

    Chapter 13. Altering the Biologic Control of Activity

    Plasticity of Biologic Set Points

    Can Cognitive Will Override Biologic Control?

    Can Hedonistic Behavior Override Biologic Control?

    Role of Spontaneous Physical Activity and NEAT

    Pharmacological Manipulation of Physical Activity Regulators

    Thomas W. Rowland, MD, is a pediatric cardiologist at the Baystate Medical Center in Springfield, Massachusetts. He is a professor of pediatrics at Tufts University School of Medicine and was a past adjunct professor of exercise science at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. A graduate of the University of Michigan Medical School, Rowland is board certified in pediatrics and pediatric cardiology by the American Board of Pediatrics.

    Rowland, who has had more than 150 journal articles published, is the author of three books: Children’s Exercise Physiology, Second Edition; Tennisology: Inside the Science of Serves, Nerves, and On-Court Dominance; and The Athlete’s Clock. He has served as editor of the journal Pediatric Exercise Science and president of the North American Society for Pediatric Exercise Medicine (NASPEM) and was on the board of trustees of the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM). He is past president of the New England chapter of the ACSM and received the ACSM Honor Award in 1993.

    Rowland is a competitive tennis player and distance runner. He and his wife, Margot, reside in Longmeadow, Massachusetts.