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The University of Miami is currently conducting research on the effects that cycling with functional electrical stimulation (FES-cycling) has on people with spinal cord injury. The research team, led by Mark Nash, PhD, FACSM, and his student, David McMillan, is interested in how energy expenditure and fuel partitioning, as well as cardiac output, are affected by FES-cycling exercise performed on two different FES bikes: the MyoCycle and the RT300.

So far, the team has completed experiments with four men with various levels of spinal cord injury, and the results were recently presented during a poster session at the American Spinal Injury Association (ASIA) conference in Albuquerque. The full poster is presented below, but the concluding points are as follows:

  • Moderate stimulation intensity FES cycling qualifies as “low intensity” aerobic exercise according to authoritative guidelines (aerobic effect similar to walking).
  • The MyoCycle relies less on carbohydrate fuels and more on fatty fuels at the selected moderate stimulation intensity.
  • The MyoCycle promotes a more extensive excessive post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC) for 30 minutes after termination of stimulation.
  • The greater gross mechanical efficiency (23.3% as opposed to only 16.7% from the RT300) observed for the MyoCycle may have implications for more substantial sparing of muscle fatigue accompanying FES cycling.

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What do these results mean?

These are still preliminary results, but there are three key take-away points:

    1. Both the MyoCycle and the RT300 can give people with spinal cord injury a good workout.
    2. The unique characteristics of the MyoCycle cause some interesting positive effects not seen when using the RT300 (more fat burn and greater EPOC).
    3. The MyoCycle is significantly more efficient than the RT300 (more cycling power output for the same amount of calories burned).

 

The research team also collected some interesting cardiac output data from the study, but these results won’t be presented until the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) annual meeting at the end of the month.

MYOLYN is committed to supporting research into the benefits of FES for people with neurological disorders. Sign up for our newsletter to keep up to date with the results!

If you’d like to learn more about how the MyoCycle can help someone with paralysis to get a great workout, click here!

Published in MYOLYN RSS FEED
Thursday, 11 May 2017 15:53

Adaptive Sports

Staying active and healthy despite paralysis through adaptive sports.

The National Center on Health, Physical Activity and Disability (NCHPAD) has a slogan that says, “Exercise is for EVERY body.” Exercise is one of the most effective means for maintaining and improving your health, yet it’s something that few people get enough of. This is especially true for people with disabilities, whose ability to get enough exercise may be limited by social or physical barriers. As a result, many people with disabilities suffer from the effects of a sedentary lifestyle, including obesity, diabetes, heart attack, and stroke.

So what can we do about it?

One great answer is adaptive sports. Sports have long been one of the best ways to stay active and healthy, because they combine social interaction, competition, and exercise into a single activity. Each year, more people and organizations are getting involved in adaptive sports, making old sports accessible to people with disabilities and even inventing some new sports, like Murderball. The result is that more people with disabilities are getting out, staying active, and having fun.

Here’s a list of some of the most popular adaptive sports:

  • Archery
  • Wheelchair basketball
  • Skiing
  • Equestrian
  • Golf
  • Hand cycling
  • Sailing
  • Scuba
  • Sled hockey
  • Snowboarding
  • Wheelchair rugby (aka Murderball)
  • Tennis
  • Waterskiing
  • Wheelchair racing
  • Yoga

Several of these sports even have professional teams, like the US Paralympic Cycling Team.

There are many organizations and events for adaptive sports – too many to list. Below you can find a few great resources for getting involved in adaptive sports.

As a final note, many rehabilitation centers have their own adaptive sports programs, like the Shepherd Center and Brooks Rehab. Now get out and play!

If you know someone who may be interested in adaptive sports, share this article with them on Facebook,Twitter, Pinterest, or LinkedIn

If you’re trying to stay active and healthy despite paralysis, or maybe you’re trying to build strength and endurance for an adaptive sport, the MyoCycle may be right for you. To learn more about how the MyoCycle fits into an active and healthy lifestyle, click here.

Published in MYOLYN RSS FEED

What is the single best thing you can do for your health? The video below gives a great answer.

SPOILER ALERT: it’s 30 minutes of walking per day.

As Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, put it, “Walking is man’s best medicine.” More than 2,000 years later, he’s still right, as moderate exercise (like walking) prevents: cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, high blood pressure, obesity, depression, osteoporosis, and even death [1]. Yes, you can literally outrun the Grim Reaper (at least for a while).

So what should you do if you can’t walk because of a spinal cord injury, stroke, multiple sclerosis, or some other neurological disorder? The answer depends on the disability, but there are many adaptive sports to choose from. For example, someone who is paraplegic could do handcycling to keep their upper body and cardiovascular system in shape.

One of the best ways to stay active despite a neurological disorder is to do cycling with functional electrical stimulation (FES), or FES-cycling. Check out our earlier blog post to learn more about the benefits of FES-cycling.

To sum it up, exercising is the single best thing you can do for your health, especially walking 30 minutes a day since it gives you the most bang for your buck. If you can't walk because of a neurological disorder, try an adaptive sport or FES-cycling, which are great ways to exercise despite paralysis.

Click here to find an adaptive sports program near you, or click here to join the waiting list for the most affordable, easiest-to-use FES bike ever made.

REFERENCES

[1] Warburton DER, Nicol CW, Bredin SSD. Health benefits of physical activity: the evidence. CMAJ : Canadian Medical Association Journal. 2006; 174(6):801-809. doi: 10.1503/cmaj.051351.

Published in MYOLYN RSS FEED

Researchers at UCLA are experimenting with performing spinal cord stimualtion on individuals with spinal cord injuries during exo-skeleton assisted walking. This combines the assisted mobility provided by exo-skeletons with the health and functional benefits electrical stimualtion.

This is a very interesting field of study, and was actually the Ph.D topic of MYOLYN's CTO, Matthew Bellman, before he switched to FES-induced cycling.

 

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