Donate Your Body to Science! Participate in the TrainMeUpMN Study
Why is exercise (running specifically) beneficial to us as human beings? Weight management often comes to the top of mind. Yet why do some people have trouble keeping excess weight off when they are just as active as leaner friends?
We all know that running is good for us, but how exactly does it impact our metabolism? Should you run in the morning, or is running at night just as good? When it comes to what we eat, should distance runners inhale as many calories as possible, or follow a highly specialized diet?
If you’d like to help answer some of these questions, perhaps you should signup for the University of Minnesota TrainMeUpMN study.
What Is The TrainMeUpMN Study?
The University of Minnesota study looking for active, overweight subjects to see how exercise benefits metabolism as part of the TrainMeUp MN study through the Department of Medicine. Here’s part of the official release.
We are looking for active, people (Age 18-40) who run regularly (>45 minutes running, 5 days per week) and who are otherwise good health and have a BMI of 25 or greater. We are interested in how your body has adapted to exercise.
I’ve been email with Tyler Bosch, PhD at the University of Minnesota Medical School, who is running this study. He shared that study participants should expect the following if chosen.
At your first visit, we will measure your fitness by having you run on a treadmill to measure your VO2 max. At your second visit, we will draw blood, measure your body composition by using a noninvasive Dual Energy X-ray Absorptometry (DXA) machine, have you run on a treadmill at 90 minutes (speed will be tailored given your VO2 max level) and repeat the blood and body composition after the prolonged run. We are interested in how a prolonged run can change your blood and body composition.
It is a paid study, so you will be compensated for your time (and muscle fat).
Why BMI of 25+?
Last year, they conducted a similar study, but were focused on lean individuals. In this years study, they want to see if individuals with a BMI greater than 25, utilize fuel sources differently than those under that. Bosch says,
Most of the original group we recruited had a BMI in the low 20’s and percent fat between 10-20%. However, we suspect that individuals with a higher BMI and likely a higher percent fat (25-35%) may mobilize fat from non (directly) exercising tissues to working muscle (i.e. ship fat from the arms to the legs) in order to maintain energy stores.
He said sometimes, but not always, this is the 5+ hour marathoners. He went on to tell me that,
…the mechanisms behind why exercise is beneficial are still poorly understood, thus studying different “types” of individuals that exercise will provide us some more detailed insight into how the body decides how best to utilized the fuel it has available. We can utilize that information to start targeting specific changes with more sophisticated measurement techniques in populations that are at risk of dysfunctional metabolism or health issues. We know that exercise is good, but we still don’t know all the ways that it provides benefits, especially non-muscle targets.
Technically, a BMI of over 25 is considered “overweight” according to various health sources. BMI, if you didn’t know (which I did not) isn’t a direct measure of body fat, but it does strongly correlate to various metabolic and disease risks.
BMI is a number based on your weight and height. In general, the higher the number, the more body fat a person has. BMI is often used as a screening tool to decide if your weight might be putting you at risk for health problems such as heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.
I had no idea what my current BMI was, so here’s how I figured it out, and how you can to.
Take your weight in kilograms divided by the square of height in meters… or use this handy calculator.
- Weight = 73.9kg
- Height (squared) = 3.35m
- BMI = 22.1
According to the table from the CDC, I am in the “normal” category. Here’s the table:
- < 18.5 – underweight
- 18.5 – 24.9 – normal/healthy weight
- 25.0 – 29.9 – overweight
- 30.0+ – obese
I remember doing this as part of a “physical wellness” course my freshman year in college. One guy on my floor, a linebacker on the football team, was technically “obese.” Myself, along with most of my teammates on the cross country team we’re borderline underweight. My point is, don’t be offended if you fall somewhere on this scale that seems way off of what you think you are. Then again, it does correlate to various disease risks.
Let’s help them out so we can better understand what makes us tick and, ultimately, make us stronger runners.
For more information, contact Tyler Bosch or Anne Bantle at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 612-301-8309.