Another very important brain area that mediates, and in turn is affected by the stress response, is the hippocampus.27 The consequences of impaired regulation of cortisol secretion are manifold, ranging from effects in peripheral tissues (eg, osteoporosis) to changes in the central nervous system.28 Most of the effects seen in chronic stress situations can be explained by the occupation of the two glucocorticoid receptors in the brain. In normal situations, the mineralocorticoid receptor will be occupied, whereas the glucocorticoid receptor has lower affinity for the natural ligand corticosterone (cortisol) than the mineralocorticoid receptor and is extensively activated only after stress and at the peaks of the circadian rhythm. One of the main functions of glucocorticoid receptors is to normalise brain activity some hours after an organism has been exposed to a stressful event and to promote consolidation of the event for future use.25 28 To this purpose, corticosteroids feed back in precisely those circuits that are initially activated by the stressor and are enriched in glucocorticoid receptors: limbic forebrain neurons and the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus.
But…. I am not sure why, but I am finding lunges virtually impossible!! I am practicing but even static lunges with just my body weight are so hard to do, I am also only feeling them in the front of my leg. I know to keep 90 degree angles, not to bend forward at the waist and not to extend my knee forward of my foot, so I am wondering if maybe my hamstrings are just pathetically weak or something?!?
The aim of this study was to assess the effects of vigorous exercise on functional abilities by means of a Senior Fitness Test (SFT) in a group of elderly adults. Twenty healthy and inactive people performed vigorous exercise (VE: 12 men and 8 women, aged 69.6 ± 3.9 years). At the beginning of the study (T0) and after 3 months (T1), each subject's functional ability was tested for muscular strength, agility, cardiovascular fitness, flexibility, and balance. The VE was designed with continuous and interval exercise involving large muscle activities. Functional exercises were performed between 60% and 84% of heart rate reserve (HRR) for a duration of 65 minutes. Five out of the 6 SFTs performed were found significantly improved: Chair Stand (T0 12.4 ± 2.4, T1 13.5 ± 2.6, p < 0.01), Arm Curl (T0 14.2 ± 3.6, T1 16.6 ± 3.6, p < 0.01), 2 min step (T0 98.2 ± 15.7, T1 108.9 ± 16.2, p < 0.01), Chair Sit-and-Reach (T0 −9.9 ± 7.7 cm, T1 1.7 ± 6.3 cm, p < 0.01), and Back Scratch (T0 −15.8 ± 10.9 cm, T1 −8.4 ± 13.1 cm, p < 0.01). Our results suggest that a high intensity protocol and functional exercises can improve functional mobility and muscle endurance in those over 65 years of age. SFTs are an effective method for assessing improvements in the functional capacity of elderly adults.