Centre for Physical Activity BMC SAS
Workouts for SENIORS | We are working out LIVE in the Centre of Physical Activity BMC SAS! For the time being, workouts are held on the SAS grounds on Dúbravská road 9, Bratislava.
If you wish to join us, check in at firstname.lastname@example.org
How to stay fit during the epidemic?
Most of the training programs for seniors and patients are conducted within the frame of biomedical research studies in the Centre for Physical Activity BMC SAS. Given the current situation / coronacrisis, we organize online workouts. You can exercise multiple times per week with our instructors LIVE in the comfort and safety of your home.
Online workouts – streamed according to the schedule found below – can be accessed freely on the BMC SAS Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/bmcsav/, in Videos or on the Facebook profile Senior Trening, https://www.facebook.com/Senior-Trening-101236668218848/, which enables instructors to stream workouts from their homes. Workout videos remain on the Facebook page for several days.
BMC SAS NEWS: With the first month of online training behind us, check out the analysis and graphical representations (SVK)
Less sitting – more movement (article): Negative effects of the COVID-19 epidemic include isolation and lack of physical activity. Learn how to stay active… (SVK)
Improvement in physical fitness through an appropriate dose of regular exercise not only enhances one’s quality of life, but it is also effective in prevention and treatment of a variety of chronic diseases.
One of nature’s golden rules is: only animals that move can survive.
Sedentary lifestyle largely increases the risk of morbidity and mortality. The lack of regular exercise is regarded as one of the biggest risk factors of chronic metabolic, cardiovascular, and neurodegenerative diseases, and it also increases the risk of colorectal and postmenopausal breast carcinoma. Fortunately, the risk of these diseases can be effectively mitigated through exercise.
The Centre for Physical Activity was founded at the Biomedical Centre of the Slovak Academy of Sciences (BMC SAS) in the summer of 2017. It was created as a platform for researchers to evaluate the effects of physical activity on health. Researchers at BMC SAS carry our short- and long-term intervention studies, providing individualized training programs for different groups of patients.
In the course of the training program, participants:
- are educated about the beneficial effects of exercise on health and are provided regular feedback (individual consultations about the effects of the training program on their health as well as group seminars / lectures);
- are taught effective and appropriate exercise routines (via individualized training led by professional instructors);
- become members of a social group comprised of people with similar interests (social interaction);
- are monitored regularly and over long periods of time to determine the effects of exercise on their health and to provide evidence documenting the efficiency of the long-term training programs.
The Centre for Physical Activity BMC SAS provides a pleasant environment with the state-of-the-art equipment to measure parameters of physical fitness. This makes it an ideal place for endurance and strength training programs conducted within a number of biomedical research studies at BMC SAS.
These research programs are supported by research grant agencies as well as by sponsors or partners.
The Centre for Physical Activity (i) provides an environment for carrying out endurance and strength training programs suitable for both research study volunteers and clients of the BMC SAS research clinic, (ii) enables long-term monitoring of the effects of exercise on health and supports healthy ageing, and (iii) provides an excellent opportunity to generate valuable scientific knowledge and evidence about the beneficial effects of exercise on health.
The Centre for Physical Activity BMC SAS collaborates with the Faculty of Physical Education and Sports and the Faculty of Medicine (Comenius University), the I. and II. Dep. of Neurology (University Hospital Bratislava, Comenius University), the National Institute of Pediatric Diseases and the National Institute of Oncology. Other partners include the Slovak Obesitology Association (SOA) and the Slovak Diabetes Association, particularly its Obesitology Section (www.obesitas.sk). The Centre also employs nutrition specialists (A/MUDr. Peter Minárik, PhD; Mgr. Petronela Paulová).
One of the ultimate goals of our work – beyond biomedical research – is to create a model system for effective lifestyle modification, which can be implemented in clinical practice in Slovakia. This model system incorporates exercise and nutrition into everyday life with the intention of preventing and/or treating a variety of chronic diseases and improving the quality of life of the elderly and different patients’ groups.
We offer the following medical examinations
- Physical fitness: Rockport’s test, bicycle spiroergometry
- Resting metabolic rate and metabolic substrate preference (indirect calorimetry)
- Motoric performance (EuroFit / Senior Fitness)
- Body mass index (BMI), waist circumference, body composition (quadrupedal bioimpedance)
- Muscle strength (handgrip)
- Daily physical activity profile (volume, dynamics, sleeping pattern)
- Metabolic and cognitive tests
The examinations are carried out at the BMC SAV research clinic.
We presented our research findings at the European Congress on Sport Science (ECSS) which took place on July 3rd – 6th 2019 in Prague.
We shared our research findings during four lectures on (i) molecular and metabolic changes following both acute and regular exercise (Ukropec et al.); (ii) in vitro lipid metabolism of skeletal muscle cells derived from patients with idiopathic inflammatory myopathy and their changes induced by regular exercise (Nemec et al.); (iii) the effects of long-term aerobic strength training (21 months) on the functional state of skeletal muscles and gait velocity in seniors (Slobodová et al.) and on (iv) the relationship between daily habitual physical activity of oncologic patients cured from testicular germ cell tumours and their metabolic health (Krumpolec et al.).
Link to plenary session videos from ECSS 2019:
A/prof. Barbara Ukropcová, MD, Ph.D. focuses on the effects of acute and regular physical activity on health, on the molecular mediators of the systemic adaptive response to exercise and on the role of skeletal muscle in this adaptive process. The important aim of her research is to utilize the beneficial effects of regular physical activity in the prevention and treatment of metabolic, neurodegenerative, and other chronic diseases. Teaching students at the Faculty of Medicine and the Faculty of Physical Education and Sports (Comenius University) provides dr. Ukropcová with the opportunity to educate students on the importance of exercise in preventive medicine. She gives lectures on this topic also for medical professionals and the lay public. Throughout her career, Dr. Ukropcová was / is PI or co-investigator of numerous domestic and international research projects, many of which involve clinical cross-sectional and training intervention studies. She authored and co-authored monographs, publications in prestigious scientific journals, and popular scientific articles. Dr. Ukropcová’s ambition is to translate the acquired knowledge about the beneficial effects of exercise into the context of everyday life. She has received several awards for her scientific work, including Bratislavská čučoriedka, 2008 and Slovenka roka (Slovak woman of the year), 2017. Dr. Ukropcová is a board member of the Obesitology Section of the Slovak Diabetes Society (SDS), the Slovak Obesity Association (SOA), the European Association for the Study of Obesity (EASO), and the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD). She is also a founding member of the study group ExPAS-EASD (Exercise and Physical Activity Study Group), investigating the role of physical activity in prevention and treatment of diabetes.
„Both acute and regular exercise cause dynamic changes of metabolism, changes which we can record in real time using methods of integrative, cellular, and molecular physiology.“
Mgr. Jozef Ukropec, DSc. focuses his research on human molecular physiology and pathophysiology. He is the head of the Department of Metabolic Diseases who developed his research focus during his post-gradual and post-doctoral stays in the prestigious research institutions in Norway, the USA, Germany, and Switzerland. Dr. Ukropec is the principal investigator and co-investigator of a number of research projects, the author and co-author of book chapters and articles in prestigious scientific journals and popular magazines. Dr. Ukropec supervised the scientific work of many undergraduate, master and doctoral students from the Faculty of Natural Sciences (Commenius University, Bratislava). He maintains active international collaborations with various eminent research institutions (ETH, Switzerland; Medical University of Vienna, Austria; Monash University, Australia; National Cheng Kung University, Taiwan).
MSc. Lucia Slobodová completed her PhD. at the Institute of Pathophysiology, Faculty of Medicine, Comenius University, Bratislava. She focuses on the effects of regular physical activity on motor functions and cognition in the elderly. Throughout her bachelor’s degree at the Faculty of Sport Studies (Masaryk University, Brno), MSc. Slobodová specialized in regeneration and nutrition in sports. She went on to receive her master’s degree from Sports and Health at the Faculty of Physical Education and Sports (Comenius University, Bratislava). MSc. Svobodová also works as an exercise instructor, implementing specific methods (e.g. SM system, high intensity interval training and aerobic-coordination training) to improve the functionality of the human motor system and is an accredited PowerYoga instructor (1st, 2nd and 3rd degree).
“Physical activity is essential for health just like air and water are essential for life.”
PhDr. Peter Jurina majored in Public Health at the Slovak Medical University in Bratislava. An accredited manager, personal trainer, and nutrition specialist, Dr. Jurina’s main aim is to bring knowledge on the beneficial effects of exercise into everyday life. He has acquired knowledge on the beneficial effects of exercise working as a personal trainer for professional and recreational athletes and patients with metabolic, cardiovascular, and movement conditions. Dr. Jurina also works in Reocentrum, a rehabilitation clinic for children. He is an active member of PPG Dúbravka, a local community supporting the development and accessibility of sports in Bratislava, Dúbravka.
Mgr. Jakub Laurovič graduated from the Faculty of Physical Education and Sports (Comenius University, Bratislava), specializing in Sports and Health. Apart from working as a personal trainer, he practices a variety of sports (e.g. longboarding, rock-climbing, recreational swimming, running) and was an active volleyball player throughout his student years. Mgr. Laurovič has experience with organizing camps for children and other sport-related events. He has learned how to effectively exercise in a way that improves endurance and health regardless of one’s age or BMI. His aim is to create individualized training programs to improve the quality of life of anyone who has an ambition to increase his/her physical fitness.
„I’m very glad I can be part of the team at the Centre for Physical Activity BMC SAS and participate in projects and clinical studies aiming to improve people`s health and quality of life.“
A/prof. MUDr. Peter Minárik, PhD., MSc. is an MD specializing in geriatry, gastroenterology and public health with long-lasting clinical practice in gastroenterology. He enthusiastically provides individualised counselling in preventive and clinical nutrition healthcare. Dr. Minárik is interested in the relationship between the incidence of cancer and aspects of the obesogenic lifestyle. He aims to incorporate strategies of preventive medicine into clinical practice. Dr. Minárik co-authored books including Vademecum of healthy nutrition (2010, 2012, 2015), Cancer and nutrition: Myths and facts (2013, 2015), Cancer and nutrition: Myths and facts 2 +recipes (2015), Diets for patients with diseases of esophagus, stomach, and duodenum (2016), Diets for patients with diseases of the gallbladder and pancreas (2017), Diets for patients with type 2 diabetes (2017), and Diets for people with increased cholesterol (2018).
MUDr. Martin Schön, PhD. received his MD degree at the Faculty of Medicine and his PhD in Normal and Pathological Physiology at the Institute of Pathological Physiology, Comenius University. Throughout his studies, he participated in a variety of educational programs (University of Murcia, Spain; Hospital Charite in Berlin, Germany; Monash University, Melbourne, Australia). Dr. Schön, under the supervision of Dr. Ukropcová, focuses on the effects of acute and regular exercise on cognitive functions, metabolism, and physical endurance. In his free time, alongside literature, music, sports, and visual arts, he is an active member of the student volunteer organization Erasmus Student Network.
Science popularization in the Centre for Physical Activity in 2021
Doc. MUDr. Barbara Ukropcova, PhD. and Mgr. Jozef Ukropec, DrSc. participated and presented an interesting topic “Health interview – How does physical activity contribute to our health?” in the online studio during Researchers’ Night 2021. Record in Slovak language
Science popularization in the Centre for Physical Activity in 2019
The Integrated Physiology Section of the Department of Metabolic Diseases IEE BMC SAS co-organized the 4th Slovak Day of Obesity (interconnected with the European Day of Obesity) in 5 cities across Slovakia in collaboration with the Slovak Obesity Association and the Obesitology Section of the Slovak Diabetes Association. The goal of the event was to point out health issues linked to obesity, making people acknowledge obesity as a key health issue in modern society and emphasize the necessity to invest into nation-wide prevention programs. The motto is “obesity is a disease”.
In 2019, the partnership with Generali Corporate was further developed within the Generali Balans program. The aim of this program is to inform the public and highlight the necessity of a wide-spread support of programs promoting physical activity as a means of chronic disease prevention (Generali goes by example: raising awareness of prevention through the project GENERALI BALANS).
In 2019, Dr. Ukropcová had an array of science popularization activities within numerous events. These activities were linked to the promotion of physical activity as an effective physiological tool for the prevention and treatment of comorbidities associated with obesity. Activities included:
- Muscles work for the brain. Mensa Bratislava, 10-1-2019 (link)
- How to provoke doctors’ interest in scientific discovery. Institute of Pathological Physiology (Faculty of Medicine, Comenius University), Association of Slovak Physicians in Bratislava, 13-5-2019
- Centre for Obesity Management COM-EASO. Obesitology section SDS & the Slovak Obesity Association (SOA), press conference on the International Day of Obesity, Bratislava 14-5-2019
- Management of obese patients in outpatient care, Congress SVLS 2019 Šamorín-Čilistov, 18-5-2019
- The effects of regular exercise: health, independence, quality of life. Age Management SALON, 7-6-2019 (link)
- Ukropcová B. Muscles work for the brain – brain plasticity and cognitive functions can improve through cognitive and physical training. IXPO technology innovation playground, SAS stage Tyršovonábrežie, Bratislava, 26 – 28. 4. 2019
- Physical activity – elixir of health for the body and brain: benefits of regular physical activity. Generali Balans Talks. 7-10-2019 (event information)
- League against cancer week (12. 10. – 18. 10. 2019). B. Ukropcová, 15. 10. 2019: Reasons to exercise in health and in sickness – even oncological patients can benefit from movement, both during and after chemotherapy treatment. What mechanisms physical activity triggers, what is the recommended dose of physical activity and how it can be implemented in practice. These are the questions we are looking to answer. (league against cancer week)
- Barbara Ukropcová and Matej Tóth discuss science and sport in Science SK, a Slovak radio program, 28-12-2019, from 10:20pm, Radio Slovakia (program recording)
- Clinical intervention study participants meeting, including members of the civic association Strieborné Líšky who actively promote physical activity as an integral component of healthy ageing. Center for Physical Activity, BMC SAS, 18-12-2019
Science popularization in the Centre for Physical Activity in 2018
The Integrated Physiology Section of the Department of Metabolic Diseases IEE BMC SAS co-organized the 3rd Slovak Day of Obesity (interconnected with the European Day of Obesity) in 5 cities across Slovakia in collaboration with the Slovak Obesity Association and the Obesitology Section of the Slovak Diabetes Association. The goal of the event was to point out comorbidities / complications related to obesity, making people acknowledge obesity as one of the key health issues in modern society and emphasize the necessity to invest into nation-wide prevention programs. The motto is “obesity is a disease”.
The Integrated Physiology Section of the Department of Metabolic Diseases Institute of Experimental Endocrinology BMC SAS participated in the annual Researchers’ Night event in collaboration with the Faculty of Physical Education, Comenius University. The goal was to present the methodological and ideological background of our research and the application of our findings in everyday life. A public lecture on beneficial effects of physical activity and the mechanisms underlying these effects was given (Dr. Ukropcová).
- Dr. Ukropcová initiated cooperation with Generali insurance a. s. within the program Generali Balans. The objective of the program is to inform the public about the importance of exercise in the prevention of chronic diseases.
Dr. Ukropcová and Dr. Ukropec, together with members of their team and collaborators published a series of articles on the function of brown adipose tissue and the effects of physical activity on health. Articles were written for health professionals and the lay public.
- SCHÖN M, UKROPCOVÁ B. The reason why central obesity is so important. Bedeker zdravia 2018 30-32.
- UKROPCOVÁ B. Sitting is the modern-day smoking: An excess makes one’s life shorter. Bedeker zdravia 2018 36-38.
- UKROPEC J., SLOBODOVÁ L., UKROPCOVÁ B. Physical activity, cold, and brown adipose tissue: Does physical activity activate brown adipose tissue? Bedeker zdravia. 2018
- SEDLIAK M., UKROPCOVÁ B., PAYER J. Endocrine and metabolic effects of physical activity in patients with hypogonadism. Via pract., 2018;15(4):175-178
- SCHÖN M., STRAKA I, SEDLIAK M, UKROPEC J, VALKOVIČ P., UKROPCOVÁ B. The role of physical activity in the management of patients with Parkinson‘s disease. Čes Slov Neurol N 2019 82/155(5): 496-504
In 2018, A/prof. Ukropcová had a variety of science popularization activities, presenting physical activity as an effective physiological means of prevention and treatment of comorbidities associated with obesity. These activities include:
- UKROPCOVÁ B. Physical activity as an aspect of a complex lifestyle modification in prevention and treatment of chronic diseases. Generali &Partners Group: The client is the centre of attention. Žilina 27-3-2018.
- UKROPCOVÁ B. Will Slovaks survive without exercise? Physical activity in prevention and treatment of chronic diseases. Slovak National Council, Bratislava, 8. 2. 2018.
- UKROPCOVÁ B. Physical activity in the management of type 2 diabetics. Dôvera: workshop for educators within the program Dôvera helps diabetics, 15. 6. 2018, in Bratislava.
- UKROPCOVÁ B. Will we survive without physical activity? A popular lecture for employees of Generali, Generali Bratislava, 11-2018.
- UKROPCOVÁ B. Can lifestyle be cured? How to incorporate regular physical activity into the healthcare system. Bratislava, during a press conference dedicated to the International day of hypertension, 17-5-2018.
- UKROPCOVÁ B. Physical activity – a health elixir. A popular public lecture. Researchers’ Night, Old Market (Stará tržnica), 9/2018.
- UKROPCOVÁ B. Exercise as medicine: Regular physical activity in the prevention and treatment of oncological diseases. OnkoOlympiad – League Against Cancer (Liga Proti Rakovine, LPR), Bratislava 10/2018
- UKROPCOVÁ B. Physical activity as an aspect of a complex lifestyle modification in prevention and treatment of chronic diseases. A lecture for students of STU (Slovak University of Technology), on the request of Ing. Igor Lehocký, Bratislava, 10/2018.
- UKROPCOVÁ B. Physical activity as a health elixir & exercise as medicine. The effect of exercise on molecules, people, and society. Popularisation lecture given within the cycle of lectures Visionaries. Trnava 4/2018.
- UKROPCOVÁ B. Children’s need for physical activity. 7th annual international conference for pedagogues. Teachers are not GOOGLE. https://www.raabe.sk/ucitel-nie-je-google-5/program
- UKROPCOVÁ B. Active participation in the educational program Generali-Balans: https://www.generali.sk/sk/o-nas/press-centrum/tlacove-spravy/spravy/poistovna-generali-ide-prikladom-spusta-osvetu-prevencii-projektom-generali-balans.html
- UKROPCOVÁ B. – interview: A top-level medical doctor: For the body, acute exercise is like a small explosion. http://www.preventivne.sk/pohyb/spickova-lekarka-narazove-cvicenie-je-telo-ako-mensia-explozia-pravidelny-pohyb-zlepsuje-aj-mozog.html
- UKROPCOVÁ B. – interview: Seniors in the gym: It changed our lives. http://www.preventivne.sk/pohyb/dochodcovia-telocvicni-zmenil-nam-zivot.html
- UKROPCOVÁ B. – interview: The number of people with diabetes grew exponentially since the 1980s. Denník N – streda 21. marca 2018 – https://dennikn.sk/1025201/od-roku-1980-sa-pocet-diabetikov-skoro-strojnasobil-cukrovka-2-typu-je-ochorenim-zivotneho-stylu/
- UKROPEC J. Night pyramid – guest. Slovak Radio, Wednesday 12. 09. 2018 http://www.rtvs.sk/radio/program/11436/99092 / https://www.rtvs.sk/radio/archiv/11436/990922
Videos, audio, articles and books
Videos and audio
Radio Regina west: They didn’t give up
(April 2020) The COVID-19 situation prevented tens of seniors (training under the supervision of professional instructors at the Centre for Physical Activity, BMC SAS) from attending training sessions. The online training programme was initiated and developed by dr. Ukropcova and dr. Ukropec and the team of professional instructors. To ensure regularityof physical activity, training sessions are streamed online during the COVID-19 epidemic. Listen to the program
RTVS, program EXPERIMENT
CAN WE SURVIVE WITHOUT EXERCISE? Premiere on Thursday, April 9th, 2020 at 20:10 on RTVS2.
(April 2020) Dr.Ukropcová (SAS) explains how many people in Slovakia (and the world) are overweight or obese, why the incidence of obesity increases, and why physical activity is paramount. Prof. Dušan Hamar (FPES, Comenius University) talks about the proportion of physically active Slovaks and discusses specifics of strength training. Watch the program in the RTVS archive
Radio Regina west, Senior club
(March 2020) Research findings mapping the effects of physical activity on health and the unique scientific research project which enables long-term monitoring of the effects of exercise on health of seniors was discussed by Dr. Barbara Ukropcová and Mgr. Jozef Ukropec. Danica Paulovičová and Romana Draškovičová, physically active seniors who represent the civic association Strieborné líšky, discussed their experience from trainings at CPA BMC SAS. Listen to the program
https://www.rtvs.sk/radio/archiv/11373/1254374 (Science SK: Biomechanics and physiology of professional athletes)
Journal VIA PRACTICA: Recommendations of physical activity in the management of patients with obesity and type 2 diabetes
Prescription of physical activity: Evidence-based medicine
Denník N; MD: Muscles give us strength to fight viruses and bacteria
Generali Balans; Let’s stay healthy in quarantine, let’s exercise – tips from scientist Barbara Ukropcová
We are facing many challenges brought along by the COVID-19 epidemic. One of the challenges is remaining physically active and developing a routine during quarantine. Specific recommendations, based on WHO guidelines, were assembled by the team at the CPA BMC SAS. Read here
Dôverun; the onset of Alzheimer’s can be “shaken out”
“We have already showed that exercise improves cognitive functions. Now we want to find out why and how. Perhaps in several years it will be possible to insert bioactive molecules underlying the beneficial effects of exercise on the body into a capsule or a tablet. This way these bioactive molecules will be able to improve the symptoms of disease even in people who are unable to exercise effectively. But why should we wait for the new discoveries when most of us can help ourselves right now – through a sufficient regular dose of exercise. Regardless of age.” Read the whole article