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NPR Shots | Olympic athletes prove that older doesn’t have to mean slower

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When Kristin Armstrong pedaled across the Olympic finish line to win a cycling gold in Rio de Janeiro, her nose was bleeding and her 5-year-old son was waiting for her. The 42-year-old told reporters that people constantly ask why she keeps competing despite her age and multiple hip surgeries. Her response? “Because I can.” Continue.

NPR Health Shots | How weight training can help women stay strong

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For years I was a totally lopsided exerciser. I did aerobic workouts until the cows came home, easily meeting the government’s recommendation of 150 minutes of moderate-intensity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity exercise per week. But I rarely picked up a dumbbell or did a push-up. I definitely didn’t follow the government’s advice to work out all my major muscle groups with resistance training at least twice a week.I wasn’t the only one falling short on that front. Federal data show that, overall, adults do a much better job of meeting the requirements for aerobic activity than both aerobic and strength training. Continue.

BBC News | Hour’s activity ‘offsets sedentary day’

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An hour’s “brisk exercise” each day offsets the risks of early death linked to a desk-bound working life, scientists suggest. The analysis of data from more than a million people is part of a study of physical activity published in the Lancet to coincide with the Olympics. Watching TV was found to be worse than sitting at a desk, probably because of associated habits like snacking. Current NHS guidelines recommend 150 minutes of moderate exercise a week. Continue.

Chicago Tribune | Exercise linked to fewer memory problems in breast cancer survivors

Featuring EPL alumna, Siobhan Phillips!

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Breast cancer survivors who exercised more were less likely to report memory problems in a new study by researchers at Northwestern University and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The study looked at moderate-to-vigorous physical activity, such as brisk walking, biking and jogging, and complaints of memory problems, which are common among breast cancer survivors. The authors found that physical activity was linked to lower levels of distress and fatigue, which in turn were associated with fewer reported memory problems. Continue.

Congratulations, Dr. Fanning!

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Congratulations to EPL graduate research assistant, Jason T. Fanning, on successfully defending his doctoral dissertation:

“A Social Cognitive Smartphone Application for Improving Physical Activity in Adults”

Click here to learn more about Jason’s research interests.

NYT The Upshot | Helpless to prevent cancer? Actually, a lot is in your control

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Americans seem very afraid of cancer, with good reason. Unlike other things that kill us, it often seems to come out of nowhere. But evidence has increasingly accumulated that cancer may be preventable, too. Unfortunately, this has inflamed as much as it has assuaged people’s fears. As a physician, I have encountered many people who believe that heart disease, which is the single biggest cause of death among Americans, is largely controllable. After all, if people ate better, were physically active and stopped smoking, then lots of them would get better. This ignores the fact that people can’t change many risk factors of heart disease like age, race and family genetics. People don’t often seem to feel the same way about cancer. Continue.

Medical Daily | Physical activity after learning something can help with memory consolidation, but it has to be at the right time

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Most of the people we find lifting weights in the gym or running laps around the track are doing so to improve their physique. While there are people who exercise to improve their mood, it’s safe to say that few do so to improve their ability to retain memories or even ward off neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s. In a recent study, published in the Cell Press journal Current Biology, the Donders Institute at the Radboud University Medical Center in the Netherlands analyzed the impact physical activity has on the brain’s ability to consolidate memories. Their findings show that anyone looking to retain important information should exercise four hours after learning it to make sure it sticks. Continue.

Well | Yoga may be good for the brain

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A weekly routine of yoga and meditation may strengthen thinking skills and help to stave off aging-related mental decline, according to a new study of older adults with early signs of memory problems. Most of us past the age of 40 are aware that our minds and, in particular, memories begin to sputter as the years pass. Familiar names and words no longer spring readily to mind, and car keys acquire the power to teleport into jacket pockets where we could not possibly have left them. Continue.

Well | Walkable neighborhoods cut obesity and diabetes rates

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Neighborhoods designed for walking may decrease the rates of being overweight or obese and having diabetes by more than 10 percent, a new study concludes. Canadian researchers studied more than three million people in 8,777 neighborhoods in urbanized areas of Ontario, ranking them for “walkability” on a 100-point scale that measures population density, numbers of facilities within walking distance of residences and how well connected their webs of streets are. Continue.

Medical Daily | Physical activity may be key to disease prevention; exercisers lower risk of 13 types of cancer

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Physical activity plays a critical role in maintaining a healthy weight, and reducing your risk of cardiovascular disease and Type 2 diabetes, but could it also be powerful enough to protect against cancer? A team of researchers from the National Cancer Institute has discovered the more often you exercise, the less likely you are to develop 13 different types of the disease. But with more than half of Americans failing to meet the minimum requirement of weekly physical activity, researchers believe millions are missing out on the protective effect exercise offers for potentially deadly mutations. Continue.

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