More reasons to stay active from the world of science.
Pump up … your brain. One of my favorite types of studies is the one that shows a link between an active lifestyle and an active brain. The latest comes from the Centre for Hip Health and Mobility at Vancouver Coastal Health and the University of British Columbia, where a follow-up of women 65-75 who participated in a once-a-week strength-training program showed the cognitive improvements registered during the program continued a year later. Specifically, the cognitive benefits in question are the kinds necessary for independent living. Also, the group wound up seeking health care services less often and fell less than the control group.read more
Those of you who are in great shape yet feel betrayed — and baffled — by your BMI, take heart. A study released earlier this month by the American College of Sports Medicine finds that you can be in great shape, yet deemed overweight by your BMI.
Seventy-one high school football players from seven schools were poked and probed in a variety of ways to determine their fitness levels. Based on their their body fat percent (or BF% in industry shorthand), 45 were declared of normal weight. But based on their BMI, only 26 fell into the normal category. Likewise, 18 were considered overweight based on their BF% and 21 using BMI as a measure, while six were considered obese under BF% guidelines, 24 when judged by their BMI. Said the ACSM: “These larger players’ muscular body composition may lead to overstated body mass indexes.”read more
Small Steps is a small but effective, non-overwhelming Web site that appreciates that people have various challenges to living a healthy life, not the least of which is making a second career out of trying to live a healthy life. It offers quick tips and suggestions for being more physically active and eating better. The site is divided into two components:read more
Have trouble prying your kids from the computer screen to go for a bike ride or play in the yard? There’s an app for that. Or there will be if enough enterprising programmers heed the Apps for Healthy Kids competition being sponsored by First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! program.read more
Assorted news from the research world to get your week kick started:
Green exercise? Really pressed for time? Is carving out 60 minutes a day to work out, as recommended by the National Institutes of Health, beyond the pale of your schedule? Even 30 minutes broken into bite-size 10-minute segments isn’t doable? According to a study in the current issue of the American Chemical Society’s “Environmental Science & Technology” journal, just five minutes of “green” exercise a day can improve your health — your mental health, at least. Study authors Jules Pretty and Jo Barton say 10 studies involving 1,252 people in the United Kingdom found that just five minutes of gardening, hiking or other pursuits in a green setting decreases your risk of mental illness and improves your sense of well-being. Read more here.read more