Walking is the most common means of travel and one of the best and most common means of exercise.
Lisa has been running for almost 20 years participating in races all over the country from 5k's to Marathon's. She has run over a dozen marathons with the goal to run a marathon in every state! She’s completed Boston twice, ran NYC Marathon, Goofy's Challenge and placed 3rd... More
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Researchers found that even very light workouts can increase the connectivity between parts of the brain responsible for memory formation and storage. "Even short walking breaks throughout the day may have considerable effects on improving memory and cognition."
A recent study found that "fitter people were twice as likely as sedentary folk to have a mild stroke rather than a severe one.
And there was no sign that intense workouts were necessary. The benefit was seen among older adults who walked for an average of 35 minutes a day."
Have you ever experienced a phenomenon called "tip of the tongue"? It happens when you have a word you are trying to recall, but can't. It feels like the word is on the tip of your tongue.
It happens to all of us but as we age, we often think it is related to memory loss. Good news! It's not. It's due to our language production.
"Older adults sometimes worry that tip-of-the-tongue states indicate serious memory problems but this is a misconception: tip-of-the-tongue states are not associated with memory loss," says Dr Segaert. "In fact, older adults usually have a much larger vocabulary than young adults. Instead, tip-of-the-tongue states occur when the meaning of a word is available in our memory, but the sound form of the word can temporarily not be accessed."
Dr Segaert conducted a study at The University of Birmingham study -- carried out in collaboration with the University of Agder in Norway, the University of Leuven in Belgium and King's College London and found that older adults' aerobic fitness levels are directly related to the incidence of age-related language failures such as 'tip-of-the-tongue' states.
Specifically, "In our study, the higher the older adults' aerobic fitness level, the lower the probability of experiencing a tip-of-the-tongue state.
"Importantly, our results also showed that the relationship between the frequency of tip-of-the-tongue occurrences and aerobic fitness levels exists over and above the influence of a person's age and vocabulary size."
This study is beneficial in that it shows a relationship between fitness and language skills. Many studies have shown the health benefits of exercise as we age but we now know that fitness can help us maintain our language skills as we age.
"The study found that 30 minutes of light physical activity per day lowered mortality risk by 12 percent while an additional 30 minutes of moderate activity, such as bicycling at a leisurely pace or brisk walking, exhibited a 39 percent lower risk."
A study by University of California San Diego School of Medicine researchers, published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, found women over age 65 who engaged in regular light physical activity had a reduction in the risk of mortality.
The good news in this study is that positive benefits were found in women who didn't meet the recommended 150 minutes of weekly exercise. A benefit of lifespan extension was found in women who simply remained active by going about their daily tasks, like walking to the mailbox.
A greater benefit was seen in women who also participated in light daily activity, such as walking.
Researchers from Australia's National Institute of Complementary Medicine at Western Sydney University and the Division of Psychology and Mental Health at the University of Manchester in the UK examined the effects of aerobic exercise on a region of the brain called the hippocampus, which is critical for memory and other brain functions.
This study is the first of its kind because this type of brain research is typically done with rats and mice.
However, in this study, researchers reviewed 14 clinical trials which examined the brain scans of 737 people before and after aerobic exercise programs or in control conditions.
Participants either used stationary cycling, walking, and treadmill running as their aerobic exercise.
The results showed that while exercise had no effect on total hippocampal volume, it did significantly increase the size of the left region of the hippocampus in humans.
"When you exercise you produce a chemical called brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which may help to prevent age-related decline by reducing the deterioration of the brain," Mr Firth said.
"Our data showed that, rather than actually increasing the size of the hippocampus per se, the main 'brain benefits' are due to aerobic exercise slowing down the deterioration in brain size. In other words, exercise can be seen as a maintenance program for the brain."
Push ups and sit ups could add years to your life according to a new study of over 80,000 adults led by the University of Sydney.
In this interesting study, researchers studied a large population and found that participation in any strength-promoting exercise was associated with a 23 percent reduction in all-cause mortality and a 31 percent reduction in cancer mortality.
Wow! And the great news is, it doesn't have to be done in a gym with weights. Simply using your own body as resistance weight with exercises like sit-ups, push-ups and lunges, can reap the same results.
So, add a few sets of these body weight exercises into your weekly routine. Combined with a weekly waking habit, you are not only possibly extending your life span, but you feel better physically and emotionally, too, and enjoy all the benefits that exercise can bring.
How fast would you say you walk? New research shows that it is a predictor of heart-related death.
In a study published in the European Heart Journal, researchers collected data between 2006 and 2010 by the UK Biobank from nearly half a million middle-aged people across the UK. 420,727 people were included in the research because they were free from cancer and heart disease at the time of collecting their information.
The data showed that self-reported Slow walkers were around twice as likely to have a heart-related death compared to brisk walkers.
They also found that self-reported walking pace was a good indicator of exercise tolerance, which is related to physical fitness. So, those who said they were slow walkers weren't as physically fit as those who said they were brisk walkers.
This study can help healthcare providers when assessing patients. If the patient says they are a slow walker, then that may mean they have a low tolerance for exercise, aren't physically fit and are more likely to have a heart-related death.
Your answer to this question may determine your lifespan...
"Would you say that you are physically more active, less active, or about equally active as other people your age?"
New research from Health Psychology, finds that people who think they are less active than others in a similar age bracket die younger than those who believe they are more active -- even if their actual activity levels are similar.
Whoa! The author of this research study says that this falls in line with current evidence on the mind - body connection.
And, we've known for a very long time that what you think, you become. So, if you believe that you are an inactive person, you are more likely to remain inactive and not seek out more exercise opportunities.
On the other hand, those that believe they are active will seek out more exercise opportunities and create a healthy lifestyle.
The researchers emphasize that the study is correlational in nature and thus does not prove that perceptions of inactivity cause earlier death.
I love how the author concludes this article. She says that it is important to not only engage in healthy activities, but also healthy thoughts.
We've known for awhile that is important for our children to be physically active. So I'm happy to see this study that puts a price tag on it.
In this study, increasing the percentage of elementary school children in the United States who participate in 25 minutes of physical activity three times a week from 32 percent to 50 percent would avoid $21.9 billion in medical costs and lost wages over the course of their lifetimes, new Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health research suggests.
I hope that this encourages educators and legislators to invest more time in physical education funds for elementary schools. It has been cut from the budget in too many schools.
In a recent study, researchers were able to increase the aerobic endurance of mice with a pill. They gave the mice a chemical compound called GW1516 (GW).
The mice that were given the drug were able to run 70% longer than those who did not take the drug.
In addition to having increased endurance, mice who were given the drug were also resistant to weight gain and more responsive to insulin than the mice who were not on the drug.
Weiwei Fan, a Salk research associate and the paper's first author says, "It means you can improve endurance to the equivalent level as someone in training, without all of the physical effort."
I'm a firm believer in good old-fashioned exercise. The importance of living an active lifestyle go way beyond the physical benefits. There are emotional and mental benefits as well.
On the other hand, there are many people who are unable to lose weight and this drug could provide health benefits, prong lives and reduce medical costs.
What are your thoughts?
We know that walking is good for you. It can improve your health, emotions and even your memory.
Now, new research shows that the foot's impact during walking sends pressure waves through the arteries that can significantly modify and can increase the supply of blood to the brain.
Previously this effect had been found in running but this was the first study to address walking. Researchers found hat walking still produces larger pressure waves in the body that significantly increase blood flow to the brain.
Even though the pressure waves weren't as strong as when running, they were greater than the effects seen during cycling where there is no foot impact at all.
This is interesting research that shows a direct physical effect of walking on our bodies. Fascinating!
A recent study in the journal Physiology and Behavior, found that 10 minutes of walking up and down stairs at a regular pace was more likely to make participants feel energized than ingesting 50 milligrams of caffeine-about the equivalent to the amount in a can of soda.
What's interesting is that after walking the stairs, participants felt more energetic and vigorous (temporarily), but this effect wasn't as strong after drinking caffeine.
This study has a lot of potential to help those who sit behind a desk every day.
I often felt the 2:00pm slump at my office job and would head off for a cup of coffee. Of course, I took the stairs to get that cup of coffee!
But this is great evidence of the beneficial effects of moving your body. Not only can it energize you, but staying active throughout the day will help to avoid "sitting disease" and the long term, chronic health problems associated with sitting too much.
Do your shoes come untied when you walk? There is now scientific evidence that explains why our shoelaces come untied and that the most popular method of tying our shoes, the bunny ears, is the culprit.
The researchers found that the simple act of walking is enough for a shoe to become untied. In fact, it only took two strides to become untied.
This study examined the "bunny ears" method of tying shoes which is what most of learned as children. They go on to describe a "strong knot" method that doesn't untie as quickly.
My solution is to simply double knot my shoes. I think that is easier than learning to tie my shoes a new way!
Are you getting enough sleep each night? Too little sleep has been found to cloud our judgement when it comes to eating.
According to WebMd, there are many studies that have shown that being tired leads to poor food decisions, such as late night snacking, craving high-carb and high-fat foods and eating portions that are too big.
The University of Chicago found that dieters lost 55 percent less fat when they slept for 5 1/2 hours versus sleeping for 8 1/2 hours.
Most of us need 7-9 hours of sleep each night. When we don't get enough sleep our hunger and fullness hormones, including two called ghrelin and leptin, are effected.
This means we may feel hungrier and less full when we are tired. Whew! That's a recipe for weight gain.
I know how hard it is to get a good night's sleep. Our to-do lists are endless and the only way to get it done is to sacrifice our sleep.
But, try to prioritize sleep just like you prioritize exercise. It is just as important for good health and maintaining your weight.
High intensity interval training has been described as the "holy grail" of exercise. It's a short, intense period of exercise that is known to burn more calories, break through plateaus and shed pounds.
While it can in fact burn more calories than your normal workout routine because you are really pushing yourself during those period of high intensity, there is a new claim that is really making headlines now. High intensity interval training can reverse ageing.
But can it really?
There was a research article published in the journal Cell Metabolism in March, 2017. The study found that HIIT reverses signs of aging at the cellular level, which is true, but it doesn't explain the entire picture when it comes to ageing.
According to Popular Science, this study found that the participants who participated in HIIT workouts for 12 weeks improved several general markers of health, like insulin sensitivity and muscle strength. It also reversed some changes in protein expression that are linked to aging, including some related to mitochondrial function. Mitochondria tend to worsen as we get older so improving their effectiveness helps to fight off the effects of ageing.
As the author of the Popular Science article, says "What’s still missing is the link between these cellular findings and meaningful outcomes for people. It’s great that HIIT helps our mitochondria to work better—it can only help our overall health. But it's hard to say exactly what that improved mitochondrial function will mean for you personally."
Bottom Line? HIIT exercise is a great tool for your exercise tool box. But it's not the only tool. Continue to do your regular workouts and add in HIIT training a few times a week to burn more calories and keep things fun. Continue to eat well and live a healthy, active lifestyle. All of these activities combined are the best way to age gracefully.
Download a free HIIT walking workout that I createhere.
Fitness trackers that can be worn on your wrist are very popular because of their convenience and ease of use. They can track several fitness markers, such as distance traveled, steps taken, calories burned and heart rate.
A new study set out to determine if these wrist worn fitness trackers are as accurate at tracking heart rate as the old fashioned chest strap heart rate monitor.
Researchers tested five different wrist worn fitness trackers across various types of exercise and intensity levels.
They found that "the standard chest strap was the most accurate regardless of the intensity of the workout or whether someone was using the treadmill, elliptical or stationery bike."
50 volunteers participated in this study and they tested the Apple Watch, Fitbit Blaze, Garmin Forerunner 235, and TomTom Spark Cardio. Volunteers were tested when doing light, moderate and high intensity exercise performing three types of activities, including the treadmill, stationary bike and elliptical.
The chest strap monitor closely matched readings from the electrocardiogram (EKG), which is the gold standard for measuring the heart's activity.
The wrist worn trackers were acceptable at reporting heart rate when at rest or on the treadmill but were inaccurate when tracking heart rate on the bike or elliptical.
What's useful about this study is that we are in an age of self monitoring our physical activity and health. Wrist worn fitness trackers are easy to use, to wear and are reasonably priced. But, we need to realize that they may not be as accurate as we believe them to be.
Due to the small sample size of this study, more research is needed to verify these results.
It certainly is an interesting area of research and I do believe that we will continue to see more research assessing the accuracy of wrist worn fitness trackers.