Fruits and Veggies: You Can Stop At Five Servings, Thanks

July 31, 2014 7:41 am 0 comments

Yes, fruits and berimagesries are good for you, but according to researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health, they are only good for you up to a point. And that point is….? Five servings a day. HealthDay reports that researchers who analyzed the results of 16 studies (involving more than 830,000 people) that looked at the connection between fruits and veggies and risk of death found that eating fruits and vegetables is linked to a lower risk of death overall, and to a reduced risk of death from heart disease. How beneficial, exactly, are fruits and berries? The risk of death from any cause drops 5 percent for each additional daily serving of fruits or vegetables, and the risk of death from heart disease seems to decrease 4 percent for each additional daily serving of fruits and vegetables. But yes, it’s true: once you’ve hit five servings of fruits and vegetables each day, additional daily servings don’t appear to boost longevity. And now the bad news: fruits and vegetables had no effect on the risk of cancer.

What To Do With Your Arms When You Run

July 30, 2014 7:56 am 3 comments

OK, good, you’re running, because you read on SportsGeezer that running just ten minutes a day can add three years to your life. You’ve got the foot part down, but what to do with those arms? Fortunately, Gretchen Reynolds reports in the New York Timesarm_swing on researchers’ efforts to find the perfect arm swing while running. Reynolds reports that researchers at the University of Colorado tracked the efficiency (by measuring oxygen intake and carbon dioxide output) of runners using different types of arm swings.  Some runners were directed to hold their arms behind their backs, others crossed them over their chests, some swung arms wildly. What did they find? In most cases, runners ran most efficiently when they swung their arms in the way that felt most natural, which is to say, the way they usually swung them. Those runners whose arm swings were restricted failed to exploit the counterbalancing effect that arms swings have on pendulum-like leg motion. So the answer to the question: “What to do with those arms?” is “Do what you’ve always done. Swing them in a way that feels natural.”

Running For Just 10 Minutes A Day Cuts Heart Risk Hugely

July 29, 2014 8:45 am 0 comments

3414064391_b18b99d7b5-1The next time someone tells you they don’t have time to exercise, ask them if they’ve got ten minutes. Ten minutes of running a day, according to researchers at Iowa State University, is all it takes to significantly reduce the likelihood of death from heart disease. A University of Iowa news release reports that researchers at the school who followed more than 55,000 people for 15 years, tracking their running habits and heart health, found that runners were 45 percent less likely to die from cardiovascular disease. They also found that speed doesn’t matter: even those who ran slower than six miles per hour enjoyed the health benefits. Wait there’s more: HealthDay reports that the study found that running a minimum of 30 minutes to 59 minutes each week –  just 5 to 10 minutes a day — was associated with a 28 percent lower overall risk of death and a 58 percent reduced risk of death from heart disease, compared with no running.  The study also convinced researchers that runners live an average of three years longer than non-runners, and OK, here’s the unfair part: people who ran less than an hour per week appeared to have the same heart benefits as those who ran more than three hours a week.

runners were 45 percent less likely to die from heart disease or stroke than non-runners. – See more at: http://www.news.iastate.edu/news/2014/07/28/runningmortality#sthash.Zvw7yt9V.dpuf
unners were 45 percent less likely to die from heart disease or stroke than non-runners. – See more at: http://www.news.iastate.edu/news/2014/07/28/runningmortality#sthash.Zvw7yt9V.dpuf
followed more than 55,000 adults for 15 years to gauge the benefits of running. – See more at: http://www.news.iastate.edu/news/2014/07/28/runningmortality#sthash.Zvw7yt9V.dpuf
followed more than 55,000 adults for 15 years to gauge the benefits of running. – See more at: http://www.news.iastate.edu/news/2014/07/28/runningmortality#sthash.Zvw7yt9V.dpufmore

The Price Of Triathlons On Women: Your Pelvic Floor

July 28, 2014 8:09 am 0 comments

Triathlons are no doubt good for lots of things, like merchants of expensive swimwear, bicycles, images-1footwear, and energy drinks, but how good are they really for your body? A new study from researchers at the Loyola University Health System suggests that, for women at least, they may be not so good. A Loyola news release reports that a survey of 311 female triathletes with a median age range of 35-44 revealed that training for triathlons can put women at risk for pelvic-floor disorders, decreased energy, menstrual irregularities and abnormal bone density. Yikes! The study found that 1 in 3 female triathletes suffered from a pelvic-floor disorder such as urinary incontinence, bowel incontinence and pelvic-organ prolapse, and 1 in 4 had one component of the female athlete triad, a condition characterized by decreased energy, menstrual irregularities and abnormal bone density from excessive exercise and inadequate nutrition. Want the drill down? Of those who reported pelvic-floor-disorder symptoms, 16 percent had urgency urinary incontinence, 37.4 percent had stress urinary incontinence, 28 percent had bowel incontinence and 5 percent had pelvic-organ prolapse. Wait there’s more: 22 percent of those surveyed screened positive for problematic eating habits, 24 percent had menstrual irregularities and 29 percent demonstrated abnormal bone strength.

Study: Books Make Us As Happy As Life Itself

July 25, 2014 7:33 am 0 comments

imagesThere’s life, and there’s art that imitates life, and then there are studies about which of the two makes us happier. One such project comes out of the psychology department of San Francisco State University, where researchers asked consumers about a recent purchase and how happy that purchase made them. A San Francisco State University news release reports that the researchers fully expected to find that material items would provide the smallest happiness boost and life experiences the largest, with experiential products falling in the middle, but no, that wasn’t the case. Instead, they found that experiential products –things such as books, sporting goods, video games or musical instruments — provided the same level of happiness as experiences. Why? It’s complicated, but basically, experiential products provide a comforting sense of competence, and experience–doing things with others, makes us feel less lonely. Both good things, equally so, apparently.  Read more from San Francisco State University.

How To Buy Running Shoes: An Authoritative Guide

July 24, 2014 8:03 am 2 comments

imagesHow hard is it to buy running shoes? Slightly less hard than buying craft beer is these days, but only slightly. Fortunately, runners have the American College of Sports Medicine to turn to for advice, lots of advice. Look, here’s some now: The college recommends that a running shoe have “minimal heel-to-toe drop: This drop is the difference in the thickness of the heel cushion to the thickness in the forefoot cushion area. Shoes with no drop or a small drop 6mm or less are the best choice for allowing the foot to normally support loading during each gait cycle.” Here’s more: a running shoe should be “neutral, meaning the shoe does not contain motion control or stability components. These extra components interfere with normal foot motion during weight bearing.” And more: a running shoe should be “light in weight (10 ounces or less for a men’s size 9; 8 ounces or less for women’s size 8)”.  And more: “Avoid buying shoes based on advice given after someone in a store has watched you walk. Your gait and foot motion are very different when you walk and run.” More advice from the American College of Sports Medicine can be found here.

Probiotics May Lower Blood Pressure, But Just A Little

July 23, 2014 7:53 am 0 comments

Probiotics, — literally “for lifyoghurt-1e”– certainly sound like they should be good for you, and there’s a boatload of research that suggests they are. Now comes the latest, a study of other studies (nine to be exact) and that examined links between probiotics and blood pressure. The studies involved 543 adults with either normal or elevated blood pressure, and a much larger number of living bacteria. What was revealed? HealthDay reports that people who ate probiotics had an average reduction in systolic blood pressure of about 3.6 and an average reduction in diastolic blood pressure of about 2.4, compared to those who did not consume probiotics. No, those are not impressive numbers, but the researchers also found that probiotics had the greatest influence on the highest blood pressure, and wait, there’s more: probiotics with multiple types of bacteria lowered blood pressure more than those with a single type of bacteria.

Love Or Lust? It’s In The Eyes

July 22, 2014 8:17 am 1 comment

eyes_love_1170-770x460-1For that handful of people who need help determining if the person looking at them is interested in a meaningful relationship or in a few moments of pleasure, there is is: Researchers at the University of Chicago had male and female students look at a series of black-and-white photographs of people they had never met. In part one of the study, the students viewed photos of young, adult heterosexual couples who were looking at or interacting with each other. Next they viewed photographs of attractive people of the opposite sex who were looking directly at the viewer. For both experiments, the students sat at a computer and asked to decide as quickly as possible whether the people in the photograph were eliciting feelings of lust or romantic love. Yes, science is amazing. Those students who said an image elicited feelings of romance tended to fixate on the face, and those who went for sexual desire looked at the body. Read more from Futurity.

eye patterns concentrate on a stranger’s face if the viewer sees that person as a potential partner in romantic love, but the viewer gazes more at the other person’s body if he or she is feeling sexual desire. – See more at: http://news.uchicago.edu/article/2014/07/17/eye-movements-reveal-difference-between-love-and-lust#sthash.wdkdhULO.dpuf
eye patterns concentrate on a stranger’s face if the viewer sees that person as a potential partner in romantic love, but the viewer gazes more at the other person’s body if he or she is feeling sexual desire. – See more at: http://news.uchicago.edu/article/2014/07/17/eye-movements-reveal-difference-between-love-and-lust#sthash.wdkdhULO.dpuf
eye patterns concentrate on a stranger’s face if the viewer sees that person as a potential partner in romantic love, but the viewer gazes more at the other person’s body if he or she is feeling sexual desire. – See more at: http://news.uchicago.edu/article/2014/07/17/eye-movements-reveal-difference-between-love-and-lust#sthash.wdkdhULO.dpuf

Cycling May Increase Prostate Cancer Risk. Or Not.

July 21, 2014 8:12 am 0 comments

That’s right. Cycling may increase tPhoto-by-cyclotouristFlickr-via-Creative-Commons-e1356885795795he risk of prostate cancer. Or, it may not. How helpful is that knowledge, which comes from a study at University College in London, where researchers took a hard look at the cycling habits and health of more than 5,000 male cyclists? The good news: the study appeared to disprove the suggestions of some research that cycling increases the risk of impotence and infertility. The possibly bad news: the men who biked the most, more than 8.5 hours a week, were much more likely to have prostate cancer than the other men. The confusing news: the study was far too small to prove a link between cycling and prostate cancer. The bottom line: researchers say the health benefits of cycling far outweigh concerns about a possible prostate cancer link. Just keep riding and don’t worry about it. Read more from HealthDay.

Exercise Makes The World A Less Scary Place

July 18, 2014 7:37 am 1 comment

imagesYet another comforting thing that exercise does: it makes the world a little less scary. No, it doesn’t change the world, but according to research conducted at Queen’s University, it changes our perception of the world. Science Daily reports that researchers at the school used point-light depictions of a human form that could be interpreted by the person seeing it as either approaching (threatening) or walking away (non-threatening). People who are socially anxious tend to see such ambiguously directed figures as facing towards them.  Yes, you guessed it: the researchers found that people who either walked or jogged on a treadmill for 10 minutes perceived these ambiguous figures as facing towards them less often than those who simply stood on the treadmill. And yes, it is possible that the exercisers also felt more confident that they could outrun the threat.

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Recent Comments

  • Peter: Yeah, I could do that research. But if one watches cas
  • Chuck Wilde: This study is somewhat interesting if you want precise
  • Gary: Wow! Let your arms swing naturally. Who woudda thunk
  • Marj: I appreciate the previous writer trying to add clarity
  • Jeri Brown: I agree with part of the article. Light shoes, low prof