Stressed? Try Staring At The Ocean

May 2, 2016 8:18 am 0 comments

imgresFeeling stressed? Well, if you’ve got an ocean handy, you might try staring at it. Researchers at Michigan State University, which has no ocean views but does have some pretty great lakes, so to speak, are convinced that blue vistas have a calming effect, at least when compared to green vistas. An MSU news release reports that the researchers studied the visibility of blue and green spaces from residential locations in Wellington, New Zealand, an urban capital city surrounded by the Tasman Sea on the north and the Pacific Ocean on the south. Green space includes forests and grassy parks. They then correlated mental health with data from the New Zealand Health Survey with blue views and green views. Ready? The envelope please…Even after taking into account residents’ wealth, age, sex and other neighborhood factors, the study found that having a view of the ocean was associated with improved mental health. Yes, green space is lovely, but the researches found that it did not show the same calming effect as blue space.

A Chocolate A Day Keeps The Heart Doc Away

April 29, 2016 7:29 am 0 comments

Yes, researchers have noted the health benefi58a53c7-kingston-university-21f4138-ts of chocolate for years, but now comes a study from the University of Warwick suggesting that just a small amount of chocolate each day could help prevent diabetes and insulin resistance. A U of Warwick news release reports that when researchers studied data of 1,153 people 18-69 years old, they found that those who ate 100 grams of chocolate a day – equivalent to a bar – had reduced insulin resistance and improved liver enzymes. Insulin resistance is a well-established risk factor to cardiovascular disease.

Exercise, Plus The Right Genes, Boosts Lifespan

April 27, 2016 9:05 am 0 comments

Sure, certain types of eximgresercise are associated with longer lives, but now comes another factor, one that seems to work in concert with exercise: genes. When researchers at the University of Buffal0 studied the genes in the neurotransmitter dopamine to determine their impact on lifespan and behavior in mice, yes mice, not humans, they found that the dopamine D2 receptor gene (D2R) significantly influences lifespan, body weight and locomotor activity. But, according to the U of Buffalo news release, there’s a catch. The receptor gene only works its magic when combined with an enriched environment that includes social interaction, sensory and cognitive stimulation and, most critically, exercise. And now the numbers: the researchers found that mice in the enriched environment lived anywhere from 16 to 22 percent longer than those in a deprived environment, depending on the level of D2R expression.

High Fat Diet Makes You Very Sleepy

April 26, 2016 7:54 am 0 comments

Feeling sleepy? It could be something you aimageste, like a deliciously fatty piece of steak. The New York Times reports that researchers at the University of Adelaide have found a link between high fat diets and daytime sleepiness. Sad but true. The researchers studied 1,800 men, surveying them about what they ate and how sleepy they felt during the day. Ready? The envelope please…After adjusting for all kinds of things, the researchers found that compared with those in the lowest one-quarter for fat intake, those in the highest one-quarter were 78 percent more likely to suffer daytime sleepiness and almost three times as likely to have sleep apnea. The takeaway: for more energy, eat less fat.

Women And The Orgasm Mystery, Almost Solved

April 25, 2016 8:06 am 0 comments

images-1Even men, OK some men, realize that most women don’t have an orgasm “with penetration alone” during sex. Now, Dr. Maureen Whelihan, an expert with the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, offers this explanation: anatomy. HealthDay reports that Whelihan has determined that a woman’s ability to orgasm during sex depends on physical development that occurred while she was still in the womb, specifically, the location of her clitoris. If the clitoris developed too far up (away from the vaginal opening), then “traditional lovemaking doesn’t provide enough friction” to do the trick, she says. HealthDay quotes Elisabeth Lloyd, a faculty scholar with the Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender and Reproduction at Indiana University-Bloomington, reporting that the “magic number” is 2.5 centimeters — slightly less than 1 inch, from the urinary opening. “It’s so strong a correlation that if you give us a woman who has a distance of 3 centimeters, we can very reliably predict she won’t have orgasm with intercourse,” Lloyd said. ” What to do? “There are many ways to have an orgasm where she’s having hers while he’s having his,” says Whelihan. “Couples should not focus on something that will never change anatomically, and instead find ways to allow for some type of clitoral stimulation during penetration.” She suggests using positions where the female is on top, which allows the woman to get more friction against her clitoris, or using a position that allows either the man or the woman to rub the clitoris during sex, either with fingers or a sex toy.

Lift Weights, Live Longer

April 22, 2016 7:39 am 0 comments

Strength training doesn’t just make you stronger: it may make yoimgresu live longer. How do we know? Because researchers at Penn State studied the mortality effects of strength training on more than 30,000 people who were over 65 between 1997-2001. A Penn State news release reports that only 9 percent of that cohort met strength training guidelines issued by the American College of Sports Medicine, but that 9 percent enjoyed longer lives than those who didn’t. Ready? The envelope please….the researchers found that older adults who strength trained at least twice a week had 46 percent lower odds of death for any reason than those who did not. They also had 41 percent lower odds of cardiac death and 19 percent lower odds of dying from cancer.

Ibuprofen And Healing, Probably Not

April 21, 2016 8:06 am 0 comments

Does ibuprofen, the choice of pain relievers for most athletes, promote healing, or does it just reduce pain? That’s the question that New York Timesimgres fitness columnist Gretchen Reynolds tackles, with help from  Stuart Warden, a professor of health science at Indiana University who has studied ibuprofen and tendinopathy, as tendinitis is now known. The short answer, says Reynolds, is no, ibuprofen does nothing for healing. The longer answer is more troubling: it may actually slow healing. As Warden points out, ibuprofen inhibits the production of prostaglandins, which aid the creation of collagen, a substance that aids in tissue healing. Less collagen could well mean slower healing.

Dark Chocolate Boosts Performance

April 20, 2016 8:43 am 0 comments

The performance enhancing p58a53c7-kingston-university-21f4138-owers of beet juice are well documented, but now comes another food source that promises similar results: dark chocolate. Researchers at Kingston University, who were aware that beet juice is rich in nitrates, which are converted to nitric oxide in the body, suspected that dark chocolate, whose flavanols also increase nitric oxide production in the body, might provide a similar boost. They divided a group of 23 amateur cyclists into two, and asked one group to replace one of its normal daily snacks with 40g of a dark chocolate known to be rich in flavanols for a fortnight, while cyclists in the other group substituted 40g of white chocolate for one of their daily snacks as a control. A Kingtson U news release reports that the effects of the athletes’ daily chocolate consumption were then measured in a series of cycling exercise tests, and the cyclists’ heart rates and oxygen consumption levels were measured during moderate exercise and in time trials. After a seven-day interval, the groups switched chocolate types and the two-week trial and subsequent exercise tests were repeated. Ready? The envelope please…..the researchers found that after eating dark chocolate, the riders used less oxygen when cycling at a moderate pace and also covered more distance in a two-minute flat-out time trial.

Exercise May Help Control Prostate Cancer

April 19, 2016 8:03 am 0 comments

Researchers offer no guarantees, but it looks imageslike regular exercise increases the chances that prostate cancer will not spread beyond the prostate. HealthDay reports on an American Cancer Society study that included more than 10,000 men, aged 50 to 93, who were diagnosed with localized prostate cancer between 1992 and 2011. Researchers surveyed the men, asking about their physical activity before and after their diagnosis. Ready? The envelope please….the researchers found that men with the highest levels of exercise before their diagnosis were 30 percent less likely to die of their prostate cancer than those who exercised the least. In fact, more exercise appeared to provide more protection: Men with the highest levels of exercise after diagnosis were 34 percent less likely to die of prostate cancer than those who did the least exercise.

Keep Weight Down One Year And You’re Home Free

April 15, 2016 7:45 am 0 comments

COLOURBOX8795740_250People who manage to keep the pounds off for one year should find it much easier to keep them off forever. It’s true. According to researchers at the University of Copenhagen, after one year the body accepts the new weight and in simplified terms, stops asking for calories. A U of Copenhagen news release explains that after one year of successful weight loss maintenance, the researchers were able to show that levels of two appetite inhibiting hormones (GLP-1 and PYY) increased (=appetite inhibition) from before-weight loss level – in contrast to the hunger hormone ghrelin, which increased immediately after weight loss but returned to normal levels (= low hunger) after one year.  What does that mean? It means that hormones that control appetite, GLP-1 and PYY, are able to adjust to a new ‘set point’ and make it easier to maintain a lower body weight. “After one year,” says researcher Signe Sørensen Torekov, “the body is no longer fighting against you, but actually with you.”

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