Brain Power Linked To 45 Minutes of Resistance Training

 

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I read an article about “experts” wondering how much exercise you need to keep your brain sharp. The experts answer it is unknown.

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Not true!  I once again felt like a kid raising my hand again in school, only to be told, “Let someone else answer, Maria.”   Finally, when no one else does, I get to answer.

45 minutes!

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A new study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine by Joseph Northey, University of Canberra in Australia is the first to identify the key role played by resistance training, such as weights or core strength activity, in boosting brain function. 

 

And 45 minutes is how much you need to keep your brain sharp. I can’t say this is the first study because Super Body, Super Brain is all about how resistance training combined with aerobics is what fosters neurogenesis (new brain cell growth).

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They say until now, research focused on aerobic exercises like swimming, cycling, fast walking or jogging, as being good for the brain.

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They now believe, however, that resistance training benefits the brain in different ways, stimulating additional areas of growth.

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Study confirms it’s 45 minutes of resistance training for people in fifties or over.

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The 45 minute mark of any activity is when you feel most alert and decisive.

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Other brain benefits include slowing down cognitive decline.

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Joseph Northey, who led the research at the University of Canberra, says doctors should be proactively prescribing exercise as a form of preventative medicine.

“Even exercising on one or two days of the week seemed to be effective, but the most important thing we found was the intensity of the exercise,” he said.

“It should be moderate, but aiming to get some vigorous intensity in there as well.”

In the April 2017 meta-analysis, University of Canberra researchers analyzed results of 39 previous studies on exercise and cognitive function in adults age 50 and older.

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Although the studies look at different types of exercise, they all came to similar conclusions when compared side-by-side:

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Getting up and moving at a moderate intensity for at least 45 minutes at a time was linked to improved cognition (memory and overall brain function included) — and the more days a week that person squeezed in those 45-minute sessions, the greater cognitive benefits they reaped!

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Researchers also found aerobic exercise helps with learning, reasoning, reading, thinking.  Resistance training helps with organizing, planning and memory.

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They recommend  mixing aerobic exercise and resistance training for best results.

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Your 45 minutes can include walking, cleaning, bike riding, gardening, swimming, golf, tennis, dancing, bowling, shopping or anything else that gets you moving.
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People work out for their body, but having a sharp mind is even more attractive.

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It looks like my friend’s books are ahead of their time.

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Michael Gonzalez-Wallace, author of Super Body, Super Brain already stated resistance training causes neurogenesis (new brain cells grow) and backed it up with scientific research. Dr. Gregory Lombardo from Columbia University, who serves on the board of Super Body, Super Brain with me, recommends it to patients.

I highly recommend reading:

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Super Body, Super Brain by Michael Gonzalez-Wallace

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The Brain Mechanic by Spencer Lord

Today Is National Walking Day!

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THE FIRST WEDNESDAY IN THE MONTH OF APRIL IS DESIGNATED AS NATIONAL WALKING DAY.

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MY FAVORITE NON-COMPETITIVE SPORT!  BUT ACCORDING TO THE C-D-C, EIGHTY PERCENT OF AMERICANS DO NOT GET THE RECOMMENDED TWO AND A HALF HOURS OF MODERATE-INTENSITY AEROBIC EXERCISE EACH WEEK.

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ERICA STEPTEAU IS A HEALTH COACH AT CLEVELAND CLINIC. SHE SAYS THAT STARTING A WALKING ROUTINE IS THE FIRST STEP TOWARDS GETTING YOUR BODY MORE ACTIVE.

CG: Erica Stepteau, MPH/Cleveland Clinic “Get up every five to ten minutes. Put a timer on your phone and see that those are ways that can actually help you get up more instead of just sitting all day.”[00:08]

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STEPTEAU SAYS WE TEND TO UNDERESTIMATE THE POWER OF WALKING.

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SHE SAYS IT DOESN’T TAKE A GYM MEMBERSHIP OR A PERSONAL TRAINER TO GET YOURSELF UP AND MOVING.

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WALKING IS SOMETHING THAT YOU CAN FIT INTO YOUR DAY ALMOST ANYWHERE. AND IT NOT ONLY HELPS YOUR HEALTH, BUT CAN ALSO BOOST YOUR MOOD.

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STEPTEAU RECOMMENDS WALKING DURING YOUR LUNCH BREAK, TAKING THE STAIRS, AND WHEN YOU GET HOME, GET YOUR PETS OUT AND MOVING WITH YOU.

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SHE ALSO SAID THAT SPRING IS A GREAT TIME TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE WEATHER CHANGING TO START WALKING OUTDOORS.

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IF BRISK WALKING IS YOUR GOAL, SHE SAYS YOU WANT TO WORK YOUR WAY UP TO THE POINT WHERE IT’S A LITTLE CHALLENGING TO TALK WHILE WALKING.

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AND LIKE ANY EXERCISE PLAN, STEPTEAU SAYS YOU’LL HAVE BETTER RESULTS IF YOU CAN FIND A BUDDY TO WALK WITH.

CG: Erica Stepteau/Cleveland Clinic “It can help you push you beyond your own limits because that person may be at a different level than you; higher or lower, depending; but it helps you either be the encouragement that that person needs to step it up, or it could be the encouragement for you to step it up for yourself.”[00:14]

IF GETTING YOURSELF MOVING IS A REAL CHALLENGE, STEPTEAU SAYS THAT IT’S IMPORTANT NOT TO BEAT YOURSELF UP ABOUT IT AND TO JUST START SLOW.

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SHE SAYS IF YOU’VE BEEN INACTIVE FOR A LONG PERIOD OF TIME, IT’S A GOOD IDEA TO CHECK WITH YOUR DOCTOR BEFORE STARTING A NEW EXERCISE ROUTINE.

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[MEDIA SEE Pathfire#:10752 FOR VT]

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HAPPY NATIONAL WALKING DAY!  Stay healthy.  -Maria Dorfner

http://www.clevelandclinic.org

 

 

THE Most Healthful Water in the World by Maria Dorfner

My prior blog was why to drink water before working out.  I didn’t say which is best.

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It reminds me of a few reasons I love Carlsbad, CA.   The sunsets are STUNNING.

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It’s a great place to be outdoors to walk, run, hike or swim if you’re athletic like me.

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BEST thing about it is WATER.  It  has THE most healthful drinking water in the world.

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I visit my brother each year, but got a place there three years ago. That’s when I got to  explore.carlsbadmineralwater3

And that’s when I learned Carlsbad Mineral Water is therapeutic alkaline water made by nature, not man.

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I called my brother who has lived in Carlsbad for 25 yrs. He never heard of it.

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He asks his then girlfriend (now wife) and she never heard of it either. I ask if they saw the spa or the large stainless steel tank that holds the water.  Neither one of them knew anything about it.  How could they miss the GIANT kiosk??!

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Look at it.  It’s a GIANT kiosk in the middle of the street.  That’s me goofing around saying, “Oh…what could THIS possibly be??” Guess my powers of observation are  honed by being a journalist.  

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The kiosk is right next to a statue of the Captain from Germany who founded Carlsbad.  They missed that too.  The water is like the water in Karlsbad, Germany, which Carlsbad was named after in the 1880’s.

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AND the water is only 50 cents per gallon. I religiously take my 6 gallon jug and fill it at the outdoor vending machine.

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The water is from an underground aquifer.

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It is naturally alkaline at pH 8.7.

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Here’s some History on H20 and why it’s THE most healthful water in the world:

Dr. Ottow Warburg won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1931 for proving that cancer can’t survive in an alkaline, oxygen rich environment but thrives in an acidic, low oxygen environment.

Think about that.  One foundation alone raised hundreds of millions of dollars, yet this proven fact discovered 81 years ago has not been studied.  Let me repeat:

CANCER CAN’T SURVIVE IN AN ALKALINE, OXYGEN RICH ENVIRONMENT.    CALL MR. GRANT!!!

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No wonder people drove 125 miles or from all over the world for this water.

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Therapeutic Carlsbad Alkaline Water ™ is amazing. Here are some benefits and I personally experienced them:

* Lubricate joints and make them stronger – improve athletic hydration

* Provide powerful anti-oxidants and fortifies the immune system

* Neutralize acidity, support pH balance, maintain strong bones

* Improve body, organ and cell hydration – easier to absorb

* Rejuvenate the skin, keep it more elastic and smooth

* Promote healthy weight loss and lifestyle

* Remove harmful toxins from the body

* Detoxification enzymes

Of course, they can’t say cures cancer, but if I had cancer I would drink it, bathe in it and swim in it.

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You can also have the water delivered to your home anywhere in Southern California.

Carlsbad Alkaline Water ™  has been proclaimed “The Most Healthful Water” by the California State Senate, and their artesian well and location have been designated by the California legislature as both a California Historic Site and a California Historic Monument. 

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The city of Carlsbad has named the Carlsbad Artesian Well a Carlsbad Historic Site and the “North County Times” newspaper wrote a story about their water and called it “Eden In A Glass.”

Nowhere else in the United States can you find so unique 9,500 years naturally aged alkaline and therapeutic water with pH 8.76 that tastes so good and has such a positive effect on your health.

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WHERE DOES IT COME FROM?

Turns out, the water comes from a 1,700 foot deep aquifer and is protected with 200 feet of non porous clay and 1,500 feet of granite rock. The water originates from the Cleveland National Forest about 40 miles east of Carlsbad completely protected from any pollution or any possible radiation fall-out. It takes about 9,500 years for the water to work its way through the substrata to their deep artesian wells just a block from the Pacific Ocean, where it is discharged at the deep bottom.

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Along the way, it is naturally enhanced with pure minerals that turn the water into a highly alkaline, therapeutic, ultrahydrating and healthful. It is not filtered munincipal water. It flows naturally into their artesian wells from the deep aquifer. It is sodium free, not carbonated, not fluridated, not chlorinated, highly alkaline (not acidic) and exceeds FDA bottled-water quality standards.

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The alkaline water has a unique pH 8.76 and TDS 50. Their source-artesian well and vending machines are licensed by the California Department of Public Health and monitored and tested weekly, as required by FDA, federal and state laws.

Many doctors and nutritionists use their alkaline water in their business and homes and highly recommend it.

History Since 1882

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MORE HISTORY:
The year was 1882 when John Frazier, former sea captain, was digging a well for his farm which covered much of today’s downtown area of Carlsbad, California.Frazier struck at 415 feet an aquifer health resort, so the named the water Carlsbad Mineral Water. Today of mineral water. encouraged by his success, he sank another well at 510 feet.
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Analysis showed the mineral water was very similar to the water from the world-famous Karlsbad, Bohemia, health resort, so they named the water Carlsbad Mineral Water. today Karlsbad is known as Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic.Frazier and many other people found the water to be very therapeutic and have experienced many positive health benefits.
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Frazier and several other businessmen formed the Carlsbad Land and Mineral Water Company. They built beautiful homes (today on is known as Ocean House Restaurant), a hotel, and spa next to the minerals wells. They also renamed the town from Frazier Station to Carlsbad after the famous California Carlsbad Mineral Water.
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In 1930, the California Carlsbad Mineral Water Hotel was built across the street from the well. The hotel was widely known for its Mineral Water Baths and was frequented by movie stars and other famous people from around the world. The Great Depression brought hard times to this hotel. The well needed repair but there was no money to do it.
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The well was lost for a number of years.In 1993 Ludvik Grigoras, a Karlovy Vary (Karlsbad, Czech Republic) native started to completely restore the old well and re-drilled another of Frazier’s wells which is naturally carbonated.Ludvik encouraged a hometown friend, renowned sculptor Vaclav Lokvenc from Karlsbad, Czech Republic, to create a 13 ft. bronze statue of Capt. John Frazier which was shipped from Europe in 1994 and is now erected at the Alt Karlsbad Historic Site.
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California Historic Site & Monument – City Historic Site  Today, Carlsbad Famous Water is being bottled again, and an elegant spa has opened in the beautiful European-style building on the site of the original we located only a few miles from Legoland.  The design and decorating were personally done by Ludvik and Veronica Grigoras to duplicate a unique ambiance of early Egypt, Rome and the Orient. All the artwork, paintings and furniture were hand painted by famous artist Robin Wallenfang.
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My brother, his wife and their one-year-old have had it delivered to their home ever since I told them about it.  They love it.  My brother is always asking how I look so much younger than him, since he’s the baby in the family.
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I don’t know.  Maybe it’s the water.  🙂
 success

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Here’s video link:  http://gloublog.net/?p=3195

In 2015, the owners of the spa read my blog and found me on Facebook to tell me they love it and they asked if I would be a spokesperson for it.  Of course. I already am. I really do love this water.  This is before I learned so many “name brand” bottled waters are tap water.  The bottom line is you can feel and see the difference when you switch.

I can’t  wait for it to be sold on the East Coast. People really need it here. Enough already with approving beverages that make people sick, taxing it and then charging to fix it –all while pretending to care about people’s health.Stop. The world is on to the sick game.

 

FOR MORE INFORMATION ON CARLSBAD MINERAL WATER VISIT:

http://www.carlsbadalkalinewater.com/

Health Tips?  Health Stories?  Contact:  maria.dorfner@yahoo.com

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Maria Dorfner is an award-winning broadcast journalist specializing in health. NewsMD Communications is a division of Healthy Within Network (HWN), which she recently founded. She began her career as an intern at NBC. Since then, her stories have appeared on NBC, CBS, ABC, CNN, CNBC, FOX, DISCOVERY HEALTH CHANNEL and more. Her lifelong passion is health and well-being. She also loves creating/producing shows. She is a voracious reader and learner. When she was 5-years-old, her entire face was burned to a crisp. The doctor in Brooklyn, NY said it would end up severely scarred.  She wondered why the doctor was making her mother cry. Maria believed she’d be fine. Later when she healed, the doctor called it “a miracle.” Right then, Maria learned the power of thought.  First 4 letters in HEALTH.  It starts in your mind.  Your brain.  And your brain is made up of over 80% water. Your body follows that brain and  your body is made up of 70% water.  That’s a lot of liquid.  Think about that.

Back to first person. My theory is the quality of your health and your bodies ability to heal are linked to the quality and quantity of water inside you.  I’ve scuba dived in murky waters and clear waters.  One is toxic and destroys everything inside it; the other nourishes all. Soda, coffee & energy drinks all fall into the toxic zone creating murky waters in you. You can’t do “a cleanse” and expect to alleviate years of toxicity buildup in your body. Health is like anything else. It starts with commitment.

A lifelong commitment to stay healthy in mind, body and spirit.

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Think and Grow Healthy by Maria Dorfner

nap22Napolean Hill‘s list for making you rich can also be used to kick your health and fitness goals into high gear.

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1.   Positive Mental Attitude –  Healthy changes start in your mind.  Visualize your success.

nap272.  Sound Physical Health.   Your actions will follow your beliefs.  Get a complete physical before you start.

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3.  Harmony in Human Relationships.  Surround yourself with people who are healthy in mind, body and spirit.

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4.  Freedom From Fear.  Don’t be afraid your goals will take too long or that it’s hopeless. It’s not. One day at a time.

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5.  The Hope of Future Achievement.  Expect success in your health and fitness goals. Don’t compare yourself to anyone.

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6.  The Capacity For Applied Faith.  It’s not enough to believe or have faith, you must DO.  Like Yoda

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7.  Willingness To Share One’s Blessings.  Giving makes you feel good. That’s healthy.

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8.  To Be Engaged In A Labor of Love.  When you love something (or someone) you overcome obstacles.

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9.  An Open Mind On All Subjects Towards All People.  Mix up your health and fitness routine so you don’t get bored.

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10.  Complete Self Discipline.  This is crucial. Know your weaknesses & plan ahead.  Lots of cake at a party? Pick fresh fruit.

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11.  Wisdom With Which To Understand People.   The WHY behind eating behavior drives consumption, not food. Ask why. 

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12.  Financial Security.  Create a steady monthly budget for nutritious foods.  Walk if you can’t afford a gym membership.

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Here are some more inspirations from Napoleon Hill:

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Remember, you can have billions, but you still won’t be able to buy what daily healthy habits can.

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 Last, but certainly not least, don’t forget the value of love.   Feeling loved builds your immune system. 

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About Napolean Hill:

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Health Stories/Tips?  Contact:  maria.dorfner@yahoo.com

Healthy Reflections by Maria Dorfner

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A healthy lesson I’d like to share from my youth is never strive for perfection.
 
I recall my inspiration for perfection in vivid detail. It was the Summer of 1976 in Brooklyn, NY.
I sat on the bright red carpet of my parent’s living room staring transfixed at the TV screen at
someone I then thought was perfect. Nadia Elena Comaneci, one of the best-known Romanian
gymnasts in the world, was awarded a perfect score of 10 in an Olympic Gymnast event. She began
gymnastics in kindergarten. Kindergarten. Talk about getting a flexible leg up on the competition.
 
She was the first gymnast to perform a double back salto and a double-twist dismount, not to mention
the first ever to successfully perform an aerial cartwheel-back handspring flight series and aerial
walkover.  If you don’t know what that means, doesn’t matter. She did it perfectly is all you ever
need to know.
 
On July 18, 1976 at the Summer Olympics in Montreal, Nadia’s routine on the uneven bars was
scored at 10.0. It was the first time in modern Olympic gymnastics history that the score had
ever been awarded.  The scoreboards were not even equipped to display scores of 10.0, so her
perfect marks were flashed at 1.00 instead.  The applause from the crowd was triumphant.
She would go on to win six additional 10s from the floor exercise, bars titles and all-around
beam.
 
In case anyone missed it — ABC’s television program, World Wide of Sports replayed
constant s-l-o-w motion montages of Nadia.  In March 1976, she competed in the American
Cup at Madison Square Garden in New York City. She received unprecedented perfect
scores of 10, which signified a perfect routine without any deductions, on a vault in both
the preliminary and final rounds of competition and won the all-around. She also received
10s in other meets in 1976, where she posted perfect marks on the uneven bars and vault.
 
She was named the United Press International’s “Female Athlete of the Year” for 1975.
She was the 1976 BBC Sports Personality of the Year and the Associated Press’s 1976
“Female Athlete of the Year”. The New York Times headline the next day read:
Gymnast Posts Perfect Marks.
 
But the headline that would leave the most indelible mark in the mind of this twelve-year-old
was on the August 2, 1976 cover of TIME Magazine. Two words:
 
SHE’S PERFECT.
 
There was a lot going on in the world in 1976.  I was a newshound, so I followed it all. 
Lots of stuff I couldn’t control.  For starters, in NYC, the “Son of Sam” pulled a gun from
a paper bag, killing one person and seriously wounding another one.  It would be the
first of a series of attacks that would terrorize the city for the next year. Every night,
my Dad brought home the New York Post with progressively worse covers that
terrified us.  That year, the NJ Supreme Court also removed coma patient,
Karen Ann Quinlin from her ventilator. She died. The first known outbreak of the
Ebola virus happened in Yambuku, Zaire. I was busy researching that too. 
 
It wasn’t all bad news. It was the Bicentennial, so we were all obsessed with
red, white and blue and all things patriotic. That was fun. Steve Jobs and
Steve Wozniak formed Apple computer.  Exciting. The song,
Hotel California was released by the Eagles.  We were also introduced to
Casey Kasem’s Countdown.  Music was a welcome relief to all the scary stuff,
so I was dancing to things like Kung Fu Fighting and Shake, Shake, Shake. 
I listened to the music while exercising like a maniac indoors.  I couldn’t go
out anyway because the “Son of Sam” might get me. He was after brunettes. 
This worked for my desire to practice every day, so I could be perfect –just
like Nadia.  I couldn’t control scary news events, but I could control me.
 
It’s no surprise I made cheerleading after they saw my perfect chinese split. 
Afterall, when I wasn’t at school, I was religiously doing my gymnastic routines. 
I wanted to be perfect.  It would take decades for me to undo the damage
those two words left on my brain. Years to learn perfect is the evil of good.
I had to unlearn in order to learn to strive to be healthy, as there is no way to
be perfect AND healthy. Every young gymnast, even Nadia, would later reveal
that obtaining and maintaining that physique led to unhealthy eating habits,
which were detrimental to her health. I didn’t know that then, so I was dieting
to look like her. Parents think kids who are skinny are naturally skinny, so
it doesn’t often raise a red flag. It should. Today, I see young girls who
are way too young to be body conscious, but they’re admiring celebs they
see in magazines that we later learn are airbrushed.  No young girl
or boy should ever be dieting unless it’s under a physician’s care.
 
Even in business, perfectionism isn’t good.  One of my mentors taught me to
“let it go” and not wait for things to be perfect to do.  Again, perfect is the evil of
good because if you wait for things to be perfect, you’ll miss opportunities.
And things will never be perfect.  If you think in your mind that one thing
or one person is holding you back, well it will be replaced with something or
someone else. Don’t wait for circumstances to be perfect or for anything
to be perfect. Life is unpredictable. 
 
If it’s good –it’s good to go.
 
Back to Nadia.  Today, she is a strong advocate on healthy eating. 
Young boys and girls are still exposed to unhealthy images of what their
bodies should look like and it’s detrimental to their health to try to attain that
look. There is no diet in the world that will do for you what good nutrition and daily
healthy habits will do. 
 
Daily healthy habits include eating nutritious meals and snacks, drinking lots of water,
getting at least 8 hours of sleep each night, taking vitamins, getting fresh air and sunlight,
and exercising an hour each day (some experts say 45 min. is good enough, even if
it’s walking).  Anything extreme is bad.  You are more likely to stick with habits for the
longterm if they do not exhaust you. Your goal should always be living a healthy lifestyle,
rather than reaching a certain weight.  I do not own a scale.  When I was trying to be
Nadia, I must have weighed myself every hour.  Daily healthy habits enable you
to be fit in mind, body and spirit. I also learned to avoid all magazines, books or
TV programs that encourage dieting or have any unhealthy images in them.

And if I should ever grace the cover of a magazine, I want the headline to be these two words:

SHE’S HEALTHY.
 
 _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________
 
p.s.  I couldn’t get text or pics to align perfectly tonight, but I’m happily letting that go.  😉
 
 
 
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Exercise and Your Mental Performance By Howard LeWine, M.D. Brigham and Women’s Hospital

We hear so much about the physical benefits of regular exercise. What effects do exercise and staying fit have on our cognitive function — the mental activities by which we acquire and process information that becomes knowledge?

Researchers have done experiments to look at how well people perform mentally while exercising and immediately after an exercise session. Other researchers have examined the association between fitness level and age-related cognitive decline.

Unlike physical measurements that can be taken with some precision, defining tests of mental performance and exercise to get reliable outcomes is a much greater challenge. Despite the obstacles, researchers have made some headway.

 

Mental Performance Tasks Influenced by Exercise

During a session of moderately intense aerobic exercise, mental performance improves in several measurable ways

  • Reaction time
  • Perception and interpretation of visual images
  • Earlier automation of certain skills, what is sometimes called muscle memory
  • Executive control processes

Of these, exercise exerts the most positive influence on tasks of executive control, such as:

  • Planning
  • Scheduling
  • Coordination of people, places, events, etc.
  • Working memory — the brain’s ability to temporarily store and manage the information required to carry out complex mental functions
  • Inhibition — the ability to block out unnecessary distractions

Personally, I like to catch up on my medical journals while riding a stationary bike. I find that my concentration and comprehension are better than at any other time.

 

Impact of Exercise Duration

Improved cognitive function begins to show at about 20 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic exercise and will be maintained for about another 40 minutes. Beyond 60 minutes of exercise, fatigue is likely to become a factor. For very fit individuals, enhanced mental performance could continue beyond an hour.

Once fatigue sets in, you start to lose the mental edge you have gained. If exercise continues, then mental performance actually will decline to a level lower than where you started.

The positive cognitive effects of exercising for 20 to 60 minutes are primarily related to increase in blood flow to the brain and stimulation of nerve cells to release more neurotransmitters (chemicals that send signals between brain cells). These positive effects will be maintained for a short time after the exercise session as long as you have not become overly fatigued. If you expect to have a long and hard workout, don’t plan on doing any important decision making or complex mental functions immediately afterward.

 

Influence of Exercise Intensity

Moderate intensity aerobic exercise that keeps you breathing a little faster and makes you sweat is probably the optimal intensity level to get the mental boost. If you monitor your heart rate to guide your intensity level, you want to strive for about 75% of your maximal heart rate.

With moderate intensity exercise, your body is activating the sympathetic nervous system and raising levels of adrenalin. These are likely the two main factors driving improvements in mental performance.

At high intensity of exercise, you will perceive your level of exertion and this sensation will likely interfere with concentration and ability to perform mental tasks. Personally, when I am over 80% of my maximal heart rate, I am only thinking about keeping my breathing under control while visualizing a beautiful, peaceful place.

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Fitness Level and Cognitive Function

Generally healthy people age 55 and over who are physically fit are less likely to lose cognitive function than sedentary people in similar health. However, unlike the improved measurements of cognitive function seen during and shortly after exercise, levels of fitness as related to mental performance assessments can only be suggested.

Although some indirect evidence is compelling, there is no direct evidence that fit people operate at a higher mental performance level in between their exercise sessions. Any association of being more fit and maintaining higher cognitive function may or may not indicate a direct relationship. People who are more fit tend to have greater motivation, eat a healthier diet, and be more engaged in their own health care.

 

Fluid Intake and Exercise

Dehydration is associated with a marked reduction in mental performance, independent of whether it is exercise-induced or caused by other factors. Researchers have shown that the decreased cognitive function immediately after exercise-induced dehydration can be quickly reversed once fluids are given to return body weight to the pre-exercise level.

One study found that hyperhydration — extra fluid beyond what is lost — improved mental performance more than just replacing fluid losses. This principle should not be taken to extreme, since overhydration with water during prolonged exercise can dangerously lower blood levels of sodium (a condition called hyponatremia).

Water and sports drinks are equally effective at maintaining hydration during exercise. Sports drinks that contain simple carbohydrates (sugar) may provide a mental advantage for other reasons.

 

Carbohydrates To Feed the Brain

The brain needs a constant supply of glucose to function normally. During exercise, the body preferentially uses glucose as the main energy source for contracting muscles, including the heart and the muscles used to expand the lungs. At moderate intensity exercise of 20 to 60 minutes, there is still plenty of sugar available to the brain to allow the improved mental performance noted above. If exercise is more prolonged, especially at a high intensity level, then the amount of blood sugar available to the brain may be an issue.

Studies have shown that cognitive function is better when fluids are replaced with a sugar-containing solution rather than a drink without any calories. However, when blood glucose levels are measured, they are not low enough to say that hypoglycemia is the explanation. More likely, the sugar-containing solutions improve endurance and lessen the perceived level of exertion. Improving both of these factors positively impacts mental performance.

 

Boosting Cognition Now and for the Future

In the short run, each session of aerobic exercise on a stable piece of equipment such as a stationary bike, treadmill or elliptical machine has the potential to give you a double benefit for your time spent. Not only will you be improving your fitness, your ability to concentrate on and perform mental tasks also will likely be enhanced.

In the long run, physical activity appears to be at least as important in staying mentally sharp as keeping your mind active and maintaining strong social connections. Multiple studies have shown that people who exercise regularly will have less age-related cognitive decline and lose less brain tissue seen on MRI and PET scans.

 

 

 

Howard LeWine, M.D., is chief editor of Internet publishing, Harvard Health Publications. He is a clinical instructor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Dr. LeWine has been a primary care internist and teacher of internal medicine since 1978.

Reviewed by Faculty of Harvard Medical School 

Brian Cuban Interviews Larry North about 11 Healthy Eating Myths

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A FEW TAKEAWAYS in case you missed it.  Brian Cuban asked Larry what it takes to be lean and some of his answers may surprise you.  
SHINE ON:  Foods for Healthy, Glowing Skin
If you think what you eat doesn’t matter, as long as you “work it off” –that’s a myth.  
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According to Larry North, eating healthy makes MORE of a difference than exercise.  Here are 11 Tips from Larry:
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1. You CAN get food, flavor & satisfaction in healthy meals.  Brian mentioned he doesn’t cook and eats out a lot.  Larry said he actually will call the local grocery store where they prepare take-out meals and have them cook/prepare healthy meals for him. Good suggestion.  He orders carefully when at a restaurant. He said  pieces of a cut roll & sashimi is enough.  He believes in eating a lot of good food. He says it’s all about eating. More about the food choices than exercise.
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2. #1 cause of obesity is sugary drinks. Best thing you can do is cut out sodas & sugary coffees out completely.  I’ve been saying this forever. I did so inn 2005 and feel such a difference.  I can personally tell you that your body starts to reject sugar and junk food.
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3. Genetics play a huge role, but HABITS play an even larger role.  Larry stressed that even if you have a lot of family members that are obese, you CAN make a difference by making behavioral changes.
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4. Cardio is overrated.  See #9.
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5. You CAN’T work it off. You have to eat it off (meaning WHAT you eat is more important)
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6. There’s ONE key to a good meal & fitness program. It’s SUSTAINABILITY. You have to ask yourself if you can stick with it long-term. If you can’t sustain it –it will be short-lived.
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7. Behavioral change is the key to fitness.
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8. Work out less; eat better. Larry kept stressing the importance of your food choices. I’m glad about this because I post a lot about healthy foods. I believe a lot of good health (feeling AND looking your best) is nutritional.
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9. 4 to 5 hours of exercise is enough a week.  Larry says if you’re doing more than that –it’s too much.  Brian mentioned that he loves running, but had a problem with his knee and really hates that he can’t run.  Larry said he could get the same benefits from walking –that he doesn’t need to run.
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10. It’s all about what you eat. Plan meals in advance. Larry has two books you can check out. One is “Get Fit” and the most recent is “Living Lean“.
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11.  I missed one.  It’s probably in the book!!  🙂  Wait. I recall another one.   I suppose I should write things down.  Lifting weights. He says you don’t have to spend a great deal of time lifting weights to have it make a difference.  Again, he stresses what you eat as being the most important behavior change you can make.  30 to 40 minutes of even walking 4 days a week keeps you fit when you are eating right.
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The bottom line is you do not need to be a gym rat.
CHECK OUT LARRY NORTH’S BOOK FOR MORE:
THANK YOU, BRIAN. GREAT INTERVIEW.
Link to Revolution Rant with Brian Cuban Show here:   http://tobtr.com/s/3052629.
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Stay healthy, everyone!

Forbes Rates Squash as Healthiest Sport

Squash is rated as the healthiest sport in a survey conducted by the widely respected and influential US business magazine Forbes.

While accepting that Health and Fitness are different things the magazine has compiled a list of the 10 healthiest sports. Rating for the different sports are based on consultations with fitness experts – coaches, personal trainers, competitor and exercise physiologists – as well as a dash of personal experience.

The four basic physiological components or fitness are rated on a scale of 1 to 5. Injured risk is also considered.

Squash came out top of the 10 sports highlighted in  the survey.

1.         Squash
2.         Rowing
3.         Rock Climbing
4.         Swimming
5.         Cross-country Skiing
6.         Basketball
7.         Cycling
8.         Running
9.         Modern Pentathlon
10.       Boxing


Forbes states that: “The preferred game of Wall Street has convenience on its side, as 30 minutes on the squash court provides an impressive cardio respiratory workout. Extended rallies and almost constant running builds muscular strength and endurance in the lower body, while lunges, twists and turns increase flexibility in the back and abdomen. For people just getting into the game, it’s almost too much to sustain, but once you get there, squash is tremendous.”

Rating Methodology

Ratings are based upon consultations with fitness experts–coaches, personal trainers, competitors and exercise physiologists–as well as a dash of personal experience. The four basic physiological components of fitness are rated on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being “excellent,” 4 being “darn good,” 3 being “good,” 2 being “not bad” and 1 being “nothing special.”

Injury risk is rated on a scale of 1 to 3, with 3 being “low,” 2 being “so-so” and 1 being “high.” Calorie burn (in parentheses) is based upon the energy expenditure of a 190-pound person over 30 minutes and is rated on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being 450+ calories, 4 being 400-450 calories, 3 being 350-400 calories, 2 being 300-350 calories and 1 being 250-300 calories. Calorie burn rates are from the American College of Sports Medicine; whenever possible, we selected the rate for “moderate” or similar intensity.

Scores were tallied to arrive at an individual rating for each sport. Of course, physiological benefits, injury risks and calorie burn can vary widely depending upon the technique, vigor, care and enthusiasm with which you pursue the sport.

The Forbes website presents a slide show of the ten sports and their ratings. Click here for the slide show.

If you’d like to learn how to play squash, here are 15 Steps to get you started. http://startingsquash.com/

 

Excuse me while I go look up modern pentathlon. 🙂  Hmmm.  It includes five events: pistol shootingépée fencing, 200 m freestyle swimmingshow jumping, and a 3 km cross-country run.  My non-competitive walking did not make the list, but I say it’s the best.

Stay healthy!

Top 10 Health Benefits of Bicycling

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1.  Builds muscle tone

2.  Reduce stress, anxiety, depression

3.  Strengthens rear, thighs, hips

4.  Gentle on joints, preserves cartilage

5.  Improves coordination

6.  Improves stamina

7.  Great for your cardiovascular system: 20 miles a week improves heart health

8.  Improves blood pressure

9.  Burns 300 calories an hour

10. Cycling for 30-minutes every day burns 11 pounds of fat a year

 

Fitness Benefits Gains Insurers Healthy Elderly, Study Finds

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By Sarah Frier

(Updates with UnitedHealth comments in 10th paragraph.)

Jan. 12 (Bloomberg) — The offer of a fitness club membership is helping insurers including UnitedHealth Group Inc. and Humana Inc. draw healthier and less costly patients to their Medicare programs, said researchers reporting in the New England Journal of Medicine.

The study found 35.3 percent of new enrollees in a fitness membership benefit plan reported “excellent” or “very good” health, compared with 29.1 percent in the group without the benefit. The number of plans offering the memberships rose to 58 in 2008 from 4 in 2002, the researchers said.

The five largest insurers are looking to expand their roles in offering government-subsidized health plans as the number of Americans covered by them grows under the 2010 U.S. health law. In doing so, the companies may try to “cherry pick” members who are more likely to be healthy using the fitness memberships, said Amal Trivedi, an assistant professor of community health at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, and the author of the report released yesterday.

“In general, the government’s goal is to have plans compete on their value to Medicare beneficiaries, and not on their ability to cherry pick the healthiest patients,” Trivedi said in a telephone interview. “They have still found a way to do that in a market that’s very regulated.”

Researchers compared about 5,000 people using 11 Medicare Advantage plans offering fitness-club memberships with those who didn’t receive the benefit. The research by Trivedi and Alicia Cooper was based on patient self-reporting, and the groups weren’t randomly assigned to plans.

Advantage Plans

Medicare Advantage is a U.S.-supported program in which managed-care health plans are sold by commercial insurers. The plans cover and help coordinate medical services, physician fees and hospitalizations and offer benefits not offered by traditional Medicare plans. The U.S. prescription drug program for the elderly is regulated so companies can’t deny coverage for high-risk members.

Cigna Corp. has a Medicare Advantage HMO plan in Arizona that offers a program that reimburses $200 for fitness classes, said Leigh Woodward, a spokeswoman for the Philadelphia-based company, in an e-mailed response to questions.

“The Golden Vitality program isn’t part of a strategy to get a healthier risk pool, but part of our overall health and wellness strategy, which aligns with Cigna’s mission to help the people we serve improve their health, well-being and sense of security,” she said.

‘Popular’ Program

Humana’s program “is very popular with our members,” said Jim Turner, a spokesman for the Louisville, Kentucky-based insurer, in an e-mail. “The main reason is to help our members stay physically active and live healthier lives.”

Advantage programs are required to offer benefits that aren’t part of the traditional Medicare plans, said Tyler Mason, a UnitedHealth spokesman. “We work hard to combine a benefit package that offers value to our members. This includes gym memberships when possible,” he said in an e-mail.

Cynthia Michener, an Aetna Inc. spokeswoman, said in an e- mail that the company provides health incentives in programs besides Medicare and government programs, and is not reacting to regulation. Jill Becher of WellPoint Inc. didn’t return a request for comment.

The government has added standard benefits packages, risk- adjusted payment and guaranteed coverage to balance the industry, said Trivedi, whose study was sponsored by the National Institute on Aging.

The commercial business accounts for less than half of the combined revenue for insurers for the first time in at least two decades, according to a Bloomberg Government report. Quarterly revenue from Medicare, the U.S. program for the elderly and disabled, increased by one third, to $16.4 billion, from the third quarter of 2008 to the same period in 2011 for the four largest insurers that reported figures.

Advantage plans may produce a $10 billion increase in revenue by 2015 as more baby boomers retire, industry analysts have said.

Sources: 

–Editor: Andrew Pollack, Bruce Rule

To contact the reporter on this story: Sarah Frier in New York at sfrier1@bloomberg.net;

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Reg Gale at rgale5@bloomberg.net.