A bowl of whole-grain cereal is as good as a sports drink for recovery after exercise. Research has shown that the readily available and relatively inexpensive breakfast food is as effective as popular, carbohydrate-based “sports drinks.”
Exercise physiologist Lynne Kammer, from The University of Texas at Austin, led a group of researchers who investigated the post-exercise physiological effects of the foods. Kammer and her team studied 12 trained cyclists, 8 male and 4 female. In contrast to many sports nutrition studies, however, the exercise protocol was designed to reflect a typical exercise session. After a warm-up period, the subjects cycled for two hours at a comfortable work rate, rather than the more frequently seen test-to-exhaustion
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Studies show that those who exercise the most have bigger brain volumes in key areas than those who do not. Keeping fit may also slow the rate of age-related decline in the brain.
In the trial, 52 healthy men and women had their brains scanned, were interviewed and had their exercise data collected.
Brain volume in key areas – including the temporal lobe which is involved in language, memory and emotion – were significantly lower in those who did the least exercise, say the American researchers.
It’s thought exercise boosts the growth and development of brain cells.
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We all are told to engage in moderate exercise, but I wonder if you have ever wondered what is meant by “moderate?” Fortunately, a new study published in May’s American Journal of Preventive Medicine addresses this very issue.
National guidelines encourage all Americans to engage in “moderate physical activity” at least 2.5 hours a week. This new study defines moderate as a brisk walk or about 1,000 steps every 10 minutes. 58 women and 39 men with a mean age of 32 walked on treadmills while a machine measured their energy allocation. Results indicated moderate exercise resulted in 92 to 102 steps a minute for men and 91 to 115 steps a minute for women. The authors of this study asked us to “imagine you are late for a bus, you are in a hurry, and note that you are not in a leisurely stroll. You are actually in a brisk walk!
So we all need to get the heart pumping because the brain is a very demanding system.
It has been know for some time that aerobic exercise and physical activity helps to increase cognitive function and perhaps delay onset of Alzheimer’s disease. A recent study provides some explanation for how this might occur.
It is known that deterioration of the hippocampus occurs as part of the aging process. The hippocampus (i) is the structure deep in the middle of the temporal lobe that helps to form new memories and spatial memory. Changes in the structure and function occur in the hippocampus with advanced age, chronic stress, and Alzheimer’s disease. In contrast, studies indicate an enriched environment that includes physical activity can lead to neurogenesis in the hippocampus.
A recent study by Erickson and colleagues (2009) investigated high versus low levels of aerobic exercise in non-demented older adults on volume of the hippocampus and on spatial memory. Results indicate that higher fitness levels were associated with larger left and right hippocampi and larger hippocampi and higher fitness levels were related to better spatial memory performance.
The authors assert that higher levels of aerobic exercise are related to increased hippocampal volume in older humans, which translates to better memory performance.
Dr. Nussbaum, Chief Scientific Officer of Fitbrains, Inc. presents a brain health lifestyle that includes physical activity paulnussbaum.com .
Scientists all over the world are starting to agree that stimulating the brain can improve brain power. Numerous studies show that activities such as interactive games can help maintain key cognitive functions.
According to a new study presented at the American Academy of Neurology’s 61st Annual Meeting, participating in certain mental activities, like reading magazines or crafting in middle age or later in life, may delay or prevent memory loss. The study involved 197 people between the ages of 70 and 89 with mild cognitive impairment, or diagnosed memory loss, and 1,124 people that age with no memory problems.
The study found that during later years, reading books, participating in computer activities, playing games and doing craft activities such as pottery or quilting led to a 30 to 50 percent decrease in the risk of developing memory loss compared to people who did not do those activities.
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