Sunday, January 15, 2017

Finess yields longer life, lower inflammation, healthier kids, better memory. Get out there!

Need reasons to get out and get fit? Here are a bunch of new ones.

As the nation’s healthiest state for five years running, Hawai`i folks don’t seem to need much of an excuse.  

But maybe you need a little boost to get you out the door. Here you are.

If you’re older, being more fit means you probably also get a better memory as a bonus.

“Cardiorespiratory fitness is one individual difference factor that may attenuate brain aging, and thereby contribute to enhanced source memory in older adults,” says this study led by researchers from the Boston University School of Medicine. 

They say that being fit “may contribute to neuroplasticity among older adults, reducing age-related differences in some brain regions, consistent with the brain maintenance hypothesis, but accentuating age-differences in other regions, consistent with the brain compensation hypothesis.”

And you may be reading a lot about anti-inflammatory diets and the issues with inflammation in the body. Well, these researchers from the University of California at San Diego said that 20 minutes of exercise can reduce inflammation. 

You don’t need to go all out, but you shouldn’t dawdle, either, they write. A fast walk is sufficient, they say..

“Decreased inflammatory responses during acute exercise may protect against chronic conditions with low-grade inflammation,” the authors wrote.

So, this isn’t news to most of us. Here’s here is one more study that says that if you exercise moderately to vigorously, you’re less likely to die early.

It’s a pretty good-sized study. More than 5,000 people. The health effect of exercise applies to both men and women. And the positive impacts of exercise on mortality are impressive, as long as you do moderate to vigorous physical activity. Dawdling, once again, does not have quite the same positive impact. 

Okay, and here’s one that makes perfect sense. 

If you want your kids to be fit and healthy, you need to set the example. This study suggests that parents who stay fit will have kids who will exercise at a higher level. 

The researchers actually attached equipment to family members to measure their physical activity. They found, as you might expect, that couch potato parents tended to have kids who lazed around more. And active parents had more active kids.

“Considering how to reduce parental sedentary behavior and increase (physical activity) behaviors could be a powerful point of intervention,” wrote the authors, led by Shari Barkin of the Department of Pediatrics at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

© Jan TenBruggencate 2017

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