Entries by bodywise

Exercise Can Significantly Improve Brain Function After Stroke

Structured exercise training can significantly improve brain function in stroke survivors, according to research presented at the American Stroke Association’s International Stroke Conference 2017.

Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death in the United States, and the leading cause of long-term disability. Studies estimate that up to 85 percent of people who suffer a stroke will have cognitive impairments, including deficits in executive function, attention and working memory. Because there are no drugs to improve cognitive function, physical activity –  such as physical therapy, aerobic and strength training –  has become a low-cost intervention to treat cognitive deficits in stroke survivors.

Turn Your Commute Into a Daily Workout

Commuting by car doesn’t just try your patience.

An Australian study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine found that it can also lead to weight gain, even if you’re active on the weekends.

One answer is to turn at least part of your commute into a workout.

Winter Got You Down? Move Around!

When you’re faced with short days and chilly temperatures, you may find the couch calling out to you ever more loudly. Research indicates, though, that hibernating during winter isn’t such a good idea. According to the Mayo Clinic, diminished sunlight can cause levels of serotonin (the feel-good hormone) to drop, exacerbating our low motivation as we feel more tired and hungry. Being sedentary during winter may also trigger those prone to depression and seasonal affective disorder (SAD). The good news? A Harvard Medical School study suggests that exercise boosts both mood and health, especially during the colder, darker days of winter.

Think Small Changes Won’t Make A Difference? Here Are 6 That Will Transform Your Health

Ever feel like you’ve fallen too far off the wagon when it comes to your health? Or feel like it would take a miracle to get you back on track with your goals? Fortunately for you, wellness doesn’t have to be an all-or-nothing experience. And contrary to what many people think, you don’t have to completely overhaul your lifestyle to gain more energy, balance your hormones, and heal your gut. Small changes can make a huge difference in your health and well-being. In that vein, let’s dive into six seemingly small and innocuous changes that can make a real difference in how you feel every single day:

Cycling – Health Benefits

To be fit and healthy you need to be physically active. Regular physical activity can help protect you from serious diseases such as obesity, heart disease, cancer, mental illness, diabetes and arthritis. Riding your bicycle regularly is one of the best ways to reduce your risk of health problems associated with a sedentary lifestyle.

Cycling is a healthy, low-impact exercise that can be enjoyed by people of all ages, from young children to older adults. It is also fun, cheap and good for the environment.
Riding to work or the shops is one of the most time-efficient ways to combine regular exercise with your everyday routine. An estimated one billion people ride bicycles every day – for transport, recreation and sport.

What is Brain Plasticity and Why is it So Important?

Neuroplasticity – or brain plasticity – is the ability of the brain to modify its connections or re-wire itself. Without this ability, any brain, not just the human brain, would be unable to develop from infancy through to adulthood or recover from brain injury.

What makes the brain special is that, unlike a computer, it processes sensory and motor signals in parallel. It has many neural pathways that can replicate another’s function so that small errors in development or temporary loss of function through damage can be easily corrected by rerouting signals along a different pathway.

A Simple Way to Break a Bad Habit

When I was first learning to meditate the instruction was to simply pay attention to my breath, and when my mind wandered, to bring it back. Sounded simple enough, yet I’d sit on these silent retreats sweating through t-shirts in the middle of winter. I take naps every chance I got because it was really hard work. Actually it was exhausting. The instruction was simple enough but I was missing something really important.
So why is it so hard to pay attention? Studies show that even when we’re really trying to pay attention to something—like maybe this talk—at some point, about half of us will drift off into a daydream or have this urge to check our Twitter feed. What’s going on here? It turns out that we’re fighting one of the most evolutionarily conserved learning processes currently known in science, one that’s conserved back to the most basic nervous systems known to man.

Strong Evidence of the Benefits of Exercise Therapy in Chronic Diseases

There is strong evidence of that aerobic exercise, strength training and condition-specific therapeutic exercise affect positively on the functional capacity of patients with chronic diseases. This is revealed in an extensive systematic analysis of published research data by the Faculty of Sport and Health Sciences, University of Jyväskylä, Finland. The systematic review of meta-analyses evaluates the effects of exercise therapy on more than twenty of the most common chronic diseases such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, coronary artery disease, heart failure, type 2 diabetes, different types of cancers, and Alzheimer’s disease.