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Growing Muscle As We Age

Older people who have never taken part in sustained exercise programmes have the same ability to build muscle mass as highly trained master athletes of a similar age, according to new research at the University of Birmingham.

The research shows that even those who are entirely unaccustomed to exercise can benefit from resistance exercises such as weight training.

In the study, published in Frontiers in Physiology, researchers in the University of Birmingham’s School of Sport and Exercise Science compared muscle-building ability in two groups of older men. The first group were classed as ‘master athletes’ — people in their 70s and 80s who are lifelong exercisers and still competing at top levels in their sport. In the second were healthy individuals of a similar age, who had never participated in structured exercise programs.

Learn more about Prescribe FIT’s approach to Training

“Our study clearly shows that it doesn’t matter if you haven’t been a regular exerciser throughout your life, you can still derive benefit from exercise whenever you start,” says lead researcher, Dr Leigh Breen. “Obviously a long term commitment to good health and exercise is the best approach to achieve whole-body health, but even starting later on in life will help delay age-related frailty and muscle weakness.

“Current public health advice on strength training for older people is often quite vague. What’s needed is more specific guidance on how individuals can improve their muscle strength, even outside of a gym-setting through activities undertaken in their homes — activities such as gardening, walking up and down stairs, or lifting up a shopping bag can all help if undertaken as part of a regular exercise regime.”

Read more about how “It Is Never Too Late” from ScienceDaily.

Proximity To Junk Food Influences What Is Eaten

Food

For the more than 1 million children attending New York City public schools, their choice of what to eat depends on which food sources are close to where they live.

As measured in city blocks, proximity to fast and convenience food sellers can impact a student’s chances of becoming obese, according to a new study by researchers at NYU School of Medicine.

“Our study indicates that living very close to food outlets with a lot of unhealthy, junk food choices is likely not good for reducing the risk of children being overweight and/or obese,” says study senior investigator Brian Elbel, PhD.

“Just having food outlets a block farther away — and potentially less convenient or accessible — can significantly lessen children’s chances of being obese or overweight,” adds Elbel, who says his team’s latest study is the largest analysis to date of urban childhood obesity in the United States.

Learn more about Prescribe FIT’s approach to Nutrition

Even a drop in obesity rates of just a few percentage points, he says, translates into potentially saving thousands of children from obesity and its associated health problems, including increased risks of heart disease, diabetes, and early death.

Surprisingly, Elbel notes, the study found no increase in obesity risk based on the distance from home to grocery stores and sit-down restaurants. Elbel says this finding suggests that neighborhood “food deserts,” where fresh produce is in short supply, plays a small role one way or another in childhood obesity rates in urban areas.

In essence, he says, what appears to put kids at risk is how easily and quickly they can access junk food.

Read more about how “How Schoolkids Live From Junk Food” from ScienceDaily.

Eating Fish May Prolong Life

Consumption of fish and long-chain omega-3 fatty acids was associated with lower risks of early death in a Journal of Internal Medicine study.

Higher fish and long-chain omega-3 fatty acid intakes were significantly associated with lower total mortality.

In the study of 240,729 men and 180,580 women who were followed for 16 years, 54,230 men and 30,882 women died.

Learn more about Prescribe FIT’s approach to Nutrition

Comparing the highest with lowest quintiles of fish intake, men had 9% lower total mortality, 10% lower cardiovascular disease mortality, 6% lower cancer mortality, 20% lower respiratory disease mortality, and 37% lower chronic liver disease mortality, while women had 8% lower total mortality, 10% lower cardiovascular disease mortality, and 38% lower Alzheimer’s disease mortality.

Long-chain omega-3 fatty acid intake was associated with 15% and 18% lower cardiovascular disease mortality in men and women, respectively, when comparing the highest and lowest quintiles.

Read more about how “Fish Consumption May Prolong Life” from ScienceDaily.

Smart Pajamas

Scientists expect that in the future, electronically active garments containing unobtrusive, portable devices for monitoring heart rate and respiratory rhythm during sleep, for example, will prove clinically useful in health care. Now researchers at the University of Massachusetts Amherst have developed physiological-sensing textiles that can be woven or stitched into sleep garments they have dubbed “phyjamas.”

Graduate students Ali Kiaghadi and S. Zohreh Homayounfar, with their professors Trisha L. Andrew, a materials chemist, and computer scientist Deepak Ganesan, will introduce their health-monitoring sleepwear at the Ubicomp 2019 conference this week in London, U.K. A paper detailing the work has been chosen for publication in the Proceedings of the ACM on Interactive, Mobile, Wearable and Ubiquitous Technologies (IMWUT).

As Andrew explains, “The challenge we faced was how to obtain useful signals without changing the aesthetics or feel of the textile. Generally, people assume that smart textiles refer to tightly worn clothing that has various sensors embedded in it for measuring physiological and physical signals, but this is clearly not a solution for everyday clothing and, in particular, sleepwear.”

Ganesan adds, “Our insight was that even though sleepwear is worn loosely, there are several parts of such a textile that are pressed against the body due to our posture and contact with external surfaces. This includes pressure exerted by the torso against a chair or bed, pressure when the arm rests on the side of the body while sleeping, and light pressure from a blanket over the sleepwear.”

“Such pressured regions of the textile are potential locations where we can measure ballistic movements caused by heartbeats and breathing,” he explains, “and these can be used to extract physiological variables.” The difficulty is that these signals can be individually unreliable, particularly in loose-fitting clothing, but signals from many sensors placed across different parts of the body can be intelligently combined to get a more accurate composite reading.

“We expect that these advances can be particularly useful for monitoring elderly patients, many of whom suffer from sleep disorders,” says Andrew. “Current generation wearables, like smartwatches, are not ideal for this population since elderly individuals often forget to consistently wear or are resistant to wearing additional devices, while sleepwear is already a normal part of their daily life. More than that, your watch can’t tell you which position you sleep in, and whether your sleep posture is affecting your sleep quality; our Phyjama can.”

This work was enhanced by Ganesan and Andrew’s affiliation with UMass Amherst’s Institute of Applied Life Sciences (IALS), which focuses on translating life science research into products that improve human health. Director Peter Reinhart at IALS says, “It’s exciting to see the next generation of wearable technology that is zero effort and addresses the issue of comfort and unobtrusiveness head-on. The data generated by fabric-based sensors have the potential to improve health and well-being, and could possibly contribute to the early diagnosis of multiple disorders.”

Read more about how “Smart Pajamas” from ScienceDaily.

Mobile Games Can Detect Cognitive Decline

Mobile Games

New research led by the University of Kent shows that popular mobile phone games could provide a new tool to help doctors spot early signs of cognitive decline, some of which may indicate the onset of serious conditions like dementia.

Investigating the link between patterns of tap, swipe and rotational gestures during mobile game play and the users’ cognitive performance, the research shows that the speed, length and intensity of these motions correlates with brain function. In particular, the performance of these gestures reveals key information about players’ visual search abilities, mental flexibility and inhibition of their responses. They all offer clues about the individuals’ overall brain health.

Using the sensors built into the mobile phones to collect data, the team showed how users interacted with the games and illustrated a clear link between the subjects’ touch gestures, or taps and swipes, their rotational gestures and their levels of cognitive performance. The study revealed the participants’ ability to perform visuo-spatial and visual search tasks, as well as testing their memory, mental flexibility and attention span.

Learn more about Prescribe FIT’s approach to Wellness

Dr Ang, who is a senior lecturer in multimedia/digital systems, said: ‘We are very encouraged by the results of our study and have since collected data from patients who showed signs of brain damage. This additional analysis reinforced the conclusions of our original research. We’re now working to design an algorithm which can carry out automatic monitoring of individuals’ cognitive performance while playing these games.”

Read more about how “Popular Mobile Games Can Be…” from ScienceDaily.

Smart Pajamas

Sleeping

Scientists expect that in the future, electronically active garments containing unobtrusive, portable devices for monitoring heart rate and respiratory rhythm during sleep, for example, will prove clinically useful in health care. Now researchers at the University of Massachusetts Amherst have developed physiological-sensing textiles that can be woven or stitched into sleep garments they have dubbed “phyjamas.”

Graduate students Ali Kiaghadi and S. Zohreh Homayounfar, with their professors Trisha L. Andrew, a materials chemist, and computer scientist Deepak Ganesan, will introduce their health-monitoring sleepwear at the Ubicomp 2019 conference this week in London, U.K. A paper detailing the work has been chosen for publication in the Proceedings of the ACM on Interactive, Mobile, Wearable and Ubiquitous Technologies (IMWUT).

Learn more about Prescribe FIT’s approach to Wellness

As Andrew explains, “The challenge we faced was how to obtain useful signals without changing the aesthetics or feel of the textile. Generally, people assume that smart textiles refer to tightly worn clothing that has various sensors embedded in it for measuring physiological and physical signals, but this is clearly not a solution for everyday clothing and, in particular, sleepwear.”

Ganesan adds, “Our insight was that even though sleepwear is worn loosely, there are several parts of such a textile that are pressed against the body due to our posture and contact with external surfaces. This includes pressure exerted by the torso against a chair or bed, pressure when the arm rests on the side of the body while sleeping, and light pressure from a blanket over the sleepwear.”

“Such pressured regions of the textile are potential locations where we can measure ballistic movements caused by heartbeats and breathing,” he explains, “and these can be used to extract physiological variables.” The difficulty is that these signals can be individually unreliable, particularly in loose-fitting clothing, but signals from many sensors placed across different parts of the body can be intelligently combined to get a more accurate composite reading.

“We expect that these advances can be particularly useful for monitoring elderly patients, many of whom suffer from sleep disorders,” says Andrew. “Current generation wearables, like smartwatches, are not ideal for this population since elderly individuals often forget to consistently wear or are resistant to wearing additional devices, while sleepwear is already a normal part of their daily life. More than that, your watch can’t tell you which position you sleep in, and whether your sleep posture is affecting your sleep quality; our Phyjama can.”

This work was enhanced by Ganesan and Andrew’s affiliation with UMass Amherst’s Institute of Applied Life Sciences (IALS), which focuses on translating life science research into products that improve human health. Director Peter Reinhart at IALS says, “It’s exciting to see the next generation of wearable technology that is zero effort and addresses the issue of comfort and unobtrusiveness head-on. The data generated by fabric-based sensors have the potential to improve health and well-being, and could possibly contribute to the early diagnosis of multiple disorders.”

Read more about how “Smart Sleepwear” from ScienceDaily.

Battery Life

Battery Life

New research from Cass Business School has found that battery icons on mobile phones shape how people view time and space, and how battery conservation practices define user identities.

The study of London commuters found that respondents viewed their daily trip in terms of the time and distance between charging points for mobile technology.

Learn more about Prescribe FIT’s approach to Wellness

“People no longer think about their destination being 10 km away or 10 stops on the tube. They think about it being 50 per cent of their battery away,” said the study’s lead author, Dr Thomas Robinson.

“During interviews respondents discussed how a full battery gauge made them feel positive and as though they could go anywhere or do anything. Anything less than half full, however, induced feelings of profound anxiety and discomfort,” he said.

One of the study’s respondents described the experience of watching their battery icon throughout the day: “Full would be ‘Yeah, ok great’, good to go for the day’; 50 per cent I’d be a bit ‘Oh God, I had better stop it from updating itself all the time in the background’ … then it would be at 30 per cent and I would be like: ‘Now I’m not having fun anymore’,” the respondent said.

Read more about how “Battery Icons Shapes Our” from ScienceDaily.

Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a time for family, friends, football and feasting. The average American will consume a hefty 3,000 calories on Thanksgiving — for dinner alone. Drinks, dessert and appetizers can bring the total calorie count to 4,500, according to the Calorie Control Council, an industry group.

The most delicious Thanksgiving dishes — mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, stuffing and pecan pie — are loaded with sugar or fat or both. The Calorie Control Council estimates that 1 cup of mashed potatoes contains 238 calories and 8 grams of fat. A cup of green bean casserole comes in at 143 calories and 8 grams of fat, and a slice of pecan pie adds a whopping 456 calories and 21 grams of fat.

Read more about how “How Many Calories Americans” from ABC News.

Here is a list of calories burned in 1 minute for an 180lb person, so you can calculate how much you need to get moving!

Biking – 7 calories

Cleaning The House – 4 calories

Elliptical – 7 calories

Jogging – 10 calories

Hiking – 8 calories

Running (10 min mile) – 14 calories

Shopping – 4 calories

Swimming – 8 calories

Walking the Dog – 4 calories

Weightlifting – 8 calories

Wake Up And Smell The Coffee

Coffee

Regular coffee drinkers can sniff out even tiny amounts of coffee and are faster at recognizing the aroma, compared to non-coffee drinkers, new research has found.

Habitual coffee drinkers are not just more sensitive to the odor of coffee and faster to identify it, but the more they craved coffee, the better their ability to smell it became.

Learn more about Prescribe FIT’s approach to Wellness

It is the first time evidence has been found to prove coffee addicts are more sensitive to the smell of coffee.

The team wanted to examine if there were any differences in the ability of people to smell and respond to the odor of coffee, depending on whether or not they were big coffee drinkers. The results point firmly to a link, with heavy coffee drinkers being more sensitive to the smell of coffee, and the smell being linked to their cravings.

Read more about how “Habitual Coffee Drinkers” from ScienceDaily.

21 Gun Salute Workout

American Flag

11 minute AMRAP

11 Burpees

11 Dumbbell Thrusters

11 Kettlebell Deadlifts

11 Pull Ups

11 Knee Tucks