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Tuesday
Aug202013

Tune Up Your Memory with Yoga

Hatha yoga worked better than aerobic exercise to boost reaction times and accuracy on cognitive tasks, including memory.Just 20 minutes of Hatha yoga worked better than aerobic exercise to boost reaction times and accuracy on cognitive tasks, including memory, in a study from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The 30 undergraduate women participants performed a series of seated, standing and supine yoga postures that ended with a meditative posture and deep breathing, the researchers reported. The participants were given cognitive tests immediately after their yoga session. The aerobic component of the study involved walking or jogging on a treadmill for 20 minutes with a goal of attaining 60 to 70 percent of each participant’s maximum heart rate. The researchers reported that the improvement on the cognitive tasks was unexpectedly greater after the yoga session than after the aerobic exercise. Study leader Neha Gothe said that following yoga practice, the study participants were apparently better able to focus their mental resources, process information quickly and more accurately and also learn, hold and update pieces of information more effectively than after the aerobic exercise. She also reported observing similar promising findings among older adults. The study was published in the May 2013, issue of the Journal of Physical Activity & Health.

Source:
Neha Gothe et al, “The Acute Effects of Yoga on Executive Function”, Journal of Physical Activity & Health, May 2013.

Monday
Aug192013

Surprising News about Medical Marijuana

Cannabis is legal for medical use in only 19 of the 50 states, but a new poll shows that 76 percent of physicians would recommend or prescribe medical marijuana to patients experiencing cancer painCannabis is legal for medical use in only 19 of the 50 states, but a new poll shows that 76 percent of physicians would recommend or prescribe medical marijuana to patients experiencing cancer pain. For the poll, published in the May 30, 2013, issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, doctors were asked whether medical marijuana should be prescribed to a 68-year-old woman with symptoms from metastatic breast cancer. The researchers reported that 1,446 physicians from 56 North American states and provinces and 72 countries returned an opinion (although more than 1,000 of the responses came from the U.S. and Canada).

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Friday
Aug162013

What Time Do You Eat Dinner? (Poll)

A recent Q&A discussed when to eat meals for weight loss: Timing Meals for Weight Loss? Check out the article and tell us at what time you typically eat your evening meal!

Thursday
Aug152013

Surprising Approach to Psoriasis

Losing weight may make a positive difference to people who suffer from psoriasis.Losing weight may make a positive difference to people who suffer from psoriasis, an autoimmune condition that speeds skin cell maturation, resulting in thick, inflamed skin patches that can be itchy and painful. A study in Denmark showed that psoriasis patients who lost weight on a low calorie diet saw their condition improve significantly. For the randomized clinical trial 27 psoriasis patients were put on the diet, while 26 continued to eat normally. Throughout the study, all of the participants reported on their symptoms and quality of life via questionnaires. The dieting patients lost an average of nearly 34 pounds in 16 weeks. A contributing factor of excess weight in psoriasis is the inflammatory nature of the disease, as obesity can cause inflammation. Obesity is also associated with the elevation of signaling proteins called cytokines that promote psoriasis. In addition, obesity promotes skin friction that worsens psoriasis. More and larger studies are needed to confirm the Danish findings, researchers said. The study was published online on May 29, 2013 in JAMA Dermatology.

Source:
Peter Jensen et al, “Effect of Weight Loss on the Severity of Psoriasis: A Randomized Clinical Study,” JAMA Dermatol. 2013;():1-7. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2013.722.

Wednesday
Aug142013

Raven Sculpture at Dr. Weil's Summer Home (Video)

The focal point of the gardens surrounding Dr. Weil's summer home in British Columbia is his giant raven sculpture. Crafted of painted wood on a metal frame by Oregon artist Andy Strickland, it embodies the wild spirit of this remote, forested location.

Looking for more videos? Check out Dr. Weil's YouTube channel for a great selection.

Tuesday
Aug132013

How Fit is Your Hometown?

If you live in Minneapolis-St. Paul, your city is ranked Number One in fitness for the third year in a row,If you live in Minneapolis-St. Paul, your city is ranked Number One in fitness for the third year in a row, according to the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), which has just released its sixth annual fitness rating of the 50 most populous urban areas in the United States. This rating is based on per capita health behaviors such as smoking, exercise, obesity rates, chronic health problems and access to health care. Also in the mix: the availability of parks, recreation facilities, tennis courts, baseball diamonds, playgrounds, golf courses, dog parks, and farmers’ markets. One big reason why Minneapolis-St. Paul came out on top this year is the fact that it spends twice the amount on parks per capita ($227 per person) than some other locales. Also in the top five: Washington D.C., Portland, OR, San Francisco and Denver. At the bottom of the list: Memphis, Louisville, San Antonio, Detroit and Oklahoma City. Even before the devastating tornado in Moore, OK, a suburb, neither Oklahoma City (nor Detroit) were spending nearly as much on parks than the most “fit” cities. Both also have higher smoking rates and higher rates of death from heart disease, the ACSM reported.

See the complete list here.

Source:
“America’s Largest Metro Areas Get Their Annual Physical”, American College of Sports Medicine, accessed May 31, 2013, http://www.acsm.org/about-acsm/media-room/news-releases/2013/05/31/america%27s-largest-metro-areas-get-their-annual-physical

Monday
Aug122013

Healthy Behaviors Trump Mild Memory Problems

If you don’t smoke, eat a healthy diet that includes five or more daily servings of fruits and vegetables and exercise regularly, chances are you won’t have many complaints about your memory no matter how old you are.If you don’t smoke, eat a healthy diet that includes five or more daily servings of fruits and vegetables and exercise regularly, chances are you won’t have many complaints about your memory no matter how old you are. Researchers at UCLA teamed with Gallup pollsters to question more than 18,500 adults of all ages about their eating, smoking and exercise habits. The object was to see how well lifestyle habits connected to mild memory problems at every stage of adult life, from age 18 to 99.

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Friday
Aug092013

What Kind of Pet Do You Have? (Poll)

A recent Q&A discussed the safety and health concerns with kissing the family pet: Kissing Pets: Is It Safe? Check out the article and tell us what type of pet you care for at home!