Exercise tips to keep boredom at bay, foods that help lower cholesterol, how to prevent sports injuries in children, and more.
One of the toughest challenges to losing weight and staying fit is boredom. Jogging for hours on a treadmill, walking around the same neighborhood blocks, repeating a fitness video for the hundredth time or even following a planned weight lifting routine get old really quickly.
Experts usually recommend you vary your workout routines to keep the boredom at bay. Here are some unique tips to get fit:
Train your muscles while you're doing something else like working at your desk. Find an exercise ball or yoga ball that you can bounce on while you're typing on your keyboard or talking on the phone at work. Bouncing up and down allows you to burn some energy while also training your core muscles, forcing you to sit straighter.
By the end of the work day, you can burn a lot more calories than you would just slouching in a chair. And since your brain is already occupied with work assignments, you won't have the opportunity to become bored with the exercise.
Put on some music and get your hips and ribs swinging while using weighted hula-hoops. There are several different styles of weighted hoops to help you build strength around your core, arms and shoulders. Plus it’s excellent cardiovascular exercise that helps you to correct your posture and alignment.
Get your entire family involved in a contest to see who can keep the hula-hoop going the longest. Or challenge yourself to using different areas of the body -- not just for the mental stimulation, but also to target different muscles.
Make it an event
Plan a fun event that includes movement like walking, bike riding, inline skating or any other form of foot transportation. Some suggestions include organizing a group scavenger hunt or a garden walking tour. Schedule these events once a month just to give everyone in the group a nice variety of physical exercise.
Try something new
Sign up for classes in an unusual or adventure sport. Think about trying rock climbing to work the hand, arm and leg muscles. Or splash into different bodies of water while snorkeling or scuba diving. Consider signing up for a different style of dance class, like belly dancing or even square dancing.
If you determine that you don't enjoy whatever sport or class it is that you're trying, switch to a new one, just to keep things interesting.
New study: Magnetic stimulation as an antidepressant
In a new study, researchers report on a non-invasive depression treatment, repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation, which stimulates the brain with a pulsed electromagnetic energy.
The stimulation is administered through a device placed on top of the patient's head that delivers electromagnetic pulses over the left front part of the brain known as the prefrontal cortex. The pulses of magnetic energy generate electric currents in the brain and this stimulation can energize the prefrontal cortex and result in an improvement in depressive symptoms, researchers say.
The clinical trial found repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation produced significant antidepressant effects with few side effects.
-- Archives of General Psychiatry
Did You Know?
Scientists have found a way to boost the nutritional value of corn, which could reduce vitamin A deficiencies in children in developing countries.
Health Tip: Foods to lower cholesterol
- Oatmeal, oat bran and high-fiber foods: Soluble fiber reduces low-density lipoprotein (LDL) -- the "bad" cholesterol -- and can reduce the absorption of cholesterol into your bloodstream.
- Fish and omega-3 fatty acids: These fatty acids can reduce your blood pressure and risk of developing blood clots. Doctors recommend eating at least two servings of fish a week.
- Walnuts, almonds and other nuts: These reduce blood cholesterol. Rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids, walnuts also help keep blood vessels healthy.
- Olive oil: Olive oil contains a potent mix of antioxidants that can lower your LDL cholesterol but leave your "good" (HDL) cholesterol untouched.
- Foods with added plant sterols or stanols: Sterols or stanols are substances found in plants that help block the absorption of cholesterol.
-- Mayo Clinic
Number to Know: 3 percent
The preterm birth rate declined to 12.3 percent in 2008, a 3 percent decrease from the year before, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Children’s Health: Prevent sports injuries
Most frequent sports injuries are sprains (injuries to ligaments) and strains (injuries to muscles). To reduce injury:
- Wear the right gear.
- Strengthen muscles.
- Increase flexibility.
- Use the proper technique.
- Take breaks.
- Play safe and follow the rules of your sport.
- Stop the activity if there is pain.
- Avoid heat injury by drinking plenty of fluids before, during and after exercise or play; decrease or stop practices or competitions during high heat/humidity periods; wear light clothing.
-- American Academy of Pediatrics
Senior Health: Spouses of dementia sufferers have increased risk
Older married adults whose spouse has dementia are at significantly higher risk for developing dementia themselves, compared to similar older married adults whose spouse never develops dementia.
Researchers studied more than 1,000 married couples aged 65 and older for up to 12 years.
They found dementia was significantly associated with older age, and having a spouse with dementia. Participants with a spouse who developed dementia were at a six times increased risk of developing dementia.
-- Journal of the American Geriatrics Society
GateHouse News Service