Fitness Factoids: Volume 34
Exercise Improves Academics in Teenagers
As the rate of juvenile obesity has continued to skyrocket, we’ve seen a precipitous decrease in the amount of daily physical activity in the youth. A new study published by the British Journal of Sports Medicine has found that lack of physical activity in teens may have adverse effects beyond their expanding waistlines. According to research conducted by Dundee and Strathclyde Universities, intensive exercise improves academic scores in English, math, and science. The study found that boys who exercised at least 17 minutes per day and girls who exercised at least 12 minutes per day were shown to increase test scores by approximately 25%. The study also found a carryover effect – showing teens who continued exercising continued to boost their academic performance as they age.
Bionic Bicep Boosts Strength
Remember the movie Robocop where that guy gets equipped a bionic suit? Well a group of mechanical engineering students from the University of Pennsylvania have taken the first step toward bringing Hollywood style exoskeletons to life. The device that’s being called the “Titan Arm” is a bionic exoskeleton that slides over the arm and gives the user the ability to lift approximately an additional forty pounds over what they are naturally capable. Although the device has been demonstrated to work, concerns over safety to the individual are currently keeping it from production. The group of students plans to continue improving the device with the hope of one day making it commercially available.
Daily Aspirin Not Recommended for Healthy People
The benefits of a daily low dose aspirin regimen have been associated with a reduced risk for heart attack and linked to a reduced risk in the development of certain cancers as well. However, a comprehensive review of the data was conducted by the NHS National Institute for Health Research which found that daily aspirin for healthy people may cause bleeding in the brain and stomach. Researchers suggest that those who are over fifty take daily low dose aspirin to reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke but advise healthy individuals to use caution and avoid unnecessarily taking the drug.
Lower Blood Sugar Levels Are Better For the Brain
The American Academy of Neurology recently conducted a study in which they determined that lower levels of blood sugar in already healthy individuals are better for the brain. The study, which was published in the journal Neurology, involved 141 healthy people who did not have diabetes or pre-diabetes. Each participant was given a memory skills test along with having their blood glucose levels tested, and brain scans to measure activity in the hippocampus – an area of the brain associated with memory. The results of the study showed that although each of the participants had what is considered normal blood sugar, participants who had the lowest levels of blood sugar scored better on memory tests and had increased blood flow to the hippocampus.
Multivitamins May Reduce Breast Cancer Mortality
According to a new study released by the journal Breast Cancer Research and Treatment taking a multivitamin supplement may have the ability to reduce mortality in women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer. Data was collected from 7,728 women who were enrolled in the Women’s Health Initiative that had been diagnosed with breast cancer. Participants, who were between ages 50-79, were followed for seven years post-diagnosis. According to the data collected women who used multivitamin supplements had a 30% decreased mortality rate as opposed to those who did not. Researchers acknowledge that the results of the study are intriguing, but state that more research is needed to further understand the direct effects of the supplement on women’s health.