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PostPosted: Thu Dec 18, 2014 11:42 am 
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Thinking younger can help you live longer

Everyone dies, but a new study says feeling sprightly might suggest a person has more time left than people who feel their age or older.

Older people in Britain who felt at least three years younger than their chronological age were less likely to die over the next eight years than those who felt equal to or older than their actual age, researchers found.

“This relationship has been shown before, but not in such a large scale study in which we were able to look at such a range of possible explanations,” said co-author Andrew Steptoe of the epidemiology and public health department at University College London. “We still don’t understand what the explanation really is.”

Using data from a previous study on aging, Steptoe and his co-author, Isla Rippon, analyzed more than 6,000 adults who were at least 52 years old.

In 2004 or 2005, researchers asked the participants how old they felt.

More than two-thirds felt at least three years younger than their real age, while a quarter felt their real age and less than 5 per cent felt more than a year older, according to the research letter in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Following the group through March, 2013, the authors found that about 14 per cent of those who felt younger had died, compared with about 19 per cent of those who felt their age and about a quarter of those who felt older.

“The first thing we thought of is that people who feel older than their chronological age are sicker, and that is why they are at greater risk of dying,” Steptoe told Reuters Health by e-mail.

To account for that, the authors measured pre-existing health conditions including cancer, heart disease, diabetes, stroke, arthritis and other illnesses, which explained some of the link.

“But when we had taken these illnesses into account in our statistical models, the relationship with perceived age remained quite strong,” Steptoe said. “We also measured mobility problems, lifestyle factors such as smoking, depression and cognitive function. But none of these explained the relationship we saw.”

Self-perceived age was associated with death from heart disease, but not from cancer, the authors found.

In the second half of life, most people feel younger than they are, averaging about nine years younger, Steptoe said.

“But there is a great deal of variation in these feelings,” he said.

“The study is important because it provides further evidence that perceptions of aging can have real consequences for the health of older individuals,” said Becca Levy, associate professor of epidemiology and psychology at the Yale School of Public Health in New Haven, Conn.

“The findings show the need for society, which often influences these perceptions, to concentrate its efforts on enabling older individuals to view the process of growing old in a more positive light,” Levy, who was not part of the new study, told Reuters Health by e-mail.

People who feel older are less likely to go out and about, are lonelier, are less mobile and are less physically active, Steptoe noted.

People shouldn’t worry about how old they feel, he said.

“But it’s certainly something that we as medical researchers should try and understand,” Steptoe said. “Perhaps the beliefs and feelings that people have tell us something that our other measures of health and well-being do not capture.”

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/hea ... e22120296/


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 20, 2014 3:20 pm 
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Too hot to handle: exercising in extreme heat

When the mercury rises beyond 35 degrees and standing outdoors produces a heavy sweat, it's not always safe to carry on playing sport. Unless you're acclimatised.

Exercising in the heat can be good for us, but that's only if we're prepared to take the acclimatisation process slowly.

Researcher with the University of Canberra Dr Naroa Etxebarria is undertaking a project to discover how athletes can benefit from heat training.

"We are looking at how heat can be used to add stress to the body and promote further adaptations to exercise and see fitness increase at a greater rate in a shorter period," she said.

The project will focus on team sports, initially working with rugby players.

"We will try to extrapolate their results to apply to many team sports," Dr Etxebarria said.

The University of Canberra is home to a heat and altitude chamber, where research participants will undergo training in a temperature-controlled environment.

"We will target four or five exercise sessions within a week where we are controlling the environment...and increasing the heat stress," she said.

"Then we'll look at performance and physiological outcomes before and after."

How hot is too hot?

Dr Etxebarria said the amount of exercise that could be done safely in extreme heat was relative to the fitness of the individual.

It's a progressive process if you're planning to be out exercising in a hot environment.

People who were not used to exercising would benefit from exposing themselves to the heat in a passive way, Dr Etxebarria said.

"A short stroll or just sitting or getting used to being exposed to the heat is a good start," she said.

"Once you are used to that, you can start a low intensity of activities like walking and gardening in the heat, avoiding the hottest part of the day.

"Instead trying to slowly and progressively expose yourself to hotter temperatures.

High intensity exercise in the heat is only safe if you're used to exercise and well acclimatised to the environment.

"If you're not used to either of those, exercise should be avoided when it's above 30 degrees," she said.

Keeping hydrated

Fluid loss is inevitably greater when exercise takes place in a hot environment.

Dr Etxebarria said stepping on the scales before and after exercise could be a good way to keep track of the amount of fluid lost during a period of sustained exercise.

As well as fluid loss, it's worth considering the electrolyte depletion.

The more unfit you are, the more electrolytes you sweat which means those who are less fit are more vulnerable.

"People who are losing vast amounts of sweat when exercising in the heat are advised to pay greater attention to their sodium intake," she said.

As far as energy requirements go, carbohydrate utilisation was increased in a hot environment, which meant the carbohydrate stores were typically depleted sooner.

"If you're exercising for more than an hour in the heat, you should try to replenish those carbohydrate stores almost immediately after exercise," Dr Etxebarria said.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-12-17/e ... at/5972768


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 22, 2014 11:58 am 
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Raelene Castle: game changer

Raelene Castle, 44, is an unlikely queen in blokey Belmore, the heartland and home ground of the Canterbury Bulldogs National Rugby League team in Sydney's south-west. For a start, she's a woman; the first female NRL club CEO in 15 years. Her thick accent immediately reveals she's a Kiwi. She's always dressed immaculately, too, whether she's around the boys in various states of change room undress or on a dawn walking date with girlfriends.

Castle's last job was running netball in New Zealand a far cry from the NRL and its sometimes-unpalatable past. And her own sporting prowess is as far away from a scrum as you can imagine: she is a New Zealand national champion of the gentle game of lawn bowls.

But watch Castle in the company of the Canterbury Bulldogs even the name reeks of male bellicosity and she's a perfect fit. The boys in the dressing room nod as she walks by, some of them addressing her as "Aunty", a cultural mark of respect for their Kiwi boss.

The boys in the boardroom who debated until late into the night one Friday in May 2013 before calling her early on a chilly New Zealand morning to offer her the job as CEO are in awe of what she's been able to achieve. "She's taken us to a place we haven't been," Bulldogs board chairman Ray Dib says. "Since her appointment, female membership has gone to 38 per cent of new members. Two years ago, it was 23 per cent. She's been a great coup for our club."

"Trust and respect don't come with the title," Castle says. "It comes with actions and what you do over time. Did I have a great relationship with everyone at the club on day one? Not at all. Do I think I have a very good relationship now? Yes, I do."

http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/good-we ... 22e2o.html


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 24, 2014 8:42 am 
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E-books 'damage sleep and health,' doctors warn

If you curl up under the duvet with an e-book for a bedtime read then you are damaging your sleep and maybe your health, US doctors have warned.

A team from Harvard Medical School compared reading paper books and light-emitting e-readers before sleep.

They found it took longer to nod off with a back-lit e-reader, which led to poorer quality sleep and being more tired the next morning.

Original Kindle readers do not emit light so should be fine, say experts.

Experts said people should minimise light-exposure in the evening.

Whether you are perusing the Man Booker shortlist or leafing through Zoella, the impact of reading on your sleep is probably the last thing on your mind.

But there has been growing concern about the dangers of light before bedtime.

Body clock
Our bodies are kept in tune with the rhythm of day and night by an internal body clock, which uses light to tell the time.

But blue light, the wavelength common in smartphones, tablets and LED lighting, is able to disrupt the body clock.

Blue light in the evening can slow or prevent the production of the sleep hormone melatonin.

Book vs ereader
Twelve people were locked in a sleep laboratory for two weeks.

They spent five days reading from a paperback and five days from an iPad.

Regular blood samples showed the production of the sleep hormone melatonin was reduced by reading an e-book.

People also took longer to fall asleep, had less deep sleep and were more tired the next morning.

The researchers said other e-readers such as the Nook and Kindle Fire produced similar wavelengths of light and would have the same impact.

The findings were published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

'Concern'
Lead researcher Prof Charles Czeisler told the BBC News website: "The light emitted by most e-readers is shining directly into the eyes of the reader, whereas from a printed book or the original Kindle, the reader is only exposed to reflected light from the pages of the book."

He said disrupting sleep in turn affected health.

"Sleep deficiency has been shown to increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, metabolic diseases like obesity and diabetes, and cancer.

"Thus, the melatonin suppression that we saw in this study among participants when they were reading from the light-emitting e-reader concerns us."

Sleep hygiene
Dr Victoria Revell, who researches the impact of light on the body at the University of Surrey, told the BBC: "This is a very good study and I think it's really interesting.

"We should be advising people to minimise their [light-emitting e-reader] use in the evening, particularly teenagers who are a group that are using their phones and tablets late in to the evening."

Teenagers naturally have a late body clock, which makes them slow to rise in the morning and up late at night.

"People who already have a delayed body clock are delaying themselves much further and that is a very important message," Dr Revell added.

Prof Czeisler agreed, saying there was "special concern" for teenagers who were already sleep deficient by being forced to get up early for school.

http://www.bbc.com/news/health-30574260


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 26, 2014 10:41 am 
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Scientists discover just IMAGINING exercising can make you stronger, tone your muscles, and delay or stop muscle atrophy

A new research study suggests that just thinking of exercising can have the same effects as actually hitting the gym, officials say.

A recent study published in the Journal of Neurophysiology found that simply imagining exercise can tone muscle, delay atrophy, and even make your muscles stronger.

Researchers at Ohio University, according to the Breitbart News Network, conducted an experiment using two sets of 'healthy individuals.'

The researchers wrapped the wrists of one of the sets in a cast and gave them instructions to sit still for 11 minutes, five days a week, for four weeks, and 'perform mental imagery of strong muscle contractions,' or, imagine exercising.

The other set were not given any instruction.

The results illustrated that the body and mind are more intertwined than we though.

At the end of the four weeks, the participants who engaged in the 'mental exercise' were twice as strong as those who didn't, Breitbart reports.

Additionally, those participants had a stronger brain because the exercises created stronger neuromuscular pathways.

Scientists have long known the connections between the brain's cortex and its ability to control and coordinate muscle movement, according to Ohio University's Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine.

Exercising imagery techniques are even commonly used by professional athletes to improve performance.

However, the University's study is the first to prove that the imagery can delay or stop muscle atrophy.

'What our study suggests is that imagery exercises could be a valuable tool to prevent or slow muscles from becoming weaker when a health problem limits or restricts a person’s mobility,' Brian Clark, a professor of physiology and neuroscience in the college said in a statement, according to Breitbart.

With the new developments, imagery can be used to help people undergoing neurorehabilitation and can help control the effects of aging.

In the release, Clark described muscles as the puppets of the nervous system moved by the brain that acts as the string.

'This information may fundamentally change how we think about muscle weakness in the elderly,' Clark said.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article ... rophy.html


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 28, 2014 7:35 am 
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Christmas miracle for Tater the terrier after brown snake bite

A dog's miraculous recovery from a deadly brown snake bite in central western NSW was 70-year-old Helen Hart's Christmas miracle.

Mrs Hart took her jack russell terrier, Tater, to her daughter's house in Blayney for Christmas day lunch. As they were preparing their meal, they heard Tater yelping.

The family rushed out to find a 1.4-metre brown snake rearing and Tater attacking.

About 15 minutes after the attack, Mrs Hart noticed snake bite symptoms.

They were 18 kilometres out of town, and the town's clinic, Blayney Veterinary Hospital, was closed. Mrs Hart called the emergency number.

Vet Ruth Thompson told her that Tater's chances of survival were very low considering their distance from town and the snake's deadly venom.

"She [Ruth] said, 'It's worth a chance, put the dog in the car and bring him in'," Mrs Hart said.

"Treating snake bite is a regular problem for rural veterinarians," Dr Thompson said.

"We see them almost every week during spring or summer. If they arrive alive, we have a good chance of saving them."

But Tater was almost paralysed when he was dropped at the clinic some 15 minutes later.

Dr Thompson, who was in the middle of a family lunch with her son and husband, rushed the 35 kilometres to town to meet Mrs Hart and Tater.

"It was Christmas day. It was half past 12 - just when you're getting lunch ready," Dr Thompson said.

"I won't tell you how fast I drove because that would be illegal."

After Dr Thompson administered the anti-venom, Tater was taken to the Thompsons house, where they fed him and placed him under their Christmas tree for the night.

"He had some ham for tea on Christmas night," she said.

Amazingly, Tater survived through to the next morning.

"The next morning I went in at 10 and he was just bright as a button," said Mrs Hart. "It was just magic."

She said Tater had been "a really good companion" after she lost her husband six years ago.

"After my husband died I stayed on the land hoping I could manage it, but I couldn't so my daughters suggested I get a dog," she said.

"A lady down the road was selling puppies for $50."

"We grow potatoes for a living, so I named him Tater."

http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/christmas-mir ... 2eayh.html


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 30, 2014 8:35 am 
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Hospital smoking ban sparks debate

A HOSPITAL and school smoking ban to come into force on Thursday has sparked a major debate.

The State Government has announced that people who smoke within five metres of health facilities and school grounds will face on-the-spot fines of at least $227.

Student nurse Nicole Cuff said she welcomed the move.

She goes to great lengths to prevent her children breathing in toxic smoke. She gives smokers a wide berth.

"I hold my breath when I walk by a smoker," the mother of five said.

"We'll walk around far enough away that we don't have to breathe in the smoke."

Wilsonton resident Josh Harris said he was against the new legislation.

The non-smoker said he was concerned about people having to travel out of the hospital to light up.

"A lot of people will have trouble," he said.

Mr Harris said people who had undergone surgery would have issues negotiating the hill off Pechey St.

"It will make it harder for staff who smoke to run up and down the hill to have a smoke," Mr Harris said.

"There's not that much second hand smoke from the designated smoking area as it's well ventilated."

Mrs Cuff said nurses and health care professionals should not only promote health, but act as leaders in health promotion and effect change for positive health outcomes.

"No healthcare workers should be seen smoking on hospital grounds or expose others to their smoke," she said.

The Withcott resident said she had issues with smokers her whole life.

"I have an allergic reaction to cigarette chemicals and suffer from migraines if I'm exposed them for a long period of time."

She said smokers should be more considerate about their actions.

"We don't appreciate you blowing smoke in our faces," she said.

Mrs Cuff said it appeared police were lax in enforcing current legislation.

"I've never seen anyone fined for smoking close to entrances.

"It's our right to be able to breath in fresh air."

Acting Health Minister Mark McArdle said the changes were aimed at making Queensland a healthier place to live and raise a family.

"The buffer at health facilities will help disperse smokers that congregate at entry points."

http://www.thechronicle.com.au/news/hos ... k/2497149/


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 01, 2015 9:26 am 
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How exercising your body can help reset your brain

What do you do when you stand in a queue at the airport, while waiting in line to get off the plane, waiting for your luggage or waiting for transport?

Many of us check email, answer texts and appear busy. But once you’ve done all that and the bags still haven’t come, what do you do? I sometimes use that time to “reset” my brain.

In the 1970s, a movement therapist named Thomas Hanna came up with a concept called “somatic exercises”. It goes like this: every time you get hurt, your body compensates. Let’s say that you banged your left shoulder on a door and it hurts. So, your body uses the muscles on the right shoulder to carry a bag or to push open a door, because the left shoulder is hurting.

The problem is that even after the left shoulder has healed, your brain continues to tell your body to depend on the right shoulder. The brain, like me, is looking for maximum benefit with minimum effort. The way that it does this is by making many instructions automatic: the right shoulder lifts the weight because the left side hurts.

The problem is that the brain forgets to reverse the instruction once the shoulder heals. You sprain your left leg; you hobble on your right leg. The sprain heals, but the brain still hasn’t told your right leg to stop bearing the load. Pretty soon, your body is tilted to one side because the right side is bearing the brunt of all your activities.

This, Hanna argued, is the beginning of chronic irregularities within the body which result in pain as you age.

How do you reset the brain? How do you make sure that it reverses certain commands that are unnecessary? According to Hanna, you do this through somatic exercises.

The literature on somatic exercises talks about the subcortical brain commanding the body to make certain movements automatic. The trick to preventing chronic pain is to override this automatic subcortical instruction. Movement therapists compare it to “clearing out the cache” of your brain so that your body is returned to its original state.

Hanna believed that several things were required for somatic exercises to work. The first is to prepare for the movement – which means that you pause, take a breath and perform the next movement with intent. The second is to do the movement very slowly. The third is to do it without effort or pain. You don’t push yourself; you don’t stretch more than you need to. It has to be effortless. The fourth is to breathe while doing this. The fifth is to reverse the movement and return the body to its original position.

It doesn’t matter what movement you do. If you follow the five steps, that is good enough.

Let us think of a simple movement. You are moving your head from left to right. In a normal stretch, you look to the left and push yourself. That is not a somatic stretch. The point is not to push yourself but to pay attention to the movement. Make it easy on your body, but force the brain to focus on the action.

I am doing a simple somatic exercise as I write these words. I am lifting my shoulders. That’s it. No effort; just a lift. But I’m paying attention to my body. As I lift my shoulders gently, I can feel a little constraint, a little pain in my right shoulder blade. Where did it come from? I don’t know. Perhaps it is an old injury. I’m just acknowledging the pain to allow my brain to reset.

Somatic exercises don’t take too much time and they don’t need too much effort. In fact, they should be effortless. The point is to do them often and intuitively, with attention. And the best part is that somatic exercises feel really good.

http://www.thenational.ae/opinion/how-e ... your-brain


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 03, 2015 12:14 pm 
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Exercise and Risk of Falls in Parkinson's Patients

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 31, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Exercises that focus on balance and leg strengthening may help some people with Parkinson's disease avoid falls, according to a new clinical trial.

The study, reported online Dec. 31 in Neurology, found that the benefits were limited to people with milder Parkinson's symptoms. The exercise program -- done mostly at home -- cut their risk of falling by about 70 percent over six months.

But experts said that doesn't mean exercise is no help to people with more advanced Parkinson's.

It's possible they may need an exercise program with more supervision, said lead researcher Colleen Canning, an associate professor at the University of Sydney in Australia.

That possibility still needs to be studied, Canning added. But what seems clear, she said, is that "one size does not fit all" when it comes to exercise therapy for Parkinson's.

Parkinson's disease is a chronic movement disorder that causes tremors, stiffness in the limbs, and problems with balance and coordination, according to the Parkinson's Disease Foundation. About 60 percent of people with the disorder fall at least once a year, according to Canning's team -- and that can have consequences ranging from serious injury to fear of being active.

Yet physical activity is important for people with Parkinson's, said Dr. Roy Alcalay, a neurologist and medical advisor to the Parkinson's Disease Foundation in New York City.

That's partly because people with Parkinson's -- who are typically older than 50 -- should exercise for the sake of their cardiovascular health and mental well-being, explained Alcalay, who was not involved in the study.

"So we usually recommend exercise, just like we do for the general population without Parkinson's," said Alcalay.

Plus, he added, there is evidence that exercise could provide particular benefits for people with Parkinson's. In lab animals, physical activity seems to shield brain cells from some of the damage seen in Parkinson's, Alcalay noted.

And recent studies of Parkinson's patients have found that cardiovascular exercise, such as walking, can help ease physical and mental symptoms -- including stiffness, balance problems and depression.

http://www.webmd.com/parkinsons-disease ... s-patients


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2015 2:58 pm 
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'Sugar swap' campaign launched in Britain

Parents in Britain are being encouraged to cut back on the sugar they feed their children.

A new "Change4Life" campaign will offer parents "sugar swap" tips including swapping ice cream for yoghurt and sugary drinks for sugar-free drinks.

The launch of the campaign, on Monday, comes as a survey, carried out by NetMums, found two-thirds of parents are worried about the amount of sugar in their children's diets.

Health guidelines advise that 10 per cent of a person's daily energy or calorie intake should be made up of sugar.

But Britain's Department of Health fears children aged four to 10 could be consuming far more.

Professor Kevin Fenton, national director of health and wellbeing at Public Health England, said: "We are all eating too much sugar and the impact this has on our health is evident.

"This campaign is about taking small steps to address this. We know from past campaigns that making simple swaps works and makes a real difference."

Too much sugar intake can lead to obesity which can cause heart disease, cancer and type 2 diabetes in later life.

It can also have a serious affect on dental health.

The National Dental Epidemiology Program for England found tooth decay was the most common reason for hospital admissions for children aged five to nine in 2012-13.

http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/2015 ... ed-britain


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 07, 2015 7:33 am 
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Top fitness trends for 2015

Pilates ain't nothing but a fad, according to the latest American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) report.

But, the top "new" trend for fitness in 2015 ain't nothing new either.

In fact, we've been doing it for centuries. In the report, based on the responses of more than 3400 health and fitness professionals, body weight training was named the number one fitness trend for the new year.

The Ancient Greeks were into push ups and pull ups, but the term was only defined in the 1890s.

It took until 2013 before body weight training, which also includes star jumps and burpees, was officially recognised as a "trend'[.

"New packaging, particularly by commercial clubs, has now made it popular in all kinds of gyms," says Walter Thompson, the vice-president of ACSM.

Trailing body weight training were various other forms of mobility and strength training, including high intensity interval training (HIIT) which dropped into second place from last year's top spot), possibly because the intensity of the training has also led to a large number of injuries among participants.

"HIIT is great for people who have a base and have a reasonable condition," says Steve "Commando" Willis. "People who are carrying excess weight, can't handle that stress and they may get results quickly but it comes at a cost."

Strength training and yoga (there are now about 3000 yoga studios in Australia) were also among the top 10.

Nowhere to be seen though was CrossFit, despite it being among the most Googled fitness terms in Australia.

Pilates was also among our most Googled terms, but it did not make the top 20 either, which supports the theory that these are fads not trends, Thompson says.

Luke Istomin, founder of F45, however was "quite surprised" that Pilates was named a fad.

"I can't see it disappearing from the Australian market any time soon," he says, noting its reinvention through power pilates and hip-hop pilates classes as well as the newly popular, pilates-based barre body and air barre classes.

Willis, however, believes the "fad" part of pilates represents a general trend away from fitness regimes that use parts of the body in isolation.

"The one thing I've learned about exercise is that you need to connect the dots ... you need to work the body as a whole," the Biggest Loser trainer says. "You need to be able to apply what you're doing in real life."

This might explain the popularity of functional fitness, body weight and mobility-based training.

"There is a definite move towards this type of programming because people are realising it's the most effective style of training for a majority of people, is cheap and versatile, as well as being a lot safer, with more longevity than a lot of the fads," says Libby Babet of Sydney's agoga and the women's online bufgirl.com.

She points out that as well as being effective, such forms of exercise can be carried out anywhere, anytime, don't require clunky pieces of equipment (if any) and are now accessible to anyone via online programs.

"I've seen mobile apps like Zova and Freeletics launch with incredible success and build their customer bases at an astronomical rate," she says.

"I think online training is on its way but people are still more motivated with human company," says Aaron Mckenzie of Origin of Energy, noting that many of the more popular group exercise classes – including CrossFit – fall under the umbrellas of the top trends.

"All of these are using High Intensity Interval circuit style training," he says. "Even yoga is becoming more high intensity acro-based."

As far as future Australian fitness trends are concerned, Mckenzie sees them being influenced by CrossFit, Paleo-based nutrition, organics and meditation.

"Hopefully the military bootcamp style training is on its way out and is replaced with high quality small group training," he says, with the other experts all agreeing that boutique, small group training classes are on the rise.

Willis, who has just launched a web-based, bodyweight program called Commando Steve's "Get Commando Fit" Mission 2, agrees with Babet that online sessions are a growing trend.

Like Mckenzie, he also believes there is a move towards a more balanced, integrated approach to fitness, health, nutrition and wellbeing.

To create his programs he now consults with nutritionists and sports scientists.

"Time is precious to all of us," he says, adding that offering complete fitness and health programs provides a one-stop shop.

"Addressing nutrition, mental and physical wellbeing – I feel like that's going to be a strong trend worldwide," says Istomin.

http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/lifesty ... 2j220.html


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 09, 2015 9:55 am 
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Top Healthy Habits for Your Heart

Jan. 8, 2015 -- You can dramatically lower or nearly wipe out your chances of a heart attack and heart disease by following healthy lifestyle habits.

Two recent studies show it’s true whether you're a man or a woman, and even if you already have risk factors like high cholesterol.

The healthy habits for guys and ladies aren’t quite the same (although they’re similar), and researchers didn't directly compare what works for men vs. women.

What Works for Women?

One of the new studies followed nearly 70,000 women for 20 years. The women reported on their habits, such as diet and exercise, and gave the researchers other health information every 2 years. At the start of the study, the women were an average age of 37 and none had diabetes or diseases of the heart or blood vessels.

Not only did the women who followed all six healthy habits nearly get rid of their heart attack risk -- cutting it by 92% -- they also lowered their odds of getting a risk factor, like high blood pressure, by 66%.

Here are the six habits that mattered:

Don't smoke.
Have a normal body mass index (BMI).
Get moderate to vigorous exercise for at least 2.5 hours a week.
Watch 7 or fewer hours of television weekly.
Drink one or fewer alcoholic beverages daily.
Eat a healthy diet of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, fish, or omega-3 fatty acids -- as well as limit sugary drinks, processed and red meats, trans fats, and sodium.

Meeting all of these habits can be a lofty goal. Less than 5% of the women followed them all, according to the study.

But it's not a case of all or nothing, says study leader Andrea Chomistek, ScD. She's a researcher from the Indiana University Bloomington School of Public Health. "Even women who reported only one or two healthy behaviors had a lower risk of heart disease than those who did zero," she says.

Having a normal BMI had the most impact on lowering the risk, she says.

Even for women who developed risk factors, such as high blood pressure or high cholesterol, following at least four of the habits was linked with a lower risk of getting heart disease, compared to women who followed none.

The study reinforces research showing that what works for older women also works for younger women -- those who are premenopausal and who may not consider themselves old enough for a heart attack, she says. These habits are important because the overall death rate from heart disease in the U.S. has increased among younger women ages 35 to 44.

http://www.webmd.com/heart-disease/news ... art-habits


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2015 8:25 pm 
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Fitter, faster, stronger: We're Qld's most active region

TOOWOOMBA is the crown jewel in the state's most active region.

A new survey reveals 46% of south-west residents are into fitness on a daily basis - the highest level in Queensland.

But Suncorp Bank's Cost of Being Fit Report reveals we falter at the first hurdle when it comes to budgeting for our healthy lifestyle.

The survey found the region's health nuts spend about $75 a month on their keep-fit regimes.

It also found 36% of south-west Queenslanders prefer running to other work-outs while going to the gym (18%), swimming (9%), cycling (9%), and CrossFit and boot camp classes (9%) were also high on the list of popular activities.

And many residents spend about $1000 a year on their favourite work-outs.

Suncorp Bank south-west Queensland manager Craig Armstrong said more than 50% of the region's exercise fanatics did not include their physical activity costs in their budgets.

"Planning and budgeting for fitness expenses will not only assist with budget oversights, but it will help people remain committed to their fitness goals," Mr Armstrong said.

"Membership expenses, coupled with sports equipment, running shoes and fitness attire can really add up when not budgeted for correctly."

The survey region also includes Warwick and Roma.

FIGHTING FIT

South-west Queenslanders' favourite healthy hobbies, sport, % of population

Running, 36%
Gym, 18%
Cycling, 9%
Swimming, 9%
CrossFit and bootcamp, 9%

BUDGET TIPS

Work out how much you can afford to spend and then stick to it.
Take advantage of sales especially as most sporting equipment and sporting apparel lines release new gear every 12 months.
Some health insurance providers give allowances for some fitness-related gear as well as any sports medicine services related to injuries.

Source: Cost of Being Fit Report.

http://www.thechronicle.com.au/news/wer ... s/2507255/


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 14, 2015 9:42 am 
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Smoking drivers next target for anti-cancer campaigners

Drivers smoking in their own cars are the next target for anti-cancer campaigners, following a push to outlaw smoking on apartment balconies.

The Cancer Council Queensland says "public pressure" has led to smoke-free cars becoming a priority for both major political parties.

They say they have been guaranteed a meeting with the Health Minister regardless of who wins the state election and will seek bipartisan support.

Babies and children are particularly vulnerable to third-hand smoke

Cancer Council Queensland advocacy head Anne Savage said banning smoking in cars was important to prevent children being affected by potentially deadly third-hand smoke that can linger in cars long after a cigarette has been extinguished.

Drivers are not allowed to smoke in a car with a child aged under 16 but the Cancer Council wants to broaden this to a ban of smoking at all times.

"The harmful chemicals can stick to the seats, seatbelts, clothing, dust, steering wheel and other items," Ms Savage said. "Babies and children are particularly vulnerable to third-hand smoke and could be harmfully affected in instances where baby capsules and child car seats have been exposed to toxic smoke." The move comes as News Corp Australia yesterday revealed a Government-commissioned research paper by QUT canvassed legislative change to ban smoking on balconies to prevent cigarette smoke drifting into neighbours' homes.

Yesterday, Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie said the discussion paper had taken 18 months and any decision would take "quite some time".

"It is about listening to Queenslanders - we are very much happy to have feedback on whether the people like it or not, but obviously there is going to be a divergence of views, but it is about the people living in community title schemes having a say," he said.

Premier Campbell Newman said while he thought people should be able to smoke on their balconies, there had been a lot of complaints. He said any changes would only be implemented after consultation.

"This is something that the Government has had a lot of people looking at. It would only happen after a lot of consultation. But I think Australia has enough laws and I am always loathe to see more laws come in," Mr Newman said.

Strata Community Australia Queensland president Simon Barnard said unit occupiers should be treated the same as smokers in houses. "We don't see how unit owners should be treated any differently to stand-alone house owners, who are bound by council regulations," Mr Barnard said.

http://www.carsguide.com.au/car-news/sm ... ners-30717


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 16, 2015 9:31 am 
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Not Exercising Is Worse for You Than Being Obese

Being overweight or obese carries with it social stigma (even from your doctors) and a host of risk factors — for diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke and heart disease — that can herald an early death. But being inactive might carry the biggest risks. A huge, 12-year-long study emphasizes this point with the finding that a lack of physical activity claims twice as many lives as obesity does.

The European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) study is following more than half a million Europeans in 10 countries to look for links between diet, nutrition, lifestyle, the environment and the occurrence of cancer and other diseases. Using that data set, researchers based at the University of Cambridge, looked at 334,161 men and women for the relationship between physical activity and premature death. Over the 12 years that they asked for weight, waist circumference and activity levels, 21,438 participants died.

The researchers found that if people who reported no physical activity had done a little exercise—just a 20 minute brisk walk every day—they could have reduced their chance of dying early by between 16 to 30 percent. "This is a simple message: just a small amount of physical activity each day could have substantial health benefits for people who are physically inactive," says Ulf Ekelund, of the University of Cambridge and lead author on the study, in a press statement.

If all inactive people did that little bit of exercise, deaths across the board would be theoretically be reduced by 7.35 percent. By comparison, if no one was obese, that would reduce deaths by 3.66 percent. This result suggests "that physical inactivity is responsible for more than twice as many deaths as general obesity," at least in Europe, write the study authors. The study was published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

"The greatest risk [of an early death] was in those classed inactive, and that was consistent in normal weight, overweight and obese people," Ekelund told BBC News. Even lean people who don't exercise aren't as healthy as they should be. That doesn’t mean that we still shouldn’t strive to avoid obesity, he adds, just that any exercise at all is important, even when you are overweight.

And if that news isn’t so new to you… if you’ve heard it before and know you want to get off your tush but just lack the confidence (perhaps because you fear being judged for your weight while you exercise), then take a look at the "This Girl Can" campaign for Sport England. It features women of all shapes, sizes and a broad diversity of race and age working out and rocking it.

http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-new ... 14/?no-ist


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