Get Up And Move Says New Study

In a shocking new study, researchers at the University of Sydney have found that people who sit for 11 hours a day or more increase their chances of dying within three years!  Even more surprising, this takes into account the physical activity and weight – and they found that even those who are physically active during the rest of their day are still at high risk for dying. The research was commissioned by the Cardiovascular Research Network and it was supported by the NSW Division of the National Heart Foundation Australia.

As Dr. Hidde van der Ploeg, the lead of the study said,

“These results have important public health implications. That morning walk or trip to the gym is still necessary, but it's also important to avoid prolonged sitting. Our results suggest the time people spend sitting at home, work and in traffic should be reduced by standing or walking more.”

Obviously – activity does matter. The study found that people who sat the most did double their risk of dying within three years over those who were active.

Statistics show that the typical adult sits for 90% of their leisure time; similarly, less than 50% of adults engage in physical activities at the level recommended by the World Health Organization.

 As Heart Foundation CEO Tony Thirlwell reported,

“Watching TV, using computers and electronic games can involve sitting for long periods and have become a big part of leisure time. But we know that people who spend less time on these things have better health than those who spend too much time on them.”

HIT Workouts: An All-Inclusive Exercise in 4 Minutes Flat

The general belief is that the best amount of exercise to get in a week is 150 hours. Many would claim that this suggestion is in the fact what keeps them overweight or unhealthy, since finding even an hour or two of free time during the day is no small feat.

An amazing solution to this issue is the HIT workout, or High Intensity Training. This miracle worker helps the body lower blood sugar levels, release fatty acids, and improves both aerobic and anaerobic aptitudes within minutes.

This 3-4 minute form of exercise is not new. One HIT routine was developed in the nineties by Dr. Tabata of the National Institute of Fitness and Sports. He dictated a workout that merely included eight 20-second bursts of high activity with a 10-second pause between each one. In total, such a workout would take less than four minutes.

HIT workouts consist of exercises like squats, pushups, sit ups, lunges, ‘the plank’, crunches and dips. Done in quick succession, these drills will leave the body aching, shaking, sore and continuously burning calories. The body will continue to burn fat and strengthen muscles long after you shower and continue with your day.

The benefits of the HIT workouts are endless. They are short and do not require equipment, can be done as many times a week as possible, burn fat and strengthen the muscles, circulatory system and respiratory system, alleviate stress, boost your mood and focus and improve sleep. There is no excuse; finding a total of four minutes every week is no chore.

Sweet Tooth Lacking in Many Mammals, Study Finds

You might have a sweet tooth- but apparently that meat-eating mammal you visit at the aquarium does not.  That’s the latest finding from a study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.  Co-authored by Gary Beauchamp, the director of the Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia, the study looked at DNA samples of a dozen species to look at their taste receptor genes.

The researchers knew, already, that cats don’t care for sweet carbohydrates and that they don’t have a working copy of the taste receptor gene called Tas1r2.  They thought, however, that cats were unusual.  With DNA samples primarily from the San Diego Zoo, this team joined with one from the University of Zurich to look at taste receptor genes in various mammals.

Their discoveries shocked them. Seven types of species from sea lions and Asian otters to spotted hyenas, lack the properly functioning Tas1r2 receptor. The type of mutation that each type of species had was difference, however.

And sweet wasn’t the only issue. Sea lions also showed a lack of genes that create savory tastes and dolphins showed a lack of the working genes for bitter. Beauchamp said that the findings “illustrate the fact that the sensory world of animals is highly attuned to their dietary patterns.”

This research has been deemed ground-breaking and impressive. As Thomas Finger, a neurobiologist at the University of Colorado’s Rocky Mountain Taste and Smell Center in Aurora said, the study was “pretty impressive.”


Obesity May Cause Cognitive Decline

A recent study involving 250 people has revealed that obesity during senior years may trigger mental decline, and not only physical as previously believed. The study participants, aging through 60s and 70s, were tested over the course of five years. Those with higher body fat levels were less successful in mental ability exams during that time.

The study, conducted by scientists from Seoul National University, measured the waists and BMI levels of each participant regularly, analyzing the information along with the results from ‘Mini Mental State Examinations.’ These short tests included simple questions in math, orientation and memory.

As the researchers predicted, the participants with lower body fat achieved higher scores in the exams. Interestingly, the gap narrowed in people over 70 years of age.

Dae Hyun Yoon, the lead author of the study, said: “Our findings have important public health implications. The prevention of obesity, particularly central obesity, might be important for the prevention of cognitive decline or dementia.”

The UK Alzheimer’s Society said “We have all heard how a high BMI is bad for our heart but this research suggests it could also be bad for the head.” The organization added that dementia wasn’t observed in the study. However, past research has implied that risk factors for high cholesterol, high blood pressure and heart disease can also cause dementia. Of

According to the Society, a third of people over the age of 65 will die with dementia. Still, this study, as well as others, has suggested that a balanced diet, regular exercise, and healthy blood pressure and cholesterol levels can change the odds.

First Robotic Surgery for Prostate Cancer

There is a first for everything, and last week Stuart Ellis fell into the category. Undergoing surgery for prostate cancer, he was the first person in the world to be operated on for prostate surgery by a surgeon using a hand-held robot. The device has been used in gastrointestinal surgeries and for gynecological purposes. The surgery took place at Stepping Hill Hospital in Stockport, England by urology surgeon Neil Oakley.

The benefits with this device are many – it has more flexibility than the human wrist, creating a precision that surgeons can’t and it actually creates a faster surgical procedure.  It also reduces the risk of potential mistakes since it offers the surgeon extra ability to maneuver and access to areas that are difficult to reach.

The robot is called a Kymerax robot that was made by the Japanese company Terumo. It’s actually much cheaper than larger robots, which can cost over a million dollars. This robot costs closer to $50,000 and has much smaller running costs.

Ellis was diagnosed with cancer last month and only recently found out that he would be the first to try this new procedure. As he explained,

“Being told you’ve been diagnosed with cancer is not a pleasant experience, but it’s good to know something positive for other people is coming out of this. If this means other cancer patients in the future can get quicker treatment with the most advanced technology, then I’m proud to be part of it. I was in shock when the surgeon said he would be using a robot but it sounds like a fantastic tool and I’m not apprehensive about it.”

The surgeon has explained that the procedure will be filmed for future training and he has explained that he is excited to use the new technology. As he said,

“The fusion of maintaining the feel and touch during an operation with the greater robotic articulation that makes it so special. This robot can do things not physically possibly with a human wrist and gives you the best of both worlds.”

Pre-Spring Break Planning

Spring break is approaching and with it the stresses of planning a vacation, entertaining the kids, traveling comfortably and so much more.

There are a number of circumstances that are worth planning for in advance, and they include:

  • Traveling with your children, which can be difficult and result in boredom, disagreement and immaturity. To discourage these issues before they begin, have your kids help with the planning and trip preparation. Encourage them discuss the itinerary, present ideas and reach conclusions together, as well as help with the packing. The involvement will add enthusiasm and interest, and boost the cooperative mood as a whole.
  • Traveling by car, which can be delayed, boring and claustrophobic. For long plane trips, bring entertainment like an iPad, a deck of cards, a book…and most importantly food! These items are important whether you’re traveling alone, with your best friend, your spouse or your children.which can be long and grueling and leave everyone irritable. For long rides, look into audio books that can be enjoyed by the whole family. On a drive to the Grand Canyon, for example, try something long and suitable for several ages, like the first of the Harry Potter series. Discuss with your travel companions before choosing a story. If you’re traveling with kids, or without for that matter, end your car ride at a hotel with a pool.
  • Traveling by plane, which can be long and grueling and leave everyone irritable. For long rides, look into audio books that can be enjoyed by the whole family. On a drive to the Grand Canyon, for example, try something long and suitable for several ages, like the first of the Harry Potter series. Discuss with your travel companions before choosing a story. If you’re traveling with kids, or without for that matter, end your car ride at a hotel with a pool.
  • Home security. According to Indiana State Police Captain David Bursten, one of the biggest mistakes travelers make is cancelling the mail and newspaper deliveries. Instead, have a neighbor collect your post for you while you’re away, so that it seems someone is still at home. Installing randomized timers for the lights and, if possible, an alarm is also highly recommended.