On a monthly basis, we like to take a look back at some of the most recent research to see if it can help paint a healthier picture for us. We combed through the latest science to see if it can help us exercise smarter and harder. We all want to be as healthy as possible in the most efficient manner in our time-crunched society. So sit back and check out some of the latest health research!
Want more exercise benefits? Believe!
Mind over matter, right? Well, that could definitely be true when it comes to helping us witness the best effects of exercise. Research published in the Journal of Behavioral Medicine found that if you believe exercise will do you good, then it will. A researcher on the project Hendrik Mothes explained, “The results demonstrate that our belief in how much we will benefit from physical activity has a considerable effect on our well-being in the manner of a self-fulfilling prophecy.” So it’s time to get your head right in order to get your body right in the most efficient manner possible!
Higher weekly activity levels linked to what?
Want to have a lower risk of stroke, heart disease, diabetes, breast cancer, and bowel cancer? Then increase your weekly activity level. A study in The BMJ determined that while the World Health Organization recommends at least 600 minutes of weekly metabolic exercise, the team found that the most health gains were achieved at 3000-4000 metabolic equivalent minutes a week. While this is substantially higher than the current recommendations, the team concluded, “With population ageing, and an increasing number of cardiovascular and diabetes deaths since 1990, greater attention and investments in interventions to promote physical activity in the general public is required.” The effort is worth it!
Ditch your backup plan
If you really want to achieve your goals then you need to ditch your backup plan according to research out of the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The more likely you are to have a backup plan, the more likely you are to fall back on it. The researchers were quick to point out that there are these potential costs to making a backup plan, they are sometimes needed throughout life. Jihae Shin, assistant professor concluded, “You might want to wait until you have done everything you can to achieve your primary goal first.” Is your backup plan holding you back?
Eat for a better memory
We’ve all heard of the Mediterranean diet and how it can improve your health. It not only can improve your heart health but it can seriously improve your memory/cognitive function according to a study in the journal Frontiers in Nutrition. This diet has been shown to decrease the rates of cognitive decline and ultimately Alzheimer’s disease. The Mediterranean diet is composed of foods such as cereals, beans, legumes, nuts, seeds, leafy greens, fish and olive oil while avoiding red meats and dairy.
Lead author Roy Hardman explained, “The MedDiet offers the opportunity to change some of the modifiable risk factors. These include reducing inflammatory responses, increasing micronutrients, improving vitamin and mineral imbalances, changing lipid profiles by using olive oils as the main source of dietary fats, maintaining weight and potentially reducing obesity, improving polyphenols in the blood, improving cellular energy metabolism and maybe changing the gut micro-biota, although this has not been examined to a larger extent yet.”
From improving your memory to increasing your weekly levels of exercise to believing in your workout, there are many key takeaways from these recent studies. While we all need to exercise harder, let’s also do it smarter!