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Apr 26, 2017

Walking Boosts Blood Flow To Your Brain

We know that walking is good for you. It can improve your health, emotions and even your memory.

Now, new research shows that the foot's impact during walking sends pressure waves through the arteries that can significantly modify and can increase the supply of blood to the brain.

Previously this effect had been found in running but this was the first study to address walking. Researchers found hat walking still produces larger pressure waves in the body that significantly increase blood flow to the brain.

Even though the pressure waves weren't as strong as when running, they were greater than the effects seen during cycling where there is no foot impact at all.

This is interesting research that shows a direct physical effect of walking on our bodies. Fascinating!

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Apr 25, 2017

Feeling Sleepy? Take the Stairs!

A recent study in the journal Physiology and Behavior, found that 10 minutes of walking up and down stairs at a regular pace was more likely to make participants feel energized than ingesting 50 milligrams of caffeine-about the equivalent to the amount in a can of soda.

What's interesting is that after walking the stairs, participants felt more energetic and vigorous (temporarily), but this effect wasn't as strong after drinking caffeine.

This study has a lot of potential to help those who sit behind a desk every day.

I often felt the 2:00pm slump at my office job and would head off for a cup of coffee. Of course, I took the stairs to get that cup of coffee!

But this is great evidence of the beneficial effects of moving your body. Not only can it energize you, but staying active throughout the day will help to avoid "sitting disease" and the long term, chronic health problems associated with sitting too much.

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Apr 12, 2017

You've Been Tying Your Shoes All Wrong

Do your shoes come untied when you walk? There is now scientific evidence that explains why our shoelaces come untied and that the most popular method of tying our shoes, the bunny ears, is the culprit.

The researchers found that the simple act of walking is enough for a shoe to become untied. In fact, it only took two strides to become untied.

This study examined the "bunny ears" method of tying shoes which is what most of learned as children. They go on to describe a "strong knot" method that doesn't untie as quickly.

My solution is to simply double knot my shoes. I think that is easier than learning to tie my shoes a new way!

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Mar 23, 2017

How To Sleep Your Way To Weight Loss

Are you getting enough sleep each night? Too little sleep has been found to cloud our judgement when it comes to eating.

According to WebMd, there are many studies that have shown that being tired leads to poor food decisions, such as late night snacking, craving high-carb and high-fat foods and eating portions that are too big.

The University of Chicago found that dieters lost 55 percent less fat when they slept for 5 1/2 hours versus sleeping for 8 1/2 hours.

Most of us need 7-9 hours of sleep each night. When we don't get enough sleep our hunger and fullness hormones, including two called ghrelin and leptin, are effected.

This means we may feel hungrier and less full when we are tired. Whew! That's a recipe for weight gain.

I know how hard it is to get a good night's sleep. Our to-do lists are endless and the only way to get it done is to sacrifice our sleep.

But, try to prioritize sleep just like you prioritize exercise. It is just as important for good health and maintaining your weight.

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Mar 21, 2017

Can High Intensity Interval Training Really Prevent Ageing?

High intensity interval training has been described as the "holy grail" of exercise. It's a short, intense period of exercise that is known to burn more calories, break through plateaus and shed pounds.

While it can in fact burn more calories than your normal workout routine because you are really pushing yourself during those period of high intensity, there is a new claim that is really making headlines now. High intensity interval training can reverse ageing.

But can it really?

There was a research article published in the journal Cell Metabolism in March, 2017. The study found that HIIT reverses signs of aging at the cellular level, which is true, but it doesn't explain the entire picture when it comes to ageing.

According to Popular Science, this study found that the participants who participated in HIIT workouts for 12 weeks improved several general markers of health, like insulin sensitivity and muscle strength. It also reversed some changes in protein expression that are linked to aging, including some related to mitochondrial function. Mitochondria tend to worsen as we get older so improving their effectiveness helps to fight off the effects of ageing.

As the author of the Popular Science article, says "What’s still missing is the link between these cellular findings and meaningful outcomes for people. It’s great that HIIT helps our mitochondria to work better—it can only help our overall health. But it's hard to say exactly what that improved mitochondrial function will mean for you personally."

Bottom Line? HIIT exercise is a great tool for your exercise tool box. But it's not the only tool. Continue to do your regular workouts and add in HIIT training a few times a week to burn more calories and keep things fun. Continue to eat well and live a healthy, active lifestyle. All of these activities combined are the best way to age gracefully.

Download a free HIIT walking workout that I create here.

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