It looks like what’s bad for your heart is also bad for your brain, according to a new study. UT Southwestern’s O’Donnell Brain Institute in the US measured participants’ fitness and used brain imaging, plus memory and other tests to check if the state of their body and brain was linked. The results suggest that the lower the fitness level, the faster the deterioration of vital nerve fibres in the brain, which can lead to cognitive decline, and diseases such as dementia. So get that blood pumping to safeguard your memory.
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MAKE YOUR MOVE
Can’t choose between the weights and treadmill? You’ll get the same results from either, according to a new study from experts at Southampton Solent University. The scientists matched effort and duration of resistance training on the leg press to cardio exercise on the recumbent bike and found oxygen consumption (VO2 max), respiratory exchange ratio (RER), blood lactate, energy expenditure, muscle swelling and electrical activity in the muscles were largely the same after each workout. The take-home message? Sweat through the session you enjoy the most.
LOWER YOUR INJURY RISK
As you power through another set of sprints and squat jumps, you probably have some concerns about what oodles of high-impact exercise is doing to your joints. And certainly, persistent pounding has been linked to repetitive strain injuries. But, believe it or not, low-impact moves can really make you sweat. Whether you’re recovering from an injury or want a break from the pounding, these tips from personal trainer and low-impact workout specialist, Crosby Tailor, will keep you in shape.
1 Try high-resistance cycling: Cycling uphill outside, or on a high resistance when using an indoor bike, is great for the body. It’ll boost the power of your quads, as well as help strengthen your knees, so they don’t buckle when doing high-impact moves.
2 Make the right moves: If you’re already training your quads with lots of running, pay some attention to muscles that might get neglected, such as your glutes and hamstrings – try moves such as stiff-legged deadlifts.
3 Concentrate on your core: Strong abs, hips, lower back and pelvis will help when doing many activities. Try doing a series of plank variations and lower-back exercises.
BREAK A BAD HABIT
ʻChoose an alternative to your bad habit – for example, replacing your daily mid-morning muffin with an apple. When tempted to indulge in the old habit, think about the consequences, and the benefits of the new habit. Repeat daily until the new behaviour becomes a habit. If you ‘‘slip’’ one day, accept this and revert to your better behaviour the next day. And de-stress! Itʼs easier to avoid making impulse decisions when youʼre not stressed.
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