Tag Archive for 'cuore'

$170 million to fight against sedentary

Unfortunately, the vast majority of Americans don’t get enough exercise and a growing segment doesn’t get any exercise. Technology has allowed us to get by with less and less physical activity. Seventy-five years ago, it was very difficult to even make a living sitting down, but nowadays more and more people work sedentary jobs where they are seated a big portion of the day—and their bodies are rebelling for it!

  • Diabetes is on the increase and predicted to affect 1 in 3 people by 2050.
  • 70.7% percent of Americans aged 20 and older are overweight
  • 37.9% of Americans aged 20 and older are obese
  • Heart disease is still the leading cause of death in America. One in three deaths is related to heart disease

In 2017, US-NIH will launch a huge study to document in detail exactly what is happening in the body when exercising and prove that exercise is medicine.

The six-year, $170 million study will follow 3,000 sedentary people ranging from children to the elderly as they embark on an exercise program. A control group, who will remain sedentary, will also be tracked for comparison.

20-minutes walk to avoid obesity risk

Lack of exercise is twice as likely to determine the obesity beginning and a daily break of 20-minute walk permits to avoid the premature death.

The effects of obesity and exercise have been studied on 334,161 men and women for 12 years period . Although the impact of exercise was greatest among people of a normal weight, even those with a high body mass index (BMI) levels saw a benefit. Lack of exercise was thought to have caused almost 700,000 deaths across Europe in 2008.

Study leader Prof Ulf Ekelund – Medical Research Council (MRC) epidemiology unit at Cambridge University, said: “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. Although we found that just 20 minutes would make a difference, we should really be looking to do more than this – physical activity has many proven health benefits and should be an important part of our daily life.”

Participants in the research, who had an average age of about 50, were recruited to the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer (Epic) study conducted across 10 European countries, including the UK. All had their height, weight and waist sizes measured and provided self-assessments of physical activity levels.

Just under a quarter (22.7%) were categorised as inactive, working in sedentary jobs without engaging in any recreational exercise.

The findings, which are published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, say the greatest reductions in the risk of premature death were seen when comparing moderately active groups with those who were completely inactive.

Using the most recent available public data, the researchers calculated that 337,000 of the 9.2m deaths that occurred in Europe in 2008 could be attributed to obesity, but physical inactivity was thought to be responsible for almost double this number – 676,000 deaths.

Co-author Prof Nick Wareham, director of the MRC epidemiology unit, said: “Helping people to lose weight can be a real challenge and, whilst we should continue to aim at reducing population levels of obesity, public health interventions that encourage people to make small but achievable changes in physical activity can have significant health benefits and may be easier to achieve and maintain.”

June Davison, senior cardiac nurse at the British Heart Foundation, said: “The results of this study are a clear reminder that being regularly physically active can reduce the risk of dying from coronary heart disease.

“The research suggests that just a modest increase in physical activity can have health benefits. Adults should aim to do at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity a week, carrying it out in sessions of 10 minutes or more.

“Whether it’s going for a walk, taking a bike ride or using the stairs instead of the lift, keeping active every day will help reduce the risk of developing coronary heart disease.”

Lifestyle and dementia

Lifestyle is responsible for up to 76% of changes in the ageing of the brain according to “Age UK and there are 5 steps people can take to maintain brain health and reduce their risk of developing dementia.

The review of academic studies and data reveals that about 76% of cognitive decline – changes in thinking skills with age including memory loss and speed of thinking – is accounted for by lifestyle and other environmental factors including level of education.

The finding from The Disconnected Mind, an Age UK funded research project into how thinking skills alter with age, which was part of the analysis, suggests that there is significant potential to influence these changes.

Furthermore, Age UK’s review, which included the latest international dementia studies, indicates that certain lifestyle factors – regular physical exercise, eating a Mediterranean diet, not smoking and drinking alcohol in moderation  – decrease the risk of developing Alzheimer’s, and other forms of dementia. In addition, preventing and treating diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity were also found to reduce the risk of dementia.

Exercise ‘most effective’ way to prevent cognitive decline

One large UK study carried out over 30 years found that men aged between 45 and 59 who followed 4-5 of the identified lifestyle factors were found to have a 36% lower risk of developing cognitive decline and a 36% lower risk of developing dementia than those who did not.

Age UK’s evidence review  also revealed  that physical exercise – aerobic, resistance or balance -  was the most effective way to ward off cognitive decline in healthy older people and reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. Studies suggest that exercise 3 to 5 times a week for between 30 minutes and an hour is beneficial.

Significantly more cases of Alzheimer’s among smokers

But the evidence review also showed that a healthy diet, moderate alcohol intake and not smoking also play a role in ensuring healthy brain ageing  as well as reducing the risk of developing dementia.

It found that there are significantly more new cases of Alzheimer’s among current smokers compared with those who have never smoked.

The review also backed up claims that very heavy drinking is also linked to dementia, resulting in the loss of brain tissue particularly in the parts of the brain responsible for memory and processing and interpreting visual information.

Moderate levels of alcohol, however, were found to protect brain tissue by increasing good cholesterol and lowering bad cholesterol.

According to the latest estimates, there are 850,000 people in the UK living with dementia. It will affect one in three people over the age of 65.

‘There are simple and effective ways to reduce our risk’

Age UK hopes the new evidence will spur people to make changes which will help them reduce the risk of developing dementia.

Caroline Abrahams, Charity Director of Age UK said ‘While there’s still no cure or way to reverse dementia, this evidence shows that there are simple and effective ways to reduce our risk of developing it to begin with.

‘What’s more, the changes that we need to make to keep our brains healthy are already proven to be good for the heart and overall health, so it’s common sense for us all to try to build them into our lives. The sooner we start, the better our chance of having a healthy later life.”

(From Age UK)

Zanardi’s inspirational thoughts

Alex Zanardi is a great champion in sport and in life and yesterday I heard him speaking in front of an audience of young people. I was touched by two ideas, simple but very evocative.

The first – “We need to synchronize the brain on the desires of the heart” , good idea to explain that we must cultivate our passions rather than suffer the impositions of the environment in which we live. But also puts in evidence that our mind has to play the role of programmer needed to move from simple daydreaming to put ourself in a position to achieve our desire. In this way  wishes and reality intertwine, avoiding being crushed by everyday things because they lived as a practical expression of our passion.

The second – An amateur cyclist who meet on the road during a training tells him that he certainly would doped if someone had told him that doing so he would have won the Tour de France and asking for his consent Zanardi replied instead: ” Are you crazy?”  He then goes on to say that sport is an opportunity and, for this reason, if  we are in a position to win or at least do the best “when does it happen again to you in life to try it alone? And what do you do?  With doping you lose this opportunity.”

These are thoughts good for our heart and mind.

Karin’s joy to live

There are sports events, matches, changing the perception of athletes by those who follow the sport as a spectator enthusiast. It’s ‘ the case of the match played yesterday between two tennis players Maria Sharapova and the Italian Karin Knapp, a game lasting 3.30 hours to + 40 degrees and that Knapp has only lost at the third set by two points: 10-8.  A game played by Knapp until the last shot with the extreme determination. They left a positive mark and demonstrate the level of competitiveness reached by this girl, 40 in the world ranking. Mark not only for how she played yesterday, but because only three years she resumed playing after a break of two years due to heart problems, with two heart surgeries and two on the right knee. It would have been easier to stop playing tennis, but Karin is back and she did well.

These are the stories that are good for sport world, reminding us of how sport can also be a way to redeem an athlete from serious health problems . It’s a story similar to that of Jack Sintini, setter of the volleyball Italian champions team. The same for Alex Zanardi the driver  become the strongest handbiker in the world. Too often we forget to remember these positive lives and we focus only the problems generated by doping. These are the examples that young male and female athletes must bring in their mind and soul, those of who was stronger than the incidents occurred. The parent who wrote to me the other day, how to motivate his son while others use doping  has to suggest the boy to appreciate these lives, understanding what they can teach.  In this way we enrich our motivation with ideas and beliefs supporting us in times of difficulty we will encounter. The same is true for young people who get angry every time  they make mistakes: try to think of how many errors they had to accept these ,champions when they resumed activity after illness or accident, if they had lost time to complain would never have got to where they are now.

Redefining success

“People want to engage in something whole-heartedly in order to find meaning.”

(Ryumon Gutierrez Baldoquin)