Your Health the Week of July 20th

Nancy Heppwritten by Nancy Hepp, MS
Research and Communications Specialist

Exercise and Health

Other than diet, exercise is probably the contributor to health that we have the most control over as individuals. Three studies this week provide evidence that exercise affects several aspects of health, sometimes in combination with other factors.

bicyclingAs reported in ScienceDaily, Exercise can improve brain function in older adults. A study was conducted with healthy but underactive or sedentary adults ages 65 and older who showed no signs of cognitive decline. Individuals were randomly assigned to one of four groups: those without any change in their exercise (the control group), and groups that exercised moderately for 75, 150 or 225 minutes per week. All groups who exercised saw some benefit, with greater amounts of exercise related to greater cardiorespiratory fitness and less perceived disability at the end of six months. Those who exercised also saw benefits in cognitive test scores, particularly in improved visual-spatial processing, and an increase in their overall attention levels and ability to focus. In sum, better scores on cognitive tests were related to cardiorespiratory fitness rather than the number of minutes of exercise, so the study concludes that cardiorespiratory fitness may be an appropriate goal for maintaining both physical and cognitive health as we age.

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Your Health the Week of June 1st

written by Nancy Hepp, MS
Research and Communications Specialist

Childhood Leukemia

Two studies this week connect childhood leukemia with the environment. Childhood leukemia and residential proximity to industrial and urban sites, from Environmental Research, shows an association between living near certain industries or urban areas and an increased risk of childhood leukemia. Industries working with glass and mineral fibers, organic solvents, galvanization and processing of metals, and surface treatment of metals were identified with the greatest increases in risk. The other study, from JAMA Pediatrics, found that breastfeeding a child for six months or more could prevent 14% or more of cases of childhood leukemia.

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