volume 10 number 1
In a recent study published in the 09 October 2002 Journal of the American Medical Association, hyperactive children and teens were found to have a slightly smaller brain size than their counterparts without the hyperactivity disorder. The American Academy of Pediatrics estimates that hyperactivity affects between four to twelve percent of school-age children, making it one of the most common childhood psychiatric disorders. Symptoms of attention-deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) include short attention span, impulsive behavior, difficulty in the ability to focus and a tendency to fidget.
Canada’s government has discovered a possible link between fried foods and cancer. Scientists have announced that a clue may exist as to the chemical reaction that might cause fried foods to dangerously elevate the levels of acrylamide. Acrylamide is used to purify drinking water and to produce plastics and dyes. Acrylamide has been shown to cause cancer in laboratory animals, but its carcinogenic effects in humans is not yet known. It is worrisome enough, however, that the United States Food and Drug Administration has made the study of acrylamide one of its highest research priorities.
This is a question that is frequently posed by exercisers to fitness professionals. There are four basic variables in an exercise prescription: (1) frequency, (2) intensity, (3) time (or duration), and (4) mode (or type). Over the years, I have found mode to be the most important regardless of the exerciser’s goals. This is because a key to exercise adherence is selecting a mode that the exerciser finds to be enjoyable. If the exerciser does not enjoy the selected mode, he or she is more likely to drop out of the exercise program. If the exerciser finds the mode to be enjoyable, however, this increases the probability that he or she will remain faithful to the exercise program.
Women’s hormones give them a healthier edge over men when it comes to avoiding cardiovascular disease. If that’s the case, then why should women adhere to an exercise program? It is true that women do generally have a lower incidence of heart attacks than do men, but only before reaching menopause. The fact is that women’s death rates from cardiovascular disease rank right up there with the men within ten years of menopause.
Society has always espoused the idea of slowing down in their golden years. Perhaps this concept evolved as a reward for the previous years of hard labor. Perhaps it evolved from the notion that the aging process leads to physical frailty. Slow down? Maybe a little to enjoy life. But, when it comes to exercise, seniors should certainly not slow down to a stop. Physical activity may be the closest thing to a panacea for the aging process. There is a myriad of benefits for seniors to reap from a regular program of exercise, ranging from the physiological to the psychological realms.
In a recent government study, 31 percent, or nearly 59 million, of all American adults were classified as obese. This figure has doubled over the past two decades. A 1980 study found that only 15 percent of adults were obese. This figure rose to 23 percent in a 1994 study. The results in this current study contrast sharply with the 19.8 percent that was estimated in a 2000 survey. This study is considered to be more accurate because it was based upon actual body measurements, whereas the 2000 survey was based upon data that was self-reported by the subjects. This indicates that people have a tendency to underestimate their weights. The study also determined that two-thirds of all adults are classified as being overweight. The current study was based on a nationally representative survey of 4,115 adults ages 20 through 74.
Resistance training was once used exclusively by competitive athletes and body builders. Current research indicates that resistance training affords many benefits for all, regardless of gender or age. Resistance training is any type of weight bearing exercise that requires one to work the muscles harder than what one’s regular daily activities requires. This “overload” on a regular basis over time will stimulate the body to adapt and improve in muscular strength and muscular endurance. These improvements can improve the athlete’s performance and it can improve the non-athlete’s ability to tackle that flight of stairs without getting as tired. The increased muscular strength and endurance makes the workload easier, so even your cardiovascular system doesn’t have to work as hard to supply those leg muscles with oxygen to produce the extra energy.