Specifically, people ages 50 and older experienced boosts to brain health following exercise sessions lasting 45 minutes to an hour at a minimum of moderate intensity. The study was recently published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.
Researchers analyzed 39 studies published through 2016 in an attempt to look at the effects of exercise on brain health in this age group. They examined aerobic exercise, resistance training (i.e. weights) and a combination of the two. They also studied yoga and tai chi.
Aerobic exercise led to greater improvements in cognitive abilities (think: reading and learning, reports the BBC), and resistance training enhanced memory and executive function. The status of a person’s current brain health was immaterial.
The research offers further incentive for health care providers to recommend that their patients undertake moderate aerobic and resistance exercise as much as possible, according to a news release.
However, some experts worry the findings could have unintended consequences.
“It could lead to increased pressure for the 50-plus age group to exercise more in order to stay mentally healthy, which is good advice but also overlooks the fact that as we age it’s increasingly difficult to engage in physical activity, as our bodies are simply less capable of it,” Dean Burnett, of Cardiff University, told the BBC.
Limitations included that the studies analyzed were only ones where exercise was supervised.
The World Health Organization recommends 150 minutes of moderate aerobic physical activity every week, 75 minutes at a vigorous intensity or a mix of the two. The research team would like to see future research go further to uncover what “prescription of training” would “promote the greatest benefits to cognitive function,” according to the study.
Taking your workout outdoors can yield major results.
- Heart disease is the leading cause of death in men and women.
- Someone has a heart attack every 43 seconds
- Cardiovascular diseases claim more lives than all forms of cancer combined.
- Heart disease accounts for 1 in 7 deaths.
- Someone in the US dies from heart disease about once every 84 seconds.
- About 85.6 million Americans are living with some form of cardiovascular disease or the after affects of a stroke.
5. Sweet Potatoes
10. Egg Whites
12. Chicken Breast
15. Pine Nuts
18. Hot Peppers
20. Organic Lean Meats
23. Green Tea
27. Peanut Butter
29. Organic Raw Apple Cider Vinegar
30. Greek Yogurt
31. Olive Oil
33. Turkey Breast
34. Flax Seeds
Drinking and Driving
A Threat to Everyone
Adults reported drinking and driving about 112 million times in 2010.
85% of drinking and driving episodes were reported by binge drinkers.
4 in 5
Four in 5 people who drink and drive are men.
US adults drank too much and got behind the wheel about 112 million times in 2010. Though episodes of driving after drinking too much (“drinking and driving”) have gone down by 30% during the past 5 years, it remains a serious problem in the US. Alcohol-impaired drivers* are involved in about 1 in 3 crash deaths, resulting in nearly 11,000 deaths in 2009.
Driving drunk is never OK. Choose not to drink and drive and help others do the same.
*These drivers had blood alcohol concentrations of at least 0.08%. This is the illegal blood alcohol concentration level for adult drivers in the United States.
SOURCE: CDC Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, US 2010
Drinking and driving episodes by gender and age, 2010
SOURCE: CDC Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, US 2010
Some likely effects on driving
Adapted from The ABCs of BAC, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 2005, and How to Control Your Drinking, WR Miller and RF Munoz, University of New Mexico, 1982.
Self-reported annual drinking and driving episodes
SOURCE: CDC Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, US 2006, 2008 and 2010
Fruits and Vegetables
Fresh, filling and heart-healthy, fruits and vegetables are an important part of your overall healthy eating plan. They are high in vitamins, minerals and fiber and low in fat and calories. Eating a variety of fruits and vegetables may help you control your weight and your blood pressure.
Mom was right; eat your peas and carrots (and grapes and oranges).
The American Heart Association recommends eating eight or more fruit and vegetable servings every day. An average adult consuming 2,000 calories daily should aim for 4.5 cups of fruits and vegetables a day. Also, variety matters, so try a wide range of fruits and veggies.
When added sugars and sodium hide, you must seek:
Any product that contains fruit has some natural sugars. However, sugars are often added to packaged or prepared fruit and may be disguised as many different names on the list of ingredients. The line for “sugars,” as you see on a Nutrition Facts panel, includes both added and naturally occurring sugars. Learn more about sugars.
Sodium is also often added to canned or frozen vegetables. Check the amount on the Nutrition Facts panel (link to the Reading Food Labels page) and choose reduced or sodium-free products. Limiting sodium can help you reduce the risk for heart disease. Learn more about sodium.
Tips to boost fruits and vegetables to your diet
- Keep it colorful. Challenge yourself to try fruits and vegetables of different colors. Make it a red/green/orange day (apple, lettuce, carrot), or see if you can consume a rainbow of fruits and vegetables during the week.
- Add it on. Add fruit and vegetables to foods you love. Try adding frozen peas to mac’n’cheese, veggies on top of pizza and slices of fruit on top of breakfast cereals or low-fat ice cream.
- Mix them up. Add fruits and vegetables to food that’s cooked or baked, or mix vegetables in with pasta sauces, lasagnas, casseroles, soups and omelets. Mixing fresh or frozen berries into pancakes, waffles or muffins is another great way to make fruits and veggies a part of every meal.
- Roast away. Try roasting vegetables like cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, onions, carrots, tomatoes or eggplant. Long exposure to high heat will cause these foods to caramelize, which enhances their natural sweetness and reduces bitterness.
- Use healthier cooking methods. Steaming, grilling, sautéing, roasting, baking and microwaving vegetables are ideal preparation methods. Use fats and oils low in saturated fats sparingly; don’t use trans fats.
- Enjoy vegetable dippers. Chop raw vegetables into bite-sized pieces. Try bell peppers, carrots, cucumbers, broccoli, cauliflower and celery, and dip your favorites into low-fat or fat-free dressings. Dip tip: Read the food label of sauces and dressings to make sure they are not overloaded with saturated fat and salt.
- Sip smoothies. Smoothies are a great way to increase the amount of fruit you eat and they’re really easy to make. A basic smoothie is just frozen fruit, some low-fat or non-fat milk and/or yogurt, and 100% fruit juice all processed together in a blender until smooth. Experiment with different fruits to find out what you really like. Note that some cholesterol-lowering medications may interact with grapefruit, grapefruit juice, pomegranate and pomegranate juice. Please talk to your health care provider about any potential risks.
- Try fruit pops. Put 100% fruit juice in an ice tray and freeze it overnight. You can eat the fruit cubes as mini-popsicles or put them in other juices. Frozen seedless grapes make natural mini-popsicles and are a great summer treat.
- Enjoy fruit desserts. Fresh or canned fruit in light syrup or natural fruit juice, gelatin containing fruit and dried fruit are good choices for a dessert.