Runners and musicians have better-connected brains than the rest of us. Better brain connectivity could be yet another benefit of running, because researchers have found that a good run can affect the brain in much the same way as playing a musical instrument.
MRI scans have revealed improved functional connectivity in the brains of runners who took part in the new study, showing different regions of the brain were more closely connected than usual, and more in sync with each other. The team from the University of Arizona says the findings could help us understand how repetitive tasks, such as running or practicing the piano, alter brain functionality, as give us new insight into how best to fight cognitive decline later in life. "One of the things that drove this collaboration was that there has been a recent proliferation of studies, over the last 15 years, that have shown that physical activity and exercise can have a beneficial impact on the brain, but most of that work has been in older adults," says one of the team, anthropologist David Raichlen.
Why Kids Shouldn t Specialize in One Sport. "It [specialization] is one of the worst developments imaginable at the youth sports level.
Physically, emotionally, developmentally, it's a huge, huge mistake. And it absolutely is happening. It is sweeping the country. " -- Bruce Svare, Ph.D., director of the National Institute for Sports Reform By Deirdre Wilson Turning 10 is a big milestone for kids. Yet, that's exactly what's happening for more and more young children, despite objections from physicians, child-development experts and even youth sports advocates. Kids as young as 9 or 10 are forgoing other sports to focus on one athletic interest, such as soccer, hockey or gymnastics. "I'm seeing kids having to choose, at age 10, whether to play baseball or lacrosse," says Richard Ginsburg, Ph.D., a sports psychologist and co-author of the new book Whose Game Is It, Anyway? But that's not all that Ginsburg and other health-care providers are seeing.
But the push to specialize in one sport during childhood has become more pervasive. Physical Activity in Schools is Essential to Reversing Childhood Obesity For those working to reverse the trend in childhood obesity, there is significant cause for excitement.
After three decades of steady increases, obesity rates have, for the first time, remained level in nearly every state in the nation. The news, reported last month by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, is indeed cause for celebration. However, the current obesity statistics, particularly those among children, remain dramatic and concerning. This could mean that the current generation of children may live shorter lives than their parents -- a first in this nation's history. Over the past 40 years, rates of obesity have doubled in 2- to 5-year-olds, quadrupled in 6-to 11-year-olds, and tripled in 12- to 19-year-olds. As we look for reasons to be hopeful and signs that this battle can indeed be won, we see creativity and innovation fueling a growing grassroots movement that is focused on increasing quality physical activity for our kids. Let's Move!
A Surprising Nutrient That Helps Kids Sleep. Sleeplessness among children is common, occurring in as many as 40% of kids.
Sleep deprivation can crescendo into a variety of other problems, including fatigue, declining school performance, depression, behavioral issues, weight gain and even poor general health. An Oxford University study recently published in the Journal of Sleep Research reveals findings that provide valuable insights about causes of sleeplessness in children. More importantly, the study sheds light on a nutrition-oriented approach to improving sleep.
The researchers evaluated the sleep patterns of 395 children aged 7 to 9. In addition, they performed a blood analysis on these children to measure their levels of DHA, an omega-3 fatty acid. As had been reported in earlier studies, the number of children having trouble with sleep is a significant 30 to 40%. The study revealed that children who received the DHA showed not only better quality sleep, but significantly fewer and shorter night-wakings. Understanding Stress: Symptoms, Signs, Causes, and Effects. What is stress?
The Body’s Stress Response When you perceive a threat, your nervous system responds by releasing a flood of stress hormones, including adrenaline and cortisol. These hormones rouse the body for emergency action. Your heart pounds faster, muscles tighten, blood pressure rises, breath quickens, and your senses become sharper. These physical changes increase your strength and stamina, speed your reaction time, and enhance your focus—preparing you to either fight or flee from the danger at hand.
Stress is a normal physical response to events that make you feel threatened or upset your balance in some way. The stress response is the body’s way of protecting you. The stress response also helps you rise to meet challenges.