Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Share Diet and Fitness News With Lighthearted Approach

Diet is the buzzword of the week as everyone comes down off of those Christmas sugar highs and reluctantly looks down the barrel of the new year. The diet world is certainly a deep one to navigate and one you shouldn't have to go at alone without a good friend. Diets In Review is a premiere diet and wellness education site. In addition to providing informative reviews about hundreds of diets, weight loss programs, nutrition books, diet pills and supplements, exercise equipment and more, they have a team of dedicated diet and nutrition experts sharing the most up-to-date news and information.
Book mark the Diets In Review Diet Column, especially if you want more information about how to lose weight. It's a great source for all the diet, fitness news you'll need. The contributors update the site daily with news about the newest research studies, breakthrough information about how those using pedometers tend to lose more weight or how indulging in just a little dark chocolate each day actually does more good than harm and how to promote a healthy body image in the face of a media who knocks stars like Jennifer Love Hewitt for being a size 2. You'll also find intriguing posts about their personal experiences as they relate to their own journeys to lead healthy lives while balancing career, children and all the other mayhem of daily life.
Jason Knapfel is one of the major contributors who has experience in dieting and fitness. Most notably, he spent six years working with the online diet giant eDiets. His frequent posts are informative, somewhat personal and always have a touch of realistic humor.
Brandi Koskie has been writing both reviews and posts to the column since day one. Her level-headed approach is honest and also offers a funny tone. She has just completed an interview with Biggest Loser season 5 contestants Amanda and Neill Harmer that will be featured in the Diets In Review Diet Column. She'll also follow along with the season and post weekly updates. So definitely be sure to keep up with these exciting entries.
Newcomers to Diets In Review are Gretchen Wilcox and Heather Ashare. Just in time for the new year, they'll continue to keep readers updated with the most current dieting news, trends and tips.
Gretchen has a background with Jenny Craig. She is a master sommelier and can certainly advise about the health benefits of wine (if not the best ones to enjoy), as well as a bit of a foodie. She is currently completing a degree in psychology.
Heather joins with degrees in public health and psychology and has a true passion for writing about health and wellness. Her editorials have been featured in publications like The Detroit News and Smart Woman Chicago. She also practices and instructs Ashtanga yoga and studies Ayurveda medicine, ancient Indian health and healing.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Top Ten Ways to Improved Health and Fitness

Does it look as if your life is spiraling out of control? Getting rid of stress is all pertaining to taking charge: having to take charge of your current thought processes, your own feelings, your agenda, your own natural environment, along with the approach you deal with difficulties. Typically the supreme goal is actually a balanced life along with time for work, family relationships, rest and fun - additionally the fortitude to hold up under stress and also satisfy challenges head on.
1. Adequate Breath
Practice the following process on a day-to-day basis for 5-10 minutes. Lie on your back, placing a pillow wedge or similar support beneath your knees to relax your smaller back. Position a hand at your stomach and the other on your chest. Slowly and gradually inhale through your nostril and also make certain the only hand that will moves is actually the one upon ones belly. Try to keep the hand on your upper body as still as achievable. Let out your breath by means of pursed mouth and repeat. You actually might become briefly lightheaded following your 1st couple of breaths, but that is definitely a regular response to the particular increase in oxygen uptake by your body.
2. Organization
Are you beginning to feel weighed down through so much to do and so little time? Unclutter your life and also get organized in order to take back control.
3. Satisfactory Drinking water
Lack of fluids stresses your overall body and nervous system. Sufficient water absorption is important for cellular processes. So, just how much must you drink? My personal guidance, multiply your weight in lbs by 0.5 and 0.7. The amounts produced are the range, in ounces, of drinking water an individual should drink every day. There is no need to get started slamming down normal water today. Instead, gradually increase your intake over a four-week time period. Keep in mind that caffeinated drinks are usually natural dehydrators, so for every cup of caffeine beverage you consume, replace them by using 2 cups of standard water.
4. Balanced Snack
Eat balanced eat regularly to control blood sugar quantities. Consuming simply about three meals a day is insufficient with regard to keeping this delicate balance of hormones in check. This is actually recommended that in addition to consuming three normal meals a day, a person combine in 2-3 nutritious snacks. Anyone can notice a renewed feeling of energy and vitality because you deliver your body and brain with the nutrition it needs.
5. Exercising
Once you make it a part of your program, it may become an essential part regarding your healthy and balanced way of life. Make an effort to get 20 minutes a day of some type of physical exercise. Going for a walk is actually a excellent way to begin. Get outdoors in addition to enjoy the open atmosphere while at the exact same time clarifying your mind. Excessive pounds is also a stress on your body. Standard physical exercise may help to remove the pounds, improving your appearance, your health and fitness and your state of mind.
6. Finding "Me Time Period"
Take some solo time every morning prior to you start the actual day. Implement this period to reflect on yesterday and plan out present-day's events. It is a excellent time in order to put together your own "Top 5" list of important things you actually really want to accomplish for the day.
7. Listening to Songs
Favorite songs calms the spirit. This can trigger so many emotions and sense. Produce a specialized assortment of your popular tunes and play them any time you need to get away. Close your eyes along with take yourself back to a place which left a cherished opinion upon your own soul. That will help provide you a restored viewpoint upon your current situation.
8. Studying
Studying can truly alter your existence. Try in order to find twenty minutes a day to look over something positive and reassuring. Stay apart from newspapers and periodicals that are usually filled up with disaster and gloom.
9. Concentrating on Excellent Information
Turn on the TV these days and almost all you observe is certainly negative information. What happened to the actual great news? Precisely what you focus on turns into your actuality. Consequently stop paying attention on the actual poor things in life and concentrate within on the favourable.
10. Better Sleeping
Rest is essential with regard to the particular regeneration associated with body and mind. Lack of sleep leads stress on the immune system and can make you a lot more susceptible to disease. How much sleep should a particular person get every night? The particular answer will depend on on the personal; nevertheless it will be advised to get eight hours of slumber every evening for greatest benefit.
This usually takes thirty days to form a brand-new habit. Attempt these top 10 pressure busters for just 1 month and anyone can modify your current life. Perhaps if you cannot perform all of them, begin using a handful of and also observe just how much less tension you have in your life.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Like Xbox Kinect and Nintendo Wii, Can Improve Health and Fitness

The gaming industry is forever at the receiving end of wide-spread criticism from parents, teachers and critics. Most games are 'Violent' with nothing but "blood, gore and battles', it is often said. To a large extent, it's true and the gaming industry does have an Achilles heel. However, did you ever think that Health and Fitness can be improved by playing games on modern gadgets like Xbox and Nintendo Wii? Could playing games be possibly therapeutic? Some research seems to suggest so:
It reduces pain: If you are wondering how playing video games can reduce pain, according to the American Pain Society, our focus diverts away from any seemingly bothering pain points on your body and makes you to forget about pain, at least temporarily. More specifically, the study reports that patients undergoing Chemotherapy reported a great level of stress reduction and lessened fear. It is believed that the brain releases endorphins during gaming that generally makes us feel good.
Learning: While it might seem totally counter-intuitive, games play a crucial role in learning and development. According to an article on cited.org, games fall into the category of "interactive multimedia" where learning occurs through user control. For instance, a game called "Discover Babylon" enables students to scour through an ancient Mesopotamian route and time just by using basic skills like mathematics, reading and writing. In yet another game called Chemsense, students can tinker with chemical compounds and experiment virtually. Most of the other modern games on Xbox, Play station and Personal computers might be termed as 'violent' by critics, but there's a sense of spatial skills development, cognitive learning, adapting to various environments, etc.
Motivation: Games are intensely engaging and users usually experience a heightened state of excitement during play time. The scores, leader boards, team play, group wins, individual wins all provide a pumped up level of motivation for users - the very reason why games are so addictive. In fact, this addiction is a growing concern in the U.S alone with about 92%of kids under the age 18 play regularly. While the addiction part of the story is disconcerting indeed, when played in moderation games can really keep users' energy levels up, bring out a sense of "fighting to win" and invoke an increased level of action among users.
A Sharp and alert Mind: Playing video games, online games or even massive multi-player games have a direct impact on the level of alertness of your mind. CBS news mentions a report released at the University of Rochester, gamers who play games like Grand Theft Auto and Counter-strike have better visual skills, faster cognition, have quick reflexes and have a better ability to process information quickly.
When we believe that anything in excess is bad, it holds good for the time spent on video games. While there are alcoholics, smokers and gluttons there are addicted gamers too. As it stands for most things, moderate use is acceptable and even beneficial in many cases; so are games.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

The Three Simple C's to Ensure You Reach Your Health and Fitness Goals

Reducing body fat, increasing lean muscle mass or simply getting a bit fitter to cope with the vigor of everyday life can be a massive challenge. This challenge often becomes frustrating with results often coming very, very slowly. Losing weight, gaining muscle and trying to achieve health/fitness goals are based on a multidimensional parameter. Training type, training time, training frequency, nutrition intake, fluid intake, alcohol consumption, sleep patterns and stress can all play a huge part.
This short article isn't designed to look at the total picture and take every aspect of lifestyle management into consideration. I am simply going to look at the time spent in the gym and how following the 'Three C's' principle will make your time in the gym more efficient and more effective leaving you with more time to do the other things you enjoy in life. It will also make you look forward to your next gym visit and believe me...the RESULTS WILL COME!!!
As a Personal Trainer, I spend half my life in the gym environment and I see these three simple points carried out ineffectively by almost 80% of gym visitors. That means 80% of gym visitors are not implying simple strategies to help them achieve their goals. So what are the Three C's? The Three C's are Continuously, Consistently and Creativity. So let me explain each one individually and how if performed correctly will help you achieve your health and fitness goals.
This may sound strange but a recent survey found that 37% of gym members once they start training do not train continuously. By all means when training there are times when we obviously rest, these rest periods are incorporated into the training program. But coffee breaks, reading the news paper, constant chatting amongst gym members and a distinct lack of focus on the training session at hand is many frustrated exercises biggest downfall. So when we are in the gym lets ensure we are focused ad exercising continuously. A great point using weight loss for an example would be ensuring the heart rate remains above 60%, throughout the whole training session.
The second C is Consistency. Sure one great gym session is going to help, but that alone is not enough. To achieve our goals, for example weight loss we need to be exercising frequently (3 - 5 times per week). So Consistency in following your gym routine is crucial in order to get results.
The final C is Creativity. In order to train continuously and consistently your exercise routine needs to be creative. A creative routine will keep you both physically and mentally stimulated. Rather than using fixed machines three times a week in the same monotonous way, incorporate body weight exercises, dumbbells, kettlebells, medicine balls and stability balls to keep challenging your body. For more advice on these types of equipment speak to a personal trainer at your gym or health club. I'm sure they'll be happy to help!
To sum up and more importantly, ensure that you put this into action follow the three simple points. They will lead to a Fitter, Healthier and revitalized you that gets results from the gym, enjoys the gym and attends the gym regularly:
1) Make sure we train continuously for the allocated period of time in accordance with our training program.
2) Make sure we train consistently on a weekly and monthly basis ensuring each training session is implemented as successfully as possible.
3) Make your routine as creative as possible to kick boredom in to touch. This will ensure long term our exercise routine is sustainable and both physically and mentally challenging.
Healthy Thanks
Sam O'Sullivan
(South Wales, Uk based Level 3 Advanced Personal Trainer)
Sam O'Sullivan is a Personal Trainer and Boot Camp Guru based in Cardiff, South Wales, UK. He is the creator of the highly successful SOS Executive Personal Training Company and Cardiff Kettlebell Boot Camp. His knowledge, enthusiasm as a Level 3 Advanced Personal Trainer with his innovative approach to training has changed many of his clients lives.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Alcohol Does Serious Damage!

Life is a precious gift and all through our growing years parents lovingly tend and nurture life, giving us strong healthy bodies that are bursting with vitality. Then we grow up and go off to do our own thing that includes being hell bent on destroying the health and fitness we enjoy. Alcohol is a killer, make no mistake about that! It is wonderful to party and get drunk and we tell ourselves that we are young and life is to be enjoyed. This article covers the repercussions of serious drinking on well being.
Medical research has indicated that a glass of wine or beer or one hard alcohol drink every day is good for the body. Who really stops with one drink? The reason being, alcohol is extremely addictive and once you get caught in its grip, getting out takes some serious effort. Society is plagued by alcoholism, even the young and the saddest part is that the numbers are on the rise, even among pre-teenagers.
You would be hard pressed to find few if any parts of the body that are not negatively affected by the effects of alcohol. Going into the details of every one of the side effects caused by alcohol on health and fitness will take forever; this article covers a few of the scarier aspects of alcoholism. There are short term effects of alcohol like ruined relationships, dysfunctional family life that involves abuse, driving impairment and negative reactions to prescribed medication. In the long term the problems that develop affect health in myriad ways by breaking down the body's defenses and organ functions leading to serious and even fatal health consequences.
The liver is one of the primary organs that is affected by alcohol very negatively. Inflammation of the liver leads to Hepatitis which includes abdominal pains, fever and jaundice. Prolonged abuse unfortunately can be fatal, the good news however, is that when you stop the effects are reversible. Cirrhosis of the liver, which is scarring of the organ is the ultimate result of the abuse and cannot be reversed and may require a liver transplant as a last resort.
The pancreas is the organ that regulates your body's blood sugar levels through the production of insulin and it also helps in digesting the food you eat. Inflammation of the pancreas through alcohol abuse leads to severe abdominal pains and weight loss that can eventually result in death.
Alcohol heightens the risk of various cancers attacking the body and the correlation between alcohol and cancer has been medically proven. Women can develop breast cancer in addition to cancers of the mouth, throat, liver, pancreas and colon.
Now that you are suitably enlightened on the dangers of alcohol abuse it is best to stay away from something that can fatally damage your health and fitness.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Healthy And Fit In 2 Weeks

It seems that nowadays each year sees the launch of a new diet solution product that is designed to bring about the so much wanted fit and healthy body. As you might suspect this year is no different, around spring people start to look for ways to lose weight they put on during the winter month or in the recent years. From the hyped up launches of these products to alternative and common sense solutions, losing weight is drawing much attention again. This article will explore the many exciting aspects of getting healthy and fit, the great method to achieve that and its impending impact on your body.
Like many mass marketed products from companies, weigh loss products promise that you achieve results within a short time frame only by popping in some pastilles every day without you changing your lifestyle or actively taking part in your progress towards health and fitness. We have seen how these "wonders of the year" quickly fade away to give place to a new, more exciting and promising "discovery of the year" solution leaving you feeling bitter and frustrated, what's more blaming yourself for not achieving what those advertised exceptional people claim. While there have been many reasons for following these trends, people have realised that these products don't usually bring results to the masses.
The ever green common sense solution is to eat less and exercise more. It's easy to say but how can it be implemented in one's everyday life? - you might ask. What exactly are the steps I personally have to take to see results? After failing with several magic products these questions are logical to ask. So maybe there is no magic pushbutton solution people want to believe in so hard... I'm sure a lot of people have given up hope that they can ever lose weight and be healthy and fit again. The good news is: they CAN achieve their dreams by turning their attention to alternative solutions that have worked for more than 7000 years. The best example of this is Chikong (Qigong, Chi Kung)
This method which has worked for such a long time brings results within the first 2 weeks. There is no magic pill involved in it - instead you must take part, actively be involved in order to achieve health and fitness. By this time after failing with so many programs I am sure you realized you have to take action as well. What is fantastic about Chikong is that with a little action from your part - that you actually enjoy doing within days - your body start transforming and you will see great results within the first 2 weeks of your involvement.
As you can probably tell by now you have to actively take your health into your hands instead of going for the new shiny magic pill. As you might suspect it is anticipated that more and more people realise this truth and start turning towards those methods that have worked for thousands of year. They will enjoy getting their health back, being fit and full of energy and a result of this enjoying their lives.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Health and Fitness Fairy to Wave Her Magic Wand

If you could have just one wish granted that related to your health and well being what would it be?
o Be stronger and fitter
o Have a great slim, firm body
o No worries about developing some dreaded disease
o Feel more self-confidence
o Be more relaxed and de-stressed
o Have more endurance and stamina
o Be more alert and focused
o Feel happier and more accepting with your lot in life
o Live longer and have a higher quality of life
The good news is...you don't need the magic fairy with her wand to grant you any of these wishes. You can have all of the wonderful benefits listed above and not have to wait for that fairy to pay you a visit.
You are now saying so, what is it and how do I get all of these things in my life?
The simple answer is 'proper exercise'.
But I hear you say "I hate exercise".
And the answer to this is: "Change your mindset".
Whether you like to exercise or not doesn't really matter. It is simply not an option but a choice and that choice is totally dependent on you. Somehow you need to change the "I hate" to "I love" to exercise. Tell yourself it makes you feel good, it will help you lose that excess body fat, it will help you be a calmer and saner person, it will make you live longer and the list goes on and on. Whatever it takes is what you need to do.
To be able to improve your life in every way and be the person you are meant to be means you must include proper physical activity into your life. If you don't feel this is necessary and that you can get by without it you are simply cheating yourself. Your life cannot be complete without proper exercise and to start making your life better this is the place to start.
Every one of us needs proper regular exercise. It is our natural state to be fit, strong and energetic. If we are not in this state we cannot function properly, either physically or mentally. We might get by without it in our younger days, but as the years pass the toll it takes will make itself apparent in many different negative ways. It will get to the point where the deterioration and degeneration will impact life greatly as the downward spiral accelerates.
It is so much easier to take charge and take action to guard against this. If you are new to exercise or do not understand what proper exercise means seek the help of a fitness professional. If you fail to do your program correctly, or fail to use the right exercise such as strength training exercise you will not get the results you hope to get. It is way more than simply going for a walk. We all have legs and we all walk but this will not give you significant anti aging health and wellness benefits.
If you have never experienced how good for your inner sense of wellbeing you can get from a regular exercise program you have something great to look forward too. It will become so much easier to be the person you want to be. You will soon have more energy and vitality, a better mind set and attitude to everything in life and a gentler calmer disposition.
If you can learn to love exercise and how it makes you feel, you will not have to force yourself and will want to actually do it. This can happen little by little over a period of time. Allow yourself to have this gift and in return you will have access to your health and fitness wish list.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Health and Fitness in Young Children

It's tougher to raise kids today than it was even 10 years ago. Parents now are concerned about diet and exercise as well as kids' safety and development. There are many articles in the news and on TV telling us about the childhood obesity epidemic. The concern is growing because we've created a lifestyle which encourages all of us to sit - in front of the TV, in front of the computer, in front of the Play Station. Every child - even toddlers - needs to get at least 60 minutes of active play every day. It's scary when you read that kids today get less than 15 minutes of vigorous exercise a day, drinks more than 20 ounces of soda pop, and spends more than 20% of their time watching television. No wonder our kids are less fit and more fat than children from the 1960s.
The figures about obesity in children are startling. In only one state, Michigan, 33% of the girls and 34% of the boys are considered overweight. The national average is 29%. And 36% of those boys and girls have elevated cholesterol levels too, which is 11-18% higher than the U.S. average. Nationwide, our kids are developing adult diseases like high blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol. We believe our toddlers are active all day because they wear US out, right? In fact, in nursery schools or daycare, they spend most of their time sitting! Our kids need to develop a healthier lifestyle, getting more exercise at the same time they are adopting healthier eating habits. Everyone in America is at risk for these health problems due to our poor eating habits and sedentary lifestyles. Our kids learn by playing, and when they play, they imitate what they see adults do. Being a good example naturally is the best way of teaching your children.
Our kids learn by playing, and when they play, they imitate what they see adults do. Being a good example naturally is the best way of teaching your children. Showing them how to eat right and get more exercise is crucial today. The percentage of overweight and obese kids has more than doubled over the past 30 years. Even thought many factors contribute to this epidemic, our children spend too much time sitting around - a LOT more than they used to. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, the average child watches nearly 3 hours of TV a day - making 5 1/2 hours of sitting per day after adding time spent on video games, computers etc.The AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) says that children under 2 years of age watch no TV and kids over 2 and above watch only 1-2 hours.
How much exercise is enough? All kids 2 and above need 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise most days of the week (preferable all days). Stretching exercises help improve flexibility, allowing muscles and joints to bend and move easily through the full range of motion. Kids look for opportunities every day to stretch when they try to get a toy just out of reach, practice a split, or do cartwheels. Climbing exercises improves coordination and planning skills.
Kids who get more exercise sleep better, learn better and are healthier. If you as a parent add regular activity into your daily routines, such as taking the stairs instead of the elevator, is key to instilling in your children the way to a healthier lifestyle. Keep it fun and you can count on that your child will come back for more.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Yoga's Health and Fitness Benefits

Yoga has been around a long time-longer than interval training, Zumba classes, and free weights. But can a consistent and challenging yoga practice really lead to overall body fitness? Many experts say yes. But the good news doesn't stop there. Not only can you increase and maintain your level of fitness through a yoga practice, you can also become a healthier person. Let's take a look at some of the specific benefits that yoga practitioners experience.
- Yoga strengthens your muscles-depending on the type of yoga practiced, various poses might be held for several seconds to several minutes-but it also increases your body's flexibility. Ironically, many gym devotees strengthen their muscles by lifting heavy weights, creating strong short muscles that are more susceptible to injury. Yoga, however, strengthens and stretches; a key component to the creation of injury-resistant muscles.
- The power of yoga lies in the breath. Yoga instructors coach students in their breathing-as they move into, sustain, and move out of each yoga pose. Various types of breathing are taught and practiced. More than anything though, yoga lovers are simply made aware of breath and how important proper breathing is to overall yoga technique and everyday living. They come to understand the power of breath, how to integrate breath to get the most out of each pose and how proper inhalation and exhalation can relieve stress, lower the heart rate and increase lung capacity.
- By practicing this type of breathing, you can also up the amount of oxygen in your system. More oxygen means increased energy levels. The more yoga you do, the more energized you feel.
- Daily yoga practice has a variety of positive health benefits. Researchers have found that yoga, when consistently practiced, can relieve the symptoms of arthritis, chronic fatigue syndrome and asthma. Yoga can also bring down high blood pressure and help people manage their weight.
- When you practice yoga regularly and over a sustained period of time, you will experience an increase in your body awareness, diminished stress levels and a fine-tuning of your ability to concentrate.
- Finally, yoga can improve your mood, help you relax and even help you perform better on tests! Yoga often involves unilateral movements (like breathing out of only one nostril at a time) and movements that require students to cross the median line of the body (like touching the left big toe with the right hand). These kinds of movements increase brain activity. More brain activity is a part of better cognitive performance.
As you can see, yoga isn't just about stretching. It is physically demanding, it can increase your overall fitness and help you mentally. Integrate one or two yoga classes into your weekly calendar, and you will see a tremendous difference in all aspects of your physical being.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Bain Training

A spate of recent news coverage on brain fitness and "brain training" reflects a growing interest in natural, non-drug-based interventions to keep our brains sharp as we age. This interest is very timely, given the aging population, increasing Alzheimer's rates, and soaring health care costs that place more emphasis than ever on prevention and changing lifestyle.
This past Tuesday, the MIT Club of Northern California, the American Society on Aging, and SmartSilvers sponsored an event on The Emerging Brain Fitness Software Market: Building Better Brains to explore the realities and myths of this growing field. Before the panel, I had the chance to present an overview of the state of the Brain Fitness Software Market.
Why are we talking about this field at all? Well, for one, an increasing number of companies are achieving significant commercial success in packaging "brain exercise". An example is the line of Nintendo games, such as Brain Age and Brain Training, that have shipped over 15 million units worldwide despite limited scientific support, since 2005. What is less visible is that a number of companies and scientists are partnering to bring products to market with a more solid clinical validation. We estimate the US market was $225m in 2007 (growing from $100 in 2005). Whereas K12 Education used to be the major segment, adult consumers are responsible for most of that growth: we estimate the consumer segment grew from a few million in 2005 to $80 m in 2007.
Who is buying these products? Yes, of course, many adults over 50 who want to protect their memory are among the pioneers. 78 million baby boomers are eager to try new approaches. A growing number of retirement communities and nursing homes are offering programs to their residents to expand their usual fitness and social activities. And we can't forget about K12 education: certain brain fitness software packages have shown they can help kids who have dyslexia and related difficulties.
Is there science behind these claims? Do these products work? It depends on how we define "work". If "working" means quantifiable short-term improvements after a number of weeks of systematic "brain training" to improve specific cognitive skills, then the answer is that a number of programs do seem to work. If , on the other hand, "working" means measurable long-term benefits, such as better overall brain health as we age, or lower incidence of Alzheimer's symptoms, the answer is that circumstantial evidence suggests they may, but it is still too early to tell.
Are there any public policy implications? We certainly believe that there are. The Center for Disease Control recently partnered with the Alzheimer's Association to develop a comprehensive Cognitive Health road map to better guide research efforts and improve public education on the lifestyle habits that every proud owner of a brain could benefit from following. Given the high rates of traumatic brain injuries and stress disorders found in a large number of the men and women coming home from the Iraq war, the military is investing heavily in research to help identify problems to develop tools to solve them, and we expect that research will translate into wider health applications. No presidential candidate, to our knowledge, has directly addressed his or her priorities in the cognitive health realm but, given the growing importance and economic impact of brain-related disorders, we expect that to happen soon.
What are some trends that executives and investors should be looking at to understand this growing market? Let me make a few predictions:
1) An increased emphasis on Brain Maintenance, from retirement communities to gyms and health clubs. Will health clubs one day offer brain fitness programs, and perhaps "brain coaches"? We think so.
2) Better and more widely available assessments of cognitive function will enable of all us to establish an objective baseline of how our minds are evolving, identify priorities for "workouts" and lifestyle interventions, and help us measure progress. Science-fiction? Not really. there are already pretty good tests used in clinical and medical environments, the challenge will be to refine and package those assessments in a consumer-friendly way.
3) We will see more and better computer-based tools, each of which may be more appropriate to work on specific priorities. Just as we find a variety of machines in health clubs today, in the future we can expect different programs tailored to train specific cognitive skills.
4) More non-computer based tools will also provide much value. There is more and more research on how meditation and cognitive therapy, to mention 2 examples, can be very effective in literally re-wiring parts of the brain.
5) Insurance Companies will introduce incentives for member who want to follow brain fitness programs. Perhaps even companies will offer such programs to employees to attract and retain mature workers who want access to the best and the latest innovations to keep their minds sharp.
Now, this being a pretty new field, many questions remain open. For example, how will consumers and institutions receive quality information and education to navigate through the emerging research and the overwhelming number of new programs, separating reality from hype?
In summary, what were the main take-aways from the event?
1. Research indicates that a number of cognitive abilities (attention, memory...) can be assessed and trained
2. An emerging market is starting to develop-growing from an estimated $100m in 2005 to $225m in 2007, in the US alone-, and is poised to keep growing at significant rates.
3. Many companies are currently selling products direct to consumers (as well as through institutions) with sometimes unclear claims - this threatens to confuse consumers and present a major obstacle to the growth and credibility of the sector.
If you are interested in this rapidly growing field, please stay tuned! There are fascinating research reports every month

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Health and Fitness Level

Article 4 of 7
This article is about the completion of a key element of the proposed medical information system--the national research center.
To realize the most from this article you need to read the 3 previous articles. However, I will try and summarize some of the key points of those articles here.
The most effective means of evaluating a person's health would of course be through some direct means of looking into the human organism to see what is truly taking place. Fortunately, as strange as it may seem, the human body does provide such a window in the form of its biochemical makeup. Furthermore, even more encouraging, there is a science already fully developed that is taking full advantage of that body phenomenon called clinical laboratory science. These are major factors in the success any advanced health care system.
I highly recommend that you take a minute here to read what the experts have to say on that matter by clicking on the link (called page 18) at the end of this article. These experts are from text books located in the University of Michigan's Medical Library.
As described in the link reference on page 18, the advantages of the biochemical makeup of the body is very impressive indeed. Clinical laboratory science is a highly computerized and a very rapidly moving industry. Hundreds of critical tests are now available for use. That industry is an important part of the current health care system. The blood or tissue tests that your doctor orders for you when he or she is suspicious of a given medical condition that needs verification usually involves clinical laboratory science.
The key difference between the proposed national medical information system and the current health care system lies in the difference in the use of these data. The current health care system primarily uses it to evaluate a disease condition whereas the proposed system would apply it on a broader scale basis to include disease prevention and wellness--taking advantage of far more of what clinical science has to offer.
To get a good feel of some of the amazing success in clinical laboratory science click on link (45-47) at the end of this article.
The proposed medical information system would use a completely new and far different type of application of clinical laboratory data. Far larger test profiles (100 blood constituents taken from one blood test) would be used in conjunction with a very sophisticated national research system for massive correlation to human health--including disease prevention and wellness.
Following is a remaining key element of the proposed system.
Article 3 was discussed with the use of handout A. A link to handout A is provided at the end of this article and should be referred to again here. This article will discuss the underlying technical strengths of that system by showing briefly how and why the health data fed into the national research center is so effective in its correlation to human health and wellness.
Referring back to the 100 test profile pattern discussed in article 3, it was shown that the 100 individual bits of test information along with patient environmental and patient data would be fed to the national research computer center (marked case #1). The research computers would record the profile pattern results and correlate that particular combination of test results to a particular health related condition. With the size of this 100 test profile pattern, as discussed earlier, there would be literally trillions of possible combinations involved. Of those trillions of possibilities, there would conservatively end up being at least millions of what we would call significant combinations that would represent significant health related information. The National Research Center would then relate that data to the individual's current health condition, history, family history, the individual's environment, and also to the same data of tens of millions of other patients. This is an enormous amount of health information for the supercomputers to pull together and relate to human health conditions!
In addition, there would no doubt also be smaller sets of tests of interest within that overall 100 test profile, such as separate groups of hormones, enzymes, antibodies and other special tests that could also be read and analyzed as separate group combinations as well. Many of us realize how very important these various groups are to our well being.
Let me stop here and review this for a moment. We talk about millions of significant health data combinations. So why is it necessary for such a breadth of examination capacity? Basically, because of the extreme complexities involving our environment, our health and of course their complex inter-relationship. For example, if we (as individuals) try to determine what it is in our environment that is having an effect on our health, either positive or negative, we know it's usually very difficult to do. We know there are literally dozens of elements (variables) in our personal environment that could affect our health. So how do we go about narrowing it down to determine what it is in a person's environment that is likely affecting his or her health?
The system described here does it in two ways, it uses the extreme reading breadth of the profile pattern (as discussed in article 3), to read an individuals test results along with the input of the environmental and doctor's medical examination report. It was shown that this data was then fed into the national research center system and compared to millions of other patient's health conditions, environments and test results.
This comparison, to the millions of other patients, would soon be very effective in narrowing the unknown element, or elements, down to the common denominator (or denominators) of what it is in the environment that normally affects people's health in certain ways. Very few patients would have the exact same environment and health conditions. Comparing millions of patient's health to their environmental exposures would provide a very effective screening process. The results of this research would then be fed back into the state diagnostic computers to diagnose specific individuals based on their individual profile pattern results and their individual environmental and physical examination reports.
This article discusses the key to success for any highly advanced health care system, and also the sophisticated features of the proposed medical system's research center.