Exercising as little as 3 hours per week may keep the brain healthy, according to a small study presented at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA), held last December in Chicago. Older adults who exercised regularly had more cerebral blood flow and a greater number of small blood vessels in the brain compared with their inactive counterparts. Improved circulation may be one of the secrets to preventing cognitive decline.
Mindful forms of exercise—such as gentle yoga, tai chi and qigong—can be helpful to
individuals suffering from chronic pain. If
you teach one of these disciplines, you may want to reach out to people in pain, especially as a recent study found that they are more prone to commit suicide than those without pain.
Are you already communicating with clients via cell phone or e-mail? If not, you might want to start. Numerous studies have shown that social support and individualized feedback are powerful tools for helping people make and keep healthy habits. Recent research presented at the American College of Sport Medicine’s 55th Annual Meeting--held in Indianapolis in May 2008--highlighted the value of e-mail messages for improving attitude, intention and exercise behavior in inactive young adults.
Do you often feel that you have a million things you must do, a thousand things you’d like to do and no time to do any of them? The feeling of having too much on our plate can rob us of the precious energy we rely on. Time management is an essential key to success for any busy wellness professional.
Using brain imaging and chocolate milkshakes, scientists have found that women with weakened “reward circuitry” in their brains are at increased risk of weight gain over time and potential obesity. The risk increases even more for women who also have a gene associated with compromised dopamine signaling in the brain.
Successful personal trainers are essentially effective teachers. While personal training in part involves changing the body, teaching is the art of changing the brain—not physically rewiring it, but arranging information and experiences to stimulate learning. Learning involves a change in behavior and alters thinking and perception. Personal trainers must have strong core knowledge of biomechanics, program design, exercise science, behavioral science, nutrition and weight management principles in order to stimulate change in clients and lead them to desired results.
What is happening in the minds of people who have developed a greater capacity for forgiveness and compassion? Can a quality like love-—whether it’s shown toward a family member or a friend-—be neurologically measured in the brain?
Balance and gait disorders in older adults may be directly related to changes in the brain, according to a research report published in the March 18 issue of Neurology (2008; , 935–42). The 3-year study
involved 639 men and women aged 65–84 who were given brain scans and balance and walking tests. The scans revealed age-related, white-matter changes in all the participants. The changes were mild in 284
subjects, moderate in 197 subjects and severe in the remaining 158