Taking a moment to regain perspective before reacting to a stressful event may not only make you feel better at the time—it may also contribute to better health over a lifetime. Researchers at Pennsylvania State University, University Park, studied the relationship between people’s reactions to stressful events and their overall health 10 years later.
Mind-body fitness pros who are trained in relaxation techniques may want to teach clients these skills as part of a comprehensive wellness strategy. Stress impacts both physical and mental well-being. Excess stress can be a causal factor in certain health issues, or it can worsen conditions that are already present. Research findings support using relaxation techniques as part of an overall treatment for stress-related disorders.
When they don’t get enough sleep, women feel less full and men have a bigger appetite, according to a recent issue of the journal SLEEP. Twenty-seven normal-weight men and women (aged 30–45) were studied under short-sleep (4 hours) and habitual-sleep (9 hours) conditions. After a short night’s sleep, fasting blood samples indicated that fasting and morning ghrelin levels rose in men, while afternoon GLP-1 (glucagon-like peptide) levels fell in women. Sleep duration had no effect on insulin, glucose and leptin profiles.
Can a poor diet predict depression in women? Perhaps. The American Society for Nutrition just published the results of a long-term study of 4,215 people that examined whether or not dietary patterns were associated with future risk of depressive symptoms. Using the Alternative Healthy Eating Index (AHEI), self-reported use of antidepressants and the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale as measurement tools, researchers found a correlation between recurrent depressive symptoms and a poor diet, but only for women, not men.
Think of a recent time you felt stressed. Maybe it was during an argument with your spouse, or a meltdown with your kids. Maybe you were stuck in traffic and late for an important meeting. Or maybe you were lying in bed, worrying about work. Whatever the cause of your stress, your body and brain were almost certainly experiencing the same thing: boiling blood pressure, a churning stomach, tight muscles and a racing mind.
Anthony Carey, MA, CSCS, ACE-AHFP, owns Function First in San Diego, voted one of the city’s Best Personal Trainer/Studios in 2010 and 2011 and its Best Health & Fitness Club in 2012. Aside from being named 2009 PFP [Personal Fitness Professional] Trainer of the Year, he has written two best-selling books, The Pain-Free Program: A Proven Method to Relieve Back, Neck, Shoulder, and Joint Pain (Wiley 2005) and Relationships and Referrals: A Personal Trainer’s Guide to Doing Business with the Medical Community (CreateSpace 2012).
The second annual Bridging the Hearts & Minds of Youth Conference, presented by the UCSD Center for Mindfulness, took place February 1–3 in San Diego, with more than 40
speakers addressing the topic of mindfulness in clinical practice, education and research—specifically in relation to young people.