People who exercise are already smart, but listening to music while exercising may make them even smarter, according to a study published in the November–December issue of Heart & Lung (2003; 32 , 368–73).
Ohio State University researchers evaluated the combined influence of exercise and music on cognitive performance among patients in cardiac rehabilitation. Thirty-three men and women exercised for 1 hour while listening to Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons. They completed a second exercise session without listening to music. Before and after each session, they took a cognitive test of verbal fluency. Researchers associated the music condition with “significant improvements in verbal fluency,” while the no-music condition generated no cognitive change.
Moderate consumption of alcohol may reduce heart-related deaths in hypertensive men, according to a study published in the March 22 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine (2004; 164 (6), 623–8). Researchers examined 14,125 male physicians who were either currently being treated for high blood pressure or had a history of treatment. Participants were free of myocardial infarction, stroke, cancer or liver disease at the start of the study.
During the 5-year follow up, 579 men died from cardiovascular complications. Researchers found a reduced risk in participants who drank lightly or moderately and whose blood pressure was at least 140/90. While the study acknowledges the findings are positive, it warns that larger-scale studies are needed to confirm the results.
If you have 10 minutes to take an online survey, you may be able to help a disabled person in your community find your facility. The National Center on Physical Activity and Disability is developing a list of exercise facilities and programs that are accessible to people with disabilities. The questions range from staff credentials to the types of adaptive equipment your facility offers. To complete the survey, go to www.ncpad.org/programs_survey/default.htm.