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There are many factors that come into play when considering why you or someone you know may be overweight. Unhealthy lifestyle choices like smoking or not getting enough sleep can contribute to a high body weight, while medical conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure can enable obesity as well. Of course, the most well-known factors for maintaining a healthy body weight involve getting enough exercise and regularly consuming a healthy diet. Apart from all of these, however, there’s one factor that is often overlooked when it comes to weight loss: the brain. Although it’s not widely understood, mental health issues such as depression have been linked to weight gain. This causes some to ask: could it be possible that the opposite is true as well? In other words, is a positive, in-the-moment mental outlook linked to lower body weight? A new study says it’s possible.
Fitness research often reveals that small amounts of low-intensity physical activity can be beneficial in many ways. For example, it’s been shown that just two minutes of walking every hour can lead to a longer lifespan. Short bursts of activity can be incredibly effective for senior citizens who may have a difficult time performing typical exercise routines. Also, a study published last month shows that simply fidgeting at your desk while sitting could potentially be considered a form of micro-exercise that helps contribute to a longer lifespan.
As of January 2014, global measurement firm Nielsen reported that nearly one-third of smartphone owners in the U.S. are accessing apps in the fitness and health category. That comes out to be around 46 million people, and the number has likely grown since then. There are many different types of fitness apps out there, and they all offer varying fitness goals and techniques in realms such as cardio, bodybuilding, flexibility, yoga and weight loss. In general, fitness apps can offer exercise information, instructional articles and videos, calorie counters, fitness news, progress tracking, and exercise motivation. Some fitness apps even use unique motivation methods, such as Pact, which pays you money for meeting your exercise goals, or takes money away from you for missing them. Unfortunately, people who rely on these fitness apps may not be getting an effective workout.
The benefits of Omega-3 fatty acids have been widely discussed in the past decade. Consuming foods high in Omega-3, such as salmon, tuna, mackerel, walnuts, flaxseed and soybeans, is though to help prevent many different health conditions, such as arthritis, asthma, diabetes, eczema, depression, high blood pressure and osteoporosis. Omega-3 has even been shown to reduce breast cancer risk. But perhaps the most common belief about Omega-3 is that it’s good for the brain, helping to prevent Alzheimer’s and cognitive decline in general. This has caused fish oil supplements to become some of the widely used supplements in the country. Unfortunately, most studies have only shown a correlation between taking fish oil supplements and having better health – not a cause and effect. Now, an actual clinical trial throws the benefits of these supplements into question altogether.
Powdered alcohol might initially seem like a ludicrous idea, but it is a genuinely real product that could potentially end up in stores by the end of the year. The tidal wave of controversy surrounding powered alcohol didn’t stop it from being approved for sale by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) on March 10 of this year. The specific product in question, known as Palcohol, is essentially freeze-dried alcohol that comes in a small, portable pouch. The powder is available as vodka or rum, but ready-made cocktail options are also available, including Cosmopolitans, Lemon Drops and “Powderitas.” Simply adding six ounces of water (or a mixer such as Coca-Cola or orange juice) to the powder can create a standard mixed drink. Technically speaking, approval from the TTB is a green light for Palcohol to begin distribution, but there’s still plenty of pushback.
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