Health & Fitness Articles of the Week – 11/23/14

Does Exercise Really Make Us Smarter?– This research study looked at a group of volunteers and asked them prior to exercising to gauge what their mental benefits would be after either walking, stretching, or toning. Volunteers actually believed toning or stretching would be more beneficial to their mind, when in fact walking would be. After the study was complete researchers did in fact find walking to have a mental impact on volunteers. “The findings are strong enough to suggest that exercise really does change the brain and may, in the process, improve thinking.”

The Race to Save the World’s Chocolate– Say it isn’t so!  Alas we are running out of Chocolate. I for one found this article incredibly interesting and also slightly devastating being a huge fan of dark chocolate. Hopefully some of the new Cacao blends being tested will start to pan through. “In 2013, the world consumed about 70,000 metric tons more cocoa than it produced. And now, Mars, Inc. and Barry Callebaut—two of the world’s biggest manufacturers of chocolate goods—are warning that by 2020, that consumption-over-production number could increase to 1 million metric tons (a fourteen-fold bump).”

Obesity is Tied to Pollutants– “Researchers found that compared with children exposed to no secondhand smoke or near-roadway air pollution, B.M.I. was 0.80 higher in children exposed to pollution alone, 0.85 higher in those exposed to secondhand smoke alone, and 2.15 higher in those exposed to both.”

The cost of getting lean: Is it really worth the trade off?– This article is a little lengthy, but I think it paints a really good picture on the work it takes to be at various body fat percentages. It includes helpful images and graphs that lay out the work involved for each body fat “stage’ along with the benefits and costs associated. I for one can say the leaner you want to be the more work it is. However once you make it a routine it becomes a lot easier to maintain.

Is a gluten-free diet for you? The hidden downsides of the food craze– I have been eating gluten free for a little over 2 weeks now based on a recommendation from my new holistic doctor, so of course when I came across this article I had to take a gander. Essentially it tells you that gluten free food is not necessarily healthier, a cookie is still a cookie. If you are going to try gluten free make sure to focus on healthy foods like veggies, fruits, and lean protein. I have yet to noticed a big difference in my body from being off gluten, but have another 2 weeks on my test to see.

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Photo from Huff Post

 

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