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'Couch Potato' Lifestyles Cause Up to 8% of Global Deaths: Study

`Couch Potato` Lifestyles Cause Up to 8% of Global Deaths: StudyTUESDAY, March 30, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- "Couch potatoes," take note: Sedentary behavior now accounts for up to 8% of non-communicable diseases and deaths worldwide, researchers say.Physical inactivity is a known risk factor for premature death and several non-communicable diseases, including heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and several cancers.In a new study, researchers analyzed 2016 data from 168 countries. They found the proportions of non-communicable diseases attributable to physical inactivity ranged from nearly 2% for high blood pressure to more than 8% for dementia.Physical inactivity was defined as less than 150 minutes of moderate-intensity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity physical activity per week.People in rich nations have a more than...

Will High-Protein Diets Help the Middle-Aged Build Muscle?

29 March 2021
Will High-Protein Diets Help the Middle-Aged Build Muscle?MONDAY, March 29, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- Middle-aged adults looking to boost their muscle mass do not need to bulk up on protein, a new study suggests.Researchers found that 10 weeks of strength training plus a moderate amount of protein were enough to build muscle in previously sedentary middle-aged people. And extra protein brought no added gains.The findings run counter to a common belief among exercisers, said researcher Colleen McKenna, a registered dietitian and graduate student at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.Protein is essential for muscle maintenance and growth. But the typical American diet contains plenty of it, McKenna said."If you're getting enough high-quality protein in your diet," she said, "then 'enough' is probably enough."The "quality" part, said...

Astronauts Will Need Tough Workouts on Any Mission to Mars

29 March 2021
Astronauts Will Need Tough Workouts on Any Mission to MarsMONDAY, March 29, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- As NASA astronauts set their sights on reaching Mars and building an outpost on the moon, they are likely to need regular, rigorous exercise to keep their hearts in shape, a new study suggests.Researchers analyzed data gathered from U.S. astronaut Scott Kelly during his year in space from 2015 to 2016 and from Benoît Lecomte's attempt to swim across the Pacific Ocean in 2018. Investigators said swimming simulates weightlessness.The results showed that long sessions of low-intensity exercise don't completely counteract the effects of weightlessness on the heart, which will weaken over time in a gravity-free environment.Short, regular bouts of high-intensity exercise may be required to keep the heart healthy during long space missions,...

Spring Activity Can Sometimes Bring Stress Fractures

28 March 2021
Spring Activity Can Sometimes Bring Stress FracturesSUNDAY, March 28, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- If you're getting back into walking, running or outdoor sports this spring after months on the couch, you could be at risk for a common injury known as a stress fracture.It's a small break or crack caused by repeated impact on a bone that is starting to weaken from overdoing it, and feet are particularly vulnerable, according to Dr. Mark Drakos. He is an orthopedic surgeon specializing in foot and ankle injuries at the Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) in New York City."When people think of bones, they think they're hard like metal, but the bones in the foot are more like tree branches. They can bend a little bit, and if you bend them enough times, they can crack," Drakos said in a hospital news release.Stress fractures often occur in...

Exercise Boosts Blood Flow to Brain, Keeping it Sharp

25 March 2021
Exercise Boosts Blood Flow to Brain, Keeping it SharpTHURSDAY, March 25, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- Regular aerobic exercise increases blood flow to the brain, which may help slow mental decline in older adults, a new, small study suggests.Researchers from University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center looked at 70 men and women diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment (MCI). This means there are slight changes to the brain that affect memory, decision-making or reasoning skills. In many cases, MCI progresses to Alzheimer's disease and other types of dementia."This [study] is part of a growing body of evidence linking exercise with brain health," study leader Rong Zhang, a professor of neurology, said in a UT Southwestern news release. "We've shown for the first time in a randomized trial in these older adults that exercise gets more...

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