A Potpourri of New Findings

Medical research in the broad area of wellness continues to discover new findings that directly apply to behavioral health decisions that often further reinforce the importance of the 12 Habits program.

In the area of Family and Friends, new studies have shown that loneliness or social isolation is now a serious health issue. Being alone or feeling lonely was a predictor of poor health and an increased risk of premature death. As our society ages this will become an increasing problem in the aged and could even rival obesity for its negative impact one’s health.

Many studies have looked at the value of exercise. A key question has been whether duration or intensity matter if one is trying to lose weight? One study looked at overweight women in a trial of diet and exercise. The variable was duration and intensity of exercise. Duration of exercise proved more important than intensity.150 minutes or more per week had the most weight loss.

In the area of Adequate Sleep, studies have looked at total hours asleep and others have taken a more in depth look regarding time spent in various sleep cycles such as REM or dreaming. Several recent studies found that people who spent less time in REM sleep have a higher risk of developing dementia and Alzheimer's. Getting into the deep sleep stages and then REM is very important for long term brain health.

Finally, an interesting study was just published looking at the association of resistance exercise and aerobic exercise on the incidence of metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome affects almost 30 percent of the adults in the United States and is characterized by insulin resistance, elevated fasting glucose, hypertension, abdominal obesity, and dyslipidemia. The study found that performing resistance exercises resulted in a major decrease in the risk of developing Metabolic Syndrome. Compared to people who did not do resistance exercises, just one hour per week of resistance exercises was beneficial in reducing Metabolic Syndrome. This is another great reason to make Strength and Flexibility a regular habit. It only takes 30 minutes twice a week of strength training to get real rewards.

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