Exercise can positively change the makeup of the bacteria in your intestines no matter what you eat, according to the results of a new study. The researchers conducted the first trial in mice to test the hypothesis that exercise modifies the bacterial profile of the gut, even without changing what the mice ate. The team published the findings from this first study in the medical journal, Gut Microbes. The scientists performed fecal transplants from 10 mice that had undergone exercise for six weeks to germ-free mice. The mice receiving the transplants showed significant differences in the composition of bacteria in.... [Read More...]
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Is walking enough of an exercise for heart health? Today, fitness magazines are filled with vigorous routines designed to get you back into shape, so it may seem like the simple act of walking isn’t enough. There are real advantages, though, to walking over high impact exercises like jogging unless you are training hard for a marathon or some other competitive sport. Consider some ways a daily walk can do the heart some good and reduce your risk of injury at the same time. Why Walk? Any regular exercise is good for your heart, so why choose walking? The most.... [Read More...]
The Blue Zones is one of the most interesting longevity studies performed on a global scale. Author, and National Geographic contributor Dan Buettner set out to discover why certain areas of the world had an unusually large number of centenarians (people aged over 100). What was it about these locations that caused people to live longer lives, and what can we learn from that and apply to our own lifestyles? Dan and his team identified 5 specific regions that demonstrated exceptional longevity among the population: Ikaria, Greece: An island in the Aegean Sea, has one of the world’s lowest rates.... [Read More...]
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As one of the most popular shows on television, The Biggest Loser provides viewers with inspiration and motivation for losing weight, but is the dramatic weight loss based on good nutritional science? Not really. Nutritional science now suggests that people who try to lose massive amounts of weight quickly may be doing more harm to their bodies – and their waistlines – than good. The Biggest Loser is Not Your Regular Diet At the beginning of each season, 16 contestants weigh in. The contestant who loses the least weight each week leaves the show. Whoever loses the most weight at.... [Read More...]
Trillions of bacteria inhabit the human gut. While some of the bacteria are unhealthy pathogens, a large number are beneficial to their hosts. Known as the gut microbiota, these bacteria influence digestion, mood and other aspects of human health. Some of the lifestyle decisions we make can change the composition of the microbiota, for the better, and for the worse. The typical American diet is filled with processed foods and a sedentary lifestyle can negatively affect bacterial colony size and diversity within the body. Many people now take probiotics to help their microbiota overcome these effects. Now there is evidence.... [Read More...]
Whenever we learn of exciting new research on the gut microbiota, it reminds us of the work we do every day, and particularly the positive impact that probiotics have both in the animal kingdom, and mankind. Some of the most interesting research involves the communication between the human brain and our gut. These latest findings offer new perspectives on how we may be able to improve our physical and psychological well being through early childhood physical activity. Seizing the Window of Opportunity A recent study on the gut-brain connection, conducted at University of Boulder, is particularly interesting since it demonstrates that.... [Read More...]
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When you’re trying to achieve a healthy body weight and lower your risk for a variety of health problems, including heart issues, working out is the way to go. Exercise helps to build stronger muscles, improve flexibility and ramps up the health of your cardiovascular system – all good things. Interestingly, a recent study highlights another possible benefit of working out. In a controlled study, researchers looked at the gut flora, or in other words, the bacterial population inside the intestinal tract of 40 rugby athletes compared to 46 non-athletes. As you might expect, the rugby players did intense workouts.... [Read More...]
During the holiday season, it’s easy to get on the wrong side of the calorie count. Finding time for getting some well needed exercise gets more difficult especially as the weather gets colder and the motivation to go for a run outside starts to sag. While the gym might be an option, and full of great exercise equipment, you still need to get there, and it’s easy to make the excuses not to go. Indoor workout routines can be a great choice for this time of year. Just roll out an exercise mat, put on some good music or a.... [Read More...]
The New Year is a time of new beginnings. It’s the chance to start down a healthier path or recommit to living healthy. The key is to choose realistic goals you can stick with for more than a few weeks. The only New Year’s resolutions that really count are the ones you’re still doing when the next New Year rolls around. So make them realistic and achievable – not something you KNOW you won’t be able to sustain. Here are some resolutions that can help you to be healthier and happier in 2014. You’ve probably made the commitment to exercise.... [Read More...]
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If there’s one lifestyle habit that pays off with big returns – it’s exercise. Exercise improves cardiovascular health and reduces the risk for health problems ranging from type 2 diabetes to certain types of cancer. It also helps to preserve lean body mass and bone health as you age. Plus, it makes it easier to avoid another growing health problem – obesity. So why aren’t more people exercising? Sometimes the toughest part of an exercise program is simply starting, but once you start you’ll feel and see the difference. Are you ready to enjoy the health benefits of an active.... [Read More...]
Each person ages at a different rate. We’ve all seen people who looked surprisingly youthful at an older age. How fast we age has something to do with genetics, but lifestyle is a big factor too. According to a new field called epigenetics, even if you have genes that predispose to aging more rapidly, lifestyle can reduce expression of these genes – so what you do or don’t do matters. Need some tips for staying healthy as you age? Get Moving It should come as no surprise that exercise tops the list of healthy aging tips. After the age of.... [Read More...]
In our last blog post, we discussed the role of food in your healthy lifestyle. What you eat has everything to do with your energy levels throughout the day, the efficiency and well-being of your organs, and the way you burn fat. However, sometimes no matter what your diet, you may experience discomfort in the upper abdomen. This is commonly called indigestion, and can have a number of different causes. In some cases the cause may be a medical condition, and prolonged bouts of indigestion should certainly be checked out by a medical professional. At Natren, we believe in wellness.... [Read More...]