Demystifying Medicine One Month at a Time

Tag: exercise

Walking Improves Your Brain

I’ve previously blogged about the value of exercise. Just walking. Thirty minutes a day.

250px-Gray728Remember, you have 23 1/2 hours left in the day to sleep, eat, sit on your butt, and stare at a screen. Just that 30 minutes a day makes big differences in your physical and mental health.

Now: research suggests that walking improves memory, and lessens the likelihood of dementia. All this, and the researchers only looked at people walking for periods of forty-five minutes, three times a week.

The part of the brain controlling memory, the hippocampus, became larger in a single year when measured before and after in 60 volunteers in the “intervention,” (i.e. walking) group.

I’m taking the dog for a walk. Talk to you soon.

Show & Tell

Came across this video from preventive health expert (and family doctor) Mike Evans of Toronto.

Saw it in some “Best of 2011” health roundups. At that point, it had a couple hundred thousand views. It’s shot up to over 1.5 million (and climbing) at this point. [To watch, click on the play button in the center of the window.]

It’s doubly captivating: the animation is simple, clean, and superb. The information is deep, but the message is startlingly clear–and laid out in the fashion of an argument with irrefutable logic.

Imagine a medicine so potent it could reduce both the absolute risk of death and treat a number of different chronic conditions with tremendous success. You’d probably want some, right?

The video is only nine minutes, and well worth it. Makes you think–and makes doing the right thing sound simpler and thus more possible for all of us:

 

Also, a couple of interesting x-ray photos to share.

You may remember a previous post¬†about how I admired the orthodontic practice where we take our daughter. Turns out in even the most well-run practice things don’t always go right:

Not a candy cane, fish hook, or leprechaun's walking stick.

Two mornings later, the piece had clearly moved down the GI tract.

Two days later. Ready for expulsion?

I just thank heaven that the human body is a) so smart and b) so resilient. Maybe that external headgear wasn’t such a bad thing, after all.

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Programming note: If you’re an NPR fan, try to catch the show Marketplace this week for some interesting commentary. Stay tuned for further details.

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