• How social media friends can make you more fit

    How social media friends can make you more fit
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    "Health buddies" on Facebook can inspire you to hit the gym or motivate you to do yoga in the neighbourhood park, resulting in a new, fitter you.

    According to researchers from University of Pennsylvania internet and social can be more effective for improving people's exercise habits than promotional advertisements.

    Led by Professor Damon Centola, the team tested a fitness motivator that can be more effective and vastly cheaper than promotions.

    In a trial, they created a website where 217 graduate students enrolled in free exercise classes at the University of Pennsylvania gym.

    Part of the group also received promotional messages from the University, including highly engaging motivational videos and infographics emphasizing fitness tips and the importance of exercise.

    Meanwhile, another part of the group saw no advertising messages.

    Instead, members of this group were placed into social networks with six of their peers.

    While these peer groups remained anonymous to one another, participants were regularly updated on each other's fitness achievements.

    They could monitor each other's progress on the website and when one signed up for a weightlifting or yoga class, the others were notified by email.

    As a control group for the two interventions, a final group of participants received no further follow-up through the study.

    By the end of the 13-week study, the findings were clear.

    Promotional messages caused an initial bump in class attendance but the motivational effects quickly wore off.

    The promotional messages had almost no long-term effect on class participation.

    "Health buddies, on the other hand, were much more effective at motivating people to exercise," Centola noted.

    "We were able to use the positive signals to form a reinforcing loop that pushed everyone to exercise more," added Jingwen Zhang, an author on the study.

    The results reveal that same positive behaviour signals are also powerful in our online networks and can be harnessed for the social good.

    This approach could be applied not only to encourage exercise, but also to promote vaccinations, medication compliance and preventative care.Read more at:princess prom dresses

  • Diet facts vs diet fiction

    Diet facts vs diet fiction
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    From controlling your weight by going on a detox diet to using sauna belt waist slimming machines, there are endless tricks that claim to give you that extra edge in weight loss.

    The problem arises when you end up more confused than when you first started on your weight loss journey. You don't know what to believe and which diet ideas to choose. Today we're talking about diet facts vs diet fiction - ideas and tips that will help you solve a few dieting myths.

    Myth 1: Cold water contains more calories than hot water.

    Truth: Water is the only substance that contains 'zero calories'. And, this universal fact has no relation to it being hot or cold. Cold water is suggested in-between your workout regimen because it helps in cooling your body temperature, which rises due to exercising.

    Myth 2: Munching on chips at night is unhealthier than munching on chips in the day time.

    Truth: The basic rule of eating is - that eating anything up and above your caloric requirement (which is based on your current age, weight and body type) will lead to fat gain and hence, weight gain. Nutritionists tell you to keep away from food at night because that's when your body temperature tends to dip (due to lack of activity), hence your body requires little food at night in order to function properly. Besides, sleeping right after eating doesn't work well for digestion since your body, at rest, is not active enough.

    Myth 3: One should never mix cereals with pulses in their diet.

    Truth: This is a complete myth. Combining cereals and pulses helps in compensating the levels of amino acids. It is amazing to see how our tradition Indian recipes balanced these two ingredients scientifically as if they were well aware of this fact already. Our bodies can handle a mixture of nutrients without any kind of discomfort and a combination of cereals and pulses should be the least of our worries.

    Myth 4: The weighing scale is my ultimate fitness meter.

    Truth: No! This is hardly the case. The weighing scale is important as far as the approximation of your body weight is concerned. Relying on a weighing scale to judge whether you're 'fit' or 'fat', is like judging a book by its cover. Body weight is a sum total of your body fat and lean body mass, which includes muscles. In order to understand your exact fat mass, you must understand the composition of your body.

    Myth 5: If all kind of fat is bad, then I'll just strictly go on a boiled food diet.

    Truth: Raise your hand if you have heard of the concept of 'zero fat diets'. Yes, we all have at some point or the other in our healthy scheme of affairs heard about it. But are they really worth the trouble? Nutritionists completely negate the concept of 'zero fat diets' and place them neatly into the category of fad diets.


    Perhaps boiled food, devoid of spices and oils, might work if you have a tummy upset, or are recovering from a series of heavy meals. But you definitely don't need to live on it. The news for you is - fats can be good too. Good fats aid in fighting infections and maintain cell membranes, amongst several other necessary tasks. They key lies in moderating your fat intake, not in completely negating it. Read more here:one shoulder prom dresses

  • Better diet and nutrition critical in maintaining mental health

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    Scientists claim that a good diet and proper nutrition is essential in maintaining mental health.

    A new international study led by the University of Melbourne and Deakin University has stated that as with a range of medical conditions, psychiatry and public health should now recognise and embrace diet and nutrition as key determinants of mental health.

    Lead author, Dr Jerome Sarris said that while the determinants of mental health were complex, the emerging and compelling evidence for nutrition as a key factor in the high prevalence and incidence of mental disorders suggested that nutrition was as important to psychiatry as it is to cardiology, endocrinology and gastroenterology.

    In the last few years, significant links have been established between nutritional quality and mental health. Scientifically rigorous studies have made important contributions to our understanding of the role of nutrition in mental health, he added.

    Findings of the review revealed that in addition to dietary improvement, evidence now supports the contention that nutrient-based prescription has the potential to assist in the management of mental disorders at the individual and population level.

    Studies show that many of these nutrients have a clear link to brain health, including omega-3s, B vitamins (particularly folate and B12), choline, iron, zinc, magnesium, S-adenosyl methionine (SAMe), vitamin D, and amino acids.

    "While we advocate for these to be consumed in the diet where possible, additional select prescription of these as nutraceuticals (nutrient supplements) may also be justified," Dr Sarris said.

    It was time for clinicians to consider diet and additional nutrients as part of the treating package to manage the enormous burden of mental ill health, he said.

    The study is published in The Lancet Psychiatry today.Read more at:cheap evening dresses