Dark chocolate may positively affect mood and relieve depressive symptoms

Dark chocolate may positively affect mood and relieve depressive symptoms.

A UCL-led study looking at whether different types of chocolate are associated with mood disorders.

It was found that individuals who reported eating dark chocolate in two 24-hour periods had 70 % lower odds of reporting depressive symptoms than those who ate no chocolate at all. Dark chocolate has a higher concentration of flavonoids (antioxidant chemicals which have been shown to improve inflammatory profiles), which have been shown to play a role in the onset of depression.

Source: ScienceDaily, 2 August 2019

When temperature goes up, blood pressure goes down in Hot Yoga study

When temperature goes up, blood pressure goes down in Hot Yoga study.

Taking hot yoga classes lowered blood pressure in a small study of 10 men and women, between ages 20 and 65 years with elevated or stage 1 hypertension, according to preliminary research presented at the American Heart Association’s Hypertension 2019 Scientific Sessions.  Five of the ten participants did hot yoga 3 times a week for 12 weeks.  Their systolic blood pressure dropped from an average 126 mmHg to 121 mmHg, and average diastolic pressure also decreased from 82 mmHg to 79 mmHg.

 

Source: ScienceDaily, 5 September 2019

Yoga at Dulwich Picture Gallery

Yoga in an art gallery! Another first for me and definitely yoga in a funky location! I would never have thought of looking on the Dulwich Picture Gallery website for a yoga event. Who would?! To make this even more appealing, I would be viewing the Rembrandt’s Light exhibition. I studied History of Art (and…

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Vegan diet can boost gut microbes and lead to improved body weight and blood sugar control

Vegan diet can boost gut microbes and lead to improved body weight and blood sugar control

New research suggests that a 16-week vegan diet can boost the gut microbes that are related to improvements in body weight, body composition and blood sugar control.

Changes to the gut microbes were associated with a reduction of body weight (an average of 5.8 kg due to the reduction in fat mass and visceral fat) and increases in insulin sensitivity.  The authors say that fibre is the most important component of plant foods that promotes a healthy gut microbiome.

Source: ScienceDaily, 16 September 2019

It’s never too late to start exercising

It’s never too late to start exercising

Older people who have never taken part in sustained exercise programmes have the same ability to build muscle mass as highly trained master athletes of a similar age, according to new research at the University of Birmingham. The research shows that even those who are entirely unaccustomed to exercise can benefit from resistance exercises such as weight training.

“Our study clearly shows that it doesn’t matter if you haven’t been a regular exerciser throughout your life, you can still derive benefit from exercise whenever you start,” says lead researcher, Dr Leigh Breen.

Source: ScienceDaily, 30 August 2019

Why am I so hard on myself?

It’s Saturday morning, the 28th of December. I’m in bed reading a book and enjoying my second cup of coffee. I’m planning on doing a workout this morning before my husband and I go out to lunch. I didn’t do a Sworkit yesterday, in stead we went to the local mall and walked 2.46 km,…

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Yoga for skiers at Savage Schloss

When I came across a yoga class for skiers and snowboarders held in an ski chalet themed rooftop, there wasn’t a snowballs’ chance in hell that I was going to miss out. I don’t having the inclination, ability or intention to ski or snowboard, but if this doesn’t count as an event worthy of my…

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Limiting mealtimes may increase your motivation for exercise

Limiting mealtimes may increase your motivation for exercise

A study published in the Journal of Endocrinology suggests that a surge in levels of appetite-promoting hormone, ghrelin, after a period of fasting prompted mice to initiate voluntary exercise.

Dr Tajiri comments, “Our findings suggest that hunger, which promotes ghrelin production, may also be involved in increasing motivation for voluntary exercise, when feeding is limited. Therefore, maintaining a healthy eating routine, with regular mealtimes or fasting, could also encourage motivation for exercise in overweight people.”

(Note that these findings are based on animal studies and more work is needed to confirm that this ghrelin response is also present in people.)

Source: ScienceDaily, 19 October 2019

Yoga at Sweaty Betty Chiswick

In September I shared with you my review of a free yoga class at Sweaty Betty, Richmond branch.  (You can read about it here.) I  enjoyed the class and wanted to see how a class at a different branch would compare. For my second free class at a Sweaty Betty branch, I chose to attend…

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Bitter sweet facts about sugar

I really don’t eat much sugar. I don’t have breakfast at all (I do 16:8 intermittent fasting), I drink coffee and tea with unsweetened soy milk and no sugar, lunch is a tortilla wrap with lettuce, carrot, cucumber and cheese / roasted sweet potato & feta / tuna / boiled egg and in the evenings…

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