Spring Fitness Tune-Up

Guilty as charged: I’ve grown lax about my workout program in the last few months, leading to a loss in strength and a gain in weight. How can I tell? Because my scale does not lie. Nor, tragically, do my jeans. Last winter seemed to pose a bigger challenge than normal to my (mostly conscientious) exercise habits and (fairly healthy) lifestyle. That long, cold season simply would not die, forcing me to trim my running schedule from three or four …

Major Report Shows What Works, What Doesn’t, for Better Brain Health

The Institute of Medicine today released a groundbreaking new report that spells out what older Americans can do to keep their brains healthy into very old age, while offering insight into the lifestyle habits and medications that can lead to cognitive decline. The report, cosponsored by AARP and authored by some of the leading neuroscientists, psychiatrists and brain-health experts in the country, offers the first multidisciplinary look at how aging affects the brain. It creates a new term — “cognitive …

Recipe for Brain Health: Diet, Exercise, Brain Training

A large new study has confirmed what doctors have suspected for years: that embracing a healthy lifestyle can slow the rate of cognitive aging in older adults at risk of dementia. The study, published this week in the Lancet, found that a combination of a healthy diet, strength training, aerobic exercise, brain games and controlling blood pressure and weight slows mental decline in older people. For this study,  1,260 Finnish men and women between the ages of 60 and 77 who were at …

Your Gym May Be Harming Your Hearing

What’s good for your body is not necessarily good for your ears. Loud music is an integral part of many workout activities — spin classes are a prime example. A recent article in the New York Times found that the noise levels in a spin class at Crunch averaged 100 decibels over 40 minutes, and hit 105 decibels in its loudest five minutes. A staffer for the Hearing Health Foundation found that the decibel level at her gym hit 115 decibels. You can …

Live Healthy and Be a Blessing to Your Heart

Michael Clarke Duncan was full of life just three years ago. The then-54-year-old actor was at the pinnacle of his career. His Academy Award-nominated performance as John Coffey in The Green Mile is still revered. Then, tragedy struck. Duncan suffered a heart attack on July 13, 2012. Despite the heroic efforts by his fiancée, reality TV star and minister Omarosa Manigault, who initially saved his life, he never fully recovered and died two months later. During February, American Heart Month, the life …

‘Light’ Jogging Better Than Running? Well, Maybe

For a moment last week, research offered all of us slow, plodding exercisers a moment of revenge. According to a new Danish study, those hard-charging runners who blow by us on the jogging trail — or pound away for a sweaty hour on the treadmill several times a week — are ruining their health as much as sluggish, non-exercising couch potatoes. In fact, the researchers said, it was really the twice-a-week, sedate joggers who were going to live the longest. …