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Eat, pray, exercise: Thailand’s monks battle weight problems

BANGKOK: Every morning Buddhist monk Pipit Sarakitwinon takes walks around his temple and does hundreds of arm exercises, part of a new regimen aimed at shedding pounds as a health overhaul for members of the clergy gathers pace in Thailand. Followers have been showering monks -- who are deeply respected in the kingdom -- with foods loaded with sugar, fat and oil, contributing to a brewing health crisis. "Before I dieted I could barely walk 100 metres without getting tired", Pipit, 63, told AFP during a medical…

Recharge your brain at work with this short exercise

A good way to recharge your brain at work might be with a short bout of exercise that doesn’t require much concentration, according to a small study from Japan. “The present study suggests that simple exercise is better than cognitively demanding exercise during working hours,” lead author Keita Kamijo, an assistant professor on the faculty of sports sciences, Waseda University, Tokyo, told Reuters Health by email. Kamijo and coauthor Ryuji Abe enrolled 28 men and had them perform tasks that challenge what’s known as…

Antioxidants don’t relieve muscle soreness after exercise

LONDON: Consuming lots of antioxidants through foods or supplements may not reduce muscle soreness after exercise, a research review suggests. Researchers focused on “delayed onset muscle soreness,” the type of muscle pain or tenderness that typically peaks 24 to 72 hours after a strenuous workout. Some previous research has linked antioxidants to the prevention of cellular damage that can potentially result in sore muscles, but results have been mixed. Data for the current analysis came from 50 studies with a total of…

Exercise linked to better mental health – but too much may do harm: study

LONDON: The study included all types of physical activity, ranging from childcare, housework, lawn-mowing and fishing to cycling, going to the gym, running and skiing. Exercise is known to bring health benefits by reducing the risk of illnesses such as heart disease, stroke and diabetes, but its links with mental health were less clear. Some evidence suggests exercise may improve mental health, but experts note that the relationship could go both ways – with inactivity being both a symptom of, and contributor to, poor…

Exercise does not delay decline in people with dementia: study

PARIS: While physical exercise may stave off dementia, it does not delay mental decline in people after they've been diagnosed, a study in nearly 500 people with the condition reported Thursday. While a fitness regime improved physical fitness in people with mild to moderate dementia, it "does not slow cognitive impairment," researchers reported in The BMJ medical journal. It is generally accepted that exercise can delay the onset of Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia. But whether or not it can slow symptoms after…

Exercise, not vitamins, urged to prevent falls in seniors

TAMPA: Falling is the leading cause of injury-related death among people over age 65, and seniors who want to avoid falls should exercise, not rely on supplements like vitamin D, US guidelines said Tuesday. The new recommendations from the US Preventive Services Task Force update those last issued in 2012, when the independent medical advisory group was favorable to taking supplements containing vitamin D as a way of preventing fall-related injury. But unless a person has vitamin D deficiency or a frail bone condition…

Almost any amount of exercise may help older men win longevity race

LONDON: Older men may face a premature death if they spend most of the day sitting around, but it doesn’t require a huge amount of exercise to increase their chances of living longer, a study in the UK suggests. Researchers asked 1,655 men, all between 71 and 92 years old, to wear accelerometers for one week. The goal was to assess their activity levels. Among a subset of 1,274 men without cardiovascular disease or heart failure who wore the accelerometers as directed, participants logged a daily average of 616 minutes…

This Swedish company makes exercise ‘compulsory’ for employees at work

STOCKHOLM: Workers spending their lunch break at the gym may be commonplace in most Western countries, but in Sweden some employers are pushing the idea even further, making on-the-job exercise compulsory. Every Friday, employees of fashion and sportswear retailer Bjorn Borg leave their desks at the company's Stockholm headquarters to get their weekly workout at a nearby gym. There is no getting out of it: for more than two years the company founded by the Swedish tennis legend has made on-the-job exercise mandatory at…

No-sweat exercise may prolong life for the elderly: study

PARIS: A few hours a week of light exercise -- walking the dog, puttering about in the garden -- lower the risk of death in older men, even if workouts are brief, researchers said Tuesday. Their findings, reported in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, challenge two long-held assumptions about the benefits of physical activity for the elderly. To improve health and reduce the risk of dying, according to many national health authorities, workouts must be strenuous and more long-lasting. In Britain, for example,…