Many of our graduating seniors can likely relate to the difficulties of choosing a career path, let along having to make difficult decisions between pursuing a research passion versus one of a more personal nature. This choice was once faced by the new president-elect of the American Psychological Association, Nadine Kaslow, an Emory professor and chief psychologist of Grady Health System who is also the psychologist for the Atlanta Ballet. Dr. Kaslow has been able to incorporate her two passions through these joint appointments. To learn more about the motivations underlying her career and lifestyle paths, please visit http://www.cnn.com/2013/05/10/health/lifeswork-nadine-kaslow/.
Finals week is challenging for everyone, and this week students affiliated with the Center for the Study of Human Health provided an opportunity for their peers to decompress through yoga, meditation, and art therapy. The promotional video (follow the link above) was created by Taylor Werkema as part of his final project for a class on Empowerment, Life Balance, and Stress Relief offered through the Center. More than 30 students turned up for the event, and many others joined in as word spread across the library!
“Screen time” activities like playing video games and watching TV have been described as key factors in the rising childhood and adult obesity epidemic. However, companies like the nonprofit organization Hopelab are using the interest in technology to their advantage to promote healthy behaviors.
Their program Zamzee is designed to get kids moving by letting them log “pointz” that they can redeem for prizes. Activity is logged electronically via an accelerometer worn by the child and transferred to the computer by USB, where the user can view their progress and activity in relation to other users in a virtual competition.
In recent decades, body mass index (BMI) has been rising globally due to many societal changes, including changes in eating and physical activity habits. Using data from the United Nations (UN) and the World Health Organization (WHO), the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine calculated the average BMI for 177 countries and created a tool that enables you to see where your BMI fits in compared with individuals in your own country and others.
On Wednesday, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Michelle Obama announced changes to government-subsidized school meals that are part of the Obama administration’s effort to reduce obesity among youth by promoting improved nutrition and exercise habits.
Key aspects of the new requirements include: doubling daily servings of fruits and vegetables, serving only whole grains, milk must be low fat, and salt and trans fat maximums.
A study published this week in Nature led by the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center reports that, in mice, exercise induces autophagy in heart and skeletal muscle cells, which improves their ability to remain “young” and adjust to changes in energy and nutrition. The autophagy was associated with increased diet-related insulin resistance and lower rates of diabetes. These findings provide at least one mechanistic explanation for why exercise is associated with lowering diabetes risk.
A description of the study and interview with the researchers is available through Scientific American.
Did you know that all Emory students have access to the Woodruff PE Center, including the gym, pool, and rock climbing wall? There you have access to the more common gym equipment, including treadmills, elliptical machines, weightlifting equipment, and rowing machines, but also to racquetball, basketball, swimming, and an indoor track! Other opportunities at the WoodPEC include:
Intramural Sports, such as flag football, soccer, softball, volleyball and basketball
Fitness Emory, which for an additional fee includes classes such as yoga, indoor cycling, Zumba, and Tai Kwon Do
Be sure to visit the WoodPEC this Spring to help you make progress towards your fitness goals in 2012. Their normal gym hours are Monday – Friday, 6:30 am to 11 pm, and Saturday and Sunday, 10 am to 9 pm. Check the WoodPec Hours webpage for specific pool and rock climbing wall availability.
In a creative way, Dr. Mike Evans answers the question, “What is the single best thing we can do for our health?”. Dr. Evans, Associate Professor of Family Medicine and Public Health at the University of Toronto and physician at St. Michael’s Hospital, with an animation by Liisa Sorsa, says that exercise should be the first priority, with a goal of at least 30 minutes of activity per day. Dr. Evans draws on numerous findings both nationally and internationally that have highlighted the importance of physical activity for positive health changes. His primary message is simple: limit the number of hours you spend sitting and sleeping to 23 and 1/2, and use that final 30 minutes to benefit yourself.