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Blog for Friday, February 19, 2016 (fines for not exercising, what a "pulse" is, and more!)

TGIF, folks! Aren't you glad the weekend's here? And if your weather is trending the way ours is in Johnson City, there's certainly more to look forward to than last weekend. Hope you can find something enjoyable to do outdoors, enjoy some natural beauty. So........on to the health news for today! First off, a bit of a rehash from a post from the last couple weeks, this article discusses a study on the dietary habits of people who have been thin their entire lives. This study was referenced in a previous blog, but there were a couple bits of info in this one that I don't believe were mentioned. One being that at least half of them weighed themselves weekly. This seems very sensible and worth mentioning. I also don't recall mention of 96% eating breakfast daily. Also, quite sensible. While some of us might require more drastic measures to manage our weight, (ahem, Metabovite plug) it's good to look at the methods of those who are already successful for lessons. Moving on! This next article looks at a study in which a group of rats were cycled from a healthy diet for 4 days to a "junk food" diet for 3 days to look at the effect this "weekend junk food binge" diet has on metabolism and weight. They found that this 3 day a week junk was nearly as bad as eating junk ALL the time. There are certainly some positive possibilities resulting from this study.  "The study suggests certain gut microbiota, including Ruminococcus and Blautia, may be promising targets for future therapeutic strategies to treat metabolic disorder," according to Professor Margaret Morris, who led the study. Given the importance of having healthy gut microbiota, identifying the usefulness of the certain bacteria, and understanding how they can impact your health sounds encouraging! This article tells of some scientists who have a new idea about getting people to exercise. They want to penalize overweight people for not exercising, as a means to encourage them to do so. They claim that this negative incentive would have greater impact than current plans that might merely reward you for going to the gym. And there is some evidence, as their findings showed that the threat of fines improves the exercise motivation of people by 50%. Still, to me, this is something that perhaps individual employers could adopt, as a part of maintaining a culture of health, but not something that will work for all of us. And lastly, here's a look at some health trends to look for in 2016. Several of them were familiar to me, such as wearable tech(i.e.-FitBit), the growing understanding of the importance of gut health, and the changing views on "full-fat" food. There were quite a few that were certainly new to myself, such as pulses(which are dry peas, beans, chickpeas and lentils), spiralising vegetables, and sprouted grains. The term "pulses" reminds me of the "new-to-me" term from a few weeks back, "nightshades". I've been "in the dark" about these being vegetable classifications. Apparently 2016 is the "International Year of Pulse" according to the United Nations. Who knew? There are plenty of health benefits to pulses, and they will help you maintain one! Alright, that's got to be it today so that I don't make any more puns! Have a terrific weekend, find yourself an adventure! Be healthy, my friends!

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