May has provided another busy month in wellness news. Once again, information about exercise and brain health were dominant themes, as were new resources for creating happier, healthier lives.
- New research found that short bursts of exercise before meals can help reduce rises in blood sugar rise for people with diabetes. For women over 30, exercise was also found to provide greater health protection than stopping smoking. Finally, seniors who pushed a little harder when they exercised saw improved heart function and reduced heart disease risk.
- Early studies in animals find that exercise provides protective effects to the eye that could prevent common causes of blindness.
- A Spanish study found that vigorous exercise among seniors without dementia helped protect cognitive function.
- A study in young children found that outdoor play is linked to increased happiness and intelligence. (Don't you love it when science lines up with common sense?)
- The intersection between our brains, our minds and our quality of life continues to be a fascinating area of inquiry. Research continues to confirm the ability of the brain to remold itself based on stimuli, and the concept of "self-directed neuroplasticity" hold promise for those of us who hope to build greater mental well-being.
- You've heard it said that laughter is good medicine. New research finds that laughter actually has similar effects on the brain as meditation!
- Speaking of meditation, here's an eye-catching infographic of the many benefits that this ancient practice provides.
- These days we can be over-connected to technology and under-connected to the people in our lives. Here are some great reminders for how to maintain healthy relationships.
- Healthy eating and effective weight-loss continue to be a big topic. Here are a few suggestions to make the weight-loss journey easier. The "de-stress" diet also offers additional practical suggestions for making nutritional changes less stressful.
You may have seen the Wheel of Health model that I and other Duke-trained health coaches use. Along the same lines, here's another wellness wheel that caught my eye: The Self-Care Wheel by OlgaPhoenix.com
Do any of these seem surprising or interesting to you? What other news or resources have grabbed your attention this month? Please share your thoughts and comments here!