Fitness trackers

Hot topics: exercise and mental acuity, motivational fitness trackers; exercise and poor diet; loss of contact and vision; periodontal disease and Alzheimer’s | Healthy lifestyle

Christine Bryant Times Correspondent

Exercise is good for women’s brains

Along with the benefits of exercise, a new study shows it can boost your mental processing speed and memory reserve.

Researchers from the University of California, San Diego found that women in particular can benefit from a boost in exercise, such as brisk walking or cycling for 15 minutes. According to researchers, thinking faster can help with problem solving, staying focused and planning.

While both sexes in the study benefited from cognitive activities such as reading, any positive association between activities and memory reserve only applied to women.

Source: Journal of Neurology

Wearable fitness trackers as motivators

If you have a wearable fitness tracker, a new study says it can motivate you to stay active.

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Researchers at the University of South Australia reviewed nearly 400 studies involving activity trackers and found that wearing them, pedometers or smartwatches encouraged participants to walk up to 40 minutes longer each day .

Exercise can help prevent cardiovascular disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and cancer.

Source: Lancet Digital Health

Exercise is no match for a poor diet

Those who exercise to undo a poor diet may not feel encouraged by a new study.

Researchers from the University of Sydney in Australia have found that exercise does not reduce mortality risk for poor eaters. On the other hand, eating well may help reduce the risk of dying from certain cancers to some extent, but does not help reduce mortality from cardiovascular disease without exercise.

Researchers found that those who exercised and ate healthy foods significantly reduced their risk of dying from certain types of cancers and cardiovascular disease.

Source: BMJ Sports Medicine

New research shows that complications from wearing contact lenses can lead to vision loss.

Complications such as infections, lack of oxygen transfer and increased intraocular pressure can lead to irreversible damage, according to researchers at Hadassah University Medical Center. They say teenagers between the ages of 15 and 19 are among the largest high-risk group because they tend not to be as strict about hygiene. They may also be less likely to remove their lenses while sleeping.

Researchers say contact lens wearers should see an eye doctor regularly and remove the lenses immediately if they cause discomfort, irritation or blurred vision.

Source: Israel Medical Association’s Harefuah newspaper

Link between poor oral health and Alzheimer’s

Researchers may have linked poor oral health to dementia. A new study by researchers at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine has found that a specific oral bacteria can lead to neurodegeneration.

The bacteria, linked to gum disease, can cause an inflammatory response in the brain, according to the study. The bacteria is called Fusobacterium nucleatum and can infiltrate the tissues of the nervous system, exacerbating the signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease.

The researchers say these findings could lead to bacterial load testing as a way to manage treatment that slows the progression of periodontal disease and Alzheimer’s disease.

Source: Frontiers of the Neurosciences of Aging