Tag: exercise

One More Reason to Act Fast – Assess Your Stroke Risk

A story this week about  26-year-old twins who had a stroke only a few months apart  from each other may seem like an oddity to you.  While it’s true that stroke is more common in older adults, young people have strokes as well. Most people don’t realize that stroke is the #4 cause of death in the United States.  A stroke occurs when a part of the brain is not getting enough oxygen and nutrients. This can be due to a blocked blood vessel supplying the brain. Alternatively, it could be because of bursted blood vessel that results in bleeding in the brain. For those that survive a stroke, they can be left with major limitations in daily function and quality of life. The American Heart Association estimates that there are 3.8 million women survivors of stroke alive today. In honor of Stroke Awareness Month in May, let’s remember some truths and mistruths about stroke. Truth #1 – Stroke can happen at any age The story of the 26-year-old sisters who both had strokes is dramatic, but stroke is not that unusual in young people. The causes of stroke are usually different when they occur in younger compared to older people, but stroke can happen at any age. One of the twins apparently had atrial fibrillation, which is a big risk factor for stroke. Truth #2 – You can reduce the risk of having a stroke Overall, the most common risk factors for having a stroke are listed below. Many of these are factors that you have the power to change. Smoking High cholesterol High blood pressure Diabetes Irregular heart rhythm (such as atrial fibrillation ) Diabetes Obesity Lack of exercise But in younger adults, and women in particular, stroke may also be due to other risk factors, such […]

Pudgy to Perfect: Exercise Commitment Wavers with Motivation – #RevoltNowFit Week 9

By Rick Nauert PhD Senior News Editor Reviewed by John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on February 14, 2012 A new study by Penn State researchers finds that motivation to exercise fluctuates from week to week. And, not surprisingly, the motivational fluctuations predict whether we will be physically active. In an effort to understand how the motivation to exercise is linked to behavior, researchers examined college students’ intentions to be physically active as well as their actual activity levels. “Many of us set New Year’s resolutions to be more physically active, and we expect these resolutions to be stable throughout the year,” said David Conroy, Ph.D., professor of kinesiology. “One of the things we see in this study is that from week to week our motivation can change a lot, and these weekly changes in motivation can be destructive to our resolutions.” Investigators recruited 33 college students and assessed over a 10-week period both the students’ weekly intentions to be physically active and their activity levels. Participants were instructed to log on to a website and to rate their intentions to perform physical activity for the week ahead. To assess physical activity, participants were instructed to wear pedometers each day for the first four weeks. Researchers discovered that for many of the participants, the motivation to exercise fluctuated on a weekly basis, and these fluctuations were linked to their behavior. The findings from the study appear in the current issue of the Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology . “Our motivation to be physically active changes on a weekly basis because we have so many demands on our time,” said Conroy. For most of us, the challenge to remain motivated to exercise in the weeks when we are maxed-out is problematic. “Maybe one week we’re sick or we have a work deadline […]