What's the buzz

What's the buzz

Daily 5-minute run may increase lifespan

It has been revealed that daily running helps in reducing risks of cardiovascular diseases that might lead to death, regardless of duration and speed.

The study by Iowa State University Kinesiology Department in Ames, Iowa, found that running for only a few minutes a day or at slow speeds might significantly reduce a person’s risk of death from cardiovascular disease compared to someone who does not run.

Exercise has been well-established as a way to prevent heart disease and as a component of an overall healthy life, but it was unclear whether there were health benefits below the level of 75 minutes per week of vigorous-intensity activity, such as running, recommended by the World Health Organization.

The study showed that people who ran less than 51 minutes, fewer than 6 miles, slower than 6 miles per hour, or only one to two times per week had a lower risk of dying compared to those who did not run.

 Duck-chul Lee, an assistant professor, said that runners who ran less than an hour per week have the same mortality benefits compared to runners who ran more than three hours per week, thus, it was possible that the “more” might not be the “better” in relation to running and longevity.

 He further suggested that the study might motivate more people to start running and continue to run as an attainable health goal for mortality benefits. He added that running might be a better exercise option than more moderate intensity exercises for healthy but sedentary people since it produces similar, mortality benefits in 5 to 10 minutes compared to the 15 to 20 minutes per day of moderate intensity activity that many find too time consuming.

Negative expectations tracker of human brain found

A recent study has identified the half-pea-sized human brain portion called habenula, which tracks negative expectations like painful electric shocks and shows how bad things could get.

The research team has shown that the habenula gets activated in response to pictures associated with painful electric shocks, with the opposite occurring for pictures that predicted winning money.

 Senior author, Dr Jonathan Roiser of the UCL Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, said that the habenula didn't just express whether something led to negative events or not, it also signaled the extent of bad outcomes that were expected.

 Lead author, Dr Rebecca Lawson, said that there was a crucial link between the habenula and motivated behaviour, which might have been the result of dopamine suppression.

 The habenula had previously been linked to depression, and this study shows how it could be involved in causing symptoms such as low motivation, pessimism and a focus on negative experiences, and could also lead people into making disproportionately negative predictions.

 Roiser said that understanding the habenula could help them in developing better treatments for treatment-resistant depression.

Early reading skills positively influence intelligence

A study by University of Edinburgh and King's College London has revealed that early reading skill might positively affect later intellectual abilities. According to the study, early remediation of reading problems might aid not only the growth of literacy, but also more general cognitive abilities that are of critical importance across the lifespan.

The researchers found that earlier differences in reading between the twins were linked to later differences in intelligence. Reading was associated not only with measures of verbal intelligence (such as vocabulary tests) but with measures of nonverbal intelligence as well (such as reasoning tests).

 The differences in reading that were linked to differences in later intelligence were present by age 7, which may indicate that even early reading skills affect intellectual development.

 Researchers said that children who don't receive enough assistance in learning to read may also be missing out on the important, intelligence-boosting properties of literacy.

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