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POOR WAGES A BIGGER KILLER THAN INACTIVE DESK JOBS

A new study has found that low pay and poor social circumstances play a bigger role in premature death than sedentary desk jobs. Researchers from the Glasgow University
studied records for 500,000 people from 1991 to 2011 and uncovered jobs including cleaners, factory sta! and building or farm laborer’s are all more than three times as likely as other workers to die early, but the highest death rates for both sexes were among the unemployed. The best jobs for health included those in medicine, business, public
services, finance, teaching and IT.

SAUDI ARABIA ALLOWS YOGA

No longer classed as ‘deviant behavior’ in the Muslim-majority country of Saudi Arabia, yoga can now be  practiced as it has been listed as a sport by the country’s Ministry of Trade and Industry. The country’s first female yoga instructor, Nouf Marwaai began practicing yoga to help cure her cancer, and since then she has been campaigning for it to be made an social  activity with the help of Saudi princess Reema bind Bandar Al Saud, a member of the Royal Council.

EXERCISE COULD PROTECT FROM ALZHEIMER’S

Research from Vanderbilt University in America suggests that exercise that gets the heart pumping may protect against the illness as good blood flow keeps the memory-processing part of the brain healthy. Published in the journal Neurology, the research looked at 314 patients with an average age of 73, and found those with weak hearts had a flow to the temporal lobe area of someone up to 20 years older.

MEDITATION CAN CHANGE THE BRAIN

A new study published in Science Advances suggests that certain kinds of meditation can change social and emotional circuitry after research from the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences in Leipzig, Germany, and looked at the elects of three different meditation techniques on the brains and bodies of more than 300 volunteers over three  months. The meditation techniques included mindfulness meditation and loving kindness meditation. MRI scans of the participants showed that  mindfulness meditation increased thickness in the prefrontal cortex and parietal lobes, both linked to attention control, while compassion-based meditation showed increases in the limbic system, which processes emotions, and the anterior insula, which helps bring emotions into conscious awareness.

STRESS CAN BE GOOD

New research from Chicago’s Northwestern University suggests that a little bit of stress can help you live longer and reduce the risk of dementia as it helps to boost resilience, protects cells against ageing and staves of illness. However, too much stress is bad and ups the risk of heart attacks and other illness.

MINDFULNESS MEDITATION BEST FOR REDUCING STRESS

An eight-week trial by UK researchers including those of the University of Westminster showed that mindfulness meditation was better than gardening and yoga at helping people to relax. The trial involved 68 people, who met every week for group gardening and conservation activities, while another group tried weekly yoga sessions, and the third group practiced 10 minutes of mindfulness meditation every day. All participants were measured for levels of the stress hormone cortisol. A healthy stress response is to have a big burst in the morning called the cortisol awakening response (CAR), and lower levels through the day. While the yoga group saw only a slight improvement, gardeners CAR jumped by 20 per cent, while those who practised meditation saw their CAR levels rising to 78 per cent.

EAT AND DRINK TO BE YOUNGER

The secret to a youthful appearance could be from eating chocolate and drinking red wine suggests a new  study from Exeter and Brighton Universities. Researchers found that both helped to rejuvenate old cells, making them look younger and start to behave more like young cells. When people age and wrinkle, the strands  of DNA in cells gradually lose the protective telomeres that act like plastic tips on the end of shoelaces, but when the researchers applied compounds based on chemicals found in red wine, dark chocolate and red grapes to cells, within hours the older cells started to  divide and had longer telomeres. The research was published in the journal BMJ Cell Biology.

NATURE’S ARTHRITIS RELIEF

Scientists from KIIT University in Bhubaneswar, India, claim that blueberries, ginger and olive oil could ease the pain of rheumatoid arthritis. Sufferer’s should also include dried plums, pomegranates, green tea, turmeric and whole grains in their diet to slow progress of the disease. Researchers said that the foods cut levels of inflammatory    chemicals released by the immune system that worsen swelling, staidness and pain in the joints. The findings also advise on eating more fruit, vegetables and spices while cutting down on smoking and alcohol.

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