April 2011

- A protein breakfast produces muscle while lowering cortisol levels, which can cause weight gain, according to recent studies from the University of Erlangen-Nuremburg in Germany

- Eating one beetroot a day can help fight Alzheimer’s, according to scientists at Wake Forest University, North Carolina.

- Curry is packed with turmeric, which helps prevent bone loss, according to scientists at the University of Arizona, Tucson.

IMMUNE SYSTEM

- A 45-minute massage has been found to cause an 18% spike in white blood cells, responsible for fighting illness and infection, according to the Journal of Alternative & Complementary Medicine.

- Vitamin C in oranges boosts the immune system, according to Carnegie-Mellon University, Pittsburgh.

SLEEP

- Taking a cold shower before bed results in getting to sleep quicker than a hot shower, according to sleep scientists at Stanford University, California.

- Make your home dimmer in the evening and you’ll have a deeper sleep, according to the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology  & Metabolism.

- A bath before bed will help you sleep as it boosts blood circulation, according to the University of California.

- An afternoon nap will recharge you much more than one in the morning, according to the Harvard School of Public Health.

- Verbal encouragement during exercise leads to greater effort than when no encouragement is given, according to the Journal of Sports Sciences.

STRESS

- Swimming lowers stress levels by giving you an endorphin rush – 10 minutes is all it takes, according to the University of Hull)

- The slow pace of yoga cuts stress, according to the Mayo Clinic.

- Physical activity raises the production of your brain’s endorphins (feel-good transmitters), distracting you from stress and boosting your mood, according to the Mayo Clinic.

- Drink a cup of black tea without milk for a 20% drop in the stress hormone cortisol after challenging tasks, according to University College London.

- Chewing gum inhibits production of the stress hormone cortisol, according to Swinburne University, Melbourne.

- The amino acids that yoghurt contains helps against anxiety and regulates your stress hormones, according to the Slovak Academy of Sciences.

- Lemons contain linalool, a scent that lowers stress, according to the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

- Lavender helps calm your nerves and can aid sleep, according to the University of Maryland.

- The scent of vanilla can reduce your ‘startle’ reflex, making you calmer, according to the University of Tubingen, Germany.

- The added iron in All-Bran battles fatigue and improves mood, according to the University of Bristol.

EXERCISE

- An incline bench should be at 44 degrees to promote the greatest chest and shoulder activation during a bench press, according to the Journal of Strength and Conditioning.

- The best way to increase both the size of your chest and the amount of weight you can bench is to tuck your elbows towards your ribs as you lower the bar, rather than flaring them out, according to researchers at Slippery Rock University, Pennsylvania.

- Using dumbbells when bench pressing uses slightly more muscle than the barbell version, according to a study in the Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research.

- Using dumbbells when shoulder pressing activates more muscles in your back than using a barbell, according to a study in the Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research.

- During a triceps pull down, keep your elbows tucked to your sides to work your triceps at 100%, according to a study in the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports.

- Doing squats twice a week significantly reduces knee pain caused by running, according to research from Indiana University.

- Use a weight that makes you struggle on the final reps. A final partial rep can be as good as a full rep at building muscle, according to research in the Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research.

- During squats, doing 6 reps with a heavy weight burns more fat than higher reps with a light weight, according to the Norwegian University of Sports and Physical Education.

- When shoulder pressing, lowering your arms two thirds of the way down recruits more shoulder muscle than the full exercise, according to a study in the Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research.

- You could reduce post-workout muscle pain by 25% if you have a mug of ginger tea beforehand, according to the Journal of Pain.