The faster you walk, the better for long term health – especially as you age

OK, you don’t need the poles. But you should pick up the pace. from www.shutterstock.com Some of us like to stroll along and smell the roses, while others march to their destination as quickly as their feet will carry them. A new study out last Friday has found those who report faster walking have lower risk of premature death. We studied just over...

Every cancer patient should be prescribed exercise medicine

Most doctors and nurses agree exercise is beneficial but don’t routinely prescribe exercise as part of their patients’ cancer treatment plan.  Photo credit: Exercise Oncology Team at Australian Catholic University Every four minutes someone in Australia is diagnosed with cancer. Only one in ten of those diagnosed will exercise enough during and after their treatment. But every one of those patients would benefit...

We can change our brain and its ability to cope with disease with simple lifestyle choices

Lifestyle factors such as meditation can change our brain for the better. gGuilherme Romano Our life expectancy has increased dramatically over the past several decades, with advances in medical research, nutrition and health care seeing us live well into our 80s. But this longer life expectancy has also come at a cost, as the longer we live, the more likely...

Health check: why do we get muscle cramps?

Some people experience cramps frequently after vigorous, high-intensity exercise. from shutterstock.com Many of us know the feeling of a cramp – whether you’ve been struck down on the sports field or woken with a start in excruciating pain in the middle of the night. A cramp is the involuntary contraction of our skeletal muscle, and it hurts. Some people often experience cramps after...

Stay on the couch or go for a run? There’s an app that can calculate the bigger risk

We know running is better for you than lounging but how might it affect our lifespan? Marcella Cheng Humans are much worse at estimating risk than we think we are. While we overestimate the risk of rare but catastrophic occurrences, such as being attacked by a shark, many of us seriously underestimate the risk of behaviours that reduce our lifespan, such...

Whole body vibration: a genuine therapy or just another ‘weight loss’ fad?

 Is whole body vibration just another fitness fad? Vibration machines have popped up in gyms alongside traditional equipment, and manufacturers claim ten minutes of vibration a day can be equivalent to an hour spent working out. Standing on a rapidly shaking platform will, according to claims, improve muscle tone and circulation, and accelerate weight loss. It’s an appealing prospect: passively standing...