The Bark – A Healthy Living Blog

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in on Jan 25, 2016 .

Having powerful legs might empower your brain as you grow older, researchers report.

A 10-year British study concluded that leg strength is strongly linked with healthier brain aging. Also, the King's College London team said the findings suggest that simply walking more to improve leg force and speed could help maintain brain function as you age.

The study included 324 healthy female twins, aged 43 to 73, in the United Kingdom. Their thinking, learning and memory were tested at the start and end of the study.

The researchers found that leg strength was a better predictor of brain health than any other lifestyle factor looked...

Hint: It has nothing to do with Post-It notes! (Photo: Getty Images)

The next time you need to memorize something — like a speech, a toast or facts and stats for a test — recite the words to anyone who is willing to listen. 

According to a new study that will be published in the November edition of the journal Consciousness and Cognition, repeating words to another person can provide a bigger memory boost than just saying what you need to remember aloud (which was already known to improve recall). 

In order to test this theory, researchers instructed 44 college students to read a series of lexemes (meaning words that are...

“What I discovered was that the practice of mindfulness meditation evoked the same responses from me that drawing did.”

Like many artists before her, Wendy Ann Greenhalgh finds the process of producing creative work to be a deeply mindful process. Health and well-being journalist Kate Bermingham spoke to Wendy about how artists and mindfulness practitioners can benefit from blending these practices.

Kate: In your book, Mindfulness and the Art of Drawing, you argue that everyone can draw. Is that really true? And if yes, why do you think so few people do it?

Wendy Ann: I know it’s true. All the time people come into my...

The French maritime pine bark extract known as Pycnogenol improves cognitive function in individuals who have high levels of oxidative stress but are otherwise in good health, a group from Pescara, Italy, reported in the December issue of the Journal of Neurosurgical SciencesPycnogenol has been shown to improve cognitive function in individuals with high levels of oxidative stress.

The 12-month study focused on the so-called baby boomer population of individuals who currently range from 55-70 years of age.

Researchers at Chieti-Pescara University compared cognitive parameters in subjects who used 100 mg of Pycnogenol per day...

Parents looking for a simple sanity saver may find it by adjusting their children's bedtimes: Kids who fall asleep early are more likely to be healthier, and their moms have better mental health, new research has found.

"So mums and dads, getting kids to bed early is not just great for them. It's good for you, too," said Jon Quach, lead author and research fellow at the Murdoch Children's Research Institute in Melbourne, Australia, in a written statement.

Quach and his colleagues defined "early to bed" as being asleep by 8:30 p.m.

That's a very typical bedtime for early school age kids, whose level of melatonin — the...

Fitness is for life. Motivate yourself with these practical tips.

Have you ever started a fitness program and then quit? If you answered yes, you're not alone. Many people start fitness programs, but they may stop when they get bored, they don't enjoy it or results come too slowly. Here are seven tips to help you stay motivated.

1. Set goals

Start with simple goals and then progress to longer range goals. Remember to make your goals realistic and achievable. It's easy to get frustrated and give up if your goals are too ambitious.

For example, if you haven't exercised in a while, a short-term goal might be to walk 10...

According to a new study, smoking high-potency skunk-like cannabis can significantly damage white matter, which is responsible for connecting different areas of the brain.

The team explored the impact of cannabis potency in inducing psychosis. They used anMRI technique to look at the white matter of 99 people, 56 of which had reported a first psychotic episode. They found that white matter damage was significantly greater among heavy users of high-potency cannabis compared to occasional or low-potency users.

Dr. Paola Dazzan, reader in neurobiology of psychosis from the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience (IoPPN)...

Giving birth to a baby is a great thing. However, many women face the inevitable question ‘how long before would their bodies return to their original shape, or ask a rather subjective question ‘would they look good’ after giving birth to their a child. And the answer is – yes! 

 A growing number of women today are inspired by social media plaftorms such as, Instagram, and hashtags such as '#pregofit' '#fitmom' '#fitpregnany', all of which guide them to inspiration for exercise, diet and overall a better lifestyle. 

Social media allows yummy mummies to see what so many women just like them are doing and what changes they...