Research Roundup #6: This Week’s Fasting News from Around the Web
THE LATEST NEWS AND RESEARCH UPDATES ON FASTING
Welcome to the Fast Insider News Roundup
Every week, we’re bringing you a round-up of the latest fasting, health, and wellness news to hit the wire. There are many ways that fasting converges with lifestyle to improve change day to day life as we know it. This week, we look at how weight training can help ease your pandemic anxiety, how one functional physician primes his immune system to fight colds and viruses, and how the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends celebrating Thanksgiving this year.
Weight training can ease anxiety
If pandemic and post-election worries are getting the better of you, lifting weights just might help the situation, according to a new study. The study, involving healthy young adults, found that regular resistance training substantially reduced anxiety, a finding which could help many in these troubling times.
While there has been plenty of research linking aerobic exercise and improvements in mental health, scientists are only now beginning to understand how weight training affects it. A 2018 review of studies, for instance, concluded that adults who lift weights are less likely to develop depression than those who don’t hoist a dumbbell. And another study showed that women which had clinical anxiety disorders reported fewer symptoms after aerobic exercise or weight training.
The new study, published in Scientific Reports, divided 28 healthy young men and women, testing their moods in a lengthy anxiety questionnaire. Half were given a simple twice a week weight training program of squats, lunges, lifts, and crunches for eight weeks, with the other half assigned to the non-lifting control group for the same period. At the end, those in the control group unsurprisingly felt about the same, but those in the weight training group, who were already pretty calm, to begin with, reported a 20 percent reduction in anxiety on their questionnaires. It’s not clear exactly what caused the change, but scientists speculate that it could be both a feeling of mastery that left participants feeling better able to cope, as well as chemical changes in their muscles and brains.
Can you “train” your immune system?
With both COVID-19 cases rising and flu season on the way, talk of boosting your immunity is everywhere. But one biochemist and functional medicine expert, Jeffrey Bland, says that fighting the “twindemic” isn’t just limited to popping a Vitamin D and getting enough sleep. Bland believes that you can rejuvenate and “train” the immune system through comprehensive diet and lifestyle interventions, reducing the body’s production of damaged immune cells and replacing them with more resilient new cells.
While every individual is different and science in this area is still developing, here are some of his foundational tips for “training” your cells to be better infection fighters.
- Get seven to eight hours of sleep.
- Engage in regular daily exercise. Even an hour of brisk walking has a very positive impact on immune function.
- Spend 20 to 30 minutes a day outdoors.
- Do something every day that gives you peace, whether it’s reading, listening to music or a favorite podcast, or practicing meditation.
- Eat sensibly. That means don’t overeat, cut back on sweets, limit saturated fats, eat a low-glycemic diet, up your fiber intake both from vegetables and healthy grains, and eat vegetables of many colors.
- Practice time-restricted eating, consuming all of your food during a 10-hour period.
- Limit exposure to chemicals in your air, water, and food, including over-the-counter drugs and home and personal care products that can burden the immune system.
Safer ways to celebrate this Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving is almost here, and with coronavirus surging in many areas of the country, infectious disease experts from the CDC are asking people to consider case rates of the virus to determine whether to postpone, cancel or limit the number of people at their celebrations.
- For those where the virus is surging such as the Midwest, the lowest risk is celebrating with members of your household, and/or virtually with other family members. You can drop off the food in a contactless manner for those relatives at higher risk and shop the Black Friday deals online the day after.
- If you’re going to host Thanksgiving dinner, the CDC recommends organizing an outdoor event with just a few family and friends from your neighborhood.
“Gatherings with more preventive measures, such as mask-wearing, social distancing, and handwashing … pose less risk than gatherings where fewer or no preventive measures are being implemented,” the CDC advises.
Lastly, falling in the high-risk category, are large indoor gatherings, dinners, and parties, particularly those that last some time, as well as celebrations involving traveling on planes or public transportation.
Fasting.com is committed to investigating and reporting on the many ways fasting, health, nutrition, and wellness can help all of us rise to meet the challenges we face in life and, in doing so, liberates us to live our lives, longer and better. Together, especially when we are healthy and happy, we can address the world’s greatest problems.
Check-in weekly for our research round-up and look forward to even more in-depth fasting science coverage, analysis, and takeaways in the near future.
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