header_img2
Home

healthy living. healthy planet.

Seattle Natural Awakenings

Natural Awakenings

Flaxseed Lowers Blood Pressure
August 2014

Food for Heart Health

flax_seedEating flaxseed reduces blood pressure, according to researchers from Canada’s St. Boniface Hospital Research Center. They attribute the effect to its omega-3 fatty acids, lignans and fiber.

The researchers examined the effects of flaxseed on systolic and diastolic blood pressure in patients with peripheral artery disease, a condition typically marked by hypertension. Patients consumed a variety of foods that collectively contained 30 grams of milled flaxseed or a placebo each day for six months. The flaxseed group experienced significantly increased plasma levels of certain omega-3 fatty acids and lower average systolic blood pressure (by 10 mmHg) and diastolic blood pressure (by 7 mm Hg). Those in the flaxseed group with initial systolic blood pressure levels over 140 mmHg saw reductions averaging 15 mmHg.

 
Heelless Shoes May Help Prevent Runners’ Injuries
August 2014

Reduces Harm from Excessive Impact

bone-and-jointsA British study published in Footwear Science analyzed the effects of running in experimental heelless footwear compared with conventional running shoes with reinforced heels. The objective was to see if the heelless footwear would reduce the risk of chronic injury related to the habitual rear-foot strike pattern associated with conventional heeled shoes.

Using eight cameras with optoelectric running motion capture technology,12 male runners were tracked at four meters per second. The heelless running shoe resulted in less impact, greater plantar flexion and greater ankle eversion (rolling outward). The researchers concluded that the heelless shoes decreased the risk of chronic running foot injuries linked to excessive impact forces, but concede they may increase injury potential associated with excessive ankle eversion.

 
Fitness Update
August 2014

Healthiest U.S. Metro Areas in 2014

fitnessThe American College of Sports Medicine’s (ACSM) seventh annual American Fitness Index (AFI) ranks Washington, D.C., at the top with a score of 77.3 (out of 100), followed by Minneapolis-St. Paul (73.5), Portland, Oregon (72.1) Denver (71.7) and San Francisco (71). Overall, metro areas in 25 states scored 50 or above; the two lowest-ranking hovered near 25 points.

“The AFI data report is a snapshot of the state of health in the community and an evaluation of the infrastructure, community assets and policies that encourage healthy and fit lifestyles. These measures directly affect quality of life in our country’s urban areas,” says Walter Thompson, Ph.D., chair of the AFI advisory board.


Find the complete report at AmericanFitnessIndex.org.

 
True Grit
August 2014

Why Persistence Counts

classroomSome educators believe that improvements in instruction, curriculum and school environments are not enough to raise the achievement levels of all students, especially disadvantaged children. Also necessary is a quality called “grit”, loosely defined as persistence over time to overcome challenges and accomplish big goals. Grit comprises a suite of traits and behaviors that include goal-directedness (knowing where to go and how to get there); motivation (having a strong will to achieve identified goals); self-control (avoiding distractions and focusing on the task at hand); and a positive mindset (embracing challenges and viewing failure as a learning opportunity).

A meta-study of 25 years of research by John Hattie and Helen Timperley, professors at the University of Aukland, New Zealand, has shown that giving students challenging goals encourages greater effort and persistence than providing vague or no direction. Students aren’t hardwired for these qualities, but grit can be developed through an emerging battery of evidence-based techniques that give educators a powerful new set of tools to support student success.

A famous example of the power of self-regulation was observed when preschoolers that were able to withstand the temptation of eating a marshmallow for 15 minutes to receive a second one were more successful in high school and scored about 210 points higher on their SATs later in life than those with less willpower (Tinyurl.com/StanfordMarshallowStudy).


Source: ascd.org.

 
<< Start < Prev 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Next > End >>