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Get fit with virtual aid

A snapshot of the current thinking in medicine, fitness and lifestyle trends that impact your life,

health and fitness Updated: May 21, 2011 23:18 IST

Get fit with virtual aid

Can’t find anyone to exercise with? Don’t despair: New research shows that working out with a virtually present, superior partner can improve motivation during exercise and push you to work out longer and harder.

The research, published in the Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, shows that people who exercise with a more capable virtual partner work out 24% longer than those who exercise alone.

Past research has shown that working out with a partner increases motivation to do better. A virtual partner works better as it further removes the social anxiety that some people feel working out in public.

Kids, lose some weight to stay alert

Fat, asthmatic, anxious or depressed children are likely to suffer from a condition called excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS) and nod off during the day. Characterised by the inability to stay awake during the day, EDS usually occurs along with other sleep disorders such as sleep apnea, in which a person pauses in breathing while sleeping.

EDS affects with children’s daytime functioning, including schoolwork, and was found to affect one in seven children with high waist circumference, asthma, heartburn, parent-reported symptoms of anxiety and/or depression.

Goat’s milk healthier than cow’s

Goat’s milk is the latest super-food full of nutrients that scientists are lauding as being healthier than cow’s milk. It is rich in bone-building calcium and phosphorus and contains more zinc and selenium, which prevent neurodegenerative diseases, than cow’s milk. It increases haemoglobin regeneration to help people with anaemia recover faster. It’s easier to digest, and protects against heart disease by lowering cholesterol and maintaining healthy levels of blood fats, such as triglycerides and transaminases.


Cooked tomatoes lower cholesterol and blood pressure

Tomatoes have the same heart-protecting benefits as statins, the drugs prescribed to treat high cholesterol levels or high blood pressure that can trigger heart attacks and strokes. And just 60 gms of tomato paste or a glass of juice a day can help heart patients lower their medication, shows an analysis of 14 international studies over 55 years.

The benefits come from an anti-oxidative compound called lycopene, which gives ripe tomatoes their bright red colour. Lycopene helps keep artery-blocking bad cholesterol — or low-density lipoprotein or LPL — in the blood. Cooked tomatoes work better than raw ones because the body absorbs lycopene more readily from them.