These types of side-effect-free steps can quickly help lower important numbers like blood pressure, heart rate and even weight, counteracting today's unhealthy, upward trends among young people, said Dr. Vernon Barnes, physiologist at the Medical College of Georgia's Georgia Prevention Institute.
A positive attitude and family environment increases the effectiveness of the interventions, Dr. Barnes reported in one of three studies presented at the American Psychosomatic Society Annual Meeting in Portland, Ore. The study comparing breathing awareness meditation to health education and life-skills training found that all methods improved blood pressure.
Dr. Barnes, who has studied the impact of mediation on cardiovascular health for more than a decade at MCG, has documented the improved stress reactivity in black adolescents with high normal blood pressures as well as lower blood pressures in black, inner-city adolescents who meditate twice daily.
Meditation also sharpens the mind for education. "When you come to school with a stressed mind, you can't do as well," Dr. Barnes said. "The benefit of calming your mind is preparing it to learn." A review of school records showed meditating adolescents miss fewer days and generally behave better, he added.
Another study showed that the blood pressure of students in a high school-based walking program decreased after just 16 weeks compared with non-participating peers. Dr. Barnes, part of an adult team competing with a group of high school students to see which can walk the farthest, said the pedometer is an incentive to move. "You think about it: that little extra walking will hopefully benefit your health," said the researcher who finds himself making efforts to increase his step numbers daily.
"It all works together, which makes sense," he said, looking at the impact of the techniques over just a few months. While decreases in blood pressure were small – a 2.5 point reduction in pedometer wearers compared to a 3.5 point increase in the control group – it's good momentum.
"If you could maintain that decrease into your adult years, it may decrease cardiovascular disease risk," Dr. Barnes said.
Researchers also reported reductions in anger and anxiety after a dozen, 50-minute classes on the topics taught by health teachers. Psychosocial factors such as anger are known to contribute to a wide range of health problems including elevated blood pressures and heart disease in adulthood. But Williams LifeSkills workshops helped adolescents learn to analyze a situation before responding, to listen and empathize or even stand firm when necessary. "The workshop has scenarios drawn from real life," said Dr. Barnes.
Toni Baker | EurekAlert!
Europe’s Demographic Future. Where the Regions Are Heading after a Decade of Crises
10.08.2017 | Berlin-Institut für Bevölkerung und Entwicklung
Scientists reveal source of human heartbeat in 3-D
07.08.2017 | University of Manchester
Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.
As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...
Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.
Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...
For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.
While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...
An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.
The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...
A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.
Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...
16.08.2017 | Event News
04.08.2017 | Event News
26.07.2017 | Event News
23.08.2017 | Life Sciences
23.08.2017 | Life Sciences
23.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy