All posts related to "walking"

A systematic review on the accuracy of Fitbit devices

Fitbit’s are wearable devices that individuals can use to track their daily physical activity and increase motivation to do physical activity. Fitbit devices offer real time data on various aspects of daily life including number of steps taken, energy expenditure, time spent asleep, and time spent in different levels of activity. Fitbit devices are becoming increasingly popular in the health-conscious consumer public; they are also being used more frequently in research as measurement tools and to inform healthcare decisions. But are they accurate?

A team of researchers at Arthritis Research Canada and the University of British Columbia, lead by Dr. Lynne Freehan, recently conducted a study to find out how accurate Fitbit devices are as measurement tools. Currently, several devices exist that have been identified as a “research standard” for activity tracking. In this review, researchers measured Fitbit’s accuracy by comparing the readings to that of the research-grade devices.

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Frequent, brisk walks are beneficial for people with early-stage Alzheimer’s

Picture of person walking - feet onlyAccording to a recent study of physical activity as an experimental treatment for dementia, frequent, brisk walks are beneficial for people with early-stage Alzheimer’s disease because walking bolsters physical abilities and slow memory loss.

The study aimed to investigate how and why exercise helps some people with dementia, but not others. There are 1.1 million Canadians who are directly or indirectly affected by dementia. Globally, the disease affects more than 35 million people, a number that is expected to double within 20 years. There are currently no reliable treatments for the disease.

Past studies which focused on how exercise can prevent Alzheimer’s disease have shown the following:

  • There is a strong correlation between regular exercise and improved memories in healthy elderly people.
  • Physical active older people are less likely than those who are sedentary to develop mild cognitive impairment (a common precursor to Alzheimer’s disease).
  • When compared to sedentary people of the same age, physically fit older people have more volume in their brain’s hippocampus, the portion of the brain most intimately linked to memory function.

For the current study, researchers from the University of Kansas decided to work with people who had been given a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease. Because the disease can affect coordination as it progresses, the study initially looked at men and women with early stage Alzheimer. Study participants had to be living at home and be able to safely walk by themselves or perform other types of light exercise.

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Include exercise in your mall routine

Picture of a woman holding onto a shopping bagThere are many ways to include exercise in your mall routine. By turning daily tasks into an exercise routine, you will be able to improve your overall strength. Many Canadians visit the mall on December 26, also known as Boxing Day in Canada, to find deals on electronic, clothing, and entertainment goods and services. Like the Black Friday sale event down in the United States, the shopping centres are packed with people. The mall also provides a free and dry environment for walking when the weather makes road conditions unsafe for outdoor exercise. Below are some ways you can incorporate and optimize exercise while shopping: Continue reading