NEWS FROM THE WORLD OF MEDICINE

Reader's Digest International - - Front Page - BY SA­MAN­THA RIDEOUT

Stair Walk­ing Pro­vides En­ergy Boost

Fall­ing asleep on the job? A short jaunt up and down the stairs will pro­vide a bet­ter pick-me-up than a small dose of caf­feine, sug­gests a study in Phys­i­ol­ogy & Be­hav­ior. Sleep-de­prived sub­jects were asked to ei­ther walk on a stair­case for 10 min­utes or in­gest 50 mil­ligrams of caf­feine (the rough equiv­a­lent of a cola, half a cup of cof­fee or a cup of black tea). The stair walk­ers felt more en­er­getic than those who had in­gested cap­sules con­tain­ing caf­feine or a placebo.

Surgery Is the Lead­ing In­con­ti­nence Treat­ment

Nearly one in 10 older men and one in five older women have uri­nary in­con­ti­nence. When an in­ter­na­tional team re­viewed the sci­en­tific lit­er­a­ture to com­pare treat­ments, they dis­cov­ered that surgery was the most ef­fec­tive op­tion, with an 82 per­cent cure rate for peo­ple with stress UI (brought on by sneez­ing, etc.). Pelvic floor ex­er­cises ranked sec­ond, with a rate of 53 per­cent. Drugs had a 49 per­cent chance of cur­ing pa­tients with urge UI (a sud­den need to uri­nate), while “bulk­ing agents”—fillers in­jected into the area around the ure­thra to tighten it—worked only 37 per­cent of the time.

Grat­i­tude Re­ally Is Good for You

Ex­press­ing grat­i­tude pro­motes men­tal and phys­i­cal health, ac­cord­ing to a re­cent re­view by Univer­sity of Mon­tana schol­ars. Grat­i­tude is dif­fer­ent from hap­pi­ness, they said, be­cause it stems from a sense of hav­ing re­ceived a gift or a ben­e­fit. Be­sides psy­cho­log­i­cal perks, such as op­ti­mism and de­creased stress and envy, be­ing grate­ful also brings con­crete health re­sults (fewer ill­nesses and im­proved sleep). Fi­nally, it strength­ens re­la­tion­ships: one heart­felt ex­pres­sion of ap­pre­ci­a­tion can en­hance re­la­tion­ship qual­ity for up to six months

af­ter­wards.

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