Every week, we’re bringing you a roundup of the latest health and wellness news to hit the wire. This week, how a combo of meditation and aerobics can help women with PTSD, how Amazon is moving into the health care space, and new thinking about protein intake.
Tools to help women recovering from trauma
Meditation and aerobics are two great healing practices. But combined, a new study shows that they could be a powerful assist in helping women recover from the trauma associated with sexual violence.
A team from Rutgers University in New Jersey investigating methods to help victims of sexual abuse—which they say affects an estimated 25 percent of women worldwide—decided to examine the effects of physical and mental exercise on these women. The team found that 20 minutes of meditation, followed by 30 minutes of aerobic exercise twice a week, a regimen they call MAP Training My Brain, produced more positive outcomes than meditation or exercise alone in alleviating post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Women with a history of sexual violence reported significantly fewer trauma-related thoughts and a 30 percent increase in self-worth, said lead author Tracey Shors in the research published in Frontiers in Neuroscience. Participants also increased their aerobic fitness by 40 percent.
To reduce stress and increase feelings of self-worth, researchers suggest the sit, walk, sweat model. Sit and meditate for 20 minutes, walk for another 10 minutes to warm up, followed by an aerobic activity of your choice that gets your heart rate up to 60 to 80 percent of your maximum.
“Alexa, find a cure for cancer.”
First Amazon came for your groceries, snapping up Whole Foods, then your home. Now it’s moving into health care, with a new secret research group called Grand Challenge that is working on cancer research and advancements in medical records.
The under-the-radar team, similar to Alphabet’s experimental lab X (known previously as Google X), is working with Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center in Seattle, attempting to apply artificial intelligence (AI) in ways that can help prevent or cure cancers, according to a report by CNBC. A spokesperson from the Cancer Center said the project could be previewed later this year.
Another Grand Challenge project, internally known as Hera, could also help identify incorrect codes on a patient’s medical record or spot a misdiagnosis that another physician might miss. Soon, Alexa could know everything about you, from the groceries and supplements you consume to your cholesterol levels.
There’s no rush when it comes to getting your protein
For many gym-goers, the routine is the same: Finish a workout and down a protein shake to help your muscles recover, grow and get stronger. Getting protein during this so-called anabolic window post-workout was thought to be more effective at producing those gains.
But more recent research discussed in this article from shows that you don’t have to cram all that protein in right after your workout. You can wait hours afterward and still achieve the same effect as long as you are consuming the recommended amount of protein daily.
“If there’s any benefit to getting protein within a half-hour and 45 minutes of your workout as opposed to a few hours later, and I’m not convinced there is, it would be very narrow,” says Brad Schoenfeld, a certified strength and conditioning specialist and board member for the National Strength and Conditioning Association who has studied protein timing.
Schoenfeld’s 2018 research, published in the “Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition,” suggests that for optimal muscle growth, people should consume between 0.4 and 0.55 grams of protein per kilogram of their body mass four times per day.
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