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Daily Dose: 10/17/12

Work Out Harder, Not Longer: Researchers have long debated the question of whether it is better for your body to exercise for long periods of time or to exercise for shorter periods of time at a high intensity level. After a ten-year study, new research has been published that points to high intensity workouts as the key, at least in terms of heart health. Subjects who exercised intensely for two to four hours a week were less likely to develop heart disease. High-impact workouts have a different impact on your body, making your heart beat faster and work harder. There is still the question of which is better for you, high-intensity workouts or longer workouts, but this research is at least getting us toward an answer.
ADHD Doesn’t Just Affect Kids: We tend to associate ADHD with hyped-up little kids, and this makes sense: ADHD is the most common neurobehavioral disorder among children, and children tend to be diagnosed between the ages of six and 12. But what happens when the kids grow up? One study aimed to answer that question, starting with a group of young boys diagnosed with ADHD, and following them for 33 years. By the time these men hit their forties, they were facing a number of disadvantages. Compared to men without ADHD, these men had received less education, had jobs but got paid less than their counterparts, had higher divorce rates, more cases of substance abuse, higher rates of incarceration, and a higher number of psychiatric hospitalizations. These results are grim, but they will hopefully lead to more effective treatment for children with ADHD, and these trends can be reversed in the future.

Why You Don’t Need a Physical: Doctors (and even parents) nag us to go in for our yearly physicals. It turns out, though, that these “routine check-ups” may not have any benefit for healthy people. In a study, it was found that individuals who had yearly physicals were just as likely to die as those who did not. There was also no effect on hospital admission rates or time off of work. Less people going in for routine check-ups would save money in the long run, as fewer tests would be needed. Researchers are concluding that yearly check-ups may be unnecessary and meaningless. They do, however, remind people that they need to go in for specific screening tests or vaccines, and those with certain medical conditions should see a doctor yearly or even more frequently.

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