Study finds brain games postpone cognitive decline

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A massive study released last week found that brain games and training can help slow the cognitive decline that comes with aging. The study, funded by the National Institute of Health and published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, is the first to find long-term benefits associated with brain games.

Researchers placed subjects in groups receiving speed-based tasks, memory exercises, reasoning games, or nothing at all. Sessions lasted about an hour and took place over six weeks. Testers evaluated subjects immediately following the trials and at intervals throughout ten years. At the end of the study, 71 percent of participants who received speed training performed at or above their level from the start of the study compared with 48 percent in the control group. Those who participated in reasoning games showed improvement as well, with 74 percent performing at or above their initial marks compared with only 62 percent of the control group. The memory games had no effect on performance. Continue reading

Lance Armstrong: Forgivable hero or narcissistic bastard?

As you very likely know by now, in an interview aired last Friday disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong admitted to Oprah Winfrey that he had used illegal performance enhancing drugs (PEDs) during his legendary run of Tour de France victories. The confession came just months after the International Cycling Union, cycling’s governing body, stripped Armstrong of his seven titles following a United States Anti-Doping Association report alleging he had participated in the “most sophisticated, professionalized and successful doping program that sport has ever seen.” While this admission comes as a surprise to approximately no one, it poses to an interesting question: should he be forgiven?

It’s time for Lance Armstrong to wave goodbye to his career.

It’s time for Lance Armstrong to wave goodbye to his career.

Let’s start with the facts. Armstrong fought back from testicular cancer in 1996 to win the Tour de France a record seven consecutive times from 1999-2005. Once considered one of the greatest athletes of all time, his story inspired millions and brought cycling’s popularity to new heights. In 1997 he founded the LIVESTRONG Foundation, which has raised over $470 million to support those afflicted by cancer.

However, not everything has been so rosy. In the decade before his confession, Armstrong’s career was dogged by doping allegations. Newspapers, drug testing agencies, and former teammates accused him of using illegal PEDs and blood doping techniques. Many testified that they had seen him inject drugs. Armstrong vehemently denied these allegations, denouncing his accusers as liars and suing many of them for libel. He won millions in legal battles, pushing people into settlements they could hardly afford. According to whistleblower and former teammate Tyler Hamilton, Armstrong threatened, “I’m going to make your life a living hell both in the courtroom and out of the courtroom.”

The confession may have been about coming clean to himself.

The confession may have been about coming clean to himself.

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10 people to avoid at the gym Part II

Here it is, back by popular demand! (Click here for numbers 10-6!). Though most people at the gym are friendly and respectful, you probably don’t need me to tell you that some members can act as obstacles to your workout. Whether these people are directly affecting you or causing commotion across the room, they all possess a unique ability to hinder your routine. Please add people I’ve missed in the comments section below! Without further ado, here are five more people to avoid at the gym.

The Narcissist

Ever noticed that guy sitting at the dumbbell rack staring passionately into the mirror? Congratulations, you’ve encountered the narcissist! Unlike normal people who journey to the gym to workout, the narcissist prefers to admire his own reflection. Usually found near the lightest end of the weight rack, this member likes to lift a few tens or fifteens then flex his muscles for all to see. The narcissist occasionally breaks a sweat but always makes sure to compensate for this waste of energy by revering his biceps for another ten minutes. He is generally harmless, but never walk between him and his reflection—this is called “getting in the way,” and you’ll never hear the last of it.

Narcissist Gym Annoying

“Aw man, I am so sexy. Just look at how those veins in my arm are bulging. I wonder what I would look like if this were a ten-pound weight instead?”

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10 people to avoid at the gym Part I

If you belong to a gym or health club, you probably don’t need me to tell you that other members can act as obstacles to your workout. Though most people are friendly and respectful, a select few can make even the most patient of us cross our arms and roll our eyes. This is a list of five types of people who have caught my attention over the past few weeks. Feel free to add people I’ve missed in the comments section below. Click here to see numbers 5-1!

The Texter

Though he easily blends into a crowd of gym frequenters, the texter becomes apparent shortly after climbing onto a treadmill or sitting at a weight machine. Instead of moving efficiently to accommodate those waiting for him to finish, the texter will calmly take out his iPhone and text. He will continue to do so until everybody else’s workout has been delayed enough to make them run late for the rest of the day.

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“I like it when we make eye contact. I also enjoy staring at your chest.”

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