Category Archives: Health & Fitness

Rugby Not As Hard On The Body As You May Think


The typical image of rugby is of bruising encounters which leave the players needing a long soak in an ice bath afterwards.

However, a new study has shown that rugby, and other physical activity, boosts the diversity of gut microbes, known as microbiota.

According to researchers at University College York, reduced variation in microbiota is linked to obesity, while greater diversity is associated with a favourable metabolic profile.

They analysed samples from 40 rugby players and 46 men who were not athletes, but were of the same age and had the same physical size as the athletes. The comparison group was divided into two sub-groups – the first had body mass index of 25 or less, while the second had a BMI of 28 or more.

All participants were asked how much and how often they had eaten the 187 foods included in a questionnaire in the four weeks prior the study. They were also asked about their general activity levels.

The study revealed that athletes and rugby players had a better metabolic profile compared to men with higher body mass index in the comparison group.

Athletes had a wide range of good gut bacteria. More specifically, rugby players had higher proportions of Akkermansiaceae bacteria, which is known to be linked to lower rates of obesity and related metabolic disorders.

The research also revealed that the diet of rugby players consisted of more of all food groups, with protein accounting for 22% of their energy intake. The athletes ate more meat and meat products, fruit and vegetables and fewer snacks than the comparison group.

The researchers concluded that physical activity is an essential factor in the correlation between good gut bacteria, so if you want to help your tummy to feel fine, then why not join us in the treetops this weekend?

Gadgets are better than outdoor activities… Apparently

Gadgets over outdoor activites?

Children are more likely to be handed some sort of a gadget, such as tablet or a game console, than be encouraged to take part in outdoor activities, according to a new study.

The survey from children’s food company Organix Goodies found that 90% of mums of young kids want them to be close to nature but at the same time 80% say it is easier for them to give their kid a gadget to play with. This is despite the fact that most kids would choose to play outside, with only 29% of mums admitting that their offspring would prefer to stay indoors and play on the computer or watch television.

Spending time outside playing and exploring is crucial element of a healthy and happy childhood, but it is also important for kids’ communication skills, said Pip Levett, director of Play Gloucestershire, a charity organisation providing free play sessions for kids.

The survey also found that 99% of parents agree that exploring inspires their children’s imagination and creativity, arouses their curiosity and helps improve their independence. However, parents’ busy daily schedules prevent them from stimulating kids to create, investigate and explore, with 90% of mothers admitting that lack of time is a barrier for them to encourage their kids to play outside.

Technology overuse can harm children’s social, emotional, personal and physical development, commented Kat McLeer, manager of Treetops Nursery in Gloucester. Nonetheless, technology is not that bad – it just needs to be used prudently. Technology can enhance a child’s environment and improve their hand-eye coordination, but this has to be coupled with playing outdoors, McLeer said as quoted by the Gloucester Citizen.

Organix Goodies polled more than 700 mothers of babies or toddlers aged between one and three years.

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