Wednesday June 19, 2019

Train Your Brain By Following Good Habits Constantly

The researchers have created a model which shows that forming good (and bad) habits depends more on how often you perform an action than on how much satisfaction you get from it.

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Good habits
Exercising Regularly can keep your brain healthy. VOA

If you want to form good habits — like going to the gym and eating healthy — then you need to train your brain by repeating actions until they stick, a new study suggests.

The researchers have created a model which shows that forming good (and bad) habits depends more on how often you perform an action than on how much satisfaction you get from it.

“Psychologists have been trying to understand what drives our habits for over a century, and one of the recurring questions is how much habits are a product of what we want versus what we do,” said Amitai Shenhav, Assistant Professor at Brown University.

exercise everyday
Exercise is crucial for everyone. Pixabay

“Our model helps to answer that by suggesting that habits themselves are a product of our previous actions, but in certain situations those habits can be supplanted by our desire to get the best outcome,” Shenhav added.

For the study, published in the journal Psychological Review, the researchers developed a computer simulation, in which digital rodents were given a choice of two levers, one of which was associated with the chance of getting a reward.

good habits
The researchers have created a model which shows that forming good (and bad) habits depends more on how often you perform an action than on how much satisfaction you get from it. VOA

The lever with the reward was the ‘correct’ one, and the lever without was the ‘wrong’ one.

The chance of getting a reward was swapped between the two levers, and the simulated rodents were trained to choose the ‘correct’ one.

Also Read:Exercise Can Help Fight Against Deep Abdominal Belly Fat: Study

When the digital rodents were trained for a short time, they managed to choose the new, ‘correct’ lever when the chance of a reward was swapped. However, when they were trained extensively on one lever, the digital rats stuck to the ‘wrong’ lever stubbornly, even when it no longer had the chance for a reward.

The rodents preferred to stick to the repeated action that they were used to, rather than have the chance for a reward. (IANS)

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Just Spending 2 Hours a Week in Nature can Work Wonders for Health, Well-Being

It's well known that getting outdoors in nature can be good for people's health

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Nature, Health, Well-Being
People who spend at least 120 minutes a week with nature are significantly more likely to report good health and higher psychological wellbeing than those who do not visit nature at all during an average week. Pixabay

If you are looking for that elusive secret to good health and wellbeing, your search may stop now as a new large-scale study has found that spending just two hours a week in the neighbourhood park may do wonders for your mind and body.

People who spend at least 120 minutes a week with nature are significantly more likely to report good health and higher psychological wellbeing than those who do not visit nature at all during an average week, said the study published in the journal Scientific Reports.

“It’s well known that getting outdoors in nature can be good for people’s health and wellbeing but until now we’ve not been able to say how much is enough,” said lead researcher Mat White of the University of Exeter Medical School in Britain.

“The majority of nature visits in this research took place within just two miles of home so even visiting local urban green spaces seems to be a good thing,” White said.

Nature, Health, Well-Being
If you are looking for that elusive secret to good health and wellbeing, your search may stop now as a new large-scale study has found that spending just two hours a week in the neighbourhood park may do wonders for your mind and body. Pixabay

However, no such benefits were found for people who visited natural settings such as town parks, woodlands, country parks and beaches for less than 120 minutes a week.

The study used data from nearly 20,000 people in England and found that it didn’t matter whether the 120 minutes was achieved in a single visit or over several shorter visits.

It also found that the 120 minute threshold applied to both men and women, to older and younger adults, across different occupational and ethnic groups, among those living in both rich and poor areas, and even among people with long term illnesses or disabilities.

“There are many reasons why spending time in nature may be good for health and wellbeing, including getting perspective on life circumstances, reducing stress, and enjoying quality time with friends and family,” said study co-author Terry Hartig of Uppsala University in Sweden.

Also Read- Countries Approved Projects Worth $1 Billion for Environment, Climate Change

“The current findings offer valuable support to health practitioners in making recommendations about spending time in nature to promote basic health and wellbeing,” Hartig said. (IANS)