Holiday Time: Not So Good for the Heart

Credit: iStock With the holiday season coming up, you may be rejoicing about much-needed time off from school or work. For many of us, the winter holidays mean great food and an opportunity to see friends and family. For many researchers, however, the period between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day represents a spike in cardiac … Continue reading Holiday Time: Not So Good for the Heart

Floating: How Sensory Deprivation Can Improve Wellness

Credit: iStock What would you say if I told you closing yourself in a dark, enclosed space where you can float in saltwater isolation is good for you? You might wonder if I was serious. As more spas and wellness centers advertise sensory deprivation tanks, people may be skeptical about the supposed health benefits. Fear … Continue reading Floating: How Sensory Deprivation Can Improve Wellness

2018’s Most-read Posts

December is here again, and we’ve tackled another year of physiology facts on the I Spy Physiology blog. This year, we’ve delved into topics ranging from the link between childhood stress and medical problems in adulthood, to how researchers use virtual reality in the classroom to teach physiology, to the many reasons why marriage is … Continue reading 2018’s Most-read Posts

March to the Beat of Your Own Drum

My two young children absolutely love to beat on drums (or tables, chairs, any flat surface really). I recently took them to a family-oriented drum circle. They had a blast, and I was surprised at how good I felt too, both during and after the event. It turns out all that drumming—especially with others—is beneficial … Continue reading March to the Beat of Your Own Drum

Meditation, Stress and Mental Fatigue: Research from Experimental Biology 2018

Each year, scientists who study physiology and other biomedical research fields—including anatomy, biochemistry, pathology and pharmacology—gather at the Experimental Biology (EB) meeting. Scientific meetings such as EB provide a platform to present and learn about new and cutting-edge research and form collaborations with colleagues that can lead to advances in science and medicine. This year’s … Continue reading Meditation, Stress and Mental Fatigue: Research from Experimental Biology 2018

Childhood Stress + Immune Overactivity = High Blood Pressure in Adulthood?

About 35 million adults in the U.S. may develop high blood pressure because of negative events that happened to them during childhood. Researchers are exploring how an event you experience when you’re a kid can cause high blood pressure as an adult. About 35 million children in the U.S. experience early-life stress (ELS). ELS is … Continue reading Childhood Stress + Immune Overactivity = High Blood Pressure in Adulthood?

Relieve Stress and Anxiety with Exercise in the New Year

If getting more exercise is one of your New Year’s resolutions, here is another reason to stick with it: daily exercise—which is known to lower blood pressure—has also been shown to reduce stress and anxiety. I am not the first to notice that physical activity improves my ability to respond to stressful situations, but as … Continue reading Relieve Stress and Anxiety with Exercise in the New Year

Look on the Bright Side—It May Improve Your Health

If you tend to see the proverbial glass as half empty instead of half full, you may want to rethink your position. Looking on the bright side and expecting good things to happen may have a positive effect on your physical health. An optimistic outlook on life may reduce your cardiovascular disease risk, lower blood … Continue reading Look on the Bright Side—It May Improve Your Health

Yoga + Deep Breathing = A Calmer You

“I’m not flexible enough to do yoga!” In my 12 years as a yoga instructor, this is the excuse I have heard most often for why people aren’t practicing yoga. My initial response is usually, “That’s exactly why you should be practicing yoga!” However, I am also an assistant professor of physiology, and I know … Continue reading Yoga + Deep Breathing = A Calmer You

Dog Gazing: Attachment between Hound and Human

While walking through Santiago, Chile, you are likely to come across at least one of the countless wandering dogs that live on the busy streets. Homeless dogs are a normal part of Santiago’s culture. They are quick to make friends with anyone who offers a welcoming hand or food. They are not quick, however, to … Continue reading Dog Gazing: Attachment between Hound and Human