Thursday, February 23, 2017

Make your exercise time count: Log your miles and help charity

By Henri Bergius from Finland (Walking) [CC BY-SA 2.0

Walk, run or bike ride and your miles can contribute to a charity to combat childhood obesity. Women’s magazine Family Circle and non-profit Partnership for a Healthier America, have teamed up in a program called Move to Improve. The goal is to log a total of 20.17 million miles. Download the Charity Miles app (charitymiles.org/movetoimprove), select Partnership for a Healthier America, log your miles and money will be donated to the combat childhood obesity. More information is available about the program; how moving more helps you; benefits of power walking; walking tips to burn more calories and using incline walking to build a better body.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Recipe for Health: Sit Less, Sleep More


What do sitting less and sleeping more have in common? And why would this be a recipe for health?

Sitting and sleeping are related to increased risk for chronic health concerns such as obesity, diabetes, stroke, cardiovascular problems, certain types of cancer and a lessened longevity. 

Why would this be? It’s because of the way our metabolisms work. Both sitting the right amount of time and sleeping the right amount of time trigger our metabolisms to do the things necessary to see that our bodies work well and stay healthy.

The foot is a common link between sitting and sleeping. You see, the foot is a motion detector. Sensors in the feet add to other signals informing the rest of the body that we’re up and about. Pressure sensed by the feet provides a request that our metabolisms create the resources necessary to get us where we want to go. Sit too much and metabolism becomes inactive leading to disregulation of basic metabolic components (blood pressure, glucose, triglycerides, cholesterol and waistline size)

As we sleep, the pressure sensing capabilities of the feet are turned down. Moving about is not necessary. Sleep restores our bodies as decreased are basic components of metabolism such as glucose utilization, blood pressure as well as heart rate and sympathetic nervous activity. Hormones that regulate appetite and energy expenditure, important to weight control, are activated. 

Sleep too little and restorative time is shortened. As we lay awake, the pressure sensors of the feet remain on alert with metabolism on daytime settings as well. Research shows those who fail to sleep enough are 55% more likely to experience metabolic syndrome, abnormal measures for 3 of the 5 basic metabolic components. 

People with metabolic syndrome are two to three times as likely to develop cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes; twice as likely to suffer a heart attack or stroke and more than three times as likely to die early from those causes. Those with metabolic risk factors in middle age have poorer cognitive function, suggestive of dementia or Alzheimer’s later in life.

What’s a person to do to stay healthy? Actually think about your body and its schedule. Make sleep a priority. Seven hours of sleep a night is recommended. Move more during the day. Take breaks from sitting, preferably 2 minutes every 20 minutes. Your glucose and blood pressure levels as well as musculoskeletal system will thank you. Walk 15 minutes after each meal. Aim for two hours more up and about time than you now do. 

Monday, January 9, 2017

The 5-minute Break Resolution


Want to feel better at work? Take a 5-minute break from sitting, standing up and walking around, every hour. Research shows this formula compared to other routines helped volunteer subjects feel “greater happiness, less fatigue and considerably less craving for food …. Their feelings of vigor also tended to increase throughout the day, … .”

The volunteers were directed to simulate one working day sitting with no breaks except for bathroom use, one day with a 30 minute moderate walk at its start and one day with 5-minute breaks each hour. Positive results were seen with the 5-minute break routine. Volunteers felt more energetic with concentration and focus not impacted by the breaks.

Reflexology Helping Wounded Warriors

For some veterans the experiences of serving continue after the trip home. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and, for those who have lost a limb, phantom limb syndrome create issues seeking a solution. Research shows potential for reflexology to help. Researchers in Israel and physiotherapists in England demonstrated such potential.
PTSD and Reflexology
It is estimated one-third of veterans who returned home from Iraq and Afghanistan suffer from PTSD. Common symptoms include depression, outbursts, muscle tension, concentration levels and sleep disruption. 
Researchers analyzed results following reflexology work applied to 15 Israeli soldiers suffering from PTSD following the Yom Kippur War of 1973. Sessions of 50 to 60 minutes were applied over 14 weeks. Improvements of 75% to 80% in the common symptoms were found the day after a session. General feelings improved by 90% and medication was reduced by 50%. Improvements were reduced two days after a session and measured at 50%. Day 3 found symptoms back as before. Researchers suggested 2 or 3 sessions a week to achieve a more effective result. http://www.reflexology-research.com/?page_id=117
Phantom Limb Pain and Reflexology
Phantom limb pain (PLP) is experienced as pain or sensations such as tingling, cramping, heat or cold coming from a part of the body that was removed. Some 60% to 70 % of amputees experience PLP. A 30-week study found that reflexology work made a highly significant overall difference and was “effective in eradicating or reducing the intensity and duration of phantom limb pain.”
Seven men and 3 women “with unilateral lower limb amputations and a history of phantom limb pain” followed a five phase program conducted by British physiotherapist and reflexologist Tina Brown at the Prosthetic Services Centre in Wolverhampton, England. 
Notes researcher Brown “Although I do not think that reflexology is the answer to everyone’s PLP (Phantom Limb Pain), I do feel that it is a pleasant, non-invasive therapy that does help in some situations. Another benefit found was that the patients could self-treat after being taught how to use reflexology on their hands. … I would love to see if it helped pre-amputation: i.e. would it help prevent PLP from occurring?”

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Actor John Goodman: Couch potato no more, Loses 100 pounds

Gage Skidmore [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

“We’re seeing a lot more — and a lot less — of John Goodman. The burly “Roseanne” star, who’s featured in the new films “Trumbo” and “Love the Coopers,” has been displaying a shockingly sleek physique lately on the red carpet. No wonder: He lost 100 pounds.

“He made a big step toward doing just that in 2007, when he stopped drinking. Shilstonetook Goodman even further when he introduced him to a “Mediterranean-style eating plan” — one that leans heavily toward fish, nuts, olive oil, vegetables and fruit.
He also exercised six days a week, making sure to take 10,000 to 12,000 steps a day. An elliptical bicycle and treadmill played a big part in whittling the pounds. All told, he says, Goodman’s success lay in the way he changed his life these past two years.”

“John Goodman is no longer a couch potato (according to people.com).
“‘I know it sounds sappy, but it was a waste,” the 58-year-old actor tells PEOPLE. “It takes a lot of creative energy to sit on your ass and figure out what you’re going to eat next … I wanted to live life better.”…
“Mission accomplished: The Treme actor has lost more than 100 lbs. thanks to his healthy new lifestyle.” (http://people.com/bodies/john-goodman-how-i-lost-100-lbs-and-counting/)

“"I just stopped eating all the time," Goodman, 63, told Peter Travers. "I’d have a handful of food and it’d go to my mouth. I was just eating all the time. I was just eating alcoholically. In the old days, I would take three months out, lose 60 or 70 pounds, and then reward myself with a 6-pack of bud or whatever and just go back to my old habits. Then this time I wanted to do it slowly, move, exercise. I’m getting to the age where I can’t afford to sit still anymore. And it gives me the energy to work, ‘cause work is very draining.”’ (http://abcnews.go.com/Entertainment/john-goodman-reveals-inspiration-massive-weight-loss/story?id=37577068)

Un-Sit Your Life. http://amzn.to/2hwwkfc

Monday, December 12, 2016

Under the desk classroom cycling machines in class? An idea whose time has come


Fidgeting is down and focus is up with the installation of under the desk cycles in classrooms of an 8th grade math teacher in North Carolina. 

‘Before, they were drumming on their desks, they were touching other people, they don’t do that anymore. Their feet are getting the movement out,’ (teacher) Bethany (Lambeth) told WRAL.com. ‘There has been a huge increase in the quality of our student’s work and a decrease in the amount of missing work.’

“The students like them too. ‘I’m a really energetic person, so this takes all my energy out,’ said Quinn Spear, who worked out he’d already pedalled 5.5 miles before morning break at 10am.

‘The kids are not picking on each other, they are not needing to walk around, they are not needing to go explore, they are able to get their activity out and get their work done,’ added Bethany.

Is sitting too much the cause of increase in cardiovascular deaths


Death rates due to heart disease are up for the first time in almost 50 years—and sitting too much could be the culprit.

Or at least that’s one conclusion to be drawn from the reasons cited for a 2015 increase following a decline of 70% since 1969. “Researchers say the obesity epidemic is probably mostly to blame for the higher death rate from heart disease, because it has driven increases in rates of hypertension, diabetes and other heart-related problems.”

Studies show sitting too much increases risks for weight gain, diabetes, and abnormal measurements of the cardiac-related metabolic indicators of blood pressure, cholesterol and triglycerides. The amount of time spent sitting by Americans both at work and at home has been increasing for years.