SAN DIEGO, Sept. 28, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — The American Council on Exercise (ACE), America’s leading authority on fitness and the world’s largest nonprofit fitness certification, education and training organization, today announced the results of an independently conducted, academic study on Vibram FiveFingers, a sock-style shoe designed to simulate the effect of running barefoot while still protecting the foot. The study found that while the shoes may be beneficial for those who suffer from chronic running injuries, using Vibramsand barefoot-style shoes for running can pose additional risks if runners do not adopt the correct foot-to-ground strike style. ACE commissioned the study to determine what happens when runners switch from their traditional running shoes to wearing minimalist running shoes like VibramFiveFingers. Advocates … MORE
A study in the Oct. 1, 2011 issue of the journal SLEEP showed that children who went to bed late and got up late were 1.5 times more likely to become obese than those who went to bed early and got up early. Furthermore, late-nighters were almost twice as likely to be physically inactive and 2.9 times more likely to sit in front of the TV and computer or play video games for more hours than guidelines recommend. “The children who went to bed late and woke up late, and the children who went to bed early and woke up early got virtually the same amount of sleep in total,” said co-author Carol Maher, PhD, a postdoctoral fellow with the … MORE
We’re just about a month into the process now and, just as the experts advise, the habits are beginning to form. I’ve discovered ways to get the extra calories to balance out my workouts, learned some delicious options of what I CAN eat (rather than focusing on what I can’t), and frankly – it’s working very well. In fact, as I may have mentioned in a previous post, I’m planning to maintain 80% of this eating strategy as I move into the coming season of triathlon training. A couple of interesting discoveries along the way… First, I’m amazed at how much of our society is built around food. Parties, sporting events, meetings, celebrations – they’re all focused on food! Obviously … MORE
High cholesterol has been found to contribute to a loss of bone density in two ways, according to researchers at Duke University Medical Center. It blocks formation of new bone cells and it encourages the activity of mechanisms responsible for breaking down bone. “In the current study in mice, we showed that a high-cholesterol diet alone significantly decreased bone quality,” said Erik Nelson, PhD, a postdoctoral research associate in the McDonnell laboratory. However, they noted that only when cholesterol was converted to 27-hydroxycholesterol did it negatively impact bone. Without estrogen, which occurs in postmenopausal women, the 27-hydroxycholesterol continued signaling through liver X receptor, which decreased the amount of bone. In the meantime, the data we have generated thus far suggest … MORE
Adding another incentive to exercise, scientists at Duke University Medical Center have found that physical activity improves arthritis symptoms even among obese mice that continue to chow down on a high-fat diet. The insight suggests that excess weight alone isn’t what causes the aches and pains of osteoarthritis, despite the long-held notion that carrying extra pounds strains the joints and leads to the inflammatory condition. Published Sept. 27, 2011 online in the journal Arthritis & Rheumatism, the findings are now being tested in people. “What’s surprising is that exercise, without substantial weight loss, can be beneficial to the joints,” said Farshid Guilak, Ph.D., professor of orthopaedic surgery at Duke and senior author of the study. “Ideally, it would be best … MORE
If you’re not quite ready for a treadmill desk like the one we featured through TrekDesk? How about starting with a stand-up desk, which offers many of the same benefits? These tips from adjustable desk-maker Anthro will help you get started… 1. Be sure to make proper adjustments to your keyboard, screen, etc to fit you, not your co-worker. What’s comfortable for one person may be torture for another. The best posture is the next one. No one position is sustainable for long periods, so change positions often. Optimally, you would shift through a range of motions, mainly sitting, standing, or perching on a high stool. Maybe you’ll decide to hold one position for emailing, another for paperwork, and still … MORE
We get a lot of questions about various diets, and it seems there’s a new one everyday. But one that seems to have faced (and passed) the test of time, is the Paleo Diet. The first major aspect about this is it really isn’t a “diet” in the classic sense of being something you do temporarily to lose weight (which rarely, if ever, works long term, as you well know). Rather, it’s a strategy for living and pursuing enhanced health. In a nutshell, the Paleo Diet (sometimes called the Caveman Diet) eliminates dairy, refined sugar, processed food and cereal grains from your fueling plan. Instead, you focus on (almost) unlimited amounts of low glycemic fruits and veggies, along with lean … MORE
We’ve turned the corner. While we’re still eliminating all refined sugars, processed foods, breads, grains, dairy, alcohol and a few other select items from our eating, we added back in rice and almonds this week – and it made a BIG difference. Seriously – it may not sound like that big of an addition, but it’s all in perspective. Previously we were eating only fruits, veggies and lean meats. The addition of rice and almonds provided additional snack options such as rice cakes with almond butter, which was a wonderful supplement. The one other addition was the Doc approved me adding Perpeteum (a soy-based, low sugar fuel) for use when riding over 2 hours, as I simply couldn’t store enough … MORE
Quick update as promised on this short-term eating journey we’re walking with our daughter. We’re now just about 2 weeks in at this point. Similar feelings persist – I miss the stuff I’m used to eating. I occasionally catch myself staring a bit longingly at something on our shelves that is off limits for now (cue the violin music). And at a friend’s birthday party Saturday night, the discipline levels had to be launched to new levels to resist all the great foods and wine available (water and a carrot? Sure!). But it’s getting a little easier. My lunches have been delicious, consisting of a spinach, avocado, onion, cucumber salad with olive oil, salt and pepper along with salmon or … MORE
University of Missouri researchers have found evidence that shows those who quit smoking show improvements in their overall personality. In the study, MU researchers compared people, aged 18-35, who smoked with those who had quit smoking. They found that individuals who smoked were higher in two distinct personality traits during young adulthood: Impulsivity (acting without thinking about the consequences) and Neuroticism (being emotionally negative and anxious, most of the time). The study found that those who quit smoking had the biggest declines in impulsivity and neuroticism from ages 18 to 25. The study, “Smoking Desistance and Personality Change in Emerging and Young Adulthood,” has been accepted by the journal Nicotine and Tobacco Research. The study was co-authored by Kenneth J. … MORE
Adults, middle-aged and up, can cut their risk of developing Type 2 diabetes by as much as 80% by adhering to a combination of just five healthy lifestyle habits, a new analysis from the National Institutes of Health. Those 5 factors and their impact are as follows: Healthy diet and Exercise combined accounted for a 28-29% risk reduction. Not Smoking for at least 10 years reduced it an additional 4%. Moderate alcohol consumption carved off another 7-24% of the risk and having a Body Mass Index (see the BMI tool in your journal to check) of 18.5 – 24.9 reduced it another 27 – 33%. 26 million Americans were diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes in 2010.
Any exercise that gets the heart pumping may reduce the risk of dementia and slow the condition’s progression once it starts, reported a Mayo Clinic study published in the September issue of Mayo Clinic Proceedings. The researchers broadly defined exercise as enough aerobic physical activity to raise the heart rate and increase the body’s need for oxygen. Examples include walking, gym workouts and activities at home such as shoveling snow or raking leaves. The researchers note that brain imaging studies have consistently revealed objective evidence of favorable effects of exercise on human brain integrity. Also, they note, animal research has shown that exercise generates trophic factors that improve brain functioning, plus exercise facilitates brain connections (neuroplasticity).
Current research suggests prolonged sitting is unhealthy, even for people who exercise when they aren’t in a chair. “We have engineered activity right out of people’s lives,” said Ray Browning, a Colorado State University professor in the school’s Health and Exercise Science department. One simple solution: Stand (or even walk) while working more. Among other things, standing burns more calories than sitting. But the benefits stem from more than just potential weight loss. Research is showing that muscle contraction and stimulation, which happens naturally in the legs when people are upright, promotes health, Browning said. When muscles are comparatively dormant for long periods of time, the benefits of muscle exertion are lost. It’s important to ease into the process over … MORE
We made it through what we were told would be the toughest part of the process of eliminating common foods that may cause reactions (the first 3 days) so time for an update. The toughest part for me has been breaking long-held habits. Seemingly simple things like a bowl of yogurt as a snack or a handful of nut mix as a supplement when in the car or a glass of wine with dinner are off limits for at least 35 days. Meals consist of almost exclusively fruits, veggies, lean meats and water. Obviously healthy choices, but I must admit that even though I’m already used to eating very healthy, I miss some of my standard supplements – and I’m … MORE
CT scan on the leg was negative last week, so I’m thankful to be able to wind back up the cycling and running for the first time since April! Stay tuned for where that may lead in the season ahead. However, in the mean time, I’m going to join my 14 year old daughter on what is likely to be a very interesting nutritional journey over (approximately) the next 2 months. She has kept her head high and her smile bright through some pretty serious responses to various foods, and is now ready to participate in a “Food Elimination Discovery Journey.” Since a lot of folks deal with these issues, I figured it would be a valuable experience to join … MORE
The connection between our diet and hormones is significant, yet widely ignored, even though our hormones directly impact our health. The most basic link between diet and hormones is this: consuming too much refined flour and sugar disrupts hormonal balance. It is imperative to keep blood sugar stable in order to balance hormones. How do we do this? By eating every few hours, managing carbohydrates, consuming helpful fats and avoiding harmful ones, sticking with high-quality foods and avoiding too much processed foods. Eat small meals every 2-3 hours that consist of a lean protein – chicken, turkey, fish, nuts – and a complex carbohydrate – a vegetable or high-fiber fruit. Consume carbohydrates that rate low on the glycemic index such … MORE
Lack of adequate sleep is costing the average U.S. worker 11.3 days, or $2,280 in lost productivity every year, according to a study in the September 1 issue of the journal Sleep. As a nation, the total cost is 252.7 days and $63.2 billion. Americans are not missing work because of insomnia. They are still going to their jobs but accomplishing less because they’re tired. In an information-based economy, it’s difficult to find a condition that has a greater effect on productivity.” The results were computed from a national sampling of 7,428 employees, part of the larger American Insomnia Study, which was led by Kessler.
McMaster researchers have found one more reason to exercise: working out triggers influential stem cells to become bone instead of fat, improving overall health by boosting the body’s capacity to make blood. The body’s mesenchymal stem cells are most likely to become fat or bone, depending on which path they follow. Using treadmill-conditioned mice, a team led by the Department of Kinesiology’s Gianni Parise has shown that aerobic exercise triggers those cells to become bone more often than fat. The exercising mice ran less than an hour, three times a week, enough time to have a significant impact on their blood production, says Parise, an associate professor. In sedentary mice, the same stem cells were more likely to become fat, … MORE