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1/31/2012 | | Share

Individuals who drink diet soft drinks on a daily basis may be at increased risk of suffering vascular events such as stroke, heart attack, and vascular death. This is according to a new study by Hannah Gardener and her colleagues from the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine and at Columbia University Medical Center. However, in contrast, they found that regular soft drink consumption and a more moderate intake of diet soft drinks do not appear to be linked to a higher risk of vascular events.  Gardener and team examined the relationship between both diet and regular soft drink consumption and risk of stroke, myocardial infarction (or heart attack), and vascular death. Data were analyzed from 2,564 participants in … MORE

1/29/2012 | | Share

A study by Bleich, et al in the American Journal of Public Health (Feb, 2012) provided a valuable tip that can be implemented in vending machines, cafeterias and even business meetings.  The researchers posted 1 of 3 different signs next to drinks in stores – calories, % of daily recommended calories and finally the “number of minutes of jogging needed to offset the beverage.”  Only the jogging signs made a statistically significant difference. While calorie count certainly isn’t the “end all goal” (the studies showing diet sodas lead to more weight gain than regular soda is an example), this provides an interesting strategy that may be helpful in various areas throughout our work sites.  

1/28/2012 | | Share

 Add increased selection and tasty preparations to the good nutrition and overall wholesomeness long associated with vegetables, and you have a food group that’s claiming an ever bigger portion of the dinner plate. Farmers are growing new, colorful varieties, creative chefs are whipping up flavorful vegetable dishes in restaurants and prepared food counters, and glossy magazines feature tempting vegetable recipes that exploit seasonal bounty.   Vegetables and the side dishes they grace have moved into the culinary forefront, according to the Vegetables & Sides: Culinary Trend Mapping Report recently released by leading market research publisher Packaged Facts and the Center for Culinary Development (CCD). “This explosion of farmers’ markets with new and different varieties of vegetables has raised American consumers’ … MORE

1/28/2012 | | Share

The health benefits of exercise on blood sugar metabolism may come from the body’s ability to devour itself, UT Southwestern Medical Center researchers report in the journal Nature.   Autophagy is a process by which a cell responds to starvation and other stresses by degrading damaged or unneeded parts of itself to produce energy. It is sometimes called the cell’s housekeeping pathway. “Exercise is known to have many health benefits but the mechanisms have been unclear. Autophagy is also known to have several health benefits, and these benefits correspond closely to the effects of exercise. We hypothesized that some of the health benefits of exercise might be explained through autophagy,” said senior author Dr. Beth Levine, professor of internal medicine … MORE

1/28/2012 | | Share

If your boss is giving you a hard time – lying, making fun of you in public and generally putting you down, he or she may benefit from some exercise, according to a new study by James Burton from Northern Illinois University in the US and his team. Their work shows that stressed supervisors, struggling with time pressures, vent their frustrations on their employees less when they get regular, moderate exercise. The research is published online in Springer’s Journal of Business and Psychology.   In the current economic climate, it is not unusual to come across stressed supervisors. But does that mean that they have to transfer their frustrations onto the people they supervise? Research shows that when a supervisor … MORE

1/26/2012 | | Share

According to an article published in the January, 2012 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, telephonic counseling (coaching) can have powerful outcomes.  The study focused on smoking cessation and found the 6-month abstinence rate among participants who received culturally appropriate telephone counseling plus self-help materials was DOUBLE that associated with self-help materials alone, report the authors.   

1/18/2012 | | Share

New research from Uppsala University, Sweden, shows that a specific brain region that contributes to a person’s appetite sensation is more activated in response to food images after one night of sleep loss than after one night of normal sleep. Poor sleep habits can therefore affect people’s risk of becoming overweight in the long run. The findings are published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

1/16/2012 | | Share

If you believe you’re one of those individuals who’s BMI is not accurate due to significant muscle mass, then here’s another way to check for a healthy weight.  Using a tape measure, wrap the tape around your body at the midpoint between your lowest rib and your hip bone.  Then check your hip circumference by measuring at the widest part of your hips (usually around your butt).  Divide the waist measurement by the hip measurement for your ratio with a target of .9 or lower. A second measurement of value is your waist to height ratio, which according to a 2010 study in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism showed that waist to height ratio is better than BMI, … MORE

1/16/2012 | | Share

Cholesterol numbers can be confusing.  Here’s a brief overview from Prediman K. Shah, M.D., the director of cardiology at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.  “The single best predictor of cardiovascular disease is your non-HDL cholesterol, which is total cholesterol minus HDL.  In a presentation at the American Heart Association conference, Dr. Shah and his colleagues found that non-HDL beat every other cholesterol calculation in predicting who would develop heart disease over an 11 year follow-up period.  To stay in the safe zone, aim for a non-HDL level of 130 or less.

1/16/2012 | | Share

In a typical working week, people spend on average 5 hours and 41 minutes per day sitting at their desk and 7 hours sleeping at night. Prolonged sitting at your desk is not only bad for your physical health, but potentially your mental well-being.   These are some of the key findings of research being presented today by Dr Myanna Duncan, Mr. Aadil Kazi and Professor Cheryl Haslam from the Work & Health Research Centre, Loughborough University, of the Division of Occupational Psychology’s annual conference in Chester. Nearly 70 per cent of employees surveyed did not meet recommended guidelines for physical activity; interestingly 50 per cent of people surveyed aged 50 years and under, failed to meet these guidelines. The findings also showed: That those … MORE

1/16/2012 | | Share

This past Saturday represented the next phase of race-day nutrition and pacing for the upcoming Ironman Triathlon event in early May.  It began with a 2+ mile (1 hr) Vasa swim at 6 AM and wrapped up with a 16 mile (2+ hr) run with a 112 mile (approx 6 hr) ride of the St. George Ironman course on the Computrainer (which mimics the hills of the course).  While this sort of workout isn’t typically found in most Ironman training schedules (it was 10 miles short of a full Ironman), it’s been incredibly valuable so far.  This time around, it became obvious that I’m attempting to hold my power on the bike too high for the first 80 miles.  This … MORE

1/12/2012 | | Share

With New Year’s resolutions still fresh in mind, many people are taking bold steps to get fit and build strength. But some strength training exercises, which tend to get passed along at the gym like folklore, may not be based on how the body works best. “All too often, strength training programs don’t take into account correct biomechanics or even individual body types,” says Mayo Clinic’s Ed Laskowski, M.D., of the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. Some strength training exercises, if performed with poor technique, can cause injuries ranging from spontaneous twinges to the aches that come from months of cumulative stress. The key to safe, effective strength training is doing it right. Dr. Laskowski is available to talk about techniques … MORE

1/10/2012 | | Share

For many of our clients, skiing is a favorite wintertime hobby.  By implementing a few basic exercises into your workout routine, you’ll feel stronger, fatigue more slowly, ski better and enjoy your day even more.  There are entire books on this topic, but these will help get you started in the right direction.  Note – none of these should cause any “pain” (which is different from muscle fatigue): Wall Sits:  sit with your back straight against the wall and no chair, supporting yourself with (primarily) your thigh muscles.  Hold until fatigued and repeat after a brief rest interval.  Note that muscles are very specific in their training (approximately 5 degree overlap on angle of knee), so to maximize outcomes, you’ll … MORE

1/06/2012 | | Share

To learn more about how exercise affects the brain, scientists in Ireland asked a group of sedentary male college students to take part in a memory test followed by strenuous exercise. First, the young men watched a rapid-fire lineup of photos with the faces and names of strangers. After a break, they tried to recall the names they had just seen as the photos again zipped across a computer screen. Afterward, half of the students rode a stationary bicycle, at an increasingly strenuous pace, until they were exhausted. The others sat quietly for 30 minutes. Then both groups took the brain-teaser test again. Notably, the exercised volunteers performed significantly better on the memory test than they had on their first try, while the volunteers … MORE

1/06/2012 | | Share

With the help of a large Norwegian longitudinal health study called HUNT, researchers from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) were able to find a clear relationship between time spent in church and lower blood pressure in both women and men. “We found that the more often HUNT participants went to church, the lower their blood pressure, even when we controlled for a number of other possible explanatory factors,” says Torgeir Sørensen, a PhD candidate from the School of Theology and Religious Psychology Centre at Sykehuset Innlandet (Inland Hospital). Previous research from the United States has shown that there is a possible link between people who attend church and blood pressure.  For this study, church attendance was selected as … MORE

1/06/2012 | | Share

At 20 minutes after quitting: Blood pressure decreases Pulse rate drops Body temperature of hands and feet increases. At 8 hours: Carbon monoxide level in blood drops to normal Oxygen level in blood increases to normal At 24 hours: Chance of a heart attack decreases At 48 hours: nerve endings begin regrowth ability to smell and taste improves Between 2 weeks and 3 months: Circulation improves Walking becomes easier Lung function increases Between 1 to 9 months smoke-free: Starting as early as a month after you quit smoking, and continuing for the next several months, you may notice significant improvements in these areas: coughing sinus congestion fatigue shortness of breath At One Year Smoke-Free: Your excess risk of coronary heart … MORE

1/02/2012 | | Share

A new study of sexually active older women has found that sexual satisfaction in women increases with age and those not engaging in sex are satisfied with their sex lives. A majority of study participants report frequent arousal and orgasm that continue into old age, despite low sexual desire. The study appears in the January issue of the American Journal of Medicine. Researchers from the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and the Veterans Affairs San Diego Healthcare System evaluated sexual activity and satisfaction as reported by 806 older women who are part of the Rancho Bernardo Study (RBS) cohort, a group of women who live in a planned community near San Diego and whose health has been tracked … MORE