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9/27/2012 | | Share

White. Pink. Blue. Yellow. On restaurant tables everywhere, the colors of the sweetener packets instantly identify the contents. Sugar. Saccharin. Aspartame. Sucralose. Reaching for one to pour into a cup of coffee or tea can sometimes feel like sweetener roulette, with the swirl of confusing, conflicting assertions about which are safe and which are not. Alissa Kaplan Michaels, for one, never picks pink. She still associates saccharin with cancer. The Food and Drug Administration sought to ban it in the 1970s, because rats that gorged on the chemical developed bladder cancer. But Congress imposed a moratorium to delay the ban, and the pink packets of Sweet’N Low remained on restaurant tables. The F.D.A. withdrew its ban proposal in 1991, and the … MORE

9/26/2012 | | Share

Denise Hrncir (pronounced Hern-sir) of Farmington, Minn., loves to exercise. She’d do it every day if she had the time. Getting physical: Denise Hrncir of Farmington, Minn., who often doesn’t have time to exercise during the week, walks her dog as part of her weekend routine. But the 52-year-old human-resources administrator often works nine to 10 hours a day, stops for groceries on her way home, fixes dinner and then tries to go to bed at a decent hour so she can get up at 5 a.m. to make it on time to her job at an electric company. So on the weekends, she crams in as much physical activity as she can. “I push-mow two big yards (about an … MORE

9/25/2012 | | Share

“Every four years, the summer Olympics get people excited to exercise,” says Glenn Gaesser, a professor and director of the Healthy Lifestyles Research Center at Arizona State University, who oversaw a new study about exercise and high blood pressure that was inspired in part by the coming games in London. Gretchen Reynolds on the science of fitness. The streets and gyms fill with people who, fueled by stories of Olympic success, “run or work out for an hour or more,” Dr. Gaesser says. But “within a few weeks, most people have quit” and resumed their sedentary lives. “We wanted to see if there were approaches to exercise that would fit more easily into people’s lifestyles, but still be effective” in terms of … MORE

9/19/2012 | | Share

I don’t know any Joneses, and if I did I wouldn’t waste my time trying to keep up with them. Not on pointless things like the price of my car, color of my lawn or size of my TV, at least. I do like to compete on the size of my belly though, in that mine is way smaller than those of my neighbors. Not many people prioritize fitness the way I do though. For many it seems like the years between high school and the half-century mark are peppered with work + more work + very little else. And then the 50s hit, and you’re inactive, overweight, eating garbage and anticipating the death spiral. But it doesn’t have to … MORE

9/18/2012 | | Share

Simply moving more and sitting less can boost your health because of the calorie burning called NEAT, or non-exercise activity thermogenesis. “It takes energy — calories — to move even the smallest muscle,” says Polly de Mille, R.N., an exercise physiologist with the Women’s Sports Medicine Center at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City. “For example, you burn about 1.5 calories per minute just lying still while your body performs its most basic functions.” Go from lying down to sitting in a chair and answering e-mail, and you’ll burn 25 percent more calories. Now start fidgeting in your chair and you’ll burn more. And all those little movements can add up: The amount of everyday activity you … MORE

9/17/2012 | | Share

Researchers from the Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research analysed data on the diet, exercise and personality type of more than 7000 people. The study found those who believe their life can be changed by their own actions ate healthier food, exercised more, smoked less and avoided binge drinking. Professor Deborah Cobb-Clark, Director of the Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, said those who have a greater faith in ‘luck’ or ‘fate’ are more likely to live an unhealthy life. “Our research shows a direct link between the type of personality a person has and a healthy lifestyle,” she said. Professor Cobb-Clark hoped the study would help inform public health policies on conditions such as obesity. … MORE

9/14/2012 | | Share

Before cable machines and Bose balls, even before kettle bells and dumbbells, people trained using their own bodyweight. Although this type of training developed out of necessity it has stood the test of time. Bodyweight training goes back thousands of years and was the chosen training method for the Greeks, Romans and Navy SEALS, and has been a consistent component of nearly every military organization from past to present. Outside of being used in the training of the world’s greatest warriors, bodyweight exercises continue to be used in the athletic training world and is a key component of many of the best fat loss and muscle gain workouts available. Bodyweight training is any exercise that involves using the body as … MORE

9/11/2012 | | Share

What foods can you count on to go the extra mile, and which foods fall short? See what recent studies reveal before your next workout. 1. A Spoonful of Honey Recent research suggests that carb blends (foods containing fructose and glucose) may be superior to straight glucose for boosting energy during endurance activities. But before you reach for a sports drink, consider honey: like sugar, it naturally has equal parts fructose and glucose, but it also contains a handful of antioxidants and vitamins. Upshot: While not exactly a “super food,” honey has plenty going for it besides being sweet. The darker the honey, the more disease-fighting compounds it contains. 2. Caffeine Studies that demonstrate performance-enhancing benefits of caffeine often imply that drinking … MORE

9/10/2012 | | Share

Age may be nothing more than a number, but when it comes to nutrition status, certain vitamins and minerals may be of concern. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently released the Second Nutrition Report which shows that Americans generally have good levels of some essentials vitamins and minerals. However, they also found that certain age groups may need to fine tune their nutrient intake to maximize their health. Iron and Children The CDC reports children have the lowest levels of iron across all age groups. Iron is the vital mineral that helps carry oxygen throughout the body. Kids between ages 4-8 need 10 mg a day, while their requirement goes down to 8 mg from 9 to … MORE

9/07/2012 | | Share

Extremely popular teen activities are playing video games and TV watching. Sedentary activities such as these are not conducive to a healthy lifestyle. Now, another consequence of sedentary activities has been reported: they are associated with poor dietary choices. European researchers reported their findings online on September 3 in the journal Archives of Pediatric & Adolescent Medicine. The aim of the study was to examine the association between time spent on different sedentary behaviors and consumption of certain food and beverage groups in a sample of European adolescents. The researchers evaluated data on 2,202 adolescents between the ages of 12.5 and 17.5 years (45.5% boys) from the European Union-funded Healthy Lifestyle in Europe by Nutrition in Adolescence Cross-sectional Study. Information … MORE

9/05/2012 | | Share

If you are like the many Americans who deal with the issue of not having enough hours in the day, read on! Below I have created five simple exercises that you can do anywhere, anytime, and each one takes as little as 60 seconds. Sound too good to be true? Well, it isn’t. These five exercises can serve as a starting point for any beginner or can replace your routine on days you just can’t squeeze in a full workout. Five facts about these exercises: • They can be performed anywhere and anytime • All of them focus on creating symmetry, balance, and core strength • Doing them creates consistency, which causes positive change in your physical and mental well being • You don’t need any … MORE

9/04/2012 | | Share

Aug. 30, 2012 — Following a healthy lifestyle can lead to a longer life, even among people who are already well into their 70s, new research shows. Getting regular exercise, staying engaged with friends and family, and abstaining from smoking were all associated with longer life in a study that followed people in their mid-70s and older for close to two decades. These healthy traits apparently added, on average, five years to women’s lives and six years to men’s. The study is among the first to identify specific lifestyle behaviors associated with longer life, even among people with chronic health problems and those over the age of 80, researchers say. “Our results suggest that encouraging favorable lifestyle behaviors even at advanced ages may … MORE