Tag Archives: national institutes of health

More benefits from physical activity – NIH

After the wonderful reblog yesterday on the benefits of healthy eating and exercise on the brain, I thought it would be nice to reinforce those ideas.

exercise

Herewith, our own government in the form of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) saying, “Exercise and physical activity are good for just about everyone, including older adults. No matter your health and physical abilities, you can gain a lot by staying active. In fact, in most cases you have more to lose by not being active.

“Here are just a few of the benefits. Exercise and physical activity:

• Can help maintain and improve your physical strength and fitness.
• Can help improve your ability to do the everyday things you want to do.
• Can help improve your balance.
• Can help manage and improve diseases like diabetes, heart disease, and osteoporosis.
• Can help reduce feelings of depression and may improve mood and overall well-being.
• May improve your ability to shift quickly between tasks, plan an activity, and ignore irrelevant information.

“The key word in all these benefits is YOU—how fit and active you are now and how much effort you put into being active. To gain the most benefits, enjoy all four types of exercise, stay safe while you exercise, and be sure to eat a healthy diet, too!”

In conclusion I would just like to add that my Page – Important Facts About Your Brain and Exercise has tons more information on the value of exercise and its impact on your brain. I hope you can find time to dig into it.

Tony

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Why Seniors Need to Exercise – NIH

Exercise and physical activity are good for just about everyone, including older adults. Eat less;move more is the mantra of this blog.

No matter your health and physical abilities, you gain a lot by staying active. In fact, in most cases you have more to lose by not being active, according to The National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Seniors-exercising

This is one of those simple, but not easy ideas. The damning statistics of 60 percent overweight and 30 percent obese in the general population hold true for seniors aged 65 and over, too, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

There is a fascinating refinement in those numbers. In the years 65 to 74, the percent of obesity jumps to 41.5 for men and 40.3 percent for women. For the next segment, aged 75 years and older, however, it then drops to 26.5 for men and 28.7 for women. So, that 65 to 74 period is a very dangerous one for our senior population.

My only conclusion is that many of the obese 65-74 year olds simply died off as a result of their weight leaving only the healthier trimmer ones alive after 75 years old.

To combat the ravages of a sedentary life and obesity, the NIH recommends exercise.

“Here are just a few of the benefits. Exercise and physical activity:

• Can help maintain and improve your physical strength and fitness.
• Can help improve your ability to do the everyday things you want to do.
• Can help improve your balance.
• Can help manage and improve diseases like diabetes, heart disease, and osteoporosis.
• Can help reduce feelings of depression and may improve mood and overall well-being.
• May improve your ability to shift quickly between tasks, plan an activity, and ignore irrelevant information.

“The key word in all these benefits is YOU—how fit and active you are now and how much effort you put into being active. To gain the most benefits, enjoy all four types of exercise, stay safe while you exercise, and be sure to eat a healthy diet, too!

“Exercise and physical activity fall into four basic categories—endurance, strength, balance, and flexibility. Each type is different, though. Doing them all will give you more benefits.”

Obesity is a killer. I have written about it in several posts, check out What are Some Obesity Statistics? How Does Obesity Affect You?” Public Largely Ignorant About Obesity Risks. There are more posts on the danger of obesity, but those will give you a start. If you want to read further, type obesity into the SEARCH box at the right.

Tony

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5 Myths That Keep People From Exercising – NIH

No, a myth is not a female moth. (Sorry, couldn’t resist). Regular readers know that eat less; move more is the mantra of this blog. So, if you are one of the folks who is resisting getting an exercise program going, take heed.

The National Institutes of Health offers the following:
Even when you know physical activity is good for you, it’s easy to keep dragging your feet literally. We all have reasons to stay inactive, but sometimes those reasons are based more on myth than reality. Here are some of the most common myths about physical activity and ways to replace them with a more realistic, can-do spirit.

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Myth 1: “Physical activity takes too much time.”
Physical activity does take some time, but there are ways to make it manageable. If you don’t have 30 minutes in your daily schedule for an activity break, try to find three 10-minute periods. If you’re aiming for 60 minutes daily? A good goal if you’re trying to avoid weight gain? Perhaps you can carve out some “fitness time” early in the day, before your schedule gets too busy. Another idea is to combine physical activity with a task that’s already part of your daily routine, such as walking the dog or doing yard chores.

Myth 2: “Getting in shape makes you tired.”
Once you begin regular physical activity, you’re likely to have even more energy than before. As you progress, daily tasks will seem easier. Regular, moderate-to-brisk physical activity can also help you to reduce fatigue and manage stress.

Myth 3: “The older you are, the less physical activity you need.”
Most people become less physically active as they age, but keeping fit is important throughout life. Regular physical activity increases older people’s ability to perform routine daily tasks and to stay independent longer. No matter what your age, you can find a physical activity program that is tailored to your particular fitness level and needs.

Myth 4: “Taking medication interferes with physical activity.”
In most cases, this is not true. In fact, becoming more active may lessen your need for certain medicines, such as high blood pressure drugs. However, before beginning a physical activity program, be sure to inform your doctor about both prescription and over-the-counter medications you are taking, so that your health can be properly monitored.

I consider walking to be the Cinderella of the exercise world. Very few people appreciate what a superb exercise this is. Walking is a weight-bearing exercise that benefits your bones and your brains. Please check out my Page Why You Should Walk More for details.

Myth 5: “You have to be athletic to exercise.”
Most physical activities don’t require any special athletic skills. In fact, many people who have bad memories of difficult school sports have discovered a whole world of enjoyable, healthful activities that involve no special talent or training. A perfect example is brisk walking – a superb, heart healthy activity. Others include bicycling, gardening, or yard work, as long as they’re done at a brisk pace. Just do more of the activities you already like and already know how to do. It’s that simple.

Some people should get medical advice before starting, or significantly increasing, physical activity. Check with your doctor first if you:
•    Are over 50 years old and not used to moderately energetic activity.
•    Currently have a heart condition, have developed chest pain within the last month, or have had a heart attack. (Also see the section, “After a Heart Attack.”)
•    Have a parent or sibling who developed heart disease at an early age.
•    Have any other chronic health problem or risk factors for a chronic disease.
•    Tend to easily lose your balance or become dizzy.
•    Feel extremely breathless after mild exertion.
•    Are on any type of medication.

Tony

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Beer Drinking vs. Alcohol Drinking – Infographic

Drinks like beer, malt liquor, wine, and hard liquor contain alcohol. Alcohol is the ingredient that gets you drunk, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Hard liquor—such as whiskey, rum, or gin—has more alcohol in it than beer, malt liquor, or wine.

These drink sizes have about the same amount of alcohol in them:

1 ½ ounces of hard liquor
5 ounces of wine
8 ounces of malt liquor
12 ounces of beer

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A little goes a long way.

Tony

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Alzheimer’s Deaths May Be Drastically Under-reported

While the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) currently ranks Alzheimer’s Number Six among the leading causes of death in the U.S. Investigators now say the illness more accurately sits atop the list alongside killers Ranked  One and Number Two: heart disease and cancer, reports HealthDay, a service of the U .S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.

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An analysis of two aging studies published in the journal Neurology tallied fatalities among nearly 2,600 seniors 65 and older from the mid-1990s up until 2013.

All were initially dementia-free although annual clinical testing revealed that almost 22 percent ultimately developed Alzheimer’s a diagnosis that appeared to triple or even quadruple the rate of death.

Upon death, approximately 90 percent were autopsied and because all were organ donors, the cause of mortality was clearly noted in each case. Number crunching on a national scale revealed that among all Americans 75 and up, Alzheimer’s likely accounted for more than 500,000 deaths in 2010 five to six times higher than figures previously reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In 2013, Alzheimer’s care cost $203 billion in the U.S. Costs are expected to climb past $1 trillion by 2050.

Tony

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Flu Shot May Cut Risk of Stroke, Too – NIH

Regular readers know I feel very strongly that getting a flu shot is a good idea and greatly increases our chances of missing out on this annual disease. I have an entire page on flu shot related items.

Now, the National Institutes of Health publication HealthDay reports that getting a seasonal flu shot “might also significantly reduce your risk of stroke.

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“We know that cardiovascular diseases tend to hit during winter, and that the risks may be heightened by respiratory infections such as flu. Our study showed a highly significant association between flu vaccination and reduced risk of stroke within the same flu season,” said lead investigator Niro Siriwardena, a professor in the School of Health and Social Care at the University of Lincoln in England.”

I always start advising personal friends as well as readers to get their flu shot in October to be protected for the entire season. That turns out to be a good thing as the study authors said stroke risk reduction was strongest if a person received a shot early in the flu season.

To read more on this season’s flu type in the word flu in the box and the right and click search.

Tony

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Filed under flu deaths, flu season, flu shot, flu symptoms, HealthDay

How to Measure Fitness Progress – NIH

Eat less; move more. Those are my words to live by. Now supposing you have chosen to try them out and you are actually moving more – maybe walking instead of cabbing it, or you have started exercising instead of couch-potatoing it. Now what? You want to know how you are doing and what is the next step. Is it time to exercise a little longer, or find an activity slightly more challenging?

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The National Institutes of Health has some worthwhile suggestions.

“These simple monthly tests are good ways to see if you are continuing to progress and need to update your goals. Each month, you will likely see an improvement.

*Endurance. Pick a fixed course and see how long it takes to walk that distance. As your endurance improves, it should take less time.

* Upper-body Strength.
Count the number of arm curls* you can do safely in 2 minutes.

* Lower-body Strength.
Count the number of chair stands* you can do safely in 2 minutes.

* Balance.
Time yourself as you stand on one foot, without support, for as long as possible. Stand near something sturdy to hold on to, in case you lose your balance. Repeat on the other foot.

* Flexibility. For this test, sit toward the front of a sturdy chair, and stretch one leg straight out in front of you with your heel on the floor and your toes pointing up. Bend the other leg and place your foot flat on the floor. Slowly bend from your hips and reach as far as you can toward the toes of your outstretched foot. How far can you reach before you feel a stretch?”

You are off to a good start. These NIH suggestions can help you on your way.

Tony

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How to Exercise Safely in Hot Weather – NIH

With summer upon us it is important to play it safe when we play outside. Too much heat can be risky for healthy 40 year olds as well as seniors. The National Institutes of Health has issued the following tips for hot weather fun.

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Check the weather forecast. If it’s very hot or humid, exercise inside with a Go4Life DVD or walk in an air-conditioned building like a shopping mall.

Drink plenty of liquids. Water and fruit juices are good options. Avoid caffeine and alcohol. If your doctor has told you to limit liquids, ask what to do when it is very hot outside.

Wear light-colored, loose-fitting clothes in natural fabrics.

Dress in layers so you can remove clothing as your body warms up from activity.

Get medical help right away if you think someone might have a heat-related illness. Watch for these signs: Continue reading

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Some Facts About Weight Loss That Work

Since eating temptations abound around Valentine’s Day, I thought I would share these observations on weight.

“…. There are facts about obesity of which we may be reasonably certain — facts that are useful today,” says researcher Krista Casazza, PhD, RD, from the department of nutrition sciences at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, in a prepared statement, WebMD reported.

Here they are:

1. “Your genes are not your destiny. Moderate environmental changes can promote as much weight loss as even the best weight-loss drugs.”

I love this one. So often people use ‘bad genes’ as an excuse for their weight problems, ignoring completely their own bad eating habits.

2.”Even without weight loss, physical activity improves health.”

Another winner. I have reiterated this statement in at least 25 different posts on this blog. Eat less; move more; live longer.

UNCLE-SAM-EXERCISE
3. “Physical activity or exercise in the right amounts does help people lose weight.”

Amen. Listen to Uncle Sam.

4. “Continuation of conditions that promote weight loss helps people keep the weight off. Think of obesity as a chronic condition.”

Likewise, I think of good eating and exercise habits as chronic, too.

5. “For overweight children, involving the family and home environment in weight-loss efforts is ideal.”

6. “Providing actual meals or meal replacements works better for weight loss than does general advice about food choices.”

Both 5 and 6 sound like first rate advice.

7. “Weight-loss drugs can help some people lose weight.”

I am not going to argue with the experts here, but I sincerely doubt that the weight stays off if they don’t change their eating and exercise habits. I repeat my recommendation to pay attention to what you eat and exercise regularly. That will melt the pounds away. You won’t need drugs.

8. “Bariatric surgery can help achieve long-term weight loss in some people.”

The study was supported in part by the National Institutes of Health. Our tax dollars at work.

I would like to say for the record that I don’t believe losing weight works. It is only temporary at best. If, instead, you get your head on straight and aim to live a healthy life by eating intelligently and exercising regularly, I can promise that you will never have a weight problem.

Tony

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Filed under bariatric surgery, calories, diet food, Exercise, weight loss drugs

Healthy Holiday Eating Tips

Christmas season is in full flourish now in the first week of December. Shoppers are shopping and holiday get-togethers are being planned and taking place. This is the red zone for weight control weakness.

With that in mind, here are helpful tips on dealing with the holiday social events from Dr. Griffin Rodgers Institute Director of the National Institutes of Health.

1. Holiday pressures can interrupt a person’s routine and make it even more challenging to follow plans to stay healthy.

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2. Don’t “save up” for big meals, rather have a light snack beforehand; keep an eye on the drinks, alcohol in particular adds calories and enhances appetite; and go easy on dessert. He also recommends being realistic.

3. Regular physical activity during the holiday season may boost your energy, clear your mind, manage any health problems like diabetes or high blood pressure, and help get some items checked off your holiday “to do” list.

4 The holiday season is not the time to abandon healthy eating and exercise habits.

5. Don’t let the holidays become a free-for-all. Overindulgence only adds to your stress and guilt. Continue to get plenty of sleep and physical activity. If you do overindulge in eating too much, don’t be too hard on yourself up. Get back on track at the next meal.

6. Share your family health history. Ask questions. Talk about common health problems like diabetes and high blood pressure and whether anyone in the family has these conditions.

You can have happy holidays and still remain aware of your body’s real needs. Doctor Rodgers offers some useful advice. I hope you can put it to good use.

Eat less; move more. Words to live by.

Tony

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Filed under calories, diet food, Exercise, fat, happiness, holiday eating, life challenges, men and healthy eating, portion size, stress, sugar