Now, that I have written three posts, and an about me page!, I figured we could turn the attitude positive. The second post was about what to avoid in terms of medications, now we will focus on what you can do to stay healthy. Remember an oz of prevention is worth a lb of cure! Exercise science is one of my favorite topics… here are a few reasons you should care about staying in shape. Whether it’s a spin class, weight lifting or yoga… they are all worthy endeavors and can help put you in touch with your body. Seize the day!
Increasing activity and physical exercise may help ease the symptoms of fatigue in some patients with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), improving their quality of life and ability to function, according to a new evidence report released by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). The researchers did not find, however, that one type of exercise was better than another.
The researchers also found either insufficient or inconclusive evidence to draw any conclusions about other treatments for the condition. Patients with CFS are sometimes treated with immune therapy, corticosteroids, antidepressants, and other pharmaceutical agents or supplements.
DASH Diet and Low Sodium Reduce Blood Pressure for All
The DASH diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) plus reduced dietary sodium lowers blood pressure for all persons, according to the first detailed subgroup analysis of the results of the DASH study supported by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI).
The detailed analysis showed the positive effects of the DASH diet and reduced sodium in a wide variety of population subgroups: persons with and without hypertension or a family history of hypertension, older and younger adults, men and women, obese and non-obese people, members of different races or nationalities, and those with higher and lower activity levels, larger or smaller waste circumferences, and higher or lower income levels.
The DASH diet is rich in fruits, vegetables, and lowfat dairy foods and low in total and saturated fat. It also requires reduced intake of red meat, sweets, and sugary drinks. It is rich in potassium, calcium, magnesium, fiber, and protein. Prior studies found that the DASH diet lowers blood pressure and also lowers blood LDL-cholesterol and the amino acid homocysteine, which appears to increase the risk of heart disease. Other studies found that reducing dietary sodium lowers blood pressure with or without the DASH diet.
Overweight and Obesity Negating US Health Gains
Health problems resulting from overweight and obesity could reverse many of the health gains achieved in the U.S. in recent decades, according to a Surgeon General’s “call to action.”
Approximately 300,000 U.S. deaths per year are associated with obesity and overweight (compared to more that 400,000 deaths a year associated with cigarette smoking). The total direct and indirect costs attributed to overweight and obesity amounted to $117 billion in the year 2000.
In 1999, an estimated 61% of U.S. adults were overweight, along with 13% of children and adolescents. Obesity among adults has doubled since 1980, while overweight among adults has tripled.
An overweight adult is defined as one with a body mass index (BMI) between 25 and 29.9, while an obese adult has a BMI of 30 or higher.
Stress Linked to Weight Gain
Overweight and obesity have reached epidemic proportions in the U.S., and while Americans search for the ultimate diet and exercise routine, Swedish scientists think they might have found a key to this puzzling problem. Researchers in Gothenburg, Sweden studied 50 overweight middle-aged men and discovered that long-term stress could make people fat, especially around the midsection.
Since prehistory, the human body has used stress responses to deal with short, traumatic situations requiring a fight-or-flight reaction. But the sources of modern stress can’t be solved quickly. According to Dr. Thomas Ljung, who led the study, “One does not beat up the boss or run away from the mortgage institute.”
While under stress, the body increases production of a hormone that stimulates a fat-gathering enzyme. This enzyme is more easily taken up by the abdomen than other parts of the body. During long periods of stress, this extra hormone production tapers off, but the fat remains.
Well, hopefully that has shown you how important exercise is. As if you didn’t know all those things already! Sometimes, having the facts in front of you like that can make all the difference!