Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Is your TV killing you?

Every hour spent watching TV, DVDs and videos as an adult reduces life expectancy by almost 22 minutes, a study suggests.

And viewing TV for an average of six hours a day can cut short your life by five years.

The research claims that a sedentary lifestyle is as bad for health as smoking and obesity, because of the dangers posed by inactivity and the greater opportunities it offers for unhealthy eating.

The academics conducting the study set out to calculate the overall risk to life expectancy from watching television. Their research involved more than 11,000 people over the age of 25.

Writing in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, they concluded: ‘TV viewing time may be associated with a loss of life that is comparable to other major chronic disease risk factors such as physical inactivity and obesity.’

This finding is also comparable to risk factors such as smoking, with other research showing that one cigarette cuts 11 minutes off a lifespan – equivalent to half an hour of watching TV.

Researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, said it was ‘biologically plausible’ that prolonged TV viewing results in disease and premature death. Other work suggests that sedentary behavior is linked to obesity, high levels of bad blood fats and other heart disease risk factors, and more opportunities for grazing on junk foods.

In another meta-analysis, published earlier this summer in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), researchers suggest that spending just two hours a day in front of the TV raises your risk of developing type 2 diabetes and heart disease by 20 percent. Add another hour to your viewing time, and you also significantly raise your risk of premature death from any cause.

One researcher, Dr. Aric Sigman, has identified a slew of negative effects he believes can be blamed on watching television:

  • Obesity
  • Delayed healing
  • Heart trouble
  • Decreased metabolism
  • Damaged eyesight
  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Decreased attention span
  • Hormone disturbances Cancer
  • Early puberty
  • Autism
  • Sleep difficulties
  • Increased appetite
  • Limited brain growth
  • Diabetes

Watching TV also has a major impact on your brain chemistry. In fact, the longer you watch, the easier your brain slips into a receptive, passive mode, meaning that messages are streamed into your brain without any participation from you. (This is an advertiser's dream, and likely one of the reasons why TV advertising—particularly ads directed at children and teens—works so well.)

England’s Chief Medical Officer, Sally Davies, said: ‘Physical activity offers huge benefits and these studies back what we already know – that a sedentary lifestyle carries additional risks. We hope these studies will help more people realize that there are many ways to get exercise.’

Another study shows that exercising for just 15 minutes a day can increase your lifespan by up to three years.

It can reduce the risk of early death by 14 per cent, with each extra 15 minutes reducing all-cause death rates by 4 per cent.

Exercise also protects against cancer, although the benefits peak at 100 minutes a day, says the study in The Lancet medical journal.

It involved more than 400,000 adults taking part in a medical screening programme in Taiwan, whose progress was followed between 1996 and 2008.

The experts found that if individuals engaged in low-volume daily exercise, one in six all-cause deaths could be postponed.

Sources: Daily Mail Online August 16, 2011 and Dr Mercola

Be smart, stay healthy

Monday, August 29, 2011

Protect your eyesight

Free radical damage from age and environmental factors can keep your eyes from functioning optimally. There are natural common sense things you can do to help preserve our healthy vision.

1. Quit smoking. Smoking creates a lot of free radicals in your system and hinders your health in general and your vision as well

2. Keep your cardiovascular system in good health. High blood pressure can cause damage to the blood vessels on your retina

3. Normalize your blood sugar. Excessive sugar in your blood can pull fluid out of the lense of your eye, affecting your ability to focus.

4. Eat plenty of dark green vegetables. Kale, spinach, collard greens, turnip greens being the highest on the list.

5. Omega 3 and Krill oil are your best friends. Consume a lot of food containing Omega 3 such as: fresh wild salmon, walnuts, flax seeds, halibut, chia seeds, etc. Do not forget to use a good quality supplement as well.

6. Use a good quality anti-oxidant as it will help get rid of the free radical causing havoc in your body.

7. Lutein, zeaxanthin, bilberries and black currants have been shown to protect and enhance vision.

Take good care of your eyes and they will stay healthy for as long as possible.

Be smart, stay healthy!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Worth your weight?

If health reasons won't motivate you to lose weight how about financial reasons. Obese people spend approximately
$485 more on clothing, $828 on extra plane seats, and $36 more on gas each year than their thinner counterparts.
An overweight driver burns about 18 additional gallons of gas a year

Monday, August 22, 2011

Carrying extra weight?

Part of my training routine is using a weighed vest and weighed shoes. It is always a tough training session as I just added about 20 lbs to my normal weight. But like swinging with 2 bats, it only makes me stronger, better, faster.

It always amazes me when I take off all this extra weight. I feel so light from one second to the next that it almost seems like I could fly. My step is much lighter and walking becomes easier.

Even though my workout is more difficult than without the extra gear, I still do not truly realize how heavy the whole get up was until I remove it. My body/ mind got used to it. But it made my heart pump harder, my legs and back work much more and my lungs scream for air.

Most of us have gained weight at one point or another. And it always creeps up on us. One pound here, one pound there… pretty soon we carried 10-20 lbs too much. We get used to it gradually. We do not realize how much harder we have to work to carry this extra weight. We do not realize how much harder it is on our hearts and lungs. One extra pound requires one extra mile of blood vessels. That’s a lot more pumping action for your heart.

Try walking around for an hour with weighted gear (a backpack filled with rocks will work). When you take it off you will see firsthand what taking off weight means to your body. What are you getting used to that you should not?

Be smart, stay healthy

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Unwanted bed fellows

Dust mites are microscopic animals related to other mites, and ticks,

They occur where human beings live, and where the humidity is optimal for their life cycle.

House dust mites feed and grow almost exclusively on the dead, shed skin cells that we humans shed daily by the hundreds of thousands.

While your bed is the chief place the majority of house dust mites reside, the mites can also survive in pillows, overstuffed furniture, even rugs and carpeting. The place where your pet sleeps is also a hot spot. Fido and Fluffy shed skin cells (dander), too.

Dust mites are known for causing allergies in millions of Americans

Good news is, they’re harmless unless you have allergies or asthma.

To keep their count down, wash your sheets in hot water regularly, and fluff your pillow in the dryer on its hottest setting. Wash your pillows regularly and replace them annually. Vacuum and turn your mattress at least every 6 months.

The most recent information on dust mites suggests using a combination of physical measures - including pillow and mattress covers, washing bedding in hot water and carpet removal - rather than chemical treatments.

Be careful who you share your bed and pillow with.

Be smart, stay healthy

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Healthy dips

Summer time... picnics... finger food.... easy dishes
We can still keep it healthy.
Here are some delicious healthy dips. Use vegetables instead of chip and you have a winning combinations:

Sweet-and-Spicy Yogurt
Protein-packed Greek yogurt makes this curry dip satisfyingly thick, while fresh peaches add a rich sweetness.

1 cup low-fat plain Greek yogurt
2 Tbsp diced ripe peach
1 tsp lemon juice
1 dash Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 tsp curry powder
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 ring red pepper, chopped, for garnish
1 tsp chopped green onion, for garnish

In a bowl, stir together all ingredients except garnish. Chill up to 2 hours to allow flavors to develop. Top with red pepper and green onion before serving.

MAKES 4 SERVINGS. Per serving: 42 cal, 1 g fat (<1 g sat), 3 g carbs, 165 mg sodium, <1 g fiber, 5 g protein

Cheesy Tomato Dip
Naturally lower in fat than other cheeses, feta makes an ideal base for this Mediterranean-inspired dip. It also subs nicely for mayo to kick up a turkey sandwich.

1 tomato, quartered, seeds removed
6 oz feta, crumbled
1 tsp lemon juice
1/8 tsp dried oregano
1 Tbsp chopped kalamata olives
1 Tbsp chopped sun-dried tomatoes (packed in oil, drained)

In a food processor, chop tomato. Add feta in small batches, blending to combine. Pour in lemon juice and oregano; blend again. In a bowl, fold olives into cheese-tomato mixture. Top with sun-dried tomatoes.
MAKES 4 SERVINGS. Per serving: 122 cal, 9 g fat (6 g sat), 3 g carbs, 495 mg sodium, <1 g fiber, 6 g protein

Cool Cucumber-Herb Dip
Try this as a refreshing alternative to onion dip. It'll spare your breath and your waistline.

1 Tbsp diced shallot
1/2 cup chopped cucumber, seeds removed
1 cup low-fat sour cream
1 tsp white-wine vinegar
1 Tbsp chopped fresh dill
1 Tbsp chopped fresh chives
1/4 tsp salt
Freshly ground black pepper

In a food processor, combine shallot and cucumber; discard extra liquid. In a separate bowl, mix sour cream with shallot-cucumber mixture. Stir in vinegar, herbs, and salt, then add freshly ground pepper to taste. Refrigerate up to 2 hours to allow flavors to develop.

MAKES 4 SERVINGS. Per serving: 82 cal, 6 g fat (4 g sat), 5 g carbs, 186 mg sodium, <1 g fiber, 2 g protein

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Lastest research on eating habits

For those of you who watch what you eat, here's the final word on nutrition and health. It's a relief to know the truth after all those conflicting nutritional studies.

1. The Japanese eat very little fat and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.

2. The Mexicans eat a lot of fat and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.

3. The Chinese drink very little red wine and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.

4. The Italians drink a lot of red wine and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans...

5. The Germans drink a lot of beer and eat lots of sausages and fats and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.

CONCLUSION: Eat and drink what you like. Speaking English is apparently what kills you.