Saturday, November 28, 2009

Are Flexibility Exercises Necessary?

In a report released by The American Physiological Society titled "A Simple Way for Middle Aged and Older Adults to Assess How Stiff their Arteries Are: Reach for their Toes", it is stated that "stretching exercises may set into motion physiological reactions that slow down age-related arterial stiffening." "Arterial stiffness increases with age and is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease and death".

Dr. Kenta Yamamoto states, "findings suggest a possibility that improving flexibility induced by the stretching exercises may be capable of modifying age-related arterial stiffness in middle-aged and older adults. We believe that flexibility exercises, such as stretching, yoga and Pilates, should be integrated as a new recommendation into the known cardiovascular benefits of regular exercise."


Thursday, November 26, 2009

High Salt Intake Linked To Strokes And Cardiovascular Disease

According to a paper published in the British Medical Journal, eating high amounts of salt is linked to higher risk of strokes and cardiovascular diseases. A 5g lower daily salt intake would reduce stroke by 23%, and total cardiovascular disease by 17%. The World Health Organization recommends that daily intake should not exceed 5 grams.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Moderate-to-Heavy Exercise May Reduce Risk Of Stroke For Men

A press release from the American Academy Of Neurology titled "Moderate-to-Heavy Exercise May Reduce Risk Of Stroke For Men", states that men who participated in moderate-to-heavy intensity activities were 63% less likely to have a stroke than men with no physical activity. Moderate-to-heavy intensity activities include jogging, tennis and swimming compared to light intensity activities such as walking, golf or bowling. Exercise did not have a protective effect against stroke for women.


Ginkgo Biloba Doesn't Prevent Cardiovascular Events

According to an article published by the American Heart Association titled "Ginkgo Biloba Doesn't Prevent Cardiovascular Events But May Have Potential Peripheral Artery Disease Benefits", Ginkgo Biloba
  • doesn't prevent cardiovascular death, heart attacks or strokes, and should not be recommended as a way to prevent them.
  • Further research should explore its potential benefit to people with peripheral vascular disease.
The article also stated that the herb has no effect on dementia.
I have tried ginko biloba myself, but stopped using it. It gave me migraines and heart palpitations.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Can Meditation Curb Heart Attacks?

Meditation may reduce the risk of heart attacks according to this interesting article titled "Can Meditation Curb Heart Attacks?" Research shows that meditation does reduce blood pressure and stress.

Other research by Dr. Sara Lazar shows that meditation physically improves the cerebral cortex, which is involved with decision making, working memory and brain-body interactions. This research is summarized in the article "Meditation May Alter Brain, Delay Aging."


Thursday, November 19, 2009

Exercise Makes Us Less Anxious

In this New York Times article titled "Why Exercise Makes You Less Anxious," researchers report that exercise not only stimulates new brain cells, but these new cells are resistant to stress. It also takes at least six weeks of exercise for the effect to develop.


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Active Video Games Can Equal Moderate-Intensity Exercise

In an article released by the American Heart Association titled "Playing Active Video Games Can Equal Moderate-Intensity Exercise," states that one-third of Wii Sport and Wii Fit Activities provide energy expenditures equal to moderate-intensity exercises.

The most effective exercise is the single-arm stand, and boxing is the most effective sport activity, according to the article.


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Recommendations For Cancer Prevention

The American Institute for Cancer Research summarizes The Expert Report on the recommendations for cancer prevention. The top 5 recommendations are:
  1. Be as lean as possible without becoming underweight.
  2. Be physically active for at least 30 minutes every day.
  3. Avoid sugary drinks. Limit consumption of energy-dense foods.
  4. Eat more of a variety of vegetables, fruits, whole grains and legumes such as beans.
  5. Limit consumption of red meats and avoid processed meats.


Sunday, November 15, 2009

"How Longest-Living Among Us Do It"

In a CBS interview, Dan Buetther talks about his new book titled "Blue Zones". Dan discovered that there are communities of people worldwide that live an extra decade or more than the rest of us. They are located in:

  • Sardinia, Italy
  • Okinawa, Japan
  • Ikaria, Greece
  • Nicoya, Costa Rica
  • Loma Linda, California

Some of the key elements to their longer life are

  • Avoiding high-impact exercise in favor of low-impact, enjoyable physical activity
  • Surrounding yourself with the right kind of people
  • and avoiding meat and eating nuts


Saturday, November 14, 2009

Spice Turmeric May Protect Against Breast And Colon Cancer

In the American Institute for Cancer Research article titled "Can Curry Kill Cancer Cells?", research has seen evidence that the spice turmeric, which contains the active ingredient curcumin, may reduce the formation of breast and colon cancer cells.

Some side-effects of turmeric, however, are increased bile flow, which may aggravate gall bladder problems, and stomach upsets if used in too high a concentration. Also, it is best to use turmeric rather than curry. Some curry's contain very little turmeric.


Friday, November 13, 2009

Balance Exercises

Those over 65 are the most susceptible to falls. Many of these falls can be fatal. You can find a nice collection of illustrated Balance Exercises at that link. These exercises will help you maintain your stability and coordination while standing still or walking. The collection includes:


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Healthy Bones

Some surprising results of a study to determine what is the best exercise to increase bone density in the article titled "The Best Exercises For Healthy Bones."

Believe it or not, the best exercises to increase bone density is brisk walking (truely brisk walking and not just a fast stroll) and hopping about 40 times a week. Running, cycling, swimming and weight lifting seem to have little effect on bone density.


Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Many Health Benefits Of Flax Seed

A great article on the heath benefits of flax seed titled "The Benefits Of Flaxseed."

There's some evidence that flax seed can help reduce your risk of heart disease, cancer, stroke and diabetes.


Saturday, November 7, 2009

Excess Body Fat Causes Over 1000,000 Cancers Each Year In US

The American Institue For Cancer Research yesterday issued a press release titled "Excess Body Fat Alone Causes Over 1000,000 Cancers In US Each Year."
The estimated number of cancers that are linked to excess body fat include:
  • Endometrial Cancer - 20,700 cases
  • Esophageal Cancer - 5,800
  • Pancreatic Cancer - 11.900
  • Kidney Cancer - 13.900
  • GallBladder Cancer - 2,000
  • Breast Cancer - 33,000
  • and Colorectal Cancer - 13,2000

Use this Body Mass Index Calculator to determine your healthy weight.


Friday, November 6, 2009

Exercise Doesn't Lead To Weight Loss

In the article "Why Doesn't Exercise Lead To Weight Loss?", which is a summary of a report in the British Journal of Sports Medicine titled "Beneficial Effects Of Exercise: Shifting The Focus From Body Weight To Other Markers Of Health", it is shown that exercise has many health benefits, but does not usually lead to weight loss.

The main reason is that most people do not change their eating habits. The formula is simple. If you eat more calories than you use for energy, you will gain weight. If you eat as many calories as you use for energy, your weight will remain the same. To lose weight, you have to take in less calories than you use for energy.

30-minutes of running only uses about 300 calories (Calorie Chart). This can easily be replaced with one Gatorade.

However, exercise can burn away fat, but must be in combination of a proper diet. Believe it or not, a low intensity exercise will burn a higher percentage of fat calories than a high intensity exercise. According to the report, heart rates between 105 and 134 beats per minute represents the fat-burning zone. Some of the Benefits To Exercise are:

  • Decrease in blood pressure
  • Decrease in your resting heart rate
  • Decrease in the "bad" cholesterol and an increase in the "good" cholesterol
  • Increase in your body's ability to deliver nutrients to your tissues
  • An increase in your body's ability to remove toxic waste from your tissues
  • And an increase in longevity and overall health


Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Increasing Demand For Alternative Medicine

I started using the services of a younger doctor after my older doctor sold his practice. I immediately noticed a big difference. The younger doctor openly talked about
  • Alternative Medicine
  • and the use of herbal remedies

Not only did he talk about it, he didn't discourage it.

This is the topic of the CBS article "Demand Fuels Alternative Medicine Classes". Who are against alternative medicine? I suspect that it is the older medical establishment and maybe the pharmaceutical companies.

Here are some of the supplements that have helped me with my doctors approval:

  • Lecithin - it contains choline. One of the good things that it does is prevent and dissolve gall stones. When I started getting gall bladder pains, I started taking 1 tablespoon a day of lecithin rather than run to a surgeon. The pain went away, and I started sleeping well again at night. I love this stuff!
  • L-Carnitine - Can be important if like me, you don't eat very much meat. It helps increase endurance and stamina by transporting fatty acids into muscle cells. This is especially important for the heart muscle.
  • Phytosterols - Helps to reduce the absorption of animal based cholesterol, and may help with enlarged prostate symptoms.
  • Artichoke Extract - Helps to reduce cholesterol, and increases bile flow.


Sunday, November 1, 2009

Fitness Levels Decline After 45

In a report published in the Archives Of Internal Medicine titled "Role of Lifestyle and Aging on the Longitudinal Change in Cardiorespiratory Fitness", it is stated that the decline in fitness levels accelerate after the age of 45.

However, the longitudinal study also shows that the decline in fitness level can be slowed by