October 27th, 2010 - Barbara Feiner
As many as 1 in 3 U.S. adults could have diabetes by 2050 if current trends continue, according to a new analysis from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
One in 10 U.S. adults currently has diabetes. The prevalence is expected to rise sharply over the next 40 years because:
- An aging population is more likely to develop the disease.
- Ethnic populations at high risk for type 2 diabetes are expected to grow.
- Better treatment allows diabetics to live longer.
Read More:U.S. Diabetes Cases Expected to Double or Triple by 2050
January 11th, 2010 - Barbara Feiner
People with asthma have an 80% chance of experiencing exercised-induced asthma (EIA), an acute narrowing of the airway that causes difficulty in breathing.
About 10% of elite athletes, as well as 10% of the general population, are also afflicted with EIA, even if they’re not asthmatics.
The condition is usually treated with albuterol, an inhaler-dispensed medication that opens the airway and increases air flow to the lungs.
In a recent study, Indiana University researchers have discovered that ingestion of a large dose of caffeine—9 mg per kilogram of body weight—within an hour of exercise can reduce EIA symptoms. Smaller dosages of 3 to 6 mg caffeine per kilogram of body weight also reduced EIA symptoms like wheezing and coughing.
For someone weighing 150 pounds, 3 to 9 mg caffeine per kilogram of body weight equals around 205 to 610 mg of caffeine. As a reference, one cup of coffee contains 80 to 135 mg caffeine.
No additional benefit was noted when caffeine was combined with an albuterol inhaler, according to study coinvestigator Timothy Mickleborough, PhD, an IU associate professor of kinesiology.
He and his colleagues have also found that a diet high in fish oil and antioxidants and low in salt has the potential to reduce EIA severity and possibly decrease the need for drug therapy.
For Your Organic Bookshelf: Exercising Safely with Exercise-Induced Asthma
Read More:Caffeine Aids People with Exercise-Induced Asthma
January 10th, 2010 - Barbara Feiner
Do you rely on popular sports drinks for a boost after exercising?
If so, you may want to switch to a bowl of whole-grain cereal and skim milk.
Researchers at the University of Texas, Austin, have found the latter choice is easier on the wallet and equally effective.
“The milk provides a source of easily digestible and high-quality protein, which can promote protein synthesis and training adaptations, making this an attractive recovery option for those who refuel at home,” says UT exercise physiologist Lynne Kammer, whose study of cyclists was published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition.
Kammer and her coauthors encourage amateur athletes and those who engage in moderate physical activity to pop into the kitchen for this quick-fix breakfast combo after a workout.
We, of course, recommend organic cereal and milk to reduce your exposure to pesticides, chemicals, additives and hormones.
Read More:Post-Exercise Protein Power
February 23rd, 2009 - Leslie Billera
If you’re reading this, you may be a candidate for eye yoga.
Or at least that’s what Paul McCartney’s advice might be!
In a recent TV interview, Sir Paul raved about taking advantage of this little known fitness routine he discovered on a recent trip to India. He shared what he learned:
“He told me eyes are muscles (and) are just like any other muscles, and they need exercise to keep them working properly. Spending so much time at computers or (watching) the TV or reading books, we are only using one set of muscles in our eyes. The yoga gives a workout to the other ones.”
According to holistic-online.com, eye yoga “tones the eye muscles up and keep them elastic. If you already have eye problems when you begin these exercises, you will find your eyesight improving after a few months.”
Don’t take our word for it – check out what Sir Paul has to say about it!
Now get your zen on and body and soul too…and don’t forget to dress the part!
Read More:Om Shanti: Yoga for Eyes
February 20th, 2007 - Barbara Feiner
(Health Behavior News Service)—New York City residents who live in densely populated, pedestrian-friendly areas have significantly lower body mass index (BMI) levels compared to other New Yorkers, a new study in the March/April issue of the American Journal of Health Promotion finds.
Placing shops, restaurants and public transit near residences may promote walking and independence from private automobiles.
“There are relatively strong associations between built environment and BMI, even in population-dense New York City,” says Andrew Rundle, DrPH, lead study author and an assistant professor of epidemiology at the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University Medical Center.
Researchers looked at data from 13,102 adults from New York City’s five boroughs. Matching information on education, income, height, weight and home address with census data and geographic records, they determined respondents’ access to public transit, proximity to commercial goods and services, and BMI, a measure of weight in relation to height.
The authors discovered that three characteristics of the city environment—living in areas with mixed residential and commercial uses, living near bus and subway stops, and living in population-dense areas—were inversely associated with BMI levels. For example, city dwellers living in areas evenly balanced between residences and commercial use had significantly lower BMIs compared to New Yorkers who lived in mostly residential or commercial areas.
“A mixture of commercial and residential land uses puts commercial facilities that you need for everyday living within walking distance,” Dr. Rundle says. “You’re not going to get off the couch to walk to the corner store if there’s no corner store to walk to.”
While previous studies have addressed the relationship between obesity and the urban built environment in smaller, newer cities, this study is the first to evaluate the relationship in older, larger New York.
This research is important because it shows that environmental factors have a significant relationship to obesity, says Emil Malizia, PhD, chair of the Department of City and Regional Planning at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Although population-dense areas may sometimes be associated with crime or other negative attributes, this research shows “there are places that can be healthy environments, in part because they’re dense,” Dr. Malizia says.
Book Pick of the Day: The Spirited Walker: Fitness Walking for Clarity, Balance and Spiritual Connection
Note: OrganicAuthority.com publishes health news so organic consumers have access to the latest research. You can view similar posts by visiting the Health Section of our blog.
Read More:Environment and Body Mass Index
January 4th, 2007 - Barbara Feiner
Yesterday, I posted ideas for keeping kids active and confident in 2007. Here are some additional tips from Randy McCoy, curriculum director for The Little Gym International.
- Lead by example. Some kids aren’t eager to try new physical activities. To encourage them, don’t demand; demonstrate the skill yourself and provide positive motivation. Your child will likely want to give it a try.
- Repetition, repetition, repetition. Repetition of a skill is necessary for kids to internalize and eventually master it. It also gives them more opportunities to experience success, build confidence, and develop strength and endurance.
- Safety matters. If your children are participating in organized physical activities, make sure they’re led by trained instructors. Sports equipment should be appropriately sized for children.
- Don’t mistake kids’ physical development for Olympic training. Your child may be the fastest runner in the class, but this isn’t a reason to shun other activities in pursuit of a gold medal. Focus on fun and health—not fame and world records.
Suggested Reading from OrganicAuthority.com:
Read More:Kids on the Move (Part 2)
January 3rd, 2007 - Barbara Feiner
As a parent dedicated to organic living, you play a crucial role in shaping your children’s exercise habits and attitudes.
Here are some tips on keeping kids active and confident in 2007 from Randy McCoy, curriculum director for The Little Gym International. The company’s gymnastics-based classes help kids ages 4 months to 12 years develop motor skills and self-confidence.
- Kids should try their best—but they don’t have to be the best. For most kids, success is about more than winning or losing; it’s about benefiting from the learning that occurs when taking on a challenge, trying their best and having fun.
- Positive reinforcement is a must. Kids thrive in environments where they feel supported and safe. Even more important, children who play and work out in these environments are more likely to continue physical activities later in life.
- Challenge your child. It’s healthy to present new challenges and risks, but do so without expectations. Let kids take challenges at their own pace.
Tune in tomorrow for Part 2 of this story.
Read More:Kids on the Move
August 24th, 2006 - Barbara Feiner
With a new Superman movie in theaters, Phil Black knew he could count on the Man of Steel to help him accomplish his mission: to get sedentary kids moving.
“Superman’s greatest enemy is no longer Lex Luthor. It’s childhood obesity,” says the former Navy SEAL officer and certified personal trainer.
As the founder of FitDeck, Inc., a company that produces exercise products for all ages, Black is committed to inspiring children to “get off the couch, away from the computer, and start exercising again,” he says. And who better than the world’s most famous superhero to help him achieve his objective?
The new Superman FitDeck is a colorfully packaged card deck that includes 50 exercise, four instructional and two stretching flashcards, accompanied by a games and activities workbook (pictured above). Each flashcard features illustrations and instructions describing a different exercise. It’s a novel product, targeted toward children ages 4 to 16. After all, what kid wouldn’t want to work out with the big guy sporting the “S” on his chest?
The FitDeck series also includes the original FitDeck for adults and the FitDeck Jr., designed for children ages 5 to 16.
As an Organic Authority reader, you’ll receive a 15% discount on the Superman FitDeck if you type the word “SUPERMAN” in the coupon discount box when ordering online.
Read More:Working Out with Superman
February 6th, 2006 - Barbara Feiner
Many people decide to go organic after their doctor tells them they need to lose weight or adopt a healthier lifestyle. Based on the most current research, it’s a smart move.
Over the last few years, researchers have discovered that where you carry excess fat has significant health implications. Instead of relying strictly on weight and body mass index (BMI) to determine obesity, your doctor may soon take an up-close-and-personal look at your gut. A major international study now reveals that waist-to-hip ratio may be a more critical measurement.
“Waist-to-hip ratio was the most significant indicator of possible cardiovascular disease,” says Barbara Crishi, a certified diabetes educator at Baylor Regional Medical Center in Grapevine, Texas.
You can check your ratio by first measuring your waist (just under the ribcage). Next, measure your hips at their widest point. Now, divide waist measurement by hip measurement (both in inches). A ratio greater than .8 for women and 1.0 for men puts you at risk.
According to Crishi, it comes down to whether you’re apple- or pear-shaped: “The apple shape is more indicative of having cardiovascular disease than the pear shape is,” she says, as abdominal fat is more strongly associated with health problems like heart disease and diabetes.
Researchers don’t yet know why abdominal fat is linked to greater risk, so they’re encouraging more research to confirm their hypotheses.
Check out Organic Authority’s archive of Health, Organic Food and Organic Living articles for tips on staying fit.
Read More:Are You Apple- or Pear-Shaped?
December 10th, 2005 - Barbara Feiner
Gaiam’s Dance Hoop Workout kit
The hula hoop that baby boomers used in the 1950s to “shake their booties” has reemerged as an innovative new workout tool.
The Dance Hoop Workout kit from eco-conscious Gaiam includes an adjustable, weighted hula hoop designed specifically for adults, as well as a 40-minute, total-body workout DVD set with an energizing soundtrack. The hoop is more substantial than the one you may have enjoyed as a kid, which makes it easier to keep in motion, while challenging your muscles.
Incorporating hula-hooping, rhythmic dance and yoga moves to trim and tone your waistline, arms, glutes and thighs, the Dance Hoop Workout kit boosts your heart rate and increases strength and flexibility. Step-by-step instructions and low-impact moves make the kit an ideal option for individuals at all fitness levels.
Debi Pillarella, the American Council on Exercise Fitness’ 2004 Director of the Year, has predicted that hula hoop workouts will become increasingly popular. “It adds an element of play and fun to core stability work,” she noted in an article on WebMD.
According to Gaiam, there is evidence that children in ancient Rome used a ring made of grapevines as a primitive hula hoop. The ancient Greeks, creators of the Olympic Games, also used something resembling a hula hoop as a fitness tool.
Inventor Betty Hoops drew upon her background as a Reiki practitioner, yoga instructor and massage therapist to create the Dance Hoop Workout method, which she has taught since 1998.
“It’s a whole-body experience, very similar to yoga,” she says. “It puts people back into their bodies on a conscious level and makes them feel alive again. It can stimulate that mind-body connection.”
“We’re always looking for new ways to help people to get healthy and enjoy themselves,” adds Susan Haney, Gaiam’s vice president of retail marketing. “We developed the Dance Hoop Workout kit with Betty Hoops to give people another creative way to get in shape and maintain the mind-body connection Gaiam is known for promoting.”
The Dance Hoop Workout kit retails for $40, but it’s on sale now for $24.99.
Read More:Hula Hoopla