De-Junk Before Spring Cleaning

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – A refreshing swim can help lower blood pressure and cholesterol. These are vascular health bonuses for people who are at risk for stroke, the leading cause of disability and the fourth leading cause of death in the United States.
In 2010, 137,000 Americans died of stroke, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
“Swimming is a vascular health bonanza,” said David H. Stone, MD, and a member of the Society for Vascular Surgery. “Low-impact swimming provides a total cardiovascular workout. Regular exercise strengthens the heart muscle, resulting in less effort and a decrease in blood pressure.”
One in every three Americans over 20 years old — 74 million Americans — has high blood pressure according to 2010 statistics from the CDC. One in every six American adults has high cholesterol (more than 250 mg/d L). More American women than men have high cholesterol.
To reduce high cholesterol levels, exercise and diet are important factors. The American Council on Exercise suggests that adults burn 2000 calories a week from exercise.
The lack of regular physical activity results in 250,000 deaths annually, according to a 2003 report in the journal Circulation.
As long as the exercise regimen continues, the health benefits remain.
After 12 to 14 weeks of a three- to five-days-a-week exercise regimen of 20 to 60 minutes at an intensity of 60 to 90 percent heart rate, bad (LDL) cholesterol can decrease by up to 20 percent according to Livestrong.com. Another bonus: aerobic exercise can increase good (HDL) cholesterol.
In a 2010 University of Western Australia study, 100 women swimmers, ages 50 to 70, lowered their bad cholesterol and lost more inches in the waist and hips than walkers. Likewise, swimming is easy on the joints and doesn’t result in overheating.
There are non-invasive screening tests that can detect vascular disease. Medication can treat vascular disease. For free print and electronic vascular health information, visit VascularWeb.org.

Survive the Ups and Downs of Walking for Fitness

Let’s face it. Walking is a popular low-impact exercise. Now, new iPods are equipped with pedometers, half-marathons are packed with walkers and MapMyWalk.com and other apps can map and measure walking routes. But even with all of these new innovations, you’ll still want to pay attention to basics.

The national recommendation for regular physical activity to stay healthy is actually rather attainable. Adults are encouraged to get at least 30 minutes of physical activity five times a week or more. This means that walking the dog, hiking, biking or walking to the metro instead of hailing a cab all count as exercise.

Keep Gnats From Becoming A Pain in the Neck

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – It’s home run time. From spring training through the World Series in October, baseball fans are glued to their flat screens.
Vascular surgeon David H. Stone, M.D., encourages arm chair enthusiasts to get into the game. “Find your favorite summertime sports pastime, and give your vascular system a great workout.”
As a member of the Society for Vascular Surgery, Dr. Stone encourages physical activity that can pump up blood while lowering blood pressure. “More than diet, exercise helps keep your weight down and provides positive health benefits,” said Dr. Stone.
After a one-hour workout, the Mayo Clinic states that a 200-pound person will have burned the following calories:
* Baseball — 455
* Bicycling, 10 mph — 364
* Golfing, carrying clubs — 391
* Rope jumping — 1,074
* Swimming laps — 528
* Tennis, singles — 728

Instead of a Sports Fan, Become a Sports Participant

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – It’s home run time. From spring training through the World Series in October, baseball fans are glued to their flat screens.
Vascular surgeon David H. Stone, M.D., encourages arm chair enthusiasts to get into the game. “Find your favorite summertime sports pastime, and give your vascular system a great workout.”
As a member of the Society for Vascular Surgery, Dr. Stone encourages physical activity that can pump up blood while lowering blood pressure. “More than diet, exercise helps keep your weight down and provides positive health benefits,” said Dr. Stone.
After a one-hour workout, the Mayo Clinic states that a 200-pound person will have burned the following calories:
* Baseball — 455
* Bicycling, 10 mph — 364
* Golfing, carrying clubs — 391
* Rope jumping — 1,074
* Swimming laps — 528
* Tennis, singles — 728

Will Dairy Boost Your Weight-Loss Resolution?

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – If weight loss and dieting are on your New Year’s resolution agenda, an unlikely food group may be the help you need.
Consuming dairy products as part of your daily diet can help keep weight down, according to several studies. Findings in the Journal of Nutrition demonstrated that higher-protein, high-dairy diets shaved off belly fat and increased lean muscle.
“One hundred percent of the weight lost in the higher-protein, high-dairy group was fat. And the participants gained muscle mass, which is a major change in body composition,” says Andrea Josse, lead author of the study and a graduate student in the Department of Kinesiology at McMaster University.
In addition, a Harvard study, which suggests that the food quality is more important than its calorie count, found that eating specific high-quality foods was linked with less weight gain over time. Its data showed that the more daily servings people ate of fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains and yogurt, the less weight they gained. In fact, the research found that each extra daily serving of yogurt prevented 0.82 of a pound of weight gain.
The Nutrition and Metabolism journal reported a study in which participants who consumed three or more servings of dairy a day after weight loss were able to eat more calories without gaining weight than those who didn’t consume dairy.
Milk is nutritionally unique in that it is a great source of nine essential nutrients: calcium, potassium, phosphorus, protein, vitamins A, D and B12, riboflavin and niacin. It provides three of the five “nutrients of concern” that children do not get enough of: calcium, magnesium and potassium.
By combining a high intake of nutrient-rich dairy with regular physical activity, it won’t even feel like you’re trying to lose weight.
“However, as with any diet, you must be realistic. Results take time, so first commit to getting through January to establish a real routine,” says Alyssa Greenstein, a registered dietitian with the Dairy Council of Florida.
According to a National Health and Nutrition survey, 86 percent of women and 76 percent of men fail to meet the recommended dairy intake of three servings each day. That means the majority of Americans don’t have satisfactory levels of essential nutrients like potassium, zinc, calcium and folate. These levels plummet when dieters attempt to trim calories by purging dairy.
Learn more about the benefits of dairy at www.floridamilk.com.

It’s Not Too Late to Improve Your Health

With the start of the new year, we’ve all become a little older and wiser. So, why not put some of that wisdom into making healthier decisions over the next year? Healthy eating and regular physical activity will give you energy and help you lower your chances for developing diseases such as diabetes and heart disease.

The Weight-control Information Network (WIN), a service of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) of the National Institutes of Health, offers the following tips for older adults:

Healthy Eating