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1/17/2017 | | Share

One of the favorite elements of the US Corporate Wellness website is the contests! Did you know that not only can you set up contests for different teams (ie, departments) to compete against one another, which is the most popular option. In addition, you can also set up a group (ie, a competition among 5 of your co-workers where everyone is competing against each other vs. teams) or even as an individual! The individual option allows you to set up a competition between the old you (the last time you did the challenge), the new you (now) and the goal you (your target). Enjoy!

1/02/2017 | | Share

Many of you enjoy using the Nutrition Tracker within the web portal and there are some simple tips to make this process more enjoyable: Invest about 20 minutes pulling up your favorite food items and giving them 4 or more stars. There are about 450,000 items in the Nutrition Tracker, so when you pull up “banana” generically, you’ll get everything from banana bread to banana baby food to, well, actual bananas. Narrowing to your actual favorites will save you immense amounts of time later 🙂 Once that’s complete, those items will now show up in your “Favorites” Interestingly, if you look at the eating patterns of the majority of the population, we generally eat the same things over a 2 … MORE

3/10/2016 | | Share

It happened again. Earlier this week, a small group of us were discussing a variety of topics when someone said “I need to lose this 30 extra pounds, but I just don’t have time.” He wasn’t asking for advice, so I didn’t give it (information rarely if ever leads to application unless it’s REQUESTED information). However, maybe some of the folks reading this really are struggling with time and would like a little food for thought (vs. food for ingesting) in regards to “finding” the time to live healthier, more abundant lives. Here are a few ideas to get you started… According to the recent Bureau of Labor Statistics data on how the average working American with children spends a … MORE

3/04/2016 | | Share

US Corporate Wellness is honored to be celebrating our 10th year of service here in 2016.  We had no idea where this journey would lead when we launched it from our kitchen table back in early 2007. Like any business, we’ve experienced plenty of ups and downs along the way, but not a day goes by that we aren’t thankful to have the opportunity to be doing what we’re doing. Lessons learned? There have been plenty. Here are a few of the highlights… It’s all (ALL!) about relationships.  When we started US Corporate Wellness, we did so without venture capital backing or outside investors. The early days were literally built on the concept of bootstrapping. As a result, we put … MORE

12/27/2015 | | Share

Earlier this year, I had the unique opportunity to compete in the Race Across America as part of a 2-person team with my friend Jerry Schemmel. For those not familiar with this event, it’s a 3,000 mile bike race from Oceanside, CA to Annapolis, MD. It includes 170,000 vertical feet of climbing, and the full range of elements, from the desert heat (we hit at least 118 degrees on day 2) to driving rain and wind, seemingly endless hills and mind-numbing headwinds.  In one sense it’s the epitome of “survival of the fittest” but in another it’s simply “survival,” as even the fittest athletes, if they don’t ration their energy, can end up on the ever expanding list of DNFs … MORE

4/30/2014 | | Share

By: Igor As studies continue to suggest something that we’ve all known for a long time, reducing calories is the key to losing weight. But how do you choose which calories to cut? And how do you reduce your intake without feeling hungry? The answers to these questions can be found in a concept called Crowding Out. The basic idea of Crowding Out is to make sure that you never feel hungry. Unlike most nutrition plans where one is asked to remove things or take things out of your diet, leading to feelings of deprivation and eventually giving up, one does quite the opposite. You make sure that you eat regularly and frequently. Eating more nutritious and nutrient dense foods satisfies cravings and … MORE

2/08/2014 | | Share

Say Yes to These White Foods By Mary_RD on Apr 01, 2011 in Recipes Edited By +Rachel Berman By Mary Hartley, RD White food has gotten a bum rap because white sugar and white flour may be harmful in excess. But it’s unwise to discriminate against “white” when it’s the color of some mighty healthy foods. Milk, cottage cheese, cauliflower, garlic, onions, tofu, potatoes, white beans, and white whole wheat flour are all over-the-top nutritious. But unlike other foods that have nutrient properties based on color, foods that are white have nothing in common. Here are four classes of white food to include in your diet. Dairy Foods Healthier when skimmed of fat, dairy foods are naturally white and rich … MORE

11/11/2013 | | Share

Newswise — Experts say it’s never too late to reap the benefits of exercise, and a program offered in New York City senior centers is improving quality of life for many older adults. The exercise program, offered by Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) in senior centers in New York City’s Chinatown and Flushing, Queens communities, has helped decrease pain, improve mobility and enhance the overall health of many participants, according to a study by HSS. The research, titled “Impact of an Asian Community Bone Health Initiative: A Community-Based Exercise Program in New York City,” was presented at the American Public Health Association Annual Meeting on November 5 in Boston. The Asian older adult population in New York City grew by … MORE

10/04/2013 | | Share

A regular eating pattern may protect adolescents from obesity, according to a Finnish population-based study with more than 4,000 participants. When eating five meals – breakfast, lunch, dinner and two snacks – a day, even those with a genetic predisposition to obesity had no higher body mass index (BMI) than their controls. The collection of the data on the study population began prenatally, and the participants were followed up until the age of 16. The aim was to identify early-life risk factors associated with obesity, to investigate the association between meal frequencies, obesity and metabolic syndrome, and to examine whether meal frequency could modulate the effect of common genetic variants linked to obesity. The genetic data comprised eight single nucleotide … MORE

7/02/2013 | | Share

It’s time to make a big splash this summer — for your health. The United States Census Bureau reports that during 2009, there were 301 million swimming visits each year by Americans who were over the age of six. Swimming — ranked as the fourth most popular sports-based activity in the nation — can reduce the incidence of chronic illnesses with just two and a half hours a week, says the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Water aerobics is easy on the joints and can even increase muscle strength and endurance due to the water’s built-in resistance. This form of exercise is preferred by many as opposed to a more traditional form of fitness, like hitting the gym, … MORE

6/27/2013 | | Share

BY ANTHONY RIVAS | JUN 23, 2013 10:36 PM EDT It should come as no surprise that there are health-related consequences to being sleep deprived. But with American teens marked as the most sleep deprived in the world, it’s vital that we pay attention. A new study has found that those teens that are also the ones making eating unhealthy foods. Researchers at the Stony Brook University School of Medicine used the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health to examine a 1996 sample of 13,284 teenagers that were an average age of 16 at the time. They found that 18 percent of teens reported fewer than seven hours of sleep each night. These teens were also more likely to consume … MORE

6/13/2013 | | Share

(Reuters Health) – After being diagnosed with prostate cancer, men who eat a diet high in vegetable fats, such as those in nuts and olive oil, may be less likely to have their disease spread, a new study suggests. Researchers found that replacing some carbohydrates with those healthy fats was also tied to a lower risk of dying from any cause during the study. But the opposite was true for saturated and trans fats often found in meat and processed foods. “A lot of doctors will simply say, ‘Cut out fat,’” after a prostate cancer diagnosis, said Dr. Stephen Freedland, a urologist at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina. But this study challenges that advice, said Freedland, who … MORE

6/10/2013 | | Share

Washington, DC (June 3, 2013) – If your preschooler thinks a cheeseburger is healthy, you may want to reconsider how you watch TV. A recent study by researchers at the University of Michigan found commercial TV viewing, as opposed to commercial-free digitally recorded TV or other media without food advertising, in the home was related to greater junk food consumption. Kristen Harrison and Mericarmen Peralta, both of the University of Michigan, will present their findings at the 63rd Annual International Communication Association conference in London. Harrison and Peralta interviewed over 100 parents about a wide variety of home and family characteristics, including child and parent media exposure, and child dietary intake. They conducted separate interviews with children in preschools to … MORE

2/25/2013 | | Share

By Kerri-Ann Jennings, M.S., R.D. Resolved: I will lose weight, save money and be healthier in the new year. Sound familiar? If you made even just one of these resolutions this year, I have a tip for how to get started…use your slow cooker. Sound wacky? Find out how this one handy piece of kitchen equipment can help you meet your new year’s resolutions (and if your resolution is to revive 1970s cooking methods, even better!). If your resolution is to: Lose weight How the slow cooker can help: Cooking at home is a great first step in trying to get your diet under control. Since slow–cooked food relies on long, moisture-rich cooking, you can use less oil than if … MORE

2/19/2013 | | Share

By Brierley Wright, M.S., R.D. The much-dreaded cold and flu season is upon us. And if you’re like me, there isn’t any spare time built into the schedule to be sick. So how can I bolster my defenses against the germs lurking in the common areas in my office, the mall where I do my holiday shopping and the rest stops I encounter in my holiday travels? Related: Delicious Recipes to Help Boost Your Immune System Try It: Vitamin D In a study published recently in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, children who took daily vitamin D supplements (1,200 IU) were 40 percent less likely to get a common flu virus than kids who took a placebo. Laboratory studies … MORE

2/13/2013 | | Share

Potatoes and pasta may have been atop your do-not-eat list in the past, but now that the low-carb craze is over, you can breathe a sigh of relief. Your favorite starchy carbs actually may not be particularly bad for you or your diet. There is a caveat: watch what you eat with pasta and potatoes, as their healthfulness is predicated on what else in on your plate. Why They Get a Bad RapThe standard serving of cooked pasta or mashed potato is ½ cup which is equivalent to the size of a tennis ball or a computer mouse. The calorie count for one portion is a mere 110 and 57 calories respectively; hardly a calorie-laden, diet-breaking indulgence. So why do … MORE

2/09/2013 | | Share

By carolyn_r The thought of satisfying your sweet tooth and junk food cravings probably conjures up images of chocolate chip cookies, salty fries, and Cherry Garcia ice cream. These delectable treats wouldn’t be a daily doable if you’re aiming for a healthy calorie-controlled menu, but there are ways to satisfy cravings with foods that can be a part of your daily diet. These fixes will help you enjoy the healthiest “junk food” in your own kitchen. Pie Pushers If pies are your calorie nemesis, a few fruity swaps and sweet spices can save you hundreds of calories and offer the same texture and taste that you expect from a dessert. Bake apples with cinnamon and instant oatmeal for acrispy apple … MORE

2/05/2013 | | Share

Core training is becoming a more popular fitness trend in recent years because of its ability to strengthen muscles that move and stabilize the trunk including the abdominals and back muscles. It’s common for doctors and therapists to recommend core exercises for patients with low back problems, but now core training is becoming a priority for regular exercisers who want to relieve back pain, tone their core, and improve posture and sports performance. A weak core can lead to a number of muscular imbalances and injuries. Fortunately, a number of exercises thatstrengthen the core can correct these problems. You may think crunches and other floor exercises are the most effective abdominal exercise, but it’s now time to take a stand. … MORE

2/01/2013 | | Share

Gym memberships and activity climb sharply in January as thousands of people renew their commitment to exercise more regularly. However, recent research released January 28, 2013 by Oregon State University suggests that even short periods of activity equaling 30 minutes daily provides health benefits similar to longer workouts at the gym. It is well-known that regular physical activityenhances overall health and decreases the risk of a range of health conditions, includingdiabetes, heart disease and cancer. Currently, the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans established by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends adults get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity, or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity physical activity weekly to achieve the greatest health benefits. Lead author of the study, … MORE

1/28/2013 | | Share

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – You can train your body, your mind … and your willpower? That’s according to a new study by researchers at The Miriam Hospital’s Weight Control and Diabetes Research Center, who say that with a little practice, it may be possible to strengthen and improve your self-control – and lose more weight The Miriam research team found that individuals with more willpower – or self-control – lost more weight, were more physically active, consumed fewer calories from fat and had better attendance at weight loss group meetings. The same was true for participants who experienced an increase in self-control during a six-month behavioral weight loss treatment program. Results of the study are published online by the journalObesity Research … MORE

1/17/2013 | | Share

Eating three or more servings of blueberries and strawberries per week may help women reduce their risk of a heart attack by one-third – according to research from the University of East Anglia in collaboration with the Harvard School of Public Health. These berries contain high levels of powerful bioactive compounds called anthocyanins, which are a sub-group of dietary flavonoids. Research published today in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Associationshows that these anthocyanins may help dilate arteries, counter the build-up of plaque and provide other cardiovascular benefits. Scientists from UEA’s Norwich Medical School and Harvard School of Public Health (US) studied 93,600 women aged between 25 and 42 who were registered with the Nurses’ Health Study II. The women … MORE

1/15/2013 | | Share

Current standards for classifying foods as “whole grain” are inconsistent and, in some instances, misleading, according to a new study released by the Harvard School of Public Health. Researchers found that grain products with the Whole Grain Stamp, a widely-used front-of-package symbol, were higher in fiber and lower in trans fats, but also contained significantly more sugar and calories compared to products without the Stamp. Along with the Stamp, researchers assessed four other industry and government guidelines for whole grain products — any whole grain as the first listed ingredient; any whole grain as the first ingredient without added sugars in the first three ingredients; the word “whole” before any grain anywhere in the ingredient list; and the “10:1 ratio.” … MORE

1/08/2013 | | Share

“Losing weight is one of the top resolutions made every year, yet only 20 percent of people achieve successful weight-loss and maintenance,” says Jessica Bartfield,MD, internal medicine who specializes in nutrition and weight management. Despite that fact that two-thirds of Americans say they are on a diet to improve their health, very few are actually decreasing in size. “Dieting is a skill, much like riding a bicycle, and requires practice and good instruction, ” says Dr. Bartfield. “You’re going to fall over and feel frustrated, but eventually you will succeed and it will get easier.” Top Four Reasons Why Dieters Don’t Lose Weight According to Dr. Bartfield, here are the top four reasons why many dieters fail to lose weight. … MORE

10/16/2012 | | Share

Written by Kelly Fitzgerald Researchers show that exercisers can burn as many as 200 calories in only 2.5 minutes by incorporating sprint interval training, dramatically cutting the time needed for a work-out.In this new study conducted by a team from the University of Colorado Anschultz Medical Campus and Colorado State University, researchers compared volunteers’ energy disbursement on two separate days, one on which they completed a sprint interval workout on a stationary bicycle. Conclusions showed a slight increase in the amount of calories that were burned on workout day, regardless of the short amount of time spent doing authentic strenuous exercise.A large chunk of time spent in an effort to work out, is an annoying turn-off for many people that … MORE

10/09/2012 | | Share

By Catherine New Health advocates have one tip for Americans trying to eat less fat, sodium and sugar in their diets: Shop the perimeter. In other words, buy food from the produce, dairy and meat aisles and avoid the inner lanes where processed foods and sugary snacks hang out. But it turns out this advice is either badly needed or being badly ignored, as the greatest portion of what we spend on groceries is coming straight from the center aisles. A series of charts published as part of Planet Money’s Graphing America series on National Public Radio’s website shows the real reason Americans are getting fatter: Nearly 23 percent of grocery bills is being spent on processed foods and sweets. … MORE

10/08/2012 | | Share

A fascinating study from back in 1998 (New England Journal of Medicine – April 9, 1998) was brought to our attention yesterday at a conference. In this article, over 1,700 people with an average age of 43 were regularly surveyed over a period of 30+ years. The results were fascinating. Those who lived a healthier lifestyle were not only healthier as they aged, but they delayed dependency by a full 5 years compared with those in the higher risk lifestyle category (meaning they were functioning independently 5 additional years of their life).

10/02/2012 | | Share

BY NIKKI TUCKER Food labeling is required for most prepared foods such as bread, cereals, canned food, frozen food, snacks, desserts, drinks etc. Labeling for raw produce is voluntary, according to the Food and Drug Administration. However, even with food labeling many people are misinformed by what’s healthy or not. There are labels such as “no high-fructose syrup” or “organic” that allow you to assume the product is good for you, but in reality it may not be. A study conducted by researchers from the University of South Carolina, Columbia, found that those who are watching their weight are more likely to be deceived by food labeling. The most common labels that may deceive the average consumer are: gluten-free, trans … MORE

10/02/2012 | | Share

The Pareto Principle was inspired by the Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto. Pareto was one of the first to analyze economics using statistics. In the late 1800s, he observed that 80 percent of the land in Italy was owned by 20 percent of the population. Later, while gardening, he noted that 20 percent of the peapods in his garden yielded 80 percent of the peas. This led to the 80/20 rule: 80 percent of effects come from 20 percent of the causes. The idea that certain activities tend to give more return on investment applies to almost all aspects of life. In business, it has been said that 20 percent of customers account for 80 percent of sales. In life, that … MORE

10/02/2012 | | Share

Do you really need 8 glasses of water every day? Should you filter your tap water? Get answers to these questions and more, including if vitamin-spiked water is worth it. Do I Need 8 Glasses of Water a Day? The Institute of Medicine says adult men need about 13 cups (3 liters) per day of fluid; adult women need about 9 cups (2.2 liters) of fluid. (You get about an additional 21/2 cups of fluid from foods.) “But one size doesn’t fit all,” says Leslie Bonci, R.D., C.S.S.D., director of sports nutrition at the Center for Sports Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and dietitian for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Your size and activity level affect your fluid requirements. … MORE

9/27/2012 | | Share

White. Pink. Blue. Yellow. On restaurant tables everywhere, the colors of the sweetener packets instantly identify the contents. Sugar. Saccharin. Aspartame. Sucralose. Reaching for one to pour into a cup of coffee or tea can sometimes feel like sweetener roulette, with the swirl of confusing, conflicting assertions about which are safe and which are not. Alissa Kaplan Michaels, for one, never picks pink. She still associates saccharin with cancer. The Food and Drug Administration sought to ban it in the 1970s, because rats that gorged on the chemical developed bladder cancer. But Congress imposed a moratorium to delay the ban, and the pink packets of Sweet’N Low remained on restaurant tables. The F.D.A. withdrew its ban proposal in 1991, and … MORE

9/26/2012 | | Share

Denise Hrncir (pronounced Hern-sir) of Farmington, Minn., loves to exercise. She’d do it every day if she had the time. Getting physical: Denise Hrncir of Farmington, Minn., who often doesn’t have time to exercise during the week, walks her dog as part of her weekend routine. But the 52-year-old human-resources administrator often works nine to 10 hours a day, stops for groceries on her way home, fixes dinner and then tries to go to bed at a decent hour so she can get up at 5 a.m. to make it on time to her job at an electric company. So on the weekends, she crams in as much physical activity as she can. “I push-mow two big yards (about an … MORE

9/25/2012 | | Share

“Every four years, the summer Olympics get people excited to exercise,” says Glenn Gaesser, a professor and director of the Healthy Lifestyles Research Center at Arizona State University, who oversaw a new study about exercise and high blood pressure that was inspired in part by the coming games in London. Gretchen Reynolds on the science of fitness. The streets and gyms fill with people who, fueled by stories of Olympic success, “run or work out for an hour or more,” Dr. Gaesser says. But “within a few weeks, most people have quit” and resumed their sedentary lives. “We wanted to see if there were approaches to exercise that would fit more easily into people’s lifestyles, but still be effective” in … MORE

9/19/2012 | | Share

I don’t know any Joneses, and if I did I wouldn’t waste my time trying to keep up with them. Not on pointless things like the price of my car, color of my lawn or size of my TV, at least. I do like to compete on the size of my belly though, in that mine is way smaller than those of my neighbors. Not many people prioritize fitness the way I do though. For many it seems like the years between high school and the half-century mark are peppered with work + more work + very little else. And then the 50s hit, and you’re inactive, overweight, eating garbage and anticipating the death spiral. But it doesn’t have to … MORE

9/18/2012 | | Share

Simply moving more and sitting less can boost your health because of the calorie burning called NEAT, or non-exercise activity thermogenesis. “It takes energy — calories — to move even the smallest muscle,” says Polly de Mille, R.N., an exercise physiologist with the Women’s Sports Medicine Center at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City. “For example, you burn about 1.5 calories per minute just lying still while your body performs its most basic functions.” Go from lying down to sitting in a chair and answering e-mail, and you’ll burn 25 percent more calories. Now start fidgeting in your chair and you’ll burn more. And all those little movements can add up: The amount of everyday activity you … MORE

9/17/2012 | | Share

Researchers from the Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research analysed data on the diet, exercise and personality type of more than 7000 people. The study found those who believe their life can be changed by their own actions ate healthier food, exercised more, smoked less and avoided binge drinking. Professor Deborah Cobb-Clark, Director of the Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, said those who have a greater faith in ‘luck’ or ‘fate’ are more likely to live an unhealthy life. “Our research shows a direct link between the type of personality a person has and a healthy lifestyle,” she said. Professor Cobb-Clark hoped the study would help inform public health policies on conditions such as obesity. … MORE

9/14/2012 | | Share

Before cable machines and Bose balls, even before kettle bells and dumbbells, people trained using their own bodyweight. Although this type of training developed out of necessity it has stood the test of time. Bodyweight training goes back thousands of years and was the chosen training method for the Greeks, Romans and Navy SEALS, and has been a consistent component of nearly every military organization from past to present. Outside of being used in the training of the world’s greatest warriors, bodyweight exercises continue to be used in the athletic training world and is a key component of many of the best fat loss and muscle gain workouts available. Bodyweight training is any exercise that involves using the body as … MORE

9/11/2012 | | Share

What foods can you count on to go the extra mile, and which foods fall short? See what recent studies reveal before your next workout. 1. A Spoonful of HoneyRecent research suggests that carb blends (foods containing fructose and glucose) may be superior to straight glucose for boosting energy during endurance activities. But before you reach for a sports drink, consider honey: like sugar, it naturally has equal parts fructose and glucose, but it also contains a handful of antioxidants and vitamins. Upshot: While not exactly a “super food,” honey has plenty going for it besides being sweet. The darker the honey, the more disease-fighting compounds it contains. 2.CaffeineStudies that demonstrate performance-enhancing benefits of caffeine often imply that drinking coffee … MORE

9/10/2012 | | Share

Age may be nothing more than a number, but when it comes to nutrition status, certain vitamins and minerals may be of concern. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently released the Second Nutrition Report which shows that Americans generally have good levels of some essentials vitamins and minerals. However, they also found that certain age groups may need to fine tune their nutrient intake to maximize their health. Iron and Children The CDC reports children have the lowest levels of iron across all age groups. Iron is the vital mineral that helps carry oxygen throughout the body. Kids between ages 4-8 need 10 mg a day, while their requirement goes down to 8 mg from 9 to … MORE

9/07/2012 | | Share

Extremely popular teen activities are playing video games and TV watching. Sedentary activities such as these are not conducive to a healthy lifestyle. Now, another consequence of sedentary activities has been reported: they are associated with poor dietary choices. European researchers reported their findings online on September 3 in the journal Archives of Pediatric & Adolescent Medicine. The aim of the study was to examine the association between time spent on different sedentary behaviors and consumption of certain food and beverage groups in a sample of European adolescents. The researchers evaluated data on 2,202 adolescents between the ages of 12.5 and 17.5 years (45.5% boys) from the European Union-funded Healthy Lifestyle in Europe by Nutrition in Adolescence Cross-sectional Study. Information … MORE

9/05/2012 | | Share

If you are like the many Americans who deal with the issue of not having enough hours in the day, read on! Below I have created five simple exercises that you can do anywhere, anytime, and each one takes as little as 60 seconds. Sound too good to be true? Well, it isn’t. These five exercises can serve as a starting point for any beginner or can replace your routine on days you just can’t squeeze in a full workout. Five facts about these exercises:• They can be performed anywhere and anytime• All of them focus on creating symmetry, balance, and core strength• Doing them creates consistency, which causes positive change in your physical and mental well being• You don’t … MORE

9/04/2012 | | Share

Aug. 30, 2012 — Following a healthy lifestyle can lead to a longer life, even among people who are already well into their 70s, new research shows. Getting regular exercise, staying engaged with friends and family, and abstaining from smoking were all associated with longer life in a study that followed people in their mid-70s and older for close to two decades. These healthy traits apparently added, on average, five years to women’s lives and six years to men’s. The study is among the first to identify specific lifestyle behaviors associated with longer life, even among people with chronic health problems and those over the age of 80, researchers say. “Our results suggest that encouraging favorable lifestyle behaviors even at … MORE

8/31/2012 | | Share

1. Will getting 1 hour less of sleep per night affect daytime functioning? Yes, it will compromise a person’s thinking and responding abilities, in addition to impacting cardiovascular health, energy balance and immune function. 2. Does the body adapt easily to different sleep schedules—for example, during travel across several time zones? No, it can take more than a week to adjust when traveling across several time zones. However, most people can easily reset their sleep pattern when experiencing a 1- to 2-hour time zone difference. 3. How long does it take to adjust when switching to a night-shift job? About 1 week. 4. What is the cause of excessive daytime sleepiness? In addition to self-imposed sleep deprivation, insomnia is a … MORE

8/30/2012 | | Share

Research: A lack of proper sleep can put you at risk for a number of negative consequences. Issues such as the poor economy and smaller work forces are leading more people to work longer hours. Many exercise professionals train clients who work in the fields of health, technology, security, medicine, computer programming, food services and transportation, which often require working evenings and/or night shifts. These professions, and many others, may disturb sleep patterns, compromising cognitive performance and leading to serious health consequences. It has been shown that night-shift workers have poorer sleep, reduced performance and alertness, and higher accident rates compared with those who work during the day (Rajaratnam & Arendt 2001). This article will describe the types and stages … MORE

8/29/2012 | | Share

Normal weight individuals who carry weight concentrated in their belly have a higher death risk than obese individuals, according to research presented at ESC Congress 2012. The results were presented by Dr Karine Sahakyan from the Mayo Clinic. “We knew from previous research that central obesity is bad, but what is new in this research is that the distribution of the fat is very important even in people with a normal weight,” said Dr Francisco Lopez-Jimenez, senior author on the study and a cardiologist at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. “This group has the highest death rate, even higher than those who are considered obese based on BMI. From a public health perspective, this is a significant finding.” The … MORE

8/28/2012 | | Share

More than 40 plant-based compounds can turn on genes that slow the spread of cancer, according to a first-of-its-kind study by a Washington State University researcher. Gary Meadows, WSU professor and associate dean for graduate education and scholarship in the College of Pharmacy, says he is encouraged by his findings because the spread of cancer is most often what makes the disease fatal. Moreover, says Meadows, diet, nutrients and plant-based chemicals appear to be opening many avenues of attack. “We’re always looking for a magic bullet,” he says. “Well, there are lots of magic bullets out there in what we eat and associated with our lifestyle. We just need to take advantage of those. And they can work together.” Meadows … MORE

8/22/2012 | | Share

In a stride toward better health in later life, scientists reported today that resveratrol, the so-called “miracle molecule” found in red wine, might help improve mobility and prevent life-threatening falls among older people. The finding, believed to be the first of its kind, was presented today to some 14,000 scientists and others gathered at the 244thNational Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society, the world’s largest scientific societ The researchers say this report — based on studies of laboratory mice — could lead to the development of natural products designed to help older Americans live safer and more productive lives. “Our study suggests that a natural compound like resveratrol, which can be obtained either through dietary supplementation or diet … MORE

8/17/2012 | | Share

Children who spend more than three-quarters of their time engaging in sedentary behaviour, such as watching TV and sitting at computers, have up to nine times poorer motor coordination than their more active peers, reveals a study published in theAmerican Journal of Human Biology. The study, involving Portuguese children, found that physical activity alone was not enough to overcome the negative effect of sedentary behaviour on basic motor coordination skills such as walking, throwing or catching, which are considered the building blocks of more complex movements. “Childhood is a critical time for the development of motor coordination skills which are essential for health and well-being,” said lead author Dr Luis Lopes, from the University of Minho. “We know that sedentary … MORE

8/16/2012 | | Share

A sedentary lifestyle is a common cause of obesity, and excessive body weight and fat in turn are considered catalysts for diabetes, high blood pressure, joint damage and other serious health problems. But what if lack of exercise itself were treated as a medical condition? Mayo Clinic physiologist Michael Joyner, M.D., argues that it should be. His commentary is published this month in The Journal of Physiology. Physical inactivity affects the health not only of many obese patients, but also people of normal weight, such as workers with desk jobs, patients immobilized for long periods after injuries or surgery, and women on extended bed rest during pregnancies, among others, Dr. Joyner says. Prolonged lack of exercise can cause the body … MORE

8/12/2012 | | Share

Active video games, also known as “exergames,” are not the perfect solution to the nation’s sedentary ways, but they can play a role in getting some people to be more active. Michigan State University’s Wei Peng reviewed published research of studies of these games and says that most of the AVGs provide only “light-to-moderate” intensity physical activity. And that, she says, is not nearly as good as what she calls “real-life exercise.” “For those not engaging in real-life exercise, this may be a good step toward this,” said Peng, an assistant professor of telecommunication, information studies and media. “Eventually the goal is to help them get somewhat active and maybe move to real-life exercise.” Of the 41 AVG studies the … MORE

8/09/2012 | | Share

Reminiscing is fun when it comes to food from your childhood, but now that you’re older and wiser, your snacks may need an upgrade. Here’s a list of memorable snacks with a twist that are healthier than snacks from your childhood and easier for you to appreciate now. Unsalted and Unsweetened Trail Mix Try trail mix, with unsalted and unsweetened dried fruit, nuts and seeds, is a wildly healthy snack but it is loaded with calories and so a little goes a long way. Look for trail mixes that contain organic ingredients. Chocolate candy in your trail mix is anything but healthy. Almond Butter and Banana Sandwiches It may have a cool song to go with it, but the peanut … MORE

8/08/2012 | | Share

With all the focus on calorie counts, BMI’s, weight, and exercise, getting the important building blocks to our body’s functions, vitamins and minerals, can take a back seat in our daily food planning. Essential vitamins are not produced by the body and must be included in meals to keep you alive. While supplements of some nutrients are all the rage, according to the 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, “Nutrient needs should be met primarily through consuming foods.” Here’s how to get your daily recommended levels of Vitamins A, B6, B12, C, D, and E according to United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Dietary Reference Intake recommendations* through familiar foods. Vitamin A – 700 mcgVitamin A is required for the proper … MORE

8/06/2012 | | Share

Runners over the age of 60 are the fastest-growing group in the sport. A new study from the University of New Hampshire suggests that their running can remain fast as they age, too. The study, published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, found that the running economy – how efficiently the body uses oxygen at a certain pace – of older runners was no different than that of younger runners. “That really jumped off the page. It was surprising, but in a good way,” says lead author Timothy Quinn, who is an associate professor of exercise science at UNH. Yet in general older runners are slower than younger ones, which is why races segment competitors by age. Moderating … MORE

8/03/2012 | | Share

Despite the increasing awareness of the problem of obesity in the United States, most Americans don’t know whether they are gaining or losing weight, according to new research from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington. Obesity increased in the US between 2008 and 2009, but in response to the questions about year-to-year changes in weight that were included in the most widespread public health survey in the country, on average, people said that they lost weight. Men did a worse job estimating their own weight changes than women. And older adults were less attuned to their weight changes than young adults. The findings are being published in the article “In denial: misperceptions of weight … MORE

8/01/2012 | | Share

Just grin and bear it! At some point, we have all probably heard or thought something like this when facing a tough situation. But is there any truth to this piece of advice? Feeling good usually makes us smile, but does it work the other way around? Can smiling actually make us feel better? In a study forthcoming in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, psychological scientists Tara Kraft and Sarah Pressman of the University of Kansas investigate the potential benefits of smiling by looking at how different types of smiling, and the awareness of smiling, affects individuals’ ability to recover from episodes of stress. “Age old adages, such as ‘grin and bear it’ have suggested … MORE

8/01/2012 | | Share

As a man’s waistline grows, so can his experience with sexual dysfunction and frequent urination, say researchers at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center. The study, published in the August issue of the British Journal of Urology International (BJUI), is the first to comprehensively show that obesity in men affects not just their hearts and metabolism, but also their sexual and urinary health. “The findings demonstrate that obesity in men — part of a growing global epidemic — affects their well-being in profound ways,” says the study’s senior investigator Dr. Steven A. Kaplan, the E. Darracott Vaughan Jr., Professor of Urology at Weill Cornell Medical College, director of the Iris Cantor Men’s Health Center and chief of the Institute for Bladder … MORE

7/30/2012 | | Share

Six months ago, researchers at UCLA published a study that showed using a specific type of yoga to engage in a brief, simple daily meditation reduced the stress levels of people who care for those stricken by Alzheimer’s and dementia. Now they know why. Caregivers are the unsung heroes for their yeoman’s work in taking care of loved ones that have been stricken with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia, said Lavretsky, who also directs UCLA’s Late-Life Depression, Stress and Wellness Research Program. But caring for a frail or demented family member can be a significant life stressor. Older adult caregivers report higher levels of stress and depression and lower levels of satisfaction, vigor and life in general. Moreover, caregivers … MORE

7/28/2012 | | Share

A new study concludes that among older adults – especially those who are frail – low levels of vitamin D can mean a much greater risk of death. The randomized, nationally representative study found that older adults with low vitamin D levels had a 30 percent greater risk of death than people who had higher levels. Overall, people who were frail had more than double the risk of death than those who were not frail. Frail adults with low levels of vitamin D tripled their risk of death over people who were not frail and who had higher levels of vitamin D. “What this really means is that it is important to assess vitamin D levels in older adults, and … MORE

7/25/2012 | | Share

There are various calculators that will analyze how much you need to save for retirement, and they’re certainly worth reviewing. If looking for a ballpark figure, you’ll want to target twenty times your annual salary in savings in order to retire to a similar lifestyle over time. Here’s a link to an article that provides some additional tips around effectively saving for retirement:

7/25/2012 | | Share

Increasing dietary intake of the antioxidant vitamins C, E, and selenium could help cut the risk of developing pancreatic cancer by up to two thirds, suggests research published online in the journal Gut. If the association turns out to be causal, one in 12 of these cancers might be prevented, suggest the researchers, who are leading the Norfolk arm of the European Prospective Investigation of Cancer (EPIC) study. Cancer of the pancreas kills more than a quarter of a million people every year around the world. And 7500 people are diagnosed with the disease every year in the UK, where it is the six commonest cause of cancer death. The disease has the worst prognosis of any cancer, with just … MORE

7/24/2012 | | Share

Lifestyle patterns associated with diet, physical activity, body mass index and amount of recent weight loss in a sample of successful weight loser Research suggests that the interaction between biological susceptibility and environmental risk is complex and that further study of behavioral typologies related to obesity and associated behaviors is important to further elucidate the nature of obesity risk and how to approach it for intervention. The current investigation aims to identify phenotypical lifestyle patterns that might begin to unify our understanding of obesity and obesity related behaviors. Individuals who had recently lost substantial weight of their own initiative completed measures of intentional weight control behaviors and lifestyle behaviors associated with eating. These behaviors were factor analyzed and the resulting … MORE

7/23/2012 | | Share

U.S. Army researchers made a surprising discovery while examining the impact of an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tear (a common knee injury), on four serum biomarkers associated with cartilage health. The researchers found that pre-injury concentrations for all but one of the four serum biomarkers studied were associated with the subsequent likelihood of ACL injury. The findings were presented Saturday at the annual meeting of the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine (AOSSM). “We expected to see post-injury differences in biomarkers, but were astonished that the biomarkers showed measurable differences months or years prior to injury,” said U.S. Army Lt. Col. Steven Svoboda, M.D., during his presentation, titled The Association between Serum Biomarkers of Cartilage Turnover and Subsequent Anterior Cruciate … MORE

7/21/2012 | | Share

The recent Supreme Court decision on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act has cleared the way for national requirements about posting nutritional information at chain restaurants. Listing calories, fat content, and sodium levels of menu items at the point of purchase has been promoted as a way to address the obesity epidemic. Increased awareness may lead to healthier consumer choices, and may encourage restaurants to adapt their menus to meet demand. A new study has evaluated the real-life impact of menu labeling in King County, Washington, after new regulations were implemented, and has found some improvement, although most entrées continue to exceed recommended nutritional guidelines. The study is available online in advance of publication in the August issue of … MORE

7/20/2012 | | Share

A detailed study of heart muscle function in mice has uncovered evidence to explain why exercise is beneficial for heart function in type 2 diabetes. The research team, led by scientists at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, found that greater amounts of fatty acids used by the heart during stressful conditions like exercise can counteract the detrimental effects of excess glucose and improve the diabetic heart’s pumping ability in several ways. The findings also shed light on the complex chain of events that lead to diabetic cardiomyopathy, a form of heart failure that is a life-threatening complication of type 2 diabetes. The study, described in an article published online on July 17, 2012 in the journal Diabetes, was … MORE

7/04/2012 | | Share

Men are sometimes criticized for being unwilling to ask for directions when they travel, but they can benefit from looking for help as they begin their journeys as fathers, according to a researcher on fatherhood at the University of Chicago. Along the way, they should not shy from asserting their roles, said Jennifer Bellamy, an Assistant Professor at the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration. “Sometimes dads feel like they don’t get the same level of support that moms do when they become parents, but I think dads should seek opportunities from the beginning to be involved with their children,” said Bellamy, who worked on a research project in Texas on fatherhood and has published on the subject. … MORE

7/03/2012 | | Share

As each day passes, the pace of life seems to accelerate – demands on productivity continue ever upward and there is hardly ever a moment when we aren’t, in some way, in touch with our family, friends, or coworkers. While moments for reflection may be hard to come by, a new article suggests that the long-lost art of introspection —even daydreaming — may be an increasingly valuable part of life. In the article, published in the July issue of Perspectives on Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, psychological scientist Mary Helen Immordino-Yang and colleagues survey the existing scientific literature from neuroscience and psychological science, exploring what it means when our brains are ‘at rest.’ In recent … MORE

7/02/2012 | | Share

Under-performance of small bowel biopsy during endoscopy may be a major reason that celiac disease remains underdiagnosed in the United States, according to a new study published online recently in Gastrointestinal Endoscopy. Investigators at the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) found that the rate of small bowel biopsy is low in this country. “The vast majority of people with celiac disease in the United States remain undiagnosed,” said lead author Benjamin Lebwohl, MD, MS, assistant professor of clinical medicine in the Division of Digestive and Liver Diseases, and a gastroenterologist and epidemiologist at the Celiac Disease Center, CUMC. “This stands in contrast to countries in Western Europe and Scandinavia, where patients with celiac disease are much … MORE

6/28/2012 | | Share

The sayings “variety is the spice of life” and “happiness isn’t getting what you want, but wanting what you get” seem to have a psychological basis, according to a new study by an MU psychologist who identified two keys to becoming happier and staying that way. “Although the Declaration of Independence upholds the right to pursue happiness, that search can be a never-ending quest,” said Kennon Sheldon, professor of psychological sciences in the College of Arts and Sciences. “Previous research shows that an individual’s happiness can increase after major life changes, such as starting a new romantic relationship, but over time happiness tends to return to a previous level. Through our research, we developed a model to help people maintain … MORE

6/26/2012 | | Share

Nitrate, which is found naturally in spinach and other vegetables, has a powerful effect on muscle strength. Scientists at Karolinska Institutet have now uncovered how this happens by identifying two relevant proteins, the production of which is stimulated by the intake of nitrate. The study found that mice supplied with nitrate in their drinking water developed significantly stronger muscles – and this at doses obtainable from a normal diet. The researchers divided the mice into two groups, one which was given nitrate in their drinking water for seven days and a control. While spinach and beetroot are two of the main sources of nitrate, it also occurs naturally in many other leafy vegetables, such as lettuce and chard. The quantity … MORE

6/25/2012 | | Share

Scientists from the University of South Florida and Fudan University in Shanghai found increases in brain volume and improvements on tests of memory and thinking in Chinese seniors who practiced Tai Chi three times a week, reports an article published today in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease. Findings were based on an 8-month randomized controlled trial comparing those who practiced Tai Chi to a group who received no intervention. The same trial showed increases in brain volume and more limited cognitive improvements in a group that participated in lively discussions three times per week over the same time period. Previous trials have shown increases in brain volume in people who participated in aerobic exercise, and in one of these trials, … MORE

6/22/2012 | | Share

New research shows that omega-3 fatty acid supplements can lower inflammation in healthy, but overweight, middle-aged and older adults, suggesting that regular use of these supplements could help protect against and treat certain illnesses. Four months of omega-3 supplementation decreased one protein in the blood that signals the presence of inflammation by an average of more than 10 percent, and led to a modest decrease in one other inflammation marker. In comparison, participants taking placebos as a group saw average increases of 36 percent and 12 percent, respectively, of those same markers. Chronic inflammation is linked to numerous conditions, including coronary heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, arthritis and Alzheimer’s disease, as well as the frailty and functional decline that can … MORE

6/20/2012 | | Share

The world population is over seven billion and all of these people need feeding. However, the energy requirement of a species depends not only on numbers but on its average mass. New research published in BioMed Central’s open access journal BMC Public Health has estimated the total mass of the human population, defined its distribution by region, and the proportion of this biomass due to the overweight and obesity. Up to half of all food eaten is burned up in physical activity. Increasing mass means higher energy requirements, because it takes more energy to move a heavy body. Even at rest a bigger body burns more energy. Using data from the United Nations and World Health Organization, researchers from the … MORE

6/18/2012 | | Share

Character strengths can be defined as traits that are rated as morally positive. That they are positively linked to life satisfaction has already been shown in many studies. That they have a causal effect on life satisfaction and that practicing them triggers an increase in the sense of wellbeing, however, has now been proved by Willibald Ruch, René T. Proyer and Claudia Buschor from the Department of Personality and Assessment at the University of Zurich for the first time. Practice pays off For their current study, the team of researchers randomly divided a sample of 178 adults into three groups: While one group trained the strengths “curiosity”, “gratitude”, “optimism”, “humor” and “enthusiasm” for a period of ten weeks, the second … MORE

6/15/2012 | | Share

Here’s a good interval workout to develop overall leg speed and intrinsic strength. It also is perfect about 3-6 days out from your target event as a final tune-up… 10 minute warm-up 6 x 90 seconds at mile pace and a full 2 1/2 minute jog between each for recovery (allowing higher intensity on intervals) 8 x 120 yard field sprints (ie – running goal post to goal post on field in middle of track) and a 120 yard jog in between. 6 x 45 seconds at 800 pace and a 1:15 recovery jog in between 10 minute warm-down

6/13/2012 | | Share

Newswise — Getting a good night’s rest continues to be of utmost importance to your health. New data from researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham shows not getting enough sleep can increase the risk for stroke symptoms in people with a healthy body mass index who are at low risk for obstructive sleep apnea and have no history of stroke. The study, being presented June 11, 2012 at the SLEEP 2012 conference in Boston, looked at self-reported sleep data from 5,666 people ages 45 and older who were followed up to a three-year period. In people with a low risk for obstructive sleep apnea and a BMI of 18.5 to 24.99, which is considered optimal, there was a … MORE

6/13/2012 | | Share

A 25 year study in Northern Sweden, published in BioMed Central’s open access journalNutrition Journal, is the first to show that a regional and national dietary intervention to reduce fat intake, decreased cholesterol levels, but a switch to the popular low carbohydrate diet was paralleled by in an increase in cholesterol levels. Over the entire 25 year period the population BMI continued to increase, regardless of either diet, and both the increase in body mass and increased cholesterol levels are indicators of increased cardiovascular risk. In the 1970′s it was noticed that the incidence of cardiovascular disease was higher in northern Sweden than anywhere else in the country and that for men it was amongst the highest in the world. … MORE

6/11/2012 | | Share

A new study suggests that eating foods that contain omega-3 fatty acids, such as fish, chicken, salad dressing and nuts, may be associated with lower blood levels of a protein related to Alzheimer’s disease and memory problems. The research is published in the May 2, 2012, online issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology. “While it’s not easy to measure the level of beta-amyloid deposits in the brain in this type of study, it is relatively easy to measure the levels of beta-amyloid in the blood, which, to a certain degree, relates to the level in the brain,” said study author Nikolaos Scarmeas, MD, MS, with Columbia University Medical Center in New York and a … MORE

6/08/2012 | | Share

Most people go through life setting goals for themselves. But what happens when a life-altering experience makes those goals become unachievable or even unhealthy? A new collaborative study published inPsycho-Oncology by Carsten Wrosch of Concordia University’s Department of Psychology and Centre for Research in Human Development and Catherine Sabiston of McGill’s Department of Kinesiology and Physical Education and the Health Behaviour and Emotion Lab found that breast cancer survivors who were able to let go of old goals and set new ones showed an improved well-being overall. Once the self-imposed pressure of now unrealistic goals was removed, individuals’ quality of life improved, as did their level of physical activity. Wrosch and Sabiston were interested in looking at how to encourage … MORE

6/06/2012 | | Share

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa–(BUSINESS WIRE)–A new survey by Aviva USA, in collaboration with Mayo Clinic, finds the primary factor contributing to stress for men is their financial situation. The survey also reveals a strong correlation between high levels of stress and dramatic weight gain among U.S. males. “Studies have found that, on average, men tend to push off doctor visits longer than women, often avoiding going to the doctor until a major health problem arises” Two out of three men report they are stressed, with financial situation being the top contributing factor for a third of the men surveyed. Family/relationships are a distant second-leading factor. In addition to the linkage between stress and finances, 45 percent of men also reported … MORE

6/03/2012 | | Share

Most Greek-style yogurt are high in protein and therefore filling.(Heather Ainsworth, The New York Times) A low-calorie snack can backfire if it doesn’t fill you up, nutritionists say. “It’s more important to choose something that will satisfy longer than to go for a snack simply because it may be lower in calories, which could leave a person looking for another snack an hour later,” says Crystal Witte, a registered dietitian with the Riverside Wellness & Fitness Center in Newport News, Va. Some tips: Be wary of 100-calorie snack packs.They’re good for controlling portion size but tend to be high in refined carbohydrates and low in fiber. So even those that aren’t inherently “unhealthy” won’t keep hunger at bay for long. … MORE

6/02/2012 | | Share

It is estimated that we can use as many calories in 15 minutes climbing stairs as we would in a 30-minute jog. (Cyrus McCrimmon, Denver Post file) Stair-climbing is convenient, free, requires no special equipment and is an effective way to expend the daily recommendation of 150 calories per day in physical activity. Health professionals, including the U.S. surgeon general, have been recommending stairs over elevators and escalators for decades.It is estimated that we can use as many calories in 15 minutes climbing stairs as we would in a 30-minute jog. The physical benefits of stair-climbing are legion: weight loss, improved blood circulation, bone density, and cholesterol, stronger aerobic and anaerobic endurance, and better agility to name a few. It … MORE

5/31/2012 | | Share

Here’s a dual session that provides either a solid tempo workout (option 1) or a little extra recovery (option 2) for those who have been pushing a little hard lately, would like to really push the pace with full recovery between intervals or want to rest up a bit for an upcoming event… Option 1: 10 minute warm-up 6 x 3 minutes with 2 minutes recovery in between 2 x 2 minutes (faster pace) with 3 minutes in between 10 minute warm-down Option 2 (this group will run a mirror image of option 1): 10 min warm-up 6 x 2 minutes with 3 min recovery in between 2 x 3 min (tempo pace) with 2 min recovery in between 10 … MORE

5/31/2012 | | Share

Newswise — BOONE—Bananas have long been a favorite source of energy for endurance and recreational athletes. Bananas are a rich source of potassium and other nutrients, and are easy for cyclists, runners or hikers to carry. Research conducted at Appalachian State University’s Human Performance Lab in the Kannapolis-based North Carolina Research Campus (NCRC) has revealed additional benefits. “We wanted to see which was more beneficial when consumed during intense cycling – bananas or a carbohydrate sports drink,” said Dr. David C. Nieman, director of the human performance lab and a member of the College of Health Sciences faculty at Appalachian. “We found that not only was performance the same whether bananas or sports drinks were consumed, there were several advantages … MORE

5/30/2012 | | Share

For years the Mediterranean diet has been associated with a lesser chance of illness and increased well-being. A new study has now linked it to mental and physical health too. The Mediterranean diet, which is characterised by the consumption of fruit, vegetables, pulses, fish, olive oil and nuts, has been proven to be beneficial to the health in terms of a lesser chance of chronic illness and a lower mortality rate. A new study headed by the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and the University of Navarra took the next step and analysed the influence of the Mediterranean diet on the quality of life of a sample of more than 11,000 university students over a period of four … MORE

5/29/2012 | | Share

PHILADELPHIA–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Pre-diabetic patients who engage in regular aerobic exercise improve their vascular reactivity to nearly normal levels, even if no weight loss is achieved, according to research presented today at the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE) 21st Annual Meeting & Clinical Congressin Philadelphia. Pre-diabetes is a condition that affects nearly one in every four Americans. The research included patients at-risk of developing diabetes and studied their vascular reactivity, which is associated with heart disease, in relation to exercise. Those persons who exercised at least 150 minutes per week had vascular reactivity near normal levels of a non-diabetic person, in addition to experiencing significant reductions in cholesterol profiles and markers of inflammation, which have been associated with heart attacks. Interestingly, … MORE

5/28/2012 | | Share

Young men who play volleyball, basketball or other load-bearing sports for four hours a week or more increase bone mass and might gain protection from developing osteoporosis later in life, according to a new study in the May issue of the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research. The study, the largest scale investigation of its kind, discovered that young men who actively resisted the urge to adopt a “couch-potato” lifestyle in their late twenties seemed to gain the biggest bone benefit. “Men who increased their load-bearing activity from age 19 to 24 not only developed more bone, but also had larger bones compared to men who were sedentary during the same period,” said senior study author Mattias Lorentzon, M.D., Ph.D., … MORE

5/26/2012 | | Share

Looking for a great cycling interval workout? Here’s one of our favorites. Start by finding a hill that will take you at least 3-4 minutes to ride up at normal pace. Then, after a good warm-up, here’s the plan: Ride up the hill at an all out pace – everything you’ve got – for 60 seconds. Then recover by coasting back down the hill to the starting point (spin a bit so legs don’t tighten up) REPEAT this 7 times (total of 13 minutes after the warm-up) After finishing hill interval #7, ride easy for a total of 4 minutes. This time will fly by, so watch the clock and be ready to go. REPEAT the above, completing 7 additional … MORE

5/26/2012 | | Share

Blame it on your genes? Researchers from The Miriam Hospital’s Weight Control and Diabetes Research Center say individuals with variations in certain “obesity genes” tend to eat more meals and snacks, consume more calories per day and often choose the same types of high fat, sugary foods. The findings suggest it may be possible to minimize genetic risk by changing one’s eating patterns and being vigilant about food choices, in addition to adopting other healthy lifestyle habits, like regular physical activity. “Understanding how our genes influence obesity is critical in trying to understand the current obesity epidemic, yet it’s important to remember that genetic traits alone do not mean obesity is inevitable,” said lead author Jeanne M. McCaffery, Ph.D., of … MORE

5/26/2012 | | Share

Nordic walking enables heart failure patients to exercise more intensely than walking without poles. Aerobic exercise in patients with heart failure improves quality of life and reduces heart failure related hospitalisations. However, many heart failure patients find it difficult to exercise. In Nordic walking, people use poles and their arms copy the motions of cross country skiing. It is one of the fastest developing forms of physical activity in Europe and is safe for older patients, especially those above the age of 65, making it a good possibility for patients with heart failure. In both the healthy group and patients with heart failure, there were no signs of cardiac ischaemia and no significant arrhythmias during the tests. The researchers concluded … MORE

5/26/2012 | | Share

Women receiving care for breast cancer have significantly impaired cardio-pulmonary function that can persist for years after they have completed treatment, according to a study led by scientists at Duke University Medical Center. The findings, reported online in theJournal of Clinical Oncology, also provide initial evidence that poor cardio-pulmonary function may be a strong predictor of survival among women with advanced breast cancer. “We know that exercise tolerance tests, which measure cardiopulmonary function, are among some of the most important indicators of health and longevity in people who do not have cancer; however, relatively little research has been done assessing the clinical importance of these tests in patients with cancer,” said Lee Jones, PhD, associate professor at Duke and lead … MORE

5/24/2012 | | Share

Here is the interval workout for the upcoming track session… 10 minute warm-up 2 x 6 minute intervals at 5k pace, with 4 minute recovery jog in between each 4 x 3 minute intervals at slightly faster pace than above and 2 minute recovery jog in between each 10 minute warm-down

5/23/2012 | | Share

A study of U.S. women suggests that vigorous physical activity may be associated with a reduced risk of psoriasis, according to a report published Online First by Archives of Dermatology, a JAMA Network publication. Psoriasis is an immunologic disorder characterized by systemic inflammation and scaling of the skin. Physical activity has been associated with a decreased risk of disorders characterized by systemic inflammation, including type 2 diabetes, colon cancer, coronary artery disease and breast cancer, according to the study background. “Our results suggest that participation in at least 20.9 MET (metabolic equivalent task)-hours per week of vigorous exercise, the equivalent of 105 minutes of running or 180 minutes of swimming or playing tennis, is associated with a 25 percent to … MORE

5/22/2012 | | Share

People who don’t get deeply involved with their work are more likely to suffer burn out or emotional exhaustion and have lower levels of well-being, according to a new study. Researchers from Kingston University’s Business School gave 227 British workers, mostly in their 30s, standard tests used to measure engagement and motivation. They found that the 15 per cent who were watching the clock and felt the most withdrawn from their work also reported the highest levels of burn out. Feeling alienated at work caused feelings of frustration and apathy, often leading to lower levels of well-being, the study found. “You might expect someone who is withdrawn from their work to be more balanced and less emotionally-drained because they have … MORE

5/21/2012 | | Share

New research from Uppsala University, Sweden, shows that a specific brain region that contributes to a person’s appetite sensation is more activated in response to food images after one night of sleep loss than after one night of normal sleep. Poor sleep habits can therefore affect people’s risk of becoming overweight in the long run. The findings are published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism (Jan 2012). Researchers Christian Benedict and Helgi Schiöth, of the Department of Neuroscience at Uppsala University, showed in an earlier article, published in American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, that a single night of total sleep loss in young normal weight men curbed the energy expenditure the next morning. This research also showed that … MORE

4/09/2012 | | Share

Department of Neuroscience, Uppsala University, Box 593, SE-751 24 Uppsala, Sweden. Abstract Context: There is growing recognition that a large number of individuals living in Western society are chronically sleep deprived. Sleep deprivation is associated with an increase in food consumption and appetite. However, the brain regions that are most susceptible to sleep deprivation-induced changes when processing food stimuli are unknown. Objective: Our objective was to examine brain activation after sleep and sleep deprivation in response to images of food. Intervention: Twelve normal-weight male subjects were examined on two sessions in a counterbalanced fashion: after one night of total sleep deprivation and one night of sleep. On the morning after either total sleep deprivation or sleep, neural activation was … MORE

4/09/2012 | | Share

According to a recent study headed by scientists from the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and the University of Granada, eating commercial baked goods (fairy cakes, croissants, doughnuts, etc.) and fast food (hamburgers, hotdogs and pizza) is linked to depression. Published in the Public Health Nutritionjournal, the results reveal that consumers of fast food, compared to those who eat little or none, are 51% more likely to develop depression. Furthermore, a dose-response relationship was observed. In other words this means that “the more fast food you consume, the greater the risk of depression,” explains Almudena Sánchez-Villegas, lead author of the study, to SINC. The study demonstrates that those participants who eat the most fast food and commercial baked … MORE

4/09/2012 | | Share

If you’re concerned that alcohol may be playing too significant a part of your life? Here’s a 5 minute on-line survey that may help:

4/09/2012 | | Share

Newswise — ITHACA, N.Y. – Obesity now accounts for almost 21 percent of U.S. health care costs – more than twice the previous estimates, reports a new Cornell University study. The research, which is the first to show the causal effect of obesity on medical care costs, uses new methods and makes a stronger case for government intervention to prevent obesity, the authors say in the January issue of the Journal of Health Economics( The study reports that an obese person incurs medical costs that are $2,741 higher (in 2005 dollars) than if they were not obese. Nationwide, that translates into $190.2 billion per year, or 20.6 percent of national health expenditures. Previous estimates had pegged the cost of obesity … MORE

4/05/2012 | | Share

Are you familiar with the Stanford University study that showed the ability to resist the temptation of a marshmallow resulted in lifelong success? The concept of delayed gratification is a powerful trait, whether we’re talking healthy eating or saving for retirement. This article, provided by Vanguard, makes the point well and provides tips for saving for your retirement as well:

3/18/2012 | | Share

Epidemiologists have long warned that, in addition to causing obesity, eating too much fat and sugar puts a person at greater risk for colon cancer. Now, researchers at Temple University have established a link that may explain why. The findings, “Epigenetic Differences in Normal Colon Mucosa of Cancer Patients Suggest Altered Dietary Metabolic Pathways,” were published in the March issue of the American Association for Cancer Research’s journal, Cancer Prevention Research. “There have always been questions about why things like diet and obesity are independent risk factors for colon cancer,” said Carmen Sapienza, professor of pathology in Temple’s Fels Institute for Cancer Research and Molecular Biology, the study’s lead author. “This study suggests how and why high fat diets are … MORE

3/18/2012 | | Share

Strong scientific evidence exists that eating blueberries, blackberries, strawberries and other berry fruits has beneficial effects on the brain and may help prevent age-related memory loss and other changes, scientists report. Their new article on the value of eating berry fruits appears in ACS’ Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. In the article, Barbara Shukitt-Hale, Ph.D., and Marshall G. Miller point out that longer lifespans are raising concerns about the human toll and health care costs of treating Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of mental decline. They explain that recent research increasingly shows that eating berry fruits can benefit the aging brain. To analyze the strength of the evidence about berry fruits, they extensively reviewed cellular, animal and human studies … MORE

3/18/2012 | | Share

Men who drank a 12-ounce sugar-sweetened beverage a day had a 20 percent higher risk of heart disease compared to men who didn’t drink any sugar-sweetened drinks, according to research published in Circulation, an American Heart Association journal. “This study adds to the growing evidence that sugary beverages are detrimental to cardiovascular health,” said Frank B. Hu, M.D., Ph.D., study lead author and professor of nutrition and epidemiology in the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, Mass. “Certainly, it provides strong justification for reducing sugary beverage consumption among patients, and more importantly, in the general population.” Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. Risk factors include obesity, smoking, physical inactivity, diabetes and poor diet. … MORE

3/07/2012 | | Share

Here’s a little tip that can save you thousands of empty calories each year (and you won’t even notice!)… Most of us will add fruit to the top of our cereal, ice cream, yogurt, etc to bring some good health (and additional taste) to our breakfasts, snacks and desserts. Next time, instead of topping your ______ with fruit, put the fruit in your bowl FIRST and then top it with the cereal, yogurt, or whatever. Doing so will likely reduce the total calories in the bowl significantly, but you probably won’t even miss them. Enjoy!

3/05/2012 | | Share

A new study has found that women who stay seated for long periods of time every day are more prone to developing type 2 diabetes, but that a similar link wasn’t found in men. Researchers from the University of Leicester Departments of Health Sciences and Cardiovascular Sciences revealed that women who are sedentary for most of the day were at a greater risk from exhibiting the early metabolic defects that act as a precursor to developing type 2 diabetes than people who tend to sit less. The team assessed over 500 men and women of the age of 40 or more about the amount of time spent sitting over the course of a week, helped out by tests on the … MORE

3/05/2012 | | Share

Our senses aren’t just delivering a strict view of what’s going on in the world; they’re affected by what’s going on in our heads. A new study finds that hungry people see food-related words more clearly than people who’ve just eaten. The study, published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, finds that this change in vision happens at the earliest, perceptual stages, before higher parts of the brain have a chance to change the messages coming from the eyes. Psychologists have known for decades that what’s going on inside our head affects our senses. For example, poorer children think coins are larger than they are, and hungry people think pictures of food are brighter. Rémi … MORE

2/21/2012 | | Share

Programs that support parents during their child’s early years hold promise for obesity prevention, according to a new study in the online February 6 issue of Pediatrics. Today, one out of five American children is obese. Young children who are overweight are five times more likely than their peers of normal weight to be obese by adolescence. Obese children and adolescents, especially low-income and minority youth, are at increased risk for a range of medical, social and academic problems. The new study led by Laurie Miller Brotman, PhD, professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Director of the Center for Early Childhood Health and Development at the NYU Child Study Center investigated whether early family intervention that was effective for … MORE

2/21/2012 | | Share

Swimming is ideal for older adults because it includes minimum weight-bearing stress and decreased heat load. However, there is very little information available concerning the effects of regular swimming exercise on vascular risks. We determined if regular swimming exercise would decrease arterial blood pressure (BP) and improve vascular function. Forty-three otherwise healthy adults >50 years old (60 ± 2) with prehypertension or stage 1 hypertension and not on any medication were randomly assigned to 12 weeks of swimming exercise or attention time controls. Before the intervention period there were no significant differences in any of the variables between groups. Body mass, adiposity, and plasma concentrations of glucose and cholesterol did not change in either group throughout the intervention period. Casual … MORE

2/21/2012 | | Share

Most people only think about drinking water when they are thirsty; but by then it may already be too late. Even mild dehydration can alter a person’s mood, energy level, and ability to think clearly, according to two studies recently conducted at the University of Connecticut’s Human Performance Laboratory. The tests showed that it didn’t matter if a person had just walked for 40 minutes on a treadmill or was sitting at rest – the adverse effects from mild dehydration were the same. Mild dehydration is defined as an approximately 1.5 percent loss in normal water volume in the body. The test results affirm the importance of staying properly hydrated at all times and not just during exercise, extreme heat, … MORE

2/20/2012 | | Share

Here are some specific tips on how to save money and still buy healthy food Cut the junk. Evaluate how much money you are spending on items such as soda (regular or diet), cookies, crackers, prepackaged meals, processed foods, etc. Limit or completely cut out these unhealthy foods. Your wallet and your body will thank you. Eat out less. Even just reducing your meals out by 1 or 2 times per week can save you about $15 – $25 per week. This is an easy way to save money and even have some extra to spend on higher quality foods. Stick to your grocery list. The more prepared you are when you get to the store the less impulse purchases … MORE

2/19/2012 | | Share

In a study that included data for more than 20,000 children and adolescents, higher amounts of time with moderate to vigorous physical activity were associated with better cardiometabolic risk factors (such as measures of cholesterol, blood pressure and waist size), regardless of the amount of time spent sedentary, according to a study in the February 15 issue of JAMA. “National and international public health authorities agree that children and adolescents should accumulate at least 60 minutes of moderate- to vigorous-intensity physical activity (MVPA) daily,” according to background information in the article. “Many health authorities and organizations have also recognized the potentially detrimental effects of prolonged time spent sedentary and consequently compiled guidelines for reducing the amount of sedentary time, especially … MORE

2/18/2012 | | Share

After years in the health and wellness industry, it’s rare we come across a new product lives up to the hype. The Garmin 910XT does that – and more. While it’s not inexpensive ($399), it’s without a doubt at the top of the list for a serious triathlete who invests extensive time, energy and resources into the sport. In addition to standard GPS functions for the run, this model also offers the ANT+ to track power on the bike along with all other standard measures (cadence, distance, speed). The swim functions provide a new training tool for the improving swimmer, as it can track your stroke count by lap or throughout your workout. Most swimmers would agree that stroke count … MORE

2/14/2012 | | Share

According to a study in the American Journal of Cardiology (Feb 2012), swimming reduces blood pressure and improves artery health. The study focused on adults ages 50-80, all of whom had pre-hypertension or hypertension but were otherwise healthy but not regular exercisers for the past 2 years. The swimming group swam 15-45 min/day, 3-4 times/week while the control group spent the time stretching and learning relaxation exercises. Despite losing no weight or fat, the swimmers’ systolic blood pressure fell 7% in just 12 weeks. Their arteries also showed signs of becoming more elastic and responsive to changes in blood flow.

2/08/2012 | | Share

Looking for a quick and easy meal to make in the midst of a busy week? Here’s a recommendation from USCW Coach Robin Brandes. There are more “Robin Tips” available in the Resources under Recipes. Enjoy! Cajun Bean Chili Prep and Cook Time: 15-20 minutes Ingredients: 1 medium yellow onion, chopped 1 medium yellow or red bell pepper, diced 3 cloves garlic, pressed 1 tsp paprika 1 TBS chili powder 1/2 tsp dried thyme 1/2 tsp dried oregano 1/2 tsp fennel seeds 1 tsp cumin Directions: Sauté onion and bell peppers for 5 minutes. If using, add cooked ground turkey. Add garlic, spices, tomatoes and kidney beans. (adjust seasonings if adding turkey) Simmer for 15-20 minutes. Season to taste with … MORE

2/07/2012 | | Share

A study in the journal Nature (1997) showed that being awake 24 hours resulted in the equivalent level of cognitive impairment as having a blood-alcohol concentration of 0.1%. In the US, it is illegal for adults to drive with a concentration of .08% or above.

2/03/2012 | | Share

19 weeks into official Ironman training and I’m tired. The past 3 wks have been marginal at best, with power levels on the bike dropping (when they should be improving) and a feeling like I’m unable to fully recover. 14 of the past 17 weeks have included 20+ hours/week of training. Light week this past week and still tired. So it’s time for some adjustments as we head into the final 10 wks of training before tapering. Here’s the plan: Take 3 days off completely. No swimming, biking, running or strength training Nutrition has been consistently good. Re-assess a couple of the supplements, but otherwise continue trend Use the extra time to grab a little extra sleep and crank out … MORE

1/31/2012 | | Share

Individuals who drink diet soft drinks on a daily basis may be at increased risk of suffering vascular events such as stroke, heart attack, and vascular death. This is according to a new study by Hannah Gardener and her colleagues from the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine and at Columbia University Medical Center. However, in contrast, they found that regular soft drink consumption and a more moderate intake of diet soft drinks do not appear to be linked to a higher risk of vascular events. Gardener and team examined the relationship between both diet and regular soft drink consumption and risk of stroke, myocardial infarction (or heart attack), and vascular death. Data were analyzed from 2,564 participants in … MORE

1/29/2012 | | Share

A study by Bleich, et al in the American Journal of Public Health (Feb, 2012) provided a valuable tip that can be implemented in vending machines, cafeterias and even business meetings. The researchers posted 1 of 3 different signs next to drinks in stores – calories, % of daily recommended calories and finally the “number of minutes of jogging needed to offset the beverage.” Only the jogging signs made a statistically significant difference. While calorie count certainly isn’t the “end all goal” (the studies showing diet sodas lead to more weight gain than regular soda is an example), this provides an interesting strategy that may be helpful in various areas throughout our work sites.

1/28/2012 | | Share

Add increased selection and tasty preparations to the good nutrition and overall wholesomeness long associated with vegetables, and you have a food group that’s claiming an ever bigger portion of the dinner plate. Farmers are growing new, colorful varieties, creative chefs are whipping up flavorful vegetable dishes in restaurants and prepared food counters, and glossy magazines feature tempting vegetable recipes that exploit seasonal bounty. Vegetables and the side dishes they grace have moved into the culinary forefront, according to the Vegetables & Sides: Culinary Trend Mapping Report recently released by leading market research publisher Packaged Facts and the Center for Culinary Development (CCD). “This explosion of farmers’ markets with new and different varieties of vegetables has raised American consumers’ vegetable … MORE

1/28/2012 | | Share

The health benefits of exercise on blood sugar metabolism may come from the body’s ability to devour itself, UT Southwestern Medical Center researchers report in the journal Nature. Autophagy is a process by which a cell responds to starvation and other stresses by degrading damaged or unneeded parts of itself to produce energy. It is sometimes called the cell’s housekeeping pathway. “Exercise is known to have many health benefits but the mechanisms have been unclear. Autophagy is also known to have several health benefits, and these benefits correspond closely to the effects of exercise. We hypothesized that some of the health benefits of exercise might be explained through autophagy,” said senior author Dr. Beth Levine, professor of internal medicine and … MORE

1/28/2012 | | Share

If your boss is giving you a hard time – lying, making fun of you in public and generally putting you down, he or she may benefit from some exercise, according to a new study by James Burton from Northern Illinois University in the US and his team. Their work shows that stressed supervisors, struggling with time pressures, vent their frustrations on their employees less when they get regular, moderate exercise. The research is published online in Springer’s Journal of Business and Psychology. In the current economic climate, it is not unusual to come across stressed supervisors. But does that mean that they have to transfer their frustrations onto the people they supervise? Research shows that when a supervisor experiences … MORE

1/26/2012 | | Share

According to an article published in the January, 2012 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, telephonic counseling (coaching) can have powerful outcomes. The study focused on smoking cessation and found the 6-month abstinence rate among participants who received culturally appropriate telephone counseling plus self-help materials was DOUBLE that associated with self-help materials alone, report the authors.

1/18/2012 | | Share

New research from Uppsala University, Sweden, shows that a specific brain region that contributes to a person’s appetite sensation is more activated in response to food images after one night of sleep loss than after one night of normal sleep. Poor sleep habits can therefore affect people’s risk of becoming overweight in the long run. The findings are published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

1/16/2012 | | Share

If you believe you’re one of those individuals who’s BMI is not accurate due to significant muscle mass, then here’s another way to check for a healthy weight. Using a tape measure, wrap the tape around your body at the midpoint between your lowest rib and your hip bone. Then check your hip circumference by measuring at the widest part of your hips (usually around your butt). Divide the waist measurement by the hip measurement for your ratio with a target of .9 or lower. A second measurement of value is your waist to height ratio, which according to a 2010 study in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism showed that waist to height ratio is better than BMI, … MORE

1/16/2012 | | Share

Cholesterol numbers can be confusing. Here’s a brief overview from Prediman K. Shah, M.D., the director of cardiology at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. “The single best predictor of cardiovascular disease is your non-HDL cholesterol, which is total cholesterol minus HDL. In a presentation at the American Heart Association conference, Dr. Shah and his colleagues found that non-HDL beat every other cholesterol calculation in predicting who would develop heart disease over an 11 year follow-up period. To stay in the safe zone, aim for a non-HDL level of 130 or less.

1/16/2012 | | Share

In a typical working week, people spend on average 5 hours and 41 minutes per day sitting at their desk and 7 hours sleeping at night. Prolonged sitting at your desk is not only bad for your physical health, but potentially your mental well-being. These are some of the key findings of research being presented today by Dr Myanna Duncan, Mr. Aadil Kazi and Professor Cheryl Haslam from the Work & Health Research Centre, Loughborough University, of the Division of Occupational Psychology’s annual conference in Chester. Nearly 70 per cent of employees surveyed did not meet recommended guidelines for physical activity; interestingly 50 per cent of people surveyed aged 50 years and under, failed to meet these guidelines. The findings … MORE

1/16/2012 | | Share

This past Saturday represented the next phase of race-day nutrition and pacing for the upcoming Ironman Triathlon event in early May. It began with a 2+ mile (1 hr) Vasa swim at 6 AM and wrapped up with a 16 mile (2+ hr) run with a 112 mile (approx 6 hr) ride of the St. George Ironman course on the Computrainer (which mimics the hills of the course). While this sort of workout isn’t typically found in most Ironman training schedules (it was 10 miles short of a full Ironman), it’s been incredibly valuable so far. This time around, it became obvious that I’m attempting to hold my power on the bike too high for the first 80 miles. This … MORE