August 2014 Newsletter

 

Too much TV linked to earlier death

We have all heard watching too much television is unhealthy, but now a new study shows that it may actually take years off your life. The American Heart Association conducted a study in which they followed 8,800 participants with no prior history of heart disease and they were tracked for 6 years. The findings show that participants who watched 4 hours of television versus just 2 hours became 80% more likely to sufferer from heart disease. Each additional hour spent in front of the TV increased the risk of dying from heart disease by 18% and the overall risk of death by 11%. The issue is not that TV in itself kills you, but rather that you tend to sit for long periods while watching TV. That said, watching TV may be unhealthier than other sedentary activities, and “reading or doing homework doesn't seem to be associated with risk factors as much as television viewing," says Peter Katzmarzyk, Ph.D., an exercise scientist at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center, in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Setting healthy limits on how much time we spend in front of the television is a first step to better health. Then you can get creative on how you watch TV, doing household chores, stretching or even light exercise while watching TV are all great ways to keep moving while enjoying your favorite show.

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Just 5 minutes of exercise helps heart health

Here is some motivation to get moving! Researchers following 55,000 U.S. adults, some of them avid runners, some that only jogged very little each day and those that did not run or jog at all, found that even 5 to 10 minutes of running can dramatically reduce your risk of developing heart disease. Studies prove getting your heart rate up for just a few minutes a day is enough to prove beneficial. If you are not as active as you would like, try incorporating 5 minutes of brisk walking and increasing the time each time you go. Maybe jumping jacks as soon as you get up in the morning works better for you. Finding what works for you and incorporating movement and breaking a sweat every single day is what matters, even if for just a few minutes.

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Superfoods – Variety is the key

“Super foods and power house foods are just a couple of the terms experts and ad agencies have coined to describe the healthiest of produce. Scientists use nutrient density testing to rank these veggies and nutritionists have their own ranking systems for the foods they recommend as dietary staples. However let’s remember the advice given by moms and dads everywhere “eat your veggies” and “it’s not a competition.” If we use the trend of labeling foods to our advantage we will be encouraged to reach for the super food kale chips rather than fried potato chips. That’s food marketing a nutritionist can get behind! The most important rule when eating a healthy balanced veggie filled diet is variety. All vegetables have wonderful benefits and to get them all we need not be choosy. Eating as much variety of veggies as the earth has to offer is one of the most powerful food choices we can make.

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