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10/28/2009

Can Diet and Exercise Help Prevent Cancer?

While everyone is well aware that proper diet and exercise are paramount to good health, still many people find it too much of an inconvenience to watch what they eat and to exercise. These people may feel that the benefits that they may get from all that effort is not worth the hassles of watching calories, cutting fat, running about, and moving weights around. But what if there was a benefit, and I mean a real good benefit, associated with proper diet and exercise? Maybe that would at least make those who don’t worry about diet and exercise give a little more thought to it.

Well, as if the already known benefits of proper diet and exercise aren’t enough to make some people want to incorporate them into their lives, perhaps the following information from Purdue University and Science Daily will be enough incentive to get them off their duff’s and give it a try.

According to Dennis Savaiano, dean of Purdue’s school of consumer and family sciences and professor of foods and nutrition, poor diet and lack of exercise are responsible for just as many cases of cancer as cigarette smoking.
He says, “approximately one third of cancer cases are related to smoking, one third are related to poor diet and lack of exercise, and one third are related to genetic or other factors”.

Most people are already well aware of the ill health effects of cigarette smoking, but the percentage of obesity and the rate of poor diet in America is a cause for serious concern. It is estimated that 65% of Americans are overweight with 30% being at least clinically obese. This is further escalated by the fact that 15 to 20% of the children in America are considered overweight. The main reason for this alarming statistic overall is the rate of poor diet seen in America.

Savaiano, who is chairman of the Food and Nutrition Science Alliance, along with several other members of the organization, recently reviewed scientific studies on diet and cancer. The group has since issued a statement urging Americans to change their diets in order to help reduce the number of cancer related deaths.

While Savaiano notes that some types of cancer are influenced more by diet than others, nutrition and food scientists agree that these four methods are practical ways to lower the risk of cancer:

Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and legumes.

Avoid highly processed foods that are high in fat and sugar.

Limit or avoid consumption of alcohol.

Get in some moderate or vigorous exercise daily.

Much of the reason why people have trouble getting into a healthy lifestyle can be attributed to lack of knowledge on how to start with exercise programs and proper diet plans, and to marketing which is mostly geared toward foods that are high in fat and excess calories and low in nutritional value. Not much marketing is done to promote fruits and vegetables or whole grains.

Long hours at work also attribute to less meal preparation and more fast food and takeout food purchases. It will take some effort on your part, but making healthier food choices and exercise a part of your life can and most likely will give you rewards that no amount of money can buy.

10/22/2009

Combat the Fat and Tailor Your Supermarket Habits For the New You!

Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither is the perfect body.

The weightlifting’s going great. You have a challenging, but not completely sadistic trainer.

You’ve carved time out of your schedule hit the gym. (You even remember to run your workout clothes through the wash...hopefully!)

You’ll grow huge, buff, and polished in no time… unless you eat junk.

Everyone’s got to eat. And if your goal is to build lean muscle without the fat, YOU have to eat wiser than the rest.

Get sloppy and you’ll be fighting on both sides in the battle of the bulge.

Restrict your diet too much and yeah, you’ll lose fat; but, you’ll also probably lose interest and head right for some greasy fries and a chocolate shake.

Let’s look at what you can get at your friendly neighborhood supermarket.

Frankly, there are a few aisles no self-respecting bodybuilder will be seen in. (And I don’t mean the adult diaper aisle.)

The bad news? Cross off your list the following aisles: sodas, chips, cookies, candy, pasta, and kiddie cereals.

The good news? Well, you can also cross off the catfood and dogfood aisle. Protein is great, but you don’t have to get crazy.

What’s left? Lean proteins, including fish, turkey, and chicken. Eggs are a great source of whole protein, as is skim milk and low-fat cottage cheese.

Tofu – the mystery “meat” of champions is another great option, especially for vegetarian bodybuilders.

These are all found around the perimeter of the store, which is great because you’ll get some walking in, too.

Now, head down the organic or health food aisle.

If you have a great store, you’ll find some products here that are mainstays of the ultimate bodybuilding diet: whey protein and soy protein products, nuts, whole grain cereals, and soy beans.

10/20/2009

Chidren And Exercise

If you have a child of 6 to 8 years old that wants to start exercising and lifting weights, you may find yourself wondering what you should do. While some think it is perfectly fine for children to exercise, there are others that think differently.

The long and short of it is that yes, it is beneficial for your child to partake in exercise or a weight training regimen although there are a few things that you should keep in mind once this starts to happen.

No matter how you look at it, children aren't minature adults and therefore you can't use the same methods with growing children that you can use with adults, as children are different from adults emotionally, anatomically, and physiologically.

All children have immature skeletons, as their bones don't mature until they get 14 - 22 years of age. With girls, exercise during childhood can have very critical effects on bone health that can last for their entire lives.

Children are often times vulnerable to growth related overuse injuries such as Osgood schlatter disease. Children have immature temperature regulation systems due to their having a large surface area compared to their muscle mass which will cause them to be more susceptible to injury when they aren't properly warmed up.

Children don't sweat as much as adults do, so they will be more susceptible to heat exhaustion as well as a heat stroke. Due to their low muscle mass and immature hormone system, it makes it harder for them to develop strength and speed. Their breathing and heart response during exercise are also different from an adults, which will affect their capacity for exercise.

On the other hand, young boys and girls can drastically improve their strength with weight training although opposed to adults, neurological factors instead of muscle growth factors are mostly responsible.

When you consider programs for children, first and foremost you should obtain a medical clearance. The first approach to designing a program is to establish a repetition range of 8 - 12 and keep the work load appropriate for the range.

You should ensure that workouts are spread out enough to have at least 1 - 2 full days of rest between workouts. The main focus when working out should be on the form of every exercise performed, and not on the amount of weight being lifted.

Before weight training, warm up and stretching should be done. Start your children off with light loads and then make adjustments accordingly. No more than 3 non consecutive exercise sessions should be done in a week. You should also see to it that they drink plenty of water before, during, and after exercise. Getting enough water is very important with exercise, as it is often times very easy to get dehydrated - especially with children.
Dr. Ernest C. Wong, DDS, MS, a premier dental office near San Diego
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