Life Lines

Health news you can use | Vol. 26 No. 3 | Mar-Apr 2016

IS SITTING THE NEW SMOKING?

Our bodies are made to move, but in today’s high-tech society, we have become accustomed to bending over our computer keyboards in a “C” formation. Studies have shown that sitting in this position for a long time can increase risk for a number of health issues, including decreased lung capacity, decreased inhalation, heart disease, obesity, diabetes, cancer, and early death. In fact, those who sit for more than 6 hours per day have a 17–34 percent higher risk of premature death than those who only sit for 3 hours per day. The best solution for those who have desk jobs is to increase the amount of breaks you take, set up your desk so you can sit straighter, and overall, just try to move as much as possible throughout your day. The Silicon Valley Addiction: Is Sitting the New Smoking?” www.huffingtonpost.com, October 24, 2016.

PHYSICAL ACTIVITY AND DIABETES

New studies are showing the importance of physical activity in reducing the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, as well as helping to manage the disease for those who already have it. The first study found a 26 percent risk reduction for developing Type 2 diabetes among those who achieved 150 minutes per week of moderate physical activity. Researchers concluded that more exercise is better, and there was no clear point where physical activity no longer was a benefit. A second study also discovered that moderate exercise was especially beneficial when performed within 5 to 10 minutes after a meal. This also resulted in significantly lower blood glucose levels. The importance of the amount of physical activity on the risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes,” sciencedaily.com, October 21, 2016.

PLAIN WATER ALWAYS THE BEST

Researchers who looked at the eating and drinking habits of more than 18,000 adults found that those who drank the most plain water also had the least total caloric intake, and ate less fat, sugar, salt, and cholesterol. The study showed that increasing water consumption by one to three cups per day can lower one’s caloric intake by 68 to 205 calories per day. In conclusion, something as simple as drinking more plain water could help those who are interested in losing weight or simply improving their overall health. The Big Benefits of Plain Water,” health.harvard.edu, May 26, 2016.

DOES COUNTING CALORIES REALLY WORK?

Research done in the 1960s concluded that cholesterol and fat were the main contributors to weight gain due to the number of calories they contain. While it is true that fat has more calories than carbohydrates, doctors are now saying that it is the type of calorie consumed that matters the most. They recommend foods with a low glycemic index, such as whole grains, fruits, nuts, and legumes, because they cause blood sugar levels and, subsequently, insulin levels to rise gradually. Foods with a high glycemic index—candy, croissants, and scones, for example—result in insulin rising too quickly, causing the body to resist the insulin (Type 2 diabetes). By staying with low-glycemic foods, you can lose more weight, feel satisfied longer, and remain healthy. There’s no sugar-coating it: All calories are not created equal,” health.harvard.edu, November 4, 2016.

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