As we head into winter, it's a good time to boost immunity to avoid nasty colds and the flu. Nutritionist Claire Turnbull gives us the low-down on six immune-boosting foods. Including; 1. Lemons and other citrus fruit 2. Eggs 3. Lean red meat 4. Oats and other whole grains 5. Seafood 6. Nuts
If holiday weight gain is at the top of your "naughty" list this season, you may be looking for extra ways to rev up your metabolism and keep your egg-nog-and-turkey-loving self in check. And if this healthy holiday regiment includes chilly outdoor runs (either at home or while visiting friends or relatives), you may be wondering about an age-old rumor: that exercising in the cold burns more calories. But is it true? That seems to depend on your definition of "true." Because it's true that being cold (to the point of shivering) can burn extra calories -- but how many is enough to make this myth a reality worth noting?
The war against office desks is raging, with new research showing we increase our risks of heart disease with every hour we spend glued to our chairs. And exercise at the start or end of the day doesn't cut it - it's the movement we get during our work day that counts. University of Sydney public health professor Adrian Bauman presented the latest facts at a seminar in Auckland last week. Sitting for long periods is now considered on a list that includes smoking, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, overall inactivity and obesity as factors contributing to early death.
Everyone knows that exercise can improve your health. Exercise is a key part of managing your weight and maintaining healthy hearts, lungs, and other bodily systems. But did you know that exercise can make you more productive? The latest research shows that a regular exercise routine can make you happier, smarter, and more energetic. A habit of regular exercise will help keep you mentally sharper throughout your entire life. As you age, your body generates fewer and fewer brain cells (a process called neurogenesis). However, early research in mice suggests that exercise can help prevent this slowdown. In other words, by the time they reach their 50s, 60s, and 70s, people who exercise might have more brain cells than their more sedentary peers -- giving them a major advantage in the workplace.
While it seems common sense to warm up muscles, and it often feels good, too, is there any evidence that stretching reduces muscle soreness or prevents injury? The practice of stretching gained popularity in the 1960s when scientists believed muscle soreness resulted from muscle spasms. Lengthening a muscle was thought to restore blood flow and reduce the spasm. While this theory of muscle soreness has been disproved, the practice of stretching continues. Physiologists now believe muscle soreness is the result of minor damage to the smallest contracting units of the muscle, called sarcomeres, during intense exercise. Tiny tears can form in these cells when a muscle, or group of muscles, are unaccustomed to a hard workout. The micro-damage is accentuated when performing exercises that require muscles to contract at the same time as they are forced to lengthen and stretch, such as running down hill.
Who would have thought that a 5000-year-old style of movement would become more popular in this country than Australian football? According to the Bureau of Statistics, more people take part in weekly yoga classes than they do in our national sport. And for good reason. ''All forms of yoga, meditation or tai chi, any gentle movement, helps to reduce pain or your perception of pain,'' says Dr Sam McCarthy, an osteopath at Sydney's Better Health Clinics (betterhealthclinics.com.au). ''We once thought that yoga made muscles longer alone, but we've now discovered that the poses make them wider, and the act of stretching actually feeds back information to your central nervous system. This in turn stimulates your muscles to become stronger around a point of weakness.''
People have been detoxing their bodies for centuries. The historical treatment of blood-letting was based on the theory it could rid the body of "over-abundances" that cause disease. These days, most detoxing involves a severely restrictive diet, often with the assistance of any number of "detox in a box" kits that line the shelves of chemists, supermarkets and beauty stores. These products make promises like - "helps the body cleanse itself of toxins and pollutants caused by the excesses of a busy life" and "cleanse your system and whisk away the polluting nasties".
A resting heart rate is determined by an individual's level of physical fitness, circulating hormones, and the autonomic nervous system. A rate at rest of between 60 and 100 beats per minute is considered normal. People who are very physically active tend to have a low heart rate at rest, but the authors wanted to find out if heart rate had any bearing on an individual's risk of death, irrespective of their level of cardiorespiratory fitness.
The latest study finds an intriguing connection between weight-bearing exercises and a lower risk of diabetes. While lifting weights is more often associated with strengthening muscle and keeping bones healthy, those exercises primarily benefit what’s known as red muscle, which gets its color from mitochondria, the energy factories of cells. Red muscle is the core of endurance athletes’ strength and helps them to power through sustained workouts. But it turns out that another type of muscle, white muscle, which is more prevalent among sprinters, weightlifters and those who use resistance training, where short bursts of energy are critical, may play a role in regulating blood sugar.
Unhealthy food environments and sedentary lifestyles certainly contribute to obesity, but they can’t entirely explain weight gain. The latest research points to four new genes that could contribute to the most extreme cases of obesity in childhood. By comparing the genomes of 1,509 children in the UK with severe obesity to 5,380 similar children of normal weight, an international team of researchers first identified a series of 29 genetic changes that distinguished the heavier children. Narrowing these differences down to those that influence obesity, they found nine genes strongly linked to early weight gain, five of which were known, and four of which are new.
There’s an app for practically everything now, and the latest study shows that when it comes to weight loss, some apps may be more effective than traditional dieting methods. Smartphones are an ideal way to communicate and remind people of everything from to-do lists to food and fitness goals, so researchers in the UK decided to investigate how effective weight loss apps alone might be in helping people to shed pounds.
Being fat has been linked to such dangerous health conditions as diabetes, cancer and cognitive decline. But fat tissue was long considered to be passive, hanging out lazily and doing damage without much effort. New research, though, shows that this isn't exactly true, especially in the case of visceral fat that can form around the organs of overweight and normal-weight people alike. Fat, reports Outside magazine, wants to keep us fat.
Who would have thought that a 5000-year-old style of movement would become more popular in Australia than Australian football? According to the Bureau of Statistics, more people take part in weekly yoga classes than they do in our national sport. And for good reason. ''All forms of yoga, meditation or tai chi, any gentle movement, helps to reduce pain or your perception of pain,'' says Dr Sam McCarthy, an osteopath at Sydney's Better Health Clinics (betterhealthclinics.com.au). ''We once thought that yoga made muscles longer alone, but we've now discovered that the poses make them wider, and the act of stretching actually feeds back information to your central nervous system. This in turn stimulates your muscles to become stronger around a point of weakness.''
The content of a person's breath may indicate how susceptible they are to weight gain, according to a recent study accepted for publication in The Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism (JCEM). People whose breath has high concentrations of both hydrogen and methane gases are more likely to have a higher body mass index and percentage of body fat, according to the findings. The combination of the two gases signals the presence of a microorganism that may contribute to obesity.
A diet consisting solely of lemon-based drinks has been rated the worst fad diet for the second year running by a group of dietitians. The Lemon Detox Diet was deemed the worst by a survey of Dietitians Association of Australia (DAA) members, followed by the Acid Alkaline Diet and the Six Weeks to OMG Diet. Dietitian Melanie McGrice from the DAA said she hoped the survey would make people think twice about embarking on fad diets. McGrice said the Lemon Detox Diet was rated the worst because it was essentially a starvation diet involving drinking only lemon-based drinks for 10 to 14 days.
Some exercise crazes disappear faster than you can utter the words "Ab King Pro". But others keep growing as more people think outside the square and seek variety. Faith Aird takes a look at trends of 2012 that look set to stand the test of time.
Going on a crash diet to shed the pounds fast? Think again. Although the pounds will dwindle, so will your metabolic rate and most likely your lean body mass - which in the end is exactly what you don't want. "If you go on, say, a 900-calorie-a-day diet, you will have a hard time getting the nutrients you need," says Rebecca Mohning, a nutritionist. "Without the daily requirement of protein, you will break down your lean muscle mass." "Basically, the body will make sure it gets what it needs to function - and if it doesn't get what it needs from food, it will take what it needs from the muscles," says Virginia nutritionist Danielle Omar, who owns Foodconfidence.com. "It's not that smart when you consider that you are in essence eating away at your own muscle mass." And less lean muscle mass means you burn fewer calories - probably not what you were going for. You will also lower the body's basal metabolic rate (BMR) - the minimum amount of energy you need to keep the basic functions going (such as liver and brain function and breathing; breaking down food requires about 10 percent of the total BMR).
The medical establishment is waging a war against cholesterol Yet cholesterol is a health-promoting nutrient that just could save your life! Think this is an exaggeration? Consider the following. According to Michael Brown and Joseph Goldstein, winners of the Nobel Prize in 1985 for their discovery of the receptor that brings cholesterol into cells, the debate about the role of cholesterol in health and disease is a war. They wrote the foreword to a recent book by Daniel Steinberg, MD, PhD, called The Cholesterol Wars. In it, they call themselves and others "who condemn cholesterol as the culprit" the "anti-cholesterol forces." They liken scientific advances in our understanding of this vital nutrient to "powerful new weapons" that have aided the "anti-cholesterol forces" just "like modern armies."
Eating two kiwifruit each day could help keep muscles in top form, says new research. A University of Otago study, which was recently published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, looked into what role vitamin C played in the body. Lead researcher in the project, Professor Margreet Vissers, said muscles that support and move the skeleton were sensitive to changes in vitamin C intake. If consumption of the vitamin dropped below optimal levels, muscle function could also fall. The researchers gave 54 males aged 18-35 either half a kiwifruit or two kiwifruit every day over six weeks, and then measured the vitamin C content in their muscles.
A Google report of the top search terms of 2012 offers insight into the uncensored exercise interests of the Australian public. The top 10 "how-to" searches included how to kegel, handstand and twerk. Kegels are pelvic-floor exercises, while twerking is "a dance move that involves a person shaking their hips and bottom in a sexually provocative manner". Published in the current issue of the American College of Sports Medicine Health and Fitness Journal, the top predicted trend was the need for "certified, educated fitness professionals".
The research found a strong day-to-day relationship between more positive mood and higher fruit and vegetable consumption (file) Forget popping pills, it may be time to inject more fruit and vegetables into your diet to be happier, according to New Zealand researchers. A study by Otago University suggests eating more fruit and vegetables may make young people calmer, happier and more energetic in their daily life. The research, published in the British Journal of Health Psychology on Thursday, found a strong day-to-day relationship between more positive mood and higher fruit and vegetable consumption, but not other foods.
When was the last time you hopped, skipped or jumped? If it was back in the last century you wouldn't be alone - these are the movements that often vanish from our lives when we leave childhood and school sports behind. Yet they're also the kind of high impact activities that grown up bones really thrive on - and they do a better job of boosting bone density than walking, according to exercise physiologist Dr Belinda Beck. "Walking is great for your heart and blood vessels, but it's not brilliant for bone - unless you add some jumps into your walk. Even if you're running it's best to add jumps along the way for better bone density," says Beck, an associate professor with the School of Rehabilitation Sciences at Griffith University.
By this stage in the New Year it can be hard to stay motivated with those exercise resolutions. Here's how to keep going. DON'T GET STUCK IN A RUT Doing exercise you enjoy is good - it helps keep you motivated. But sticking with the same routine week after week can also slow down progress because our bodies soon get used to it, explains Alisha Smith.
Some athletes may improve their performance under pressure simply by squeezing a ball or clenching their left hand before competition to activate certain parts of the brain, according to new research published by the American Psychological Association. In three experiments with experienced soccer players, judo experts and badminton players, researchers in Germany tested the athletes' skills during practice and then in stressful competitions before a large crowd or video camera. Right-handed athletes who squeezed a ball in their left hand before competing were less likely to choke under pressure than right-handed players who squeezed a ball in their right hand.
New Zealand needs to establish its own more stringent food standards authority which is separate from Australia, food advocates say. There are 18 food additives allowed by Food Standards Australia New Zealand that are banned in other countries. Some of the additives have side effects including nausea, vomiting, high blood pressure, skin rashes, breathing problems and other allergic reactions. Others cause cancer in animals.
Here’s a prediction for 2013: we’ll be hearing a lot more about sugar, sugar-free diets and sugar’s effects this year. Sugar is once again a buzzword and, increasingly, a baddie, in nutrition and diet circles, from the faddish to the serious scientific community. The latest from the credible science camp on this subject comes from local researchers at the University of Otago, including lead co-author and Healthy Food Guide Editorial Advisory Board member, Professor Jim Mann from Otago’s Department of Human Nutrition and Medicine and Edgar National Centre for Diabetes and Obesity research. The study, commissioned by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and published in the British Medical Journal, looked into what is known about the effects of sugar.
When it comes to the urge to eat junk food or avoid exercise, acceptance and commitment therapy says: don't fight it, resistance is futile. Confoundingly, however, acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) is attracting growing recognition for its effectiveness when it comes to getting people to eat less and exercise more.
If you're sick of hearing bad news about ageing and physical decline, here's some good news. Not long ago, researchers at Saskatchewan's University of Regina took a group of men aged 60 to 70 and gave them a 22-week strength training program. They then compared them to a group of 18 to 31-year-old untrained men - and found that the two groups were pretty much equal in muscle mass and strength.
The message that nuts are a healthy food that can help lower bad LDL cholesterol has been around for years – so why aren't we eating more of them? The surprise finding from a new nut industry report on Australia's nut eating habits is that most of us nibble them once a month or less, often on planes or at parties, with only two per cent of us eating them daily. What's holding us back is the F word: fat. We might know that the fat in nuts, like the fat in foods like olive oil and avocado, is healthy fat, but we're still keeping it at arms' length.
Stevia has been said, by many, to be the sweet solution to the sugar 'problem'. Native to Paraguay, the stevia plant is as much as 300 times sweeter than sugar, but has barely any effect on blood glucose levels and contains no calories. It's pitched as the 'natural' alternative to artificial sweeteners and is the choice of US physicist and renowned sugar critic, Gary Taubes, who has said that by spiking our insulin levels, sugar, not fat, is responsible for the obesity epidemic and a slew of related illnesses. For a natural sweetener, pop leaves in your tea Alice Gibson suggests ... Stevia plant. For a natural sweetener, pop leaves in your tea Alice Gibson suggests ... Stevia plant. Photo: David Tease In an article for the New York Times, he said stevia "gets my vote as the best noncaloric sweetener, by virtue of being the only one that's truly 'natural'... Extracts of the herb have been used as a sweetener for centuries. In Japan, Stevia has been sold widely as a sugar substitute since the early 1970s without any documented ill effects."
If you want constant improvement, you've got to mix up your workouts. You work out religiously. You use excellent form for every lift on the resistance side and do every scheduled aerobic session no matter how tired you may be. But you're still not making gains. So, here are the first two questions you need to ask yourself: how long have you been training consistently? And how long have you been doing the same routines? Whether you're trying to build an awesome beach body or become a stronger and more powerful athlete, there's one rule that applies to every kind of workout: to progress in your appearance or athletic ability, you must have at least a basic knowledge of physiology and be able to put it to use.
Find out whether tight is right when it comes to compression gear. It seems you can't head to a gym or run down your favourite trail these days without finding someone wearing compression garments. Weekend warriors and elite athletes alike are squeezing themselves into knee-high socks, tights and even full body suits that promise to improve performance and speed recovery from hard workouts. Those claims might be true. Or they might not be. A good bit of research has been conducted on the effectiveness of compression gear, and the results are inconclusive.
Roll up a sleeve for the blood pressure cuff. Stick out a wrist for the pulse-taking. Lift your tongue for the thermometer. Report how many minutes you are active or getting exercise. Wait, what? If the last item isn't part of the usual drill at your doctor's office, a movement is afoot to change that. One recent national survey indicated only a third of Americans said their doctors asked about or prescribed physical activity.
Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) and the Academic Medical Center (AMC) in Amsterdam have together developed a technique that allows detailed 3-D imaging of complex muscle structures of patients. It also allows muscle damage to be detected very precisely. This new technique opens the way to much better and more patient-friendly diagnosis of muscular diseases. It also allows accurate, non-invasive muscle examinations among top athletes.
It has the latest fitness equipment, from a Cybex training circuit to stationary Expresso Cycles with video screens that let you bike virtually through a bucolic countryside. It holds classes in yoga, Pilates, boot camp and the hottest exercise trend, Zumba. And it offers personal training, massage therapy and a variety of health screenings. Yet it's not a glitzy mirror-wall health club aimed at fitness-minded singles. In fact, its business has nothing to do with fitness. It's Cisco, worldwide provider of networking systems for business. And Cisco, with its state-of-the-art workout center, is hardly alone among its contemporaries in Research Triangle Park, where buff bodies seem about as important as strong bottom lines.
When his running coach implored him to take rest days, Bill Carr didn't listen. Slated to run a 100-mile ultramarathon this month, the 36-year-old cranked up his workouts over the summer, running more and harder miles than his coach recommended. Running coach Julie Fingar guides Bill Carr, who ran too much and injured his ankle, in drills at a Twin Rocks trail near Folsom Lake in Granite Bay, Calif. "I wanted to make sure that I got to the event fully prepared," he says. But Mr. Carr won't get to the 100-miler at all. Last month, his ankle sustained an over-use injury during a workout, sidelining the Rancho Cordova, Calif., project manager for a vision-benefits company. "Type A personalities will increase their training load until something backfires," says Julie Fingar, Mr. Carr's running coach, who says her biggest challenge is convincing her clients to take an adequate amount of rest. "In their minds, taking rest means they're not working hard enough."
The kids are angry. That's what one fitness chain claims as it has partnered with the Coalition of Angry Kids during the month of September. William White, of Anytime Fitness, said childhood obesity isn't a children's epidemic. “It's a family epidemic,” he said. One out of three children are overweight or obese, according to national health campaigns. And if a parent is overweight, the child is 50 percent more likely to be overweight. That's why it's time for parents to start taking charge, White said.
We breathe, on average, between 22,000 and 28,000 times a day. It's a basic action that most of us take for granted. Provided all is well, our ever-faithful, ethereal friend, the breath, endures. And noticing its presence can have surprising effects on our health and happiness. Not only does every one of our body's trillions of cells need oxygen to survive and thrive, but the way we breathe can influence our immune function, stress levels, respiratory and emotional health. The breath can also help with grief relief, tone our abdominals and even help us to even burn fat more effectively. The key to obtaining such benefits lies not in breathing more, but in breathing better.
How many times have you tried to tell your friends about the energy body but you just can’t seem to convince it’s real? How many times have said friends stopped talking to you altogether, or at the very least mentally categorized you as the cuckoo? Here are five enlightening facts to help you understand what is happening in the body on a physiological level, plus practical applications to integrate into your daily practice (good news: you probably do these things already!)
Understanding the biomechanics of the SIJ enables us to spot functional habits that stress the sacroiliac complex. A correct understanding of motor control ensures that we train the appropriate stabiliser muscle combinations in order to maintain a close pack and stable position for transferring load through the pelvis avoiding the development of pain.
Lately we’ve been seeing a lot of new products coming through – or existing products being reformulated – using the relatively new sweetener, stevia. It’s being used as a sugar substitute in all sorts of things from yoghurt to drinks. Stevia is a sweetener extracted from the leaves of the Stevia rebaudiana plant. Stevia has been used for centuries in Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay to sweeten foods and drinks and is widely cultivated in Asia. The fresh leaves are reported to be 15-20 times sweeter than sugar, and extracts from the leaves can be up to 300 times sweeter – meaning you don’t need to use very much at all to get a sweet taste. Unlike sugar, it has hardly any kilojoules, and no impact on blood sugar. Bulk stevia powder is available now in the supermarket for use in cooking, under several brand names. So is this new sweetener the answer to our prayers of unlimited sweet things with no guilt, no sugar ‘addiction’ and no weight gain?
Think you need a gym to stay in shape? According to the American College of Sports Medicine, one of the leading fitness trends requires nothing more than your own body weight. This year’s trendiest fitness programs include a mix of fresh ways to sweat it out as well as some stand-bys. Body weight training, a method that uses the body’s own weight as the source of resistance for strength training and muscle endurance, made the list for the first time while previous gym go-tos like spinning and Pilates fell out of favor.
Remaining physically active as you age, a new study shows, may help protect parts of your brain from shrinking, a process that has been linked to declines in thinking and memory skills. Physical exercise not only protected against such age-related brain changes, but also had more of an effect than mentally and socially stimulating activities. The subjects in the study provided details on their daily physical, mental and social activities. Three years later, using imaging scans, the scientists found that the subjects who engaged in the most physical exercise, including walking several times a week, had less shrinkage and damage in the brain’s white matter, which is considered the “wiring” of the brain’s communication system.
New Zealand scientists say one of the world's most invasive species of seaweed, undaria, could help in the fight against cancer. Researchers at the Auckland University of Technology say the discovery of a compound in a noxious seaweed might one day help those who are battling the disease. ”There's a reasonable amount of evidence that seaweed consumption, particularly in Asia, is in some way is correlated with some cancers, or the lack of some cancers,” says AUT marine biologist Lindsay White. Undaria is a daily staple in the diets of Koreans and the Japanese.
A spate of US deaths linked to Monster Energy drinks could speed up a trans-Tasman review of caffeinated drinks and see caffeine limits slashed in New Zealand. The United States Food and Drug Administration is investigating the safety of energy drinks after receiving reports of five deaths and a non-fatal heart attack after drinking Monster Energy. One 14-year-old girl drank two 700mL cans in the 24 hours before suffering a fatal cardiac arrest in December last year.
he general advice for most people is: Get more exercise. But the question is what kind of exercise, how intensely and for how long? A new study suggests that for improvements in cardiovascular health, you should pick up the pace. More intense exercise (brisk walking) was better than longer bouts of lower-intensity activity (leisurely walking) at reducing people’s chances of developing risk factors for heart disease and diabetes, researchers found.
We’ve all suffered through it: that mid-afternoon urge for a candy bar, or the blues that make us reach for a cupcake or brownie. Those strong sugar cravings that pack the power of all the Avengers rolled into one moment of weakness. We’ve known for a while that sugar is a dieter’s worst nightmare, but everyday we’re learning more about how sugar is not only bad itself, but actively works against meeting your health and wellness goals.
An increasing number of workers spend their day in front of a computer. Often, the only physical activity they get for 8 to 9 hours is the tapping of their fingers on the keyboard. Then, after a long day, they head home and park in front of the television for another hour or two, getting even less exercise than they did at work. More and more, doctors and researchers are realizing that our weight problems – and the host of medical conditions that accompany our expanding waistlines – can be largely blamed on the sedentary lifestyles so many of us lead.
How do you feel when someone says “you shouldn’t eat that”? It’s human nature – we don’t like being told what to do, and this seems even more true when it comes to eating. Just look at the brouhaha that erupts every time some health expert suggests regulation on junk food. New research from Otago University has found that not only do we hate being told we should eat better, but it can actually make us fatter.
Being more active and improving your diet after menopause can promote bone health and reduce the risk of cancer. Saying goodbye to a menstrual cycle sounds like cause for celebration. But like everything in life, menopause comes with strings attached: sleep disturbances, hot flushes, mood swings, increased abdominal fat, thinning hair, vaginal dryness and loss of breast fullness. Add to that an increased risk of osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease, urinary incontinence and weight gain. Frankly, that’s not a good advertisement for life post-menstruation. But menopause doesn’t have to be taken sitting down; in fact, getting up and doing things might be the best thing you can do. The hormonal changes associated with menopause, such as decreasing oestrogen levels, make it more likely that excess weight will be stored on the abdomen rather than hips or thighs. Add to that a tendency for menopausal women to exercise less, a natural decline in muscle mass with age, genetic factors and changes in lifestyle as we age, and the end result can be unwanted weight gain around the middle.
As a boy, generously proportioned Gerry Brownlee stuck out in his family like a goose among ducks. From a young age, the future Cabinet minister was a big boy in a family of thin people, according to uncle Owen Brownlee, prompting worried visits to the doctor with his parents. Despite all the Brownlee children eating at the same dinner table, Gerry mysteriously piled on the pounds faster than his skinny siblings. Whatever was at work, it wasn’t simply his environment. Cases like these have fuelled interest in the role of genes in loading the dice towards obesity. Groundbreaking research from the Dunedin longitudinal study released this week has quantified just how powerful genes can be in producing hefty adults.
Being physically active may help reduce one’s risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, even in older patients, according to a study published online April 18 in Neurology. The study is one of the first to look at a range of physical activities, instead of strictly focusing on exercise. “There is accumulating evidence to suggest that a whole range of late-life activity is important in maintaining cognitive ability,” said Aron S. Buchman, MD, associate professor of neurological sciences at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. The study is among the latest of several to suggest a link between mental and physical activity and long-term cognitive health.
Nearly one in four Kiwis have a musculoskeletal disorder, such as arthritis, which costs the country more than $5.5 billion each year to treat, according to a new report. The Fit to Work report, released this week, prepared by Lancaster University's The Work Foundation, says more needs to be done to support those with MSDs or musculoskeletal disorders and prevent even more Kiwis being affected. "As the number of people with chronic conditions are projected to soar across the globe, New Zealand needs to ensure that strategic, joined-up policies are in place to support the primary prevention of MSDs through early detection and intervention," the report says. By 2020 more than 650,000 people are expected to have at least one type of arthritis, compared 530,000 in 2010.
Physicians should encourage male patients to add moderate weight lifting to their fitness regimens to help prevent the development of type 2 diabetes, says the author of a recent Harvard School of Public Health study. Men who do weight training for 30 minutes, five days a week, might be able to reduce their risk of developing the chronic disease by up to 34%, said the study, published online Aug. 6 in Archives of Internal Medicine. But even modest lifting, such as 20 minutes, two or three times a week, can decrease a man’s diabetes risk. The greatest reduction occurred in those who combined lifting with aerobic exercise, a study says. Researchers are examining if the results apply to women.
A new study by researchers at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine may change current thinking about how best to treat patients in respiratory distress in hospital intensive care units. It has been commonly believed that high levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) or hypercapnia in the blood and lungs of patients with acute lung disease may be beneficial to them. Now, for the first time, scientists have shown how elevated levels of CO2 actually have the opposite effect.
A new study has found evidence that marathon running could trigger pulmonary edema, where fluid builds up in the lungs. Despite mounting evidence of the link between strenuous exercise and pulmonary edema, experts still debate whether the two factors are linked. Researchers from the United States and Italy aimed to investigate the link by assessing whether running a marathon triggers pulmonary edema which causes breathlessness, severe cough and even heart attacks or respiratory failure in serious cases.
Take a journey around the world to discover some top nutrition and lifestyle tips from countries known for their healthy people We can seek refuge from the confusion of nutritional messages in the media by looking to our ancestors’ diets and lifestyles for guidance. People are returning to their roots in droves, growing their own vegetables and becoming increasingly aware of the perils of processed food. Consider what we can learn from different cultures where the prevalence of disease is low and the quality of life is high. In other parts of the world people are living long, healthy and happy lives. What is their relationship with food, how do they eat and, most importantly, what do they eat?
One in twelve New Zealand adults takes medication for cholesterol levels. But it doesn’t have to be that way. You can make a difference to your cholesterol levels with smart food choices, and without giving up favourites. While genetics may be a contributing factor to high cholesterol, for most of us it simply comes down to a combination of lifestyle factors. The two biggest contributing factors are too much saturated fat in our diet and being overweight. Since high cholesterol can lead to atherosclerosis – the disease which causes heart attacks and strokes – it’s a good idea to take a good look at your diet and make a few easy changes.
If you're not sure, try quitting. A total sugar detox is tough but rewarding, writes Sarah Berry. Sugar is the femme fatale of the food world. Equal parts seductive and evil, it whispers sweet nothings to our tastebuds and then does its damage once it slips past our lips. It has been linked to obesity and diabetes, it could be cancer-causing and it might even make us stupid. Despite this, we are left begging for more of the sweet stuff even while it has its wily way with us. But as this villain du jour snuck its way into formerly healthy foods, it was caught red-handed in everything from bread to sauce to spreads and has been on public trial ever since.
There's increasing evidence that eating the right food can elevate your mood. Scientific research suggests that some vegetables, fruits and spices can affect the chemistry of the brain and act as mood enhancers, promoting calmness and a sense of well-being, while vitamin and mineral deficiencies can lead to mood swings, insomnia and depression. "The food that we eat every day has a massive influence on the functioning of the brain," says Tanushree Podder, author of You Are What You Eat. "Diets with low nutrients, exposure to the environmental toxins in our everyday living, stress, working around the clock against the dictates of our body clock, constant intake of stimulants like alcohol, tobacco, caffeine and junk foods to keep us going, all have an enormous effect on our mental functions," says Ms Podder, who quit the corporate sector eight years after completing her MBA.
There is little hard evidence that sports tape does all it claims to do. Athletes must be falling apart because, suddenly, everyone from Novak Djokovic to Lance Armstrong is taped up. Are these elaborate weaves of coloured ''kinesio tape'' a genuine leap forward in the treatment of sports injuries? Or is the tape, ubiquitous at the Olympics, the new Kabbalah bracelet? Kinesio Tex Tape, a strong elasticated tape, was developed more than 30 years ago by a Japanese chiropractor, Dr Kenzo Kase. He found the application of the tape replicated some of the beneficial effects of manual therapy - such as massage - in reducing pain and soreness for injured patients.
Find out how diet can influence the quality of our sleep. Sleep quality can be affected by what we're eating and drinking during the day, especially in the hours before we go to bed. An overfull stomach can cause discomfort while an empty stomach may cause hunger pangs, all of which can stop you falling asleep.
We’re in the midst of Olympic fever right now. Isn’t it fun watching all those amazing athletic achievements; people pushing their bodies to the limits of strength, agility and endurance and accomplishing breath-taking feats? I find it so inspiring to see what humans can do if they focus their energy and talent. It’s a wonderful reminder of what the human body is capable of (although obviously not all human bodies!). I’ve been fascinated to read some of the things elite Olympic athletes eat to stay in peak performance mode. Achieving world-beating performances requires a dedicated attention, of course, to everything that goes into the body. What interests me is that it’s not all about high-tech foods like protein bars and shakes, but often more ordinary, simple foods.
For decades, experts have been recommending that we cut down on their salt consumption to reduce their risk of heart attack and stroke. According to a new study, however, while reducing dietary salt does lower blood pressure, it may also lead to a slight boost in cholesterol, a separate risk factor for heart disease. Danish researchers report in the American Journal of Hypertension that reducing sodium consumption led to a 1% drop in blood pressure in people who had normal pressure readings, and a 3.5% drop in those with hypertension. But other changes may offset those benefits: people who cut dietary salt also saw a 2.5% increase in cholesterol levels and a 7% boost in triglycerides. Like high blood pressure, elevated levels of cholesterol and triglycerides are risk factors for heart disease. Excessive triglycerides can also contribute to diabetes.
Side bridging particularly strengthens the quadratus lumborum (QL) and tensor fascia latae (TFL) as the major mobiliser muscle groups. When you take weight through your leg you need a pelvis that can transfer the load from your leg to your trunk efficiently. In the stance phase of gait, therefore, your SIJ on the weight bearing side must be in a stable, "close pack" position (see the diagram below). And when you swing your leg in the swing phase there needs to be some give in the pelvis to allow movement to occur, called the loose pack position in the SIJ. The close pack position for the SIJ is a posteriorly rotated ilium bone against a "nodded forward" or nutated sacrum.
We have been led to believe that fat is bad for us. In some cases (trans fats) it is, but the right fats play an integral role in our health. The short answer is that there are “bad fats” and there are “good fats.” I’m not going to go into great detail about “bad fats” but instead focus on which fats are healthful and a good choice to feed to our growing children. Nuts, seeds and avocados are whole foods that provide healthful fat in delicious snack-size shapes. I use, and highly recommend, the following five healthy oils:
Certain foods can be seen as nutritional boosters keeping you sprightly, but, they can also be seen as bodyguards deterring signs of skin ageing. How about berries instead of Botox, tomatoes instead of day cream, carrots instead of make-up? Many foods are beauty aids that make expensive creams and treatments unnecessary. Their effects are not immediate, though. "Foods aren't medications that work overnight," says Hans Lauber, a nutrition expert and author from Munich. Rather than a short-term impact Hans says, many foods have a preventative and, above all, lasting effect.
Just 10 years ago, barely anyone knew what the word gluten meant, let alone gave any thought to avoiding it. But now gluten-free diet menus are all the rage, and high-profile stars such as Gwyneth Paltrow, Rachel Weisz, and Victoria Beckham have been linked to the gluten-free lifestyle, which is said to contribute to increased energy, thinner thighs, and reduced belly bloat.
At a conference in Wellington over the past two days academics have anguished over the plight of fat people. They called their subject "Fat Studies" They regarded fat people as victims not of their own appetite nor, for once, of corporate fast food chains, but of the public health campaigns that are supposed to help them. The campaigns portrayed such people as "enemies of the state", according to one speaker.
Eating healthy can be harder than you think, thanks to an enterprising food industry that wants us to consume more than we need. That’s because our country’s agricultural system produces twice what most people require, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service. This encourages creative marketing to unload the excess, much of it with minimal nutritional value. As a nutrition consultant, I know that words such as “low fat,” “high fiber,” “multigrain” and “natural” can fool even the most sophisticated customers into believing what they’re buying is healthful. So what can you do? First, make a habit of reading the ingredients list, not just the Nutrition Facts panel. And remember the following products worth resisting.
Physical activity not only helps you slim down but also contributes to the prevention and treatment of illnesses related to obesity. Here is some expert advice from Dr. Didier Chapelot, director of the degree course in Adapted Physical Education at Paris 13 University. In order to fight against obesity, you are not obliged to limit yourself to the exercises usually recommended like walking, swimming and cycling for example. You can make it much more fun by trying out different activities. Here, Dr. Didier Chapelot, director of the degree course in Adapted Physical Education at Paris 13 University, gives us the lowdown on fat-burning physical exercise.
If you can't resist eating an entire bar of chocolate in one go, the solution could be simple. Unwrap it and break it into all of its individual chunks before tucking in. Research shows that people eat less when presented with several small pieces of food rather than one large one - even when the two contain the same number of calories. It isn't entirely clear why this is so, but scientists believe it could be down to an optical illusion, with the brain and belly fooled into thinking that a bar of chocolate broken into pieces is bigger than one that remains whole.
Women who work more than 35 hours every week are more likely to put on weight, according to a study. Research found career-driven women risk weight gain because they tend to spend less time preparing healthy food at home, taking exercise and getting the right amount of sleep. Australian researchers analysed 9276 women aged 45-50 over two years. Findings showed 55 per cent put on weight in that time with the average women gaining 1.5 per cent of her initial weight. Some were also reported to have experienced 'extreme' amounts of weight gain.
The French may love to look good but few are willing to work up a sweat over it. Despite increasing awareness of the benefits of healthy eating and physical exercise, going to the gym in France is still a niche activity that has yet to capture the mainstream. France's generous healthcare system, its cultural preference for outdoor sports and its lack of affordable good-quality clubs are seen as reasons behind the country's low rate of gym goers, even relative to laid-back neighbors Spain or Italy. "It appears to me that more people are sitting in cafes smoking cigarettes
Women who exercise moderately may be less likely than their inactive peers to develop breast cancer after menopause, according to a US study. Researchers, whose study was published in the journal Cancer, found that of more than 3000 women with and without breast cancer, those who'd exercised during their childbearing years were less likely to develop the cancer after menopause. The same was true when women took up exercise after menopause, said the group, led by Lauren McCullough at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. "What we can say is, exercise is good for you," McCullough said. "It's never too late to start. Our evidence suggests that if you start after menopause, you can still help yourself." The findings add to a number of past studies tying regular exercise to lower breast cancer rates, but all the studies only point to a correlation and don't prove that exercise itself is what reduces women's breast cancer risk. There are reasons, though, to believe it can, said McCullough. One possible way is indirectly, by cutting body fat, she said.
Eating too much sugar can eat away at your brain power, according to US scientists who published a study showing how a steady diet of high-fructose corn syrup sapped lab rats' memories. Researchers at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) fed two groups of rats a solution containing high-fructose corn syrup - a common ingredient in processed foods - as drinking water for six weeks. Before the sugar drinks began, the rats were enrolled in a five-day training session in a complicated maze. After six weeks on the sweet solution, the rats were then placed back in the maze to see how they fared.
What happened to Fabrice Muamba is very different to what happens to older and unfit people Fabrice Muamba: had a cardiac arrest, not a heart attack. Fabrice Muamba's cardiac arrest on the football pitch has become the most visible example of a shocking statistic: at least 12 young people die suddenly every week in the UK because of abnormalities of the heart. Like Muamba, many of these tragedies strike during exercise. Phidippides, the Greek messenger who inspired the modern marathon and collapsed after running well over 100 miles in two days, may be the earliest recorded incident of the shocking death of an athlete. But until recently many cardiac arrest fatalities were classified as "natural causes" rather than attributed to a recognisable condition – sudden death syndrome (SDS).
Leafy green salads, stir fried broccoli, and even Vegemite on wholegrain toast are all good foods for getting your daily folate, a B vitamin that matters if you're pregnant or trying to be. Besides helping prevent birth defects like spina bifida, folate is also important for the quality of eggs and sperm – and too little may reduce the chances of conceiving. A fertility expert believes believes the contribution of lifestyle, including diet, is underrated when it comes to successful conception...
Too much exercise can scar the heart and increase the risk of sudden death, US experts say. Research shows that extreme endurance sports such as marathons, triathlons and long-distance bicycle races can cause structural changes to the heart and large arteries. Usually recovery occurs within a week. But for some individuals, repetitive injury over months and years of training and competition can lead to patches of fibrosis, or scarring, in the heart, say US scientists. Advertisement: Story continues below This can lead to an increased likelihood of potentially fatal abnormal heart rhythms.
There’s no rule that says the spread on your bread must be yellow. In fact it’s easier to just dig into an avocado and spread on some green instead – that way you can avoid an argument about what’s better, butter or margarine. Both these yellow spreads have their pros and cons. Butter, a food we’ve eaten for thousands of years, tastes better and comes with no colourings or preservatives - but its saturated fat content can raise levels of ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol. Margarine made from canola, olive oil or sunflower oil on, the other hand, contains fats that help lower LDL cholesterol – but doesn’t taste as good. And although margarines made with olive oil, another fat with a long track record, sound reassuringly Mediterranean, the amount of olive oil in them can be as little as 16 or 23 per cent.
VITAMIN D should be added to more Australian foods to prevent widespread deficiencies, a conference will be told today. About 30 per cent of the Australian population has low levels of vitamin D, which is mostly absorbed through the skin after exposure to direct sunlight. But with one of the highest skin cancer rates in the world, it's difficult for Australians to absorb the recommended amount without increasing skin cancer risk, Deakin University researcher Caryl Nowson said. Advertisement: Story continues below Vitamin D levels often drop among people living in southern states, she said. Professor Nowson said Australia should follow the lead of countries such as Canada and add more vitamin D to the food supply.
Are you a liquorice lover? In news that will have fans reaching for the allsorts, The Atlantic has published an article suggesting that liquorice root contains anti-diabetic properties. Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics in Berlin, Germany identified a group of natural substances within liquorice root called amorfrutins. Testing on mice, the scientists found that the consumption of amorfrutins reduced blood sugar levels and inflammation that would otherwise be present in the mice suffering from Type 2 diabetes. The amorfrutins also prevented the development of a fatty liver - a common side-effect of type 2 diabetes and a high-fat diet. Type 2 diabetes generally affects people who are already overweight or obese, causing the body to become resistant to insulin.
Eat less, weigh less. It turns out it's not quite that simple. Losing weight is simple in principle. The rule of thumb has been that if you cut out 2100 kilojoules a day - the equivalent of two large lattes or a blueberry muffin - you will lose about half a kilo a week until you reach that magic number on the scales. Simple - but, as it turns out, probably way too simple. It now appears that dietitians, doctors and others may have been getting it wrong all these years. There's a lot more to losing weight than just kilojoules in/kilojoules out. When you start to lose weight, your body slows down your metabolism. In other words, you use less energy for the same activities.
Scientists have identified a protein which regulates the activation of brown fat in both the brain and the body's tissues. Unlike white fat, which functions primarily to store up fat, brown fat (also known as brown adipose tissue) burns fats to generate heat in a process known as thermogenesis. The research, discovered that the protein BMP8B acts on a specific metabolic system (which operates in the brain and the tissues) to regulate brown fat, making it a potential therapeutic target.
Exercise clears the mind. It gets the blood pumping and more oxygen is delivered to the brain. This is familiar territory, but Dartmouth's David Bucci thinks there is much more going on. "In the last several years there have been data suggesting that neurobiological changes are happening -- [there are] very brain-specific mechanisms at work here," says Bucci, an associate professor in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences.
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. "Among the individual vigorous activities we evaluated, only running and performing aerobic exercise or calisthenics were associated with a reduced risk of psoriasis. Other vigorous activities, including jogging, playing tennis, swimming and bicycling were not associated with psoriasis risk," the authors note. "The highly variable intensity at which these activities are performed may account for this finding."
Australian and New Zealand pregnant women who weigh more than 140 kilograms are at greater risk of complications including gestational diabetes and caesarean section deliveries, new figures show. These women have a body mass index greater than 50 or weigh more than 140 kilograms. A healthy adult BMI is between 20 and 25. The figures, to be presented today at the Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists conference in Perth, showed extremely morbidly obese women were twice as likely to require a caesarean delivery than other pregnant women.
There are some evenings when time and energy to spend in the kitchen are in short supply - that’s why supermarkets have freezers and chillers packed with ready meals and there’s a queue at the local takeaway. But somewhere between the frozen pizza and the home-cooked pork belly with parsnip remoulade, there’s a middle ground – fast food made from cupboard staples that deliver healthy dinners in minutes.
Jennifer was a 33 year woman who came to see me for physiotherapy treatment eight months after the birth of her second child. She had been experiencing urinary leakage since 30 weeks pregnant, but was distressed that it hadn’t resolved, despite doing regular pelvic floor exercises. She had also recently noticed a feeling of “something coming down” in her pelvic region, which was always worse at the end of the day or after a run. During our initial consultation, Jennifer told me that she had started running at about 4 months post-birth, in an attempt to lose her extra baby weight and help with her wobbly tummy. She was concerned that she was still 6 kilograms heavier than pre-pregnancy, so she had been running at least 3-4 times a week and was now running around 8km each session..
The exercise gadgets advertised on TV are often expensive. If you buy one, the DVD usually ends up being ignored after a few months; or the equipment ends up unused and gathering dust. The reason is a common one - boredom. You were bored with your training program and wanted something different that would speed up the desired results. After getting the DVD or the machine, buyers learn the inescapable fact: It takes time to build muscle, lose fat and get stronger. Nothing will speed up that time. And soon, you become just as bored with your new exercise device as you were at the gym. Advertisement: Story continues below But if boredom is inescapable reality, you can at least use a routine that's efficient; one that gets your workout completed in a shorter amount of time. That's where supersets come in. Supersets are a new buzzword in training, but they've been around forever. Most elite athletes use them.
There's no argument that the right food and exercise help keep our bodies in good nick, but do they matter for our mental health too? Last month Spanish researchers put the food-mood link on the table again with a study of 8964 people that found that those eating the most junk - meaning commercial baked goods like croissants and doughnuts, and fast food like burgers and pizza - were more likely to be depressed than those who ate little or none. It's one of a few studies now suggesting that too much over-processed food could be bad for our mood, while a more Mediterranean-style menu with fish, fruit, vegetables, legumes, nuts, olive oil and grains may improve it. Still, it's hard to know what comes first - does eating junk contribute to a low mood, or do we eat junk because we're feeling bad?
The science behind runner's high could prove the vital place of exercise in the evolutionary history of humankind. Ferrets don't often figure in studies of exercise, perhaps because they don't exercise much. They slink like fog through tunnels, sprint briefly over open ground and spend much of their time sleeping. They are, in biological terms, what's called a non-cursorial species, meaning they are reluctant and lousy distance runners. Which is why they were ideal subjects for an experiment conducted at the University of Arizona in Tucson looking at whether humans and other species evolved to like running. Many anthropologists and distance runners believe that running guided the evolution of early humans. We ran in search of dinner and to flee from predators. But running is costly, metabolically. It incinerates energy. It can also cause injury. A twisted ankle would have removed your typical early human from the gene pool.
WHILE you were likely sleeping, Tomas Bystron edged a little closer to his toughest goal yet, a six-pack. ''The only things I do, I work, I study, then I go to the gym,'' the 20-year-old hospitality worker from the Czech Republic said as the clock inside Jetts, a new 24-hour gym in Haymarket, neared midnight. The convenient gym hours, cost and easy access fuelling Mr Bystron's rapid development is doing the same for the 24-hour fitness sector, at a time when analysts foresee slower growth for the broader industry.
March 2012 Evening News….Yet another Silver Fern has made an early comeback just weeks after giving birth. Many viewers probably think this is heroic. I wonder if her coach knows the high risks to her pelvic floor and the association between urinary incontinence and sports like netball. As health and fitness professionals we know the importance of regular, weight-bearing exercise. It not only helps one feel good, but it actually reduces the risk of developing or dying from many of the leading causes of death and illness. However, lesser known is that every exercise affects the pelvic floor; and certain exercises can actually harm these muscles, contributing to, or causing pelvic floor dysfunctions such as incontinence and prolapse.
Getting too little sleep can have all kinds of negative consequences, including making you cranky and impairing your driving. A growing body of evidence suggests an addition to that list might be in order: Lack of sleep might also make you fat. The intriguing prospect that sleep duration may play a role in how much we weigh has researchers busily conducting studies to tease out the potential relationship between shut-eye and BMI.
I have struggled with sugar for most of my life. My mom recalls finding candy wrappers under my bed when I was a kid. I’d think nothing of devouring a whole bag of candy corn around this time of year. But for all my interest in sugar, and despite my being a nutrition writer, I’ve never really known much about sugar as a nutrient. With Halloween — one of sugar’s high holidays — coming up, I figured this was a good time to get the scoop on sugar.
Ask any nutritionist, dietitian or health professional whether fad diets work, and I'm picking you'll get the same answer. Our obsession with our weight and appearance - which, in the interest of honesty and transparency, I'd have to admit is fuelled, on some level, by me and my fitness colleagues - is seemingly without end. Far from abating, this obsession is gathering even more momentum, if our constant ambushing by the-latest-weight-loss-trend-taking-Hollywood-by-storm is anything to go by.
It may be hard to believe that someone can go from dreading exercise to dreading a day that passes without it. But that's just what happened to me. Learning to love exercise wasn't a miraculous conversion, but a gradual evolution that could happen for anyone. I'm proof. In younger years, I avoided gym classes, team sports and the outdoors. Like a lot of my friends, I just didn't want to exert myself.
AVOCADO oil may have anti-ageing properties like those attributed to olive oil, researchers say. Fat pressed from the exotic fruit could be a potent weapon against conditions such as heart disease and cancer, it is claimed. Avocado oil is similar in composition to olive oil, which is associated with unusually low levels of chronic disease in some Mediterranean countries.