Sunday, 6 May 2007

Barbecue = higher breast cancer risk

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Are you a female barbecue lover? If so, a new study suggests that there may be a link between postmenopausal women who consume barbecued meat and an elevated breast cancer risk -- to the tune of a 47% increase.

The same study also stated that the same group of women would be wise to eat plenty of fruit and vegetables -- good advice for anyone really. But, if you're post-menopausal and also skip those fruits and vegetables, you may have a 75% risk increase in developing breast cancer.

Tips to get the body you want

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.We're constantly bombarded with information on how to get a great body in only 5 easy exercises, with the help of the magic pill, and so on. Some of the information is not helpful or even effective, but some is useful and can lead to major results. So how do we tell the difference? Well, for starters, we could decide to follow the information of real people who have made big changes to their body -- they should know what works because they've been through the journey, right? Liz Caravia, author of this article, is one such source of information. She transformed her body with the help of pilates and lost 42 pounds.

Check out the article and let me know what you think of Liz's tips.

Poor kids are poor sleepers

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As Bethany noted yesterday, kids need a ton of sleep these days to develop and function normally. With the levels of soda pop and junk foods (as well as prescription drugs) being so large, I'm amazed that so many kids can get sleep these days.

The situations worsen when the child resides in a low-income family. If so, then they are more likely to have sleep problems. What does this lead to? A new study suggests that poor health and performance at school can be a result.

Just when kids need to be developing mentally and physically, the lack of resources to allow all that can stunt normal functioning I would believe. Solution? That's up to each individual family's perspective on the welfare of their children.

The Cardio Free Diet Part 2

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I blogged awhile back on The Cardio Free Diet, and just heard back from a woman who said she was featured on the 20/20 segment in which the diet was featured. She had success with it, and is very much in defense of it. Unfortunately she didn't respond to my blog in the 'comments' section, so you can't see what she wrote, but that's really neither here nor there.

If you're going to read my blogs, you're going to hear the voice of someone who's been in the industry for almost two decades, has the Master's Degree, etc. I will NEVER support a diet. Diet to me, means temporary lifestyle changes which normally lead to only temporary results. I support the teaching of great habits, which over time will lead you to happiness and longevity in the skin you are in. There is no gimmick to it. It is what it is.

My stand on the Cardio Free Diet remains. It disappoints me. Physical fitness is comprised of four elements. Proper nutrition, cardiovascular, strength and flexibility training. I do not believe one can be truly fit without any of those elements. Exercise your brains out, yet eat crap all day......not fit. Strong and flexible without the ability to climb a few flights of stairs (general healthy adult).....not fit.

Continue reading The Cardio Free Diet Part 2

Meet the Bloggers: Adams Briscoe

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For months now, you've read our thoughts about living fit. Don't you wish you knew more about the people behind the posts? Throughout May, we'll introduce you to our bloggers. We know you're dying to learn if we favor spandex over sweats, the craziest diets we've fallen for, what "forbidden foods" lurk in our pantries, and what motivates us to embrace each lunge after glorious lunge. So, read on. And if you feel like asking us a question we haven't posed for ourselves here, ask away!

Today we introduce Adams Briscoe, who contributes his fresh insight on healthy living, Southern-fried style from south of the Mason-Dixon!

1. Who are you?
Adams Briscoe

2. Age you tell people you are.

3. Where you're from and where you live now.
Originally from the deep south, and I haven't moved much!

4. Do you have a personal blog?
Not yet ... But I do have a Twitter -- add me!

5. What is your day job, or rather, what do you do when you're not fitness blogging?
When I'm not blogging about fitness I am [very] busy being a full-time student.

6. How long have you been blogging with That's Fit and what is your favorite post?
Been with That's Fit since the beginning, and my favorite post is Fast Food Secrets You Don't Wanna Know.

7. Do you have a specific fitness background or are you a mere mortal who's just passionate about being healthy and fit -- and living to write about it?
As far as my background is concerned, I'm a certified black belt, which means at one point I was in a lot better shape than I am in now!

8. What's the worst fitness or diet idea you fell for?
Protein shakes. Many people swear by them and can make it work, but apparently my body just refuses to comply.

9. What motivates you to exercise and stay healthy?
My motivation for staying healthy comes from seeing centenarians outlive pretty much everyone else.

10. Who's your favorite fitness role model?
Bruce Lee has been my fitness role model for years. Fist of fury!

11. What's your exercise "M.O." -- Gym workouts or outdoor endeavors; team or solitary sports?
Getting outside is a priority for workouts.

12. Choice of fitness gear: Baggy sweats or sultry spandex?
I've been known to indulge with spandex every now and then. Speedos too. Did I mention I was a swimmer? Watch out, Michael Phelps...

13. What's your favorite fitness activity?
If I can make time to lace up my running shoes, I could disappear for hours. Trail running is quick and easy to get into where I live, followed closely by cycling and ultimate frisbee.

14. Do you have any non-fitness-related, non-blogging hobbies?
I'm a huge technology buff! Gadgets, computers, code... anything nerdy enough to require tech support.

15. Confession time! What nonhealthy food do you eat -- or what unhealthy habit do you indulge in -- that would get you banned from That's Fit? What's your excuse for doing so?
Okay, I must confess: if it's greasy, battered, deep-fried and used to cluck, I'm all over it. Fried chicken is a Southern Staple! And since I'm the only blogger this far south of the Mason-Dixon line, I figure it's okay. Am I fired yet?

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Got zinc? It can help fuel your workout

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If you feel tired or lethargic during workouts, you might be low on zinc. Zinc has always been known as an important mineral for immune system functioning and many other general body functions, but research suggests it may also play a major role in how much energy and stamina we have, and how sore we get, when working out. Usual dietary sources of zinc are oysters, red meat, and poultry, but if you're looking for other options fortified versions of cereal, granola, legumes, nuts, and wheat germ are also good choices.

How did this woman lose weight? She got a dog!

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I'm always interested in hearing about the unconventional ways people have lost weight and here's one: Patti Lawson dropped pounds almost by accident when she got a dog. She's even written a book on her transformation, not surprisingly called 'The Dog Diet.'

A lot of overweight people have dogs and haven't lost a pound, so just what makes this relationship one that lead to weight-loss. Well, for starters, daily walks gave Patti some much-needed exercise. Because the dog was interested in everything she ate, Patti started making healthier choices. And lugging around dog food hasn't hurt either. But the real change was an internal one -- having a dog caused her to slow down, take it easy and spend more time looking after herself.

There's no denying that having a dog is great for you emotionally and physically, but is it really a legitimate weight-loss tool? What do you think?

Love to tan? Make sure you know the signs of too much sun.

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Does anyone else out there relish the look of a nice dark tan in the summer? Do you wait patiently throughout the cold winter months, knowing that the rainbow at the end of your black, snow-filled cloud is the opportunity to lie on a beach, or by a pool - or even just in the backyard - basking in the warm rays of the glorious sun?

I'm not proud to admit it, but even though I know that exposure to sun causes cancer, I still head out at the first chance I get to bake myself golden brown. I always wear a moisturizer with SPF 15 in it, but only because I don't want sun exposure making me look older. Until recently, I didn't think twice about the fact that it could be causing cancerous lesions on my skin.

However, after a recent trip to Australia - a country with possibly the highest incidence of skin cancers in the world - I began to change my tune and pay more attention. The country offers a very highly publicized awareness campaign titled "Slip, Slap, Slop", which is beginning to make its way to North America. For those who, like me, just can't give up the tan, it is a good idea to check your skin regularly and know the kinds of irregularities to look for.

Cancer prevention through diet

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Although cancer can be caused by a mix of lifestyle choices, nutrition, genetics and other things, eating right takes one of those variables out of the mix I believe. The side benefits are tremendous -- you feel better, don't get tired as fast and look good!

Preventing cancer by eating right and cutting down on chemical consumption is a smart move any way you look at it. After all, most processed food didn't exist until about 50 years ago, and now 99% of what's in your local grocery is processed in a factory for low price, colorful marketing and shelf life -- not for health (far from it).

Some folks that I speak with adamantly disagree that nutrition is a main cause of cancer (all kinds), but I have to disagree -- I think preventative nutrition is a key to preventing cancer. It's no solution, but it's a tool in that box that you have to use -- and I say use it.

Atkins promises women that pounds will drop

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Recently a friend of mine who is looking to drop some pounds has decided to give the Atkins diet a try. I am taking this opportunity to research the diet's pros and cons. As well, I will follow my friend's progress throughout her diet and update this particular blog at the start of each month.

For those of you unfamiliar with the Atkins diet, adapted by Dr. Robert Atkins in the early 70's, it is an all-meat and extremely low-carb diet that emphasizes avoiding refined carbohydrates such as sugar and flour. Of course, exercise and nutritional supplements are needed to accompany the diet.

I have skepticism for this type of weight loss, because I think that carbs are a crucial part of any diet for a number of reasons; however, as far as weight loss goes Atkins tends to have a wealth of success -- especially for women noted in this study.

For more information on the diet click here.

What is your experience with Atkins?

All-natural beauty secret: Camel milk?

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If you thought water was the only liquid camels were famous for, then you may be interested to know that their milk is something of a Saharan beauty secret. Apparently camel milk is packed with vitamins which clean out the body, externally and internally. Nancy Abeiderrahmane of Mauritania operates this type of dairy facility and swears by its wellness and beauty properties.

As the story goes, Queen Cleopatra was a big fan and used to bathe in the stuff. Just drinking the milk is said to yield a healthy complexion though. But it doesn't end there: Nancy says she would love to turn the dairy product into a cosmetic line! Being in such a dry, remote region, she reveals that there is no manufacturer of such beauty goods within 600 miles. Sounds like a perfect opportunity for a business.

Camel milk is beneficial enough to merit regular usage just by itself, so turning it into a cosmetic cream seems like a perfect spin-off. Read on for the full story about this wonder milk and why it can be so good for you (and your skin).

Try going on a vacation that's actually RELAXING

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It's kind of sad the way many of us take vacations: we pick somewhere we've always wanted to go and when we get there we spend the whole time rushing from historical landmark A to tourist attraction B and then on to itinerary item C. These types of vacations are fun and memorable, but are they relaxing? I don't know about you but even though I always have a blast, I also always come back from trips like that more tired than I was when I left. Whenever I can I try to give myself an extra vacation day before I'm due back at work, just to recover from my vacation.

Seeing everything there is to see is a great thing, but maybe you don't have to do that every time you plan a big trip. What about going somewhere exotic on a "de-stressing getaway?" Imagine spending your time getting massages and spa treatments, enjoying gourmet spa cuisine, and doing yoga and meditation in Bali, Zanzibar, Thailand, or if you want to stay closer to home even....Iowa?

Different "de-stressing getaways" offer different things, and although they don't come cheap they all have one focus in common: relaxation.

The Top 10 list of concerns about kids today

There are always new scary bits of news regarding our children and their health. We're constantly bombarded with studies and warnings about obesity, depression, drug addictions, and even relative "wild cards" to worry about like autism. So what worries you the most? Here are the Top 10 Concerns about kids today (ranked in order), according to The National Poll on Children's Health:

1. Smoking
2. Teen drug abuse
3. Childhood obesity
4. Teen alcohol abuse
5. Driving accidents
6. Teen pregnancy
7. Internet safety
8. School violence
9. Sexually transmitted infection
10. Abuse and neglect

Surprised at all?

Arthristis to increase for next 13 years

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Arthritis causes many millions of people to feel helpless to do everyday tasks -- and if the CDC is correct, the problem is going to get worse.

The Centers for Disease Control has now stated that the number of U.S. arthritis patients will rise from about 46 million people today to 67 million in 2030 -- that's a relatively short 23 years away. What can the baby boomers do to prevent all these new cases of arthritis if the CDC's prediction comes true?

For one, start curbing obesity starting now, as that could make arthritis even more common, according to the CDC's projections.

How good are heat wraps for your back, really?

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Oh, our aching backs. According to statistics half of working age adults experience back pain at some point. I would argue it seems like more than that, doesn't it? But however many back-pain-sufferers there are out there, many of them turn to heat therapy for relief.

The question is: does heat therapy really work better than other methods, like say cold therapy or bed rest, to not only soothe but help heal back injuries? And the answer, it seems, is a resounding "it sure looks like it...probably."

Gotta love the finality of science.

More awesome outdoor activities

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A little while ago, I did this post on some outdoor activities for the summer that will blast calories and provide hours of entertainment at the same time. I just discovered this eDiet's article that lists some other great outdoor activities, namely Whitewater rafting, frisbee, swinging (at the playground, not another type of swinging), gardening and more. I think it's a great list -- they're all things that you can easily work in to your routine, and as I look out at the gloomy spring showers, I can't wait to get out and about. Whitewater rafting is a favourite summer activity of mine -- it's thrilling, refreshing and a really good workout if you're tackling some serious rapids and not just floating down a river.

What other activities can you think of?

Depression protection from your neighborhood

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In a recent study, men living in "walkable neighborhoods" were found to have fewer symptoms of depression than those living in less pedestrian friendly areas. Although moderate exercise has been shown to help with depression, the experts in this study believe the results are a combination of increased physical activity and the men feeling more connected to and part of their community. With depression becoming a bigger and bigger issue in society every day, especially in the aging population, results like these could have an impact not only on where people choose to retire, but also where buildings like senior centers are located.

Interestingly, the same results did not hold true for women.

Best Workout of the Week Award - Buddy Lee's Jump Rope Training System

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As a kickboxer and full time fitness trainer of almost 20 years I've become a huge fan of the jump rope. The benefits of jumping rope are infinite: it offers an unbelievable cardiovascular workout which offer the propensity to burn a ton of calories, can increase speed and explosiveness, it's inexpensive, light weight, travels easily. The perfect piece of equipment! I remember long ago when I began fighting, my trainer gave me a rope and told me to 'jump'. Well, I was terrible at it and struggled for a long time to become good at it. Why? I had very little guidance on the skill of jumping rope. My trainer wasn't trying to be mean, he just didn't know the techniques of teaching this skill either.

I think since we all jumped rope as a child, it's assumed we should all just be able to do it now. If you've tried it as an adult, you may have experienced the constant rope kicking, stopping, reshuffling, whipping of the legs, and frustration. How defeating! For years, I have been having my clients jump rope with only the guidance I could give from my experience. Some have had great success, some have had major struggles. Frustrating for me too.

So Friday at the fitness conference I attended, I ran into a man named Buddy Lee. He's a former Olympic wrestler and master of all there is about jumping rope. I instantly approached him because I'm in LOVE with the jump rope. I hoped he'd be able to provide the direction I needed to improve my personal skills and help me break it down for my beginners. Buddy did not disappoint.

Continue reading Best Workout of the Week Award - Buddy Lee's Jump Rope Training System

That cup of tea may save you from skin cancer

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It looks like drinking tea daily and on a regular basis lowers a person's risk for the two most common forms of skin cancer: squamous cell and basal cell carcinoma. The risk was lowered by as much as 20-30% for regular tea drinkers, and by even more for those who had been in the habit for many years (so my mom, who's had a cup of tea every morning for as long as I can remember, has the right idea!).

What the study did not look at, however, was the connection between drinking tea and the risk for developing the rarest but most deadly form of skin cancer: melanoma. But I think it's safe to say that drinking tea definitely won't hurt your risk of getting melanoma, even if by chance it doesn't help it much either.

Studies look at relationship between cancers and nutrition

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The link between diet and cancer is becoming more popular every day as preventative measures to the explosion of various types of cancer continue to be looked at by health officials.

Experts at the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) are looking at preliminary studies that are focusing in on the link between diet and cancer. In one study, eating more fruits and vegetables was associated with lower risk of head and neck cancers. The other study also linked certain vegetables to the lowered risk of pancreatic cancer.

It's pretty clear to me that eating plenty of fruits and vegetables and having a sound nutritional base is a great way to fend off the possibility of future cancer. What's your take?

Eating disorders often overlooked in boys

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There appears to be a gap in the health care system (ha! one among many...) when it comes to identifying eating disorders in boys and some ethnic groups. Obviously, boys and some foreign cultures don't display the same behaviors and symptoms as the "white females" the system was designed for, and so these patients inevitably "fall through the cracks." One example is the fact that doctors and clinicians are trained to pay special attention when patients express an interest in being "thin," but most boys will instead say things along the lines of "fit" and "healthy," and those terms don't set off the same alarms.

So it's pretty obvious at this point that some of the training in this area needs closer examination and perhaps even a complete overhaul. As news about the rising obesity epidemic in this country continues, the pressure for our children will only get worse.