I know most people can't wait to get started on outdoor activities like biking, swimming, gardening, and walking, especially those of us who feel we have spent much of our winter leading a sedentary lifestyle. It certainly couldn't be a better time to start thinking about what you plan to do to get active.
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), research has found that "moderate physical activity, such as walking and bicycling, offers substantial health benefits. Walking is, in many ways, an ideal form of physical activity." Research also indicates walking just 30 minutes a day five or more days a week can help prevent, arrest, and reverse major health issues like obesity, heart disease, hypertension, type 2 diabetes, and depression. So get out there and spring into walking!
We know 150 minutes each week sounds like a lot of time, but it's not. That's 2 hours and 30 minutes, about the same amount of time you might spend watching a movie. The good news is that you can spread your activity out during the week, so you don't have to do it all at once. You can even break it up into smaller chunksof time during the day. It's about what works best for you, as long as you're doing physical activity at a moderate or vigorous effort for at least 10 minutes at a time.
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Strong evidence shows that regular physical activity is safe and reduces the risk of falls in older adults. Older adults at risk of falling should do exercises that maintain or improve their balance. For best results, they should do these exercises at least 3 days a week.
Examples of balance exercises include:
• Backward walking
• Sideways walking
• Heel walking
• Toe walking
• Standing from a sitting position
A recent study showed that chewing gum can repel snack attacks. Participants in the study ate fewer snacks and reported significantly decreased feelings of hunger and cravings. They also felt less drowsy and more energetic when they chewed gum.
Source: Bev Combs, Nutrition & Wellness Educator, Effingham Center
At the Family Issues Update that was recently held, Carol Schlitt, U of I Extension Nutrition and Wellness Educator, discussed how foods affect your mood. Here are 10 foods that have been shown to boost your mood:
Calcium and Vitamin D
Older adults need more vitamin D and calcium to help maintain bone health. Include three servings of vitamin D-fortified, low-fat or fat-free milk and yogurt each day. Other calcium-rich foods are fortified cereals and fruit juices, dark green leafy vegetables and canned fish with soft bones. If you take a calcium supplement or multivitamin, choose one that contains vitamin D.
Sources: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, ADA Complete Food & Nutrition Guide
A new drug called Onglyza (saxagliptin) was approved this summer by the Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. Onglyza is in a class of medications called dipeptidyl peptidase-4 or DPP-4. These drugs help to stimulate the pancreas to make more insulin after eating. These medications may be prescribed with other oral medications to be used with diet and exercise to achieve target blood glucose goals.
Source: Karen Chapman-Novakofski, Professor, Nutrition and Extension Specialist Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, University of Illinois
Australian researchers who tracked the TV viewing habits of 8,800 people over a six-year span have some sobering statistics for people who love the tube too well: (1) If you watch TV more than two and up to four hours a day, your risk of dying from cardiovascular disease increases by 19 percent (2) If you're viewing habit is more than four hours a day, your risk of death from cardiovascular disease skyrockets by 80 percent. In fact, every hour beyond two hours of sedentary viewing ups the risk by 18 percent.
What's needed, the researchers say, is the kind of ordinary "walking around" things that people do all day long: unloading the dishwasher, fixing a minor leak, pushing a shopping cart at the supermarket, walking the dog, mowing the lawn-any routine activity that keeps the body in motion and helps it metabolize substances that can quickly accumulate from inactivity.
In short, even heavy TV viewers should find ways to keep moving while they're watching. These can include standing and folding laundry while watching, doing stretching exercises or running in place, or changing channels manually instead of with a remote-anything that keeps the body moving and flexible.
March is National Nutrition Month®, a time for reinforcing healthy and nutritious eating habits. The 2010 theme is "Nutrition from the Ground Up" — a return to basics.
"Nutrition from the Ground Up" means choosing more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and beans to create a healthful eating plan. Current guidelines call for eating at least three whole grain servings per day where a serving is one slice of bread or ½ cup of pasta.
For fruits, guideline varies with age and activity. An average amount is 2 cups per day or 2 pieces of fruit. When it comes to vegetables 2½ cups of vegetables per day is the minimum for most adults.
If your whole grain, fruit and vegetable consumption is lagging behind, use this month to build your "Nutrition from the Ground Up."
Produced by ADA's Public Relations Team
Another reason to exercise: It can curb your risk of cancer. Moderate activity, such as brisk walking, can lower your risk of colon cancer, and moderate-to-vigorous activity has been shown to reduce the risk of breast cancer.
1/2 small head cabbage, cut into big pieces
1/4 cup reduced fat cheddar cheese
1/4 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
1/4 cup reduced fat cheddar cheese, grated
1/2 Tbsp. flour
1/2 cup skim milk
1. Preheat oven to 325˚F.
2. Steam cabbage in salted water for approximately 5 minutes. Drain and set aside.
3. Heat milk over medium heat. Add cheese and flour. Stir until it boils, remove from heat.
4. Layer cabbage and cheese sauce in baking dish. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs and cheese.
5. Bake for 15-20 minutes. Serve. Refrigerate leftovers.
NUTRITION FACTS (per serving) - Calories 107 ~ fat 1 g ~ calories from fat 5 ~ sodium 481 mg ~ total carbohydrate 18 g ~ fiber 4 g