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Back Pain at Work

Posted: 08/15/2014

Back Pain at Work Low-back pain is a leading cause of job-related disability and missed work in the United States. The pain is so unbearable that Americans spend more than $50 billion per year in an effort to make it go away. If you are experiencing work-related back pain, here are some back-protecting tips that may bring you relief:  1.Lift wisely. Take your time,...

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Regular Aerobic Exercise May Help Insomniacs

Posted: 11/27/2013

Sleep Helps Mental Health, TooExercise Helps You SleepRegular Aerobic Exercise May Help Insomniacs “By improving a person’s sleep, you can improve their physical and mental health,” she says. “Sleep is a barometer of health, like someone’s temperature. If a person says he or she isn’t sleeping well, we know they are more likely to...

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The Lowdown on Compression Clothing

Posted: 11/20/2013

If you’re a gym goer or a trail runner you may have seen people wearing knee-high socks, tights or sleeves while exercising. But does this skin-tight clothing actually provide any real benefits?My interest in this topic started two years ago when I wore a set of calf sleeves while preparing for a 10K mud run. I had strained my left calf when I rolled my ankle during a trail...

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Exercise As Effective As Drugs For Treating Heart Disease, Diabetes

Posted: 10/08/2013

Exercise As Effective As Drugs For Treating Heart Disease, DiabetesWritten by Alexandra Sifferlin and posted on healthland.time.com on Oct 1st, 2013 Forget the pills — there’s new evidence that exercise may be as effective as medications in treating heart disease and diabetes.   Doctors now advise everyone, from young children to older adults,...

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Five Things You’re Getting Wrong About Weight and Weight Loss

Posted: 08/12/2013

Five Things You’re Getting Wrong About Weight and Weight LossWritten By Alexandra Sifferlin and posted on healthand.time.com on July 31st, 2013If I’m thin then I’m healthy, right? Wrong. There are several misconceptions people have about weight, losing it and what’s healthy. Here’s the low-down on some myths we’re better off busting.Kids have...

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Falling Obesity Rates Among Preschoolers Mark Healthful

Posted: 08/07/2013

Falling Obesity Rates Among Preschoolers Mark Healthful Written by Allison Aubrey and posted on npr.org/blogs/health on August 6th, 2013A fresh analysis from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests the tide may be turning on the childhood obesity front.After decades of steady increases, 19 states and U.S. territories saw small decreases in their rates of obesity...

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How to fix health problems with exercise

Posted: 05/29/2013

How to fix health problems with exercise

Article posted by Jessica Girdwain on cnn.health.com on May 28th, 2013

Ever wonder why you feel so great after you break a sweat? Turns out, exercise isn't just an effective flab-fighter -- it's a remedy for pretty much any troubling health issue you are facing: anxiety, insomnia, back pain -- even hot flashes.

"When it comes to preventing health problems, exercise is one of the best medicines we have," says Dr. David Katz, founding director of the Yale University Prevention Research Center.

 

But some workouts are better than others for healing what ails you. Try these active solutions:

 

Anxiety

A proven way to ease anxiety naturally is with a bout of cardio, says Michael Otto, co-author of "Exercise for Mood and Anxiety." Getting your heart pumping increases the release of mood-stabilizing neurotransmitters, like serotonin, norepinephrine and GABA, which is why you can feel like you're sweating off stress during Spinning class.

 

The good vibes continue: A study in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise showed that doing 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise (jogging, not sprinting) makes you more resilient against stressors hours later, like preparing for that big meeting with your boss.

 

And over the long term, "people who work out consistently report less overall stress, anxiety and depression," Otto says.

 

Your fitness Rx: Do a quick blast of cardio on the morning of a hectic day, or to unwind at the end of one. If possible, take it outside -- numerous studies show that fresh air provides a big mood boost.

 

Daytime sleepiness

 

Instead of leaning on caffeine (which can prevent you from falling asleep later, causing drowsiness again the next day), get moving. Folks who meet the recommended physical activity guidelines of 150 minutes a week are 65% less likely to feel tuckered out during the day, a 2011 study found.

 

"Exercisers fall asleep faster, suffer fewer middle-of-the-night wake-ups and have a reduced risk of sleep disorders," says study co-author Brad Cardinal, co-director of the sport and exercise psychology program at Oregon State University.

 

Translation? You'll snooze more soundly and feel more energized on the go.

 

"We aren't sure why activity primes your body for sleep so well, but it's likely a combination of factors, including lowering your core body temperature, increasing the sleep-promoting hormone melatonin and supporting a biological need to restore energy levels and repair cells and tissues when you sleep," Cardinal says.

 

Your fitness Rx: Aim for 150 minutes per week of moderate activity. Try to work in some yoga; a 2012 study found that practicing yoga along with deep-breathing techniques relieved insomnia within four months. Wrap up your workout at least three hours before you hit the sack: Exercise can be too stimulating near bedtime.

 

 

Back pain

 

The supporting muscles around your spine become less resilient with age; sitting hunched over a computer all day weakens them further. But the new thinking is that rest isn't usually the answer.

 

"Research has shown that a better fix, in most patients, is strength training," advises Wayne Westcott, an exercise scientist at Quincy College in Massachusetts. "It can lessen pain by 30 to 80% in 10 to 12 weeks."

 

Developing your lower-back, abdominal and oblique muscles takes pressure off your spine and improves range of motion, both preventing and treating pain.

 

Your fitness Rx: Two or three days a week of strength-training exercises, focusing on major muscle groups (try the chest press, leg press and seated row) and lower-back and ab work (the lower-back-and-ab machine). Aim for two to four sets of eight to 16 reps each.

 

 

Low sex drive

 

Look no further than your local gym: In a Journal of Sexual Medicine study, women who hit the treadmill for 20 minutes were more physiologically aroused while viewing an erotic video than the group that didn't work out.

 

"Exercise increases circulation to every area of your body," explains ob-gyn Dr. Alyssa Dweck, co-author of "V Is for Vagina," and that makes us more game for bedroom action.

 

Mentally, regular workouts may help us get over body hang-ups, she adds. And the feel-good endorphins released during exercise can bust through fatigue or stress that drags down sex drive. (Having increased stamina won't hurt, either.)

 

Your fitness Rx: Add workouts that get your heart pumping and put you in touch with your body, like Latin dance or Zumba. Dweck also recommends yoga positions that increase blood flow to the pelvic area.

 

 

Food cravings

 

If you've been using willpower to resist those 3 p.m. chocolate urges -- and failing miserably -- try a little activity instead. Here's why:

 

"In the throes of a craving, your brain is saying 'feed me dopamine!' -- that neurotransmitter that taps into the reward center of your brain. You can satisfy the call with carbs -- or with exercise," says Dr. John Ratey, author of "Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain."

 

Both fixes raise your dopamine levels significantly, but only one will have a favorable effect on your tush.

 

Your fitness Rx: When you get the vending machine crazies, take 15 minutes and go for a brisk walk, which was shown in recent research to be all it takes to short-circuit food cravings.

 

 

Weak immune system

 

Aerobic workouts are a natural cold-fighter, coaxing immune cells out of body tissues and into the bloodstream, where they attack invading viruses and bacteria, explains David Nieman, a professor at Appalachian State University, whose research shows that five days of cardio a week reduced sick days by 43%.

 

Your fitness Rx: Workouts that raise your heart rate can improve immunity. Good options: Jog, cycle or take a dance class. Or, try a circuit workout (with little or no rest in between exercises) for 30 minutes on most days of the week. (Avoid intense exercise beyond 90 minutes, since that can increase your risk of getting sick.)

 

That little commitment is all you need to score a big health payoff.

 

 

Hot flashes

 

During menopause and the years leading up to it, 80% of women will suffer from symptoms such as hot flashes and night sweats. Exercise helps you maintain a healthy BMI -- crucial if you're feeling the heat, since overweight women report more severe symptoms -- and dials down stress, which can trigger flashes, says Dweck.

 

It doesn't take much: One 30-minute walk or run on the treadmill quelled hot flashes by up to 74% over a 24-hour period, according to a study published in the journal Menopause.

 

Your fitness Rx: Cardio is crucial if you're dealing with the big M. Aim for 30 minutes, five days a week.

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Timing Matters To Make Diet and Exercise Changes Last

Posted: 05/13/2013

Timing Matters To Make Diet and Exercise Changes LastWritten by Alexandra Sifferlin and posted on healthandtime.com on April 22, 2013When it comes to making healthy lifestyle changes, which should come first — changing your diet or becoming more physically active?Researchers from Stanford University School of Medicine report in the Annals of Behavioral Medicine that neither...

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Would you like 2 hours of exercise with that?

Posted: 05/07/2013

Would you like 2 hours of exercise with that?Posted by Jacque Wilson on CNN.com/health on April 23rd, 2013You walk into a fast food restaurant and examine the menu. You could get a salad with grilled chicken and dressing on the side. Or you could get a double cheeseburger.Seeing the calories listed next to each item isn't likely to affect your decision, according to a new study...

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How Exercise And Other Activities Beat Back Dementia

Posted: 04/15/2013

How Exercise And Other Activities Beat Back DementiaPosted by Patti Neighmond on npr.org on April 15th The numbers are pretty grim: More than half of all 85-year-olds suffer some form of dementia.But here's the good news: Brain researchers say there are ways to boost brain power and stave off problems in memory and thinking.In other words, brain decline is not necessarily...

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