Lifestyle Works

High Activity Staves Off Pounds

It seems taken overall, that it is the fairer gender that often suffers from packing on the pounds so to speak, but a recent study releases some, yes, perhaps well known facts, but we can certainly read up on new research to reinforce what we already have some idea of.

People will gain significantly less weight by middle age -- especially women -- if they engage in moderate to vigorous activity nearly every day of the week starting as young adults, according to new Northwestern Medicine research.

Women particularly benefitted from high activity over 20 years, gaining an average of 13 pounds (5.8kg) less than those with low activity; while men with high activity gained about 6 pounds (2.7kg) less than their low-activity peers. High activity included recreational exercise such as basketball, running, brisk walking or an exercise class or daily activities such as housework or construction work.

"Everyone benefits from high activity, but I was surprised by the gender differences," said lead author Arlene Hankinson, M.D., an instructor in preventive medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. "It wasn't that activity didn't have an effect in men, but the effect was greater in women. Now women should be especially motivated...”

There were many ways to achieve the study's definition of high-activity levels, Hankinson noted. One way was 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity a week.

The study participants -- 1,800 women and nearly 1,700 men -- are part of the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) Study, a multi-center, longitudinal and population-based observational study designed to describe the development of risk factors for coronary heart disease in young black and white adults.

"This paper is another example of how the CARDIA study has contributed to our knowledge about the importance of initiating healthy habits early in life and vigilantly maintaining them," said paper co-author Stephen Sidney, M.D., associate director for clinical research at the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research. "Common medical problems such as heart disease, diabetes and obesity have their origins in childhood and can generally be prevented by maintaining a normal weight, not smoking, exercising regularly and eating a healthy diet throughout life."

"The study reinforces that everyone needs to make regular activity part of their lifestyles throughout their lives," she said. "Not many people actually do that." The active group in the study comprised only 12 percent of the participants.

Lower levels of activity had a negligible effect on weight gain in the study. "High activity was the only kind that made a significant difference," Hankinson noted.

~Taken from ScienceDaily (Dec. 20, 2010)

Weight Control

If a person is heavier by at least 20% than the average for his height and weight, they are looking at an overweight problem. Overweight, or obesity, is an excess of body fat: too much is being stored. It is also consuming more calories in the diet than one can use.

Poor diet, fatty foods, and a lack of exercise are common causes. Other factors can include diabetes, hypoglycemia, endocrine glands not functioning properly. Boredom, tension and love of food are other causes, with another factor of inadequate intake or absorption of key nutrients, which cause the fat to be stored instead of used.

The article overleaf emphasized exercise, and there is no doubt that that is a crucial factor, but there are some other basic principles that can offer great value to weight control.

Choose a diet that is made up from fruits, grains, nuts and vegetables. This should be the basis of your whole diet programme, and stick to it.

Do not overeat at any one meal and when the meal is complete, eat nothing until the next, each meal should be about 5 hours apart.

People who are struggling with weight would do best to eat as much food raw as possible rather than cooked. If cooked, the food should be baked, steamed or boiled – never fried. It would be well to go on a cleansing juice fast one day a week.

A regular exercise programme is needed, aerobic exercises are better than other kinds. This simply means exercise done out in the open air. It helps lose weight and build strength. It strengthens the heart, arteries, and veins. It also invigorates the vital organs and endocrine glands.

Walking uses up to 120 calories per hour while jogging burns up 440 calories per hour, but weighing up all factors, walking still remains the best exercise.

Regular bowel movements are important. Keep your water intake well up, it stops dehydration but keeps the stool soft on the fruit, grains, nuts and vegetable diet high in fibre. This is an ideal recipe to keep the bowel moving and clean.

Finally parents, do not overfeed children. Children who are overfed, and consequently become overweight by the age of two, turn into overweight adults more frequently than others.

~Natural Remedies Encyclopedia, page 389, 390.

Recipe of the Month

Carob Mousse

1 c chopped dates
½ c water
3 c soy milk

4 T carob powder
½ t salt
2½ T psyllium powder or 4-5 T psyllium flakes

Simmer dates in water for a few minutes to soften. Put all ingredients, except psyllium, into blender and blend till smooth. Now add the psyllium and blend until it begins to thicken. Pour quickly into serving bowl and sprinkle with coconut. Cover and refrigerate.