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4 Latest Science Bits in Health and Fitness

What you eat is as important as how much.

Even if you’re eating well and working out, you may still not be seeing improvements. A diet high in refined carbohydrates and deficient in vitamins and minerals may lead to inflammation and be the culprit for your weight loss struggle. Dr. Bruce Ames and colleagues undertook three clinical trials where adults ate two nutrient bars each day for two months. Participants who were overweight/obese started moving closer to a healthier metabolic direction and some even lost weight, without any additional requirements or changes to their diet. What you eat can be as important, if not more important, than how much you eat and how much you burn in the gym.





Stop sitting so much!

In some recent review of studies, Australian researchers found evidence of a link between emotional stress and sitting. The studies suggest that sitting too long might be as bad for your mind as it is for your body. Megan Teychenne, who helped lead the study published in BMC Public Health, listed a few reasons as to why this might be, “Too much sedentary screen time might disrupt sleep by keeping the nervous system aroused… spending all that time online might also mean that people aren’t interacting with others, leading to social withdrawal…” More research needs to be done, but the research suggests truth to this statement, “Exercise is good and sitting too long is bad.”





How motivating are those fitness monitors?

Those heart rate monitors, step calculators, Fitbits, and other wearable fitness monitors seem great in the beginning. Knowing you have to take in at least 10,000 steps can be motivating, but how much more will people be inspired when they know their activity levels are being monitored? In a recent Oklahoma State University-based study, researchers concluded that students weren’t much more active than average, not-so-active citizens, even though they knew their steps were being monitored. Associate Professor Ali Boolani stated, “We expected them to model good fitness, but now we wonder what we can do to get people to be more physically active!” Don’t rely on an exercise monitor to be your primary source for motivation.





Exercise for cancer prevention.

Just another big reason as to why you should exercise. The evidence for a decreased risk in developing colon cancer from engaging in physical activity is strong, a bit weaker for postmenopausal breast cancer, but still probable, and limited suggestive evidence for lung, prostate, ovary, gastric, and pancreatic cancers. Although more studies are needed to fill in the gaps that still exist in the research, the observational evidence is strong and convincing, especially for breast and colon cancer. There seems to be a dose-response relationship, with risk of certain cancers declining as levels of physical activity increase. It appears that 30-60 minutes of moderate to vigorous intensity physical activity 3-5 times per week is needed to decrease risk. Participation in physical activity is associated with a reduced likelihood of developing cancer. Go head to the weight room or lace up your running sneaks to increase cancer prevention




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