GHNS' weekly Health Watch, with tips for keeping your new year's weight loss resolution, preventing the spread of germs when away from home, and fitness tips for boomers.
It's probably the most commonly made new year's resolution: lose weight and get into shape. In early January, the gyms are full, the sports stores run out of equipment, and the streets are teeming with new joggers. Many of us promise ourselves to lose weight to start the new year, and usually, within a month or two, we have given up.
But it doesn't have to be that way. Dr. Michael Zemel, creator of the NuShape Brand all-natural weight-loss supplement, says that simple lifestyle changes are the key to losing weight and keeping it off. "People put too much pressure on themselves to change everything in their diets, which sets them up for failure," says Zemel. His advice? Set your sights on making several small dietary and lifestyle changes, and you'll lose weight without making major sacrifices. Losing weight doesn't have to be an uphill battle. Small, simple changes can produce the biggest results — he offers these five easy diet and exercise tips:
1. Say no to the elevator, when possible. Whether you are at work or the mall, choose the stairs instead of elevators or escalators. Remember, it doesn't have to be all or nothing. If you have to go up to the eighth floor, consider taking one flight of stairs up and then pressing the elevator button.
2. Bring your workout indoors. During the winter, sometimes it's hard getting outdoors. Squats, leg lifts, and walking lunges are great exercises to do indoors. For weight training, use 10-pound dumbbells for bicep curls or tricep extensions, using a chair for support.
3. Just add water. Drinking fruit juice is an easy way to chug down calories. But if you love the fruity taste, cut down your serving by mixing half the amount of juice with an equal amount of water — and say goodbye to 85 calories.
4. Downsize, don't super-size, fast food meals. Opt for a small order of fries instead of a large one with your fast-food meal (savings: over 300 calories). Another portion-control trick: Instead of placing serving bowls of food in the middle of the family dinner table, measure individual portions in the kitchen.
How easy is it to cut back 100 calories on a daily basis? One hundred calories equals:
1 cup of regular soda
1 tablespoon of butter
1 ounce of cheese
5. Reward yourself for small changes. Most diets fail because people set high expectations and when they don't achieve their goals, they feel defeated. However, losing any amount of weight is good, even if you don't meet your goal at first. "Small successes are what you're looking for," says Zemel. Reward yourself with something that makes sense to you, such as a new dress or pair of jeans you've wanted to get into.
Page 2 of 3 - -- Brandpoint/NuShape
New Research: Breast cancer diagnosis could benefit greatly from spectroscopy
The analysis of small deposits of calcium in breast tissue can help differentiate cancerous and benign tumors, but it is sometimes not easy to make such a diagnosis. Now a team of researchers in the US believes a new method that uses a special type of spectroscopy to locate calcium deposits during a biopsy, could greatly improve the accuracy of diagnosis. Spectroscopy is a way of determining the composition of a material by studying how it absorbs or scatters radiation such as light.
Number to Know
35: percentage of Americans over the age of 55 who are physically inactive, according to the 2012 Participation Report from the Physical Activity Council (PAC).
-- Family Features
Health Tip: Preventing the spread of germs when away from home
According to the American Medical Association and the American Academy of Family Physicians, The Four Principles of Hand Awareness:
1. Wash and dry your hands when they are dirty and before eating.
2. Do not cough into your hands.
3. Do not sneeze into your hands.
4. Above all, do not put your fingers into your eyes, nose or mouth.
Boomer Health: Keeping fit and having fun as we age
Regular physical activity at any age can help you live longer, feel better and reduce health problems. But far too many people, including baby boomers, don't get the exercise they need. Since regular exercise helps control blood pressure, body weight, cholesterol and so much more, boomers need to find ways to get their bodies moving so they can live longer, healthier lives.
"Though any amount of exercise is beneficial, ultimately adults should work up to getting at least 30 minutes most days of the week, as long as they feel comfortable and pain-free," said world-renowned nutritionist Joy Bauer. The American Council on Exercise recommends older Americans choose exercise programs that include cardiovascular, muscle conditioning, and flexibility exercises. Low-impact, non-jarring exercises such as walking and swimming are good options. A key to sticking with a fitness program is making sure it's enjoyable.
Workout safety tips. Whenever beginning a new fitness activity or program, make sure you do it safely.
Wear comfortable shoes that fit well.
Stay hydrated with plenty of fluids.
Listen to your body. If it hurts or it feels like too much, stop.
You also need to be aware of danger signs while exercising. Stop the activity and call your doctor or 911 if you experience pain or pressure in your chest, arms, neck or jaw; feel lightheaded, nauseated or weak; become short of breath; develop pain in your legs, calves or back; or feel like your heart is beating too fast or skipping beats.
Page 3 of 3 - "It's important to see your doctor before beginning any workout routine to receive a thorough cardiovascular evaluation," said Bauer. "Once you've been cleared by your doctor, I recommend starting out slowly."
Pick an activity that you will enjoy. The best way to find a regimen that will stick is to choose something that you enjoy. You'll be more likely to stick with it and reap all the benefits the physical activity has to offer.
Bauer adds that a program like Zumba Gold is great because, if you enjoy dancing, it won't feel like exercise and it can also be a social outlet: "Combining physical activity with social time is a total win-win."
-- Family Features/Zumba Fitness
GateHouse News Service