Category Archives: Recommended reading

Exercise and stroke, weight loss, pregnancy and recuperating

The latest fitness news from the research world:

  • Don’t have a stroke. And if you’re a woman, you’ll be less likely to have one if you walk two hours or more a week at a “brisk” pace. This according to a study published in “Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association,” which found that women exercising at this level were 37 percent less likely to have a stroke of any kind than sedentary types. Further, these brisk-paced walkers had a 68 percent lower risk of suffering a hemorrhagic stroke and a 25 percent lower risk of suffering an ischemic stroke. The exact relationship between walking and reduced stroke risk is unclear. The study was conducted as part of the long-term Women’s Health Study, a long-term study of 39,315 female health professionals who are predominantly white and whose average age is 54. Read more here.
  • Diet alone isn’t enough (again). More research, this time from the Oregon Health & Science University, shows that cutting back on calories alone isn’t enough to lose a significant amount of weight — you’ve got to exercise, too. In this latest affirmation of the need for diet and sweat, the school studied 18 female rhesus macaque monkeys. The monkeys were put on a high-fat diet for several years, then put back on a low-fat diet with a 30 percent reduction in calories. After a month, they exhibited no significant weight loss. During that time as well, the reduction in calories caused the monkeys to become less active. Another reduction in calories a month later saw the monkeys slack off even more. By comparison, a group of monkeys fed a normal monkey diet and trained to exercise for an hour a day on a treadmill did lose weight. The study offers further support to the belief that when the body receives fewer calories it tends to conserve what it’s getting. Read more here.
  • Pregnant women don’t exercise enough. A study at UNC-Chapel Hill finds that fewer than one in four pregnant women get enough exercise — “enough” being at least 30 minutes a day, according to the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, or 150 minutes a week, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. “Physical activity during pregnancy … may help prevent gestational diabetes, support healthy gestational weight gain and improve mental health,” according to Kelly Everson, research associate professor of epidemiology in the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health and author of the study. The most common form of exercise for the moms-to-be who did exercise: walking. Read more here.
  • Don’t let being critically ill keep you from exercising. Exercise even benefits the critically ill, according to a study done in the medical intensive care unit at Johns Hopkins. 57 critically ill patients were put through 30- to 45-minute exercise sessions, which “included any combination of either leg or arm movements while lying flat in bed, sitting up or standing, or walking slowly in the ICU corridors.” The exercise both sped up recovery times and cut in half the amount of prescription sedatives required per patient. Read more here.
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    The wild adventures of Roland Smith

    In a society suffering from what Richard Louv has labeled a “nature deficit disorder,” author Roland Smith creates a dilemma. Louv’s “Last Child in the Woods” has created a movement since it came out in 2007 to get our electronically-anchored kids off the couch, out the door and into nature. Roland Smith’s adventure-based novels would do just that — if you could put them down. Smith’s novels have young explorers going on engaging adventures, be it climbing Mt. Everest (“Peak”), falling out of a jet at 18,000 feet and into the Congo (“Cryptid Hunters”) or trying to protect a parent who has become Big Foot obsessed (“Sasquatch”). read more

    Happy nuts, frozen nuts and other things I learned from “O”

    The joke at our house (at least I think it’s funny) is that when the latest “O” arrives, I exclaim with mock surprise, “Oh, look! Oprah’s on the cover.”

    This morning, the February 2010 issue showed up on the kitchen table. I was waiting for the coffee to finish, I didn’t feel like going out in the rain to fetch the Sunday paper, so I started thumbing through. Here’s what I learned: read more

    Read, watch, listen

    Some recommended reading, viewing and listening, especially for those of you who have recently renewed your efforts to lose weight and get in shape.


    “How to lose 10 Pounds in Your 30s, 40s and 50s,” It’s not your imagination, losing weight becomes more of a challenge as you age. For one thing, your metabolism slows. For another … well, read the article. read more