Healthy Byte: Stave Off Colon Cancer with Exercise

 

Image result for exercise colon cancer

Originally Posted HERE

Think back to what you were doing as a teen. Were you on the pounding the trails on the cross-country team? Maybe sprinting back and forth on the soccer field?

How active you were then—and how you’ve maintained it now—is important when gauging your risk of colorectal cancer, a recent study suggests. Physical activity during adolescence can lower risk of the disease, and if you continue moderate, daily physical exercise well into adulthood, the results are particularly dramatic.

Published in the British Journal of Cancer, the research looked at data from the Nurses’ Health Study II, one of the largest investigations into major chronic disease risk. Researchers analyzed data on 28,250 women aged 25 to 42, examining the long-term effects of physical activity, nutrition, and hormones, among other health factors.

They found that those who reported at least an hour of physical activity per day from age 12 to 22 had reduced risk of adenoma—polyps considered a precursor of colorectal cancer—by 7 percent, compared to those with lower activity amounts. Physical activity that started in adulthood reduced risk by 9 percent.

But for those who started being active as teens and continued that hour-plus-daily activity streak? They had the biggest benefit of all: They reduced their adenoma risk by 24 percent.

The takeaway here is that there’s a cumulative effect of physical activity as you age, according to study co-author Leandro Rezende, D.Sc., Ph.D.(c), of the University of Sao Paulo in Brazil. Starting physical activity at any age is advantageous for numerous reasons, including better colorectal health, he told Runner’s World, and the longer you maintain that activity, the better off you’ll be.

“Physical activity reduces the risk of colon cancer by several biological mechanisms,” he said. “Weight management and control are likely the most important, because it impacts insulin resistance and inflammation that are involved in the promotion and progression of cancer.”

Although this study didn’t look at whether activity intensity or frequency made a bigger difference, Rezende said previous studies have shown that moderate-to-vigorous activity is associated with lower bowel cancer risks, as well as lower risk for breast and endometrium cancers.

Plus, recent studies suggest you don’t need to get your exercise in big exercise blocks, or even in 10-minute-plus increments, as previously believed. Even small bursts of activity can add up.

“The more activity you get, especially if you do it every day, and at higher levels, the more of an impact on cancer prevention you’re likely to see,” said Rezende.

 

Healthy Byte: Exercising for Urological Health

Originally Posted HERE

Image result for urological health

When we read, watch or listen to reports of the benefits of exercise, they’re most frequently in relationship to heart health or weight loss. Of course, most people know that exercise provides some great overall health benefits, too, but that notion is more abstract. The less we know about how exercise helps the body, the less likely we might be to engage in it. Well, if you’re among the millions of people currently affected by a urological condition, I’ve got great news. Regular, consistent physical activity just might help reduce the symptoms of certain urological health issues, including urinary incontinence and erectile problems.

Exercising for Bladder Health

For people experiencing bladder health issues like urinary incontinence or bladder leakage, or for those who simply want to keep their bladder healthy, regular exercise is a great way to accomplish this goal. I know this may sound surprising, especially because many people who have bladder issues experience the symptoms of urinary leakage while they’re exercising. However, the key here is to engage in the right types of exercise to both reduce the experience of symptoms and, in some cases, significantly improve the bladder condition itself. In this case, low-impact exercises are best.

Types of low-impact exercise include cycling, yoga and swimming. The goals of exercising for bladder health are to strengthen the abdominal core muscles, elongate the spine and to lift and strengthen the chest. When these goals are accomplished, the result can be a significant reduction in pressure on the bladder and its surrounding muscles, which in turn can help relieve urinary incontinence symptoms. On the other hand, to avoid making bladder symptoms worse, skip exercises that place a significant amount of pressure on the pelvic region. These may include jumping jacks or heavy weight-lifting.

Exercising for Sexual Health

The benefits of aerobic exercise on erectile issues are another area of research interest for urological health professionals and one I believe a number of men can greatly benefit from in terms of improving their sexual health. Most often, when men are facing erectile issues, they’re encouraged to perform specific exercises that target the muscles in the pelvic region. These types of exercise are absolutely important, but research has also shown that “total body” aerobic workouts can have a positive impact on erectile function. Because a significant number of men with erectile dysfunction have developed the condition secondarily due to blood flow issues related to cardiac disease, obesity or diabetes (or a combination of these), heart-pumping aerobic exercise can help by promoting weight loss, overall cardiovascular health and blood flow improvements that aren’t only limited to the heart. In fact, a brisk walk a few days per week over a consistent period of time can do plenty for a man’s cardiovascular, erectile and overall health. No equipment or gym membership required!

Of course, while the benefits of regular, heart-pumping exercise cannot be denied, they can be almost entirely undone by a poor diet. As you engage in a healthier physical fitness lifestyle, consider overhauling your dietary intake as well. Whenever possible, opt for whole, unprocessed (not from a box) foods and a wide range of colorful fruits and vegetables. And since these are the urological organs we’re talking about, as the filtration system for your entire body — they need plenty of water to function properly every day.

As you engage in targeted pelvic options like Kegel exercises to strengthen the muscles of your urological system, don’t forget to add in good old-fashioned, heart-pumping activities, too. Their total-body benefits don’t exclude your urological organs and may just help you totally reverse the conditions you’re facing — or better yet, prevent them from occurring later on down the road. When it comes to your urological health, don’t take it lying down. Get up and get moving.

Healthy Byte: What Should I Really Weigh?

I see this question pop up quite frequently in the MFP forums & I thought this article did a particular nice job so here you go! 🙂

(Photo Courtesy of Peter Dazeley / Getty Images)

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 69 percent of the population is overweight or obese in the U.S. While it’s easy to point fingers at this problem, figuring out what you should weigh — for a healthy heart, and reduced risk of stroke, diabetes, and osteoarthritis — isn’t itself that straightforward. “The ideal body-weight calculations that the medical community uses is unrealistic for a lot of people for all these different reasons,” says Marjorie Nolan Cohn, RD, spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

How muscular a person is, bone density, where they carry weight, and genetics should all be figured into estimates of their ideal weight. But the most common measurement, Body Mass Index or BMI, doesn’t take any of this into account. While BMI is really easy to measure (just go to the government’s online calculator and plug in your height and weight), it doesn’t directly measure body fat or take account of bone and muscle.

“A lot of athletes just based on weight versus height versus age may show up in the obese category, but clearly they’re not obese,” says Nolan Cohn. So, is your BMI accurate? We put together an informal test to give a sense of how well that number matches reality for you.

1. Measure your BMI and note where you are on the scale.

  • If you’re “underweight,” start with a -1.
  • If you’re “normal”, start with a 0.
  • If you’ve “overweight” start with a +1.
  • If you’re obese (and not a serious athlete*), you should probably stop here and see your doctor.

2. Now, measure your hip-to-waist ratio.

Some experts actually put more stock into hip-to-waist ratio than BMI. This is because people who carry their weight in the middle are more likely to face adverse health problems, particularly cardiovascular issues.

To find your hip-to-waist ratio: Divide the circumference of the smallest part of your waist (usually above the belly button) by the largest area of your hips (probably over your butt).

  • If your ratio is less than 0.9, keep your score the same.
  • If it’s at 1.0 or higher, add 1 to your score.

3. Take your genes into account.

Arguing that someone is just naturally large tends to be met with disbelief, but there is no denying that genetics impact body composition. Yes, there are many people who carry more fat than they should for optimal health, but there are also people who are built to be larger. Nolan Cohn says she has a female client who was about 250 pounds who slimmed down to 170.

Based on this woman’s height, standard calculations would put her ideal weight around 130. “If her doctor didn’t know where she was, he’d tell here that she’s overweight now,“ says Nolan Cohn. However, this woman looks and feels great at her current weight and her blood work shows she is healthy. She is an example of someone who is structured differently than the average person.

  • Do you come from a big, healthy family? If so, subtract 1 from your score.
  • Are you much bigger than most of your family, or the same size but they have a fair amount of health problems? If either of these sound like you, add 1 to your score.
  • If you are skinny but come from a healthy, skinny family, add 1 to your score.

*4. How athletic are you?

The approximate healthy weight range for a 5’10” man spans from about 129 pounds (if he has a slim build) up to around 183 pounds (if he has a large build). However, a competitive bodybuilder will usually weigh around 210 pounds at this same height but may reach 270 pounds. He would be obese by BMI standards because it couldn’t account for the fact that he is carrying so much muscle and so little fat.

Sumo wrestlers, who weigh upwards of 400 pounds, often live long, healthy lives, according to published research. It’s a similar story for linebackers, many of whom weigh over 300 pounds. Not only are they active, much of their weight is muscle rather than fat. Although their BMI would show these men are obese or even morbidly obese, they can still be medically healthy.

  • Do you lift weights ever day or have some serious muscle? Subtract 1 from your score
  • Run a lot? Keep it the same.
  • Couch potato? Add 1.

5. Your Results

This test should be a practice that helps you understand the limitations of BMI and many factors that go into finding a healthy weight. In other words, do not make major health decisions based on this score. What the test should reveal is if you need to make life changes, and see your doctor in the process: If your final score is in the positive and you’re overweight (or near overweight) according to the BMI scale, you’re probably carrying more than is good for you — possibly a dangerous amount. If it’s negative and you’re underweight or near it, you should also be concerned as being underweight can also have severe health effects.

Originally Posted HERE

HB Sig