Health-E-News. January 2010
empowering you to optimal health
Happy New Year!
Another year means another list of New Year's resolutions. How long is your list this year, and how confident are you that by year's end, you'll have stuck with them? To be successful in whatever you resolve to do, it's important to set realistic goals. Here are five achievable wellness resolutions to get you started.
- Take More Walks: If you haven't taken a walk for awhile, go for a 15-minute stroll during a work break or after dinner; we bet you'll immediately feel more refreshed and less stressed about the world. The simple act of walking - away from the relative confines of your office or home - allows you to enjoy nature and exercise all at once.
- Watch Less TV: We're not suggesting you eliminate TV altogether, particularly if it's news- or education-based, but a few less hours a week of reality TV and late-night B movies wouldn't hurt. Substantial evidence links TV viewing to negative health outcomes, not the least of which is obesity. Turn off the tv and go for a walk?
- Try New Foods: Most adults are fairly locked in to their food preferences, which can be dangerous on several levels: If your preferences aren't healthy ones, you're in trouble; and if you don't mix things up occasionally, you risk getting bored. The solution? Try at least one new food a week, preferably the healthy variety.
- Make Time To Play: Play games with your kids, your significant other or yourself that keep your mind sharp and take you away from the hustle and bustle of the daily grind. Whether it's a board game, a crossword puzzle or even a sport that keeps you on your toes (literally and figuratively), make more time to play.
- Indulge Yourself: Your last New Year's resolution is perhaps the most important one, because you can't be healthy, at least not over the long haul, if you don't spoil yourself occasionally. Schedule a vacation, plan a date night, or just commit to taking an hour or so at least once a week and relaxing all by yourself. You're worth it.
Maurice Jones Drew of the Jacksonville Jaguars gets Chiropractic Care to help his injuries.
In US professional football, 77% of NFL trainers incorporate chiropractic care for the teams and players. 31% of NFL teams have a Chiropractor officially on staff.
Maurice Jones Drew joins other elite athletes such as Jerry Rice, who rely on Chiropractic for their success. Jerry Rice states that Chiropractic was the secret to the success of the 49er's Super Bowl Championship.
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Exercising During Pregnancy Boosts Baby IQ
Mothers who exercise more during pregnancy may give birth to children with higher IQs, according to psychologist Richard E. Nisbett, author of Intelligence and How to Get It.
"Children whose mother exercised 30 minutes a day score around eight points higher on standard IQ tests than children whose mothers were more sedentary," he said.
The Western medical profession once believed that exercise after the first trimester of pregnancy might place the fetus at risk, but new research is increasingly discrediting this idea. The British government recommends that women remain active throughout pregnancy, noting that the more active a woman is, the easier it will be for her body to adapt to the experience of pregnancy and the easier her labor will be.
Running, stretching and using light weights are among the exercises that many pregnant women can do easily.
"Exercising large muscle groups increases the growth of neurons and adds to the blood supply of the brain," Nisbett writes. A woman who exercises during pregnancy and also breast feeds for at least nine months will raise her child's IQ an average of 14 points, he said.
Nisbett says that the way parents interact with their children can also help boost their IQ. He encourages parents to ask their children questions that they already know the answer to, and to explain how they know. This helps children develop the ability to find the answers to their own questions. He also encourages the practice of "anticipation exercises," games in which parents encourage children to predict future events, such as where a submerged animal will emerge from the water.
Research suggests that mothers are the most important influences in their children's intellectual development, he said, but that fathers contribute relatively little.
"The mother is the most important IQ agent here," he said. "In families dominated by a father, there are higher mathematical skills but that's all we contribute, I'm afraid."
Sources for this story include: www.timesonline.co.uk.
Chiropractic Adjustments Help With Dizziness, Balance and Neck Pain
Chiropractic adjustments effectively reduce dizziness, balance problems and neck pain, according to investigators at Cleveland Chiropractic College in Overland Park, Kansas.
The study tracked 19 patients, age 40 or older, who underwent 8 weeks of chiropractic care. "The Dizziness Handicap Inventory was the primary outcome measurement, with the Short Form Berg Balance Scale (SF-BBS) and the Neck Disability Index used as secondary outcome measurements."
Findings showed "a median Dizziness Handicap Inventory change score of +7 points was calculated for those dizziness patients, with 3 patients improving by at least 18 points, indicating a clinically meaningful change. Seven of the 15 patients who performed the SF-BBS attained at least a 4-point improvement with an effect size of 1.2. A median Neck Disability Index change score of +1 was calculated for those patients with neck pain. Twelve minor adverse reactions were reported by 8 patients, with 3 of those reactions lasting longer than 24 hours."
The study concluded that "a large effect size was calculated for the SF-BBS. Most patients demonstrated improved balance, and some showed reduced dizziness and neck pain."
Journal of Chiropractic Medicine - December 2009;156-64.
Pistachios May Ward Off Cancer
Two ounces of pistachios a day may help reduce the risk of lung and other cancers, according to data presented this week at the American Association for Cancer Research Frontiers in Cancer Prevention Research Conference.
"It is known that vitamin E provides a degree of protection against certain forms of cancer. Higher intakes of gamma-tocopherol, which is a form of vitamin E, may reduce the risk of lung cancer," explains chief investigator, Ladia M. Hernandez, MS, RD, LD.
The study included 36 healthy participants divided into two groups. Over six weeks, the intervention group ate about 2 ounces of pistachios per day. The control group continued with their normal diet.
Hernandez and colleagues found a significant increase in energy-adjusted dietary intake of gamma-tocopherol at weeks three and four in those on the pistachio diet, compared with those on the control diet. The similar effect was seen at weeks five and six among those on the pistachio diet compared with those on the control diet. For those on the pistachio diet, cholesterol-adjusted serum gamma-tocopherol was significantly higher at the end of the intervention period compared to baseline.
"Pistachios are a good source of gamma-tocopherol. Eating them increases intake of gamma-tocopherol so pistachios may help to decrease lung cancer risk," notes Hernandez.
"Because epidemiologic studies suggest gamma-tocopherol is protective against prostate cancer, pistachio intake may help," she adds. "Other food sources that are a rich source of gamma-tocopherol include nuts such as peanuts, pecans, walnuts, soybean and corn oils."
AACR - December 9, 2009.
Happiness May Bring Health
Healthy people might be happier, and people who are happy and satisfied with their lives might be healthier, according to a new report. And, the benefit comes with a quick turnaround time, with greater happiness possibly boosting health in as little as three years.
"Everything else being equal, if you are happy and satisfied with your life now, you are more likely to be healthy in the future. Importantly, our results are independent of several factors that impact on health, such as smoking, physical activity, alcohol consumption and age," comments lead author Mohammad Siahpush, PhD.
The researchers looked at data from two waves of an Australian survey conducted in 2001 and 2004. Nearly 10,000 adults responded to items about health indicators including the presence of long-term, limiting health conditions and physical health.
"We found strong evidence that both happiness and life satisfaction have an effect on our indicators of health," Dr. Siahpush explains.
Specifically, happiness and life satisfaction at the baseline survey were both associated with (1) excellent, good or very good health; (2) the absence of long-term, limiting health concerns and (3) higher levels of physical health three years later.
In addition, "there are indications that as you become happier and more satisfied with your life, you tend to become healthier as well," Dr. Siahpush notes.
American Journal of Health Promotion - September/October 2008;32(1).
Using Less Antibiotics Makes For a Healthier Hospital.
Killer superbug solution discovered in Norway - cutting back significantly on use of antibiotic. A six-month investigation by The Associated Press found overuse and misuse of medicines has led to mutations in once curable diseases like tuberculosis and malaria, making them harder and in some cases impossible to treat. Read the full report.