Blogs on various topics
April is Cancer month and the biggest factor in fighting cancer today is health education.
It was reported in the 2009 Canadian Cancer Statistics Report that each week 3,300 Canadians are diagnosed with cancer and 1,450 die of the disease. Even more disturbing is the fact that cancer rates continue to rise among teens and young adults in Canada, particularly among young women, aged 15 to 29, with new diagnoses increasing by about 1.4 per cent a year.
Today, researchers think most cancers may be related to lifestyle and environment – what you eat and drink, whether you smoke, and where you work and play.
An interesting study was recently published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. Researches studied subjects with colon cancer and measured how much exercise they got before and after their diagnosis. Results show that those who were more physically active both before and after their diagnosis had much better outcomes.
Engaging in 150 minutes of physical activity per week reduced the risk of mortality by 42% Those who did not participate in regular exercise had an increased risk of mortality by a factor of 1.36.
The good news is that you can improve your health by taking control of things in your daily life such as exercising. Of all cancers, 60 to 80 percent are preventable and about 50 percent are curable. Most cancers are lifestyle-related, so it’s important to include daily physical activity, a healthy diet that includes adequate amounts of fruits, vegetable and fiber and limiting consumption of alcohol.
Campbell PT et al. (2013) Associations of recreational physical activity and leisure time spent sitting with colorectal cancer survival. J Clin Oncol 31(7):876-85
Two hours and 30 minutes: It makes up less than 2% of the total minutes in a week. It’s one-third of the typical workday. It’s even 44 minutes shorter than the movie Titanic.
Two hours and 30 minutes also happens to be the recommended amount of time adults should spend being physically active each week. Yet, it has been reported that few of us are meeting that goal – and it’s doing serious damage to our health.
Physical inactivity or lack of exercise is now causing as many deaths as smoking across the world. It is estimated that physical inactivity caused more than 5.3 million of the 57 million deaths that occurred worldwide in 2008. Researchers have recently compared the inactivity crisis to smoking – where 5 million deaths were attributed to smoking in 2000, making headlines across the world.
It’s perfect weather to go play some b-ball, or have a game of touch football or soccer with friends and family. However, two out of three injuries (or 66%) among adolescents were sports related. Sports injuries are usually preventable so here are some helpful tips to help you prevent injuries.
1. Wear the proper gear
Some people who play houseleague soccer for example don't wear the proper footwear. Cleats are necessary to help prevent sliding and since soccer is a sport that has a lot of jerking movement, cleats may help reduce the liklihood of certain lower body injuries.
It's important to warm-up the body before any form of activity. Warm-ups increase the body temperature, increase the range of motion and should mimic the movements to come. Dynamic stretching is a good way to warm-up the body and muscles before a sport.
It's important to rest to help your muscles recover. Rest can make your muscles stronger and prevent injuries of overuse.
After every game it's important to have a cool down and stretch the muscles that were worked. Static stretching is best to hold for 15 to 30 seconds to help elogate the muscles contracted to their original length. Do not bounce the movement. The longer you hold the stretch the deeper the stretch, so take your time to stretch it out!
5. Avoid playing when tired or in pain
This is a set-up for careless injuries. Pain indicates a problem, so just sit it out
Doctors and nurses need to ‘bust the myth’ that cancer patients should simply rest to recover. The new ‘wonder drug’ for cancer patients is exercise. A charity in the UK, The Macmillan Cancer Support, cites research that found that people who took regular exercise had:
about 40% lower risk of breast cancer returning
about 50% lower risk of colon cancer returning or dying of colorectal cancer
about 30% lower risk of men dying from prostate cancer
Physical activity is key for your head, just as it is for your heart. In fact, in the beginning, exercise will be more work than fun. But as you get into shape, you’ll begin to tolerate exercise, then enjoy it, and finally depend on it.
Regular exercise may bring beneficial changes to your body, your metabolism, your heart, and your energy. It’s amazing how the body responds to aerobic activity releasing chemicals to provide stimulation and calm, to counter depression and dissipate stress. A number of clinical trials verified that exercise was successful to combat anxiety disorders and clinical depression. If other patients can obtain psychological benefits from exercise, so can you.
It was perfect weather for the Spartan Race weekend. So many people came out to participate and to support runners from all over. Summer is probably the best season to focus on health and wellness. It’s such a great feeling to move your exercise outdoors, you feel more motivated to target your health-goals. But while training more frequently will eventually make you stronger, it’s also important to recognize the importance of recovery time.
Diabetes is an escalating condition among the Canadian population. More and more people are being diagnosed every day. According to the Canadian Diabetes Association more than 9 million Canadians live with diabetes or prediabetes (also known as metabolic syndrome). What’s even scarier is that the incidence of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and death in the diabetic population is quite high. Two out of three diabetics will die from CVD.
Let’s face it… this is no joking matter and if you live with diabetes please read on to understand how you can manage and improve your quality of life with just a little bit of behaviour modification.
If you’re like many Ottawa-tarians, you spend the majority of your day sitting at your desk without much other than lunch and a few coffee (decaffeinated I hope) breaks to keep your blood flowing to your lower limbs. Although many of us try to maintain an active lifestyle, 45 minutes at the gym can’t counteract 8 hours or more at your desk.
Who can tell me the difference between muscular strength and endurance? Although these abilities are interrelated they do vary.
Muscular strength is the ability to exert maximum force against resistance. Muscular endurance is the ability of a muscle to exert submaximal force repeatedly over time.
Muscular endurance, however, depends on muscular strength. Weak muscles cannot repeat an action several times.To determine muscular strength we would use the one-repetition-maximum (1RM) method. The result of 1 RM will give you and your fitness professional an indication of your current strength level and the maximum amount of resistance you are able to life in a single effort.
Strength training enhances health and well-being. Yet, some people think that strength is necessary only for highly trained athletes, and fitness enthusiasts. In fact, a well-planned strength training program leads to increased muscle strength, endurance, muscle tone, tendon and ligament strength and bone density – all of which help to improve functional physical capacity.
Benefits of Strength Training
Strength is a basic component of fitness and wellness and is crucial for optimal performance in daily activities, such as sitting, walking, doing housework and enjoying recreational activities. Strength is important becuse it improves posture, appearance and self-image. Regular strength training can also help control blood sugar. Much of the blood glucose from food consumption goes to the muscle where it is stored as glycogen. When muscles are not used, muscle cells become insulin resistant and glucose cannot enter the cells, therefore increasing the risk for diabetes.
Changes in Body Composition
A benefit of strength training, accentuated even more when combined with aerobic exercise, is a decrease in adipose or fatty tissue around the muscle fibres. The decrease in fatty tissue is often greater than muscle hypertrophy – an increase in the size of the cell. Because muscle tissue is denser than fatty tissue, people, especially women, often become discouraged because they cannot see the results readily on the scale.
Strength Training FIT TIPS
As you prepare to design your strength training program, keep the following in mind:
1.) Select exercises that will involve all major muscles groups: chest, shoulders, back, legs, arms, hip and trunk.
2.) Warm up properly before lifting weights this will increase your body temperature and reduce likliehood of injury.
Make sure you know the appropraite lifting technique
4.) Exercise larger muscle groups (chest, back, legs) before exercising smaller muscle groups (arms, abdominals, ankles).
5.) Exercise opposing muscle groups for a balanced workout. When you work your chest, also work your back. If you work the biceps, also work the triceps.
6.) Breathe! Inhale during the eccentric phase (bringing the weight down) and exhale during the concentric phase (lifting or pushing the weight up) and avoid holding your breath!
7.) Stretch it all out at the end of your workout to help your muscles return to their normal resting length and to minimize muscle soreness and risk of injury.
There is so much to discuss when it comes to strength training: mode of training, resistance, sets and frequency. Tune in next Wednesday when I discuss how much weight you should be using to stimulate strength development.
1.) Delmonico, MJ, Harris, TB, Visser, M et al. (2009) Longitudinal study of muscle strength, quality, and adipose tissue infiltration.
2.) Hoeger, Locke, Lauzon (2009) Principles and Labs for Fitness and Wellness Pages 134-161
The body’s need for water exceeds its need for any other nutrient. If the body loses too much water, than you’re in trouble.
Your body loses water primarily through sweat; and and through breathing. During exercise, both routes can be significant and dehydration is a real threat. The first sign of dehydration is fatigue. So, if you are training to do a Marathon in May, to ensure adequate fluid intake without being distracted, try this technique.
Before the event, fill a 4 c water bottle and place two coloured rubber bands to mark the bottle into thirds; finish off the first segment of the bottle in the first 30 minutes of activity; finish the next segment in the next 30 minutes and the remainder in the next and so on until your either out of water or your running through the finish line.
Hydration Schedule for Physical Activity
During activity thirst becomes detectable only after fluid stores are low. Don’t wait to feel thirsty before drinking.
When to Drink Approximate Amount of Fluid
2 hr before activity 2 to 3 c
15 min before activity 1 to 2 c
Every 15 min during activity 1 to 1 ½ c
After activity 2 to 3 c for each lb of body weight lost
Water is the best fluid to support physical activity for two reasons:
1. Water rapidly leaves the digestive tract to enter the tissues
2. It cools the body from the inside out
Water is important to the mechanics of the human body. The body cannot work without it, just as a car cannot run without gas and oil. In fact, all the cell and organs functions that make up our entire anatomy and physiology depend on water for their functioning. While this article discussed the importance of water and its’ timing for physical activity, I would like to note that water is vital for everyone.
So how much water are you drinking?