SMARTHEALTH YO U R G U I D E TO H E A LT H Y L I V I N G
WALK YOUR WAY TO HEALTH
GEAR UP FOR HEALTHY COOKING
10 APPS TO KEEP YOU ACTIVE
CHEW ON THIS GUM AND MEMORY
8 GEAR UP
6 FAT ACCEPTANCE HEALTHY AT ANY SIZE
FOR HEALTHY COOKING The information in this publication does not constitute medical advice and is not intended to be a substitute for proper medical care provided by a physician. Entire publication ÂŠ Digital Access 2009. All rights reserved. Any reference to other organizations or companies, including their Internet sites, is not an endorsement or warranty of the services, information or products provided by them.
10 WALK YOUR WAY TO HEALTH
PINK RIBBON DEODORANTS
10 APPS TO KEEP YOU ACTIVE
13 I SWEAR
CHEW ON THIS GUM AND MEMORY Here is a surprise for generations of school teachers who forced their students to throw out their chewing gum before coming to class or taking the big test. A new study by researchers at Baylor College of Medicine suggests that the act of chewing gum can boost academic performance. Specifically, the study found that students, aged 13 to 16, who chewed sugar-free gum during a 14 week math class, scored 3 percent higher in a standardized test than their non-chewing classmates.The findings are similar to, and consistent with, several research studies conducted in the past decade â€” and at least one dating back to the 1940s â€” which have found that something about chewing gum focuses attention, improves alertness, increases response time, and can even improve memory.
Needless to say, lots more research is needed. But some experts suggest that the best way to take advantage of this phenomenon is: 1. to chew sugar-free gum, better for the teeth and there is no proof that sugar is the reason for the spike in performance 2. give it time to work since the beneficial effects apparently do not kick in for at least two to five (and some say ten) minutes of chewing
3. use a flavored gum, like cinnamon or In truth, no one is sure how chomping on mint, because there appears to be some added advantages when flavors and a stick of gum helps improve cognition. Among the popular theories: gum chewing smells are at issue reduces stress and relieves tension just 4. chew with rhythm since the regularity like other exercises; or it increases blood may enhance the effect on the key flow to the brain as well as releasing insulin portions of the brain. to parts of the brain relating to learning and memory; or that the repetitive process The Baylor College of Medicine study of chewing while studying helps reinforce was presented at the Annual Meeting of the learning when you are chewing again Experimental Biology 2009 in New during a test. Orleans, and sponsored by the Wrigley Science Institute. LEARN MORE ABOUT THE BENEFITS OF CHEWING GUM > SMARTHEALTH 5
FAT ACCEPTANCE HEALTHY AT ANY SIZE
There is no doubt that our thin-obsessed society — and especially media and the popular culture — put skinny people on a pedestal. This leaves out an estimated two-thirds of Americans who are overweight and the roughly one-fifth who are labeled “obese”. The Fat Acceptance movement has arisen in backlash, seeking to eliminate bias and promote size equality. The roots of fat acceptance are in the protest movement of the 1960s; the National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance (NAAFA), celebrating its 40th anniversary this year. Among the goals are to promote the treatment of fat people as fellow human beings who deserve dignity and respect; to call the media to task for insensitivities and stereotypes; and to end discrimination in many areas of daily life, from employment to education to access to public accommodations to medical care. In order to break down the negativity surrounding fat people, movement activists often go public, staging marches, demonstrations, teach-ins, conferences, conducting campaigns against the media, and demonstrating for anti-discriminatory business policies, regulation and legislation. Fat Acceptance has spawned a burgeoning blog community — dubbed the Fatosphere — as well a second advocacy group, the International Size Acceptance Association. Like other social movements, this one generates controversy. Members are divided on the role of militancy, as well as specific issues such as weight loss surgery. Some fear they are promoting or providing cover for dangerous weight gain. Many doctors, too, are skeptical of the message, arguing that almost anyone who is overweight would be healthier losing the excess
poundage. To counter these arguments, NAAFA makes it clear that it does not advocate unhealthy decisions, just freedom from prejudice. In fact, Fat Acceptance is currently taking a distinctly healthy twist. Many members and friends of the movement are coming together under the umbrella of “Health at Every Size” (HAES), which is also the title of a book by Dr. Linda Bacon, a nutrition professor at City College of San Francisco. Health at Every Size emphasizes five basic tenets: 1. Accepting and respecting a diversity of body sizes and shapes. 2. Recognizing that health and well-being is multi-dimensional, including physical, social, emotional and spiritual. 3. Promoting all aspect of health and wellbeing for people of all sizes. 4. Eating healthfully, balancing nutritional needs, hunger, satiety, appetite and pleasure. 5. Engaging in enjoyable and life-enhancing exercise, rather than just exercising to lose weight. Dr. Bacon ran a federally financed, randomized trial to compare outcomes for 78 obese women who either dieted to lose weight or were schooled in HAES precepts. HAES participants fared better on measures of health, physical activity and self-esteem. READ MORE ON THIS TOPIC
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GEAR UP FOR HEALTHY COOKING While fresh foods and ingredients are important building blocks of healthy and low-calorie cooking, don’t underestimate the foundational tools: kitchen equipment, gadgets and gear that make preparation easier and faster, and food tastier and healthier. Everyone has their time-saving, money-saving, calorie-saving favorite staples; here are seven that you should not be without.
COOKBOOKS Who has the time or talent to craft your own recipes on a daily basis? Cookbooks are the answer and, Lord knows, there are compilations for every taste, lifestyle, diet and budget. Don’t be shy and don’t be cheap: every good kitchen has at least two dozen, and they pay back a thousand times over in ideas, savings and inspiration.
The stand-alone blender is extremely versatile. It works well to puree soups, making them thicker and creamier, eliminating the need for additional butter or cream. It can whip up a batch of healthy smoothies, not to mention lowcal mayonnaise, low-cal salad dressing and low-cal dips. OVER 6,000 BLENDER RECIPES
CROCKPOT/ SLOWCOOKER Speaking of money and health-savers, the one-pot meal is easy and it allow you to utilize cheaper cuts of meat. Crockpots are great any time of year. You can make a roast, a stew, soups, beans and legumes, and slow cooking cooks the fat off most meats. And talk about convenience? Put all the ingredients in when you leave for work and come back at the end of the day to a completely cooked meal.
GRILL PAN This staple allows you to cook meats, chicken, fish, and vegetables quickly and without added oil. Used on high heat, the grill sears the juices in and gives food a delicious twist. And who doesn’t love the beautiful grill marks seared into the flesh, looking like a photo shoot for Gourmet magazine. Good ones start at $25 dollars, though you can go to $200 if you are so inclined.
NONSTICK PANS The technology behind these pans is getting better every day. And when they don’t peel or wear down — as they had a tendency to do in the old days — they are great at reducing or eliminating fat when cooking everything from eggs to grilled cheese to fish. There are also now nonstick soup pots, saucepans, omelet pans, and more.
STEAMER No muss, no fuss with the electric rice cooker. Rice and vegetables can all be easily prepared in thirty minutes or so. And the warmer function can keep rice at serving temperature for several hours. Many pots now have a steamer feature, allowing you to put a small amount of water in the pot, set in the steamer basket, add your choice of veggies, cover and set to cook.
KITCHEN SCALE Portion control is a key to executing recipes and losing weight. Some people can guess well, most others simply cannot. A small kitchen scale can take the guesswork out of portion control and also comes in handy for many baking recipes that list ounces instead of teaspoon or cup measurements. HEALTHY RECIPES AND INSTRUCTIONAL VIDEOS
WALK YOUR WAY TO HEALTH
THE HEALTH BENEFITS OF WALKING ARE LEGION. Improved cardiovascular function and the reduced risk of heart attack; weight loss or weight control; blood pressure reduction or control; prevention and treatment of depression; helps to build, maintain and strengthen bones and muscles. But too many people have lost this healthy habit.
HERE ARE FIVE TIPS FOR GETTING YOURSELF STARTED 1. THE BUDDY SYSTEM
3. KEEP TO A SCHEDULE
Find a friend to share the experience. This can help motivate you to walk on days when you don’t feel like it and can help you continue walking at a good pace.
Experience suggests that a schedule to keep you . . . well . . . on schedule. A calendar, a PDA, whatever works for you. This helps to ensure that you have a set time every day for walking, and that you have put aside the time and energy to just do it.
4. START SLOWLY, BUT START
2. MEASURE YOUR SUCCESS You can’t win if you don’t measure. Using a pedometer helps you keep track of your steps and can be an additional motivator. The pedometers helps see how much you’re achieving and see when you’re successful,” Richardson says.
Rome wasn’t built in a day. The key to getting started is not to overdue. Just get up and walk around the block. By doing a little bit each day, you won’t get discouraged and you’ll gradually build up to a significant distance.
5. CHECK IT OUT If you have a chronic medical or physiological problem, or any reason to be concerned, why not check with you doctor to make sure a walking program is safe for you? It just makes sense.
JOIN THE AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION START! WALKING PROGRAM
iFitness A comprehensive database that provides clear pictures, videos and instructions; there are more than two hundred exercises sorted by body region.
Health & Fitness Mobile Free video workouts from top experts in fitness and the ability to log your progress while you workout.
Yoga Stretch Even if you missed your yoga class, the instructor here will talk you through each pose of a yoga session with Vinyasa flow.
iPump A series of exercise images and videos across all areas of training such as strength, cardio, flexibility, sports, yoga and pilates.
10 APPS TO KEEP YOU
Tracks your runs and records your progress with a particularly easy interface, and attractive and appealing graphics.
iMapMy Use GPS technology to track and log data from your run or ride as well as view maps and share them with other athletes in your group.
iTrailMap Download high res trail maps of your favorite ski and snowboard resorts for viewing in portrait or landscape mode.
For millions of Americans, the Apple’s
For walkers and hikers, trail guru helps you find and navigate the right trails for you in the great outdoors.
iPhone and iPod Touch are their “must-have”
Nike Training Club
connection to the world. I Increasingly, the
First create an avatar, then personalized your training program, learn some new drills, challenge others, and then just do it.
star of the show, are the iPhone Apps and the App Store, which features thousands of downloadable programs, free and paid. Among
them: hundreds of apps that can make you
Lots of basic fitness workouts, like push ups, sit ups and squats, for which you can track your workout or battle others across the internet.
leaner, fitter, more knowledgeable about your medicines, your body and your overall health. We’ll explore many of these in upcoming issues of HealthSmart, but right now here are a dozen that focus on keeping you active and exercised.
iTreadmilll Among the most popular pedometers, this devices does a great job of emulating a treadmill whether you are walking or running, indoors or out.
DOWNLOAD THESE APPS
I SWEAR Its Healthy We’re not recommending or endorsing swearing, mind you, but it may be that this practice has some positive health benefits. Long thought to help express frustration and reduce stress in difficult or anxiety producing circumstances — ask any women who has gone through childbirth or a construction worker who has hit his finger with a hammer — it now turns out that swearing may actually reduce the pain or at least increase tolerance to it. In a new study published recently in NeuroReport. researchers at Keele University's School of Psychology in England had 64 undergraduates submerge their hands in buckets of icy water twice. The first time, participants repeated a curse word over and over. The next time, they repeated a neutral word. When they repeated the curse word, participants were able to withstand the water longer and reported a lesser pain level than when they repeated the common, everyday word. Researchers had thought that swearing would lower the tolerance to pain since it emphasizes the sensation. In fact, the exact opposite was true; swearing helped reduce the perception of pain. “Swearing has been around for centuries and is an almost universal human linguistic phenomenon,” Richard Stephens, one of the study's authors, commented. “It taps into emotional brain centers and appears to arise in the right brain, whereas most language production occurs in the left cerebral hemisphere of the brain.” This, he says, suggest that swearing is a deeply primitive act related to survival and concludes that “our research shows one potential reason why swearing developed and why it persists.” Stephens is not, by the way, providing any justification for casual or constant swearing. He told the BBC in an interview that the pain-lessening effect only works in extreme situations. "Swearing is emotional language, but if you overuse it, it loses its emotional attachment," he said. READ MORE ABOUT SWEARING AND YOUR HEALTH
PINK RIBBON DEODORANTS
“Natural” deodorants have become popular lately, with three or more brands available in many large drugstores and supermarkets. At first glance this simply seems part of the trend toward organic and environmentally responsible products, but these deodorants aren’t just green, they’re also pink. The labels of Crystal, Naturally Fresh and Herbal Clear deodorants display the pink ribbon of breast cancer awareness and say “Paraben-Free” and “No Aluminum Chlorohydrate.”
Is there a special connection between breast cancer and deodorant? Most people use conventional deodorants and antiperspirants, of course, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recognizes them as “safe and effective.” Aluminum compounds are the only substances that reduce perspiration and parabens are effective preservatives and fragrance ingredients, so they make for a desirable product. But enough scientists suspect a link between aluminum, parabens and breast cancer to worry some breast-cancer survivors and other high-risk women.
and moisturizers. But deodorant causes more concern because of where it’s applied. Most women shave or wax their underarms, so any cosmetics applied to those areas are readily absorbed into the body. Since the underarms are next to the breasts and sit over a cluster of lymph nodes—the lymph nodes where breast cancer is most likely to spread—the fear is that aluminum and parabens from deodorants will directly cause or feed breast cancer.
Most women will still prefer regular deodorants because they are effective Scientists know that aluminum can cause and they stop perspiration, and because natural deodorants have a reputation of DNA mutations, and since cancer is a being ineffective. Natural deodorants disease of mutated cells, some suspect have come a long way from their “crunchy a cause-and-effect. Parabens are similar to estrogen, and since most breast cancers granola” roots, though. They cannot stop perspiration but they will do the job of thrive on estrogens, some scientists are maintaining freshness. If you have reason trying to find out whether or not there is to fear breast cancer, it may be worth the a connection. trouble to wear dress shields or re-apply Parabens aren’t only in deodorants; they’re deodorant on a hot day, just to get some used in most makeup, soaps, sunscreens peace of mind.