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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 Š 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.



Most people think of cycling as a fun way to get around or a good physical workout. It is, of course, both. However, it may surprise you to know, however, that a vigorous ride can be as good for your state of mind as it is for your body. “Cycling is one of the most effective

deal with stress. This is thought to

treatments for stress and in many

result from the increased blood flow

cases has been proven to be as

and oxygen to the brain. Cycling can

effective as medication – if not more

generate those improvements quickly.

so,” says Neil Shah, psychotherapist and director of the Stress Manage-

There is additional benefit from

ment Society. While you may have

breathing regularly and rhythmically.

heard of the “runner’s high” —

Cycling has no equal when it comes

a sense of well-being experienced

to forcing an athlete to regulate

by endurance athletes as stress-

breathing. More rhythmic and deeper

reducing hormones are released —

breathing keeps your heart from

this phenomenon is also true for

racing and expels CO2 from the

bicycle riders. In fact, some experts

body — two important practices

believe that this feeling actually

known to alleviate stress.

kicks in faster for cyclists than the full hour or so it takes for runners

Add to all of this the sense of well-

to gain the benefit.

being and self-esteem that comes from a achieving a good ride — and

In addition, researchers have found

being one with nature — and it is

that relatively small increases in

easy to understand why more cycling

cardio respiratory fitness as the

can mean less stress.

result of aerobic exercise can lead to large improvements in the ability to



ACNE ANSWERS Though it’s a common skin condition with understandable causes, especially among adolescents, acne is surrounded by a set of myths. Let’s take a quick look at how many of them stand up to the light of day.

1. GREASY FOODS CAUSE ACNE Studies show that no specific food, not even fries or chocolate, has been proven to cause acne. Every individual is different; some people notice their breakouts are worse after eating certain foods — and these foods are different depending on the person. It could be chocolate, it could be coffee. Make your own adjustments. 2. MORE WASHING MEANS LESS BREAKOUTS Although washing helps to remove dirt and oil from your pores, washing too much can lead to dryness and irritation, causing more breakouts. And scrubbing can irritate the skin. As a general rule, wash your face twice a day with mild soap and water, and gently pat dry when you're done. 3. PIMPLE POPPING PRODUCES Popping a pimple may make it seem less noticeable temporarily, but popping can cause it to stay around longer. By squeezing, you can actually push bacteria, dead skin cells, and oil further into the skin last for many months and true scars (dents and pits) will last forever.

4. DON'T WEAR MAKEUP Not true. As long as you choose cosmetics that are non-acnegenic or non-comedogenic, which don’t clog pores, they shouldn't cause breakouts. In fact, some concealers now contain ingredients that help to fight acne. Tinted benzoyl peroxide creams hide pimples while treating them. 5. THE SUN DRIES IT UP A tan may temporarily mask acne, but the sun can make skin dry and irritated, leading to more future breakouts. There is no known link between sun exposure and acne prevention, but the sun's rays can cause lots of damage. Always protect your skin by choosing a non-comedogenic or nonacnegenic sun screen. 6. MORE MEDICATION MAKES IT STOP Because acne medication contains drying agent, using too much medication may cause over drying, leading to irritation and more blemishes. If over-the-counter acne medication doesn't seem to work, it's a good idea to talk to your doctor or dermatologist. Also, if you're taking a prescription acne medication, make sure you follow your doctor's advice.





A healthy dose of Omega-3 fatty acids such as DHA and EPA can reduce the risk of heart disease in healthy people, as well as decrease the risk of heart attack in people with existing heart disease, according to a new study. Based on a review of several large research projects involving more than 40,000 people, researchers say the benefits of Omega-3 fatty acids to heart health are increasingly clear, even if they are not absolutely sure as to why. The study, published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, reviewed the findings of four studies comparing the benefits of Omega-3 fatty acids in heart disease prevention over the past 30 years. It turns out that Omega-3 fatty acids’ have an extremely strong protective effect in people with established heart disease after a heart attack. In these people, a daily dose of DHA and EPA fatty acids is associated with a 30% reduction in the risk of heart-related death. Researchers also say healthy people can also benefit from including Omega-3s in their diet. The benefits here including reducing the risks of hardening of the arteries, irregular heartbeat, heart attack, sudden cardiac death, and heart failure. DHA and EPA are long-chain fatty acids in the Omega-3 family. Dr. Carl Lavie, medical director of Cardiac Rehabilitation and Prevention at the Ochsner Medical Center in New Orleans, and lead author of the article says these fatty acids work by getting into the membranes of cells

and by doing so may help improve the heart’s electrical activity, muscle tone, plaque stabilization, blood pressure, and other aspects of heart health. Among the recommended foods high in DHA and EPA are fatty fish, such as mackerel, lake trout, herring, sardines, albacore tuna and salmon. Plant foods rich in these acids also include soybeans, canola, walnut and flaxseed, and their oils. There are many supplement options as well. The American Heart Association notes that the ideal amount of DHA and EPA to be taken still needs to be established, but that taking EPA and DHA ranging from .5 to 1.8 grams per day, from foods or supplements, appears to reduce the cardio vascular risks. The Association notes that more studies are needed with regard to supplements as opposed to ingesting Omega-3 directly through foods. LEARN HOW TO GET MORE OMEGA-3 FOODS IN YOUR DIET SMARTHEALTH 9


Teens turn to parents and guardians when they need healthrelated advice. According to a new study from the Scarborough Kids Internet Panel, a well-known marketing research firm, nearly two-thirds of teens say that they go to their parents or guardians for health or nutritional questions. “The S.K.I.P. study shows that

teens consider health and a healthy

despite the digital age which we

lifestyle “extremely or somewhat

live in, teens still turn to parents for

important” to them. Overall, boys

advice,” says Steve Seaita, Executive

considered themselves healthier than

Vice President, of the market

girls, and younger teens perceived

research firm. On the other hand, a

themselves to be healthier than

strong runner up in terms of health

older teens. For athletes, the Coach

advice is not the doctor, the nurse,

was an influencer as well.

the friend, the teacher, the coach — but the internet.

As for the role of the internet, the surveyed teens said they value

The study found differences among

“informative product websites” more

teens in different age groups. For

than other sites when making

example, the 13-15 year set are

decisions about purchasing health-

more likely than 16-17 year olds to

related products such as vitamins or

rely on the advice of their parents.

nutritional supplements. Teens also

Beyond the age of 16, the internet

reported relying on medical website

starts to trump parents as an

recommendations from the likes of

information source. The survey also

WebMD and

found that more than nine-in-ten


MEASURE IT TO ACHIEVE IT A wise man once said, “You have to measure something to achieve it.” Not always true, but mostly the case for straightforward health, fitness and safety issues such as calorie intake and burn, heart rate and metabolism, and the like. In our irregular series presenting key iPhone apps, here are ten of our favorites for helping you set goals and reach them. CALORIES BURNED CALCULATOR How many calories might you burn if you jogged for 30 minutes? Choose a category of activities, then enter your weight and the number of minutes to estimate how many calories you’ll burn. DAILY CALORIE CALCULATOR A simple interface to calculate the amount of calories you are supposed to consume in a given day. It also provides suggestions of how many calories that you must consume to lose weight while still remaining healthy.

HEART RATE CALCULATOR This is an app that monitors your heartbeat by using the iPhone’s built-in microphone.

IPHONE CALCULATOR This app will help you calculate your calories and find out how much exercise you need to burn them.

BMR CALCULATOR An easy-to-use basal metabolic rate calculator, this calculator figures it all out depending on your lifestyle and level of activity, and presents the data in a handy summary screen.

BLOOD ALCOHOL CONCENTRATION CALCULATOR Are you too drunk to drive? Estimate your current blood alcohol level is on your iPhone or iPod touch based on the number of drinks during a certain time frame, and your weight.

IPOINT CALCULATOR A Weight Watchers Point Calculator where you enter in the calories, fats, and fiber of a particular food and iPoint Calculator will tell you the number of Points that food costs.

POINTSCALC Another app that will help you to quickly estimate the number of points in a given food by entering Calories, Fat, and Fiber without requiring access to the Web.

THE WHEEL A gestational age calculator, The Wheel determines the estimated delivery date, or due date, of a pregnancy based on the first day of the woman's last menstrual period.

2FAT This calculator gives you your BMI (body mass index) by calculating your height, weight and waste size. DOWNLOAD OTHER TYPES OF HEALTH AND FITNESS APPS SMARTHEALTH 13


PEOPLE LOVE APPETIZERS. Tasty, diverse, fun, and you’re usually allowed to eat them with your hands. Many of our friends would rather munch on them all night than sit down to an entree. Unfortunately, they are often fattening, salty, greasy and, in our healthobsessed society, are seldom served any more. HERE ARE SOME THOUGHTS ABOUT HOW KEEP APPETIZERS ON THE MENU AS PART OF A HEALTHY MEAL. 1. Instead of crackers or chips as the base for spreads, find lighter alternatives. Pita, tortilla chips, lettuce leaves, and sliced squash or cucumber do the job nicely. 2. Use fat free yogurt instead of sour cream as the basis for dips or when making finger foods such as deviled eggs. 3. Homemade fresh salsa is a big favorite; again, team up with low fat tortilla chips. 4. Be creative with a tray of raw veggies. Mix and match in colors, and use a variety of shapes and sizes such as cherry tomatoes, long cut cucumbers, bell paper squares. 5. For quiches and similar dishes, skip the crust. There are plenty of crustless recipes.

6. Serve cold shrimp or a variety of sushi rolls; they’re light, easy, portable and everyone loves them.

Almost every popular appetizer, from veggie pizzas to pigs-inblankets, can be prepared in a low call way; check out recipes in books or online. While you’re thinking healthy, why not pair the appetizers with low calorie drinks like unsweetened ice tea, bubbly water or even diet soda or wine — instead of sugary drinks, beer or caloriepacked hard liquor and cocktails. HEALTHY APPETIZER RECIPES


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Smart Health 8  
Smart Health 8  

A Guide to Healthy Living