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Pediatric

One of the Worst Parenting Mistakes

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No matter how physically active a child is, time spent in front of the computer or television screen is associated with psychological problems.
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In other words, children can’t make up for TV time by spending extra hours exercising.

The findings also suggest that the way children spend their sedentary time, in addition to how much time they spend being sedentary in the first place, matters for their mental health.

According to Live Science:
“… [R]esearchers asked 1,013 British 10- and 11-year-olds how much time each day they spent in front of a computer or TV. The children also wore accelerometers around their waists for a week to track their physical activity and sedentary time …

The study found that … more than two hours a day in front of a TV or computer was associated with more emotional and behavioral difficulties.”
Sources:
Live Science October 11, 2010

Pediatrics October 11, 2010 [Epub ahead of print]

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Health Alert

Sitting All Day as Bad as Little Exercise

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Sitting all day may significantly boost the risk of lifestyle-related disease even if one adds a regular dose of moderate or vigorous exercise, Is too much sitting as bad as too little exercise?
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The health benefits of pulse-quickening physical activity are beyond dispute — it helps ward off cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity, among other problems.

But recent scientific findings also suggest that prolonged bouts of immobility while resting on one’s rear end may be independently linked to these same conditions.

“Sedentary time should be defined as muscular inactivity rather than the absence of exercise,” concluded a team of Swedish researchers. “We need to consider that we are dealing with two distinct behaviours and their effects,” they reported in the British Journal of Sports Medicine .

Led by Elin Ekblom-Bak of the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, the scientists proposed a new “paradigm of inactivity physiology,” and urged fellow researchers to rethink the definition of a sedentary lifestyle.

They point to a recent study of Australian adults showing that each daily one-hour increase in sitting time while watching television upped the rate of metabolic syndrome in women by 26 percent — regardless of the amount of moderate-to-intensive exercise performed.

Thirty minutes of daily physical exercise decreased the risk by about the same percentage, suggesting that being a couch potato can cancel out the benefits of hitting treadmill or biking, for example. Metabolic syndrome is defined as the presence of three or more factors including high blood pressure, abdominal obesity, high cholesterol or insulin resistance. New research is required to see if there is a causal link between being sedentary and these conditions and, if so, how it works, the researchers said.

One candidate is lipoprotein lipase, or LPL, an enzyme that plays a crucial role in breaking down fat within the body into useable forms. Recent research has shown that LPL activity was significantly lower in rats with restrained muscle activity — as low as one tenth of the levels of rats allowed to walk about.

The LPL level during such activity “was not significantly different from that of rats exposed to higher levels of exercise,” the scientists reported. “This stresses the importance of local muscle contraction per se, rather than the intensity of the contraction.”

These studies suggest that people should not only exercise frequently, but avoid sitting in one place for too long, they said.

Climbing stairs rather than using an elevator, taking five-minute breaks from a desk job, and walking when possible to do errands rather than driving were all recommended.

Source: The Times Of India

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Categories
Exercise

How Much Exercise Do Children Need?

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YOU’RE a parent and you want to do your best to be sure your children are healthy. So you worry about physical activity. How much exercise is enough? Will being active protect them against diabetes, cancer or heart disease later in life? Will it prevent them from getting fat?

You search for information, for official guidelines on physical activity. And, you soon discover, there is plenty of advice — at least 27 sets of official guidelines, notes Harold W. Kohl, an epidemiologist at the University of Texas School of Public Health in Austin who formerly worked at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

But the problem in making recommendations is a lack of good data.

We can’t “clarify the dose of physical activity and exercise that’s good for kids” as precisely as we think we can, Dr. Kohl said.

It’s not that experts haven’t tried.

For example, a few years ago the C.D.C. convened a panel of experts to review published papers and make the best recommendations. The panel’s co-chairman, Robert M. Malina, a professor emeritus of kinesiology and health education at the University of Texas at Austin, noted that the group reviewed 850 published papers on the benefits of regular exercise for school-age children and adolescents.

In 2004, the panel concluded by recommending that children and adolescents get 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity every day. Why 60 minutes and not 30 or 45? It was, Dr. Malina said, “a gut reaction” to the body of evidence.

Now, the Department of Health and Human Services is preparing a new set of guidelines, but most of the same questions remain, Dr. Kohl said. And even though he, Dr. Malina and most other exercise researchers enthusiastically endorse physical activity for everyone, they caution that some of its reputed benefits may be oversold.

In reviewing published papers, the C.D.C. and Human Services panels asked: How good are the data? They learned that, with a few exceptions, for every purported benefit, the evidence was often marginal or equivocal. And, Dr. Malina said, even in situations in which exercise has demonstrable effects, there are marked differences among individuals: some children will get more benefit than others and some will not get any at all.

The undisputed benefits of exercise, the panels said, are that it can lead to stronger muscles, greater endurance, and bones that are denser and have greater mineral content. In addition, when obese children exercise regularly, their body fat, blood lipids and blood pressure may fall. Exercise, though, has not been found to have those effects on healthy children of normal weight.

Even there, though, uncertainties remain, Dr. Kohl said. “Kids aren’t little adults, and they don’t do things for 30 minutes straight through,” he said. “You can put kids on treadmills and train them and that can somewhat help obese kids reduce their adiposity levels, but when you get out in the real world it’s not that easy.”

The panels asked whether exercise alleviates symptoms of anxiety or depression or whether it improves self-image. The studies were not large enough to draw conclusions, they said.

Another issue is academics. Do physically active and physically fit children do better in school? Do they have qualities, like an improved ability to pay attention, that might predict better academic performance?

The answer, Dr. Kohl said, is not known. “The only good data we have indicate that participation in a better physical education program does not negatively affect test scores,” he adds.

Parents sometimes are advised to get children involved in activities that they can do throughout a lifetime — walking, cycling or swimming. But, Dr. Malina said, there is no good evidence that the sport someone does as a child will affect activity as an adult.

“The evidence that tracks youngsters to adulthood is very relatively meager,” Dr. Malina said. And, he added, it is not clear how and why people change activities during their lives.

“I played all sorts of sports growing up,” he said. By the time he started college, he adds, “baseball was my sport.” Now, said Dr. Malina, who is 71, “in my old age, my activity is walking.”

Still, exercise researchers do have some advice for parents: Let the children decide what physical activity they want to do.

“The single best activity you can do is the one you will do,” said Charles B. Corbin, a professor emeritus in the department of exercise and wellness at Arizona State University and the author of more than 80 books on fitness.

And the mistake parents often make, Dr. Malina said, is to decide in advance which sports their children should pursue.

“All too often, youngsters do not have a choice in the decision-making process,” he explained. And, he said, no matter how much parents may want their children to be physically active, “if it is not fun, the child will not do it.”

Sources: The New York Times

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Categories
Healthy Tips

Tips for Weight Loss and Maintenance

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Have you decided to start eating healthier and become more physically active? Have you realized that healthy choices have a positive impact on not only yourself, but also those around you?
If your goal is to lose weight or maintain your current healthy weight, here are some tips to help you achieve that goal. Remember, to maintain weight, you must balance calories with the energy you burn through physical activity. If you eat more than you expend, you gain weight. If you eat less (reduce calories) than you expend, you lose weight!

Make healthy choices a habit. This leads to a healthy lifestyle! Make a commitment to eat well, move more, and get support from family and friends. Even better, start eating healthier and being active together!

Remember to be realistic about your goals. If you try to reduce the calories, fat, saturated fat, and sugar in your diet AND promise to make a drastic change in your physical activity level, you may be setting yourself up for failure. Instead of trying to make many changes at once, set smaller, more realistic goals for yourself and add a new challenge each week.

Conduct an inventory of your meal/snack and physical activity patterns.
Keep a food and activity journal. Write down not only what you ate, but where, when, and what you were feeling at the time. You will see what triggers your hunger and what satisfies your appetite. What foods do you routinely shop for? What snacks do you keep in the pantry?

Eat at least 5 servings of vegetables and fruits per day. If you’re adding fruits and vegetables to your diet, remove the higher calorie, less nutrition foods from your diet and substitute them with the fruits and vegetables.

Eat foods that are high in fiber to help you feel full. Whole grain cereals, legumes (lentils and beans), vegetables, and fruits are good sources of fiber that may help you feel full with fewer calories.

Prepare and eat meals and snacks at home. This is a great way to save money, eat healthy, and spend time with your family. When preparing meals, choose low-fat/low-calorie versions of your favorite ingredients and learn how easy it is to substitute.

For example:

1.  Switch to 1% or nonfat milk and low-fat cheeses.
2. Use a cooking spray instead of oil or butter to decrease the amount of fat when you cook.
3. Prepare baked potatoes with low-fat blue cheese dressing or low-fat plain yogurt instead of butter or sour cream.
Start by using a scale and measuring cup to serve your food. Read food labels to determine serving sizes. One bowl of cereal may actually be two  ¾-cup servings. A small frozen pizza may contain up to three servings (check the nutrition information label). This could add up to more calories than you think you’re getting. Being aware of serving sizes may make it easier to avoid those extra calories.

Choose snacks that are nutritious and filling. A piece of fresh fruit, cut raw vegetables, or a container of low-fat yogurt are excellent (and portable) choices to tide you over until mealtimes. Take these snacks with you for a healthy alternative to chips, cookies, or candy.

Take your time!
Eat only when you are hungry and enjoy the taste, texture, and smell of your meal as you eat it. Remember, it takes approximately 15 minutes for your stomach to signal your brain that you are full.

If you choose to eat out, remember these important suggestions: Watch your portions. Portion sizes at restaurants (including fast food) are usually more than one serving, which can result in overeating. Choose smaller portion sizes, order an appetizer and a leafy green salad with low-fat dressing, share an entree with a friend, or get a “doggy bag” and save half for another meal.

Forgive yourself. If you occasionally make mistakes, don’t give up! Forgive yourself for making that choice and keep working on it. Eat an extra healthy lunch and dinner if you had a high-calorie, high-fat breakfast. Add more physical activity to your day.

Remember physical activity! Aim for at least 30 minutes (adults) or 60 minutes (children) of moderate-intensity physical activity five or more days of the week. If you are just starting to be physically active, remember that even small increases provide health benefits. Check with your physician first, and then start with a few minutes of activity a day and gradually increase, working your way up to 30 minutes. If you already get 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity a day, you can gain even more health benefits by increasing the amount of time that you are physically active or by taking part in more vigorous-intensity activities.

Source:www.teengrowth.com

Categories
Healthy Tips

Magnesium Helps Prevent Bone Breakdown

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Thin, brittle bones can break or fracture with very little warning  even minor slips and falls can lead to painful, disabling injury. Calcium and fluoride are known for their ability to promote strong bones, but what about Magnesium?……….....CLICK  &  SEE

A study in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism may provide an answer. Twelve men received magnesium (Mg) supplements daily for 30 days and were compared with a second group of 12 men that received no more magnesium than their normal diet provided (daily intake within recommended allowances).Blood analysis showed that the men taking Mg supplements had lower levels of the chemicals known to contribute to bone breakdown than men who took no supplements.

Whole-grain foods, nuts, dry beans and peas, dark green vegetables and soy products are good sources of magnesium. In addition to its influence on bone loss, research suggests that magnesium can reduce cold symptoms and the frequency/duration of migraine attacks. Ask your doctor or dietitian about the many benefits of magnesium.

CLICK & SEE  : FRUITS, VEGETABLES AND HERBS CONTAIN MAGNESIUM

Reference:

Dimai HP, Porta S, Wirnsberger G, et al. Daily oral magnesium supplementation suppresses one turnover in young adult males. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, 1998: volume 83, pp2742-48