Only a third of men eat five or more servings of fruits and veggies each day!
Even though produce consumption has slightly improved over the past 20 years, a team of Swedish researchers reports that two-thirds of men still consume fewer than five servings of fruits and vegetables per day. British Journal of Nutrition, July 2016
Regular exercise reduces risk of five deadly diseases.
An analysis of 174 studies has found that individuals with high levels of weekly physical activity— such as 10 minutes of climbing stairs, 20 minutes of gardening, 25 minutes of walking, or 20 minutes of running each day—have a lower risk for breast cancer, colon cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. Lead author Dr. Hmwe Kyu comments, “With [an aging population], and an increasing number of cardiovascular and diabetes deaths since 1990, greater attention and investments in interventions to promote physical activity in the general public is required.” British Medical Journal, August 2016
Abdominal obesity associated with chronic low back pain.
A recent study examined the relationship of regional and total adiposity (obesity) to pain and disability among individuals with chronic low back pain. Researchers analyzed participants with chronic low back pain using body mass index, waist-to-hip ratio, total body adiposity, and specific ultrasound-based abdominal adiposity measurements. Participants also completed pain and disability questionnaires. The results revealed a link between the distribution of adiposity in the lumbar and abdominal region and chronic low back pain, which indicates that carrying extra weight in the mid-section may place stress and strain on the lumbar spine, increasing the risk of injury to that region. BMC Public Health, August, 2016
Problems falling asleep?
It’s not uncommon to occasionally toss and turn when trying to fall asleep, but for some individuals, it’s a nightly battle. To improve sleep quality, the National Sleep Foundation suggests the following: slowly and gradually change your bedtime, backing it up by 15 minutes each night until you reach the time you want; keep the lights dim as you get ready for bed; turn off electronics at least 30 minutes before bed; avoid caffeine and alcohol a few hours before going to bed; keep the bedroom dark, quiet, and cool; keep consistent sleep and wake times throughout the week; expose yourself to bright artificial light or natural sunlight in the morning; and talk to your healthcare provider about a hormone called melatonin, which helps regulate sleep. National Sleep Foundation, August 2016
Poor physical function may predict brain disease.
In a new study, researchers assessed the grip strength and walking speed of over 2,000 seniors and followed up with them 11 years later. They found those with a weak grip and slow gait were 2.5 times more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease in the next 11 years. A weak grip also indicated a 1.74 times greater risk for stroke in the same time frame. Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, July 2016
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