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Physical Activity Benefits Those with Asthma

Aerobic training can reduce bronchial hyperresponsiveness in asthmatics.

Physical activity is good for the heart, good for the mind, good for burning calories, and good for reducing the risk of cancer. Now a small Brazilian study has found aerobic exercise can improve asthma symptoms in those with moderate-to-severe disease compared to the control group. Two 35-minute bouts of treadmill exercise per week for 12 weeks resulted in less-frequent exacerbations and better quality of life.

PositiveTip: Maintain physical fitness for all-round good health and reduced risk of disease.

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Can Some Babies be Hardwired for Obesity?

Children of obese parents at higher risk for obesity and diabetes.

Early research on fetal stem cells found an obese mother may "program" her child's cells to accumulate extra fat. This epigenetic study found cells from babies of obese mothers had greater accumulation of fat and a higher content of biomarkers for fat cells. This research is continuing, but these findings remind us the Bible teaches that traits can be passed from parents to children and even grandchildren (Exodus 34:7).

PositiveTip: Making good choices today may protect your children and grandchildren tomorrow.

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Good Advice for Cancer Survivors

Fourteen million in the U.S. survived cancer!

A lot is known today about how food, diet and physical activity relate to the health of those who survive cancer. The American Institute of Cancer Research (AICR) in partnership with the World Cancer Fund provides some very practical guidelines to reduce future risk. These include focusing on a mostly plant-based diet, avoiding even small amounts of alcohol, exercising daily, and not smoking.

PositiveTip: Choose wise living to increase your chances of surviving cancer.

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Get Off Your Posterior!

Physical activity has been engineered out of our lives today!

In the U.S. and the U.K. 70-95% of adults are inactive. Office workers should move around or stand for at least 4 hours during the workday for reductions in heart disease, diabetes and all-cause mortality risks. A Canadian study found significant reductions in risk for cardiovascular mortality in those who stood more than two hours per day, with the greatest benefit in those who stood 4 or more hours daily.

PositiveTip: For your health, make your goal to "move it, move it, move it"!

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Teenage Obesity and Colorectal Cancer Risk

Obesity during teens may increase risk of colorectal cancer.

A study of almost 240,000 Swedish males, 16-20 years old were measured for height and weight. After 35 years of follow-up those in the upper overweight (BMI 27.5 to <30) or obese (BMI 30+) at the beginning were more than twice as likely to develop colorectal cancer as those who were normal weight.

PositiveTip: Establishing habits of regular physical activity and a wholesome diet early in life may help reduce the risk of colorectal cancer later in life.

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Good Advice for "Sitting Disease"

U.K. experts advise sedentary workers should get up and move throughout the day.

A consensus statement of U.K. public health experts recommends those with desk-based jobs seek to get 2 hours of standing or light activity each workday. The authors cite evidence which links cardiovascular, musculoskeletal, mental health problems, and mortality with sedentary behaviors. They advise sedentary workers to regularly alternate between standing-based and sitting-based work, and strongly recommend adjustable standing desks.

PositiveTip: If you are a sedentary worker, you may experience better health and greater productivity if you mix sitting with standing.

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How You Eat Affects the Earth’s Future

Diets that “add about a decade to our lives can also prevent massive environmental damage”

An ecological study found if populations switched from omnivore diets to either Mediterranean, pescatarian (no meat except fish) or vegetarian diets, it could improve life span, reduce diabetes by 25%, cancer by 10% and heart disease by 20%. Furthermore, food production greenhouse gas emissions would reduce in amounts equal to what all cars, trucks, plans trains and ships currently emit.

PositiveTip: Leave a legacy for your children by modeling healthy eating and reducing food consumption that taxes our planet.

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Obesity Increases Risk of Stroke in Younger Adults

Excess weight increases stroke risk.

Researchers compared 1,201 people who had their first stroke between ages 15-49 with a control group who had no strokes. After adjusting for age, race, smoking, diabetes and high blood pressure the obese men had a 34% higher risk of stroke and women a 7% higher risk than the normal weight controls. Because this studied relied on self-reported height and weight, it may have underestimated the impact of obesity and stroke.

PositiveTip: Maintain normal weight through a healthy diet and lifestyle to minimize risk of stroke.

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Teenage Drinking Shrinks Gray Matter

Normal development of the teenage brain affected by use of alcohol.

Heavy drinking of alcohol during adolescence appears to lead to the exaggerated loss of gray matter and an increase in white matter compared to non-drinking peers. The study subjects tended to drink in binges on weekends or at parties. At baseline average GPA was 3.5 (of 4), but the drinkers average dropped during the study to 3.2, while the non-drinkers remained the same.

PositiveTip: Encourage adolescents to avoid the use of all alcohol!

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Heart Hope for Obese Children

A plant-based diet may reduce heart disease risk for obese children

Researchers compared a plant-based diet and the American Heart Association (AHA) diet for heart-health effects on 28 obese children. After only four weeks, both diets showed significant improvements but those on a plant-based diet had additional improvements in BMI, blood pressure, insulin, total and LDL (bad) cholesterol. A plant-based diet included plant foods, whole grains, limited avocado and nuts, no-added-fat. The AHA diet included refined grains, low-fat dairy, selected plant oils, and lean meat and fish in moderation. 

PositiveTip: Overweight or not, choose a plant-based diet for you and your children.