Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Hypokinetic Dz more deadly than smoking?

7-24-12: The BBC put out this report on featuring Dr. I-Min Lee, highlighting how hypokinetic dz is more deadly than smoking. This is part of the Lancet series on physical activity that I posted earlier. I've been telling this in my classes and in some recent presentations, so it's nice to get more recent confirmation. 

Does that mean if you exercise regularly that you can smoke? Of course not...the best is NOT to smoke AND exercise regularly AND be active throughout the day. 

So after reading this, get up and move!!!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Hpokinetic Dz cause of 1 in 10 premature global deaths

7-20-12: Hypokinetic disease, a term I like to use for physical inactivity, is the cause of 1 in 10 premature deaths around the world, according the researchers. It highlights the seriousness of being a couch potato! Read more about it in this USA Today article.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Physical Inactivity "global pandemic"

7-18-12: In one of my many health newsletters that I receive, there was an article on how physical inactivity has become a global pandemic. This was a report on a news release covering a series on physical activity that was produced by The Lancet, published July 18, 2012.

Here is an excerpt: "Newswise — HOUSTON – (July 18, 2012) – The high prevalence and consequences of physical inactivity should be recognized as a global pandemic, according to a new publication by Harold W. Kohl, III, Ph.D., professor of epidemiology at The University of Texas School of Public Health, part of The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth).

“Physical inactivity continues to be undervalued among people who can make a difference despite evidence of its health benefits and the evident cost burden posed by present levels of physical inactivity globally,” said Kohl, who is also with the Michael & Susan Dell Center for Healthy Living at the UT School of Public Health.

The paper is the fifth and final paper in The Lancet “Series on Physical Activity” published this week and outlines key strategies and resources needed to make physical activity a global public health priority. “This series emphasizes the need to focus on population physical activity levels as an outcome, not just decreasing obesity,” said Kohl, professor of kinesiology at The University of Texas at Austin."

 What solutions do the researchers suggest to tackle this global pandemic of sedentarianism?

1.  Increased prioritizing of physical activity across multiple sectors of influence including health, transportation, sports, education and business.

2. Focus especially on countries with low-to-middle incomes, where rapid economic and social improvements will decrease their physical activity demands of daily life.

3. Take a multi-sector, systems-and-community-wide approach to physical activity promotion to increase population levels of activity worldwide rather than efforts focused on individual health. Leaving efforts in the healthcare/patient education arena where we focus on individual change is NOT going to be enough, given the rate of this pandemic.  The researchers say that, “Improvements must happen at every level including planning and policy, leadership and advocacy and workforce training.”

For most of my 20 years working "in the trenches" of lifestyle medicine and health promotion and education, I have focused on changing individual behaviors, but maybe it's time to see how we can impact the larger picture through policy and environmental changes. We'll see how that happens in the next 20 years of my career! ;-)

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

PA becomes an official APHA Section!

7-11-12: I'm a member of the American Public Health Association (APHA), the oldest and most diverse public health org in the world. Even though it has "American" in the title, members come from public health entities all over the world.

For the last few years, Physical Activity (PA) has been a special interest group (SPIG). I've had the privilege of being a member of this SPIG since it formed. After reaching certain benchmarks set forth by the APHA, the PA SPIG has now been granted official SECTION status, joining 27 other primary sections.

What's so special about becoming a Section? In a nutshell, PA is not on probation anymore! We are now a permanent group as a Section, with a specific budget and more slots for sessions at the annual meeting, among other perks that Sections enjoy that SPIGs do not.

The PA SPIG was the fastest growing SPIG in the last few years, and we are excited to finally have reached Section status. This will allow public health professionals who are interested in PA more opportunities for networking, developing program content, craft policy, and develop our careers.

This promotion is a major affirmation by APHA on the importance PA has in solving our public health care crisis.

If you work in public health at any level, don't miss our upcoming annual meeting, Oct. 27-31, 2012, in San Francisco, CA. There, we will have our first official PA Section meeting, so you won't want to miss that!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Exercise Impact on Brain Vascular System

7-6-12: Greetings! Back from vacation and finally catching up on things. Going through my stack of journals, came across this article in the July issue (Vol 40 #3) of Exercise and Sport Sciences Reviews. It's one of the latest articles showing the positive impact of exercise on the brain, and how that seems to help with a variety of neurological issues, cognitive functions, etc.

Love this graphic that was included in the article which sums it up:

Check the ESSR link for the article online when it comes out, or e-mail me directly (emedina@epiclp.com) and I'd be happy to send you a PDF copy of the full article.

Note the increase of BDNF...that has been called the "Miracle Grow for the brain" because BDNF helps to grow NEW neurons!
Vitamin E for exercise? Study found that chronic aerobic exercise acts as an antioxidant while decreasing oxidative stress on the brain.
Bottomline: Regular PA and exercise is good for your brain! It will help you be smarter and help to reduce your risk of dementia, Alzheimer, and other neurological problems related to the NORMAL aging process of the brain (i.e. if you don't exercise, your brain will go through the typical aging process.)

Here's how they said it: "Exercise could well turn out to be the most convenient, practical, and cost-effective way to ameliorate age-related declines in cognition while mitigating other age-related diseases. These benefits have the potential to improve health with advancing age and to significantly reduce the anticipated and rapidly escalating costs associated with age-related cognitive impairment and dementia facing our aging society."