Friday, October 26, 2012

Exercise good for aging brain!

10-26-12: This study published in Neurology is one of the first to show a posistiveconnection between current exercise level and "white matter" of the brain status. White matter consists of the "connections" or wiring of the brain. While there are a lot of other questions that still need to be answered (like if past exercise history impacts this), it is another piece showing exercise's benefits to the brain.

Read the details here:

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Sugar toxic? It's the DOSE, silly!

10-25-12: And here's the other side of the anti-sugar coin, but Dr. David Katz, one of the leading preventive medicine and lifestyle medicine docs in our country. He posted something in Huffington Post in response to Dr. Lustig's anti-sugar "diatribe". You can read about it here:

I agree that fructose, which is the main sugar in fruit, is not evil in and of itself. I've heard nutrition speakers talk about how the FIBER in fruit helps to ameliorate any negatives of fructose.

So whether Dr. Lustig really means that ANY amount of fructose and sucrose is bad, or if it's a dose thing, is for you to decide when you watch his Youtube rant on 60 Minutes.

I, for the record, give any sugar a safe pass when eaten in natural foods such as raw fruits. My beef (vegi beef, that is) is against refined processed sugar--white sugar, HFCS, etc. And we all know that Americans eat WAY TOO MUCH of this kind of "bad" sugar!

As a reminder, the American Heart Association gave a recommended amount of "added" sugar: 100 kcals/day for women; 150 kcals/day for men. (Source: Circulation 2009; 120: 1011-102....

Sugar (glucose) is needed for fuel for our muscles, so from an exercise and PA standpoint, we need sugar to move. Just watch the added refined processed sugars while you're at it! ;-)

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Lifting weights reduces risk of metabolic syndrome!

10-23-12: We cover the importance of strength training in my Total Wellness class, so I was glad to see a study coming out on the protective benefits of weight lifting on metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of risk factors that when seen together, indicated an increased risk for developing type 2 diabetes. These risk factors are:

1. Large waist circumference (>40 inches for men; >35 inches for women)
2. High triglyceride levels
3. Low HDL
4. High blood pressure
5. High blood sugar levels

If you have at least 3 of the 5 above risk factors, you have metabolic syndrome.

Read more about how doing strength training exercises helps to protect you against this "pre-diabetes" state!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Yet ANOTHER study: Sitting is deadly!!!

10-15-12: These studies are coming out fast and furious, which I think is great because it gives us more ammo in the fight against hypokinetic disease!!!

A meta-analysis (18 studies and included a total of 794,577 participants) showed that your risk of diabetes, heart disease, and death were increased 2x if you sat for long periods of time.

What's even more disturbing (and backs up what other previous studies have found) is that this increased risk is INDEPENDENT of the amount of moderate-to-vigorous PA one gets, so even if you meet the PA guidelines, you are still at risk if you sit for long periods of time throughout the day.

What can you do to protect yourself? Don't sit for long periods of time!!! Office workers, college students, and other occupations that require you to sit for long periods of time are at risk so try and take small breaks every hour or so. Get up and move around, step in place, walk around your building or block, go up and down the stairs, etc. You could even play some active video games and have fun while you're taking a break! It only need be a few minutes to break it up, so active video games would be a great option for this kind of break.

Just because you get your PA for an hour a day doesn't mean you're safe to sit on your bum for the other 23 hours of the day!!!

E. G. Wilmot, C. L. Edwardson, F. A. Achana, M. J. Davies, T. Gorely, L. J. Gray, K. Khunti, T. Yates, S. J. H. Biddle. Sedentary time in adults and the association with diabetes, cardiovascular disease and death: systematic review and meta-analysis. Diabetologia, 2012; 55 (11): 2895 DOI: 10.1007/s00125-012-2677-z

Other reports on this study:

Why funding public health saves lives!!!

10-15-12: Here's another cool graphic slide pdf showing why we need to keep funding public health in order to save lives and save $$!

This is put out by the American Public Health Association, which is has upcoming annual meeting up in San Francisco last week of Oct. I'll be going there so and bringing back a lot of PA-related news! Also attending the first PA Sectional as well, so can't wait to see that!!!

You're job is killing you!!!

10-15-12: A great graphic slide show on how our jobs, and hypokinetic disease (sedentarianism or being a couch potato) is killing us!!! Check it out here:

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Is there a safe moderate intake level of toxic sugar?

10-14-12: According to the American Heart Association and Dr. Lustig, there is. That amount is:

Women: 6 teaspons (100 kcals) per day
Men: 9 teaspons (150 kcals) per day

You can read more about this and how to reduce your sugar intake by checking out the AHA's website. This position statement was first published in AHA's journal, Circulation, 2009, vol. 120.

A black and white guideline as to how much added refined sugar you can have per day, for those who have to have their daily sugar fix.

Now if someone could create a natural and safe pill we could take to block this toxic sugar from getting into our bodies...turns out there is! But that's for another post....;-)

3rd Toxic Sugar video!!!

10-12-12: Thx to my colleague, Melissa Halas-Liang, RD, founder of SuperKids Nutrition, for sharing this 3rd video on how toxic sugar is for you!

Video: "Sugar is killing us" (

Another excellent reason why we should all cut down on our intake of refined processed sugar.

Is there a moderate and safe level to eat? Check my next blog...

Friday, October 12, 2012

Sugar is deadly!!!

10-12-12: From time to time, I stray from purely physical activity and post other things, especially if those things would affect your ability to be physically active..and what would hinder that more than DEATH?!?

So this is a post about how SUGAR is deadly!!! Check out these 2 video clips about sugar and let me know what you think.

"Toxic Sugar: Dr. Lustig on 60 Mins with Dr. Gupta"

"The Real Polar Bears" (The commercials Coca-cola doesn't want you to see!)

Do you think that sugar is really this bad? Is it something that is ok to eat in "moderation"? And if so, what exactly is moderation?

If you're still not sure, I encourage you to read Mark Hyman, MD's book, The Blood Sugar Solution. You can read more about it here. His book has really changed my view on sugar and the other "5 Bad Guys" that I talk about in my classes and to my patients...and he also talks about them in-depth in his book. They are at the root of inflammation and insulin resistance in the body!!!

Oh yeah, and so is being a couch potato...;-)

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Sprint intervals can increase post-exercise kcal burn

10-10-12: In the quest to find the "time" to exercise, a lot of attention has been focused on HIIT, or High Intensity Interval Training. This is where you do very high intensity for a short period of time, interspersed with low intensity time. The research shows that you can get cardio benefits in less time doing it this way, and this is the first study to show if you keep burning more kcals AFTER you're done the exercise.

In this study they did five 30-sec sprints on a stationary bike with 4 minutes of easy pedaling in between. Test subjects burned an extra 200 kcals per day from this kind of workout. More studies need to be done to see if this would translate to more weight loss and all, but it does look promising. Also, exercising at this high of a level usually is very difficult to do on your own, and seems to benefit from a coach pushing you.

You can read more about the study here at this link. They are presenting their findings in a poster session entitled, “A Single Session of Sprint Interval Training Increases Total Daily Energy Expenditure,”  at The Integrative Biology of Exercise VI meeting being held October 10-13 at the Westin Westminster Hotel in Westminster, CO.