Sunday, January 1, 2012

Your Health in 2012

I will try to keep this New Years Day post in the tradition of 
Sunday Odds and Ends

Fight Fat (No Ali?) - This is the year that you will not spend any money on diet products, pills, powders, shakes, etc - these products are more gimmick  - more foe - than friend.  Science does not support their use.  IF you read the fine print, you will notice that the results are not typical and diet and exercise are necessary to achieve weight loss.

Celebs and Diet Ads - This year you will believe science over celebrity.  If you MUST trust a program - trust Weight Watchers.  There are NO products that you have to buy with WW- every thing you need is at your local grocer.  The education they provide is legitimate. The lessons are doable and all is safe.

Say Yes to Change- In research studies there is always an interest in the effect size.  For example, a certain teaching method may improve the scores for students who receive this new method as opposed to students who do not.  Thus the new method is effective.  But, HOW much so?  Are the scores 5 points apart or 10 or 20?  I.e., is the effect size small, medium or large?  Small changes will get you small results.  IF you walk ten minutes a day it will not improve your health as much as a twenty minutes a day.  However, NO change will lead to NO change.  Start where you are this year and take it from there - but this year, you will START.

Scrub Your Own Toilet - Not sure where to put this little gem, but I must include it.  I saw a commercial for a toilet bowl scrubber that is automatic.  You attach it to the bowl and it does its thing.  It is devices like this that add up to make us an overwhelmingly sedentary society.  This year - you will use less automation and more elbow grease.

Clothing - Beginning today - man or woman, if the clothes you put on make you feel unattractive or uncomfortable - take them to Goodwill.  They could very well make someone else feel beautiful.  You should feel beautiful or handsome, too.

Sit Less - This is a change you can make.  Vow to keep those sit downs to one hour or less.  This does not mean that you have to take a 30 minute walk every hour, but you must get UP.  Remember, this improves your brain functioning and reduces the risk of dying from any cause - as it relates to metabolic changes that occur when you sit for prolonged periods of time.

Move More - This is NOT the same as sitting less.  What ever physical activity you have now - unless it is 60 minutes 7 days a week - do MORE.  If you do not do any, start with 15 minutes a day.  IF you find that you can not do 15 minutes a day, change the activity, not the 15 minutes.  This year you will move more - not a few times - but consistently.

Eat Better - One more time again - more fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean protein and fish.  Less fried foods and saturated fat - reduce (restrict) sugar and processed food consumption.  Not sure what to do with fresh food?  Subscribe to my You Tube channel - or just visit it from time to time.  It has a search feature.  You could search green beans, cereal bars and dessert - for example.

Be Open to New Findings - Science is improving.  We will learn that some medications, screenings and foods are better for us and some are not necessary or helpful.  Don't be afraid if the new science challenges your old beliefs - we need to accept that things change and change with them.

Buy and Wear - a bicycle helmet!

Avoid Extremes - There is no quick fix and there is no need for extremes. 

Avoid All Forms of Tobacco Smoke - active or passive - it is all toxic - it is a carcinogen - tobacco smoke is proven to cause cancer and severe lung diseases, heart disease and a multitude of other fatal, acute and chronic conditions.

This year you will make healthy choices every day because each day is the foundation for the next -  this is how you stack the deck in your favor for the years to come.

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