If you’re like many New Year’s resolutionists, chances are good you’re struggling with your 2014 goals by now (assuming you haven’t bailed on them completely—no judgment, we’ve been there). And if you’re someone who has managed to stick to your commitment of weight loss, you may find yourself feeling frustrated that you haven’t made more progress. Take heart: for all the sensationalizing commercials and ads about how quickly someone’s pounds melted away, there are plenty real people in their world making modest, but positive, progress toward their weight goals.
Fat. Carbohydrates. These two macronutrients are frequently in health news but on varying sides of the “Is it good for you?” debate—think of low-fat diets versus praise for healthy fats, the Paleo diet (which eschews processed carbs) versus the health benefits of whole grains. Protein, the third macronutrient, seems to be immune to this debate and is generally considered a good part of a healthy diet. According to Medline Plus, an information website maintained by the U.S. National Library of Medicine, “Every cell in the human body contains protein. It is a major part of the skin, muscles, organs, and glands. . . . You need protein in your diet to help your body repair cells and make new ones.” Everyone needs protein to supply the nine essential amino acids, which our bodies need to function but which the body cannot produce. Protein needs vary based on age and lifestyle habits. Athletes need protein to strengthen and repair muscles after grueling workouts. And adults need more protein than children. (Choosemyplate.gov lists a host of specific benefits of protein.)
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More than half a century after they were born, the baby boomers continue to be a subject of great interest in the media. According to CNN.com, the generation consists of more than 77 million people who were born between the years of 1946 and 1964. Seventy-seven million. From Social Security concerns to the breakdown of bodies, the state of this generation is making headlines everywhere.
Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. Do you know what you’re getting your sweetheart?
On this holiday many of us immediately turn to chocolate, that indulgent treat that’s oh so delicious but loaded with sugar, fat, and calories. Long associated with indulgence and, thus, considered something to be avoided, chocolate has become a health-research buzzword recently, and evidence has emerged suggesting it may be more healthful than previously thought. In the past five years, a host of studies have been published showing the positive effects this sweet treat can have on health—everything from lower rates of stroke, blood pressure, and coronary heart disease to improved cholesterol, insulin resistance, and weight control (really!).
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Winter is a harsh time of year, especially in our part of the country. The days are short, and darkness falls early—for some of us, even before we leave the office at the end of the workday. There can be icy winds that nearly knock us off our feet. There can be massive snowfalls that complicate our commutes and interfere with our plans (not to mention make us chilly and soggy!). Hypothermia, although not a realistic risk for some people, can set in under extreme weather conditions. All around us, the cold, wet, wintry conditions pose a variety of risks.
Late last year, a study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine found that women who follow a Mediterranean diet may live longer. The large-scale study by researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and the Harvard School of Public Health was just the latest to join many others espousing this way of eating, which emphasizes fresh fruits and vegetables, olive oil, protein from sources like fish, nuts, beans, and whole grains, and very little red meat or processed foods.
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Heart disease is in fact an umbrella term that encompasses a variety of medical conditions: heart rhythm problems, congenital heart conditions, heart infections, and diseases of the blood vessels. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the most common is coronary heart disease (aka coronary artery disease), which results from plaque buildup in the arteries that lead to the heart. The Mayo Clinic lists symptoms for a variety of heart conditions here.
Lose weight. Exercise more. Stop smoking. Eat better. With a new calendar comes New Year’s resolutions . . . and, for many of us, the end of our ambitious health and fitness pursuits arrives right around Valentine’s Day. Cold, dark days test the mettle of even the most committed exercisers, but that’s no reason to ditch your resolutions. Here’s how to beat the cliché and commit to your goals all year long.
In our culture where sedentary jobs are widespread and obesity rates are on the rise among adults and children, there are a host of reasons why aerobic activity is important for Americans. We hear it all the time in the news: adults should get at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise at least five days per week. So why do so few of us get enough?
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You can tell it’s resolutions season just by turning on the TV. Diet plans, weight-loss drugs, and fitness clubs kick their advertising into high gear when weight, diet, and exercise are foremost in people’s minds, playing on our insecurities about the pounds we packed on over the holidays or the bikinis we want to squeeze into in a few months.
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