Muscle Toning in the Office

Sometimes it’s difficult to find time to work out, and many of us sit at our desks for hours at a time without any movement other than typing. Evenings at home may not be much better if you watch TV or play games at your computer.

New research suggests that sitting for long periods of time may increase cancer risk – whether you exercise regularly or not. What to do? As it happens, we’ve got some great ideas on being less sedentary during the day in our latest video: 3 minute office workouts.

And here are more ideas:

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Not Your Ordinary Water

Let’s face it, some people just don’t love the taste of plain water (myself included). At AICR’s Annual Research Conference this year, the tables were adorned with water pitchers filled with beautiful fruits and vibrant herbs – “Infused Waters.” I didn’t have to force myself to drink water like I usually do – these waters were so appealing that I went back for more.

The water with fresh strawberries and mint leaves was refreshing and ever so slightly sweet. Here’s how to make it:
1.   Slice 1/2 cup fresh strawberries
2.   Select several sprigs of fresh mint and rinse if needed
Add to 1-2 quarts of fresh, cold water and refrigerate for several hours to let flavors mingle. The longer you let it soak (even up to a day), the more prominent the flavors will become.

The pitcher of lemon and basil water was just as unique and delicious:
1.   Slice 1 whole lemon
2.   Select 1/4 – 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
Add to 1-2 quarts of fresh, cold water and refrigerate as in the previous recipe. This water reminded me of a fragrant, summer herb garden.

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You Say Tomato, Let’s Talk Lycopene

As the days have shortened and the nights have grown crisp, the leaves on the trees outside AICR’s Washington, DC, headquarters have begun to show their true colors. Some of these colors are derived from lycopene, a dietary compound that plays a role in preventing cancer.

Lycopene is one of the more well-studied compounds for cancer prevention. It belongs to a class of compounds known as carotenoids and is one of the compounds responsible for leaves’ brilliant reds, oranges, and yellow hues.  These fat-soluble pigments are present in many foods, as well, and are what make tomatoes red, pumpkins orange, and squashes yellow.

AICR’s expert report and its continuous updates have found that lycopene reduces the risk of prostate cancer.  Along with tomatoes and tomato products, lycopene is also found in other red fruits such as watermelon and red guavas.  Interestingly, our bodies can absorb more lycopene from cooked tomato products like spaghetti sauce, ketchup, or salsa because heat changes the configuration of lycopene’s molecules, making it more available.

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