Kicking Up Cancer Prevention: Helping Kids Who Are Overweight Get Active

Today, there’s a world of entertainment for kids that has nothing to do with playing outside. It’s not uncommon for the overweight children I counsel to tell me they spend four or more hours a day watching TV or on a tablet, which leaves little time to be active.

youth baseball player in catcher's uniform squatting in position

Establishing healthy activity and eating patterns needs to start at a young age for us to see

a reversal in the obesity epidemic, one of the largest contributing factors to increased cancer risk. Yet only about a quarter of kids get the recommended 60 minutes of physical activity daily, including kids who are overweight, which is about a third of children and adolescents.

For these kids, it can be more difficult to be active due to embarrassment, peer bullying and physical challenges associated with getting into an activity routine. Overweight and obese youth also tend to be less active due to poor motor skills, says Avery Faigenbaum, EdD, an expert on pediatric exercise at The College of New Jersey.

So how can we get kids who are overweight to be more active? Faigenbaum presented research at a recent weight management conference on effective ways to increase activity among overweight youth. Continue reading


Study: Cancer Survivors Gain Strength with Strength Training

Among the many side effects of cancer treatment, muscle loss is one that can make daily tasks such as lifting groceries and running errands become challenging. Dumbbell-SP005620_7_300w

Now an analysis of the research suggests that survivors who lift weights and do other resistance exercises improve both arm and leg muscles. And for the strongest arms, resistance training at a low to moderate intensity works the best.

The review was published last week in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise.

The new study looking only at randomized controlled trials — considered the gold standard of studies — included studies on resistance training among cancer patients and survivors. The researchers ended up with 11 relevant studies that included almost 1200 people. Each comparing a resistance training  group against a comparison. The majority of studies worked with breast and prostate patients and survivors.

Participants had conducted resistance training exercises from 3 months up to a year. Most involved two training sessions a week. Continue reading


Hot? Tired? How Stretch Bands Can Help.

If you live in one of the many areas where it’s hot, rainy, or you just want to stay inside, that’s a good enough reason to get in on the growing trend of resistance bands. They’re cheap, portable, and a simple way to get your daily dose of exercise – for overall health and cancer prevention.

In our video, exercise physiologist Mary Kennedy demonstrates three simple 1-minute resistance band exercises. Here, Mary explains how much of these exercises we should do and what all those different colors mean.

Q: You say in the video to incorporate resistance training in your exercise routine twice a week; how long would you recommend?

A: The ideal amount of resistance training isn’t usually measured in minutes; it’s measured by the number of exercises and repetitions completed. You should strive to complete 8 to 10 different exercises that target all major muscle groups. Aim to complete at least one set of 8 to 12 repetitions of each. Continue reading