Your New Status: Not Sedentary

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Surf the web, watch TV or check your friends’ social media status and latest posts and suddenly you realize you haven’t been on your feet for 3 or 4 hours.

Over time, sedentary behavior (sitting in front of the computer or TV for example) may be, by itself, contributing to chronic disease risk, including cancer.

Yes, researchers are looking more and more at how much time people spend being  sedentary and the harm that does.

Two large studies (European Heart Journal and the Journal of the American College of Cardiology) measured participants’ “sedentary behavior” time and found that those with highest levels compared to those with lowest levels had increased risk of heart disease or heart disease risk factors.  These results are similar to those from smaller studies.

The good news: in one study participants who took more frequent breaks from being sedentary fared somewhat better.

If you have a sedentary job, take a short break every 30 minutes just to get up and walk or move around, even for a couple of minutes.  Spend less time in front of the TV and when you do watch TV, stretch or stand up for awhile – avoid just sitting for long periods of time.  Small steps do, indeed, make a difference.

Join our Never Too Late campaign and find ideas on how you can make changes at any age to move toward more activity  and healthier eating patterns.

Help Santa Lower His Cancer Risk

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Traveling around the world in a sleigh and going up and down chimneys surely burns calories and increases Santa’s heart rate, but is it enough to balance the millions of cookies and hot beverages he consumes every Christmas eve?

If the average cookie plate left for Santa contains one small sugar cookie (65 calories), a small piece of shortbread (40 calories) and one serving of hot cocoa (90 calories), the total calorie count is almost 200 calories.

Too many cookies and not enough exercise can lead to weight gain and an increased risk for cancer and other chronic diseases.

Some physical activity can help anyone avoid weight gain during the holidays.  How much physical activity burns 200 calories?

  • Walk 3.5 mph for 45 min.
  • Low impact aerobics for 35 minutes
  • Ballroom dancing for 60 minutes
  • Hiking for about 25 minutes

If we’re going to leave a plate out for Santa, we can do him a favor with smaller cookies, maybe a piece of fruit and hot tea.

And those strategies can work for us throughout the holiday season.

Happy Healthy Holidays!

Videos To Help Prevent Cancer?

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“Step away from the TV” is usually what you’d hear when we give advice to get active for cancer prevention.  But there may be a way the TV could actually help you get moving.

Rain, cold or any inclement weather provides an easy excuse to skip that walk or outdoor exercise every day. This is where the TV might actually help.

Pull out an exercise video and you’re on your way to dancing, step aerobics or just moving around your living room.

If you don’t have any exercise videos and want to know how to choose them, read the HealthTalk column by AICR’s Nutrition Consultant, Karen Collins.

Then get moving!

What’s your favorite exercise video?