More Exercise: Think Outside the Box

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Exercise may not be a natural instinct for many but people can change their behavior and integrate more activity into their lives. Stealth health, or the small change approach was the positive message of Dr. James O. Hill, from the University of Colorado at Denver. In order to do that, we need to think outside the box, getting communities involved and changing the culture.

Dr. Hill noted how there are very, very few people who can maintain a healthy weight if they are sedentary. In order to avoid the 1-2 pound average annual weight gain, we would need to burn about 100 calories a day. To lose about 10 to 15% of body weight one needs to burn about 200 to 300 calories per day.

The goal is to change people’s behavior but for long term change there needs to be some motivators, such as money or offsetting greenhouse gas.

He spoke about his efforts to involve the community: developers, builders, hospitals, grocery stores, restaurants – name it and it sounds like he has approached them. Get a pedometer in the grocery store and the more steps you take, the more discounts you get on the product. Every person in the community has a stake in this issue, just some people don’t know it.

A lot of people doing small change will help promote the results we want.

Dr. Hill also has a book on the small change approach.

The HP Perspective: Report from Today’s Dietitians’ Roundtable

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This year, AICR provided dietitians and other health professionals who attended our Research Conference with an opportunity to network with one another and discuss the science they’ve been hearing about for the past two days.

Several tables at today’s lunch were set aside for roundtable discussions on several different topics.  AICR Nutrition Advisor, Karen Collins, MS, RD, reports back:

“Our table’s discussion included a lot of interest in yesterday’s presentation on intervention studies.  When a given study seems to show that a particular diet or supplement “works” or “doesn’t work”, how can we convey to our clients that those findings really mean that they may work for some people, and not others?

A big factor, not often discussed in media coverage, is where the subjects in intervention trials start off — what are their initial nutrient levels, body weights, physical activity levels, genetics, etc.?  Knowing these things is crucial to understanding a study’s ultimate findings. 

But headlines can be very misleading, which is why people need to know where they can turn for the whole story.”

Meeting 80% of the Activity Goal

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There are a lot of insights coming from three major exercise intervention studies. The studies, presented by exercise physiologist Dr. Kathryn Schmitz are the findings of Dr. Anne McTiernan (she was sick), whose goal is to better understand how aerobic interventions affect signs of cancer in the body in msneakeriddle aged to older adults.

Here’s a great one: Women meet 80% of their exercise goal, and it doesn’t matter what the goal is – high or low.

Other conclusions from the studies: gender matters. We don’t know why yet, said Dr. Schmitz, but men and women show different results. And also, people need a good pair of sneakers.