E-4 — Sunday, October 27, 2002 LEISURE (iiazeite Get moving! Add exercise to the fitness mix By PATRICIA GUTHRIE Cox News Service For an hour, Molly Lay waited for the "E" word to come up. But once again, the "Ds" dominated the weight-loss conversation. Diet, diet, diet. Atkins, the Zone, Sugar Busters, low-carb, high-carb, low-fat, all-fat. "Not once, not once, did they mention exercise," Lay said of a recent television news special that zeroed in on the nation's expanding waistline. "I couldn't believe it. How can they discuss how to lose weight without talking 'about the other important element — moving your body?" said Lay, a certified fitness instructor who leads aerobics classes at YWCAs. Indeed, burning the fat often gets lost in the endless introspection about what's making America a su- persized nation. To compound the matter, the experts don't agree on what constitutes adequate daily exercise. But on one point they do concur: Some form of daily physical activity is essential to good health. An estimated 25 percent of Americans don't exercise at all, and another 60 percent don't do enough to make a difference to their health, federal reports show. Getting people to move — anyhow, anywhere — is emphasized by health officials who've spent more than two frustrating decades sounding alarms about the country's burgeoning waistlines. For years, federal guidelines urged at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity a day, such as brisk walking or gardening, for five or more days a week. But last month, a new recommendation from the Institute of Medicine — an arm of the National Academy of Sciences, which advises Congress —- decreed that at least one hour a day of moderate activity, not necessarily all at once, is needed to maintain a healthy body weight. Why the difference? "It's all about your goals," said Dr. Tim Church, medical director of the Cooper Institute, a Dallas-based research organization that focuses on exercise and health. "If you're in the sedentary category, just getting out of the house and doing something is important. There's a huge benefit from going from the sedentary category to even moving 15 minutes a day. Thirty minutes is the goal, but the important thing is just moving, period." Keeping weight off after losing it is another challenge. That seems to require about an hour of exercise on most days, several studies show. "You could-divideit into 15-rninute segments with a combination of things, such as housework, walking the dog or raking leaves," said Joanne Lupton, head of the IOM panel and a nutritionist at Texas A&M University. "The hour doesn't have to be translated into an aerobics class seven days a week. Once l«is.- [ ••' - • Colorado is walking it off. 2,000 steps a day Arollri nrrSt-^CC V frfe": of Colorado's Center l^, C ? r ? f "* ™™rsity es '8 nIhe Ptoeram. In steps a 1 people understand that, maybe they're not going to be as afraid of the recommendation.'' Researchers in Ireland recently confirmed that three brisk 10- minute exercise segments had the same collective health and psychological benefits as a continuous 30- minute session. Applying that same strategy to an hour-a-day activity also will work, Lupton said. Some health experts fear that the hour-a-day advice will frustrate people. Church, of the Cooper Institute, said he's already heard from individuals^who now believe that they're not exercising enough'" at 30 minutes a day. Yet those same people have lowered their blood pressure and cholesterol after six months of walking 30 minutes almost daily, he said. "The Institute of Medicine (recommendation) is probably the best if we lived in an ideal world," said Dr. William Dietz, director of the divi- sion of nutrition and physical activity at the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "But it doesn't change, our recommendation of at least 30 minutes per day for most days of the week. Physical activity plays a very important role in keeping weight off and for overall health." The new guidelines were released after the most recent volley in the fat wars was lobbed over the summer, when an article in The New York Times Magazine suggested that the federal government's food pyramid is partly to blame for the growing obesity rate. The Washington Post followed with a point-by-point critique of the Times article'-and'chal- lenged its chief assertion: that high- fat diets may be better than high- carbohydrate, low-fat diets. The news magazines and television shows, along with many mainstream newspapers, also produced reports on the topic. But nearly all focused exclusively on diet, ignoring the role exercise plays in burning fat. By now, most of us know the mind- numbing statistics: 34 percent of American adults are overweight and an additional 30 percent are obese, according to the CDC: Obesity among children has doubled in two decades. And a new CDC report out last week found that overweight among children and adults is continuing to rise. ("Overweight" is simply excess body weight; "obesity" means having an abnormally high proportion of body fat.) Americans seem lo have forgotten what it takes to burn fat as they discuss the finer points of low fat, lean protein and refined carbohydrates. "The (diet plan) debate is an interesting debate, but it's the wrong debate," said James Hill of the University of Colorado's Center for Human Nutrition. "We put 90 percent of our effort in diet and less than 10 percent in exercise. Deprivation diets don't work because they are deviating from your normal lifestyle. It may be OK to lose weight that way if you have a separate plan on how to maintain it." People need to consider physical movement vital to their daily routine, something that's as important as food and water to sustain good health and vitality, experts say. That's how Mary Anason looks at fitness. It's about feeling good, not just losing weight. From seven years' worth of weekly classes, she knows the endorphin buzz of exercise.- At a YWCA, Anason sweats her.way through three classes a weetothat combine stretching, low-impact aerobics and lifting light weights. She's 74. "I'm really doing it for the cardiovascular benefit," she said. "It gives me a refreshing kind of feeling. It recharges you. More importantly, it makes you feel good that you've made and a commitment and you're keeping it." Any physical activity counts toward burning calories. It doesn't have to be rigorous or require an expensive club membership. For example, a 140-pound person can burn 175 calories in 30 minutes by bicycling moderately. A leisurely jog will burn 322 calories in that time. But the same individual also could zap 105 calories by vacuuming or raking leaves in the same amount of time. And exercising regularly also boosts-metabolism, which can raise the number of calories the body burns even when at rest. Dietary factors do, of course, influence weight. "The literature shows that physical activity enhances weight loss modestly," said Dietz of the CDC. "If you think about it, it's a lot easier just to not eat 500 calories than to try and burn it off." Consider it takes an hour of one of the most heart-pounding, muscle- moving sports there is —-• cross- country skiing — to use up 500 calories. Which is still not enough, by the way, to burn off a supersize order of McDonald's french fries, with 610 calories. But exercise should be a key part of any weight-loss program, most experts say. There are also reams of research showing other benefits of a consistent physical activity, especially for those who are overweight and sedentary. Studies have found that exercise can stave off or delay diabetes and heart disease, help maintain bones and offset osteoporosis, reduce the risk of breast and colon cancer and relieve depression.' Two large surveys by Consumer Reports and the University of Colorado's National Weight Control Registry tracked thousands of people who successfully lost weight and kept it off. Both databases show four common traits: They ate breakfast, got on the scale regularly, ate a low-fat diet and exercised at least one hour a day, mostly by simply walking at a brisk pace. .Hill likes to remind people that it takes only an extra 10 calories a day to add up to 1 pound a year. And to remove mat pound of fat from your body, you-need to burn off 3,500 calories. "Those little fat cells think they're immortal," Hill said while swigging a Diet Coke at a recent obesity conference. "They don't want to go anywhere once they are there. They delve in deep. Because of that, obesity is better prevented than treated." (On the net: Calorie burner calculator: www.foodfit.com/tools/biirn- er/default.asp; calculate your body mass in dex: www. cooperinst. org/ bmi.asp; healthier-lifestyle tips from the American Heart Association: www.americanheart.org) Oops! Here are quick fixes for life's little accidents By CHRISTINA MINOR Cox News Service On-the-job accidents can take on a new meaning when it comes to snagged pantyhose, coffee spills or frayed hems. Forget worrying about the computer server being down or a file cabinet drawer that's stuck. A dirty blouse and pants can be enough to ruin anyone's work day. Throw in a missing button and stuck zipper, and the day could seem like a total loss. But with a few quick fixes at your fingertips, a clothing mishap doesn't have to be a public fashion faux pas. Stains Brian Sansoni of The Soap and Detergent Association recommends keeping stain-treatment towelettes or wipes in the office or car for those "away-from-home stains." Removing stains quickly is the key to undamaged clothing, he said. Pre- treating stains prior to laundering is usually recommended. That's why a stain stick is a must-have for the office. Other recommendations for treating stains on-the-fly include: • For chocolate, scrape away any excess, then blot the spot with cool Duct tape can cure it, warts and all A new study Monday showed that duct tape was as effective at removing warts as traditional methods. Home improvement's adhesive wonder-tool has also been used.... AS STRONG AS STEEL ... in a stunt where a New Jersey radio per-sonality taped himself to a utility pole as a "human billboard." ROCKET SCIENCE ... to fix carbon dioxide filters on Apollo 13 fora safe relum to Earth. FASHION FORWARD ^?fi ... to make accessories /^Mia lii<e wallets and Parses. ^Sifc^ Considered tougher and more weatherproof than Gucci. BETTER MEDICINE ... to cover blislers on athletes. Soccer players and backpackers wrap their feet with it. SOURCE: Associated Press * water. Presoak using powdered laundry detergent with enzymes, following label directions. Rinse well, then launder, the Web site cleaninglOl. com suggests. • Hints from Heloise says coffee stains can be rinsed with cold water. Work in a drop or two of mild white hand dishwashing liquid. Rinse well. If still there, treat with a mix of one part white vinegar to three parts water. Rinse again, then launder. • For ketchup or barbecue sauce on fabric, flush or blot with water. Apply a few drops of mild white hand dishwashing liquid.Rinse. If needed, apply a solution of one part : white vinegar to three parts water, rinse- well, Heloise suggests. • Cosmetics stains should be pretreated and prewashed with a stain remover, liquid laundry detergent or a paste of granular detergent and water. Then launder, The Soap and Detergent Association suggests. • The association also says fruit stains should be treated promptly, so the area doesn't oxidize and turn brown. If immediate laundering isn't possible, remove the excess fruit and run the fabric under cold water. This might stop the oxidation process. Wash the item as soon as possible, using the warmest water temperature and bleach that are safe for the fabric. • For ink, place the stain face down on paper towels. Treat from the back with cleaning fluid or dry-clean"vent. Move towels frequently so there's always a clean area under the stain to absorb ink. Let dry, then repeat if needed, cleaningl01.com suggests. Clothing mishaps Stains aren't the only clothing problem for profession^ als. An unraveling hem caused by a heeled shoe or a run in the pantyhose can be just as annoying. Sometimes people can't get their clothes to a dry cleaner or seamstress in a timely fashion. Sometimes they can't rush home to stick them in the washing machine or pull out a needle and thread to stitch a loose button. Sometimes they have to quickly take matters into their own hands. Here are several tips from various experts on how to quickly repair frayed or unraveled clothing. Remember, these aren't permanent solutions to fixing the problem. • When a hem falls and you're unable to change clothes, use a piece of masking tape, duct tape or safety pins to hold it in place, says Lupe Ramon Sr., owner of Lupe's Tailor Shop. • Clear nail polish is a quick solution to snagged pantyhose. • Prevent and stop fraying button threads by dabbing the top of the button with clear nail polish, let dry and trim any loose thread, according to heloise.com. • Don't cut or pull a sweater snag; instead take the tip of a closed pen, a blunt letter opener or something similar and push the snag back through to the inside of the sweater. Knot the snag on the inside of the sweater and help secure with a dab of clear nail polish, as suggested on heloise.com. • For ripped pants, an untucked shirt can help hide the problem. Or safety m'ris can temporarily keep them in place, Ramon recommends. • When jeans won't button comfortably, grab a thick rubber band. Loop one end around the button and pull the other through the buttonhole and back to the button to loop over again. Loop two rubber bands together for those days when a little more room on that waistband is needed, the Heloise Web site mentions. Medical devices enhance patient's role in health care By LOUIS B. PARKS Houston Chronicle HOUSTON — Call them gizmos, gadgets or gimmicks. They are fashion accessories for the health-conscious 21st century. We live in a science fiction world, and health care is making the most of it. They make it easier to get vital health information at home, saving trips to the doctor and empowering people to take an active role in their health care. "In the area of prevention, we try to get people to be accountable for their actions," said Dr. Christie Ballantyne, director of the center for cardiovascular disease prevention at the Methodist DeBakey Heart Center and Baylor College of Medicine. "There will be an expanding role for new technologies to give people rapid feedback. Motivation is one of the key issues. Information. Let people be aware of the good and harmful aspects of their lifestyle, and hope they will make informed decisions." There are medical contraptions filling all kinds of needs. Some appear vain or trivial, while others are obviously lifesaving. They vary in price from a few dollars to a few paychecks. A couple require a doctor's prescription and prior research; others can be bought at the corner drugstore, at Sharper Image or on the Internet. Digital blood pressure monitors Easy-to-use blood pressure cuffs with digital readouts speed home readings and store information, so results over time can be more easily kept and readily accessed by a doctor. "If you really want to know how your blood pressure is doing, having it (measured) every three months in the doctor's office is not good enough," said Ballantyne. "As your risk of cardiovascular disease goes up, you need to know things like what is your blood pressure. If it's borderline, it's useful to have your blood pressure recorded several times a day over a week period and show that to your doctor." What caught our eyes on the cool- gadget front were wrist-worn monitors, such as the Braun Precision Sensor ($120 at Brookstone, with 30- memory track) and the Sharper Image Blood Pressure Wrist Monitor ($130, with 200-reading memory, 100 each for two people). Velcro them around your wrist and press a button. Ballantyne says at-home blood pressure readings using wrist monitors or other devices should not be considered a substitute for regular doctor visits, where more accurate readings can be made and evaluated. The American Heart Association praises the ease of use and other aspects of "automatic" blood pressure monitors, including wrist monitors. However, the AHA notes some important disadvantages, including their need to be checked frequently for accuracy, their sensitivity to body movements and the need for extra careful positioning. Remote hearing aids Being able to hear more is not the only advantage of modern hearing aids. Some users discover it's a pleasure to turn down the volume on some unwanted noises. "They have multiple memories within the hearing device," said Paula Allison of Allison Audiology. "It activates different features. Some of the newer ones have two microphones and can actually block out the noises from behind them, which is ideal 'in a noisy situation." Many hearing aids have individualized programs to enhance, say, listening to music or talking on the phone. Some have push buttons to activate these features, much like a car radio. But they can be tricky to manipulate, especially while they are in the ear. And some users don't want to draw attention to their hearing aids. That's when a remote control is just what the doctor ordered. Hearing aid remotes come in several formats, depending on brand and model. The Phonac Claro models offer wristwatches with the controls built in. "The Phonac with the watch is a new concept and a neat concept because they can inconspicuously change the volume," Allison said. But while they sound cool, remotes are not for everyone. Ellen Lafargue, assistant director of audiology for the League for the Hard of Hearing, said that though hearing aid remotes are a recent innovation, most companies have eliminated them in favor of push buttons on the earpiece. "The disadvantage is that it is one more thing to. remember and carry around," said Lafargue, who suggests this simple test. "If you don't know where your keys are all the time, you're not going to remember where the remote control is either."
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