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30 convincing reasons to start running now

Published: Tuesday, June 19, 2012 @ 12:00 AM
Updated: Tuesday, June 19, 2012 @ 12:00 AM

What promises a healthier body, a sunnier outlook, and the perfect opportunity to catch up? This is no infomercial. Running is one of the best butt-kicking, calorie-blasting workouts around. Still not convinced? Here are 30 big time reasons to hit the ground running.

(Check ItThe Ultimate Runner’s Guide — Infographic)

The Run-Down — Your Action Plan

1. Do it anywhere. Run, that is. Whether on the treadmill or in the park, it’s easy to rack up miles. Even better: Try lacing up the sneakers on that next vacation to explore a new place.

2. Make new friends. Tired of meeting duds at the bar? Check out local running groups or websites like meetup.com to hit the road with other health-minded folks. “Twenty questions” is just as good over a run (boozy brunches optional).

3. Save some cash. Forget fancy equipment or a pricey gym membership. When it comes to running, all you need to get started is the right footwear. (Don’t worry, running spandex is optional.)

4. Visit the doctor less. It’s not only apples that can keep the doctor away. Active people are less likely to develop colon cancer. And ladies, women who regularly engage in intense workouts like running can reduce their risk of breast cancer by up to 30 percent.

5. Eat more carbs. Who doesn’t love a pasta dinner? Now there’s an excuse to slurp up more spaghetti. During intense training like preparing for a race (sorry, channel surfing doesn’t count) increasing carb intake might help running performance and boost mood during harder runs[1].

6. Keep it interesting. Forget boring laps around a track. Interval training helps boost metabolism and rev cardiovascular fitness. Bonus: Research shows runners who do intervals have more fun while running (really!) and might be more likely to keep it up[2].

7. Live longer. Who doesn’t want to live forever? Not only do runners have fewer disabilities and remain active longer than their sedentary counterparts, they actually live longer. And even as weekly running times decrease with age, the healthy benefits keep on ticking[3].

8. Get primal. Turns out Bruce Springsteen was right after all: Baby, we were born to run. It’s what turned us from apes to humans and was used by our ancestors to outrun prey over long distances.

9. Slip into skinny jeans. Running is one of the best calorie burners out there. For a 160-lb person it can burn more than 850 calories an hour. Not like we’re counting or anything.

10. Bring sexy back. Not only can having a rockin’ runner’s bod boost confidence in bed, regular exercise will help flexibility between the sheets — and get you in the mood more often.

11. Boost memory. Exercise has been shown to help keep the mind sharp and could even reduce symptoms of dementia. Hitting the track might also protect the brain against Alzheimer’s, even among those with a family history of it[4][5].

12. See the sunny side. Active folks see the glass as half full not only while they exercise, but for up to twice as long after hanging up their kicks than their less mobile counterparts[6][7]. Talk about “Happy Feet!”

13. Get a natural glow. Believe it or not, working up a sweat can rid the face of gunk that clogs pores and leads to breakouts. A solid sweat session can also boost natural oils, keeping things fresh and healthy. (Just remember to remove makeup pre-workout and wash gently afterward to avoid breakouts.)

14. Improve self-esteem. Need one more excuse to go green? Runners who ran outside and snagged a good view of nature showed increased self-esteem post-workout than those who had only unpleasant scenes to gaze at[8].

15. Stay steady. Older runners can keep their balance better than non-runners, protecting their knees and tendons in the process. Take that, yoga! Be careful not to overdo it, though: Too muchexercise can lead to stress injuries and bone loss[9].

16. Turn down the pressure. Running is a natural way to keep high blood pressure at bay — and fast. Amping up workouts can help lower blood pressure in just a few weeks.

17. Build stronger bones. Resistance training is awesome, but word on the street is that running might help produce even stronger bones than cranking out reps. As an impact exercise, running helps build the muscle that lower-impact workouts ignore, keeping bones healthier even as they age.

18. Get an energy boost. Feeling sluggish? Try going for a run instead. Just one running sesh can increase energy and chip away at fatigue[10].

19. Bring the furry friends. Dogs are man’s best friend for a reason — but they can also be man’s best workout partner, too. When it’s time to hit the trail, grab a leash to give your pet a new kind of treat.

20. Carve that core. strong core improves posture, strengthens limbs, and helps make everyday activities a breeze. And whether we feel it or not, running engages that midsection, strengthening those all-important muscles. Bonus: A solid core in runners can improve performance, too.

21. Sleep better. Runners tend to adapt to set sleeping routines in order to keep running performance high. Even better: Running also encourages higher quality sleep, which translates into better Zzz’s all night long.

Go to Greatist.com for the full list of 30 reasons.

Check out Greatist’s other Running Resources!

Works Cited 

  1. Higher dietary carbohydrate content during intensified running training results in better maintenance of performance and mood state. Achten, J, Halson, SL, Moseley, L, et al. Human Perfromance Laboratory, School of Sport and Exercise Sciences, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, B15 2TT Birmingham, United Kingdom. Journal of Applied Physiology, 2004 Apr;96(4):1331-40. Epub 2003 Dec 5. []
  2. High-intensity interval running is perceived to be more enjoyable than moderate-intensity continuous exercise: implications for exercise adherence. Bartlett, JD, Close, GL, MacLaren, DP, et al. Research Institute for Sport and Exercise Sciences, Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool, UK. Journal of Sports Sciences, 2011 Mar;29(6):547-53. []
  3. Reduced disability and mortality among aging runners: a 21-year longitudinal study. Chakravarty, EF, Hubert, HB, Lingala, VB, et al. Division of Immunology and Rheumatology, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, California, USA. Archives of Internal Medicine, 2008 Aug 11;168(15):1638-46. []
  4. Physical exercise protects against Alzheimer’s disease in 3xTg-AD mice. García-Mesa, Y, López-Ramos, JC, Giménez-Llort, L, et al. Institute of Biomedical Research of Barcelona (IIBB), CSIC-IDIBAPS, Barcelona, Spain. Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, 2011;24(3):421-54. []
  5. Cognitive function in elderly marathon runners: cross-sectional data from the marathon trial (APSOEM). Winker, R, Lukas, I, Perkmann, T, et al. Unit of Occupational Medicine, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria. Wien Klin Wochenschr, 2010 Dec;122(23-24):704-16. Epub 2010 Nov 15. []
  6. Long-term effects of aerobic exercise on psychological outcomes. DiLorenzo, TM, Bargman, EP, Stucky-Ropp, R, et al. Department of Psychology, University of Missouri-Columbia. Columbia, MO. Preventive Medicine, 1999 Jan;28(1):75-85. []
  7. Exercisers achieve greater acute exercise-induced mood enhancement than nonexercisers. Hoffman, MD, Hoffman, DR. Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, Sacramento VA Medical Center, Mather, CA. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 2008 Feb;89(2):358-63. []
  8. The mental and physical health outcomes of green exercise. Pretty, J, Peacock, J, Sellens, M, et al. Department of Biological Sciences, University of Essex, Colchester, UK. International Journal of Environmental Health Research, 2005 Oct;15(5):319-37. []
  9. Age-related degeneration in leg-extensor muscle-tendon units decreases recovery performance after a forward fall: compensation with running experience. Karamanidis, K, Arampatzis, A. Institute of Biomechanics and Orthopaedics, German Sport University of Cologne, Carl-Diem-Weg 6, 50933 Cologne, Germany. European Journal of Applied Physiology, 2007 Jan;99(1):73-85. Epub 2006 Oct 25. []
  10. Exercisers achieve greater acute exercise-induced mood enhancement than nonexercisers. Hoffman, MD, Hoffman, DR. Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, Sacramento VA Medical Center, Mather, CA. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 2008 Feb;89(2):358-63. []

Doctor: Popular charcoal masks could cause permanent skin damage

Published: Wednesday, May 24, 2017 @ 3:47 PM

A popular charcoal mask could cause permanent skin damage
WFTS video

A popular “do-it-yourself” charcoal mask that has been trending all over the internet could cause serious damage to your skin, according to a dermatologist.

"It might be dangerous if you like all three layers of your skin," Dr. Seth Forman, a dermatologist in Tampa, Florida, said in an interview with WFTS

Many people have taken to YouTube to show users the painful process of peeling off the charcoal mask. Many of these products are sold from “unregulated vendors,” WFTS reports. Forman said that some of these products are mixed with a foreign charcoal powder and super glue, and will “most likely” be illegal soon. 

If certain layers of skin are peeled off, it can lead to scarring and infection “especially when you get down to the second layer (of skin),” according to WFTS

The good news is that there is a large variety of FDA approved facial masks that are safe, Forman said.

Related

WATCH: Young girl left temporarily paralyzed illustrates dangers of tick bites

Published: Tuesday, May 23, 2017 @ 4:49 PM

A 3-year-old girl in Oregon awoke on May 13 to find herself unable to stand or use her arms.

>> Read more trending news 

Evelyn Lewis’ mother, Amanda Lewis, filmed her daughter’s failed attempts to stand with help from her husband. 

WGHP reported that the parents took Evelyn to the emergency room, where a doctor discovered a small but dangerous reason for her condition.

After combing through Evelyn’s hair, the doctor discovered a tick, diagnosing her with a condition called “tick paralysis.”

“The doctor talked to us for a minute and said over the past 15 years he had seen about seven or eight children her age with identical symptoms and more than likely she had a tick,” Amanda Lewis wrote on Facebook. “It can affect dogs also and can be fatal. I’m glad we took her in when we did and that it wasn’t something worse and that we found it before it got worse.”

According to the American Lyme Disease Foundation, tick paralysis attacks a person’s muscles and results in symptoms like muscle pains and numbness of the legs. These begin after a tick has attached itself to a host, generally on the scalp.

>> Related: Rare tick-borne illness worries some medical professionals

Fortunately, Evelyn is now doing much better, as her mother wrote on Facebook that she “is now pretty much completely back to her feisty little self. She complains a lot about her head itching but otherwise, she’s just fine.”

Related

Here’s how much fruit juice children should drink, according to new guidelines

Published: Monday, May 22, 2017 @ 12:19 PM



KidStock/Getty Images/Blend Images

Next time you're grocery shopping for your kids, think twice before adding a carton of fruit juice to your basket. The American Academy of Pediatrics has updated its guidelines on all juices, advising parents to pull back on how much they serve their little ones.

» Related: What Atlanta dietitians feed their kids 

Previous recommendations said parents should wait to give their babies juice until after six months, but its latest update is suggesting that they wait one year. 

In fact, infants should only be fed breast milk or infant formula for the first six months. After six months, moms and dads can then introduce fruit to their diet, but not fruit juice. 

>> Read more trending news

“Parents may perceive fruit juice as healthy, but it is not a good substitute for fresh fruit and just packs in more sugar and calories,” said Melvin B. Heyman, MD, FAAP, co-author of the statement. “Small amounts in moderation are fine for older kids, but are absolutely unnecessary for children under 1.”

» Related: Should we slap a tax on sugary drinks? 

Scientists laid out instructions for older children, too. Toddlers who are ages 1 to 4 should only have one cup of fruit a day. Four ounces of that can come from 100 percent fruit juice, but it should be pasteurized and not labeled “drink,” “beverage” or cocktail.” 

For children ages 4 to 6, fruit juice intake shouldn't exceed four to six ounces a day. 

The amount increases just slightly for children ages 7 to 18. They can have up to two and a half cups of fruit servings, but only eight ounces of it should be juice. 

Top 15 crusaders for health in America's food industry

Published: Tuesday, June 25, 2013 @ 10:59 PM
Updated: Tuesday, June 25, 2013 @ 10:59 PM

Wondering how this year's list stacks up against the last? Check out Top 15 Crusaders for Health in the Food Industry 2012.

Amongst all the junk food commercials and donut sandwiches, there are a handful of health heroes. These aren’t just people who eat organic greens for lunch and free-range eggs for dinner; they’re moving and shaking the way we think about our food, including where it comes from, the implications it has on our environment, and what our meals mean for our bodies. Here, we recognize 15 superstars (in no particular order) that have devoted themselves to improving American’s relationship with food.

 

1. Marion Nestle
Nestle has got her hand in nearly every facet of America’s food industry. Her blog, Food Politics, covers topics from nutrition and biology to health policy and food marketing. She’s been teaching nutrition for nearly four decades and currently teaches sociology, food studies, and public health at NYU. Nestle is the author of many books, but her latest — “Why Calories Count: From Science to Politics” — is all about understanding the intersection of health and food amidst all the mass marketing and misinformation put forth by major food manufacturers. Currently, Nestle updates her blog regularly and presents at universities and conferences on topics such as genetically modified foods and the role food companies play in our food system. (Photo: www.foodpolitics.com)

 

2. Michael Pollan
As one of the foremost activists for change in the overwrought food industry, Pollan is an outspoken and often controversial figure in the food and farming space. Though probably best known for his book “The Omnivore’s Dilemma” (which hung out on The New York Times Bestseller list for more than three years), Pollan has continued to write. In his most recent book, “Cooked”, Pollan explores how cooking connects us to plants, animals, farmers, and culture (amongst other things). (Photo by Ken Light)

 

3. Michelle Obama
After launching the Let’s Move! campaign at the start of 2010, the First Lady has made healthifying America’s eating habits (especially for kids) her job. The ultimate goal is to eliminate childhood obesity and help kids live healthier lives with good food and a little extra physical activity. This year, Obama held the second annual “Healthy Lunchtime Challenge,” where she asked children ages eight to 12 to whip up nutritious, tasty, and affordable recipes. Unfortunately, we weren’t invited to the White House kids’ “State Dinner” with the winner of this year’s challenge. (Photo: www.whitehouse.gov)

 

4. Mark Bittman
As an author and New York Times writer,Bittman likes to weigh in on what’s wrong with the American diet. A part-time veganhimself, Bittman is an advocate for the “flexitarian” diet — which means eating vegan during the day, but allowing for more flexible consumption after 6 pm. His super popular book, “How to Cook Everything”, is a go-to resource for basic kitchen skills. Not only does he push for humans to stay healthy, Bittman relentlessly encourages us to keep the environment happy and healthy, too. Oh, and in his spare time, he runsmarathons(Photo: www.markbittman.com)

 

5. Mike Bloomberg
As the mayor of New York City, Bloombergtakes his role seriously, making waves in the name of public health. From smoking bans tosoda bans, Bloomberg’s initiatives aren’t without controversy and backlash. Passionate about combating obesity, he’s pushed for salad bars and healthier menus in school cafeterias. Plus, he’s managed to eliminate trans fats from tons of restaurant items, and make it mandatory for chain restaurants to clearly post calorie counts on menus. We’re excited to see what goals Bloomberg sets (and reaches) next. (Photo: www.nyc.gov)

 
For the full list of 2013's top health crusaders in the food industry, go to Greatist.com.