Tuesday, October 6, 2015

What's New in the World of Cancer Research

You can do it: fitting in walking has so many benefits

I just got in from taking a walk with friends on a picture-perfect day with blue skies and the feel of autumn in the air. Let me start by telling you how rejuvenating it is to begin working on a blog after a dose of fresh air!
Last week, the U.S. Surgeon General published a Call to Action to specifically promote walking. I was pretty excited about this because my research largely focuses on physical activity and health, and well, because I personally love walking. But not everyone knows how beneficial physical activity is to your overall health so I wanted to share some of that evidence through this blog.
The notion of regular physical activity being good for us is not new information. In fact, more than 60 years of scientific evidence supports that engaging in regular moderate to vigorous physical activityhas a wide range of health benefits, including lower risk of early death overall and prevention of many chronic diseases such as heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and some types of cancer. As a result, our American Cancer Society Nutrition and Physical Activity Guidelines recommend that adults engage in at least 150 minutes of moderate or 75 minutes of vigorous activity per week. However, most U.S. adults do not reach this minimum recommended level of physical activity.

Why aren’t people exercising? 

There are many reasons that contribute to why the majority of Americans are not exercising regularly. Most of our daily life routines do not include much movement, so physical activity must be intentionally sought out. If you are anything like me and you think of your daily routine, you are probably driving to work, sitting at your computer for most of the day (although I started using a standing desk), driving home, and watching television on the couch in the evening. Some days you are motivated to stop at the gym on your way home, and some days you are just too busy dealing with errands, cooking dinner, and juggling life. And if you are a parent, you may be spending even more time driving your children to their various activities, leaving you with even less time to consider exercising! This leaves many of us feeling like there is just not enough time to exercise or find it is inconvenient to fit in going to the gym.
Some people may also be hesitant to begin an exercise routine because they lack confidence in their knowledge of what constitutes moderate or vigorous activity, or do not feel they have the necessary skills to perform these activities, or simply don’t have the money needed to join a gym.

Why should I walk for exercise?

Well, you should consider walking for exercise because you may not know that walking at a 3 mile per hour pace (that is about 20 minutes per mile) on a level street constitutes moderate physical activity. It’s true! And, it really is that easy to meet recommended levels of physical activity! Walking is the most common exercise performed among adults because it is free, can be performed nearly anywhere, and does not require any special equipment or training. And the health benefits are vast.
As baby boomers age, the U.S. population that is over the age of 65 years is expected to nearly double by 2050 (from approximately 44 million today to 84 million in 2050). Walking is a great exercise because it is something you can do at any age, and many studies have shown that it is never too late to start engaging in moderate physical activities like walking for your overall health.
In fact, studies have shown that walking (just over 3 hours per week at a pace of approximately 3 mph), is associated with an 11% lower risk of dying early from any cause. Numerous studies have also shown similar benefits from walking in relation to heart disease, stroke, and diabetes risk. While total moderate or vigorous physical activity has been linked to lower risk of certain types of cancer (colorectalbreast, and endometrium), walking specifically has not been extensively examined in relation to cancer. A recent American Cancer Society study (published in 2013) did report that moderate-paced walking (approximately 3 mph) for an hour per day was associated with a 14% lower risk of breast cancer in post-menopausal women.
Not only is walking good for your physical health as you age, but evidence supports that walking lowers stress and reduces age-related memory decline. While you can walk by yourself, studies have also shown that walking with friends further improves mood and positively effects mental health and that you tend to be more motivated to exercise because it deepens social connections.
So think about easy ways to fit in walking throughout your day. Take a walk after eating your lunch because you will come back to your desk feeling refreshed. Or walk with another parent while your kids are at their after-school practices. Or go for a family walk in your neighborhood after dinner. However you choose to walk, know that you are doing something good for your body and mind!
Dr. Patel is strategic director of the Cancer Prevention Study-3 for the American Cancer Society.

From Expert Voices Blog at: http://blogs.cancer.org/expertvoices/2015/09/18/you-can-do-it-fitting-in-walking-has-so-many-benefits/

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Read of the Week! Available at Amazon.com

Eve Dallas tracks a couple whose passion is fueled by cold brutality in the newest crime thriller from the #1 New York Times–bestselling author ofObsession in Death and Festive in Death.
When Lieutenant Eve Dallas examines a body in a downtown Manhattan alleyway, the victim’s injuries are so extensive that she almost misses the clue. Carved into the skin is the shape of a heart—and initials inside reading E and D . . .

Ella-Loo and her boyfriend, Darryl, had been separated while Darryl was a guest of the state of Oklahoma, and now that his sentence has been served they don’t ever intend to part again. Ella-Loo’s got dreams. And Darryl believes there are better ways to achieve your dreams than working for them. So they hit the road, and when their car breaks down in Arkansas, they make plans to take someone else’s. Then things get messy and they wind up killing someone—an experience that stokes a fierce, wild desire in Ella-Loo. A desire for Darryl. And a desire to kill again.

As they cross state lines on their way to New York to find the life they think they deserve, they will leave a trail of evil behind them. But now they’ve landed in the jurisdiction of Lieutenant Dallas and her team at the New York Police and Security Department. And with her husband, Roarke, at her side, she has every intention of hunting them down and giving them what they truly deserve . . .

on October 4, 2015
I have read every death book by JD Robb. Just when I think she can't do better than the last book. She proves me wrong. Always, always excellent writing, excellent plot and perfect endings. Thank you for sharing your talent with us JD......

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Read of the Week! Available at Amazon.com

Marshall Everett has traveled a twisting, perilous road from the jungles of South America to the streets of Paris. As an undercover DEA agent, Marshall penetrated a powerful cartel and became the trusted right-hand man of a ruthless drug lord. The price he paid was devastating, costing him everything—and everyone—he loved. Back in the U.S., on temporary assignment to the Secret Service, on the presidential detail, Marshall performs an act of heroism that changes his course forever.
Ariana Gregory has her whole future ahead of her, with an exciting life in Manhattan and a coveted job at an online fashion magazine. But when her father, recently widowed, is appointed U.S. ambassador to Argentina, she reluctantly agrees to accompany him to Buenos Aires. Then an unthinkable act of violence shatters her world.
Nearly a year later, Ariana arrives in Paris, on a fragile road to recovery. There, as she strives to bury painful memories forever, she crosses paths with Marshall Everett. But dangerous forces watch her every move, and Ariana and Marshall will once more have to fight for their survival.
In this breathtaking and psychologically penetrating novel, #1 New York Times bestselling author Danielle Steel explores the consequences of trauma and the perseverance of the human spirit. In Marshall and Ariana she has created two unforgettable characters confronting extraordinary challenges—who no longer need to face them alone.

By Booklover on September 2, 2015
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I had pre-ordered this and forgot about it, so it was a nice surprise to find it on my doorstep yesterday, day of release. I dove into it as soon as I got home from work and was pulled into the story immediately. The first part of the book is in Marshall Everett's POV and he is an undercover DEA agent. I'm a big fan of the cable show Homeland, and this had a similar feel, at first. He is an intriguing hero and well developed. I was almost disappointed when the story shifted to Ariana's point of view in the next section. At first, I liked Ariana, she seemed like a strong young woman who also wanted to support her father's dream. But when something tragic happened, (and I'm being vague so not to spoil any plot points), her personality shifted a little too much for my liking. I also found her a difficult character to relate to--as a young twenty something woman, she has always been waited on and has extreme wealth...and didn't seem as well developed. She was a bit too wimpy. But the story itself was very good and kept my interest throughout.

Friday, September 25, 2015

What's the Cancer Connection?

Reducing cancer risk in our communities

Adopting a healthier lifestyle is easier for people who live, work, play, or go to school in an environment that supports healthy behaviors. Working together, communities can create the type of environment where healthy choices are easy to make. 
We all can be part of these changes: Let’s ask for healthier food choices at our workplaces and schools. For every junk food item in the vending machine, ask for a healthy option, too. Support restaurants that help you to eat well by offering options like smaller portions, lower-calorie items, and whole-grain products. And let’s help make our communities safer and more appealing places to walk, bike, and be active. 

The bottom line

It has been estimated that as much as one-third of all cancer deaths in the US are related to diet and activity factors. Let’s challenge ourselves to lose some extra pounds, increase our physical activity, make healthy food choices, limit alcohol, and look for ways to make our communities healthier places to live, work, and play.

BMI Calculator:  http://www.cancer.org/healthy/toolsandcalculators/calculators/app/body-mass-calculator


Wednesday, September 23, 2015

What's the Cancer Connection?

Eat healthy foods.

Eating well is an important part of improving your health and reducing your cancer risk. Take a good hard look at what you typically eat each day and try these tips to build a healthy diet plan for yourself and your family:
Choose foods and drinks in amounts that help you get to and maintain a healthy weight.
  • Read food labels to become more aware of portion sizes and calories. Be aware that “low-fat” or “non-fat” does not necessarily mean “low-calorie.”
  • Eat smaller portions when eating high-calorie foods.
  • Choose vegetables, whole fruit, legumes such as peas and beans, and other low-calorie foods instead of calorie-dense foods such as French fries, potato and other chips, ice cream, donuts, and other sweets.
  • Limit your intake of sugar-sweetened beverages such as soft drinks, sports drinks, and fruit-flavored drinks.
  • When you eat away from home, be especially mindful to choose food low in calories, fat, and added sugar, and avoid eating large portion sizes.
Limit how much processed meat and red meat you eat.
  • Limit your intake of processed meats such as bacon, sausage, lunch meats, and hot dogs.
  • Choose fish, poultry, or beans instead of red meat (beef, pork, and lamb).
  • If you eat red meat, choose lean cuts and eat smaller portions.
  • Prepare meat, poultry, and fish by baking, broiling, or poaching rather than by frying or charbroiling.
Eat at least 2½ cups of vegetables and fruits each day.
  • Include vegetables and fruits at every meal and snack.
  • Eat a variety of vegetables and fruits each day.
  • Emphasize whole fruits and vegetables; choose 100% juice if you drink vegetable or fruit juices.
  • Limit your use of creamy sauces, dressings, and dips with fruits and vegetables.
Choose whole grains instead of refined grain products.
  • Choose whole-grain breads, pasta, and cereals (such as barley and oats) instead of breads, cereals, and pasta made from refined grains, and brown rice instead of white rice. 
  • Limit your intake of refined carbohydrate foods, including pastries, candy, sugar-sweetened breakfast cereals, and other high-sugar foods.

If you drink alcohol, limit how much

People who drink alcohol should limit their intake to no more than 2 drinks per day for men and 1 drink per day for women. The recommended limit is lower for women because of their smaller body size and slower breakdown of alcohol. 
A drink of alcohol is defined as 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1½ ounces of 80-proof distilled spirits (hard liquor). In terms of cancer risk, it is the amount of alcohol, not the type of alcoholic drink that is important. 
These daily limits do not mean it’s safe to drink larger amounts on fewer days of the week, since this can lead to health, social, and other problems.


Monday, September 21, 2015

What's the Cancer Connection?

Be more active.

Watching how much you eat will help you control your weight. The other key is to be more physically active. Being active helps reduce your cancer risk by helping with weight control. It can also help improve your hormone levels and the way your immune system works.
More good news – physical activity helps you reduce your risk of heart disease and diabetes, too! So grab your athletic shoes and head out the door! 
The latest recommendations for adults call for at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity activity each week, or an equivalent combination, preferably spread throughout the week. This is over and above usual daily activities like using the stairs instead of the elevator at your office or doing housework. For kids, the recommendation is at least 60 minutes of moderate or vigorous intensity activity each day, with vigorous intensity activity occurring at least 3 days each week.
Moderate activities are those that make you breathe as hard as you would during a brisk walk. This includes things like walking, biking, even housework and gardening. Vigorous activities make you use large muscle groups and make your heart beat faster, make you breathe faster and deeper, and also make you sweat.
It’s also important to limit sedentary behavior such as sitting, lying down, watching television, or other forms of screen-based entertainment.
Being more physically active than usual, no matter what your level of activity, can have many health benefits.