House Calls

SUM 2018

House Calls Magazine is a quarterly publication that focuses on health and wellness. It includes a wide assortment of articles with topics on the latest health and wellness information, nutrition, safety, lifestyles, and more.

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Page 29 of 54

h o u s e c a l l s { summer 2018 } 25 type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer's, and stroke," she says. The buzz from the Harvard School of Public Health is that three to five cups of Joe can lower the risk of premature mortality by some 15 percent. (The coffee bean itself is chock full of nutrients and phytochemicals, so leaded or unleaded doesn't make a difference.) But, warns, Dr. Scott, whether you drink regular or decaf, loading your mug with sugar drowns out its benefits. Chocolate offers another heart-healthy luxury, but be sure your bar boasts at least 70 to 75 percent cacao, as dark chocolate is rich in beneficial flavonoids rather than added sugar. And limit yourself to one serving (about 1.6 ounces) daily. The key to enjoying each of these indulgences, points out Dr. Scott, is moderation. An excess of 400 milligrams of caffeine daily, no matter its source, can give a jolt to sleep and stress levels. One vice that doesn't work, even in moderation, is tobacco. "In general, one pack of cigarettes takes away 28 minutes of life," explains Dr. Scott. The good news is you can gain back that time by kicking the habit. "A year after quitting, a patient's cardiovascular risk is halved. Five years after stopping, stroke risk has reduced to that of a nonsmoker. Ten years down the road, a reformed smoker's lung cancer risk is half that of a smoker. And 15 years without smoking resets one's risk of coronary heart disease to that of a nonsmoker." Exercise "As humans, we're designed to be moving around—hunting, gathering, working outdoors," says Dr. Scott. And according to the National Cancer Institute and Duke University, the benefits of physical activity add up regardless of whether your movements take place during focused periods or in short bursts throughout the day. "In areas of the world where people live the longest, people walk, bend, lift, and resist naturally throughout their days," continues Dr. Scott, "but in our current sedentary culture, how would you do that?" Indeed, we live in a society in which most of us sit for extended periods at a computer; on our commutes; in front of the television; while eating, sleeping, and socializing. And if we're not moving, our life expectancies are, scaling back by as much as two years for those who spend three-plus hours a day on their rumps, according to biomedical researchers at Louisiana State University. Not only can sedentary behavior put a dent in longevity itself, it can lead to becoming overweight or obese, which increases a person's risk for developing chronic conditions like diabetes and heart disease. GET GOING! 10 tips for stretching, bending, and moving throughout the day. Aim for 10 minutes each hour. ❶ Use the stairs instead of the elevator. ❷ Go for a brisk walk on your lunch break. ❸ Head down the hall instead of emailing a coworker. ❹ Pace while talking on the phone or schedule walking meetings. ❺ Tidy the room when watching television. ❻ Dance as you cook dinner. ❼ Park at the farthest end of the lot. ❽ Lift free weights during commercial breaks. ❾ Bring in the groceries one bag at a time. ❿ Do squats or calf raises while brushing your teeth. "The best thing you can do is to incorporate more activity and movement into your day-to-day routine," says Dr. Scott. "If you can't find ways to move more throughout the day, the next best thing is to find an exercise routine that fits your lifestyle and do it multiple times a week." Rack up 150 minutes of moderate exercise weekly and a normal-weight adult can bulk up his or her life expectancy by as much as 7.2 years, say researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health. You'll also want to keep in mind that not all exercise "The best thing you can do is to incorporate more activity and movement into your day-to-day routine." —DR. VALERIE SCOTT NEED SOME IDEAS? TURN TO PAGE 30 TO LEARN WHICH SUMMER SPORT IS PERFECT FOR YOU!

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