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Exercise Can Be Fun!

by Sharon Gayle May 16, 2017

Make Exercise Fun!


Working Towards a Specific Activity.


The more you exercise, become fit, and strong; the more exercise can become fun.  A seemingly simple Cartwheel, though not typically considered exercise, can put even the most avid gym-goer to the test. What type of test you ask?  Well though Cartwheels can be fun, they are not much fun if you don't have the balance, coordination, flexibility, and strength, to do one. Though, having the ability to laugh at yourself and have fun as you repeatedly fall over when trying to master the cartwheel movement, is in itself, a healthy state of being. :-)


Sometimes fun takes a little balance and coordination ...but it will be worth it!

Therefore, if there is an outdoor activity that you would like to do to break the periodic monotony of being in the gym; envision and analyze it, and think about the ways in which the gym can help you prepare for that specific activity.  From then forward, when you are grinding away on the Stepmill (wandering why on earth am I doing this to myself?) snap back to reality and visualize yourself doing what you've long wanted to do ...going on a high intensity hike while enjoying the beauty of the outdoors and Fall foliage.

If you determine that you want to live a healthy lifestyle, but balk at the being in the gym 5-days per week for the rest of your life; make a plan. Get fit, get strong, improve your balance and coordination; and then once or twice per week, take your exercise out to the streets, or into nature.  There are so numerous outdoor activities that stimulate, strengthen, and provide cardiovascular improvement, but for most if not all, working out in a gym environment will provide the foundation exercise, strength gains, and cardiovascular improvement necessary to better participate in these activities.

Some example of fun outdoor activities are:

  • White Water Rafting 
  • Hiking 
  • Bowling
  • Golf
  • Horseback Riding
  • Swimming
  • Basketball
  • Skiing
  • Rock Climbing
  • Marathons
  • Scuba Diving
  • And the list goes on and on...

Now that you have a short list of activities that you could be enjoying if you had the physical ability to join in; pick one or two or three, and get busy in the gym.  And in no time, instead of being on the sidelines, you'll be out there participating and having a blast!!!

REMINDER: Just because someone else makes an activity or specific exercise look easy, does not mean it will be easy for you. Practice makes perfect, so analyze, strategize, and build the foundation that can make it happen! ~SharonGayle

 

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GayleFORCE® KidsZone - Obesity Facts

by Sharon Gayle May 14, 2017

Childhood Obesity Facts


More than Tripled...


The percentage of children with obesity in the United States has more than tripled since the 1970s. Today, about one in five school-aged children (ages 6–19) has obesity.


Correct portion size is a major compenent of keeping a childs weight, and fat %, within healthy norms.


Obesity is defined as having excess body fat. Overweight is defined as having excess body weight for a particular height from fat, muscle, bone, water, or a combination of these factors
. Body mass index, or BMI, is a widely used screening tool for measuring both overweight and obesity. BMI percentile is preferred for measuring children and young adults (ages 2–20) because it takes into account that they are still growing, and growing at different rates depending on their age and sex. Health professionals use growth charts to see whether a child’s weight falls into a healthy range for the child’s height, age, and sex.

  • Children with a BMI at or above the 85th percentile and less than the 95th percentile are considered overweight.
  • Children at or above the 95th percentile have obesity. Read More...

 


SOURCE:
CDC | Centers for Disease Control - Read full article

Stats & Facts - What’s on Your Plate?

by Sharon Gayle April 18, 2017

What’s on Your Plate?


MyPlate - USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans


In an attempt to battle the current obesity epidemic in the United States the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) decided to change the shape of the Triangular Food Pyramid to an image which it believed would better represent the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. The new “MyPlate” symbol launched in June 2011 as the government’s new primary food group symbol.

MyPlate is an easy-to-understand visual cue to help consumers adopt healthy eating habits by encouraging them to build a “healthy plate”, consistent with the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

The plate is divided into 4 sections, with a cup of dairy off to the right upper side. Each half of the plate has a split of about 60/40. On one side, the 60/40 split is between your Protein (40%) and your Grains (60%). The other side is your Fruit (40%) and your Vegetable (60%). Check out the new MyPlate image and link to current and relevant information which may help you with your efforts for balanced eating and a healthy lifestyle.

Sadly, though every effort is being made to reverse the Obesity crisis in the United States, Obesity numbers continue to rise. During the past 20 years, there has been a dramatic increase in obesity in the United States and rates remain high. More than one-third of U.S. adults (35.7%) and approximately 17% (or 12.5 million) of children and adolescents aged 2-19 years are obese. ~Sharon Gayle

Adult Obesity Facts
What are the latest statistics on adult obesity in the United States?

Childhood Obesity Facts
How many children in the United States are obese?

Source: www.CDC.gov
Links: www.USDA.gov
CDC: Facts Page

CDC announces Arthritis on the rise...

by Sharon Gayle March 4, 2017

Arthritis on the Rise


Alarming Statistics Presented


About 53 million U.S. adults have arthritis. However, the number of men and women with arthritis is growing and expected to reach more than 78 million in 2040, according to a new CDC study.

Learning what to do so you feel your best with arthritis, and being active are recommended for people with arthritis.

Arthritis Increases

CDC estimates that the number of men and women with arthritis will increase almost 49% to more than 78 million in 2040. About half of those with arthritis are working age adults—age 18 to 64 years.


In this just released study, an estimated 34 million adults will be limited in their usual activities because of their arthritis in 2040, an increase of 52%.

Impact of Increased Arthritis

As the number of people with arthritis increases, their need for special medical care will grow as well. Providers who are experts in arthritis, like rheumatologists and orthopedic surgeons, may be harder to find and expensive. In addition, programs like Social Security Disability Insurance and Medicare will also be impacted by the growing number of arthritis patients. Contine reading...


Source
:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention | www.CDC.gov | CDC Health Living Section


STATS & FACTS: Just how much sleep do we really need?

by Sharon Gayle April 2, 2015

Quite a bit it seems!


Though scientists are...


...still learning about the concept of basal sleep need, one thing sleep research certainly has shown is that sleeping too little can not only inhibit your productivity and ability to remember and consolidate information, but lack of sleep can also lead to serious health consequences and jeopardize your safety and the safety of individuals around you.

For example, short sleep duration is linked with:

  • Increased risk of motor vehicle accidents
  • Increase in body mass index – a greater likelihood of obesity due to an increased appetite caused by sleep deprivation
  • Increased risk of diabetes and heart problems
  • Increased risk for psychiatric conditions including depression and substance abuse
  • Decreased ability to pay attention, react to signals or remember new information.

According to researchers Michael H. Bonnet and Donna L. Arand, "There is strong evidence that sufficient shortening or disturbance of the sleep process compromises mood, performance and alertness and can result in injury or death. In this light, the most common-sense 'do no injury' medical advice would be to avoid sleep deprivation."

On the other hand, some research has found that long sleep durations (nine hours or more) are also associated with increased morbidity (illness, accidents) and mortality (death). Researchers caution that there is not a definitive conclusion that getting more than nine hours of sleep per night is consistently linked with health problems and/or mortality in adults, while short sleep has been linked to both these consequences in numerous studies.


The Exact Amount -

Though research cannot pinpoint an exact amount of sleep need by people at different ages, the above table identifies the "rule-of-thumb" amounts most experts have agreed upon. Nevertheless, it's important to pay attention to your own individual needs by assessing how you feel on different amounts of sleep.

  1. Are you productive, healthy and happy on seven hours of sleep?
  2. Or does it take you nine hours of quality ZZZs to get you into high gear?
  3. Do you have health issues such as being overweight?
  4. Are you at risk for any disease? Are you experiencing sleep problems?
  5. Do you depend on caffeine to get you through the day?
  6. Do you feel sleepy when driving?

These are questions that must be asked before you can find the number that works for you.

For complete research article click on link below. ~SG

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Excerpt from "How Much Sleep Do We Really Need?"
National Sleep Foundation

The American Girth Increases at an Alarming Rate

by Sharon Gayle October 31, 2014

Americans possibly exercising less...


The number of American men and women with big-bellied, apple-shaped figures - the most dangerous kind of obesity - has climbed at a startling rate over teh past decade, according to a government study.


People whose fat has settled mostly around their waistlines instead of in their hips, thighs, buttocks or all over are known to run a higher risk of heart disease, diabetes and other obesity-related ailments.

Fifty-four percent of U.S. adults have abdominal obesity, up from 46 percent in 1999-2000, researchers reported in Wednesday’s Journal of the American Medical Association. Abdominal obesity is defined as a waistline of more than 35 inches in women and more than 40 inches in men.

During the 12-year period studied, the average waist size in the U.S. expanded to 38 inches for women, a gain of 2 inches. It grew to 40 inches for men, a 1-inch increase.

Cause for concern:

“The increase is a concern. There’s no question about that,” said Dr. William Dietz, an obesity expert formerly with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, now at George Washington University.

The expansion in waistlines came even as the overall level of obesity – as defined not by waist size but by body mass index, of BMI, a weight-to-height ratio – held fairly steady.

 


An overweight man rests on a bench in Jackson, Miss.

What this might mean:

“What it suggests is that even though the obesity rate may be stable, fat distribution may be changing, which would mean that we shouldn’t be complacent about the plateau,” said Dietz, who was not involved in the study.

Dr. Earl Ford, a CDC researcher and the study’s lead author, said the seemingly contradictory trends are puzzling. He said it could be that Americans are exercising less and getting flabby. But because fat weighs less than muscle, they are not necessarily getting heavier.

Additional Reasons:

The study cites other possible reasons for the increase in belly fat, including sleep deprivation and certain medicines. Also, researchers said the increase might be related to pesticides, the plastics additive BPA and other chemicals that mimic hormones that can affect weight. But the connection is speculative and unproven.

Belly fat not only makes people look apple-shaped but often means fat has built up deep inside the body, around the liver and other abdominal organs.

Comparisons:

Compared with fat that lies closer to the surface, this “visceral” fat secretes lower levels of beneficial hormones and higher levels of inflammatory substances linked to obesity-related ailments, Dr. Lisa Neff, an obesity specialist at Northwestern University. She was not involved in the study.

“In people of the same weight, the person who carries weight around the middle is going to have higher risks” of obesity-related ailments, Neff said.

By 2011-12, the last year studied, 44 percent of men suffered from abdominal obesity, up from 37 percent. The trend was more pronounced among women: By 2011-12, about two-thirds of all women were affected, up from just over half in 1999-2000.

The researchers analyzed data from CDC health surveys and in-person exams. Adults’ average age during those years was 45.

Previous Data:

Previously released data from the same surveys indicate that about 35 percent of U.S. adults are obese, a level that hasn’t budged much in recent years. Those surveys define obesity as a BMI of at least 30. For example, someone who is 5-foot-4 – the average U.S. woman’s height – would be obese at 175 pounds.

Ford said that for both kinds of obesity, the bottom-line message for patients is probably the same: diet and exercise.

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Source: Fox11Online.com
By LINDSEY TANNER, AP Medical Writer
Published: September 16, 2014, 4:20 pm
Photo: (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis, File)

Shine On Me!

by Sharon Gayle August 30, 2014

The Healing Benefits of Sunlight and Vitamin D.

When the sun is high overhead we often take cover to avoid the intense heat. However, sunlight is natural and has an multitude of benefits for humans. The sun not only provides both light and heat that sustains us, but I think we would all agree that that whether it’s strolling in the sun, sunbathing, sitting in a window daydreaming on a sunny day; sunlight affects how we feel, and often transfers positively into how we look.  New research supports those feelings, indicating that a short daily dose of midday sun is healthy!  

Of the two main wavelengths in sunshine, UVA and UVB, it’s the UVB rays that help our skin produce vitamin D.  While it is wise to avoid burning or excess solar or indoor tanning, solar UVB radiation (290-315 nm) is the primary source of vitamin D. UVA rays, which penetrate skin more deeply and causes oxidative damage, are constant throughout the day, UVB rays are much stronger during the middle of the day.  The health benefits of UVB through production of vitamin D are considerable, with experts finding more and more benefits as research is continued.

Midday Summer sun is the best source of UVB, since minimal exposure times are required, and the UVB to UVA (315-400 nm) ratio is highest.  For most people, exposing arms and legs to the midday sun (without sunscreen) for 10-15minutes can produce a day’s worth of vitamin D.

Positive Exosure
Vitamin D, often referred to as the “sunshine vitamin” has been shown to provide significant protection from the risk of:

  • cardiovascular disease
  • diabetes and metabolic syndrome
  • bone fracture risk
  • breast prostate
  • colon cancers
  • cognitive decline as we age

Negative Exposure
Excess exposure to sunlight may sometimes be destructive, as it can lead to ailments such as:

  • eye damage, melanomas
  • skin cancer
  • change in the color as well as thickness of the skin
  • appearance of irregular spots on the face
  • itchiness or tenderness to the skin

Naturally, the benefits obtained from sunlight depends upon its usage.  Sunbathing and sun tanning are both effective means for getting sufficient sunshine, however, it is medically recommended that you use a quality after-sun lotion in order to moisturize your skin post sun tanning.  Wearing clothing that covers your arms and legs after sunbathing, will also protect you from further unnecessary exposure.

The Sun is your friend if you are responsible and use caution by avoiding chronic exposure!  Enjoy! ~SG.

Stats & Facts: Physical Activity for Children

by Sharon Gayle September 26, 2013

Exercise for Children

Help Your Child to Build a Strong Foundation


As an adult most of us equate exercise to going to the gym and doing cardio and strength training.  However, for children, exercise means being physically active, playing with friends, and having fun.  Children exercise when they have a gym class at school, during recess. Competitive sports such as Soccer can help kids stay fit. Walking or biking to school, dancing, bowling and swimming are also some other ways in which children can get exercise.

 


The Many Benefits of Exercise


Increased physical activity has been associated with an increased life expectancy and decreased risk of cardiovascular disease. Physical activity produces overall physical, psychological and social benefits. Inactive children are likely to become inactive adults. And physical activity helps children to:

  1. have stronger muscles and bones
  2. have a leaner body because exercise helps control body fat
  3. control weight / be less likely to become overweight
  4. decrease the risk of developing type 2 diabetes and some kinds of cancer
  5. raising HDL ("good") cholesterol possibly lower blood pressure and blood cholesterol levels
  6. improved psychological well-being, which often includes more  self-confidence and higher self-esteem

Besides enjoying the health benefits of regular exercise, kids who are physically fit sleep better and are better able to handle physical and emotional challenges — from running to catch a bus to studying for a test.  Parents can set a good example by being active themselves. Exercising together can be fun for everyone! 


The American Heart Association recommends:

 

  • All children age 2 and older should participate in at least 60 minutes of enjoyable, moderate-intensity physical activities every day that are developmentally appropriate and varied.
  • If your child or children don't have a full 60-minute activity break each day, try to provide at least two 30-minute periods or four 15-minute periods in which they can engage in vigorous activities appropriate to their age, gender and stage of physical and emotional development.


Additional Stats


Physical Activity

  • Only one in three children are physically active every day.(1)
  • Children now spend more than seven and a half hours a day in front of a screen (e.g., TV, video games, computer).(2)
  • Only about one in five homes have parks within a half-mile, and about the same number have a fitness or recreation center within that distance.(3)

Nutrition

  • Typical American diets exceed the recommended intake levels or limits in four categories: calories from solid fats and added sugars; refined grains; sodium; and saturated fat.(4)
  • More than 23 million Americans, including 6.5 million children, live in food deserts – areas that are more than a mile away from a supermarket.(5)
  • In recent years, nearly 15% of American households have been unable to acquire adequate food to help meet their needs.(2)
  • In 2008, an estimated 49.1 million people, including 16.7 million children, experienced food insecurity (limited availability to safe and nutritionally adequate foods) multiple times throughout the year.(6)

Obesity

  • Data from 2009-2010 indicates that over 78 million U.S. adults and about 12.5 million (16.9%) children and adolescents are obese.(7)
  • For children with disabilities, obesity rates are approximately 38% higher than for children without disabilities. It gets worse for the adult population where obesity rates for adults with disabilities are approximately 57% higher than for adults without disabilities.(8)
  • Obesity Then and Now(2)
        o Prevalence of obesity for children ages 2 to 5 years – doubled
        Early 1970s: 5%
        2007-08: 10%
        o Prevalence of obesity for children ages 6 to 11 years – quadrupled
        Early 1970s: 4%
        2007-08: 20%
        o Prevalence of obesity for children ages 12 to 19 years – tripled
        Early 1970s: 6%
        2007-08: 18%
  • Nearly 45% of children living in poverty are overweight or obese compared with 22% of children living in households with incomes four times the poverty level.(9)
  • Almost 40% of Black and Latino youth ages 2 to 19 are overweight or obese compared with only 29% of White youth.(9)

Human and Financial Costs of Obesity

  • Obesity is also a growing threat to national security – a surprising 27% of young Americans are too overweight to serve in our military. Approximately 15,000 potential recruits fail their physicals every year because they are unfit.(10)

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REFERENCES

  1. National Association for Sport and Physical Education. The Fitness Equation: Physical Activity + Balanced Diet = Fit Kids. Reston, VA: National Association for Sport and Physical Education, 1999.
  2. U.S. Department of Agriculture. Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010.
  3. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Healthy People 2020.
  4. Rideout, Victoria J., Foehr, Ulla G., and Roberts, Donald F. Generation M2: Media in the Lives of 8- to 18-Year-Olds. Rep. Menlo Park: Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, 2010.
  5. U.S. Department of Agriculture. Creating Access to Healthy, Affordable Food.
  6. Nord, Mark, Andrews, Margaret, and Carlson, Steven. Household Food Security in the United States, 2008. Rep. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, 2009.
  7. Ogden, C.L., Carroll, M.D., Kit, B.K., Flegal, K.M. Prevalence of Obesity in the United States, 2009-2010. U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics Data Brief, January 2012.
  8. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. 2003-2008.
  9. Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. F As In Fat: How Obesity Threatens America's Future. 2010.
  10. American Heart Association. Teaching America's Kids About A Healthy Lifestyle. 2010.

Tags:

Exercise | Fitness | Health

STATS & FACTS - GayleFORCE Fitness Newletter - Dec. 2012

by Sharon Gayle December 18, 2012

Even Women Who Exercise, Sit Too Much.

Study finds that people sit more hours a day than they sleep, raising the risk of chronic health conditions


You might find this hard to believe, however, it makes total sense. We do far more sitting down than we did in the past when we had less convenience. Sadly, we have almost everything at our fingertips. We have remotes for TV’s, air conditioners, home alarm systems, and even window blinds; thus, we move less on so many levels. For those of us who do work out, that’s great, but even we tend to sit more. We really have to think “think active” and think of various ways to try to incorporate short and sweet bursts of movement into our days. I.e.

  1. Walk a few extra blocks to the next subway station rather than taking the station ½ a block away.
  2. At the office, walk up and down the internal stairwells, instead of taking the elevator 1 or 2 flights up or down.
  3. Go for a stroll on the weekend, fool around on the monkey bars at the park.
  4. Join the kids in a game of basketball at the courts.
  5. Use the phone at the office to talk to a co-worker, better yet, take a walk …tell them in person.

Whatever, it takes, just MOVE!!! And, try to have fun doing it! The following article elaborates on this apparent dilemma.


Are you sitting too much?


THURSDAY, Nov. 29, 2012 (HealthDay News)*
For women who love that great, self-satisfied feeling after a workout, a new study could be a disappointing surprise. Regular exercise, the study found, does not reduce the risk of an otherwise sedentary lifestyle.

Women who exercise regularly actually spend as much time sitting down as those who don't get much exercise, and thus may be susceptible to a greater risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity and premature death, the study revealed.
"We spend the vast majority of our time not exercising," said Lynette Craft, lead author of the study and an adjunct assistant professor of preventive medicine at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, in Chicago. "It's important to think about how you spend your entire day and what you're doing in your non-exercise time." READ MORE... (*this news item will not be available after 02/28/2013)

Source: MedLinePlus News

GayleFORCE FIT - GayleFORCE Fitness Newsletter - Dec. 2012

by Sharon Gayle December 18, 2012

Exercise of the Week

CHEST: Fly - Lying (Cable)


Work against gravity; shape , tighten, and tone, your chest. A tight and lifted chest can do wonders for your posture and presence! ~Sharon Gayle



Tighten and tone your Chest.

Directions:

Cross arms over middle chest, keeping elbows slightly bent.

Sets and Reps:

Do 3 sets. Complete 8-12 repetitions.

Correct Form / Suggestions:

  1. Bring legs up and place feet flat on the bench. This will prevent arching of your lower back.
  2. Be sure that cables are aligned with center chest.
  3. Cross and hold for 2-seconds.
  4. Uncross arms back to starting position. Repeat.

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Exercise | Fitness | Health | Tips