Three Million Fitness Balls Recalled

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), in cooperation with EB Brands, Yonkers, NY, recently announced a voluntary recall of 3 million fitness balls. The fitness balls that are part of the recall were sold under the Bally Total Fitness, Everlast, Valeo and Body Fit brands.

It seems that when overinflated, the balls could burst when in use, resulting in a fall or injury to the user. There have been 47 reports of the balls bursting and some injuries. One interesting point is that these balls were marketed as “burst resistant”. Oops.

In any event, use care with any fitness equipment and be sure to follow the manufacturers instructions carefully. To find out more information about this recall visit the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) website at http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml09/09196.html

Walking / Biking to Work Can Reduce Cardiovascular Disease Risk

A study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine (http://archinte.ama-assn.org/ Vol. 169 No. 13, July 13, 2009) shows that men and women who walk or bike to work have increased levels of fitness and lower risk of Cardiovascular disease. The study states that active commuting was positively associated with fitness in men and women and inversely associated with BMI, obesity, triglyceride levels, blood pressure, and insulin level in men (not women!). Perhaps the difference is that the women in the study commuted for shorter distances or did not exert as high a level of effort as did the men. Even after controlling for other factors such as smoking and physical activity outside of commuting, men who actively commuted had a lower incidence of obesity.

What this study shows is that making a relatively small change in our habits can have a significant result. Many Americans do not commute by walking or biking because of distance, traffic or other considerations. But if you can walk or bike to and from work, you can make a positive impact on your health by doing so. If you can’t actively commute to work, look for other changes that you can make in your weekly routine. Do you play golf? Walk the course rather than riding in a cart. Do you drive to the corner store for eggs and milk? Try walking or biking instead. Any added activity can have a positive impact on health and fitness.

Visit me at Fitness for Everyman and Woman for more fitness and diet tips for everyone, at any age!

Can you really lose 30 pounds in 30 days?

You’ve seen the T.V. spots. You’ve read the ads online and in magazines. “Lose 30 pounds in 30 days!” or “Lose 10 pounds in 1 week!” the headlines read. Is this realistic? Can you really lose 30 pounds in 30 days? What miracle weight loss product or technique can provide weight loss at such a high rate of speed?

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Visit me at Fitness for Everyman and Woman for more fitness and diet tips for everyone, at any age!

Almonds As a Snack

An “article” in a recent issue of a health-related magazine aimed at men provides 5 steps to “mak[ing] your snack work as hard as you do”. Closer inspection reveals that the “article” is an ad from California Almonds. Now, almonds are one of my favorite snacks. I keep a container in my desk drawer and another container on hand at home. They are a healthy snack that has multiple benefits. But use care when reading material like this.

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Sugar Stacks

There’s an interesting site at:
http://sugarstacks.com/

It shows pictures of common foods with sugar cubes stacked up representing the amount of sugar in each food. For example, a bottle of soda has about 16.5 cubes stacked up next to it. Would you sit down and eat that many sugar cubes at once? I hope not. If you drink one bottle of soda, you are ingesting that much sugar. It makes you think a little before downing that beverage. Other foods are listed that may surprise you in the amount of sugar they contain. I like the idea of seeing a graphic representation of the sugar content. It brings the point home.

Exercise by Osmosis?

Wikipedia defines Osmosis as “a physical process in which a solvent moves, without input of energy, across a semi-permeable membrane”  link . During today’s workout at my gym, I noticed a guy who came in about the same time as I did, sitting on an apparatus, watching tennis on one of the monitors. He sat there the entire time my son and I were working out. By the time we were ready to leave, he was nowhere to be seen. Of course I don’t know what his story really is, but I had to wonder if he went home and told his wife how good a workout he had. 🙂

That may be an amusing story, but it is important to realize that nothing worthwhile comes without effort. Losing fat takes effort – sustained effort. There is no magic potion and it doesn’t happen by osmosis. Fat doesn’t fall off because we walk into a gym. Fat comes off through the application of a planned, consistent exercise and nutrition program. Don’t waste time looking for easy solutions, the quick fix. It likely took years to gain the fat and it won’t come off in one day or one week or one month. A good, common sense plan can be a road-map to losing pounds in a reasonable amount of time. So make a good plan, stick with it and be patient.

TV and PC Behaviors

According a report from the USDA, Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion, a large percentage of the US population spends a significant amount of leisure time watching TV or in front of a computer. The report entitled “Routine Active and Sedentary Behavior Patterns in U.S. Adults” states:

A much larger percentage of adults reported that they spent
time in sedentary behaviors on a daily basis. About two-thirds
of all adults (67.5 percent) reported watching TV or videos
an average of 2 hours or more per day in the past 30 days. In
addition, a quarter of adults (25.2 percent) used a computer
outside of work or played computer games an average of 2
hours or more per day.

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