Monday, August 12, 2002

Fit Bits

Ways to stay active and healthy

Compiled by Peggy O'Farrell


        More bad news: High-protein, low-carbohydrate diets increase the risk of kidney stones and might spike the risk for bone loss, say researchers in Texas.

        Researchers followed 10 adults for eight weeks to track levels of urinary citrate as the subjects followed a “normal” diet for two weeks, then an extremely low-carb diet for four weeks and a slightly higher-carb diet for the final two weeks.

        Urinary citrate, which inhibits the formation of kidney stones, dropped nearly 25 percent while test subjects were on the low-carb diets.

        “People may lose weight on this diet, but this study shows that this is not a healthy way to lose weight,” said Dr. Chia-Ying Wang, co-author of the study and an assistant professor of internal medicine at the University of Texas Southwestern in Dallas.

        Subjects' acid excretion also rose during the low-carb diets. Chronic acid loads suppresses the function of bone-forming cells and stimulates action by another type of cell associated with bone resorption.

        Researchers are studying the osteoporosis risk further.


        Benefit walk: Registration is open for the Greater Cincinnati Chapter of the Alzheimer's Association's 2002 Memory Walk. Sites and days are as follows:

        • Adams County: 11 a.m. Sept. 7, Adams Lake State Park in West Union.

        • Highland County: 2 p.m. Sept. 7, Southern State Community College in Hillsboro.

        • Brown County: 10 a.m. Sept. 4, Kathryn Hanlon Park in Georgetown.

        • Butler/Warren counties: 10 a.m. Sept. 21, Wetherington Golf and Country Club in West Chester Township.

        • Indiana: 11 a.m. Sept. 21, Brookville Town Park.

        • Carroll County: 10 a.m. Sept. 28, Gen. Butler State Park in Carrollton.

        • Greater Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky: 10 a.m. Oct. 6, Schott Amphitheater at Sawyer Point, downtown.

        Information/registration: Meghan Galvin, 721-4284.


        Net: Check out for tips and techniques to play tennis like the pros. The site includes videos, books and a fee-based instructional program from star coach Oscar Wegner.


        At home: The September issue of Fitness magazine offers these four strategies for getting a better body without leaving the house:

        • Invest in the essentials: A treadmill and dumbbells and, for variety, add low-cost items like an exercise ball, jump rope, resistance bands and exercise videos.

        • Set up your equipment within easy reach: The treadmill should go near the TV or a picture window, not in the basement. Keep your equipment where you can't miss it.

        • Carve out private time for workouts.

        • Keep fruit, veggies and bottled water handy. Hide the chips and cookies.

Shelf help

        Diet scoop: Prevention's The Ice Cream Diet (St. Martin's; $6.50) by registered dietitian Holly McCord swears it's possible to eat ice cream and lose weight. The book includes meal and workout plans.

        Contact Peggy O'Farrell by phone: 768-8510; fax: 768-8330; e-mail:


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