Monday, March 3, 2003

Fit Bits


Ways to stay active & healthy

Research

Sweat more: Women who work up a sweat seem to reduce their risk of breast cancer, say researchers at the University of Buffalo.

The study asked women ages 40 to 85 how much physical activity they took part in at two, 10 and 20 years prior to the interview and at age 16.

Findings showed exercise that took place 20 years before the interview had the strongest protective effect.

All women who reported an average of 3.5 hours of sweat-producing activity a week cut their risk of developing breast cancer in half later in life.

Strenuous activity at age 16 produced a 35 to 45 percent reduction in risk, researchers found.

"This is one more small piece of a really large puzzle concerning what protects against breast cancer," said lead author Joan Dorn. "To date, few factors related to breast cancer have emerged as being so strongly protective, particularly factors that women can modify, so even a modest effect is important."

Tips

Snack less: Consider leaving the snacks at home on your next family road trip, suggests Joan Carter, a registered dietitian at the Children's Nutrition Research Center at Baylor College of Medicine.

"Using food to keep your kids occupied encourages them to eat when not hungry, a habit that can contribute to weight problems later in life," Carter says. "Don't think of food as entertainment."

Her suggestions:

• Stop at a park or rest stop every few hours for a snack and activity break. Bring a football or Frisbee along for fun and to help kids burn off energy.

• Pack books, games, maps and other items that can help time in the car pass more quickly.

• If a roadside stop isn't feasible, pack bite-size sandwiches, trail mix, fruit, bottled water and string cheese for snacks.

Planner

Into the woods: The Hamilton County Walk Club kicks off its new season Wednesday.

Walkers can meet at 8:30 a.m. to enjoy a self-paced walk at Farbach-Werner Nature Preserve, Miami Whitewater Forest, Sharon Woods or Winton Woods. The Walk Club is free for adults 50 and older.

Members receive a "passport" to log walking minutes, educational workshops, a free T-shirt, an identification badge and group support.

Information: 946-7812, 521-7275 or www.hamilton-co.org/boh

Shelf help

Read more: Combat Fat! (Hatherleigh Press; $15.95) by Andrew Flach focuses on cutting body fat, not calories, for weight loss. The book includes meal plans, recipes and workout schedules and instructions.

The Goods

High-tech: The Fitness Traveler fitness CD from DiscFit Corp. lets travelers use their laptops as a fitness studio while they're on the road. $19.99. Information: www.discfit.net.

Contact Peggy O'Farrell by phone, 768-8510; fax, 768-8330, or e-mail, pofarrell@enquirer.com




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