Monday, June 9, 2003

Fit Bits

Ways to stay active and healthy

By Peggy O'Farrell
The Cincinati Enquirer


Sweat equity: Reduced cholesterol levels last even after people quit hitting the gym, suggesting the body adapts long-term to physical activity.

Researchers at Duke University Medical Center found, though, that results vary, based on gender and the amount and intensity of exercise.

Study participants who followed a vigorous, high-intensity program showed the greatest benefits two weeks after stopping their exercise program, the study showed.

The research also showed that triglycerides dropped among both male and female subjects, but stayed lower only in men after the exercise routine was dropped.

Elevated triglyceride and cholesterol levels are linked to heart disease and stroke risk.

The study was presented May 28 at the American College of Sports Medicine's annual scientific sessions.

Hot news

Perspective: "Tweens" relate weight to their appearance and athletic performance, not their health.

A new study sponsored by the International Food Information Council shows that neither children ages 8 to 12 nor their parents consider being overweight a health issue. Other findings:

• Children and parents relate obesity more to food than physical activity.

• Children equate healthy eating with unpopular rules and regulations, like being forced to eat vegetables or fruit.

• Overweight kids have less opportunity for physical activity because they drop out of organized sports.

To learn more about the research and healthy living for kids, visit


Click: Check out for an interactive calculator that helps parents keep their kids' weight on track. The calculator figures children's body mass indices, based on height, weight and age.


Move: Michelle Kowalski, a researcher at Ball State University in Muncie, Ind., offers five tips for busy women who want to work more physical activity into their days:

• Wake up half an hour earlier for a walk around the neighborhood.

• Take a brisk, 15-minute walk at work instead of a coffee break.

• Gather the whole family for a walk before or after dinner.

• Plan family fitness nights with activities like bicycling, kickball or softball.

• Work in a stretching routine for all the major muscle groups at the end of each busy day.


Steppin' out: Miles for Melanoma, a benefit walk for the Melanoma Research Foundation, starts at 9 a.m. Saturday at Winton Woods. Walkers will circle the lake to raise funds for research. Information:

Shelf help

New plan: The South Beach Diet (Rodale; $24.95) by Dr. Arthur Agatson offers a modified low-carb plan for weight loss.

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

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