Are you reading this sitting down? Don’t!

by Carolyn Thomas  @HeartSisters

A recent study of over 200,000 Australians suggests that you might want to stand up if you happen to be sitting down right now.  This study*, published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, found that prolonged sitting is a health risk  independent of physical activity, and adds to the growing body of evidence that people who sit the most die the soonest – and, worse, you may not be able to exercise this effect away.

I don’t know about you, but I thought that last finding was disturbing.

In fact, Aussie researchers reported that not even getting regular physical exercise can outweigh the higher mortality risks associated with sitting more than 11 hours a day. Healthy or sick, active or inactive, the more people sat, the more likely they were to die sooner than non-sedentary people.  Continue reading “Are you reading this sitting down? Don’t!”

“Jenny, know your numbers!” A free Mayo Clinic app

Catch the cameo appearances here by Mayo Women’s Heart Clinic cardiologist Dr. Sharonne Hayes (at work and joining Jenny on the treadmill!) on this spoof of a classic 1982 song reminding us to know and keep track of our heart health numbers. As part of the campaign, viewers can use a free application on Mayo’s Facebook page that will help them calculate their risk of a heart attack and learn how to prevent one.

Heart-healthy weight: secrets of the always-slim

by Carolyn Thomas  @HeartSisters

By middle age,  65% of women and 52% of men in Canada are considered overweight. And we know that being overweight has a direct result on our heart health. But an enviable minority stay slim throughout their whole lives. We hate those people . . . 

Are these types just genetically blessed? Or do they, too, have to work at keeping down their weight? To find out, the Consumer Reports National Research Center surveyed over 21,000 subscribers to Consumer Reports about their lifetime weight history and their eating, dieting and exercising habits.

Turns out that people who have never been overweight are not sitting around  in their La-Z-Boys scarfing down gooey Tim Hortons maple dips like I always imagined they could do if they felt like it.  Here’s what Consumer Reports did find out about how their always-slim respondents compared to people who have successfully lost weight and kept it off:  Continue reading “Heart-healthy weight: secrets of the always-slim”

5 surprising myths about excess weight

May 1932 - Modern Mechanix
May 1932 – Modern Mechanix

by Carolyn Thomas @HeartSisters

We know that carrying excess body weight is bad for our health.  Or is it?  Recent studies have looked at overall health outcomes of overweight subjects and found these surprising results that may make us look twice at some older myths about being overweight:

MYTH No. 1:  A high BMI number means you need to lose weight.

FACT: Body Mass Index (BMI) has been considered the best indicator of obesity, but it doesn’t differentiate between weight gained by pumping iron or weight gained by eating too many Tim Horton maple dips.  Having a BMI number over 25 is considered overweight, and a BMI over 30 is considered obese.  But Arnold Schwarzenegger, for example, had a BMI of 33 at the peak of his body-building career.   Continue reading “5 surprising myths about excess weight”

Women’s waist size predictive of heart disease

by Carolyn Thomas    @HeartSisters

When you stand naked in front of your full-length mirror, do you see one of those pear-shaped bodies, with weight accumulating around your hips and thighs?  Or perhaps you see an apple-shaped body, in which most of your excess weight settles around your waistline?  (If you see a tall, lithe Wonder Woman/supermodel-shaped body staring back at you in your mirror, you can just stop reading…)  

Turns out that the apple-shaped body type may be the most dangerous for your heart health.  According to Mayo Clinic cardiologists, there are two kinds of abdominal fat deposits that we need to worry about.
Continue reading “Women’s waist size predictive of heart disease”