The first published dietary guidelines were written in 1894 by W.O. Atwater. Atwater initiated the scientific basis for connecting food composition, dietary intake, and health, and emphasized the importance of variety, proportion, and moderation in healthy eating. It is worth noting that at this time specific vitamins and minerals had not yet been discovered.
In 1902 Atwater stated:
“Unless care is exercised in selecting food, a diet may result which is one-sided or badly balanced-that is, one in which either protein or fuel ingredients (carbohydrate and fat) are provided in excess….The evils of overeating may not be felt at once, but sooner or later they are sure to appear-perhaps in an excessive amount of fatty tissue, perhaps in general debility, perhaps in actual disease.”
By the 1950s, nutritional guidelines moved to four food groups known as the “Basic Four” with the focus on getting sufficient nutrients. This concept was widely used for the next two decades. During the 1990s, the Food Guide Pyramid was released. The pyramid conveyed key concepts regarding variety, proportionality, and moderation; Atwater’s words repeated ten decades later.
Lets get back to basics. A diet that is high in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans, fish, and low in fat, high in fibre is cancer protective.
If you have made a New Year’s resolution to improve your fitness; do more exercise, increase your strength, eat a healthier diet, lose weight then fear not, help is at hand. The following tips will help you feel healthier, fitter and more energised:
- Getting your METs is first and foremost! If time is limited for exercising make cardiovascular exercise your first choice by using the largest muscle groups in a repetitive movement (example; walking, jogging, swimming etc.).
- Set realistic goals. If you cannot see yourself holding your exercise routine for a period of 15 weeks then the task is too great. The average time a person holds an exercise programme is 6–8 weeks; this is too short for life changing benefits.
- Be consistent, take small steps. Increase time, distance or repetitions of your workouts every 3 weeks. This allows the body time to adapt to the routine/stress level which makes advancing to a higher level easier and safer.
- When it comes to eating healthy, losing weight or maintaining your current weight, you are more likely to be successful if you make small changes over time rather than changing your entire diet all at once.
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Whilst you may not be able to stick to your normal exercise routine over the holiday period, you can still fit some exercise in. For example, if you normally walk outdoors but find the weather too cold, try working out indoors. Walking up and down a flight stairs once is equal to one minute of weight bearing exercise.
Stair climbing is also excellent for increasing your bone strength (bone density) in your hips; it works on the main muscles for walking and is very good for your overall health. While watching your favourite TV programme or listening to your favourite radio programme marching on the spot or any form of dancing are additional choices.
You may not have an hour to spare to complete your regular workout however, short regular bursts of activity can help maintain your fitness level and reduce the chance of an extended period of time going by without exercising (it is always easier to maintain then to gain back). 5 minutes walking, jogging or marching on the spot on and off throughout the day all adds up and contributes to better health.
Lastly, it may be easier to keep to an exercise routine when you share it with someone. Walk with a friend, walk your dog, jog alongside your child while they cycle their new bike from Santa. It’s all about staying active, getting your METs and reaping the benefits.
Hope you find the above tips helpful and I would like to wish you a very Merry Christmas and Health, Happiness & Prosperity for 2015
Christmas Gift Voucher can be used towards starting the New Year with a personalized training programme.
When athletes complete a marathon distance usually their thoughts are not focused on the importance of recovery; making the right choices in post-training and nutrition. Crossing the finishing line participants are mainly excited and relieved that they have finished.
Nutrition and exercise are thoughts many athletes focus on during their training and give little thought to these key elements once the goal has been accomplished. Yet the only way to reap the benefits from our efforts of running a marathon is to do the right things following the event.
Also, athletes who have not taken the proper steps seem to never want to run another marathon or worse yet never return to regular exercise. To avoid this happening to you, here are some tips on how to gain strengths from your accomplishments and enjoy many more marathons in the future.
Please see Post-Marathon Recovery and Nutritional Guidelines
The primary treatments for breast cancer (surgery, radiation, chemotherapy) continue to lead to significant morbidity for many individuals diagnosed with this disease. A number of physical impairments commonly result from treatments designed to save or prolong the lives of those affected. These include impairments of upper extremity range of motion and strength, upper extremity and/or breast lymphedema, pain, fatigue, loss of sensation, and reduction in levels of physical activity and health-related quality of life.
The following 5 tips can help lower risk of impairments:
- Gentle range of motion exercises the first week after surgery.
- Active stretching exercises 1 week after surgery, or when the drain has been removed.
- Active stretching exercises continued for 6–8 weeks or until full range of motion is achieved in the affected upper extremity.
- Progressive resistance training can begin with light weights (0.5-1kg) within 4–6 weeks after surgery.
- Postoperative assessments should occur regularly up to 1 year after surgery.
This information is in line with the Institute of Medicine report ‘Clinical Practice Guidelines We Can Trust’.
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Exercise reduces an individual’s risk of developing breast cancer. Furthermore, in individuals who have already been diagnosed with the disease, exercise reduces the chance of a cancer recurrence as well as improves quality of life.
Below is an easy explanation of the METs programme which I did for an initiative called ChooseToTri. June O’Connell started ChooseToTri after hearing me speak at the Irish Cancer Society’s Annual National Breast Cancer Conference (2010) when talking about the relationship between exercise and cancer prevention (METs).
In this video, I explain METs in a clear and easy to understand way.
For further information on METs please see:
Breast Cancer Awareness
Research indicates that physical activity after a diagnosis of breast cancer improves quality of life, reduces fatigue, and assist with energy balance. Both reduced physical activity and the side effects of treatment have been linked to weight gain after a breast cancer diagnosis. Studies have found that women who exercise moderately (the equivalent of walking 3 to 4 hours per week at an average pace (3–4 METs) after a diagnosis of breast cancer have improved survival rates compared with more sedentary women.
6 weeks Beginners Course
I will be offering a 6 weeks beginners course which will cover 3 theory workshops & 3 practical training workshops to provide participants with the tools to improve flexibility, balance, co-ordination, mobility, strength, musculoskeletal function, bone density and confidence, in addition to having an impact on cardiovascular fitness, weight management and psychosocial well-being.
To register for the programme participants must be 3 months post-surgery with medical clearance. Course fee €75. To add your name to the roster or for further details please email Marie at email@example.com All participants will be accepted on a ‘first-come, first served basis’ (Additional courses will follow).
Homeostasis is an essential part for our health. But, in order to promote a body in balance our mind needs to contribute. Choices we make in regards to stress reduction, healthy nutrition and regular exercise helps keep an imbalance at bay.
Focus on what makes you feel calm and in control. Managing stress is about taking charge of our thoughts, emotions, schedule, and the way we deal with problems. This isn’t as easy as it sounds. Identifying our true sources of stress, we have to look closely at our habits, attitude, and excuses.
A regular diet rich in plant foods, fish, and lean protein boosts overall health and clearly helps protect against heart disease and diabetes. However when it comes to exercising inadequate nutrient intake deprives the body of the energy needed to perform, the carbohydrates necessary for glycogen replacement, the protein needed for tissue building and repair, and the micronutrients necessary for normal metabolism and maintenance of body homeostasis.
The health benefits of regular exercise and physical activity are hard to ignore and the benefits are ours for the taking, regardless of our age, sex or physical ability. Our body needs regular exercise, the right food, lifestyle and mental attitude to achieve its true health potential.
Picture of my sister (survivor) and two of her girls out on a walk yesterday in California
To reap all the benefits cardiovascular exercise (walking, cycling, swimming etc.) can provide, you need to be sure that your fitness routine is providing you with the right number of METs.
METs are the rate at which our bodies use oxygen (metabolic equivalents). If you accumulate >15 METs every week, then you get significant benefits in terms of fighting cancer. Studies have shown as little as 9 MET/hrs of physical activity over a seven day period increases survival rate for breast and bowel cancers.
Your fitness level has a direct impact on how many METS you expend per minute. So let’s say it take you 16 minutes to walk a mile, your pace is 3.75 miles per hour, which corresponds to 4.3 METs per hour. If you walk 3 ½ hours over a seven day period you will accumulate 15 METs for your week.
I will be giving exercise and nutrition talks for patients, families, survivors and health professionals during breast cancer awareness month as part of my pro-active educational programmes One of these talks will take place Thursday, 16 October 7:30pm–9:00pm at Good Counsel G.A.A. Club Davitt Road, Drimnagh, Dublin 12. This event is special for me because it takes place in my own home town.
Hope to see lots of familiar faces
FREE EVENT – ALL WELCOME Marie Murphy_Breast Cancer Awareness Month_Save the date
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