What’s Better?

Eating 6 Small Meals A Day Or 3 Big Ones?

Working Out For 10 Minutes Or 10 Hours?

Plus: Tips to prevent low-back pain, why experts think one third of breast cancer cases may be avoidable, 4 things shortening your life, and how to wake up EARLIER!!!

Lauderdale – Have you ever watched the television show Myth Busters?  Just in case you haven’t, here’s the gist of the show…

Two scientists take common myths and try to re-create them to see if they are real, fake or plausible.

For example, one show tested whether or not a well-trained Ninja (yeah – the martial arts Ninja) could catch an arrow shot at him by an enemy.  They found a well-trained Ninja and actually shot arrows at him! The result?

One Dead Ninja!

Well, the Ninja didn’t actually die because they used special arrows with protective tips.  But, if the arrows had been real, the Ninja would have been TOAST.

Anyway, that’s what science is all about – attempting to separate fact from fiction, – and this can be very hard to do sometimes.

Now, we’d like to do a little “myth busting” of our own.  In fact, we are going to bust TWO myths.

Here’s the first: I’m sure you have heard eating many, small meals throughout the day is better than eating fewer large ones.  It is pretty well-established… and it makes sense.  If you eat a bunch of small meals, your metabolism will increase and you will lose weight.

Well, a study published in the British Journal of Nutrition just put that theory to the test.  In the study, one group ate 6 small meals each day and another group ate 3 larger meals.

According to the study, both groups lost significant and equivalent amounts of weight. There was no difference between them in fat loss, appetite control or measurements of the hormones that signal hunger and satiety.

One thing is important to note: Both groups ate the same number of calories.   The only difference was the number of meals the calories were split across – 3 versus 6.  These researchers believe it’s the number of calories per day eaten and NOT the way they are broken up that determines weight loss.

And here’s the second myth: It is a commonly held belief, as far as exercise is concerned… more is better.  In other words, to get into good physical and cardiovascular shape – you must train for a long time.

After all… I’m sure you’ve seen Rocky… and he spent all day busting his butt!

Well, a new study shows this may not be the case.

In this study, published in the Journal of Physiology, researchers believe their findings “blow away” the notion that you must exercise for long periods of time.

Here is why: In the study, participants rode an exercise bike for just 60 seconds, but they peddled hard enough to get close to their maximum heart rate.  Then, they would rest for 60 seconds, and then peddle for 60 seconds again.  This process was repeated for 10 minutes.

Tests afterwards showed their muscles had improved just as much as if they had been involved in endurance training.  This type of training is known as “high intensity interval training” or HIT.  The research did not give the reason why HIT was so effective, but it appeared to “stimulate many of the same cellular pathways” as traditional training regimes.  The researchers also mentioned time is no longer an excuse for not exercising!!!

Why 1/3 Of Breast Cancer May Be Avoidable…

According to the March 25, 2010 USA Today: “Up to a third of breast cancer cases in Western countries could be avoided if women ate less and exercised more, researchers at a breast cancer conference said Thursday.”

The article stated the focus should shift from early diagnosis and treatment (both of which have slowed the disease) to changing behaviors such as diet and physical activity.  Here are some breast cancer facts from the article:

  • Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women.
  • Last year, in the United States, there were more than 190,000 new cases and 40,000 deaths.
  • A woman’s lifetime chance of getting breast cancer is about one in eight.
  • Obese women are up to 60% more likely to develop any cancer than normal-weight women.

The article also mentioned many breast cancers are related to estrogen, a hormone produced in fat tissue. It is theorized that the more fat in a woman’s body, the greater the chance she’ll develop cancer.  Even slim women could benefit from exercising to decrease body fat and increase lean muscle mass.

One important point made by the USA Today article was that the medical establishment is NOT blaming victims for developing breast cancer. Likewise, victims should not blame themselves and wonder how much their weight was a factor.

The article stated, “We would never want women to feel responsible for their breast cancer… It’s a complex disease and there are so many factors responsible that it’s difficult to blame it on one specific issue.” The recommendation to stay slim applies only to breast cancer in post-menopausal women, as there isn’t enough evidence to know whether this applies to younger women.”

Figures quoted in the article from the International Agency for Research on Cancer estimate that 25 to 30% of breast cancer cases could be avoided if women were thinner and exercised more.

Tips To Help Prevent Back Pain

Back pain is extremely common.  Fact is: you have an 80% chance of suffering from back pain in your life.  Sometimes, it can be nothing more than a nuisance… other times, it can be debilitating.  No matter what, the best thing to do is to try to avoid it altogether.  Here are some tips that may help:

  • Always keep good posture – never slouch or slump.
  • Lift with your legs, not your back.
  • Wear comfortable low-heal shoes.
  • Sleep on your side on a bed that is good for your spine.
  • Moderate exercise for flexibility and stability of the spine and supporting structures.
  • See your Chiropractor if you have any questions or as soon as a problem occurs.
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