Don't Go It Alone – and other health news

by DavalosMcCormack on January 5, 2008

Even as you read this, one of the millions of Americans who has vowed to lose weight this year, is eating a cream puff, or a double whopper with extra cheese and bacon, or an ice cream sundae. The problem isn’t just their resolve. The problem is they tried to do it all alone, instead of getting help.

According to a study by Harris Interactive, around 52 percent of Americans – that’s a phenomenal 150 million or more of us – say they plan to make a serious effort to lose weight this year. Most won’t succeed.

Part of the reason is we try to do it the hard way. Old fashioned will power. Right! While most people know that talking to a doctor or diet/nutrition expert might help them with their plans, only around 17 percent actually do it. The rest, try to figure it out on their own. The way they did the last time they tried. And see how well that turned out, eh!

Bottom line; losing weight is one of the hardest things to do. The more help you have in doing it, the more support you have in keeping you on track, the more likely you are to succeed. Health experts can not only help you shed those pounds, they can also help you falling for those gimmicks and fads that promise easy ways to lose weight. All they lighten is your wallet.

Walk Away Your Woes

Going through menopause is not easy for any one. It’s not only a physically demanding time, it’s also an emotionally and psychologically challenging time. But now researchers say one way to ease those stresses, is to take a hike!

The study, out of Temple University, found that women who regularly went for a brisk walk were much less likely to suffer from stress, anxiety or even depression than women who didn’t exercise.

The exercise group walked for 40 minutes, about five times a week. They did it wherever it was convenient; in the park, in the mall, on the streets. They didn’t have to join a gym to get the benefits.

While it helped with the psychological impact of menopause, it did not, sadly, reduce the physical aspects, such as hot flashes.

Do It Yourself Heart Bypass

Speaking of walking – there’s now evidence it can help you do your own heart bypass procedure. And without any of that pesky slicing your chest open!

The January 2008 Harvard Heart Letter looks at how the heart tries to repair itself when cholesterol starts clogging up an artery. In some cases the heart creates its own bypass, sending tiny blood vessels around the clogged portion, to keep blood flowing.

These home-grown bypasses are not just for fun either. They can ease chest pain, limit the damage caused by a heart attack, and even improve your chances of surviving a big heart attack. Best of all, you can give them a boost just by going for a walk.

The researchers say that any activity that gets your heart beating a little faster can help in promoting the growth of those new blood vessels. The key is to do the activity, such as brisk walking, for at least 30 minutes a time, several times a week.

Growing your own bypass sure seems a lot easier than having someone carve one out for you.

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