March 2, 2009
Table of Contents
- Women and Alcohol
(Cancer risk research)
- Have a Terrific Walk
(Try these invigorating warm-up moves)
- Pain-Free Cycling
(Tips for preventing knee and back aches)
- A Recipe to Dine For
(Try this main-course salad)
Women and Alcohol
British study of more than a million women has indicated that
drinking even low to moderate amounts of alcohol may increase the risk
for several types of cancer by 13 percent.
research, published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute,
involved 1,280,296 women ages 45 to 75 who visited breast screening
clinics between the years 1996 and 2001. This represents one out of
every four British women in that age group.
It has long been established that alcohol consumption by women is
associated with greater risk for cancers of the breast, esophagus,
larynx, rectum, and liver. However, what distinguishes this particular
study is its finding that levels of alcohol intake that are really quite
low nonetheless increase the risk. The lead researcher epidemiologist
Naomi Allen of the University of Oxford has estimated that approximately
five percent of cancers in American women (roughly 30,000 cases a year)
result from such low levels of alcohol consumption.
In the study, having as little as one drink a day was linked to 11
additional breast cancers per 1,000 women -- and on the same terms, one
additional cancer of the oral cavity and pharynx, one additional cancer
of the rectum, and 0.7 additional instances each of esophageal,
laryngeal, and liver cancers.
A problematic development stemming from this research is its
presumable conflict with previous findings that both men and women enjoy
a cardiovascular benefit from having a single drink each day. Do the
increased cancer risks for women outweigh their potential cardiovascular
gains? Dr. Allen believes it is too early to reach firm conclusions. To
address that question, she is presently carrying out a study of
potential cardiovascular benefits in the same group of U.K. women.
Have a Terrific Walk
Whether it's neighborhood walking, mall walking, or fitness
track walking, taking a brisk stroll is one of the most popular forms of
physical activity for older adults. Although many people do not realize
that they need to warm up for energetic walking, the American Senior
Fitness Association has always advocated performing a thorough warm-up.
There are several reasons for this, just one of which is to encourage
adequate step-lift height, which may help to prevent tripping or
stumbling. After in-place limbering movements have been completed,
additional warm-ups can be undertaken during the beginning of a walk.
Following are some effective maneuvers from Team Prevention Walking
Coach Lee Scott, as related by Prevention magazine writer Paige
Walk at an easy pace for the first minute.
For the next half-minute, perform cross-over walking. That is,
envision yourself walking along a straight line. With each step,
bring your foot across the body, setting it down on the opposite
side of your imaginary line.
For the next half-minute, as you walk, roll your shoulders
forward a few times, then backward a few times. Follow this by
circling your whole arms (both at the same time) forward and then
For the next half-minute, perform arc walking. Swing you right
leg forward and out toward the right to land. Next bring your left
foot toward the right, then out toward the left to land. Continue
For the next half-minute, perform exaggerated heel-to-toe
walking. With each step, set down the heel while keeping your toes
lifted, then roll up onto your toes, thereby lifting your heel.
active pastime that is very popular among mature adults is
bicycling. However, biking-related knee and back pain can curtail one's
participation in that enjoyable activity. Dr. Paul Donohue, medical
writer for the News-Journal of Daytona Beach, Florida, has some
practical solutions for cyclists:
Knee pain can arise from overuse, which might involve cycling
for too long, cycling too far, or failing to provide sufficient rest
periods for the knees between cycling events. When knee discomfort
has been a factor, begin (or resume) cycling conservatively: no more
than 10 minutes of cycling at first on no more than three days per
week. Every week add a few more minutes to the cycling sessions, and
very gradually increase your cycling days as well tolerated.
A few simple adjustments to your bicycle may help to eliminate
knee and back pain. When your foot is at its lowest point, the knee
of that leg should be slightly bent. If the seat is too low, the
knee will bend too much, causing undue compression that brings pain
experienced in the front of the knee. Conversely, if the seat is too
high, the knee will have no bend, leading to pain in the back of the
knee. Dr. Donohue suggests estimating the correct height of the seat
by multiplying one's inseam measurement by 1.09.
Back pain often results from leaning too low and too far
forward. To alleviate the discomfort, sit more upright. Adjust your
handlebars so that they are at least six inches higher than your
A Recipe to Dine For
From the healthy-eating magazine deliciousliving comes
a superb (and easy to prepare) main-dish winter salad recipe: Pear,
Chicken, and Feta Salad. The magazine article's author Karin Lazarus
notes that making this dish is a great way to use leftover chicken. An
alternative time-saver is purchasing a precooked rotisserie chicken. The
salad ingredients she lists are:
cups mixed salad greens
1 medium ripe pear, sliced
1-1/2 cups cooked chopped or shredded chicken breast meat
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup chopped pecans, toasted
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
1/2 teaspoon grated orange peel
The preparation steps are as follows:
Combine the salad greens, pear, chicken, feta cheese,
cranberries, and pecans in a large salad bowl.
In a smaller bowl, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, orange
juice, and orange peel; then add salt and pepper to taste.
Drizzle about 4 tablespoons of the dressing over the salad; then
Lazarus advises that this salad serves six and goes very well with
warmed whole-wheat pita bread. For more healthy dining ideas from this
publication, click on www.deliciouslivingmag.com.
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