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One More Reason To Start Young - and Keep on Going

Posted May 15 2008 4:03pm

Normally we try not to report stories that have already been widely covered in the media, but this first item is such an important piece of news we thought we’d make an exception. It’s a new study that shows just how important exercise can be for women, particularly if they start young. It found that being active at an early age can reduce a woman’s risk of subsequently developing breast cancer.

Now it’s long been known that exercise during a girl’s adolescence can reduce her risk of developing breast cancer after she hits menopause, but this study is the first to show that it can dramatically reduce a woman’s risk of premenopausal breast cancer.

The research, published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, looked at almost 65,000 women who filled out detailed questionnaires on their physical activity levels after age 12. They found that girls and young women who exercised regularly were at a substantially lower risk of breast cancer before menopause, compared to those who were less active.

And because exercise also reduces the risk of a girl or young women being overweight it also reduces their risk of developing heart disease, diabetes and a host of other health problems. So parents, get those girls out there. What the heck, kick the boys out there as well, at the very least they’ll keep the girls company and who knows, it might do them some good as well.

An Aspirin at Night Keeps the Blood Pressure Alright

Millions of Americans take an aspirin every day to reduce their risk of heart attacks and strokes and reduce their high blood pressure. Now a new study says if you want to get the most out of that treatment, you should take the aspirin at night.

The study, by researchers from the University of Vigo in Spain, found that taking the aspirin just before bedtime decreased readings for both systolic and diastolic blood pressure by several points, while those who took the aspirin in the morning saw no such reduction. In case you were wondering systolic is the top number in the 120/80 reading, diastolic the bottom one.

They’re not sure why that’s the case but think it might be because aspirin slows down the production of hormones and other substances in the body that cause blood to clot, and that many of those are produced while the body is at rest. So, by targeting them at night the aspirin is more effective.

Sweet dreams indeed.

How Do You Measure Up?

Remember those awful tests they used to make us do in high school, push-ups and pull-ups and sit-ups to see how fit we were? Well, they’re baaaaaaack!

The government is introducing a new Presidential Physical Fitness Test, for adults. You get to see what kind of shape you are in by testing how you do in aerobic fitness, muscular strength and flexibility. The tests include how fast you can run 1.5 miles or walk one mile, how many push-ups you can do at one time, how many sit-ups you can do in one minute.

You won’t get a certificate or anything like that, but you will see just what kind of shape you are in, how you compare with other people your age, and get some ideas on what you need to do to be in better shape.

Here’s the link if you would like to take the Adult Fitness Test, actually that’s the link even if you wouldn’t like to take the test.

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