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Health Tips #74 ~ [Issue 0905-2]  Wellness Weekly
 Sep 12, 2005 07:36 PDT 

* Promoting Healthy Habits In Children

The American Academy of Pediatrics says smart food choices help a
child's overall physical and oral health. Here is what parents can do
to promote health in their children: offer more fruits and vegetables
and less fat and sweets; pack a healthy lunch, with such munchies as
yogurt, string cheese, carrot sticks, and peanut butter-filled
celery; get involved with the school to help promote nutritious lunch
and vending machine offerings; make exercise a part of your
children's lifestyle, including 30 minutes of aerobic activity every
day or at least three to four times a week.

* Most Do Not Get Enough Sleep

About 50 percent of adults in the U.S. choose work, late-night
television, or surf the Internet over sleep and it might hurt their
health, a survey finds. A survey by the National Sleep Foundation
finds the U.S. national average is about 7 hours of sleep a day,
compared to 9 to 10 hours of sleep per night a century ago. According
to the "Harvard Heart Letter" most people need eight hours of sleep.
Not getting enough sleep increases blood pressure and stress hormone
levels, while sleep deprivation makes it difficult for the body to
process blood sugar and reduces levels of leptin, an
appetite-depressing hormone that could lead to diabetes and weight gain.

* Video Games Linked To Obesity

Sedentary behaviors such as electronic video games and watching
television are linked to worldwide childhood obesity. Researchers at
Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and the University Hospital
Zurich examined 872 children in first, second, and third grades at 10
Swiss schools. The study, published in the journal "Obesity
Research," finds that childhood obesity was linked with television
watching, paternal smoking and mother's working outside the home. "To
our knowledge this study provides the strongest evidence for an
independent association between time spent playing electronic games
and childhood obesity," says study leader Dr. Nicolas Stettler, of
the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.

* Go Jump a Rope

Jumping rope is not just for school girls. A simple rope can be
enough to get your heart pumping, your body moving, your muscles
working, and your workout complete. Jump rope has been proven to be
one of the most efficient ways of improving cardiovascular fitness
benefits in as little as 10 minutes, three times a week. One study
suggests you can improve overall physical fitness in as little as
five minutes a day. A total body workout that firms as it trims,
jumping rope works several major muscle groups. These include the
legs (thighs and calves), the arms (particularly the triceps), the
back, glutes, shoulders, and chest and abdomen - all the while
helping to strengthen the bones in the lower body. Women may be
especially appreciative of its talent for helping to reduce cellulite
and creating shapelier calves and ankles. Tired and weak joints get a
boost as well. An ideal cross-trainer, skipping is an intense
calorie-burner. Just 15 minutes jumping rope means 200 less calories
to worry about, which is the equivalent number lost on a 30-minute
run. And properly done, skipping is kinder to your knees and hips
than running.
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