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Health Tips: No More Excuses for Not Being Fit

Posted - Mar. 5, 2004 at 10:20 a.m.



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Mar 05, 2004 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- NO MORE EXCUSES FOR NOT BEING FIT

A new program that promotes healthy living leaves no excuse unturned in getting black women to eat and exercise properly. Organizers of Sisters Together: Move More, Eat Better, note 70 percent of black women are overweight or obese, and a recent survey by the American Council on Exercise shows 92 percent do not work out regularly. Here are some comebacks to excuses for eating poorly and living sedately: "I'm too tired." Remember regular physical activity helps you feel great and energizes you as well. "I'm too busy." Try 10 minutes of physical activity three times a day or plan family fun like a softball game, biking or a walk through the zoo. "I don't feel like it." Bring friends to walk, jog or bike with you or take a fitness class. "I don't like the way healthy foods taste." Add flavor with herbs, spices, lemon, lime or vinegar. "I work long days and often eat after 8 p.m." Balance what you eat throughout the day. "I'm on the go and often have to eat fast foods." Choose salads and grilled foods instead of fried foods, and don't order giant sizes.

DRUG SHOWN EFFECTIVE AGAINST BOWEL DISORDER

A study shows using Remicade (infliximab) every for eight weeks can benefit some patients with severe Crohn's disease, a bowel disorder. The study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, examined Crohn's patients with fistulas, openings through the bowel wall into nearby organs or through the surface of the skin that can lead to infections, scarring and debilitation. Nearly twice as many patients on Remicade had fistula closure as did patients on a placebo, the study authors say. Fistulas can develop in as many as 43 percent of the estimated 500,000 Americans with the chronic inflammatory bowel disorder that affects the lower part of the small intestine and the large intestine. Symptoms of Crohn's, which causes inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract, include diarrhea, fever, abdominal pain and weight loss.

TWO DRUGS BETTER THAN ONE FOR RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS

A study suggests combining the drugs etanercept and methotrexate may offer greater relief from rheumatoid arthritis, researchers say. Each drug is partly effective on its own, but combining them might further reduce symptoms and joint destruction in patients with rheumatoid arthritis, the study authors report in The Lancet. Lars Klareskog of the Karolinska Institute in Sweden and colleagues studied 686 patients who got etanercept injections, oral methotrexate or a combination of both. Patients receiving the combined treatment had fewer symptoms after six months than did those receiving the individual drugs. Also, 35 percent were in remission after one year, compared to 16 percent receiving etanercept alone and 13 percent of those given methotrexate monotherapy, the authors say.

BEDMATES CAN SABOTAGE SLEEP

A survey shows 24 percent of U.S. adults blame their bedmate's snoring, tossing and turning or insomnia for keeping them awake nights. In the Harris Interactive survey of 1,361 bed-sharing adults, 47 percent of those with sleep-deprived partners report losing at least three hours of slumber a week as a result of their bedmates' restlessness. The leading reasons for sleep loss attributed to a bedmate were: snoring, 34 percent; tossing and turning, 15 percent; insomnia, 14 percent, and hogging the mattress or covers, 14 percent. Of those surveyed, 71 percent reported at least one of the bed partners had trouble sleeping. Some 28 percent indicated both partners suffered symptoms of insomnia, the nation's No. 1 sleep disorder, which affects some 58 percent of Americans, the survey authors say.

(EDITORS: For more information about FIT, Rolanda Rascoe at (703) 683-1152 or rrascoe@campbellandcompany.com. For BOWEL, Meg Harrison at (215) 928-2357. For RHEUMATOID, Joe Santangelo at j.santangelo@elsevier.com. For SLEEP, call (212) 551-4325)

Copyright 2004 by United Press International.

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