Harvard Pyramid Starts with Exercise
Experts from the Harvard School of
Public Health have created a healthy eating pyramid. It
sits on a foundation of daily exercise and weight control.
Whole grain foods (at most meals).
The body needs carbohydrates for energy. The best sources
are whole grains such as oatmeal, whole-wheat bread, and
brown rice. They keep blood sugar and insulin levels from
rising and falling too quickly.
Plant oils. Good sources of healthy
unsaturated fats are olive, canola, soy, corn, sunflower,
peanut, and other vegetable oils. They improve
cholesterol levels and protect heart rhythm.
Vegetables and fruits (2 to 3
servings). A diet rich in fruits and vegetables can
decrease the chances of having a heart attack or stroke;
protect against a variety of cancers; lower blood
pressure; help you avoid diverticulitis; and guard
against cataracts and macular degeneration.
Fish, poultry, and eggs (up to 2
times). They are important sources of protein. Eating
fish can reduce the risk of heart disease. Chicken and
turkey are good sources.
Nuts and legumes (1 to 3 servings).
Good sources of protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
Legumes include most dry beans. Nuts contain healthy fats.
Dairy or calcium supplement (1 to 2
servings). Building bone and keeping it strong takes
calcium, vitamin D, and exercise. Use low-fat products.
Calcium supplements offer an easy way to get your calcium.
Red meat and butter (use sparingly):
They contain lots of saturated fat. If you eat red meat
every day, switching to fish or chicken several times a
week can improve cholesterol levels. So can switching
from butter to olive oil.
White rice, white bread, potatoes,
pasta, and sweets (Use sparingly): They can cause fast
increases in blood sugar that can lead to weight gain,
diabetes, heart disease, and other chronic disorders.
A multiple vitamin can fill
nutrient holes in your diet.
Endurance Exercise Prevents Heart Failure
Stiffening of the heart muscle is
often associated with the onset of heart failure. The
heart can be kept supple, however, by participating in
endurance exercises such as running or cycling over a
prolonged period of time.
Researchers at Texas Medical Center
in Dallas compared the function of the heart's main
pumping chamber in healthy but sedentary adults in their
late 20s, healthy but sedentary 70-year-olds, and
athletes averaging 68 years.
They found that sedentary
individuals' hearts were 50 percent stiffer than the
athletes'. What they didn't expect was that the hearts of
senior athletes were in the same shape as non-exercisers
in their 20s.
The research team then designed an
age-appropriate resistance-training program for the
participants. After a year, their hearts were more
muscular and more flexible.
When you sit with a nice
girl for two hours, you think it's only a minute. But
when you sit on a hot stove for a minute, you think it's
two hours. That's relativity. - Albert Einstein.
I believe there is
something out there watching us. Unfortunately, it's the
government. - Woody Allen.
Questions and Answers
Q: What are some good weight training leg exercises that do not put
stress on injured knees?
none that I know of. Some exercises are more severe than
others. All movements to work leg muscles require
the knee to be flexed. It is best to give it a rest
or see a doctor to get it fixed.
looking to become a Group Fitness Instructor. I've been in
aerobics classes, but would not know how to conduct a
class from start to finish on my own. Are there classes
that can help me in order to become certified?
A: Some other
organizations have 3 or 4 hour seminars. However,
even that is insufficient to get you ready to teach a
class. What new instructors do is work with a senior
instructor. Approach you present instructor and tell them
that you are newly certified and ask them if they will
work with you to help bring you up to speed. Most will be
happy to help.
Q: Which muscles do not have a agonist -
A: Your heart
is one. It functions like any other muscle. Overwork it
without sufficient rest and it will not function to peak