May 25 2011

American Fitness Index – 2011. How Fit is Your City? Graehm Gray

The 2011 American Fitness Index (AFI) report was released this week by the American College of Sports Medicine. Meant as a report of the Health and Community Fitness Status of the 50 largest metropolitan areas in the United States, the AFI was developed in 2008 as a measure of the fitness of various cities and communities across the United States, using “ a composite of preventive health behaviors, levels of chronic disease conditions, health care access, as well as community resources and polices that support physical activity, “and allows officials, residents and potential residents to see the health statistics in their community. This can help identify ways to improve the health and “quality of life and well-being” of the residents of that particular community. In addition to the fitness components of the community, violent crime statistics are also shown for each community. The index uses the 50 largest metropolitan areas of the United States as determined by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget (from data supplied by the U.S. Census). High AFI scores indicates “strong community fitness,” and are analogous to an individual’s strong personal commitment to physical fitness. Low scores can be interpreted as the reverse. So let’s go to the results and see where your city’s fitness ranks: 2011 Rank/ City/ 2010 Rank 1 Minneapolis, MN -3 2 Washington, DC - 1 3 Boston, MA - 2 4 Portland, OR - 5 5 Denver, CO - 6 6 San ...

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Mar 22 2011

National Nutrition Month – March 2011: Graehm Gray

Hello my fans. I am interrupting my Best Diet in the Universe series, which I hope you all are reading and following, and want to mention National Nutrition Month.  Sponsored by the,  American Dietetic Association*, March 2011-Eat Right With Color,has been designated as the month to promote eating healthy and exercise. As you all know, The Nerdel Company’s prime health directives besides its motto   “everything good for kids,” includes making healthy choices in what you eat and to get plenty of physical activity. So what exactly does all this mean for you and me? Well, it has to do with following the newly released 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans** and  the physical activity guidelines as well. Let’s break it down into easy facts you can use: Here are the highlights: Manage your weight by: 1.  trying to prevent and reduce being overweight, 2. Improve your eating behavior and increase your physical activity Control the amount of food you eat daily. That means for those of you overweight, REDUCING your calorie intake. Portion Control. Increase your exercise and physical activity time DAILY! Cut back on the amount of time your are sitting!!! Closely watch your weight in each stage of your life and balance the calories in with the calories out! Cut back on salt-reduce the amount of salt in your diet to 2300mg daily. If you are age 51 and older,  African American,  have diabetes, hypertension ...

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Sep 20 2010

Medical Clearance for Student Athletes-Add an ECG and Echo!:Graehm Gray

I usually write about childhood obesity issues, nutrition or fitness but I want to make a slight departure and discuss an issue that I feel very passionate about: Medical clearance of student athletes. Maybe the timing of this article is due to news of several student athletes in various sports, from running to football, collapsing and dying on the field, either from seizures or heart problems. It’s not a new story. Children in school sponsored sports programs have been dying every year, all over this country.  Sometimes it’s a headline in the “Local” section of your daily newspaper or on your local market television news show. Sometimes it makes it to the network morning shows as a segment. It’s even discussed and debated on a national level by heart specialists and sport medicine specialists. The American Heart Association has even gone on record by saying that the current clearance guidelines are inadequate. But what has been done?Nothing. There is no consensus on the proper way to screen a child that will enter a sports program. Where are we now? Up to this point, most public and private schools require students that want to enter a sports program to have a medical exam or a Pre-participation Physical Examination. According to the American College of Sports Medicine, the pre-participation physical exam (PPE) is an important step toward safe participation ...

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Jul 04 2010

Graehm Gray: Obesity Rates Are On The Rise. We Need To Eat Less!

I have been reviewing the most recent report from the Trust for America's Health (TFAH) and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF)-F as in Fat: How Obesity Threatens America’s Future 2010. According to the report, the rates of obesity are on the rise in most states except Washington, D.C. (21.5% adult obesity and 20.1 % childhood obesity). In fact, in the most recent American Fitness Index, the District of Columbia was rated as the “fittest” city in the United States. In this new report, Mississippi with an adult obesity rate of 33.8% was ranked as the “most Obese State in the Nation,” while the State of Oregon had the lowest childhood obesity with a 9.6%. Here are the highlights of the report: More than two-thirds of states (38) have adult obesity rates above 25 percent. In 1991, no state had an obesity rate above 20 percent. Adult obesity rates for Blacks and Latinos were higher than for Whites in at least 40 states and the District of Columbia. 10 out of the 11 states with the highest rates of obesity were in the South -- with Mississippi weighing in with highest rates for all adults (33.8 percent) for the sixth year in a row. 84 percent of parents believe their children are at ...

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May 29 2010

Graehm Gray: “Take Ten!” Ten Minutes of Exercise Is The New 30!

I have always felt that doing some type of physical activity is important. In fact my cardiologist, who is really my primary care doctor,  and is truly a fantastic doctor, has always advised me that if you can spare ten minutes-take it and do something, do anything, but do it for ten minutes. Of course he also said that it’s better to do the exercise for 30, 60-or even 90 minutes a day, but ten minutes is good too! I read all of the exercise recommendations for kids and adults from the different organizations and don’t feel that they are addressing the American public. For people that work, time is money. Now that’s not an excuse. It’s the truth. Some people wake up at, well let’s just say darn early and have to be at work early! Stay all day at work, come home and if they don’t have a second job that they have to go to, their second job begins at home. Take care of the kids, go food shopping, prepare dinner, clean the house, write checks for the endless bills that come in, clean clothes or even take care of elderly parents. It doesn’t stop. And now, the exercise recommendations come along that say to exercise for 30-60 or 90 minutes a day. Oh, let’s not forget the nutrition recommendations that we should follow: eat five servings ...

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May 25 2010

American Fitness Index-How Fit Is Your City? Graehm Gray

It’s that time a year, my friends, where we all find out if we live in a “fit” or “non fit” city. The 2010 American Fitness Index (AFI), sponsored by The American College Of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and the Wellpoint Foundation is now officially out and we all can see the areas of the country that are considered fit and those that are, well, at the other end of the spectrum-“least fit.” Developed in 2007, this AFI Report is a measure of the fitness of various cities and communities across the United States, using “  a composite of preventive health behaviors, levels of chronic disease conditions, health care access, as well as community resources and polices that support physical activity, “and allows officials, residents and potential residents to see the health statistics in their community. This can help identify ways to improve the health and “quality of life and well-being” of the residents of that particular community. In addition to the fitness components of the community, violent crime statistics are also shown for each community. The index uses the 50 largest metropolitan areas of the United States as determined by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget (from data supplied by the U.S. Census). Regular physical activity is important to your health by decreasing risks of heart disease, stroke, obesity, and depression and helps improve muscles and joints. Exercise is fundamental ...

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