More Americans Have Multiple Chronic Conditions

A new study in Health Affairs claims more Americans have multiple chronic illnesses than ever before. The percentage of people with 3 or more chronic illnesses rose from 13% in 1996 to 22% in 2005 for ages 45 to 64. It increased 45% for ages 65 to 79, jumped 54% for individuals older than 80 and among all ages, figures went up 6% from 1996. And data reveals the number of Americans with 1 chronic condition, like cancer, diabetes, high cholesterol and heart failure, was 41% in 1996 but rose to 44% in 2005. Obesity and inactivity are being blamed; Reuters reports.

And these maladies are hitting us in the wallet too. On average, obesity and it’s sequelae cost the United States more than $100 billion a year and physicians and hospitals usually fail to make a long term impact on the health of their patients, which is evident when you consider a recent report revealing 24 million Americans have type-2 diabetes, a risk factor for many chronic diseases, up 3 million since 2005.

Keep Your Fitness on Track, Log Your Progress...

As a kid, I logged all my exercising, religiously! Every rep, mile, pushup, pull-up and minute spent hitting a punching bag was accounted for. Nowadays I don’t write it down, but I keep a sharp mental tally.

And the American Academy of Family Physicians recommends keeping an exercise journal. Here are some suggestions to keep your fitness on track:

  • Write down every physical activity that you do each day, including what you do and how long you spend doing it.
  • Don't just log going for a run or lifting weights. Everyday chores that burn calories count, too. Track activities such as cleaning and vacuuming, or even walking the dog.
  • Keep the journal with you, so you can write things down before you forget.
  • Commit to entering information in the journal every day.

You know this already, but it pays to exercise. Recent research shows exercise curbs appetite and reduces anger and aggressiveness in obese children. Heck, even our president-elect is a fitness junky.

Actually, last year I blogged about my diet and exercise routine for a week.

Via HealthDay New.
 

Aerobic Exercise Suppresses Appetite

When it comes to curbing hunger, aerobic exercise, like running on a treadmill, is more effective than non-aerobic activities, such as weightlifting. So says a new study in American Journal of Physiology - Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology. Participants doing aerobic exercise had decreased ghrelin levels and increased peptide YY levels, meaning appetite was suppressed. The non-aerobic group also had lower ghrelin, but no significant change in peptide YY levels; HealthDay News reports.

Actually, sleep has a lot to do with ghrelin too. Previous research reveals not getting enough sleep boosts ghrelin levels and increases hunger and appetite, which can contribute to weight gain and obesity. Just another reason why getting sufficient sleep is a good idea!

Chocolate Craving, Walk it Off...

Chocolate is my weakness. Sometimes I need it! But next time a craving hits, I’ll try walking it off. A new study in Appetite claims a brisk 15-minute walk can halt chocolate cravings. And short spurts of exercise, like walking, might help improve mood and alertness too; Reuters reports.

For a healthier chocolate alternative, give my chocolate pudding a try!