Healthy Choices

News and inspiration for healthy living in Northern California

August 5, 2013
Working up a sweat may reduce your stroke risk

A study in the journal Stroke says people who are inactive -- exercising less than once a week -- are 20 percent more likely to have a stroke.

That's compared to people who exercise at least four times a week.

Stroke is the fourth leading cause of death in the United States.

The National Institutes of Health describe a stroke as occurring when blood vessels that supply the brain become ruptured or blocked. As a result, brain cells die from lack of oxygen and other nutrients.

The five-year study looked at 27,000 black and white participants, men and women, from across the nation. They had no prior history of stroke, and were at least 45 years old.

The bottom line: Researchers concluded exercise reduces blood pressure, weight and diabetes -- all risk factors for strokes.

May 20, 2013
10 warning signs and symptoms of heat-related illness

It's time to take note of the 10 warning signs of heat-related illness, courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

For a case of heat exhaustion, rest in air conditioning, cool down with wet washclothes or a cool shower. If you notice signs of a heat stroke coming, call 911.

Heat Exhaustion:

  1. heavy sweating

  2. weakness

  3. cold, pale, clammy skin

  4. fast, weak pulse

  5. nausea or vomiting

Heat Stroke:

  1. high body temperature (above 103 F)

  2. hot, red, dry or moist skin

  3. rapid and strong pulse

  4. possible unconsciousness

May 14, 2013
Work out for an hour each day, add 2 hours to your lifespan

Eat right. Exercise often.

According to Dr. Reetu Sharma, a cardiologogist at Sutter Health & Vascular Institute, one hour a day of exercise -- even walking -- will buy you two extra hours over your lifetime.

How much do you exercise daily? Tell us in the comments below.

Related article: Here's my story on how exercise helps your brain.

About Healthy Choices

Cynthia CraftCynthia H. Craft began her reporting and editing career in Columbus, Ohio, after graduating from Ohio State University. She worked at a Dallas, Texas, newspaper as an editor, and then at the Los Angeles Times, as an editor and Capitol Bureau correspondent. After working as editor in chief at the California Journal, Craft went to Lima, Peru, for three years as a visiting professor of journalism at Peruana Universidad de Ciencias Aplicadas. She was a fellow in 2012 at the National Library for Medicine in Washington, D.C. at the National Institute for Health. She's currently The Sacramento Bee's senior writer on health, a position made possible by a grant from The California Endowment.

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On Twitter: @cynthiahcraft.

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