Healthy Choices

Does 'Core Strength' Matter?

Core muscles—the muscles in the abdomen, lower back and pelvis—stabilize the spine and hips. When these muscles are weak, you are at increased risk for back problems, poor balance and physical fatigue. Core strength training targets both the dominant outer muscles (e.g., abdominals) and the deeper muscle layers (e.g. hip flexors). Exercise guidelines include strength training two or three days each week with core muscle exercises such as the plank, push-ups and crunches.

See exercises to strengthen your core at:

What Can You Do to Prevent Cancer?

The American Cancer Society says most cancers can be prevented by adopting a healthy diet, maintaining a healthy weight, taking precautions against exposure to carcinogens and excess radiation from the sun, and getting regular preventive exams that can identify cancer early, while it is still treatable. Read more at:

Lower Your Risk for Diabetes

The rate of new diabetes cases nearly doubled in the United States over the last decade, partially due to obesity and inactivity. To reduce your risk:

Achieve and maintain a healthy weight. Set a goal to lose a pound a week.

Be physically active for 30–60 minutes on most days of the week.

Reduce serving sizes or eliminate meat, desserts and foods high in fat.

Increase the amount of fruits and vegetables you eat.

Limit your sodium (salt) intake to less than 1,500 milligrams—about ½ teaspoon of salt—each day.

Drink water or herbal tea in place of sweetened drinks, coffee or alcohol.

May 01, 2009 / Health