Health Watch: Fuel your workout

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Life Fitness

Tip of the Week

Food is fuel, and if you don’t have the right fuel or the correct amount, it can throw a wrench into your workout. You want to avoid feeling full and sluggish, but you also want to avoid feeling empty and weak. Here’s the scoop on eating before hitting the gym:

Pre-Workout Grub - Exercise on an empty stomach will not only keep you from increasing intensity, but if you fail to “start your engine,” you’ll run out of stored carbs and start burning muscle instead of fat. So what’s the perfect snack? 200-300 carbohydrate-based calories, plus a bit of protein and fat. Some favorite pre-workout snacks include:

* An apple with a teaspoon of peanut butter.

* Low-fat yogurt with some almonds or a sliced banana.

* A slice of whole wheat bread with nut butter.

* Oatmeal with blueberries and walnuts.

Timing Is Everything - The time you fill your stomach is just as important as the ingredients you fill your stomach with. The Mayo Clinic recommends waiting at least three hours after a large meal, two hours after a small meal and about an hour after a small snack

— Life Fitness

Number to Know

16-20: The number of ounces of water the American College of Exercise recommends drinking about four hours before a workout.

— Life Fitness

Children’s Health

A study published by the American Academy of Pediatrics found many parents don’t understand children’s medication measurements, resulting in more than 10,000 calls to poison centers each year due to dosage errors.

The study cites one particular reason for errors as the mix of measurement units — teaspoons, tablespoons and milliliters — that are often interchangeably used on labels for prescription and over-the-counter medications.

About 40 percent of parents in the study failed to correctly measure the dose prescribed by the doctor.

Senior Health

A study led by the Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University and Montefiore Medical Center found that nearly 10 percent of the 27,000 older adults surveyed met criteria for pre-dementia based on a simple test that measures how fast people walk and whether they have cognitive complaints. People who tested positive for pre-dementia were twice as likely as others to develop dementia within 12 years.


New Research

A study published recently in the medical journal The Lancet suggests taking acetaminophen for lower back pain may not be effective. The Australian study of 1,643 patients found no difference in recovery time between patients who took multiple doses of acetaminophen each day and those who took only placebos.