Great American Smokeout

download

The American Cancer Society marks the Great American Smokeout on the third Thursday of November. This date is used to encourage smokers to create a quit plan or quit smoking. Tobacco remains the single largest preventable cause of disease and premature death in the US, yet over 40 million Americans continue to smoke.

Benefits of Quitting Over Time:

20 minutes after quitting: Your heart rate and blood pressure drop

12 hours after quitting: your circulation improves and your lung function increases

2-3 months: Coughing and shortness of breath decreases.

1 year: The risk of coronary heart disease is cut in half compared to that of a smoker.

5 years: Risk of cancer of the throat, mouth, esophagus, and bladder are all cut in half. Cervical cancer risk falls to that of a non-smoker and stroke risk can fall to that of a non-smoker after 2-5 years.

10 years: The risk of dying from lunch cancer is cut in half and the risk of pancreas and larynx cancer decreases.

15 years: Risk of coronary heart disease is that of a non-smoker.

To learn more visit the websites below to find guides to quit smoking, support tools, and additional resources to help you or a loved one when they are ready to quit.

Smoking_health_benefits_male

www.cancer.org

www.ashline.org

www.quit.com

www.smokefree.gov

www.quitnet.com

Provided by Kendall Taylor of the Valley Schools Employee Benefits Trust (VSEBT) in their November 2015 Wellstyles Monthly Newsletter.

WellstylesNewsletteruntitled-2

Advertisements

Not Exercising? That’s as Bad as Smoking…

When you see someone smoking, you might question “Why would you do that to yourself when you know it could kill you?” Do you react the same way when you know someone doesn’t exercise? You should.

When I was at a recent medical conference, one of the presenters reminded the audience that research has shown physical inactivity to be as deadly as smoking. I was shocked at this when I first heard it a couple of years ago, but I think I was just as shocked hearing it the second time. My guess is you are too. It’s hard to imagine being inactive could be comparable to smoking, but it is.

You wouldn’t dream of smoking (and if you do smoke, you’re likely trying to quit), so why poison yourself with inactivity? But many of us do. Nearly 80% of us don’t get the recommended amount of exercise. Many experts agree the inactivity epidemic is more concerning than the obesity epidemic.

The benefits of exercise are numerous and irrefutable. It helps prevent heart disease, diabetes, breast and colon cancer, dementia, depression, and more. If you exercise, chances are you’ll live a longer, healthier life. Period.

What’s so powerful about exercise? Take heart disease, for example. Heart disease is associated with inflammation in the body. Exercise is a natural inflammation fighter. When you move, your muscles send out anti-inflammatory chemicals.

Also, every time you get up and move, your blood sugar, cholesterol, and triglycerides improve. When you sit down, they get worse. It’s just about moving more.

If you’re not active now, I’m sure it sounds overwhelming to start an exercise program. The good news is you can see health benefits with even a small amount of activity. Even taking a daily 5 minute walk around the office will improve your health. Slowly build up from there.

Ultimately, you want your goal to be 30 minutes at least 5 days a week of moderate exercise. We’re talking about a brisk walk– hard enough that you can talk comfortably but not able to sing. But take your time getting there. Throw in resistance exercises a couple of days a week, and you’re on track. If you’ve tried exercise before and didn’t lose weight, don’t be discouraged. You are still getting health benefits even if you’re not shedding weight. If you’re overweight but active and fit, you can expect to live as long and healthy as someone who is normal weight and fit. Even if you’re obese, being active helps you live a longer, healthier life than a normal weight person who isn’t active.

Think you’re too old for it to matter? Hardly. Regardless of your age, getting active has enormous benefits even in your 80s and beyond. We’re not just talking about living longer, but living better with a higher quality of life. As British-American anthropologist Ashley Montagu once said, “The idea is to die young as late as possible.”

Source: WebMD 2014 by Michael Smith, MD, CPT

Provided by Sheri Gilbert of the Valley Schools Employee Benefits Trust (VSEBT) in the February 2015 Wellstyles Monthly Newsletter.

WellstylesNewsletteruntitled-2

Not Exercising? That’s as Bad as Smoking…

Not Exercising? That’s as Bad as Smoking…

When you see someone smoking, you might question “Why would you do that to yourself when you know it could kill you?” Do you react the same way when you know someone doesn’t exercise? You should.

exercise-happiness-1

 

When I was at a recent medical conference, one of the presenters reminded the audience that research has shown physical inactivity to be as deadly as smoking. I was shocked at this when I first heard it a couple of years ago, but I think I was just as shocked hearing it the second time. My guess is you are too. It’s hard to imagine being inactive could be comparable to smoking, but it is. You wouldn’t dream of smoking (and if you do smoke, you’re likely trying to quit), so why poison yourself with inactivity? But many of us do.

Nearly 80% of us don’t get the recommended amount of exercise. Many experts agree the inactivity epidemic is more concerning than the obesity epidemic. The benefits of exercise are numerous and irrefutable. It helps prevent heart disease, diabetes, breast and colon cancer, dementia, depression, and more. If you exercise, chances are you’ll live a longer, healthier life. Period.

Exercise

 

What’s so powerful about exercise?

Take heart disease, for example. Heart disease is associated with inflammation in the body. Exercise is a natural inflammation fighter. When you move, your muscles send out anti-inflammatory chemicals. Also, every time you get up and move, your blood sugar, cholesterol, and triglycerides improve. When you sit down, they get worse. It’s just about moving more. If you’re not active now, I’m sure it sounds overwhelming to start an exercise program.

group-exercise2

 

The good news is you can see health benefits with even a small amount of activity. Even taking a daily 5 minute walk around the office will improve your health. Slowly build up from there. Ultimately, you want your goal to be 30 minutes at least 5 days a week of moderate exercise. We’re talking about a brisk walk– hard enough that you can talk comfortably but not able to sing. But take your time getting there. Throw in resistance exercises a couple of days a week, and you’re on track.

If you’ve tried exercise before and didn’t lose weight, don’t be discouraged. You are still getting health benefits even if you’re not shedding weight. If you’re overweight but active and fit, you can expect to live as long and healthy as someone who is normal weight and fit. Even if you’re obese, being active helps you live a longer, healthier life than a normal weight person who isn’t active.

Think you’re too old for it to matter? Hardly. Regardless of your age, getting active has enormous benefits even in your 80s and beyond. We’re not just talking about living longer, but living better with a higher quality of life. As British-American anthropologist Ashley Montagu once said, “The idea is to die young as late as possible.”

old-people-exercise-2

 

Source: WebMD 2014 by Michael Smith, MD, CPT

Provided by Sheri Gilbert of the Valley Schools Employee Benefits Trust (VSEBT) in the January 2015 Wellstyles Monthly Newsletter.

WellstylesNewsletteruntitled-2

Women Smokers Who Quit Before Age 30 Could Evade Early Death

Women Smokers Who Quit Before Age 30 Could Evade Early Death

Smoking increases a person’s risk of dying early. Now a new UK study of one million women finds those who quit smoking by age 30 can almost completely eliminate the increased risk of
dying early compared to never smokers, while those who quit by the age of 40, can cut it by 90%.

smoking3_250

The most important result of this new study is that the risks posed by smoking are bigger than previous research suggests, and, quitting smoking has a bigger effect on reducing those risks than previously thought.  The researchers found that female smokers in the UK die about 10 years earlier on average than never smokers. But by giving up the habit before the age of 40, and preferably well before then, they can cut more than 90% off the risk of losing those 10 years.

Their analysis shows that most of the difference between smokers and nonsmokers, as far as cause of death is concerned, is smoking-related. It shows that two-thirds of smokers in the study who died in their 50s, 60s, and 70s, did so as a result of a smoking-related disease such as lung cancer, chronic lung disease, heart disease, and stroke. But women who quit by the age of 30 avoided 97% of the increased risk of smoking-related premature death.

women smokers

Release of the study coincides with the centenary of the birth of Sir Richard Doll, renowned epidemiologist and an early pioneer of research linking smoking to lung cancer. He died in 2005 aged 92, and was Regius Professor of Medicine at Oxford University from 1969 to 1979. Many of the researchers involved in this latest study worked with Doll and have continued building on the methods he developed in using large epidemiological studies and randomized trials in medical research.

Lung-Cancer-in-Women

Professor Sir Richard Peto of the University of Oxford, is one of the lead authors of the study. He worked with Doll for 30 years and says in a press statement that Doll’s work has helped
millions of people worldwide escape an early death. Peto also explains why we have had to wait until now to discover these latest revelations: “Both in the UK and the USA, women born
around 1940 were the first generation in which many smoked substantial numbers of cigarettes throughout adult life. Hence, only in the 21st century could we observe directly the full
effects of prolonged smoking, and of prolonged cessation, on premature mortality among women,” he adds, but also points out that for both men and women, “smokers who stop before
reaching middle age will on average gain about an extra ten years of life.”

c38

The Million Women Study recruited 1.3 million women in the UK aged 50 to 65 over the period 1996 to 2001. On entry to the prospective study, they completed a detailed survey of their smoking status, lifestyle, medical conditions and social factors, and then again three years later. On enrollment to the study, 20% of participants were current smokers, 28% were former smokers, and 52% had never smoked. Then for an average of 12 years after enrollment, the researchers used NHS records to find out which of the participants died and the cause of death.

When they analyzed the results, they found the women who were still smoking when surveyed 3 years after enrollment, were nearly three times more likely to die over the ensuing 9
years than non-smokers. The results also showed that risk of dying rose steeply with the number of cigarettes smoked, and even “light” smokers (who had between 1 and 9 cigarettes
per day) had double the risk of dying in the following 9 years as nonsmokers.

600-00824013

Source: Copyright 2005-2012, WebMD, Inc.

Wellstyles Newsletter, by Rebecca McGonigle, Valley Schools Employee Benefits Trust (VSEBT)

Six Easy Steps to Prevent Most Illness

The following steps are relatively simple, but not necessarily easy for all of us to comply with.  The leading causes of death; heart disease, cancer, diabetes, stroke, and others are all impacted by NOT doing the following.  In a recent study, less than 1% of Americans did all of the following:

1)  Sleep eight hours per day;

2)  Eat a balanced diet;

3) Exercise 30 minutes, three times per week;

4) Don’t smoke cigarettes;

5) Keep your stress low;

6) Drink one ounce of alcohol per day (you cannot save it up and drink seven on Friday night.  More than 3 ounces will have detrimental effects)

Do those six things, and you will significantly reduce your risk of all major killers.  Of course, we will all die from something, but wouldn’t you rather live a healthier, happier, and longer life?  Those things are pretty simple.

I will include a reference to number 6, as it is usually left out of lists because of the tendency of some to abuse alcohol.  If you are an alcoholic, have medical reasons not to consume, religious reasons, or have an addictive personality, leave it off your list.

Report below is reposted from Fitday.com.  You can Google positive benefits of alcohol and find hundreds of similar reports.  One ounce per day (equals one beer, one shot of liquor, or one four ounce glass of wine) can cut heart attacks in men by over 1/3.  Roughly the same amount as not smoking.

Alcohol: The Benefits of Moderate Drinking

Drinking alcohol in moderate amounts can have positive influences on physical and mental health. While alcohol is one of the most widely abused substances on the market, it is also one that features certain benefits for drinkers who consume it in safe amounts. For individuals who consume low levels of alcohol, benefits like reduced stress, increased cardiovascular health and decreased risk of developing type 2 diabetes offer a wealth of reasons for consumers to drink in moderation.

Reduce Stress, Anxiety and Tension

Research shows that the consumption of alcohol in moderate amounts can lead to certain psychological benefits. Low levels of alcohol can trigger stress reduction, easy feelings of anxiety and help consumers to reduce tension. In addition, low levels of alcohol consumption can also cause the consumer to feel more pleasant and relaxed. Studies on sleep show that people who drink in moderation get more sleep on average than do those who indulge in excess. These psychological effects of moderate drinking are positive ones that can be beneficial to the consumer.

A Longer Life

The positive psychological effects of drinking in moderation can be associated with the studies that show moderate drinkers tend to love longer than people who don’t drink at all or those who drink in excess. Studies from a number of different countries including China, the United States and England indicate that longevity is highest among groups of people who drink alcohol in moderation.

Increased Cardiovascular Health

Several studies have shown that drinking alcohol in moderation has a positive correlation with certain aspects of cardiovascular health.  In particular, the risk of developing coronary artery disease is significantly lowered in conjunction with moderate consumption of alcohol. Another link between alcohol and cardiovascular health shows that moderate consumption of alcohol has a positive correlation with survivability in the event of a heart attack. Those who drink low levels of alcohol are more likely to live and less likely to experience another heart attack.

Alcohol produces several positive effects on the body when consumed in low levels.  For example, it increases levels of good cholesterol (HDL) and lowers levels of bad cholesterol (LDL). Alcohol also acts as a blood thinner once it enters the human body, much like common aspirin does. Thus, when consumed in moderation, it can reduce the likelihood of developing blood clots in arteries.

Decreased Risk for Type 2 Diabetes

While consuming alcohol in large quantities has been proven to put drinkers at a higher risk for developing type 2 diabetes, some studies show that drinking in moderation might have the opposite effect. The relationship between alcohol and type 2 diabetes is the focus of a great number of ongoing studies. Findings show, however, that moderate drinkers are less likely to develop type 2 diabetes than heavy drinkers.

All of these health benefits associated with moderate drinking serve as an incentive for consumers to limit their levels of alcohol intake. Too much alcohol eliminates the health benefits described above. The best way to maximize on the health benefits of alcohol is to consume it in low levels.

How Quickly Do The Effects of Smoking Go Away If you Quit?

This has been re-posted on blogs quite a few times and I was unable to find the original author to give them due credit.  Thanks to the person who originally compiled this information.

Some feel it does not matter if they quit smoking now, since they have done so their entire lives.  Surprisingly, that is not true.  You can accrue great benefits in stopping smoking, even if you have smoked for a very long time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I think one of the main reasons it’s so hard to quit smoking is because all the benefits of quitting and all the dangers of continuing seem very far away. Well, here’s a little timeline about some of the more immediate effects of quitting smoking and how that will affect your body RIGHT NOW.

In 20 minutes your blood pressure will drop back down to normal.
In 8 hours the carbon monoxide (a toxic gas) levels in your blood stream will drop by half, and oxygen levels will return to normal.
In 48 hours your chance of having a heart attack will have decreased. All nicotine will have left your body. Your sense of taste and smell will return to a normal level.
In 72 hours your bronchial tubes will relax, and your energy levels will increase.
In 2 weeks your circulation will increase, and it will continue to improve for the next 10 weeks.
In three to nine months coughs, wheezing and breathing problems will dissipate as your lung capacity improves by 10%.
In 1 year your risk of having a heart attack will have dropped by half.
In 5 years your risk of having a stroke returns to that of a non-smoker.
In 10 years your risk of lung cancer will have returned to that of a non-smoker.
In 15 years your risk of heart attack will have returned to that of a non-smoker.

So, you have more immediate things to look forward to if you quit now besides just freaking out about not being able to smoke. Quit now!