Wednesday, 6 June 2018

Forget Counting 10,000 Steps, Focus On Brisk Walking For Biggest Benefit

Walking 10,000 steps per day has long been a go-to goal for anyone looking to improve their fitness. But health leaders want adults in the UK to focus on the speed of the steps they are doing, not just the number.

Public Health England and the Royal College of General Practitioners are encouraging the nation to introduce 10 minutes of brisk walking into their day, an idea called ‘Active 10’.

That’s because for movement to count as “moderate intensity physical activity” it must get your heart rate up and cause you to breathe faster - something a long but gentle stroll may not do. The UK Chief Medical Officers’ currently recommends adults complete at least 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity per week.


Smoking cigarettes DOES make you weaker

Smoking damages the muscles in your body, a new study has found.

The smoke directly reduces the number of blood vessels in leg muscles and limits the amount of oxygen and nutrients they can receive.

Previous studies have shown that smoking makes muscles weaker because lungs become inflamed by cigarette use, restricting your ability to exercise and perform activities.

However, this study, conducted by researchers from California, Brazil and Japan, is the first to show the direct impact of smoking on the muscles.


Are you eating too much protein?

For the past couple of decades, the benefits of high-protein nutritional regimes have been relentlessly marketed to the general public, largely as supplement for diet and fitness industries. But scientific research has suggested time and again that it may be harming our health.

Adding to the mound of evidence, a recently published study by researchers at the University of Eastern Finland reported that a high-protein diet resulted in a 49% greater risk of heart failure in people who consume large amounts of protein, especially in the form of red and processed meat. They are also more likely to be obese or develop type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and colon cancer.

So why are we eating more and more protein?

“A lot of this work was supported by the food animal industry in the US, which was all for getting people to eat more meat.

"The idea of a protein gap in our diet was first broached by a professor at MIT, Nevin Scrimshaw, in the 1960s. He claimed that the protein that comes from plant sources such as vegetables was deficient in vital amino acids and that we therefore needed to eat more animal protein," says Thomas Sanders, professor of nutrition and dietetics at King’s College London.

“But then it was shown that, by eating a variety of plant-based foods, you can get all the amino acids you need, and the theory was debunked by 1972.”

The lesson for us is if we want to eat more protein, it is best to eat plant-based protein than animal protein. There are plants and dairy that have full protein-spectrum so you do not have to eat a variety of plants to get all the necessary protein. Food like soya bean, quinoa, eggs, milk have complete protein.


Forum: Teachers should not be disheartened by rude parents

Recently, there has been some discussion on disrespectful and even abusive parents at parent-teacher meetings (Stopping abusive behaviour at parent-teacher meetings, by Mr Eric J. Brooks, May 26; Strict discipline in schools led to better-behaved adults, by Mr Patrick Tan Keong Boon, May 29; Don't blame teachers for child's poor performance, by Madam Cathie Chew, May 29; and Parents, teachers must work together to help children, by Mr Syed Alwi Altahir, May 29).

However, for every rude and abusive parent, there is also a grateful and appreciative parent.

Having been a teacher before, I have experienced appreciative parents who showered praise on us as well as those who penned words of appreciation to us for Teachers' Day.

These are some of the intangible perks which help to keep teachers going in one of the most challenging of professions.

Teachers should keep their heads high and not be intimidated by the occasional disrespectful parent.

As Madam Chew rightly said, a student's attitude towards his studies plays a major role in his performance too. Both teacher and student must work together for their common goal.

While I agree that parents these days are generally more highly educated, leading to some of them being disrespectful or rude to teachers, I hope such parents are in the minority.

I hope that the majority of parents who are appreciative of teachers' efforts will keep the morale of teachers high.

Low Siew Hua (Ms)


You may want to read Kids lose when parents disrespect teachers