Health Updates 21 May 2012

  • Athletes really do play through the pain: “A new study confirms the widespread belief that athletes can tolerate more pain than other people, a finding that may hold clues for managing pain in the general population.  German researchers reviewed 15 studies that included a total of more than 550 athletes and more than 330 people with normal activity levels.  The studies included both men and women, and evaluated pain thresholds (the minimum level of intensity at which a person feels pain) and tolerance (the maximum level of pain a person can handle before it becomes too much).  Although pain threshold didn’t differ between athletes and other adults, the review found that athletes had consistently higher pain tolerance.  The amount of pain athletes could endure varied depending on the type of sport.  For example, endurance athletes had moderate pain tolerance and their scores were fairly uniform.  Athletes involved in game sports had a higher tolerance for pain than other athletes, but there was wide variation in their scores.  These results suggest that endurance athletes are more alike in their physical and mental profiles, while athletes involved in game sports are more diverse….The findings…may prove useful in pain management….’It may be advisable in exercise treatment for pain patients to focus on the development of their pain-coping skills that would affect tolerance, rather than the direct alleviation of pain threshold’.” (Healthday)
  • Health Tip: Keep cloth grocery totes clean:  In light of recent food poisoning cases, where reusable grocery totes were found to be part of the problem, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics suggests how to keep grocery totes clean:
    • Regularly wash grocery totes either by hand in hot, soapy water, or in the washing machine.
    • Bag separately in plastic any fish, poultry or meat before placing them in a tote.  Be sure to separate these products from packaged or prepared foods.
    • Very carefully clean any kitchen areas (such as counters) where you place totes while unpacking.
    • Do not leave totes in the trunk of your car; store them instead in a cool, dry place.  (
  • With weights, you can lighten your load: “Doing more repetitions with less weight builds muscle and increases strength just as effectively as training with heavy weights, a new Canadian study indicates.  The critical factor in muscle gain is pushing yourself to the point of fatigue, according to the researchers at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario.  They examined how different combinations of weight loads and repetitions affected the leg muscles of young men.  The participants trained three times a week for 10 weeks doing one of three resistance training regimens: one set at 80 percent of maximum load; three sets at 80 percent of maximum load; or three sets at 30 percent of maximum load.  A set consisted of doing as many repetitions as possible with the assigned loads — typically eight to 12 times a set at the heaviest weights and 25 to 30 times a set at the lowest weights.  ‘We found that loads that were quite heavy and comparatively light were equally effective at inducing muscle growth and promoting strength,’ Carn Mitchell, a lead study author…said in a university news release….’Many older adults can have joint problems which would prevent them training with heavy loads,’  Mitchell noted.  ‘This study shows that they have the option of training with lighter and less-intimidating loads and can still receive the benefits’.” (MedlinePlus)
  • Cancer survivors who stay active live longer: “Can going for a walk improve cancer survivors’ long-term prognosis?  It may, according to new research showing  that exercise can lower survivors’ risk of premature death, not only from cancer but from any cause.  The findings are likely to resonate widely at a time when about 14 million Americans, and many more worldwide, have survived cancer.  In one report, a major new review published this month in The Journal of the National Cancer  Institutescientists at the agency gathered available studies examining exercise cancer survivorship, dating to 1950.  Most had been published in the past five years.”  This is an area of growing scientific interest: “Exercise is an accessible, low-cost intervention.  But before we can suggest that cancer survivors become physically active, we need to understand what effects exercise has” on the bodies and life spans of those given a cancer diagnosis.  The work showed that regular physical activity “‘decreased the risk of cancer-related mortality and of all-cause mortality’….  Exercise, in other words, made it less likely that a survivor would subsequently die from a recurrence of his or her cancer….Exercise also lessened the chances that a survivor would later succumb prematurely to other common diseases like heart disease or diabetes.” (NY Times)


One response to “Health Updates 21 May 2012

  1. I like this post. I, too, prefer to use reusable totes at the market. I do have them seperate the meats and I will have the clerks bag the meats in plastic bags and place them in seperate totes. Hot soap and water works best for me to wipe them clean. I am actually giving away green reusable cooler totes at my food blog…….check it out!!

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