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Tips from the fitness world

TINKER AIR FORCE BASE, Oklahoma -- Many of you have already made commitments or expressed a desire to participate in the Oklahoma City Marathon, Half-Marathon, or Relay for next year. Thanks! Now how about the rest of you? This past year we had great participation by the group, but I'm sure we can up the numbers in 2009. 

Do you skip breakfast?? 

If you skip breakfast-thus not fueling your body-your athletic performance will suffer. According to Chris Rosenbloom, PhD, the director of Sport Nutrition at the Georgia Tech Athletic Association, carbohydrate stores drop by half overnight, so you've got less to work with if you don't stock up with breakfast. 

Decreasing your chance of cancer 

Having just had a good friend from childhood give me the blow by blow as his dad died of cancer over the last few months it might be a good time to remind everyone what we can do to help ourselves: 

1. Don't smoke, and avoid secondhand smoke. If everyone quit in the US the cancer rates would drop by 1/3. 

2. Maintain a health weight. Being overweight or obese increases the risk of many cancers. 

3. Consume a healthy diet, with an emphasis on plant sources. Eat at least 9 servings of a variety of veggies and fruits each day. Choose from whole grains as much as possible. Limit intake of processed and red meat. 

4. Stay active. This not only helps with weight, but reduces the risk of cancer in other ways. 

5. Limit sun exposure and use sunscreen. 

6. If you drink, consume no more than 2 per day (for men) and one a day for the ladies. 

7. Get screened. Talk to your doctor about when and how often. Tests include mammograms and Pap smears for women, prostate screening for men, and colorectal screening for all adults. 

Will soda make you fat? 

Non-diet sodas and other sugar-sweetened beverages contribute to weight gain and the growing obesity epidemic. Sodas contain 140-150 calories (all from sugar) in a 12 oz can, and people often drink 20 oz bottles at one sitting. Yet because sodas (like all liquids) are not satisfying, people who drink them do not typically reduce calories elsewhere. If you can add just one can of soda a day to your diet, everything else being equal, you'll gain 15 pounds per year. 

Should you worry about artificial sweeteners in diet soda? 

The sweeteners used in diet sodas (typically aspartame, acesulfame K, or sucralose) are safe according to the FDA. A study in Italy in 2005 received a lot of publicity because it linked even "safe" doses of aspartame equivalent to four or five 20 oz bottles a day for a 150 pound person) to a variety of cancers. But the European Food Safety Authority has since reconfirmed the sweetener's safety, citing substantial flaws in the study. 

Is peanut oil good for me? 

Researchers at the University of Rochester, New York, say that peanut oil, which is high in monounsaturates, is just as good as olive oil in reducing bad cholesterol. 

How many calories in that?? 

Listed below are the caloric values for 3 oz of many foods that are good for you. Keep in mind that a 3.5 oz serving is about the size of a deck of cards. 

Apple: 44 (3.5 oz) 
Banana 65 " 
Broccoli 32 " 
Carrot 25 " 
Cauliflower 30 " 
Cucumber 10 " 
Grapes 62 " 
Grapefruit 32 " 
Lettuce 15 " 
Orange 30 " 
Pear 38 " 
Peppers 16 " 
Pineapple 40 " 
Strawberries: 30 " 
Tomato: 20 " 
Clementine 40 each 
Eggs 90 1 egg