While healthcare specifics vary by individual, having a general understanding established by doctors and research can help guide your daily choices for the better. Covering topics from diet to sleep, we've rounded up a few numbers you should strive for or, at the very least, consider. Some numbers are simply a reminder, while others may surprise you. Check out the complete list below.
There seemed to be a lot of weight on this year's New York City Marathon. After Superstorm Sandy resulted in its cancellation last year, the spirit of the city seemed to need it, and after the tragic Boston Marathon bombings that happened earlier this year, the running community did too. "There was an amazing start to this race. . . . I was floored," said Mary Wittenberg, president of the New York Road Runners, the group that puts on the marathon. "There was a whole lot feeling of running for New York and running for Boston."
Being here in New York, it was hard not to be affected by what I saw, the cheers were deafening, and the crowds seemed larger than ever before. Pockets of Brooklyn and Queens that usually stay quiet were spilling over. And as Wittenberg said, the thought on everyone's mind seemed to be "New York is simply the best city in the world."
Congratulation to this year's New York City Marathon winners, Priscah Jeptoo and Geoffrey Mutai, both of Kenya. Clear, cool, and windy weather greeted both the women's and men's elite pack, and each race was an inspiring and exciting watch.
Jeptoo of Kenya is the 2013 New York City Marathon winner of the Women's Elite Race. A prerace favorite, Jeptoo, 29, finished with a time of 2:25:07 (5:33 minutes per mile). This win also awarded Jeptoo the 2012-2013 World Marathon Majors Title, which brings with it a prize of $500,000. Jeptoo had previously won this year's London Marathon and silver at the 2012 Olympics.
Tigist Tufa Demissie and Buzunesh Deba, both of Ethiopia, led the race early on and, by the half-marathon mark, had a four-minute lead over the rest of the women's elite pack, which included Jeptoo. Jeptoo began to make her move at mile 16, and by mile 20 had closed the gap between herself and the leaders to just over a minute; as each mile progressed Jeptoo continued her gain, taking second place from Tufa at mile 22. At mile 24, with cheers coming in loudly from Central Park, Jeptoo was able to take the lead from Tufa and maintain it until the end. When commenting on her eight-mile game of chase, Jeptoo said it was a NYC Marathon official who lit the fire by telling her she was more than three minutes behind the leaders. "I knew I could do it and felt confident in my training and strength," she said.
Deba, who lives in the Bronx, placed second today with a time of 2:25:57; she also came in second place during the 2011 NYC Marathon. Jeļena Prokopčuka of Latvia finished third with a time of 2:27:47. Adriana Nelson was the top American woman, taking 13th place in 2:35:05.
The favorite to win going into the race, Mutai, 32, of Kenya is this year’s winner of the ING New York City Marathon: he finished with a time of 2:08:24 (4:55 minutes per mile). Mutai is the winner of both the 2011 Boston and NYC Marathons, as well as the 2012 Berlin Marathon. Tsegaye Kebede, 26, of Ethiopia took second place with a time of 2:09:16, which secured him the the 2012-2013 World Marathon Majors Title. Lusapho April of South Africa finished third with a time of 2:09:45.
Unlike the women's race, the men's elite pack stayed as a group until about mile 20, at which point Mutai broke away. From then on, it became obvious that he would again win the title. "Winning your first marathon is easy; it's defending your title that is challenging," Mutai said.
American favorite Meb Keflezighi stayed steady in the men's pack early on but would eventually drop back to finish in 20th place. Ryan Vail was the top American finisher, placing 13th with a time of 2:13:23.
We gleefully cheers to the fact that one glass of red wine a day is good for our health, but how much, exactly, is a glass? The answer depends on who's pouring, and the differences in those few ounces can make all the difference.
While a normal serving of wine is five ounces (and 127 calories per glass of red), a recent study found that the size, shape, and location of your wineglass influences how much you pour. The study participants poured 12 percent more when using a wide glass than when using a standard one, for example, as well as when they held the glass instead of placing it on a table. If you have a glass of wine every night, then that 12 percent can really add up. Those extralarge glasses just mean more empty calories, and drinking more than one glass a night can lead to weakened bones and an increased risk of certain diseases. The detrimental effects of a daily "large" glass of wine on complexion was even chronicled by a Daily Mail article last month.
The good news is that the wine-pour study found that participants tended to overpour white wine rather than red (since the color contrast of the wine and the clear glass isn't as apparent), so if you are sticking to red for its health benefits, then you may not be overpouring as much as researchers think. Either way, this study is a great reminder to be conscious of when you imbibe; these tips can help you pour correctly:
- Use a narrow wineglass rather than a wider tumbler or glass when you drink wine.
- Always pour with your wineglass on the table, not in your hand.
- When pouring in traditional red-wine glasses (which are larger than white-wine glasses), stop once the wine reaches the "bell," or the widest part of the glass. Usually this will be around four or five ounces.
- If you like to enjoy a glass of wine every night, then make sure the bottle of wine lasts you five nights; there are about five glasses of five-ounce pours in every 750 mL bottle of wine.
If you want to lower your risk of breast cancer, eating less red meat and staying away from alcohol and cigarettes are all proven ways to lower your disease risk. But what you do put in your body can be just as important as what you don't.
Topping the list of foods you should be eating is courtesy of a recent study that shows that eating fatty fish can reduce your risk of developing breast cancer later in life by as much as 14 percent. The study, published in the British Medical Journal, analyzed data from over 800,000 participants and 20,000 cases of breast cancer and found that those whose diets were high in oily fish had a lower risk of developing breast cancer.
Oily fish contains high levels of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), which are responsible for regulating blood vessel and immune system activity. The omega-3 fatty acids found in fish like mackerel, lake trout, tuna, and salmon are especially important for your health; they've already been linked to cancer and heart disease prevention. The study's researchers believe PUFAs in fish are the reason why some participants had a lower breast cancer risk, especially since the risk was lowest in participants from Asia, who are known for their seafood-heavy diets.
Types of omega-3 PUFAs are also found in flaxseeds, walnuts, and leafy green vegetables, so even if you don't like seafood, be sure you add omega-3-rich foods into your diet. Don't stop there — here are seven more foods that just may help lower your breast cancer risk.
There are many health benefits to both coffee and tea — disease-fighting, metabolism-revving, and memory-boosting benefits, to name a few. But in order to maximize these health benefits, there may be a few tweaks you should be doing to your morning routine. Read on for the dos and don'ts for making your morning cup of coffee or tea even healthier!
From money to marriage, what really makes us happy? Our friends at Shape suggest these tips on finding the way.
We know money can’t buy happiness (or can it?) and, as Americans, we all have the right to pursue it. But what are some things we don’t know about this emotional state we all strive for? We tracked down several recent studies to reveal six things we didn't know about happiness.
1. Money Can Buy Happiness — Sort Of
Making more money will boost more than just your income. According to a 2010 study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a person’s level of happiness and emotional well-being increased along with their paycheck — but capped out at about $75,000 a year. People who made more than that didn’t get any happier after they hit that $75K mark.
2. Meditate to Beat the Blues
Several studies have linked regular meditation to actual physical changes in the brain that are similar to what antidepressant drugs (or so-called "happy pills") do. People who meditate are not only happier and nicer to others, but research also shows that the areas of their brain that respond to stress actually shrink. Big corporations and even the US Marines are all now reportedly using meditation to increase productivity.
Too busy to find time for meditation? It doesn’t take much! Studies show that people who practice mindful meditation — sitting quietly with your eyes closed and repeating a word or "mantra" over and over — for just 20 minutes a day reap significant benefits.
3. Skinny Wife, Happy Life
In a somewhat strange 2011 study, researchers in Tennessee revealed that marriages are happier when the wife is thinner than her husband. The researchers studied the BMI or body mass index of nearly 170 newlywed couples to come to this conclusion.
We don’t recommend comparing yourself to your man, but we love the idea of staying fit as a couple — not just for the obvious health benefits, but also for the bonding experiences. Check out these 11 ways to lose weight as a team.
4. Reason to Put a Ring on It?
Despite the divorce rate, there may be something to the phrase "wedded bliss." A recent study posed the question, are married people happier than their single counterparts? Essentially, yes. Researchers in Michigan found that unmarried people showed a decline in happiness as time went on whereas those that had tied the knot did not.
5. Age Isn't Just a Number
Maybe you thought you were happy getting your driver’s license, graduating college, or landing your dream job. But those teen and 20-something milestones are nothing compared to the feelings of elation that the ripe young age of 33 brings. A UK-based website found that 70 percent of people over 40 surveyed said they were happiest at that age and felt that was when they were able to attain "true" happiness.
6. Facebook Failure
Psychology students at Stanford found that the social network may be making us sad. Why? Because others seem so happy in comparison. The studies examined how college students evaluated moods, and by scrolling through attractive pictures, braggy status updates, accomplished bios, and seemingly "perfect" lives on Facebook, the students became miserable and depressed about their own lives. The researchers reasoned that the depression was due to the human need to not just be happy, but also be happier than others. Maybe these people are onto something (They’re not on Facebook!).
More on Shape:
When it comes to high-intensity interval training (HIIT), the pros definitely outweigh the cons. While it may feel unpleasant to push your body to go faster and harder for that short time period, the rewards are worth it: HIIT helps you blast more belly fat, save time, and burn way more calories (even after your workout is long over) than a lower-intensity workout alone. A new study published in the American College of Sports Medicine's Health and Fitness Journal found that a few minutes of training at almost your max can accomplish all of this in way less time than a traditional workout. How much less? Try just seven minutes total. The ACSM's interval workout consists of 12 exercises, which should be done at an intensity of 8 on a scale of 10; each exercise lasts 30 seconds, with a 10-second rest in between. Repeat the circuit if you'd like a longer workout. Keeping the intensity up — and the rest periods short — is key, so click through to learn the moves and then get going! You'll need a mat and a chair or bench.
It seems like no one can get enough of red wine, scientists included; every day there seems to be another study touting the amazing benefits of plum-colored beverage. Lucky for us, the proof is in the long-stemmed glass (just one, since drinking more may be detrimental to your health). Here are five reasons why unwinding with a glass of red after a long day should be on your list of to-dos — one reason for every workday!
- It's good for your heart: Antioxidants in red wine called flavonoids have been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease by lowering LDL (bad cholesterol) levels and increasing the production of good cholesterol. According to researchers at the University of California, Davis, certain varietals have more concentrations of flavonoids than others. Of the most common red varietals, cabernet sauvignon has the most flavonoids, followed closely by petite sirah and pinot noir, then merlot and red zinfandel.
- It can lower depression: While heavy drinking has been linked to mental health problems, drinking a glass of red wine a day may do the opposite. A recent study found that moderate drinkers (those who drank two to seven small glasses of wine a week) were less likely to suffer from depression than those who drank more or less.
- It can help your gut: That morning bowl of Greek yogurt isn't the only thing that's helping your gut. A study found that drinking red wine increases the amount of good bacteria levels in your digestive tract.
- It may help you lose fat: New researching is studying the effects of piceatannol, a compound found in red wine that is converted from the antioxidant resveratrol, has on fat. A recent lab study found that piceatannol blocks fat cells from forming, and more studies are looking at how the compound can help us slim down.
- It can improve memory: Polyphenols, also found in tea, nuts, berries and cocoa, can improve your memory and may also decrease the risk of Alzheimer's disease.
That bodybuilder guzzling a protein shake at your gym is on to something — a new study shows that doubling your protein intake, coupled with exercise, may be the key to losing fat pounds without dropping muscle mass.
We all know adequate protein (especially after a workout) is key to building and repairing muscles, but this study, published in the September issue of The FASEB Journal, says we may not be eating enough. The study's researchers put 39 patients on a weight-loss regimen over 31 days; at first, all participants were on the same diet to maintain their current weight. After 10 days, they were split into three groups following calorie-restricted diets: those who ate the US-recommended daily allowance (RDA) of protein, those who ate twice the RDA of protein, and those who ate three times the RDA of protein. The participants exercised accordingly in order to lose an average of two pounds a week. The researchers found that those who ate double the protein were able to lose fat without losing muscle mass while exercising on the diet. The participants who ate triple the amount of protein didn't experience any more weight loss than the double group.
If you're trying to lose weight, losing muscle mass is exactly what you shouldn't be doing, since muscle burns more calories and boosts metabolism. While the group was small, this well-controlled study shows that if you're healthy and active, upping your protein intake while restricting overall calories may be the way to go for short-term weight loss, the researchers say, even though they note you should still follow a balanced diet in the long run.
The RDA of protein varies depending on how much you weigh and how active you are, but as an example, the RDA for a 130-pound active woman is 77 grams, meaning according to this study you should aim for 144 grams of protein each day if you are trying to lose weight. Check out this table of the US RDA of protein for women to help you figure out how much you should eat — double the number and see if it helps your weight-loss goals.