Crack that bad habit

Truth or myth: Cracking your knuckles will cause you to get arthritis.
Despite what your parents might have told you, the Arthritis Foundation confirms that you’ll aggravate those around you long before your knuckle-cracking habit triggers arthritis in those joints. However, habitually popping and cracking your knuckles can stretch tissue and eventually lead to pain and discomfort.

Lift for a longer life

A little extra muscle has more benefits than helping you look good in the mirror, according to new research conducted by the University of California, Los Angeles School of Medicine. Released in the American Journal of Medicine in February 2014, the report examined body composition data taken from 3,659 patients between 1988 and 1994, with a follow-up survey 10 years later to determine deaths from natural causes among the original study group. The numbers displayed a significant correlation between greater muscle mass and a lowered risk of death. These findings add to a growing body of evidence that increased muscle mass which can require sophisticated equipment to measure accurately is a more accurate predictor of longevity than weight and body mass index.

Light can be right

Just get up and move! Thats the message from an Oregon State University study published in the journal Preventive Medicine, which reports that simply replacing sedentary behavior with light physical activity can provide a number of health benefits.The problem? Nearly 50 percent of Americans put in less than 150 minutes of moderate-to vigorous physical activity weekly and engage in unhealthy levels of sedentary behavior.

The data suggest that just minimizing your sedentary time is key. Simple activities like pacing while on the phone or standing at your desk instead of sitting can make a difference. In lieu of high-level training, other suggested light physical activities include:

  • A leisurely bike ride at about¬†5-6¬†miles an hour
  • Yoga or balancing
  • Mild calisthenics or stretching
  • Playing an instrument
  • Working in the garden

Have another Cup

Coffee has long been known as a rich source of antioxidants. For diabetics who also enjoy a hot cup of java, there’s even more good news. A new study from Harvard School of Public Health over a four-year period reports that people who upped their daily coffee intake by more than one cup were found to have an 11 percent lower risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. Conversely, participants who decreased their coffee consumption by more than a cup had a 17 percent higher risk of developing Type 2. Further evaluation of multiple study data revealed that both caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee yield the same benefits. One cause may be bioactive and phenolic compounds in coffee such as chlorogenic acid, which has been shown to improve glucose metabolism in animals.