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Friday's Top 5 Tips and Trends

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Friday's Top 5 Tips and Trends

Does skinny mean healthy? Can yoga help breast cancer patients? Here’s our weekly recap of recent health news.

Happy Friday! Here’s our weekly recap of recent health news.

1. Skinny does not equal healthy

Health experts are warning that messages about the obesity epidemic might be causing concern among those who shouldn’t be concerned: people of a healthy weight, or even slightly overweight. There seems to be so much talk of the dangers of obesity, they say, that we’re forgetting that being underweight (defined as a BMI of less than 18.5) is very dangerous.

In fact, those who are underweight have the highest risk of early death—higher, even, than the obese. A reasonable amount of body fat is required for overall health, so it’s important to keep in mind that while obesity does matter, so too does being physically fit, eating well, and focusing on health rather than being skinny.

2. Yoga may benefit breast cancer patients

A new study found that yoga can be beneficial for breast cancer patients undergoing radiation therapy. In the study, yoga exercises (that incorporated controlled breathing, meditation, and relaxation techniques) helped the women fight fatigue, regulate their stress hormones, improve their quality of life and ability to engage in daily activities, and even find meaning in their illness experience.

April is Cancer Month. Be sure to pop by your health food store to pick up a copy of alive, or browse our website to learn more cancer-fighting tips and the newest cancer research.

3. Teens and sugary drinks

What’s the worst offender in the fight against childhood and teenage obesity? According to new research, it’s not inactivity, or even greasy fast food—it’s sugary soft drinks!

Thankfully, another new study showed that there might be a secret to cutting down on sugary drink consumption among young people: challenge them. A 30-day challenge in two US schools encouraged teens to reduce their consumption of sugary drinks, and it worked. The kids continued to reduce their consumption after the challenge was over, and their consumption of water rose dramatically. Why not see if you can challenge yourself?

4. Drink water, but not too much!

We’re all told to drink more water, but keep in mind that there is a limit—too much water can actually be harmful. Although relatively rare, drinking too much water can be fatal if the brain swells due to reduced salt concentration in the blood. This typically happens in people with schizophrenia, as well as marathon runners.

The good news, according to a new study, is that our brains know when we’ve had enough water to drink, and send a “stop drinking” signal. The moral of the story? Listen to your body, and stop drinking when you’re no longer thirsty.

5. It’s Oral Health Month!

Did you know that April is Oral Health Month? Keep your pearly whites in tip-top shape, check out our blog post “Promote Oral Health, Naturally” and our recent article “10 Foods for a Healthier Smile.”

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