CAT | Solutions
At a time when antibiotic resistance is one of the major problems facing America and parents are being cautioned against widespread antibiotic use among children, more and more people are beginning to realize that bacteria is not such a dirty word after all.
In fact, there are trillions of “friendly” bacteria called probiotics that reside in the gut and help support digestion and immune health—and results from a recent study out of Mexico City show that daily probiotics may be the key to promoting a balanced intestinal environment in younger children and, as a result, supporting overall health.‡
In total, more than 300 preschool children between the ages of 6 months and 3 years participated in the study. While half of the participants received a placebo, the other half received the beneficial probiotic Lactobaccillus reuteri each day for three months. In the latter group, researchers saw a significant effect in reducing episodes and duration of occasional diarrheai along with fewer missed days at preschool (as well as fewer missed work days for the parents).‡
Results of the study were published in the March 2014 issue of Pediatrics, the official journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics.
National Walking Day may sound a little silly at first, but consider this: a simple act such as increasing the amount of steps we take every day can have a significant impact on cardiovascular health and heart disease prevention, which is why the American Heart Association (AHA) designated April 2nd as a day to encourage people of all ages to get out there and get moving!
According to the AHA website, walking is the simplest positive change you can make to improve your heart health, and just 30 minutes a day can help you:
- Reduce your risk of coronary heart disease and stroke
- Improve your blood pressure, blood sugar levels and blood lipid profile
- Maintain your body weight and lower the risk of obesity
- Enhance your mental well-being
- Reduce your risk of osteoporosis
- Reduce your risk of breast and colon cancer
- Reduce your risk of non-insulin dependent (type 2) diabetesi
Ready to walk your way to a healthier heart?
Here are 5 simple ways to add more steps to your daily routine:
- Take a lunch break stroll. Consider spending a little bit of your lunch break on your feet. Not only will a midday walk help your heart, but it can help relieve stress so you’re refreshed and energized to finish out your day.
- Running errands? Park a little farther away. Whether you’re headed out for groceries, an appointment with your doctor, or simply meeting a friend for coffee, park farther away than you normally would. Those extra steps can add up to a healthier heart!
- Opt for a brisk walk with Fido. Instead of just opening up the back door and letting him in the yard, why not take the dog for a quick ten-minute walk before you leave for the day, or as soon as you get home?
- Find a walking buddy. Everything’s better with a buddy, and now that spring is here the warmer weather and lingering daylight hours allow us to stay outdoors a little longer each day—so grab your friend or mate and get walking!
- Multitask. Get the most out of your walks by incorporating other activities, such as listening to an audiobook or catching up with a friend or family member on the phone.
To find out more about National Walking Day—including how to get others in your community involved—visit the AHA’s National Walking Day web page.