A March 30th CNN story makes a good point about two recent studies offering contradictory views on the best way to exercise. Whether subscribing to one theory or the other, experts say the overriding message should be that it’s best to move around regularly.
You’ll be healthier, less likely to become overweight or obese and develop consequent diseases.

The studies pit short, intense bursts of exercise versus classic endurance training. Each holds advantages and disadvantages. Researchers at Canada’s McMaster University found that high-speed, interval training for 20 minutes may offer comparable benefits to endurance exercise. The researchers asked seven men to follow a pattern: one minute of pedaling a stationary bike at maximum effort with one minute of rest. The workout addressed one of the main impediments to exercising: that it’s too time-consuming. But the McMaster scientists acknowledged that high intensity exercise isn’t to everyone’s liking. “It’s uncomfortable exercise,…it hurts,” said Martin Gibala, who headed the study. So other people may prefer a Brigham and Women’s Hospital/Harvard Medical School finding that women who exercised one hour daily were more likely to maintain their weight. The study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, looked at more than 34,000 women’s exercise patterns over 13 years.

Of course, you could always follow a path between the two approaches. Department of Health and Human Resources guidelines recommend two-and-a-half hours of moderate exercise per week for adults and one hour daily for children and teens.

31 / March / 2010  Latest News  Comments (0)

Perhaps never before has the mission of organizations addressing unhealthy weight gain and obesity been timelier.

Consider the latest data collected by the Weight Control Information Network (WIN), a news service created by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disease and posted on the Web site of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Resources. Two in three Americans older than 20 are overweight, while one in three adults in this age group are obese. The problem is particularly acute among minority populations, many of who live in poor communities. Nearly two in five African and Hispanic Americans are obese.

This has not been a sudden phenomenon but long-term shift. According to WIN, since the early 1960s, the obesity rate has approximately tripled. It has also started early in people’s lives, when they develop exercise and dietary habits. About one in five American children between the ages of six and 19 are overweight.

Being overweight or obese increases the risk of diabetes, coronary heart disease, stroke, fatty liver and gallbladder disease, osteoarthritis – the degeneration of cartilage and joints – sleep apnea, reproductive and hormonal irregularities and some forms of cancer. It is also linked to earlier mortality. Obesity is connected to 112,000 deaths due to cardiovascular disease. The cost: Obese people pay almost $1,500 more annually than those who maintain an appropriate weight for their age and build.

Reducing obesity is one of the LAFC Foundation’s primary goals. Consider recent headlines at four of the country’s leading news organizations, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times and CNN – both online and in print. The Times offered extensive coverage of the launching of Let’s Move, an initiative led by First Lady Michelle Obama to change exercise and eating habits in children and their families. Let’s Move is engaging an unusually large alliance of governmental, academic, health, sports and business organizations.

The Journal and Los Angeles Times included several articles on studies connecting physical activity to weight control. The most interesting story highlighted a study showing that women who engaged in 60 minutes of moderate exercise daily – 420 minutes per week – maintained their weight.

30 / March / 2010  Latest News  Comments (0)

After a two-year battle with cancer, Jessie Mastan passed away at City of Hope Hospital on March 22. Mastan was 14. She played for LAFC and ran track. In 2008, she was diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma, a rare bone disease that spread into her lungs. She went into remission and appeared on the City of Hope/City of Duarte float at the annual Rose Parade. But the cancer returned earlier this year and complications set in. Please keep Jessie and her family in your prayers at this difficult time.

The LAFC Foundation has established a fund in Jessie’s name to assist the Mastan family. Anyone wishing to contribute may send a check, payable to LAFC — Team Jessie. Please send your checks to the LAFC Foundation, 336 South Euclid Ave., Pasadena, Calif. 91101. A list of donors will be provided to the Mastan family. Please indicate on your check if you would like to remain anonymous. For large donations, please call the LAFC Office at 626-685-9503.

24 / March / 2010  Latest News  Comments (0)

February was another good month for LAFC soccer. Four players will be headed to college in the fall, adding to a growing list of distinguished alumni who have used soccer as a springboard for furthering their education. Morgan Barnes will play for the University of San Francisco, Umar Issa and Francisco Cantero are headed to Kansas Wesleyan, an NAIA school, and Santos Romero Rios is headed to California State University Dominguez Hills. Their commitments follow by less than two months the acceptance of four other players to strong college programs.

Eleven players were invited to a national training camp that begins March 9 at Mt. San Antonio College. LAFC standouts Pablito Cruz, Martin Irhueta, Jose Dheming and Marco Delgado will attend the U18 national training camp, while Hugo Guttierez, Kevin Deniz, Kevin Cervantez, William Reygosa, Alejandro Sanchez and Vincent Reyes were selected for the U16 age group. These monthly camps, part of the United States Soccer Development Academy, help pinpoint players for national youth teams. Hugo Perez, a scout for the USSDA, oversees the Mt. San Antonio program.

In the recently completed California Cup for age groups U9 through U13, two teams won titles, while another six reached at least the semifinals. This is no small achievement at one of the most challenging tournaments in Southern California.

5 / March / 2010  Latest News  Comments (1)