• By Laurel J. Kelly

Housecall: Walk your way into a healthier spring

April 1, 2019

two older women exercising, running, jogging, walkingTHIS WEEK'S TOP STORIES
Get walking with this 12-week walking schedule 
Has your fitness routine been hibernating this winter? This 12-week walking schedule from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute can start you on the path to better health. Ease back into exercise with this simple walking plan that includes suggested times for warmups, brisk strolls and cool-downs.

Omega-3 in fish: How eating fish helps your heart 
If you're worried about heart disease, eating one to two servings of fish a week could reduce your risk of dying of a heart attack. Fish contain unsaturated fatty acids, which, when substituted for saturated fatty acids such as those in meat, may lower your cholesterol. But the main beneficial nutrient appears to be omega-3 fatty acids in fatty fish. Omega-3 fatty acids are a type of unsaturated fatty acid that may reduce inflammation throughout the body. Inflammation in the body can damage your blood vessels and lead to heart disease and strokes. Learn more about the heart-healthy benefits of eating fish and which are the most beneficial.

EXPERT ANSWERS
Is MSG harmful?
MSG is a flavor enhancer commonly added to Chinese food, canned vegetables, soups and processed meats. The Food and Drug Administration has classified MSG as a food ingredient that's "generally recognized as safe," but its use remains controversial. Anecdotal reports of adverse reactions to foods containing MSG, including headache, flushing, sweating and chest pain, have led to the term "MSG symptom complex." Learn more from Katherine Zeratsky, a Mayo Clinic registered dietitian nutritionist.

Which is better for back pain relief, an ergonomic chair or a fitness ball?
If your back gets sore while sitting at work, should you swap your chair for a fitness ball? Maybe not. Learn more from Dr. Edward Laskowski, a Mayo Clinic physical medicine and rehabilitation specialist.

PLUS ADDITIONAL HIGHLIGHTS
Hip replacement
Down syndrome
Tuberculosis
Heart valve surgery

HEALTHY RECIPES
Grouper with tomato-olive sauce
Orange roughy with lemon and thyme
White sea bass with dill relish
Swordfish with roasted lemons

HEALTH TIP OF THE WEEK
Health-boosting nutrients
Antioxidants, such as vitamins C and E, and carotenoids, may help protect cells from damage caused by free radicals. Other naturally occurring antioxidants include flavonoids, tannins, phenols and lignans. Plant-based foods are the best sources. These include fruits, vegetables and their juices, whole-grain products, nuts, seeds, herbs and spices, and even cocoa.

Need practical advice on diet and exercise? Want creative solutions for stress and other lifestyle issues? Discover more healthy lifestyle topics at mayoclinic.org.

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