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FitRep: July 16

Jul. 12, 2012 - 07:48PM   |   Last Updated: Jul. 12, 2012 - 07:48PM  |  
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Working out could cut breast cancer risk

Women who exercise may cut their risk of breast cancer by nearly a third, a new study suggests. Researchers from the University of North Carolina Gillings School of Global Public Health collected data on more than 1,500 women with breast cancer and a similar number of women without the disease. Women who exercised 10 to 19 hours a week saw the greatest benefit about a 30 percent risk reduction. The reduction was seen mostly for hormone receptor-positive breast cancer, which is the most commonly diagnosed type among American women. Even among active women, gaining a significant amount of weight raised the risk of breast cancer and negated the beneficial effect of exercise, the researchers found.

Scientists massage rabbits, make muscle breakthrough

The degree of recovery provided by a massage may depend on factors such as the timing of the treatment, according to the results of a study in rabbits. Researchers from Ohio State University studied 24 white rabbits to determine the massage pressure, duration and timing needed to improve healing following muscle damage from intense exercise. In conducting the animal study, the researchers used a mechanical device that continuously flexed and pointed the toes of 24 white rabbits and a second device that applied pressure similar to that of a Swedish massage, comparing frequency, pressure and duration. "We found if damaged muscle is massaged right away for 15 minutes there is a 20 to 40 percent chance of recovery. Initial injury in the animal model was extended if massage did not take place within 24 hours," said Dr. Thomas Best, co-director of OSU Sports Medicine.

Weight loss may raise testosterone levels

Shedding pounds may help overweight men with low testosterone boost their levels of the male hormone, new research finds. Overweight men are more likely to have low levels of testosterone, according to preliminary results of a study that involved nearly 900 overweight, middle-aged Irish men with prediabetes. Men were assigned to one of three treatments. One group was told to eat a lower-fat, lower-calorie diet and exercise at least 150 minutes a week; a second group took the diabetes drug metformin; and a third group took a placebo pill. Among men in the healthy-lifestyle group, the rate of low testosterone levels dropped from 20 percent to 11 percent after a year. The rate of low testosterone didn't budge in the diabetes-drug group or the placebo group.

Headaches worse with mild head trauma vs. severe

People who've had a mild traumatic brain injury have more and more severe headaches than those who've had moderate to severe brain injury, according to preliminary results of a new study. Study lead author Dr. Sylvia Lucas of the University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle and her colleagues evaluated patients with mild, moderate or severe traumatic brain injury at three, six and 12 months after their injury. Those with mild injury were more likely to report new or worse headaches than those with moderate to severe injury. "These findings should caution us to not underestimate seemingly milder head injuries and to take all brain trauma very seriously," Lucas said.

Feet hurt? Could be the flip-flops

Flip-flops can cause pain and injury when worn for long periods of time, walking on concrete or when playing sports, warn experts from the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City. People change how they walk when wearing flip-flops, gripping with their toes to keep the shoes in place. This can lead to strain in the toes, ankles, legs, hips and back. Because the flimsy shoe bed in flip-flops does not provide adequate foot support for all-day wear, people may be at risk for arch pain, plantar fasciitis and nerve problems, according to the docs.

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