Archive for April, 2012

Join in on National Walking Day

Former Executive Editor, Harvard Health

Today is National Walking Day. Join the celebration by taking a walk. This particular health observance is sponsored by the American Heart Association (AHA). Although it applies to everyone, it’s really aimed at adults who spend most of the workday sitting. The heart association hopes to get workers out of the office, store, or factory for a 30-minute walk. And not just today, but every day. If you don’t exercise, or do it only now and then, walking is an excellent way to get more physical activity. Just 30 minutes a day of brisk walking (or other moderate exercise), helps your heart, blood vessels, muscles, brain, and the rest of your body. If you don’t usually exercise, use National Walking Day as an invitation to get started. If you do exercise, use the day to invite a friend to get on the path to better health with a walk.

FDA won’t ban BPA—yet

Former Executive Editor, Harvard Health

Bisphenol A, or BPA, has been used for decades to make hard plastic water bottles and to coat the inside of food cans. Tiny amounts of BPA migrate from these containers into water or food, and then into people. BPA is thought to mimic the effects of the hormone estrogen, which can interfere with growth and throw off normal hormonal interactions. In 2008, the Natural Resources Defense Council petitioned the FDA to ban the use of BPA in food packaging. The FDA finally responded last week. It denied the petition, saying the organization didn’t provide compelling data to make the case for a ban. The FDA didn’t rule out further action. In the meantime, there are several things you can do to minimize your BPA exposure.