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Cleaner Air
September 2014

New EPA Rules Proposed for Climate Change

windThe White House plans to cut carbon dioxide emissions from power plants by 30 percent by 2030. Each state will have its own goal within the overall national pollution reduction effort, an attempt to be politically and practically flexible in its implementation. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy explains, “Each state’s goal is tailored to its own circumstances, and states have the flexibility to reach the goal in whatever ways work best for them.”

States can renovate existing coal-fired plants with newer, cleaner burning technology; switch coal plants to natural gas, which produces much less carbon; and work to persuade residents to be more efficient in their use of electricity. States can also band together in cap-and-trade networks for emission reductions, in which companies buy and sell permits allowing them to produce a certain amount of carbon emissions. Clean producers can be sellers, dirtier producers buyers.

The program represents an absolute reduction in U.S. carbon emissions of nearly one-third, rather than a simple slowing in the growth rate of emissions. Contrary industry groups, many Republicans and some coal-state Democrats oppose the proposal due to its anticipated costs and increased regulations.


Source: The Christian Science Monitor

 
Flaxseed Lowers Blood Pressure
August 2014

Food for Heart Health

flax_seedEating flaxseed reduces blood pressure, according to researchers from Canada’s St. Boniface Hospital Research Center. They attribute the effect to its omega-3 fatty acids, lignans and fiber.

The researchers examined the effects of flaxseed on systolic and diastolic blood pressure in patients with peripheral artery disease, a condition typically marked by hypertension. Patients consumed a variety of foods that collectively contained 30 grams of milled flaxseed or a placebo each day for six months. The flaxseed group experienced significantly increased plasma levels of certain omega-3 fatty acids and lower average systolic blood pressure (by 10 mmHg) and diastolic blood pressure (by 7 mm Hg). Those in the flaxseed group with initial systolic blood pressure levels over 140 mmHg saw reductions averaging 15 mmHg.

 
Heelless Shoes May Help Prevent Runners’ Injuries
August 2014

Reduces Harm from Excessive Impact

bone-and-jointsA British study published in Footwear Science analyzed the effects of running in experimental heelless footwear compared with conventional running shoes with reinforced heels. The objective was to see if the heelless footwear would reduce the risk of chronic injury related to the habitual rear-foot strike pattern associated with conventional heeled shoes.

Using eight cameras with optoelectric running motion capture technology,12 male runners were tracked at four meters per second. The heelless running shoe resulted in less impact, greater plantar flexion and greater ankle eversion (rolling outward). The researchers concluded that the heelless shoes decreased the risk of chronic running foot injuries linked to excessive impact forces, but concede they may increase injury potential associated with excessive ankle eversion.

 
Fitness Update
August 2014

Healthiest U.S. Metro Areas in 2014

fitnessThe American College of Sports Medicine’s (ACSM) seventh annual American Fitness Index (AFI) ranks Washington, D.C., at the top with a score of 77.3 (out of 100), followed by Minneapolis-St. Paul (73.5), Portland, Oregon (72.1) Denver (71.7) and San Francisco (71). Overall, metro areas in 25 states scored 50 or above; the two lowest-ranking hovered near 25 points.

“The AFI data report is a snapshot of the state of health in the community and an evaluation of the infrastructure, community assets and policies that encourage healthy and fit lifestyles. These measures directly affect quality of life in our country’s urban areas,” says Walter Thompson, Ph.D., chair of the AFI advisory board.


Find the complete report at AmericanFitnessIndex.org.

 
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