Couch potatoes and the Dirty dozen

Health Writer

Here's the problem.   Experts like me tell you to exercise and we often offer all types of formulas and recommendations.   The latest recipe for health (and weight loss) is to workout aerobically, a minimum of an hour, most days of the week, and really focus on increasing your heart rate for most of the hour's duration.   This commitment to exercise is supposed to help benefit you, by reducing the risk of a number of chronic diseases, and help you to control your weight, if you maintain consistency.   Great and wonderful if you are willing to commit!   The only problem is that you now probably consider yourself "consciously active" and you are, especially compared to most of Americans.   Problem  is that if you then sit for rest of the day, most days, at a desk, in a car, on a plane, in an easy chair watching TV or playing video games, science still considers you mostly sedentary.   Animals observed in a lab who are mostly sedentary show increased insulin resistance - even if they were active for one hour.   Cumulatively, they developed unhealthy cellular changes in their muscles.   And they also showed signs of insulin resistance and they had higher levels of unhealthy fatty acids circulating in their bloodstream.

So that marvelous hour of activity that some of you do, so diligently, does not undo hours of sitting.   For that, you need to get up and move, regularly.   That can mean going to tell someone information instead of sending an interoffice email, parking several blocks from work to walk to and from your parked car, running the stairs in your building whenever possible, adding an evening stroll, moving around your house every time a commercial pops up during your TV watching time.

Of course we are also always telling you to eat your fruits and vegetables.   There are, however, 12 specific fruits and vegetables that warrant spending some extra bucks and buying organic.   That's because the pesticides used permeate the skin of these produce items and in the case of many of these produce items - we also often eat the skin too**.   Thirty dozen list** includes: celery, peaches, strawberries, apples, blueberries, nectarines, bell peppers, spinach, cherries, kale/collard, potatoes, imported grapes**.   The clean 15 list**, which includes fruits and vegetables that seem to carry the fewest pesticides include: onions, avocadoes, sweet corn, pineapple, mangoes, sweet peas, asparagus, kiwi, cabbage, eggplant, cantaloupe, watermelon, grapefruit, sweet potatoes, honeydew melon.