Weekly Health Watch with items on working out after daylight saving time, cutting back on red meat, new infant guidelines from the AAP and more.

On the first Sunday of November, the annual daylight saving time ritual officially welcomes the fall season, and that means it will get darker earlier. As summer's light fades, make sure to squeeze the most exercise opportunities out of the remaining daylight hours.


With less sunshine time, many people feel less energized and sometimes even a little depressed. The body produces more melatonin during the darker months, which can cause you to feel lethargic. Exercise triggers endorphins (feel-good brain chemicals) that can elevate the mood, increase confidence, relieve stress and calm the mind.


Set a regular workout schedule, such as lunchtime or another daytime time slot, and keep it as a daily appointment. It's not necessary to work out for 60 minutes every day to reap the benefits; try fitting just 30 minutes of exercise into your day. If you're short on time, focus your time on high-intensity strength training ­­–– a good strength training session can be completed in a shorter period of time than a cardio session.


Shorter days mean that your early morning or evening workout may now be happening in the dark. Take precautions like wearing bright colors or reflective gear, working out with a buddy or group, and always keeping a form of ID with you to make safety a priority.


-- Life Fitness


New Research: Links with math disability


Children who start elementary school with difficulty associating small exact quantities of items with the printed numerals that represent those quantities are more likely to develop a math-related learning disability than are their peers, according to a study supported by the National Institutes of Health.


The children in the study who appeared to have difficulty grasping the fundamental concept of exact numerical quantities — that the printed numeral 3, for example, represents three dots on a page — went on to be diagnosed with math learning disability by fifth grade.


Did You Know?


Excessive alcohol consumption, including binge drinking and high average daily consumption, is responsible for an average of 79,000 deaths in the United States each year. -- CDC


Health Tip: Go over your fear


It's unfortunate, but many exercisers are embarrassed by any type of fitness failure. As with all other areas of life, failure is an opportunity to learn. Rather than setting goals that you aren't likely to meet, set small, attainable goals and take baby steps. Remember, constant perfection doesn't leave much opportunity for growth.


-- Life Fitness


Number to Know


45: More than 45,000 cases of melanoma occurred in 45 states and the District of Columbia each year during 2004-2006, according to a report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States. Melanoma is the third most common skin cancer.


Children’s Health: New infant sleeping rules


Since the American Academy of Pediatrics recommended all babies should be placed on their backs to sleep in 1992, deaths from sudden infant death syndrome have declined dramatically. Three important additions to the recommendations include:


- Breastfeeding is recommended and is associated with a reduced risk of SIDS.


- Infants should be immunized. Evidence suggests that immunization reduces the risk of SIDS by 50 percent.


- Bumper pads should not be used in cribs. There is no evidence that bumper pads prevent injuries, and there is a potential risk of suffocation, strangulation or entrapment.


Boomer Health: Less red meat is healthier


A study of 200,000 men and women ages 25 to 75 found that replacing just one serving of red meat a day with either nuts, grains or low-fat dairy lowered the risk of type 2 diabetes by about 20 percent. Conversely, eating just one hot dog or sausage or two strips of bacon daily increased the risk for diabetes by 51 percent.


-- AARP


GateHouse News Service