Working Out Prevents Cancer in Moms

If you are like me you want to be around to enjoy your kids and grandkids as long as you can.

Two of the most common cancers in women are breast and endrometrial cancer. These are hormonally caused cancers that are caused by hormones going awry. Exercise can help with these 'female' cancers because physical activity has been shown to regulate and calm the production, metabolism and elimination of these toxins.

Studies have also shown that there is a relationship between being fatter and breast and endometrial cancer. Exercise obviously can help you lose weight so you do not become more susceptible to developing these hormonally based cancers.

This past fall, the American College of Sports Medicine published a study done in Canada that compared the activity patterns of 1,233 women who had breast cancer and 1,237 who did not have the disease. The study compared their exercise patterns over a lifetime as well as looked at how diet, alcohol and tobacco use and hereditary factors may have played into the development of cancer.
The Canadian found that the women who were least likely to develop breast cancer engaged in the moderate exercise of doing daily household or farming chores. Researchers concluded that it was not so much the intensity of the exercise that was helping, but rather the regularity of it.

In 2009 a massive study, based on questionnaires given to 121,701 women over twenty years from the ages 30 to 55 was conducted by the Nurses Health Study at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Boston. This study found that women who worked out between two to four hours a week reduced their chances of getting cancer by twenty percent. A smaller but similar study done in Norway in 1997 found the same thing. Women who exercised four hours a week were about one third less likely to get breast cancer.

In the Brigham study it was noted that the exercise reduces the level of circulating estrogens in a woman's body. The reason that this is negative is because estrogen stimulates the growth of breast cells which could mutate and cause cancer.

Women are actually vulnerable to these types of cancers their entire life. The most important thing is to exercise in moderation because if you exercise to the point that you have minimized your estrogen levels you can increase your risk of bone loss and heart disease.

Menopausal and post-menopausal women are at particular risk for cancer because they are overproducing and under producing hormones. Exercise has protective benefits for hormonal women because it helps to reduce fat and after menopause estrogen is produced in the fat cells instead of the ovaries.
The idea is that the leaner you are, the less natural estrogens you will produce. The less estrogens that are in the body, the less of a welcoming field your changing body will be to developing cancer.

You do not have to work out like a female fitness model. Simple, yet sustained activity is best. Try walking or cycling. As long as you working out consistently and every day you should be giving your body the edge when it comes to preventing breast or ovarian cancer.

Picking Blueberries With Your Kids

I know it is still winter but if you are planning a summer holiday, now is the time to start taking suggestions. I have to tell you one of the greatest times I ever had was picking blueberries. The blueberry is native to Maine and they can be found growing everywhere all over the state in fields and barrens. That is because they thrive in the state's naturally low acid soils.

They are also a hardy crop that can survive Maine's cold winters. Wild blueberries contribute more than 75 million dollars to Maine's economy. Thirty million pounds of blueberries are grown in the state annually.

Although you can buy them commercially it is a real tradition to go picking wild blueberries. Even commercial growers don't tend to plant them or cultivate them. They just happen to own the land on which they grow.

Blueberry picking is a tradition that started centuries ago with the Native Americans of the area. They were the first to use these tiny sharp tasting berries as food and medicine. They weren't actually harvested commercially until the 1840s.

Most of the blueberry bushes can be found on ‘the barrens.' These are vast rolling plains of sandy soil that were formed by the glaciers and that perfectly suit the growing of low bush blueberries. Other plants that grow in these barrens are rhodora, tea-berry, laurel and bracken.

These blueberries are a dark velvety blue and quite tiny. Other than in a few spots in Canada they really are not found anywhere else in the world.

The best time for anyone to pick blueberries is in August. Any frost will kill these delicate tiny berries so it is always done way before frost can set it.

Harvesting is done on blueberry farms using a special rake that was invented over 100 years ago. The rake is designed to release the berries from the low vines without crushing them.
There are scores of wonderful pick-your-own farms in Maine.

In Adroscoggin County try Card's Farm or Goss BerryFarm. You can pick your own raspberry and blueberries from dusk to dawn at both places.

In Aroostook County there is Circle B Farms which has six acres of blueberries for PYO (pick your own?) In Aroostookt here is also McNally's Farm, Mac's Best Produce and Hebert Farm.

In Cumblerland County you can pick your own at Crabtree's Blueberries and The Stewart's Farm.

In Franklin County there is Firth's Fruit Farm and the Peace and Plenty Farm. The Peace and Plenty Farm sells organic wild sour top Maine blueberries.

In Hancock County you can pick your own in marshy blueberry barrens at Hog Bay Blueberries.

In Kennebec County you can pick blueberries as well as pick up a little Maple Syrup for blueberry pancakes at Wagner's Maple Sugar House.

In Lincoln County you can get big organic wild blueberries at Crummet Mountain Farm.

In Washington County you can pick them and buy nationally known preserves at Blue Barrens Farm.

In Walso county, both Staples Homestead and Sewall's Orchards offer blueberry picking.

York County is the home of the famous Blueberry Hill Farm that offers a staggering ten acres of blueberries!