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Study: Too much salt — and too little — may be bad for you

Study: Too much salt — and too little — may be bad for you

Finally, a study that says it’s OK to lick every grain of salt from the rim of your margarita.

As long as you don’t go overboard.

A massive, four-year research effort by the Population Health Research Institute, McMaster University and Hamilton Health Sciences, Ontario, Canada, supports the accepted doctrine that too much salt is bad for your health.

But it also indicates that too little may be harmful as well.

The four-year study, of more than 100,000 people in 18 countries, confirmed that consuming more than 5,000 milligrams of sodium a day contributes to high blood pressure, increasing the risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke.

But the blood-pressure effects are less at average levels (3,000 mg to 5,000 mg a day) and aren’t evident at levels of consumption below 3,000 mg, the researchers found.

In crunching the numbers, while the researchers found that low sodium intake was not tied to high blood pressure risk, those who consumed more or less than the recommended range saw increased health risks for cardiovascular conditions.

Sneak peek: In the studio with Patricia Kime and Military Muscle

Sneak peek: In the studio with Patricia Kime and Military Muscle

It was an all-Military Times photo shoot this week when Mike Morones and I hit the studio with writer Patricia Kime to photograph Bob Thomas’ Military Muscle workout on stretching. Bob will explain when and how to stretch certain muscles for maximum benefit.

Kime — a Marine wife — reports on health issues for Military Times and OFFduty. The two-time marathoner is also training for the Marine Corps Marathon in October.

Look for this workout in the Sept. 1 issue of OFFduty, on newsstands Aug. 25.

Do you want to be in an upcoming issue? Here’s how.

PT365 Run Plans | Gear roundup: Heart rate monitors

PT365 Run Plans | Gear roundup: Heart rate monitors

Our PT365 Run Plans rely heavily on heart-rate training, which means that to get the most out of them, you’ll want to invest in a heart-rate monitor.

A monitor, says Run Plan author Air Force Reserve Lt. Col. (Dr.) Mark Cucuzzella, will help you get a handle on what your body is telling you. This is called biofeedback. Over time, the monitor will help you get a feel for how hard your body is working.

Consider programming a zone alarm, but if all the beeping gets on your nerves, just turn it off.

We tried out these heart-rate monitors and watch-monitor combos:

Army unveils new PT uniforms

Army unveils new PT uniforms

Your PT uniform is getting an update. Army Times’ Joe Gould has the details:

The Army has unveiled sweeping changes to its physical fitness uniform.

That includes: swapping the iconic black-on-gray “Army” T-shirt with a gold-on-black version to match Army colors; the use of lighter, moisture-wicking fabrics; and a better fit for men and women.

“It is a new icon,” said Sergeant Major of the Army Raymond Chandler, the service’s top enlisted official.

Between October and the end of the year, the Army will debut the new PT duds, referred to as the Army Physical Fitness Uniform. The nearly 40 changes in the new uniform are intended to mean better performance, aesthetics and comfort. And it will give troops a more modest set of trunks. Soldiers complain the trunks are too revealing during situps.

“It just fits better, it looks better,” Chandler said. “Lots of folks that we talked to said, ‘I would actually wear that downtown or at the mall.’ So I just think it is a really great win for the Army. Because everything we changed were things that soldiers said that they would like to see different.”

Read the rest of Joe’s story over on Army Times.

Military Muscle | Foam rolling for the masses — but know the do’s & don’ts

Military Muscle | Foam rolling for the masses — but know the do’s & don’ts

In the past, foam roller massage exercises were for elite athletes. Now the rollers are being touted for everyone, and every sports store carries them.

Foam rollers fall into that area of fitness known as recovery — an area that unfortunately is too often ignored by trainers and athletes alike.

Think of this bottom line: Consistent use of foam rollers will help you get well faster if you have an issue and keep you healthy longer. They also improve blood circulation in the skin, give you better spine mobility and lengthen tight muscles.