Halloween treats should be balanced with diet, exercise

If “an apple a day will keep the doctor away,” make sure the apple isn’t covered in caramel this Halloween season says health experts.

Halloween is a time when vampires, zombies, Marvel characters and little fairies seek out colorful bags filled with goodies. The problem is the seeking part might be missing this year as the COVID-19 pandemic limits the travel portion of trick-or-treating.

If youth are still planning to consume similar quantities of candy as they have in years past but minus the exercise, experts suggest more effort be placed on being healthy before and after Oct. 31 to help balance things out.

Exercise

Children who do not exercise are at risk of weight gain because they do not burn as many calories as children who exercise, particularly when they’re adding to the calories surplus with holiday treats.

Medical experts say parents should encourage children to participate in aerobic exercise each day and discourage children from engaging in sedentary activities like watching television or playing video games for too long.

According to the Mayo Clinic, aerobic exercise repeatedly moves large muscles in the arms, legs and hips while engaging the immune system to help it to ward off minor viral illnesses.

Exercise can help people maintain their immune systems, which has added importance in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak. Suggested ways to get physical activity while social distancing for added safety from the coronavirus include riding bikes and walking.

Eating healthier

The phrase, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away,” is a familiar one that many people first heard as children. But some may be surprised to learn the phrase is as factual as it is familiar.

Apples are among the most cultivated and consumed foods in the world. They’re also among the healthiest, particularly when they are not covered in caramel. Medical News Today, a market leader for medical news that is owned and operated by the United Kingdom-based health care publisher Healthline Media, listed apples among its 10 healthiest foods.

Apples can help people maintain healthy weights. The flavonoid polymers found in apples inhibit enzymes that break down simple sugars. That means that the flavonoid polymers in apples help you flush more of the sugar in apples out of your system instead of storing it as fat. That can help people maintain healthy weights.

Apples can also lower risk for diabetes. A study published in BMJ, formerly the British Medical Journal, found consuming three servings per week of blueberries, grapes, raisins, apples or pears reduced study participants’ risk for type 2 diabetes by 7%.

Before people get to a Halloween with less action and more eating candy on the couch, try to add a run and an apple to the daily routine.

Sports Writer Mac Moore can be reached at 389-6643 or mac.moore@mycouriertribune.com.

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