Monday - May 21, 2018

Archive for the ‘ Health & Nutrition ’ Category

 

Enjoy Spring Cycling Safely!

May 17th, 2018

May is National Bike Month and Bike to Work Day isn’t far behind, so now is the perfect time to dust off the bike, lube the chain, pump up the tires and take a ride. Don’t have a bike? B-cycle is a public bicycle sharing company based in Waterloo, Wisconsin. It has 47 local systems operating in cities across the United States. With the increasing number of cyclists commuting and riding recreationally it is more important than ever to understand the etiquette and rules of the road for riding a bike. Whether on the bike path or a street, you are a vehicle with the same rights and responsibilities... Read More

Move Over Kale, Sea Greens Are the New Super Food

May 10th, 2018

Sea greens, also known as sea vegetables, are a group of foods in the seaweed family, that grow in the ocean. If you eat Japanese food you may be familiar with some sea greens – nori, the dark green wrapper on your sushi, or kombu, a common ingredient in miso soup. If you think you’ve never had seaweed, think again! Agar, a gelatinous substance that comes from red seaweed is used as a thickener in many foods. Sea vegetables are some of the most nutrient-packed foods on earth, packed with fiber vitamins and minerals. They are beneficial to us because they slow the aging process by promoting... Read More

There’s A Pill to Reduce The Risk of Contracting HIV

May 3rd, 2018

Did you know there is a drug available in the U.S. designed to prevent HIV infection? PrEP, or Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis, is anti-HIV medication to keep HIV negative people from becoming infected. PrEP is approved by the FDA and studies have shown that PrEP reduces the risk of getting HIV by more than 90% when used consistently. Over one million Americans have HIV, according to the CDC, and African Americans are more likely to be impacted by HIV than any other group in America.  Seventy-five percent of the new HIV cases diagnosed in 2016 were African American men aged 13-34. Of the 500,000 African... Read More

Four Out of Five Fitness Experts Recommend Walking for Exercise

April 26th, 2018

A recent article in the journal The Conversation, asked the question “Is walking enough exercise?”  Four out of five experts said yes. The one expert who said no, qualified his response by saying that walking is better than no exercise at all. He goes on to point out that, ideally, strength training and higher intensity exercise is ideal for good health. While strength training and higher intensity exercise along with moderate exercise is the ideal situation for many, the National Runners’ Health Study found that moderate-intensity walking and vigorous-intensity running resulted in similar... Read More

Ice Cold Advice for Your Well-being

April 19th, 2018

Taking a cold shower, unless it is a sweltering hot day, does not sound like a desirable practice. Research, however, shows that those who took a cold shower regularly, took fewer sick days than those who did not. A study from the Netherlands revealed that those who finished their daily showers with 30-, 60- or 90-second blasts of chilly water, were less likely to take a sick day at work. Cold water didn’t keep participants from being sick, but those who took cold showers (roughly 50 degrees Fahrenheit) experienced more mild symptoms and had more energy, which allowed them to power through work... Read More

Why Is Obesity Still Rising Among Adults?

April 12th, 2018

Americans are still getting fatter. Since 1999, adult obesity has increased from around 30% to almost 38% in 2014. Here are some eye-opening statistics about the health of American adults. About half of all adults get the recommended 150 minutes of physical activity per week. Only 3% of Americans meet the definition of a healthy lifestyle: Have a healthy body fat percentage (less than 20% for men and less than 30% for women) Meet exercise recommendations Are non-smokers Score in the top 40% on the Harvard Healthy Eating Index   Obesity is not just an issue for your health.  Obesity as a... Read More

The Evolution of the Active Lifestyle

April 5th, 2018

As a young adult, I taught multiple fitness classes and played recreational soccer.  At that time in my life that much physical activity was not only desired, it was a great way to expend my abundant energy.  As I’ve aged, I’ve noticed shifts in my physical activity levels and preferences. You may have noticed that, as you age, your interests have shifted as well. Changes in your activity level and interests are normal. As we age, there are some activities that become more difficult or risky.  For example, if you were a wrestler in your youth, you are not likely able to tolerate the physical... Read More

Cardiovascular Fitness May Be A Piece of the Puzzle for Reducing Risk for Dementia

March 29th, 2018

There’s a very strong connection between cardiovascular health—the health of your heart and circulatory system—and the health of your brain, so it makes sense that a longitudinal study of women indicated that those with the highest levels of cardiovascular fitness had an 88% lower risk for dementia. About 5.4 million people in the United States are estimated to be living with Alzheimer’s disease, the most common form of dementia. The Swedish study involved 191 women in Sweden, 38 to 60 years old, who completed an evaluation of their cardiovascular fitness. The women’s workload... Read More

Standard Treatment for Injuries May Be Counterproductive

March 24th, 2018

If you have ever been injured, you probably heard that you should employ RICE – rest, ice, compression and elevation—to speed recovery.  You may have taken ibuprofen or another anti-inflammatory medication to relieve pain and speed healing. New research suggests we shouldn’t be using ice or NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) to recover from many injuries. NSAIDs actually slow the healing of injured muscles, tendons, ligament, and bones. Why? NSAIDs work by inhibiting the production of prostaglandins.  Prostaglandins are produced as a result of the inflammatory response and may... Read More

Daylight Savings Time Is Not Healthy!

March 15th, 2018

It is ironic that this week—the week when we are all sleep deprived due to the commencement of Daylight Savings Time – is National Sleep Awareness Week. This year’s theme “Begin with Sleep” highlights the importance of good sleep health for individuals to best achieve their personal, family, and professional goals. Daylight Savings Time has a number of health risks associated with it. In the days after the time change, the risk of heart attack, workplace injury and car accident is higher. Being tired can decrease productivity, concentration, and general well-being and our appetite regulation... Read More

Low Fat vs. Low Carb – Which Diet Works?

March 8th, 2018

It’s almost spring and many Americans start to think about dumping the winter plump in preparation for summer.  With that in mind, consider some recent information comparing dieting techniques and their success at helping you lose a few. Some dieters firmly believe in avoiding fat and while others espouse avoiding carbs. Does it matter? In a recent study at Stanford University researchers put more than 600 overweight adults on either a healthy low-fat or low-carb diet. It turns out, participants had similar levels of weight loss success on each plan. That’s right!  Both diets were successful. The... Read More

Japan Will Soon Have A Drug To Combat The Flu

March 1st, 2018

Last week, the Wall Street Journal reported that Japanese officials approved the single-dose drug, known as Xofluza, for use in that country. In a clinical trial, Japanese and American patients who took the drug when they had the flu saw the virus wiped out, on average, in 24 hours.  The drug will be available in Japan in time for next year’s flu season, but not in the U.S. until 2019. Currently Tamiflu is used widely for shortening the duration of the flu virus in America.  Xofluza works differently by inhibiting an enzyme the flu virus needs to replicate. The drug can work in 24 hours because... Read More

Scientists Investigating Test for Autism

February 22nd, 2018

One in 68 U.S. children has an autism spectrum disorder, a 30% increase from 1 in 88 two years ago, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Scientists have taken the first steps towards what they say could become a new blood and urine test for autism. A study at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute tested children with and without the condition and found higher levels of protein damage in those with the disorder. The researchers said the tests could lead ultimately to the earlier detection of the condition, which can be difficult to diagnose. While prior research often focused... Read More

Three Reasons Why Life Expectancy Has Declined in the U.S.

February 15th, 2018

As one of the richest nation’s in the world, we should have a very high life expectancy.  For the second year in a row, however, life expectancy in the U.S. has fallen.  A study released last week in the British Medical Journal details the United States’ decline from the world leader in life expectancy rates, in the 1960s, to now 1.5 years below the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s (OECD) average. The National Research Council and Institute of Medicine set out to study why America’s new life expectancy, 78.7 years, falls so far below the OECD average of 80.3. The... Read More

A 21st Century Approach to Medication Adherence

February 8th, 2018

Last fall, the FDA approved a ‘digital pill’ that will tell your doctor if you’ve been taking your medicine.  The pill, which was approved by U.S. Food and Drug Administration on November 13, sends a signal to a wearable sensor when a patient has taken the medication, and that information is then sent to a doctor’s office. While this may seem reminiscent of the book 1984, the technology could help many who have trouble tracking their medications. Embedded in the pill is a sensor that consists of a silicon chip with the logic circuit, along with two pieces of metal. When the sensor... Read More

This Year’s Flu Is No Joke

February 1st, 2018

The CDC is reporting an unusually severe flu season this year.  The weekly “FluView” report put out by the agency states, “all U.S. states but Hawaii continue to report widespread flu activity and the number of states experiencing ‘high’ influenza activity increased from 32 states plus New York City and Puerto Rico to 39 states plus New York City and Puerto Rico.”  In its 13 years of flu monitoring, this is the first year that the continental U.S. showed widespread flu activity. Why is the flu so bad this year?  Different strains of influenza circulate each year. This year, influenza... Read More

In A Clench? It’s Not Good For Your Teeth.

January 25th, 2018

If you ever wake up in the morning with a tight or sore jaw, fatigue, or sensitive teeth, you could be grinding or clenching your teeth at night.  The condition, known as bruxism, can lead to headaches and dental problems. Teeth grinding can be caused by stress and anxiety,  and it often occurs during sleep, caused by an abnormal bite or missing or crooked teeth. More importantly, bruxism can be caused by sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when the throat muscles relax during the night, blocking the airway and interrupting breathing. About 25% of people with obstructive sleep apnea grind... Read More

Delayed Gratification:  The Key to Successful Weight Loss?

January 18th, 2018

The Stanford marshmallow experiment was a series of studies on delayed gratification in the late 1960s and early 1970s led by psychologist Walter Mischel, then a professor at Stanford University. In these studies, a child was offered a choice between one small reward provided immediately or two small rewards if they waited for a short period-approximately 15 minutes.  In follow-up studies, the researchers found that children who were able to wait longer for the preferred rewards tended to have better life outcomes, such as educational achievement and body mass index. While the original study was... Read More

Why Happiness Is Important to Well-being

January 11th, 2018

Topophilia is a strong emotional pull to a special place.  Research says that people experience intense feelings of well-being, contentment, and belonging from places that evoke positive memories far more than treasured objects such as photographs or wedding rings. Why is contentment important to our well-being?  Happiness is about being able to make the most of the good times – but also to cope effectively with the inevitable bad times, in order to experience the best possible overall life. Happiness actually leads to a wide range of benefits for our performance, health, relationships, and... Read More

What Is Your Big WHY?

January 4th, 2018

Every new year brings with it resolutions, goals, intentions – whatever you want to call it.  In short, we make plans for how to be better versions of ourselves.  I’d like to suggest that we think differently about the new year by considering our big WHY? Your big why is something you plug into emotionally that drives you when things get tough. It’s not a wish or a goal, it’s something that will change your life or others around you or do something for you that really matters to your soul. It’s your purpose. If you made a resolution, you may already be feeling like you should... Read More