Thursday, October 23, 2014

5 Nutrition, Exercise Habits That Will Actually Change Your Life for the Better


Most comprehensive weight-loss programs work. Most comprehensive fitness programs work. The problem doesn’t lie with the programs–the problem lies in the fact those programs require such major changes to our daily activities and lifestyles. It’s impossible to make every change overnight. So when you miss a workout or screw up a meal it starts to feel like you’re failing completely.
And soon our comprehensive program is in tatters and we think, “If I can’t do it all, there’s no sense doing any of it.”
So we quit.
Here’s a better approach. Don’t immediately go all in. Don’t waste your time adopting the latest trendy diet or the current fitness fad. No matter how incredible the program, go all in and you’re incredibly unlikely to stick with it.
Instead, just start with making a few simple changes to your day. You’ll lose a little weight, feel a little better, and then find it a lot easier to incorporate a few more healthy habits into your routine.
Building slowly over time will help you create a new lifestyle–in a relatively painless way–that you will be able to stick with.
So for now just make these five changes:
1. Drink a glass of water before every meal.
Everyone needs to drink more water. That’s a given. Plus when you drink a glass of water before you eat you’ll already feel a little more full and won’t be as tempted to eat past the point of hunger. More

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Later sunsets increase children’s activity levels

Posted on October 23, 2014 by Stone Hearth News

 Moving the clocks forward by one extra hour all year in the UK could lead to children getting more exercise every day, say researchers.

Their study of 23,000 children found that daily activity levels were 15% to 20% higher on summer days than winter days.

The UK research team said increasing waking daylight hours would have a worthwhile benefit on public health.

The clocks are set to go back by one hour this weekend across the UK. This will result in darker afternoons and fewer hours of daylight after children finish school.

Researchers from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and the University of Bristol analysed the activity levels of this large group of children aged five to 16 years old in nine countries, including England and Australia.

All the children wore accelerometers or electronic devices around their waists that measured body movement.

The results, published in the International Journal of Behavioural Nutrition and Physical Activity, suggest that longer evening daylight can help keep children active for longer.

Proposals to shift the clocks forward by one additional hour for the whole year and not move them back in October, have been debated in parliament at various times over the years, but never been made law.

More Follow these topics: Circadian Rhythms, Daylight Saving Time, Public Health

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Tai Chi may favorably affect the inflammatory system


A randomized controlled trial published in the current issue of Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics indicates effects of a medictation technique, Tai Chi, on the inflammatory system. In older adults high levels of loneliness and/or psychological stress are associated with nuclear factor (NF)-κB increased activity. NF-κB controls the expression of genes that code for multiple inflammatory cytokines, and stress activation of the sympathetic nervous system stimulates NF-κB. Tai Chi Chih (TCC), a multidimensional behavioral therapy that integrates moderate physical activity, deep breathing and meditation to promote regulation of emotional and affective responses to stress, is thought to act on stress response pathways reducing markers of inflammation and the expression of genes bearing NF-κB response elements.
Authors hypothesized that TCC would reduce stress and slow the rate of increase in NF-κB levels in lonely older adults, as compared to those who receive a stress and health education (SHE) intervention. Twenty-six older adults (≥60 years), naïve to Tai Chi, who scored ≥40 on the UCLA Loneliness Scale, participated in this study. Participants were computer randomized 1:1 to a 12-week group-based program delivered weekly in 2-hour sessions. At both pre- and postintervention visits, psychological stress (14-item Perceived Stress Scale, PSS) and NF-κB were assessed. Blood was collected between 8 and 11 a.m. by an indwelling venous catheter, placed in heparinized vacutainer tubes and processed for peripheral blood mononuclear cells.
Findings showed that lonely older adults who received the health education intervention, did not report a decrease in levels of psychological stress. Moreover, these elderly showed significant increases in nuclear levels of activated NF-κB from pre- to post-intervention. Conversely, among lonely older adults who received TCC, psychological stress decreased, while NF-κB levels remained constant. Further, change in psychological stress was correlated with change in NF-κB activation from pre- to post-intervention examinations, which together suggests that treatment-induced reduction in stress may attenuate increases in NF-κB activation. Source
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If your interested in learning more about Tai Chi please feel free to contact our resident acupuncturist and Tai Chi instructor, Stacy Moon.

Beetroot benefits athletes, heart patients: Kansas State U research


Newswise — MANHATTAN, Kansas — Football teams are claiming it improves their athletic performance, and according to new research from Kansas State University, it also benefits heart failure patients. The special ingredient: beetroot.
Recently, the Auburn University football team revealed its pregame ritual of taking beetroot concentrate, or beet juice, before each game. The juice may have contributed to the team’s recent winning season — and one exercise physiologist who has been studying the supplement for several years says that may be the case.
“Our research, published in the journal Physiology in 2013, has shown that the nitrate found in beetroot concentrate increases blood flow to skeletal muscles during exercise,” said David Poole, professor of exercise kinesiology and anatomy and physiology at Kansas State University. The journal Physiology is widely regarded as the world’s premiere physiology journal.
The researchers’ latest study, “Microvascular oxygen pressures in muscles comprised of different fiber types: Impact of dietary nitrate supplementation,” was published in the Journal of Nitric Oxide, Biology and Chemistry. This work provides the basis for how beetroot juice may benefit football players by preferentially increasing blood flow to fast-twitch muscle fibers — the ones used for explosive running. This work was performed by Poole; Scott Ferguson, doctoral student in anatomy and physiology; and Timothy Musch, professor of exercise kinesiology and anatomy and physiology, all at Kansas State University.
In addition to improving athletic performance, the research also found that beetroot juice can improve the quality of life for heart failure patients.
“Remember, for every one football player in the United States, there are many thousands of heart failure patients that would benefit from this therapy,” Poole said. “It’s a big deal because even if you can only increase oxygen delivery by 10 percent, that can be the difference between a patient being wheelchair-bound versus getting up and walking around and interacting with his or her family.”
The benefits of beetroot come from the nitrate found within it. The amount of nitrate in one 70-milliliter bottle of beetroot juice is about the same amount found in 100 grams of spinach.
“When consumed, nitrate is reduced in the mouth by bacteria into nitrite,” Ferguson said. “The nitrite is swallowed again and then reduced to nitric oxide, which is a potent vasodilator. The nitric oxide dilates the blood vessels, similar to turning on a water faucet, and allows blood to go where it needs to go.”
The beetroot juice consumption resulted in a 38 percent higher blood flow to the skeletal muscles during exercise and was preferential to the less-oxygenated, fast-twitch muscles.
“Heart failure is a disease where oxygen delivery to particular tissues, especially working skeletal muscles, is impaired, decreasing the capacity to move the arms or legs and be physically active,” Poole said. “The best therapy for these patients is getting up and moving around. However, that is often difficult. Increasing the oxygen delivery to these muscles through beetroot can provide a therapeutic avenue to improve the quality of life for these patients.”
Clinical trials are currently underway.
The researchers are collaborating with Andrew Jones, professor of applied physiology at the University of Exeter in the United Kingdom The research is funded by the National Institutes of Health.
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Monday, October 6, 2014

Chronic Lower Back Pain Relief Via Body Mechanics: Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center


Newswise — WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – Oct. 6, 2014 – If you want to steer clear of lower back pain, remember this: Arch is good, flat is bad.
Back pain is anything but rare; only headaches and colds are more common. According to the National Institute of Neurological Diseases and Stroke, Americans spend more than $50 billion each year on lower back pain, which is the No. 1 cause of job-related disability in the country and one of the leading contributors to missed time from work.
There’s acute lower back pain, sometimes intense but generally short-lived discomfort resulting from injury to the lower back incurred during sustained physical activity (playing sports, doing yard work) or by a sudden jolt (being in a vehicle collision).
But it’s chronic lower back pain, the kind that lasts for more than three months, that is more debilitating and more difficult to treat.
Much of that chronic pain is caused by damage to the discs – the spongy, multi-function structures that lie between the spine’s vertebrae – in the lower part of the back right above the pelvis known as the lumbar region. And much of that damage is caused by poor body mechanics – the way people stand, walk, lift, carry, reach, bend, sit and sleep – in which the back is too often flat, not arched.
“The key to avoiding lower back pain is keeping pressure off your lower lumbar discs,” said Tadhg O’Gara, M.D., an orthopaedic surgeon at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, N.C. “That means keeping an arch to your lower back.”
The intervertebral discs, essentially the spine’s shock absorbers, are under constant pressure, especially in the lower back, which supports the weight of the upper body. The five vertebrae in the lumbar region are naturally arched toward the front of the body, so bending forward compresses the front of these disks, which over time can force them out of position to press on one or more of the nerves emanating from the spinal cord. This condition – known as a bulging, herniated or ruptured disc – can cause pain in the lower back and elsewhere, especially the buttocks, thighs and even below the knee (sciatica). And that pain can be severe.
“People who haven’t had lower back pain don’t realize how painful it is,” O’Gara said. “And many health care providers don’t realize how painful it is.”
So how is chronic lower back pain treated?
“The first thing to figure out is what exactly is causing the pain, because that determines what approach to take with treatment,” said Kristopher Karvelas, M.D., assistant professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation at Wake Forest Baptist. “That’s not always easy. Pain is usually related to the discs, but other causes of low back pain have overlapping symptoms and pain patterns.”
Basic diagnostic methods include physical examination, review of the patient’s medical history and patient descriptions of the onset, location, severity and duration of the pain and of any limitations in movement. Imaging techniques such as X-rays, MRI and CT scans also can be employed to pinpoint the source of pain.
Once the reason behind the pain is determined, the most frequently prescribed treatment is physical therapy, not surgery.
“I typically reserve surgery for patients who have a medical need other than pain,” Karvelas said. “There’s a large toolbox that we can go to for patients, and surgery is the last tool.”
Depending on the individual patient’s condition, physical therapy programs usually include exercises designed to strengthen back and abdominal muscles and to promote proper posture and balance. These can include stretching, swimming, walking and even yoga. But education also is a key element.
“Patients need to recognize that posture and activity are crucial in relieving and preventing back pain,” Karvelas said. “They need to learn what exercises to do on their own and how to do them properly to prevent future flare-ups.
“We can help resolve acute back pain episodes, but when we are talking about chronic back pain, the pain may never resolve completely. However, we do use a team approach to treat patients and teach people how to cope with their pain effectively.”
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Steve "USS" Cunningham and family thank boxing community for contributions for Kennedy Cunningham Fundraiser

Steve "USS" Cunningham and family thank boxing community for contributions for Kennedy Cunningham Fundraiser
For Immediate Release 

Philadelphia (October 6, 2014)--Two-time Cruiserweight world champion & Current top-10 Heavyweight contender Steve "USS" Cunningham and his family would like to thank the boxing community for the contributions to the Kennedy Cunningham Fundraiser on

Kennedy Cunnungham is the 9 year-old daughter of Steve & Livvy Cunningham and is awaiting a life-saving heart transplant surgery.

The fundraiser was set up this summer with the proceeds going to out of pocket expenses for the Cunningham's which included finding a new home close to the hospital for the potential surgery in Pittsburgh.

Within the two months, the goal of $25,000 was reached with most of the donations coming from members of the boxing industry.

"We are humbled and grateful for what everyone has done to pitch in," said Steve Cunningham.  "These donations came from all over the world from promoters, managers, television people, fighters and everyone else."

Said Livvy Cunningham, "We are truly touched by the outpouring of help from everybody.  Because of the contributions from everybody, We are as comfortable as we can be in this situation and we found a place minutes away from the hospital.  It truly shows that when people get together, they can make a huge difference in people's lives."

Cunningham Family says Thank You
Cunningham Family says Thank You
Steve "USS" Cunningham returns to the ring on Saturday, October 18 at the 2300 Arena in Philadelphia when he takes on undefeated Natu Visinia in a 10-round Heavyweight bout that will headline a card on NBC Sports Net
About October 18
The Oct. 18 edition of NBCSN Fight Night will take place at the 2300 Arena at 2300 Swanson Street in South Philadelphia. It features a 10-round heavyweight fight between Steve "USS" Cunningham, of Philadelphia, and Natu Visinia, of Lakewood, CA. A 10-round junior lightweight contest between Edner Cherry, of Wauchula, FL, and Jerry Belmontes, of Corpus Christi, TX is the co-feature. Five additional fights open the show at 6:45 PM (EST). Tickets are $50 and $75 and are available by calling Peltz Boxing (215-765-0922) or going online at They also can be purchased at Wanamakers Tickets (215-568-2400). The card is presented by Main Events and Peltz Boxing in association with Final Forum Promotions and BAM Boxing. The NBCSN Fight Night telecast will begin at 9 PM ET. Doors open at 6 PM. The event is sponsored by Rocco's Collision.

NBC Sports Live Extra:
NBC Sports Live Extra: NBC Sports Group's live streaming product for desktops, mobile devices and tablets -- will live stream Fight Night at 9 PM EST/6 PM PST on Oct. 18. For desktops, NBC Sports Live Extra can be accessed at The NBC Sports Live Extra app for mobile devices and tablets is available at the App Store for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch and on select Android handset and tablet devices within Google Play.
Official hashtag: #FightNight
Twitter: @main_events
Twitter: @NBCSN
Twitter: @PeltzBoxing
Main Events: Ellen Haley -, 973-903-6715
Peltz Boxing: J Russell Peltz - 215-765-0922
NBC Sports Group: Dan Masonson - 203-356-7590

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Global spa, wellness industry estimated at $3.4 trillion: report


(Reuters) – A growing middle class and consumers’ evolving attitudes toward health and travel have fueled a global spa and wellness industry worth an estimated $3.4 trillion in 2013, according to a report released on Tuesday.
Nutrition and weight loss, preventative and personalized health, complementary and alternative medicine, and beauty and anti-aging treatments were the biggest growing sectors, the report compiled by the non-profit research center SRI International showed.
“All across the world we have seen, from Asia to Europe to Africa to North America, more and more people are consciously thinking about healthy food, exercising, looking to nature, getting massages and doing yoga,” said Ophelia Yeung, a senior consultant for SRI International who led the study.
Spa treatments and products, alternative and complementary treatments and weight-loss programs once considered beyond the means of many people, she added, are becoming more mainstream with a growing middle class.
While medical care treats illness and disease, wellness is focused on prevention through a variety of healthy habits, nutritional eating, exercise and treatments.
To compile the report researchers looked at wellness sectors ranging from mind and body fitness to beauty and anti-aging, spas and workplace wellness.
The global spa industry generated $94 billion last year, according to the Global Spa and Wellness Economy Monitor report, up from $60 billion in 2007.

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