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Exercise at Home to Avoid the Gym During COVID-19 Outbreak – Healthline

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Working out is often a great way to de-stress at the end of the day and a good way to keep your immune system in tip-top shape.

But fears of contracting the new coronavirus disease, COVID-19, have many people on edge and avoiding places where they could contract the disease or spread the virus to other people.

On that point, the gym is a place where people can easily pick up other peoples germs.

Thats of particular concern because the new coronavirus causes respiratory illness that can spread by touching surfaces a person with the virus has touched or even via airborne droplets when a person sneezes or coughs.

Stay informed with our live updates about the current COVID-19 outbreak. Also, visit our coronavirus hub for more information on how to prepare, advice on prevention and treatment, and expert recommendations.

Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Preventions National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, warned people Mar. 10 to take basic precautions about limiting their exposure to the virus.

Take everyday precautions like avoiding close contact with people who are sick, cleaning your hands often, and to the extent possible, avoid touching high-touch surfaces in public places, Messonnier said. Avoid crowds, especially in poorly ventilated spaces.

The World Health Organization (WHO) says some coronaviruses can linger on surfaces for a few hours or up to several days, which is part of the reason they recommend washing your hands often with soap and water or using hand sanitizer.

Gyms are often crowded places where many of the surfaces from free weights to the controls on a treadmill are touched a lot.

Simply wiping sweat off with a towel isnt enough to stop the coronavirus and other bugs from spreading.

While a handful of Twitter users report the novel coronavirus hasnt changed their gym habits, many fitness centers have reached out to their members to tell them the extra preventive steps theyre taking.

That includes closing down.

A case in point is the San Mateo Athletic Club at the College of San Mateo in California.

Earlier this week, the fitness center told its members that its following guidelines set by the health department in San Mateo County.

We have continued to educate the staff members on good hygiene habits: use of gloves and proper disposal, proper cleaning procedures, and use of Clorox wipes at each workstation, the email read. These are habits we have practiced for 10 years.

On Thursday, the San Mateo gym announced its temporarily closing.

Nationwide, chains have also been reassuring its members that its spaces are clean and safe.

Planet Fitness says it has extensive cleanliness policies and procedures in place.

Team members conduct regular and thorough cleaning of all equipment, surfaces, and areas of the club and gym floor using disinfectant cleaning supplies, McCall Gosselin, Planet Fitness spokeswoman, told Healthline. In addition, they regularly complete overnight cleaning of the facility.

Anytime Fitness and 24 Hour Fitness, two other major national gym chains, didnt have any coronavirus warnings on their websites, nor did they respond to requests for comment.

Simon Hansen, an experienced athlete, coach, and sports blogger of Best Sports Lounge, said hes visited the gym less frequently since the COVID-19 outbreak, although he knows people with strong immune systems are less likely to be affected.

I think that its a necessary precaution to take especially since we might unknowingly harm the immunocompromised, Hansen told Healthline. However, this doesnt mean that Ive removed exercise from my daily routine.

Instead, he works out at home.

If youre staying at home, you still probably want to continue your workout routine.

Besides the health benefits, its also good to stay active to ward off going stir crazy from being cooped up for an extended period of time.

Dr. David Nazarian, whos board certified in internal medicine and practices in Beverly Hills, said that because the new coronavirus is rapidly spreading, its important to take standard precautions to protect yourself.

Exercise is important for overall healthy well-being, but it is vital to protect yourself from airborne disease, especially new ones such as the coronavirus where effective treatment is still being studied, he told Healthline.

If avoiding places that are high risk for transmission of airborne diseases is necessary, there can be alternative options such as working out at home, he added.

Alexandra Ellis, creator of AE Wellness and host of The Body Nerd Show, said if youre avoiding the gym for fear of getting sick, theres a lot you can do at home that requires no equipment.

Focus on the basics such as planks, pushups, squats, leg lifts, or bicycles and burpees for an easy workout that will build strength and get your heart rate up. My favorite way to build a workout is to do 4 rounds of 5 exercises for 45 seconds of work, followed by 15 seconds of rest, Ellis told Healthline.

Choose exercises that target different areas of your body and youll have a full-body workout in less than 20 minutes, she said.

For people looking for more guidance during their home exercise, there are plenty of tutorials available online, whether on YouTube or other portals.

Some people are even responding to COVID-19 and subsequent distancing and quarantine measures.

One such example is the online yoga platform EkhartYoga, which is offering free gentle yoga and meditation classes online to people during the outbreak to help counteract the escalation of stress and anxiety that comes with it.

We can only begin to imagine the stress of being in isolation, Esther Ekhart, the platform owner and a yoga teacher, said in a statement to Healthline. While, thankfully, the majority of us arent in physical danger, we cant fail to escape the news, which in itself can cause worry and anxiety.

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Exercise at Home to Avoid the Gym During COVID-19 Outbreak - Healthline

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March 19th, 2020 at 12:48 am

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Apple cider vinegar: How much of the tonic should you drink to burn fat fast? – Express

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Slimmers want to lose weight for many different reasons, and often they seek the help of other weight loss tricks and tips to burn fat quickly. While a diet plan can help a slimmer lose weight, consuming a apple cider vinegar tonic has been proven to burn fat and gives slimmers a boost with their results. But what is the best way to take the drink?

The apple cider vinegar tonic is made from fermented apple juice - which is often used in salad dressing and food preservatives - to increase satiety and help slimmers eat fewer calories.

Typically, natural weight loss can be achieved with a healthy diet and exercise plan.

However, it has been proven that sipping on apple cider vinegar can help slimmers lose weight more quickly by burning fat.

According to nutritionists, drinking the tonic can help speed up a slimmer's metabolism.

READ MORE:Weight loss: Woman lost over 10 stone in 10 months following this diet

By boosting the metabolism in the body, a slimmer will burn more calories, meaning they are less likely to be stored as fat.

Florence McGuinnie, a nutritionist, has said that taking one or two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar each day is safe and could boost weight loss.

She said: Apple cider vinegar has been around for many generations, and it poses many health benefits including weight loss.

"It is relatively safe to consume in small doses, but some people might find that they still see some side effects.


I would recommend taking small doses, such as one or two tablespoons a day to see the benefits.

Apple cider vinegar should help you feel fuller and reduce the amount of food you eat throughout the day.

It has been suggested that the best way to drink apple cider vinegar is to stir one or two tablespoons into a glass of water and drink it before meals or mix it with oil to make a salad dressing.

However, the nutritionist warned: Major weight loss will only occur when pairing apple cider vinegar with other diet and lifestyle changes.

Apple cider vinegar can also help dieters get nutrients that are essential for weight loss.

Lisa Borg, another nutritionist added: "Weight loss is extremely difficult where nutrient deficiencies are present.

Apple cider vinegar also contains trace minerals that are crucial in metabolic processes and often deficient in those who eat processed foods.

According to the expert, drinking the tonic will improve the digestion of dieters which will ultimately lead to weight loss.

Lisa explained: "Apple cider vinegar's contribution to digestive processes can help constipation which in turn can help weight loss because the slow a clogged bowel is still absorbing calories.

For the best results, apple cider vinegar should be paired with a suitable diet plan that works for you.

One diet which has proven to be successful paired with apple cider vinegar is a low-carbohydrate diet.

Eat food such as: meat, fish, eggs, vegetables, fruit, nuts, seeds, high-fat dairy, fats, healthy oils and maybe even some tubers and non-gluten grains.

Avoid food such as: sugar, wheat, seed oils, trans fats, "diet" and low-fat products and highly processed foods.

Is there a downside to the apple cider vinegar diet?

Diets with high vinegar content require a few warnings before starting.

One should not drink vinegar straight but instead dilute the solution in water as its high acidity can damage tooth enamel when sipped straight - consuming it as a component of vinaigrette said dressing is a better and safer way of consuming apple cider vinegar.

Previously, it has been reported that drinking apple cider vinegar could cause or worse low potassium levels. This is particularly important for people taking medications that can lower potassium (such as common diuretics taken to treat high blood pressure).

Vinegar has also been known to alter insulin levels. People with diabetes should particularly practice caution when attempting high vinegar diets.

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12 Burning Questions About Intermittent Fasting, Answered – Everyday Health

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Forget counting calories or swearing off carbs the latest dietfaddoesnt put limitations on what you eat. Rather, it focuses on the when. This way of eating is called intermittent fasting (IF), and in the past several years it has risen through the ranks of popular diets, until its now one of the most-searched diets on Google, racking up hundreds of thousands of searches on average each month.

Whats the reason for its popularity? It seems a lot easier for some people. Traditional lifestyle changes tend to rely a lot on calorie counting or point watching or rules, and for some people especially people with busy lives or who feel pulled in a lot of directions that feels like a lot of work and effort. So for this, where they literally have to do nothing but skip a meal, it's just a lot easier for them to maintain, says ElizabethLowden, MD, a bariatric endocrinologist at the Northwestern Medicine Metabolic Health and Surgical Weight Loss Center at Delnor Hospital in Geneva, Illinois.

RELATED: 12 Possible Health Benefits of Intermittent Fasting

Here, we explore the ins and outs of IF, andanswer all the questions youreprobably asking.

IFis a way of eating that calls for alternating between fasting(orsignificant reduction of calorie intake)and eating at specific times, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine. Its different from other diets in that its not about eating specific foods. IF is not about depriving yourself either. Rather, its about eating your meals during a certain time frame and fasting for the rest of the day and night.

Fasting has been around since ancient times andhaspredominantlybeen practicedwithin religions,according to a study published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics in August 2015. But the version of IF thats talked about today arose in the past eight years or so. According to Harvard Health, IF became more popular around 2012 when the documentary Eat, Fast and Live Longer aired.TheJournal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics study says many books on the topic were published around that time as well, including 2013s The Fast Diet, which added to the buzz. Research followed. Over the past five years, rigorous research has shown the remarkable benefits of intermittent fasting, which is behind this sudden interest, says Sara Gottfried, MD, the Berkeley, Californiabased author of Brain Body Diet.

There are a few different versions of IF (outlined below), but each version follows the basic premise of designating a certain period of time during the week meant for eating and certain periods when food and drink should be restricted (or severely limited), according to Harvard Health.

The most popular are:

RELATED: 6 Types of Intermittent Fasting

The short answer: probably. IF gets a lot of press as a weight loss tool, and I recommend it in my practice for weight loss and weight management, Dr. Gottfried says. Its linked to weight loss because not eating between meals forces the body to turn to the fat stored in cells for energy, according to Harvard Health. Insulin levels decline through this process as the body burns fat.

Lowden believes what it really comes down to, though, is calorie restriction. Overall, people tend to consume fewer calories in a smaller window of time compared with eating all day, and that's what leads to weight loss, she says. A study published in June 2018 in Nutrition and Healthy Aging involving 23 obese adults found the study participants took in about 300 fewer calories per day when participating in the 16:8 approach to IF.

Versions of IF that restrict eating after a certain time,say7 p.m.,also helpeliminate nighttime eating, whichhas been shown tocontribute to metabolic syndrome and obesity, according to astudy published in December 2018 in BMC Public Health.

Some critics, however, say the amount of weight lossto expect fromIFisnt any more significant than what youd see withother calorie-restrictive diets.A study published in the AmericanJournal of Clinical Nutrition in November 2018 found that a diet that cut calories by 20 percent resulted in a similar amount of weight loss to the 5:2 version of IF after one year. Still, IF may be a good option if you find it easier to stick to than other diets.

Here are some of theproposedbenefits of IF:

RELATED: Intermittent Fasting Helped Me Lose 48 Pounds Heres What I Ate (and When)

The following types of people should avoid IF:

Also, people who need to take medication with foodshould eat at regularintervals so as not to miss a dose, according to Harvard Health.

Its a good idea for everyone whether you have any of the conditions listed above or not to check with a doctor before starting to fast, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine.

According to Harvard Health, one theory is that exercising in a fasted state may help burn fat. Lowden explains that the body needs sugar or some sort of energy to perform well while exercising. Normally, the energy comes from sugar molecules, which are stored as glycogen in the liver. If you start exercising, youre more likely to deplete those stores and then your body has no choice but to go into a more anaerobic breakdown to give you the energy you need, she says. Instead of burning through sugars that aren't available, your body is forced to burn through another energy source: fat.

But you may not have enough energy to exercise as intensely as you normally would. Peak performance or even feeling good while exercising it's much easier to do if you eat,Lowdensays.

RELATED: Skipping Breakfast Before Exercising May Help You Lose Weight

You will likelyfeel hungry as your body adjusts to IF,but Gottfried says it will adjust. From my own experience and feedback from my patients, it gets easier, she says.According to Harvard, research has found that IF doesnt increase overall appetite. Gottfried says the 16:8 diet (or some variation thereof) seems to be the easiest for most people to integrate into their lives without feeling too hungry.

For many people, transitioning to eating this way is not easy. Per the April 2019 Nutrients research, IF can lead to migraine, dizziness, nausea, and insomnia. It can also make people feel hungry and weak in general, limiting their activity throughout the day.

Some women might stop menstruatingas a result of calorie restriction,according to the same Nutrients study.If you miss three periods in a row, its time to see a doctor, says the Mayo Clinic.

In addition to considering your health goals, follow these steps before diving into IF:

RELATED: Intermittent Fasting Offers Benefits Beyond Weight Loss, Article Suggests

Dont take the end of your fast as an excuse to go wild with unhealthy foods thatll undermine the potential success of the diet. The principles of healthful eating and breaking a fast are the same whether or not it's a normal overnight fast or time-restricted eating, Lowden says. Focus on breaking your fast with a healthy, balanced meal filled with lean proteins, healthy carbohydrates,andhealthy fats.

Pay particular attention to protein, especially if you have diabetes. In order [for people with diabetes] to maintain normal sugar levels and avoid worsening insulin resistance, we always recommend eating a form of protein with every meal, particularly when you're breaking a fast, Lowden says. Protein doesnt break down into glucose as efficiently as carbs, so it has a slower, less immediate effect on blood sugar levels, according to

Gottfried says having a healthy source of carbswhen breaking your fast will help restore depleted glycogen levels.She recommends a Mediterranean-stylemeal with40 percentcarbohydrates, 30 percentprotein,and 30 percentfat.

Lowden also says your timing when breaking the fast could make a difference as well. There are studies that show people who eat their calories later in the day even if its the same amount of calories they weigh more than people who do that earlier in the day, Lowden says. According to a study published April 2015 in Nutrients , sleep-restricted adults with late bedtimes are more susceptible to weight gain because the foods eaten at night tend to be higher in fat compared with those eaten earlier in the day. Take that into consideration when youre determining your eating window.

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12 Burning Questions About Intermittent Fasting, Answered - Everyday Health

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Treating Schizophrenia with Individualized Care – TippNews DAILY

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YAP, Micronesia, March 18, 2020 (SEND2PRESS NEWSWIRE) Schizophrenia may find a cure in individualized treatment. So says a new article in the science journal Holistic Nursing Practice. According to Dr. Daniel Helman, a researcher on the small island of Yap in Micronesia, long-term recovery is often possible, but appropriate studies are not being done.

Helman teaches at the College of Micronesia-FSM, in their division of education. He recently assessed the evidence-based literature related to schizophrenia. While there are promising avenues related to diet, exercise, and social roles that have some anecdotal support, treatment remains difficult because large, randomized trials are not being carried out.

[P]sychiatric medications include major health risks from effects that appear during long-term adherence, Helman writes, while many other non-medical treatments remain promising, awaiting further study. None of the existing studies of nonmedical treatment ideas are large enough to be conclusive. For example, having a [coach or personal trainer] help with 20 hours of exercise per week, the evidence base needs to be more complete so that funding for supports such as this can be instituted.

One rarely sees people suffering from the major symptoms of schizophrenia who have such an intensive exercise routine, according to Helman, so a path for future studies is likely to be useful.

Moreover, dietary interventions which could target autoimmune features, or vitamin or mineral deficiencies, or abnormal lipid metabolism, or gluten sensitivity await further study, and in the meantime long-term outcomes for those suffering from schizophrenia are not as good as they might be.

Helman has published several articles related to alternative and complementary treatments, but resistance, according to him, may be based on how medical practitioners think about the disease. Medications to mask the symptoms may be less effective in the long-term than finding a tailored solution to each patient by looking at them as an individual within a context.

Helmans Nonmedical Interventions for Schizophrenia: A Review of Diet, Exercise, and Social Roles is featured in the March/April 2020 issue of the peer-reviewed journal Holistic Nursing Practice which is part of the Web of Science. Read here:

Follow Helman on Twitter at:

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News Source: Daniel Helman Ph.D.

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How Exercise Reduces Cabin Fever (Plus Home Workouts to Get Started) – BarBend

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The coronavirus has caused a big pause button to be pushed on our everyday lives.

Gyms are closing, workplaces and schools are closing, and the news coverage is focused on the virus 24/7. And a lot of people have been forced to stay at home to help limit the spread.

And all this is a disaster for your stress levels which is why exercise is important in times like these.

Editors note: The content on BarBend is meant to be informative in nature, but it shouldnt take the place of advice and/or supervision from a medical professional. The opinions and articles on this site are not intended for use as diagnosis, prevention, and/or treatment of health problems. Speak with your physician if you have any concerns.

Stress is a state of mental, emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or demanding circumstances basically anything that alters your homeostasis.

There is what some consider good stress, which is often called eustress. This is moderate stress that makes you feel more excited than distressed. An example would be when you ride a roller coaster or get some great news.

Then theres the bad stress, more clinically referred to as acute or chronic stress. While stress is a vast topic and we dont want to risk oversimplifying it chronic stress can be exacerbated by poor diet and sleep habits, for just two examples a lot of acute or chronic stress can come from changes to ones routine or life that cause distress or anxiety. Acute stress triggers the bodys stress response, but the triggers arent usually exciting or healthy.

Chronic stress can occur when you repeatedly face stressors that take a heavy toll on your sanity. Much like the current situation we find ourselves in now.

Chronic stress is a serious health problem thats associated with many physical and mental health ailments, particularly inflammation, which can lead to hart disease, cancer, diabetes, and Alzheimers disease to name just a few.(1) Its estimated that between75% and 90% of primary care physician visits are caused by stress-related illnesses.

[Related: How stress impacts your strength and muscle]

Exercise and other physical activities help produce endorphins in our brain that appear to act as natural painkillers, stress reducers, and they improve our ability to sleep.

The exact physiological mechanisms to explain this havent been proven. However, research indicates that exercise improves the way the body handles stress because of changes in the hormone responses, and the positive effects exercise has on the brain.(2)

Regular exercise increases the volume of certain brain regions, particularly the hippocampus, through better blood supply. That helps improve overall brain health..

The hippocampus is an area of the brain thats involved in memory, emotion regulation, learning and plays a crucial role in mental health. Theres evidence to suggest many mental health conditions are associated with reduced growth and development of nervous tissue in the hippocampus. (3)

Which makes exercise an important for your mental as well as physical health.

[Related:4 Research-Backed Ways Lifting Weights and Eating Right Improve Mental Health]

If you dont have access to a gym or youre stuck at home during this stressful time, its important to find ways to train to stay in shape, stay sane and not lose your hard-fought gains.

Here are some examples using your body and household items to keep on top of your health and cabin fever.

Do this training 2-3 days per week with 48 hours rest in between training. All of the exercises are timed sets. The work/rest periods you can pick from are as follows choose wisely.

This is a five-exercise circuit (one after the other). The exercises are:

You will complete two- four circuits (depending on how much you have in the tank on training day) for a total training time of between 10-20 minutes.

Note that other exercises can be included in the above categories. Its not an exhaustive list.

If you want something a little less intense, bodyweight tri sets work well.

Rest one minute after each circuit and do 3-5 circuits

Rest one minute after each circuit and do 3-5 circuits.

Walk for three minutes and then use the Tabata protocol (20 sec work/10 sec rest for six to eight rounds) with the following bodyweight exercises.

Find yourself some open space and get your Usain Bolt on.

Walk for three minutes and then sprint for 15 seconds (100 % effort) followed by a 15 second walk. Repeat for five work/rest intervals and then cool down with a three-minute walk.

Exercise is more than for vanity, especially during this trying time. Staying on top of your health and fight to hold on to your gains by using your body to crush stress.

Dont worry, gym time will be coming again soon.

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Have digestive issues? Check out the power of Kefir [opinion] – Reading Eagle

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People who use yogurt but find that it gives them digestive issues might benefit from something like kefir.

The benefits of kefir run deeper than the benefits you and I can yield. In fact, researchers are now finding that kefir can be a powerful food to add to a cancer survivors diet, especially post-workout.

Kefir is actually fermented milk and is very similar to yogurt. providing many health benefits. It was first created in the north Caucasus Mountains and is extremely popular across Northern and Eastern Europe. Other countries, such as Russia, have also been utilizing kefir for centuries. Many consider it to be a more powerful and healthier version of yogurt.

For starters, kefir is very easily digested and provides the body with protein, vitamins, minerals and healthy bacteria (probiotics). Using kefir as part of your diet can help build a healthy digestive system, improved immunity and promote regular bowel movements. Kefir can be found at just about any grocery store.

On average (depending on the brand), 6 ounces of kefir contains 100 calories, 7 grams of carbohydrates, 6 grams of protein and 4 grams of fat.

The benefits of exercise can improve the lives of everyone. However, for cancer patients and survivors, the treatments used often times leave them with digestion issues. This can make it extremely hard to consume products with dairy, including things like whey protein that includes lactose.

The good news is, those who suffer from lactose intolerances are generally able to tolerate kefir.

Some research is even touting kefir as being able to protect the body against certain forms of cancer. This can be especially important not only for those who already went through treatment, but also for the general public who are looking to be proactive and preventative.

Researchers came up with a beverage that they tested on 52 cancer survivors post-workout to see how their body reacted and if they could manage drinking the beverage containing kefir. The beverage also included things such as fruit, natural sweeteners and other natural ingredients to aid in post-workout recovery without the use of something such as whey protein. The participants were not initially told what all was in the beverage until after they first tasted the product.

When given the beverage, the cancer survivors were asked to rate the beverage on its appearance, aroma, taste, mouth feel, overall liking, their physical and psychological feelings and if they would purchase this beverage if it were made available for purchase. Following the initial tasting, the researchers then explained to the participants the benefits of kefir and asked them to sample the beverage again and answer the same set of questions as before.

The results of the study showed that the kefir-based drink was highly accepted and liked by all participants. They admitted that the beverage is something they would purchase if available. While the overall scores were a little higher in the second round of testing, the scores from the initial were still high and showed an overall liking of the beverage even without knowing what was in it and the health benefits associated with consuming a beverage with kefir.

One researcher mentioned: Kefir may be a great way for cancer survivors to enjoy a post-exercise dairy drink in the future. The beverage received high scores overall and, except for an improvement in overall liking, we observed no significant differences in physical and psychological feelings before and after participants learned that it contained kefir and had potential health benefits.

Most people will prefer to go to the store and purchase pre-made kefir, but it should be noted that you can make kefir at your home. It will take one or two days until the kefir is ready to consume, but it can be done if you prefer something homemade. There are many different ways and directions on how to make it that can be found online. Find one that sounds good to you and run with it.

Is kefir something you should include in your own personal nutrition plan? Absolutely. With all the benefits associated with kefir, Id recommend that everyone consider adding it.

Most of us arent worried about digestive health simply because it isnt something we can see. However, its extremely important and shouldnt be negated. Add kefir to your diet for a few weeks and see how you feel. The good news is, for those who eat yogurt, but arent thrilled with the feeling and/or discomfort they get from it, kefir is a great option to ease any bloating, gas or digestive discomfort.


Elsevier. "Cancer survivors get a taste for kefir after exercise: Study shows kefir is a good way for cancer survivors to enjoy a fortifying post-exercise dairy drink without stomach upset." ScienceDaily, 12 July 2017.

K. O'Brien, C. Boeneke, W. Prinyawiwatkul, J. Lisano, D. Shackelford, K. Reeves, M. Christensen, R. Hayward, K. Carabante Ordonez, L.K. Stewart. Short communication: Sensory analysis of a kefir product designed for active cancer survivors. Journal of Dairy Science, 2017; 100 (6): 4349

Matt Weik, owner of Weik Fitness LLC, Lower Heidelberg Township, is a fitness expert and author. His work, featured in fitness magazines and many websites, can be found on

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Have digestive issues? Check out the power of Kefir [opinion] - Reading Eagle

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Low and High Blood Pressure: Numbers, Causes, Symptoms and Treatment – LIVESTRONG.COM

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High blood pressure doesn't usually come with symptoms, which is why it's so important to have your doctor check it regularly.

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When it comes to blood pressure, a reading of 120/80 is "perfect," right? Well, not exactly. Just like 20/20 isn't necessarily perfect vision, 120/80 is technically the borderline between normal and elevated blood pressure. So, not bad, exactly but not really ideal, either.

It might sound like we're splitting hairs, but high blood pressure (aka hypertension) is a lot more dangerous than imperfect vision. It affects more than 100 million Americans (almost half the adult U.S. population), according to the American Heart Association, and those people are at a higher risk for some pretty serious health conditions because of it.

It's not all bad news, though: High blood pressure is largely preventable and definitely treatable. And it all starts with the basics.

Arm yourself with the knowledge you need on the causes, risks, prevention and treatment of this common foe so you can keep or bring your numbers into a healthy range (that's below 120/80, for the record). Plus, get tips on how to recognize when blood pressure goes too low, and what to do about it.

Your blood pressure is an important gauge of how healthy you're likely to be in the future.

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Your doctor takes your blood pressure at each visit because it's a key indicator of your health. But beyond a number on your medical chart, how much do you really know about blood pressure at the basic level?

In layman's terms, your BP is a measure of how hard your blood is pressing on the walls of your arteries as it courses through your body. The top (systolic) number gauges the pressure when your heart is beating, while the bottom (diastolic) number represents the pressure when your heart is resting between pumps.

A little bit of pressure is good, to help the blood get where it needs to go (read: to all your vital organs). But as the saying goes, too much of a good thing isn't, well, a good thing.

Learn more about blood pressure basics and check out a chart that breaks down healthy vs. unhealthy numbers.

High blood pressure is referred to as the "silent killer."

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High blood pressure means your top number is 130 or higher or your bottom number is 80 or higher. For most people, hypertension is caused by aging or lifestyle factors tied to heart health (think: diet and exercise). For others, it could be the result of another health condition, such as sleep apnea or thyroid issues, or even certain medications.

Whatever the cause, high blood pressure doesn't usually have any symptoms, which isn't a good thing. Hypertension is often called the "silent killer" because it can lead to heart attack, stroke and coronary artery disease, among other conditions, with little to no warning.

Regular exercise can help keep your blood pressure in a healthy range.

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An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, as the saying goes, and preventing high blood pressure is no exception to that rule.

That's especially true for people at higher risk for developing the condition, such as African Americans and those with a family history of hypertension. Even if you're prone to high BP, though, there's plenty you can do to keep your numbers from sliding into the red.

A regular yoga practice could help lower your blood pressure by reducing stress.

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If you already have high blood pressure, there's no reason to throw in the towel. In fact, now's the perfect time to get a handle on your numbers. With just a few tweaks to your daily habits, it's totally possible to bring down your BP and reduce your health risks along with it.

For many people, lowering salt intake is a crucial step, because excess sodium can increase BP and put a strain on the heart. But there are lots of other small steps you can take beyond changing your diet (hello, breathing exercises!) that can make a big difference, too.

Low blood pressure, or hypotension, is more common among older adults.

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High blood pressure is a concern in any context. Low blood pressure, on the other hand, isn't always an issue. But while complications are less common, low BP can sometimes be just as serious.

Technically, low blood pressure (aka hypotension) is any reading below 90/60. Low BP is simply genetic for some people. But it's only considered dangerous if it's brought on suddenly by things like infection or dehydration, or if it's accompanied by symptoms, such as nausea, feeling faint or having cold, clammy skin.

If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.

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Low and High Blood Pressure: Numbers, Causes, Symptoms and Treatment - LIVESTRONG.COM

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March 19th, 2020 at 12:48 am

Posted in Nutrition

Increase in cases of colorectal cancer in young adults – Medical News Bulletin

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Although colorectal cancer is typically associated with older age-groups, a recent study has found that there is an increase in cases of colorectal cancer in young people between the ages of 20 to 49.

In Canada, colorectal cancer is the third most prevalent cancer among the population. Estimates are that over 12% of all cancers diagnosed in 2020 will be colorectal cancers. Most of the cases occur in people aged 50 or older, and the older a person gets, the greater their risk of contracting this disease. This is why doctors recommend colonoscopies, a test to examine the inside of a colon, as well as newer non-invasive tests for patients aged 50 and older.

There are many factors that have been shown to increase the risk of colorectal cancer in the general population. These include a family history of colorectal cancer, a family or personal history of polyps (non-cancerous growths), diet, exercise levels, smoking, and alcohol consumption. This means that there is a combination of genetic risk factors and environmental factors that can contribute to the growth of cancerous cells.

It seems that colon cancer may not remain a disease common only to older adults. A recent study from England has shown that there is an increase in the number of new cases of colorectal cancer in young adults.

Researchers examined documented cases of colorectal cancers over a 30-year period, from 1985 to 2015, using a database that keeps track of cancer cases in England. They looked at the ages of the affected patients and the location of their cancers, as well as the patients gender, geographic location, and their estimated socioeconomic status. In total, they examined over 1.1 million cases of colorectal cancers over the 30-year span. What they found is that there has been an overall increase in the trends of diagnoses of colorectal cancer in young adults.

The researchers then examined factors that could affect these trends across the population. They found that the incidences were similar between men and women, and did not change based on the geographic location or the estimated socioeconomic status of the patients. This surprised them, since a common risk factor for cancer is obesity, and there is often a higher incidence of childhood obesity in lower socioeconomic areas.

However, according to the researchers, there has been an overall increase in obesity among English youth, regardless of socioeconomic status. This could go a long way to explaining the increase in colorectal cancer diagnoses seen in young adults. Yet, this is only one of many risk factors, and it cannot fully explain the increased incidence.

For example, the researchers found that there was a slightly higher incidence in the South of England as compared to Northern England, despite the South of England benefiting from an overall higher socioeconomic status. The researchers believe this is due to the fact that the population of Southern England has slightly better access to medical services. This can lead to more cases being detected earlier in the patients lives and it would explain some of the differences in the age of diagnoses.

While there is no clear-cut answer as to why there has been an increase in colorectal cancer in young adults, the trend is definitely moving upwards, and medicine will have to adapt to this in order to respond to the needs of all future colorectal cancer patients.

Written by Nancy Lemieux


1. Study reveals rising colorectal cancer rates among young adults. (2020). Retrieved 16 March 2020, from

2. Chambers, A. (2020). Demographic trends in the incidence of youngonset colorectal cancer: a populationbased study. Retrieved 16 March 2020, from

3. What is colorectal cancer? Canadian Cancer Society. (2020). Retrieved 16 March 2020, from

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Increase in cases of colorectal cancer in young adults - Medical News Bulletin

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March 19th, 2020 at 12:48 am

Coronavirus homeschooling? Five ways to keep your kids learning, happy and healthy – Sky News

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Families across the UK are scrambling to figure out how they can keep their children's education going at home. Sky News asked the experts.

Tom Rose and Jack Pannett are qualified teachers and sports coaches and run an activity business that helps children learn. They also broadcast their own podcast.

Here, they set out their five top tips on how to keep your kids engaged, learning, healthy and happy while schools are closed because of coronavirus...

1. Plan and prioritise: The core subjects

If you're not a teacher by trade, give yourself some realistic goals - trying to conquer the whole curriculum is probably going to make you and your child anxious (especially if you're juggling your work and this new teaching role). Prioritise the core curriculum - Maths and English. We are firm believers that your best is enough.

There are other lots of ways to cover the rest of the curriculum and you can get creative with these, for example, watching Horrible Histories or Blue Planet is a great way to cover some of the humanities. And don't worry, Ofsted won't be calling anytime soon.

You don't need to reinvent the wheel. There is an abundance of free online resources, as well as those that your child's school will probably send you. Instead, prioritise and plan what you're going to cover, and do your best to execute your plan. Like any new job, the first few days will be about finding your feet.

2. Opening your new school

Welcome to your new school - make yourself at home! It's time for you to meet your new pupils.

We find that with the children we work with, starting with 'why' is key. It helps the children understand the purpose of the task and enables them to understand why they're being asked to do it. Each household's 'why' will be different: it could be "because when we go back to school, we need to be up to date with the learning," but just make sure you don't use "because I said so, or you're grounded". Let's be honest, we're all going to be grounded for a bit.

After starting with 'why' we give the children an element of choice: we've found this to be a brilliant motivator. An immediate decision they could make is to give their new school a name and design its badge. Then, once they've done this, you can begin to have a discussion with them about what's going to be included in the curriculum. Spoiler alert: it's primarily Maths and English.

Include your children in the discussion around the different topics you cover and when you're going to do so.

Now you've managed to get your new class on board, it's time to set some school rules. This could include phone use, use of calculators, rules on talking over one another and reinforcing the "absolutely no children in the staff room" rule. Ever!

3. Fresh start: Establish routines

From our experience, children and adults react well to structure, especially a morning routine. Heck, maybe even get out of your PJs and put on your new school uniform? Try to design the learning schedule together and if possible, allocate a specific work space for your new class - their new classroom. This way they can primarily associate this space with their learning, and will find it easier to switch off when in other areas of the house.

To try and maintain some links to their usual school experience, consider setting break and lunch times. You don't need to install a bell for this, but if you're feeling lavish, a whistle will suffice. Make sure you take into consideration any of your work commitments that may affect this if you aim to align your work with their learning time.

There will be ample opportunity in the evening for some downtime and being firm on breaks will help to reinforce the value of learning time.

If you can co-ordinate this time with other 'schools' (families), the children could regain some of the social elements by communicating with others and having some virtual playtime.

4. Tips on teaching core subjects

When you were at school, who was your favourite teacher? Remember them? Even if you can't, this is your opportunity to be THAT teacher. Try to see it from your child's perspective: this will shape a lot of your decision making and allow you to optimise their learning experience.

Champion progress. Fortunately, your class is small. This is a great opportunity for your children to not have to compare themselves with their peers. Instead, they can focus on doing their best and beating their own scores.

A great way to monitor progress and understanding is by flipping the classroom dynamic. After you've covered a topic, swap over the pupil/teacher roles and get the children to teach you what they've learned. This is another opportunity to give them choice: they can plan their lesson and teach it however they want. Additionally, if they use a computer to plan their lesson, without knowing it you're forging cross-curricular links. Look at you go! (No, you cannot have a pay-rise).

A good teacher is reflective. Stubbornness is different to being firm. If things aren't working out, don't be harsh on yourself or your class. Try it and then feel free to tweak down the line if need be. Remember: there are no exams this year, so there's no need to 'teach for the test'. This is your opportunity to inspire your children and foster a love of learning.

5. You can't pour from an empty cup

As you will find out, teaching can be a stressful job. It's not the cliche eight-week-holiday dream that you were mis-sold by the careers adviser. Staff and pupil well-being is now in your hands.

The school canteen needs to have brain healthy foods where possible, such as fruit and veg, lots of water and avoid sugar. Exercise is something we'd advise should place early in the school day to get your class energised, but not fatigued. If they've forgotten their PE kit, don't be too harsh, just don't forget to bring this up at parent's evening.

A good teacher also leads by example, so remember to put plans in place to take care of your staff too. Take time to relax, have a varied and balanced diet and partake in physical exercise.

In the past, we have found journalling, meditation and breathing exercises all to be very useful for reducing stress. These steps have really helped us to maximise our teaching ability and stay positive when times are tough. Remember: you can't pour from an empty cup.

It's the dream job you never expected. Stay positive, don't be too harsh on yourself or your class, and remember... your best will be enough.

:: Tom and Jack have set an English competition for kids to try from home and they're offering a 100 prize for the winner.

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Coronavirus homeschooling? Five ways to keep your kids learning, happy and healthy - Sky News

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March 19th, 2020 at 12:48 am

Posted in Nutrition

Weight loss transformation: Woman shed incredible 10st in 12 months – what did she eat? – Express

Posted: March 6, 2020 at 3:44 am

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Weight loss is not easy to achieve but a diet and exercise plan will help kick start results. One woman lost a remarkable 10st 1lb and seven dress sizes after making a huge change to her lifestyle. What diet plan did she use?

Holly Hague, 27, had always struggled with her weight and would comfort eating to deal with insecurities.

Over the years, she noticed her weight creep up to 21st 5lb and she squeezed into a size 26.

Two years ago, the dieter decided enough was enough and signed up for her local slimming group.

Since then, Holly has transformed her diet and exercise regime and managed to drop an impressive 10 stone.

READ MORE: Best diet plan to boost your workout: From running to yoga, what to eat before exercise

She said: I know this is clich but at the end of 2017 I was in the mindset of new year new me.

"I knew I wanted fast weight loss that really would change my eating habits for good.

I spent my childhood being chunkier than others in my class and far too many years comfort eating to drown out the mean remarks. It was time I found my self-worth.

The dieter signed up for the LighterLife plan which focused on eating calorie-controlled meals.


Holly added: The LighterLife Total Plan was perfect for me because it took food out of the equation.

I didnt have to obsess or worry over the number of calories or if Id unknowingly eaten the wrong thing.

Each day Id have four products which were around 800 kcal: breakfast was a Vanilla Shake with coffee, Chocolate Raisin Bar for lunch, followed by a Chicken Noodle FastPot for dinner and a Toffee Bar.

By changing her diet plan, Holly dropped to 11st 4lb and a slim size 10/12 in just one year. She has since kept the weight off.

Not only did healthy eating help her stay in shape, the slimmer has added exercise into her regime.

This past year Ive found this enjoyment for exercise which I never imagined Id have, Holly added. Ill be keeping up my gym membership!

After losing weight, Holly explained the transformation had helped boost her confidence as well as change her appearance.

She said: Since losing almost 10 stone I feel like a totally different person both physically and mentally.

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Weight loss transformation: Woman shed incredible 10st in 12 months - what did she eat? - Express

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March 6th, 2020 at 3:44 am

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