Prevent Illness After Floods

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When returning to your home after a flooding emergency, be aware flood water may contain sewage. We’ve learned a lot from past floods. Please stay informed and healthy.

 

Health Risks and Hazards Caused by Floods by Naoki Minamiguchi

Introduction

A flood can devastate homes, commercial buildings, agricultural and pastoral lands, public goods, and other physical properties. However, during the flood and its aftermath, there are also threats to one’s health and safety.

In the flood occurred in Bangladesh in 1988, diarrhea was found to be most common illness and a major cause of death amongst the population affected by the flood that helped spread the disease (Siddique, et al 1991).

Prevalent respiratory infection induced by the flood was also blamed for the high morbidity and death toll – 46,740 patients and 154 deaths – in the devastated areas.

In developing regions of the world, acute sanitation problems and various water-borne diseases – such as diarrhea, dysentery, cholera and typhoid – threaten disaster affected populations, especially the poor and vulnerable, due to lack of access to safe drinking water, medicine and hygienic food.

While infection risks may be low in industrialized countries (Public Health Laboratory Service 2000), floodwater is generally contaminated by various pollutants: sewage, human and animal feces, pesticides and insecticides, fertilizers, oil, asbestos, rusting building materials, and so forth.

This was evidenced by the health and environmental tests carried out on the floodwaters in New Orleans where the unprecedented flooding and destruction was caused by Hurricane Katrina – one of the worst natural disasters ever occurred in the United States – and hundreds of thousands of residents lost homes and were displaced in temporary shelters.

The tests revealed a clear signal of bacteria and lead hazards to human health and warned the public to avoid exposure to the contaminated water accordingly (Gerencher 2005).

Sources of Health Risks and Hazards

Although the public attention is normally paid to the risk of physical property destruction caused by floods, it is strongly suggested that each of us remembers and practices some basic precautions to prevent possible diseases and injuries during and after flooding and to maintain good health during the repercussion of floods.

Amongst others, the following health risks and hazards are the common health threats.

Unsafe food

Floodwaters contain disease causing bacteria, dirt, oil, human and animal wastes, and farm and industrial chemicals.

They carry away whatever existing on the ground and upstream.

Their contact with food items including foodcrops in agricultural lands during flooding can make that food unsafe to eat and hazardous to human health.

Power failures caused by floods also damage stored food.

Refrigerated and frozen foods are affected during the outage periods, and thus must be carefully monitored and examined prior to consumption.

Foods kept inside cardboards, plastic bags, jars, bottles, and paper packaging are equally subject to disposal if contaminated by floodwaters.

Even though the packages do not appear to be wet, they may be unhygienic with mold contamination and deteriorate rapidly. (CDC Fact Sheets 10 September 2004 and 2 September 2005; Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services 2005; NDSU various years)

Contaminated drinking and washing water and poor sanitation

 

Flooding impairs clean water sources with pollutants and devastates sanitary toilets.

Direct and indirect contact with the contaminants – whether through direct food intakes, vector insects such as flies, unclean hands, or dirty plates and utensils – result in waterborne illnesses and life- threatening infection diseases.

The pollutants also saturate into the ground water and/or can infiltrate into sanitary sewer lines through the ground. In addition, wastewater treatment plants, if flooded and malfunctioned, can be overloaded with polluted runoff waters and sewage beyond their disposal capacity, resulting into backflows of raw sewage to homes and low lying grounds.

Private wells can be also contaminated or damaged severely by floodwaters, while private sewage disposal systems also become a cause of infection and illnesses when they are broken or overflowed (CDC Fact Sheets 10 September 2004 and 10 September 2005).

In this manner, unclean drinking and washing water and sanitation, coupled with lack of adequate sewage treatment, can lead to disease outbreaks, e.g. life-threatening cholera, typhoid, dysentery and some forms of hepatitis as experienced in the floods in Bangladesh and New Orleans.

Indeed, many lives were claimed by the infectious diseases broken out during and after the wave surges of the Indian Ocean Tsunamis and resultant floods that devastated regions along the coasts in Southeast and South Asian countries (Government of Western Australia; Indonesia Relief 2005; Rose 2005; WHO).

The key to preventing a health catastrophe is therefore a basic hygiene: i.e. clean and safe water and toilets.

Mosquitoes and animals

Prolonged rainfall and floods provide new breeding grounds – wet areas and stagnant pools – for mosquitoes and can lead to an increase in the number of mosquito-borne diseases such as malaria and dengue and West Nile fevers (Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services 2005).

It is also suggested to avoid contact with wild animals, rats and rodents that possibly carry viruses and diseases, and to get rid of dead animals in accordance with official guidelines issued by local animal control authorities if any (CDC Fact Sheet 10 September 2004).

Leptospirosis, or Weil’s disease – a zoonotic bacterial disease associated predominantly with rats – often accompanies floods in developing countries (Leptospirosis Information Center).

The leptospirosis risk is however very low in the industrialized regions unless any cuts or wounds have direct contact with the disease contaminated floodwaters or animals.

Molds and mildews

Excessive exposure to molds and mildews can cause flood victims – especially those with allergies and asthma – to contract upper respiratory diseases and to trigger cold-like symptoms, e.g. sore throat, watery eyes, wheezing and dizziness (CDC 2006; FEMA 2005; North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services).

Molds grow in as short a period as 24 to 48 hours in wet and damp areas of the buildings and homes that have not been cleaned after flooding such as water infiltrated walls, floors, carpets, toilets and bathrooms.

Although molds exist naturally as well as in our normal life, very small mold’s spores can be easily inhaled by human bodies and cause allergic reactions, asthma episodes, and other respiratory problems if a large amount of molds are inbreathed.

Amongst others, infants, children, elderly people, and pregnant women are considered most vulnerable to mold induced health problems.

Carbon monoxide poisoning

Post-flood carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning is reported to be a growing problem in many developed countries. CO can be found in combustion fumes, e.g. fumes generated by small gasoline engines, stoves, generators, lanterns, and gas ranges, or by burning charcoals and woods.

In the event of power outages following floods, the flood victims tend to use alternative sources of fuels or electricity for heating, cooling, or cooking inside enclosed or partly enclosed houses, garages or buildings without an adequte level of air ventilation (Environmental Health Center

2001).

CO builds up from these sources and poisons the people and animals inside. CO poisoning therefore should be regarded as a potential hazard after major floods.

Other hazards when reentering and cleaning flooded homes and buildings

Besides the flood related health problems described above, flooded homes and buildings can pose other significant health hazards and risks after floodwaters recede.

First of all, electrical power systems including fallen power lines can become hazardous during cleanup activities (CDC Fact Sheets 11 September 2004 and 29 August 2005).

One should avoid turning on or off the main power while standing in the remaining floodwater.

Gas leaks that may be occurring from pipelines or propane tanks can trigger another disastrous outcome – e.g. fire and explosion – when entering and cleaning damaged buildings as well as endeavoring to restore utilities services (CDC Fact Sheets 10 September 2004 and 27 October 2004).

Flood debris – such as broken bottles, woods, stones and walls – may also cause fresh wounds and injuries when removing contaminated mud and cleaning damaged buildings.

Extreme caution must be used with possible chemical hazards during flood recovery.

Containers of hazardous chemicals including pesticides, insecticides, fertilizers, car batteries, propane tanks, and other industrial chemicals may be hidden or buried under flood debris (CDC Fact Sheets 10 September 2004 and 6 April 2005).

Lastly, a health hazard can also occur when hazardous dusts and molds remaining in the ducts, fans and ventilators of air-conditioning and heating equipment are circulated throughout the building and inhaled by those engaged in cleanup and restoration unless it is properly cleaned after flooding (North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services).

Mental stress and fatigue

A flood can cause both emotional and physical stress. However, various reports attribute a major health hazard of floods to mental stress or psychological distress due to exposure to extreme disaster events (NDSU various years).

Having experienced a devastating flood, seen loved ones lost or injured, and homes damaged or destroyed, flooding poses a long-term psychological impact on the flood victims. In addition, the cost and labor required to repair flood-damaged homes places severe financial and psychological burdens on the people affected, in particular the unprepared and uninsured. Post-flood recovery – especially when it becomes prolonged – can commonly cause mental disorders, anxiety, anger, depression, lethargy, hyperactivity, sleeplessness, and in an extreme case, suicides amongst the flood victims.

Behavior changes may also occur in children such as an increase in bed-wetting and aggression. There is also a long- term concern amongst the affected that their homes would be flooded again in the future. Dr Noji argues that many reported morbidity problems caused by disasters including hypertension and cardiovascular disease – and even leukemia and lymphoma – may be stress-related (Noji 1997).

While more attention is usually paid to the cleanups and repairs of the damaged buildings and properties during the aftermath, it is also required for individual victims to look after him/herself and his/her family, and when appropriate to obtain proper emotional support from local authorities, relief agencies, psychological counselors, mentors, friends, relatives, etc.

Conclusions

Restoring flooded homes, buildings and properties is an overwhelming task both physically and emotionally. It is often not easy for the depressed flood victims to even identify where to start while avoiding potential health risks and hazards of devastating flooding.

A number of guidelines and detailed instructions for restoration have been already issued by local governments, health centers, research institutions, and international organizations involved with disaster relief and assistance in order to protect the flood victims and rescue and restoration workers from various health threats discussed in this report.

Flood Protection Handbook of the Boulder County, for instance, contains invaluable information on concrete actions to be taken before, during and after

a flood (Boulder County 2002).

All governmental bodies or public entities are strongly encouraged to follow suite if they have not implemented a similar course of actions.

They are also expected to address the health risks and hazards in national, regional and community flood management plans and programmes and to make appropriate effort to raise public awareness of such risks and hazards.

References

  • –  Boulder County (2002) Flood Protection Handbook. Boulder, Colorado
  • –  Center for Disease Control and Prevention (2004) Key Facts about Flood Recovery. Fact Sheet 10September 2004. Atlanta. CDC
  • –  Center for Disease Control and Prevention (2004) Reentering Your Flooded Home. Fact Sheet 27 October 2004. Atlanta. CDC
  • –  Center for Disease Control and Prevention (2004) What You Need to Know When the Power Goes Out Unexpectedly. Fact Sheet 11 September 2004. Atlanta. CDC
  • –  Center for Disease Control and Prevention (2005) After a Flood. Fact Sheet 6 April 2005. Atlanta. CDC
  • –  Detroit Health Department, et al. (2004) Imminent Health Hazard Emergency Response Reference forRegulators
  • –  Center for Disease Control and Prevention (2005) Disinfecting Wells Following an Emergency. FactSheet 10 September 2005. Atlanta. CDC
  • –  Center for Disease Control and Prevention (2005) How to Protect Yourself and Others from ElectricalHazards Following a Natural Disaster. Fact Sheet 29 August 2005. Atlanta. CDC
  • –  Center for Disease Control and Prevention (2005) Keep Food and Water Safe After a Natural Disasteror Power Outage. Fact Sheet 2 September 2005. Atlanta. CDC
  • –  Center for Disease Control and Prevention (2006) Health Concerns Associated with Mold in Water- Damaged Homes After Hurricannes Katrina and Rita — New Orleans Area, Louisiana, October 2005. Morbidity and Mortarity Weekly Report 55(02); 41-44. 20 January 2006
  • –  Environmental Health Center (2001) Air Quality Problems Caused by Floods (http://www.nsc.org/ehc/indoor/floods.htm) Washington DC. National Safety Council
  • –  Federal Emergency Management Agency (2005) Storm Drenching May Foster Mold Growth and Become a Health Hazard. Release Number: 1612-014. 30 November 2005. Atlanta. FEMA
  • –  Government of Western Australia. Asia Tsunami (http://www.health.wa.gov.au/tsunami/professionals.cfm)
  • –  Indonesia Relief (2005) Rebuilding After the Tsunamis: Addressing Infectious Diseases in Indonesia. 12

April 2005 (http://www.indonesia- relief.org/mod.php?mod=publisher&op=viewarticle&cid=27&artid=654)

http://www.newsweek.com/hurricane-harvey-infectious-diseases-flood-water-bacteria-viruses-656093– Ross, E. (2005) No Major Disease Outbreaks Yet, But Health Officials Say Clean Water and Sanitation are Key to Preventing Life-threatening Cholera, Typhoid and Dysentery. AP Worldstream. Jakarta (http://www.sfgate.com/cgi- bin/article.cgi?f=/news/archive/2005/01/01/international1508EST0500.DTL)

  • –  Siddique, A.K., et al (1991) 1988 Floods in Bangladesh: Pattern of Illness and Causes of Death. Journal of Diarrhoeal Diseases Research 1991 December; 9(4): 310-4.
  • –  Noji, E (1997) The Public Health Consequences of Disasters. New York. Oxford University Press–World Health Organization. Three Months after the Indian Ocean Earthquake-Tsunami. (http://www.who.int/hac/crises/international/asia_tsunami/3months/report/en/index.html

From Washington State Labor & Industry:

10 Most likely Hazards After a Flood

  1. Electrical and Gas Hazards
  • Take caution and treat all electrical lines, wires, equipment and fixtures as if they are energized until proven otherwise.
  • Immediately evacuate buildings if a gas leak or odor is detected, and notify the site supervisor or competent person.
  1. Motor Vehicles
  • Monitor local road conditions and obey closure signs. Don’t drive though flowing water. Six inches of water may cause you to lose control of your vehicle and two feet of water will carry most cars away.
  • Standing water may not carry you away, but you may not be able to tell how deep it is. Unless you know how deep it is, it’s best to not drive through standing water.
  • Be aware of seen and unseen road hazards such as building debris, tree limbs, and pot holes. Also floods bring mud and roads can become very slick.
  1. Respiratory Hazards
  • Gasoline, propane and diesel-powered equipment (such as portable generators, power washers, compressors and pumps) should only be operated in well-ventilated outdoor areas to prevent the buildup of carbon monoxide gas.
  • Stay upwind of or away from dust-generating activities, in particular involving crystalline silica-containing materials like concrete, brick, tile, drywall, mortar, sand, or stone.
  • Identify building materials such as painted surfaces and pipes that may contain lead.
  • If an area is known or suspected to contain asbestos, ensure that an assessment has been done by a competent individual before entering the area; if asbestos is present, wait until it is removed or contained.
  • Notify the supervisor immediately if asbestos is identified at the site and stop work until it has been removed or contained.
  • Refrain from entering areas with extensive mold buildup.
  1. Chemical Use/Exposure
  • Be aware of your surroundings. If there is evidence (sight or smell) of chemicals or their use, avoid that area and request an Industrial Hygienist accompany you.
  1. Sharp, jagged debris
  • Tree limbs.
  • Construction or demolition debris.
  • Broken glass.
  • Animal bites, both stray pets and wild animals.
  1. Roofing and Working from Heights
  • Ensure the use of fall protection systems: guardrails, safety nets or fall arrest systems.
  • Identify areas of structural weakness.
  • Identify ladder hazards and ensure their safe use.
  1. Power Tools
  • Ensure guarding on power tools is in good working order and always used.

 

  • Inspect all extension cords, remove from service those that are damaged, cut or have exposed wiring and inner insulation.

 

  • Use ground-fault circuit interrupters (GFCI) or double-insulated power tools that are approved by a Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory.
  1. Flood Waters (Drowning/Walking)
  • Same as with driving, six inches of moving water may cause you to lose your footing and two feet of water will carry you away. Stay out of moving water.

 

  • Even standing water can present similar hazards. The water most likely will not be clear; therefore you won’t see how deep even a small puddle is. Avoid walking in standing water unless you know it is safe to do so.

 

  • Be aware of seen and unseen hazards such as building debris, tree limbs, and pot holes. Also floods bring mud and walkways can become very slick.
  1. Noise
  • Ensure the use of hearing protection when noise levels exceed 85 decibels. Generally, if you cannot hold a normal conversation at arm’s length due to noise, then hearing protection should be worn.
  1.  Personal Decontamination
  • Always wash hands with soap and water before eating, drinking, smoking, applying lip balm or cosmetics to prevent contamination of the mouth, nose or eyes with hazardous materials or infectious agents. Use a waterless alcohol-based hand cleaner if water is not available.

 

  • Decontaminate raingear and rubber boots that have been exposed to potentially hazardous materials.

 

 

For more information on how to protect yourself and your family, visit CDC’s Flood Water After a Disaster or Emergency.

 

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Health Benefits of Spinning and How To Do It Right

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spin13These Spin tips will keep you sweating, smiling and secure knowing you’re doing it right.

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First, here’s a little history on how Spinning was first created. Back in the ’90’s medical anchor, Ileana Bravo and I interviewed the founder of something people in Miami were talking about called “Spinning.”  We produced a health segment for NBC Miami and interviewed the Founder of it.  His name was Johnny G.

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The TODAY SHOW picked up the Miami story and spinning spun off nationwide. Johnny G. wanted other people to be able to reach their champion within from anywhere the same way he desired to after being sidelined in a car accident.

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The founder, Johnny G’s full name is Johnny Goldberg. He was a champion endurance bicycle racer. His passion to create a different type of indoor bike was ignited after he was hit by a car while training on his bike outdoors at night.

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Following that accident, Johnny G. spent ten years developing the right type of indoor cycle that would feel like his real road bike.

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The Spinner® bike officially launched in NYC in 1993 and was offered at Crunch Gyms.

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Here’s what it looks like.

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Spinning is still hotter than ever because of all of the above and more.

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Print

Now you know why it’s so popular with men and women. Here’s how to do it right.

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Proper set-up and form helps you avoid injury and maximize all those health perks.

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Everyone can benefit from a few expert tips. Numero Uno:  Warm up.

Best Warm Up Moves Before a Spinning Bike Class

by Brian Willett

Warm-up moves can help you burn more calories, reduce risk of injury, and improve your performance on the bike. Of course, certain warm-up moves will be more effective than others, so choosing well is important.

Quadriceps Moves

Your quadriceps — the large group of four muscles on the front of your thighs — drives the motion of spinning workouts, providing power to move the pedals. You can get your quadriceps ready for spinning with body-weight squats, light pedaling and the standing quadriceps stretch. To perform that stretch, stand with one hand leaning on a wall for support, and the other hand holding your foot to your buttocks so you are standing on one leg. Be sure to flex your knee completely when performing the standing quadriceps stretch to ensure you are fully stretching the muscle.

Hamstrings Moves

Your hamstrings are located on the back of your upper leg, and like the quadriceps, they are involved in every pedal stroke when spinning. An easy way to get your hamstrings ready for spinning is to bend over and touch your toes. You can also sit down and perform a sit-and-reach motion. According to a study from the February 2005 edition of the “Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research,” performing static stretches rather than dynamic moves is preferable for improving flexibility.

Back Moves

Your back muscles have to work hard to maintain proper posterior chain alignment and prevent you from slouching over when you ride. Thus, it’s important that you warm up your back muscles to prepare them for that work. You can stretch your back muscles in several ways, such as by lying on your back and pulling your knees to your chest, or doing the cat-cow stretch.

Shoulder Moves

Although your shoulders don’t push the pedals, they do help support your upper body while you ride and assist in steering. Moves such as jumping jacks, arm circles, and extending your arms behind your back as far as you can will help you get your shoulders loose and ready for your spinning class.

Calf Moves

The muscles of your calves are small, but they can produce a lot of power when cycling. Both squats and jumping jacks can help warm up your calves, but you may also wish to perform calf stretches while leaning against a wall. To do so, put both hands on a wall and lean into the wall, with one leg bent at the knee and one extended fully back.

 

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Now that you’re warmed up, I spoke with expert Spin Instructor, Julie Insogna.

Now that you’re warmed up, I spoke with Spin Instructor, Julie Insogna about your next move:

QUESTION:

FIRST, TELL US WHEN AND WHY YOU GOT INTERESTED IN SPINNING?

JULIE INSOGNA:

QUESTION:

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF SPINNING?

JULIE INSOGNA:

QUESTION:

WHAT’S THE FIRST THING SOMEONE SHOULD DO WHEN ENTERING A SPIN CLASS?

JULIE INSOGNA:

QUESTION:

WHAT’S THE SECOND THING THEY NEED TO DO?

JULIE INSOGNA:

QUESTION:

THIRD?
JULIE INSOGNA:

QUESTION:

ANYTHING ELSE SPINNERS NEED TO KNOW?

JULIE INSOGNA:

QUESTION:

WHERE CAN PEOPLE TAKE YOUR CLASS OR FIND OUT MORE ABOUT IT?

 

Thanks, Julie!  

More Great Spin Tips by Deb Cheslow:

What to Wear in Spin Class

spin3When you first start spin, you might want to wear padded cycle shorts as the saddle takes some getting used to.

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Most spin classes have bikes with pedals that accommodate people in sneakers in addition to one or two types of cycle clips that attach to cycling shoes.

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When we first started spin, we wore sneakers for a couple months before making the commitment to buy the shoes. In hindsight, we would have purchased those “spin shoes” much sooner, as you have so much more leverage and less wiggling when you’re clipped into the spin pedals. It also puts much less stress on your shins and toes!

How to Set Up Your Bike

Spin class bikes are not beach cruisers. You don’t want your knees crumpled; you don’t even want them at a 90-degree angle.

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You want your knees to be slightly extended but not so much that you can’t put full pressure on the down stroke of your pedal.

 

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Most spin enthusiasts also bring their bike handles up higher than they would a road or mountain bike to accommodate running out of the saddle (we’ll get to this in a minute).

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And, make sure that you’re not reaching dramatically to those handlebars when you’re seated on the bike.

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Everything is adjustable and this is where it’s most important that your spin instructor get you dialed in.

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Spin is All About Tension and Tempo

Your spin instructor expects you to keep tempo with the song so that everyone in the class is on the correct “leg” for certain activities.

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Tension knobs on the bike will take you from no tension to “drag” (where you begin to feel tension or “the road” as they call it) and subsequent turns up from there make the ride increasingly “steep.”

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While no beginner in spin class is expected to keep high tempo AND tension like the advanced riders are accustomed to, you want to work your way into higher tension as it burns more fat and enhances your cardio workout.

Initially, though, just focus on the tempo, right, left, right left, right left, march!

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About Jogging, Sprinting and Running Out of the Saddle in Spin Class

 

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Spin usually requires seated climbs and runs as well as “running out of the saddle” where you’re actually jogging or sprinting while standing above the saddle of the bike.

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For beginners, the runs out of the saddle can be too demanding.

DON’T LET PEER PRESSURE CONVINCE YOU TO RUN WHEN YOU’RE NOT READY TO.

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Most spin enthusiasts have been doing this a long time, BUT they started right where you are starting. When you try to run out of the saddle at the same amount of time or distance these “regulars” are accustomed to, you can hurt yourself.

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Swallow your pride and stay in the saddle, keeping tempo and increasing your tension slightly until you feel you can take on a jog initially for a few given seconds. Build up from there!

When you begin to run out of the saddle, do NOT lean your body weight (or your elbows!) on your handlebars.

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This puts too much torque on your knees and can damage them. Rest your hands lightly on the handlebars and focus on sitting back, above the saddle, so the strong leg muscles of your quads and hamstrings are doing the work.

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Your spin class instructor will take you on intermittent (and imaginary, of course) hills, downhills and road runs.

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At times, he or she will ask you to do intervals where you sit in the saddle for a number of counts, then run above the saddle for the same number of counts – and sometimes, these counts can be just 2 or 4!

Remember the rules during intervals (or “jumps”) – if you’re not ready, sit your butt down and just keep pedaling.

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If you are ready, try a few, making sure you don’t lean on the handlebars.

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About “Hill Climbing” in Spin Class

Sitting on the saddle and pedaling in spin class does not necessarily mean you’re resting or “recovering.”

In fact, riding “in the saddle” with solid tension will burn more calories than sprinting.

 

A good spin instructor will methodically increase tension as you ride in the saddle, effectively making you feel like you’re pedaling up an increasingly steep hill.

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In these situations, you want to protect your knees once again by sitting as far back on the saddle as you can.

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By doing so, you’re  taking the pressure of the climb off your knees and re-depositing it where it belongs – in the strong muscles of your rear end. (And last time we checked, most people didn’t need to do much toning of their knee caps.)

Beware These Spin Instructor Indiscretions …

If your spin class instructor suddenly changes counts or actions, consider that a red flag – your instructor should give you full and fair warning in advance as to what’s coming up at least a few counts down the road.

As an example, we have a great (certified) spin instructor who’s been teaching for years. As one song ends and the other begins, he might say, “This is an interval run in the saddle and out of the saddle with 30 seconds up, and 30 seconds’ recovery in between.”

Then, as the song plays, he will be adding comments such as, “Next round is just 20 seconds up, same recovery.”  It’s enough to keep you informed and keep you hanging on knowing that the NEXT song will be a completely different action!

Some spin instructors will also make the error of doing extreme activities for too long. (Personally, we think this is an ego thing where they’re more concerned with looking better than the rest of the class riders than actually guiding the riders and watching the riders for signs of fatigue.)

As an example, we’ve been in classes with spin instructors who sprint (at least double-time to the beat of the song) out of the saddle for the entirety of the song. If it’s a short song around 2 minutes, and if the spin instructor offers optional breaks to sit down during the course of the song, that’s OK.

If, however, they insist on everyone in the class sprinting for a long duration, even the most advanced riders will have difficulty maintaining proper form.

In other cases, you might see a spin instructor insist on short intervals with 2 beats in the saddle and 2 beats above the saddle for several minutes at a time. An extended session of “jumps” can cause any rider to break good form, thus putting the knees at risk.

Again, if it begins to feel too much for you or a particular session of activity (jumps or sprints or hill climbing) is forcing you out of maintaining correct posture and form, SIT DOWN!

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Then, as you try different classes with different instructors, you will begin to see which instructors are actually the best teachers. Even as they push you and do advanced work, they are still watching their riders to ensure safety and fun.

This brings another point to mind: Only take spin classes where the instructor is situated to watch the riders during the class. He or she will either be riding with the group and facing a mirror, or the spin instructor can position the bike to face the riders. It’s important that the gym provide this aspect in the spin class.

Music Can Be Key

Every spin instructor has a different style and collection of music. If you don’t like the style or can’t stand the music, move on. Because spin is built on the tempo of the songs, when you like what you’re hearing, you’re better able to keep the pace.

When you’re in a spin class with an instructor you enjoy and music that’s more to your liking, you’ll find the hour zips by. (Honest!)

Stick With It!

When you’re a beginner, try not to quit and leave the spin class (though no one will call you names if you do). Just sit down in the saddle, take the tension down, and continue to peddle through the end of the class if you can.

You’ll be prouder of yourself for enduring, and you can push yourself in the next class to stay up and in the class activity another few moments. Give yourself permission to build into this activity and you’ll find that you enjoy it more each time.

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I also spoke with an expert from the Cleveland Clinic about spinning’s health benefits.

 

Don’t forget to bring water to spin class. There’s a holder for it on bike.

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Recommended Links:  

“7 THINGS YOU’RE DOING WRONG IN SPIN CLASS”
https://www.wellandgood.com/good-sweat/7-things-youre-doing-wrong-in-spin-class-and-how-to-fix-them/

 

Johnny G. himself has an instruction video and  Spinning Instructor Certification info at:
http://spinning.com/johnny-g-live/

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Thanks Johnny G. for keeping us sweating and smiling.

 

You can find a variety of Spin Shoes & Shorts on Amazon at:
https://www.amazon.com

 

Now you know why…

 

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And why you should too!

One thing I forgot to mention is you will absolutely loathe your first spinning class. It will be hard. You will ache. You may walk out of a class early. You might exclaim, “Never again!” But, as with anything worthwhile, if you commit to it, the rewards are worth it.

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Your physical and mental endurance will keep getting stronger as you look back on that first day and laugh in disbelief because classes go real fast for you now.

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“Unleash the champion within.” ~Johnny G

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blog contact:  maria.dorfner@yahoo.com

BE SURE TO TUNE IN TO GOOD MORNING AMERICA NEXT WEDNESDAY WHEN THE ARTIST OF MY FAVORITE SPINNING SONG RIGHT NOW WILL PERFORM: . LIVE. Only on 💃

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Why You Need To Protect Eyeballs From Sun

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Most of us think to pack the sunscreen when heading outdoors into the sun, but we might not always remember to grab a pair of shades.

 

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According to Reecha Kampani, M.D., an ophthalmologist at Cleveland Clinic, putting on sunglasses is more than a fashion statement.

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She says protecting eyes from UV rays is just as important as protecting skin.

“”UV protection is good for all kinds of structures of the eye, like the eyelids, the cornea, conjunctiva, the lenses and retina tissue itself,”” says Dr. Kampani. “”You can get damage and changes of the eye with exposure to UV light, so protection is very important.””

Dr. Kampani says it is actually possible to get a sunburn on the eyelids and while rare, if exposed to too much UV light, the cornea, which is the clear tissue over the eye, can get a thermal burn, which can be very painful.

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“Long-term exposure to UV light can lead to the formation of cataracts or macular degeneration.”

Dr. Kampani recommends wearing sunglasses and a wide-brimmed hat even on moderately sunny or overcast days, to make sure eyes are protected.

Wrap-around sunglasses are best if heading out in the sun all day, as they can keep light from coming in through the top and the sides of the glasses.

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The good news is that people don’’t have to spend a fortune to keep their eyes protected.

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Dr. Kampani says buying discounted sunglasses is fine, but it’’s a good idea to replace inexpensive glasses yearly.

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“”If you’’re buying lenses that are at more discounted places, that’’s fine,” said Dr. Kampani. “A lot of times they still do have full protection, but you have to keep in mind that it could be something that’s more temporary, like a spray-on coating, that won’t last as long.””

It’’s also a good idea to keep in mind that artificial UV light, like the kind that is found in tanning beds, is just as bad for the eyes as it is for the skin.

Remember, when you’re outdoors or out in the field as we say in TV, wear sunglasses OR a hat to protect your eyeballs.

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Stay healthy!

swim

 

maria.dorfner@yahoo.com

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MEDIA:

Access CCNS Video for Soundbites and B-Roll Video:

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Video download password: CLEclinic1921
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Password: dailyvosotsftp
Username: CCNews
Password: CCNews1

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Maria Dorfner is the founder of NewsMD Communications, specializing in health and wellness since 1993.  She began working in media in 1983 on the Today Show at NBC in New York City as a p/t fill-in for co-host, Bryant Gumbel’s assistant while she was still in college. She also worked part-time in Barnes & Noble bookstore at Pace University (she worked at Barnes and Noble Fifth Avenue during all of high school) and part-time as a sales associate in Sak’s Fifth Avenue. She is an English major with national honors and Political Science minor. She served in NYC’s Intercollegiate Model City Council, having been selected by her Political Science Professor to join honor pre-law students on the council with actual council members to represent NYC on the council.

Upon graduation, Maria was hired full-time at NBC. Three years later, she helped launch their cable station, CNBC out of Ft. Lee, NJ.  She produced three talk show pilots that were successfully nationally syndicated with a Who’s Who in medicine, media, politics and entertainment as guests. She conducted research, fact-checked, wrote questions, pre-interview guests in the green room and produced segments and shows from concept to completion.  She was director of research for Ailes Communications, a political consulting firm and production company run by the departed, Mr. Ailes who went on to become president of CNBC and later chairman of Fox News Channel.

“I never saw the negative side of Roger. Yes, he was tough. Yes, he’d fire someone on the spot, but he was nothing but respectful of me and other female colleagues. He was a media genius and I was fortunate to learn from him. Anyone that says otherwise didn’t know him. It was a different time then. Women, including myself didn’t dress like we were going to a nightclub to tell the news. We were professional. Ever notice the first women to shout sexual harassment look like they’re either doing a push-up bra or pantyhose commercial while anchoring? They’ll defend themselves by saying they should be able to dress however they want and not expect anyone to treat them differently.  Really?   I don’t expect my male colleagues to come to work bare chested with suspenders. And then sue me if I make a comment.  It’s ridiculous. I think a bit of common sense and professionalism in order.”

In 1993, Maria created 7 half-hour original health series for CNBC. They included Healthcare Consumers, Healthy Living, Lifestyles and Longevity and others.
She co-anchored them for 3 years before joining NBC Miami as their medical and special projects producer. She then relocated to North Carolina and launched her own production company, while producing 21st Century Medicine documentary series for Discovery Health, weekly JAMA Reports for networks and medical segment for iTV. She traveled to Stockholm, Spain, Paris, London and all over the U.S. conducting interviews and filming segments.

She won a Media Recognition Award from the American Heart Association for national series Heart Smart, an Outstanding Achievement Award from the March of Dimes, a Medical Reporting Scholarship from the American Medical Association, a Freddie Award for Excellence in Medical Reporting, an Advanced Writing Scholarship from NBC News, an Outstanding Leadership Abilities Award from Pace University, a Commitment to the Advancement of Women in Media Award from her alma mater, Pace University.

She mentors journalism students and is the author of PRESSure: Break Into Broadcasting, Healthy Within and a little cookbook she created for her family to preserve family recipes called, Health, Heart & Humor In An Italian-American Kitchen.   Her books are available at Barnes and Noble and Amazon. She has worked with a Who’s Who in Medical and Health, trained PR departments, trained people wanting to work on-camera, and created a newsroom from scratch for MedPage Today and others, trained associate producers on Good Morning America to be producers, and in 2000 launched the Cleveland Clinic News Service (CCNS).

This is her blog.

“I’m blessed with amazing health all my life;  doctors ask what I do.”

~Maria Dorfner

contact:  maria.dorfner@yahoo.com

Why Spinning Is Hot & How To Do It Well

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spin13These Spin tips will keep you sweating, smiling and secure knowing you’re doing it right.

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First, here’s a little history on how Spinning was first created. Back in the ’90’s medical anchor, Ileana Bravo and I interviewed the founder of something people in Miami were talking about called “Spinning.”  We produced a health segment for NBC Miami and interviewed the Founder of it.  His name was Johnny G.

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The TODAY SHOW picked up the Miami story and spinning spun off nationwide. Johnny G. wanted other people to be able to reach their champion within from anywhere the same way he desired to after being sidelined in a car accident.

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The founder, Johnny G’s full name is Johnny Goldberg. He was a champion endurance bicycle racer. His passion to create a different type of indoor bike was ignited after he was hit by a car while training on his bike outdoors at night.

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Following that accident, Johnny G. spent ten years developing the right type of indoor cycle that would feel like his real road bike.

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The Spinner® bike officially launched in NYC in 1993 and was offered at Crunch Gyms.

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Here’s what the bike looks like.

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Spinning is still hotter than ever because of all of the above and more.

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Print

Now you know why it’s so popular with men and women. Here’s how to do it right.

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Proper set-up and form helps you avoid injury and maximize all those health perks.

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Everyone can benefit from a few expert tips. Numero Uno:  Warm up.

Best Warm Up Moves Before Spinning

by Brian Willett

Warm-up moves can help you burn more calories, reduce risk of injury, and improve your performance on the bike. Of course, certain warm-up moves will be more effective than others, so choosing well is important.

Quadriceps Moves

Your quadriceps — the large group of four muscles on the front of your thighs — drives the motion of spinning workouts, providing power to move the pedals. You can get your quadriceps ready for spinning with body-weight squats, light pedaling and the standing quadriceps stretch. To perform that stretch, stand with one hand leaning on a wall for support, and the other hand holding your foot to your buttocks so you are standing on one leg. Be sure to flex your knee completely when performing the standing quadriceps stretch to ensure you are fully stretching the muscle.

Hamstrings Moves

Your hamstrings are located on the back of your upper leg, and like the quadriceps, they are involved in every pedal stroke when spinning. An easy way to get your hamstrings ready for spinning is to bend over and touch your toes. You can also sit down and perform a sit-and-reach motion. According to a study from the February 2005 edition of the “Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research,” performing static stretches rather than dynamic moves is preferable for improving flexibility.

Back Moves

Your back muscles have to work hard to maintain proper posterior chain alignment and prevent you from slouching over when you ride. Thus, it’s important that you warm up your back muscles to prepare them for that work. You can stretch your back muscles in several ways, such as by lying on your back and pulling your knees to your chest, or doing the cat-cow stretch.

Shoulder Moves

Although your shoulders don’t push the pedals, they do help support your upper body while you ride and assist in steering. Moves such as jumping jacks, arm circles, and extending your arms behind your back as far as you can will help you get your shoulders loose and ready for your spinning class.

Calf Moves

The muscles of your calves are small, but they can produce a lot of power when cycling. Both squats and jumping jacks can help warm up your calves, but you may also wish to perform calf stretches while leaning against a wall. To do so, put both hands on a wall and lean into the wall, with one leg bent at the knee and one extended fully back.

 

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Now that you’re warmed up, I spoke with Spin Instructor Pro, Julie Insogna to get more tips:



FIRST, TELL US WHEN AND WHY YOU GOT INTERESTED IN SPINNING?

Thank you, Julie Insogna!

 

NEXT, MORE GREAT SPIN TIPS BY DEB CHESLOW:

What to Wear in Spin Class

spin3When you first start spin, you might want to wear padded cycle shorts as the saddle takes some getting used to.

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Most spin classes have bikes with pedals that accommodate people in sneakers in addition to one or two types of cycle clips that attach to cycling shoes.

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When we first started spin, we wore sneakers for a couple months before making the commitment to buy the shoes. In hindsight, we would have purchased those “spin shoes” much sooner, as you have so much more leverage and less wiggling when you’re clipped into the spin pedals. It also puts much less stress on your shins and toes!

How to Set Up Your Bike

Spin class bikes are not beach cruisers. You don’t want your knees crumpled; you don’t even want them at a 90-degree angle.

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You want your knees to be slightly extended but not so much that you can’t put full pressure on the down stroke of your pedal.

 

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Most spin enthusiasts also bring their bike handles up higher than they would a road or mountain bike to accommodate running out of the saddle (we’ll get to this in a minute).

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And, make sure that you’re not reaching dramatically to those handlebars when you’re seated on the bike.

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Everything is adjustable and this is where it’s most important that your spin instructor get you dialed in.

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Spin is All About Tension and Tempo

Your spin instructor expects you to keep tempo with the song so that everyone in the class is on the correct “leg” for certain activities.

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Tension knobs on the bike will take you from no tension to “drag” (where you begin to feel tension or “the road” as they call it) and subsequent turns up from there make the ride increasingly “steep.”

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While no beginner in spin class is expected to keep high tempo AND tension like the advanced riders are accustomed to, you want to work your way into higher tension as it burns more fat and enhances your cardio workout.

Initially, though, just focus on the tempo, right, left, right left, right left, march!

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About Jogging, Sprinting and Running Out of the Saddle in Spin Class

 

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Spin usually requires seated climbs and runs as well as “running out of the saddle” where you’re actually jogging or sprinting while standing above the saddle of the bike.

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For beginners, the runs out of the saddle can be too demanding.

DON’T LET PEER PRESSURE CONVINCE YOU TO RUN WHEN YOU’RE NOT READY TO.

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Most spin enthusiasts have been doing this a long time, BUT they started right where you are starting. When you try to run out of the saddle at the same amount of time or distance these “regulars” are accustomed to, you can hurt yourself.

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Swallow your pride and stay in the saddle, keeping tempo and increasing your tension slightly until you feel you can take on a jog initially for a few given seconds. Build up from there!

When you begin to run out of the saddle, do NOT lean your body weight (or your elbows!) on your handlebars.

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This puts too much torque on your knees and can damage them. Rest your hands lightly on the handlebars and focus on sitting back, above the saddle, so the strong leg muscles of your quads and hamstrings are doing the work.

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Your spin class instructor will take you on intermittent (and imaginary, of course) hills, downhills and road runs.

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At times, he or she will ask you to do intervals where you sit in the saddle for a number of counts, then run above the saddle for the same number of counts – and sometimes, these counts can be just 2 or 4!

Remember the rules during intervals (or “jumps”) – if you’re not ready, sit your butt down and just keep pedaling.

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If you are ready, try a few, making sure you don’t lean on the handlebars.

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About “Hill Climbing” in Spin Class

Sitting on the saddle and pedaling in spin class does not necessarily mean you’re resting or “recovering.”

In fact, riding “in the saddle” with solid tension will burn more calories than sprinting.

 

A good spin instructor will methodically increase tension as you ride in the saddle, effectively making you feel like you’re pedaling up an increasingly steep hill.

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In these situations, you want to protect your knees once again by sitting as far back on the saddle as you can.

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By doing so, you’re  taking the pressure of the climb off your knees and re-depositing it where it belongs – in the strong muscles of your rear end. (And last time we checked, most people didn’t need to do much toning of their knee caps.)

Beware These Spin Instructor Indiscretions …

If your spin class instructor suddenly changes counts or actions, consider that a red flag – your instructor should give you full and fair warning in advance as to what’s coming up at least a few counts down the road.

As an example, we have a great (certified) spin instructor who’s been teaching for years. As one song ends and the other begins, he might say, “This is an interval run in the saddle and out of the saddle with 30 seconds up, and 30 seconds’ recovery in between.”

Then, as the song plays, he will be adding comments such as, “Next round is just 20 seconds up, same recovery.”  It’s enough to keep you informed and keep you hanging on knowing that the NEXT song will be a completely different action!

Some spin instructors will also make the error of doing extreme activities for too long. (Personally, we think this is an ego thing where they’re more concerned with looking better than the rest of the class riders than actually guiding the riders and watching the riders for signs of fatigue.)

As an example, we’ve been in classes with spin instructors who sprint (at least double-time to the beat of the song) out of the saddle for the entirety of the song. If it’s a short song around 2 minutes, and if the spin instructor offers optional breaks to sit down during the course of the song, that’s OK.

If, however, they insist on everyone in the class sprinting for a long duration, even the most advanced riders will have difficulty maintaining proper form.

In other cases, you might see a spin instructor insist on short intervals with 2 beats in the saddle and 2 beats above the saddle for several minutes at a time. An extended session of “jumps” can cause any rider to break good form, thus putting the knees at risk.

Again, if it begins to feel too much for you or a particular session of activity (jumps or sprints or hill climbing) is forcing you out of maintaining correct posture and form, SIT DOWN!

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Then, as you try different classes with different instructors, you will begin to see which instructors are actually the best teachers. Even as they push you and do advanced work, they are still watching their riders to ensure safety and fun.

This brings another point to mind: Only take spin classes where the instructor is situated to watch the riders during the class. He or she will either be riding with the group and facing a mirror, or the spin instructor can position the bike to face the riders. It’s important that the gym provide this aspect in the spin class.

Music Can Be Key

Every spin instructor has a different style and collection of music. If you don’t like the style or can’t stand the music, move on. Because spin is built on the tempo of the songs, when you like what you’re hearing, you’re better able to keep the pace.

When you’re in a spin class with an instructor you enjoy and music that’s more to your liking, you’ll find the hour zips by. (Honest!)

Stick With It!

When you’re a beginner, try not to quit and leave the spin class (though no one will call you names if you do). Just sit down in the saddle, take the tension down, and continue to peddle through the end of the class if you can.

You’ll be prouder of yourself for enduring, and you can push yourself in the next class to stay up and in the class activity another few moments. Give yourself permission to build into this activity and you’ll find that you enjoy it more each time.

Recommended Links:  

“7 THINGS YOU’RE DOING WRONG IN SPIN CLASS”
https://www.wellandgood.com/good-sweat/7-things-youre-doing-wrong-in-spin-class-and-how-to-fix-them/

 

Johnny G. himself has an instruction video and  Spinning Instructor Certification info at:
http://spinning.com/johnny-g-live/

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Thanks Johnny G. for keeping us sweating and smiling.

 

You can find a variety of Spin Shoes & Shorts on Amazon at:
https://www.amazon.com

 

Now you know why…

 

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And why you should too!

One thing I forgot to mention is you may loathe your first spinning class. It will be hard. You will ache. You may walk out of a class early. You might exclaim, “Never again!” But, as with anything worthwhile, as we’ve heard from Spinning Pro, Julie Insogna, Co-Owner of Prime Cycle in Hoboken, NJ — if you commit to it, the rewards are worth it.

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Your physical and mental endurance will keep getting stronger.

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“Unleash the champion within.” ~Johnny G

 

Be sure to tune into Good Morning America next Wednesday when my the artist of my favorite Spinning tune will be performing LIVE!

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blog contact:  maria.dorfner@yahoo.com

Is It Okay To Drink From A Garden Hose?

 

gardenhose9Drinking out of the garden hose is something many of us did as kids to beat the heat.

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However, according to Dan Allan, M.D., of Cleveland Clinic, drinking from the hose carries some significant risks, and is something parents should try and steer their children away from.

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“”We’’ve learned some things more recently that would certainly talk about the risks,”” says Dr. Allan. “”Probably the biggest risk is some of the chemicals that are in the water itself.””

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Such chemicals include BPA (Bisphenol A) and PVC (polyvinyl chloride), which have both been banned from children’s products.

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Dr. Allan says these types of chemicals have been linked to cancer, hormone problems and developmental problems in children.

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“”If there’’s lead – that can lead to a host of neurological problems – so there are a lot of things to be concerned about,”” says Dr. Allan.

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While skipping sips from the garden hose all together is the best way to prevent problems, there are some measures parents can take if they just can’t keep kids away.

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Dr. Allan says some hoses are made without harmful chemicals, and are marked as such.

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He says the hose fixture matters as well. Brass fixtures, for example, release lead which will contribute to health risks.

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If drinking out of the garden hose is unavoidable, the best thing to do is to let the water run for a few minutes before taking a drink.

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Doing so will flush out water near the top of the hose that could be contaminated with lead, mold or bacteria.

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Dr. Allan also says to make sure the hose is stored properly.

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“If the hose sits in the sun or is stored in the sun, it will release a lot more chemicals,”” adds Dr. Allan. “

“If you’re going to use a hose for drinking, certainly it should be safe, but store it out of the sun because the sun’s heat will release the chemicals.””

 

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You can find a variety of chemical free garden hoses on Amazon:
https://www.amazon.com/Water-Right-Polyurethane-Drinking-Fittings/dp/B003P9XAAA

MEDIA:

 

blog contact: maria.dorfner@yahoo.com

 

New Study: Diet Soda During Pregnancy Could Mean Overweight Child Later

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Many pregnant women worry about what’s safe and not safe to drink while expecting.

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A recent study says women with gestational diabetes who drink diet soda during their pregnancy could be putting their children at risk for weight gain.

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Salena Zanotti, M.D., of Cleveland Clinic did not take part in the study, but said previous studies have shown that drinking diet soda in moderation during pregnancy is generally safe, but this most recent study is the FIRST to look at the potential impact long-term.

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Researchers looked at data from more than 900 pregnant women with gestational diabetes between 1996 and 2002.

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About nine percent of the women surveyed drank at least one diet soda per day.

“”What they found, when they looked up to seven years – which is a long time so far for these studies – that their infants, especially the boys, had a higher risk of being overweight and being obese,” says Dr. Zanotti.

Researchers say the women who consumed diet soda were 60 percent more likely to have babies with a high birth weight compared with women who did not drink any diet soda during pregnancy.

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Likewise, the children born to the women who drank water instead of sweetened beverages were 17 percent less likely to be overweight by age seven.

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Dr. Zanotti adds,  “What remains to be determined is whether the diet soda alone was the problem, or whether the women who drank diet soda also ate diets high in fat and sugar.”

She says sometimes pregnant women will eat sugary and high fat foods and think it’’s okay if they’’re drinking diet soda, when really it’’s only okay to drink it if they’’re eating a well-balanced, low fat, higher protein diet.

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“If you wanted to have an occasional soda, you could have one a day, if that’s what you want to have,” says Dr. Zanotti. “

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For some people they’’ve given up a lot of things that they really like and this is their one vice and I think that’s fine, if they’’re doing everything else correctly.”

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Dr. Zanotti says, “Water should be a woman’s beverage of choice during pregnancy.”

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She says too much sugar is a problem whether it’’s real sugar or a sweet substitute.

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“Excessive sugar intake leads to excessive pregnancy weight gain, which means a higher risk of having bigger baby and a higher risk of having to deliver the baby via a cesarean section.”

 

 

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SOURCE: https://academic.oup.com/ije/article/doi/10.1093/ije/dyx095/3861466/Maternal-consumption-of-artificially-sweetened

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Bottom line:  Stick to water.

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Also, if you’re unaware an updated American Academy of Pediatrics recommendation urges parents to avoid giving fruit juice to children under one year of age.

Children’s health is so important and it begins at pregnancy.

MEDIA:  For Soundbites and B-roll:

Other Ways to Access CCNS Video: 

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Cleveland Clinic Newsroom
Video download password: CLEclinic1921
Username: dailyvosots
Password: dailyvosotsftp
Username: CCNews
Password: CCNews1

Pathfire: If you’re using the web browser, click on the ‘Provider Directory’ and look for the ‘Cleveland Clinic’ tab. Use the ‘Video News Feed Locator’ if you’re getting Pathfire via satellite.

 

*Also, now available using app.extremereach.com – select the ‘Cleveland Clinic’ destination to view the files. If you need assistance, contact videonetwork@extremereach.com

 

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Stay healthy!

contact: maria.dorfner@yahoo.com

Real Deal: No More Needles for Blood Draws

v12Velano Vascular is on a mission to bring compassion to healthcare and make painful blood draws more pleasant for patients.  So far, they’re succeeding. They’ve received their 3rd FDA-clearance to help children and adults who cringe at the sight of needles.

Needlephobia affects 24% of adults and 63% of children.

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The Boy Who Cried Wolf may come to mind when we talk about no more needles for blood draws because of ill-fated Theranos.  They’re the overly-hyped biotech start-up currently under federal investigation by the S.E.C. and U.S. Attorney’s office. Patients initially thrilled about no more needles got hoodwinked by fake news.

Meet the Real Deal.

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Velano Vascular creates a single-use, disposable device called PIVO.

 

It attaches to a peripheral IV line, in hospital inpatients, allowing for lab quality blood samples to be drawn back through the IV –without requiring venipuncture (needle sticks or drawing blood from central lines) .

 

Many of the questions Therano’s CEO never answered, avoided or even got asked by reporters is welcomed by Velano Vascular’s CEO, Eric Stone, who I interviewed.

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WHAT IS PIVO AN ACRONYM FOR?

ERIC STONE, CEO, VELANO VASCULAR:  PIVO derives from “peripheral intravenous catheter,” or PIV, which is a medical term for the standard IV most hospital patients are hooked up to in order to receive intravenous fluids..

WHAT IS PIVO?

STONE: PIVO is a single-use, disposable device that attaches temporarily to an IV line, allowing for needle-free blood draws from this existing line.

HOW DOES IT WORK?

STONE: It enables blood draws to be taken by clinicians from the same intravenous (IV) catheter most hospital patients already have inserted in their arms, instead of poking them again each time they need their blood drawn and instead of accessing larger catheters (Central Venous Catheters) which raise different challenges associated with each time they are accessed.

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WHO DOES THIS DEVICE HELP PEOPLE?

STONE:  The device works for any patient with an IV catheter. Of course, children tend to more commonly have an acute fear of needles, so it can make pediatric care less invasive and painful.

There are also an estimated 30% of our hospital inpatients that are classified as DVA (Difficult Venous Access) because of aging, obesity, disease and more.

PIVO helps practitioners capture critical labs from these growing populations of patients who otherwise may take significant time and expense.

STONE: Also, those in hospitals or other inpatient settings, where the average length of stay is almost 5 days in the U.S. require daily or more frequent blood draws. Many of these patients have problematic veins or skin, which requires a lot of poking and prodding to draw blood. PIVO tackles these issues head on.

According to the CDC, an estimated 35M inpatient stays occur in the U.S. alone each year.  So, PIVO is set to  help many millions of Americans, not to mention those inpatients around the world.

HOW IS PIVO MORE COMFORTABLE & LESS DANGEROUS FOR PATIENT?

STONE:  For patients who have their blood drawn for a check-up once a year in an outpatient setting, blood draws are not that disruptive.  For a “frequent flyer” in the hospital, or a DVA (difficult venous access) patient –noted as such upon admission or who has become DVA after 10 or 20 days in the hospital feeling like a pin cushion –removing the needle from the procedure can have a lifelong impact.

Enabling practitioners to avoid accessing central lines (large, surgically-placed catheters) for blood draws aims to reduce the risks of Central Line Associated Blood Stream Infection.

Further, removing the needle from blood draws helps avoid risk of injury and infection for our phlebotomists, nurses and physicians. Hospital leadership is recognizing that an important alternative to a prevalent practice is now available.

IF I GET BLOOD WORK FROM AN ANNUAL PHYSICAL WILL THEY USE PIVO?

STONE:  PIVO requires a Peripheral IV catheter in order to access the vein. The IV line serves as a temporary conduit to the vein, so without the IV line PIVO cannot access the vein.

The IV line serves as a temporary conduit to the vein, so without the IV line, PIVO cannot access a patient’s blood.  As such, this procedure is most appropriate for the hospital inpatient setting.

I do envision PIVO will adopted in other care settings, where patients possess an IV line and require frequent blood draws, but the annual physical unfortunately is not one of these.

WHY AREN’T IV’S GOOD FOR DRAWING BLOOD WITHOUT PIVO?

STONE:  IV’s are essentially plastic  tubes which overtime become soft, like a noodle. While a noodle is fine for injecting fluids and medications into a patient, its soft walls collapse under the negative pressure of suction when you try to take fluids out.

There are other reasons why IV’s are less-than-optimal for drawing blood back, but these are quite complex in nature and we’re only just now uncovering some of the novel reasons through our research with leading clinical collaborators.

PIVO simply inserts a small, stiffer tube inside the existing IV tube for the purpose of drawing blood.

It works by propping open and unkinking the IV tube temporarily while enabling lab quality blood be collected.

HOW WAS THE IDEA FOR PIVO ORIGINALLY DEVELOPED?

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STONE:   Velano’s co-founder and physician, Pitamber Devgon had an elderly patient with bruises up and down her arms from repeated needle sticks.  That patient asked him why he was continually sticking her with needles when she already had an IV catheter in her vein. He didn’t know, but began exploring if it was possible to draw lab quality samples out of the IV line using a separate device.

Stone, a Wharton MBA shares, “Most of my career has been in healthcare, plus I am a needle phobic following my childhood diagnosis with Crohn’s disease as a teenager. So, when I was looking for a company start and a product to bring to market and my former graduate school classmates introduced us, I was instantly engaged following years as a serial healthcare entrepreneur and patient advocate.  From that connection,  Velano was born. “

Velano first won FDA approval for PIVO in 2015, and has also obtained multiple U.S. and international patents for it, with additional applications outstanding in the U.S. & abroad.

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STONE: “Five years from now,” asserts Stone, “I believe, without a doubt that PIVO will be the standard of care for inpatient blood draws and vascular access.”

Thanks for a great interview and innovation for healthcare consumers! -Maria Dorfner

http://velanovascular.com

 

MEDIA:   Contact: Michael Azzano at 415-596-1978 to set up telephone or on-camera interviews with patients or Eric Stone, CEO, Velano Vascular.

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RELATED NEWS:

 

A year ago, Forbes contributor Robert Reiss called Eric Stone “The Steve Jobs of Drawing Blood” and tested PIVO himself.  Reprint of article below courtesy of Reiss.

The Steve Jobs Of Drawing Blood

by Robert Reiss , FORBES CONTRIBUTOR (specializing in writing about CEOs)

Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own.

I was recently at a board meeting at Griffin Hospital and our CEO was telling us about a new product that could transform perhaps the most ubiquitous healthcare practice – drawing blood.

The concept from a company called Velano Vascular repurposes the IV most hospital patients already have in their arms so blood can be drawn without having their veins repeatedly stuck by needles.

It aims to eliminate the associated negatives of traditional blood drawing: the pain and anxiety, injuries, excessive time and cost.

It seemed like such a revolutionary solution to a broad issue – sort of like in 1892 when Keds invented sneakers – and I was curious to understand if this was truly an historic moment where the age old process of drawing blood could once and for all be revolutionized.

It reminded me of one of my first CEO interviews back in 2007 with Jay Walker, the founder of Priceline when he described the driving force behind one of his over 700 patents, “The key to successful innovation is having a better solution for something that’s used everywhere and every day.”

So I decided to experience this innovation firsthand and a few weeks later I intentionally became a patient and experienced this new needleless way to draw numerous samples of blood.

I was amazed, the nurses were able to draw blood easily, and to do so as many times as they wanted without ever having to stick a needle in me again.

I was next introduced to the founder of Velano Vascular, Eric Stone, who I now admiringly call the Steve Jobs of drawing blood, and below are a few insights from our conversation:

Robert Reiss: How much blood is currently being drawn and what are the problems with the current system?

Eric Stone: Blood draws are not fun – and they are overlooked and underappreciated…except by patients. They are likely the most common invasive medical procedure, with an estimated half a billion in U.S. hospitals alone conducted every year, and two to three times this number across all hospitals worldwide annually.

Recognizing that the U.S. represents nearly 40 million inpatient admissions annually, with an average length of stay of five days, and a conservative estimate of two blood draws per patient per day, we are easily conducting hundreds of millions of inpatient draws each year quite readily.

This does not even take into account other non-hospital settings where patients require regular blood draws, such as long-term care facilities, skilled nursing homes and more – all locations where patients may have a peripheral IV (PIV) catheter indwelling (a requirement for our innovation to be relevant).

For a procedure that informs nearly 70% of all clinical decisions, it is remarkable that the last major innovation was the abandonment of bloodletting centuries ago.

Whether you’re the parent of a sick child or the son or daughter of an elderly parent, repeat hospitalizations and frequent blood draws hit home for just about everyone. It’s scary, it hurts, and it’s critical that we begin to pay attention and stop taking the steely reserve of our patients for granted.

Herein lies the rub. People scared of needles (trypanophobia) avoid necessary tests and treatment, needles injure healthcare workers more than 2 million times a year in accidents that can lead to serious infection, and the list of dysfunction goes on.

The way we draw blood today has real emotional, clinical and financial consequences. We can, and we must, do better. We can start by paying attention.

Reiss: What specifically is different about the Velano Vascular product?

Stone: Velano’s FDA-approved PIVO™ is a disposable, needle free device that connects to a patient’s existing IV catheter, enabling blood draws during their entire hospital stay without requiring subsequent needle sticks.

It turns out that IVs are great at putting fluids into the body but unreliable at pulling them out – that’s why patients receive so many needle sticks while in the hospital.

PIVO turns the routine IV into a reliable conduit for drawing high quality blood samples. This is an elegant solution to a centuries-old problem.

Now, patients no longer need to feel like a “pin cushions” or experience abrupt awakenings between 2:00 am and 6:00 am for the nighttime needle stick – when 40% of blood draws occur.

The company was founded based on a simple idea back in 2012, and subsequently PIVO has been used in clinical pilots and trials at a number of leading U.S. hospitals since receiving regulatory clearance in early 2015.

It has won a number of awards, including the Frost & Sullivan New Product Innovation Award for Vascular Access in 2016 and the Sheikh Zayed Institute for Pediatric Surgical Innovation competition at Children’s National Health in Washington, DC.

Reiss: What are the strengths and weaknesses of your methodology on quality outcomes?

Stone: Velano is most often measured by the clinical quality of blood samples drawn and its impact on both practitioner and patient experience.

In thousands of patients, the quality of our blood samples has been definitive and easy to measure, both through clinical studies and “real world,” commercial use.

Blood drawn from PIVO has similarly low hemolysis rates (blood cell shearing or tearing that can relegate a patient to a re-draw and delays in essential care) to needle draws.

Clinical study efforts and pilots with some of the country’s leading healthcare institutions such as University Hospitals Cleveland, Intermountain Healthcare, The University of Pennsylvania Hospital and Harvard’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital reflect clinically appropriate laboratory results – confirming that blood drawn with our compassionate technology can become a standard of care for clinical decision-making.

Practitioner and patient experience is harder to quantify, but our surveys and testimonials to-date are resoundingly positive. In fact, patients who receive PIVO draws are requesting PIVO when transferred to floors in the hospital that are not participating in our pilots or upon readmission to the hospital. They are actually asking for the product – it is remarkable.

The onus is on Velano to continue improving our quality measurements to undeniably prove this innovation is truly a win-win-win, as we seek to elevate the quality of care and outcomes for patients, practitioners and hospitals alike.

Reiss: What is the financial model for a user and what is the economic impact nationally?

Stone: The cost of a blood draw is not just the $1 or less spent for a needle. Instead, it is the many billions of dollars a year spent on wasted materials, rejected blood samples, patient and practitioner risks, delayed results, labor costs, central line escalations, and more resulting from this less-than-desirable and madly inefficient procedure.

Some of the financial downsides of traditional blood draw standards are somewhat obscure, however we’ve helped our hospital partners understand the current impact by simply asking sincere questions, seeking to learn, and paying a modicum of attention to the topic.

Think about the blood draw on an elderly or obese or diabetic patient that can take as long as an hour of a nurse’s time and 2-3 needles to find a vein and collect an adequate sample.

Consider that even one single case of an employee blood borne pathogen transmission from a needle stick can cost millions of dollars in exposure for a hospital.

For PIVO, we understand that in an environment of increasing health industry price transparency and pressures, when our entire healthcare system is experiencing economic upheaval, and cost neutrality is required for rolling out true innovation in hospitals.

 

Reiss: Why did you start Velano Vascular and what’s your vision?

Stone: The reason why is very simple – because I am first and foremost a patient, and I am a parent.   25 years ago I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, launching me on a lifelong journey as a healthcare entrepreneur, patient advocate, and National Trustee of the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America. Since a young age, I’ve been motivated by IMPACT.

I started Velano in partnership with an intellectually curious physician inventor intrigued by a seemingly simple question posed by his patient – “why are you repeatedly sticking me with needles [when I already have an IV line in my arm]?”

This simple, yet elegant idea resonated strongly with me, for I am needle-phobic myself, and I have been that “tough stick” patient during my hospital stays. Today, this brilliant idea has become reality.

My vision for Velano is to touch every human being on the planet; for we will all spend time in a hospital at some point in life, and we will certainly need our blood drawn when we do.

 

http://velanovascular.com

 

MEDIA:   Contact: Michael Azzano at 415-596-1978 to set up telephone or on-camera interviews with patients or Eric Stone, CEO of Velano Vascular

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Maria Dorfner founder of NewsMD: What’s Hot in Health

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NewsMD Communications was founded in 1998 to educate healthcare consumers by connecting medical + media to inspire and empower millions to want to live healthy.

In 1993, Maria created Healthcare Consumers, Healthy Living, Lifestyles & Longevity and Healthcare Practitioners. The shows aired on CNBC, which she helped launch in 1989.  She is the founder of Cleveland Clinic News Service, helped launch MedPage Today (sold to CNN) and wrote & produced 21st Century Medicine for Discovery Health.  Her awards include Freddie for Excellence in Medical Reporting, Outstanding Leadership Abilities, Media Recognition, Who’s Who, Medical Reporting Scholarship. She produced for Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Report, talk shows & reality programming.

She began as an intern at NBC todaylogo SHOW in NYC in 1983.

This is her blog.

Have an innovative solution healthcare consumers|media should know about?

Contact: maria.dorfner@yahoo.com  

Response only if it’s a story of interest. Thank you.

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Your Thoughts Impact How You Age

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Scott Bea, PsyD, of Cleveland Clinic, says for years doctors have had notions that attitudes and thoughts may predispose us to early aging.

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More and more these notions are turning into scientific research.

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He says there are different types of negative thinking.  Each can be impactful.

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“One is just cynical hostility, where you know, we stew a lot,” says Dr. Bea. “When people are kind of suspicious and pretty certain the world or folks are against them it stays with them; and keeps stress chemicals like cortisol circulating in the body too long.”

Dr. Bea says some studies have looked at how certain types of behavior and thought patterns can impact our aging and DNA.

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He says we tend to lump all negative thinking into one place, but there are actually many little ways that can actually harm us by influencing our telomeres, which are – the tips at the end of our DNA that affect the aging process.

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Thoughts like pessimism – — always predicting doom and gloom, as well as ruminating, which is dredging up past events and mulling them over and over again, can keep stress chemicals active and alive.

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Dr. Bea also says thought suppression – where we actively try to avoid thoughts – takes a lot of activity and tension and tends to overload our brains.

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What to do?  When we’ engage in the outside world, and not in our own heads, Dr. Bea says we can better handle these negative thought patterns.

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The key is to be able to recognize that thoughts are just thoughts.

“Dr. Bea recommends you do the following to cut off negative self-talk:

Say to yourself, ‘I’’m allowed to think without trying to fix or solve anything.’ “

Use simple mindfulness exercises that can be done, even in five second bursts at various times throughout the day.  Focus on the sensation of your breath.

If something distracts you (sights, sounds) ease your attention back to your breath.

 

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MEDIA:  Video and Sound, See Pathfire July 19 or contact: ccnewsservice@ccf.org
MY two cents and what I recommend. My blog. My two cents: 
 
I subscribe to something called DAILY PRIME.  You know how a “Good Morning Beautiful” text from your significant other can make you wake up with a smile.
Well, relationships ebb and flow, so you can’t count on consistency. It can also border on creepy if it’s not from your SO.  DAILY PRIME is consistently in a positive, good mood.
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Here’s how it works. Each morning, I get an amazing, positive, motivational, inspirational text that kick starts the rest of my day. You pick a time preference.
It’s created by John Assaraf.

John and his wife Maria are two of my favorite people in the world. When I first met them we walked in San Diego for Rady’s Children Hospital.

They’ve wonderful energy and such an authentically calm, healing presence. It’s the kind of good, positive energy that radiates from within. I

When you get to that state, it benefits your well-being and everyone in your presence.

Assaraf has been preaching thoughts equals things way before before The Secret (which he appeared in) was on Oprah or studies confirm it.
One of my favorite books, The Power of Positive Thinking did too.
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Positive THOUGHTS lead you to make positive ACTIONS.
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Also, you can do things that release the opposite of cortisol in your body. There are naturally healthy healing chemicals and hormones inside your body, but it takes action to release them.
Actions like daily exercise, listening to music, mediating, spending time in nature or with positive family and friends, laughing, petting your dog, and hugging release endorphins.
Love is a biggie. It releases all the feel good hormones, including oxytocin. I read a great book about it in 2014 and interviewed author, Paul J. Zak for this blog. It’s called The Moral Molecule: The Source of Love and Prosperity.  I
I was recently interviewed on a radio program about mind-body connection –hot topic.
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Stay healthy!
Related:
I was delighted to meet Brian Tracy while in San Diego.  I attended one of his conferences and brought one of his books with me. Without my even asking he graciously says, “Let me sign that.” He wrote, “Maria, You can do it!” inside it.  That’s positivity for you. Whatever “it” is doesn’t matter when someone believes in you.

How To Be More Positive by Brian Tracy

Your mental diet largely determines your character and your personality and almost everything that happens to you in life.

What is a mental diet? Keep reading and I’ll explain…

When you feed your mind with positive affirmations, information, books, conversations, audio programs, and thoughts, you develop a more positive attitude and personality.

You become more influential and persuasive. You enjoy greater confidence and self-esteem.

Those who work with computers use the expression “G.I.G.O.” or “Garbage in, Garbage out.” But the reverse is also true, “Good in, Good out.”

When you make a clear, unequivocal decision that you are going to take complete control over your mind, eliminate the negative emotions and thoughts that may have held you back in the past, and become a completely positive person, you can actually bring about your own personal transformation.

Mental fitness is like physical fitness. You develop high levels of self-esteem and a positive attitude with training and practice. Here are the seven keys to becoming a completely positive person:

1) Positive Affirmations

Speak to yourself positively; control your inner dialog. Use positive affirmations phrased in the positive, present, and personal tense:

“I like myself!”

“I can do it!”

“I feel terrific!”

“I am responsible!”

We believe that fully 95% of your emotions are determined by the way you talk to yourself as you go throughout your day. The sad fact is that if you do not deliberately and consciously talk to yourself in a positive and constructive way, you will, by default, think about things that will make you unhappy or cause you worry and anxiety.

As we said before, your mind is like a garden. If you do not deliberately plant flowers and tend carefully, weeds will grow without any encouragement at all.

Discover your level of self-confidence and build greater confidence in yourself.

2) Positive Visualization

Perhaps the most powerful ability that you have is the ability to visualize and see your goals as already accomplished. Create a clear, exciting picture of your goal and your ideal life, and replay this picture in your mind over and over.

All improvement in your life begins with an improvement in your mental pictures. As you “see” yourself on the inside, you will “be” on the outside.

3) Positive People

Your choice of the people with whom you live, work, and associate will have more of an impact on your emotions and your success that any other factor. Decide today to associate with winners, with positive people, with people who are happy and optimistic and who are going somewhere with their lives.

Avoid negative people at all costs. Negative people are the primary source of most of life’s unhappiness. Resolve that from today onward, you are not going to have stressful or negative people in your life.

4) Positive Mental Food

Just as your body is healthy to the degree to which you eat healthy, nutritious foods, your mind is healthy to the degree to which you feed it with “mental protein” rather than “mental candy.” Read books, magazines, and articles that are educational, inspirational, or motivational.

Feed your mind with information and ideas that are uplifting and that make you feel happy and more confident about yourself and your world.

Listen to positive, constructive CDs and audio programs in your car and on your MP3 player or iPod. Feed your mind continually with positive messages that help you think and act better and make you more capable and competent in your field. Watch positive and educational DVDs, educational television programs, online courses, and other uplifting material that increases your knowledge and makes you feel good about yourself and your life.

5) Positive Training And Development

Almost everyone in our society starts off with limited resources, sometimes with no money at all. Virtually all fortunes begin with the sale of personal services of some kind. All the people who are at the top today were once at the bottom, and sometimes they fell to the bottom several times.

The miracle of lifelong learning and personal improvement is what takes you from rags to riches, from poverty to affluence, and from underachievement to success and financial independence.

As Jim Rohn said, ”Formal education will make you a living; self-education will make you a fortune.”

When you dedicate yourself to learning and growing and becoming better and more effective in your thoughts and actions, you take complete control of your life and dramatically increase the speed at which you move upward to greater heights.

6) Positive Health Habits

Take excellent care of your physical health and wellness. Resolve today that you are going to live to be eighty, ninety, or one hundred years old and still be dancing in the evenings. Eat healthy foods, natural and nutritious, and eat them sparingly and in proper balance. A nutritional diet will have an immediate, positive effect on your thoughts and feelings.

Resolve to get regular exercise, at least two hundred minutes of motion per week, walking, running, swimming, bicycling, or working out on equipment in the gym. When you exercise on a regular basis, you feel happier and healthier and experience lower levels of stress and fatigue than a person who sits on the couch and watches television all evening.

Especially, get ample rest and relaxation. You need to recharge your batteries on a regular basis, especially when you are going through periods of stress or difficulty.

Vince Lombardi once said, “Fatigue makes cowards of us all.”

Some of the factors that predispose us to negative emotions of all kinds are poor health habits, sleep deprivation, lack of exercise, and nonstop work. Seek balance in your life.

7) Positive Expectations

Practicing the Law of Attraction is one of the most powerful techniques you can use to become a positive person and to ensure positive outcomes and better results in your life. Your expectations become your own self-fulfilling prophesies.

Whatever you expect, with confidence, seems to come into your life. Since you can control your expectations, you should always expect the best.

Expect to be successful.

Expect to be popular when you meet new people. Expect to achieve great goals and create a wonderful life for yourself. When you constantly expect good things to happen, you will seldom be disappointed.

Conclusion

I hope you enjoyed this post on developing a more positive attitude with positive affirmations.  Please leave a comment and share with your friends!

 

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Why You Need Positive People in Your Life

Happiness is a choice. But we continually need to be reminded by people to make that choice.

One big mistake people make is not realizing that happiness is an individual choice. But every choice is influenced by the people in our lives. If you change your life influencers for the better, you can dramatically increase your chances for happiness and success.

In my research, I’ve found that positive social connection is the greatest predictor of long-term happiness. Welcoming a positive new influencer into your world can be one of the most important choices for happiness you make. That person might be a professional life coach or a mentor or simply someone whom you respect and who has the positive outlook you want to emulate.

A positive influencer will have a few outstanding traits that rub off on you over time. This person will practice gratitude. He will seek joy daily and work at becoming his best self. He’ll enjoy being active and feel connected to others.

Think about the negative influences around you. These are people who focus on the bad things in their lives and cause you to do the same. You’ll be left searching for new problems to worry over. Negative influencers don’t smile or laugh easily. They have trouble maintaining relationships and see stress as a threat rather than a challenge to embrace. Steer clear!

We know that happiness is a choice. But we continually need to be reminded by people to make that choice, especially when life gets challenging. Think about the people you know who could be positive influencers and spend more time with someone who will improve your happiness and lead you to greater success.

The 10 Essential Habits of Positive People

Are you waiting for life events to turn out the way you want so that you can feel more positive about your life? Do you find yourself having pre-conditions to your sense of well-being, thinking that certain things must happen for you to be happier? Do you think there is no way that your life stresses can make you anything other than “stressed out” and that other people just don’t understand?  If your answer is “yes” to any of these questions, you might find yourself lingering in the land of negativity for too long!

The following are some tips to keep positive no matter what comes your way. This post will help you stop looking for what psychologists call “positivity” in all the wrong places!  Here are the ten essential habits of positive people.

1. Positive people don’t confuse quitting with letting go.

Instead of hanging on to ideas, beliefs, and even people that are no longer healthy for them, they trust their judgement to let go of negative forces in their lives.  Especially in terms of relationships, they subscribe to The Relationship Prayer which goes:

I will grant myself the ability to trust the healthy people in my life … 

To set limits with, or let go of, the negative ones … 

And to have the wisdom to know the DIFFERENCE!

 2.  Positive people don’t just have a good day – they make a good day.

Waiting, hoping and wishing seldom have a place in the vocabulary of positive individuals. Rather, they use strong words that are pro-active and not reactive. Passivity leads to a lack of involvement, while positive people get very involved in constructing their lives. They work to make changes to feel better in tough times rather than wish their feelings away.

3. For the positive person, the past stays in the past.

Good and bad memories alike stay where they belong – in the past where they happened. They don’t spend much time pining for the good ol’ days because they are too busy making new memories now. The negative pulls from the past are used not for self-flagellation or unproductive regret, but rather productive regret where they use lessons learned as stepping stones towards a better future.

4. Show me a positive person and I can show you a grateful person.

The most positive people are the most grateful people.  They do not focus on the potholes of their lives.  They focus on the pot of gold that awaits them every day, with new smells, sights, feelings and experiences.  They see life as a treasure chest full of wonder.

5. Rather than being stuck in their limitations, positive people are energized by their possibilities.

Optimistic people focus on what they can do, not what they can’t do.  They are not fooled to think that there is a perfect solution to every problem, and are confident that there are many solutions and possibilities.  They are not afraid to attempt new solutions to old problems, rather than spin their wheels expecting things to be different this time.  They refuse to be like Charlie Brown expecting that this time Lucy will not pull the football from him!

6. Positive people do not let their fears interfere with their lives!

Positive people have observed that those who are defined and pulled back by their fears never really truly live a full life. While proceeding with appropriate caution, they do not let fear keep them from trying new things. They realize that even failures are necessary steps for a successful life. They have confidence that they can get back up when they are knocked down by life events or their own mistakes, due to a strong belief in their personal resilience.

7. Positive people smile a lot!

When you feel positive on the inside it is like you are smiling from within, and these smiles are contagious. Furthermore, the more others are with positive people, the more they tend to smile too! They see the lightness in life, and have a sense of humor even when it is about themselves. Positive people have a high degree of self-respect, but refuse to take themselves too seriously!

8. People who are positive are great communicators.

They realize that assertive, confident communication is the only way to connect with others in everyday life.  They avoid judgmental, angry interchanges, and do not let someone else’s blow up give them a reason to react in kind.Rather, they express themselves with tact and finesse.  They also refuse to be non-assertive and let people push them around. They refuse to own problems that belong to someone else.

9. Positive people realize that if you live long enough, there are times for great pain and sadness.

One of the most common misperceptions about positive people is that to be positive, you must always be happy. This can not be further from the truth. Anyone who has any depth at all is certainly not happy all the time.  Being sad, angry, disappointed are all essential emotions in life. How else would you ever develop empathy for others if you lived a life of denial and shallow emotions? Positive people do not run from the gamut of emotions, and accept that part of the healing process is to allow themselves to experience all types of feelings, not only the happy ones. A positive person always holds the hope that there is light at the end of the darkness.  

10. Positive person are empowered people – they refuse to blame others and are not victims in life.

Positive people seek the help and support of others who are supportive and safe.They limit interactions with those who are toxic in any manner, even if it comes to legal action and physical estrangement such as in the case of abuse. They have identified their own basic human rights, and they respect themselves too much to play the part of a victim. There is no place for holding grudges with a positive mindset. Forgiveness helps positive people become better, not bitter.

How about you?  How many habits of positive people do you personally find in yourself?  If you lack even a few of these 10 essential habits, you might find that the expected treasure at the end of the rainbow was not all that it was cracked up to be. How could it — if you keep on bringing a negative attitude around?

I wish you well in keeping positive, because as we all know, there is certainly nothing positive about being negative!

(Photo credit: Positivity Amongst Negativity via Shutterstock)

 

Featured photo credit: Janaína Castelo Branco via flickr.com

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638 Primary Personality Traits from MIT

Positive Traits (234 = 37%)

  1. Accessible
  2. Active
  3. Adaptable
  4. Admirable
  5. Adventurous
  6. Agreeable
  7. Alert
  8. Allocentric
  9. Amiable
  10. Anticipative
  11. Appreciative
  12. Articulate
  13. Aspiring
  14. Athletic
  15. Attractive
  16. Balanced
  17. Benevolent
  18. Brilliant
  19. Calm
  20. Capable
  21. Captivating
  22. Caring
  23. Challenging
  24. Charismatic
  25. Charming
  26. Cheerful
  27. Clean
  28. Clear-headed
  29. Clever
  30. Colorful
  31. Companionly
  32. Compassionate
  33. Conciliatory
  34. Confident
  35. Conscientious
  36. Considerate
  37. Constant
  38. Contemplative
  39. Cooperative
  40. Courageous
  41. Courteous
  42. Creative
  43. Cultured
  44. Curious
  45. Daring
  46. Debonair
  47. Decent
  48. Decisive
  49. Dedicated
  50. Deep
  51. Dignified
  52. Directed
  53. Disciplined
  54. Discreet
  55. Dramatic
  56. Dutiful
  57. Dynamic
  58. Earnest
  59. Ebullient
  60. Educated
  61. Efficient
  62. Elegant
  63. Eloquent
  64. Empathetic
  65. Energetic
  66. Enthusiastic
  67. Esthetic
  68. Exciting
  69. Extraordinary
  70. Fair
  71. Faithful
  72. Farsighted
  73. Felicific
  74. Firm
  75. Flexible
  76. Focused
  77. Forecful
  78. Forgiving
  79. Forthright
  80. Freethinking
  81. Friendly
  82. Fun-loving
  83. Gallant
  84. Generous
  85. Gentle
  86. Genuine
  87. Good-natured
  88. Gracious
  89. Hardworking
  90. Healthy
  91. Hearty
  92. Helpful
  93. Herioc
  94. High-minded
  95. Honest
  96. Honorable
  97. Humble
  98. Humorous
  99. Idealistic
  100. Imaginative
  101. Impressive
  102. Incisive
  103. Incorruptible
  104. Independent
  105. Individualistic
  106. Innovative
  107. Inoffensive
  108. Insightful
  109. Insouciant
  110. Intelligent
  111. Intuitive
  112. Invulnerable
  113. Kind
  114. Knowledge
  115. Leaderly
  116. Leisurely
  117. Liberal
  118. Logical
  119. Lovable
  120. Loyal
  121. Lyrical
  122. Magnanimous
  123. Many-sided
  124. Masculine  (Manly)
  125. Mature
  126. Methodical
  127. Maticulous
  128. Moderate
  129. Modest
  130. Multi-leveled
  131. Neat
  132. Nonauthoritarian
  133. Objective
  134. Observant
  135. Open
  136. Optimistic
  137. Orderly
  138. Organized
  139. Original
  140. Painstaking
  141. Passionate
  142. Patient
  143. Patriotic
  144. Peaceful
  145. Perceptive
  146. Perfectionist
  147. Personable
  148. Persuasive
  149. Planful
  150. Playful
  151. Polished
  152. Popular
  153. Practical
  154. Precise
  155. Principled
  156. Profound
  157. Protean
  158. Protective
  159. Providential
  160. Prudent
  161. Punctual
  162. Pruposeful
  163. Rational
  164. Realistic
  165. Reflective
  166. Relaxed
  167. Reliable
  168. Resourceful
  169. Respectful
  170. Responsible
  171. Responsive
  172. Reverential
  173. Romantic
  174. Rustic
  175. Sage
  176. Sane
  177. Scholarly
  178. Scrupulous
  179. Secure
  180. Selfless
  181. Self-critical
  182. Self-defacing
  183. Self-denying
  184. Self-reliant
  185. Self-sufficent
  186. Sensitive
  187. Sentimental
  188. Seraphic
  189. Serious
  190. Sexy
  191. Sharing
  192. Shrewd
  193. Simple
  194. Skillful
  195. Sober
  196. Sociable
  197. Solid
  198. Sophisticated
  199. Spontaneous
  200. Sporting
  201. Stable
  202. Steadfast
  203. Steady
  204. Stoic
  205. Strong
  206. Studious
  207. Suave
  208. Subtle
  209. Sweet
  210. Sympathetic
  211. Systematic
  212. Tasteful
  213. Teacherly
  214. Thorough
  215. Tidy
  216. Tolerant
  217. Tractable
  218. Trusting
  219. Uncomplaining
  220. Understanding
  221. Undogmatic
  222. Unfoolable
  223. Upright
  224. Urbane
  225. Venturesome
  226. Vivacious
  227. Warm
  228. Well-bred
  229. Well-read
  230. Well-rounded
  231. Winning
  232. Wise
  233. Witty
  234. Youthful

Neutral Traits (292 = 18%)

  1. Absentminded
  2. Aggressive
  3. Ambitious
  4. Amusing
  5. Artful
  6. Ascetic
  7. Authoritarian
  8. Big-thinking
  9. Boyish
  10. Breezy
  11. Businesslike
  12. Busy
  13. Casual
  14. Crebral
  15. Chummy
  16. Circumspect
  17. Competitive
  18. Complex
  19. Confidential
  20. Conservative
  21. Contradictory
  22. Crisp
  23. Cute
  24. Deceptive
  25. Determined
  26. Dominating
  27. Dreamy
  28. Driving
  29. Droll
  30. Dry
  31. Earthy
  32. Effeminate
  33. Emotional
  34. Enigmatic
  35. Experimental
  36. Familial
  37. Folksy
  38. Formal
  39. Freewheeling
  40. Frugal
  41. Glamorous
  42. Guileless
  43. High-spirited
  44. Huried
  45. Hypnotic
  46. Iconoclastic
  47. Idiosyncratic
  48. Impassive
  49. Impersonal
  50. Impressionable
  51. Intense
  52. Invisible
  53. Irreligious
  54. Irreverent
  55. Maternal
  56. Mellow
  57. Modern
  58. Moralistic
  59. Mystical
  60. Neutral
  61. Noncommittal
  62. Noncompetitive
  63. Obedient
  64. Old-fashined
  65. Ordinary
  66. Outspoken
  67. Paternalistic
  68. Physical
  69. Placid
  70. Political
  71. Predictable
  72. Preoccupied
  73. Private
  74. Progressive
  75. Proud
  76. Pure
  77. Questioning
  78. Quiet
  79. Religious
  80. Reserved
  81. Restrained
  82. Retiring
  83. Sarcastic
  84. Self-conscious
  85. Sensual
  86. Skeptical
  87. Smooth
  88. Soft
  89. Solemn
  90. Solitary
  91. Stern
  92. Stoiid
  93. Strict
  94. Stubborn
  95. Stylish
  96. Subjective
  97. Surprising
  98. Soft
  99. Tough
  100. Unaggressive
  101. Unambitious
  102. Unceremonious
  103. Unchanging
  104. Undemanding
  105. Unfathomable
  106. Unhurried
  107. Uninhibited
  108. Unpatriotic
  109. Unpredicatable
  110. Unreligious
  111. Unsentimental
  112. Whimsical

Negative Traits (292 = 46%)

  1. Abrasive
  2. Abrupt
  3. Agonizing
  4. Aimless
  5. Airy
  6. Aloof
  7. Amoral
  8. Angry
  9. Anxious
  10. Apathetic
  11. Arbitrary
  12. Argumentative
  13. Arrogantt
  14. Artificial
  15. Asocial
  16. Assertive
  17. Astigmatic
  18. Barbaric
  19. Bewildered
  20. Bizarre
  21. Bland
  22. Blunt
  23. Biosterous
  24. Brittle
  25. Brutal
  26. Calculating
  27. Callous
  28. Cantakerous
  29. Careless
  30. Cautious
  31. Charmless
  32. Childish
  33. Clumsy
  34. Coarse
  35. Cold
  36. Colorless
  37. Complacent
  38. Complaintive
  39. Compulsive
  40. Conceited
  41. Condemnatory
  42. Conformist
  43. Confused
  44. Contemptible
  45. Conventional
  46. Cowardly
  47. Crafty
  48. Crass
  49. Crazy
  50. Criminal
  51. Critical
  52. Crude
  53. Cruel
  54. Cynical
  55. Decadent
  56. Deceitful
  57. Delicate
  58. Demanding
  59. Dependent
  60. Desperate
  61. Destructive
  62. Devious
  63. Difficult
  64. Dirty
  65. Disconcerting
  66. Discontented
  67. Discouraging
  68. Discourteous
  69. Dishonest
  70. Disloyal
  71. Disobedient
  72. Disorderly
  73. Disorganized
  74. Disputatious
  75. Disrespectful
  76. Disruptive
  77. Dissolute
  78. Dissonant
  79. Distractible
  80. Disturbing
  81. Dogmatic
  82. Domineering
  83. Dull
  84. Easily Discouraged
  85. Egocentric
  86. Enervated
  87. Envious
  88. Erratic
  89. Escapist
  90. Excitable
  91. Expedient
  92. Extravagant
  93. Extreme
  94. Faithless
  95. False
  96. Fanatical
  97. Fanciful
  98. Fatalistic
  99. Fawning
  100. Fearful
  101. Fickle
  102. Fiery
  103. Fixed
  104. Flamboyant
  105. Foolish
  106. Forgetful
  107. Fraudulent
  108. Frightening
  109. Frivolous
  110. Gloomy
  111. Graceless
  112. Grand
  113. Greedy
  114. Grim
  115. Gullible
  116. Hateful
  117. Haughty
  118. Hedonistic
  119. Hesitant
  120. Hidebound
  121. High-handed
  122. Hostile
  123. Ignorant
  124. Imitative
  125. Impatient
  126. Impractical
  127. Imprudent
  128. Impulsive
  129. Inconsiderate
  130. Incurious
  131. Indecisive
  132. Indulgent
  133. Inert
  134. Inhibited
  135. Insecure
  136. Insensitive
  137. Insincere
  138. Insulting
  139. Intolerant
  140. Irascible
  141. Irrational
  142. Irresponsible
  143. Irritable
  144. Lazy
  145. Libidinous
  146. Loquacious
  147. Malicious
  148. Mannered
  149. Mannerless
  150. Mawkish
  151. Mealymouthed
  152. Mechanical
  153. Meddlesome
  154. Melancholic
  155. Meretricious
  156. Messy
  157. Miserable
  158. Miserly
  159. Misguided
  160. Mistaken
  161. Money-minded
  162. Monstrous
  163. Moody
  164. Morbid
  165. Muddle-headed
  166. Naive
  167. Narcissistic
  168. Narrow
  169. Narrow-minded
  170. Natty
  171. Negativistic
  172. Neglectful
  173. Neurotic
  174. Nihilistic
  175. Obnoxious
  176. Obsessive
  177. Obvious
  178. Odd
  179. Offhand
  180. One-dimensional
  181. One-sided
  182. Opinionated
  183. Opportunistic
  184. Oppressed
  185. Outrageous
  186. Overimaginative
  187. Paranoid
  188. Passive
  189. Pedantic
  190. Perverse
  191. Petty
  192. Pharissical
  193. Phlegmatic
  194. Plodding
  195. Pompous
  196. Possessive
  197. Power-hungry
  198. Predatory
  199. Prejudiced
  200. Presumptuous
  201. Pretentious
  202. Prim
  203. Procrastinating
  204. Profligate
  205. Provocative
  206. Pugnacious
  207. Puritanical
  208. Quirky
  209. Reactionary
  210. Reactive
  211. Regimental
  212. Regretful
  213. Repentant
  214. Repressed
  215. Resentful
  216. Ridiculous
  217. Rigid
  218. Ritualistic
  219. Rowdy
  220. Ruined
  221. Sadistic
  222. Sanctimonious
  223. Scheming
  224. Scornful
  225. Secretive
  226. Sedentary
  227. Selfish
  228. Self-indulgent
  229. Shallow
  230. Shortsighted
  231. Shy
  232. Silly
  233. Single-minded
  234. Sloppy
  235. Slow
  236. Sly
  237. Small-thinking
  238. Softheaded
  239. Sordid
  240. Steely
  241. Stiff
  242. Strong-willed
  243. Stupid
  244. Submissive
  245. Superficial
  246. Superstitious
  247. Suspicious
  248. Tactless
  249. Tasteless
  250. Tense
  251. Thievish
  252. Thoughtless
  253. Timid
  254. Transparent
  255. Treacherous
  256. Trendy
  257. Troublesome
  258. Unappreciative
  259. Uncaring
  260. Uncharitable
  261. Unconvincing
  262. Uncooperative
  263. Uncreative
  264. Uncritical
  265. Unctuous
  266. Undisciplined
  267. Unfriendly
  268. Ungrateful
  269. Unhealthy
  270. Unimaginative
  271. Unimpressive
  272. Unlovable
  273. Unpolished
  274. Unprincipled
  275. Unrealistic
  276. Unreflective
  277. Unreliable
  278. Unrestrained
  279. Unself-critical
  280. Unstable
  281. Vacuous
  282. Vague
  283. Venal
  284. Venomous
  285. Vindictive
  286. Vulnerable
  287. Weak
  288. Weak-willed
  289. Well-meaning
  290. Willful
  291. Wishful
  292. Zany

 

Some things on this list crack me up.

 Stay healthy! Stay positive!

New Study Links Insomnia to Alzheimer’s

sleepingNew research now links sleep problems with Alzheimer’s disease.  According to the Alzheimer’s Association, more than five million Americans live with Alzheimer’s.
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Cleveland Clinic’s Stephen Rao (pronounced Ray-Oh) did not participate in the new study but says results suggest people who have trouble sleeping may be at an increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s later in life.
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CG: Stephen Rao, PhD /Cleveland Clinic:  “The basic finding is that the more disturbance of sleep that people reported, the more likely that they were going to have pathology in their spinal fluid that related to Alzheimer’s disease.” [:15]
 sleepingbeauty2
RESEARCHERS SURVEYED JUST OVER ONE-HUNDRED PEOPLE AT HIGH RISK OF DEVELOPING ALZHEIMER’S WHO HAD NORMAL THINKING AND MEMORY ABILITIES.
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PARTICIPANTS WERE ASKED ABOUT THEIR SLEEP QUALITY AND ALSO PROVIDED A
SPINAL FLUID SAMPLE.
insomnia
RESULTS SHOW THAT PEOPLE WHO REPORTED HAVING SLEEP PROBLEMS HAD MORE
BIOLOGICAL MARKERS FOR ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE IN THEIR SPINAL FLUID THAN FOLKS WHO DID NOT REPORT SLEEP PROBLEMS.
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DOCTOR RAO NOTES THAT WHILE THE STUDY SHOWS A LINK BETWEEN SLEEP
AND ALZHEIMER’S IT’S A BIT OF A CHICKEN AND EGG SCENARIO, IN THAT DOCTORS AREN’T SURE WHAT COMES FIRST.  THE ALZHEIMER’S OR THE SLEEP PROBLEMS.
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HE SAYS MORE RESEARCH NEEDS TO BE DONE TO BE SURE.
CG: Stephen Rao, PhD/Cleveland Clinic:  “We don’t know what the chicken or egg cause is here, it may very well be that sleeping longer will help us to prevent us from developing or slow down the process of Alzheimer’s disease but we certainly  don’t have the definitive answer as yet.”
Complete results of this study can be found online in the Journal NEUROLOGY. [:10]
 newsmd1 Maria Dorfner

MY OPINION:  

“A multitude of factors may cause insomnia, but I bet the primary cause is your choice of food or beverage before turning in. Technology is a biggie, but if you’re sleepy you won’t want to look at your phone or computer.

insomnia8

Your brain requires healthy food and beverages to stay sharp and sleep well.

carlsbadmineralwater11

Numerous foods and beverages are already proven to disrupt sleep including high-fat foods, soda, chocolate, caffeine, heavy spicy foods, alcohol 4 to 6 hours before bedtime, meat and high protein intake. Even prescription and over-the-counter cold medications may contain caffeine.  Let’s also not rule out tobacco usage.

fruits

Healthy foods that promote sleep include nuts, seeds, eggs, bananas and a few crackers & cheese.  Water no later than 8 p.m. is a healthy go-to beverage.

Daily exercise also helps you sleep well.

WALK1

gma1.jpg

I’d love to see “further studies” include two groups of people “at risk” for developing Alzheimer’s: 1. sedentary people who eat and drink disruptive foods and beverages, use tobacco and take prescription medications 2) compared to people that exercise daily, eat and drink healthy foods and beverages and do not take OTC or prescription medications or use tobacco.

alzheimers8

Then, compare how well these two different groups sleep, along with their biological markers for Alzheimer’s disease.

alzheimers10

Bottom line:  Missing piece to this puzzle may be finding out what causes sleep problems.  I posit people more at risk have unhealthy habits leading to sleeplessness.

Remember, you have the power to change your daily habits and choices.

alzheimers1

It’s time to research and study causes, so people can practice prevention instead of seeking treatment for symptoms, or worse believing the symptom is a cause. ”

-Maria Dorfner

logonewsmd

 

NATIONAL MEDIA:   See Pathfire #: 10826 dated July 5, 2017 for soundbites/voiceover
contact:  maria.dorfner@yahoo.com

Future Health: New Device To Detect Early-Stage Colon Cancer

DANIELA SEMEDO reports on a European project, which aims to develop an innovative endoscope device that can detect and diagnose colorectal cancer in its early stages.

coloncancer2

Called PICCOLO, the project is funded under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 program. It’s tackling one of the world’s predominant cancers by using new optical technologies that identify precancerous polyps and early colon cancers.

coloncancer1

Colorectal cancer represents around one-tenth of all cancers worldwide, and nearly 95 percent of these cases are adenocarcinomas, which typically start as a tissue growth called a polyp.

coloncancer4

Early and accurate diagnosis and precise intervention can increase cure rates to up to 90 percent.

coloncancer3

A colonoscopy is currently the method used to screen for colon cancer. But while up to 40 percent of patients who undergo colonoscopy present one or more polyps, almost 30 percent of these polyps are not detected.

coloncancer6

Of the polyps detected by colonoscopy, 29 to 42 percent are generally hyperplastic and will not develop into cancer. The remainder are neoplastic polyps, representing colorectal cancer in its earliest stages.

There is an urgent need for new diagnostic techniques that are equipped with enough sensitivity and specificity to allow in situ assessment, safe characterization, and resection of lesions during clinical practice interventions.

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The multidisciplinary PICCOLO team proposes a new compact, hybrid, and multimodal photonics endoscope based on Optical C, a medical imaging technique that uses light to capture micrometer-resolution, three-dimensional images from within optical scattering media.

Artzai Picon of Tecnalia Research & Innovation says, “We hope that PICCOLO will provide major benefits over traditional colonoscopy. Firstly, by developing an advanced endoscope, using both optical coherence tomography (OCT) and multi-photon tomography (MPT), we will provide high-resolution structural and functional imaging, giving details of the changes occurring at the cellular level comparable to those obtained using traditional histological techniques.”

“Furthermore, when multiple polyps are detected in a patient, the current gold standard procedure is to remove all of them, followed by microscopic tissue analysis,” he said. “Removal of hyperplastic polyps, which carry no malignant potential, and the subsequent costly histopathological analysis, might be avoided through the use of the PICCOLO endoscope probe, which could allow image-based diagnosis without the need for tissue biopsies.”

Researchers behind the project believe the new device may not only add to colon cancer detection, but could also be applied to diseases in other organs of the body.

coloncancer7

Investigators expect their first prototype to be fully developed by the end of 2018 and plan to start testing the device in clinical studies in 2020.

colon7

DANIELA SEMEDO, Colon Cancer News
https://coloncancernewstoday.com/2017/06/08/bristol-myers-squibb-novartis-to-test-mekinist-opdivo-combination-in-advanced-colorectal-cancer/

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http://www.fightcolorectalcancer.org

 

Maria Dorfner is the founder of NewsMD: What’s Hot in Health, a division of Healthy Within Network.  Have a story to share with healthcare consumers and media?

Contact: maria.dorfner@yahoo.com