- I Tried a Water Yoga Class and Left Feeling Calmer Than Ever
- Conjoined Twins Successfully Separated in 16-Hour Surgery
- Try This 21-Day Better Breakfast Challenge
- Zika Is Spreading in a New Part of Miami
- FDA Says Homeopathic Teething Products May Be Linked to 10 Infant Deaths
Posted: 14 Oct 2016 09:00 AM PDT
Ever since I took my first Bikram class a few years ago, I’ve considered myself a yoga fanatic. So when I heard about the newest trend—practicing traditional postures in a pool—I was intrigued.
I’d read that aqua yoga is easier on your joints (thanks to the buoyancy effect) but more challenging when it comes to balance, due to the movement of the water. To feed my curiosity, I signed up for a class at Asphalt Green in New York City.
From the moment I got into the pool (which was the temperature of a nice, warm bath) I instantly felt calmer. The instructor, Blythe Knapp, began by leading us through breathing exercises and a variation of Sun Salutation in the shallow end. From there we moved into basic postures like Cat-Cow and the Warrior poses. Some were modified so that we didn’t need to put our heads underwater, and sometimes Knapp had us use the pool’s wall for support.
It wasn’t much different from a regular yoga class—except I felt more flexible in the water. I noticed that I was able to sink deeper into Warrior II than ever before. Knapp pointed out that one of the benefits of aqua yoga is that your body is more relaxed in the pool, which means you may be able to get a better stretch in each pose.
When we moved into Tree pose, I realized that what I’d read was true: Balancing in water was definitely trickier than on dry land.
I was feeling frustrated by the time we got to Balancing Stick (in which you hinge at the waist and form a ‘T’ shape with your body, one leg extended behind and arms reaching in front of your head) and Dancer (where you lift one leg behind you, and hold your foot with the hand on the same side, your torso upright.)
I was just beginning to master these two poses in my hot yoga class. But doing them in the pool was a completely different story. The slight current (from the pool’s pump) and gentle waves (from my classmates’ movements) forced my muscles to work harder than usual to keep me from toppling over.
Next came the aqua yoga version of Savasana—and it was as relaxing as the rest of the class was challenging. Knapp encouraged us to float on pool noodles (I put one under my neck, one under my knees) and let our heads rest with our ears below the surface. All I could hear were the muffled sounds of the water moving.
It has never been easy for me to slip into a meditative state. But floating and focusing on those natural sounds really helped. When Savasana was over, I felt more peaceful and refreshed than I had in a long time.
After class, I approached Knapp to ask her about the difficulty I’d had with Balancing Stick and Dancer. She assured me my experience was normal, and said many people practice aqua yoga for the sole purpose of improving their balance: “I believe aqua yoga is the most incredible balance training that exists right now,” she said. “In the water there is a constant yet changing motion against you that triggers the body’s reflexive reactions.”
Knapp also pointed out that aqua yoga is especially good for people with injuries, since it cuts down on the gravitational pull, and therefore stress, on your body. Plus, she pointed out, you won’t fall over and hurt yourself in the pool, which makes it a great place to try tough poses, and develop your practice.
As for me, the next time I really need to relax, I plan on finding a warm pool where I can move through some poses, and then float around for a while on a couple of noodles.
Posted: 14 Oct 2016 07:19 AM PDT
Jadon and Anias McDonald, who are 13-months-old, underwent craniopagus surgery at the Children’s Hospital at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx, CNN reports. The rare operation carries major risks, including death or longterm brain damage.
The surgery—only the 59th of its kind since 1952—was led by Dr. James Goodrich, who established the practice of performing separations in several short stages rather than in one operation lasting over two days. Following the operation, he told the boys’ family “Well, we did it.”
On Facebook, the boys’ mother, Nicole McDonald, wrote that Dr. Goodrich said the case was the hardest he’d encountered. “We are definitely not out of the woods by any means,” she said. “There was a point where Dr Goodrich debated stopping the whole procedure because it was just too risky, but an opening presented itself and they went for it and it ended up being the right call.”
In the post, McDonald also shared how she felt about the future.
“It’s a bit surreal to sit here and type this,” she added. “I should feel so happy…TWO SEPARATE BABIES!!!…and yet I ache with the uncertainty of the future. I didn’t cry until the surgeon’s left the room. I was barely able to even utter the words ‘thank you’ because of the pit that still sits heavy in my stomach.”
Posted: 14 Oct 2016 05:00 AM PDT
Eating a balanced plate first thing gives you an energy surge to kick off your day and helps keep your hunger in check. “What you eat for breakfast sets the tone for the whole day,” says Leah Kaufman, RD, a dietitian in New York City. This is how to make that starter meal healthy yet uncomplicated.
Your action plan: Create a habit of eating something smart in the a.m. every day for three weeks by mixing and matching the strategies below. When assembling meals, follow this formula: a bit of protein along with a healthy carb and a good fat (like nuts or avocado).
Strategy #1: Make prep-ahead moves
Spend time Sunday setting up several days’ worth of breakfasts. A few simple solutions:
Go mini: Use a muffin tin to prepare mini egg frittatas; eat two per morning. (This Egg Frittata recipe makes eight, enough for nearly the whole workweek.)
Bag smoothies: Grab plastic baggies and put 1 cup berries, half a banana, and 1 tablespoon flaxseed into each. Stash them in the freezer; when your alarm goes off, toss one serving into the blender with ice, almond milk and 1 tablespoon almond butter.
Health.com: 13 High-Protein Breakfast Recipes
Strategy #2: Have an arsenal of 5-minute meal ideas
No chance to make ahead? These eats can be ready in a flash.
Follow the two-topping rule: Plain quick-cooking oatmeal is an easy way to get a hearty breakfast fast. Limit yourself to two add-ins, like berries and raw peanuts. One should always be a source of protein, but don’t stick with just nuts. Try one of Kaufman’s creative oatmeal mix-ins: 1⁄2 cup low-fat cottage cheese or three egg whites.
Pick PB: Peanut butter is a tasty protein source, perfect on whole-grain toast with a piece of fruit. In a real hurry? Make a peanut butter sandwich.
Think outside the yogurt cup: Have an unsweetened Greek yogurt and apply the two-topping rule (try cinnamon and granola). Or pair the plain yogurt with an energy bar. One of Kaufman’s faves: Zing Bars ($32 for 12; amazon.com).
Enjoy dinner leftovers: “A cold slice of vegetable pizza tastes great at breakfast,” says Ruth Frechman, RD, author of The Food Is My Friend Diet.
Health.com: 12 Breakfast Recipes You Can Eat for Dinner
Strategy #3: Master get-out-the-door hacks
When making (and sitting and eating) breakfast at home is absolutely not happening, try these on-the-go options.
Swing by the supermarket: “People forget that you can stop at a grocery store and only buy a banana and a yogurt,” says Abby Langer, RD, a dietitian in Toronto and the owner of Abby Langer Nutrition. “You have more control than when you’re limited to menu items at a drive-through.”
Make a coffee shop pit stop: But order a healthy item that you would prepare in your own kitchen, says Kaufman—like a feta-and-egg-white wrap or a box of apple slices, nuts and cheese.
Posted: 13 Oct 2016 01:55 PM PDT
Zika is locally spreading in a new small area in Miami-Dade County, Fla. officials announced on Thursday. The new area is small — about one square mile.
Florida has over 1,000 cases of Zika in the state. Some are travel-associated, and 155 can not be linked to travel. So far there are 106 pregnant women with the virus.
“Today’s announcement of a new area in Miami of ongoing local transmission of the Zika virus underscores the urgent need for federal funding to combat the Zika virus,” said Florida Governor Rick Scott in a statement about the new area. “It has been two weeks since federal funding to fight Zika was approved by Congress and signed by President Obama. However, Florida has not yet received a dime. We don’t need bureaucratic timelines – we need funding now.”
There are two new non-travel related cases of Zika in the state, according to a statement from the Florida Department of Health. One case is linked to the new transmission area and another case is still being investigated by officials to determine where the person was exposed.
You can see a map of where Zika is spreading in Florida here. The street boundaries are NW 79th St. to the North, NW 63rd St. to the South, NW 10th Ave. to the West and N. Miami Ave. to the East.
Posted: 13 Oct 2016 10:41 AM PDT
Homeopathic teething products may be linked to the death of 10 infants, the U.S. Federal Drug Administration (FDA) reported, causing two major sources of the tablets and gels to stop selling them in the U.S.
In an investigation, the FDA learned of 400 cases in which children experienced negative side effects that may be related to homeopathic teething treatment. Although the investigation is not yet complete and researchers have not published a report, spokesperson for the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research Lyndsay Meyer confirmed the initial findings to TIME on Thursday.
“We are also aware of reports of 10 deaths during that time period that reference homeopathic teething products, though the relationship of these deaths to the homeopathic teething pills has not been determined and is currently under review,” the FDA said in a statement.
The FDA issued a warning against using the teething tablets and gels on Sept. 30, stating they may “pose a risk” to children and infants. Other than death, the 400 “adverse effects” included seizure, lethargy, constipation, fever, tremor, shortness of breath, vomiting, sleepiness, agitation and irritability. They were available through CVS, Hyland’s and other sources, according to the FDA.
After releasing the warning, CVS voluntarily pulled all homeopathic teething products from its shelves, the FDA said in its statement. Hyland’s stopped selling its teething products in the U.S., and announced the decision on Oct. 11.
Hyland’s said it chose to discontinue its products due to the FDA warning. The company maintained on its website, “We are confident that any available Hyland’s teething products, including those you already have, are safe for use.”
The FDA had initially raised flags about the risk the tablets posed by having irregular quantities of the ingredient belladonna in 2010.
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