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Strive to Thrive comes to an end; winner announced – Richland Source

Editor's Note: The Strive to Thrive competition launched in January 2020 after nine local contestants were chosen by Richland Source and OhioHealth Ontario Health & Fitness to compete in a 12-week weight loss challenge.

MANSFIELD After seven months of exercise, waiting through delays due to COVID-19 and contestants maintaining self-discipline, the Strive to Thrive contest officially came to a close, crowning Sue Hunt as the winner.

Based on the relative change of body fat percentage in the final weekly contestant standings, Hunt won after a relative change of 10.6% followed by Justin Brant with 9.2%.

It was really tough and I wasn't 100% on track, Hunt admitted. I was kind of slipping back into my larger portion eating ways, although I still tried to eat the good things and not so much of the not so good things.

The Strive to Thrive contest began in January 2020 and has now concluded.

The contest began in January 2020. The fitness team at OhioHealth and Richland Source embarked on a 12-week contest called 'Strive to Thrive.

From the start, we saw commitment from our contestantseating right and making time to exercise. When fitness centers were required to shut down and quarantine due to COVID, contestants were not deterred, wrote Emily Freeman, OhioHealth Ontario Health and Fitness Center supervisor.

At the start of the competition nine contestants participated, but with COVID-19 a few dropped out, leaving only five contestants in the running to receive a one-year gym membership at OhioHealth training facilities.

The OhioHealth fitness team quickly adapted to virtual programming, providing online workouts and emailed support, Freeman wrote. After four months of quarantine contestants saw a reduction in body composition and weight. They adapted new skills in overcoming challenges to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

At the start of the competition nine contestants participated, but with COVID-19 a few dropped out, leaving only five contestants in the running.

Hunts original goal for the competition was to get back in shape so she could be able to play tennis again. She made great progress and maintained the lead throughout the competition, though COVID-19 ended up setting her back. In order to maintain her workout regimen, Hunt took her dog out for long walks and purchased a set of dumbbells to workout with at home.

After winning, Hunt, who works as an administrative assistant at OhioHealth Mansfield Hospital and is already eligible for a reimbursable membership through OhioHealth's insurance, decided to give her one year membership to the runner up.

I didn't know who was in second but I'm happy that somebody will be able to make good use of it, Hunt said. With the hospital reimbursing associates memberships, it just didn't seem fair for me to take it all.

While taking extraordinary measures to keep their facility safe, OhioHealth Ontario Health and Fitness Center is also offering to waive enrollment fees in the month of September, allowing new members and Strive to Thrive contestants to join with the first month for free.

For Hunt, winning was never her goal, but rather making a healthy change for herself. However, along the way she also built camaraderie with the other contestants, which she found to be the biggest takeaway from the competition. Shes already signed up for the Mission Slim Possible Program offered by OhioHealth, a body fat loss competition, where she hopes to achieve another goal she sets for herself.

Generally when I talked to the other (Strive to Thrive) contestants that was pretty much what they saidthat they wanted to make this change for themselves, and I think that's important," Hunt said. "We have to take care of ourselves and even more so this year than ever before.

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Strive to Thrive comes to an end; winner announced - Richland Source

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Understanding the Science of Memory Now. Powered by – Now. Powered by Northrop Grumman.

Neuroscientists understand a great deal about the brain, and new studies continue to unlock the science of memory. How does memory form in the brain, and what exactly happens when we recall something?

Memories arent locked away in one particular place in the brain. Different areas of the brain are responsible for various aspects of memory, according to the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT). The amygdala is associated with emotional responses, such as fear. The striatum is associated with memories of skills, and the hippocampus and temporal lobes are both essential for forming and recalling memories.

When you experience an event, it doesnt just instantly become a memory that is stored in your brain forever. There are three main steps to forming memories.

First, memories are encoded in your brain. This happens at synapses, which are the connections between brain cells called neurons.

These connections become either stronger or weaker, says Christine Smith, Ph.D. She is a memory researcher at Research Service, Veterans Affairs, San Diego Healthcare System and teaches psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego.

She adds, The cells that are activated at the time that the event happens are the same ones that will be involved later when you remember that event.

The connections between neurons start out weak and become stronger the more often you are exposed to the event. This explains why, for example, you still remember your childhood phone number but not the name of a person you met once.

Dr. Smith explains that when you recall a memory, the brain cells that were active when the memory was formed are reactivated. If the memory is a few years old, a structure called the hippocampus is involved with reactivating those cells and pulling the memory together so that you experience that as a remembered event.

Of course, we dont remember every moment of our lives. We simply dont need to access all that excessive information. Instead, we tend to remember the important things, or those memories that we have accessed the most. Sometimes a cue can help reactivate dusty old memories, such as when a specific scent reminds you of a person, place or time in your life.

As time passes, the connections become solidified or consolidated. The synapses for memories you retrieve often become stronger and therefore part of your long-term memories. Other connections between neurons weaken with time, causing you to forget those moments.

According to RIT, this normal process of losing memory over time is called memory trace decay. Sometimes, forgetting is due to encoding failure, which is when you dont process the information and therefore never had the memory in the first place. Lastly, there is a type of forgetting called interference theory, which is when other information interferes with your ability to retain new memories. For example, when you know the word for chair in one language, it can block your ability to remember the word for chair in another language.

There are two main types of memory: short-term and long-term. But within long-term memory, there are two sub-categories: explicit, or conscious memory, and implicit, or unconscious memory.

Your working memory, or short-term memory, can only hold a few items and lasts for about 20 seconds, according to RIT. Its helpful for when we need to hold information in our head for just a moment, and then can move on to other more important things. For example, if someone gives you an instruction, such as signing a piece of paper, you only need to remember that bit of information long enough to do the action that is required. After that, its useless. According to the Queensland Brain Institute (QBI), working memory is one of the best predictors of general intelligence, as measured by standard psychological tests.

If you practice enough, such as memorizing the spelling of words, or frequently discussing a favorite event, short-term memories can be strengthened enough to become long-term memories, through the consolidation process that we previously described.

Most of the memories that we think of in a conversational sense are part of your long-term memory. When you remember something that happened in your life, that is a type of long-term memory called an explicit memory. According to QBI, explicit memories can be episodic, such as when you remember a favorite childhood birthday party, or semantic, relating to facts or general knowledge.

Implicit, or unconscious memories are less obvious, but they are embedded in our minds as part of our long-term memory bank. They can be procedural, such as motor skills that you wont forget once youve learned them, like riding a bike or tying your shoes. Another type of implicit memory is caused by priming, when exposure to one stimulus influences your brains response to another, according to QBI. These less obvious memories can influence our habits or phobias.

We arent always aware when were operating based on these prior memories, says Dr. Smith. So we think of them as being predispositions about our personality.

She explains that events that happen to you can become part of your memory repository, although you may not have conscious access to them. So youre doing all sorts of behaviors during the day that you probably dont even realize are a reflection of memory, she says.

Weve explained how memory is supposed to work, but there are many issues that can cause memory loss. Amnesia, for example, can be caused by brain trauma such as a head injury, a stroke or tumor, or chronic alcoholism, according to National Geographic.

A traumatic experience can damage the communication between the hippocampus and the prefrontal cortex, according to Scientific American. This is evident, for example, when you are safe but your bodys fear response is triggered by a cue that reminds you of a previously dangerous experience, such as people with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Memory loss is a normal part of aging, but some people experience severe memory loss with various types of dementia, such as Alzheimers disease. Its a degenerative disease in which brain cells stop working. Dr. Smith explains that in the early stages of the disease, the memory structures of the brain are affected. At first, patients complain of memory loss. Then as the disease progresses, it also damages other parts of the brain, which causes cognitive problems, attention issues and executive functions, such as loss of language.

By the time someone is diagnosed with Alzheimers disease their brain is very badly damaged, she says. You could show a healthy brain scan and Alzheimers brain scan to a child and they would see a difference. Its very apparent.

When considering what are the four types of memory, we cant assume every person has each type. Some brain disorders affect one part of the memory but not another. For example, Smith describes that someone can have a lesion in the brain that affects their conscious memories, so they have trouble learning new things. But their unconscious memories are fine.

She also describes a condition called cortical blindness, in which people can see and have avoidance reflexes, but they cant recognize what theyre looking at, so they are effectively blind.

They cant see, but if you were to throw a ball at them, they would be able to dodge it.

There is no cure for Alzheimers disease yet. However, people who are prone to memory loss can delay it by living healthy lifestyles. Some people practice brain exercises to fend off memory loss. Smith suggests that there are more interesting ways to keep your brain strong, backed by the science of memory. She advises her patients to focus on a healthy lifestyle with cardiovascular exercise, a nutritious diet and enough sleep. People with higher education have a lower risk of Alzheimers disease, she says, and the idea is that education may build up the brain and delay the onset of the disease. Plus, any kind of personal interaction helps stimulate the brain. Getting out into the world, having conversations and trying new things are all excellent brain exercises.

You have more cognitive reserves so you can take more hits before you fail, she says.

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Can Virtual Reality Help Us Connect Better During The Pandemic? – Forbes

Happy couple on the beach breathing fresh air at sunset

In North America, as winter is fast approaches, everyones worried about another COVID-19 lockdown. Social isolation will once again be on everyones minds. AARP Innovation Labs released Alcove, a virtual reality app that enables friends and family to stay connected for Oculus Quest.

Increasingly, with extended times spent indoors, everyone can feel disconnected.

Theres only so much video conferencing anyone can do. Talking about each others day and feeling like you are forcing conversations may not be the optimal way to spend time with your loved ones.

Families need fun. Not everyone can play the type of video game that our children like to play. How to establish a bond between you and your mother, who might be living 3000 miles away? How to enable grandparents to take your children on adventures when they may not be able to go out because of pre-existing health conditions?

Alcove came straight from AARP Innovation Labs to help families go on adventures together in virtual reality worlds modeled after the real world. As we venture further into all corners of the world, the idea is that as the world is feeling closer to us day-to-day, we live our lives together and apart, distributed on different continents and in other countries.

Video conferencing doesnt connect us on a human level. Its playing together or having shared experiences in the world that connects us and brings us closer together.

Rick Robinson, Vice President of AARPs Innovation Labs, says, Alcove allows people to truly break down the barrier of isolation is pretty remarkable. Some people naturally question whether its too complicated or advanced, but based on feedback and our extensive testing with consumers young and old, thats not the case at all.

Robinson suggested that Alcove allows for a much richer way to communicate with one another than current video chat experiences.

On Zoom or other video chat, you can catch up and talk about your day in a very flat way while in VR you can do so much more you can meditate together and travel the world together. You can play games in a completely immersive way.

In the virtual reality world, instead of being immersed inside one experience together, logistically, its easy to switch between experiences. This allows family members to explore different experiences to find what they like the best. Repeating experiences is easy. For instance, building a group meditation habit between a few adult family members is easy and feels immersive.

Robinson says, It is an environment that we like to refer to as your family corner in VR, primarily because of the aesthetic. When you enter, you feel like youre in a home with different rooms you can walk through, taking in all kinds of experiences that surround and envelope you.

Although everyone has an avatar inside Alcoves virtual worlds, the worlds are modeled after real worlds with 360 immersion. With heightened sensory experiences inside the VR world, the experiences can feel calming, soothing, and emotional. This helps to form real bonds between family members.

Cezara Windrem, Innovation Catalyst at AARP Innovation Labs, and Creator and Producer of Alcove, says, "The U.S. military has been using this for a couple of decades now for simulation and training. Now VR and AR are being used a lot more for high-level simulation training, educational programs, and more across industries because of its potential to create new worlds and immerse you in them in a way that can create new memories and allow your brain to make new and deeper connections with the content around. So, we're looking at VR as this complete 360-degree canvas that you are immersing yourself into, and it can be painted with any data information or media. And what's more, you can bring people in there and connect."

When you look at how humans connect, comfort and safety are usually the foundations for real connection. This is why Alcove purposely designed the 360 immersive experience to start from the home's foundation, where most of us find safety and security. It is also designed to engage family members who might be consistently living in their worlds inside the same house.

Windrem says, "Think of Alcove as a magical space that is built at a human scale. You walk in, and by walking in, I mean, you put your headset on, and you're in, and you're looking around, and you feel at home because the environments are built to connect with what you're used to on a daily basis. There's a more modern feel to it. As you started walking around on your own or with your dear ones, inside there, you can start navigating and going into different rooms, which are not your regular home environment rooms, but magical spaces that bring amazing experiences to life."

In the U.S., one of the most significant childhood moments bonding with family is to play board games such as checkers, go fish, etc.. While playing, you are talking with your family, you are cracking jokes, and leaning into joyful moments. Alcove sets the scene for real bonding time with your family.

Cezara Windrem adds, Alcove is a family platform. Were hearing from virtual reality gamers and non-gamers that Alcove is an amazing place to connect with their family members. People from across all age groups are enjoying it.

Alcoves focus on health and wellness allows families to think mindfully about building a collective healthy lifestyle. Families can build healthy habits together inside experiences within the app. They can also watch out for one another and create emotional bonds linked to health and wellness experiences.

Windrem says, "While Alcove is not a clinical tool, socialization, or lack of socialization, can be a contributor to dementia and other similar issues. It's logical that if you could provide a tool that promotes socialization, it could help reduce the risk of dementia."

As virtual reality applications move away from gaming into helping people improve their daily lives, people will use it to build a healthier lifestyle and stronger connection to each other and the world around them. As technologies progress, more immersive experiences will involve the integrating different technologies: virtual reality, augmented reality, artificial intelligence, and holographic. It presents a new frontier for technologists to experiment and create new mediums to improve peoples lives.

Windrem says, VR can bring human connection to whole new levelsthrough its power to connect people with each other and the world in immersive ways, which may have been impossible in the past through traditional mediums. This is particularly relevant today, as our society battles the pandemic, social distancing separates us physically from our loved ones, and more and more adults experience social isolation and loneliness because of it.

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Can Virtual Reality Help Us Connect Better During The Pandemic? - Forbes

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Gilmore Health: A Q&A Session on Genetic Diseases With Dr. Sony Sherpa – Gilmore Health News

Today, in our Gilmore Health Q&A Series we discuss genetic diseases with Dr. Sony Sherpa as they are a biological, and financial burden. They may only affect a single member of the family physically but can be socially and mentally draining for the rest of the family.

Genetic diseases are a group of diseases that can pass from parents to their children, causing disease with varying degrees of severity. Genetic diseases are relatively common, making up to 14% of all pediatric discharges. Furthermore, they cost upwards of 50 billion dollars yearly, putting a financial strain on the families of affected individuals

Here we talk more about genetic diseases with Dr. Sony Sherpa, to get more insight into these diseases with the aim of understanding them further.

What are genetic diseases? Arent all diseases genetic, technically?

Dr. Sony Sherpa: Well, yes. As researchers learn more about diseases and the different components to them, they have concluded that almost all diseases do have a genetic component to them. However, a genetic disease is a disease that occurs as a result of a change in a persons DNA. This change or mutation can cause disease of varying severity depending on the extent of damage done to the DNA.

So, when you say all diseases have a genetic component, that means all diseases arise from this change in the DNA?

The short answer is yes. The long answer is that most genetic diseases are diseases arising from mutations in one single gene. But most diseases, in general, are what we call multifactorial, or complex disease. Now, these diseases can arise due to environmental factors, genetic factors, occupational hazards, or iatrogenic reasons. Hence, the name; multifactorial. The genetic component of these diseases, albeit a small part, is a very important part in the understanding of these diseases.

Could you perhaps elaborate on this with an example?

Yes, sure. Diseases like sickle cell or Cystic fibrosis are genetic diseases. They arise from a mutation in a single gene and have a clear cut inheritance pattern. On the other hand, there are diseases like diabetes mellitus type 2 or cardiovascular diseases that are polygenic in origin. Not just that, the inheritance pattern of these diseases isnt understood much either. While many studies are looking into it, its going to be a while before we understand the hereditability factors of these complex diseases.

Can complex diseases be passed on from parents to their children? Is it seen usually, or is that one of the many things yet to be discovered?

Complex diseases usually cluster in families, but as I mentioned before, there is no clear explanation for that phenomenon yet.

Alright, then how do single gene-genetic diseases pass on from parents to offsprings?

That we have an understanding of. At least the basics. There are five inheritance patterns of single-gene genetic diseases, namely; Autosomal Dominant, Autosomal Recessive, X-linked Dominant, X-linked Recessive, and mitochondrial. However, the pattern of inheritance differs for each disease.

All single-gene genetic disorders follow one of these five inheritance patterns. Whats the difference between them, in simple terms? What is the basis of separation between these patterns?

Well, it is pretty interesting. Inheritance patterns tell us the origin of the genetic disease, the genotype it has and it can mathematically estimate the percentage risk that a child born to two carriers/patients will have the disease. The genotype of the genetic makeup decides the phenotype or physical appearance of the disease for everyone. The genotype can be realized from alleles that are received from both parents. These alleles can recognize the traits and then classify the inheritance into dominant or recessive. Basically, if a disease requires a mutation to be present on both alleles, then it is recessive. But if it can be pathological with just one mutated allele, then it is dominant.

What about the mitochondrial inheritance pattern then?

Some books and studies still do not accept mitochondrial inheritance patterns to be one of the main inheritance patterns. But regardless of that, it is an important topic. Mitochondria of the cell have their own DNA. And this DNA is passed down from mother to offspring. Its always inherited from the mother. Therefore, any mitochondrial disease would also be purely maternal in origin.

Since these diseases are inherited with alleles on genes and are due to mutation in the DNA, how does one diagnose these diseases? I am assuming it would require a lot of genetic karyotyping and testing? That sounds like a very tedious and complicated process.

Dr. Sony Sherpa: Yes and No. Yes, genetic diseases are very much gene-related as the name suggests, these diseases are diagnosed mostly through genetic testing. OR better yet, the diagnosis is usually suspected through clinical presentation and laboratory testing, it is confirmed through genetic testing.

Genetic testing is not tedious, and a very simple procedure. It can be done in one of three ways; cytogenetic genetic testing wherein the entire chromosome is analyzed and studied, biochemical genetic testing which includes testing the proteins and the biochemical reactions associated with them, and lastly, molecular genetic testing for analysis of small DNA mutation.

You mentioned suspicion of a genetic disease. What araises suspicion of a genetic disease, what are the symptoms that can be alarming?

The suspicion of genetic diseases depends on physical examination, family, and personal history. The red flags for a doctor usually include positive family history, history of miscarriages or stillbirths in the mother of the affected individual, presence of clinical signs characteristic of a genetic syndrome, and so on. If the mother admits to being exposed to teratogens, whether occupational, alcohol, or certain medications, they may also alert the physician towards the presence of a genetic disease or syndrome. Usually, there are mandatory screening tests for certain genetic conditions in most countries.

Basically, a genetic disorder can be the differential diagnosis of many symptoms an individual might present to the hospital with?

Dr. Sony S: Well, yes. Pretty much so.

And how would someone affected by a genetic disease get treated for these conditions? It would seem like they would need a gene treatment plan.

Treatment of genetic diseases obviously depends on each disease and what it entails. For genetic syndromes, the plan is usually to prevent its progress with medications all the while treating the symptoms of the disease. Depending on the symptoms, appropriate therapy may be applied.

Genetic diseases are a life-long process, and they require a very healthy lifestyle and strict adherence to medical therapy and surgical therapy if needed, for a chance to have a good quality of life. The main aim is to increase the quality of life and increase the life expectancy of affected individuals. It mostly is symptomatic therapy of sorts.

That explains it. Thank you for your time.

And until our next Q&A session please share us and like us so that we may continue to provide you with the latest in medicine, health, and fitness free of charge. You may also join the Gilmore Health newsletter to receive the latest in health news. If you are interested in any subject that you wish us to cover please share it with us at the comments area below!

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Health hacks Google used (and you too can!) – DU Express

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Google is widely famous for the perks it gives to its employees. These perks include free and limitless options of restaurants and cafes on its campus. Not just restaurants, Google gives its employees several snacks stations all around its offices. No Google employee is ever more than 150 feet away from some kind of a food station at their office.

This led to a constant increase in the weight of Googles employees. Unhealthy choices of snacks were slowly stacking up, adding around a pound of fat every year. This is a major problem because a few extra pounds are okay, but an unhealthy lifestyle with bad food choices can cost us in the form of diseases like diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, etc.

So, what did Google do? Here are some clever and subtle health hacks that Google used, that you can follow, too, to improve your own food habits and health.

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All plates in the buffet line for Google employees are smaller. Theyre only eight to ten inches wide, lesser than the usual twelve inches wide plates that were available earlier. This efficiently reduced the portion sizes without any extra effort.

Keeping smaller plates in our own kitchen can effectively monitor our portion sizes too.

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The salad bar and vegetables became the first thing in the buffet line as soon as the employees entered. When we are hungry, we tend to eat the food that we see first. This way, employees filled more of their plate with vegetables, and by the time they reached the meat and dessert sections, they didnt have a lot of space left on their plates.

In just a month, the consumption of vegetables by Google employees increased by 2/3rd times than before. And also started selling 2300 breakfast salads in just two years, which were at 0 before.

We can adopt this health hack in our lives by placing our fruits and vegetables on the front racks in our fridge and not hidden away in the bottom drawer! Filling your stomach with vegetables before other food is a nice way to keep a healthy diet.

Google installed chilled Spa Water canisters everywhere around their offices. This water, bubbling with strawberries, lemon and cucumbers, made water consumption an easy and attractive choice.

Sodas and other sugary drinks were move to more distant places. They were not removed, as Google believes that people should be able to make their own choice. They were just kept out of sight and harder to access.

This way, water became the most attractive, accessible and the easiest choice to make for employees. Water consumption drastically increased.

Whenever you feel like drinking a sugary soda, tell yourself to drink a glass of water first. And check, are you still craving that soda?

The coffee machine and the snack station which had stuff like cookies, chips, candy, etc. were only at a mere distance of 6.5 feet. When the Google employees came to get a coffee, they also grabbed a snack along with it.

This distance was now increased. The snack station was kept at a distance of 17 feet from the coffee machine. This increase in 5-6 steps made a huge difference. This health hack reduced snacking by 23% for men and 17% for women.

Often, we dont realize how much we are snacking in between meals, and that too on unhealthy foods. Keeping them farther away from us can be a good option.

Earlier, different chocolates and candy were kept in clear glass candy jars, showcasing those delicious and colourful options of sweets. This meant that even if someone did not think of eating them, theyd be reminded to eat candy because of their clear display.

To stop this, unhealthy snacks like candy were now kept in opaque jars. This might not seem like a trivial difference, but keeping snacks out of sight also reduces the craving for them.

We tend to crave such snacks when theyre lying in plain sight. Several studies have shown that given an attractive prompt to act (seeing a chocolate bar) and convenient access to it (keeping it somewhere close to you), will encourage you to eat more.

For example, youre more likely to eat that bag of Lays if its right at your bedside table, versus if it was hidden away at the back of your kitchen cupboard (or not kept at home at all). Keeping fresh fruits in plain sight can be a better move.

Behavioural studies have shown that more often than not, we take the easier path and make the easier choice in our usual routine.If something is harder to do, youll be resistant to do it. This can be used for better or for worse.

To make a healthy change in your life, you only have to make THE HEALTHY CHOICE= THE EASY CHOICE. Simply put, if you want to do more of something, make it easier to do so; be it food or any other habit. These health hacks are easy to do and make a change.

Google used this exact technique through these health hacks. They made vegetables and fruits and water an easy choice to make. And the unhealthy options were places with resistance, so the employees were unlikely to make that choice.

Subtly rearranging our environment can nudge us into walking the path towards our desired goala healthy lifestyle. Making huge changes to our lifestyle can be hard and challenging. Failure to do so can often discourage us from continuing and we often end up giving up because we set out goals too high. These small health hacks, however small they might seem, can still make drastic changes in our health. They can effectively encourage you to slowly better your life.

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Could This Device Help Save Covid-19 Patients Before the ICU? – Houstonia Magazine

ONE OF THE MOST DIFFICULT ASPECTS OF LIFE IN A COVID-19 world is the uncertainty. Not only are we facing an unseen opponent that we barely understand, but none of us know, should we contract the virus, whether well be part of the group that barely registers any symptoms or if well rapidly end up in a drug-induced haze on a ventilator in the ICU. More troubling still, neither do the doctors treating us.

What if there were a way to find out? OncologistDr. Cassian Yee of MD Anderson thinks the key to unlocking this mystery may very well be pumping inside our veins.

For more than 25 years Yee has been studying the use of T-cells, a type of white blood cell called lymphocytes, in his cancer research. They are like soldiers that are trained by the bodys immune system, he says. They go to sites of disease, the battlefield, and coordinate an attack on the enemy, the virus or cancer cell. When their job is completed, they return to the barracks and keep vigilant for any further attacks.

After reading reports that noted lower levels of T-cells in patientswith severe cases ofCovid-19, specificallythose who experiencedrespiratory failure, theoncologist realized thatdeveloping a test to quicklydetermine a patients T-cellcount could go a long waytoward helping medical personnel predict which patients are more prone to experiencing the viruss most deadly symptoms, long before doctors have to get machines to start breathing for them.

Technically this kind of lab test already exists, says Yee; its just not fast or easily available (were talking expensive and bulky equipment and results that take about half a day to process), especially when time is of the essence and equipment is in short supply. So Yee teamed up withKevin McHugh andPeter Lillehoj of Rice University to create a point-of-care device that would allow medical personnel to conduct these tests quickly and cheaply, key factors that could make this item crucial for both Texas Medical Center hospitals and underserved clinics on the front lines of the outbreak.

Using a small amount of blood, the teams point-of-care device will separate the different kinds of blood cells in the sample, count the lymphocytes, and spit out a quantifiable numberideally in about 15 minutes or less. Doctors will then use this number to determine whether a Covid-19 patient is more likely to suffer poor oxygenation. If doctors know beforehand that certain patients have low T-cell numbers and are thus more prone to experiencing the symptoms, including lung deterioration, that have been shown to be fatal in some, they could start more aggressively treating those patients long before they have to be put on ventilators. Its a bit like, Can this patient go home and safely recuperate, or should they stay in the hospital because they might need the ICU? explains McHugh, who specializes in bioengineering.

There are other potential uses for this device as well. While Yee and his team dont expect their point-of-care prototype device to be ready until January 2021 at the earliest, that hasnt stopped them from considering the technologys uses beyond the current coronavirus pandemic.

Wed love to be able to eventually move this into other viral diseases, such as HIV, Yee says. Perhaps even when patients are undergoing some type of treatment for their cancer.

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Could This Device Help Save Covid-19 Patients Before the ICU? - Houstonia Magazine

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Healthy Living: Experts anticipate spike in anxiety/depression as kids start remote learning – Q13 FOX

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Q13's Ali Bradley reports.

SEATTLE - As school gets back in session, learning, of course, looks very different for most kids across the state and the country. With a lot of uncertainty still lingering, experts are anticipating a spike in anxiety and depression in school-aged kids. So, we talked to a psychiatrist about how to tell if your kid is suffering from more than just the back-to-school jitters.

Dr. Larry Mitnaul says there are some things to look out for,If you see your child kind of acting unusual every time that you are getting ready for school or having school-like conversations, they suddenly become quiet, or they certainly start expressing that you know they are having these recurrent headaches or theyre tummy troubles all of the time ... Imean these might be early kind of detective signs that ok my child is really having a tough time with this and maybe we need to either delve a little bit deeper and try to talk about it.'

Dr. Mintaul is also a volunteer medical expert for the American Heart Association and he is offering some tips on what parents can do to help in this unprecedented time.

First, he says get back into a routine.

It is one of those foundational pillars that help kids to expect whats happening next in their day and in a land and in a time when everything is gonna be, you know, changing and switching up with probably some irregularity.

Here are the routines Dr. Mitnaul says we should focus on. Getback into the routine of good nutrition, it is easy to get off track during the summer months with a more relaxed schedule.

Next, if you arent already, start getting the kids back into a routine of being physically active. Go on walks around the neighborhood if you don't have a backyard or space to play. Dr. Mitnaul says to try to make a game out of it so the kids are more inclined to participate.

Finally, try to get into the routine of decluttering tech and screen time.

Dr. Mitnaul says while it may be tough with remote-learning, these things can help kids get back into building these habits when the year is underway.

Another thing he says we need to focus on is patience and a little grace, Preparing our kids too to give each other a little bit of grace in this transition and for us as parents too to give each other and the school administrators and our local and state officials you know the benefit of the doubt that they are trying as best as they can even when there are some very real frustrations.

Dr. Mitnaul says using something familiar to them can help adjust the way they feel about a situation.For example, kids read a lot of adventure books or watch movies like Frozen and they can be heard singing into the unknown but is it the unknown that has many kids freaking out over right now.

Now is a really great time to one, revisit some of those stories, and then maybe frame for our kids, or talk about it in that lens. You know, ok there are a lot of things that we are not gonna know, you know or be able to expect. So what do we do when the unexpected happens? You know how do we calm our bodies and brains when we are not sure what to do or are feeling overwhelmed.

Dr. Mitnaulsays talking to your children on a different level might help strike up the conversation as it can be tough for many kids and teens to express their emotions during this difficult time,Maybe even talking about not to the depth or a level that you would with your partner or spouse, you know, there are some things about this that dads a little bit nervous about you know. Sometimes our kids look at us like 'you get nervous?' or 'you know or things worry you a little bit? yes. and here is what i do you know when i feel that worry.

So for the parents feeling like their kid is already having a rough time or maybe you are having a hard time coping, Dr. Mitnaul says now is a good time to connect with someone you trust, like a pediatritian, family doctor or even lean on your community members,Maybe that next step is just reassurance that youre not going crazy and that youre doing ok.

Click here if you would like more tips from Dr. Mitnaul.

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5 Easy Ways to Detox in the Morning to Be Healthier All Day Long – The Beet

Everyone wants to wake up healthier and lose weight fast. Luckily there are things you can do every morning to push your body closer to the healthiest it can be. And while there is no quick fix (to lose weight, have boundless energy, and look and feel years younger bydinner) there are small steps you can take to become healthier, more energetic, and detox your body over time. Detoxing is a way of allowing your cells to do the important work of staying healthy, by eating better, getting sleep, exercising, and taking care of yourself, every day.

Going into a long weekend of fun and relaxation shouldn't mean falling off a cliff, healthwise, since consistency is the key to being healthy. If you make a habit of starting the day right, everything flows so much more easily from there. Committing to yourself and taking theselittle steps to being healthier is the way to see long-term health and wellbeing changes, says Nicole Rose, RD and master in nutrition, who practices in Ridgefield CT, and who loves to help her clients take the necessary steps to detox and get healthier, day by day.

"Overhauling your health or diet all at once can be overwhelming," she says. "Instead take small steps, do something to detox every day, even days a week, and that will lead you to wellness." Here are her five tips for making your body healthier, and they all add up to allowing the body to work less hard to process junk food, and spend more time getting healthier, one day at a time.

Rose is a big believer in eating more plant-based foods, adding healthy fruits and vegetables to your plate, but not being too harsh on yourself or setting unrealistic boundaries and telling yourself you can't have certain foods you may love. "If you put someone in a box and they want to get out of that box, and when they eat that off-limits food--whether it's meat or junk food--it's like they fail," she explains, which is why I don't like labels (such as vegan). But if you help them do a little better every day, they feel like they are winning, conquering their bad habits by adding good ones, and eventually, they feel so great they want to keep going."

Wellness doesn't have to cost a lot of money, or be complicated. It can start with jumping jacks in the morning, or dry brushing, or keeping a healthy salad dressing made in a mason jar in the fridge. But the more little things you do to be healthy, the more they add up, says Rose, and these wins beget bigger wins, and suddenly you are living a healthy lifestyle.

Her detoxing morning rituals and healthy habits for Rose includes any combination of these five ideas.Rose also believes that detoxing is a way of getting rid of what's unhealthy, which is an easier and simpler path towellness since it allows the body to work less hard to eliminatetoxins in our food, which allows you to stay healthy.Then she advises her clients to add clean foods, especially plant-based choices which are rich in antioxidants. Rose advisesclients toavoid acid foods (from animal products) and add alkaline foods (which grow in the earth) to allow your body to get healthier, naturally.

"Doing all these little things(like dry brushing or waiting to eat until you're hungry in the morning)is a bonus, and will help you feel like you're winning, so you want to keep on taking care of yourself, by eating healthy for the rest of the day," she adds. And while there is no one-size-fits-all for diets, she loves working with her clients to help tailor their programs to fit their needs and their lifestyles and add more plant-based foods to their plate.

Lemon Water first thing is the number one thing I advise. It helps your body by adding antioxidants first thing. You can add apple cider vinegar or ginger if you like, which is antibacterial and antifungal. I call it your morning flu shot. Start with water and lemon in the morning to alkalize your body and let it start to get the toxins out. Drinking hot Lemon Water in the morning has been linked to weight loss and improved immunity, so especially now, while coronavirus is still a threat, drinking this first thing will supply nearly 30 percent of your vitamin C for the day, boosting immunity and giving your body a healthy start to the day.

This is such a simple thing. Go outsidefor 15minutes in the morning to start your day and get sunlight. You can walk, bike, jog or just do sun salutes, or stretch by reaching for the sky, but the important thing is to let the sunlight hit your eyes and send a signal to the brain that you're awake,set restart on the day, "this is a bright new start," which works to reset your circadian rhythms and signal your body to wake up!

A new study shows that bright sunlight within an hour of waking up will help you fall asleep earlier in the evening (as will avoiding bright light within 2 hours of bedtime) so if you're sleep deprived or anxious and having trouble getting to sleep, head outside within an hour of waking to reset your body's natural clock. There's the added benefit of getting vitamin D which your body needs to metabolize nutrients like calcium from the food you eat, and boost your immune system. For energy and immunity, better sleep and a healthy metabolism, get a dose of early sunlight!

Sweat is important and we would be remiss if we didn't tell you to start your day with an activity that makes you sweat, even if it's jumping jacks. But there is another way to rid your body of toxins in sweat and that's by opening your pores and stimulating the skin with dry brushing. "People love dry brushing. You feel good, and it's believed to help your lymphatic system," Rose says. The idea is that by brushing your skin you slough off any dead cells and allow your pores to breathe,Dry brushing devotees do it torelease toxins through the skin.The bristlesstimulateand open pores andmay make it easier for the body to sweat out toxins, which lowers the number of toxins flowing through thelymphatic system. Rose tells clients to start doing it every day before their shower. "This is a way to feel like you're doing something healthy. You don't have to conquer something big."

She adds that if you like the brushing, you're going to start feeling good about your life and loving your routine. "You have to enjoy your morning and getting into it is part of a healthy lifestyle."

Changing up your breakfast is a big help in losing weight and feeling better. Everyone is trying intermittent fasting to lose weight, but Rose thinks there's a simpler and less harsh approach. Don't eat until you're hungry and even then keep it simple.

"Maybe start by pulling back on what you are eating.If you wake up and you're not that hungry, just wait to eat. My advice, and there's no delicate way to put this: Start by not eating until you have a bowel movement because we don't want to put today's food on yesterday's garbage."

Then, Rose advises, eat a small piece of fruit in the morning, instead of a big omelet or smoothie with 19 different ingredients. A simple piece of fruit like a peach, an apple, or a handful of berries is a perfect start to a clean day. "This gets your digestion going but is less work on your body to digest, so you can continue detoxing from the night before. The whole idea of detoxing is to give your body less work, so your liver and kidneys and intestines can do their job to cleanse your system. You want to start the day by cleaning out."

Start by giving your body less work to do, during the beginning of the day. "The less digestive work your body is going through, the healthier you are going to be," she adds

When you eat foods, the metabolic waste is either acid or alkaline, and the more fruit and vegetables and plant-based foods you eat, the more alkaline your body becomes, which is considered healthier in avoiding diseases like cancer. The flip side is that meat and dairy leave an acid metabolic waste and can increase your risks of chronic diseases. There are myriad studies now that link red meat and processed meat to cancer risk, heart disease, diabetes, and obesity, and mounting scientific evidence that diets rich in plant-based foods and high in fiber lower your risk for all these diseases and conditions.

According to the Alkaline Diet, choosing more alkaline foods will improve your daily health and help you avoid long-term diseases, including cancer. Says Rose: "I am not a fan of meat and dairy. It creates acid in your body, and your body has to go thru so much work to neutralize the acid. Eating animal foods like meat and dairy leads to inflammation. I try to keep it simple. I tell clients to eat more fruits and vegetables. It's the small things that make a difference. Cutting out meat and dairy is the diff between your body being acid and alkaline and if they understand that they can choose healthier foods.

"I don't say. eat vegan but I try tolead by example and show clients how to shop, cook and eat more plant-based foods, which inevitably makes them feel great, as they try it.

"If you tell them what they can do, like eat more plant-based foods, as opposed to what they can't do, like cut out a specific food they may like, then they feel like they have won the lottery. You let them do all these healthy things and choose healthy foods. That's a win."

Ultimately the detox you do will make you feel positive, and give you the sense of taking control of your health from the very start of the day onwards. You want to feel empowered to become the master of your own life, she adds. "Ultimately you are giving people the power to be healthier."

"The love you have for your self, the happy talk, all adds up to make a healthier lifestyle. Small changes like these allow you to live a better life."

Wellness doesn't take crazy amounts of money or time. It's these morning detox moves. And then carry that forward throughout the day. It's making yourself a simple dressing, she adds, that you can keep in a mason jar and put on your greens at lunch to make them tasty. It's all these little strategies that add up.

Take these little steps and others that will set yourself up for success, Rose explains. "I care about consistency, that's where you're going to see progress. One morning at a time. Build a relationship with your wellbeing."

Nicole Rose, MFRD has a Masters in Nutrition and is a Registered Dietician. "I eat sleep and breathe this lifestyle," she says, practicing in Ridgefield CT. "On a personal note, I have never felt better than now at 47. For the past 25 years, I tried everything. I loved Diet Coke and Tic Tacs and gum. But I don't do those things anymore. I got informed. And I don't want those things anymore. It's nothing to do with willpower. It's knowing what you feel like when you are doing something great. It's building yourselfup."

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How Coast brothers-in-law are changing health education – Sunshine Coast Daily

Coast brother-in-laws, passionate about helping kids live healthy lives will next week educate nearly 2000 students on healthy eating and active living through fun and interactive programs.

Cam Best and Chris Windsor started Juiced Up Groms, which offers weekly park sessions and educational shows in December 2019 and have since gone from strength to strength despite COVID-19 limiting their ability to present in schools.

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Mr Best, who is a father-of-three and studies nutrition, said the Juiced Up Living show used a variety of storytelling games, characters and smoothie making to help children understand the basic concepts of eating healthy and enjoying life.

He said they received an influx of bookings for the Juiced Up Living Show and had to extend their roadshow to seven days so they could visit 12 schools in Toowoomba and perform for more than 1700 students.

We are super excited about that and for us its all about getting out there and showing these kids a message about healthy living, he said.

To impact them at such a young age to us means the world because we know that if we can give them some really simple information about living a healthy life at a young age its going to make such a difference to them later on.

We see it as such an honour and responsibility to be able to teach these kids about healthy living that is going to dramatically improve their lifestyle and how they feel.

Chris Windsor and Cam started Juiced Up Groms in December 2019. Photo Patrick Woods.

The upcoming roadshow marks a new beginning for Juiced Up Groms after COVID-19 drastically reduced their ability to run educational activities.

Our Juiced Up Living Show was really starting to make some inroads just before COVID-19 and then we pretty much had to drop the anchor and hit the brakes for probably four months, Mr Windsor said.

A lot of the schools had to cancel shows because there were no visitors allowed in schools but Cam and myself took it upon ourselves to do online workouts which we were doing every day for 13 weeks.

So, we sort of lost our momentum and had to start from scratch and this will put us back on track for a good end of year.

Mr Windsor said they were motivated to help children live healthy lives.

We are extremely passionate about helping kids and getting them to understand the importance of fuelling their bodies the right way, so they are fit and healthy and have strong immune systems especially in a time like this,

For more information visit the Juiced-Up Groms website or call 0409757724.

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If you haven’t melted yet, here’s how to beat the heat in Houston. – Houston Chronicle

The last week in Houston has been the physical embodiment of the "It's not just the heat, it's the humidity" meme.

According to Space City Weather, the daily high temperature was 98 degrees or higher on 15 days in August.

Though stores, malls and restaurants have reopened, it's still important to stay distanced from people who don't live in your household. You can safely go to the mall, but it's not the air-conditioned safe haven that we have come to rely on in summers past.

Follow these tips to survive the heat until the first cool front of the season (whenever that will be):

HYDRATION

Drinking water is an important part of surviving a Houston summer.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, water helps your body keep a normal temperature, get rid of wastes through urination, perspiration and bowel movements, lubricate and cushion your joints and protect sensitive tissues.

On RenewHouston.com: Here's your sunscreen guide for Summer 2020

Daily water intake recommendations vary by age, sex and whether youre pregnant or breastfeeding.

The CDC recommends men consume 3.7 liters, or 125 ounces, each day through a combination of food and liquids, while women should consume 2.7 liters, or 91 ounces. But even that should be increased for those planning to exercise.

Drink water throughout your fitness routine if you can, and add in electrolytes via sports drinks like Gatorade, Powerade, or Pedialyte, which was initially created for sick children but is now marketed to active adults.

SUN SAFETY

Plan your outdoor activities during the morning or evening hours, and check the weather forecast for heat advisories or excessive heat warnings issued by the National Weather Service.

If you're outside when the sun is up, wear sunscreen with SPF protection of 30 or higher. And remember to take breaks in your workout.

On RenewHouston.com: Here's your sunscreen guide for Summer 2020

Never assume that youre invincible, said Space City Weather meteorologist Matt Lanza. While we can adapt and adjust to the hot climate during Houston summers, its important to realize that its still really hot which can have negative consequences on the human body.

Choose a mineral-based sunscreen that contains zinc oxide or titanium oxide. These are the only ingredients that are proven safe for human use, according to the Environmental Working Group.

Two scientific studies published last year showed that after a single application, all non-mineral sunscreen ingredients are absorbed through the skin and could be detected in our bodies at levels that could cause harm, the EWG found.

SWEAT

Sweating, while it can be annoying, is definitely good for us on 100-plus degree days.

The main reason that humans sweat is we need to regulate our body temperature; its actually a really beautiful system, said Dr. Rajani Katta, clinical assistant professor of medicine at Baylor College of Medicine and a board certified dermatologist. When we overheat, our sweat glands produce more sweat. When it evaporates, it cools off our temperature.

On HoustonChronicle.com: Summer of sweat: Could 2020 be Houstons sweatiest year?

Humidity does not make us sweat more, she said, but it does raise our body temperatures, which causes us to sweat more. Some bodies acclimate better to the heat and dont sweat as much as others.

Older people sweat less than younger people, which puts them at an increased risk for heat exhaustion and heat stroke, Katta said.

When exercising outside, watch out for signs of heat-related illness: headache, skin that is cool to the touch and a lack of sweat. If you experience these, stop what youre doing, find shade and drink water.

Its really not just about sweat, but hydration and how you motivate yourself to stay hydrated, said Shelby Saylor, association director of healthy living at the YMCA of Greater Houston. Sweat all you want, just replenish it.

julie.garcia@chron.com

Twitter.com/reporterjulie

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