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How to Start Leading a Healthier Life Today. – ThyBlackMan

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(ThyBlackMan.com) Getting healthy is a common New Years resolution, but there is nothing special about January 1st for starting new habits. You can make plans to start living a healthier lifestyle today with small changes that make a big difference in the long-run.

There are two keys to exercise you will stick with, which is to find something you enjoy, and go slow. Even better, find two or three things you enjoy. If you only do the same exercise over and over again, you may see shrinking benefits as your body becomes accustomed to the movement. Variety helps ensure that more muscle groups get a complete workout. Its also important to remember that exercise doesnt just mean going to a gym. Gardening counts as exercise, and so does dancing in a club. A daily walk remains one of the best forms of exercise you can get.

Many people try to do too much too fast and exhaust or injure themselves. Remember, your new routine is something you will do for years to come. You dont have to get fit in just six weeks.

As with exercise, this is best done slowly rather than trying for a complete overhaul. In fact, one of the best ways to improve your eating habits is to start by adding rather than taking away. Incorporate more fruit and vegetables into your diet and you may find yourself eating better with very little effort. Make another small healthy change every week or two. Examples might be cutting out that sugary afternoon snack, changing your soda for water at meals or aiming for a smaller portion size at dinner.

A healthy lifestyle includes good mental health. Self-care and talking to friends for support are all good ways of coping with stress, but a professional can offer additional tools as well as a diagnosis and treatment plan if necessary. When it comes to therapy, you can ask friends, family members and medical professionals for recommendations. You can also research finding an Oakland therapist online. You may want to meet with several therapists before choosing one to work with, and you might need to try more than one before you find the right fit. This is not uncommon, and you shouldnt let it discourage you or make you think therapy cannot help you.

There are a host of other changes you can make to help you lead a healthier lifestyle. One of the main ones is ensuring that you are getting enough sleep. If you are struggling with insomnia, you may want to speak to your doctor. There could be underlying issues that are easily treated, such as sleep apnea, that could be affecting your ability to get a good nights sleep.

In fact, a general checkup that includes bloodwork to make sure your thyroid levels and other vitals are normal is not a bad idea. This could help you identify any health issues before they become serious. Some, such as high blood pressure, might be treated with lifestyle changes if they are caught early.

Staff Writer; Calvin Poole

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How to Start Leading a Healthier Life Today. - ThyBlackMan

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How to Live a Healthy Lifestyle for Longevity – Patch.com

Meals on Wheels will be providing delicious food samples and updates on services they provide to the community. Meg Whitbeck is a wealth of knowledge when it comes to nutrition will discuss eating for longevity.

Debra FranceschiniCommission on Aging Interim Chair

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NBC’s Nutrition & Healthy Lifestyle Expert, Joy Bauer: Life is hard. Food should be easy and delicious. – Thrive Global

I recently had the pleasure to attend theKrogers Wellness Your Way Festival(WYWF). I had the opportunity of interviewing Joy Bauer, MS, RDN, one of the nations leading health authorities. She is the nutrition and healthy lifestyle expert for NBCs TODAY show and the host of NBCs Health + Happiness. Joy is also a monthly columnist for Womans Day magazine, the official nutritionist for the New York City Ballet and the creator of JoyBauer.com. Joy is a #1 New York Times best-selling author with 13 best-sellers to her credit, including Joys Simple Food Remedies. Her new childrens book,Yummy Yoga, communicates a true passion of Joys encouraging young kids to try healthy new foods and energizing exercise in a playful and engaging format.

Thank you so much for joining us Joy. This festival is about Wellness Your Way. What does the term Wellness Your Way mean to you?

Wellness Your Way is this awesome event that Kroger has put together that just really helps to empower people. It exposes them to all sorts of new exercises, cooking techniques and products all in one place. People can mosey around in this huge space, learn and walk out feeling smarter and healthier.

Was there a story that inspired you to get involved with WYWF?

They asked and I came. I just immediately felt like it was such a beautiful message and a beautiful opportunity for me to help provide people with a skillset to live healthier and happier.

Can you tell me about a wellness challenge youve had and overcome?

My biggest ongoing wellness challenge is that Im full speed ahead. Im go, go, go, go. I joke that, I feel like when the alarm goes off in the morning, Im shot out of a cannon! I run from one activity to the next to the next.

I have so many deadlines that Im always juggling, whether its television segments or articles or meetings. Im always working on a lot of projects so my biggest conundrum is zenning out and staying balanced. Incorporating meditation, stretching and yoga has been a game-changer for me. And Im not gonna lie. Its still work. I have to schedule it in to make sure that I get it done, but it makes me feel so good. And even if the remainder of the day Im go, go, go. Its so helpful and I look forward to it. It literally could be like five minutes. I always do five minutes of meditation during the day.

I also like think about what Im grateful for, what I want to accomplish, what kind acts I can do. All of those things make me feel good. And I think it helps to calm the nuttiness that I normally have going on in my life. Dont get me wrong, I love the nuttiness. Thats how Im wired. But I think because Im wired so frantic and like go, go, go, you know, super, super driven, its key for me to press the pause button and sort of decompress.

Whats your current wellness mantra or life quote?

Life is hard. Food should be easy and delicious.

I think that people automatically feel that eating healthy means compromise. And you know, Ive tried to, my entire career, show people that no, you can prepare wholesome, healthy food in the most divine, delicious ways. So many flavor combos and textures. Theres a lot of deliciousness out there. So life is hard. Food should be easy. And Im hoping to make it easy for everyone.

Whats one wellness product/routine you cant live without right now?

Im going to have to say my Apple watch. It almost feels like this is a commercial. I promise this was not planned. You just asked me this question and I happened to look at my Apple watch so let me tell you why I love it. My days can be a little haphazard but I always try to work out most days of the week, so when I cant, I want to feel confident that I hit my 10,000 steps. My Apple Watch helps me keep track.

What projects are you currently working on?

The project that I am most excited about isYummy Yoga. I love this book so much. Ive always had this mission to help kids get excited and passionate about good health, eating well and trying new exercises. This is definitely my baby right now and Im working on a television show for NBC too that Im very excited about.

And new recipes, always! If you have any recipe requests, DM me, send them over to my Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Im on it. I love taking indulgent decadent dishes that are typically unhealthy and lightening them up and inject superfoods. I love holiday foods. Anything goes, anything. So just you send me your request and I will be busy in my kitchen working on it for you!

Thank you for joining us, Joy! Your energy and mission is such an inspiration.

Keep up with Joy on Instagram @joybauer

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NBC's Nutrition & Healthy Lifestyle Expert, Joy Bauer: Life is hard. Food should be easy and delicious. - Thrive Global

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Montville Teachers Write Health and Fitness Reference Book – TAPinto.net

MONTVILLE, NJ As the days of moms telling their kids, Go outside and play! have gone the way of the little red wagon, American kids are becoming more screen-oriented and less health-oriented. Two Valley View teachers wanted to help families make healthy choices and instill a love for being active, and to that end they worked together to co-write Generation Exercise: How to Raise Active, Healthy Children.

Valley View physical education teacher Len Saunders and Montville Township School District occupational therapist Suzanne Schneiderman worked on what is Saunders eighth book, released at the end of August. It is a re-release of his 2010 Keeping Kids Fit but with updated information, and Saunders said he wanted to work with Schneiderman in order to include information for differently-abled kids. The pair has more than 50 years of experience in education.

We both have a wealth of experience working with children to achieve the best that they can achieve, Saunders told TAPinto Montville.

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The book is separated into three parts: getting kids healthy and active, which discusses motivating kids, starting healthy/active habits, and reducing technology; and an action plan for keeping kids fit, which discusses warm-ups and an example schedule for keeping active, such as, Mondays are for walking, Tuesdays are for active chores, and Wednesdays are for sports. It also discusses how to spread the word on group fitness, such as the ACES program that Saunders pioneered in schools. An acronym for All Children Exercise Simultaneously, the activity is held on the first Wednesday in May and is an international program designed to motivate kids to exercise. (Read more here)

Part three of the pairs book is about nutrition, hydration and sleep, and includes some simple snack recipes and menu ideas. The focus was on making a book that is organized and simple to take in.

We wanted to make it easy reading because a lot of health and fitness books are very scientific in their writing, said Saunders. We wanted to make sure that everything was easy to understand so people could follow through with it.

Schneiderman said she was excited to work with Saunders and reach a wider audience than in her daily work.

My role is so specific a lot of times, she said. To have parents and other people read it and try to incorporate fitness in their lives is very exciting to me, because fitness is very important.

As the pair states in chapter one of their book, childhood obesity and diabetes are on the rise, and the nation is facing a childhood health crisis. Saunders blames the problem on technology and the changing times.

Technology is the new play, he said. Twenty years ago, play meant Go outside and do something with your buddies, and when the streetlights come on, its time to come home. Kids dont do that anymore. Theres so much technology at their fingertips. Plus, were so often in a rush and people are looking for an easy way out they want to heat up something in the microwave, and joining a recreation team is not as prevalent as it was 20 years ago. Cereals now take up both sides of the supermarket aisle with sugary offerings. Now there are hundreds of kids channels on TV. Things are changing and we need to educate kids on being more physically fit. Thats why this book is important we need to help out the parents as well as the kids.

Schneiderman stressed that the book focuses on not only educating parents, but doing things together as a family.

As an example, you want your child to drink more water, but if youre not doing it too, it becomes harder, she said. Doing these things together will improve everybodys lifestyle.

An important lesson in the book, Saunders said, is the bank method, because kids always take health for granted, but they need to develop a healthy lifestyle now as an investment towards later. Schneiderman said that kids with disabilities may not even have fitness on their radar at any time.

If a child has a disability, I dont know how much focus is on living a healthy lifestyle, Schneiderman said. For the differently-abled it may be even more important to stay healthy because of the challenges they face.

But investing in the future doesnt mean hitting all the categories of sleep, exercise and nutrition perfectly, with 100% precision and robotic efficiency, Saunders said.

We stress that each child should achieve goals to the best of their ability, Saunders said. Not every kid can do everything perfectly.

The pair achieved an easy camaraderie and bounced ideas off of each other while working on the book, Saunders said. He respected Suzannes knowledge and experience, he said.

It was pretty easy to work with Suzanne, he said.

There were some areas that needed to be addressed so I did that, but most things worked with differently-abled kids, she said. We updated some of the nutrition. Len had some well established programs, as well.

The desire for this book is that it is an overall health and fitness guide that is timeless and helpful for families with differently-abled kids.

Suzanne and I went old-school to a very generic level, to things that wont change, Saunders said. Kids should be drinking water every day, and eating vegetables. The book will last a long time its a general handbook, and its easy reading.

Its not just a straight how-to, if you do a-b-c, x-y-z will happen, but more these are the things to really think about when you want to live a healthy lifestyle; here are some approaches you can try, and then you can change it to whatever fits you, and thats the underlying message in the whole book, Schneiderman said. We covered as many aspects of a healthy lifestyle as we could cover.

Theres no magical formula that works for every child, Saunders said. Everything in life has to be modified.

The pair says the book applies to every age up to college, but it is probably best for parents of elementary school kids.

A lot of the content can be applied to parents, too, Saunders said. Were hoping it benefits every age group.

Generation Exercise: How to Raise Active, Healthy Children can be found on Amazon.

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Life Time Invites Consumers to Take One Positive Action during 8th Annual Commitment Day; Make-A-Wish and Life Time Foundation to Serve as 2020…

CHANHASSEN, Minn., Nov. 14, 2019 /PRNewswire/ --Life Time, the premier healthy lifestyle brand, is kicking off the New Year with its 8th annual Commitment Day movement. For 2020, the company is supporting Make-A-Wishin its mission to grant the wishes of children facing critical illnesses and the Life Time Foundationin its work to remove artificial and processed ingredients from school food.

"We launched Commitment Day in 2013 to inspire and encourage healthy, sustainable changes in the New Year rather than making resolutions that often don't stick," Life Time Founder, Chairman and CEO Bahram Akradi said. "Through the years since, Commitment Day has become a mainstay with 5K's and events happening across the U.S. and Canada. This year, we're inviting everyone to commit to take One Positive Action toward a healthier, happier life and benefit two great causes for children in our communities."

From Dec. 28 through Jan. 5, Life Time destinations will be open to everyone with a broad array of healthy and motivating events.

Commitment Day 2020 Schedule of Events

Saturday, Dec. 28

Family Day

Sunday, Dec. 29

Discover Yoga Experience

Tuesday, Dec. 31

Kid's New Year's Eve

Wednesday, Jan. 1

Commitment Day 5K Races + Starting Line Clinic and Fun Run

Thursday, Jan. 2

Group Training

Saturday, Jan. 4

Family Workout Events

Sunday, Jan. 5

Indoor Triathlons

Events and activities may vary by location. Additional information and registration is available online at http://www.CommitmentDay.com.

"A wish gives children renewed energy and strength, providing them hope today so they can look forward to tomorrow," said Richard K. Davis, president and CEO of Make-A-Wish America. "As individuals across the county make their own commitments in preparation for 2020, Make-A-Wish is thrilled to have Life Time alongside us in our journey to grant the wish of every child battling a critical illness."

All Commitment Day participants will have the opportunity to join in supporting Make-A-Wishand the Life Time Foundationvia online donations, with Commitment Day 5K registrations and in-club at all Commitment Day events. Starting Dec. 2, opportunities also will be made available within the LifeSpa and LifeCafe.

About Commitment DayLife Time launched Commitment Day on January 1, 2013, as a nationwide movement to inspire and encourage healthy change. Since then, hundreds of thousands have participated in making a commitment to better their health, communities and selves. For more information visit CommitmentDay.com.

About Life Time Healthy Way of Life Life Time champions a healthy and happy life for its members across its 147 destinations in 40 major markets in the U.S. and Canada. As the nation's only Healthy Way of Life brand, Life Time delivers an unmatched athletic resort experience that goes well beyond fitness to encompass the entire spectrum of daily life. Building upon its current portfolio, Life Timeis building its brand through thedevelopment of large, mixed-use lifestyle centers that feature Life Time athletic resorts, Life Time Workco-working spaces and Life Time Living high-end leased residences. These concepts, combined with distinctive programming, encompass the full spectrum of a healthy living, healthy aging and healthy entertainment experience for individuals, couples and families of all ages.

About Make-A-WishMake-A-Wishcreates life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses. We seek to bring every eligible child's wish to life because a wish is an integral part of a child's treatment journey. Research shows children who have wishes granted can build the physical and emotional strength they need to fight their illness. Headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona, Make-A-Wish is the world's leading children's wish-granting organization, serving children in every community in the United States and in more than 50 countries worldwide. Together, generous donors, supporters, staff and nearly 40,000 volunteers across the U.S., grant a wish every 34 minutes, on average, somewhere in the country. Since 1980, Make-A-Wish has granted more than 315,000 wishes to children in the U.S. and its territories; more than 15,600 in 2018 alone. For more information about Make-A-Wish America, visit wish.org.

SOURCE Life Time

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Diabetes and the family: Tips to lead a healthy lifestyle and prevent type 2 diabetes – Times Now

Diabetes and the Family: Tips to lead a healthy lifestyle and prevent type 2 diabetes  |  Photo Credit: Getty Images

New Delhi: Most of us know the fact that type 1 diabetes is neither preventable nor curable for reasons that we dont fully understand. It is an autoimmune disease in which the bodys immune system attacks and destroys the beta cells that make insulin, a hormone that helps your body use sugar for energy. But medication along with making lifestyle choices can help manage type 1 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes, unlike type 1 diabetes, can be prevented or delayed through lifestyle modifications such as eating a healthy diet, being physically active, and maintaining a healthy weight, etc.

Perhaps, families should be educated to recognise the signs of diabetes mellitus which is difficult to understand. Hence, educating the family will help in recognising the warning signs early which will further help prevent or reduce complications in the future related to diabetes. If not treated in time, diabetes can lead to severe complications that are not reversible like kidney failure, blindness, heart disease and stroke resulting in early death. If diabetes is diagnosed and well-managed people can live a long and healthy life.

Understanding the signs and symptoms, risk factors and making changes to your lifestyle can help prevent or reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. To help you and your family lead a healthy lifestyle and prevent diabetes, Amreen Shaikh, head dietician and nutritionist, Wockhardt Hospital Mumbai Central, shares a few things to keep in mind:

Additionally, support your family member who is diabetic and get educated about the symptoms of hypoglycemia, hyperglycemia and also managing diabetes. There is overwhelming evidence from studies that lifestyle changes can help prevent the development of type 2 diabetes even in those at high risk.

Disclaimer: Tips and suggestions mentioned in the article are for general information purpose only and should not be construed as professional medical advice. Always consult your doctor or a dietician before starting any fitness programme or making any changes to your diet.

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Upshoot Introduces Plant-Based Phytopr Product Line to Revolutionize Healthy Lifestyles – PR Web

Upshoot's complete Phytopr line of nutritious and delicious shakes, smoothies, super drinks, and soups make plant-powered nutrition more accessible for everyday consumption.

COSTA MESA, Calif. (PRWEB) November 12, 2019

Upshoot announces their new plant-based products designed to support healthy lifestyles through the power of plants, programs and community. The company has recently launched in the United States their complete Phytopr line of nutritious and delicious shakes, smoothies, super drinks, and soups that make plant-powered nutrition more accessible for everyday consumption.

Backed by their Phytopr promise to be convenient, affordable, reliable and enjoyable, the plant-based just-add-water products can easily fit into todays busy lifestyles, enabling people to get their daily five servings of fruits and vegetables on-the-go, or add them to a variety of favorite foods and beveragesanytime, anywhere.

Most of us know what to do in terms of healthy eating, but the challenge is doing it, day-to-day, week-to-week, year-to-year. So we created products and programs that help people plug their wellness goals right into their life, said Stacy Kennedy, VP of Program Development at Upshoot. Our nutrient-packed, plant-powered Phytopr products arent about limiting people to fad restriction plans, but rather about easily adding an array of plant foods to our everyday lifestyle.

Upshoots Phytopr products are made of wholesome fruits and vegetables from trusted farms, and are supported by sound science, patented technology, rigorous quality standards, proven results and backed by a satisfaction guarantee. Through revolutionary TruServ technology, each product serves up phytonutrients and complete plant protein in ways that enable consumers to trust the number of fruit and vegetable servings on the label.

One of the additional factors that really sets our products apart is their great taste, said Scott Harris, VP of Product Development at Upshoot. We focused on creating beverage and meal options that deliver a delicious and rewarding experience that helps people fall more in love with all the benefits of plant-based foods.

Powering the products are Upshoots scientifically curated and adaptable Reboot, Weight Loss and Lifestyle programs that reduce the confusion, complication and cost of traditional nutrition regimens while guiding people down the right health path.

For more information about Upshoots programs, Phytopr products and entrepreneurial opportunities, visit upshoot.life.

About UpshootHeadquartered in Costa Mesa, California, Upshoot is a healthy lifestyle company on a mission to make plant-powered nutrition accessible to everyone, through programs, products and people. The companys Phytopr product line unlocks the power of plants through science and is distributed through an independent national network of Ambassadors who are passionate about helping others create healthier lifestyles. Learn more at https://upshoot.life and connect @upshootlife.

PRESS CONTACT:John Laun, VP of Marketing & Sales, Upshootjaunlaun@upshoot.life

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In Fitness and in Health – High Point University

This story is featured in the Fall 2019 edition of the HPU Magazine. Discover below how one HPU staff member enriches students lives through the HPU recreation center.

For Mat Allred, one game of intramural basketball or one spinning class is all it takes to start a friendship. These activities and the wealth of other recreation offerings available at High Point University are key to a fulfilling and vibrant college experience.

As director of recreation services, Allred and his team provide opportunities for students to engage in a range of fitness and wellness activities. Whether its group fitness class, skiing trip or casual game of beach volleyball, recreation is an important part of HPUs inspiring environment and collaborative culture.

As a lifelong athlete, Allred found his place in college through campus recreation he met his wife playing flag football. Now, he works hard to ensure HPU students have a variety of activities to enjoy.

Our students are very fitness conscious, and I love how we adapt to their interests, says Allred. The best way to encourage them to develop healthy lifestyle choices is to get them involved. It doesnt have to be a sport. It could be playing cornhole or studying by the pool. Its about promoting overall wellness and building fellowship.

HPUs facilities, ranked No. 15 out of the 50 best recreation centers by College Consensus, are a part of the extraordinary transformation that has taken place on campus in the past decade. The Slane Student Center, home of HPU Rec, is one of 10 fitness centers on campus. It includes a group exercise room, multipurpose basketball courts, indoor running track and pool.

All services provided for students, including 50 exercise classes a week, are complimentary. This also includes activities at HPUs Outdoor Discovery Center, which boasts a ropes course, climbing wall and professional-grade laser tag field used regularly for team building.

There are also excursion trips, such as whitewater rafting, and more than 300 intramural teams in popular sports such as basketball, soccer and flag football.

The student-led culture also sets HPU Rec apart. Allred and his team mentor more than 150 student employees.

If you want to work in the fitness industry, you need experience, says Allred. We train and certify the students who work for us. The responsibilities we give them build great confidence and leadership qualities that employers dont see in the average college graduate.

Hanna Callahan is one of them. She worked at the guest services desk as a junior and then as a facility manager during her senior year.

Mat has helped me with my next steps, she says. Hes talked to me about who my contacts should be and where I should be looking for positions. Hes given me advice to become better at my job.

Michael Dutcher, 19, worked for HPU Rec for four years. Now, hes pursuing a masters degree in Auckland, New Zealand, to become a strength and conditioning coach.

Rec was a huge part of my time at HPU, he says. I met some of my best friends and gained experience. Ive learned a lot about recreation and building camaraderie. The respect and increasing responsibility Mat and his team gave me as a student helped me grow and develop as a professional, and I had a lot of fun.

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In Fitness and in Health - High Point University

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Diet Tips: Cut THESE 6 things from your diet to remain healthy – PINKVILLA

Many things that we consume do not benefit our body at all and we consume it purely for the flavour while it only harms our health.

Eating right is an essential part of staying healthy and fit. Even if you don't diet or workout it's important to make healthy choices in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle. After all, health is wealth. There's nothing more important than your health and not eating right can be very dangerous for your health. You can have all the money in the world and eat all your favourite food but it's not worth it if it harms your health in the long run.

There are foods that we are either addicted to or love consuming that I actually not of any use for our body. They do not provide any nutrition for our body in any way at all. Instead, they are detrimental for our health and can impact our body and eventually lead to chronic problems related to cholesterol or blood pressure or Diabetes or any such chronic this disease. There is nothing that we get from these foods and cutting them from our diet will only help with our health and nothing else. Start making healthier choices with your diet and it can work wonders for your health and body.

All the cold drinks and sodas and packaged juices that you drink contain a lot of artificial sweeteners can be harmful for your health. They increase your sugar intake as well as your calorie intake and are linked to tooth decay, diabetes and other such health problems. Even the energy drinks that you consume do not really provide any benefits to your body.

Those fries and samosas that you love eating are cooked in a lot of oil which can contribute clogged arteries and heart diseases. It puts you at the risk of high cholesterol and heart problems.

Processed meat like bacon and sausages are not very good for health either. These process needs contain a lot of sodium in the form of salt and are preserved for a long time. This increases the risk of blood pressure and cancer is well. If you love meat go for some fresh meat instead of processed.

All the bread and bagels that you consume contain a lot of carbs which are not good for health. They are pure calories and carbs which turn into sugar and then contribute towards ill-health. They have little to none nutritional value.

Cereal is believed to be a healthy breakfast but it's not really true. Cereal might be rich in vitamins and minerals and high nutritional value but the sweetener that it contains is not good for your health. Cereal has little fibre and a lot of artificial sweeteners which is not good for health.

Every now and then we have emphasized the importance of sticking to natural sugar. Sugar that you at your beverages like tea and coffee is not good for your body. It is purely empty calories that can increase the risk of a heart problem and diabetes and other such chronic diseases.

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Raju Foundation Essay Contest Winner On the Ethics of Genetic Engineering – The Philadelphia Citizen

Editors Note: The Pamela and Ajay Raju Foundations annual high school essay writing contest was inspired this year by the Philadelphia Museum of Arts latest exhibit, Designs for Different Futures, which features ways to address the values, needs and desires of society in a changing world. The winner, Mary Cipperman, won a $5,000 scholarship, another $5,000 to support an internship with the PMAs curatorial team and naming rights on a piece of artwork purchased by the Raju Foundation (which also supports The Citizen) and donated to the museum. Mary chose the gift pictured above, called Raising Robotic Natives.

What would happen if humans could sense ultraviolet light? What if we could run twice as fast or see twice as far? What if we never aged? Technology has shaped human beings since Mesopotamian times; however, in the past two decades, we have begun to elevate the human condition beyond our current sensory and cognitive functionalities. This movement has a name: Max More, founder of the Alcor Life Extension Foundation and leading futurist, first defined transhumanism as a class of philosophies that seek the continuationof intelligent life beyond its current human form and human limitations. He described not one invention but rather a framework for applying and developing transformative technologies, such as genetic engineering, cybernetics, brain emulation, and artificial intelligence. While transhumanism could threaten our identity and welfare, it potentially affords improved productivity and survival for the future of humanity.

The idea of enhancing human beings is not new, nor is its bioethical concerns. Steroid hormones as well as neurological stimulants such as caffeine alter the human body and heighten performance. Likewise, amphetamine gained pharmacological praise as early as the 1920s. Such neurological enhancers beg the question of misuse. Doctors and ethicists alike question whether we should apply drugs that could improve mood or lessen fatigue to individuals with perfectly normal hormone levels. After all, such usage would leave behind individuals with disorders and elevate others beyond normal human abilities. Steroid hormones, for example, allow athletes to enhance their workouts and performance, but we consider this practice unethical in certain formal competitions. Still, if dietary supplements have similar effects on the human body, how do we draw a distinction between these two practices?

Unfortunately, these concerns bear even greater consequences as the magnitude of our technological development grows. Consider the difference between erythropoietin-stimulating agents and genetic engineering. Both can increase hormone levels, but the latter can alter the allelic frequencies of subsequent generations. This distinctionof inheritability, lack of precedent, and magnitude of impactmarks a new subset of enhancing technologies; those that alter human nature.

In light of these radical developments, bioethicists have begun to question how transhuman technologies could affect the boundaries and wellbeing of humanity. Permanent alterations, such as gene editing, could facilitate exploitation. Governments or higher institutions could use these technologies to increase submissiveness or institute eugenic programs. Certain individuals could choose not to alter their genes. These circumstances would increase polarizations of power and undermine equality and freedom.

As we look forward, we can postulate that engineers and scientists will design not only our future, but ourselves.

Genetic engineering raises another, deeper, concern with transhumanism as well: whether we should consider human nature to be malleable and changeable, as transhumanists suggest. The 1997 Universal Declaration on the Human Genome and Human Rights suggests that the genome, as the heritage of humanity, belongs not to individuals, but to our species collectively. This might indicate that genetic engineering of any kind infringes on human rights. Furthermore, cognitive technologies like brain emulation have the potential to separate consciousness from physicality. This, and other uses for AI, demonstrate that intelligent life can exist beyond human beingswhether in the form of robots or enhanced posthumans. This change is occurring now: four years ago, the Open Worm Project at Oxford modeled over three-hundred neurons of a C. elegans with computer software. The scientists then uploaded the worms brain onto a robot that emulated the movement of the original organism. If these, and other intelligences, were to gain consciousness, we would need to determine whether these constitute living beings. Further, we must be willing and able to control them.

Despite these concerns, transhumanism has enormous potential. Cochlear ear implants and bionic eyes, for example, have already enhanced human capabilities for decades. Altering the human body via cyborgization may not be inherently wrong; otherwise hearing aids would be unethical. Transhumanists merely intend to extend the magnitude of these alterations in order to overcome all death, disability, and disease. We could potentially decrease decisional fatigue and improve memory. Others even argue that pursuing these advances is not just ethical, but morally obligatory. Psilocybin, for example, has the potential for moral enhancement. If we could make human beings more empathetic, our viewpoints towards climate change and nuclear warfare could save us as a species. Thus, many bioethicists do not object to the concept of enhancement itself, but rather to its unintended consequences or safety concerns.

While transhumanism raises the concerns of exploitation and safety, it has transformed lives already and promises even greater advances for the future. Transhumanism describes not one invention or development but rather a radical alteration of the interaction between humans and their environments. To embrace it too readily would be to accept a complete and potentially dangerous redefinition of both technology and humanity. Yet, to reject it would be to relinquish a plethora of multidisciplinary opportunities. The future certainly promises a new cultural, social, and political framework for defining the very essence of humanity. It holds machines that create art and recognize faces, as well as human beings designed with metallic limbs and silicon brains. As we look forward, we can postulate that engineers and scientists will design not only our future, but ourselves.

Originally posted here:
Raju Foundation Essay Contest Winner On the Ethics of Genetic Engineering - The Philadelphia Citizen

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