Feel Good: Downard Facing ... Goat?
If Yoga isn’t relaxing enough, maybe try it with a goat. A farm in Oregon hosts yoga sessions in a goat pen. It started as a fun twist on yoga, and now the classes have a waitlist in the hundreds. The yogis go through a normal routine while their four-legged partners cuddle up beside them. (Just watch where you step afterward.) The goat trend hasn’t expanded into Southwest Florida, but we do feature a similar style of yoga. BKS Yoga in Naples offers dog yoga, a class that owner Barbara King introduced as a way to bond with your pooch. Sounds fun, but is it something more than a gimmick? Research is limited, but one review in Frontiers in Psychology did find that patients involved in organized animal-human interactive sessions reported lower levels of stress afterward. Good luck getting Fido into that Warrior Pose.
If you do fall, do it right
About one in three hospital visits is due to injury from a fall. For as much as people talk about preventing falls, especially with the elderly, there’s a lot less talk about how to do it correctly. That can be challenging, given no one really prepares to fall, of course. But in short, as experts told The New York Times, if you should remember one thing, it’s this: Aim to land on muscle or fat, not bone. Don’t reach out with your hands (which could cause a break), but try to twist your body to land on your shoulder, outer thigh or rear end. Avoid at all costs a direct hit to the head. Ideally, you’ll be able to tuck and roll. But at the least, you’ll be able to fall without doing serious damage to your body.
Beach umbrellas no match for UV rays
Even if you’re under an umbrella on the beach, make sure to wear sunscreen. Beach umbrellas alone don’t provide adequate protection to prevent sunburns, according to JAMA Dermatology.
The swimmer who wants you to walk
Diana Nyad (right) made headlines in 2013 when she swam from Havana to Key West at age 63. Nowadays, she’s sticking to dry land. And she’s asking millions of people to join her. Nyad (at right in photo) has started EverWalk, an organization that’s trying to get people active in the easiest way possible—walking. Despite being one of the best workouts, swimming can be a difficult option if people don’t have regular access to a pool. Nyad started thinking about easy ways to exercise. She’s now encouraging people to sign up for the EverWalk pledge on everwalk.com, stating a desire to go on a walk at least three times a week. In Southwest Florida, Lee Health started the Million Mile Movement to promote walking—or biking, jogging or swimming. For details, visit healthylee.com.
Help to keep the weight off
YOU’VE LOST A bunch of weight. That’s fantastic. Now, the hard part: keeping it off. Typically, after losing a significant amount of weight, people tend to gain it back to the tune of 2 to 4 pounds per year. A team of researchers set out to find out an effective way to prevent that weight gain. In a study published in Annals of Internal Medicine, they found that one of the best ways is fairly simple: Talk to someone about it. Specifically, talk to a doctor or health professional. The researchers discovered that participants in their study who spoke frequently to a weight-loss expert gained back far less weight than those who didn’t. The point is that keeping weight off requires practice and discipline—and having a professional hold you accountable proves to be a major help.
Catching a cold right on time
Sometime soon, your smartwatch may give you some unpleasant news: You’re getting a cold. Wearables have been all the rage for people looking to track their steps or gauge their overall fitness. But, as a group of Stanford University researchers found out, these devices are also equipped to tell you when you’re getting sick. Researchers used a smartwatch to track participants’ heart rate, sleep time, skin temperature and more. As expected, swings in levels predicated participants falling ill. As of now, alerting people to an oncoming flu isn’t in any smartwatch makers’ plans—but all of the elements are there to make it possible.
Blame the doorway effect, not your memory
This happens to everyone: You walk into a room and you immediately forget why you did. As you age, this will happen. Don’t worry: It’s not a sign of Alzheimer’s or dementia. It’s actually just how the brain works. It’s called the “doorway effect.” Researchers at Notre Dame University set up a test. They gave participants a task and had them move throughout a room. Those who actually passed through a doorway tended to forget the task, compared to those who just moved around a room. Moving into a new room is an “event boundary,” and the brain tends to file whatever happened in that old room away. Researchers note that this may happen more often as you get older. But that’s just a sign of age—not something more serious.
We’re No. 1
The United States remains the top country for cosmetic surgeries, according to data released at an industry conference in January. The most popular procedures: breast augmentation and liposuction.