Healthy Life

The Feel Good Report April

The latest in health, fitness and beauty.

BY April 4, 2013


We are a nation of multitaskers. We eat, talk on the phone and check our hair in the mirror all while driving to work. So why should our recreational workouts be any different? The StreetStrider is the world’s fist outdoor elliptical bike, and it’s only half as goofy as it looks. It duplicates the motion of a traditional elliptical machine with the mobility of a three-wheeled bike, allowing users to get the benefits of jogging, skiing and cycling in a low-impact workout. Brilliant! Imagine cruising around Port Royal while burning up to 1,000 calories per hour. The American Council on Exercise found that the StreetStrider burned more calories than a standard bicycle and elevated heart rates higher than a typical elliptical workout. All we know is that it’s got “Florida” written all over it, and we want one.


If you hate needles, we’ve got some good news for you: It seems that medical technology has finally reached the Star Trek phase. The “liquid needle” is a laser injector that releases microscopic jets of drugs through the skin, with little more pain than a puff of air. The laser pulses out fluid through a nozzle about the size of a human hair into the skin’s surface, where there are no nerve endings. Researchers claim the process will be completely pain-free and it allows for a more precise dose and delivery of drugs with no tissue damage. The process could revolutionize life for people who have to self-inject medications for things such as diabetes. It might also make going to the doctor a little less stressful.


Whether you are a fan of tattoos or believe they are, as Jimmy Buffett so eloquently described them, “permanent reminders of temporary feelings,” this news is a bit sobering. A new study from New York University has found a link between getting inked and hepatitis C. It seems people with hepatitis C are four times more likely to have a tattoo than sufferers without body art, even when other risk factors were taken into account. There is still no direct link, researchers say, but the act itself may pose a risk. Worst of all, the disease can lie dormant for many years, so people might not even know they are infected. At the very least, if you know someone looking to get a butterfly placed in a demure location, tell him or her to study up on the tattoo parlor.


Sometimes it seems as though you just need to take a little off the top. And by that we mean the top layer of skin. Wrinkles, lifeless skin and the dreaded peach fuzz can make a woman look older than she feels. But dermaplaning, a non-invasive skin resurfacing procedure, is an often-forgotten option to harsh chemical peels and microdermabrasion. “It’s a really good alternative for people with really sensitive skin or those who have broken capillaries,” says Lisa Hart, a medical esthetician and owner of Sky Med Spa in Fort Myers. A special surgical scalpel is gently scraped across the skin, removing the top layer of dead epidermal cells and peach fuzz, and leaving your skin beautifully smooth. “If I’m going to a wedding, I always do a dermaplane and glycolic (a week before) for a really pretty glow,” adds Hart. “You get nice skin without the downtime (of a harsh peel).”


Silicone is back in a big way. Silicone breast implants were taken off the market in 1992 due to leakage concerns. “The silicone would literally bleed through the shell,” says Dr. Marc Schneider of the Schneider Centre for Plastic Surgery in Fort Myers. That left saline the only game in town. But now, the FDA has approved a silicone implant that is state of the art— Sientra. Available in Europe for several years, Sientra implants in a variety of shapes and sizes. “Saline is a great product,” says Schneider, “but in patients with very little breast tissue, they are pretty obvious. There’s rippling that might be visible. And the feel is very, very different. The advantage of Sientra is that it maintains its form, feels soft, like a real breast, and has the lowest rupture rate of any implant on the market.” Even if the outer shell did tear, the inner gel would remain in place. Sientra implants are available only through board-certified plastic surgeons.;


A new study by Swedish researchers has found that women who take large amounts of calcium may be at risk of heart disease and death. The group studied more than 60,000 women born between 1914 and 1948 for an average of 19 years. After controlling for various other health concerns, the researchers then compared the amount of calcium intake. They found that women who took more than 1,400 milligrams per day doubled their risk of dying from cardiovascular disease and had a 40 percent higher risk of death from any cause. Those taking lower doses—even 1,000 milligrams—saw no increased risk.

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