Joint replacement within a day
Just a decade ago, Dr. Kurtis Biggs would have had a hard time imagining a stand-alone, same-day joint replacement center. Suddenly, it’s a reality. Seaside Surgery Center follows the trend of outpatient joint replacement-only centers popping up across the country. Seaside is the first of its kind in Southwest Florida. Patients come in for surgery in the morning, and by midnight they’re ready to go home. It allows for a low-stress operation outside a crowded (and potentially infectious) hospital environment, Biggs says. The facility isn’t for everyone. Patients should have a strong support system at home with friends, family or aides to help with recovery. But, when the fit is right for the patient, Biggs sees a bright future for outpatient operation centers. “This is the direction the industry is headed,” he says.
Fork and diet coach in one
Overeating? Your spoon may soon scold you. In the latest in devices that boss you around comes a spoon and fork set called Spün. The utensils have the ability to count calories. How it works: Take a photo of your meal and send it to the Spün app on your smartphone. The app analyzes how many calories are on your plate. Then, the fork and spoon will weigh and measure your food and tell you how many calories you’ve consumed. Oh, and if you’re looking for any more advice, they measure how fast you’re eating and can tell you to slow down.
Maybe lay off the lawyer jokes
A study by the Betty Ford Foundation and American Bar Association shows close to 20 percent of lawyers have “serious” drinking problems.
How to age alone with smarts
The thought of aging alone can be scary. Of course, there are the physical risks, the potential for falls and slips that can be difficult to recover from. And then there are the mental issues, the isolation that can lead to depression. The Harvard Health Letter details several steps to avoid the dangers of living alone in the golden years:
- Be safe: Life alert monitors are affordable ways to make sure 911 can be reached quickly.
- Stay social: Plan outings with friends, join volunteer groups, arrange daily calls with out-of-town family, and do whatever you can to stay in touch with others.
- Ask for help: A home health aide can be a tremendous help and, in the long run, cheaper than moving into assisted living.
Move over, medicinal marijuana
Researchers at University College London are studying how pancakes are formed to seek treatments for glaucoma.
Fitness Tip of the Month
Make isometrics fun with the ballet barre. Studios like Pure Barre that take an idea from ballet and bring it to the masses have been cropping up over the last few years. But don’t be intimidated; Pure Barre isn’t like a ballet class. You don’t have to be graceful. It’s about isometrics—small, controlled movements focused on the arms, core, legs, glutes and back. It can tighten and tone, incorporating the barre as part of a low-impact yet high-energy workout set to music. “People say to me, ‘Oh, that’s nothing’—but trust me, you’ll feel it,” says Lenka Valigurska, co-owner of Pure Barre studios in Naples, Fort Myers and Estero.
Keep diabetes in check
More than 86 million Americans may be on their way to becoming diabetic and not even know it. A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention education campaign is urging Americans to check if they have “prediabetes.” If you have prediabetes, you have a higher than average blood sugar level but not at the point of being diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. However, it’s a major sign that you could be at risk for the disease, as well as heart attack and stroke. Take an informal assessment at doihaveprediabetes.org to see if you’re at risk.
Learn from your sweat
The latest in biotech trends: reading your sweat. A small, wearable device developed by UC Berkeley engineers collects sweat and gives feedback on heart rate, body temperature and dehydration.
Break through the weight-loss plateau
Everybody hits it. It’s the weight-loss plateau. You’ve been making good progress on your journey to getting in shape, and then all of a sudden your workout just isn’t cutting it anymore. You’re not losing weight at the same rate. What do you do? The Mayo Clinic has a few suggestions:
- Turn it up a notch: Try exercising an additional 15 to 30 minutes to burn more calories.
- Think outside the gym: Perhaps go for an afternoon walk in addition to gym time to get in a bit more of a workout.
- Cut calories—even more: But not by too much. Slipping too far (especially under the 1,200 per day mark) will cause you not to get your proper nutrition.