Category Archives: fitness

The Yoga That Eases Blood Pressure

s-STRESSBUSTING-YOGA-large300Some yoga-licious news from the meeting of the American Society of Hypertension (AHH). Hatha yoga introduced to individuals with mild to moderate hypertension appears to lower blood pressure, and reductions in systolic and diastolic blood pressure might be enough to avoid starting antihypertensive medications, . (more)

Source:  Michael O’Riordan. Hatha yoga reduces blood pressure in mildly hypertensive patients. theheart.org. [Clinical Conditions > Hypertension > Hypertension]; May 20, 2013. Accessed athttp://www.theheart.org/article/1541351.do on May 25, 2013


Can Mindfulness Improve Standardized Test Scores?

ps_imageCheck out Christie Nicholson’s Scientific American story about new research published in the journal Psychological Science that suggests that meditation training may boost GRE scores.

Recently scientists analyzed whether such a practice could help improve undergrads’ test scores… (read more)

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New Antidote For Teen Angst

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Don’t Just Google Yourself, Search Inside Yourself


Skateboarders: Unsung Social Heroes

dailyn

Have you ever considered the social relevance of skateboarding?  An article out this week looks at the impact that skateboarders have on our physical and social environments.

I love the fact that people are out there studying this stuff.

The paper, published in Local Environment: The International Journal of Justice and Sustainability, basically says that we should take skateboarders more seriously.  It explains how skateboarders “ascribe new meanings and pleasures to otherwise mundane built forms,”  declaring that skaters have created an “alternative ethic of care for built environments… that transforms ordinary urban spaces into temporary autonomous play zones.”

The author, focusing on the skate scene in Chicago, write: An alternative sustainability model emerges from waxing ledges and other spatial tactics that seek to care for built environments through play….Waxing ledges contributes to a vision of the city that fosters collective uses and creative experimentations with built environments. Unintended pleasurable engagements with architectural forms challenge prescribed uses by welcoming unexpected encounters. Furthermore, waxing ledges fosters communal land-use practices…Skate boarders scout, usurp, and maintain spots of spatial desire by practising an ethic of care for the built environment that transforms ordinary urban spaces into temporary autonomous play zones . The spaces crafted through the ethic of care outlined above are both subject to an urban politics of disciplined accommodation and figure as groundwork towards resistance to punitive spatial regulation.  

Read more here.


Group Therapy On The Go

Here’s a beach sculpture –aka sand castle– I created in Long Beach Island, NJ about 24 hours after completing my first coed sprint triathlon.  It’s a self-portrait inspired by the minor torment I felt during the final two miles of the run.

Have you ever considered doing a race?  Don’t over think it.  Just register, train and show up.  Then let the magic happen.  A little like group meditation, the communal experience is truly a mind body one. Read about upcoming fitness events near you at active.com

Related alternahealthgrrrl content:  All You Need Is Psychosocial Support


Science Stories For The Rest of Us

Bob Dylan + CAM

Are most writers and editors too creative in their coverage of science, health and medicine? Steve Myers’ commentary offers some great insights into why it is so hard to write about science, including complementary and alternative medicine, psychology, and other topics covered on alternahealthgrrrl. One example:

This is why reporters are constantly making science out to be what it isn’t, and why scientists are almost always unimpressed with journalists reporting on their work. The point is, this messiness of science, with its endless years of research, cannot be summed up in a few hundred words and neatly tied with a bow harboring a big idea or mindblowing theory.
Read more here, Science writers: Jonah Lehrer’s scientific errors worse than fabricated quotes

Related alternahealthgrrrl content: Lame Story Alert! NYTimes Sleep Story Fails Women; Prevention Mag “Awards” Integrative Therapies


Can Pinterest Help You Lose Weight In A Healthful Way?

Cynthia SassHere’s an enlightened body image blog entry.  In this week’s Shape weight loss column, Cynthia Sass, RD, author of S.A.S.S! Your Self Slim, talks about dietsporational boards on Pinterest.

In Pinterest Dietspo: Motivational or Menancing?, she writes:

In addition to being a whole lot of fun, when kept in balance (I know, easier said than done!), I think Pinterest can be a great tool for supporting a healthy lifestyle, as I wrote about in a previous post How Pinterest Can Help You Lose Weight. But many of the dietspo or dietsporational boards really bum me out. Rather than viewing nutrition as a means of restriction or deprivation, I look at it as a strategy that allows me to feel well, have energy, nourish my body, manage stress, look better (hair, skin, etc.), sleep well, and be healthy, both physically and emotionally, and I want my clients to feel the same. That’s why pins like ‘nothing tastes as good as skinny feels’ make me sad.>>> Read more here.

Related alternahealthgrrrl content:  Passive Weight-Loss Strategies for 2012; Holistic Weight Loss: News that Helped You Lose in 2011;The Detox Everyone Will Be Doing in 2012


Meditation Is Prevention: Meditating Helps Fight Colds, Flu

 

Sick of getting sick?  Start meditating. New research supports the theory that meditation, like exercise, protects the body from cold and flu.

University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers looked at the impact of meditation and exercise on how often people got a cold or flu, as well as how bad the bug got and how long it lasted.  They found that both meditation and exercise offered plenty of protective power. The conclusion: Meditation and exercise can reduce the incidence, duration and severity of colds and the flu by about 30 percent to 60 percent.