Yoga and Pilates: One of these things is not like the other

Written by Molly Watson on . Posted in Movement

pilatesDo you know the difference between Pilates and yoga?

Newcomers to either practice often do not know how the disciplines differ, or if they even do differ. Yoga and Pilates are each their own separate and distinct practice, and though somewhat similar on the surface, take their students in different directions.

When you hear the name Joseph Pilates, your core might naturally contract. To the uninitiated, Pilates brings to mind deep ab work. He developed the system of exercises during a detainment in an internment camp in England during World War I, and intended them to be a rehabilitation program for sick and injured prisoners of war. He originally called the core strength and stability work “Contrology,” and defined it as the “integration of body, mind and spirit.”

Another Great Reason to Brush Your Teeth

Written by Ethan Engel on . Posted in Fitness

chestA recent study from India didn't conclusively prove that gum disease is another direct cause of COPD, but the 100 cases in the study who were hospitalized with COPD and other types of lung disease had significantly higher rates of gingivitis and periodontal disease than those in a control group who had healthy lungs. It's unclear what the connection is. We know that the bacteria from dental plaque, when inhaled into the lungs, not only can cause COPD exacerbations but also might trigger respiratory infections in healthy people. 
Check out these Toothbrush and proper brushing tips from WebMD.

Thyroid Problems and Coconut Oil

Written by Wellness Mama on . Posted in Fitness

coconut thyroidThere has been a lot of buzz lately about thyroid problems and the potential of coconut oil to help improve them. Dr. Mercola has talked about it, Dr. Oz seems to be joining the bandwagon, and other doctors are mentioning the link as well.

So is there a connection and if so, what is it?

While there seems to be at least a correlation between certain dietary changes and an increase in thyroid problems (correlation doesn’t necessarily equal cause), there is some debate about what is actually causing the increase in thyroid problems. Mercola postulates that it is polyunsaturated oils and soy:

Ray Peat Ph.D., a physiologist who has worked with progesterone and related hormones since 1968, says that the sudden surge of polyunsaturated oils into the food chain post World War II has caused many changes in hormones. He writes:

Their [polyunsaturated oils] best understood effect is their interference with the function of the thyroid gland. Unsaturated oils block thyroid hormone secretion, its movement in the circulatory system, and the response of tissues to the hormone. When the thyroid hormone is deficient, the body is generally exposed to increased levels of estrogen. The thyroid hormone is essential for making the ‘protective hormones’ progesterone and pregnenolone, so these hormones are lowered when anything interferes with the function of the thyroid. The thyroid hormone is required for using and eliminating cholesterol, so cholesterol is likely to be raised by anything that blocks the thyroid function.  Read more...

Hip relief in 12 minutes

Written by Ethan Engel on . Posted in Fitness



Posture can be dramatically affected by gently introducing yourself to the largest joints in the body: your hips.The tissues of the hips and pelvis are a postural roundabout between the legs and feet below them and the spine above them. Improving the hips’ mobility and stability directly impacts the whole body, and your basic upright posture will be more uplifted and balanced in just a few minutes per day.   Read more...

WebMD's tips for healthy joints

Written by WebMD on . Posted in Fitness

joints540Just as the tread on your tires wears away over time, the cartilage that cushions your joints can wear away, too, in a condition known as osteoarthritis. And without enough cushioning, the bones of a joint will hurt when they rub against each other.

Frayed cartilage can't heal or grow back. "There's no way to reverse the arthritis once it has started," says Michaela M. Schneiderbauer, MD, an orthopedic surgeon at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. But there are ways to reduce the pain and protect the cartilage you still have. Use these tips to slow the damage. Read more...

No link found between vaccines and nerve-damaging Guillain-Barre syndrome

Written by Ethan Engel on . Posted in Fitness

vaccineRoger Baxter of Kaiser Permanente Northern California in Oakland, and his colleagues reviewed medical records from 1994 to 2006 of more than 3 million Kaiser members and found 415 diagnoses of GBS. Only 25 of these people had received any vaccine in the six weeks prior to being diagnosed with the condition. None were children. Analyses showed that people were no more likely to develop GBS during those six weeks than they were 1.5 to 9 months following a vaccination, the researchers report in the July 15 Clinical Infectious Diseases. Read more...

Why We’re Motivated to Exercise. Or Not.

Written by New York Times Review of Books on . Posted in Fitness




If you give a rat a running wheel and it decides not to use it, are genes to blame? And if so, what does that tell us about why many people skip exercise?

To examine those questions, scientists at the University of Missouri in Columbia recently interbred rats to create two very distinct groups of animals, one of which loves to run. Those in the other group turn up their collective little noses at exercise, slouching idly in their cages instead.