Category: Personal Fitness


Botox: Might Be Good for Curing the Blues

40s BotoxDepression may be improved with the use of Botox, according to a report in The New York Times, March 23, 2014 edition. Since Botox can prevent frowning and unhappy facial expression, it was theorized that if you can’t frown it may be harder to be depressed. Researchers wanted to study the idea that facial expressions may feed information back to our brains that influence our mood.

74 patients with major depression received injections in the forehead muscles responsible for frowning. The shots were randomized to either Botox or a salt water solution, placebo. Six weeks later 52% of those who received Botox showed improvement in their depression, as compared to only 15% of those with the salt water injections.

Only half of those in the Botox group were correct in guessing that they had received Botox, which is no better than the toss of the coin. Presumably, knowledge of receiving the Botox could not influence emotional response.

Botox for depression is part of a tradition of “Outside In” therapies that aim to improve the psyche by external manipulations. Acupuncture treatment of anxiety, and exercise for the production of endorphins are other examples of successful use of this methodology. Light therapy sends signals to the brain that can effectively counter Seasonal Affective Disorder. We all recognize that when we look better we have a better sense of self esteem. The concept rings true.

It will take more science to show whether Botox is an effective treatment for depression, and which types of depression it works best for. In the meantime, if you are getting Botox to look a little better, pay attention to whether the absence of frowns puts you in a better frame of mind!

Anti-aging, Beauty, Doctor-Patient Relationship, Facelift, Personal Fitness, Skin Care

Four Fitness Tracking and Analytics Mobile Apps to Get Your Heart Pumping

These apps offer a tangible way for the body conscious to track calories, monitor steps, and link with friends to stay fit and motivated.  

 

MyFitnessPal

FitnessPalLogoWhat It Is: MyFitnessPal is one of the fastest and easiest to use calorie counter fitness apps for the iPhone and iPad. With the largest food database (containing over three million food items), the platform is great for keeping track of calories, tracking cardio and strength training and nutrient intake. 

Great Features: You can enter your own recipes and calculate each’s nutritional contents, connect with friends to easily track and motivate each other, and customize weight loss goals based on your specific diet.

Awards: PC Magazine Editor’s Choice Selection and Wired Magazine’s Editor’s Pick for Lifestyle Apps
Cost: Free. Available for iOS, Android, Windows Phone, and BlackBerry.

 

Fitocracy

FitocracyLogoWhat It Is: As the fitness word becomes increasingly social, Fitocracy enables you to join a community of “Fitocrats” who will keep you motivated on your weight loss or get buff journey. This app enables you to track your workouts, earn points, unlock achievements, and if you’re competitive, there’s plenty of that too. 

Great Features:  Fitocracy offers a newsfeed to track friend’s progress and allows you to rearrange workouts, add supersets, circuits, and save routines

Awards: App of the Year by Men’s Journal and Mashable’s Top Innovation in Health and Fitness Winner
Cost: Free. Available for iOS and Android.

 

Nike Training Club

NikeTrainingClubLogoWhat It Is:  The Nike Fitness app features a collection of visual workouts hosted by celebrity athletes like Serena Williams.  Choose your fitness level and goal, and Nike Training Club picks from more than 100 workouts to get you on the fast track to fit.

Great Features: Nike Training Club features month-long structured programs that’ll help you achieve better results along with 15, 30 and 45-minute workouts featuring audio guidance and video demos from top Nike trainers and athletes.
Cost: Free. Available for iOS and Android.

 

Moves

MovesLogoWhat It Is: Moves is a smart pedometer that records everything from steps taken in a day to miles cycled.  Just carry your phone in your pocket or bag and Moves automatically tracks your everyday exercise.

Great Features: The app’s daily maps and “storylines” give users a new way to easily record and analyze their movement throughout the day, plotting your route on a map and showing calories burned for each activity.
Cost: Free. Available for iOS.

Nutrition, Personal Fitness, Weight loss

The New Breed of Holistic Workout

HealthClubTreadmillsArianna Huffington recently wrote a great article on how exercising (at American health clubs in particular) has become something to dread. Gyms have become a place we drag ourselves to, pay a hefty monthly fee for, and stare at a TV as we clock the obligatory 30-60 minutes/day.

She writes,

“The benefits of making our bodies fitter are deeply connected to the fitness of our inner selves, but gyms make it hard to feel that connection. They don’t allow for the kind of solitude and mindfulness that we can get communing with nature on an outdoor run. And, overly muscled pickups aside, they aren’t very conducive to making any real social connection. A person watching her own screen while walking on a treadmill next to another person watching another screen while walking on a treadmill is like a metaphor for our modern life. It’s what we do at work, at home and at the gym.”

I too find the gym is not conducive to mindfulness, and am more and more conscious that what I am motivated by most, is working out in a social context-with friends or family or the people I work with. I’d rather take a class, or go for a bike ride or a hike and share the endorphin rush with great people, than spend spare hours I don’t have on a treadmill.

Ariana references The Guardian‘s Nicole Mowbray, who wrote recently about the growing trend of the “calm workout,” or “a new breed of holistic workout that promises to care for your head as well as your heart” as she describes it. For example, there’s Psycle, which offers spinning classes in rooms with low lights and calming music and features a “free time” break during the class. 

“The philosophy is supposedly inspired by the belief that ‘your state of mind is key to how often and how hard you exercise.’ There’s also CardioLates, which combines spin and Pilates; Third Space, which offers the services of ‘wellness doctors’; and Spynga, which is part spin, part yoga.

These workouts are part of a trend driven by the understanding that getting fit doesn’t have to be so unpleasant. And it’s pretty simple to see that if we make exercise a more inviting and more rewarding experience, we’ll do it more often. If we’re going to redefine success to include well-being, we also need to redefine getting in shape to include mental and soul fitness.”

View Huffington link

Anti-aging, Exercise, Personal Fitness, Uncategorized, Weight loss

Want To Be a Better Version of You?

Accept the Challenge in 2014 

Walk ParkWonder diets and quick weight loss plans get a lot of attention with the start of each New Year. I suggest skipping extreme solutions. Dropping 20 lb. and gaining it right back is not success. The real path to your best health, vitality and weight control requires commitment to a lifestyle that is practical. Here are a few practical suggestions for sustainable health and fitness improvements:

  1. Diet without counting calories. It is too much trouble to weigh and measure every bite of food you put in your mouth. Use portion control and avoid calorie dense foods.
  2. Hit your goal 80% of the time. If you are a perfectionist you will be disabled by your disappointment. Perfect is definitely not practical. So allow yourself some margin.
  3. Keep a journal so you are accountable and honest with yourself.
  4. Drink 11-12 glasses of water a day to combat hunger and fill your stomach.
  5. Keep moving!! You have to move to lose weight and exercise is a good to fight anxiety and depression. 
  6. Weigh weekly to avoid weight drift.
  7. Your weekly exercise routine should include 30 minutes of cardio a least 3 times and resistance training 2-3 times. Find exercise you like doing. Make your exercise social. Exercise with a friend to accomplish two important functions at once.

A sound body requires a sound mind. Learning methods for managing stress and building resilience are important for the sustainability of your challenge. Most women are so accustomed to being caretakers, they neglect their own needs, both physical and psychological. Make time for your mental and physical well being.   

Announcements, Anti-aging, Body Contouring, Doctor-Patient Relationship, Exercise, Nutrition, Personal Fitness, Weight loss

Plastic Surgery after Bariatric Surgery Shown to Improve Long Term Weight Control

Weight lossBeing massively overweight is associated with poor body image, low self-esteem and reduced health related quality of life. In the United States, over 100,000 bariatric surgeries are performed annually to address these health concerns. Gastric bypass, the most frequently performed weight loss procedure, allows rapid weight loss in the first 18 months. However, half of these people gradually regain 10-15 % of the lost weight over the next 10 years. Those regained pounds undo some of the improvements the bariatric surgery brought. A new study reported out of Geneva Switzerland shows that those who have body contouring plastic surgery for the excess skin after massive weight loss are more successful at keeping the weight off for the long haul.

A group of patients who had undergone gastric bypass surgery between the years of 1999 and 2007 were compared for their ability to keep the weight off. Average weight loss was an impressive 99 lb. With a follow up of seven years, the 102 people who had not chosen to have plastic surgery to get rid of the deflated skin had regained an average of 50 lb. However the 98 people who chose body contouring plastic surgery to complete the process after their bariatric surgery only regained an average of 13 lb. over the seven year period.

The authors conclude that bariatric plastic surgery is crucial for successful treatment of morbid obesity. The plastic surgery improves psychosocial functioning and strengthens long term weight loss maintenance.

www.PRSJournal.com, October 2013

Anti-aging, Body Contouring, Doctor-Patient Relationship, Mommy Makeover, Nutrition, Personal Fitness, Uncategorized, Weight loss

“COVERAGE IS HERE”

Washington-Health-Plan-FinderThere is a lot of change occurring in healthcare currently. One of the best changes is that health insurance will be available to many who were previously ineligible. “Coverage is here” is Washington state’s slogan to educate the public about the new state health benefit exchange. The federal Affordable Care Act has a mandate to increase the number of people covered by health insurance. Enrollment is beginning now for plans that go into effect January 1, 2014. There are 46 health insurance plans participating in the new system. Here are some common questions about the new health benefit exchange:

  1. Who is eligible for these plans?
    Individuals, families and small businesses can purchase insurance through these new plans.
  2. How much will it cost? 
    The cost will vary by how much coverage you choose and whether or not you are eligible for any fee reductions, based on your income.
  3. Will I be able to see my own doctor on the new plan?
    Each insurance plan will have its own panel of doctors.  You may be able to find the plan that your doctor works on before you purchase.
  4. If I have insurance through my employer will I have to go through the state healthcare exchange?
    Most individuals will be able to stay on their company’s plan.

 For more information go to www.wahealthplanfinder.org.

Announcements, Breast health, Doctor-Patient Relationship, Personal Fitness

Top 5 Cosmetic Procedures for Men

HandsomeManMen in the prime of their life are seeking cosmetic surgery for both personal and professional reasons. In July, the Cosmetic Surgery National Data Bank released its statistics for 2012. It is interesting to see what plastic surgeries men select. Men had nearly 1 million cosmetic procedures in the US, 10% of the total. The winners are listed with the number of reported cases.

  1. Liposuction (41,642)
  2. Rhinoplasty, nose reshaping (29,996)
  3. Blepharoplasty, cosmetic eye lid surgery (23,251)
  4. Gynecomastia, reduction of male breasts (22,736)
  5. Otoplasty, correction of prominent ears (12,053)

The data collection for plastic surgery goes back to 1997. The number of procedures for men has more than doubled since that time. Men are also seeking nonsurgical cosmetic procedures, such as Botox injections in rapidly increasing numbers. There were 808,011 nonsurgical cosmetic procedures reported to have been performed on men in the United States during 2012 according to the American Society for Aesthetic Surgery.

www.surgery.org

Aesthetic Surgery Journal, vol. 33, Supplement 2, July 2013.

Anti-aging, Beauty, Blepharoplasty, Body Contouring, Gynecomastia, Male Breast Enlargement, Male Breast Reduction, Personal Fitness

WHEN DO BREAST IMPLANTS NEED REVISION?

WomanRedheadAccording to the American Society of Plastic Surgery there were 286,000 breast augmentations in the United States last year, an increase of over 200% since 1997. In my last blog, I reported on evidence that shows a high degree of satisfaction with the choice to have breast implants. We know that breast implants do not last a lifetime, but women want the satisfaction with their procedure to last a very long time. The US implant manufacturers advise that implants will need to be removed or replaced eventually. So what are some of the reasons for revising breast surgery?

A study (published last month in Aesthetic Surgery Journal) looked at 110 consecutive women that underwent revision of their breast implants between the years 2004 and 2009. The reoperation rate in this study was 16.3% with an average time from first surgery to revision of 8.9 years.

Here are the reasons for re-operation in this surgeon’s practice:

1. 42%developed sagging (ptosis) of their breast, a natural progression of biological change.

2. 29% had capsular contracture (scar tissue around the implant resulting in firmness).

3. 19% were re-operated for a high riding implant.

4. 14% indicated implant position was not where it belonged (malposition).

5. 7% had infection.

6. 5% developed breast cancer.

7. 4% objected to rippling of implant.

8. 4% had synmastia (implant pocket lifting up over the sternum).

9. 3% had a “double-bubble” where implant and breast did not merge in a smooth transition.

10. 2% deflation.

As humans age their skin thins, loosing elasticity. As breast volume fluctuates with weight changes and pregnancy, there is a natural sagging of the breast. Implant placement can accelerate these natural changes. This report shows that the majority of revisionary breast implant surgery is to improve appearance and reverse changes of aging, rather than for medical necessity. That is a good thing if you are the patient, because you can choose the time when it matters to you. www.aestheticsurgeryjournal.com

Anti-aging, Beauty, Body Contouring, Breast Augmentation, Breast Implants, Breast Reduction, Mommy Makeover, Personal Fitness, Uncategorized

Studies Confirm Patient Satisfaction with Choosing Breast Augmentation

The purpose of aesthetic plastic surgery is to improve quality of life by enhancing one’s body confidence and comfort. A recent study published in the Aesthetic Surgery Journal looks at the satisfaction and well-being of a group of 155 women that had breast augmentation in 2008 and 2009. The data confirms that women report a significant improvement in their satisfaction with breast appearance, psychosocial well-being, and sense of sexual well-being after surgery. The anonymous survey was administered before and six weeks after their breast implant procedure. The scores were tabulated on a 1-100 point basis.

Here are some of the outcomes reported:

  1. Satisfaction with breast appearance improved from a score of 26 to 82.
  2. 79% were satisfied with the size of their breasts post operatively.
  3. Sense of wellbeing increased from a score of 52 to 85. 
  4. 97% reported they felt attractive, up from 51%.
  5. 96% felt more self-assured, up from 51%.
  6. 94% reported that they felt confident most or all the time, improved from 53% prior to surgery.
  7. 91% answered that they felt confident sexually after their augmentation, up from 46% preoperatively.

The research did not examine those women that did not report improved quality of life after the procedure. This group was small but it would be valuable to gain insight on why they did not achieve the same satisfaction. 

The questionnaire that was used is called the BREAST –Q. It was developed to meet national and international standards of outcomes assessment for evidence based medicine. For a closer look check out the Aesthetic Surgery Journal 33(2)245-251, 2013.

Anti-aging, Beauty, Body Contouring, Breast Augmentation, Breast health, Breast Implants, Personal Fitness

Planning on Being a Better You in 2013? Get a Plan you Can Stick With

ApplewtapemeasAll of us want to be a better version of our self, so as the calendar turns over another year, it is the occasion to declare a fresh start. Most of us pick goals that have personal meaning, often connected to how our bodies look and feel. My friends are working out more, de-toxing, exercising, eating organic and losing weight. Health clubs get a surge of new member in January and Weight Watcher’s sessions are full.

So why is it that by spring 90% of  New Year’s resolutions have been abandoned? It is human nature to lose our resolve and return to old habits. So how do we convert to that healthy lifestyle and make it stick? Here are a few suggestions:

  1. Start simple and concrete. Resolutions that are too broad, too big, or too drastic are doomed to fail. Think big, but start small.
  2. Write down the change you plan to make and post it several places. The act of writing it makes the commitment more engrained. Posting a reminder in several places re-enforces the plan. 

You may choose to stop drinking soda or other high calorie drinks. Reminders on the refrigerator or near your bathroom scales can keep it fresh in your mind. Outlook or smart phones can be good to keep you on track. Try emailing yourself daily.

  1. Give a commitment of 21 days, rather than forever. It takes 21 days to form a habit and the short time frame will help you avoid discouragement.
  2. Re-evaluate at three weeks. If you could not reach this goal, try to identify the challenges and come up with solutions. Write down your revised strategy to re-new your commitment. If you did succeed, try adding a new habit to change.
  3. Don’t procrastinate. The next time you start you will wish you had done it sooner. No time like the present. Just do it.

Once you change a small habit you can keep it for a lifetime. Being a better version of ourselves is an accessible goal!

Doctor-Patient Relationship, Nutrition, Personal Fitness, Skin Care, Weight loss

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