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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Obesity ideas not always correct

Fact or fiction? Sex burns a lot of calories. Snacking or skipping breakfast is bad. School gym classes make a big difference in kids’ weight. All are myths or at least presumptions that may not be true, say researchers who reviewed the science behind some widely held obesity beliefs and found it lacking.

Yoga can be antidote to stress

DEAR DOCTOR K: I know yoga has a lot of physical benefits, but is it true yoga can help reduce stress as well? DEAR READER: Many people initially come to yoga to become physically fit, but they soon discover the psychological benefits. In addition to being great exercise, yoga is one of the best antidotes to the stress of modern living.

Fitness test: Exercise without breaking the bank

The start of a new year inspires many of us to commit to get fit and live healthier. Such an undertaking requires steeling one’s resolve to eat right and exercise. What isn’t required is emptying out one’s wallet just to break a sweat and shed a few pounds.

Shed pounds with aerobic exercise

People who want to lose weight are better off running than lifting weights – or even than doing both, researchers at Duke University say. The researchers compared people who did aerobic exercise – running, swimming, walking, for instance – with those who did resistance training such as weightlifting and with people who did both kinds of exercise. Those who got up and moved burned the most fat, they said in the Dec. 15 Journal of Applied Physiology.

School yoga tries to avoid religious controversy

ENCINITAS, Calif. (AP) — Administrators of a California school district say they are being cautious as they launch what is believed to be the country's most comprehensive yoga program for a public school system. The Encinitas Union School District starting in January will offer yoga instruction at all of its nine schools despite a protest by a group of parents who say they are prepared to sue to halt the program.

Rock Doc: Excessive aerobic exercise can take a toll on heart

Medical science increasingly has some evidence of a principle your mother warned you about: There really is too much of a good thing. A few folks throw themselves headlong into aerobic exercise. Most of these hard-core endurance athletes start young. Many fall by the wayside in middle age, but there are also those who keep going, completing marathons and similar events well into retirement age.

Tapping citizen-scientists for a novel gut check

WASHINGTON (AP) — The bacterial zoo inside your gut could look very different if you're a vegetarian or an Atkins dieter, a couch potato or an athlete, fat or thin. Now for a fee — $69 and up — and a stool sample, the curious can find out just what's living in their intestines and take part in one of the hottest new fields in science.

Tapping citizen-scientists for a novel gut check

WASHINGTON (AP) — The bacterial zoo inside your gut could look very different if you're a vegetarian or an Atkins dieter, a couch potato or an athlete, fat or thin. Now for a fee — $69 and up — and a stool sample, the curious can find out just what's living in their intestines and take part in one of the hottest new fields in science.

Doctor K: PT is one solution to torn ACL

DEAR DOCTOR K: I tore my ACL. Is surgery inevitable? DEAR READER: The anterior cruciate ligament is a band of tissue that runs through the middle of the knee joint and keeps the shinbone from sliding forward past the thighbone. The ACL can tear during a sudden or awkward twist, turn or stop. More often than not, it’s these non-contact injuries that injure an ACL. Between 100,000 and 200,000 ACL injuries occur each year in the United States.

Cardio equipment getting smarter

You swipe your gym membership card or sign in, and the screen on the cardio equipment welcomes you by name. Your sites and bookmarked TV shows and workouts you tracked – data stored in the cloud – load onto the 10- to 19-inch tablet attached to the bike, elliptical or treadmill. While you work up a sweat, you can read the book you started the night before, check the latest Facebook posts or tweet about the miles you’re clocking in real time.

Rock Doc: Exercise helpful in retirement

I don’t know about you, but I find it all too easy to come up with a reason to not exercise on a given day. I tell myself that my life is too crowded with work and meetings, or that I’m too tired from sleeping poorly the night before. Mind you, if I do exercise I always feel the better for it. But there is what a scientist might call an “energy barrier” to finding what it takes within myself to go for a swim at noon or a significant walk after work.

Concussions expert urges age limit on head blows

A leading neurosurgeon called for better protection for young athletes from head injuries on Friday, as a research project involving 100 retired NFL players seeks a diagnosis for a brain disease linked to multiple concussions.

Arthroscopy makes surgery quicker, easier

DEAR DOCTOR K: I’m a lifelong runner with severe knee pain. Can you tell me about knee arthroscopy? How do I know if I’m a good candidate for it? DEAR READER: Arthroscopy is a technique used to diagnose problems in the knees and other joints. If a problem requiring surgery is identified, arthroscopic surgery can be performed.

Exercises in health

It takes more than muscle tone and stretchy pants to teach an exercise class. The instructors leading a class last week at WSU Spokane on the Riverpoint Campus were being observed by their own instructors as they led participants through tai chi and step routines. The students earned approval for their “cueing” – warning participants what moves were coming next, while offering adapted exercises based on participants’ aches and pains.

Front Porch: Walk stimulates body, soul

One of the best forms of exercise doesn’t require expensive equipment, trendy fitness DVDs or a gym membership. Everyone from Thomas Jefferson to health guru Dr. Oz have touted the benefits of walking. All I know is that while my “Buns of Steel” DVD gathers dust on my shelf, my walking shoes wear out on a regular basis.

The 411 on 85210

It’s no secret that eating healthy food and working up a regular sweat prevent obesity – or that preventing obesity can help prevent chronic illnesses including diabetes, heart disease and stroke. Health advice comes from all directions – doctors, media, friends, school, work. Sometimes, said Emily Fleury, a director at Inland Northwest Health Services, we get so much advice about staying healthy – and sometimes seemingly conflicting advice – that many people file it in their minds as junk mail. They ignore it all.

Pediatricians offer first report on organic foods

CHICAGO (AP) — Parents who want to reduce their kids' exposure to pesticides may seek out organic fruits and vegetables, but they aren't necessarily safer or more nutritious than conventional foods, the nation's leading pediatricians group says in its first advice on organics. Science hasn't proven that eating pesticide-free food makes people any healthier, the American Academy of Pediatrics said.

Parents considering legal action over school yoga

ENCINITAS, Calif. (AP) — A group of parents is bent out of shape by free yoga classes at schools in this San Diego County beachside community, fearing they are indoctrinating youngsters in eastern religion. "There's a deep concern that the Encinitas Union School District is using taxpayer resources to promote Ashtanga yoga and Hinduism, a religion system of beliefs and practices," the parents' attorney, Dean Broyles, told the North County Times (http://bit.ly/RUMM4T ).

Medicine ball gives a full-body workout

It’s small but packs a big punch. A medicine ball is a weighted ball used to whip your body into shape, without taking up much space. It’s similar to standard weights, but with the medicine ball you only need one in order to get in a full workout. If you’re a fitness newbie, start with a 4-pounder (sold at most sports stores). Advanced fitness junkies may choose to use a 20-pound ball. Dr. Rick Kattouf, author of “Forever Fit,” is a triathlon and conditioning coach based in South Carolina. Below, he shares his favorite medicine ball exercises. Do each exercise 10 times. Gradually work up to doing each one 25 times.