Encouraging Health and Happiness

Archive for September, 2011

A Little Deception Helps Push Athletes to the Limit

Tom Boland/The Canadian Press, via Associated Press
Published: September 19, 2011

The trained bicyclists thought they had ridden as fast as they possibly could. But Kevin Thompson, head of sport and exercise science at Northumbrian University in England, wondered if they go could even faster.

So, in an unusual experiment, he tricked them.

In their laboratory, Dr. Thompson and his assistant Mark Stone had had the cyclists pedal as hard as they could on a stationary bicycle for the equivalent of 4,000 meters, about 2.5 miles. After they had done this on several occasions, the cyclists thought they knew what their limits were.

Then Dr. Thompson asked the cyclists to race against an avatar, a figure of a cyclist on a computer screen in front them. Each rider was shown two avatars. One was himself, moving along a virtual course at the rate he was actually pedaling the stationary bicycle. The other figure was moving at the pace of the cyclist’s own best effort — or so the cyclists were told.

In fact, the second avatar was programmed to ride faster than the cyclist ever had — using 2 percent more power, which translates into a 1 percent increase in speed.



Yes, You Are Getting Shorter

You’re not just getting older. You’re probably getting shorter, too.  Height Loss May Signal Health Risks, Especially for Men.

Why are you shrinking? Starting in their late 30s, it’s normal for men and women to lose about a half-inch in height every 10 years. Melinda Beck on Lunch Break looks at what point does it get worrisome and what can be done to help.

Height loss is a natural part of aging—some people start shrinking slightly as early as 30. Losing too much height too rapidly, however, can signal a high risk for hip fractures, spinal fractures and even heart disease, particularly in men, several recent studies have found.


New Steps to Help Prevent Knee Injuries in Teen Sports


A torn knee ligament is one of the most debilitating injuries that routinely hit young athletes. Now, medical researchers are deciphering why women are at much greater risk for the problem than men and how it can be prevented.

An estimated 90,000 varsity high-school and college athletes a year suffer an injury to the anterior cruciate ligament, or ACL, which connects the thigh bone to the shin bone. Women are between four and six times as likely as men who play the same sports to be injured, partly because they rely more on ligaments to compensate for less-developed muscles, researchers say. The riskiest sports for ACL tears are soccer, basketball, volleyball, football and skiing, all of which involve sudden stops, changes in direction and jumps.


A Full Life and Real Courage

New Orleans Saints cult hero Steve Gleason battling ALS

09/25/11 8:00AM

Today is the five-year anniversary of the highlight of Steve Gleason’s football career — his epic blocked punt against the Atlanta Falcons in the official reopening of the post-Katrina Superdome. It was a seminal moment in his life, the exclamation point to an inspirational eight-year career that saw him rise from relative obscurity to cult hero status in the city he would eventually call home.

Michael DeMocker/The Times-Picayune archive
New Orleans Saints special teams ace Steve Gleason blocks a punt by the Atlanta Falcons’ Michael Koenen in the opening minutes of the team’s Superdome homecoming game after Hurricane Katrina.

The New Orleans Saints invited him to serve as a ceremonial team captain for today’s game against the Houston Texans at the Superdome. He’ll handle the coin toss and initiate the ceremonial Who Dat chant before kickoff.

He’ll undoubtedly receive a thunderous ovation from the sellout crowd of 73,000 but many fans won’t understand why Gleason is moving so slowly on the field.

Gleason has been diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, a rare terminal disease that damages the nerves that control voluntary muscle movement.


Member Spotlight: Kevin Bergsrud

Kevin Bergsrud

Kevin is a Seattle Parks & Recreation Enterprise Division Planner. He has been instrumental in managing public-private partnerships to revitalize Magnuson Park. Kevin and his wife, Anne, are two of our charter members, and their daughter enjoys going to the MiniMAC and Parent Date Night.

MAC:  Tell us a little bit about where you grew up and how you ended up in Seattle.
KB: Grad school at UW brought me to Seattle. First time visited Seattle over an Indian Summer weekend in 1989. I was hooked, what a fantastic city! I grew up in Phoenix. While I don’t have bad memories of the hot summer weather, I did dream a lot about what it would be like to live somewhere with fog and rain. Now I know!

Gut friend #2- Ginger!

According to Ayurveda (Science of LIfe, originated from India)  Ginger increases  “agni” or digestive fire, the body’s most essential ingredient for good health.  Impaired agni (caused by overeating, eating the wrong foods for your constitution, or eating while stressed or upset) can lead to impaired metabolism and immunity over time putting you on a slope toward chronic illness.

How to take it:  Before meals, try either a cup of ginger tea or a thin slice of ginger  with a squeeze of lime juice and a pinch of sea salt.  If you have heartburn – avoid ginger, it will aggravate the condition.

from – Natural Health Mag – Sept 2011

Save $25 on massage through October!

Welcome Crystal Mappala to our MAC team!

We’d like you to get to know Crystal and her excellent massage work by coming in for a massage with her. Through October, if youmention this post, you’ll receive a $50 one hour massage that’s $25 off of our full priced hour. Also try a 90  minute massage for only $75! Awesome. Crystal accepts insurance for billing including Premera, First Choice, Aetna and others. You can book with her online starting Saturday, September 3rd. Her massages are a great blend of deep work and flowing relaxation, perfect for any athlete or aching body.

To learn more about Crystal, visit her page on our website here