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Women's Health

Mercy Women's Care at St. Anne
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Fitness

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Ice Swimming—Crazy?
Ever wonder about those people who sit in a hot sauna and then immerse themselves in freezing cold weather? Are they nuts?

They’ll tell you it feels great. Some say it makes their eczema go away. Others say it gives them a sense of well-being. Still others say it makes wrinkles disappear. But there’s no real proof to any of this.

One thing is certain about ice swimming: if you’re thinking about doing it, be sure to talk to your doctor first. Getting into ice cold water can be hard on your heart, and it’s especially dangerous if you already have a heart condition.

Source: MJ Menna. The New Mom’s Manual. Three Rivers Press, New York, New York, 2001.


Men and Yoga
Weight lifting can give you big, bulky muscles. Doing yoga can make those muscles strong underneath. Strength training is all about contracting muscles, and that makes them tight. Yoga makes the muscles flexible, so you’re less prone to injury. You don’t have to choose one or the other—you can have the benefit of both.

More and more men are finding this out. Eddie George, a running back for the Tennessee Titans, does yoga. Orlando Hernandez of the Yankees does it. And Tiger Woods does Pilates—another of the holistic fitness exercises that are usually more popular among women.

There are different types of yoga, and many men prefer the more vigorous ones like Ashtanga and power yoga. If you decide to give yoga a try, make sure you have a teacher who has a lot of teaching experience and who makes sure that people with neck, knee or lower back problems know how to avoid injury during class and when they practice.

Source: “Guys Are Warming Up To Yoga and Pilates,” New York Times, 23 September 2002


Burn 512 Calories
Here’s a great way to burn up a lot of calories: go cross-country skiing.

If you weigh 140 pounds and you cross-country ski for an hour, you’ll burn 512 calories. If you weigh 200 pounds, you’ll burn 732 calories.

Considering the Institute of Medicine’s recommendation that people exercise for an hour a day, cross-country skiing is a good way to make the most of your exercise time.

Source: Calorie Control Council, December 2002


Giving Kids a Fitness Mindset
When kids are bored, they often ask for food. “I’m staaaarving. Can I have a snack?” There’s a good chance they just can’t think of anything better to do at that moment. So keep a mental list of activities and games you can suggest for those times when the kids are bored and want to eat (or watch more television).

And if you get in the game with them, they’ll love it even more. It’ll get the food off their minds for sure.

Source: “Building Blocks for Life.” Pediatric Nutrition, Volume 25, No. 3, 2002.


Keeping Kids Active Indoors
It’s hard to make sure your kids get enough exercise when the weather is bad. But it can be done. First of all, limit their time in front of the computer and television to one hour per day. That’s one hour total.

Then arrange for activity. Have a treasure hunt. Turn on some music and dance together. Play hide and seek (if your house is big enough). Play catch with balls that are soft. Teach them some exercise moves you know.

You don’t have to have them doing vigorous activity. You just want them to be moving rather than sitting in front of a screen.

Source: “Building Blocks for Life.” Pediatric Nutrition, Volume 25, No. 3, 2002.

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