WBEZ | exercise http://www.wbez.org/tags/exercise Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Can Dementia be Prevented? Education May Bolster Brain Against Risk http://www.wbez.org/news/can-dementia-be-prevented-education-may-bolster-brain-against-risk-114829 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/knowledge-tree_slide-231995ee55735ba2fb011e8ab30272470c8e9df7-s800-c85.jpg" alt="" /><p><div id="res466433587" previewtitle="Nanette Hoogslag/Getty Images/Ikon Images"><div data-crop-type=""><img alt="Nanette Hoogslag/Getty Images/Ikon Images" src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2016/02/11/knowledge-tree_slide-231995ee55735ba2fb011e8ab30272470c8e9df7-s800-c85.jpg" style="height: 413px; width: 620px;" title="(Nanette Hoogslag/Getty Images/Ikon Images)" /></div><div><div>&nbsp;</div></div></div><p>The odds of getting Alzheimer&#39;s disease or other forms of dementia are declining for people who are more educated and avoiding heart disease, a study finds. The results suggest that people may have some control over their risk of dementia as they age.</p><p>This isn&#39;t the first study to find that the incidence of dementia is waning, but it may be the best so far. Researchers looked at 30 years of records from more than 5,000 people in the famed Framingham Heart Study, which has closely tracked the health of volunteers in Framingham, Mass.</p><p>They found that the incidence of dementia declined about 20 percent per decade starting in the 1970s &mdash; but only in people who had at least a high school education. The decline in people diagnosed with Alzheimer&#39;s wasn&#39;t statistically significant, but there were fewer people with Alzheimer&#39;s, which could have affected that result.</p><p>The study, which was&nbsp;<a href="http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1504327">published</a>&nbsp;Wednesday in the&nbsp;<em>New England Journal of Medicine</em>, also looked at risk factors for heart disease and stroke, including smoking, obesity and high blood pressure. They found that the people who had better markers for cardiovascular health, such as normal blood pressure, were also less likely to develop dementia.</p><p>&quot;That&#39;s telling us that perhaps better management of cardiovascular disease could potentially help in the reduction of dementia,&quot; says&nbsp;<a href="http://profiles.bu.edu/display/49141807">Claudia Satizabal</a>, an author of the study and an instructor in neurology at the Boston University School of Medicine.</p><p>To figure out what this all means, we called&nbsp;<a href="http://micda.psc.isr.umich.edu/people/profile/566/Kenneth_M_Langa">Dr. Kenneth Langa</a>, a professor at the University of Michigan who also studies trends in dementia. Here are highlights from the conversation edited for length and clarity.</p><p><strong>One of the very confusing things about this is that even though an individual may be less likely to get dementia than they were 40 years ago, the number of people with dementia is going up. Why is that?</strong></p><p>It&#39;s an interesting and sometimes complicated concept. The number of cases in the population could still be going up in the future because of the larger number of adults.</p><p>It&#39;s very easy to get your wires crossed when you think of &quot;what&#39;s my own individual risk&quot; versus the number of people in the population.</p><p>It&#39;s certain that we&#39;ll have significantly more older people in the United States and around the world, so now the big question is &mdash; on an individual level, what&#39;s going on with the risk? Does a 70-year-old today have the same risk as one 20 years ago?</p><p><strong>And you&#39;re finding a trend similar to what the researchers reported this week &mdash; a declining risk of dementia in the United States.</strong></p><p>We&#39;ve been looking at data from the&nbsp;<a href="http://hrsonline.isr.umich.edu/">Health and Retirement Study</a>, large study funded by the National Institute on Aging and the Social Security Administration. We&#39;ve been collecting data on older folks in the United States since 1992. We&#39;re finding a decline in the prevalence of dementia and cognitive decline very much in line with the Framingham Study report.</p><p><strong>You also are finding that a person&#39;s level of education is a key driver in dementia risk. Is that because education makes your brain stronger, or that educated people are healthier overall?</strong></p><p>That&#39;s a big question, and one I&#39;ll be focusing on for the rest of my career.</p><p>I&#39;ll give you my usual researcher on-the-fence answer: I think it&#39;s a bit of both. I do think there is a direct biological effect of using your brain and having it interact with the world. You may have heard the term cognitive reserve, which means your brain gets wired up differently if it&#39;s challenged.</p><p>I&#39;m a believer that there is a causal effect of education on how your brain is challenged. But I definitely would agree that that&#39;s not the only pathway.</p><p>Education sets you off on a different path in your life; it sends you into different occupations. You may live in different neighborhoods, have less stress, have more money. That gives you access to better health care and social networks.</p><p>But still, if I do my 12 years or 14 years or 16 years of school, I don&#39;t think that 100 percent determines your risk of dementia.</p><p><strong>You&#39;ve also found that our parents&#39; level of education may affect dementia risk.</strong></p><p>It&#39;s very intriguing; a mother&#39;s education may be more important than a father&#39;s education. Again there are lots of complicated pathways you can talk about, but one that we and other researchers are trying to follow up on is whether a more educated mom may interact with a child in ways that are more beneficial to the developing brain of a child.</p><p>How your brain is nurtured throughout life is a really fascinating part of this story.</p><p><strong>The study published this week didn&#39;t look explicitly at exercise, but that does affect cardiovascular health. Could it help prevent dementia?</strong></p><p>The evidence both from animals in the cage and epidemiological studies shows that physical activity seems quite important for keeping your blood vessels healthy, and probably some specific growth factors that help the neurons in the brain. The general point that was brought out in the Framingham study is that cardiovascular fitness is very important.</p><p><strong>You and other researchers have pointed out that the trend toward more obesity and diabetes in the United States could threaten this more hopeful trend toward lower risk of dementia. When might that happen?</strong></p><p>The short answer is I think we don&#39;t know. Again, there are so many complicated interacting pathways going on here we can&#39;t really be sure what will happen.</p><p>Even though the number of people with diabetes has really skyrocketed in the past 20 or 30 years, it also seems to be that having diabetes doesn&#39;t have as many bad complications as it did 20 or 30 years ago. There&#39;s been a decline in things like heart attacks and amputations due to vascular complications. More aggressive treatment of diabetes and high blood pressure and cholesterol is probably one of the factors that&#39;s caused this decline in complications.</p><p><strong>We&#39;re all terrified of getting Alzheimer&#39;s. Given that being heart healthy seems to reduce that risk, why aren&#39;t we all exercising like crazy?</strong></p><p>It&#39;s still complicated, I think. Part of it is that it&#39;s a benefit that&#39;s going to come to you 20 or 25 years later; it&#39;s not easy to motivate people even with something as feared as Alzheimer&#39;s disease. I&#39;m an internist. I see middle-aged people with diabetes and hypertension and tell them about these findings. But it can be tough to motivate people.</p><p><strong>What else can people do to reduce the risk?</strong></p><p>These findings are optimistic; it&#39;s not a done deal. But there do seem to be things we can do not only from an individual perspective but from a public policy perspective, for instance, making education as available as possible to people in the United States and other countries.</p><p>I tell my patients, &quot;You can do everything right and still get Alzheimer&#39;s disease and dementia.&quot; It&#39;s a question of trying to change your risk to make it as low as possible.</p><p>The research that is ongoing to find medical interventions to affect the trajectory of the disease are still important to do also.</p><p>&mdash;<a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2016/02/11/466403316/can-dementia-be-prevented-education-may-bolster-brain-against-risk?ft=nprml&amp;f=466403316"><em> via NPR</em></a></p></p> Fri, 12 Feb 2016 11:58:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/can-dementia-be-prevented-education-may-bolster-brain-against-risk-114829 Say yes to downward dog: More yoga poses are safe during pregnancy http://www.wbez.org/news/say-yes-downward-dog-more-yoga-poses-are-safe-during-pregnancy-113807 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/pregnant-yoga_custom-5687a8c47ca8703dbb1f86dc025c93ac0a4dc661-s800-c85.jpg" alt="" /><p><div id="res455937530" previewtitle="Four pregnant women sit in lotus position."><div data-crop-type=""><img alt="Four pregnant women sit in lotus position." src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2015/11/13/pregnant-yoga_custom-5687a8c47ca8703dbb1f86dc025c93ac0a4dc661-s800-c85.jpg" style="height: 412px; width: 620px;" title="Four pregnant women sit in lotus position. (Thomas Northcut/Getty Images)" /></div><div><div><p>Lots of studies have looked at the health benefits of prenatal yoga for the mother to be. There&#39;s even some evidence that yoga can be potentially helpful in reducing complications in high-risk pregnancies.</p></div></div></div><p>But does yoga have any impact on the fetus?</p><p>&quot;I wasn&#39;t able to find any evidence-based studies&quot; to answer this question, says&nbsp;<a href="https://kosairchildrenshospital.com/provider/rachael-polis-do-gynecology?Directions=403">Dr. Rachael Polis</a>, who practices gynecology at Kosair Children&#39;s Hospital in Louisville, Ky. So she and a group of collaborators decided to conduct their own study. Their findings have just been&nbsp;<a href="http://journals.lww.com/greenjournal/Abstract/publishahead/Yoga_in_Pregnancy__An_Examination_of_Maternal_and.98897.aspx">published</a>&nbsp;in the journal&nbsp;Obstetrics &amp; Gynecology.</p><p>They recruited 25 healthy pregnant women in their third trimesters. All the women in the study had uncomplicated pregnancies; no high blood pressure or gestational diabetes.</p><p>During one-on-one yoga classes, the women were guided through 26 poses &mdash; everything from standing poses, to twisting poses to stretching.</p><div id="res455902432" previewtitle="Child's pose"><div data-crop-type=""><img alt="Child's pose" src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2015/11/13/childs-pose-1_custom-96820bc7476f8105a27b63d659cdd4dae58a0029-s800-c85.jpg" style="height: 412px; width: 620px;" title="Child's pose. (Chris Gahler/Jersey Shore University Medical Center/American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists)" /></div><div><p>&quot;We found these postures were really well-tolerated by women in our study,&quot; says Polis, who conducted the research while she was a resident at Jersey Shore University Medical Center. &quot;Women&#39;s vital signs, heart rates, blood pressure &mdash; these all remained normal.&quot;</p></div></div><p>In addition, there were no falls or injuries. And none of the women reported &quot;decreased fetal movement, contractions, leakage or fluid, or vaginal bleeding in the 24-hour follow-up,&quot; according to the study manuscript.</p><p>And very important, the fetal heart rate during all 26 poses remained normal.</p><p>&quot;Because we had them [the pregnant women] on continuous fetal monitoring, we could see that the fetal heart rate remained normal,&quot; says Polis.</p><p>During the study, the women avoided inversion poses such as handstand or headstand to reduce the risk of falls. And for obvious reasons they also avoided lying flat on their bellies.</p><p>But they did try poses that some yoga teachers have advised pregnant women to avoid. These include the downward-facing dog; the happy baby pose &mdash; that&#39;s a pose where you lie on your back and hold your toes like a baby; and the corpse pose, where you lie on your back. Pregnant women are often told to lie on their sides, not their backs, during the final stages of pregnancy.</p><div id="res455902596" previewtitle="Downward facing dog pose"><div data-crop-type=""><img alt="Downward facing dog pose" src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2015/11/13/downward-dog_custom-f1ffd73f19a89a34f4e6d97e8dfc4fdc4013c6ee-s800-c85.jpg" style="height: 494px; width: 620px;" title="Downward facing dog pose (Chris Gahler/Jersey Shore University Medical Center/American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists)" /></div><div><div><p>Polis says her study finds all of these four poses were well-tolerated.</p></div></div></div><p>So, the message here seems to be: Go for it!</p><p>&quot;This is preliminary information, but I think it&#39;s exciting and reassuring to know there were no adverse changes for both mom or baby,&quot; Polis says.</p><p>There is one caveat. Polis says it&#39;s important that every woman check with her ob/gyn to make sure that there are no complications before hitting the yoga mat.</p></p> Mon, 16 Nov 2015 14:57:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/say-yes-downward-dog-more-yoga-poses-are-safe-during-pregnancy-113807 Surgeon General responds to questions about diet http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-10-05/surgeon-general-responds-questions-about-diet-113178 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/produce flickr rick.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Last month, US Surgeon General Vivek Murthy launched a walking initiative called Step It Up to combat chronic disease in America. On its face, that seems like a good thing, but health advocates charged that it&rsquo;s yet another health campaign that shifts the focus from what we eat to how we exercise. It&rsquo;s a message you often hear from the soda industry, not the surgeon general.</p><p>WBEZ food and health reporter <a href="https://twitter.com/monicaeng?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor">Monica Eng</a> got a call last week from Murthy, who said he wanted to clarify his stance. Eng joins us with what he said.</p></p> Mon, 05 Oct 2015 11:17:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-10-05/surgeon-general-responds-questions-about-diet-113178 Beyond Jane Fonda tapes: home workouts go virtual http://www.wbez.org/news/beyond-jane-fonda-tapes-home-workouts-go-virtual-112738 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/board_wide-919262e51937ee67f8b03d8acb5df29bdfa95e60-s800-c85.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Peek into a Peloton indoor cycling class in New York&#39;s posh Chelsea neighborhood and it&#39;ll look like most other indoor cycling classes. Sixty stationary bikes are clustered in a dark room, loud music blares to get the heart racing, and a mic-ed up instructor motivates riders.</p><p>Except this class has one major difference: Instructor Jen Sherman isn&#39;t just talking to riders in the classroom. She&#39;s also monitoring metrics for riders in places like New Jersey, California, Massachusetts and Kansas. &quot;Jamie in Wichita, good to see you this morning,&quot; she says.</p><p>&quot;There&#39;s an energy in the studio that&#39;s amazing, but when you factor in that you&#39;ve got people that are riding with you from all over the country &mdash; all over the world at this point &mdash; it just takes it to another level,&quot; Sherman says.</p><p><a href="https://www.pelotoncycle.com/company/team">Peloton CEO John Foley</a>&nbsp;explains how they do it. &quot;This is also a television production facility. There are five cameras, one of which rotates on a track around the room,&quot; he says.</p><p>Peloton bikes come outfitted with a custom waterproof tablet, enabling home riders to watch the action in Chelsea live as well as monitor their own metrics. It also ranks each rider&#39;s output on a virtual leader board.</p><p>For $40 a month, home riders have unlimited access to live and archived rides. That&#39;s in addition to the $2,000 it costs to buy the bike. It&#39;s a high bar for many. Still, more than 10,000 have signed up so far.</p><p>Greg Vadas from Bethesda, Md., keeps his Peloton bike tucked away in a small room in his basement next to his four real bikes. During a recent class, the instructor tells riders when to adjust their tension to simulate different elevations, but Vadas barely notices. He&#39;s only looking at one thing: the leaderboard.</p><p>&quot;I have to admit, I don&#39;t pay that much attention to the instructor. I&#39;m all about the board!&quot; he says.</p><p>Peloton isn&#39;t the only company offering virtual instruction. Startup&nbsp;<a href="http://www.powhow.com/">powhow.com</a>&nbsp;allows fitness trainers to connect directly with clients via video chat and other tools, and that has radically changed home cardio workouts, says CEO Viva Chu.</p><div id="res434673178" previewtitle="Peloton indoor cycling instructor Jen Sherman leads classes and also monitors metrics for riders taking classes outside the studio."><div data-crop-type=""><img alt="Peloton indoor cycling instructor Jen Sherman leads classes and also monitors metrics for riders taking classes outside the studio." src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2015/08/25/cycle_custom-6bea87621a1f9f167676b149b77faf25411efdbd-s800-c85.jpg" title="Peloton indoor cycling instructor Jen Sherman leads classes and also monitors metrics for riders taking classes outside the studio. (Issac James /Courtesy of Peloton)" /></div><div><div><p>&quot;Back in the VHS or Beta days, you&#39;d have Jane Fonda in your living room, but we&#39;re actually trying to take it one step further than that. It&#39;s like, you can not only work out with them on your own time, but you can also develop a personal relationship with them,&quot; Chu says.</p></div></div></div><p>While working out in front of a screen may seem weird, it&#39;s actually becoming much more the norm, says Cameron Jacobs, a research manager for the Sports and Fitness Industry Association.</p><p>&quot;Many believe that technology, social media and physical activity somewhat run in conflict with one another, but that&#39;s not the case. Today we are finding being connected is getting people actually more benefits and maximizing their results from getting physically active,&quot; Jacobs says.</p><p>Whether it&#39;s a Fitbit watch or a metrics screen on a piece of exercise equipment, Jacobs says, the industry is adapting to make working out more interactive and immersive &mdash; entering into an exciting new era where classes are becoming fitness experiences and not just workouts.</p><p>&quot;You need to have fun while you&#39;re getting physically active, because if it seems like a chore, it won&#39;t stick,&quot; Jacobs says.</p><p>&mdash;<a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/alltechconsidered/2015/08/26/434594084/beyond-jane-fonda-tapes-home-workouts-go-virtual?ft=nprml&amp;f=434594084" target="_blank"><em>All Tech Considered</em></a></p></p> Wed, 26 Aug 2015 03:58:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/beyond-jane-fonda-tapes-home-workouts-go-virtual-112738 Culturally-sensitive workouts yield health results for immigrants http://www.wbez.org/news/culturally-sensitive-workouts-yield-health-results-immigrants-111973 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/Asian-exercise.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>On a Sunday afternoon at a small martial arts studio in a Lincolnwood strip mall, a dozen or so South Asian women warm up by marching in step to a thumping merengue beat.</p><p>Some of them wear stretchy yoga pants and t-shirts, but several sport traditional headscarves, and long, colorful tunics over billowy pants. Most of them are recent immigrants to the U.S. from India and Pakistan. All of them are at risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes.</p><p>With flushed cheeks and glistening foreheads, they keep up with instructor Carolina Escrich as she barks out instructions. They jump, punch, squat, do push-ups and smile.</p><p>&ldquo;I feel happy &mdash; I&rsquo;m so happy,&rdquo; said Manisha Tailor giddily, after finishing the hour&rsquo;s workout right at the front of the class.</p><p>Tailor is one of thirty women recruited to participate in a 16-week study led by researchers at Northwestern University. She&rsquo;s been coming to the classes since February, and it was an entirely new experience for her.</p><p>&ldquo;I never danced before,&rdquo; she said. &ldquo;So, I like (to) dance. And I feel very comfortable.&rdquo; She adds that she also lost four pounds since coming to the class twice a week.</p><p>Tailor, like most of the participants, said she never exercised in her native India, and the thought of joining a gym was too intimidating. But now she&rsquo;s considering joining a women-only gym once the study finishes.</p><p>For Namratha Kandula, Principal Investigator of the Northwestern study, this is a breakthrough.</p><p>&ldquo;They have a lot of barriers to doing exercise,&rdquo; she said. &ldquo;South Asians uniformly are less physically active than other groups. This group has high rates of overweight and obesity, and high rates of physical inactivity.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">Kandula said this directly relates to the prevalence of diabetes among South Asians. Nearly a quarter of these immigrants in the U.S. develop the disease &mdash; a rate higher than that of Caucasians, African Americans and Latinos.&nbsp;Kandula&rsquo;s research at Northwestern&rsquo;s Feinberg School of Medicine focuses on crafting effective interventions for communities who are underserved and unaware of best health practices.&nbsp;</p><p>Kandula said on top of sedentary lifestyles, South Asians are genetically predisposed to developing diabetes. Still, research has shown that individuals can improve their odds of avoiding the disease through healthy eating and exercise.</p><p>&ldquo;The problem is that that research was not reaching the South Asian community in the sense that they weren&rsquo;t necessarily hearing the same messages, they weren&rsquo;t getting more physically active,&rdquo; said Kandula. &ldquo;And we know that a lot of evidence-based programs &mdash; they don&rsquo;t reach some of the more disadvantaged communities or communities that are isolated because of culture or language or geographic location.&rdquo;</p><p>Kandula&rsquo;s team is monitoring the women&rsquo;s weight and blood sugar to see if they show any changes over the course of the program. They partnered with Metropolitan Asian Family Services, a social services agency that works with many South Asian immigrant families on Chicago&rsquo;s far North Side. MAFS recruited participants and provides them free transportation to and from the classes.</p><p>The study aims to educate immigrant women, in particular, about eating healthier and the importance of exercise. In crafting the workouts, Kandula had to consider cultural hurdles that stood in the way for many women who were most at-risk for developing diabetes.</p><p>&ldquo;Modesty is something that&rsquo;s really important,&rdquo; explained Kandula, &ldquo;and women didn&rsquo;t feel comfortable working out at a regular gym or recreational facility.&rdquo;</p><p>Additionally, many women told Kandula that they prioritized their families over their own health. So she worked that into the design of her program by offering free martial arts classes to their children once a week. The only condition was that the mothers had to come to their workouts at least twice a week.</p><p>In fact, many women attend three times a week &mdash; and on the days they show up, several will stay for two classes back-to-back.</p><p>Rehanna Patel, a 49-year old mother of four, said the class works for her because it is fun and there are no men.</p><p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s important for it to be women&rsquo;s-only and having that secure space,&rdquo; she said through a translator.</p><p>Many other women echoed the thought, saying that they would feel less free to move about in the class if men were included, or if men could walk by and see them.</p><p>Patel said the class helped dispel her assumption that exercise is only for younger people.</p><p>&ldquo;I had always thought that these steps would only be done by a 20 or 25-year-old girl,&rdquo; she said, referring to the dance routine of the class. &ldquo;But the instructor did a great job.&rdquo;</p><p>Teaching these women was a new experience for instructor Carolina Escrich, too.</p><p>&ldquo;I needed to adjust the class and be careful with the type of music that I should use,<br />she said.</p><p>Escrich said it took two months to modify her usual Latin-inspired Zumba workouts into something more appropriate for her culturally conservative students. She modified the song selections to be less explicit, and has shifted the emphasis from sexy dance moves to more of an aerobics routine.</p><p>If the program shows significant health improvements, Namratha Kandula hopes they&rsquo;ll win funding for a wider study. But the women here have a more immediate concern.</p><p>&ldquo;I would feel really sad when the classes end,&rdquo; said Patel. &ldquo;The way we do it here, it&rsquo;s different, we enjoy it, I feel good and my body feels light.&rdquo;</p><p>Patel says even after the study ends she wants to keep exercising at home.</p><p><em>Odette Yousef is WBEZ&rsquo;s North Side Bureau reporter. Follow her </em><a href="https://twitter.com/oyousef"><em>@oyousef</em></a><em> and </em><a href="https://twitter.com/wbezoutloud"><em>@WBEZoutloud</em></a><em>.</em></p></p> Fri, 01 May 2015 10:32:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/culturally-sensitive-workouts-yield-health-results-immigrants-111973 Morning Shift: One in four Americans didn’t exercise last year http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-04-29/morning-shift-one-four-americans-didn%E2%80%99t-exercise-last-year-111957 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Ed%20Yourdon.jpg" style="height: 412px; width: 620px;" title="Flickr/Ed Yourdon" /></div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image "><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/203136791&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><span style="font-family: inherit; font-size: 24px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; line-height: inherit;">Hammond/Gary/East Chicago Mayoral Race preview</span></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);">Roughly a week from now, residents of cities in Northwest Indiana will cast their first ballots for mayor in the upcoming primary election. The primary is usually what counts in the heavily Democratic region, so we wanted to take a look at some of the more interesting races. Here with a preview of that and the issues important to voters is WBEZ&rsquo;s Michael Puente. He joins us at our bureau in Crown Point.</p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-stretch: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">Guest:&nbsp;</strong><em><a href="https://twitter.com/MikePuenteNews">Michael Puente</a> is WBEZ&#39;s Northwest Indiana Bureau reporter.&nbsp;</em></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);">&nbsp;</p></div><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/203136812&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=falseamp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><span style="font-family: inherit; font-size: 24px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; line-height: inherit;">IDOT Chief does listening tour</span></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);">IDOT Acting Secretary Randy Blankenhorn is traveling the state to discuss the state&rsquo;s most pressing transportation and infrastructure needs. Rail and bus service is one of services on the chopping block under Gov. Rauner&rsquo;s proposed 2016 budget. We talk to Blankenhorn about what he plans to prioritize on his agenda.&nbsp;</p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-stretch: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">Guest:&nbsp;</strong><em><a href="http://www.idot.illinois.gov/about-idot/our-story/governance/secretary-of-transportation/index">Randy Blankenhorn</a> is <a href="https://twitter.com/IDOT_Illinois">IDOT</a>&#39;s Acting Secretary.</em></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);">&nbsp;</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/203136776&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><span style="font-family: inherit; font-size: 24px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; line-height: inherit;">One in four Americans didn&#39;t exercise last year</span></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);">Did you go bowling last year? How about take a Yoga class? A <a href="http://blogs.wsj.com/corporate-intelligence/2015/04/23/take-the-fitness-test/">recent survey</a> released by the Physical Activity Council reports that roughly 28 percent of the population didn&#39;t participate in any of the 104 physical activities as defined by the council - bowling, table tennis, even lifting a set of barbells all made the list. So what gives? We talk with <em>Wall Street Journal</em> sports columnist Jason Gay for his take on why so many people are staying sedentary. In a recent editorial he asks if technology, expensive youth sports leagues or increased food delivery options played a role.</p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-stretch: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">Guest: </strong><em><a href="https://twitter.com/jasongay">Jason Gay</a> is a </em>Wall Street Journal<em> Sports Columnist and author of <a href="http://www.wsj.com/articles/we-all-need-to-shape-up-fast-1430089775">&quot;We all need to shape up fast.&quot;</a></em></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);">&nbsp;</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/203136817&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><span style="font-family: inherit; font-size: 24px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; line-height: inherit;">Food Banks try&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: inherit; font-size: 24px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; line-height: inherit;">to emphasize healthy eating</span></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);">Food banks have worked for decades to try to provide nutritious foods to the nation&rsquo;s needy. But packaged and processed foods have always been easier to give away than things like eggplants and heads of cabbage. The Northern Illinois Food Bank has been working on a new program to try to change a family&rsquo;s reactions to vegetables with both cooking demonstrations and veggie preparation classes in after school programs. WBEZ&rsquo;s Monica Eng attended one last week and she brings sounds from the lesson. We also talk to Jennifer Lamplough, Executive Chef at Northern Illinois Food Bank, about her efforts.&nbsp;</p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-stretch: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">Guests:&nbsp;</strong><em><a href="https://twitter.com/monicaeng">Monica Eng</a> is a WBEZ reporter/producer.</em></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><em>Jennifer Lamplough is <a href="https://twitter.com/ILfoodbank">Northern Illinois Food Bank</a>&#39;s Executive Chef.</em></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);">&nbsp;</p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/203136767&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><span style="font-family: inherit; font-size: 24px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; line-height: inherit;">Reclaimed Soul: Miami soul</span></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);">This Week, Ayana Contreras brings us soulful sounds from 1970s Miami. Reclaimed Soul airs every Thursday from 8-10 p.m.&nbsp;</p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-stretch: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">Guest:&nbsp;</strong><em><a href="https://twitter.com/ReclaimedSoul">Ayana Contreras</a> is the host of Vocalo&#39;s Reclaimed Soul.</em></p></p> Wed, 29 Apr 2015 07:44:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-04-29/morning-shift-one-four-americans-didn%E2%80%99t-exercise-last-year-111957 Can you lose weight on the marijuana diet? http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/can-you-lose-weight-marijuana-diet-108996 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/Marijuana Diet.jpg" alt="" /><p><p dir="ltr">The <a href="http://themarijuanadiet.org/">&quot;marijuana diet&quot;</a> may sound like something you&#39;d read about in The Onion. But for its creator, the diet is no joke.</p><p dir="ltr">Art Glass, 66, whose background is in marketing and advertising, says he ballooned up to 345 pounds years ago but returned to a healthy weight by following the tenets of his self-styled strategy, which includes light to moderate smoking but also a healthy diet. <a href="https://soundcloud.com/morningshiftwbez/eat-this-author-offers">He talked about it on WBEZ&rsquo;s Morning Shift Wednesday.</a></p><p dir="ltr">Glass&rsquo;<a href="http://www.amazon.com/The-Marijuana-Diet-Anonymous-1-ebook/dp/B00EP0UUGA"> e-book &ldquo;The Marijuana Diet&rdquo; &nbsp;went up on Amazon</a> this week and prescribes lots of fresh fruits, vegetables, sprouts and nuts along with occasional fasting and superfood smoothies. It further recommends modest amounts of high-quality pastured and grass-fed animal protein, and the elimination of processed foods, white sugar and flour.</p><p dir="ltr">This alone might be enough to improve a dieter&#39;s health, but Glass also suggests regular exercises--mostly long-held poses that can be done on a chair, a couch or standing.</p><p dir="ltr">So is the marijuana aspect of the diet really that crucial? &nbsp;Maybe not for some.</p><p dir="ltr">But for those whose unhealthy eating habits stem from psychological or emotional issues, Glass believes smoking can help them explore the triggers or experiences that have led to their self-destructive behavior.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;Losing weight is one of the most challenging things there is,&rdquo; Glass said on the Morning Shift Wednesday. &nbsp;&ldquo;Marijuana helps you get in touch with yourself and let go of the crap you don&rsquo;t need and when you let go of that psychological crap, you will let go of your weight.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">Glass uses his own experience as evidence and, in his book, catalogues more than 100 testimonials from Internet users who also report pot-induced weight loss. Their screen names include &ldquo;stonerchick609&rdquo; or &ldquo;smotpoker&rdquo;.</p><p dir="ltr">But he also cites peer reviewed studies that show correlations between pot smoking (among adults) and better metabolic health.</p><p dir="ltr">One <a href="http://aje.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2011/08/24/aje.kwr200.abstract">2011 study that appeared in the American Journal of Epidemiology</a> looked at two large populations of American adults and found obesity rates of 22 percent and 25.3 percent among non-marijuana smokers but only 14.3 percent and 17.2 percent among marijuana smokers, even when researchers controlled for other factors.</p><p dir="ltr">Another <a href="http://www.amjmed.com/article/S0002-9343%2813%2900200-3/abstract">2013 study that appeared in the American Journal of Medicine</a> showed lower insulin levels and waist circumference (an indicator of dangerous visceral fat) among regular pot smokers.</p><p dir="ltr">Still, for Dr. Rasa Kazlauskaite, who is the Acting Medical Director at Rush University and a researcher of &nbsp;cannabinoids, these studies show association not causation. In other words, she thinks that the better health could be linked to other factors.</p><p dir="ltr">She also points out what munchie sufferers know well: that marijuana has been traditionally associated with appetite stimulation and increased food consumption rather than appetite suppression. She points to the drug rimonabant that aided weight loss by blocking human cannabinoid (marijuana) receptors--it was later withdrawn from the market due to dangerous side effects.</p><p dir="ltr">Glass says that he&rsquo;s no stranger to the munchies but suggests combating them by taking no more than three tokes per smoking session, smoking alone and never eating while under the influence. &nbsp;He recommends using that time for exercise and self-guided reflections on the root causes of one&rsquo;s unhealthy behavior.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;It sounds like the author is recommending self-treatment, being your own psychologist,&rdquo; Kazlauskaite said. &ldquo;For some people it might work but others might benefit from guidance. I would recommend meeting with a behavioral specialist who specializes in therapy for obesity.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">Kazlauskaite, however, agrees with some of Glass&rsquo; nutritional advice, especially his emphasis on fresh fruits and vegetables and the removal of sugar and processed foods.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;Some of these recommendations are really desirable changes for people who want to lose weight or maintain a lighter weight,&rdquo; she said. &ldquo;So if someone smokes marijuana but also makes better meal and snack choices then that is better than not making healthy nutritional decisions at all. But it might be that without smoking marijuana people might lose more weight. If someone wants to test this hypothesis the ideal study would be to compare diet alone with diet and marijuana.&rdquo; &nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p><em>Monica Eng &nbsp;is a WBEZ producer. Follow her <a href="http://twitter.com/monicaeng" target="_blank">@monicaeng</a>.</em></p></p> Wed, 23 Oct 2013 17:30:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/can-you-lose-weight-marijuana-diet-108996 Pinning down the value of Illinois' trails http://www.wbez.org/blogs/chris-bentley/2013-04/pinning-down-value-illinois-trails-106461 <p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/trails2.JPG" style="height: 408px; width: 610px;" title="Volunteers conduct surveys at Tunnel Hill State Trail. (Courtesy Thomas' Photographic Services)" /></p><p>With <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez/2012-09/bloomingdale-trail-reveals-chicagos-idea-grand-city-planning-102655">the Bloomingdale Trail poised to cut a streak of green</a> through the park-poor west side of Chicago, there has been renewed talk of <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/06/nyregion/with-next-phase-ready-area-around-high-line-is-flourishing.html">the so-called High Line effect</a> &mdash; the idea that trails like New York&rsquo;s defunct viaduct-turned-economic engine could be a boon for businessmen <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/charles-a-birnbaum/the-real-high-line-effect_b_1604217.html">as well as urbanists</a>.</p><p>We typically imagine the value of trails to be the way they connect people with nature. <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blogs/chris-bentley/2013-03/new-orland-grasslands-trail-stirs-environmental-concerns-106058">Though not without their own environmental concerns</a>, trails make wilderness accessible. But <a href="http://trailsforillinois.tumblr.com/maketrailscount">a new study from Trails for Illinois</a>, a local trails advocacy group, suggests they also open up users&rsquo; wallets.</p><p>More than one third of trail users bought something during their visits to six Illinois trails last summer, according to the study&nbsp;<em><a href="http://trailsforillinois.tumblr.com/MTC-Download">Making Trails Count in Illinois</a></em>. That should encourage communities along the <a href="http://calsagtrail.org/Friends_of_the_Calumet-Sag_Trail/Triple_Bottom_Line.html">Cal-Sag Trail</a>, a 32-mile multi-use path that would link hikers and bikers to the downtowns of several south Chicago suburbs. In Blue Island, for example, that trail would link in directly with bike lanes that travel through the town&#39;s main business corridor.</p><p>&ldquo;Hopefully it takes the blinders off of towns and merchants,&rdquo; said Steve Buchtel, executive director of Trails for Illinois. &ldquo;Trail users have credit cards, and will swipe it if you ask them to.&rdquo;</p><p>Between mid-July and mid-October 2012, volunteer teams counted the number of trail users and plucked surveys from boxes placed on six trails statewide, including the Chicago area&rsquo;s Fox River and Old Plank Road Trails.</p><p>&ldquo;This moves beyond being anecdotal about what trails do for quality for life and the local economy,&rdquo; Buchtel said. &ldquo;These six trails are just the start. We&rsquo;ve got a baseline of data that gives us a sample of how trails are benefiting Illinois, and we want to grow and leverage that.&rdquo;</p><p>The average amount of all purchases recorded by the survey was about $30. In addition to ripple effects for the local tourism and service industries around trails, Buchtel sees inklings of a &ldquo;triple bottom line&rdquo; in the data &mdash; health topped the list of reasons given for trail use, reported nearly twice as frequently as recreation.</p><p>And <a href="https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&amp;rct=j&amp;q=&amp;esrc=s&amp;source=web&amp;cd=1&amp;ved=0CDIQFjAA&amp;url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.hamline.edu%2FWorkArea%2Flinkit.aspx%3FLinkIdentifier%3Did%26ItemID%3D2147491171&amp;ei=a-RcUcvdKsjbqQGRwIDAAw&amp;usg=AFQjCNGxD8NoWm2iRDvJcOsVAEHyP6ljyA&amp;sig2=bOoXFTwyz2_J6hqWuZypRg&amp;bvm=bv.44770516,d.aWM">research</a> backs up the notion that spending time in nature improves environmental stewardship. But could we eventually lose our connection with nature as a result of technologically tricking out our trails? Maybe, Buchtel said, but for now he&rsquo;s focused on getting more built.</p><p>Nearly 70 percent of users surveyed found trails by word of mouth, suggesting a promotion problem that could leave environmental assets hiding in plain sight.</p></p> Thu, 04 Apr 2013 05:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/chris-bentley/2013-04/pinning-down-value-illinois-trails-106461 List: Weird girly names for workout classes I've recently taken and what they actually mean http://www.wbez.org/blogs/claire-zulkey/2012-10/list-weird-girly-names-workout-classes-ive-recently-taken-and-what-they <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/6766495665_282c15bd60.jpg" style="height: 418px; width: 620px; " title="(Flickr/StudioBarre)" /></div><p style="text-align: center; ">WERQ (Dancing to pop hip-hop)</p><p style="text-align: center; ">Chisel fo&#39; Shizzel (strength training)</p><p style="text-align: center; ">Hot Bod (strength training plus cardio)</p><p style="text-align: center; ">Barre Bee Fit (isometrics [strength training with small, excruciating movements])</p></p> Tue, 23 Oct 2012 08:43:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/claire-zulkey/2012-10/list-weird-girly-names-workout-classes-ive-recently-taken-and-what-they Chicago runners keep going despite 'unrelenting' heat http://www.wbez.org/news/chicago-runners-keep-going-despite-unrelenting-heat-100645 <p><p>Meteorologists are calling this week&rsquo;s 90 degree temperatures an &ldquo;unrelenting heat wave.&rdquo;</p><p>But some relent<em>less</em> Chicago runners are unfazed.</p><p>Marge Garcia was training for the Chicago triathlon this week along the Lakeshore Drive path. WBEZ talked to her in the middle of a run at 1 p.m.</p><p>&ldquo;A lot of people here are training seriously,&quot; Garcia said. &quot;If you&rsquo;ve been doing it a bit, you know to just listen to your body.&rdquo;</p><p>Garcia says she learned that lesson the hard way.</p><p>&ldquo;I did a twenty miler, and I ended up in the hospital,&quot; Garcia said. &quot;I ended up needing three bags of IV&rsquo;s because I didn&rsquo;t have proper hydration.&rdquo;</p><p>Endurance athletes like Garcia say electrolytes, sodium tablets and plenty of water are critical to preventing dehydration.</p><p>But Meteorologist Gilbert Sebenste warns that exercise enthusiasts should head outside earlier in the morning to avoid heat-related illnesses.</p><p>&quot;For those who are running in the late morning through the mid to late afternoon hours, you&#39;re really putting a lot of stress on your body,&quot; Sebenste said. &quot;Even if you&#39;re in great physical condition that doesn&#39;t mean that you&#39;re not hurting your body by running in such weather.&quot;</p><p>The term &quot;unrelenting heat wave&quot; refers to the high temperature and humidiy that put stress on our bodies and continue through the night, Sebenste said.&nbsp;</p></p> Tue, 03 Jul 2012 17:31:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/chicago-runners-keep-going-despite-unrelenting-heat-100645