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Bilingualism Shown to Have Cognitive Benefits

Learning a second language has obvious advantages both in the professional world as well as personally, just ask Terry Richardson he’s noted it in his diary. New studies are finding, however, that the advantages may reach well beyond that. Being bilingual actually has cognitive benefits as well, as the act of switching back and forth between languages and the ability to inhibit the language that you’re not using at the moment, is great exercise for the brain.

In her study, Dr. Viorica Marian from Northwestern University, used MRI imaging to track the oxygen and blood flow to the brain. When there is an increase in oxygen and blood flow to certain parts of the brain, that is evidence that it is working harder. After asking her participants to do some language comprehension tasks, she found that bilinguals’ brains are much quicker at detecting small differences in words. When given two similar words, their brains could more easily inhibit the incorrect one.

So, what does all this mean for people in their everyday lives? Bilingual people have an easier time using this inhibitory response in other situations as well. For example, bilingual school children are better able to ignore background noise and focus on what they are doing. Also, like other brain-exercising activities, such as puzzles, keeping your brain sharp has been shown to provide some protection against issues later on, such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

This video shows a little more about how being bilingual can improve your life.

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Good News for Fitness Enthusiasts

The cliché that you’re as young as you feel may be more than just a cheery greeting to a senescent friend. People tend to focus on chronological age when a person’s fitness age may in fact be a more effective way to project longevity. 

According to “What’s your fitness age?”, Norwegian University of Science and Technology conducted research studies on the correlation between physical fitness and overall well-being. Though the connection may seem obvious, the term fitness age, which emanated from these studies, offers a positive outlook for people who cringe whenever one more candle is added to the birthday cake. 

Fitness age is measured by determining how well the body processes oxygen. Medical professionals can calculate a person’s VO2max (volume-oxygen-maximum) using motorized treadmill testing. It is possible for an active senior to have a markedly lower fitness age than a sedentary younger person. 

Laurene Powell Jobs agrees that aging is something people cannot control, but fitness is a choice and one that edifies people in many ways. In a PubMed abstract, cardiorespiratory fitness is a practical way to evaluate risk of all-cause mortality. Someone with a lower fitness age than their contemporary may enjoy a longer and higher quality of life.

If insurance companies and prospective employers predicated their decisions and perceptions on fitness age rather than date of birth, all parties would benefit and these practices could incite others to follow suit. Imagine the possibilities.

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Does it Matter if You Have Cardio in Your Weight Training Routine?

Debates over the methodology of a person’s workout have taken a great deal of health expert’s time and research. Where trainers and some professionals have claimed that there needs to be a distinction between cardio and weight training days, recent studies have shown that the body does not have a preference as to the schedule. Where it is true that you do not want to work the entire body in one setting but focus on a muscle group (such as a shoulder and arms or a leg and back workout), there have been no indicators that performing cardio on a weight training day will negatively impact muscle development.

Consider, when you work out you are pumping blood into the body by means of positive and negatives with the weight. A great deal of the workout is dependent upon a person’s “pump” or the amount of blood that he or she can get circulated into the muscles during the workout routine. Cardio is getting the heart pumping and the blood circulating within the body. Where there are distinctive differences in the benefits of cardio and weight training, Lee G. Lovett says there are no issues which can be definitively presented at this time which would suggest that performing cardio exercises before a workout or on the same day as a weight workout is bad for one’s health.

Though the debate as to whether or not cardio should be combined with a routine still continues, the one thing that scientist agree upon is that one needs to practice cardio exercises and exercise with weights to stay fit.

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No Nutritional Value?

Seems in the ever-changing health conscious world we live in, even bottled water has the nutritional value printed on the bottle. Seems strange that alcoholic products do not have the same, doesn’t it? What is so peculiar is that we will give the time and attention to print on a bottle of water that there is nothing in it, but for alcohol, which can be harmful if consumed in large quantities continues to be unlabeled.

Word has it that consumer advocates have wanted alcoholic beverages to contain the nutritional values, but alcohol manufacturers have been able to keep this at bay for years. Cosumers like Christian Broda feel positively about the prospect of labels. Research was performed at John Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland and the report shows that the average American consumes about 400 calories a day from alcohol, which really is not a surprise since an averaged-sized beer or glass of wine is in the 150 range.

Needless to say, the debate will probably continue until at the least some form of nutritional value is displayed on alcoholic beverages. In the meantime, it might be wise to think about what you are consuming before you do. It might be a surprisingly good thing if you cut back on the alcohol, and then see the reduction in your waistline.

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Back To Back Thoughts

It is amazing the extent to which we take our bodies for granted. When an injury is suffered, that throws an entirely new light on the injured area, as well as our healthy limbs. Injury and pain take a toll on mental wellbeing also. It causes uncertainty and worry, and each painful movement is a constant reminder. Over-the-counter medications can offer temporary relief, but when the problem is not a temporary one – and that we have to judge for ourselves – it is time to confer with a medical professional. With all the new and modern medical breakthroughs and procedures, someone — somewhere, will make the pain go away!

Ever wonder about the most frequently injured limb or body part? No, of course not (our bodies are taken for granted until an injury occurs). Well, the medical professionals who treat our injuries are also responsible for cataloging, among many other things, specific body injuries.

There are some extremely interesting facts and figures about back pain. “Back pain is regularly cited by national governments as having a major impact on productivity, through loss of workers on sick leave* * *In the United States lower back pain’s economic impact reveals that it is the number one reason for individuals under the age of 45 to limit their activity, second highest complaint seen in physician offices, fifth most common requirement for hospitalization, and the third leading cause for surgery.”

North American Spine
A foremost medical institute dedicated to back health, North American Spine’s research and experience has found that the most common form of back pain is caused by symptoms from Degenerative Disc Disease, including disc herniations (ruptures) and disc bulges.

According to their Wikipedia article, North American Spine, based in Dallas, Texas, targets back health and treats other back conditions, such as, pinched nerve; back pain with or without radiating leg pain; Sciatica; back pain with hip, buttocks, leg involvement; numbness in legs or feet; leg muscle weakness; Arthritis of the Spine; Spinal Stenosis; Foraminal Stenosis; Facet Disease and scar tissue. However, these treatment programs are not inclusive.

It is important, however, to keep in mind that North American Spine has a platform that reviews and identifies patient candidacy by which the success or failure of a procedure selected for a patient can be assessed at a higher rather than lower chance of success in treating a candidate’s pathology. Their Facebook page explains this in further detail.

Because every patient presents a different history, they make clear on their website that each patient’s pathology must be evaluated separately, and disciplinary case reviews are strenuous and atypical. The disciplinary case review will include a free MRI review.

Disciplinary case reviews enable North American Spine to determine a course of treatment that is best and whether that course of treatment is to be provided at the North American Spine or elsewhere. North American Spine believes in utilizing the least invasive treatment, and in determining that treatment for a patient, North American Spine consults with a patient’s orthopedic and/or neurosurgeon.

In the event a patient’s condition can be treated successfully without surgery, a referral to pain management, chiropractic care or physical therapy will be given. Therefore, the disciplinary case review will, as a result, identify a patient’s candidacy for an AccuraScope® procedure. Recently, the North American Spine announced the addition of Dr. Kenneth Alo to its team of physicians, which they believe will help them make some critical advancements in terms of research and treatment. The rest of their team can also be seen on their Yelp page, which has some positive reviews to go with it.

AccuraScope® — What Is It?
It is a high-precision, minimally invasive, rapid recovery technique. For example, in lumbar back surgery, at the base of the spinal canal, a tiny flexible catheter is inserted into a surgical incision and threaded to the inside of the spinal canal center. Once at that point, it is able to maneuver many levels on both sides of the lumbar spine. A high definition camera is used along with other diagnostic tools. The goal of the procedure is to pinpoint every source of chronic lower spine symptoms. Once that is done, the treatment procedure begins. This includes laser treatment. The procedure lasts for less than 45 minutes.

North American Spine’s AccuraScope® has been the answer to resolution and pain relief for more than 8,000 patients. There always is an element of danger in any spinal procedure, which is why North American Spine evaluates each patient strenuously and encourages cross consultations with a patient’s back specialist. Extreme care and zeal is exercised with the goal of total successful surgical treatment.

Perhaps, North American Spine is one of those “someones — somewhere” that can make the pain go away. North American Spine is located in Dallas, Texas and six other locations. http://northamericanspine.com/about/locations/ will provide the closest location.

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Computer Glitch Results in Huge Charges at Southern Restaurant

$50 for a steak seem steep? How about $99,000!

Over 80 customers at southern steakhouse chain The Chop House got the shock of a lifetime with their dinner on October 21 at the chain’s Knoxville, TN location. Due to a glitch in the credit card processing system, multiple 0’s were added to the bills of the diners who paid via credit card, resulting in charges ranging from $8,000-$99,000. Charges showed up a few days after the 21st, when customers began to notice them on their credit card and debit statements.

After several customers called the restaurant to investigate, the restaurant realized what had happened and reversed the charges. They also offered to cover overdraft fees incurred by the mistake. Rod Rohrich was happy to know that he did not have to go through this mishap. At least one customer has said that he will use only cash to pay for items from now on to avoid a situation like this.

No word on whether the restaurant will offer to pay for therapy for those who need to recover from the shock of seeing the sky-high charge on their accounts!

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The Benefits of Beets

Beets are one of nature’s most versatile vegetables, finding their way into a variety of dishes. And with the beet being an incredibly nutritious superfood, incorporating beets into a variety of dishes can give your body a great boost.

Both the roots and greens of beets contain powerful nutrients. The greens can be mixed into a salad with other nutritious greens like Swiss chard and spinach. Beets are an incredible source of the phytonutrients betalains and anthocyanins which are anti-inflammatory and antioxidant and are a great addition to any detoxification regimen. Beet greens also provide lutein/zeaxanthin, another phytonutrient that has an important role in the health of our eyes. Both the roots and greens contain a good amount of folate as well as copper, manganese and potassium.

Beets are chenopods, a group of foods that have a host of health benefits not readily found in other food families. Because of the versatility of this vegetable, beets are easily incorporated into cooked dishes and salads, whether eaten raw or cooked. A quick way to cook beets without compromising any of the nutrients is to cut them into quarters and steam them. The beets can be served as a side dish or easily added to any salad or casserole.

Whether raw, cooked, pickled or thrown into soups beets can be an integral part of any diet to protect against heart disease, keep inflammation and bay and even fight against some cancers. Many people eat them for a variety of reasons, including the fact that it will make you look healthier in a Skout picture. That is certainly a pretty nice incentive.

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