The days are getting shorter. It’s a little tougher to get out of bed. There’s an occasional crisp in the morning air that brings some respite from the oppressive Southern heat. And that can mean only one thing. We’re easing our way into fall and then eventually, what’s expected to be another icy winter. And with this change in season comes pumpkin everything, fabulously cozy fall fashion… oh, and lots of colds. How to boost your immune system >>
Need a little kick in the pants to take charge of your life and your health? Check out Steven Rankin’s story. While serving as a sheriff’s deputy in south Georgia in 2006, he made what he thought was a routine traffic stop late at night. While simply trying to tell a driver to turn his music down, Steven was shot point blank in the face, the bullet destroying the right side of his jaw and fracturing his C1 vertebrae. It remained lodged in his spine for four years and led to a whole slew of health problems that his doctors wouldn’t acknowledge could be attributed to, you know, a bullet being stuck in his neck.
There’s always so much happening in our lovely city when it comes to healthy events and workout opportunities. That’s why we sift through the silt and present you with the pure gold each week. Here’s your weekly treasure:
Down here in the South, our summer heat is not messing around. From June through August, average high temperatures in Atlanta top out in the mid to upper 80s (still, don’t call it “Hotlanta,” okay?) and that can bring a whole new level of challenge to your outdoor workouts. You could pack up your gear and head to air conditioned comfort, but outdoor exercise is great for you and the heat itself can actually have some benefits too. Higher temps can improve your flexibility — thus the popularity of hot yoga studios — and some studies have shown that hot-weather training may lead to even greater gains than high-altitude training for elite athletes. If you’re going to sweat it out this summer, be safe about it with these tips for scorching summer workouts…
Multiple sclerosis, an unpredictable chronic disease of the central nervous system with no cure, causes symptoms ranging from visual, motor, and sensory problems to issues with speech, swallowing, vision, and balance. Musician David Osmond, nephew of Donny and Marie Osmond, was 26 when he was diagnosed with relapsing multiple sclerosis. And while he grew up watching his father (Alan Osmond of the iconic Osmond Family) battle the debilitating disease, he still had a lot to learn about managing the condition. Today, Osmond has been out of his wheelchair for eight years and travels around the country as a vocal advocate for the roughly 400,000 Americans with MS. He recently visited Atlanta as part of the Our Voice in Song Campaign (in partnership with Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation) to perform his new single “I Can Do This” at the Atlanta MS Walk. We caught up with him, along with Dr. Ben Thrower, medical director of the Multiple Sclerosis Institute at Shepherd Center, to discuss how MS sufferers can do more than simply cope with the disease.
According to a new map from Virginia Commonwealth University, residents of Buckhead will outlive those who live near Bankhead by 13 years. The university — which has had similar findings in Chicago, Vegas, New York, D.C., Richmond, New Orleans, and Minneapolis (see all the maps online) — hopes that the startling figures will spark discussion about social factors that impact our health and what can be done to level the field.
Moderation has never been one of my strong points. I either do it big or don’t do it at all. So naturally, when I decided to add probiotics to my diet through fermented foods, I went whole hog. Now I know why health experts advise to start slowly with fermented food (or any probiotic supplement); they are extremely powerful and, when used in excess, can create an imbalance in your body that causes more harm than good.
Pain, bloating, and agony… >>
It’s April, and that predictable yellow cloud of springtime doom has descended on our fair city in earnest. It’s the price we pay for living in such green, lush environs. Worth it? Depends who you ask. Between 10 and 20 percent of us are feeling the dreaded effects of allergy season (although it might make you feel better to know that there are 60 worse cities you could live in when it comes to allergies), but there are strategies you can use to minimize the symptoms. Let’s take a look at five:
Every year, the University of Wisconsin’s Population Health Institute and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation rank counties across the country in terms of overall health in order to “help counties understand what influences how healthy residents are and how long they will live.” Four out of the five healthiest counties in the state were in metro Atlanta (ATL, hold it down!) but despite all of their multi-use trails, new bike lanes, and boutique fitness studios, intown counties like DeKalb and Fulton got didn’t even make the top 15, coming in at 19 and 20, respectively.
So who got top honors? >>
Plop down that water bottle, unfurl your yoga mat, and breathe in the fresh spring air. (Ok, maybe don’t breathe too deeply because, you know, pollen.) What better way to celebrate the gorgeous weather than to do your sun salutations while getting some actual sun? To hook you up, we compiled a list of Atlanta yoga classes offered in the great outdoors. Now, get outside and Namaste!
Fresh air, this way… >>