Tea, a beverage that is second only to water in popular consumption around the world, also has a centuries-old reputation for its ability to maintain or improve our health. But are you getting all the health benefits?
Well + Good spoke with Heidi Kothe-Levie, a licensed acupuncturist certified in Oriental medicine and former senior tea specialist for Ito-En. “A lot of research has shown benefits for cancer prevention, cardiovascular health, and cognitive health,” Kother Levie told Well + Good. “But if you’re drinking tea for overall disease risk reduction, it all comes down to how frequently you’re drinking it, how you’re brewing it, and what kind it is.” She gave four tips for getting the most health benefits from your tea:
92Y Video: 4 Things You Can Do Right Now To Prolong Your Life - Dr. David Agus with Connie Chung
Dr. David Agus, author of End of Illness, spoke Connie Chung at 92nd Street Y recently, and discussed four things you can do to prolong your life—take baby aspirin, a statin (like Lipitor), get your flu shot and wear better shoes. He also shared some information that some might find shocking: “If you look at the study on vitamins ... there has never been one to show a benefit with over a thousand people.”
The talk with Dr. David Agus and Connie Chung is part of the 92YU series. 92YU unites the best minds from universities and organizations all over the world and welcomes them to 92Y! Up next on February 2 is The Greatest Physics Discoveries of the 20th Century with David C. Cassidy, PhD.
It might be cold outside now, but springtime is approaching. As is the NYC Half-Marathon, on March 18. And while we are aware of the health benefits of running, less noted but just as important are the spiritual benefits. Writing in The Huffington Post, Michael Rossmann remarked on the “countless hours of solitude and silence” and the “meditative, steady pounding of feet—and especially when done in the beauty of creation,” when exploring the spiritual aspects of running. “Distance running, like the spiritual life,” he continued, “requires considerable discipline and a long period of training.” We bet Pico Iyer would find this perspective on running interesting.
92nd Street Y is an official Charity Partner of the NYC Half-Marathon. We are sponsoring a team of runners who will raise funds during the New York Roadrunners’ (NYRR) Half-Marathon on March 18. All the money raised by Team 92Y will go to our Youth Sports Scholarship Fund, giving youths from economically challenged families the opportunity to take part in the May Center for Health, Fitness & Sport’s wide-ranging health, fitness, sports and aquatics programs.
92Y has 10 guaranteed spots in the race. Find out more about requirements and benefits of joining Team 92Y, which include two months adult preferred membership at 92Y’s May Center for Health, Fitness & Sport.
Good News And Bad News For Those Concerned With Weight Gain Over The Holidays
There is good news and bad news for the 37% of you who cite weight gain as a top holiday pet peeve. A New England Journal of Medicine study [PDF] says that while the holiday weight gain typically does not exceed one pound, that one pound gained stays with you for the rest of the year! It’s as if it’s waiting to meet with next year’s holiday weight gain, which leaves researchers to conclude that holiday weight gain can be a long-term health issue.
We think the bad news gives you a good reason to visit the 92Y May Center Open House event on January 10. You can drop into our classes, see fitness demos, use our facilities, get free gifts, win prizes, and take advantage of our biggest membership discount of the year. Plus, you will receive three complimentary months added onto your new annual, adult membership if you are among the first 92 people to join! But most importantly, we can help you can get a 12-month head start on burning last month’s round of holiday feasts. Learn more, and see the Open House schedule of events [PDF].
The above slide show provided by the CDC shows a dramatic increase in obesity rates in The United States. 36 states now exceed a median obesity of 25 percent in 2010, where no state had an obesity rate this high 25 years ago. These statistics cause alarm, given obesity’s link to several deadly diseases including heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure.
Knowledge about how our bodies process nutrients and sense satisfaction from the foods we eat represents a potent weapon to fight obesity, which is why 92nd Street Y is proud to host Karen Miller-Kovach, MBA, MS, RD, the Chief Scientist at Weight Watchers International on November 8. Miller-Kovach, who spent 14 years at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation as the organization’s director of nutrition services, will discuss the latest research in obesity and weight loss.
More information and tickets to The Science Of Successful Weight Loss with Karen Miller-Kovach, are available here.
Do you have questions about Alzheimer’s disease? Now’s your chance to ask the experts.
Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia, and the sixth leading cause of death across all ages in the United States. The Alzheimer’s Association reports that one out of eight Americans over the age of 65 has Alzheimer’s disease, and the total number of dementia-related illnesses are expected to double by 2050, being driven primarily by the aging Baby Boomer population and longer life expectancy rates [PDF].
If you have questions for either speaker, please submit them in the comments below, and we will forward them for consideration during the Q&A. And don’t forget to share this post with any interested friends on Twitter and Facebook!
Photo: Ray N. Fredrick III – former national jump rope champion and member of the 7-time US champion Bouncing Bulldogs jump rope team
What was once considered a playground activity for urban girls, jump rope has evolved into an internationally competitive league sport with active lobbying underway to make jump rope an Olympic sporting event. We like the sport’s chances of achieving that milestone given its scheduled demo appearance in the upcoming London Olympics, and how less physically demanding activities involving vigorous thumb movement have been given serious consideration in the past.
Next week, we’ll feature a Q&A with Ray N. Fredrick III – a former national jump rope champion and member of the 7-time US champion Bouncing Bulldogs jump rope team – where he will share his thoughts about how jump rope can teach children important lessons in leadership and collaboration. Fredrick is a childrens’ fitness instructor at 92Y for Jumping Beyond the Ropes class.
What do eating while watching TV, skipping meals, continuing to eat when full, and the results of the bottomless bowl study have in common? Susan Albers, PsyD, a clinical psychologist at Cleveland Clinic, and author of But I Deserve This Chocolate!, says they are signs of “mindless eating,” which presents a significant barrier to managing your weight and living a healthier life.
Dr. Albers maintains that improving your awareness of why and how you eat, as well as being conscious of what your body tells you throughout the day, will improve your relationship with food while minimizing your risk of obesity, chronic dieting and eating disorders.
The 92Y May Center for Health, Fitness and Sport will host Dr. Albers for a lecture on October 11 where she will discuss how to make the transition from mindless eating to mindful eating. You will learn how to stop your emotions from driving your food decisions, as well as heighten your awareness of the “food messages” your body sends to your brain.
The state with the highest percentage of people who walk to work? Alaska.
We’ve read that 4.3% of Alaskans walk to work, compared to the national average of 1.3%.
Do you walk to work? If you live in Manhattan, you surely do a lot of walking, to work or otherwise! If you’d like to walk more, check out 92Y City Walks. Learn about historic neighborhoods and structures, while getting your walk on! And if the treadmill is more your thing, we have those, too!
1 in 4 New Yorkers Are Obese. Don’t Want To Be The One?
1 in 4 New Yorkers are obese. Don’t want to be the one? Check out the 92Y May Center for Health, Fitness & Sport. We have a state-of-the-art facility where we just received new weighted bars. Our trainer Marcin says they are perfect for lunges!
Cryptosporidiosis - Hard To Pronounce But Bad For Swimmers
According to the Centers for Disease Control, Cryptosporidiosis, a water-borne disease caused by a parasite invisible to the human eye, affected more than 10,000 people in the U.S. in 2008. The parasite rests within the small intestines of people infected by the disease, where the subsequent symptoms can include stomach cramps, dehydration, nausea, vomiting, fever, weight loss and diarrhea.
The disease, also known as Crypto, is transmitted by ingesting the parasite, frequently found in illnesses contracted from recreational waters. It’s natural to assume that the chlorine-treated pool you choose to swim in will protect you from Crypto, but the Centers for Disease Control advises the parasite is resistant to chlorine and can survive in a pool long enough to infect you or your loved ones. In addition to following these CDC-recommended steps to protect you from Crypto, the CDC recognizes secondary pool disinfectant systems such as ozone sanitation as one of the most reliable ways to neutralize Crypto and help ensure you enjoy a healthy swim.
Players on Cornell’s round of 16 team get ready to play overseas by working out and taking yoga at 92nd Street Y May Center. From The New York Times:
The five friends then made their way onto the elevator and to a court — not a basketball court, but the “cardio court” for yoga. There, the five former Cornell standouts — Foote, Ryan Wittman, Louis Dale, Jon Jaques and Aaron Osgood — settled on undersize mats in the front row of the dimly lighted class, staggering their positions to avoid hitting one another with their arms during the stretches. For the next 1 hour 25 minutes, the five labored through an intermediate yoga class of 13 women and 2 other men as the instructor rattled off instructions with the faint sound of music in the background.
“It’s a little difficult when you’re 7 feet tall versus 5-10 like Louis,” said Foote, who needed special attention from the instructor throughout the session. “We used to do it as a team a little at Cornell, but never quite like that.”
Wittman, the 2010 Ivy League player of the year, said: “We probably should be in a beginner’s class, but we decided to give it a try.” He added: “I’ve noticed a big difference since I began doing it this summer. It helps with flexibility, quickness and durability.”
As Major League Baseball’s pennant races heat up and the 2011 JCC Maccabi Games (the Olympics for Jewish teens) get into full swing, we thought we’d look back on the 92nd Street Y’s 2003 baseball team, which won the Gold medal at the Maccabi Games held in Houston, Texas.
That 92Y juggernaut knocked off a Los Angeles squad that had a multi-year grip on Maccabi baseball’s gold medal, and it featured two 14 year-olds who are now trying to make it to the Big Leagues as hurlers: Jadd Schmeltzer, now pitching for the Boston Red Sox minor league organization; and Dave Laufer, who’s getting a look from the Tampa Bay Rays.
Schmeltzer was selected by the Red Sox in the 2011 M.L.B draft. He’s a big right-hander who used his 90+ mph fastball to notch a 3.63 ERA in his senior year at Cornell, including a complete game four-hit shutout, while averaging seven strikeouts per game. And he happens to be the son of long-time 92Y May Center Director Dave Schmeltzer. The Tampa Bay Rays signed Laufer as a free agent following his June ’11 graduation from Boston College. At BC, Laufer appeared in 68 games as a starter and reliever.
92Y just sent twelve New York area athletes to the Maccabi Games in Israel, and they’ll try to bring home the gold in basketball, tennis, and swimming. Later this month, 92Y will send twenty-two more teen athletes to Springfield and Philadelphia, where they’ll vie for medals in basketball, tennis, track and field and golf.
Here’s hoping that all of the 2011 92Y Maccabi teams do as well as that fabled 2003 baseball squad.
And who knows, maybe there’s a future Josh Beckett or Amanda Beard among them.
Leslie Meyers is 92nd Street Y May Center for Health, Fitness & Sport‘s new Fitness Director and subject of today’s Vital Juice, a daily e-mail newsletter and website with the latest “must-read information about fitness, nutrition, beauty and wellness.” Vital Juice chose Leslie as its “Vital Spy,” an area health guru who talks about his/her typical healthy weekend.
Some of her activities on the weekend include toast at home, a workout at the 92Y pool, a meal at Candle 79 and some shopping at Eastside Health Food Store.
Learn more about the 92Y May Center and it’s pool, the first commercial indoor pool in New York State to be primarily disinfected by ozone.
Drowning is the second leading cause of accidental death of children between the ages of 1 and 14 and The World’s Largest Swimming Lesson™ promotes awareness of this issue by partnering with local aquatics facilities, as well as water safety and training organizations around the country, to stress the importance of teaching children to swim. The June 14 event will attempt to set a new Guinness World Record by attracting 25,000 participants!
“We are excited to be a host facility for this event,” says Lane Wineski, who is the director of aquatics programs at 92Y May Center. “Swimming is an important life skill and is also an effective total body workout. Teaching kids to swim at an early age helps them build confidence in themselves, which will pay dividends as they become older.”