On December 7th, join Sara Ronsvalle at Philly Power Yoga as she leads a special charity-yoga class to benefit homeless animals at the Morris Animal Refuge in Center City. Stretch in downward-facing dog and other animal-inspired poses as you set your intentions for the practice. Bonus: the event will feature adorable, adoptable animals from the neighborhood animal shelter!
For more than 135 years, the Morris Animal Refuge has been accepting every animal looking for a home. Almost 2,000 animals are brought to the refuge every year, and finding loving homes for these pets is always a challenge. All funds raised from this event will benefit the shelter.
After class, there will be a member-appreciation party full of cocktails and finger foods, plus you’ll get a chance to meet the adoptable pets. No prior yoga experience is necessary. Mats, towels and water will be available at no charge, courtesy of Philly Power Yoga. Find more info here; sign up here.
$20 for class only, $25 for class and party, $15 for party only; Friday, December 7 at 6:15 to 9 p.m., Philly Power Yoga, 2016 Walnut Street, Philadelphia.
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Let’s face it: When the weather gets rough, people try avoid it. This winter is poised to be a rough one, which means you can count on spending lots of time holed up your cozy, centrally-heated home. Problem is, all that time indoors can can spell more than than just cabin fever—it’s not so great for your physical health, either.
“The whole lifestyle in the winter months is a much more hermetic lifestyle,” said Mani Kavuru, director of the division of pulmonary and critical care at Jefferson University Hospital. And staying indoors with the doors and windows shut tightly means the air you breathe becomes stale and contained—ick.
Douglas firs are the specialty at this family-run Chester County farm, which has 35 acres planted with them. Saws are provided, and trees are baled for free. Open Friday from noon to 5 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
• Here’s some great news to kick off your fitness-filled weekend: New research shows that working out is like a powerful anti-aging treatment for your brain. Using older mice as study subjects, researchers in Australia found that exercise boosts the activity of the brain’s stem cells, activating more of them than in sedentary brains and prompting them to generate new nerve cells. The key is the growth hormone, a.k.a. GH, which turns on and ramps up output when you start working out. This overdrive mode not only keeps your brain chugging along, it actually reverses decline normally observed as animals age, researchers discovered. Pretty cool, no? Read more about the study here.
• Do you listen to books on tape when you run? I’ve done it; I mean, when else would I have found the time to read the Harry Potter books? Looks like I’m not alone: the Wall Street Journal reports that nearly a quarter of audiobook users say they’ve listened to a book while exercising. Unfortunately, multitasking like this might not be great for your PRs. Here’s why.
• Is Granny getting too old to live by herself? No need to sniff out the best nursing home—just get a ‘Granny pod,’ a high-tech, stand-alone cottage specially equipped for the elderly that can fit in your backyard. According to the New York Daily News, “The 288-square-foot MedCottage features technology found in most modern hospital rooms, including safety rails, lighted flooring, built-in cameras and a defibrillator machine.” Read more here.
Ladies, a simple question: Do you trust your husband to take care of your children?
In theory, of course you do. When you agreed to marry this person it was assumed that you would and could trust him with anything, including your most precious DNA-filled possessions. Theory aside, though, do you trust him? Can he do as good a job as you do feeding them? Getting them dressed? Putting them to bed? Do you feel uneasy leaving the kids with him for a few hours or, God forbid, an entire weekend? Are you afraid that the complex feeding and bedtime systems you have put into place will be blown to bits by his lack of know-how, thereby ruining their little lives forever? Are you a (gasp!) gatekeeper?
Admittedly, I am a control freak. I like things done the way I like them done, when I like them done. I would venture to say that many (most?) women could say this about themselves. It’s just how we’re wired.
“Is it a full moon?” my son asked a while back as he dragged himself in the door after another late shift at Wawa. “I think it had to be. People were crazy tonight.” Sure enough, the moon was full. I felt a little proud; I was the one who first informed him that he could expect wild behavior at work when the moon got big and round. Everybody knows insanity is tied to the lunar cycle, right? The pull of the tides, werewolves, increases in crime and suicide, and havoc at the touchscreens in Wawa … Why else do you think they call it “lunacy”?
Well, Jake, my dear, it turns out your mom told you another whopper, just like that little canard about Santa Claus. A team of French researchers recently concluded a major study reported at Science Daily of nearly 800 patients showing up at emergency rooms with chest pains that proved to have no medical basis. Doctors examining them determined that many of the patients were experiencing mental disorders—panic or anxiety attacks, mood disorders, thoughts of suicide. The researchers correlated the patients’ emergency-room arrivals with the phases of the moon. And they discovered … nothing. There was no statistical link between any of the moon’s four phases and the admittances—with one notable exception: Anxiety disorders decreased in the fourth quarter, a.k.a. the waning moon. According to study director Geneviève Belleville, “We observed no full-moon or new-moon effect on psychological problems.”
If you’ve spent your life believing there was such an effect, you’re in good company: 80 percent of nurses and 64 percent of doctors say the moon is tied to psychological behavior. Belleville hopes her study may refocus their attention from the skies to other factors affecting patients’ health.
• Not to get you all freaked out or anything, but guys? That amazingly comfortable, insanely cool Dream Couch you spent months saving for might actually be really, really bad for your health. A new study out of Duke University, which analyzed the chemicals in cushions from 102 couches, found that a whopping 85 percent contained potentially toxic or untested flame-retardant chemicals that could be toxic to humans. According to Futurity.org, “Among the chemicals detected was ‘Tris,’ a chlorinated flame retardant that is considered a probable human carcinogen based on animal studies.” I don’t like the sound of that one bit. Oh, and just because got a vintage couch off Craigslist doesn’t mean you’re safe, either—the cushion samples dated between 1985 and 2010, so this clearly isn’t just an issue for newer couches. Check out what other chemicals researchers turned up here.
The holiday season often brings unwelcome stress and blues. Take some time out of that busy schedule to reduce your stress and bask in holiday joy with Lynne Martin, a licensed acupuncturist.
The event will include auricular (ear) acupuncture, relaxing music, candles and aromatherapy. The session will be done in a serene group setting so space is limited. Reserve your spot now, and bring your yoga mats!
$25 (preregistration required), December 4th at 7:30 p.m., 524 Stony Hill Road, Yardley.
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I’m not too big of a person to admit that I seethe with jealousy any time someone tells me they worked out over their lunch break. I would kill to be able to do that. Could you imagine how much more productive I’d be in the afternoons after a little midday pick-me-up?
Thing is, it’s not really a time issue for me. I’m the queen of high-intensity, super-short workouts that are just as (if not more) effective as slogging on the treadmill for an hour. What I can’t quite master, though, is the post-workout cleanup routine. You guys, I’m going to be blunt here: I am a sweaty, disgusting mess after I work out. I pretty much have to shower completely, top to bottom, to recover, and who has time for that plus a good workout on a lunch break? Not me.
Or at least, that’s what I always figured until I talked to local beauty experts Béke Beau, a fab Main Line makeup artist, and Monique Mason, owner of Old City’s organic beauty and haircare studio, Moko. They’ve managed to convince me that with a little advance preparation and a well-stocked arsenal of beauty products, even sweaty, disgusting me can join the ranks of the lucky lunch-hour fit-erati.
If you’re in my boat, you’ll want to read on. Here are their best tips for looking positively powder fresh after an awesome lunchtime workout.