Medications aren’t the only way to treat those suffering from mood disorders, anxiety, and Attention Deficit Disorder, according to Dr. Robert Hedaya, a Chevy Chase-based psychiatrist.
A change in one’s diet to include various vitamins, minerals, and amino acids can help in the production of certain neurotransmitters that are vital for mental health, Hedaya said at a recent BB&R Consulting health conference held at Georgetown University. But these days, he said, the go-to solution for mental health problems is to medicate with antidepressants.
The 2011 DC Vegfest will take place on Saturday at George Washington University. Photographs courtesy of DC Vegfest
Friday, September 23
CLASSES: Tonight’s Fit Night Out at Thearc (1901 Mississippi Ave., SE) will provide a host of fitness classes designed especially for women, including yoga, Zumba, belly dancing, ribbon dancing, and pole aerobics. Every class is designed for all levels. Food, drinks, and pampering will be available all evening. For more information, and to register ($30), click here. 7 PM.
Saturday, September 24
FESTIVAL: If meat isn’t your thing, then head to the DC VegFest, a free outdoor festival at George Washington University’s University Yard (2000 block of H St., NW), which will celebrate everything vegetarian. The festival hopes to raise awareness on how keeping a plant-based diet can be easy—and delicious—with cooking demonstrations, lectures, free food samples, and vendors. For more information, click here. 11 AM to 6 PM. Free.
Today is World Alzheimer’s Day, a worldwide event that strives to raise awareness on all the “faces of dementia”—the patients, caregivers, family, and friends who encounter a disease that affects 5.4 million Americans.
An American develops Alzheimer’s every 69 seconds. By 2050, that time will be cut in half. By then, as many as 15 million Americans are projected to suffer from Alzheimer’s, the most common form of dementia.
But Alzheimer’s doesn’t just affect its patients. In 2010, almost 15 million caregivers provided 17 billion hours of unpaid care to those with dementia—valued at $202.6 billion.
Unfortunately, there is no cure for the disease that not only causes memory loss, but behavioral and motor problems, as well. We spoke with Rockville’s Dr. Kevin M. Gil, who has been working in the geriatrics field for 20 years, about Alzheimer’s and some up and coming treatments that may hold some hope for patients.
Bethesda is home to more than a dozen yoga studios where you can practice your standing-tree and full-locust poses. But it can be hard to know which are worth a $20 drop-in fee or a pricey monthly pass. To come up with this list of favorites, we asked yoga insiders where they would spend their own money. We also visited studios and dropped in for classes. Here are their picks for the best places in Bethesda to lay down your mat.
FOR A CRASH COURSE
Unity Woods Yoga Center
4853 Cordell Ave.; 301-656-8992
When John Schumacher founded Unity Woods in 1979 in Bethesda, it was Washington’s first studio. With outposts in Ballston and DC’s Woodley Park and Tenleytown, it’s now one of the country’s largest yoga centers, and many insiders say it’s the best studio in Bethesda. Unity Woods teaches only Iyengar yoga, a form that relies on blocks, blankets, and other props. Many of the instructors are disciples of Schumacher and have been practicing for years. Classes run on a semester-like schedule so that each lesson in a two-month cycle builds on teachings from previous classes. (You can attend on a drop-in basis but will get more out of a full series.) In between sessions, there are free introductory classes.
Saturday, September 17
SKINCARE: The Style Network’s “Fight with Style” Beauty Bus is making a stop at Westfield Montgomery Mall in Bethesda (7101 Democracy Blvd.) as part if its effort to stand up against skin cancer. The ten-city national tour provides information about skin cancer prevention in its 34-foot bus. Visitors can have their photo taken with a special program that shows sun damage, brown spots, and red areas. Trained estheticians will then provide suggestions for the visitor’s skin care. There will also be complimentary makeup and nail stations on board. Saturday 11 AM to 6 PM and Sunday 12 to 5 PM.
SCAVENGER HUNT: The CitySolve Urban Race, where teams take part in a run and scavenger hunt, a fun way to discover the city. “It’s like a real-life Trivial Pursuit game,” says CitySolve. First place teams will win $300. Register here by 5 PM today and pick up your registration packets at City Sports (1111 19th St., NW) from 5 to 8 PM. Race is at 12 PM Saturday.
RUN: The fourth annual Run! Geek! Run! 8K will take place in West Potomac Park. Proceeds go to Equal Footing Foundation, a nonprofit focused on youth development and education. Today is the last day to register ($30) at the Old Post Office Pavilion (1100 Pennsylvania Ave., NW) from 11 to 3 PM. Race is from 6:30 to 8 AM on Saturday.
We’ve got another workout playlist for you courtesy of Grant Hill, fitness trainer and founder of My Bootcamp. Hill chose 13 songs for a 60-minute running playlist to get you through those hills, sprints, and cool down.
“You obviously have to love what you are listening to, or you’ll find yourself distracted, fumbling with your iPhone instead of focusing on your run,” says Hill, who has produced music for the Real World, the Hills, and Keeping Up with the Kardashians.
When it comes to choosing songs for a perfect running playlist, Hill says to go with tunes that are long and have a steady, driving beat. “If you can sync up your pace precisely with the beat, you’ll feel a huge endorphin rush.”
Listen to the running playlist on Spotify here. Don’t have the music-sharing program? Download it and listen to the playlist on your smartphone wherever you go.
Washington boasts two national triathlon competitions and one of the highest concentrations of triathletes, but there’s just one problem.
While running and biking trails around Washington are aplenty, other than pool facilities, triathletes struggle to find a decent, natural open water spot to train for the swim portion of triathlons.
“Open water options around here suck,” says Emily Long, a local triathlete who just completed her first Iron Man competition. Even the swim portion of the Nation’s Triathlon last Sunday was canceled due to hazardous conditions in the Potomac River.
But triathletes shouldn’t despair. Here are four spots for open water swimming recommended Stephen Carlson, president of the DC Tri Club. Note that some of these swimming spots are closed after Labor Day or restricted to swim clinics.
Use soap and water. Drink lots of water. Moisturize at night. Each person has a skincare regimen he or she swears by, but not many people know that skin treatments need to change and evolve as one ages.
"A lot of people hold onto things they used to do in their twenties," says Dr. Tina Alster, founder of the Washington Institute of Dermatologic Laser Surgery. "They keep trying a lot of different things, and they never find out what's best for them."
But with the dizzying amount of skincare products out there, it can be overwhelming trying to figure out which scrub or moisturizer works best for your type of skin. Alster recommends sticking with a product for at least one month before seeing results. "Unless someone has an allergic reaction, all of my patients see a difference in their skin after a month. I always say you should invest in your skin like you are investing in your money for the long term," Alster says.
The following skincare regimens are for people in their twenties, thirties, and forties and onwards. But at least one thing that people of every age should do to protect their skin, Alster says, is to use sun block.
Friday, September 9
SHOP: The National Tri Expo will take place both today and Saturday at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel (2660 Woodley Rd., NW DC). The expo will include free food samples and triathlon products and services. Racers participating in the Nation’s Triathlon on Sunday can pick up race packets at the expo. Free.
Saturday, September 10
RUN: Potomac River Running hosts the Chick-fil-A 5K to raise money for Freedom Alliance, a foundation with a mission is to honor and encourage military service. The race starts and finishes at the Chick-fil-A at Dulles Crossing Plaza. Chick-fil-A will provide post-race goodies. It’s $30 to register. The race starts at 8 AM.
FOOD: On Saturday and Sunday, Flow Yoga will host a vegan bake sale from 10 AM to 2 PM. One treat on the menu: chocolate cherry bomb cookies. Flow Yoga is aiming to raise $2,000 for One Common Unity’s youth program. For more information, click here.
It’s been established in studies and among athletes that while barefoot-running shoes are quite funny looking, they can also improve your running and prevent injury. Chi Running, a form of running based on the principles of T’ai Chi, has advocated for shoes with minimal heels since 1999.
If you take a look at your current running shoe, its heel is probably at least one-inch thick. When shoes have this thick padding, “it removes us from the ever important foot-to-ground connection,” Chi Running explains on its Web site. The less heel there is, the more stable and connected to the ground runners can feel, thus reducing their chances of injury.