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A new study says yoga is the key to a good night’s rest after treatment. By Melissa Romero
A new study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology suggests that yoga helps cancer survivors sleep better. Photograph via Shutterstock.

It’s like clockwork: At the end of every single yoga class I attend, as I lie in savasana, I start dreaming.

Somehow, even if it’s just for five to ten minutes, I’m able to sleep like a baby. And I’m not alone. At a recent Sunday night class, a fellow student said she “savasana’d so hard” she fell asleep, as well.

The jury is still out on whether yoga actually helps the general population sleep better, but a new study suggests it helps at least one group catch some Zs: cancer survivors.

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Posted at 02:30 PM/ET, 08/27/2013 | Permalink | Comments ()
A new CDC report finds that Lyme disease is a major public health problem in the US. By Melissa Romero

The actual number of Americans diagnosed with Lyme disease each year is ten times higher than previously thought, according to a new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report.

Each year, only 30,000 cases of the tick-borne disease are reported to the CDC. However, based on preliminary estimates from three ongoing studies, the CDC says the actual number of Americans diagnosed with Lyme disease each year is actually about 300,000.

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Posted at 03:30 PM/ET, 08/19/2013 | Permalink | Comments ()
The virus is a silent killer of Washingtonians. By Melissa Romero

Washingtonians are extremely misinformed when it comes to hepatitis C, according to results from a new survey.

The survey, conducted by Genentech, found that 62 percent of baby boomers in DC have never been tested for the virus, despite the fact that the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and United States Preventive Services Task Force recommend all boomers born from 1945 to 1965 get screened. In addition, 40 percent of those surveyed said they would rather admit to a DUI than to being infected with HCV.

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Posted at 10:30 AM/ET, 07/31/2013 | Permalink | Comments ()
Capital City Care transacted historic first sales to two patients. By Carol Ross Joynt
Capital City Care had its first two sales of medical marijuana on Monday. Takoma Wellness Center and Metropolitan Wellness Center say they are scheduling their first appointments with patients this week. Photograph courtesy of Capital City Care.

David A. Guard, one of the owners of Capital City Care, says he and his partners are “ecstatic” that they are finally open and able to sell medical marijuana in DC. The first sale happened on Monday, after the city’s Department of Health gave CCC the final clearance. “It’s one of those moments you’re going to have stuck in your mind forever,” he says. “Every business owner remembers their first customer. This is a lot more than that. It’s the end of a long, hard road and the beginning of something that’s going to change a lot of people’s lives for the better.”

It’s interesting how they found out they could begin selling, after months of waiting for the green light from the DC government. Because it was Monday and the beginning of the work week, CCC decided to get a status report on its longstanding application. “We went down to the Department of Health yesterday to check, and they said, ‘Hey, it’s ready,’” says Guard. And that was that. They opened and welcomed the first two patients of seven thus far who have been registered with the city to buy medical marijuana at the CCC facility on North Capitol Street. Guard expects to see the other patients Tuesday and Wednesday, as some have already called to set up appointments. Initially, the facility will see patients on an appointment-only basis.

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Posted at 11:40 AM/ET, 07/30/2013 | Permalink | Comments ()
A new study examines whether a “heart healthy” compound found in red wine affects the benefits of cardio. By Douglas Bair
A new study suggests that too much resveratrol, an antioxidant found in red wine, may hurt aged men's chances of benefitting from cardio exercise. Photograph via Shutterstock.

In one corner we have that antioxidant-rich bottle of our favorite red wine, and in the other corner we have our cycling studio membership. 

The culprit behind this battle between these two heart-health darlings? Resveratrol, an antioxidant believed to help protect the lining of the heart’s blood vessels that is found in the grapes that later become red wine. Past research has suggested a glass of red wine is a good way to increase the levels of good cholesterol and therefore reduce blood clotting and inflammation.

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Posted at 03:10 PM/ET, 07/25/2013 | Permalink | Comments ()
New research examines whether what month babies are conceived affects their health. By Melissa Romero
A new study suggests that there is a best time of year to get pregnant. Photograph via Shutterstock.

For decades, there’s been talk about whether there is a best time of year to have a baby. Now, researchers have determined that there is in fact a relationship between the month of conception and a newborn’s health.

Sorry, winter babies. The study, conducted by a team of Princeton University researchers, found that the unhealthiest babies were conceived in May and thus born in February. They were 10 percent more likely to to be premature and underweight.

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Posted at 03:00 PM/ET, 07/09/2013 | Permalink | Comments ()
A new study suggests that weight-lifting in the morning may lead to a better workout afterward. By Douglas Bair
A new study published in the Journal of Science Medicine in Sport suggests that weightlifting in the morning may lead to a better workout in the afternoon. Photograph via Shutterstock.

You might already know that men’s testosterone levels taper off throughout the day as their bodies gradually consume the hormone. And no mid-afternoon caffeine fix will bring back the energy associated with the higher testosterone levels that are produced while we catch some Zs. But new research suggests there may be a natural way to keep those levels up throughout the day and ultimately lead to a highly efficient afternoon workout. 

Recently, scientists in the UK conducted a study with 18 rugby players and found that those who bench-pressed or squatted a few sets in the early morning outperformed their peers who hit the snooze button rather than the gym. The morning lifters also proved to have higher levels of testosterone as the day wore on. Those who were assigned to a morning sprint session also produced good performance results during their afternoon workout, but not as significant as those who strength-trained. 

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Posted at 03:20 PM/ET, 06/27/2013 | Permalink | Comments ()
Sixteen chefs and mixologists met for their first of many weigh-ins for the Fit for Hope DC Challenge. By Melissa Romero
The American Cancer Society's first Fit for Hope DC Challenge kicked off Monday afternoon at Graffiato, where 16 local chefs met for their first of many weigh-ins. Monica Pampell (center) will train her team with bi-weekly workouts and weigh-ins. Photographs by Melissa Romero.

Sixteen local chefs and mixologists kicked off the American Cancer Society’s Fit for Hope DC Challenge Monday afternoon at a weigh-in at Graffiato. 

“There are two really great parts to it, the first one being that it’s amazing to have an opportunity to support [the society] through the restaurants,” said Ripple executive chef Marjorie Meek-Bradley. “Second, clearly every chef could be in a little better shape.”

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Posted at 10:00 AM/ET, 06/25/2013 | Permalink | Comments ()
It’s a question the Green Road Project hopes to answer with the help of wounded warriors at Walter Reed. By Melissa Romero
The TKF Foundation awarded the Institute of Integrative Health a $1 million grant to create the Green Road Project on the campus of Walter Reed National Military Center in Bethesda. Researchers will use the greenspace to study nature's potential healing effects on wounded warriors. Rendering by Sarah Ashmun.

Can nature produce healing effects? That’s a question the Green Road Project hopes to answer with its proposed outdoor space for wounded warriors on the campus of Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.

Today the Institute for Integrative Health (TIHH) was awarded a $1 million grant by the TKF Foundation for its proposal to promote healing among veterans by creating a two-acre green space adjacent to the Walter Reed campus. The hope is that once the space is created, researchers will be able to study veterans’ physiological, biological, and psychological responses to being on the Green Road.

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Posted at 10:00 AM/ET, 06/20/2013 | Permalink | Comments ()
Children’s National says high schoolers aren’t getting enough sleep. By Melissa Romero
Fairfax County Public Schools are considering delaying high schools' start times to 8 AM or later, in an effort to allow students to get more sleep and therefore improve school performances. The district has awarded Children's National Medical Center a $143,000 contract to develop a plan to accomplish the proposal. Photograph via Shutterstock.

Fairfax County Public Schools are currently at the heart of a national debate over whether to delay high school start times to 8 AM or later in an effort to allow students to get more sleep and therefore improve school performances. The school district has charged Children’s National Division of Sleep Medicine with the task of developing a plan to accomplish the proposal.

Research shows circadian rhythms, which govern sleep and weight patterns, shift dramatically with the onset of puberty, explains Dr. Judith Owens, director of sleep medicine at Children’s National Medical Center. Adolescents’ bodies aren’t programmed to go to sleep until after 11 PM, but many students now have a 6 AM wakeup call. Surveys conducted in the county found that two-thirds of 8th-, 10th-, and 12th-grade students get seven hours or less of sleep on weeknights, compared with the recommended 9 to 9.25 hours recommended per night. 

“The science is the basis for the rationale of delaying the start time,” says Owens. “It’s really irrefutable.”

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Posted at 03:30 PM/ET, 06/18/2013 | Permalink | Comments ()