Celebrate the Victory of Light Over Darkness During Diwali, the Festival of Lights, on Nov. 4

Celebrate the Victory of Light Over Darkness During Diwali, the Festival of Lights, on Nov. 4

San Antonio brings the bright lights of India to Texas with the celebration of Diwali, the Festival of Lights (or Deepavali) for the 9th year on Nov. 4. This ancient Hindu festival is celebrated each autumn and is the biggest festival in India.

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Resveratrol May Help Eye Health

Resveratrol May Help Eye Health

Resveratrol is a natural substance found in grapes, peanuts, blueberries and other foods that’s known for its heart-protective nature. Researchers believe it may also help promote eye health, including prevention of glaucoma, cataracts and macular degeneration, but not much is known about its presence in the eyes.

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Bring on the Sun at Solar Fest 2017 in Roosevelt Park on Nov. 4

Bring on the Sun at Solar Fest 2017 in Roosevelt Park on Nov. 4

Supporting sustainability in San Antonio has never been so much fun! Bring the whole family and enjoy this free “off-thegrid” event that serves as San Antonio’s only one-stop information center for everything related to going solar.

The festival takes place on Saturday, Nov. 4, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Roosevelt Park.

It’s the perfect event for anyone who has questions about solar energy and energy-efficient home improvements, or anyone who wants to learn more about renewable energy, sustainability and green home building.

There will be a free tree giveaway by CPS Energy and Alamo Forest Partnership, a B-Cycle Station where the family can rent bikes for a ride down San Antonio River Mission Reach Trail, and a variety of vendors who will be on hand to inform guests of sustainable practices offered locally.

Roosevelt Park is located at 313 Roosevelt Ave. For more information about Solar Fest, visit www.buildsagreen.org/solar-fest.

School “Om” Work: Kids Calm Themselves with Meditation

School “Om” Work: Kids Calm Themselves with Meditation

by April Thompson

School children are learning the calming effect of tuning into their minds and bodies through a pioneering program in Baltimore, Maryland, that’s replacing time outs and school detentions with mindful moments. Trained staff—including many former students—teach yoga, mindfulness practices, meditation, centering and breath work that empower kids to resolve conflicts peacefully.

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Saving Salmon: Court Removes Manmade Barriers

Saving Salmon Court Removes Manmade Barriers

A legal challenge in Washington state may require spending nearly $2 billion to restore salmon habitat by removing barriers that block fish migration. The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld a 2013 ruling ordering the state to fix or replace hundreds of culverts that allow streams to pass beneath roads, but block the salmon.

Lorraine Loomis, chair of the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission, states, “This is a win for salmon, treaty rights and everyone that lives here.” The group represents 21 tribes in western Washington that challenged the state over the culverts in 2001, part of decades-long litigation over tribal fishing rights. She advises, “Fixing fish-blocking culverts under state roads will open up hundreds of miles of habitat and result in more salmon.”

BUILDING BETTER BONES: Bouncing, Leaping and Lunging Our Way to Bone Health

BUILDING BETTER BONES Bouncing, Leaping and Lunging Our Way to Bone Health

by Kathleen Barnes

Success in the quest for stronger bones is possible at any age.

Start and Stay Young

“Peak bone strength is reached by the age of 30, so it’s vital for young people to engage in dynamic impact movement through their teen years and 20s,” says Sherri Betz, chair of the American Physical Therapy Association bone health group, a doctor of physical therapy and geriatric-certified specialist with a private practice in Santa Cruz, California.

Engaging in sports during our youthful developing years helps build strong, wide and dense bones that will carry us well into old age, literally giving us a firmer base to stand on. It’s paramount to encourage children and young people to be physically active and for us all to continue with athletic activities throughout adulthood to preserve the bone health peak we reach at age 30.

Optimal Bone Exercises

“Adulthood is a perfectly good time to start building and improving bone fitness and health. The outcome is just a little bit less,” says Steven A. Hawkins, Ph.D., a professor of exercise science at California Lutheran University, in Thousand Oaks.

“Bone responds to exercise much like muscle,” says Larry Tucker, Ph.D., professor of exercise sciences at Brigham Young University, in Provo, Utah. “Bone doesn’t grow, per se, but like muscle, it does get denser and stronger according to the stresses and strains put on it.”

“The key is to put a heavy load on bones to stimulate them to grow,” Hawkins says.

Standing exercises are recommended, because the bones most likely to benefit from strengthening exercise are 30 targeted leg and hip bones, says Tucker.

“Surprising the bone is your best bet,” points out Betz. “Don’t do the same things over and over again at the same time, either repetitive exercises like running or weight lifting or consistent combinations; even high-intensity exercise can diminish the effects.”

The most highly recommended exercises involve those that require changing directions, bouncing and leaping—from basketball to lively dances, and even some intense yoga postures. Hopping and jumping are probably the best way to strengthen bones, but must be done in the proper way, according to Tucker and others. Research by Tucker’s team published in the American Journal of Health Promotion studied the effects of jumping on hip bone density in premenopausal women. It may seem counterintuitive, but Tucker reports that most benefits are gained from jumping as high as possible, resting 30 seconds and repeating up to 10 times twice a day in intervals at least eight hours apart. “If you jump continuously, the exercise loses effectiveness pretty quickly,” he says.

Those who enjoy circuit training should do something else during the 30-second rests between repetitions, Tucker advises. Because it’s the jolt of jumping that stimulates bone strength, using a mini-trampoline or another cushioning device to lessen impact on the body won’t increase bone density.

Betz cautions against starting a jumping program too quickly. “Proper alignment, balance and body awareness come first,” she says. “Do 20 to 25 heel raises in a row, a full squat with good alignment and a full lunge to ready the body for a jumping program.” Such strengthening safeguards against falling and injury.

Walking Isn’t It

Walking, running, weight training and other repetitive exercises don’t improve bone density, says Hawkins. “Walk and do other repetitive exercises for cardiovascular health and general fitness. While these might help maintain current bone strength, they won’t improve bone density.” Walking reduced the risk of hip fracture by 41 percent for postmenopausal women walking four hours a week, with fewer falls due to improved strength, balance and other factors per the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Numerous studies confirm that exercise of any kind keeps us healthy, but for bone health, the answer is to start weight-bearing exercises early and sustain the practice for a lifetime. Kathleen Barnes is a health writer and author of The Calcium Lie II: What Your Doctor Still Doesn’t Know, with Dr. Robert Thompson.

Connect at KathleenBarnes.com.


Best Bone Test

Best Bone TestThe most common way of testing bone density is a DEXA (dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry) scan. The result is called a T-score and is one case where a zero is perfect. A score of +1.0 to -1.0 is considered normal. A score between -1.0 and -2.5 is considered osteopenia, or weakened bones. A score lower than -2.5 indicates some level of osteoporosis.

The National Osteoporosis Foundation recommends bone density testing for women and men older than 65 and 70, respectively, and those that are petite, prone to breaking bones or have other risk factors.

For more information, visit Tinyurl.com/BoneDensityTest.

See Amazing Spectacles at The DoSeum During “Under the Big Top” Adults-Only Event on Oct. 26

See Amazing Spectacles at The DoSeum During “Under the Big Top” Adults-Only Event on Oct. 26

The DoSeum may be a museum for children, but that doesn’t mean grown-ups can’t have fun, too. Join ReDo for an adults-only night of carnival magic on Thursday, Oct. 26. For one night only, guests will have a chance to experience the museum in a whole new way as it is transformed into an illusionist’s dream.

Once “Under the Big Top,” grown-ups will become kids again as they marvel at towering stilt walkers, an enchanting mermaid, two nail-biting magical performances, a create-your-own flea circus station, fire breathers and more.

The show starts at 7 p.m. for guests 21 and older. Beer and cocktails will be provided by the San Antonio Cocktail Conference and the San Antonio Beer Festival. To receive $10 off ticket price ($35), purchase tickets by Oct. 13.

The DoSeum is located at 2800 Broadway. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit www.thedoseum.org.

Music Soothes Pain after Surgery

Music Soothes Pain after Surgery

Researchers from the Louis Armstrong Center for Music and Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital, in New York City, studied the impact of music therapy on 60 patients that had undergone spinal fusion surgery. Half received a 30-minute music therapy session, along with standard postoperative care, within 72 hours of surgery.

The other half received only standard care.

The scientists used the visual analog scale to measure pain before and after music therapy in both groups concurrently. The patients receiving music therapy experienced average pain level reductions from 6.2 to 5.09, while the control group averaged slight increases in pain, from 5.2 to 5.87.

“The degree of change in the music group is notable for having been achieved by nonpharmacologic means, with little chance of adverse effects,” explains Center Director and study co-author Joanne Loewy. “Pain is subjective and personal, and warrants an individualized approach to care. Certified, licensed music therapists can tailor treatment to each patient’s musical preferences and address their pain level.”

Choosing a Chiropractor: How to Find the Best for You

Choosing a Chiropractor How to Find the Best for You

by Marlaina Donato

Chiropractic medicine is known for its non-surgical approach to chronic pain and other musculoskeletal conditions, but also has much more to offer. However, finding the right doctor can be as daunting as shopping for a comfortable pair of shoes. Here, three reputable practitioners talk about securing individualized care and getting the most out of chiropractic.

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Boxer Boogie is Doggone Good Fun, for a Good Cause, on Oct. 29

Boxer Boogie is Doggone Good Fun, for a Good Cause, on Oct. 29

Alamo Boxer Rescue’s largest fundraising event returns for another day of fun and festive racing, this year at Woodlawn Lake Park on Sunday, Oct. 29. Both 3K and 5K distances are available for participants who would like to run or walk, with or without furry companions.

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