Archive | January, 2014

Celestial Living Arts Monthly Forecast January 2014 © Liz Howell

Posted on 02 January 2014 by Jason

It’s possible that if you were to rewind to January 1, 2013, you might be surprised how little your life resembles that person of 365 days past. Chances are, some year-end shocks and shifts may have accentuated your new world views and you now see there is no time to waste as you look to immediate action in the direction of a new life balance to support the emerging new you. Tick-tock. Time to get to work!

Mantras and musings for the month of January:
Aries (Mar 21-Apr 19): There is more to life than merely increasing its speed. ~ Gandhi
Taurus (Apr 20-May 20): Many men go fishing their entire lives without knowing that it is not fish that they are after. ~ Henry David Thoreau
Gemini (May 21-Jun 20): And the time came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom. ~ Anaïs Nin
Cancer (Jun 21-Jul 22): Surround yourself only with people who are going to lift you higher. ~ Oprah Winfrey
Leo (Jul 23-Aug 22): Practice radical humility when it comes to your own accomplishments, and give credit everywhere except to your ego. ~ Dr. Wayne Dyer
Virgo (Aug 23-Sep 22): The power of imagination makes us infinite. ~ John Muir
Libra (Sep 23-Oct 22): Once sent out, a word takes wing irrevocably. ~ Horace
Scorpio (Oct 23-Nov 21): Death is not the opposite of life. Life has no opposite. Death is the opposite of birth. ~ Eckhart Tolle
Sagittarius (Nov 22-Dec 21): The learned man who only talks will never penetrate to the inner heart of man. ~ Idries Shah
Capricorn (Dec 22-Jan 19): Do not conquer the world with force, for force only causes resistance. ~ Tao Te Ching
Aquarius (Jan 20-Feb 18): When I look at the world, I’m pessimistic. But when I look at people, I’m optimistic. ~ Carl Rogers
Pisces (Feb 19-Mar 20): The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. ~ Richard P. Feynman

What do the stars have in store for you in 2014?
Enter to win a FREE astrological reading
Send an email to with 2014 Astrology Reading in the subject line. Please include one sentence indicating your #1 goal for 2014. All entries must be received by January 31. The winner will be notified the first week of February.

Liz Howell is available for personal astrological consultations and can be reached at

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Single Patient Statement at OHSU by Robin Will

Posted on 02 January 2014 by Jason

Sometimes it’s difficult to appreciate technology when we’re trying to create a green and holistic lifestyle.
Bad technology fills our life with noise and junk, stacking up waste—and stress.
Good technology—the sort of thing that saves trees, eliminates drudgery, expands our abilities, increases our options, conserves our resources, even saves our lives—is more difficult to appraise.
There’s a reason for that. When technology works—especially when it works beautifully—we adopt it, and quickly forget how we ever did without it. For really effective inventions, there are very few steps between, “Hey, wow!” and, “Ho, hum.”
That’s why Natural Awakenings is sharing this news: Matt Navigato and his team at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) just spent several years working on the problem of medical billing—and yes, it really has been a problem. Their solution manages to appear simple, intuitive, effective and friendly. It will quickly become the standard that other big hospitals aspire to—and inevitably, it will eventually appear commonplace. So this is the “Hey, wow!” moment for Navigato and his team in the Enterprise Revenue Cycle Department at OHSU.
What’s the big deal? It’s called Single Patient Statement, and it will combine the multiple bills that once trickled in at the end of a hospital visit.
A single statement uses fewer resources, takes less time, reduces confusion, saves paper and cuts down on the number of checks a patient writes. It keeps important information easily accessible, and it simplifies customer service.
Most important, it reduces the hassle that’s piled on top of stress when we’re supposed to be recovering from a medical procedure.
“Patients are supposed to be able to focus on getting well,” Navigato explains, and he understands that the patient experience extends far beyond the end of the hospital visit.
“The Patient Experience” is a watchword everywhere at OHSU—even among folks like Navigato and his associates, who seldom lay eyes on a patient. It’s more than a buzz-phrase—courtesy and helpfulness seem to be a part of the OHSU culture. But even though the motivation was there, and has been for a long time, OHSU is among only a handful of academic health centers in the nation that have managed to implement a Single Patient Statement.
“This has been on our wish list for 10 years,” Navigato explains.
At first, there didn’t seem to be a way to make it happen. Hospitals are nightmares for accountants: when you’re saving lives, you leave the bean-counting until later. OHSU’s regional status in teaching, research, and Level 1 Trauma Care just made things more complicated. A software package that could wrap that environment up and put it on a schedule simply didn’t exist.
Navigato and his team didn’t wait for the software. Behind-the-scenes strategizing started about three years ago; the team began figuring out what they needed from a potential software system, and forecasting the organizational changes they would need to make their project work.
A leadership team was created in May 2012. Shortly thereafter, a reorganization integrated some of the separate billing operations. An all-important customer service unit was created in August 2012. Then, the software functionality they needed finally became available in May 2013.
Since then, Navigato, who is the director of the Enterprise Revenue Cycle Department, has pretty much lived and breathed Single Patient Statement. The project went live on December 8, 2013.
The Single Patient Statement wraps everything up neatly. Lots of thought went into making the statement complete, understandable and attractive. The same information is available online, in an application called “MyChart,” so it’s possible for patients to go entirely paperless, and make payments electronically. The Customer Service team can see the same information, if help is needed.
It’s hard to love your hospital bill, but the Single Patient Statement is a mark of progress in a field where progress has been difficult, and the impact will be huge. OHSU serves more than 825,000 patients on an annual basis, so this project will touch and improve the lives of patients across Oregon, SW Washington, and beyond.
Most of the rest of the medical world is still trying to catch up.
And Natural Awakenings is taking this moment to say, “Hey, wow!”

Portlander Robin Will is a frequent contributor to Natural Awakenings magazine.

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Long-Lived Pets Anti-Aging Care Aids Youthful Vigor by Dr. Shawn Messonnier

Posted on 02 January 2014 by Jason

In human health care, naturopathic doctors offer a specialty called anti-aging medicine. The goal is to restore optimal health to those at midlife and older that seek to prevent or reduce the incidence of diseases often associated with aging.

But when it comes to aging pets, most veterinary doctors fail to focus on the necessary specialized care. In fact, some traditional vets may decline to treat older pets at all. Often, these animals are suffering from chronic diseases and when they are treated, prescriptions may include numerous drugs. As many know, drugs can entail serious, even debilitating side effects, further deteriorating the prospects for sustained health.

Owners may thus find themselves spending a lot of money maintaining their pets in a chronic state of ill health with little hope for improvement. Animals that might benefit from surgery for problems ranging from dental disease to tumors may not receive ameliorating care when the family vet simply considers them “too old” to invest in or pull through surgery.

A Better Alternative

For an enlightened holistic vet, no pet is too old to warrant and benefit from proper health care. By instituting the correct care and focusing on anti-aging efforts, health can be improved and often restored, with the added advantages of reducing unnecessary medications and increasing their lifespan.

As an example, most doctors expect larger breeds of dogs to live 10 to 12 years, but with informed care, these same dogs can typically live 15 to 16 years. Smaller dogs and cats typically are given a life expectancy of 12 to 15 years; using an anti-aging approach, such pets routinely live 18 to 20 years or longer, in good health and with a good quality of life.

Exemplary Treatment

Here’s how the team at Paws & Claws Animal Hospital, in Plano, Texas, successfully approaches anti-aging medicine.

Beginning at 5 years of age, all pets—including dogs, cats, other small mammals, birds and reptiles—are screened via a physical examination and special blood and urine tests twice a year, with a focus on bionutritional analysis of results. Abnormal results indicating some risk, even slight ones, often ignored by mainstream medicine, are treated using vet-specified natural medicines that help return biometric values to normal and slow down the progression of problems that could, if untreated, turn into serious diseases.

Dietary evaluation, including a bionutritional analysis, ensures that the pet is eating what’s most appropriate for its age, breed and health status.

Potential dental and other oral issues are treated aggressively and early, because they are the most common source of infection and inflammation contributing to poor bodily health, including diabetes and diseases of the liver, kidneys, heart and lungs.

A review of prior medications confirms or adjusts proper use. In most cases, some of these medications can be eliminated or replaced as needed with natural therapies that have the same clinical effect, but without the possible side effects associated with chronic use of medical therapies.

Natural supplements, which can benefit all pets, also are reviewed and/or prescribed. Most older pets benefit from supplementation with phosphatidylcholine, vitamins and minerals, fatty acids, glucosamine and elements directed to thyroid and adrenal support. Paws & Claws also favors the herbal remedy Healthy Qi to support the immune system of any ill or older pet; astragalus, green tea, gotu kola and ginseng ingredients give an extra boost toward achieving homeostasis and improved quality of life.

Like human senior citizens, pets in their golden years deserve dignified specialized care that allows them to live more happily and peacefully.

Shawn Messonnier, a doctor of veterinary medicine practicing in Plano, TX, is the award-winning author of The Natural Health Bible for Dogs & Cats and Unexpected Miracles: Hope and Holistic Healing for Pets. For more information, visit

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Want Robust Health? Get a Coach! Expert Guidance Helps Us Change for Good

Posted on 02 January 2014 by Jason

A health or wellness coach integrated into a personal healthcare team can be critical to catalyzing sustainable change. Many people understand they need to modify their self-care, yet fail to take the optimal steps to make such a transformation happen.

“What we’ve discovered is that people don’t routinely change behavior due to education alone or out of fear. They change through partnership,” explains Linda Smith, a physician’s assistant and director of professional and public programs at Duke Integrative Medicine, in Durham, North Carolina. Coaching partnerships supply a supportive bridge between provider recommendations and patient implementations, she says, “significantly increasing the client’s ability to make changes successfully.”

“Health coaching was absolutely essential to my health,” says Roberta Cutbill, a 72-year-old retired registered nurse in Greensboro, North Carolina, who considered her lifestyle relatively healthy when in her late 60s she experienced autoimmune and cardiac problems. “I have an excellent primary care doctor who, when these issues came up, told me that I needed to change my diet, thoughtfully downloaded a list of recommendations and sent me on my way. I still needed help with many things in order to make the changes,” recalls Cutbill, which is why she turned to a health coach at Duke Integrative Medicine.

Margaret Moore, founder and CEO of Wellcoaches Corporation and co-director of the Institute of Coaching at McLean Hospital, a Harvard Medical School affiliate, in Belmont, Massachusetts, identifies two primary forces that enable behavioral change: autonomous motivation (people want to do something for their own reasons, not because someone tells them to) and confidence (they believe they can do it). “The most powerful motivating forces of all are what you treasure most in life, your life purpose and contribution,” she remarks. Both Smith and Moore emphasize that the priorities in any health coaching relationship are client-driven, based on the client’s chosen goals and personal intrinsic motivators.

Confidence in attaining ultimate success is built through positively framed experiments and experiences. “A health coach is trained to help clients break up their goals into manageable steps, focus on strengths, track progress and identify and overcome personal roadblocks,” explains Dr. Karen Lawson, an integrative physician and director of integrative health coaching at the University of Minnesota’s Center for Spirituality and Healing, in Minneapolis. A helpful approach sets goals that can be met and exceeded, not insurmountable ones.

“The key is always keeping a positive lens, helping clients see the progress they achieve,” continues Lawson. This involves speaking in terms of growth through trial and error, in which outcomes are explored without judgment and clients feel empowered to modify.

This is vital, explains Moore, because experiencing at least a three-to-one ratio of positive to negative emotions creates the conditions for the brain to learn, change and thrive, making people feel more capable of taking care of their health.

Mindful awareness is another essential tool; being self-aware and reflecting on what we are doing while it is happening. Unlike thinking, analyzing and planning, mindfulness involves observing while experiencing. During sessions, coaches use it to give their full attention in a non-judgmental way, modeling how clients can bring such compassion to themselves.

A mindful state calms mental noise and puts reflective distance between individuals and their beliefs, emotions and behaviors. It improves their ability to handle negative emotions and to make a conscious choice to respond with a different attitude or new behavior, according to Moore.

For Cutbill, maintaining a personal relationship with her coach over time has been the most significant factor in the improvement of her health. “The relationship was healing, because my coach regularly pointed out my progress with profound encouragement and validation. I wish all primary care doctors had health coaches on staff to help them and their patients attain the success they both are aiming for.”

Lauressa Nelson is an editor and contributing writer for Natural Awakenings. Connect at

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Our Own Health Plan Building a Team that Has Our Back by Kathleen Barnes

Posted on 02 January 2014 by Jason

Conventional doctors too often dispense vague, boilerplate health advice, urging their patients to eat a healthy diet, exercise and take helpful supplements. Some are lucky enough to also be directed to detoxify their body and manage stress. That’s typically the best most people can expect in terms of practical advice. It is rare to receive specific, individualized answers to such burning questions as:

What is the best diet for this specific problem or my body type?
Which exercise will work best for me—yoga, running, tennis or something else?
Why do I feel stressed so much of the time, and what can I do about it?
What supplements are best for me, and which high-quality products can I trust?

Complementary natural healing modalities can address all of these queries and more. Finding the right mix of treatment and preventive measures requires some creativity and self-knowledge. The experts Natural Awakenings consulted maintain that it is both desirable and possible to assemble an affordable and effective personal health care team that focuses on optimum wellness.

Integrative Approach

“We need to understand the value of an integrative approach, because no single modality treats everything,” says Dr. Michael Jingduan Yang, the Philadelphia-based founder and medical director of the Tao Institute of Mind & Body Medicine. By way of example, he maintains credentials as a physician, a board-certified psychiatrist and an internationally recognized expert on classic forms of Chinese herbal medicine and acupuncture.

Integrative practitioners see the human body on three levels, Yang explains: structural; biochemical; and bioenergetic, a form of psychotherapy. Ideally, he says, conventional and integrative medicine, plus complementary practitioners, work together to provide the total care an individual patient needs. “Any problem on one level affects all levels, so we assess patients on all three with whatever tools we have,” he says.

While conventional medicine may be able to treat structural problems well and biochemical problems to a certain extent, it falls short on the energetic level. That’s when it’s time to expand the team, counsels Yang. “‘Know yourself’ is the watchword. Get to know what to use and when to use it. It’s the practitioner’s job to educate patients in this way.”

Dr. Andrew Weil, renowned as the father of the integrative medicine movement in the U.S., has remarked, “If I’m in a car accident, don’t take me to an herbalist. If I have bacterial pneumonia, give me antibiotics. But when it comes to maximizing the body’s natural healing potential, a mix of conventional and alternative procedures seems like the only answer.”

Dr. Shekhar Annambhotla, founding director and president of the Association of Ayurvedic Professionals of North America, turns to the integrative realm of ayurvedic medicine for healing and wellness. The 5,000-year-old Indian healing tradition incorporates lifestyle changes, yoga and meditation, detoxification, herbs, massage and various other individually targeted healing modalities, depending on the patient’s diagnosis and recommended treatment plan.

Customized Team

“Wellness is a team effort,” advises integrative medicine specialist Dr. Vijay Jain, medical director at Amrit Ayurveda for Total Wellbeing, in Salt Springs, Florida. It’s not only a matter of knowing what needs the practitioners will address at specific times, it’s also knowing who can help when the going gets tough. “Modern medicine has the edge for early detection of disease,” Jain notes. “However, Ayurveda is excellent in determining the earliest imbalances in the mind and body that eventually lead to disease.”

Most experts consulted agree that a personal wellness plan should include a practitioner that acts as a gatekeeper and coordinates a care plan to meet individual needs. Jain recommends that the foundation of the team should be a licensed medical professional such as an integrative physician (MD), osteopathic doctor (DO) or chiropractor (DC). In most states, any of these professionals can function as a primary care doctor, authorized to order and read laboratory tests, prescribe drugs and access hospital services. In some states, a naturopathic physician (ND) can perform the functions of a primary care doctor in ordering and reading laboratory tests.

As part of a personal wellness team, consider a functional medicine or integrative physician, chiropractor, osteopath, doctor of naturopathy, ayurvedic practitioner, nutritionist, traditional Chinese medicine doctor/acupuncturist, herbalist, craniosacral therapist, massage therapist and energy practitioner (such as Reiki, medical qigong, polarity therapist).

It’s not necessary to see all of them, sources say. Sometimes, one practitioner will be skilled in practicing several modalities, a bonus for patients. Other complementary practitioners may form a supporting team that works with the primary care team, depending on the challenges a patient faces. They will be identified as treatment unfolds and the team evolves over time.

Contributing Specialists

An ayurvedic practitioner likely will begin by helping to define healthful lifestyle changes depending on one’s dosha, or energetic temperament. Yoga and meditation would be a likely recommendation, plus specific herbs and perhaps detoxification, says Annambhotla.

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and acupuncture often go hand-in hand with Ayurveda in accordance with the view that illness and dis-ease are caused by imbalances in the body’s energetic flow. Diagnostic techniques employ intuition and pulses to assess and smooth blocks in energy circulation.

Craniosacral therapy is another way to unlock energetic blockages caused by lifestyle stress and other factors that restrict and congest the body’s innate ability to self-correct and remain healthy, says Joyce Harader, a registered craniosacral therapist in Cave Creek, Arizona, and secretary of the board of the Biodynamic Cranial Sacral Therapy Association of North America.

She relied on a whole team to realize a natural way back to health after being diagnosed with lupus in 1992. “Members of my health team fluctuate, depending on what is going on in my life and where I am focusing,” comments Harader. She points out, for example, that nutrition education and general deep-tissue massage can both be helpful as part of a foundational plan toward obtaining and maintaining optimal health.

In fact, many of our experts recommend both a monthly chiropractic adjustment and/or massage, as well as daily yoga and an ongoing meditation practice for wellness and total well-being.

Naturopathic practitioners operating in states where they are licensed can be good sources of nutrition counsel and often recommend herbal remedies for relief. “For chronic illness, you need a chiropractor or drug-free physician like a naturopath on your team. Conventional medicine is generally poor at dealing with chronic illness,” observes Naturopath and Chiropractor Michael Loquasto, Ph.D., who practices in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

Loquasto should know. He has practiced integrated modalities for 50 years, employing the knowledge gained through his practice and triple doctorates, which include one in nutrition. Also a master herbalist, he strongly advocates that people start by working with a good integrative or functional medicine medical doctor.

“In some states, like Pennsylvania, chiropractors and osteopaths can perform routine diagnostic work, but in many states they cannot,” he notes. “I recommend undergoing a physical every six months and regular bone density tests, plus colonoscopies.” Loquasto is not in favor of mammograms because of the radiation exposure associated with them, but supports routine breast screening using ultrasound or thermography.


Intuitive listening and observant self-knowledge are crucial parts of any wellness plan. Most people are aware when something doesn’t feel right in their body.

“Libido is a great barometer of health,” suggests Dr. Diana Hoppe, an obstetrician, gynecologist and hormone specialist in San Diego, California. “If you’re not interested in sex, it’s probably a sign that you need to do some investigating.” Reasons for such a decline of interest are wide-ranging says Hoppe. “For men and women, it might be due to hormonal changes, lack of self-esteem, medications, stress, relationship issues, job, family life or lack of sleep. It means that somewhere, things are out of balance,” she says.

Funding a Plan

A personal multifaceted wellness program can be expensive, but there are ways to minimize the cost. “In the new world of high insurance deductibles, people get more for their money from an alternative doctor, especially one knowledgeable in a variety of healing therapies, than a conventional one,” Loquasto advises. Costs for tests may also be lower; plus patients are not expected to pay $150 or more just to walk in the door.

A current trend has medical doctors and chiropractors participating in “umbrella” practices and wellness centers, where several types of practitioners collaborate in one facility. They find that sometimes insurance will sometimes pay for certain complementary services, including massage and nutrition education, when doctors or chiropractors prescribe them.

Maintaining wellness in an environment filled with chemical, biological and mental toxins is a substantial, yet worthy, investment. It’s far better than the costly alternative of dealing with regular bouts of sickness or escalating disease. In that light, maintenance looks affordable: an ayurvedic diagnostic session starts at around $100, a consultation with a licensed naturopath at $75 and acupuncture at $100, a massage typically costs about $80 an hour.

While insurance is unlikely to pay for treatments outside the realm of conventional medicine and sometimes, chiropractic, “The cost of these preventive therapies will be much less than the cost of treatment for a serious disease,” advises Loquasto. “You’re worth it.”

Kathleen Barnes is author of more than a dozen natural health books. Her latest is The Calcium Lie 2: What Your Doctor Still Doesn’t Know with Dr. Robert Thompson. Connect at

Health insurance may not cover the services we want, and high deductibles may pose a financial challenge in maintaining comprehensive health care, so we need a personal wellness plan.

A personal wellness program should include a lead practitioner that acts as a gatekeeper and coordinates a plan of care that meets the individual’s needs.

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Fitness à la Carte The Latest, Hottest Trend by Christine MacDonald

Posted on 02 January 2014 by Jason

This year, many Americans will turn over a new leaf as they morph from more conventional workout modes to fresh takes on fitness set to rock the charts.

Chart Toppers

Activities high on people’s lists these days reflect a perceived scarcity of time and money. The top picks, according to the Indianapolis-based American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) Worldwide Survey of Fitness Trends for 2014 will be high-intensity interval training (HIIT) and body weight training.

Both pursuits have been contenders in recent years, but are cresting the survey for the first time. A HIIT session, typically involving rapid bursts of activity interspersed with brief rest periods, usually takes less than 30 minutes. Body weight training’s appeal stems from its effectiveness and minimal need for fancy equipment or special gear.

The survey—involving hundreds of personal trainers, gym owners and other fitness insiders—further notes an increasing diversity in fitness offerings, plus some contradictory trends. Not everyone, for instance, is cost-conscious; fitness professionals anticipate the continued rise of boutiques specializing in niche activities. Those with momentum range from ballet-inspired barre workouts to Pound and Drums Alive sessions, in which people “rock out” while they work out.

Grace DeSimone, an ACSM spokesperson, equates specialized offerings to an à la carte menu, with individuals choosing tasty workout modes. “It’s like a buffet,” she says. While a single class can cost up to $25, there seldom are membership fees. Muscles are treated to varied workouts, even if only once a week in a “boutique” treatment..

“It’s good for your body to cross-train; if you do the same thing over and over again, your body adapts,” DeSimone advises. Unless a competitive athlete is looking to improve performances in a given sport, repeating the same exercise daily can lead to injury and lessen the desired positive impact, she says. “Your body likes change.”

Spinning spin-offs like Soulcycle, Flywheel and Kinetic Cycling represent an evolution of indoor classes and old-school outdoor cycling. Meanwhile, fitness instructors and wellness consultants note that Zumba has set the stage for dance-oriented workouts, diverging from Latin rhythms into hip-hop and other music genres.

If workouts are increasingly encroaching on “social” activities like dancing, it’s because the nation—or at least the expanding population trying to live healthier lifestyles—is undergoing a broader lifestyle transformation, says Jim White, of Virginia Beach, Virginia. The registered dietitian, award-winning fitness pro and national spokesman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, observes, “There’s a shift in culture.”

He says, “People are sick of ‘yo-yo-ing’ with fad diets and exercise routines, and they are looking for effective new approaches, whether for dieting, social life, accountability or competition.” He sees this new mindset fueling the proliferation of websites and phone apps that facilitate everything from counting calories and steps walked daily to on-the-go workouts.

What’s Playing

Interval Training: Both high- and low-intensity variations can resemble a fountain of youth for older adults, says DeSimone. These can range from integrating a few five-minute sprints to enhance a half-hour walk to engaging in formalized Asian-influenced Tabata classes and boot camps.

High-intensity workouts aren’t for everyone. “HIIT is best delivered when it does not use the one-size-fits-all approach,” says Tony Ordas, a kinesiology lecturer at California State University-San Marcos. “Participants need to have an established level of cardiovascular endurance before increasing intensity.”

Body Weight Training: The natural, timeless exercise approach of using our own body weight instead of equipment can, if done right, hone muscles and build core strength, often in creative ways.

Personal Training, Small-Group Training and Wellness Coaching: Rising demand by individuals for support in achieving their desired results is propelling growing numbers of trainers and coaches to obtain health and fitness college degrees and postgraduate certifications.

Specialized Fitness Programs: Programs geared to the needs of particular groups such as pregnant women, older adults, dog owners and those interested in losing weight remain popular. Activities vary in approach and intensity, but often emphasize “functional fitness”, focusing on building strength and balance useful in everyday life, rather than more athletic or competitive training.

Yoga: This ancient mind-body workout continues to extend from East to West, building on a host of classical forms such as hatha, ashtanga, kripalu, kundalini and vinyasa. Relatively new forms also are extensive, from power yoga, Bikram and Yogalates to emerging hybrids like the yoga-surfing combination of Yoga Board.

Christine MacDonald is a freelance journalist in Washington, D.C., whose specialties include health and science. Visit

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