Why You Should Practice This Yoga Pose A Few Times A Week

Tight hips aren’t fun for anyone. Especially if you sit for extended periods of time during the day, these joints may be begging you for some relief. If you’re not regularly attending a yoga class, it may be wise to implement a few stretches for a deep release of this area. On the other hand, yogis will know just how good taking a pigeon pose feels.

Half pigeon pose is known as the quintessential hip opener in the yoga world. Typically cued towards the end of vinyasa classes, this pose does more than release tight hip muscles. Mindbodygreen notes that the stretch can also alleviate low back pain by providing the area with much-needed tension relief. To get into pigeon pose, start in a downward-facing dog, then lift your right leg. Bring your knee inside your right wrist and gently lay your shin across the mat while dropping your back leg to the floor. Adjust to a point that feels comfortable for you. From here, you can either stay up on tall arms if you’re already feeling a deep release or you can start to lower to your forearms.

You can take your time as you descend into the pose, the outlet notes. Before you lower down, consider lifting your chest towards the ceiling for a slight heart-opening effect. Especially after sitting at your computer, this can bring relief to your upper body as well.

Pigeon pose can also help you relax

Anytime you’re experiencing a deep release in your body, your mind can follow suit. The same is true for a classic pigeon pose. Today notes that rolling out your mat to take this pose can give you a moment to breathe and unwind in your hips, lower back, upper body and even your mind. Plus, if you’ve been working at a desk all day, it’ll quickly get your blood moving. Indeed, the outlet reports that it can even help alleviate anxiety.

With more flexible hips, you’ll be less prone to injury and you can move about your day with greater ease. Especially after a long day, a pigeon pose can be a great antidote to overwhelm and stress. As Nishi Bhopal, M.D., explained to Mindbodygreen, “Opening up and stretching the hips is a great way to relax your muscles before bedtime.”

If taking a full, lying pigeon pose is too much on your body, you can opt for a gentle figure-four stretch. This is a reclined variation of pigeon that you can adjust to your comfort level. If you’ve had a hip or knee replacement, avoid this pose and try another hip-stretching option. Otherwise, you can simply breathe once you find your optimal position and close your eyes to relax.

There’s a lot going on beneath the surface of pigeon pose, and your hips will thank you for it!

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A Ringside Doctor Explains Why TJ Dillashaw Was Allowed to Keep Fighting With a Severe Eye Cut

MMA bantamweight fighter TJ Dillashaw defeated Sandhagen at UFC Fight Night over the weekend, but a cut in his inner left eyebrow very nearly derailed the entire fight and took him out of action. In a new video on his YouTube channel, David Abbasi, MD, a surgeon and pro ringside physician, examines the decision made by the ringside doctor on Fight Night to allow Dillashaw to continue with the match after his injury.

“Cuts in that area will naturally flow down and the blood will flow down into the eye and potentially affect vision,” he says. “The other thing with his specific cut is that it was very severe in the way it was extended down, and the worry was that it would potentially go all the way down into the eye socket area, because a cut can continue to propagate if it continues to get punched.”

There are a couple of factors that go into making that call as a ringside doctor, Abbasi explains. Firstly, it comes down to the personal comfort level of the medic present, and that can vary. “There’s a lot of pressure for ringside doctors,” he says. “You’re damned if you do and you’re damned if you don’t… If you stop it, you’re going to have an angry fighter and angry fans. If you don’t, you’re going to get criticized for maybe that’s not the safest thing to do.”

Abbasi continues that Dillashaw himself did something very significant that may have affected the outcome of the doctor’s decision. “As we come in and assess that fighter, we ask them questions, we’re looking for body language, we’re looking responses, does that fighter really want to continue the fight… TJ Dillashaw says ‘absolutely I can.’ It was a very positive response… A lot of times you can tell by the body language or the response of the fighter whether they want to continue or not.”


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Why we need to talk openly about vaccine side effects

vaccine

Concerns have been raised about the AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson vaccines regarding very rare but potentially fatal side effects related to low blood platelet counts and blood clots. Recently, reports also emerged that the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine may cause a rare yet serious side effect: heart inflammation. Concerns about side effects may trigger vaccine hesitancy, which the WHO considers one of ‘Ten threats to global health’. Securing sufficient acceptance of vaccines is a key challenge in defeating the coronavirus pandemic, both now and in the future.

How can health authorities and politicians help ensure public acceptance of vaccines, which—their rare side effects aside—have proven effective in preventing serious Covid-19 disease? The best way to do this is to talk openly about all aspects of the vaccines including potential negative aspects such as side effects.

“How to communicate about the vaccines is a real dilemma. Politicians have a desire to stop the pandemic as quickly as possible, and this may give them an incentive to tone down the negative sides of the vaccines in order to vaccinate as many people as possible,” says Michael Bang Petersen, professor of political science at Aarhus BSS, Aarhus University.

“But our research shows that it does not foster support for vaccination when communication about the vaccines is reassuring, but vague. On the contrary, vague communication weakens people’s confidence in the health authorities, and feeds conspiracy theories. When communication is not transparent, it triggers uncertainty and people feel they may be misled,” says Michael Bang Petersen.

Together with colleagues from Aarhus BSS at Aarhus University, he has studied the effect of different ways of communicating about vaccines. The study included 13,000 participants, half of them Americans and the other half Danes, and the results have just been published in the widely recognized journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS).

Vague communication feeds conspiracies

The results of the study show that open communication fosters support for the vaccines if it transparently describes neutral and positive facts about the vaccines. However, the willingness to be vaccinated declines when the communication is open about negative features of the vaccine.

“Transparency about the negative features of a vaccine creates hesitancy. But this hesitancy is reason-based, and accordingly health authorities still have the possibility of communicating with citizens and explain to them why it may still be advisable to accept the vaccine,” says Michael Bang Petersen.

On the other hand, vague or reassuring communication, where negative features of the vaccines are toned down, lowers acceptance of vaccines. The reason is that vague communication creates a sense of hesitancy and uncertainty, and this in turn feeds conspiracy theories and reduces confidence in the health authorities.

Trust is essential

The advantage of open communication—also about the negative features—is that it prevents conspiracy theories from spreading while at the same time boosting trust in the health authorities. According to the researchers, this is key to defeating the coronavirus pandemic.

“Maintaining trust in the health authorities is extremely important because this is the most crucial factor in securing public support for the vaccines. Communicating transparently about vaccines secures the single most important factor for sustaining vaccine acceptance,” says Michael Bang Petersen, and he continues:

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Why do kids hate going to sleep, while adults usually love it?

Why do kids hate going to sleep, while adults usually love it?

The school holidays are here, and parents struggling to get their children to bed will no doubt be thinking: what is wrong with you? I would do anything to get more sleep!

Children seem to do everything possible to avoid sleep, yet many adults can’t seem to get enough of it. It may seem kids’ resistance to sleep, and adults’ longing for it, are underpinned by different factors. But it’s likely similar issues are at play for both.

Factors such as as insufficient sleep, behavioural sleep issues and sleep disorders may explain our strong feelings towards sleep, and why they differ at different stages of our lives.

How much sleep is enough?

Reports from the Sleep Health Foundation indicate four in ten Australian adults don’t get enough sleep. We don’t know exactly what this number is for children, but one Swedish study showed it could be about the same for them.

Research has shown sleep is essential for a child’s development, but the amount needed varies with age. Children aged 3-5 years should get 10 to 13 hours of sleep daily, including naps—while those aged 6-12 years should get 9 to 11 hours. Adults 18 years and older should aim to sleep between 7 and 9 hours.

Insufficient sleep in kids isn’t always easy to identify. They may not be able to communicate when they are sleepy, or may not even recognise sleep deprivation in themselves. Children are unlikely to know how much sleep they should be getting, so they look to their parents as a guide.

There are telltale signs when children are suffering from insufficient or poor sleep, including poorer behaviour, overactivity, poorer performance at school and poorer physical growth.

Meanwhile, adults are usually aware of their own lack of sleep and can report increased sleepiness, trouble staying awake, difficulty concentrating, poorer memory and slower reaction times.

An accumulation of sleep loss over many years can even lead to “sleep debt” in adults. This increases sleepiness and can worsen the impact of further sleep loss. These changes can happen so gradually we don’t always notice them, but they’re probably why many adults are desperate to get more sleep.

Fear of missing out

Difficult behaviour around bedtime is the most common sleep issue among children. Refusing to get into (or stay) in bed, not settling into sleep, waking up during the night, getting up very early—all of these are examples of sleep behaviour problems in children.

Such behaviours may start at a young age without a trigger, or may follow significant life events such as moving houses, family upsets or starting school. Children can also develop behavioural sleep problems due to FOMO (fear of missing out), or not understanding why the grownups are allowed to stay awake.

In adults, behavioural sleep problems are often described as poor sleep hygiene or poor sleep habits. It’s when you promise yourself you’ll only watch one more episode of a show, or only scroll through your feed for ten more minutes—and then fail to cut yourself off.

Having an irregular sleep schedule and not prioritising sleep are symptoms of behavioural sleep issues in adults. While children usually have someone to tell them when they need to go to bed, adults must set their own (often poor) sleep routines.

Bedtime doesn’t have to be all-out war

On the bright side, setting rules around sleep can help both children and adults overcome their sleep issues.

Children and adults should both go to bed and wake up around the same time daily. They should also develop a consistent bedtime routine of around 30 to 60 minutes to prepare for sleep each night. This is especially important for children. It could include taking a warm bath or reading a book.

Stimulating activities should be avoided, such as watching TV, using social media, playing video games or doing vigorous physical activity.

It also helps to have a sleep-friendly bedroom: a dark, quiet and welcoming environment free from distractions such as computers, phones or TV. Night lights are useful for children who don’t like the dark.

And finally, during the day both children and adults should limit their caffeine consumption, including from energy drinks, soda, tea and coffee. Outdoor exercise is a great option if possible. Napping is normal in pre-school children, but should be limited in older kids and adults.

More serious sleep disorders

Some sleep issues may not always be related to behaviour. It’s possible a sleep disorder may be causing issues around sleep for an adult or child.

Examples of “parasomnias”, or abnormal sleep behaviours, include sleepwalking, sleep talking, nightmares and sleep terrors. These behaviours are generally more common in children than adults, although we don’t know why. Most children outgrow them as they age.

Parasomnias can be caused by stress, traumatic life events and sleep loss or can also be hereditary. In adults they’re more often a result of stress, trauma, mental health illness or neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson’s disease.

Fortunately, treatment for these behaviours generally isn’t needed unless they’re frequent, distressing or risk injury. Sleep apnoea is also common. While it presents slightly differently in children and adults, signs include snoring, increased efforts to breath during sleep, pauses in breathing and gasping.

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Experts Reveal Why Endearments or Pet Names Make Your Relationship Stronger

Whenever we see a couple, we often wonder why they won’t call their partner’s names. We hear them calling them “love”, “sweetheart”, “honey”, etc. Why do couples call their partners with endearment or pet names? Is it really important to have pet names when in a relationship? Here’s what the relationship experts have to say.

The Study

According to the survey conducted by Superdrug Online Doctor, the researchers found 87% of Americans prefer to use pet names when they’re in relationships. This is in contrast to only 74% of Europeans who use endearments when in a relationship.

So, if you’re hesitant to call your partner or be called with a pet name, you’re not alone. However, according to the researchers, 16 % of couples who call each other pet names tend to be happier and more satisfied in their relationships.

The researchers also found the specific pet names people chose to call their partners played a big role in making their relationship stronger. According to the study, 90% of Americans who use flattering but basic pet names like “beautiful”, “gorgeous”, and “honey” were happy and content in their relationships. Only 56% of couples claim they’re happy in their relationships even if they didn’t use any nicknames.

Furthermore, the most flattering and beautiful nickname also differs depending on the location you’re in. For example, most Germans like to be called “Schatz” or “Sweetheart”, “cutie and “hun”. Meanwhile, the American people love to be called “pretty” followed by “beautiful”, and “gorgeous.”

Pet Names to Avoid

The researchers not only determine the good pet names to call to your partner but also the bad pet names you should avoid. According to the survey, around 70% of people hate to be called “Papi”, followed by daddy with 72%. They also hate overly cutesy names like “muffin” (61%), and “sweet cheeks’ (66%). Moreover, those who like using nicknames the most are men (around 85%) compared to their female counterparts (around 76%).

So, if being called gorgeous or beautiful by your partner reminds you of your mom, there’s no need to be embarrassed. According to Dean Falk at Florida State University, most couples speak this way to reminisce their childhood experience anf remember their first and purest love to their mother. So if you haven’t already, you may start thinking of a suitable pet name to call your partner from now on!

How to Make Your Relationship Grow Stronger?

Aside from using pet names, the relationship experts give tips on how to make your relationship healthy and stronger.

Constant Communication

It’s important that you and your partner maintain a constant communication to sort out any issues you have.

According to relationship experts, communication does wonders to your relationship. Communicating helps you get in touch with your partner and bond with them as you ask them how their day went. This also serves as an opportunity to talk about each other, talk about any discomfort, issues, and concerns you might have in your relationship. This helps both of you to think of a solution to solve your issues before it escalates into arguments or conflicts.

Spend Quality Time With Your Partner

Spending quality time together helps rekindle the love and intense feelings you have to solidify your relationship.

Did you remember the first few months of your relationship where you and your partner go out on dates either to bond or celebrate your monthsary? The relationship experts say you should maintain this quality time together.

No matter how busy you or your partner are, you must set the time to see each other at least twice a month or once a week. Allocate your free time together to go out on dates or spend quality time together. This can be a simple date, a picnic while eating your homemade meals, or traveling to a new place or country.

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Five Leading Reasons Why Non-Smokers Get Lung Cancer

Those who smoke are at the greatest risk of getting lung cancer, hence, for obvious reasons, those who don’t smoke assume they are not at risk at all. However, this is a misconception. Non-smokers can get lung cancer as well, just like any other cancer, and scientific research has narrowed down a few reasons why.

Interestingly, smokers and ex-smokers tend to get lung cancer at a much later age than those who are non-smokers. In the non-smoker cancer group, women are at the greatest risk. This means, as Vincent Lam (specialist in lung cancer at the Anderson Cancer Centre in Houston, Texas) puts it, the lung cancer in non-smokers and smokers are very different and can easily be classified as two distinct diseases.

Since the nature of the cancer is different, the treatment is different as well. The cancer in non-smokers can be treated by latest drugs, which is probably why they are able to live much longer than those suffering from cancer who smoke or were once smokers.

The lung cancer in non-smokers and smokers are very different and can easily be classified as two distinct diseases

Radon

Radon is a natural gas that is present in the air just like oxygen, however in much smaller quantity. It becomes dangerous when it crosses a particular threshold, which can happen if the gas gets trapped in a place such as the basement of the house or as is the case in mines. That is why, coal miners are very prone to getting lung disease, because of the elevated concentrations of radon in the mines.

The Environmental and Protection Agency (EPA) recommends that an easy-to-use home kit should be used to identify the concentration levels of radon in the air wherever a person expects to spend a long period of time to ensure they are not at risk of inhaling too much radon. If it is found that radon levels are too high in the air, such as the basement of the house, there is no reason to panic as it can be reduced with air filtration techniques that the EPA recommends.

To find out whether your area is prone to having higher levels of radon, check this map provided by the EPA.

Passive Smoking

There are two ways you may be passively smoking tobacco without realizing it. The first way is by inhaling the smoke coming directly from the burning tobacco, and the second way is by inhaling the smoke exhaled by the smoker. Around 25% of the lung cancers are due to passive smoking.

This is why smoking is banned in almost all indoor places, and designated open-air smoking zones are made to ensure non-smokers are kept away from the damage of smoking. Children are most prone to getting effected by passive smoking, especially those exposed to it at a young age.

Today, there are many parts of the world which are increasingly burning coal and creating more pollution in the air

Air Pollution

Just like passive smoking, air polluted with carcinogens (harmful gases) is slowly becoming a major cause of cancers in the lungs and the bladder. Pollutants are coming from multiple sources, such as exhausts of vehicles, coal power plants, stoves fired with wood, to name a few.

Even though the government has tried to reduce the amount of air pollution with the Clean Air Act, there are many parts of the world, such as China, which are increasingly burning coal and creating more pollution in the air.

Radiation in the Chest

Radiation is one of the ways cancer patients are treated. However, the same radiation that aims to cure one cancer can cause cancer in the lungs. This is especially true for women who have sought treatment for breast cancer in the past, and those who received treatment for Hodgkins lymphoma are also at risk of developing lung cancer in the long run. However, according to Dr. Lam, it’s uncommon.

Studies suggest that a person who has lung cancer into his/her genetic code may get it at some point in his life

Mutations in the Genes

There are genetic reasons why a person may be more prone to getting lung cancer, and smoking or non-smoking only makes the difference to the extent of how soon a person gets lung cancer. In essence, smoking may speed up the cancer and make its happening sooner than later, which means that a person who has such a genetic code may get lung cancer at some point in his life, regardless of whether he or she smoked or not.

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This Is Why You Can’t See Yourself In Your Dreams

People often call outer space the final frontier, but what about dreaming? There is so much we don’t know about dreaming — even if we can reasonably pinpoint what it means to dream about certain objects or situations, such as fighting with someone or riding a roller coaster. We dream all night, not just in REM sleep like is often believed — even if we don’t realize or remember it — and we dream in real time (via HuffPost). If this is the case, then why don’t we see ourselves in the dreams we do remember?

Clinical psychologist Rubin Naiman explains that dreaming is essentially the digestive system of the brain. More precisely, he says, “At night, the brain metaphorically swallows, digests, and sifts through information, and, just like the gut, eliminates [some]” (via The Huffington Post). This is why so many people believe that dreams carry special meanings; it’s the subconscious’ way of sorting everything you’ve consumed and experienced since you last slept.

Here's exactly why you can't see yourself in your dream

There is something to be said about the fact that we can’t see all of our dreams, nonetheless seeing ourselves in them. Despite this, we can still have dreams that involve the self and our bodies. For example, some people experience repeated dreams in which they’re naked. This often means that the recipient of these dreams needs to accept themselves and their bodies more and stop being too hard on themselves (via MindBodyGreen). Still, in these instances you’re not seeing yourself from an omniscient point of view; you’re still in your body and having a first-person view of your dream world.

Our best understanding is that you can’t see yourself in your dreams because you’re living your dreams out. You’re seeing your dream from your own point of view because it’s your dream world. You can even die while living in a dream and still live to tell the tale, but this happens in your normal first-person point of view (via HuffPost). 

Who knows, though? Maybe there are people who can see themselves in their dreams, or maybe certain circumstances are required to reach this different point of view in your dreams.

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Expert Reveals Why Rich People Are Acquiring Race Horses

Millionaires who currently do not have the billions that can help them purchase their personal sports team have begun to spend millions on alternatively buying racehorses. According to Keeneland Racing’s racing and sales’ Vice president, Bob Ellison, a lot of excitement comes with being the owner of Thoroughbred horses.

Ellison mentioned that the millionaires are so enthusiastic about getting a good deal and that has willingly made them spend so much on high-quality horses. According to him, twenty-seven horses at the sale were sold for one million dollars or above. 14 of the buyers were international buyers while 13 of them were from the US. Three other horses were sold for over $2 million while there was a yearling that sold for $2.4 million. In summary, the buyers spent about $377 million on the purchase of about 3,000 yearlings.

Expensive Hobby

Ellison mentioned that this activity is a form of investment but added that acquiring race horses didn’t just become a hobby for the richest people all around the world. It can sometimes cost several thousands of dollars to acquire prized horses.

Polo, considered to be the sport for kings, is most times regarded as a hobby for members of the upper class. It is one where the elite gather to have cocktails and also socialize as they watch the sport. Yearly, socialites, designers, and Hollywood stars attend the Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic. In fact, Chinese billionaires are reportedly beginning to see Polo as the new elite sport.

It is at the Kentucky Derby that some horses purchased at the Keeneland Sale compete. Ellison noted that the famous guests here  include Peter Brand ruling houses from the Middle East, Bobby Flay, George Strawbridge and Charlotte Webber,

The Vice president of UAE, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, reportedly purchased 27 yearlings for about twenty million dollars at this year’s sale. The total purchases included seven yearlings he bought for over a million dollars. The Vice President is considered one of the biggest owners of such horses in the world. He also owns a huge stable and different racing operations. Sheikh Hamdan, his brother, also bought 19 horses spending over $12 million.

Investment Opportunity

It is important to examine if these horse purchases have the potentials and can eventually become money makers for their buyers. Ellison noted that the possibility of that is dependent on the extent to which the horses race after they are sold. For instance, Justify was purchased for $500,000 and after it won the Triple Crown for this year, the horse is now worth a whopping $75 million.

Generally, breeders put in much effort into grooming horses for top sales as well as promising returns, be it through natural practices or commercial practices. According to Ellison, some breeders treat horses as is if they were tomatoes as they polish and feed them in an environment that is highly controlled, while some other breeders prefer to raise horses in the field. He added that irrespective of the method that the breeders used for raising the horses this year, the horses appeared to have more mass and are more athletically built.

Ellison added that while some buyers are particular about the size of the horse, how it looks racing, how its coat looks and how muscular it is, other buyers are particular about a horse that can run on grass and so want to know how fast the horses can finally transition to a race track.

Ellison, however, stated that there are some things buyers ought to consider to increase their chances of getting a better return. One of such is that colts, i.e. male horses, are generally worth more than fillies or mares (female horses).

Also, purchasing more than a yearling at each sale increases the chances of winning. Also the pedigree of the yearling matters.

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Study helps unravel why pregnant women develop heart failure similar to older patients

pregnant women

Researchers at Penn Medicine have identified more genetic mutations that strongly predispose younger, otherwise healthy women to peripartum cardiomyopathy (PPCM), a rare condition characterized by weakness of the heart muscle that begins sometime during the final month of pregnancy through five months after delivery. PPCM can cause severe heart failure and often leads to lifelong heart failure and even death. The study is published today in Circulation.

PPCM affects women in one out of every 2,000 deliveries worldwide, with about a third of those women developing heart failure for life, and about five percent of them dying within a few years. Maternal mortality in the United States has doubled in the last 20 years, and PPCM is a leading cause of these deaths. Previously, the reasons behind why women developed PPCM remained a mystery until a 2016 study strongly suggested that some genetic mutations predispose women to the disease. Zoltan P. Arany, MD, PHD, the Samuel Bellet Professor of Cardiology in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania was also the senior author of that study. This newly released study shines a light on four more genetic variants that had not previously been associated with PPCM. It found that this genetic profile is highly similar to that found in patients with non-ischemic dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM), a very similar disease that typically impacts middle-aged men and women, and one that the medical community knows more about.

“This study provides the first extensive genetic and phenotype landscape of PPCM and has major implications for understanding how PPCM and DCM are related to each other,” said Arany. “It shows that predisposition to heart failure is an important risk factor for PPCM, suggesting that approaches being developed for DCM may also apply to patients with PPCM.”

For the study, Penn researchers identified nearly 470 women with PPCM, retrospectively, from several academic centers in the United States and abroad, and looked at clinical information and DNA samples. Then, they performed next-generation sequencing on 67 genes, including a gene known as TTN, which generates a large protein that controls how heart muscle cells contract and pump blood. 10.4 percent of the patients sampled showed shortened variants in the TTN gene, compared with just 1.2 percent of the reference population. Researchers also found overrepresentation of shortened variants in three other genes not previously associated with PPCM, but previously associated with DCM.

Researchers hope this will push for changes to allow physicians to follow similar, well-established genetic testing practices and counseling guidelines already used for patients with DCM, as well as gene-specific therapies.

“We believe this study shows how important genetic screening and counseling are for women who develop PPCM, something that isn’t currently common practice, and perhaps even for their female family members of child-bearing age,” Arany said. “As a physician, knowing you have a patient with PPCM who shows these genetic mutations would lead you to make changes in care, such as lowering the threshold for defibrillator use in the case of high-risk variants, or counseling family members on their risk of developing PPCM.”

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Why You Should Think Twice About Using Headphones At The Gym

There are certain things most women can’t exercise without, from a decent hair-tie, to keep our locks off our faces, to the correct clothing that won’t fall down or cling too tightly during high-intensity moves. Although it’s likely you frequently spot at least a couple people in the gym working out without headphones, or even running outside without them — the horror! — the vast majority of us prefer to train while listening to something, whether it’s music, podcasts, or even audiobooks. 

Wearing headphones in the gym isn’t something most of us think twice about. Doing so is second nature, particularly if you’ve been working out for a while. Headphones make sessions go faster and ensure we focus entirely on what we’re doing rather than worrying about everybody else around us. However, there are several reasons why wearing headphones at the gym isn’t the best idea. Before you grab your favorite pair on your way to your workout, consider the following. 

Blocking everything out has its setbacks

According to News24, pumping loud music into your ears for a prolonged period of time can impact your balance through the vestibular system, making running on the treadmill more dangerous. It can also potentially damage your hearing in the long run. Although headphones may make it easier to concentrate, scrolling endlessly through songs while trying to find the right one for the exercise in question could be robbing you of valuable workout time. Likewise, if your music is too loud it may be distracting fellow gym goers, so try not to block everything out exactly. It’s worth noting, too, if the cord on your earphones isn’t the right length, it might restrict your movement, making it more difficult to strength train properly. You could even hurt your neck while working your core. 

Also, did you know you should be cleaning your headphones regularly after each use? Sweat and bacteria cling to them, which can lead to ear infections, particularly if they’re frequently tossed into your bag with the rest of your gear. However, as with headphones themselves, there’s no one size fits all rule here. As trainer Sue Reynolds Reed advised, try one exercise session without headphones, to ensure your breathing and focus are both on point (via Health E News). Put simply, if headphones assist with your workout, include them. If they’re distracting you, it’s best to go without. Either way, keep them clean and take note of any changes in your hearing, just in case.

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