Pumpkin packs surprising nutritional benefits


Courtesy of Dreamstime.com
According to Passion Fit’s Reena Vokoun, pumpkins are not only festive, they also are rich in antioxidants and beta-carotene.

Now that Halloween and Thanksgiving are on the horizon, pumpkin season is officially here. While many people simply think of it as a treat to enjoy in pies, ice cream and spiced lattes, or a decoration to carve and put out on the porch, pumpkin, a type of winter squash, is considered a superfood.

Pumpkin has many surprising nutritional and health benefits you may not be aware of. Be sure to check with your doctor for any dietary restrictions, but following are five benefits to take note of that may encourage you to add more pumpkin into your life all year long.

Coffee linked to reduced suicide risk, serves as effective antidepressant


Rita Hitching

Coffee is the most widely used psychoactive substance in the world, with more than 80% of the world’s population drinking coffee daily. Despite reports encouraging people to reduce their coffee intake, multiple studies have reported on the health benefits of caffeine. Statistica reports that coffee remains one of the most popular beverages in the U.S., with 100 million Americans drinking coffee every day.

Americans 60 years old and up typically drink three times as many cups of coffee as those ages 18-24. That’s good news for baby boomers, as coffee has been associated with increased cognitive performance and lower risk of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.

Is it normal for knees to hurt during squats?


Courtesy of Kim Gladfelter
People experiencing knee pain when they squat can work with a specialist to identify what’s going wrong, whether it’s an existing injury, an insufficient warm-up or improper form.

 

The short answer to the question of whether it’s normal for the knees to hurt while squatting is “no.”

After decades of preparation, El Camino Hospital's state-of-the-art Scrivner Center for Mental Health and Addiction Services premieres


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Landscaping begins at El Camino Hospital’s new Taube Pavilion Oct. 17. The 56,000-square-foot facility, which will house the hospital’s Scrivner Center for Mental Health and Addiction Services, will be open to the public Saturday afternoon.

Michael Fitzgerald’s patience has paid off – much to the benefit of his El Camino Hospital department’s patients.

Fitzgerald, executive director of Mental Health and Addiction Services, walked into his office on his first day on the job Dec. 9, 2002, and was handed a set of blueprints for the new hospital, set for completion in 2011. It was likely at that time that his department would move to the new facility, but he and his staff remained at the old hospital after determining the new space didn’t meet their patients’ needs for a multitude of reasons.

10 ways to reduce pregnancy insomnia

Before I even take a pregnancy test, I know by my sleep patterns that I’m pregnant. I’m an Olympic-level sleeper – when my head hits the pillow, I’m gone – so insomnia was a really frustrating companion to my pregnancies.

In early pregnancy you may feel like nodding off at 6 p.m., and then you’re lying awake enjoying the company of Facebook at 3 a.m. Pregnancy hormones impact every system in the body, causing frequent bathroom trips, leg cramps and those 20-point turns in the third trimester when your hips ache from lying in one position. Insomnia also can get worse with anxiety and the emotional roller coaster of becoming a parent.

Working out together offers benefits for couples, study says


Courtesy of Reena Vokoun
Passion Fit owner Reena Vokoun, right, and her husband, Matt, created a Couples Bootcamp Workout video series on her company’s YouTube channel to motivate pairs to work out together anytime and anywhere.

According to a research study conducted by University College London, of 3,700 couples surveyed who worked out together, 70% were still exercising at the gym at least once a week two years later. The study reinforces the many benefits for couples who exercise together.

Bonding over a shared activity

While many couples may have activities they already do together, as time goes on and after many have kids, their interests and activities may drift in different directions. Therefore, finding fun workouts and exercises to do together can really allow them to bond or potentially reconnect with one another over a shared activity. Whether it be runs or walks, cycling classes, bootcamp classes or even ballroom dance lessons, the sky’s the limit in terms of the types of workouts couples can do to create or re-create that spark in their relationship.


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