Activity

fitness

Fitness On Demand Added to Techny Prairie Activity Center Memberships

Now, more than ever, one of the most important things people can do for their physical and mental health is to stay active. Techny Prairie Activity Center (TPAC), Northbrook Park District’s new facility for fitness, health and wellness, is scheduled to open in January 2021. Charter memberships are now available offering the best value; membership options can be found at nbfitness.org.

A new partnership developed with Fitness On Demand will deliver high-quality livestream and group fitness options to TPAC members, both onsite and on the go. This exciting option is included with facility membership (some exclusions apply).

        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        

 

Fitness On Demand provides access to over 300 fitness classes from popular fitness websites such as Daily Burn, Jillian Michaels Productions, GymRa and Sweat Factor. Offerings include cardio, strength, yoga, dance, martial arts, core, cycling, mind/body and HIIT classes along with elliptical and treadmill programs. Those looking for familiar faces will find select Northbrook Park District instructors providing a variety of custom livestream and recorded content through the platform.

Members will have the option to take classes anywhere, at any time through the Fitness On Demand app from the comfort of home or, starting in January, in the TPAC Fitness Studios when the space is not used for other scheduled programming.

Fitness On Demand is immediately available upon joining Techny Prairie Activity Center, allowing members to enjoy this fitness option, before TPAC even opens. The sooner members join, the more time they have to experience this amazing library of fitness programming.

TPAC staff members understand everyone has a different comfort level when it comes to exercising and being with others during this uncertain time. Through this partnership with Fitness On Demand, Northbrook Park District is pleased to offer options to members to meet their personal needs and help people stay active and healthy.

For more information about Fitness On Demand, Techny Prairie Activity Center Charter Memberships and employment opportunities at TPAC, visit nbfitness.org, email [email protected] or call (847) 897-6180.

        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        

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fitness

Best fitness tracker for Cyber Monday: track steps, activity, sleep and cardio

Looking to get fit in 2020? The best fitness tracker (aka a fitness band, aka “those things you wear that count your steps”) is a decent place to start, especially if you’re trying to stick to New Year resolutions, even though it’s only autumn. Fitness trackers are not expensive but the best Cyber Monday deals brought the prices down even further. 

• Shop the best cheap Fitbit deals on right now. 

With the market extremely well established there really is something for everyone in terms of prices, from around £20 to £200+, with products that do little more than count steps and ‘track sleep’, with varying degrees of inaccuracy, all the way up to devices with heart-rate tracking that are more like scaled down running watches.

After many years of doing very little beyond counting steps, makers of trackers and bands are now realising that many consumers want more useful feedback on how fit they are and how to get fitter. They are addressing this with, it must be said, ‘varying’ degrees of success. Or, if you’re less diplomatic, not much success.

To cut a long story short, if you’re interested in fitness, my strong advice is to get a running watch instead. The term ‘running watch’ is just shorthand – they’re fitness watches that also useful when cycling, hiking, at the gym and even, in a few cases, swimming. 

However, if you must have a Fitbit or similar, get the new Charge 4 or one of their more versatile watches such as the Versa 2. 

But what is the best fitness tracker?

Okay, it’s a Fitbit. Quite hard deciding which, as they are so similar in terms of functionality but at present we rank them like this:

Fitbit Charge 4: best fitness tracker overall. Finally, Fitbit has given runners, HIIT workout heroes and anyone who likes more intense exercise what they want. There’s GPS to track outdoor activity, improved pulse monitoring accuracy and a new points system that rewards SWEAT. 

Fitbit Versa 2: best fitness tracker with smartwatch elements. With fairly good pulse tracking, Alexa, and an excellent app, this is a good fitness band made just big enough to incorporate a smartwatch-style screen and functionality. No GPS built in but you can tap into your phone’s.

Fitbit Versa Lite: best cheap fitness tracker and easily good enough for most people.

Garmin Vivoactive 4: best fitness tracker made by someone other than Fitbit. with built-in GPS, tracking of more intense workouts and impressive accuracy, this is obviously the device that the Charge 4 was built to take on. The look and feel of it, plus the social and app elements are a bit crappier, however.

Fitbit’s app, social network and general ecosystem are just by far the best. Seriously, it’s not even close. Garmin’s new, tightened-up app is a step in the right direction in some ways, but it’s still too sprawling, because it’s designed to be for everyone from 10,000-steps-per-day mums to elite triathletes. 

One

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fitness

Best fitness tracker for Black Friday: track steps, activity, sleep and cardio

Looking to get fit in 2020? The best fitness tracker (aka a fitness band, aka “those things you wear that count your steps”) is a decent place to start, especially if you’re trying to stick to New Year resolutions, even though it’s only autumn. Fitness trackers are not expensive but the best Black Friday deals and best Cyber Monday deals. 

• Shop the best cheap Fitbit deals on right now. 

With the market extremely well established there really is something for everyone in terms of prices, from around £20 to £200+, with products that do little more than count steps and ‘track sleep’, with varying degrees of inaccuracy, all the way up to devices with heart-rate tracking that are more like scaled down running watches.

After many years of doing very little beyond counting steps, makers of trackers and bands are now realising that many consumers want more useful feedback on how fit they are and how to get fitter. They are addressing this with, it must be said, ‘varying’ degrees of success. Or, if you’re less diplomatic, not much success.

To cut a long story short, if you’re interested in fitness, my strong advice is to get a running watch instead. The term ‘running watch’ is just shorthand – they’re fitness watches that also useful when cycling, hiking, at the gym and even, in a few cases, swimming. 

However, if you must have a Fitbit or similar, get the new Charge 4 or one of their more versatile watches such as the Versa 2. 

But what is the best fitness tracker?

Okay, it’s a Fitbit. Quite hard deciding which, as they are so similar in terms of functionality but at present we rank them like this:

Fitbit Charge 4: best fitness tracker overall. Finally, Fitbit has given runners, HIIT workout heroes and anyone who likes more intense exercise what they want. There’s GPS to track outdoor activity, improved pulse monitoring accuracy and a new points system that rewards SWEAT. 

Fitbit Versa 2: best fitness tracker with smartwatch elements. With fairly good pulse tracking, Alexa, and an excellent app, this is a good fitness band made just big enough to incorporate a smartwatch-style screen and functionality. No GPS built in but you can tap into your phone’s.

Fitbit Versa Lite: best cheap fitness tracker and easily good enough for most people.

Garmin Vivoactive 4: best fitness tracker made by someone other than Fitbit. with built-in GPS, tracking of more intense workouts and impressive accuracy, this is obviously the device that the Charge 4 was built to take on. The look and feel of it, plus the social and app elements are a bit crappier, however.

Fitbit’s app, social network and general ecosystem are just by far the best. Seriously, it’s not even close. Garmin’s new, tightened-up app is a step in the right direction in some ways, but it’s still too sprawling, because it’s designed to be for everyone from 10,000-steps-per-day mums to elite triathletes. 

One outlier

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fitness

Over 620,000 students from 600 schools commit to 30 minutes of activity for 30 days for Dubai Fitness Challenge

(MENAFN – Emirates News Agency (WAM)) DUBAI, 21st November, 2020 (WAM) — Recognising the integral role that schools play in instilling fitness-focused habits in the country’s youth, Dubai Fitness Challenge, DFC, 2020 is ensuring that more than 620,000 students across 600 schools adopt healthier and happier lifestyles for 30 minutes for 30 days.

The fitness programme of free events, sports activities and family-friendly virtual sessions will continue throughout the month, while a new robust library of free online resources for parents and teachers will further, enable them to motivate children to get fit while having fun. Exciting activity calendars can be downloaded for free on the DFC website, catering to various learning models with over 80 fitness and wellbeing-focused activity templates and games for children aged two to 16 years. For an extra boost at home, kids can also join their beloved superheroes and cartoon characters in online workouts, wellness and dance sessions for free, easy-to-follow exercises and routines.

Dr. Abdulla Al Karam, Chairman of the Board of Directors and Director-General of the Knowledge and Human Development Authority, KHDA, commented, “More than any other time, this year has shown us how important it is to be fit and healthy; to have fun and to spend time with friends and family. The Dubai Fitness Challenge brings all these values together. It’s been great to see so many schools and families get together online to build on existing fitness habits and to start new ones. We are grateful to the team at Dubai Tourism for bringing us all together and for giving us a challenge we can all rise to.”

Ahmed Al Khaja, CEO of Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment, DFRE, commented, “For children and young people, the importance of physical activity can never be understated. Now, more than ever, sports, exercise and wellness activities are crucial to inspiring sustained shifts towards more active routines for children.”

Little ones can choose from an incredible range of free workouts that the whole family will love – be it exclusive workout videos from PJ Masks that are released each week throughout DFC; fun workouts with all the favourite characters from IMG Worlds Of Adventure; Les Mills Born To Move music workouts; FIFA and EA workouts, with drills and tricks by Kotaro Tokuda – the youngest freestyle football champion; or special song routines with Papa Smurfs, Brainy Smurf, Smurfette and Vanity Smurf at Motiongate Dubai.

To make 30 minutes of daily exercise fun for the whole family, DFC’s flagship Fitness Villages also promise something for everyone. You can head down to the Mai Dubai Fitness Village Festival City Mall and experience bag jumps, quick flights and the region’s largest mobile pump track at The Arch. Go to the DP World Fitness Village Kite Beach and try out trampoline workouts at Fitbit Rebounder; boot camps, dance classes and functional training at the Teen Fit area; or monkey bars and climbing challenges at the Kids Camp. Enjoy a day out at the park with the Emirates NBD

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health

Flu activity low in Alabama

There is some good health news in Alabama.

While coronavirus cases in the state are ticking up, flu activity is tracking behind last year, according to surveillance data from the Alabama Department of Public Health.

For the week ending Oct. 24, ADPH showed 2 of the state’s eight health districts – the northeastern part of the state and Jefferson County – had lab confirmed flu cases. The remainder of the districts showed no significant influenza. No districts reported significant activity.

For the same week last year, every district except Mobile showed lab confirmed cases. By the next week in 2019, the east central and southeastern districts were already showing significant influenza activity.

Flu rates are also low nationally. Forty nine states, including Alabama, were reporting “minimal” influenza activity. The only state reporting low flu activity was Iowa.

Last week, the Centers for Disease Control said 1.2% of patients nationally reported visiting their physician had flu-like illnesses, well below the national baseline of 2.6%.

The exact timing and duration of flu varies each year but activity traditionally increases in October, peaking between December and February and lasting as long as May. The CDC recommends flu vaccines for everyone ages 6 months of age and older.

https://www.alabamapublichealth.gov/publications/assets/publichealthdistrictsmap.pdf

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health

COVID-19 activity intensifying in Washington

SEATTLE (AP) — State health officials say a new COVID-19 report shows an increase in cases and hospitalizations throughout Washington.

If not brought under control, officials said the spike could jeopardize progress toward reopening schools, strain the health care system and increase risks during the holiday season.

In an updated situation report released Wednesday, the state Department of Health said the virus is spreading faster in Western Washington than Eastern Washington, but is rising on both sides of the Cascades.

Estimates show each new COVID-19 patient is infecting 1.34 others, on average, in Western Washington. In Eastern Washington the average infection rate is 1.12. The goal is a number well below one, which would mean COVID-19 transmission is declining, officials said.

“High rates in the community increase the chance that someone at your gathering — even people you know well and trust —could have COVID-19,” Deputy Secretary of Health Lacy Fehrenbach said in a news release. “If we act now, we can get these increases in control in time for the holidays.”


Recent growth in cases is widely distributed across the state. Several larger counties including Clark, Pierce, Snohomish and Thurston are seeing steady growth in cases. After increases through Oct. 7, King County case counts began to decline, possibly because of decreased testing in that time period.

Health officials say the trends can be reversed if everyone wears a mask around people they don’t live with and limits the number, size and frequency of gatherings.

Since the pandemic began, more than 104,000 COVID-19 cases have been confirmed in the state. The state dashboard shows 2,337 people with confirmed cases in the state have died.

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health

Basilea presents preclinical data on anti-angiogenic activity of derazantinib at ENA 2020

Basel, Switzerland, October 26, 2020

Basilea Pharmaceutica Ltd. (SIX: BSLN) today reported that data on the anti-angiogenic activity of the fibroblast growth factor receptor (FGFR) inhibitor derazantinib were presented at the 32nd EORTC-NCI-AACR (ENA) Symposium on Molecular Targets and Cancer Therapeutics, that took place as a virtual event on 24-25 October, 2020. In addition to FGFR1-3 derazantinib also inhibits the vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 2 (VEGFR2). The presented data from several preclinical models demonstrate that derazantinib has an anti-angiogenic effect, which may contribute to its overall anti-tumor activity in FGFR-driven cancers.

The prevention of new blood vessel formation (anti-angiogenesis) is an established approach in cancer therapy as it deprives the growing tumor from oxygen and nutrients. VEGFR2 is a primary target for anti-angiogenic agents in the treatment of cancers.

Dr. Laurenz Kellenberger, Chief Scientific Officer, said: “Our development strategy for derazantinib is focused on strengthening the evidence for its differentiation versus other FGFR inhibitors. The preclinical data on derazantinib’s anti-angiogenic activity presented at the conference show that it may provide additional activity on top of its established primary anti-tumor effects in FGFR-positive solid tumors. Based on its unique kinase inhibition profile, we are exploring derazantinib’s potential for enhanced activity alone and in combination with other anti-cancer agents such as the anti-VEGFR2 antibody ramucirumab, or the PD-L1 immune checkpoint inhibitor atezolizumab within our ongoing clinical program FIDES.“

The following e-poster was presented at the EORTC-NCI-AACR Virtual Symposium 2020:

Presentation #

Authors/title

101

P. McSheehy, J. Boult, S. Robinson, F. Bachmann, M. El-Shemerly, L. Kellenberger, H. Lane

Derazantinib, an oral fibroblast growth factor receptor inhibitor, in phase-2 clinical development, shows anti-angiogenic activity in preclinical models

For further information, please visit https://event.eortc.org/ena2020

About derazantinib

Derazantinib is an investigational orally administered small-molecule FGFR inhibitor with strong activity against FGFR1, 2, and 3.1 FGFR kinases are key drivers of cell proliferation, differentiation and migration. FGFR genetic aberrations, e.g. gene fusions, mutations or amplifications, have been identified as potentially important therapeutic targets for various cancers, including intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma (iCCA), urothelial, breast, gastric and lung cancers.2 In these cancers, FGFR genetic aberrations are found in a range of 5% to 30%.3
Derazantinib also inhibits the colony-stimulating-factor-1-receptor (CSF1R) kinase.1, 4 CSF1R-mediated signaling is important for the maintenance of tumor-promoting macrophages and therefore has been identified as a potential target for anti-cancer drugs.5 Preclinical data has shown that tumor macrophage depletion through CSF1R blockade renders tumors more responsive to T-cell checkpoint immunotherapy, including approaches targeting PD-1/PD-L1.67
Derazantinib has demonstrated antitumor activity and a manageable safety profile in a previous biomarker-driven phase 1/2 study in iCCA patients,8 and has received U.S. and EU orphan drug designation for iCCA. Basilea is currently conducting three clinical studies with derazantinib. The first study, FIDES-01, is a registrational phase 2 study in patients with inoperable or advanced iCCA. It comprises one cohort of patients with FGFR2 gene fusions and another cohort of patients with mutations or amplifications.

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Selexipag Has No Effect on Daily Activity in PAH Patients

Selexipag (Uptravi) does not change the level of daily activity of patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH), results from the phase 4 TRACE trial suggest.



Luke Howard

“We had no preconceived idea if this drug would improve exercise capacity,” said Luke Howard, MD, from Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust in London. It was clear, however, that 6-minute walk tests conducted a few times a year “don’t paint a picture of what daily life is like for patients on selexipag.”

The oral prostacyclin IP receptor agonist is prescribed to slow the progression of PAH and reduce hospital admissions, but there are no studies that show whether it improves quality of life.

Howard and his team turned to wearable technology to “capture a snapshot of everyday life,” he explained during his presentation at CHEST 2020.

The primary concern of the investigators was to get TRACE participants — all with PAH — to wear a wrist device; they did not encourage patients to become more active. “We wanted a true picture of the impact of the drug itself,” he noted.

After 24 months of daily tracking, “there was no benefit to increased daily activity for patients taking this drug,” Howard told Medscape Medical News. “That was a bit deflating.”

The daily activity of TRACE participants was “slightly more elevated” in the selexipag group than in the placebo group. “We saw some numerical drops in activity in the placebo group, and a trend that might make a difference over a longer, bigger study, but not in a statically significant way,” he reported.

In the randomized, blinded trial — the first to track the activity of PAH patients — 53 participants received selexipag and 55 received placebo. All 108 wore a wrist accelerometer (GT9X Link) that counted the number of steps taken each day, providing an indication of daily activity.

Device compliance — the mean number of days in which the device was worn for at least 7 hours during a 14-day predrug period — was similar in the selexipag and placebo groups (13.2 vs 13.0 days).

Baseline Characteristics of the TRACE Participants
Measure Selexipag Group Placebo Group
Median time from diagnosis, months 38 34
Mean 6-minute walk distance, m 453.1 449.5
WHO class II PAH, % 62.3 74.5

“We wanted to make sure we had people who were stable and weren’t enrolled in a rehabilitation program; we didn’t want any competing influences,” Howard explained. All in all, the participants were in pretty good shape. “There was a low risk of a bad outcome.”

The primary end point was change in activity from baseline to week 24. The secondary end points were PAH-SYMPACT health quality-of-life tests and 6-minute walk distance.

Similar Activity Levels in Both Groups

Change in Activity From Baseline to Week 24
Activity Selexipag Group Placebo Group
Nonsedentary activity, min –0.7 –15.0
Steps, n –32 –171
6-minute walk distance, m 18.3 9.8

As expected in a population in which the majority of patients meet the criteria for WHO FC II PAH, all

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