As the coronavirus pandemic rages on and quarantine orders are being extended, people have turned to new places to get workout inspiration at home.
Fitness videos on TikTok have grown exponentially since the pandemic began, as many looked for new ways to stay in shape. Fitness challenges like #DragonFlag, #OneMinuteFitness and #PlankChallenge have gone viral in recent months, and celebrities like Carrie Underwood have even joined in.
Experts urge those just starting out to take it slow before jumping into some of the advanced moves seen in popular TikTok videos, and the intense program called 75 Hard that’s trending on the platform is no exception.
The 75 Hard program, created by entrepreneur and podcaster Andy Frisella and described as a “mental toughness” program, outlines rules users must follow for 75 days. They are:
75 Hard found life on TikTok during the pandemic after 22-year-old Rylee Ollearis documented her journey doing the program from May to July. Her first video about it has racked up more than 4 million views.
“I decided to post on TikTok for my five followers at the time… ‘Hey guys, I’m doing this crazy challenge, this crazy program,’ and the video started to blow up,” Ollearis told “GMA.”
“I’ve almost given up myself a few too many times in the past,” she explained about what drew her to the intense program. “I wanted to prove to myself for this time that I could be tough enough to complete something that I set my mind to.”
Ollearis’ audio from her Day One video is now used in more than 500 TikTok videos of other users trying out the program for themselves. The hashtag #75Hard itself has over 126 million views on the platform.
The recent college graduate is now a wellness coach and said many people have reached out to her about the program since finding her videos. While she recognized that the program is a major commitment, she said she chose to do it the middle of quarantine because she could put the majority of her daily focus on making sure she was being mindful with her workouts and recovery.
“Understanding that two 45-minute workouts every single day is a lot. You’re pushing your body, but you also have to ensure that you’re getting the right recovery, that you’re including active rest into those days to make sure that you’re not hurting yourself in any way,” she said.
Experts raise ‘red flags’ about 75 Hard
One of the concerns about 75 Hard, according to many experts, is many may opt to ignore the 75 Hard recommendations and begin the workout plan without seeking advice from a physician first, and this can be
Alternative treatment amid the COVID-19 pandemic has become a matter of concern for mainstream health care experts, as many with comorbid conditions are taking alternative medication without supervision and that can be life threatening, warn health experts.
Dr Wiqar Shaikh, senior allergy and asthma expert, said, “The Union Health Minister on October 6, released an AYUSH standard protocol for the clinical management of COVID-19. This protocol lists dietary measures, Yoga and ayurvedic formulations. The protocol includes Ashwagandha, both for prevention and treatment of COVID-19 infection, as well as to prevent complications of COVID-19 such as fatigue, lung fibrosis and mental health issues. It was claimed that the protocol was based on research studies conducted by AYUSH.”
Extensive research lacking
“It must be clarified at the outset, that I do not wish to denigrate or derogate alternative medicines. However, it is important to understand that claims of efficacy of any treatment should be based on extensive double blind, placebo-controlled trials that should be published in peer-reviewed medical journals. An extensive search did not show any published studies in medical journals supporting the use of alternative medicines in COVID-19 treatment.”
Dr Shaikh said nine clinical studies were registered with the Central Trial Registry of India for the use of Ashwagandha in the treatment of COVID-19. While five of them are yet to begin, four have not been published. There are 6 studies on Ashwagandha for prevention of COVID-19, but none have been completed or published. Besides, three studies on the effect of Ashwagandha on COVID-19 are ongoing, but again, none of these have been published yet.
No published evidence
“Alternative medicines, such as Ayurveda, and the use of Ashwagandha are being promoted for COVID-19 without published data or infallible evidence. The same could be said of other Ayurvedic medicines such as Guduchi and Yashtamadhu,” Dr Shaikh said.
Dr Ketan Vagholkar, professor of surgery at D Y Patil Medical College, said, “The pandemic has challenged the medical fraternity and the entire healthcare system of the entire world. Doctors are still identifying the right drug. Even in recovered patients, meticulous follow up is essential to detect late complications that may affect multiple organs. In such a scenario, relying on medication, which is devoid of scientific evidence, could prove to be very dangerous. None of the traditional medicines have undergone rigorous clinical trials to prove their efficacy and safety in treatment of COVID-19.”
Follow-ups are important
Dr Vagholkar continued, “It has also been observed that patients, instead of following up with their regular physicians, prefer opting for self-medication with different types of traditional medicines. As a result, a variety of health complications may arise. Kidney, liver and lungs are specifically impacted by traditional medicines due to heavy metal contents.”
Dr Subhash Hira, professor of Global Health at the University of Washington, said, “AYUSH Ministry has recommended existing medicine for the treatment of COVID-19 using the same principle of ‘repurposed formulations’ on similar lines of modern medicines i.e. remdesivir, tocilizumab, and favipiravir, etc. The AYUSH formulations
It’s official: the UK is back in lockdown under the instruction of Boris Johnson and co., who announced that this time around it’ll be for a month as opposed to twelve weeks (but hey, it’s 2020 guys… it feels like everything is subject to change at any time).
Like last time, we’ve seen restaurants, offices and gyms close their doors and a tonne of incredible fitness brands have upped their online offerings. But unlike last time, we’re hoping there’ll be less chatter around ‘lockdown glow-ups’, which tbh just feels like adding unnecessary pressure to an already stressful time. To be clear: you do not need to emerge with newly chiselled abs at the start of December. Okay?
However, as we all know, exercise is an excellent way to boost your endorphins and create some routine during these long days that all seem to blend into one gigantic ‘meh’ (just me?). During the next surreal few weeks, working out or focussing on other aspects of your health (including your mental health) can be an excellent survival tool.
Here, fifteen incredible fitness experts share what they’ll be doing differently for Lockdown 2.0.
1. Start the day mindfully
“Personally, I love to get up early. I always feel good for doing so and it allows me to get some morning rituals in. One thing I’d like to do during this lockdown is to be a little more mindful, so I’m aiming to commit to a morning meditation each day. Getting up early allows me time to do so without feeling rushed. I also love the Admiral William H. McRaven quote, ‘Want to change the world? Start by making your bed every day’ and really buy into it.” – Ben Davie, Head of Matrix HIIT at Digme (who offer live and on-demand home workouts)
2. Design a 30 Day Challenge
“During the first lockdown, I was very stern with myself and exercised most days, but I realise this time will feel different. It’s colder, darker and almost the festive period! Instead, I’ll be listening to my body more on the days that I’m just not feeling it, while still working out when I can (it always leaves me feeling happier and more productive). A great way to feel on track during this second lockdown could be to set yourself a 30 day challenge: plan a month’s worth of activities, including fun things for off days, like watching your favourite Christmas film. For your on days, your task could be something like ‘complete 30 squats’ or ‘do 50 kickbacks’, as opposed to a full-on, heavy routine. Even ticking off something small will give you a real sense of achievement and routine.” – Meggan Grubb, PT and Fitness Influencer
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3. Look at your health holistically
“For the second lockdown, I’m taking a more holistic approach
Vincent van Gogh likely suffered from “delirium” caused by alcohol withdrawal, according to a new study of the artist’s psychiatric illnesses.
In order to investigate the artist’s possible psychiatric disorders, experts interviewed art historians familiar with 902 letters from the artist — 820 to his brother, Theo — and studied medical records made by doctors who treated him.
The Dutch master, who produced some 900 paintings during his lifetime, died by suicide in 1890 at the age of 37 following years of mental illness.
He is thought to have suffered from a combination of bipolar and borderline personality disorder, though these illnesses were never diagnosed.
Researchers from The University Medical Center Groningen, in the Netherlands, say that they believe Van Gogh experienced two brief psychotic episodes, presumed to be delirium caused by alcohol withdrawal, following his admission to hospital after cutting off his own ear with a razor in 1888.
The experts believe the delirium was caused after the artist was forced to stop drinking alcohol after being admitted to hospital.
Researchers say that the Dutch master experienced several severe depressive episodes in the last year of his life — at least one with psychotic features.
The team also ruled out some theories surrounding Van Gogh’s suspected illnesses, finding notions that Van Gogh suffered from schizophrenia, the rare metabolic disease porphyria and gas poisoning from carbon monoxide “highly improbable.”
However, experts say the theory that Van Gogh suffered from epilepsy, a diagnosis established by his own doctors, remains “open for discussion.”
In the study, published Monday in the International Journal of Bipolar Disorders, researchers say that the artist’s likely “masked epilepsy,” also known as “focal epilepsy,” could have led to differing manifestations of anxiety, delusions and hallucinations.
In Van Gogh’s case, it could have been caused as a result of brain damage linked to his alcohol abuse, malnutrition, poor sleep and mental exhaustion.
However, as examinations such as imaging techniques and EEG tests (electric signal tests) were not available, experts say it is difficult to say for sure if he suffered from epilepsy.
Researchers caution that as they did not interview the artist themselves, their conclusions should be treated with caution.
“We think we can safely rule out some previously suggested diagnoses and we are more or less certain about several illnesses that he suffered from, but we will never really know for sure,” Willem Nolen, Emeritus Professor of Psychiatry who coordinated the research, said in a statement.
“And although Van Gogh’s letters contain a lot of information, we must remember that he didn’t write them to his doctors, but to his brother Theo and other family members and other relatives in order to inform them, to reassure them or to get something done. He might have downplayed or even embellished certain things. Therefore, our article
U.S. Experts to Review Biogen Drug That Could Be First New Alzheimer’s Treatment in Decades | Top News
(Reuters) – U.S. health experts this week will decide whether to recommend approval for Biogen Inc’s
Alzheimer’s drug, which could become the first new treatment for the mind-wasting disease in decades even as serious questions persist over whether data show if it works.
In a field littered with unrelenting failure, Biogen believes in aducanumab it has the first drug that can treat an underlying cause, and therefore slow progression, of Alzheimer’s. But its path to approval has been anything but smooth or assured.
Biogen abruptly ended clinical trials of aducanumab last year after an early look at trial results showed it was not effective. Last October, the company shocked many Alzheimer’s experts by reversing course, saying that a new analysis showed aducanumab could help patients with early-stage disease preserve their ability to function independently for longer. In July, Biogen filed for approval from the Food and Drug Administration.
Now the agency faces tremendous pressure to approve a treatment option for millions of Americans suffering from Alzheimer’s and the millions more expected to face it in coming years.
Patient advocates say the need for a new Alzheimer’s treatment that could help people remain independent is heightened by the coronavirus pandemic, which has killed more than 229,000 people in the United States, including tens of thousands of seniors in nursing homes.
“The pandemic came and it changed everything,” said Russ Paulsen, chief operating officer at patient advocacy group UsAgainstAlzheimer’s. “We need something to keep people out of nursing homes.”
A committee of outside advisers to the FDA will discuss aducanumab on Nov. 6. The agency’s final decision is expected by March. European health regulators have also accepted the drug for review.
Charles Flagg, a 79-year-old retired minister from Jamestown, Rhode Island, had been enrolled for years in a trial of aducanumab before it was stopped. He started receiving the drug again in August as part of a follow-up study, according to his wife Cynthia Flagg.
“He’s not 100 percent himself, but overall I’m not dealing with someone that needs to be led around or be in a care home,” Flagg said.
Aducanumab, an antibody designed to remove amyloid plaques from the brain – a strategy tried with many failed Alzheimer’s drugs – would reap billions of dollars in sales if approved.
Biogen, along with partner Eisai Co Ltd <4523.T>, is one of the last large drugmakers pursuing treatments for a disease that afflicts nearly 6 million Americans and millions more worldwide. Biogen estimates about 1.5 million people with early Alzheimer’s in the United States could be candidates for the drug.
Late last year, Biogen said one of its two pivotal studies of aducanumab showed a statistically significant benefit at slowing cognitive and functional decline in patients with early Alzheimer’s. A second trial failed to achieve that goal, but did show a benefit for a subset of patients who were given a high dose for at least 10 months.
In March, it opened a follow-up long-term safety study to 2,400 people who had
When you’re feeling tense, on edge, and overwhelmed, some good stress-relieving workouts to take out all that anger and frustration can really come in clutch.
It might seem counterintuitive to combat stress with another form of stress—yes, exercise is stress—but it’s considered a good kind of stress that can actually help your body fight off the effects of the “bad” kind of stress, Sarah C. McEwen, Ph.D., NSCA-CPT, director of research and programming for the Pacific Neuroscience Institute at Providence Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, California, tells SELF. In fact, regularly triggering that stress system by engaging in physical activity might help condition your body to deal with short-term stressors more efficiently. (Of course, exercise alone doesn’t replace treatment for depression and anxiety, so you should continue taking prescribed medications and see your therapist or doctor regularly.)
Plus, when you exercise, you breathe more, which promotes relaxation, Belinda Anderson, Ph.D., M.A., associate dean and professor of allied health programs at Pace University’s College of Health Professions, tells SELF. The simple act of movement helps too. “We often hold stress by tightening muscles and often don’t realize we are doing this,” she says. “The movement aspect relieves clenched muscles and stretches parts of the body that may be tight due to stress.”
There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to exercise for stress relief, though there are some characteristics that might be especially beneficial. For example, exercising outdoors has been shown to have a greater benefit than indoors, McEwen says. And Anderson recommends gentle exercises, such as yoga, tai chi, and qi gong, which involve regulating breathing and deep breathing, which in turn can increase the relaxation response.
But take those as simple guidelines: It really all depends on what works for you.
“Whenever a client asks me the best type of exercise they should be doing for their brain, I always tell them to do what they enjoy and feel comfortable doing, not whatever the latest fad is,” McEwan says. “This helps build your intrinsic motivation to keep the habit going, since you’ll want to keep returning to it to get that feeling again and again.”
That said, we asked trainers and other fitness professionals to share their go-to stress-relieving workouts to give you some ideas you can try.
1. An intense kettlebell workout
A total-body, 15-minute kettlebell circuit training workout filled with compound moves like double-arm swings, overhead presses, goblet squats, bent-over rows, and pull-throughs is the ultimate stress reliever for Noam Tamir, C.S.C.S., CEO and founder of TS Fitness. He’ll rest 15 to 20 seconds between each exercise and complete three rounds total.
“Kettlebells are my go-to for a destressing workout. There is a big emphasis on breath work for kettlebells,” Tamir says. “In order to use them the most efficiently and effectively, you create a lot of tension in the body, and then release the tension through your breath.”
How you can try it: Check out this 20-minute total-body kettlebell workout, which includes a mix of bodyweight and
Frozen Food Packages in China Keep Testing Positive For Coronavirus. Here’s Why Health Experts Aren’t Worried
They’ve reportedly found it on packages of Ecuadorian shrimp, squid from Russia and Norwegian seafood.
Since June, Chinese health authorities have been detecting genetic traces of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, on refrigerated and frozen foods from around the world. Then, on Oct. 17, the Chinese Centers for Disease Control (CDC) announced it had isolated active SARS-CoV-2 on packs of imported fish. The agency says this world-first discovery, made while tracing a recent outbreak in Qingdao to two dock workers, shows contaminated food packaging can cause infections.
While it remains unclear if the dock workers actually contracted COVID-19 from the seafood they were handling, the government is stepping up precautions. Qingdao will now scrutinize all incoming frozen food (after testing all 9 million residents), while the Beijing city government has urged companies to avoid importing frozen foods from countries badly hit by the pandemic — though it did not specify which ones.
Concern over possible transmission through imported food is running high in China, which has nearly stamped out domestic transmission of the pathogen. It is one of the only countries to impose wide-scale coronavirus inspections on incoming shipments.
Elsewhere, health authorities have been more skeptical. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control says there is “no evidence” to suggest food is associated with spreading the virus, while the World Health Organization (WHO) says it’s not necessary to disinfect food packaging. New Zealand meanwhile ruled out a theory that an August outbreak was connected to a cold-chain storage facility.
Read more: Wuhan Strives to Return to Normal, But Scars From the Pandemic Run
China’s CDC says 670,000 samples from frozen foods and packaging had been tested for COVID-19 as of Sept. 15. Reportedly, only 22 of them were positive (and prior to the Qingdao case it was not clear if any of the detected coronavirus was still active when thawed).
In recent months, the world’s second-largest economy has nevertheless temporarily suspended a slew of fish and meat imports, disrupting trade with several countries and reportedly causing shipping bottlenecks.
Several health experts have disputed the necessity of such precautions. While cold temperatures can preserve coronaviruses, they remain doubtful food and its packaging pose a major threat.
“It’s theoretically plausible, but the risk is much lower than the other more established routes of transmission for this virus,” says Siddharth Sridhar, a microbiologist at the University of Hong Kong (HKU).
What has China found?
China stepped up monitoring of imported foods after a second wave in June that infected 335 people was linked to Beijing’s sprawling Xinfadi market. The outbreak, which broke the capital’s run of 56 consecutive days without any new local infections, prompted a partial shutdown of the city and a probe into the origins.
Authorities suggested supplies of salmon from Europe may have been the source after
“This helps me de-stress because I’m making a point to pause during a hectic day. It’s about being self-aware enough of how you’re feeling at a certain point—emotionally, mentally, physically—and prioritizing you by focusing on being present, mindful, and tapping into your parasympathetic system (the part of the nervous system that helps you relax and slows down your heart rate),” she says.
How you can try it: Try these 12 hip stretches and 11 lower-back exercises to relieve tightness and pain, and increase mobility.
3. A gentle yoga flow.
When Jessica Rihal, a registered yoga teacher and meditation instructor based in Orange County, California, is looking to relieve stress, she’ll do a series of poses in prone (belly down) or tabletop position to help her focus on breathing and relaxing.
Some of her favorite poses for relieving stress are a supported variation of child’s pose, cat-cow, thread the needle, hug the earth, and a reclined position with bolsters or legs up on the wall.
“I find poses that keep me prone or in tabletop position are most helpful because having my face down allows me to withdraw my senses, focus on breathing and help to promote relaxation,” Rihal says. “I will typically use blocks, a bolster, and even my eye mask to help make my practice supportive and restorative.”
How you can try it: Start feeling zen right away with these 6 calming yoga poses.
4. WOD strength training.
Depending on how you’re feeling, stress may make you crave doing something either relaxing or adrenaline-pumping. That’s true for Marcia Darbouze, D.P.T., a physical therapist and registered yoga instructor based in Hollywood, FL.
“I have two forms of movement that give me joy and help me de-stress: the physical practice of yoga and strength training. Either way, I’ll opt for movement alone and enjoy the solitude,” Darbouze, co-host of the Disabled Girls Who Lift podcast, tells SELF.
If she is craving more movement, she’ll do a quick, 10-minute cardio and strength training workout. For example, she’ll do a barbell and resistance band circuit, which includes barbell cleans, barbell strict presses (overhead press), banded trunk rotations (hold band and twist away), banded Pallof presses (hold band and press away from your chest without rotating), and kneeling windmills with a kettlebell.
“Strength training in WOD form is a great way to burn off energy without having to calculate numbers or percentages. It’s also a great way to add in more small and accessory movements that help me move better,” she says. “And once I’m done sweating, I’m done stressing.”
How you can try it: If you want to put some movement behind weight, try these 6 basic barbell exercises, and for a more relaxing routine, get started with these 12 beginner yoga poses.
5. Your favorite sport.
If traditional gym-based workouts don’t exactly ooze relaxation for you, consider engaging in a sport you love instead. Nate Feliciano, owner and head of training at private fitness studio Studio 16 in New York City, likes
The fall surge has left nearly 50,000 people hospitalized across the US due to Covid-19, and experts say the strain healthcare systems are under could soon get worse.
Hospitalizations were on the rise in 47 states last month, according to the Covid Tracking Project, and a total of 47,502 people were hospitalized as of Sunday. The rates come alongside a surge of cases that made October a record setting month for coronavirus infections in the US.
The US recorded its highest number of new cases on Friday with a reported 99,321, the record for any nation in the world. And experts have said that the impacts will likely continue to get worse as colder months drive up infections.
“We’re right at the beginning of what looks like exponential growth in a lot of states,” Dr. Scott Gottlieb, former commissioner of the US Food and Drug Administration, said on CBS’s “Face the Nation” on Sunday. “This is very worrisome as we head into the winter.”
Gottlieb expects Thanksgiving to be an inflection point, and from there he said the hospital system is going to be facing pressure similar to the early spikes — when hospitals around the country were reaching capacity and healthcare workers were stretched thin.
Dr. Christopher Murray, director of the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, said hospitalizations are the best measure of how the nation is faring against the pandemic and are often an indicator of how the number of deaths will trend.
The seven-day average for new cases currently is more than 81,300 — higher than any other time in the pandemic. The surge has brought cases to more than 9.2 million in the US since the pandemic began, and 230,996 people have died, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
Coronavirus accelerating in states
Covid-19 spread and hospitalizations have reached staggering levels across states.
This week, there were more new coronavirus cases in Kentucky than any other week since the pandemic began, Gov. Andy Beshear said in a statement Sunday.
“I know we’re tired, but if we do not get the spread of this disease under control, we risk a darker, more deadly period this winter than we ever experienced in the spring,” Beshear said.
Illinois is working to manage the virus by putting the entire state under resurgence mitigation measures, Gov. J.B. Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Public Health said Sunday. The state reported nearly 7,000 new cases on Sunday.
“As cases, hospitalizations and deaths are rising across our state, across the Midwest and across the nation, we have to act responsibly and collectively to protect
‘A tough winter:’ Connecticut’s second COVID-19 surge be nearly as nearly bad as its first, experts warn; thousands more deaths possible
Connecticut’s growing surge of COVID-19 could be nearly as devastating as its initial wave last spring, experts warn, citing statistical models that forecast the likely spread of the disease.
These projections, along with Connecticut’s rapidly rising metrics, could soon force the state to restore restrictions to schools, restaurants, and other businesses as the state approaches winter and a predicted coronavirus peak.
A model from UConn Health, for instance, predicts the hospital will see a continued increase and could reach its April numbers within the next month.
“As we move forward the uncertainty is larger, but it could be as high as the peak was in April toward the end of November or maybe into December,” said Pedro Mendes, a computational biologist who created the UConn Health model. “It could also not be as high.”
Though models vary widely and carry little certainty, most bring bad news about what Connecticut will experience next. An aggregation of COVID-19 forecasts developed at UMass-Amherst projects Connecticut for 3,700 recorded cases a week by Dec. 1, as many as in mid-May, while an oft-cited forecast from the University of Washington predicts the state will need even more hospital beds in January than it did last April.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention earlier this week projected Connecticut will see about 40 COVID-19 deaths a week over the next month, far fewer than last spring but a devastating number nonetheless. The University of Washington model is more dire, forecasting about 400 deaths over the next month and more than 3,000 by Feb. 1.
While Gov. Ned Lamont has so far resisted the idea of rolling back Connecticut’s reopening — instead urging towns with high levels of infection to act on their own — these models suggest increased restrictions could soon become necessary. The governor said Friday that he is currently evaluating whether to order new statewide mandates to reduce the spread of the virus.
“I’m not a public health [expert], but where I’m sitting looking at [numbers] I think we should be prudent and we should take measures more seriously,” Mendes said. “It’s almost like you don’t see the exponential growth until you actually are on it.”
Lamont said Connecticut is “10 times more prepared” for this wave of COVID-19 than for the first and therefore better positioned to contain the outbreak. Still, he acknowledged Thursday that “if this infection rate continues on an upward trend, we’re going to have to make some changes to make sure you’re safe.”
Dr. Ajay Kumar, chief clinical officer at Hartford HealthCare, said last week he expected Connecticut’s numbers to rise for at least the next two-to-four weeks. He said he doesn’t anticipate a surge comparable to the one from last spring but acknowledged some models see that as possible.
“I would say we are on the pathway to being bad at the moment,” Kumar said. “We’re not quite there yet, but we’re on the pathway to being bad.”
Connecticut was hit harder last spring than nearly