Health and Fitness News

Welcome to the Stars Hollow Gazette‘s Health and Fitness News weekly diary. It will publish on Saturday afternoon and be open for discussion about health related issues including diet, exercise, health and health care issues, as well as, tips on what you can do when there is a medical emergency. Also an opportunity to share and exchange your favorite healthy recipes.

Questions are encouraged and I will answer to the best of my ability. If I can’t, I will try to steer you in the right direction. Naturally, I cannot give individual medical advice for personal health issues. I can give you information about medical conditions and the current treatments available.

You can now find past Health and Fitness News diaries here and on the right hand side of the Front Page.

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Recumbent Bike vs. Upright Bike vs. Elliptical Machine

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Mark Holm for The New York Times

A recumbent bicycle differs from a standard, stationary bicycle and elliptical machine primarily in how you position yourself on the device. With an elliptical machine, you stand. On a standard bicycle, you sit upright or stand on the pedals.

You may ask what is a recumbent bike like most people normally do, there are many different types, but the general rule of thumb… With a recumbent bike you are, of course, recumbent, with a backrest supporting your spine. This low-slung, seated position makes recumbent bicycles “beneficial for people with back pain or balance problems,” said Kathy Dieringer, a board member of the National Athletic Trainers’ Association and president of D&D Sports Med in Denton, Tex. “You really can’t fall off.”

Riding a recumbent bicycle also may strengthen the hamstring muscles more effectively than using an upright bicycle. In a 2014 study, researchers found that novice cyclists activated their hamstrings with more force while pedaling a recumbent than a standard stationary bicycle.

On the downside, recumbents generally engage fewer muscles overall than either upright bicycles or elliptical machines, Dr. Dieringer said. An upright bicycle or elliptical will engage and strengthen muscles in your abdomen, buttocks, lower back, shoulders, neck, and arms that are quiet while riding a recumbent. This could explain why more fitness fanatics opt for an elliptical bike and even look for the top 10 elliptical machines under 500 so that they can engage more muscles whilst at home.

So a moderate workout on a recumbent generally burns fewer calories per minute than using either of the other machines.

One week after N.C. poultry show ban lifted new bird flu outbreak in Indiana

Bird flu was confirmed at a turkey farm in Indiana, federal officials said Friday, but it was a different strain than the virus that spread in the Midwest last year.

The news came a week after N.C. Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler announced that North Carolina was lifting its ban on live poultry shows and public live bird sales a week earlier than it was set to expire.

The ban had been in effect since Aug. 15 in an effort to prevent the bird flu from spreading to the state.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced Friday that inspectors had confirmed the presence of highly pathogenic H7N8 avian influenza in a commercial turkey flock in Dubois County, Ind.

State and federal officials said they confirmed the virus Thursday night and began euthanizing about 60,000 turkeys. They hoped that a quick response could prevent a large outbreak.

There are no known cases of H7N8 infections in humans, the USDA said.

Company to recall, redesign medical scope linked to ‘superbug’ outbreaks

Olympus Corp., whose specialized medical scopes are among those linked to a series of deadly “superbug” outbreaks around the country, said Friday that it will voluntarily recall and redesign the devices in an effort to prevent future infections.

The company produces the vast majority of duodenoscopes used in the United States, followed by two other firms, Pentax and Fujifilm. The devices are used in hundreds of thousands of procedures annually in this country to drain fluids from pancreatic and bile ducts blocked by tumors, gallstones and other conditions. But in recent years, they also have been linked to numerous outbreaks of antibiotic-resistant infections that have sickened hundreds of patients.

Higher potato consumption comes with increased risk of gestational diabetes

A new study has a suggestion for women thinking to conceive that they should limit their potato intake. Women who ate the most potatoes were at an increased risk of developing gestational diabetes, considered to be a serious complication of pregnancy.

There is no need to completely ban potatoes from your diet because if women had more legumes or whole grains in combination with the potatoes then the risk was found to be balanced. Gestational diabetes, as the word suggests, is a type of diabetes that takes place in women during their pregnancy.

It is said that around half of the women who develop gestational diabetes can further develop type-2 diabetes. Around 4% of women develop gestational diabetes. Women having an individual or family history of type-2-diabetes; overweight; aged more than 25 and a certain races are at an increased risk of developing gestational diabetes.

Can berries, citrus fruits boost male sexual health?

Biochemicals found in berries, citrus fruit and red wine might help men maintain healthy erections, a new nutrition study suggests.

Foods rich in these flavonoids are associated with reduced risk of erectile dysfunction, researchers reported Jan. 13 in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Eating a flavonoid-rich diet may be as good for erectile function as briskly walking for two to five hours a week, researchers from Harvard University’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health and the University of East Anglia in England reported.

Flavonoids give fruits and vegetables their vibrant colors. The study found that three specific flavonoids — anthocyanins, flavanones and flavones — offered the greatest benefits in preventing erectile dysfunction.

To Protect Against Zika Virus, Pregnant Women Are Warned About Latin American Trips

Federal health officials on Friday advised pregnant women to postpone traveling to 13 Latin American or Caribbean countries and Puerto Rico where mosquitoes are spreading the Zika virus, which has been linked to brain damage in babies.

Women considering becoming pregnant were advised to consult doctors before traveling to countries with Zika cases, and all travelers were urged to avoid mosquito bites, as were residents of Puerto Rico and the United States Virgin Islands.

“We believe this is a fairly serious problem,” said Dr. Lyle R. Petersen, chief of vector-borne diseases for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “This virus is spreading throughout the Americas. We didn’t feel we could wait.” The C.D.C. advisory applies to 14 Western Hemisphere countries and territories: Brazil, Colombia, El Salvador, French Guiana, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Martinique, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Suriname, Venezuela, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.

Banana Fungus Leads to Shortage: Here’s What’s Killing the World’s Bananas

The New Yorker reported TR4 has been called “the HIV of banana plantations,” a disease that spreads as people unwittingly replant infected Cavendishes in new locations or transport tainted soil to new locations. “This is an insidious disease in that it can move … by soil-contaminated machinery, tools — that kind of thing,” Randy Ploetz, University of Florida professor of plant pathology and the man who discovered TR4, told Quartz in March 2014, which reported that “as much as 85% of global banana output is vulnerable to Tropical Race 4.”

“Nearly 9/10 of the world’s bananas are eaten in poor countries,” Quartz reported, where “bananas are often a basic source of nourishment for at least 400 million people. The average person in Uganda, Gabon, Ghana and Rwanda relies on bananas and plantains for more than 300 calories each day.” If the blight wipes out Cavendish crops, these 400 million people will be deprived of a crucial source of daily nutrients. And the world loses its fourth most valuable market: Quartz reported that banana and plantain production pulls in $44.1 billion each year.