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Commuter Yoga: 3 Poses That Make the Drive to Work More Bearable

Getting stuck in traffic is enough to turn your hair grey. Blood pressure rises, muscles tense, and a positive attitude plummets when your car is at a standstill. Thankfully, there are things you can do to make the experience more pleasurable, and gain some health benefits while in the process.

The following are three easy yoga inspired exercises you can do the next time you find yourself wedged bumper to bumper.

Axial Extensions

Scoot your hips back so that your spine is upright against the seat of your car. Lift the crown of your head toward the sky as you inhale deeply, and press your hips down into the seat as you exhale fully. By doing this, you are creating space and decompression between each vertebra. As a result, you will gain energy, not to mention have to readjust your rear view mirror to take on your new height.
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Stomach Balloon May Aid in Weight Loss, but You Have to Go to Canada for It

As the amount of weight loss surgeries in the U.S. continue to rise, doctors are finding different and better ways to surgically treat obesity. One of the newest players in the game is called an intragastric balloon, and as it’s not approved for use in the United States, many patients have chosen to cross the border to Canada to do the procedure.

The intragastric balloon is less invasive than traditional bariatric surgery. It involves inserting a tube down the esophagus into the stomach, so there’s no surgical incision. A deflated balloon is then threaded down the tube, and once placed, blown up to the size of an orange and filled with sterile blue water. It can stay there for up to six months, at which point it is removed to prevent ruptures. This can be done multiple times if the patient continues to need the support the balloon provides. The balloon decreases the patient’s feelings of hunger, making them eat less and lose weight.

Although the average weight of Americans continues to bound upward, there are still very few bariatric surgeries performed annually. Less than one percent of individuals who meet the criteria for bariatric surgery actually have surgery, according to the American Society for Metabolic & Bariatric Surgery. Each year, about 250,000 Americans choose to have some form of weight loss surgery, the most popular being gastric bypass, a gastric band, sleeve gastrectomy, or duodenal switch. These involve removing a portion of the stomach, restricting how much food can go into the stomach, rerouting the intestinal system, or a combination of these methods. The gastric sleeve is cheapest, costing around $10,000, while the others range from $17,000 to $35,000, according to the Consumer Guide to Bariatric Surgery.
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The Obese More Likely to Die in Traffic Accidents and 5 More Shocking Obesity Facts

Obesity is killing Americans faster than a speeding train. OK, I might be exaggerating, but this disease, flagged as an epidemic, isn’t getting any better unless we as a society start actively living healthier lifestyles. Obesity causes a host of diseases and health problems that include high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, high cholesterol, joint problems, and even death.

That all seems par for the course, but did you know that obese individuals are more likely to die in car accidents? According to statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there was an 80% increase in fatalities in traffic accidents for obese individuals. What could be causing obese people to die more often in car accidents? An obese drivers’ lower body is ejected farther before the seat belt safely engages the pelvis, plus the extra tissue on the driver stops the seat belt from fitting snugly, thus making it harder for the driver to be held safely upon impact.

Another factor at play is the design of cars. Researcher Thomas M. Rice said, “Vehicle designers are teaching to the test – designing so that crash test dummies do well. Crash-test dummies are typically normal size adults and children.”
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Use Yoga to Reduce Aches and Pains after Snow Skiing

If someone told you how much their body ached after a day of skiing, you’d probably never want to click into a pair of bindings and hit the slopes. Do not fret. Pain and agony are not the only words you need to describe the first day of your ski vacation. With a little bit of preparation and maintenance, freedom from post-ski day soreness can be yours.

The following are a few yoga-inspired tips and techniques that will help sharpen your fitness edge and get your body tuned up for some downhill fun.

Just say no to quivering quads

At least six weeks before a ski vacation, take every opportunity you can to strengthen your quadriceps. Perform wall sits, yoga chair pose, warrior lunges, and horse stance squats as often as you can, intermittently throughout the day. There is no need to try and fit a full yoga class into your already busy schedule. A little bit of time spent here and there will suffice. Just be sure and do it, or you will suffer the consequences of tired legs too early in the ski day.
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Pairing Yoga and Wine Blends Complementary Health Benefits

Increased levels of heart-healthy high-density lipoproteins, better sleep, and reduced anxiety are just a few of the shared benefits of yoga and…can you guess? Wine!

As yoga rises in popularity, yoga and wine retreats are also making an appearance as some of the most sought after vacations in the world of self-pampering spa-like escapes.

In addition to booking a week of yoga and wine tasting at some fabulous resort with some fabulous instructor, such as Wine and Yoga in Tuscany with Sadie Nardini, yoga studios and businesses are also taking advantage of the delightful combination loved by so many.

For example, The W Hotel in San Diego is on the cutting edge of the wine and yoga craze by offering the popular Vino and Vinyasa series sponsored by Lululemon Athletica. Consisting of an all-level vinyasa flow class followed by wine and appetizers, yoga and wine lovers can take to the hotel’s rooftop to strut their poses before satisfying their palates.

But, it is not just businesses and retreat centers who are keenly tuned in to the dynamic relationship between wine and yoga. Colleen Saidman, wife of acclaimed yoga teacher Rodney Yee, has partnered with Estancia winery to assist in their campaign to sell wine. Pairing wines with health tips, Saidman believes that yogis need not steer clear of drinking alcohol, but rather find an appropriate balance and avoid overindulging.
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