Healthy Living

with Dr. Madelyn Fernstrom




Question of the Month

Q. I have limited time to exercise. Is there any way I can make my workout more efficient?

A. Efficiency is based both on duration and intensity of exercise, and one great way to increase your intensity without extending your duration is to include some interval training. If you're a walker, add some jogging every few minutes to pick up the pace; if you're already a jogger, add some short sprints to your routine. This works for equipment as well. On a stationary bike or elliptical machine, alternate the resistance periodically, or try increasing the incline on the treadmill. Always get your doctor's clearance before making any significant changes in your daily physical activity.

Help for Troubled Sleepers

While it's normal to have an occasional problem night, chronic sleep problems can have both physical and behavioral consequences.
An important first step is to review your "sleep hygiene" and adjust the lifestyle factors that can help promote a good night's sleep. Keep some structure in your day, and set a regular bedtime and wake-up time.

Avoid going to bed if you are not tired; instead, read or watch TV in another location. Only use your bedroom for sleeping. Keep your sleeping area cooler, as research shows that a cooler environment can help trigger natural body signals for sleep initiation.

Limit daily caffeine intake to 300 mg/day or less, and avoid caffeinated products after 3 p.m. Alcohol disrupts sleep patterns, so limit use before bedtime (if you consume it at all). If lifestyle changes don't work, take this information to your doctor and discuss medical strategies for both short- and long-term sleep problems.

Fitness in the 'Burgh

It's official, and another first for us in the national fitness arena. The annual Men's Fitness "Fittest Cities in America" has named us in its top 25. While we're ranked No. 25 on the list, it's still a major achievement to be listed with cities such as Washington, D.C., and San Francisco, which have long had a reputation for being "active" cities.

Kudos to all the public and private support we've had in our region for walking and bike trails, parks and other forms of outdoor recreation. The cooler weather of fall and colorful foliage make it a perfect time to explore our region on foot.

Check out walkscore.com to get some ideas on the "walkability" of your own neighborhood.

In the News

Drink ginger ale for an upset stomach? It turns out this "old wives' tale" is true based on a study from the University of Rochester Medical Center. During chemotherapy, more than 600 cancer patients had about a teaspoon of ginger added to their standard anti-nausea medication with convincing results. Nausea was reduced by up to 40 percent by adding the ginger.

While the mechanism is not well-defined, it seems to have an anti-inflammatory response in the intestinal tract. Read the labels carefully on ginger ale or packaged ginger tea, because these and other "ginger" products may only contain ginger flavoring and not ginger root (containing the active ingredients).

You'll need about a teaspoon of ginger (powdered) to match the study dose. Make your own "ginger tea" by adding a teaspoon of powdered ginger to a cup of hot water and flavoring with a little sugar, honey or low-calorie sweetener.

If you have a health question for Dr. Fernstrom, e-mail her at fernstrom@wqed.org.
 

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Hot Reads

A History of Pittsburgh, in 50 Artifacts

A History of Pittsburgh, in 50 Artifacts

For a city only two centuries old, Pittsburgh has amassed a surprising amount of history. To assemble this collection of 50 of the region’s most fascinating historical artifacts, we hunted through museums, archives and private collections. We also looked for things many of us might pass each day without appreciating their significance.
The Origins of Isaly’s: It's Not What You Think

The Origins of Isaly’s: It's Not What You Think

Tracing the story of the chain back to its roots — which, surprisingly, are not in Pittsburgh.
In the Frame: Julie Sokolow Sees the Future

In the Frame: Julie Sokolow Sees the Future

After making films focused on Pittsburgh, Sokolow is rising through the ranks of U.S. women documentarians.
Restaurant Review: Salem's Market & Grill in the Strip District

Restaurant Review: Salem's Market & Grill in the Strip District

Salem’s offers accessible and delicious meals for Pittsburghers of all stripes.
Edit ModuleShow Tags

The 412

Mike Feinberg Company Says Goodbye to Pittsburgh

Mike Feinberg Company Says Goodbye to Pittsburgh

After 60 years of supplying Pittsburgh oddities and party favors, the staff of Feinberg’s in the Strip District says they’ll miss the love the city has shown them.
Friday Night Sleep Out to Raise Money for Homeless

Friday Night Sleep Out to Raise Money for Homeless

If you’re on the hunt for Friday night plans with a purpose, consider sleeping outside to benefit those in Pittsburgh who have to spend every night on the streets.
The Fascinating History of the David McCullough Bridge

The Fascinating History of the David McCullough Bridge

More than 80 years after its demise was erroneously reported, the David McCullough Bridge still stands as an engineering and architectural highlight among the city’s many spans.
Gone Viral: Duquesne Students Score Big With Rat Slapshot

Gone Viral: Duquesne Students Score Big With Rat Slapshot

Their tic-tac-toe passing would impress Mike Sullivan.
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Hot Reads

A History of Pittsburgh, in 50 Artifacts

A History of Pittsburgh, in 50 Artifacts

For a city only two centuries old, Pittsburgh has amassed a surprising amount of history. To assemble this collection of 50 of the region’s most fascinating historical artifacts, we hunted through museums, archives and private collections. We also looked for things many of us might pass each day without appreciating their significance.
The Origins of Isaly’s: It's Not What You Think

The Origins of Isaly’s: It's Not What You Think

Tracing the story of the chain back to its roots — which, surprisingly, are not in Pittsburgh.
In the Frame: Julie Sokolow Sees the Future

In the Frame: Julie Sokolow Sees the Future

After making films focused on Pittsburgh, Sokolow is rising through the ranks of U.S. women documentarians.
Restaurant Review: Salem's Market & Grill in the Strip District

Restaurant Review: Salem's Market & Grill in the Strip District

Salem’s offers accessible and delicious meals for Pittsburghers of all stripes.
Pittsburgh Penguins Share Tips for Parenting on Ice

Pittsburgh Penguins Share Tips for Parenting on Ice

In a year when youth-hockey participation is expected to increase, Pittsburgh Penguins players weigh in on the role of the hockey parent.
Face the Frost: Go Daytripping on Winter Hikes in Pittsburgh

Face the Frost: Go Daytripping on Winter Hikes in Pittsburgh

There’s a magical, snowy landscape right in your backyard.
Edit Module
Edit Module

Edit ModuleShow Tags

On the Blogs


Mike Feinberg Company Says Goodbye to Pittsburgh

Mike Feinberg Company Says Goodbye to Pittsburgh

After 60 years of supplying Pittsburgh oddities and party favors, the staff of Feinberg’s in the Strip District says they’ll miss the love the city has shown them.

Comments


All the foodie news that's fit to blog
CSA Day Reminds Pittsburghers (and Beyond) To Support Local Farms

CSA Day Reminds Pittsburghers (and Beyond) To Support Local Farms

It's the third year running for the concept, which was created by Simon Huntley of Pittsburgh's Small Farm Central.

Comments


Not just good stuff. Great stuff.
Five Inexpensive But Memorable Date Spots in Pittsburgh

Five Inexpensive But Memorable Date Spots in Pittsburgh

These spots are tailored for couples who are looking for a simple, chill night out on Valentine’s Day (or any other day). If your significant other isn’t the type to be wooed by expensive wines and chocolates, this is the list for you.

Comments


Adventure Bingo Returns at the Ace Hotel

Adventure Bingo Returns at the Ace Hotel

The one-of-a-kind night of bingo, trivia and madcap monologues returns in a new spot.

Comments


Mike Prisuta's Sports Section

A weekly look at the games people are playing and the people who are playing them.
Dave Hanson and the Enduring Legacy of Slap Shot

Dave Hanson and the Enduring Legacy of Slap Shot

The Hanson Brothers and other stars of the classic hockey film will return to Johnstown this weekend for a 40th anniversary celebration.

Comments


Style. Design. Goods. Hide your credit card.
Chalk It Up

Chalk It Up

Doodle while you dine, or let your imagination run wild, with chalkboard placemats from Pittsburgh-based Chalk Lots.

Comments


The movies that are playing in Pittsburgh –– and, more importantly, whether or not they're worth your time.
Our Full 2017 Oscar Predictions (Wherein La La Land Wins Everything)

Our Full 2017 Oscar Predictions (Wherein La La Land Wins Everything)

Breaking down what we know and only think we know about the 2017 Academy Awards.

Comments


Everything you need to know about getting married in Pittsburgh today.
Our Favorite Unique Centerpiece (That’s Not Flowers)

Our Favorite Unique Centerpiece (That’s Not Flowers)

This couple’s centerpiece from our Real Pittsburgh Weddings shines brighter than the traditional table bouquet.

Comments


Weekly inspiration for your home from the editors of Pittsburgh Magazine
The Candle Lab Ready To Make Its Debut in Lawrenceville

The Candle Lab Ready To Make Its Debut in Lawrenceville

The Columbus-based store, where you can customize your own candle fragrance, is expected to open in March.

Comments


The hottest topics in higher education
Get a Behind-the-Scenes Look at ‘Fences’

Get a Behind-the-Scenes Look at ‘Fences’

An art director from Warner Bros. Studios will visit La Roche College to talk about the Oscar-nominated film with ties to Pittsburgh.

Comments