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

The Best Bars in Pittsburgh Right Now

The Best Bars in Pittsburgh Right Now

Many Pittsburgh bars have solid beer lists, well-mixed cocktails or a bartender who's handy with a shot and a story. We need more than that. What makes these bars the best?
View Pittsburgh & Its People From The 1850s Through Today

View Pittsburgh & Its People From The 1850s Through Today

#pixburgh: A Photographic Experience features images from the Sen. John Heinz History Center vault, which contains close to 1 million images. The show features a sampling of 400 images from the 1850s through today — including landmarks, fun, folly and floods.
In Concert: What's Next for the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra?

In Concert: What's Next for the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra?

Melia Tourangeau, CEO and president of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, looks to lead the ensemble forward after a discordant strike.
Restaurant Review: Umami in Lawrenceville

Restaurant Review: Umami in Lawrenceville

Umami sets the bar for izakaya openings in Pittsburgh. But its owners still have steps to take to keep raising the standard.
Edit ModuleShow Tags

The 412

Oakland Crows: A Big Mess but a Harmless Murder

Oakland Crows: A Big Mess but a Harmless Murder

Trees around the campus of the University of Pittsburgh are filled with nesting crows, and many students are wondering why.
Inside the Ultimate Man vs. Machine Poker Match in Pittsburgh

Inside the Ultimate Man vs. Machine Poker Match in Pittsburgh

Four of the world’s best poker players are playing 120,000 hands of Heads-Up No-Limit Texas Hold’em against Libratus, the poker-playing bot created by Carnegie Mellon University computer scientists.
See How Chess Made Le’Veon Bell a Better Running Back

See How Chess Made Le’Veon Bell a Better Running Back

Watch the video that reveals Bell’s talents that go beyond the football field.
RMU President Named to College Football Playoff Committee

RMU President Named to College Football Playoff Committee

Chris Howard will help decide which four teams will vie each year for college football’s national championship.
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Hot Reads

The Best Bars in Pittsburgh Right Now

The Best Bars in Pittsburgh Right Now

Many Pittsburgh bars have solid beer lists, well-mixed cocktails or a bartender who's handy with a shot and a story. We need more than that. What makes these bars the best?
View Pittsburgh & Its People From The 1850s Through Today

View Pittsburgh & Its People From The 1850s Through Today

#pixburgh: A Photographic Experience features images from the Sen. John Heinz History Center vault, which contains close to 1 million images. The show features a sampling of 400 images from the 1850s through today — including landmarks, fun, folly and floods.
In Concert: What's Next for the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra?

In Concert: What's Next for the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra?

Melia Tourangeau, CEO and president of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, looks to lead the ensemble forward after a discordant strike.
Restaurant Review: Umami in Lawrenceville

Restaurant Review: Umami in Lawrenceville

Umami sets the bar for izakaya openings in Pittsburgh. But its owners still have steps to take to keep raising the standard.
Daytripping: Have Musket, Will Travel

Daytripping: Have Musket, Will Travel

The rest is history at ye olde Colonial Williamsburg, the former capital of Virginia and now a restored revolutionary war-era village.
Talk of the Tahn: The Consequences of Trespassing

Talk of the Tahn: The Consequences of Trespassing

I snuck into a steel mill. Bethlehem, Pa. I’d been bragging about how big Pittsburgh’s industrial ruins were when a woman in a bar told me, “Bethlehem’s are bigger.” Size matters.
Edit Module
Edit Module

Edit ModuleShow Tags

On the Blogs


Oakland Crows: A Big Mess but a Harmless Murder

Oakland Crows: A Big Mess but a Harmless Murder

Trees around the campus of the University of Pittsburgh are filled with nesting crows, and many students are wondering why.

Comments


All the foodie news that's fit to blog
Restaurant Industry Fundraiser to Aid Injured Chef

Restaurant Industry Fundraiser to Aid Injured Chef

Zach Behm was chef de cuisine at Cure in Upper Lawrenceville at the time of a July car wreck.

Comments


Not just good stuff. Great stuff.
The Best 6 Places to Get a Cup of Tea in Pittsburgh

The Best 6 Places to Get a Cup of Tea in Pittsburgh

The quiet rise of Pittsburgh's tea scene gives us a few favorite gems.

Comments


The Trendy New East Liberty Hangout ... Primanti's?

The Trendy New East Liberty Hangout ... Primanti's?

The latest outpost of the popular local chain is housed in the former Verde space in Garfield.

Comments


Mike Prisuta's Sports Section

A weekly look at the games people are playing and the people who are playing them.
Tomlin Needs to Be Tomlin Against Brady, Belichick

Tomlin Needs to Be Tomlin Against Brady, Belichick

The Steelers are going to have to attack the game to survive it, to grab it by the throat and choke it to the desired conclusion.

Comments


Style. Design. Goods. Hide your credit card.
Tantalizing Textiles for the Table

Tantalizing Textiles for the Table

Check out the chic decor from Pittsburgh-based artist and designer Janice Nelson.

Comments


The movies that are playing in Pittsburgh –– and, more importantly, whether or not they're worth your time.
Shyamalan's Split is Troubling For the Wrong Reasons

Shyamalan's Split is Troubling For the Wrong Reasons

Reviews of "Split," "20th Century Women" and "The Founder," plus local movie news and notes.

Comments


Everything you need to know about getting married in Pittsburgh today.
Real Pittsburgh Weddings: Why All of the Guests Got a Gift

Real Pittsburgh Weddings: Why All of the Guests Got a Gift

This couple wanted to make sure all of their guests felt as included as possible.

Comments


Weekly inspiration for your home from the editors of Pittsburgh Magazine
Making Moves: Restoration Hardware Coming to North Hills

Making Moves: Restoration Hardware Coming to North Hills

RH Pittsburgh, The Gallery at Ross Park Mall is opening up shop at Ross Park Mall. The new store will replace the luxury brand's prior location in Mt. Lebanon.

Comments


The hottest topics in higher education
Gun Violence Target of Carlow's Social Justice Institutes

Gun Violence Target of Carlow's Social Justice Institutes

The University will conduct research and offer scholarships to victims.

Comments