We need your input to move DuPage County forward!

Survey1Impact DuPage is a group of community leaders and organizations working together to understand the needs and priorities of DuPage County residents.

By offering your voice and opinions in this survey, you will help Impact DuPage improve the well-being of DuPage County. We will be collecting surveys until Friday, October 31st, 2014. The survey will take an estimated 3-5 minutes to complete.

 This survey is available online in English at: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/impactdupage

and the Spanish version may be found at: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/impactdupageespanol

For more information about the survey, contact Amy Snodgrass, DuPage Federation on Human Services Reform, atasnodgrass@dupagefederation.org.”

Please ask family, friends, and co-workers to take the online survey.

Our goal is to hear one response from each DuPage County resident. If you have already taken this survey, thank you for your participation!

Survey results will be available to the public once the assessment process has been completed.

Researchers Shed Light on Asthma’s Mysteries

kids-with-asthmaSHIRLEY S. WANG shared this article in the Wall Street Journal Newspaper on Sept. 22, 2014.  I found it very informative.
Researchers are making interesting new discoveries about a particularly confusing type of asthma.

Doctors increasingly are recognizing that as many as half of asthma sufferers have a form of the lung disease known as nonallergic asthma. Some medications that help control symptoms of the more familiar allergic asthma aren’t as effective in nonallergic patients.

There is still much that isn’t understood about allergic asthma, which is brought on by an overactive response of the body’s immune system to food, pollen and other allergens. Even more mysterious is the cause of nonallergic asthma, which doesn’t involve an immune-system response. Symptoms for both forms of the disease typically include constricted airways, wheezing and coughing.

Read more…

Researchers also continue to discover substances in the environment that appear to increase the risk for developing asthma. One of the latest studies, from New York’s Columbia University Medical Center, found an association between asthma rates and phthalates, chemicals used in many plastic products that have raised health concerns.

The scientific hunt for the causes of asthma reflects concern about the puzzling rise in rates of the disease. In the U.S., the percentage of the population diagnosed increased in 2010 to 8.4%—or more than 25 million adults and children—from 5.5% in 1996, according to the most recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Some 1.8 million people visited a hospital emergency department in 2010 for asthma-related treatment.

Scientists studying nonallergic asthma say greater understanding of the molecular pathways in this form of the disease could lead to new targets for drug development.

Stefan Worgall, chief of the pediatric pulmonology, allergy and immunology division at Weill Cornell Medical College, and his colleagues recently discovered that when a normally occurring type of fat, known as sphingolipids, isn’t embedded properly in the cell walls in the lungs of mice, the airways constrict.

In a related experiment, they administered a drug to inhibit sphingolipid production in tissue taken from a healthy human lung. The tissue showed the same type of constriction as seen in the mice, the study found. The report was published last year in the journal Science Translational Medicine.

Dr. Worgall says the finding could help explain why obesity is a risk factor for asthma. Obese people tend to exhibit abnormalities in sphingolipids, he says.

Currently, Dr. Worgall and his team are measuring sphingolipid levels in the blood and breath of asthmatic children. Early findings suggest the levels appear abnormal, he says.

Jeroen Douwes, director of the Centre for Public Health Research, at Massey University in New Zealand, believes nonallergic-asthma patients might have particularly sensitive nerves in the lungs that tell the brain at a lower-than-normal threshold that a noxious substance is in the air and airways need to be constricted.

 

 

Core Misconceptions & Abs-olute Truths

13/1/09 carla pic david poole exercise number 1Derek Unnasch  from EliteXTraining in Lombard, IL shared the following blog with Healthy Lombard.

For the past decade, the importance of  ‘core’ has been stressed like never in exercise history. Infomercials have been hawking countless contraptions promising amazing abdominals and the proverbial loss of inches around the waist. It’s true that core is very important, but just how important is it and are we really training it effectively?
Here’s a few points I’d like to make:
1.) The scope of your Core is 360 degrees.
That is to say, generally speaking, the core consists of the abdominal wall(front), obliques(sides), and spinal erectors (lower back). Unfortunately, the majority of so-called ‘core training’ concentrates on just the abs. As Elite X Training’s master group exercise instructor Tracy Bushka will tell you, this can lead to imbalances that may promote back problems. Work the whole core!
2.) Working Core every day of the week = ‘Waist’ of time
The core muscles, like every muscle in the body, need time to recover. If you work them rigorously every single day of the week as some people would suggest is ideal, you may just be burning calories(ineffectively, I might add) and will plateau rather quickly in your development. Optimal training frequency will depend on the intensity of your core routine. If you do a limited number of sets with little to no resistance, you might effectively train core 3-4 days a week. However, if you perform 60 minutes of heavy, resistance-based work, you may require a week to fully recover.
3.) Using resistance will NOT make your waistline bulky
Okay, so there are bodybuilders with muscular, protruding bellies, but they are typically relying upon more than just exercise to achieve their condition, so disregard them. You have only two variables to consider with respect to the condition of your core – muscular development(bigger or smaller) and body fat levels(higher or lower). Ideally you will work to develop all the core muscles to make them tight and strong while simultaneously jacking your metabolism up to flush away the excess body fat
Now, even the most rigorous workout regimen ever conceived will not result in a rippling six pack if you aren’t eating properly. Sadly, many have developed core muscles that will remain forever hidden under layers of cellulite.  WWE Superstar Sone Cold Steve Austin sums it up best, saying, “You can’t out-train a bad diet.” And that’s the bottom line!

Glenbard Parent Series Event September 26, 2014

bellini

The Glenbard Parent Series:  (GPS) Navigating Healthy Families presents A Systematic Approach to Teaching Social Interpersonal Skills to Youth with Autism Spectrum Disorders and Other Social Difficulties with Scott Bellini Ph.D at 12:00pm -2:00p.m. Friday, Sept 26, at the Community Consolidated School District #93 Administration Center in Bloomingdale.  The workshop will provide an overview of the Building Social Relationships (BSR) model developed by Dr. Bellini.

The five-step model is a systematic and comprehensive framework to help guide parents and practitioners in the development and implementation of social skills programming. The session will provide the foundation for the model, and cover specific information on how to assess social functioning and evaluate outcomes.

Dr. Bellini will share data and examples of session structure plans for social skills strategies implemented at his clinic, the Social Skills Research Center.   Scott Bellini, PhD is the Director of the Social Skills Research Clinic (SSRC), a university based center specializing in developing and examining the outcomes of social skill interventions for youth with Autism Spectrum Disorders. He is also a faculty member in the School Psychology program at Indiana University, Bloomington.

Continue reading

Walk or bike to work to increase happiness

BTW2014_web_slider_1Walking to work is not only good for your body; it may also benefit your psychological health, a new study from England suggests, FOX News reports.

In the study, the researchers analyzed information from nearly 18,000 commuters in England who answered questions about their well-being, such as whether they experienced feelings of worthlessness, unhappiness or sleepless nights in the last few weeks. Based on those answers, the researchers gave each participant a well-being score. Participants completed the survey for at least three consecutive years between 1991 and 2009.

People who walked or cycled to work had higher well-being scores than those who drove. In particular, people who drove to work had a 13 percent higher likelihood of feeling that they were constantly under strain and unable to concentrate, compared with those who walked or cycled.

The findings held even after the researchers took into account factors that could affect well-being, such as household income, overall health and whether the participants had children.

What’s more, people who switched from driving to walking or cycling to work tended to experience an improvement in well-being, the study found.

“These results appear to suggest that avoiding car driving may be beneficial to well-being,” the researchers wrote in the Sept. 15 issue of the journal Preventive Medicine.

Expanding Bellies

obese-american-boyLindsey Tanner, from the Associated Press,  shared this news on September 22 in the Health & Fitness Section of the Daily Herald Newspaper:

The number of American men and women with big-bellied, apple-shaped figures — the most dangerous kind of obesity — has climbed at a startling rate over the past decade, according to a government study.

People whose fat has settled mostly around their waistlines instead of in their hips, thighs, buttocks or all over are known to run a higher risk of heart disease, diabetes and other obesity-related ailments.

Fifty-four percent of U.S. adults have abdominal obesity, up from 46 percent in 1999-2000, researchers reported last week in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Abdominal obesity is defined as a waistline of more than 35 inches in women and more than 40 inches in men.

During the 12-year period studied, the average waist size in the U.S. expanded to 38 inches for women, a gain of 2 inches. It grew to 40 inches for men, a 1-inch increase.

“The increase is a concern. There’s no question about that,” said Dr. William Dietz, an obesity expert formerly with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, now at George Washington University.

Continue reading

3 Morning Mistakes That Slow Down Metabolism

breakfastJenny Sugar from PopSugar shared this great advise from Thinkstock:

Metabolic rate is affected by several factors including age, weight, and genetics. Although there’s not a whole lot you can do about those things, there are still choices that can cause metabolism to fire up or fizzle. If losing weight is your goal, avoid these metabolism-slowing mistakes in the morning.

  1. Eating too late: Skipping breakfast is one of the worst things you can do for weight loss since it causes your metabolism to slow down. When you don’t eat, the brain sends a message to the rest of the body to conserve energy, signaling it to hold onto the stored fat that you’re trying to get rid of. Eating within an hour of waking sparks the metabolic process called thermogenesis that turns the food you eat into energy. And no — a cup of coffee does not count as breakfast! Instead choose one of these high-protein breakfast ideas under 350 calories. Make sure to eat throughout the day to maintain blood sugar levels since any drops can cause the body to burn muscle for fuel.
  2. Not exercising: Research shows you continue burning calories up to 24 hours after working out, and studies also show that morning exercises burn more calories than those who sweat it out during other times of the day. If you’re planning on exercising anyway, for maximum calorie burn, your best bet is to get it done in the a.m. Include high intensity cardio intervals since challenging yourself is proven to activate fat-burning genes, which translates to an increased post-workout calorie burn — 100 to 200 more.
  3. Not pumping iron: Lean muscle mass burns calories, and just adding five to 10 pounds of lean muscle to your frame will increase your daily calorie burn by 100 calories. Include strength training in your morning routine such as this 10-minute metabolism-boosting workout.