The Big Shows incredible weight loss

In a profession where most athletes are encouraged to continue to make their physiques bigger, scarier and more outlandish, WWE superstar Big Show’s dramatic weight loss has captured the imagination of many.

Billed for much of his career as the “world’s largest athlete,” Big Show’s weight has been listed as high as 500 pounds at various stages of his career.

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And despite working 200 days a year for two decades in a physically rigorous environment, Big Show wasn’t exactly a picture of health. A pretty poor diet contributed to his massive size — which originally stemmed from a tumor that formed on his pituitary gland during childhood — and the 45-year-old, whose real name is Paul Wight, decided enough was enough.

Big Show has charted his new commitment to slimming down and toning up on social media, and he’s been an inspiration to many. But it hasn’t been easy.

“It was definitely a conscious decision. You don’t make the transformation I’ve made without a serious commitment to changing 40 years of improper diet and improper training,” he recently told WWE.com.

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Big Show teamed up with Miami-based celebrity trainer Dodd Romero — who has worked with the likes of actor Denzel Washington and baseball star Alex Rodriguez — and devised a plan that included swimming, cycling, and weight training.

How to be strong and beautiful women

After injuring her right arm on the slopes in November, 2016 Olympics hopeful Lindsey Vonn saw herself sidelined and set for a surgery to repair her fractured humerus bone.

Now in post-surgery, 32-year-old Vonn has spoken out about the incident by sharing a photo of her scar and a heartfelt message about her journey to recovery.

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“My scars remind me that I am strong and beautiful,” Vonn wrote in a tweet, in which she also shared a photo of herself in a fitted leather Giorgio Armani dress from outside the designer’s show at Milan Fashion Week. In the image, Vonn, who is Tiger Woods’ ex, shows off her scar by angling her right arm toward the camera.

Vonn has long served as an inspiration for women and young girls worldwide. When she first injured herself in a serious crash in Colorado, she wrote on Facebook that she would “return to the slopes as soon as possible, as I always do!”

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Vonn is also spreading her inspiring message in a book called “Strong is the New Beautiful,” which was released in October.

The reason of plank better than most adults

Many of us may expect a yogi or a fitness trainer to upstage us when it comes to planking, but not a baby.

However, in the case of Rowan McGowan, who is 6 months old, that’s exactly it — unless you can hold a plank for longer than 34 seconds, that is.

In a viral video posted on YouTube, baby McGowan does the ab exercise with the help of his mom, Dana, who encourages her son in the video by remarking, “Good plank buddy! Pull that core in tight.”

Dana is a Buti yogi instructor in Kentucky, the Daily Mail reported.

While little Rowan certainly doesn’t need to be worrying about flat abs, he can teach us all a thing or two about the exercise — namely, that perseverance is crucial!

Seconds after he falls from the first plank, Rowan gets right back up and tries again.

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“Keep going monkey,” Dana says in the video, which has garnered more than 72,000 views since being posted Feb. 23. “You’re amazing.”

 

What the research shows

With so many diet fads around these days, how do you know which ones are actually good for you?

In a new review of studies covering about 40 years, researchers attempted to dispel the hype surrounding some popular diet trends and to outline what experts really know about a heart-healthy diet. They presented what might be considered the “best” dietary pattern for reducing the risk of heart disease, and explained why consumers should be wary of nutrition fads such as antioxidant pills and juicing.

The bottom line: A heart-healthy diet is one that’s high in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes, and includes nuts in moderation. Heart-healthy diets may also include limited amounts of lean meat, fish, low-fat and nonfat dairy products, and liquid vegetable oils, the researchers said. In contrast, people should avoid saturated, trans and solid fats; sodium; added sugars; and refined grains.

“There is a growing consensus that a predominantly plant-based diet that emphasizes green, leafy vegetables; whole grains; legumes; and fruit is where the best improvements are seen in heart health,” study co-author Dr. Andrew Freeman, a cardiologist and director of cardiovascular prevention and wellness at National Jewish Health hospital in Denver, said in a statement. On the other hand, “there is a great amount of misinformation about nutrition fads, including antioxidant pills, juicing and gluten-free diets,” Freeman said.

The review of studies had the following conclusions about these popular diet trends:

Juicing: There are few studies that have compared the benefits of juicing your fruits and vegetables with the benefits of consuming them whole, according to the review. In addition, “the process of juicing concentrates calories,” which makes it much easier to ingest too many, the researchers said. Until more studies are available, the researchers recommend consuming whole fruits and vegetables. Juicing should be reserved for situations in which people aren’t getting enough fruits and vegetables in their daily diet, they said. If people do juice, they should be careful not to consume too many calories from the juice, and they should avoid adding additional sugars, such as honey, the researchers recommended.

Antioxidant supplements: Rigorous studies have not found any benefits on heart health from taking high-dose antioxidant supplements. The current evidence shows fruits and vegetables are the healthiest and most beneficial source of antioxidants, the researchers said.

Criticism for flimsy leggings

LuLaRoe, the comfy-chic brand that sells its products through ambassadors, is reportedly facing backlash from thousands of dissatisfied customers who say some of the company’s clothing isn’t up to snuff.

Brit + Co reported that a Facebook group of nearly 9,000 such customers have claimed the company’s leggings get rips and tears in them on the first wear. LuLaRoe has claimed there’s only a small number of defective items.

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Although the “leggings aren’t pants” argument has been up for debate in recent years, some customers have taken issue with LuLaRoe’s advice to wash their leggings separately like they are pantyhose, the website reported.

“LuLaRoe Defective is a group for you to come share your defective clothing,” the Facebook group’s description reads. “NO SELLING! NO DRAMA!”

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The alleged defective clothing snafu is just the latest issue LuLaRoe is facing, other reports suggest.

Forbes reported the company is also dealing with a class-action lawsuit for taxing customers in states where online purchases are tax free.

Colorectal cancer rates are on the rise among millennials

People in the U.S. born in 1990 now have double the risk of colon cancer and quadruple the risk of rectal cancer compared to people born in 1950, the scientists found.

In the study, the researchers looked at data from the Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) Program, a government registry of cancer diagnoses. The data included all cases of colon and rectal cancer that occurred from 1974 to 2013 in nine regions of the United States in adults ages 20 and older.

The analysis included nearly 500,000 cases, according to the study, published today (Feb. 28) in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

The researchers found that in the late 1970s and early 1980s, the rates of colon cancer among adults ages 50 and up increased, and the rates among adults under age 50 decreased.

From the mid-1980s through 2013, however, the rates of colon cancer among adults ages 55 and up declined, according to the study. But for younger adults, colon cancer rates increased during the same period. For example, in adults ages 20 to 29, the rate of colon cancer increased by 2.4 percent each year, and for adults ages 30 to 39, the rate increased by 1 percent each year.

In the mid-1990s, the rates of colon cancer increased in adults in their 40s (1.3 percent each year) and adults ages 50 to 54 (0.5 percent each year), the researchers also observed.

For rectal cancer, the changes in the rates were more pronounced, the study said.

Trendy health foods

From acai bowls and bone broth, food trends come and go. More often than not, the of-the-moment foods can set you back a pretty penny too. So which are worth it? Whether it’s just overpriced or overrated, here are five food trends you may want to think twice about.

1. Cold pressed juices
Cold pressed juices have risen in popularity over the past few years, and with the hefty price tag tacked on to them (one serving of juice can be as much as $12!) one would assume guzzling some would provide you with all the nutrients you could possibly need. Unfortunately for your wallets, and your diets, that is not the case. While made of whole, raw fruits and veggies, the fiber from these foods is often stripped during the juicing process. On top of that, fruits like apples can be added to cut the bitter flavor of leafy greens, which can bump the carbohydrate content up to 20-30 grams of carbs per juice! And because there is no fiber or protein in these juices, guzzling one can cause blood sugar levels to spike too, leaving you right back where you started: hungry and craving something nutrient dense.

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2. Vegan cookies
Just because something is vegan does not make it healthy — or helpful for weight loss. The reason vegan cookies taste just as good, if not better than, some regular cookies is they can pack the same amount of calories and fat as their non-vegan counterparts. Think about it this way: A vegan chocolate chip cookie may be dairy free and/or made with organic or raw ingredients, but it can still be 240 calories with 39 grams of carbs, 19 grams of which come from sugar. A small order McDonald’s fries has less carbohydrates, sugar and calories than that! White sugar is vegan, flour is vegan, chocolate chips can be vegan, and just because a cookie is made with these does not mean it’s worth you biting into.

3. Jackfruit
Because of its meaty texture, this Asian fruit has gained recent popularity as a meat substitute. However, just because jackfruit can taste and look just like pulled meat doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a great source of protein. And in fact, it’s quite the opposite. A 1 cup serving of jackfruit has less than 3 grams of protein, making it a less-than-ideal substitute for meat in the diet. Not only is jackfruit low in protein, but because it’s a fruit, it’s also a major source of carbohydrates and sugar. That same one serving packs in 31 grams of sugar, which is as much as an Original Single Milky Way bar! There’s a place in the diet for jackfruit, but if you’re looking for a vegetarian source of protein, tofu or egg whites are a much better bet.

Reasons you are not building muscle

You’ve been spending tons of time in the gym trying to get Michelle Obama arms, but you don’t seem to be building any muscle. What gives?

Several things could explain why your arms are as noodly as ever (or why your butt isn’t getting any bigger or your shoulders don’t look any more sculpted)—and most of them are completely under your control. Here, our experts uncover reasons you’re not building muscle so you can make the changes you need to make all your hard work pay off.

You’re doing mostly cardio
Don’t get us wrong—cardio is important for keeping your body fat down and keeping your heart health in check. (Bonus points if you run or bike, since outdoor exercise is linked to better energy and improved mental health.) But when it comes to building muscle, hitting the treadmill won’t help you much. “Every component of exercise, minus cardio, can help with muscle hypertrophy,” which is the scientific term for muscle building, says Michelle Lovitt, an exercise physiologist and trainer in Los Angeles. “Cardio tends to burn calories and puts your body in a deficit, which is great for leaning out, but not building mass.”

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You’re not using heavy enough weights
Those 5-pound dumbbells were a great place to start as a beginner, but if you’ve been lifting weights for a while, it’s time to bump up the weight. “You can use both exercise machines and free weights,” explains Michele Olson, PhD, exercise physiologist, professor of exercise science at Auburn University Montgomery, “but, if you are not lifting heavy enough weight, it doesn’t matter if you are primarily using free weights or machines.” In order to build muscle, you must break down muscle tissue using a weight that is challenging enough to cause micro-tears, which when repaired, form denser, stronger fibers.

You’re not sleeping enough
Those micro-tears that are such a key factor for muscle-building need rest to rebuild themselves and grow stronger. When do they do that? When you’re asleep! “You have to rest and feed your muscles between workouts or you will tear them down and they will become weaker,” says Olson. “Over time, you run the risk of over-training, which can result in injury, and possibly even more sleep troubles.”

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You’re inconsistent with your routine
If you’re serious about putting on some muscle, then the most efficient way to do it is with three intense resistance training sessions and two lighter intensity workouts per week. “You need to have consistency in a workout program, hitting at least each muscle group two times a week to build muscle,” explains Lovitt. If you’re looking to switch up exercises, Olson suggests swaps such as sumo squats instead of traditional squats; step-ups on a bench instead of lunges; and then rotating back to the former. “These types of variation can be very effective in developing muscles, but the weights must still be fairly heavy that you’re using,” she says.

Runner with half marathon finish line

The course had been packed up for hours. Most spectators were long gone. Every single half marathoner had collected his or her race medal and headed to a celebratory brunch. All but one.

Kayleigh Williamson, 26, crossed the Austin Half Marathon Finish Line in 6:22:56, making her the first person with Down syndrome to complete the Texas race.

“I kept going,” Williamson told Runner’s World by phone. “[When] I hit the finish line I was proud of myself. My friend got me pretty nice flowers.”

Williamson and her mother, Sandy, have been running together for years. They began logging miles when the pair joined Weight Watchers to help them lose weight, starting with 5Ks.

“We were both over 200 pounds,” Sandy Williamson said. “Kayleigh had two autoimmune disorders, and one was life-threatening.”

Eventually, Kayleigh needed surgery to have her spleen removed because of a severely low blood platelet count. “When the doctors discharged her immediately [post-surgery], that’s when I knew I had Wonder Woman,” Sandy said.

Once Kayleigh started eating better and running, her platelet count went up, leading to the remission of her Graves’ disease, which results in the overproduction of thyroid hormones. (She is still in remission today.)

Kayleigh  has always been active. She joined the Special Olympics Texas basketball team when she was 13, and she still plays regularly. But running made her a more confident and healthier person, her mother said.

In 2016, Kayleigh wanted to participate in the Austin Distance Challenge, a series of five races that culminated with either the Austin Half or full Marathon on February 19, 2017. She completed the Run Free Texas 8K and participated in the Run for the Water 10 Miler, but she struggled in each event because of leg and ankle pain.

“Running is not that easy,” she said, referring to her leg pain.

When Sandy decided to run the half marathon, she worried about where she would leave her daughter.

“I can’t just leave her at the finish line,” she said. “Leon [a running group teammate] offered me the half marathon and a spot for Kayleigh. I thought it was funny and figured Kayleigh would say, ‘Yeah, mom, no way.’ But she said she wanted to do it.”

Bankrupt Medicare and Medicaid

The most expensive medical condition in America threatens to bankrupt Medicare, Medicaid and the life savings of millions of Americans. But the perpetrator isn’t cancer or heart disease — it’s Alzheimer’s.

Fox News’ Dr. Manny Alvarez sat down with Dr. Rudolph Tanzi, a professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School who participated in PBS’  “Alzheimer’s: Every Minute Counts” documentary, which takes a closer look at the critical financial problem Americans are facing with the disease, to discuss the issue.

“Because we’re living so long, our health span, especially our brain health span, is not keeping up with our life span,” Tanzi told Fox News. “All of modern medicine has us living on average till 80 years old, and by 85 years old you have a 40 to 50  percent chance of having Alzheimer’s.”

In 2016, total payments for health care, long-term care and hospice were estimated to be $236 billion for people with Alzheimer’s and other dementias, according to the Alzheimer’s Association.

Tanzi explained that right now, $1 of every $5 in Medicare and Medicaid funding goes toward Alzheimer’s patients’ care. Given how many more Alzheimer’s patients are expected to be diagnosed within the next decade, that number is predicted to increase to every 1 in $3. In that case, the programs’ funding may collapse, which would leave insufficient funds to prevent other age-related disease, he said.

“It hits every sector from the burden on the family: the caregiver taking care of their loved one who they’re losing in front of their eyes, and then the government costs, assisted living,” Tanzi said.

Sharing makeup free

Everyone has bad days. But usually online, we only see people’s good ones.

However, we all know that’s not reality — and that’s precisely the inspiring message from Carys Gray, a fitness blogger who’s being praised after sharing an honest makeup-free photo of herself during an eczema flareup.

Gray, who has more than 148,000 followers on the social media platform, shows two photos of herself in the viral image: one with her eczema under control and makeup on her face, and another with her eczema flared up and her face makeup-free.

“Social media/Instagram will show the good days,” Gray wrote in part in the now viral post, which had garnered over 80,000 likes as of Tueday afternoon. “But here’s a reminder that next time you see something on social media that you think is ‘goals’ that it’s not the full story, it’s not how that person will look or be alllllll the time!”

Eczema, or atopic dermatitis, is a chronic skin condition that causes redness and itchiness, according to the Mayo Clinic. It can occur at any age, and it does not have a cure.

Blurry close up vision get some new help

Squinting while texting? Always losing your reading glasses? An eye implant that takes about 10 minutes to put in place is the newest in a list of surgical repairs for the blurry close-up vision that is a bane of middle age. But who’s really a good candidate to toss their specs?

“It’s not bringing anybody back to being 20 again,” cautioned Dr. Shilpa Rose, a Washington ophthalmologist who tests whether patients’ eyes are healthy enough to qualify. “But it decreases the need to rush to get that pair of reading glasses every time you want to send a text or read an email.”

Nearly everybody will experience presbyopia at some point, usually starting in the mid-40s. At first you may notice yourself holding restaurant menus at arm’s length. Eventually, even in good light, reading becomes a blur.

How well you see has to do with how light is directed through the natural lens to the back of the eye. That lens stiffens with age, losing its ability to shift and bend light so that it becomes more difficult to focus close-up.

The usual options are magnifying drugstore reading glasses or, for people with other vision problems, bifocals, multifocal contact lenses or what’s called monovision, correcting for distance vision in one eye and near vision in the other.

“I have glasses everywhere — the bedroom, the office, the kitchen,” said Christianne Krupinsky, 51, of Marriottsville, Maryland, who’d never needed them until presbyopia struck. “Getting ready in the morning, even to put on jewelry I can’t see the clasp. It’s so frustrating.”

And while surgery always carries some risk, corneal inlays that are implanted into the eye’s clear front surface are getting attention because they’re removable if necessary.

“It’s not magic. It’s surgery. People have to remember this is not one and done,” but requires post-surgical exams and care, said Dr. Deepinder K. Dhaliwal of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, a corneal specialist who is watching studies of the inlays.

Krupinsky was a little nervous while lying on the operating table to receive the new Raindrop near vision inlay.

“The most you’re going to feel is pressure,” promised Washington refractive surgeon Dr. Mark Whitten, applying numbing drops to her left eye.

A gel-like device that looks like a miniature contact lens, the Raindrop is smaller than the eye of a needle. It’s the first implant to treat presbyopia by changing the cornea’s shape, making it steeper to alter how light passes through.

It’s placed in only one eye; both eyes still see at a distance. Patients can test-wear a single contact lens to be sure they’ll like the effect before choosing surgery.