Making Exercise Appealing for Young Couch Potatoes

Yes, there’s a television in Steinbeck’s Scottsdale, Ariz., home. But the family’s television room also boasts an exercise bicycle, mini trampoline, and several large exercise balls.

Her two children are just as interested in the tube as any other red-blooded American kids, but Steinbeck sees to it that if they’re tuned in, they’re exercising at the same time.

Everyone in the family uses the equipment as we watch television, the author of the best-selling Fat Free cookbook series explains. That way, the kids are hardly ever sitting and they’re in constant motion. It’s one way to make viewing more than a passive activity. Read more…

Kryptonite to the rescue?

A superglue that can slash heart surgery recovery time shows super promise

We’ve all been warned of dire consequences if we accidentally get Krazy Glue on our fingers when we’re fixing the lamp the dog knocked over. Many glues are so strong savvy people use them to help close wounds. In fact, they are used in medicine during hip replacements and other procedures.

Dr. Paul Fedak, at Calgary’s Foothills Hospital Medical Centre has recently shown that a new superglue can be applied to the sternum after open-heart surgery, with superior results compared to conventional treatment.

Last Sunday, over 3,000 health professionals were treated to information on this super adhesive, called Kryptonite, at the Canadian Cardiovascular Conference in Montreal. The results from a trial on 55 patients who had undergone open-chest surgery – during which the breastbone must be cut open – received either standard treatment with steel wire closures (25 patients), or wires along with the superglue (30 patients).

The glue, made by Doctors Research Group in the U.S., bonded the bones together within 24 hours, without sticking to any other tissue, while the wires alone took up to eight weeks.

Because Kryptonite’s ingredients are derived from components in castor bean oil – fatty acids and calcium carbonate – Dr. Fedak says the stuff is “bio-compatible,” i.e. the polymer forms a porous, very strong bonelike substance, and it doesn’t contain the toxins found in most other bone cements.

Recovery time was cut in half and the pain encountered during healing was greatly diminished. Normally, just the thought of coughing, sneezing or even breathing deeply brings on dread to recuperating chest surgery patients. Those treated with the superglue needed far less medication for their pain.

Of course, the innovation comes with a price – in the arena of $700. Dr. Fedak, however, believes that the shortened hospital stays and reduced medication needed after operations using Kryptonite would help compensate for this cost.

Of the approximate 29,000 chest surgeries performed in Canada annually, it’s highly possible that if the next trial – of 2,000 people – on Kryptonite confirms this study’s results, only high-risk patients (those with internal bleeding or other complications) will not receive this breakthrough treatment in the future. I can’t wait for the results!
Milena Katz