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Can I practice yoga if I have a bad back?

Jason Brown, New York, NY
“There are many possible issues that could constitute a "bad back." If you have a recently herniated disc, you should consult your doctor or PT to determine the direction of the herniation. Generally speaking, be mindful to not overly flex your lower spine during any kind of forward bending....” Read more
Stephanie Culen, New York, NY
“Yes, yoga postures can be extremely beneficial for hurting backs and bad backs. It is always good to work with a certified yoga instructor to assist you with the correct positioning of the postures so you don't exacerbate an existing condition. Some of the best strengtheners for back issues...” Read more
Kim-Lien Kendall, New York, NY
“There is no such thing as a "bad" back, and that kind of thinking can lead one to resent and limit their own bodies. There are certainly physical limitations and pain that we can have that cause us to feel as if our back is not as healthy as we want it to be, but ultimately our backs are good...” Read more
Melissa Gutierrez, New York, NY
“Yes, and you probably should. It has been proven time and again that yoga helps many back problems. The key is to practice under the guidance of a knowledgeable teacher that: 1) Has a strong knowledge of anatomy. When you describe your back pain, your teacher will be able to tailor your yoga...” Read more
Megan Ridge, Bethlehem, PA
“Absolutely. Seek out a gentle yoga class at first and see how your back feels afterwards. If anything hurts, come out of the pose.” Read more
Deborah Caruana, New York, NY
“If the pain is sharp, get it checked out right away. If its dull and achy, practice restorative yoga. Listen to your body. If it hurts ease up. Gently stretch your hamstrings. Do gentle cobras with breath. Work your core for support (gently). If the pain lasts more than a few days, get it...” Read more
Archarya Girish Jha, Marlboro, NJ
“why not but it all depends on the teacher what and how he helps you in introducing groups of practices . yoga is much more than the practices of poses alone if you ask Buddha - how many poses he practiced. he will smile and keep silent as yoga is consciousness based approach that applies...” Read more

I want to get better sleep.

Insomnia can be characterized by trouble getting to sleep, waking up too early, waking up in the middle of the night and not being able to get back to sleep, and being tired when you walk up. Generally, if you take more than 30 minutes to get to sleep, or to get back to sleep, you are experiencing insomnia.

Insomnia can be further categorized as either primary or secondary and acute or chronic. Primary insomnia means the cause of the condition is unknown. Secondary insomnia is caused by a physical condition, jet lag, age, caffeinated or alcoholic drinks, or by taking certain medications. Older people are more likely to experience insomnia, and women are more likely to be insomniacs than men.

Even if you seem to sleep for a normal length of time, you may still be tired because your sleep is of poor quality. The average sleep cycle is 90 minutes long, and includes four stages of sleep (one being the shallowest and four being the deepest) as well REM sleep. REM stands for…

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Omega-3 fatty acids are the superstars of healthy fatty acids, improving the health of the heart, brain, skin and other internal organs and enhancing quality of life in myriad ways.

A fundamental building block for the body, this essential nutrient is part of the cell membrane and plays a role in the function of cell receptors. Omega-3 fatty acids work wonders for healthy bodies, making brains smarter and hearts stronger. For bodies fighting illness, this fatty acid is one of the most powerful nutrients, able to battle conditions ranging from rheumatoid arthritis to attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD) to cancer to depression.

There are two main types of omega-3 fatty acids, which are also called polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs). Scientists have not determined whether one type is healthier than the other. At any rate, most Americans lack both types.

Among the many health benefits of omega-3 fats, evidence is strongest for heart health. Omega-3's lower blood…

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Kettlebell exercise

The kettlebell is a specially designed weight used for cardiovascular, strength, and flexibility training. An effective and (somewhat) portable tool, the kettlebell can be used at home, with a personal trainer, or in group exercise classes.

The secret behind this cast-iron instrument, which looks like a bowling ball with a handle on top, is that the weight is centered below the handle, requiring good balance and core control.

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