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Abdominal Exercises to Build Abs and Increase Core Strength

Cam Speck

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Abdominal exercises are a great way to increase core strength and build six-pack abs. Not only will they increase your overall strength, but they will also improve your posture, stability, and balance. As a bonus, a strong core will also reduce your risk of low back pain and sports injuries. It will also help you perform everyday activities more easily.

The two major muscle groups in the abdominal area are the rectus abdominis and obliques. The rectus abdominis runs vertically up the front of the torso and is the most targeted when working on your core. In advanced lifters, this muscle group is highly resistant to fatigue. The oblique muscles, on the other hand, run diagonally along the sides of the torso and resist rotational stress on the spine. They are responsible for stabilizing the pelvis and spine during movements like throwing and chopping.

Another great core exercise is the plank. Performing a plank involves holding the top pushup position while flexing your abs to keep the back straight. To make the exercise more challenging, try adding a weight to the plank and adding downward force to it. Weighted planks can also be very effective at increasing core strength and bracing abilities.

You can also incorporate the Pallof press into your core workouts. This exercise uses your abs to stabilize your skeleton, which is one of the reasons it’s called an anti-rotation exercise. By increasing core stability, this exercise can reduce the risk of injury. It’s important to rest your core muscles after a hard core workout.

Building a strong core is crucial to your overall health and athletic performance. It also improves your posture, which is crucial to having a trim figure. If your posture is a problem, you may be more likely to have a misaligned pelvis than you think. A good posture is key to having strong abs.

Another great core exercise is the hollow hold. This exercise is more challenging than other ab exercises but will help you develop both lower and upper body strength. It also helps you with pull-ups, which require core strength. This core exercise is great for developing strength in the entire body and is popular with CrossFit instructors.

Choosing the right weight for your ab workouts is important to get the best results. A heavier weight will make it easier to reach the target area and may even lead to more muscle growth in your abs. Make sure to use a workout mat and wear comfortable workout clothing that won’t interfere with your mobility.

Besides weight lifting, you can also try speed workouts. You can also incorporate full body weight exercises like bodyweight exercises, tabatas, and plyometrics.

Cam’s mission is to empower and allow people to perform better at everything they do while developing the confidence and mindset to become their best selves. Leading by example in every way, Cam shows us that nothing can stand in your way when you prioritize.

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Health & Wellness

Christian Nationalism’s Influence and American Public Opinion

Ryan Lenett

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New findings from the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) reveal how Christian nationalism has taken hold in the US. This idea blends Christian beliefs with what it means to be American and impacts discussions around schools, who can live in the country, health care and more.

Unpacking the Data

PRRI’s 2023 American Values Atlas aimed bigit talked to over 22,000 people to figure out who supports Christian nationalism. They looked at if people think the US should be a Christian nation, if our laws should reflect Christian morality, and how Christianity shapes what it means to be American.

  • Adherents and Sympathizers agree a lot with the ideas of Christian nationalism.
  • Skeptics and Rejectersless so.
  • ress disagreement or complete rejection of these views.

Research shows that those who align with or show some support for Christian nationalist ideas are in the minority. Most Americans don’t go along with such beliefs. Often, this group includes folks who lean to the right, tend to be white, evangelical, typically vote Republican, favor Donald Trump, and usually have a limited formal education. They also like to get their news from sources that share their political slant.

Geographic and Demographic Insights

When we look at where Christian nationalism gets its nod, it’s a bit of a mixed bag. States that usually vote Republicansocalled “red” statestend to back these ideas more strongly, and there’s kind of a ‘horseshoe’ shape to their spread across the country. Yet, states like Utah, which are often seen as conservative, aren’t really on board with these ideologies as much as you’d thinkshowing us that it’s not a hit across the board in GOP areas.

On the flip side, states that usually vote Democrat (“blue” states), or have a bunch of different kinds of folks and less religious influence, don’t buy into Christian nationalism nearly as much.

Levels of support for Christian nationalism, a crucial factor in deciding who wins elections, are pretty average in the key battleground states. This shows that Christian nationalism could swing either way in these important regions.

Political and Religious Connections

The strong link between Christian nationalism and being a Republican, plus a thumbsup for Trump, points out that politics plays a big role here. It’s also tied to people who identify as evangelical or bornagain Christians and those who often go to church. So, we’re looking at a group that’s heavily religious and leans towards conservative politics.

Even so, the PRRI report makes it clear that most Americans, including quite a few Republicans and independentminded folks, aren’t all about linking religion with running the country or our national identity. They fit into the Skeptics and Rejecters groups, showing there’s widespread hesitation about mixing faith and policy.

The Consequences of Christian Nationalism

Christian nationalism is becoming more common in the political scene, and it brings a lot of consequences. People are arguing about whether religion should be separate from the government, if it has a place in public matters, and if America’s democracy welcomes everyone. This belief system is trying to get laws made that match its views. Some people are all for it, while others really don’t like it, showing that the country can’t agree on religion’s place in making laws.

The research by PRRI shows that Christian nationalism has gotten pretty popular in some places and with certain types of people, but still, a lot of folks are not down with it. The numbers show there’s a big split with some wanting Christian ideas mixed into how the US is run and others who want to keep things secular and open to different beliefs.

Looking Ahead

Christian nationalism is going to keep getting attention because it’s really shaking up American politics and society. As we move into the future, this topic isn’t going anywhere and will be hotly discussed and watched closely.

In the wake of recent elections, how religion fits into public affairs and government continues to be a hot topic. The PRRI report highlights how key it is to get the various viewpoints on this matter. Folks in the US are trying to figure out the mix of faith, culture, and political games as they aim for a democracy that honors and sticks to values of liberty and equality for everyone.

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Health & Wellness

Measles Outbreak in Florida Raises Public Health Concerns

Cam Speck

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Florida is dealing with a serious measles outbreak right now. It’s hitting kids in Broward County the hardest and making everyone think hard about public health. People are arguing about vaccines and how to keep folks healthy in Florida because of this problem. 

 Current Outbreak Status

 So far, there are nine people in Florida who got measles. Eight of them are kids in Broward County. We’re talking about tiny tots – one kid is less than five years old and another is between five and nine. And there’s also an adult who got sick in Central Florida’s Polk County, showing this thing is all over the place. People have a lot to say about how Florida’s health leaders are dealing with it, especially how Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo is doing things. He thinks parents should get to decide about their kids getting shots, not just follow what the government says. Not everybody likes that idea, and some health pros from all over are giving him flak for it. That’s happening while more people keep getting sick. Measle cases are on the rise around the world, and this makes it crucial to have strong health policies in place.

Grasping Measles and Its Consequences

Measles spreads easily through coughing, sneezing, or touching things that an infected person has touched. Even though we have a very good MMR vaccine, the illness still threatens those who haven’t been vaccinated.

  • Vaccines are critical- One shot of the MMR vaccine is around 93% effective, while two shots bump that up to 97%.
  • Act fast if exposed- If you think you’ve come into contact with measles, you should get medical advice right away. This might mean getting the MMR vaccine to stop you from getting sick.

The Surgeon General’s Polemic Position

The way Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo has handled the measles situation has caused quite a stir. He focuses on letting parents choose wheather**Ladapo’s Stance Raises Eyebrows**

Amidst debates over public health rules, Ladapo’s suggestions have sparked worry about the possibility of more infections spreading. His view is part of a growing trend to challenge accepted public health actions, which experts say could damage efforts to manage not only measles but other diseases that can be prevented as well.

The choice to not follow advised health measures, like keeping kids without vaccines out of school, has affected the real world. Manatee Bay Elementary School in Weston, at the heart of the outbreak, has seen a notable decrease in students showing up. This shows parents are worried about their kids catching the virus.

Community and Expert Reactions

People in the community have reacted differently. Some parents have decided to keep their children away from school, scared they might catch the virus or as a way to criticize the government’s relaxed approach to health safety. Health specialists across the country have spoken out against this strategy, highlighting the dangers it brings to kids’ wellbeing.

Safety and community wellbeing are at risk. Vaccine expert Dr. Paul Offit points out that when we value personal freedom over group safety, especially with infectious diseases, we’re asking for trouble.

Vaccination rates and public health implications

The recent outbreak has put a spotlight on how many people get vaccinated in the state. In 2022, less than 92% of kindergartners in Broward County got their shots. That’s under the national average and not meeting the CDC’s aim of 95% immunization. Not having enough kids vaccinated is helping the disease to spread, making it clear why we need more people immunized.

Forward Path

The measles outbreak in Florida shows the tough job health officials have when dealing with diseases we can prevent, mainly because some folks are unsure about vaccines and politics get tangled up in it. It shows why sticking to what scientists say is crucial for everyone’s health. Also, it reminds us how vital vaccinations are. Preventing outbreaks requires everyone to work together. It’s important for public health officials, parents, and the whole community to make good choices during this outbreak. Vaccines and following public health rules are key to stop the measles from spreading. These steps protect the health of people living in Florida.

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Health & Wellness

New Hope in Treating Depression and Brain Injury

Anne lise Sylta

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New medical breakthroughs have researchers excited about testing deep brain stimulation (DBS) as a potential cure for those suffering from serious depression and injuries caused by trauma to the brain. This cutting-edge method, similar to a heart pacemaker but for the brain, requires placing electrodes inside the brain. These electrodes connect to a device under the skin near the chest, sending precise electric jolts to certain areas of the brain.

Deep Brain Stimulation: Pioneering Depression Therapy

DBS is showing encouraging signs in helping people whose depression hasn’t improved with standard treatments. It’s already been okayed for health issues like Parkinson’s and epilepsy. Experts, like those at Mount Sinai West, are optimistic that it might be accessible for depression therapy before too long. A patient named Emily Hollenbeck found that her symptoms got much better quickly after the procedure, saying it was like having “continuous Prozac.”

Tackling Negative Views on Brain Injury

Teams led by Harvard’s Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital and their colleagues are fighting against the often gloomy expectations for traumatic brain injury recovery. Their work shows that electric stimulation could restart inactive parts of the brain circuits, possibly giving patients back their ability to work and join in social situations. In their studies, they saw boosts in skills like planning, focus, reasoning, and solving problems. Patients even went past what doctors consider a real change for the better just three months into DBS treatment.

How It Works

DBS helps by activating the thalamus, an important part of the brain that sends messages from one area

When electrodes are placed inside the brain, they spark one area, which then activates the thalamus. This wakes up parts of the brain that work fine but just aren’t getting enough signals. Scientists don’t fully get how it works yet, but they think it gets the brain ready to use different networks or smaller systems when necessary.

Overcoming Skepticism

Even though DBS seems promising for treating depression, some doctors are still not sure about it. They’re worried about the risks and don’t quite get how depression affects the brain’s wiring and functions. But, more and more research backs up DBS, and the FDA is speeding up its review for cases where nothing else has helped with depression. These signs point to doctors starting to come around.

The Road Ahead

Scientists keep working on making DBS even more specific for each person, figuring out the best spots in the brain for the electrodes, and maybe mixing it with other treatments to get the best results. Big studies are coming up that could help get FDA approval on the horizon.

Impact on Patients’ Lives

If DBS works out, it’s a big win, not just in medicine but also for people and their families who hope to break free from tough depression and brain injuries. Take Emily Hollenbeck for example; she used to think she’d always be stuck with depression she couldn’t handle, but now small joys make her happy, and she’s optimistic about what’s ahead.

Final Thoughts

The way DBS went from an idea to possibly becoming a common treatment shows why we need to keep digging into brain science. There’s stuff to sort out, but so far, it looks like there might be new ways to help folks who didn’t have much hope before. As more research comes out and people talk about how DBS worked for them, it’s shaping up to be something pretty special.

We’re on the verge of changing how we treat mental health and brain injuries. This shift is about to make a big difference in the field.

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