Review Category : Health

How Hotels Are Helping Travelers Stay Fit

Hotel Monaco Washington DC(NEW YORK) — You don’t have to give up on staying fit just because you’re on vacation.

Hotels around the U.S. are offering ways for travelers to stay healthy and active thanks to fitness concierges, wellness packages and restricted mini bar offerings. Some even provide workout clothes and shoes just in case you “accidentally” leave your gear at home. (No excuses!)

If you’re looking for help staying in shape while on the road, check out these hotels:

Hotel Monaco in Washington, D.C.

Bike aficionados will love an overnight stay at the Hotel Monaco in our nation’s capital. General Manager Ed Virtue, who loves to push the pedal, invites guests to ride with him on Wednesdays for one hour. Virtue takes guests on a scenic tour of the city’s famed monuments and historic sites, as well as a ride near the Potomac River. The hotel even has one electric bike for those who want a more intense ride throughout the city.

The Kimpton Schofield Hotel in Cleveland, Ohio

Kimpton Hotels around the U.S. offer a complimentary yoga mat and on-demand yoga and Pilates programs right in your room. And if you’re headed to Cleveland later this year, stay at the Kimpton Schofield Hotel, opening in March, to enjoy additional wellness offerings. The hotel will offer a concierge service that provides maps of obscure Cleveland-area jogging and bike trails that only locals in the know frequent.

MGM Grand Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas

The MGM Grand recently turned their 14th floor into “Stay Well” rooms that focus on increased health and wellness. The rooms, 171 in total, feature Vitamin C-infused showers to promote healthy hair and skin, an air purification system, lighting to aid in improved sleep and even a mattress that is supposed to minimize tossing and turning. And if you don’t want to slip off of your diet, the minibars in these rooms have healthy items such as coconut water, raisins and almonds.

The Envoy in Boston

The Envoy recently created a Wellness Concierge package that offers Beantown travelers ways to stay fit, in addition to the hotel’s on-property running trails and health club. The package, which starts at $649, offers a personalized fitness and wellness itinerary from their Wellness Concierge along with a workout bag. Enjoy a 50-minute massage or facial after your workout along with complimentary parking.

Fairmont Chicago Millennium Park in Chicago

If you love rock climbing or squash, stay at the Fairmont Chicago Millennium Park. Guests here can enjoy these activities at a discounted rate inside nearby Lakeshore Sports and Fitness, a health club. The hotel itself also offers daily fitness classes — such as cardio, strength and conditioning, yoga, and spin — led by certified training experts. The fitness center is also open 24 hours in case that business meeting runs late. Lastly, the hotel has a “Fairmont Fit” program, for a cost, which delivers workout gear directly to your room in case you leave it behind.

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Young Girl Helps Blind Grandmother Escape House Fire

iStock/Thinkstock(KENNER, La.) — A 5-year-old girl is being hailed as a hero after acting quickly to save her grandmother and dog from their burning house in Louisiana.

“If she had not done that, I’d think we’d be looking at a totally different situation,” Kenner Fire Department Chief John Hellmers told ABC News Friday.

Cloe Woods was sleeping in her home in Kenner when the stove caught on fire, causing the fire alarm to go off on Thursday, Cloe’s mother Shone Arceneaux, 39, explained to ABC News.

Arceneaux was driving her 14-year-old son to the nearby carpool spot around 6:35 a.m. when the fire alarm went off. Cloe was able to wake her blind grandmother up and guide her out of their home by having her grandmother hold onto her shoulders, Cloe later told her mom.

When Arceneaux got back to the house around 7 a.m., she saw Cloe across the street “hollering ‘Call 911! My house is on fire!’” and smoke coming out of the house. The police and fire department came to the home a few minutes after Arceneaux arrived.

Arceneaux also mentioned that Cloe’s grandmother tried to find her shoes before going outside, but Cloe insisted that they needed to evacuate the house as fast as possible. Cloe was also able to save their dog.

Cloe learned how to safely escape a house fire from a trip her class took to the Kenner Fire Department, in October 2015. Her pre-k teacher Brittany Gaillot at Our Lady of Perpetual Help described to ABC News Friday how Cloe “loved” the trip and was “a great listener.”

“I’m very proud she put what she learned into action,” Gaillot added.

The fire department chief called Cloe’s response “amazing.”

“It’s quite surprising that this little girl remembered what she learned in October,” Hellmers said, noting that he’s “used to hearing stories of a child hiding under a bed or a closet. It’s amazing the things this little girl did.”

It was later found the stove caught on fire from a bad pilot light, according to Arceneaux, who did not have the stove on when she left the house.

The family is currently in a hotel since being displaced by the fire, and a GoFundMe account was set up to help Cloe’s family cover the costs of repairs and damage.

But right now Arceneaux is just happy her family is safe.

“I’m so proud of her,” Arceneaux said of Cloe. “I’m just glad everyone is okay.”

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First All-Girl Quintuplets Appear on “GMA” 10 Months Later

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — The Busby girls — first-ever all-girl quintuplets born in the United States – appeared on Good Morning America Friday, along with their parents and big sister, Blayke.

“She treats them like they’re her babies. She’s so proud of them,” dad Adam Busby said of his doting oldest daughter. “Whenever we go places she just stands over them. She’s so proud to show them off.”

For their appearance on GMA, the girls were wearing GMA-branded onesies that the show sent to the family when the girls were born, but they’re just now able to fit into them. Each baby also wore adorable color-coordinated bow headbands, which the family said is “mostly for the others that come over,” said mom Danielle. “Especially when we do pictures or something, it’s easier for everyone to identify their colors. We still do bibs, PJs, bows, whatever we can to identify their colors.”

The quintuplets — Ava, Olivia, Hazel, Parker and Riley – were born April 8, 2015, to Danielle and Adam Busby in Houston. They were 28 weeks old.

All the girls were within a healthy weight range but remained in the neonatal intensive care unit at the Woman’s Hospital of Texas because they were born before their June 29, 2015, due date.

“Sometimes it’s smooth, sometimes it’s a little chaotic,” Adam said of their life on a daily basis.

The hardest part of the day, he added, “is just getting out of the house. It takes about 20 to 30 minutes just to get loaded into the van. We’re just now starting to experience that.”

Now that the girls are 10 months old, the amount of diapers they are going through is astonishing.

“We’re still going through a minimum of 30 diapers a day,” said Danielle. “That’s just with the guaranteed diaper change per feeding. And that’s not with your random poops and every other diaper that may happen. So I’d say probably 30 to 40 we’re still changing.”

To carry on the tradition, GMA surprised the family with new T-shirts for the girls to grow into and hopefully enjoy when they’re much older, “perhaps when they’re 21,” Amy Robach joked.

“A little jump in size,” Robin Roberts added.

“Don’t send those yet because I’ll lose them,” Danielle laughed.

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Survey Names Best and Worst States for Getting a Good Night’s Sleep

Moodboard/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — South Dakota gets the prize for having the best sleeping habits, according to a new survey on sleep from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

More than a third of Americans aren’t getting the recommended amount of sleep, according to the CDC.

A good night’s sleep should last at least seven hours and those who sleep less than seven hours a night are at an increased risk for obesity, heart disease and high blood pressure, the CDC said.

The survey breaks down sleeping habits by state. On average, 65 percent of respondents reported getting a healthy amount of sleep. On one end of the sleep spectrum, 72 percent of respondents in South Dakota reported that they sleep seven hours a night or more.

The most sleep-deprived state in the nation is Hawaii, with only 56 percent of Hawaiians reporting they get the recommended seven or more hours of sleep per night.

The researchers also found that being married, having a college degree and having a job were associated with healthy sleep.

This is the first nationwide survey of sleeping habits of American adults.

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Family Grieves Tragic Loss of Third Child from Genetic Condition

Courtesy of Erin Mading(PITTSBURGH) — A Pennsylvania family is mourning the loss of their daughter after she died of a genetic syndrome that also took the lives of her brother and sister.

Erin Mading of Pittsburgh told ABC News that her daughter Isabella, 10, died on Feb. 6 from a brain cancer that was caused by the genetic condition Lynch Syndrome 3, also known as Constitutional Mismatch Repair Deficiency, or CMMRD.

“Everywhere I go, there’s reminders of her and it’s hard,” Mading said. “I’m never going to go to the little girls department [again] to buy something for her. It’s such a feeling, like it’s a dream. It just doesn’t seem like she’s gone. I find comfort, especially with Isabella, that [the three of them are together].”

Isabella’s brother, Cody, 17, died Aug. 31, 2010 — just three years prior to the death of Mading’s other daughter, Averi, also 17.

Averi died on Dec. 24, 2013. All three children died from brain cancer caused by CMMRD.

“Cody was stubborn and he had the biggest heart,” Mading said of her oldest child. “Averi, she was the sweetest child. She was stubborn too, but not as stubborn as Cody. She was such a sweetheart and she had a heart of gold too. She fought so hard. Of all my kids, Averi suffered the most. She fought with everything she had.”

“Isabella, she wanted to be a nurse when she grew up,” Mading continued. “She had the best last year of her life. She was a social butterfly. From the moment she woke up, to the moment she went to bed, she was always on the go. She was silly and fun and so kindhearted. When I look back at all three of my kids…they lived life to the fullest.”

Dr. Shawn McCandless, director of the Center for Human Genetics at University Hospitals Case Medical Center in Cleveland, Ohio, told ABC News that while the Madings’ situation is “very rare,” it happens when both parents carrying the same exact gene have kids, which heightens the risk of cancer.

“The cause of Lynch Syndrome is to have a mutation in one of the genes that’s important for repairing mismatched DNA,” McCandless said. “The issue for this family is that the parents clearly are both carriers. They have defects of the same gene so for them, every time they have a baby, there’s a one-in-four chance that the baby would be affected and that’s the same if you have parents with cystic fibrosis or sickle cell anemia.”

“To have three of their five children affected, it’s actually not that surprising once you know the probability is one-in-four pregnancies,” he continued. “They seem like a really amazing family and it breaks your heart to read their story. It’s a very sad and unusual situation.”

Mading has two other children, Kylie, 20, and Olivia, 14.

After her son Cody was diagnosed with CMMRD, all of the Mading children were tested for the cancer-causing gene mutation.

While Olivia’s results came back negative, Kylie has opted out of testing — a decision that Mading said she supports.

“[She] still does not [want to be tested],” Mading said. “She doesn’t want to know. I think she was afraid. She was 14 when Cody got sick. Kylie is 20 and I respect her decision. The funny thing is, we don’t have anyone in our family who had cancer. People say, ‘Why would you have five children if you knew about this?’ but we didn’t know until Cody was 16 and we already had all five of our kids. I never thought, ‘Why me? Why them?’ I think God has to have a bigger purpose. There has to be a bigger purpose of all of this. I want my children’s lives to make a difference and I want to do everything I can…to help find a cure. That’s what I am dedicating my life to now.”

Mading said she plans on helping to develop more grief counseling for families and increase funding for CMMRD.

Since there was no awareness ribbon for the disorder, she and her family created one with a cheetah print design.

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Drink Up: Coffee Slashes Liver Damage Risk

TongRo Images/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — A scientific review of nine existing studies on the topic, covering some 430,000 people, found that drinking coffee daily can “substantially” slash a person’s risk of cirrhosis of the liver.

The liver disease kills more than a million people each year, but while drinking java can’t cure it, researchers discovered coffee can halt what causes it: liver damage from poor diet, excessive drinking and diseases like hepatitis.

Dr. Oliver Kennedy of Southampton University and his team discovered that one cup of joe a day led to a 22 percent lower risk of cirrhosis. Three cups slashed the risk by 57 percent, while four cups a day led to a 65 percent risk reduction.

“Coffee is a complex mixture containing hundreds of chemical compounds,” Dr. Kennedy explained, noting, “it is unknown which of these is responsible for protecting the liver.”

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Your Body: Facts About Multiple Sclerosis

iStock/ThinkstockBy DR. JENNIFER ASHTON, ABC News Senior Medical Contributor

Actress Jamie Lynn Sigler, known for her role on The Sopranos, recently revealed she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) when she was just 19 years old. And now, she can’t run or even walk for long periods of time.

So how does the degenerative disease impact people?

MS is an immune condition that affects the central nervous system. It can lead to visual problems, problems thinking, cognitive issues, lack of coordination with motor function, loss of balance, or even numbness and tingling.

It’s important for anyone with any of these symptoms to get a full workup — possibly with a neurologist.

Treatment for MS really centers around managing fatigue, which can be debilitating. Bottom line: By managing the flares and the symptoms, people with MS can live a normal life.

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Study Advises Mothers to Give Newborns Vitamin D Supplements

Mayte Torres/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Breastfeeding has long been associated with increased health benefits for babies, as well as for mothers, but a new study points out that even breast milk may have limitations, especially as the infant gets older.

Doctors have long advised breastfeeding women to take vitamin D supplements, since breast milk does not contain high amounts of the nutrient. Vitamin D can be crucial in helping the body absorb calcium, and children with extremely low levels of vitamin D could be at risk of developing rickets or a bowing of the bones.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children take vitamin D supplements for the first year of life, regardless of whether they’re fed formula or breast milk.

But a new study finds that children who are both eating solid food and breastfeeding are at higher risk for vitamin D deficiency. Published Thursday in the American Journal of Public Health, the study looked at 2,508 children in Toronto, Canada.

Researchers found that children who were breast-fed up to 36 months and did not take supplements were more likely to develop vitamin D deficiency even though they had started eating solid foods. Children who were breast-fed up to 24 months had an estimated 16 percent risk of low levels of vitamin D. That number increased to 29 percent when the child breast-fed up to 36 months.

Dr. Sarah Ronis, a pediatrician at University Hospitals Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital, said the study could help mothers make important decisions about their diet.

The takeaway from the study is that children who are breast-fed longer without vitamin D supplementation are unlikely to be getting “sufficient intake from other sources,” she told ABC News.

Ronis pointed out that breast milk remains an optimal source of nutrition for newborns and that the World Health Organization advises breastfeeding for up to two years for infants as long as it works for both mother and child. However she explained that they advise all mothers to give infants vitamin D supplements until the child can drink at least 32 ounces of formula or regular milk to get enough vitamin D in their diet.

She pointed out that the study shows how even solid food may not be a sufficient source of vitamin D for breastfeeding children. A deficiency can lead to “fatigue or impaired immune function” in extreme cases, Ronis noted. Some cases have been so severe that the calcium metabolism is thrown off, leading to changes in the bone.

She reiterated that breast milk is still recommended, as long as there are no other complications. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life or longer and “strongly supports breastfeeding,” according to its website.

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Mom of Triplets Thanks Delta for Moving Her to First Class to Breast Pump

Jenna(ATLANTA) — An Atlanta mom of 5-month-old triplets who posted on Facebook a photo of herself breast pumping in order to thank flight attendants says she is “completely overwhelmed” by the response.

The photo posted last week by Jenna, who asked that her last name not be used, has been liked more than 50,000 times and generated a conversation with hundreds of comments.

Jenna, who has a two-year-old daughter in addition to her triplets, took a Delta flight from Atlanta to Dallas last week for a solo 24-hour visit with her grandfather.

The stay-at-home mom, who previously worked as a registered nurse, told ABC News that she asked the flight attendants if she could come to their preparation area to use a power source for her breast pump. She was astounded by their reply.

“They said they didn’t actually have an outlet, but that I could sit in the empty first class seat and use that power source since it was more spacious than the coach seat where I was sitting the rest of my flight,” she told ABC News.

Jenna, 31, took to Facebook to thank the two flight attendants, identified as Kaitlin K. and Loretta, by posting a photo of herself pumping and a caption thanking them for making her “role as momma much easier.” Jenna noted the flight attendants also provided her with extra water and snacks while she pumped.

“I was unsure how the experience would be with pumping, which is why I was surprised at how accommodating everyone was,” Jenna said. “Pumping is not as simple or discreet as putting a child to breast.”

“I posted as a thank you for being so supportive and making my pumping sessions more comfortable and convenient than they would have otherwise been,” she added.

Jenna’s post drew the attention of Delta, which asked her in the comments section to send her flight information so they could recognize the employees. A third flight attendant, on Jenna’s return flight to Atlanta, also gave her a first class seat, which Jenna said she told Delta as well.

Delta has not responded to ABC News’ request for comment.

“Initially, I was completely overwhelmed by the shares and responses to my post but have since embraced the opportunity to advocate for the parent,” Jenna said. “If even one mother is more comfortable feeding her child because of my post, then it makes the overwhelming response worth it.”

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Pope Francis Says Contraception May Be ‘Lesser of Two Evils’ During Zika Virus Outbreak

neneos/iStock Editorial/ThinkStock(NEW YORK) — With the mosquito-borne Zika virus continuing to spread through Central and South America, Pope Francis said Wednesday that contraception could be seen as “the lesser of two evils” if women are concerned about having children with the birth defect microcephaly.

The Zika virus is usually mild, but has been associated with a rise of the alarming birth defect, characterized by an abnormally small head and brain, often leading to significant developmental delays.
The pope compared the situation to a decree issued by Pope Paul VI, which said nuns in Africa could use contraception due to the threat of rape.

“Avoiding pregnancy is not an absolute evil,” Francis said. “In certain cases, as in this one, such as the one I mentioned of Blessed Paul VI, it was clear. I would also ask doctors to do their utmost to find vaccines against these mosquitoes that carry this disease. This needs to be worked on.”

Francis did say in strong terms that abortion is “an absolute evil” and should not be considered even if there is a risk the infant will be born with microcephaly.

The World Health Organization issued new guidelines Wednesday to guard against the sexual transmission of the Zika virus. The organization advised men and women returning from areas where the transmission of the virus is ongoing to adopt safer sex practices or consider abstinence for at least four weeks. Partners of pregnant women should adopt safer sex practices, including barrier contraception or practice abstinence for the duration of the pregnancy, the WHO recommended.

The virus is most commonly spread from mosquitoes to humans, but it has been documented to spread through sexual contact and blood transfusions.

With the mosquito-borne Zika virus continuing to spread through Central and South America, Pope Francis said Wednesday that contraception could be seen as “the lesser of two evils” if women are concerned about having children with the birth defect microcephaly.

The Zika virus is usually mild, but has been associated with a rise of the alarming birth defect, characterized by an abnormally small head and brain, often leading to significant developmental delays.
The pope compared the situation to a decree issued by Pope Paul VI, which said nuns in Africa could use contraception due to the threat of rape.

“Avoiding pregnancy is not an absolute evil,” Francis said. “In certain cases, as in this one, such as the one I mentioned of Blessed Paul VI, it was clear. I would also ask doctors to do their utmost to find vaccines against these mosquitoes that carry this disease. This needs to be worked on.”

Francis did say in strong terms that abortion is “an absolute evil” and should not be considered even if there is a risk the infant will be born with microcephaly.

The World Health Organization issued new guidelines Wednesday to guard against the sexual transmission of the Zika virus. The organization advised men and women returning from areas where the transmission of the virus is ongoing to adopt safer sex practices or consider abstinence for at least four weeks. Partners of pregnant women should adopt safer sex practices, including barrier contraception or practice abstinence for the duration of the pregnancy, the WHO recommended.

The virus is most commonly spread from mosquitoes to humans, but it has been documented to spread through sexual contact and blood transfusions.

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