What Every Woman Needs to Know About Hormone Replacement Therapy

Illustration by Justin Renninger

If you conduct an internet search for Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT), you’ll see reams of information that is supposedly intended to help women determine if HRT is “right” for them. From medical journals and health care institutions, to the government and even Oprah, everyone seems to have an opinion on HRT. But there are so many inconsistencies and biased statements that it is a challenge for the average woman to make an informed decision. The answers to the following five questions are what I think every woman should know prior to discussing the matter further with her physician. Read more »

Get to Know Daniel A. Monti, Our New Medical Expert!

Daniel A. Monti, MD

Dr. Monti is the Executive and Medical Director of the Jefferson-Myrna Brind Center of Integrative Medicine at Thomas Jefferson University and Hospital. He is Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine and Associate Professor of Psychiatry at Jefferson Medical College, Thomas Jefferson University.

Dr. Monti is an internationally recognized expert in integrative medicine, including nutrition, lifestyle therapies, alternative cancer treatments, natural hormone therapies, and mind-body medicine. He has dozens of scholarly publications and presentations in these areas and he has served as a peer reviewer for numerous medical journals and the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Dr. Monti is the recipient of several federal research grants from the NIH and the Department of Health and Human Services. Read more »

Top 5 Ways to Avoid Shoulder Tendonitis in Tennis and Squash Players

Shoulder tendonitis is inflammation due to overuse of the bicep and rotator cuff tendons. The rotator cuff muscles incase the shoulder joint, and when they are injured, they swell. Because these muscles are surrounded by bone, the swelling causes pressure to build within the muscles. The result: the muscles are compressed and there is a loss of blood flow to the small blood vessels. If untreated, tendonitis can worsen, leading to an eventual weakening of the tendon structure. This can lead to a tear of the tendon or the muscle attached to it.

Common causes of tendonitis include poor posture, lack of flexibility due to failure to stretch, weakness and imbalances in shoulder muscles, and repetitive and forceful overhead movements. This injury is commonly seen in tennis and squash players.

Recently, there has been an abundance of shoulder tendonitis due to the latest trend in tennis: top-spin. In the past, the classic way of hitting a tennis ball was hitting it flat on the forehand motion. The latest style of forehand is “Nadal-style,” with lots of top-spin. This motion puts tremendous amounts of force on the anterior aspect of the shoulder. Ironically, when sports and orthopedic doctors examine patients’ shoulders to rule out impingement tendonitis, they put the arm in the replicate position of a forehand thus eliciting pain due to creating impingement. Read more »

VIDEO: Power Up Your Workouts

Power training is a style of advanced, high-intensity, resistance exercise that increases people’s athleticism and ability to generate force with speed. It can be done with weights, bands, balls or just body weight as the resistance, but the key is to be able to move explosively through a full range of motion with balance and speed. Plyometrics is a form of power training, which is essentially jumping in all its various forms—which jacks your heart rate while fatiguing the muscles quickly. Other examples are kettlebell swings, speed band work and sprinting up hills. Read more »

Total Recall

Perhaps it’s just on my radar now that I’m a new mom, but doesn’t it seem like every day another product is recalled because it threatens to maim, sicken, or kill our children? Tylenol, baby slings, strollers—I mean, what’s next? Cribs. Yup, them too. At this point, I’m considering padding my 10-month-old son in bubble wrap and tucking him away in a hygienically sealed room until he’s 18.

It’s the crib controversy that has me most concerned— public enemy No. 1, in particular: the drop-side crib. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has recalled more than 7 million drop-side cribs from 11 brands in the past five years—the most recent culprits Golden Baby, Sorelle and C&T International, Graco and Simplicity. And now the government group is saying it plans to ban them altogether by the end of the year. (If you want a list of the latest product recalls, check out the CPSC website .) Read more »

What It Takes to Look Sexy for Summer

You have to feel sexy before you look sexy. And to get that feeling you have to be happy with your body and confident in yourself, which takes true commitment to a healthy, active lifestyle. I’ve seen my clients make major transformations in as short as 10 weeks by following the four tips below, and now I’m sharing them with you. If you start following these now, you’ll never have to worry about bathing suit season again. Read more »

Get to Know Ross Martinson, Be Well’s Running Coach!

Ross Martinson (Far right)

Ross Martinson is co-owner of Philadelphia Runner, with three stores that specialize in running shoes, gear, and advice. As a competitive runner, Ross has finished 23rd at the Boston Marathon and in the top five of the Blue Cross Broad Street Run, but still remembers his first run when he was dropped by everyone on his high school cross country team. He shares his love of running in the stores and as coach of Team Philly Race Training.

Ross will be blogging for Be Well Philly bi-weekly, and he can’t wait to answer any and all of your running-related Qs. Email him and he could answer your question in an upcoming blog post!

The Pleasures of Cooking In

I was recently in Jamaica for ten days and was lucky enough to live and eat off the land the entire time. I had Fifty-five meals and not one food item came from a package or a typical “restaurant.” It really brought me a sense of joyful calm and satisfaction that I really can’t quite describe in words.

This week I’d love to talk about the pleasure of preparing your own food and … eating in! I love to cook and I’m passionate about Slow Food, sustainable living and eating. I always prefer natural, whole-foods and ingredients. I’m also just as passionate about visiting the latest celebrated restaurant, but I try and prepare all my meals at home Monday through Thursday. Read more »

Get to Know Gavin, One of Our New Expert Bloggers!

Gavin McKay is the owner and creator of Fusion Cross-training with locations in Center City, Philadelphia and Mt. Laurel, New Jersey. He’ll be sharing his fitness tips and advice weekly on Be Well Philly.

A Bucks County, Gavin has been sweating for a long time. Like most kids, he got involved in sports at an early age, but it didn’t just stop with Little League or Pew-wee football. Gavin loved physical activity of all kinds, from tennis to track, rugby to snowboarding, hiking to marathons and everything in between. Read more »

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