New Research Study Goes Against Popular Belief On “39-week” Pregnancy Rule

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pregnantThis article is courtesy of the Baylor College of Medicine, please share your comments below. Questions or concerns about the article should be addressed directly to the Baylor College of Medicine.

Women who are managing low-risk pregnancies are advised to follow the “39-week rule” – waiting until they are 39 weeks to deliver. This rule is intended to eliminate elective inductions and cesarean deliveries at 37 and 38 weeks, when outcomes for the newborns are believed to be worse than those born at full term.

But new research by a Baylor College of Medicine epidemiologist suggests that babies delivered after elective induction at 37 to 38 weeks may not have an increased risk of adverse neonatal outcomes, compared to those infants who are expectantly managed (i.e., medical observation or “watchful waiting”) and delivered at 39 to 40 weeks. The findings appear in the current issue of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

“Our findings caution against a general avoidance of all elective early-term inductions and call for continued research, based on better data, in what is still a relatively new arena,” said Dr. Jason Salemi, assistant professor of family and community medicine at Baylor and lead author of the study.

The national initiative to eliminate all elective deliveries before 39 weeks began to gain momentum around 2008, Salemi said, and was supported by professional organizations and adopted by healthcare institutions.

“Until then, I had never observed a campaign so enthusiastically embraced and that resulted in such widespread implementation of practice improvement efforts,” Salemi said.

But he saw limitations in many studies used to justify the 39-week rule. Most notably, he recognized what he believed to be an inappropriate choice of comparison group for elective early-term deliveries.

“A number of studies reporting worse outcomes for elective early-term deliveries compared them with later term spontaneous deliveries, a low-risk group. However, the clinical decision that must be made is not between elective early-term delivery and later spontaneous delivery, but between elective early-term delivery and expectant management, in which the outcome remains unknown,” Salemi said.

Salemi and his colleagues conducted a retrospective cohort study that used data on more than 675,000 infants from a statewide database. All live births were classified on the basis of the timing and reason for delivery. The research study compared elective inductions and cesarean deliveries at 37 to 38 weeks to expectantly managed pregnancies delivered at 39 to 40 weeks.

“We focused on serious conditions in early life. Our outcomes included neonatal respiratory morbidity, sepsis, feeding difficulties, admission to the neonatal intensive care unit and infant mortality,” Salemi said.

Salemi cautions that the research findings do not lend support for elective deliveries before 39 weeks and, in fact, provide evidence that supports the avoidance of elective early-term cesarean deliveries. The study found that infants delivered after cesarean delivery at 37 to 38 weeks had a 13 to 66 percent increase in the odds of damaging outcomes.

However, infants delivered after elective early-term induction experienced odds of adverse neonatal outcomes that were largely the same as infants who were expectantly managed and delivered at 39 to 40 weeks. Through the research findings, Salemi hopes to increase awareness on the many issues that surround the timing and reasons for delivery.

“Each pregnancy is unique,” He said. “I cannot overstate the importance of open and ongoing communication between pregnant women and their healthcare providers so that the potential risks and benefits of any pregnancy-related decision are understood fully.”

Other authors that contributed to this research study and article are Dr. Elizabeth Pathak, during her time as an associate professor of epidemiology at the University of South Florida Morsani College of Medicine, and Dr. Hamisu Salihu, professor and vice chair for research in family and community medicine at Baylor.

This research was funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (grant number R01HS019997).

Understanding Nutrition During Pregnancy

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This article was submitted by the Baylor College of Medicine, please share your comments below…..

PregnantFor everyone, a nutritious and well-balanced diet is essential to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. But for pregnant women, nutrition is doubly important – it’s a key factor for their own health and that of their baby.

“Pregnant women should eat three meals a day and between-meal snacks,” said Dr. Nina Ali, assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Baylor College of Medicine. “Meals should include foods from all five food groups: grains, fruits, vegetables, proteins and dairy.”

Ali advises women to be mindful of their diet choices and to drink plenty of water to help curb the out-of-control cravings.

“Try to choose food with nutritional value and allow yourself to indulge in small quantities,” said Ali.

Cravings are hard to avoid while pregnant. However, Ali recommends that pregnant woman avoid specific foods altogether.

Women should not consume unpasteurized milk, hot dogs, lunch meats and cold cuts (unless they are heated to steaming hot), raw or undercooked seafood, eggs and meat, fish with high mercury content such as swordfish, king mackerel or tilefish, said Ali.

Nutrition choices also can play a role in minimizing morning sickness that many women experience during pregnancy, she said.

“Ginger candy and ginger tea can be soothing for nausea,” Ali said. “Eat small snacks throughout the day rather than large meals, and avoid heavy or spicy foods. When these measures do not help, talk to your ob-gyn doctor about nausea medications.”

In addition to maintaining a healthy diet while pregnant, Ali recommends women continue to manage a balanced diet after giving birth.

“A healthy, well-balanced diet is an essential part of the mother’s recovery after giving birth,” said Ali. “Also for moms who are breast-feeding, caloric demands and nutrition needs are even higher than while pregnant. I recommend moms continue prenatal vitamins for 6 weeks or as long as they continue breastfeeding.”

During and after pregnancy it is essential to eat nutritious meals and be mindful of good dietary choices.

“A well balanced diet will give your body the building blocks it needs to maintain good health for you and for your baby,” said Ali.

Study Finds Genes Linked To Happiness, Depression And Neuroticism

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This article was submitted by the Baylor College of Medicine, please leave your comments below…..

womanwinkHow people think and feel about their lives depends on multiple factors, including genes. In a paper published in Nature Genetics, a multi-institutional team, including a researcher from Baylor College of Medicine, reports that they have found genetic variants associated with our feelings of well-being, depression and neuroticism.

This is one of the largest studies on the genes involved in human behavior. More than 190 researchers in 140 institutions in 17 countries analyzed genomic data from nearly 300,000 people.

“In this paper, we applied advanced statistical analyses and meta-analyzed, or combined, results across a large number of studies, which is the most powerful way to conduct this type of genetics research,” said Dr. Alexis Frazier-Wood, assistant professor of pediatrics and nutrition at the USDA/ARS Children’s Nutrition Research Center at Baylor and Texas Children’s Hospital. “I served as the analyst for one set of data included in the overall results. We report that we found three genetic variants associated with subjective well-being – how happy a person thinks or feels about his or her life. We also found two genes harboring variants associated with depressive symptoms and 11 genes where variation was associated with neuroticism.”

The researchers advised caution when interpreting the results of the study. The genetic variants do not determine whether someone develops depressive symptoms, neuroticism or has a poor sense of wellbeing.

“Genetics is only one factor that influences these psychological traits. The environment is at least as important, and it interacts with the genetic effects,” said Dr. Daniel Benjamin, associate professor at the Center for Economic and Social Research in the University of Southern California Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences and corresponding author.

The information in this report allows researchers to look at possible ways to study these conditions. “We can start studying the functions of these genes to begin to understand why biologically some people are more predisposed to feel this way than others,” said Frazier-Wood.

For the names and affiliations of the other contributors, and grant information for this research, go to Nature Genetics.

Born To Run

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Thank you to the Baylor College of Medicine for this article, please share your comments below…..

pregnantBaylor College of Medicine researchers have discovered that female mice that voluntarily exercise during pregnancy have offspring that are more physically active as adults. The research appears in The FASEB Journal.

Dr. Robert A. Waterland, associate professor of pediatrics – nutrition and of molecular and human genetics at the USDA/ARS Children’s Nutrition Research Center at Baylor and Texas Children’s Hospital and senior author of this work, noted that although their research studied mice, “several human studies have reported results consistent with ours.”

For example, observational studies have found that women who are physically active when they are pregnant have children who tend to be more physically active. But these results could be attributed to the mothers’ influence on the children after they were born. Or, mothers could pass to their offspring a genetic predisposition to be physically active.

“Our study in a mouse model is important because we can take all those effects out of the equation. We studied genetically identical mice and carefully controlled the amount of physical activity of the mothers before pregnancy,” said Waterland.

The Baylor team selected female mice that all enjoyed running. Then they divided them into two groups. One was allowed access to running wheels before and during pregnancy, and the other was not.

During early pregnancy, the females with running wheels ran an average of 10 kilometers a night. They ran less as pregnancy progressed, but even by the beginning of the third trimester they ran (or walked) about 3 kilometers each night.

The researchers found that the mice born to mothers that exercised during pregnancy were about 50 percent more physically active than those born to mothers who did not exercise. Importantly, their increased activity persisted into later adulthood, and even improved their ability to lose fat during a three-week voluntary exercise program.

This study supports the idea that movement during pregnancy influences fetal brain development, making the offspring tend to be more physically active throughout life. “Although most people assume that an individual’s tendency to be physical active is determined by genetics, our results clearly show that the environment can play an important role during fetal development,” Waterland said.

If a similar effect can be confirmed in people, it could represent an effective strategy to counteract the current worldwide epidemic of physical inactivity and obesity.

Increasing physical activity has major health implications. According to the World Health Organization, insufficient physical activity is one of the 10 leading risk factors for death worldwide.

Several expert groups including the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists already recommend that, in the absence of complications, pregnant women get 30 minutes or more of moderate exercise a day. “I think our results offer a very positive message,” said Waterland. “If expectant mothers know that exercise is not only good for them but also may offer lifelong benefits for their babies, I think they will be more motivated to get moving.”

Jesse D. Eclarinal, Shaoyu Zhu, Maria S. Baker, Danthasinghe B. Piyarathna, Cristian Coarfa, and Marta L. Fiorotto, all from Baylor, also contributed to this work.

This work was funded by grants from the U.S. Department of Agriculture [CRIS 6250-51000-055 and CRIS 3092-5-001-059] and from the NIH [AR46308].

ACSM, Walk With A Doc Program Announce Partnership

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familywalk2This article is courtesy of ACSM, please share your comments below…..

The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) announced a new partnership with the Walk with a Doc program today, forged to promote walking for better health. Walk with a Doc encourages healthy physical activity in people of all ages, because it can reverse the consequences of a sedentary lifestyle and improve the health and well-being of Americans.

ACSM is an international leader in promoting the benefits of exercise. “Walking is a safe, easy and effective way for all people to become healthier through physical activity,” said Jim Whitehead, ACSM’s EVP/CEO. “ACSM brings the expertise of 50,000 clinicians, researchers, educators and exercise professionals to this collaboration to team up with Walk with a Doc’s efforts to promote physical activity through walking.”

With close to 250 communities and thousands of doctors across the United States, Walk with a Doc sees the partnership with ACSM as a way to expand its impact as scores of additional communities stand to benefit from the collaboration. “With a doctor’s approval, walking is low impact and safe for people with orthopedic ailments, heart conditions and those who are more than 20 percent overweight,” said David Sabgir, MD, founder of Walk with a Doc. “Working with ACSM can help us meet our goals to help Americans become more active and meet national guidelines for physical activity.”

Walk with a Doc is following ACSM’s lead to answer the Surgeon General’s Call to Action on Walking and Walkable Communities, released in September 2015. The call to action recognizes the importance of physical activity for people of all ages and abilities and encourages Americans to be more physically active through walking and asks leaders to better support walking and walkability in their communities.

Walk with a Doc will also be supporting ACSM’s signature program, Exercise is Medicine®, by promoting the EIM health care provider’s pledge to encourage patients to participate in regular physical activity to support their health.

How To Avoid Irritating Shaving Rash

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mansmileFor most people, shaving leaves their skin soft, smooth and hair-free. However, many others out there are not so lucky, and the simple act of removing hair from their body means days or even weeks with skin which is sensitive to the touch, and breaking out quite visibly. For guys whose facial hair grows quite quickly, there seems to be two options in this scenario – either sport a lifetime beard, or present to the world a rash on their face, chin and neck every time they shave. However, for many guys, the option for just growing a beard simply isn’t there. For example, men in the military are expected to be clean-shaven and many other industries, for example the hospitality industry, expect the same. So, what can you do to best prevent shaving rash and other problems?

Use an Electric Razor

If up until now you have been shaving with a cheap or even disposable manual razor, this could well be one of the root causes of your problem. By investing in the best beard trimmer or electric razor out there, there’s a high chance that shaving rash will become a thing of the past as you’ll get a gentler shave as electric razors don’t often cut as close to the skin as regular disposable ones. If you don’t want to use an electric razor, using a single-blade razor is the best option for those who suffer from shaving rash.

Shaving Techniques

Failing to use proper shaving techniques is one of the biggest reasons why shaving rash occurs. When shaving your face – or any other part of your body – it’s vital to shave in the general direction that the hairs are growing, and not against them. If you need to take a second pass over the skin with your razor or beard trimmer, it is important to do so gently, without pushing down on the skin. Getting a super-close shave can also cause problems with shaving rash later on, so avoid pulling your skin taut when shaving, too.

Use Fresh Razor Blades

Using and re-using your razor blades is not an option for those who suffer from shaving rash. If you get shaving rash, it’s understandable to think that your skin irritation is caused by using a sharp blade. However, it’s actually more likely that you’ll cut yourself with a dull blade rather than a sharp one, and the same is true for razors. When you run a dulled razor over your skin, it will snag on some hairs whilst passing over others. Not only does this make shaving more of a difficult task for you, it also means that you’re more likely to end up suffering from shaving rash and ingrown hairs. Not only will any missed hairs stick out on your skin, snagged hairs are going to be the ones that cause you problems.

Shaving rash can be an irritating and painful problem, especially if you are required to be clean-shaven for work. But, by using the right products and techniques, you can avoid it.

– Written by Veselina Dzhingarova

Type 1 Diabetes New Staging System Promotes Early Detection

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diabeteswordThis article was submitted by the Baylor College of Medicine, please share your comments below…..

For most people with type 1 diabetes, the disease seems to occur suddenly, often resulting in a trip to the emergency room with life-threatening complications. But a new recommendation calls for a diabetes staging classification that could mean earlier diagnosis and better outcomes for patients in the long run.

The recommendation was made by the JDRF, the American Diabetes Association and the Endocrine Society in the January issue of the journal Diabetes Care and is based on research from TrialNet, an NIH-funded international network of research centers, including Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children’s Hospital.

The research indicates that type 1 diabetes can now be most accurately understood as a disease that progresses in three distinct stages.

Stage 1 is the start of type 1 diabetes. Individuals test positive for two or more diabetes-related autoantibodies. The immune system has already begun attacking the insulin-producing beta cells, although there are no symptoms and blood sugar remains normal.

Stage 2, like stage 1, includes individuals who have two or more diabetes-related autoantibodies, but now, blood sugar levels have become abnormal due to increasing loss of beta cells. There are still no symptoms.

For both stages 1 and 2, lifetime risk of developing type 1 diabetes approaches 100 percent.

Stage 3 is when clinical diagnosis has typically taken place. By this time, there is significant beta cell loss and individuals generally show common symptoms of type 1 diabetes, which include frequent urination, excessive thirst, weight loss and fatigue.

“Clinical research supports the usefulness of diagnosing type 1 diabetes early – before beta cell loss advances to stage 3. The earlier diagnosis is made in the disease process, the sooner intervention can take place, and the more beta cells are likely to remain. More beta cells may lead to better outcomes regarding blood sugar control and reduction of long-term complications,” said. Dr. Maria Redondo, director of the Texas Children’s/Baylor TrialNet Clinical Center and associate professor of pediatrics at Baylor and in the diabetes and endocrinology section at Texas Children’s Hospital.

The Texas Children’s/Baylor TrialNet Program serves as one of the 14 TrialNet Clinical Centers throughout the United States, Europe, Canada and Australia. TrialNet was founded in 2001 and since then has screened approximately 150,000 participants for type 1 diabetes markers.

Screening is recommended for people who have relatives with type 1 diabetes. Family members have a 15 times greater risk of being diagnosed than a person with no family history. TrialNet screening is available at no charge to:

* Anyone between the ages of 1 and 45 with a sibling, child or parent with type 1 diabetes.

* Anyone between the ages of 1 and 20 with a sibling, child, parent, cousin, uncle, aunt, niece, nephew, grandparent or half-sibling with type 1 diabetes.

“TrialNet’s goal is to identify the disease at its earliest stage, delay progression and ultimately prevent it. We offer screening and clinical trials for every stage of type 1 diabetes and close monitoring for disease progression,” Redondo said.

For people who participate in type 1 diabetes prevention research like TrialNet, the risk of diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) at diagnosis decreases to less than 4 percent from 30 percent. DKA is a serious complication of diabetes than can lead to coma or even death.

For more information or to participate, call 832-824-1207 or email TrialNet@texaschildrens.org.

How To Build A Healthy House

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homeThe much overuse of health related phrases such as “you are what you eat” and “healthy body-healthy mind” are just that- they’re simply overused phrases. With that being said, everything central to an individual’s existence is dependent on a healthy state of being and body. However more than just a healthy body, the effects of sugar and other toxins have proven to influence thought processes and the overall state of mind adversely.

So where does the journey of a healthy diet and exercise being? And more so, how does one influence their loved ones to walk that key journey of good dietary habits and healthy lifestyle choices? To my mind, as soon as possible! Inception of healthy dietary choices and lifestyle practices like exercise is better received when earliest introduced. In the instance of families, it begins with parents living exemplary well balanced and health conscious lifestyles. Where grocery purchase decision making reflects a balance of necessary buys to ensure intake results in optimal physicality.

It’s in this approach, homes are seen to advocate healthy diet and children become what they are exposed to. Taking it a step further, organic and free range products as well as home gardens translates into the discernment of product intake. In essence, a child is educated from early in their lives, for example, that a vegetable commercially grown is not the same as a vegetable organically grown. Education on healthy living need not be mundane but can form the basis of fun filled activities like gardening together or planting a seed and watching it grow into something with the right care and knowledge.

Exercise together with the right diet is a winning formulae and children exposed to the benefit from earlier on are seen to make healthier lifestyle choices inclusive of diet and exercise in their adult lives. Exercise can take the form of mountain biking, yoga in the garden, swimming in fresh water lakes to name a few. All in all, the message lies in how parents approach the matters of healthy diet and living. This being said, there is a world outside of your home walls so it’s equally important to give your children access to treats from time to time. In doing this, they won’t be “overwhelming” in how they respond to treats perhaps at a fellow kid’s birthday party. The main thing is the education that food is information to the body so what messages are you sending when you ingest good food verses not so good food.

If the household reflects and resonates the of benefits in eating well, resting well, pro- exercise and a balanced lifestyle from early on then choices later reflect the same or similar. That education is tasked to adults who make key choices like what to stock in the fridge, what to grab when on the go and what fun yet stay fit activities to fill the weekend with. Healthy parents equals healthy kids and a healthy home.

– This article was provided by Apex Window Werks, a company that offers window repair and replacement services. This is a Better Business Bureau A+ company and also a company that is accepted at Angie’s List. Visit their website for more details about the offerings.

Everlast Climbing Partners With Creator Of Dyslexie Font To Expand Literacy Opportunities on Climbing Walls

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newsSpecially-designed magnets offer a new way for educators to work with children to develop literacy skills through cross-curricular programming while rock climbing.

According to the Yale Center for Dyslexia & Creativity, dyslexia affects 1 out of 5 people, impacting genders equally and crossing racial, ethnic and socioeconomic lines. It is the most common reading disability. If left undiagnosed and untreated, it can lead to a lifetime of problems beginning with learning to read in school.

Unlike what many people think, dyslexia is not as simple as mixing up letters. People with dyslexia see letters as 3D objects and the letter swapping occurs because so many letters of the alphabet look similar in form and design. With this insight in mind, Christian Boer, a graphic designer with dyslexia, developed a font to help people differentiate between the letters and read more effectively.

In his Dyslexie font, each letterform is designed so that it is more easily distinguished as unique, making it less likely that similar letters, such as “b” and “d,” will be confused by readers. The nine characteristics of the Dyslexie font include a heavy bottom, slanted parts, bigger openings, slanted letters, longer ascender and descender, bold capitals, different heights, higher x axis and better spacing. You can learn more about the font and the research behind it at dyxlexiefont.com.

Everlast Climbing is always looking for new ways to make its climbing and active-learning products more accessible. After learning about the Dyslexie font, Everlast Climbing partnered with Christian Boer to license the font for use on magnets for its Magna® Traverse Wall®, Discovery® Dry-Erase Traverse Wall and Adaptive Traverse Wall. Currently, children use magnets on the magnet-accepting surfaces of these climbing walls to combine learning with movement in countless ways. For example, young children can identify, climb to and touch the letters in their name. Older children can climb to and move letter magnets to spell words or even combine magnetic words to create sentences.

The addition of the Dyslexie Font Magnet Set expands these kinesthetic literacy opportunities to students with dyslexia, who may have previously struggled with these types of activities. “We are excited to be able to offer a way to make active learning more accessible and enjoyable for children with learning disabilities,” stated Tim Sudeith, General Manager of Everlast Climbing.

About Everlast Climbing

Everlast Climbing is committed to improving youth fitness with dynamic and innovative products that engage children and inspire physical activity. The company is headquartered in Mendota Heights, MN, and is a PlayCore company. More information is available about Everlast Climbing at http://www.everlastclimbing.com.

Stop Letting Bad Excuses Destroy Your Health

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By Katherine Smith

healthywordsThere are all kinds of reasons we give for why we settle for an unhealthy lifestyle. Here’s the thing: They’re all bad. Granted, healthy living is not as easy for some as it is for others. But it is absolutely essential for all.

Consider some of the reasons we give for not sticking to a healthy diet:

• Healthy food is more expensive

• Healthy choices are harder to find

• Healthy eating requires a lot of cooking

These all seem like excellent reasons until we end up with some kind of life-threatening disease which requires a drastic dietary change. Suddenly, the budget opens up for healthy eating. We discover where to find those healthier choices. And cooking becomes much less of a chore than it once was.

The same kind of thing is at play when it comes to proper exercise. We are convinced that our bad excuses are actually good reasons. Here are three of the most popular excuses, why they’re bad, and how you can overcome them:

I Can’t Afford It

Who said you need money to get fit? You can strap on the pair of running shoes you already have in your closet and hit the road to physical fitness before you are done reading this paragraph.

Spending money to achieve higher levels of fitness is always optional. But if you select one of the many options, such as a Fitness 19 gym, you will find plenty of affordable plans that cater to entire families.

You can spend as much or as little as you want. You can choose to take classes from professional instructors, or enjoy a more free-form use of facilities.

We tend to spend money on the things we consider important. If your life depended on a gym membership, you would find the money. It is just a matter of convincing yourself that your health is a budgetary priority. If a loved one were in your condition, you would find a way to pay for their treatment. You only need to love yourself equally as much.

Pain Is Holding Me Back

Regardless of your level of health, good exercise causes a certain amount of discomfort. This is especially true for muscle building. But not all exercise is about muscle building. No pain, no gain may be motivational to a certain type of Neanderthal. But it is scientific nonsense. Exercise doesn’t have to hurt.

Lifehacker points out…..

“This myth has been debunked by doctors, physical therapists, and researchers of all stripes, but it still persists because most people conflate the idea of pushing themselves to work out harder with pain.”

The desire to, and enjoyment of hurting one’s self is called masochism. It is a mental illness, not a useful, athletic trait. If exercise moves from challenging to painful, see your doctor. And get better exercises to do.

Exercise need not be at the level of a professional athlete to be useful. Expecting pain from exercise is the product of bad high-school coaching. Take your favorite NSAID such as Advil, and do the level of exercise you can achieve that does not include pain.

I Don’t Have Time

This is always the trump card that is supposed to end the discussion. It is also the worst of the bunch. You may think that a good exercise regimen takes a lot of time. But the Mayo Clinic begs to differ.

They say it takes about 75 minutes a week of vigorous exercise. That is less than 11 minutes a day. Strength training will cost you two sessions a week with no specific time limit. Whatever you can spare is fine.

How do you find the time? Set your alarm to go off eleven minutes earlier. Take one less detour to Starbucks. Split it up with two minutes here, three there, and so on.

At the end of the day, finding eleven minutes, or eleven dollars, or eleven pain-free exercises is not the problem, and never has been. It is always ever about prioritizing your health. It is either important to you, or it isn’t. Don’t let past failures stand in the way. One saying we all learned as children applies doubly as adults: If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.