Fit For You

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Prenatal providers recommend that women undergo a variety of health screenings while they’re pregnant. Among those is a test for GBS, or Group B streptococcus, between weeks 35 and 37 of pregnancy.

GBS is a relative of the bacteria that causes strep throat and is found naturally in about 30 percent of adult women. It is only considered a risk during child birth, when it can infect a newborn - especially in premature births. Women who test positive for Group B strep are intravenously given antibiotics during labor to reduce the chance of transmission to their baby.

Audrey Nowakowski

Food is one of the main pillars of health. But the kinds of foods we eat can counteract the positive effects of other healthy habits, like getting sufficient exercise and sleep. And there is a lot of conflicting information about what is good for you and how you should determine the best diet for your circumstances.

For more than 20 years, Kristi Linebaugh and Miriam Vigoa were co-owners of a health restaurant in Winter Haven, Florida. Vigoa’s seasoned olive oil family recipe quickly became a staple of their dishes.

Audrey Nowakowski

Fitness trends come and go. So do so-called boutique fitness studios that specialize in one particular format such as spinning, Pilates, or hot yoga.

Now with 1,000 locations and 700,000 members worldwide, Orangetheory Fitness isn’t exactly the new kid on the block: it's been around for almost a decade. But it's really taken off in the past couple of years.

Audrey Nowakowski

Bikes have had many forms since they were invented, from the classic two-wheeled bicycle, to tricycles, unicycles, fixed gear bikes, fat tire bikes… the list goes on.

But it’s still rare to see a handcycle on the streets of Milwaukee. The three-wheeled, seven-foot-long machine is arm-powered, and most commonly used by disabled athletes. While an athlete’s body operates a handcycle differently, handcycle races are just as exhilarating as any other form of bike racing.

Audrey Nowakowski

Parkinson’s Disease is a degenerative neurological condition that causes patients to lose muscle and body control over time.  It can start out as something as simple as a limp, progress to tremors, and can eventually leave a patient entirely incapacitated.

While doctors and hospitals can offer medications, surgery, and physical therapy - some people diagnosed with the disease look for a supportive group environment with others who see Parkinson’s as just one part of their lives. 

Audrey Nowakowski

From ropes to tires, the fitness world has found ways to repurpose old work tools in the name of exercise.  One of those tools you may be seeing more of in your weight room or health club is the kettlebell.  What has actually been around for centuries is just becoming a standard piece of fitness equipment for group exercise and personal training.

But why is the cannonball with a handle any better than your average dumbbell?  For this month’s Fit For You, we travel to Xperience Fitness in Hales Corners for a group kettlebell class with instructor Kelly Bullard:

Rachel Morello

College students can have a lot of stressors in their lives: school work, jobs, tuition... just to name a few. All these can take quite a toll on one's physical and mental health.

One way Lake Effect producer Audrey Nowakowski and former education reporter Rachel Morello like to relieve stress is through exercise. They've noticed that two Milwaukee university leaders - Marquette University President Michael Lovell and UW-Milwaukee Chancellor Mark Mone - are also big fitness advocates.

So, WUWM decided to put them to the test - a physical fitness test.

Audrey Nowakowski

A big misconception about core strength is that is just involves your ab muscles and lots of crunches. Personal trainer Sonya Wren says it's way more than that, it's "the brain of the body."

Wren, a Milwaukee area AFAA certified personal and group trainer, says, "[Your core is] all of your muscles from your chest to your knees, and front to back."

True core strength, she says, is the ability to have your spine appropriately connect with your lower body.

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How many times have you been to the gym and seen people shaking those plastic blender bottles with some sort of colored concoction inside? Many people, and certainly many companies that make them, like to think that having a pre-workout, post-workout, or protein supplement shake will help you become healthier or simply more athletic.

However, Nicole Kerneen, a certified sports science dietitian for Froedert & the Medical College of Wisconsin Sports Medicine Center, suggests you put that shaker bottle down.

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This time of year can mean the delights of decorations, merriment, family, and feasts. But the holidays also often bring stress. Whether it’s additional expectations we place on ourselves, a busier overall schedule, or the complex relationships between friends or relatives, this time of year can certainly throw a wrench in healthy habits.

However, Lake Effect contributor and Wisconsin Athletic Club nutrition director Kim Flannery says it’s important to remember that we’re all human, and this time of year can affect each of us in different ways.

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Many people watch the competitors on the hit show American Ninja Warrior with amazement. From climbing up ropes to ascending the warped wall, the athletes demonstrate the pinnacle of human movement.

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Have you ever felt “stuck” and gone out for a walk or run by yourself and suddenly find clarity about something that was bothering you? Or perhaps you’ve been on a walk with a co-worker or on a road trip with a friend, and you find the stories just pouring out of you.

Letting your mind wander as your body moves has a powerful positive effect. In this day and age where “sitting is the new smoking,” William Pullen, a psychotherapist based in London, is harnessing the power of joining movement with mindfulness.

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"The first time someone hears the word 'Ayurveda,' they say, 'Ayuer-what?'" jokes Carol Nace, Ayurveda practitioner and founder of Bodhi Ayurveda.

Ayurveda is a wellness system that originated in India thousands of years ago, well before modern medicine supplied evidence for the mind-body connection, Nace says.

Mitch Teich

For centuries, humans have used boats for work and transportation. However, rowing boats for sport didn’t start until the early and mid-eighteen hundreds, at English universities like Oxford and Cambridge.

It caught on later in the United States, though the annual rowing match between Harvard and Yale has been held for more than 150 years.

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The battle of the sexes has been long documented - especially in sports. Women have made tremendous strides in both novice and professional competitions, but the question of attaining a truly even playing field remains uncertain.

When it comes to sports performance, things are not equal. Men are generally stronger and faster than women thanks to their physiology. However there have been claims made over the years that the longer an event goes -- think ultra-marathon or even longer -- the more advantages women have over men.

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