Odd & quirky health and fitness news from around the globe.
Want to get rid of that flabby gut? Try relaxing.
In her new book Fight Fat After Forty, Dr. Pamela Peeke claims that stress may be the cause of abdominal fat - which can lead to everything from high blood pressure to unhealthy cholesterol levels - in women. Dr. Peeke says that the pressure of work, raising a family, maintaining a household, and the gazillion other daily chores that today's working moms face cause the release of a hormone called cortisol. This hormone in turn leads to overeating.
Next time you are packing for a trip to the International Space Station don't forget a towel. The spacecraft now has exercise equipment.
The crew from the space shuttle Atlantis recently assembled a treadmill in the station's new, Russian-made living quarters. And if you think installing a treadmill in your club is tricky, try putting together a machine in a gravity-free environment.
The treadmill features a special mounting frame and a complex shock system so that runners won't affect the sensitive experiments conducted in the station.
Future installations will include a special strength machine and a stationary bike that will be mounted near a porthole so exercising astronauts can gaze at the Earth, orbiting below.
The exercise equipment isn't being installed for recreational purposes. The crew will need to use the equipment for an hour a day, six days a week, to combat the debilitating effects of prolonged weightlessness.
American kids aren't the only youngsters battling obesity. Cases of obesity among China's 300 million children have been increasing 8 percent annually, with one in 10 urban children considered overweight.
One factor causing childhood obesity is that Chinese people's dietary habits have changed, with burgers and pizza replacing rice and noodles. Furthermore, the Chinese culture equates food with love, and since Chinese couples are limited to a single child - well, let's just say that's a whole lot of love for one kid to swallow.
In response to the spread of childhood obesity, weight-loss clinics for kids and youth diets have become the rage in China. The latest craze? Boot camps, with children wearing camouflaged T-shirts that read "Fat Camp" and taking part in military-style exercise.