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BOOSTER SHOTS

That's Non-Support for You

October 05, 1998|MARTIN MILLER

They can put a man on the moon, but they can't put a woman in a sports bra that's very comfortable. Despite two decades of advances in design and construction of the sports bra, women are still experiencing breast discomfort while exercising, according to a new study by the San Diego-based American Council on Exercise. The discomfort is enough in some cases to discourage women from exercising altogether, the study says. The study also found that in some cases, top-selling sports bras provide no more support than standard, everyday bras. Maybe by the time they put a man or woman on Mars, they'll have made a comfy sports bra.

For more information, look up ACE's Web site at http://www.acefitness.org.

Leech Me, You Fool

For centuries, leeches--those lovable bloodsucking parasites--were in, then in the last century they were out. Now, guess what? They're back in--at least in Bombay, India, where doctors claim they have successfully treated varicose veins with leeches, according to a recent issue of New Scientist. The doctors used leeches to cure 20 patients in a recent study, the article says, adding, "The researchers say that the treatment works because leeches prefer venous blood to the oxygen-rich blood that flows through arteries."

It's a Stretch

A good way to avoid spraining an ankle or at least lessen the severity of the injury if it does occur is stretching the calf muscle before and after exercising, says the UC Berkeley Wellness Letter. Tight calf muscles pull on the Achilles' tendon and can reduce the range of motion of your foot, thus increasing the risk of an ankle sprain, the article says.

Fun With Magnets

There's a new treatment for a leaky bladder--magnets. That's right, patients sit in a special chair that emits magnetic fields for extended periods of time, according to an article on the Wireless Flash news service. The magnetism somehow causes the pelvic muscles to contract, which builds up enough strength to seal off a leaky bladder. The treatment, called the Neocontrol Pelvic Floor Therapy System, is approved only for women. Tests are being conducted on men to see if the treatment is effective.

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