‘Fitness Helped Me Find Myself After I Left My Arranged Marriage’

Kingston mum Saima Husain, 40, found her confidence – and her calling – in the gym.


I fell in love with sport in junior school – netball, softball, rounders… I even did Irish dancing. I was good at sport, and my classmates always picked me first for any team. I really loved that – it made me feel special. I grew up in quite a strict home and wasn’t really allowed to go out and play with my friends. When I was at school, playing sport, that was the only time I could really socialise and have fun.

I had an arranged marriage when I was 19, in December 1999. I had spent 5 minutes with him before we got married. We had two children by 2003. But my husband and I just weren’t compatible, and our relationship fell apart. I have nothing against arranged marriages, but we just weren’t the right fit. There was no real love there. By 2006, I just couldn’t do it anymore. I took my kids and left.

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I got a job as a sales assistant in a shoe shop. Being South Asian, as a single mum, I was very much frowned upon for leaving my husband. It was an incredibly tough time, and I battled with severe depression and anxiety.

I wanted something just for me – something that made me feel accomplished, like I was achieving something. So I joined my local gym. Exercise and fitness became my safe place – where I could be my own person.

It was the only thing I felt was mine.

I was still very self-conscious, so I started off on the cardio machines. They all faced the windows, so I didn’t have to look at anyone – or see anyone looking at me – while I exercised.

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But the trainers were all lovely, and there was one in particular who took me under his wing. He coaxed me away from the treadmill, gave me free 10-minute boxing sessions, and gave me a basic resistance circuit I could follow. For about 3 months I would just repeat the same circuit every single day!

Initially, I had the usual motivations; I wanted to lose a bit of weight and tone up, and after the first few months, my body did start to change (I dropped about 3 dress sizes) – but my outlook changed even more. I found that I was chasing goals, rather than a certain body type.

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Find the perfect gift for your fitness enthusiast

If you’re like most people, this year has been uniquely challenging for keeping up with personal health and fitness. However, you can find a lot of new home gym equipment that can keep you on track to finish this year strong or to set an early New Year’s resolution. Here’s a gift guide of all the best eBay fitness deals for this holiday season.

Fitnessclub Folding Treadmill

There’s nothing more synonymous with a home gym than the time-tested treadmill. This fitness machine can handle all of your cardio needs including running up to 8mph with programmable target calories, distance, and time. The Fitnessclub 2HP Treadmill also features a convenient folding design that allows you to store it out of the way when not in use.

Right now you can add this reliable home gym equipment and save 20% on treadmills. eBay offers a wide selection of treadmills for sale including folding treadmills, electric treadmills, and cheap treadmills. You can also shop used treadmills on eBay for an even better discount. 

Totall Adjustable Dumbbell Set

If space is a limited commodity and versatility is a must-have in your home gym, then check out the Totall Adjustable Dumbbell Set. This pair of dumbbells provides up to 66 pounds of resistance training and can be adjusted to suit your weightlifting progress. These dumbbells take up very little space, but provide an incredible workout value.

Pick up a dumbbell set at eBay for 15% off. You can also find other top brands of adjustable dumbbells at eBay like PowerBlock and Bowflex. The types of dumbbells for sale on eBay include iron, sand-filled, or water-filled weights.

Fitness Tracker Smart Watch

Tracking your health progress can be a powerful motivator for your fitness journey. This Fitness Tracker Smart Watch delivers some high-tech features at a very competitive price. With built-in activity tracking, heart rate monitoring, and sleep tracking, this Fitness Smart Watch can provide you with lots of insight on your workout and daily habits. In addition, it’s compatible with both iPhone and Android devices so it pairs seamlessly with your smartphone.

Save 43% on Fitness Trackers when you shop at eBay.

5 Piece Resistance Band Set

Resistance Bands offer a wide variety of exercises and movements you can add to your workout routine. This Resistance Band Set comes in 5 different options ranging from as low as 5 pounds to 40 pounds of resistance. These are super portable fitness equipment that you can take anywhere at any time. With this Resistance Band Set, you can improve your strength or even rehabilitate an existing injury.

If you’re looking for a unique training gift, buy a set for less than $10 at eBay.

Non-slip Yoga Mat

With all of the stress and commotion that 2020 has brought, it’s nice to have a healthy outlet for both your mind and body. There are few activities better than yoga when it comes to relaxing your mind and strengthening your body. This Yoga Mat is just what you need to

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Researchers find new deadly inflammatory disease, NIH says

National Institutes of Health (NIH) researchers reported a newly discovered deadly inflammatory disorder last week.

“We had many patients with undiagnosed inflammatory conditions who were coming to the NIH Clinical Center, and we were just unable to diagnose them,” Dr. David Beck, a clinical fellow at NHGRI and lead author of the paper, said in a news release. “That’s when we had the idea of doing it the opposite way. Instead of starting with symptoms, start with a list of genes. Then, study the genomes of undiagnosed individuals and see where it takes us.”

CLICK HERE FOR FULL CORONAVIRUS COVERAGE

The team examined over 2,500 people with undiagnosed inflammatory diseases and assessed over 800 genes involved in cells’ regulatory processes, per the release.

In doing this, they found one mutated gene, UB1, causing the syndrome dubbed VEXAS for “vacuoles, E1 enzyme, X-linked, autoinflammatory and somatic syndrome.”

Nearly half the patients under study died from the serious condition, researchers said. (iStock)

Nearly half the patients under study died from the serious condition, researchers said. (iStock)

“So far, 40% of VEXAS patients who the team studied have died, revealing the devastating consequences of the severe condition,” per the release. The disease involves blood clotting, repeated fevers, heart issues and problems with blood cells, called myeloid cells.

Findings were published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

FDA WARNS AGAINST DIY CORONAVIRUS TREATMENT USING OXYGEN CONCENTRATOR

“Our objective was to see if any of the 2,560 patients shared variations in the same gene,” Dr. Daniel Kastner, scientific director of the Intramural Research Program at NHGRI and a senior author of the paper, said in a news release. “Instead of looking at clinical similarities, we were instead taking advantage of shared genomic similarities that could help us discover a completely new disease.”

Of the 2,560 patients, researchers said 1,000 had repeated fevers and widespread inflammation. Three men had the mutated gene in the X chromosome; men have one X chromosome and one Y chromosome, while women have two X chromosomes.

Researchers found “mosaicism” among the affected patients, which happens when some cells carry the gene in its mutated form, and other cells carry the gene in its normal form, per the release. Ultimately, 25 total men across other NIH databases showed to have the mutated gene with similar symptoms: blood clotting, repeated fevers and heart issues, among others.

“By using this genome-first approach, we have managed to find a thread that ties together patients carrying all of these seemingly unrelated, disparate diagnoses,” Kastner concluded.

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Coronavirus crowd study: German researchers find ‘glimmers of hope’ after inviting thousands to indoor concert in Leipzig

In one scenario modeled by the scientists, the infection risk for participants and their contacts was around 70 times lower when health and safety instructions were followed, compared with what it could have been under pre-pandemic behavior.

“A concert or handball game with a strictly enforced safety protocol is safer than the participation in a big wedding,” said Michael Gekle, the dean of the medical department at the Martin Luther University of Halle-Wittenberg, who was involved in the research.

The scientists’ conclusions are based on an experiment that drew around 1,400 people to an indoor concert simulation in August, hosted in one of the country’s largest venues in the eastern German city of Leipzig.

The researchers from the Martin Luther University of Halle-Wittenberg, a public institution, used tracking devices to gather data on the movements and behavior of participants, all of whom had to test negative for the virus to be allowed to participate. Over the following two months, the data gathered during the day-long experiment in August was fed into a computer simulation to estimate the hypothetical spread of the coronavirus for varying safety protocols and infection rates.

Finding a balance between economic incentives to fill a venue as much as possible and safety constraints to limit the risks was the main goal of the experiment that looked at three scenarios.

In the first, participants — while still wearing masks — pretended that the pandemic did not exist, allowing the researchers to create a detailed computer simulation of a concert with no social distancing and with an auditorium at full capacity.

In the second scenario, organizers imposed light social distancing rules and reduced the number of participants. This scenario, the researchers said Thursday, would provide sufficient safety to hold indoor events up to an infection rate of 50 new cases per 100,000 people within a week. Germany deems regions that cross this threshold as risk areas.

Events could still be held with infection levels above that rate, the researchers found, but only if organizers were to follow stringent distancing, as modeled in a third scenario.

In all three scenarios, participants had assigned seats.

The researchers cautioned that participants’ safety largely depends on face masks and on indoor ventilation systems, which were both found to play a critical role in preventing infections.

Germany already approved a $580 million program last month to improve ventilation systems in museums, theaters and other spaces. As long as no effective vaccine has been widely distributed more funding for ventilation will be needed, said Stefan Moritz, who headed the experiment. “This pandemic won’t be over in a few months,” he said.

In the lead-up to the concert, the prospect of the experiment sparked hate mail and accusations that it would become a superspreader event, but the researchers said Thursday that the concert had resulted in no known infections.

The release of their findings Thursday came at a pivotal time in Germany, and one day after Chancellor Angela Merkel announced a month-long partial national lockdown this

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Young people struggling with eating disorders find support on TikTok

TikTok creators are offering meal support for people in need. (Photo: Getty Images)
TikTok creators are offering meal support for people in need. (Photo: Getty Images)

A recent trend on TikTok is providing young people suffering with or recovering from an eating disorder with meal support by featuring creators eating food and offering users a safe space to virtually join them.

“I thought that it would be nice for you guys to have a video of me just sitting there eating so that if you ever are having a hard time eating you can come back to this video, sit there with me and enjoy your meal with me,” Clara Guillem says in a voiceover of a video of her eating a sandwich. “So, yeah. I love you guys. Use this whenever you want. I love you.” The sound has been used in 3,357 videos on the platform.

The 24-year-old who is currently living in Nashville, Tenn., tells Yahoo Life that she developed anorexia at the age of 14, sharing that social media platforms that perpetuated toxic content about body image encouraged her eating disorder. Now, as a full-time content creator focused on body confidence, eating disorder recovery and general mental health, she’s looking to change the way that young people interact with these platforms as well as with the people on them.

“My anorexia continued until I was about 20 years old,” Guillem says. “I remember the exact moment I decided to turn my account into a safe space for those with eating disorders. I had made a video asking people to stop posting toxic ‘what I eat in a days’ [videos] showing off their low-calorie meals on a kid’s app. Then, I got a comment from a 13-year-old girl saying she was struggling. I responded to the comment and all of a sudden I received hundreds of comments from kids that age saying they were unhappy with their bodies and engaging in harmful eating disorder habits. I knew then, that as an adult who had been through it all, and who they seemed to trust, it was my place to share my story and inspire others to get help.”

Guillem began to post videos where she shared her own experience with anorexia and her journey to recovery. She also would show herself eating food items that she previously deemed “fear foods” — what National Eating Disorders Association’s (NEDA) Communications Manager Chelsea Kronengold explains to Yahoo Life as different foods that might “trigger” someone with an eating disorder.

“That food can be associated with trauma for somebody, so that might be a fear food,” Kronengold says. “Generally speaking, fear foods are usually higher in calories, foods that the media perpetuates as ‘bad’ foods, even though at NEDA we don’t believe that there’s good or bad foods.”

Guillem is spreading that same message with content created specifically to share evidence of herself enjoying a variety of foods without guilt. During a TikTok live one day, she even realized the need to provide followers with more opportunities to feel encouraged to eat

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Can’t find a leg extension machine? Rakul Preet Singh shows an alternative in her 4 am fitness video – fitness

Making us enter the week with rejuvenated enthusiasm for fitness is Bollywood diva Rakul Preet Singh’s latest workout video. Currently in Hyderabad, the actor was seen up and sweating at 4:57 am to burn calories sans excuses.

Taking to her Instagram handle, Rakul gave health freaks a sneak peek into her intense exercise session where she showed a perfect alternative if one can’t find a leg extension machine. Nailing the exercise routine, Rakul was seen using a bench for leg extension workout in the absence of a machine.

The video featured Rakul donning a blue printed tank top teamed with a pair of black tights having sheer detailing. Pulling back her hair in a high ponytail hairstyle to that they do not mess with her exercise routine, Rakul completed the athleisure dressing with a pair of black gloves to create resistance and a pair of black lace-up trainers.

Placing her hands firmly on the floor with her legs high up on the bench, Rakul worked on her quadriceps which is the large muscles of the front of the thigh. She captioned the video, “Excuses don’t burn calories (sic)” and we cannot agree more.

 

The quads are the biggest muscle in the human body and strong quads are important for a good posture, walking and squatting. The leg extension strengthens the quadriceps while also engaging the muscles in the core, butt, hips and lower legs.

It strengthens the patellar ligament and quadriceps attachment for the knee even as they are notoriously difficult to develop or tone. Bending and straightening the leg from the knee are the two basic movements of this exercise.

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South Korean officials find no direct link between flu vaccine and recent deaths

The country’s government has rolled out a flu vaccine campaign, concerned about the potential simultaneous spread of coronavirus and influenza.

At least 36 people have died after taking flu vaccinations since last Friday, including a 17-year-old. The average age of those who died was 74, according to the South Korean Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA).

As of Friday, more than 14 million people had gotten the flu vaccine, of which 9.4 million were children, elderly, and pregnant women, according to the KDCA.

Ki Moran, a professor at South Korea’s National Cancer Centre, said the flu vaccine is known to cause serious side effects in one out of 10 million people.

In 2019, 227,000 people over the age of 65 died in South Korea, she added. That’s an average of 621 deaths a day, to put the recent figures into perspective.

The KDCA decided on Friday not to suspend the flu vaccinations. The vaccination expert committee will hold a meeting Saturday morning to review additional data, according to a KDCA statement.

Rare side effects

This might be your most important flu shot ever

The KDCA’s Friday meeting came after rising scrutiny from experts and politicians.

On Friday, South Korean Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun called for a thorough investigation into the deaths, citing public anxiety, according to a press release by the Health Ministry. He did not call for a halt to the vaccination campaign.

The Korean Medical Association, a coalition of 130,000 doctors, has urged the government to suspend the vaccination program for a week until they determined the cause of the deaths.

In a statement, the Korean Vaccine Society emphasized the importance of the flu vaccine, especially “for children, the elderly, and patients with chronic diseases and low immune system.” The organization cited concerns about the possible spread of flu during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Experts globally are preparing for flu season in the middle of the pandemic. “This is a critical year for us to try to take flu as much off the table as we can,” said Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in an interview with the AMA’s JAMA Network.

One reason is to decrease the strain on public health services and hospitals, which are bracing for a winter wave. Experts say it possible to get Covid-19 and the flu simultaneously — and, because flu symptoms look so similar to that of Covid-19, it will be impossible to rule out a coronavirus diagnosis without a test. That means a case of the flu can cause substantial disruption to work and school.

In South Korea, Covid-19 has infected 25,775 people and killed 457, according to Johns Hopkins University.

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To Find a Coronavirus Vaccine, GlaxoSmithKline Is Bonding With Its Biggest Competitors

The Covid-19 pandemic is turning some fierce drug-industry foes into the best of frenemies.

The pharmaceutical giant standing at the center of this team of rivals is

GlaxoSmithKline


GSK 0.57%

PLC, the world’s largest vaccine maker by sales. The British company is jointly developing a Covid-19 antibody drug with a San Francisco upstart, offering rivals a proprietary ingredient that is designed to boost a vaccine’s power and planning to share research study results.

“We felt this very unusual situation required something that GSK hadn’t done before, and something we hadn’t seen in the industry before either,” says Roger Connor, president of Glaxo’s vaccines business.

What makes Glaxo’s collaboration so unusual is that competition typically defines the relationship among drugmakers. Company researchers race to be first to bring a new kind of therapy to market or work on treatments that can outdo older medicines, while marketers roll out campaigns designed to boost sales at the expense of rivals.

In the age of Covid-19, old adversaries are uniting around a common enemy: the new coronavirus. Their nascent partnership is now visible in everything from trials to research to manufacturing. Glaxo and eight other pharmaceutical firms even took the rare step of issuing a joint pledge last month to seek regulatory approvals for their vaccines only after proving their safety and effectiveness in large, final-stage clinical trials.

How far along each of the vaccines are

Testing stages typically move from ‘preclinical,’ before the vaccine is deemed appropriate to test in people, to the three phases of human clinical trials.

So far, 44 candidates have made it to clinical trials.

Type of vaccine

Viral vector

Ten of these have advanced into phase 3, which tests whether the dose that would be given to the public works safely.

The most common area of cooperation thus far is manufacturing. Some longtime rivals are striking deals to stretch their capacity to meet anticipated demand. Roche Holding AG is helping manufacture an antiviral drug in development by rival Regeneron.

Amgen Inc.

will help make

Eli Lilly

& Co.’s antiviral drugs if the treatments are authorized by regulators.

Pfizer

has dedicated manufacturing capacity to turning out doses of remdesivir, an antiviral made by rival

Gilead Sciences Inc.

The camaraderie also extends to the traditionally cutthroat realm of research.

Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc.

scientists contributed to research on a vaccine in development by

BioNTech SE

and Pfizer Inc., and were co-authors on a paper this summer detailing the results. In another rare move,

Merck

& Co.’s research and development chief called his Glaxo counterpartment in April to pass along a tip that one of Glaxo’s molecules showed promise in Merck’s Covid-19 lab tests.

Glaxo’s most prominent contribution to this new era of collaboration is its decision to share a proprietary vaccine component known as an adjuvant—an ingredient that helps boost a vaccine’s protective power by rousing the body’s immune response. Glaxo now has agreements to supply that ingredient to four vaccine developers, including French drugmaker

Sanofi SA,

and stands ready to

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Moms Who Lost Custody of Their Kids Due to Addiction Overcome Darkness to Find ‘Greater Things’

Moms Who Lost Custody of Their Kids Due to Addiction Overcome Darkness to Find ‘Greater Things’

“I learned that I was a person and I was not my disease and that it was okay my kids could not keep me sober,” says Freedom House alumna Christina Compton

Three years ago, Christina Compton was in an incredibly dark period of her life after struggling with addiction to the point where she lost custody of her two kids and was arrested while pregnant with her third child.

“I felt like there was no hope or no chance,” Compton, 33, tells PEOPLE. “I carried around so much guilt and shame from losing my other kids and I felt like they should’ve been enough to keep me sober, [but] it wasn’t. I never understood what was wrong with me and why I couldn’t stop doing drugs or alcohol.”

Elsewhere in Kentucky, mom Brittany Edwards was also struggling with her substance addiction and had lost custody of her four kids.

“Since I can remember, I’ve been a drug addict,” says Edwards, now 31. “It took me many, many years to realize I needed help.”

However, in the time since then, both Compton and Edwards have turned their lives around — thanks to the nonprofit organization Volunteers of America and their treatment center, The Freedom House, which helps pregnant women and moms stay with their kids while recovering.

Edwards was the Manchester Freedom House’s first graduate this past July, while Compton finished Louisville’s program in August 2017 and now works there as a therapist, technician, peer support specialist and intake specialist.

RELATED: Introducing PEOPLE’s Mental Health Initiative: Let’s Talk About It

Courtesy Christina Compton Christina Compton with her kids, Christina, CaRon and Wyatt

Volunteers of America Brittany Edwards with her kids Rylen, Ally, Jackson and Bentley

“Without them, I don’t know where I would have ended up,” Compton says of the facility. “You go into rehab saying, ‘Okay, I’m going to learn about my disease. I’m going to get sober,’ and Volunteers of America gave me so much more than that.”

Adds Edwards: “I’ve never completed anything in my life except for this program… Being an addict, it’s hard. No one is immune to addiction and they just taught me how to accept life on life’s terms and be okay with that.”

For Compton, her history with substance abuse began at age 9 after she suffered an injury from gymnastics and was given narcotic pain medication.

“I remember taking those and liking the way that they made me feel,” she recalls, adding that she “went off the deep end” after her mom died when Compton was in the eighth grade.

By 19, Compton was a mother of two but still using drugs and alcohol in what she says became “a vicious cycle” and caused her to lose custody of her kids.

“I just felt like this empty vessel of a woman and a failure,” she explains. “Because the one thing in my mind that

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Feinstein Institutes researchers find effective COVID-19 ‘cytokine storm’ treatment

Some immune systems have responded to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) infections by going into overdrive, resulting in an overzealous inflammatory response referred to as a cytokine storm. In a retrospective study of nearly 6,000 patients, researchers from The Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research and Northwell COVID-19 Research Consortium have identified the most effective immunomodulatory therapies to treat patients with evidence of this cytokine storm and improve patient survival.

This press release features multimedia. View the full release here: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20201020006139/en/

Dr. Negin Hajizadeh and colleagues. (Credit: Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research)

A multidisciplinary team of investigators, led by Negin Hajizadeh, MD, a pulmonary and critical care physician, and associate professor at the Feinstein Institutes, analyzed the electronic health records of hospitalized COVID-19 patients across 12 of Northwell Health hospitals – New York State’s largest health system – between March 1 and April 24, 2020. The results were published today in CHEST, by Sonali Narain, MD, assistant professor at the Feinstein Institutes, corresponding author, and team.

Patients were divided into one of six groups; no immunomodulatory treatment (standard of care), patients who received intravenous corticosteroids, anti-interleukin 6 antibody therapy (tocilizumab) or anti-interleukin-1 therapy (anakinra) alone or in combination with corticosteroids.

The results show that the most effective treatment was the combination of corticosteroids – such as dexamethasone – with tocilizumab when compared to standard of care. Additionally, there was an improvement if corticosteroids were used alone, or in combination with tocilizumab or anakinra when compared with standard of care.

“Cytokine storms are a hallmark for many COVID-19 patients and are associated with the most severe form of this illness,” said Dr. Hajizadeh, associate professor at the Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell and co-senior author on the paper. “Our findings suggest that with the intervention of certain drugs like corticosteroids, we can battle the cytokine storm and improve outcomes to the point that we believe we have found a new standard of care for seriously ill patients.”

Overall, there were twice as many males as females in the cohorts, and more than 65 percent had never smoked. Contradictory to previous reports, the Black population was associated with better survival compared to white patients. Additionally, the most common comorbidities across the groups of patients that experienced a cytokine storm include:

  • Hypertension (44-59 percent);

  • Diabetes (32-46 percent);

  • Cardiovascular disease (5-14 percent);

  • Chronic kidney disease (5-12 percent);

  • Cancer (5-11 percent);

  • Asthma (3-12 percent).

“Dr. Hajizadeh’s major COVID-19 research study gives timely and crucial new knowledge about using currently available anti-inflammatory drugs,” said Kevin J. Tracey, MD, president and CEO of the Feinstein Institutes. “This information will help others save lives.”

The researchers hope that the findings are useful for frontline providers to care for severely ill COVID-19 patients and to aid in the future design of large randomized controlled clinical trials, the gold standard of medical research.

About the Feinstein Institutes

The Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research is the research arm of Northwell Health, the largest health care provider and private employer

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