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Can Blood Pressure Determine the Sex of a Baby?

Here is an interesting way to predict whether you’ll have a boy or a girl. Your blood pressure may hold the secrets to the sex of your baby. Women who have hypertension are more likely to have a boy, according to researchers from the Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto. Recruiting 1,411 Chinese women who were planning to have a child soon, they assessed their blood pressure, cholesterol, triglycerides, and glucose levels at the start and then during their pregnancies.

What they found was that systolic blood pressure before pregnancy was higher in those women who ended up having boys. These findings were true, even after accounting for the age, education, smoking and BMI of the women.

As the study author Dr. Ravi Retnakaran explained, “In humans, the sex of the foetus is determined by the sex chromosome of the fertilising sperm.”

The study was published in the American Journal of Hypertension and the authors warned that its results are not a reason for anyone to artificially manipulate a mother’s blood pressure. The results, interestingly enough, might also explain the decrease in the number of boys who are born in countries with healthier lifestyles.

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Enhanced Quality of Life in New York

People are always trying to either maintain or enhance their quality of life.  There are various related industries in this including: culture, home, wellness and more.  In this article we examine a few of them.

Culture

New York has always been a great home to high-end culture.  Now, that is about to be taken to the next level especially for book lovers.  The plan is for Amazon to open its very first New York bookstore close to Central Park.  Located at The Shops at Columbus Circle, this upscale midtown shopping mall features other chic retailers including Coach, Eileen Fisher, First Republic Bank and J. Crew to name but a few.  The store is due to measure 4,000 square feet and anticipated opening is set for some time in the spring of 2017.

Home Renovations

Rocco Basile

Rocco Basile

Another way quality of life can improve is by making home renovations. Many people are gearing their renovations towards state of the art sustainable living with the guidance of experts like Rocco Basile’s Avo Construction company.  Located in Tribeca, the company helps its New York based clients create their dream house. Basile’s firm focuses on two key areas in this. These include ground-up construction which includes coordinating with architects, engineers and designers as well as the client, and high-end interiors with a specialized team which examines the function of a space and works one-on-one with the individual client to achieve the desired result.  As Rocco Basile points out: “We’re very involved in the construction process with our clients.  We are very hands on with our architects, engineers and clients to ensure that we create the best space possible.”

Fitness

And then there are the exclusive fitness centers such as 305 Fitness.  Inspired by the music and culture of Miami (hence the 305) this brand of boutique gyms were only founded a couple of years ago by Sadie Kurzban, but since their launch in 2014, two have come to New York. People in the midtown or West Village neighborhoods can work-out in style at these centers with instructors such as Columbia University graduate Deaton (The 305 Kween) or former Philadelphia 76ers NBA Dance Team member Naimah (The Lipstick Sergeant) to name but a few of the impressive instructors.

Parts of New York have always been high-brow. That trend seems to be continuing in a positive way with the help of the right stores, work-out facilities, construction companies like Avo Construction and so many others.

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Lego Building and Coding Set

Now here is a brilliant idea. With the technology world taking us into the future, why not give your kids a leg up and get them building their Legos – while learning to code. Lego is launching a new building and coding set that lets kids build five different smart toy models. These will include a cat, robot and guitar among others.

Last year, Lego launched the WeDo 2.0 robotics kit that teachers science and technology ideas to elementary students. This effort is focused on coding. The kit, which will be called the Boost Kit, comes with a Move Hub (which is a Lego brick with a tilt sensor). Users will then download the app that features 60 coding activities.

The kit will be available later this year for $160.

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Just a Bit of Movement Can Make a Large Difference

Everyone knows that spending hours upon hours each day at a desk is not good for your physical or mental health. But what are you supposed to do if you work at a desk job? Here is a quick and easy way to make things better. In a new study by researchers from the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Center and the Johnson & Johnson Human Performance Institute found that tiny changes can go a long way. They looked at three different movement conditions with 30 adults.

In one group, the participants sat for six hours straight and got up only to use the bathroom. In the second group, they started the day with a 30 minute treadmill activity of moderate walking. The third group had six 5-minute bursts of moderate intensity walking every hour. The researchers looked at everyone’s stress hormones and at their mood, energy, fatigue and appetite.

And what did they find? They found that the benefits of the micro-workouts far outweighed those of the other participants. As the researchers explained,

“Overall, microbouts of activity led to sustained effects along the day, while the effects of a single bout of activity performed early in the morning did not last throughout the day.”

As the study author Jack Groppel explained, even a bit of activity throughout the day can really improve well being.

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How Starbucks Got Its Cup Sizes

It’s interesting to see where the names of the Starbucks Coffee cups come from. The options for cup sizes are short (8 ounces), tall (12 ounces), grande (16), venti (24) and trenta (31). So where did the sizes come from? Howard Schultz opened his first coffee shop in Seattle in 1986 and the shop had just three sizes: short, tall and grande.

Starbucks describes that Schultz “became captivated with Italian coffee bars and the romance of the coffee experience. He had a vision to bring the Italian coffeehouse tradition to America.” He wanted cup names that would reflect his vision.

So how did a tall become a small? In the early days at Starbucks they had three sizes. They were short, tall and grande. When the venti size was introduced the short dropped off the menu and tall became the new short.

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Great Ways to Bake with the Kids for Christmas

There are so many great ways to keep the kids business as Christmas approaches. Here, you’ll learn some easy tips for baking with your kids and getting them into the holiday spirit. Enjoy!

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Tips for Staying Healthy This Winter

Most of us are more prone to sickness in the winter. It’s cold and wet and we don’t always exercise as much as we should or eat as well as we might. Here are some tips for staying healthy this winter.

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Exercise Helps with Alzheimer’s Disease

man-1464787_960_720Here is one of the secrets of avoiding Alzheimer’s disease. Researchers who presented at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America have found that if you exercise four times a week you can cut your risk of developing the disease. Using MRI data, researches have found that adults with mild cognitive impairment who exercise four times a week over a six-month period had an increase in brain volume.

And, people who participated in aerobic exercise had even greater gains than did those who stretched.

Dr Laura Baker, from Wake Forest School of Medicine (WFSM) in Winston-Salem, North Carolina said, “Even over a short period of time, we saw aerobic exercise lead to a remarkable change in the brain.”

Read more about the study to see more details.

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