Gym Anxiety, Second Opinions and Other News of the Week

Health Hub health and medical picks from around the Web

woman with lack of confidence

Here is this week’s round-up of stories from around the Web featuring Cleveland Clinic experts that we know you won’t want to miss:

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Gym anxiety

The first time you walk into the gym can feel a bit overwhelming. There are complicated-looking machines, unwritten rules and lots of folks in better shape than you. It’s enough to send you straight back to the safety of your couch, armed with a remote control and bag of Flamin Hots. But know there also are rewards at the gym, if you can get past your feelings of intimidation. If you make the gym a habit, this alien world can feel more like a second home in no time. A Newbie’s Guide to the Gym  (

Supporting second opinions

Be skeptical of any doctor who discourages you from getting a second opinion. Physicians say that doctors who are good at what they do welcome a second opinion because it usually confirms what they’ve already concluded. Second opinions also can bring peace of mind to patients and encourage compliance with the treatment plan. A  Patient’s Guide to Second Opinions (

The best kind of giving

You might think that giving gifts anonymously has no advantage for the giver. But research shows that giving gifts and not seeking recognition for it provides real, measurable benefits to the giver. It’s called the helper’s high – when the brain releases mood moderating and rewarding chemicals, such as serotonin, dopamine and oxytocin. Children often give away gifts without wanting something in return because they enjoy the feeling of giving, and this can be harnessed by physicians. For example, a psychologist can ask a patient with depression to give gifts to their partners or friends and not tell them about it. This produces greater feelings of self-efficacy, releases the chemicals associated with the helper’s high, and endorses the bonds with loved ones. Purple Heart Sent to ‘Slender Man’ Victim: When a Gift Needs No Thanks (

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Help from herbs

Chinese herbs have been used for thousands of years in Eastern medicine, and now are gaining popularity in the West as a complement to traditional medicine, especially among those who are not getting relief from Western practices. So goes the story of one woman who had terrible leg pain, lightheadedness and weakness. Traditional medicine was not relieving her symptoms so she sought the advice of a board-certified Chinese herbal specialist, who advised a combination of acupuncture, dietary supplements and Chinese herbs. Now her leg pain is gone and she is feeling much better. Chinese Herbs Relieve Woman’s Pain  (WTVQ-TV).

Miscalculating weight

About 81 percent of overweight boys and 71 percent of overweight girls believe they are about the right weight, says recent data released by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Weight misperceptions were higher among certain populations – the same groups in which parent were more likely to be overweight. That suggests that overweight kids view their weight status as normal because that’s what they see in their own families. Most Overweight Kids Don’t Think They’re Overweight, a New Study Finds (

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