Being Healthy & Fit in Metro-Detroit

Updated: April 28, 2016, 12:42 pm EST

By Finessa Bedoun

It’s no secret that the benefits of eating well and getting regular exercise are endless. In a state like Michigan, where there are as many cold months as there are warm ones, being creative with how to sneak in a little physical activity when it’s colder comes in handy.

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Wayne State University students can use the fitness center on campus. Carole Gist, M.Ed., the Wellness Coordinator and Personal Trainer at Mort Harris Recreation & Fitness Center at Wayne State University, said that a membership to the Mort Harris gym is included with tuition. The fitness center’s hours accommodate even those with jam-packed schedules.

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Mort Harris Fitness Center

“If you do just a little bit every day, within just a few weeks you’ll start to see the psychological and physiological benefits of regular exercise,” said Gist.

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Lifetime Fitness Center, Canton, MI.

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For Metro-Detroit residents who live in neighborhoods where they wouldn’t feel comfortable going for a run or walk outside, working out indoors is always an option. Doing simple things like push-ups, jumping jacks, using weights or even following workout programs online or using fitness DVDs are other options. In neighborhoods that aren’t the safest, driving to a park or school and running or walking around the track is another good way of getting a little exercise.

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Canton resident, Dave Thomas, said he enjoys getting outdoors with his dog. He said that walking around his city’s side streets is a great way for he and his dog to get some fresh air and exercise and that he feels safe in his neighborhood.

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In the Detroit Tri-County area, there are multiple public gyms in every city.


Metro Detroit Area.


These are just a few results in a Google Maps search of Metro Detroit gyms.

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There is endless evidence and countless resources that show how beneficial getting regular exercise and eating a balanced diet are to both the body and mind. A gym membership isn’t the only way to get exercise, nor is it for everybody. Getting outside and going for a run is an excellent way to get in a little physical activity. Something as simple as taking the dog for a walk or using the stairs instead of riding the elevator are great ways of getting extra steps in. There are many reasons why some may not prefer working out in a gym, such as the cost. Other folks may enjoy doing workouts in the comfort of their own homes or enjoy working out outdoors.

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Canton resident, Phil Nelson said he lost 80 pounds by just biking around local metro parks.

Aside from the physical benefits of regular exercise, there are also mental health benefits. Mark Lumley, Ph.D., a professor at Wayne State University and Director of Clinical Psychology Training, explained how regular exercise can have many different positive effects on mental health. Conditions such as depression and anxiety can be eased with exercise.

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Similar to how the production of antibodies is connected to exercise and happiness, the “feel good” endorphins that are released with exercise create a positive feeling within the body. According to WebMD, “When you exercise, your body releases chemicals called endorphins. These endorphins interact with the receptors in your brain that reduce your perception of pain. Endorphins also trigger a positive feeling in the body, similar to that of morphine.”

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Here is a list of family fitness centers in Southeast Michigan. More information regarding the benefits of regular exercise can be found here, here and here.

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Review of Going Viral

Last Updated: April 5, 2016, 3:22 pm EST

By Finessa Bedoun

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Image found here.

Going Viral, by Karine Nahon and Jeff Hemsley, was a lot more interesting than I initially thought it would be just by reading the back cover. The concept of something going viral online seems fairly simple, however I learned that there is a more intricate process to it in this book.

Nahon and Hemsley’s included their description of what it means for something to go viral early on in the book – “Viral events are a naturally occurring, emergent phenomenon facilitated by the interwoven collection of websites that allow users to host and share content, connect with friends, and people with similar interests, and share their knowledge. Collectively, these sites have formed a social infrastructure that we refer to as social media. In this new information ecosystem, an individual can share information that can flash across our digitally supported social networks with a speed and reach never before available to the vast majority of people.”

One term I’d never heard previously in this context is “gatekeeping” or “gatekeepers.” Nahon and Hemsley describe gatekeepers as “people, collectives, companies, or governments that, as a result of their location in a network, can promote or suppress the movement of information from one part of a network to another.” One example is Facebook and how Facebook’s network gatekeepers can either promote posts in user’s newsfeeds or “control the flow of information by channeling, ranking, and promoting particular content over other content.” What this means to me is that Facebook’s gatekeepers can control what I do and do not get to see from my friends in my newsfeed, hence controlling the potential virility of some posts over others.

I’d always assumed that once someone published something online, viewers or readers would stumble on it or that they’d see it once it was shared and choose whether or not to share it themselves. I didn’t realize there were gatekeepers who could decide whether or not I see something within my own newsfeed.

Online, people who have large networks can affect how far their tweet or post can reach. Those with smaller networks won’t necessarily have the same impact on how far a post goes as those with larger networks. Regular Joe’s also may not have the same response to their tweets or posts as those who are more influential. Journalists, for example, who are deemed as trustworthy, might have a larger response to their posts and tweets and will reach a greater audience.

Another misconception I had prior to reading the book was that a viral post could include ones that were a little old but that had millions of views. The book clarifies this by stating that a viral post is one that gains many views over a very short period of time. An example of this is Susan Boyle’s Britain’s Got Talent audition, which went viral almost immediately, reaching almost 100 million people in just under 10 days.

In the book, the authors also discuss that just because something is popular, either on television or online, that doesn’t necessarily make it viral. When something goes viral, its because it was shared many times over a short period of time. Social media has a lot to do with this. It is incredibly easy nowadays to share things online. I can easily re-tweet a tweet on Twitter or share a post on Facebook or Instagram with something as simple as the click of a button.

I felt that the majority of the book, overall had strong content with lots of examples to support its main points. For example, when the authors describe “gatekeeping” and “gatekeepers,” they immediately dive into giving multiple examples of what gatekeeping is.

One of the major weak points in the book, for me, was that in many parts throughout each chapter, the authors start out with “In this chapter, we will talk about this, this and this,” etc. They do this many times, in every chapter and I found it unnecessary to preface a chapter or many chapters with this same phrase. I found myself skimming through the parts where they said, “we will discuss in this chapter” or “as we discussed in previous chapters.” I thought it distracted from the text and I found myself wanting them to just get to the point. I would have preferred if they had just jumped into the content without stating what they were going to discuss or what they had already discussed.

Overall, I found the book to be interesting and thought it was a good read. I would recommend it to other readers and learned a few things I hadn’t known before about the ways that things can go viral online.

More information about Going Viral, including reviews, can be found here, here and here.

 

Journalistic Integrity

Last Updated: March 31, 2016, 10:02 pm EST

By Finessa Bedoun

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Getty Images, Photo Alto/Sigrid Olsson

To what degree is a journalist required to identify himself when using a social network?

Journalists are almost always required to identify themselves using their real names and who they’re working for in the biographical area of whatever social networks they’re using. Seeing as how important it is for journalists to obtain accurate identification from their sources, it only seems fair that they provide the same accuracy when offering information about themselves.

By providing honest, accurate information about themselves, journalists give the impression that they can be trusted, which is something that is important to convey when trying to obtain information from a source, as is discussed in this NPR article.

As with in-person interactions, providing accurate and honest identifying information may help the journalist in getting an interview or in using certain content from a source’s social media, such as Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Anyone can contact a source and claim to be someone they’re not, so I think it adds to the credibility of the journalist to offer their real name and organization they’re working for. If anything, sources might be more forthcoming with their information if they know they’re dealing with an actual journalist.

On the other hand, however, I do support the idea of journalists being able to go undercover or in using pseudonyms when they absolutely have to and when they have no other choice.  If a journalist is in a situation where they’d rather not be identified as a journalist and are obtaining information while they’re undercover, they should be able to use a pseudonym if it means protecting their own safety.

Health Benefits of Diet and Exercise.

Last Updated: March 26, 2016, 11:59 pm EST

By Finessa Bedoun

The many benefits of regular exercise and a balanced diet on overall health are countless.

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Getty Images, Lisa Stokes

There is a measurable balance between regular exercise and a balanced diet.

Fitness trackers and fitness apps that can sync to phones are seemingly all the craze in the last few years. The popularity of wearable fitness trackers has increased, especially as they are fairly accurate.

Along with gyms for people to work out in, there are many public places to exercise at, including this local fitness park.

Cardio, strength training and stretching are combined in a fun, new Detroit exercise studio.

BMI is something that was once used as a tool to measure overall health, but recently was said to be quite inaccurate as a measurement of health.

Getting out for a walk is fantastic for health, but according to studies done, walking at a more rapid pace has greater health benefits than walking at a slower pace.

The benefits of going hitting the treadmill may have greater health benefits than hitting the weights or higher intensity training.

Research studies have shown that our brains perform more resourcefully in colder months.

People who are overweight show an increase in metabolic function by losing even as little as 5% of their body weight.

A doctor in Louisville, Kentucky, has used Immuno-therapy as a way to fight cancer and his results have shown great success.

Skipping breakfast does not necessarily have an effect on weight loss or gain.

Avoiding or limiting carbohydrates at dinnertime showed greater results for those who were in serious training, improving their athletic performance.

Those who quit smoking cold turkey had a significantly lower risk of starting the habit again over those who quit smoking gradually.

Getting small chunks of sleep is not equal to a few hours of continuous sleep. If anything, it only causes severe sleep deprivation.

Regular exercise during pregnancy has greater health benefits than pregnant mothers who do not exercise.

Studies have shown that older people who exercise regularly have a lower rate of mental decline than those who do not exercise.

A recent study has shown that, unlike it was previously thought, those who consume alcohol have no health benefits over those who do not consume alcohol.
A few sources of fantastic information on diet and exercise can be found here, here and here.

Running a Successful Photobooth Company

Last Updated: March 20, 2015, 10:57 pm EST

By Finessa Bedoun

Jason and Megan Bedoun, of Canton, Michigan, own and operate a successful company called Inabooth Photography, which provides photo booths for various parties and events.

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Jason and Megan Bedoun.

The husband and wife team have owned and operated their company since 2008. They began their business after their first baby was born, with their primary motivation for getting into the photo booth industry being their daughter. Megan was a high school teacher at Fordson High School in Dearborn, Michigan, and did not want to put her brand new baby into day care once her maternity leave was up but needed something that would supplement her and her husband’s income in the same way that teaching did. Inabooth was the perfect opportunity for the duo to combine their love for photography with their knowledge of computers.

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Jason and Megan Bedoun and their two children, Mya and Noah.

The Bedouns give real meaning to the phrase “family business” as they only hire family members or close friends to work photo booth events for them.

Megan said that one of the most challenging aspects of running a business is in figuring out where to put their advertising dollars and in determining which route is the most worth it. She referenced bridal expos as an example, which often run anywhere from $400 to $1000 in order to host a booth. She said that bridal expos are only worth the time and money if they book a minimum of three photo booth jobs.

The Bedouns said their greatest advice in running a successful company is to have a business plan and to know your worth. They recommended being prepared to face bumps in the road and to be flexible.

Pump It Up

Last Updated: March 1, 2015, 7:57 pm EST

By Finessa Bedoun

Canton residents attend Open Jump at their local Pump It Up.

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On the evening of Thursday, February 25, 2016, many Canton residents took their children to their local Pump It Up’s Open Jump night. Pump It Up has giant rooms filled with enormous bounce houses for children to jump around in. A few times a month, they open their doors to allow anyone to come and play.

The children had an entire room full of inflated bounce houses to jump around in, had bounce balls to toss around the room and had a baseball area as well as an area for table hockey. The first half of open bounce was full of music, laughter and children making new friends.

An hour into the event, parents, children and their belongings were moved into the next room, which was lit with black lights, and where the kids were delighted to see their light clothing glow and their glow sticks illuminate their necks and wrists.

Some of the attendees were regulars who attend many of the open jump nights, while others were first timers to attend. The regulars said it was a nice way to get their children out of the house to burn some energy off after school had been cancelled for the snowfall the previous night.