Weekly Health Watch with an explanation of the popular suspension training exercises, new HIV research, an update on the dog food recall and more.

Do you remember swinging from a tree branch or pulling up on the monkey bars when you were younger? Those were variations of suspension training, a form of fitness that's becoming more popular.


Suspension training involves an apparatus made of nylon straps and handles that you can attach to a sturdy anchor in your home like a door jam. You then use your body weight as the resistance to perform exercises that build strength, core stability, flexibility and balance.


If you are new to suspension training, you should start slowly and seek out help from a trainer if necessary.


Indoors and out. The beauty of suspension training is the portability. You can take it to the park, the beach or even your own backyard. It's versatile enough to throw over a sturdy structure like a tree branch.


Getting started. You want the sturdy anchor point to be approximately 7 to 9 feet off the ground. Then, by adjusting the length of the handles and the angle of your body, you can make exercises easier or harder.


Fast and effective. Most exercises involve pushing, pulling, legs and core. You are forced to use different muscle groups, and you'll get your heart rate up when performing exercises one after the other with little rest in between.


-- Life Fitness


New Research: HIV vaccine progress


In April, a detailed analysis of specimens from the first HIV vaccine clinical trial to show a modest protective effect yielded important clues about how the vaccine might have worked. These clues suggest directions for improving upon the original vaccine regimen to confer a broader, more potent and longer-lasting effect. The original vaccine regimen was tested among 16,000 adult volunteers in Thailand in a trial co-funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.


-- National Institutes of Health


Did You Know?


Essential for lifelong bone health, most women don't get enough calcium. Get more by eating three daily servings of low-fat dairy. – EatRight.org


Health Tip: Get into yoga


The combination of deep breathing, thoughtful movements and melodic music in yoga can change your mood in seconds and help relieve pent up stress. If you are new to yoga, try out a beginner class and ease into the poses. There is no perfection in yoga, only progress. Yoga is the perfect complement to any other form of exercise or as your mind/body therapy for the week.


-- Life Fitness


Number to Know


1.7 million: According to the World Health Organization, 1.7 million children under the age of 5 died from vaccine-preventable diseases in 2008.


Children’s Health: Dangerous binkies?


Almost all infants and toddlers use bottles, pacifiers and sippy cups for supplying nutrition, comfort and convenience, but are these products always as safe as parents think? A recent study revealed that, in the U.S., 45,398 children under age 3 were treated in the hospital emergency department between 1991 and 2010 –– or approximately one child every 4 hours –– for an injury caused by a bottle, pacifier or sippy cup. Most injuries (86 percent) occurred from falls while using the products, and 83 percent of falls resulted in lacerations or contusions to the mouth and face.


-- American Academy of Pediatrics


Boomer Health: Dog food recall


Walking your dog may keep you healthy, but dog food contaminated with a rare strain of salmonella has made 16 people sick in nine states, five of which were hospitalized. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revealed the culprit: Diamond Pet Foods and its various brands, made in a South Carolina plant. The CDC says handling the dog food is what caused illnesses, and owners should check their brand of dog food to see if it matches, and return it if it was manufactured between Dec. 9, 2011 and April 7.


-- AARP


GateHouse News Service