Hannah Epstein – Hockey A self-proclaimed tomboy with two brothers, Hannah grew up in Buffalo, New York, an area known for its freezing temperatures, proximity to Canada and production of all-star hockey players. First picking up a hockey stick at age five, not only could Hannah keep up with the boys in her neighborhood, she could outplay them. Despite there being dozens of boys hockey teams in her area, there was only one team for girls. She started her career on the ice with the Buffalo Bisons and played on competitive teams through high school, even making it to the collegiate level at RIT, where her team won the National Championship title in 2013.While her formal competitive career ended post-grad, she’s still pursuing her passion for hockey in New York City. Her experience has come full circle. Just like the spunky little girl she first described, she’s now playing in an all-male roller league at Pier 2 at Brooklyn Bridge Park. Even as the only woman in the league, she’s never doubted her ability to be a real competitor. “The men are bigger and stronger than me, but being the only female in the league is empowering,” Hannah says, “It makes me feel like my time as an athlete – which is ultimately what made me who I am – isn’t over.”Janea Wilkerson – FootballFor Janea, sports have always been part of her life. And while she may be our go-to Tech Support Specialist by day, out of the office, she dominates as a professional tackle football player for the New York Sharks. After getting her start as a recreational basketball and football player, Janea tried out for the Sharks, one of the only organized football teams for women in New York City, in 2009 and has been playing ever since. Between pre-season and the regular season, Janea dedicates about 8 months of the year, 3 days a week to training. “Sports have always been in my blood, and if I’m not training then I’m studying old plays so that I can mentally prepare.”Janea’s career in athletics nearly came to a halt when she tore her ACL in 2012 and then again in 2014. While most athletes would consider these injuries career-ending, she saw them as motivation to keep fighting and come back stronger than ever. “Female athletes typically don’t get the same respect as our male counterparts, which makes it easy to want to give up. But I knew I wanted to get back in the game and show the next generation of female football players that we’re just as tough as the men.” Janea maintains that the most important part of playing a sport is to have fun: “Win, lose, or draw, try to find the fun factor in what you’re doing. Otherwise it feels like extra work, and it shouldn’t be that way.”As an IT specialist who spends her days troubleshooting the agency’s toughest tech problems, she recognizes the importance of leaning on your teammates. “As a football player I can’t make a play by myself – the same is true at work. I’m part of a larger team at work, and at the end of the day we’re all working towards a common goal.”Alex Sangiuliano – Soccer To foster new connections across the agency (and to enjoy some post-game brews), 360i participates in seasonal intramurals, everything from kickball and softball to flag football and soccer. Alex has been a key player on the agency’s soccer team since she joined two years ago. For her, the intramural soccer team was an opportunity to return to her roots as a soccer player. Growing up in a soccer family (both her dad and brother play), Alex was quick to discover a talent for the game at age eight. Her love for the game took her all the way to the collegiate level at Lehigh, where she played Division 1 soccer for the Mountain Hawks.She found that her ultimate driver was being part of a team. “The team really keeps you going,” she explains. “Once you’re at the collegiate level, being an athlete becomes your job. But having your friends and teammates around makes it so much fun.” Alex’s energy and tenacity on the field is contagious as she’s one of the few players on 360i’s that can play without rest for the full 40 minutes. The amazing female athletes from this year’s Winter Olympics are giving us all the feels, from seventeen-year-old snowboarder and gold medalist Chloe Kim to Mikaela Shiffrin, who earned her second career Olympic gold medal in the women’s giant slalom. With so many amazing female competitors getting the recognition they deserve, we were inspired to shine the light on some of the kickass female athletes within 360i’s own walls.We sat down with Associate Marketing Manager, Hannah Epstein, Digital Activation Associate Alex Sanguiliano, and Technical Support Specialist Janea Wilkerson to hear more about their experience as female athletes, how they got started and what challenges they’ve faced along the way. All this talk of teamwork has got us super amped up. We’re so proud of the agency’s female athletes and those competing on the Olympic stage this Winter in PyeongChang.
Revealed: Why vitamin K is the anti-ageing supplement you NEED to take and the 6 signs you’re not getting enough
You’ve heard of vitamins A, B, C, D and E. But further down the alphabet is a lesser known nutrient that rarely gets a mention, yet is essential for health – vitamin K.In fact, recent clinical studies have suggested that taking vitamin K2 could help reduce the bone loss that women suffer with age and could also improve cardiovascular health through the reduction of arterial stiffness.But vitamin K’s benefits don’t end there. Vitamin K2 could also help prevent the loss of elasticity in the skin and help reduce varicose veins, making it nature’s unsung anti-ageing supplement.In an article for Healthista, its editor Anna Magee explains the advantages of this underrated vitamin and how it can help ageing.What is vitamin K?Vitamin K is a fat soluble vitamin that is good for blood clotting and contributes to a healthy heart, bones and immune system.There are two different forms: Vitamin K1, found predominantly in green leafy vegetables such as spinach, kale, broccoli and vitamin K2 found in meat, eggs, dairy and fermented foods such as natto (fermented soya beans) sauerkraut and some fermented cheeses and yoghurts.The main role of vitamin K1 is to ensure adequate blood clotting, whereas the part vitamin K2 plays in health is far different. Vitamin K2 ensures calcium is directed into the correct areas within the body.Vitamin K2 activates proteins that help move calcium into the bones which is essential for bone strength, density and circulatory health through the regulation of calcium. It keeps calcium moving through the body and assists in the depositing of calcium into bone mass rather than into the arteries which can cause hardening.Who needs vitamin K?Many of us are deficient in vitamin K2. In fact, a population study published in Nutrients Journal found that vitamin K insufficiency was present in almost one in three participants.Deficiencies were found to be higher in the elderly but also in those with high blood pressure, Type-2 diabetes, chronic kidney disease and cardiovascular disease.Low vitamin K levels can also result can also be the result of poor diet, high alcohol intake, simply getting older or taking certain medications. In fact, one study has found that taking statins (a common medication prescribed for cholesterol control), could deplete K2 levels in the body.‘Most people need more K2 as in the West we are not getting enough from our diets,’ says Healthista Nutritional Director Rick Hay.‘It’s extremely important to cardiovascular health and for bone density and is also crucial to keep skin looking its best [see below].’Moreover, poor digestive health can make deficiency worse, Hay explains, as good gut bacteria is required to convert vitamin K1 to K2. ‘Good vitamin K2 levels are also essential to vitamin D absorption,’ says Hay.What are the signs of vitamin K deficiency?‘Brusing and bleeding easily may signal a deficiency in vitamin K,’ says Hay. ‘Other signs may include tooth decay, poor gum health, weak bones and heart problems, he explains.‘High antibiotic use can result in poor absorption of vitamin K2 from food because it compromises stomach bacteria.’Puberty and menopause – times when you need more vitamin K2There are specific times in a woman’s life that requires increased – or more efficient – calcium production, puberty and menopause.Taking K2 as a teenager can help safeguard against bone and cardiovascular issues in later life. The elderly can also benefit from taking K2 as they have elevated risks of both losing bone density and cardiovascular health risks.But vitamin K2 is especially important for post-menopausal women because falling levels of the hormone oestrogen can lead to losses of up to a staggering 20 per cent of their bone density leading to an increased risk of osteoporosis and fractures.More anti-ageing effects of vitamin K2Skin elasticityJust as it prevent the calcification of arteries, veins and soft tissue, so too vitamin K2 can help stop excess calcium in the elastin in the skin. For this reason, K2 may help keep skin elastic and prevent wrinkles.In fact, 2011 research showed that women with extensive wrinkles were also more likely to have low bone density too.Moreover, other research has found that Japanese women were less likely to have wrinkles than women from other cultures and noted the high natto (a traditional food made from fermented soy beans and high in vitamin K2) content in the diet of Japanese women.Varicose veinsThe same action that makes vitamin K beneficial for bone health may also make it helpful for those with varicose veins.While human research is still in its early stages, we do know that vitamin K is needed to produce metric GLA protein (MGP) which helps avoid calcification in the arteries. This same protein helps stop calcification in the veins as well, since the calcium meant for the bones is ushered into the bones and therefore not accumulated in the veins and arteriesThe preliminary study published in the Journal of Vascular Research found that vitamin K2 was necessary preventing and reducing varicose veins.The best food sources of vitamin K2 include:NattoHard cheeseSoft cheeseEgg yolkButterChicken liverSalamiChicken breastGround beefDo I need to take a vitamin K supplement?Historically, vitamin K has been ignored as a dietary supplement because it was believed adequate levels were present in the diet.This is indeed true for vitamin K1 but vitamin K2 can be difficult to source from a western diet, especially if you don’t eat many animal products or fermented foods.This can be made worse by modern agriculture as well as refrigeration which of course has its strengths but also prevents the natural fermentation of food which converts vitamin K1 to vitamin K2 naturally.Your digestive bacteria can do the job of converting vitamin K1 to vitamin K2 but this is inefficient and modern-day diets have further reduced the efficiency of our gut to carry out this conversion.But before you take a supplement, you must check with your doctor. Vitamin K2 can interfere with the actions of common medications including some antibiotics and blood-thinning medications taken for high blood pressure.‘If you have kidney or liver disease or are pregnant or breastfeeding check with your GP before taking vitamin K2,’ Hay advises.Which vitamin K2 supplement? Clinical studies such as this one from 2013 show that taking 180 milligrams of vitamin K2 in three separate doses through the day could help reduce bone loss and improve cardiovascular health through the reduction of arterial stiffness.‘Regular small doses of vitamin K2 are best as this helps with calcium adoption throughout the day,’ says Rick Hay.Absorption is a key issue with vitamins and taking vitamin K2 may be better delivered through an oral spray such as BetterYou Vitamin K2 Oral Spray £17.95 from Healthista Shop. It acts faster to deliver vitamin K2 to the bloodstream via the soft tissue of our inner cheeks.In fact, a study on vitamin D published in Nutrition Journal showed that vitamin absorption via and oral spray is 2.5 times more effective than vitamin capsules. Plus, an oral spray is fast absorbing and not reliant on food or water to take.Source