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Second Place Winner, December 2011 Photo Contest
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Discussion Starter #621
May 8, 2008

Ham Awry

If you eat a ham sandwich for lunch, just hope that your office doesn't spring a random drug test when you get back. You're likely to fail.

According to Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry, a ham sandwich may be enough to show a positive test for androgens, which are male sex hormones that are banned in some sports.

When three volunteers ate 10 ounces each of pork from an uncastrated boar, their urine samples showed positive tests for androgen supplements within 10 hours of the meal. The values returned to normal a day later.

 

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Second Place Winner, December 2011 Photo Contest
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Discussion Starter #622
May 9, 2008

Blowin' in the Wind
If your child has asthma, don't be afraid to let them play wind instruments if they want.

That's the advice of the Journal of Asthma.

When researchers studied a group of asthmatic teens who played wind instruments and compared them with a group who played other instruments, they found that playing the brasses or reeds offered a real benefit.

The wind players had fewer asthmatic episodes and felt more confident about their ability to deal with the condition.

In fact, the journal concludes that playing a wind instrument may be good long-term therapy for asthma.

 

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Second Place Winner, December 2011 Photo Contest
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Discussion Starter #623
May 10, 2008

Drive Time

Despite what your kids think, getting a driver's license doesn't really change their lives.

According to the Journal of Public Health Policy, researchers compared how teens spent their time in Delaware and Connecticut (license at age 16) with teen-agers in New Jersey (license at age 17).

They found no significant difference in the way teens divided their time between study, work and recreation. Even the types of recreation - movies, parties, telephone time - remained about the same.

 

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Second Place Winner, December 2011 Photo Contest
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Discussion Starter #624
May 11, 2008

Crossing Is Allowed :thumbsup:

Why do people cross their legs after they sit down?

Spine has the obvious answer: It's more comfortable.

Researchers at Erasmus University in the Netherlands investigated the effect of leg crossing on different muscles. They found that even though sitting seems more comfortable than standing, the sitting position places extra strain on the abdominal muscles. Crossing your legs relieves part of the strain on the abs, so you're more relaxed.

And the study found that it's the same effect no matter which way your legs are crossed.

 

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Second Place Winner, December 2011 Photo Contest
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Discussion Starter #625
May 12, 2008

Gut reactions


Here's a fascinating tidbit about intestinal transit time, the length of time it takes for the stuff you've eaten to move through your large and small intestines.

Not surprisingly, it varies from person to person -- sometimes because of general health factors, and sometimes because of emotions.

But those with the slowest moving intestines are depressed women, usually those repressing anger.

And those with the most average intestinal transit times are men who have a strong streak of hypochondria.

That's from a report in the journal Gut of research done at the University of Sydney, in Australia.

 

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Second Place Winner, December 2011 Photo Contest
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Discussion Starter #626
May 13, 2008

Road worriers

As drivers get older, their reflexes slow and their vision may blur.

But, the General Motors Research and Development Center in Warren, Mich., says, that doesn't mean they are a danger on the road.

As reported in the International Journal of Epidemiology, a 70-year-old male driver is actually less of a threat to other drivers than a 40-year-old male -- by 40 percent. On the other hand, that 40-year-old man represents almost the same risk as a 70-year-old woman.

At greatest risk for a major accident are drivers in their late teens and early 20s. If they have an accident, there's a 20 percent chance that it will be a serious one. By the time a driver is 65, the risk of a major accident drops to less than 1 percent.

And by age 80, the likelihood of a serious accident is only one-half of 1 percent.
 

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Second Place Winner, December 2011 Photo Contest
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Discussion Starter #627
May 14, 2008

Get a grip
Here's another answer to that old question: What does it take to make you happy?

Japanese researchers at Yamanashi Medical University surveyed a group of seniors (average age: 80) and found some interesting patterns.

As explained in the Japanese-language journal Nippon Ronen Igakkai Zasshi, women showed complex patterns of physical and emotional needs that were required to achieve happiness.

By contrast, men considered themselves happy if there were social opportunities, affording a chance to interact with people; if they had hobbies, to occupy their minds and their time; and if they had a strong grip!

 

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Discussion Starter #628
May 15th

Keys for Managing Daily Stress

What is stress?

Stress is our response to daily life. The right amount of stress is a positive force. It helps us to do our best work and keeps us alert, energetic, focused, and engaged in the world around us. Too much stress, on the other hand, can leave us tense, anxious, and uncomfortable. The key is to maintain an optimum level of stress — enough to keep us motivated — but not too much that we become overwhelmed.



Managing stress overload
You cannot avoid stress; it is part of daily life. Yet if high levels of unwanted stress are not properly managed, your health and sense of well being can suffer greatly. For this reason, it's important to develop effective ways to manage stress.

Social support
Social support is the single most important buffer against stress. Social support means spending time with your family and friends. It's important to share your problems and seek advice from people you trust and who care about you. WARNING: Not all relationships are supportive. Avoid relationships that lack mutual respect or often bring about anger and confrontation.

If you do not have enough supportive relationships, foster them. You can develop supportive relationships by joining clubs, taking a class, getting involved in a service organization, volunteering, or attending church or temple. Find something you enjoy and are interested in and do it.

Thought management
What we think, how we think, what we expect, and what we tell ourselves often determine how we feel and how well we manage rising stress levels. You can learn to change thought patterns ("cognitive distortions") that produce stress. Thoughts to watch out for include:

"Should" statements — These are expectations that set us up for disappointment. For example: "My children should always behave when we are out in public."

"Catastrophizing" — This involves giving more importance or significance to an event than it warrants. For example: "My life will end if I do not get this promotion."

Overgeneralization — This is applying the meaning of one event to others. For example: "I'm a failure at my whole job because I missed one deadline."

Begin to change the way you think, for example:

Refute — Identify repetitive negative thoughts then look for evidence that refutes them.
Reframe — Find the positive in a negative event.
Worry time — Set aside a specific time and place to worry, then only worry at that time and place.
Thought stopping — When you catch yourself in a negative (stressful and unproductive) thought yell "Stop!" in your head. You can even try snapping a rubber band on your wrist to reinforce the message.
Relaxation
Relaxation exercises are simple to perform and combine deep breathing, releasing of muscle tension, and clearing of negative thoughts. If you practice these exercises regularly, you can use them when needed to lessen the negative effects of stress. Different types of relaxation exercises include abdominal breathing, imagery, autogenic phrases (repeating a phrase that triggers a physical relaxation, such as "relax and let go"), and progressive muscle relaxation. Many commercial audiotapes and books are available that teach these exercises.

Exercise, diet, and sleep
Exercise is an excellent way to burn off the accumulated effects of stress. A regular exercise program should include some aerobic activity and some stretching. Flexible, loose muscles are less likely to become tight and painful in response to stress.

Diet is extremely important. Junk food and refined sugars that are low in nutritional value and high in calories leave us feeling out of energy and sluggish. Limiting sugar, caffeine, and alcohol can promote health and reduce stress.

If you are not sleeping well, you will have less energy and fewer resources for coping with stress. Developing good sleep habits is very important.

Tips:

Do not go to bed until you are tired.
Develop specific bedtime rituals and stick to them.
If you have trouble sleeping do not watch TV, read, or eat in bed.
Do not engage in exercise or strenuous activity immediately before bedtime.
Avoid caffeine.
Do not nap.
Go to bed and get up at the same time every day, including on the weekends.
Delegate responsibility
Stress overload often results from having too many responsibilities. You can free up time and decrease stress by delegating responsibilities. Take a team approach and involve everyone in sharing the load. Try applying these guidelines at home or modifying them to fit your situation at work:

Make a list of the types of tasks involved in the job.
Take time to train someone to do the job or specific tasks.
Assign responsibility to a specific person.
Rotate unpleasant duties.
Give clear, specific instructions with deadlines.
Be appreciative; let people know you are pleased by a job well done.
Allow others to do a job their own way.
Give up being a perfectionist.
Increase quality time
Quality time is the opportunity to engage in special events in order to connect, share, and feel close to others. These events create memories, teach life skills, help us acknowledge our achievements, and increase self-esteem. Quality time can be planned: vacations, parties, sporting events, movies, reading together, family chores. They can also be unplanned: talking while in the car, sharing feelings at bedtime or at dinner time, making a meal together, or planning a party for someone else with other members of your family. You need to have quality time with your family; but it is just as important to set aside some quality time for YOURSELF.

You can manage your stress. You might need some time to develop the skills, but the rewards are well worth the effort. Managing stress will help you feel your best both mentally and physically.
 

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Second Place Winner, December 2011 Photo Contest
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Discussion Starter #629
May 17, 2008

Informed consent :thumbsup:

The principle of informed consent means that, as a patient, you understand the nature of the medical care you're going to receive and accept the risks involved.

That's the principle. In practice, some of those "informed consent" forms are as hard to understand as an insurance policy.

The University of Minnesota reviewed some of the consent forms and compared them to other publications using the Fry scale. The higher the score, the harder something is to understand. Here's what researchers reported in the American Journal of Medical Sciences:
The average Ann Landers column has a Fry score of 7.67, which means that 75 percent of the population can understand it.
Reader's Digest has a score of 9.95, and can be easily understood by 69 percent of the population.
But the informed consent forms, the ones that you bet your life on, had a score of 15.03. That means only about 37 percent of the people reading them could understand what they were all about.
 

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Second Place Winner, December 2011 Photo Contest
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Discussion Starter #630
May 18, 2008

Hospital hints

The next time you're in the hospital and need an intravenous tube in your arm, be aware that you might be at risk.

The Journal of General Internal Medicine points out that those intravenous lines are held in place with adhesive tape, and 74 percent of those pieces of tape are carrying colonies of possibly harmful bacteria.

So, make sure the nurse tears off the outer layer of the tape and throws it away. Even though the outside of the tape roll may have bacteria on it, the inside of the tape is almost always safe to use.
 

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Discussion Starter #631
May 19, 2008

California dreaming . . . . .

Jet travel from west to east is more exhausting than the other way around, mostly because flying east interferes more with dreaming.

At the beginning of a night's sleep, dreams are brief -- about 20 minutes, at most -- and widely spaced -- about one every 90 minutes, says author David Bodanis in his book, The Secret Family, Twenty-four Hours Inside the Mysterious World of Our Minds and Bodies.

But as morning approaches and the brain prepares for wakefulness, dreams pop into awareness almost continuously, apparently to increase blood volume, body temperature and adrenaline levels.

Bodanis says that's why travel from, say California to New York is so tiring: "Since the eastbound travelers have to wake up at what seems an earlier time, they won't get as much time for those rich, world-orienting dreams at the end of their sleep cycles."
 

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Discussion Starter #632
May 20, 2008

Thirsty?


Think that cold beer will quench your thirst? Think again.

The Department of Food Science at the University of California had 12 experts test 18 beers to see what properties made beer "thirst quenching." The only positives they found were the degrees of carbonation and bubble density.

As reported in Appetite, all the factors that give beer its character -- the foam, color, flavor and aroma -- actually reduced its ability to relieve thirst.
 

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Discussion Starter #633
May 21, 2008

Take :heart:

Though it weighs less than a pound, the human heart provides enough energy in an hour to lift a one-ton, medium-size car one yard off the ground.

Actually, the human heart is two pumps: One sends 2,000 gallons of blood a day in a loop through the lungs to be oxygenated; the other sends an equal amount -- 50 million gallons in a lifetime -- through the rest of the body to distribute the oxygen, according to Anthony Smith, author of The Body. Human hearts, pumping an average 70 times a minute, will beat 2.5 billion to 3 billion times in a lifetime.

Only mammals and birds have two-part hearts, says Smith, who reports that the bigger the animal, the slower the heartbeat. An elephant's 48-pound heart beats only about 25 times a minute; the mouse heart beats 600 to 700 times a minute; a canary 1,000 times.
 

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Second Place Winner, December 2011 Photo Contest
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Discussion Starter #634
May 22, 2008

Portion control
In any diet, portion control can be a problem.

For example, your diet regimen may allow you to have a 3-ounce steak, but it's difficult to know how much steak it takes to make a 3-ounce serving.

The Journal of the American Dietetic Association offers this suggestion from the department of nutrition at Toronto Hospital:

If you look at your plate and see that the potatoes are covering half the surface, you know that's too much. If that 3-ounce steak covers the entire plate and is running over the edge, you know you should ask for a doggie bag.
 

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Second Place Winner, December 2011 Photo Contest
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Discussion Starter #635
May 23, 2008

Team workout

If you've joined a gym to meet people and exercise, you'll probably end up paying for the membership, but finding dozens of excuses not to go.

The right way, researchers say, is to find a friend first and go to the gym together.

That advice comes from the journal Preventive Medicine, via a study conducted by the department of epidemiology and biostatistics in the research division at Kaiser Permanente Medical Care Program. The study included 2,636 women between the ages of 20 and 65.

While most of the women were busy with work, children and other responsibilities, the women most likely to find time to exercise were the ones who had lots of positive social support. They wound up being more self-assured and more motivated.

Women who were most likely not to exercise were those who were overweight and out of shape. By contrast, those who were in good physical condition somehow managed to find the time to stay that way.
 

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Second Place Winner, December 2011 Photo Contest
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Discussion Starter #636
May 24, 2008

Elderly aid

Many older people are discharged from hospitals only to be admitted directly into nursing homes.

Here are ways to avoid that, from a study done at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio.

Friends and family should take these simple steps during and after a hospital stay.
Bring in personal items from home (such as pictures or a clock) to help make the hospital environment less disorienting.
As soon as feasible, bring in regular clothes. Just getting out of a hospital gown and into familiar garments can create a sense of normalcy and recovery.
As early and often as possible, take walks around the building.
Work with the hospital's discharge planning service, if there is one. Regular visits by a physical therapist also may make a critical difference.
 

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Second Place Winner, December 2011 Photo Contest
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Discussion Starter #637
May 26, 2008

A flaky idea

Here’s the easiest diet in the world: Scratch your head and lose 10 pounds.

You're going to lose that weight, whether you want to or not, just by shedding your dandruff, which everybody has to some degree.

Actually, the lifetime loss of that dead skin adds up to about 105 pounds for the average person, according to Jeanne K. Hanson, author of Your Amazing Body, From Headaches to Sweaty Feet and Everything in Between.

Each square inch of the human body has 19 million skin cells, which routinely grow, die and are replaced.

The reason some people shed more dead skin cells from their scalp as dandruff is because their skin is dry. And that's because they may have too much bacteria or improperly working oil glands.
 

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Second Place Winner, December 2011 Photo Contest
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Discussion Starter #638
May 27, 2008

Sneezes and coughs

If you live in a city, chances are you inhale 17,000 pints of air that contain about 20 billion foreign particles, including dirt, dust and chemicals.

Most larger particles get trapped in your stiff nostril hairs, according to The Incredible Machine. Smaller particles can make it deep into your throat and bronchial tubes, where they are caught in the lining of sticky mucus and are forced up by an escalator of upward-sweeping hairs called cilia.

Particularly offensive particles are coughed or sneezed out. Most, however, are raised just high enough to be swallowed and ultimately removed with other waste through the digestive tract.

So, now you know why you should cover your nose and mouth when you sneeze or cough.
 

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Second Place Winner, December 2011 Photo Contest
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Discussion Starter #639
May 28, 2008

Shall we dance?

Maybe you've watched the old Ginger Rogers-Fred Astaire movies and marveled at how Ginger not only did everything Fred did, but she did it in high heels and backwards.

Well, according to the British Journal of Sports Medicine, she was also getting a better cardiovascular workout than Astaire along the way.

In a study of competitive ballroom dancers, both men and women were working within 80 percent of their maximum oxygen consumption. In modern dance, the men recorded a heart rate of 170 beats per minute, while the women were going 173 beats every minute.

In Latin American dancing, men's hearts were coasting at 168 beats per minutes while the women were recording 177 beats per minute.
 

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Discussion Starter #640
Health Tip

May 29, 2008

No Bones About It ...

Did you know that when you push against something with all your strength, the muscles you use all are actually arranged so that they are pulling?

That's why the adult human body has three times as many muscles as bones -- 656 muscles to 206 bones, according to Amazing Facts About Your Body, a book by Doubleday and Co.

Other miscellaneous facts about muscles:
The largest muscles in the body are the two in your buttocks that control your thigh bones.
Muscles make up about 42 percent of a man's body weight and about 36 percent of a woman's.
Your body's muscles are strongest at age 25 and begin to decline after that.

 
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