Body and mind: Yet another reason to take up exercise and meditation: dodging colds and flu, a new study suggests. The preliminary study, published in the Annals of Family Medicine, split 149 people into three groups and studied them between September 2009 and May 2010. In total, the people who neither exercised nor meditated reported 453 days with cold or flu symptoms, just under 10 days per person. But the meditators reported 257 days with symptoms, and the exercisers had just 241 days of illness — fewer than five days each.
"The bottom line is, both the mental health and physical health matter in helping improve (the) flu and cold," said Dr. Bruce Barrett, study author and an associate professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison medical school.
''Certainly there are times when it's spontaneous, but sometimes when life is so busy and so fast, you have to schedule a moment, or else it tends to not happen.''
Actor Lisa Rinna, co-author of The Big Fun Sexy Sex Book (Gallery Books). She says her 20-year marriage to actor Harry Hamlin thrives on good sex.
Diabetes prevention: If you have Type 2 diabetes — or know you're at risk — but you think you can't afford the diet and exercise coaching you need to take action, check this out: The Hillsborough County Health Department is launching a new (and FREE!) Diabetes Prevention Program. It's an evidence-based, 12-month program coordinated by a registered dietitian, with 16 initial weekly one-hour core sessions followed by monthly sessions geared toward maintaining progress. A trained lifestyle coach will help participants to make and sustain new habits concerning diet, fitness, stress management and motivation. Call (813) 307-8071, ext. 7114, or go to www.hillscountyhealth.org.
Sometimes a blowhard: Plenty of people turn to electric fans for relief from the heat. They do make an air-conditioned room feel cooler. But without AC, can fans actually hamper efforts to cool down?
Despite what many people think, most fans do not directly cool the ambient air. When placed in an open window, they pull in cooler air from outside. But the authors of a new report pointed out that when temperatures climb past 95 degrees, having a fan pointed at you can actually contribute to heat gain, raising the risk of dehydration and heat exhaustion.
THE BOTTOM LINE: Above a certain temperature, using an electric fan may not cool you off.
New York Times
condiment alert: While an aging jar of mustard might not pose the health hazard of an aging jar of mayo, there does come a time when condiments just don't taste as good, according to the U.S. Food Safety and Inspection Service. Invest in new supplies when these condiments reach these ages:
Mustard, Worcestershire sauce: 1 year
Ketchup, cocktail sauce, jams and jellies: 6 months
Barbecue sauce: 4 months
Horseradish: 3 to 4 months
Mayo: Up to 2 months
NOTE: All these must be kept refrigerated once opened.