Take a deep breath. Was that difficult? If so, you may want to check out a new public service guide from the Men's Health Network. Breathe Easy: Your Lungs and COPD focuses on chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), the third-leading cause of death in the United States, according to the nonprofit. About 12 million Americans have COPD, which is a treatable disease, and it is estimated that 12 million more have symptoms that are undiagnosed.
Among those symptoms are a persistent cough, difficulty breathing while walking or talking, blue fingernails or lips, and coughing up mucus. The biggest red flag is coughing up blood. "This is never a good sign," the guide says. "If you haven't done so already, you need to call your doctor right now."
The guide explains that smoking, poor air quality, asthma and childhood lung infections are all risk factors. There's also information about COPD in women, who tend to experience more severe symptoms than men.
"Breathe Easy" is free and available at www.menshealthnetwork.org in the library section.
Let the battle of the booties begin. Two Real Housewives of Atlanta stars have moved their cable rivalry to DVD with the release of exercise programs that promise butt-blasting results.
Phaedra Parks famously asked Kenya Moore, her BFF-turned-nemesis on the Bravo reality show, to produce her "Donkey Booty" fitness DVD. After a falling-out, Moore announced that she was working on a project of her own, dubbed "Stallion Booty." Neither of the DVD names stuck, but both workouts promise firmer backsides — and a dose of two of cable's most outspoken personalities.
Parks' Phine Body program includes two 60-minute discs, which can be purchased separately and are led by Parks' husband. Moore's Booty Boot Camp consists of three 20-minute workouts on one DVD. Led by pro trainer Nikki Veal, the exercises are a combination of traditional and risque moves with such names as "Booty Pop" and "Stallion Giddy-Up."
Neither DVD is groundbreaking in terms of fitness, but fans of the reality stars are unlikely to notice or care.