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Health (209 posts)
A few years ago, I learned a painful lesson about what not to wear while sightseeing in the summer. As part of my unofficial tour guide uniform for a friend's visit, I slipped into a pair of old Reef flip-flops. I misinterpreted the deep indentations (classic indications of overuse) as signs that they'd been comfortably broken in by a jungle trek in Thailand and a day of beach hopping around Nantucket. I figured they were the best things to wear to walk around town (what are flip-flops but topless sneakers, right?). That night, a throbbing pain in my right ankle kept waking me up. A podiatrist later diagnosed the pain as Achilles tendinitis, and recommended that I wear a soft cast...until Labor Day! My summer was officially a flop.
When walking farther than a quarter of a mile, I now stick to running sneakers. But they feel clunky in warm weather, so I asked Hillary Brenner, DPM, a podiatric surgeon and a spokesperson for the American Podiatric Medical Association, to help me find some breezy alternatives. We asked Dr. Brenner to helps us rank ten summer shoe styles in order of how likely they are to knock you off your feet and cause injuries, starting with the most foot-friendly and ending with the Freddy Kruegers of footwear (can you guess what they are?).
Stress is something Joan Borysenko knows something about. She's a Harvard-trained biologist and author of the new book Fried: Why You Burn Out and How to Revive. For 10 nonstop years, she juggled completing her clinical research, running a working farm (yes, that meant feeding chickens), raising two kids, writing a book and running 25 miles a week. In her two free minutes each evening, she secretly smoked cigarettes behind a tree in her front yard. Then came the back pain. After that, a scary feeling that she was sleepwalking through her life, immune even to her kids' excitement about riding their new pony through the woods.
She, the stress expert, was at the point of nonfunction.
Borysenko was a perfect example of how trying to do more than you can do for too long can result in a host of problems: emotional exhaustion (say, feeling numb inside when you know you'd normally feel happy or sad), recurring physical effects (back pain, constant colds, headaches) and a sense of spiritual emptiness that leaves you isolated from others.
This state can look a lot like depression. In fact, it might be easier to think of yourself as depressed; you can seek treatment from a doctor for that. Recent research, however, has found that although both result in a loss of motivation and pleasure, if you're burnt out, you can usually reclaim your everyday happiness—from taking great delight in a piece of crispy morning bacon to enjoying your hours at work or as a parent—once you make some fundamental changes. So the question is, How fried are you and what do you need to do about it? Go answer these questions to find out.
1. How big should my plate be?
2. What are they trying to tell us without actually saying?
The word "meat" doesn't appear anywhere on the diagram. Is using "protein" instead code for "eat less meat" (not that there's anything wrong with that, as we learned from Michael Pollan)?
3. Isn't there protein in vegetables, grains and dairy? So why is there a separate section for protein on the plate?
If this describes someone you love, you could tell him that, in terms of the research, a psychologist's gender makes little difference in the outcome of therapy. Or you could be a bit more useful. (Even if you don't agree with him, it's his belief that matters—you want him to get help, remember?).
To find out exactly what you can do, we followed up with one of Carey's sources for the article, Ronald F. Levant, EdD, a professor of psychology at the University of Akron, who is recognized as an authority on the psychology of men and masculinity.
An Estimated 150 Million People Will Be Stung by Jellyfish This Year. Read Dr. Oz's Advice on What to Do If--or When--You're One of Them
Bad news for beachgoers: Jellyfish exist in every ocean on earth (some are as big as refrigerators), and all of them sting. This we learned from the National Science Foundation’s cheekily-titled report, “Jellyfish Gone Wild.” Fortunately, the vast majority of stings aren’t harmful—and some are barely noticeable. If you or your travel companion does feel the sting of a tentacle, Dr. Oz suggests two fast-relief remedies that can be found at a beach snack bar or in your bungalow’s kitchen. “When a jellyfish attacks, it implants thousands of tiny darts, called nematocysts, into your skin,” he writes in the May issue of O. “If you’re stung, fill a bucket with vinegar and soak the affected area for 15 to 30 minutes; the acetic acid in the vinegar stops the nematocysts from releasing more venom (if you don't have vinegar, Coca-Cola is a slightly less effective substitute by virtue of its phosphoric acid). Next, scrape the area with a credit card or knife edge to remove any clinging nematocysts.” Dr. Oz says that some people are allergic to jellyfish, so those experiencing hives or wheezing should seek emergency help ASAP.
Find more surprising first-aid fixes—for sunburns, bug bites, cuts, and prickly heat—here.
Writer Annie Murphy Paul discusses her article for the May issue of O, 10 Ways You Get Smarter As You Get Older, on WSHU Public Radio in New Haven, Connecticut. Go read how the mind improves as we age, then listen to the radio interview and find out the most surprising fact Paul learned while researching this story.