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health (209 posts)
The trainer explained that bending beyond 90 allows us to work the leg muscles through a wider range of motion, and this is helpful because there are many daily activities that require us to bend in this range -- like scooping a baby off the floor or picking up a bag of groceries. Bending lower while still showing excellent form will also help us build stronger quads and glutes. I wish I'd been able to take notes, but I was still holding the kettlebell, so I followed the trainer's orders and decided to look into this later.
Instead of 8 Extra Strength Tylenol pills per day (4,000 mg), they're now recommending a daily cap of 6 pills (3,000 mg); instead of 2 pills every 4-6 hours, it's now 2 pills every 6 hours, period.
You should start noticing these new dosage instructions on Extra Strength Tylenol bottles this fall...just as you're reaching for something to help you deal with seasonal allergies, cold-weather sniffles, and back-to-school arguments. (A change in dosage instructions for regular Tylenol is scheduled for early next year).
Another option is to use the change in dosage instructions (and your newly-stirred fears of overdose-induced liver damage) to explore alternative forms of pain relief. For example, those who suffer from tension headaches might want to give acupuncture a try. Participants in one study found that six to 15 acupuncture treatments helped reduce their number of headache days by fifty percent.
Alternative Pain Treatments
Take Control of Your Pain
Doctor-Recommended Techniques for Easing Your Pain
Dealing with Chronic Pain
We were happy to find the American Trauma Center's interactive map that allows us to spot "safety zones" at a glance--because a skilled medical professional is more valuable in a health emergency than an expert pie-maker (unless a margherita pizza is your dying wish). The purple splotches denote areas where advanced trauma care is just 45 minutes to an hour away. Looking at the map, we were startled to see that some popular summer destinations fall into the country's most unsafe areas.
Last week, the Institute of
Medicine, a leading medical advisory panel, recommended that all insurers
be required to cover FDA-approved contraceptives for women free of charge—that is, no co-pays or deductibles required. This is part of a set of eight empowering
recommendations that also include free preventative services like screening for gestational diabetes and lactation counseling and equipment to promote breast-feeding
(for example, rentals of breast pumps that would otherwise cost hundreds of dollars). You can read about all of the IOM's recommendations on the organization's website.
The next step is for the Department of Health and Human Services to review the IOM's report and make the final decision. Although the DHHS could act within the next few weeks, the earliest we'd see this affect our insurance plans (and our pocketbooks) would be January 2013.
If you have a question, send it to us!
Q: What's the best time of day to work out?
A: We asked Michelle Kennedy, M.S., Best Life fitness expert, to answer this question. "It depends on your moods, energy level, work schedule, and family and personal obligations." Read Kennedy's advice to find out what time works best for you:
I wish these friends had been on my cross-country team. It was a small group, and one of my teammates had the name of a cheerleader--and the hunched shoulders and whispery voice of a mathlete. I thought that Buffy needed a nickname that better suited her tentative personality. So I gave her one. My best friend and I always referred to her as Myrtle behind her back. Myrtle had a funky, shuffly gait and breathed heavily.
Myrtle had goals, and one of them was to speed up. The other, I believed, was to beat me. She lifted weights and ran extra laps after practice, and before long, I stopped laughing when I said, "Old Murt was tough to shake today." In races, Myrtle and I were often neck and neck.
On Sunday, I had a bathing suit moment. I went into a sporting goods store and tried on a bikini. It was a cute, unique bikini. It had mushrooms all over it and came from France. I jimmied my body into the thing. I looked at my back, then my front. I thought, "I don't look so awful. Except for the side flab, bottom-area situation."
A big gong went off. (Apparently dressing room attendants keep gongs around for Ah-a! moments.) What, I wondered, would it be like to think, "Hey! I look good! I look strong and ready to swim the English channel!" I hustled away from the mirror, back into the store. Suddenly tennis rackets and water shoes and kayaks were pointing accusingly at me from all corners of the room. "I don't work out," I wanted to confess to them. "I want to! But I'm busy and tired and my back hurts and I haven't worked out for (gulp) 5 years. I have flab. This is bad for my health and strength and mind--forget the bikini!"
On Monday, I decided to try to find a gym or some kind of class: pilates, yoga, whatever came along. I walked the streets around my office; I saw healthy, strong people sweating on machines through windows. I thought the exact thoughts that Jennifer Hudson described in her video, reflecting on how she used to feel before getting in shape: "A lot of the time you see all the fit people, and you think 'I shouldn't be here with them. I'll never get there.'"
Discouraged, I went back to work, and, by some quirky miracle, I saw this video. I laughed until I re-found my inspiration--because I am not being asked to overcome a genetic fear of water or to wear a proud, patient, thoughtful expression while crooning, quasi-disco music plays as soundtrack to my experience. All I have to do is get on the treadmill and put on foot in front of the other. All I have to do is think of my inner big kitty--and commit.
Kids get sick. Most parents learn this pretty quick and by the third child, they're pretty unfazed by fevers and sore throats. So when Deborah Copaken Kogan, an author and columnist for the Financial Times, noticed that her son developed a strange rash and swollen face, she snapped a photo of him and posted it to her Facebook profile. It was simply way to keep her son and herself entertained while they spent Mother's Day at the pediatrician's office.
But as the poor little guy's condition worsened, Kogan continued to update her friends on her son's health. "Was I consciously trying to find an answer out there in the hive mind?" she writes in this hold-your-breath-while-reading essay on Slate. "No, but some subconscious part of me must have been wondering whether one of my hundreds of 'friends' might be privy to some expertise on the befuddling Nutty Professor syndrome that had my child in its grips."
Thankfully, some were--and Kogan was able to beat her doctor to the punch in diagnosing her four-year-old with an extremely rare childhood auto-immune disorder. "Bravo, Facebook," said the doc. "Hooray for 'friends'!" is what we say.
For more ways to harness the power of social networking, take a look at these 11 Ways to Make the Hours You Waste Online Actually Mean Something
The way to avoid having those less-than-helpful doctor-patient interactions, says Cynda Ann Johnson, MD, MBA, dean of the medical school at Virginia Tech Carilion, is to recruit nice people and train them to be "the kind of doctor you want to go see." Yes, most medical schools offer communications and etiquette courses (sometimes with actors playing patients), and U.S. licensing requirements involve a clinical skills test that assesses communication. But a new entrance exam used by VTC and at least seven other medical schools around the country involves a "multiple mini interview" test that screens for courtesy, diplomacy, flexibility, decision-making and tact. (Gardiner Harris, the public health reporter for the New York Times, recently visited VTC on the day the multiple mini interviews took place, and called them the "equivalent of speed-dating.")
Johnson says that students can witness some pretty appalling behavior during their clinical training, and the school's goal is to give them a strong ethical foundation "so the won't succumb" to that--in other words, so they'll know better than their Dr. House-like instructors.
Until the new generation of docs takes over, use this advice to get the best possible treatment from yours:
We're going to try that trick the next time we eat or drink something cold. Even if it doesn't work, these icy treats are definitely worth the brain freeze risk: