By Ray Hainer
Are you sniffling, sneezing, and coughing? If you're like most people, you probably don't relish the thought of lacing up your sneakers and hitting the road (or the gym) when you have a cold or flu. But those who persevere when they're sick and don't break their exercise routine may be on to something. Some experts argue that moderate exercise can actually have a beneficial effect on cold symptoms, according to the American College of Sports Medicine.
Health.com: Is it a cold, the flu, or something else?
Exercisers in general tend to catch fewer colds than their sedentary counterparts, research suggests. If done regularly, moderate exercise can halve the number of days you spend with cold symptoms, according to a series of studies conducted in the 1990s. While working out may help fend off viruses, even the most dedicated gymgoer will come down with a cold at some point.
Not everyone who feels under the weather should exercise, however.
What's the neck rule?
Blog Posts by Health.com
- Health.com | Healthy Living – Wed, Jan 12, 2011 9:59 PM EST
By Ray HainerRead More »from Cold or flu? How to know if youâ€™re too sick to work out
- Health.com | Healthy Living – Wed, Jan 12, 2011 9:38 PM EST
IstockphotoFeeling sick? Your doctor may weigh the evidence and say you don't need an antibiotic. If you insist, chances are, she'll sigh, pull out her script pad, and give you one just to get your annoying self out of her office. Physicians are busy people who don't necessarily feel like giving you a lesson in Antibiotics 101 during your three-minute visit.Read More »from Why you shouldn't beg your doctor for an antibiotic
"Patients will, in many cases, insist that they be given an antibiotic," says Frank Myers, the director of clinical epidemiology at Scripps Mercy Hospital, in San Diego. Some even threaten to see another doctor if they don't get the drugs.
Health.com: 5 ways to tell if you really need an antibiotic
However, there are a lot of really good reasons why you should meekly leave the doctor's office empty handed, save for the standard advice to get enough fluids and bed rest.
For one, antibiotics also kill off good bacteria in your body, which help to digest your food or maintain a healthy balance in your throat or genital tract. "You're not just
- Health.com | Work + Money – Tue, Jan 11, 2011 7:20 PM EST
By Bethenny FrankelRead More »from 3 delicious Valentineâ€™s Day treats from Bethenny Frankel
Valentine's Day can be one big fat trap for even the most diligent of dieters. Boxes of chocolates, sugar-laden candy hearts, and a big dinner out can cost you a whole lot of calories, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't indulge a little. Spread the love and whip up one of of my sweet (and healthy) treats.
Health.com: 8 Valentine's Day treats under 80 calories
Fudge Chocolate Chip Muffins
Unsweetened applesauce keeps these muffins figure-friendly. Raspberries add a festive Valentine's touch.
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
1⁄2 cup raw sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1⁄4 teaspoon raspberry extract
3⁄4 cup oat flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1⁄2 teaspoon baking soda
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
1⁄2 cup semisweet vegan chocolate chips
1⁄2 cup fresh or frozen (drained) raspberries
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Spray a regular-size muffin tin with cooking spray.
2. In a small bowl, combine applesauce, raw sugar,
Getty ImagesBy Su Reid-St. John
So you're chugging along at a nice clip, running or skating or strength training or whatever you like to do, and then BAM! You catch the flu or pull a hamstring or just get totally enveloped in work craziness-and then you're forced to hit the pause button on your workout routine. When you're finally good to go once again, actually getting back into your routine seems as daunting as scaling Everest. Sound familiar?
Health.com: Create your own total-body workout
It does to me. I recently had minor surgery on one toe; that put me out for a week. Then I pulled a muscle in my shoulder, upping my time on the sidelines to two weeks. Once I finally returned to fighting form, it was absurdly hard to get back into the groove-and I'm a fitness editor. I like working out!
It all comes down to Newton's First Law of Motion, which says, in part, that "a body at rest will remain at rest unless an outside force acts on it." (Who knew Mr. Newton was soRead More »from How to get back on the workout bandwagon
- Health.com | Shine Food – Mon, Jan 10, 2011 7:36 PM EST
By Julie Upton, RDRead More »from A sexy Valentineâ€™s Day menu to put you in the mood
If you want to put some sizzle back into your sex life, food can help you set the mood this Valentine's Day. There's nothing better than a romantic, home-cooked dinner, featuring some R-rated foods to help turn up the heat.
"There's a growing body of evidence that some of the vitamins and components in foods can enhance sexual function and sexual experience," says Jennifer R. Berman, MD, director of the Berman Women's Wellness Center in Beverly Hills, Calif.
Health.com: 7 foods for better sex
And if you're sporting a little extra pudge, incorporating these in-the-mood-foods into a healthy, plant-based diet is one of the best ways to help you get back to your sexy self. If you're overweight, research shows losing just 10% of your body weight can improve the quality of your sex life, explains Martin Binks, PhD, of the Duke University Diet and Fitness Center. "We find that among overweight women, they bring their negative self-talk and body image issues to the
- Health.com | Healthy Living – Thu, Jan 6, 2011 5:24 PM EST
By Michael GollustRead More »from The healthy Oscars: Hollywood's most memorable health-related roles
Portrayals of death, disease, and disorder have yielded some of film's most indelible performances: Debra Winger's turn as a dying mom in Terms of Endearment, Jack Nicholson's obsessive-compulsive rituals in As Good as It Gets. Hollywood has certainly learned how to use health problems to tug at our heartstrings. But just because a performance is emotionally powerful doesn't make it accurate.
In honor of Oscar season, we've asked Health.com's medical experts to review some of Hollywood's most memorable health-related roles. In the following slideshow, they separate fact from fiction and help you decide what you can-and shouldn't-learn about health and medicine from the silver screen.
Type 1 Diabetes
Steel Magnolias (1989)
In this classic '80s chick flick, Julia Roberts plays a young woman with type 1 diabetes who unexpectedly gets pregnant. Though her doctors advise against it, she decides to have the baby-and pays for it with her life when her kidneys fail.
The Super Bowl is one of the biggest calorie fests of the year for many Americans. The average football fan eats about a day's worth of calories during the game, and the U.S. Calorie Control Council estimates that Americans pack away 11 million pounds of chips on Super Bowl Sunday. Instead, snack on these 10 delicious and healthy game day recipes.Read More »from 10 healthy Super Bowl snacks
Lemon-Drop Chicken Wings
These spiked wings have a tangy lemon taste and are baked, not fried.
Ingredients: Vodka, lemon juice, sugar, olive oil, chicken wings
Try this recipe: Lemon-Drop Chicken Wings
Warm Spinach-Artichoke Dip
A sneaky, low-cal way to get your family to eat iron-rich spinach and beans!
Ingredients: Olive oil, lima beans, cream cheese, Tabasco sauce, capers, mustard, artichoke hearts, frozen spinach, mozzarella cheese, Parmesan cheese, green onions, lemon juice
Try this recipe: Warm Spinach-Artichoke Dip
White Bean Dip
Mashing the white beans creates the same creamy consistency as sour
Dasha Wright for Health magazineThe celeb chef lightens up his favorite dishes.Read More »from 5 lightened-up favorites from Bobby Flay
Roasted Shrimp with Smoked Chile Cocktail Sauce
Ingredients: plum tomatoes, garlic cloves, olive oil, salt, pepper, chipotle chile canned in adobo sauce, horseradish, lime juice, honey, cilantro, shrimp
Try this recipe: Roasted Shrimp with Smoked Chile Cocktail Sauce
Chopped Apple Salad with Pomegranate Vinaigrette
"If you aren't a fan of blue cheese," Flay says, "try substituting feta or goat cheese in the salad. Both pair really well with apples and pomegranates."
Ingredients: pomegranate molasses, red wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, honey, salt, pepper, extra-virgin olive oil, apples, baby spinach, endive, walnuts, blue cheese
Try this recipe: Chopped Apple Salad with Pomegranate Vinaigrette
Spanish Spice-Rubbed Lamb Tenderloin with Farro Salad
"Spice rubs are a great way to add flavor and texture to meat and fish without extra calories or fat," Flay says. "Buy your own spices, and make your own blends to
CorbisBy Norine Dworkin-McDanielRead More »from How touching makes you healthier
Whether it's a squeeze of the hand, a big bear hug, a kneading massage, even a bedroom romp, touch is shaping up to be the ultimate mind-body medicine.
From lowering blood pressure and heart rate to increasing immune function and relieving pain, getting touched or doing some touching makes you healthier-not to mention happier and less anxious.
How do you tap into these body-boosting benefits? Let us count the ways.
Get a rubdown
Anyone who's ever gotten a massage-even a quickie at a mall kiosk-knows that it helps you unwind. That's not just a mental sensation: Getting massaged causes muscles to unclench, a racing heart rate to slow, heightened blood pressure to fall, and levels of the stress hormone cortisol to drop. In that relaxed state, your body is able to regroup and recharge. One happy result: a more robust immune system.
"Cortisol suppresses the immune response," explains Roberta Lee, MD, vice chair of the Department of Integrative Medicine at
CorbisBy Dorothy Foltz-GrayRead More »from 9 things to stop worrying about
In the old days, health misinformation would spread slowly. Not today. "The Internet has given people the ability to send everyone on their email lists wild stories that end up mushrooming around the world in a matter of hours," says Rich Buhler, creator of Truthorfiction.com, a website devoted to debunking false email rumors. But relax: Most of those health scares hitting your in-box are a misreading of facts or a deliberate twisting of the truth.
Drink eight glasses of water a day
In 1945, the U.S. Food and Nutrition Board told people to consume eight glasses of fluid daily. Before long, most of us believed we needed eight glasses of water, in addition to what we eat and drink, every day.
The Truth: Water's great, but you can also whet your whistle with juice, tea, milk, fruits, and vegetables-quite enough to keep you hydrated. Even coffee quenches thirst, despite its reputation as a diuretic; the caffeine makes you lose some liquid, but you're still getting