Try these 6 simple steps to take control of your health during the cold and flu season.
Adopt the French Way
The evidence for hands as a major route for transmitting infection is so strong that scientists at the London School of Hygiene recommend greeting friends the French way, with a peck on the cheek rather than a handshake. Or improvise, according to the situation. The next time someone approaches you with palm outstretched, try an "air kiss" or a manly hug instead.
Blast Your Sponges in the Microwave
Keep your kitchen sponge or cloth germ-free by microwaving it on full power for 2 minutes daily. This kills 99 per cent of micro-organisms. WARNING: Do this only with a damp sponge or cloth - otherwise it's a fire risk.
PLUS: 8 Places Germs Are Hiding in Your Home
Call a Friend and Take a Walk
One study showed that post-menopausal women who took regular, moderate exercise - brisk walking for 45 minutes five times a week - had up to a three-fold reduction in the number of colds
Blog Posts by Reader s Digest Magazine
Try these 6 simple steps to take control of your health during the cold and flu season.Read More »from The ABCs of Cold and Flu Prevention
Read More »from 3 Ways to Avoid a Christmas Tree Crash
Short of a gym membership from your spouse, it's the holiday surprise no one wants: the ornament-laden Christmas tree that tips over and crashes to the floor.
1. Non-stick cookware (when overheated)Read More »from 6 Ordinary Products that Can Make You Sick
Perfluorinated chemicals (PFC). (Some new non-stick cookware does not contain PFC.)
Non-stick pans may give off fumes containing TFE, a suspected carcinogen, when they get hotter than 650°F. How hot is that? Olive oil, for example, starts smoking at 410°F, well below that level.
What You Should Do
Just to be safe, don't allow empty pans to smolder on a hot burner.
2. "Clamshell" takeout food containers
Or any food packaging labeled #6 in the recycling symbol*
What It Contains
May leach styrene (a possible endocrine disrupter and human carcinogen) into food, and into groundwater from landfills.
What You Should Do
Avoid food that has come into contact with polystyrene.
*usually located on the bottom of the container
3. Worn and pitted pots and pans
What They May Contain
Aluminum has been associated with Alzheimer's disease. However, no definite link has been proven.
What does it mean to you to be middle class? We asked our Facebook fans that question, and the response was overwhelming, with hundreds of people sharing their feelings of anger, resolve, and optimism. A sampling:Read More »from What Does it Mean to Be Middle Class?
It means struggling, day to day, to make ends meet. It means always working just to break even. --Michelle Grantom-Landgra
To me, it means living a good life. I have enough to pay my bills, pay my mortgage and insurance, and take very modest vacations. If I stay this way, I'll never be wealthy, but I'll never go hungry either. -- Jo Anna Wallace
There is a perception that people who are no longer in the middle class are helpless and lazy, but that is not the case. We work very hard and work more than one job and go to the food bank to barely get by and feed our children. Emotionally, since letting go of the middle-class dream and the fear of losing it, I am more at peace and feel an enormous burden has been lifted. I am not saying that I would not like to be wealthy, but the
The claim? Working out with a kettlebell (a weight that resembles a cannonball with a handle attached to the top) burns more calories and builds strength faster than traditional strength training. Gyms across the country are adding kettlebell classes, and many personal trainers incorporate the weights into clients' workouts - all with the promise of an outsize payoff.Read More »from Are Kettlebell Workouts a Shortcut to Fitness?
The truth? New research suggests that kettlebells really may get you fitter faster. In a small study from the University of Wisconsin, La Crosse, seasoned exercisers burned nearly 300 calories in a 20-minute workout with the weights - significantly more than they would have with conventional strength training. To avoid back strain, start with a relatively light weight (8 pounds for women, 13 pounds for men). A good beginner's guide: the DVD Kettlebells: The Iron Core Way, Vol. 1, by personal trainer Sarah Lurie.
Your local home center is always eager to sell you the latest "labor-saving" device for lawn and garden maintenance. But few inventions in human history are as useless and obnoxious as the leaf blower.Read More »from Why You Should Skip the Leaf Blower
- Reader s Digest Magazine | Shine Food – Mon, Nov 21, 2011 10:21 AM EST
Think you can beat the odds? Think again. Here are a few insider secrets to keep up your sleeve the next time you're ready to try your luck.Read More »from 6 Things Casinos Don’t Want You to Know About Your Odds
We can't all be morning people. But according to psychiatrist and sleep expert Tracey Marks, MD, we can all train ourselves to be more productive in the a.m. Here's how.
Get your juices flowing
For some of us, a morning workout sounds more like torture than exercise. But you don't have to hit the elliptical or run five miles to get your blood pumping. Taking a walk or practicing yoga or tai chi are all great low-impact ways to increase your energy in the morning. An added bonus to exercising early in the day is that it allows your body to rest in the evening, unlike a late-day workout which pumps you up when you should be winding down.
See: Lose Weight Around the Clock
Don't stay up past your bedtimeRead More »from How to Be More of a Morning Person
It sounds obvious, but if you want to wake up feeling well rested, you have to get enough sleep. Hitting the sack at a reasonable hour is key, but your sleep schedule matters, too. It's important to go to bed at roughly the same time every night to keep your
Posture isn't just about how you look. It also has a powerful effect on how you feel - and on what you do. Want to eat less? Stick to your budget? Ease your back pain? Researchers in the growing field of "embodied cognition" suggest you assume these positions:
To lose weight, make a muscle.
You really do want to exercise and eat sensibly - but your resolve keeps going wobbly? Try clenching your hand, gritting your teeth, or standing on tiptoe. Flexing your muscles can make your willpower stronger, according to a study published last year.
"You're telling yourself, 'I am strong. I can resist this temptation,' " says coauthor Aparna Labroo, PhD, who studies decision making at the Rotman School of Management in Toronto. "The cumulative effect can be quite large over time."
To hurt less, stand tall.Read More »from The Life Changing Benefits of Good Posture
Your back is killing you, so you curl up into a ball. But a study published earlier this year found that an expansive posture - for instance, standing up straight,
What's the difference between brining and marinating, stuffing and dressing, or sweet potatoes and yams? Find out the answers to all of your Thanksgiving dinner questions.Read More »from 7 Great Thanksgiving Mysteries Solved
1. Turkey Bath: Brined vs. Marinated
Every year on Thanksgiving you hear about people brining a turkey, but not marinating it. Why is that? The difference has to do with acidic marinades versus salty brines. Acid, a strong component of marinades, tenderizes only the surface of meats, thus they are not the best way to add flavor to your large turkey. Brining is a longer, deeper process. The salty nature of the brine "adds moisture to the meat through osmosis." The salt draws the water inside the meat out while the brine flows into the meat, adding extra water and juiciness.
Want to do both? Try this Citrus Marinated Turkey recipe from Iron Chef Jose Garces, in which he first brines and then marinates the meat.
PLUS: 13 Thanksgiving Turkey Tips
2. In or Out? Stuffing vs. Dressing
For those who believe the