• Don't go out with wet hair. Cover your mouth when you cough. These classic "mom" cold and flu tips were recently put to the scientific test. The verdict: Most won't keep us safe from viruses, though a few do have merit, says Rachel Vreeman, MD, an assistant professor of pediatrics at Indiana University School of Medicine. And Mom did get a couple of things right. Here, experts set the record straight on which motherly advice is worth taking.

    1. You'll get sick if you go out in the cold with wet hair.

    Truth: Exposure to viruses-not skipping the blow-dryer-causes cold and flu.
    "Scientists have studied this really well," says Dr. Vreeman. "They've put cold viruses in the noses of two groups of people. One group was then exposed to cold/wet conditions, and people who were chilled were no more likely to get sick than those who weren't." Being outdoors can make your nose run (cold weather dilates blood vessels), but it doesn't make you more susceptible to viruses.

    Worst habits that make

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  • Fall is almost over and before we know it, we'll be pulling out holiday recipes and trimming the tree. But for those of you (like me!) who may have been a little busy this fall season, there's still time to be festive!

    And as always, these activities are extremely good for you and your well-being. Well, except for pumpkin cupcakes, but those are simply just good for the soul. Seriously.

    Anyway, if you feel like fall has flown by in a flash and aren't ready for Christmas carols yet, try the following -- they'll be sure to ignite your spirit.

    1.) Take a fall foliage walk - Explore your community parks and green spaces or just take a different route around your own neighborhood. Pay attention to the beautiful colors that you've been ignoring all month and relish in mother nature's beauty.

    2.) Visit a local fruit farm for an afternoon of apple picking. Enjoy being part of bring fresh, local food to your own kitchen! Make a healthy apple treat with your pickings.

    3.) Spend some time

    Read More »from 3 Healthy, Family-Friendly Fall Activities
  • Since having a baby five months ago, my belly isn't quite as flat as it used to be, even though I've lost the baby weight. I'm not obsessed with the pudge that remains but I certainly wouldn't miss it if it went away. And so I was intrigued by a story Ana Mantica wrote for EatingWell about three foods that might help melt away fat. My nutrition training has taught me not to believe in magic bullets for weight loss, but since all the ingredients Mantica mentions are nutritious, I figure that getting more of them can't hurt.

    Here are the three slimming foods-and how they might help us all to "whittle our middles":

    Whole grains: Eating whole grains in place of refined ones may help reduce total body fat and abdominal fat, suggests research in the Journal of Nutrition. The study showed that people who ate about 3 servings of whole grains a day had about 2.4 percent less body fat and 3.6 percent less abdominal fat than those who ate barely any whole grains at all. Researchers

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  • By Jenny Everett, SELF magazine

    Christina Applegate recently admitted to occasionally stuffing her face during her pregnancy (cupcakes and fried cheese!). "I crave food! I don't care what it is!" she said on "Lopez Tonight" back in August.

    Related: 20 Superfoods for Weight Loss

    According to new research, you might not want to follow her lead. One study found that pregnant women who gain too much weight while pregnant have bigger babies that are more likely to be overweight later in life.

    And a separate study published in the journal Obstetrics and Gynecology found that women who gain more weight than is recommended are at a 50 percent increased risk of developing gestational diabetes. So much for using those nine months as an excuse to pig out!

    Registered dietician Mary Hartley, director of nutrition for Calorie Count, suggests following these rules:

    1. Factor in your pre-preggers weight
    You should gain the right amount of weight for your body type, according to Hartley. Use this

    Read More »from Pig Out When Pregnant? The New Rules for Eating for Two
  • By Lexi Petronis, Glamour magazine

    So do you want to know what you can do today to ward off absentmindedness and possibly even dementia later in life? The answer is especially awesome--because it's something you do every day, anyway:

    Walk! Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh found that walking six to nine miles per week can protect your brain and improve your memory. According to the researchers, the reason we start to get a bit more foggy-headed as we age is because our brains start shrinking. The study discovered that older people who had kept active had maintained more brain mass--reducing their risk of memory loss by half.

    Related: Fitness Trend: Nordic Walking (Would You Dare?)

    Sarah gave the benefits of walking a shout out last week-it feels like the good-for-you benefits of walking just keep--um, walking on in.

    Has anyone been inspired to hoof it more often? Would you do it more if it meant the possibility of saving your memory down the line?

    More from Glamour: Read More »from If You Only Do One Healthy Thing Today, Do This
  • Compiled by Liz Kennedy

    We all know that a healthy diet should include lots of fresh fruits and vegetables. But did you also order a side of pesticides with your produce? Probably not. While you may be resistant to buying organic fruits and veggies because of the cost, or just wondering if it's really worth it, healthwise, there is some produce that's worth the extra money. Each year, the Environmental Working Group identifies its "Dirty Dozen," the 12 fruits and vegetables that contain the highest amount of pesticides, and thus should be purchased as organic whenever possible.

    The scariest for me? My favorite fruit, the apple, could contain up to 42 different varieties of pesticides. Many of which may not be able to be eliminated with washing or even peeling.

    The top 3 culprits:

    1. Celery clocking in with 64 pesticides.
    2. Peaches with as many as 62 pesticides.
    3.Strawberries, especially out of season, with up to 59 pesticides.

    Find out the other 9 fruits and vegetables

    Read More »from 3 Fruits and Vegetables You Should Always Buy Organic
  • A strong and toned abdomen is a typical goal of a fitness program. Your core -- the abdomen and lower back muscles -- supports your spine and prevents low back problems which affect 80 percent of Americans. There are numerous products promising maximum results and a six-pack abdominal section for minimal effort. Most do not live up to their promises. Exercise and proper nutrition will strengthen abdominal muscles and reduce excess body fat for a toned look and improved appearance. Results are based on effort, proper information and, most of all, consistency and patience.

    Function

    Your abdominal muscle group consists of three primary muscles. Your rectus abdominis contracts to flex, or bend, your spine. The side obliques bend your spine to the side and rotate your torso. Your transverse abdominis contracts to compress your abdomen and stabilize your torso. Your abdominal muscles work opposite of your lower back muscles for movement and work together to provide spinal support.

    Read More »from 5 Tips to Make the Most of Your Ab Exercises

  • By Danielle Braff

    Most of us are just too busy to hit the gym for hours or make a nutritious meal from scratch. But luckily, you don't have to spend the entire day exercising or cooking in order to be healthy. We've found ways you can sneak in time for your wellness, whether you've got 15 spare minutes-or just one.

    15-Minute Tasks

    Grab some water.

    It doesn't matter if you're picking up your kid from school or racing on the treadmill-for every 15 minutes that you're out of breath, you need to be drinking 4 to 6 ounces of water. If that walk to work takes you 15 minutes, do it briskly and carry along a bottle containing a premeasured amount of water. You may have thought that sipping water whenever you're thirsty will do the trick, but sweating away even a few drops of your body's water weight can make it harder for your heart to beat faster, which will make you feel tired more quickly. Photo: Thinkstock


    Make over your workspace.

    Most people spend hours in front

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  • By Jenny Everett, SELF magazine

    You can spend hours at the gym doing the wrong thing and get minimal results, or you can spend very little time at the gym and get amazing results. Pretty sure we know which one we'd rather do!

    Related: The Ultimate Lose-8-Pounds Plan


    So, we asked exercise brainiac Wayne Westcott, Ph.D., fitness research director at Quincy College in Quincy Mass., how we can get an effective workout in the least amount of time. We can't wait to try his three suggested routines -- none of which takes more than 20 minutes.

    Instead of:
    Aimlessly roaming from machine to machine

    Do this
    :
    Work complementary muscle groups, sans rest
    For a quickie 15-minute strength workout, do 8 to 10 reps of shoulder presses, then 8 to 10 reps of lat pull-downs. Continue alternating until you've done three sets of each.

    Repeat the alternating pattern with bench presses and rows, leg curls and leg extensions and tricep pushdowns and tricep curls. According to Westcott, this strategy is

    Read More »from Workouts That Take the Least Time (and Have the Biggest Benefits!)
  • These popular songs will help you get the most out of the gym this season.
    - Faye Brennan, BettyConfidential.com

    As the weather gets colder, your motivation to work out may be fading (bulky sweaters cover everything up, right?). But don't give in! Use music to revive your energy so you can hit the gym and stay on track with your fitness goals.

    To help you, we've compiled this workout playlist featuring great songs for every phase of your workout. Load these on to your iPod, press play, and start melting those pounds away the fun way!

    1. Sara Bareilles - "King of Anything"
    Leave it to Sara Bareilles to get you ready for your workout. This upbeat song will wash away your daily stresses and will help you get in a positive attitude. You'll look forward to the reps ahead, instead of considering them work.

    2. Jason Derulo - "Ridin' Solo"
    Even if you're in a relationship, you can identify with Jason Derulo's lyrics: "I'm feeling like a star/You can't stop my

    Read More »from 10 Best Workout Songs for Fall

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