Does the water temperature matter when it comes to washing our hands?

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Nope! In fact, a lot of us associate hot water with making things sterile, but a new study says it’s no more effective at killing germs on our hands than cool water. In fact, as long as we’re combining water with soap, researchers say cool water may be betterfor most people. That’s because the contaminants in home water pipes, that can cause skin irritations, dissolve more easily in hot water. So, go ahead and wash your hands in cool water. It’ll work just as well.

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How to keep your car cool in hot weather!

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To keep a parked car cool in summer, so you don’t roast when you climb in, use TWO sunshades. Because blocking the windshield AND rear window keeps cars about 30-degrees cooler than just using one sunshade. 

But if your car is still sweltering – try this trick: Roll down the driver’s window – and open and close the passenger DOOR 5 or 6 times, fast. It’ll create a vacuum that draws the hot air out of the car, and cool it by about 8-degrees.

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Get results from your workouts!

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If you want bigger muscles and a stronger body, you don’t need to bench 250-pounds to see results. If all you can do is more repetitions with 2, 3, or 4-pound hand weights, that’s good enough – and you’ll still see great results. 

That’s according to new research from McMaster University in Ontario. 

The researchers found that test subjects who increased their repetitions, to as many as 25 per set, with lighter weights, saw the same results for definition and muscle size as people who lifted much heavier weights only 8 times.

Kinesiology professor Stuart Phillips says, as long as you lift until your muscles are exhausted, you’ll gradually get stronger, no matter how light or heavy the weight is. Dr. Phillips says this study may help those who are new to weight training – and intimidated by it – or people who tend to get injured using heavier weights. So remember, more reps, lighter weights, and you’ll see the same results. 

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For more energy at work, wear headphones and listen to upbeat music!

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A study at the University of Toronto found up-tempo music can boost energy and creativity because it literally alters our brainwaves. And if the song is familiar to you, even better. Because if you already know the song, you start anticipating what comes next, and you’ll get an even bigger energy boost. So make a playlist full of upbeat songs just for work.

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Heal summertime cold sores fast!

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People tend to get more cold sores in summer, because the virus can be activated by heat and sunlight. So when you feel that telltale tingle: Get a vitamin D gel capsule, prick it open with a clean pin, and put a drop of the liquid on your cold sore. Dermatologist Joshua Zeichner is from Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City… and he says the anti-inflammatory properties in vitamin D can reduce the severity of cold sores, and help them heal faster. 

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Can’t sleep? Stop counting sheep!

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If you’re trying to fall asleep, forget counting sheep. In a study of insomniacs, the people who visualized a nice scene – whether they’d been there or not – fell asleep faster than those who tried counting forward or backward. That’s because conjuring up detailed images in your mind takes up enough cognitive space that it can distract other thoughts – like everything that’s on tomorrow’s to-do list. Plus, thinking about a positive image, like a peaceful beach, or a tranquil mountain vista, can reduce stress hormones and help you drift off to sleep faster.

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Get a great blood pressure reading at your next checkup!

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Here are a couple of tips for a better blood pressure reading at your next doctor’s appointment: 

First: Relax and keep quiet while the cuff is on. Researchers at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center found talking can increase blood flow… and make it seem your blood pressure is 5 to 10 points higher than it actually is. 

Next: Watch your posture! Crossing your legs can temporarily increase your blood pressure. 

And your arm position matters, too. For the most accurate reading, keep the cuffed arm at roughly the same level as your heart. 

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The optimal state to be in at work is relaxed yet alert.

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Here’s how to achieve that: Chase your cup of coffee with a cup of green or white tea. Unlike black tea, green and white teas are less processed – and go through less oxidation. As a result, they contain higher levels of the amino acid L-theanine. And according to Oxford University, L‑theanine increases alpha brain waves — which are linked with feeling relaxed yet alert. 

So why drink coffee first? Because in a study, people who had a dose of caffeine AND L‑theanine felt less tired — and had increased attention and memory. 

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Got an itchy rash?

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Your favorite electronic gadget could be to blame! That’s because the cases of some smartphones and tablets contain the metal nickel, which can trigger allergies. In fact, according to dermatologist Dr. Sharon Jacob, 25% of people who get tested for skin allergies are allergic to nickel. And when a lot of Dr. Jacob’s patients put a cover on their tablets and phones, the allergic reaction cleared up. 

Again, see if you can eliminate an itchy rash just by getting a new smartphone cover! 

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Do you want to think more positively?

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On a day when you need to think positively, put on something orange. According to The Color Association of The United States, it’s an energizing color – because it’s between red, which increases adrenaline – but can also make you feel aggressive… and yellow, which promotes energy and social interaction – but can also exhaust the eye. So orange is the perfect in-between color. And looking at it will give you a mood boost and help get you through the day in a positive state of mind.

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