Mastering the Push-up

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If you can’t do a regular push-up on the ground – start this way. Use a high counter instead. Once you can master 5 reps with good form at the kitchen counter, move to a desk, then a stable chair, then the second step of a staircasethen you’ll be ready for the floor. And a push-up is one of the single bestfull-body exercises you can do. It engages your absarms, and chest.

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Ginger tea can help you fight allergies.

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So can candied ginger or a ginger supplement. A study in Nutritional Biochemistry found that a compound in ginger stops the immune system from overreacting to the histamine that triggers allergies. But talk to your doctor. Because the volatile oils in ginger – called gingerols – have anti-inflammatory properties – which can interfere with blood clotting medications.

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Children and headphones

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Parents, do your kids have a pair of child-size headphones that the box said were, quote, “safe for young ears”? Don’t believe it. Because the consumer-product review site, Wirecutter, did a little investigating. They analyzed 30 different children’s headphone brands, and found that half of them did not restrict decibel levels as advertised. And the  worst ones allowed volume so loud it could permanently damage a child’s hearing – or even an adult’s – within minutes! For reference, the noise of a lawnmower is 100 decibels – and can damage hearing after 15 minutes. And the government mandated safe limit in the workplace for adults is 85 decibels – which is like the noise an idling bulldozer makes.

Well, these child-friendly headphones allow the volume to reach 114 decibels – WAY over the safe limit. If you want to see if your child’s headphones are safe – go to TheWirecutter.com for their list “Best Kids Headphones.” And make sure kids never listen to anything higher than 60% of the max volume – and to give their ears a break at least every hour.

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Can’t sleep? Give THIS a try!

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The best way to fall asleep is to force yourself to stay awake!
Experts from the University of Glasgow say what often keeps us awake is “sleep anxiety” – where you lie in bed, freaking out because you’re not falling asleep. But that increases stress, and keeps you from drifting off even more! But a little reverse psychology can help – or what experts call paradoxical intention. When you focus on staying awake, it frees you from sleep anxiety – and people using that technique fall asleep faster than those who don’t.

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The key to successful workouts!

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If you want to try high-intensity interval training, it’s as easy as remembering these numbers: 30-20-10. That’s an equation that adds up to exercise success, according to research from Denmark.
So choose your favorite form of cardio and go easy for 30 seconds… increase your exertion for the next 20 seconds… Then go all out for 10 seconds – and repeat that pattern 10 times. That’s the 30-20-10 method. And because it seems so doable, when people in studies tried it, they were more likely to stick with it. And they improved their overall fitness and lowered their blood pressure.

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Why are you so tired?

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Take a look at your fingernails. Do you see a bunch of white flecks? If so, you may have a zinc deficiency. As many as half of us are zinc deficient – and zinc is needed to convert food into cellular energy. Zinc also improves your sense of smell and boosts your immune system. So, ask your doctor about popping a zinc supplement – or add these zinc-rich foods to your diet: Oystersliverroast beefpumpkin seeds, lamb, peanuts, and Alaskan King Crab.

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Eat spicy foods!

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Here’s why you should KEEP ordering spicy food, no matter how much it scorches your mouth (within reason of course):
Because spicier food is healthier! That’s according to Dr. Ashwin Mehta, a member of the American Board of Internal Medicine. He says when we eat hot-and-spicy food, it causes mild inflammation from our tongue all the way down to our digestive tract.
And while chronic inflammation can cause health problems, the temporary inflammation caused by spicy food is just enough to increase saliva AND blood flow. And in turn, this makes the lining in our gut better able to absorb nutrients from food – so, more healthy vitamins and nutrients reach our organs.

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Challenge your brain!

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Here’s a great tip from the book “ASAP Science: On how to tap into your own brain. Within 3 hours of waking up, plan to do your most mentally challenging work of the day. That’s because our memory is sharpest around mid-morning, before our brain gets burned out from working and thinking all day. In fact, a study found that we forget almost THREE TIMES more facts in the afternooncompared to mid-morning!

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Cooking with gas!

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Did you know cooking on a gas stove could be as unhealthy as breathing secondhand smoke?

It gives you a dose of carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, and formaldehyde every time you use it. And research in Environmental Health Perspectives shows those contaminants are also in secondhand cigarette smoke.

So what’s the fix? Use the vent! Ventilating a gas range can reduce pollutant levels by up to 90%. You can make it even safer by cooking on the back burners… Because most vents are set toward the back of the stove.

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Do you ever get foot or leg cramps?

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They’re intensely painful. So here’s why we get them – and how to make them stop. This comes from physical therapist Pamela Cole.

First, contrary to popular belief, they’re not caused by exercise – but exercise can exacerbate the reason why we get them… Which is nutritional deficiencies. More often that not, they’re caused by an imbalance of water and electrolytes in your body, like potassiumsodiummagnesiumand calcium. When that happens, your muscles can contract on their own.

So here’s how to stop a foot cramp fast:
Pull your toes toward you, using your hands. That stretches the muscles that are cramping and helps them relax. You can also massage the cramping muscle… or try a warm compress on your footBoth pressure and warmth help boost circulation to the area, and that can help restore nutritional balance and stop your nerves from misfiring.

Then, after your cramp stops, physical therapist Cole says: Put two pinches of salt into 12 ounces of water and drink it. That’ll balance your water-electrolyte levels. You can also eat half of a banana, which provides potassium and magnesium.

And to stop foot cramps before they start, make sure you stay hydrated. Also, get more magnesium from foods like bananasdark leafy green veggiesnutsfishbeansavocadosand dark chocolate.

Finally: Give yourself regular foot massages to improve circulation.

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