Do you need a tetanus shot?

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If you ever step on a rusty nail, you may wonder: “When was my last tetanus shot?” But you might not need one. Until now, doctors would vaccinate for both tetanus and diphtheria in childhood… and recommend booster shots every decade. But Oregon Health and Science University researchers compared immunity levels of hundreds of adults who had and hadn’t had booster shots. The result: Tetanus and diphtheria antibodies last at least 30 years from ONE shot. Still not sure when you were last vaccinated? Ask your doctor if your 30-year anniversary for tetanus and diphtheria is coming up.

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To exercise your brain, listen to a story.

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Whether it’s a podcast, audio book, or a friend or relative. According to researchers at UC Berkeley, listening to, following, and understanding a narrative uses an abundance of cognitive functions… including brain regions that govern spatial reasoning, visual imagery, social interaction, and emotional responses.
So if you want a neural workout – just say to someone, “Tell me a story…

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Ladies, before you hit Happy Hour, know this:

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According to a recent study at the University of Missouri, more than half of all women claim they skip meals so they don’t consume too many calories on days when they know they’ll be drinking. Literally, 50% of women are saving up so they can drink their calories in alcohol. And it’s not just for special occasions – but, quote, “all the time.” But nutritionists warn that swapping alcohol calories for food calories can actually starve your body of essential vitamins, which can lead to serious deficiencies. In fact, it’s not even smart for weight loss. Dr. Caroline Cederquist is a weight management expert – and she says skipping just one meal slows down your metabolism. Also, any food you eat with your alcohol is more likely to be stored as fat. That’s because the body considers alcohol a toxin, so it metabolizes it FIRST, leaving unburned food calories to be stored as fat. So, on the days you’re going out with friends, Dr. Cederquist says eat normally – and choose a lower-calorie alcoholic beverage… like light beer, or a wine-spritzer.

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Beat motion sickness on your next visit to the amusement park!

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If you don’t want to toss your cookies on an amusement park ride, follow these recommendations from amusement park expert Pete Trabucco, author of “America’s Top Roller Coasters.”

First: Open your eyes: Looking ahead helps your body adjust to dips, which creates a smoother ride. That’s why it’s better to be in the front of the ride than the back. You can see what’s coming.

Also, bend in the opposite direction: For example, if the ride pitches you to the left, try to bend your body to the right. This’ll help prevent motion sickness.

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What’s the key to reducing your risk of depression?

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Get together with friends and family regularly and in-person. Researchers at Oregon Health and Science University analyzed data on more than 11,000 adults… including how often they communicated with family and friends – either through callslettersemails, or face-to-face. The result: Those who saw loved ones in person were half as likely to be diagnosed with clinical depression – compared to people who had personal contact with loved ones only every couple of months.

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So you’re not in the mood to work out?

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Go to the gym anyway. Research found you’re 70% more likely to exercise if you just see other people working out. Think of it as exercise peer pressure. Because seeing other people exercising can subliminally inspire you to be more active! That’s why it’s good to hit the gym during peak hours – so you have the best chance of seeing others being physically active.

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Why are you tired?

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Blame your smartphone. Not because the blue light it emits is keeping you awake… it’s because it makes you breathe less deeply! Scientists found that people who used their phones for more than 4 hours a day had lung function that was over 30% lower than those who used their phones less. And just so you know, the average teenager is on their phone 6 hours a day, so 4 hours isn’t a crazy amount!
So why would phone use lead to poor lung function? Because we hunch our shoulders and bend our necks when using our phones. So our airway is restricted and we’re not fully expanding our lungs. As a result, we breathe more shallowly.

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Here’s some intel for your next 5K, 10K, half marathon or full marathon:

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Wear sunglasses. You’ll not only look cool, you’ll stop squinting and relax your face. Doing that will set off a chain reaction… and you’ll end up relaxing your neck, shoulders and upper body. That’s according to marathon running coach Andrew Kastor. He says that even a tiny bit of tension in your upper body can throw off your form, which means you won’t stride as powerfully. And tight muscles work harder and use more energy than relaxed ones – so you’ll burn out more quickly. So wear some shades and leave everyone in your dust.

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The FDA says toss the bones from your meals…

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DON’T feed them to your dogs. They can cause broken teeth, mouth and tongue injuries and constipation. Plus, sharp bone fragments can get stuck in a dog’s esophagus or stomach, requiring surgery. And if bone fragments poke holes in a dog’s stomach or intestines, it can cause a severe abdominal bacterial infection – which will require an emergency visit to your vet, because it can kill your dog.

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If you’re feeling anxious, swing by a playground and hop on a swing.

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Or if you have a porch swing, rocking chair or hammock, that’ll do the trick, too. Then spend 2 minutes swinging, rocking or swaying. The repetitive motion puts the nervous system into a more relaxed state and calms the amygdala… the brain region linked to stress and anxiety. And swinging is so powerful, the University of Miami says it can reduce the output of stress hormones by 25% for 2 hours. Just from 2 minutes of swinging, rocking or swaying.

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