POSTS WITH TAG: cold & flu

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    You have big plans to go to the gym after work today. You arranged someone to be there to take care of the kids, you packed your gym bag, you piously said no to after-work drinks with your colleagues. Then 6 p.m. rolls around, and, well ... maybe the kids need help with their homework tonight after all. Or your boss is going out for drinks, maybe you should go along too. Or you’re exhausted after a long day, and didn’t you read somewhere that you’re more likely to get injured exercising when you’re tired?

    Chances are, you already know when you’re making excuses because you just don’t feel like working out. But are there actually times when it IS a good idea to skip the gym? Yes, there are -- and here’s the personal trainer take on what’s a valid excuse and what’s NOT.

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    Is there anything worse than a springtime cold? The running nose, the weeping eyes, the painful congestion. It all seems even worse when the weather is so nice out, too. It's like adding insult to injury. It can also be hard to determine if what you've got going on is actually a cold or if it's springtime allergies. Damn you, pollen! And also child who sneezed at me on the bus! 

    Before you start mainlining chicken soup or taking Claritin like a boss, it's important to properly identify your symptoms. While there are no "real" cures for either source of woe, you'll be a whole lot more successful at treating your problem if it's the right problem in the first place! That sounds like a joke, but it isn't. These two are so similar in symptoms, it's no wonder people get all turned around. 

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    Getting the flu is a pain in the butt, but you usually don't think of it as something that can be deadly unless you are pregnant, elderly, or immune-suppressed in some other way. Unfortunately, however, it can be deadly no matter who you are. A mom of three caught the flu and died four days later. The woman, who had been healthy until she caught the virus, was the wife of a soldier who served in Afghanistan. He thought once he made it home alive, the family was in the clear. And then this tragically happened.

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    From being sure to wear a hat to not going outside with wet hair, my mom doled out her fair share of "old wives' tales" about keeping colds and flus at bay while I was growing up. I'm still a bit brainwashed, I'd say. But just how much of all of that old-school wisdom is legit? 

    It's a valid question nifty YouTube channel AsapScience covered in their recent video entitled, "Does Being Cold Make You Sick?" And as it turns out, there's actually some scientific proof that winter temps can trigger illness. (I know, you're looking at your local weather report stating tomorrow's high will be -10 and thinking, "Grrrreat."

    Here, everything you've ever wanted to know about catching a cold summarized in less than 3 minutes ...

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    When we think of vaccines, we tend to think of the ones children are required to get. For many of us, unless you're planning a trip overseas, it may have been years since you last got any sort of shot. And while some may say that's irresponsible, it's also understandable, considering the amount of confusion out there about what immunizations adults need. Because, after all, we only really ever hear about the flu shot, right? 

    But the flu vaccine isn't the only one recommended for adults. And while specific immunizations you may need as an adult are determined by factors such as your age, lifestyle, health conditions, locations of travel, and previous immunizations, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, certain shots are recommended for most adults ...

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    As someone who doesn't exactly love needles, I was amped when I first heard about the nasal spray flu vaccine a few years back. I mean, come on -- avoid the prick, just get a little spritz, and be all set? Sounds like a dream to me!

    Regardless, there are some things you should know, both for yourself and your kids, when you're choosing between the flu vaccine shot and the nasal spray. Here's everything you need to know about the nasal vaccine vs. the flu shot, here:

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    No way around it now: The cold and flu season is indeed upon us, and that sucks ... a lot. But hey, at least we all know what we have to do to keep from getting sick -- and how to get well if we do fall under the weather, right?? Or ... wrong? Turns out lots of the cold and flu remedies we all rely on every winter might be doing more harm than good -- or, at the very least, not enough good. Perfect example: Most of us pop ibuprofen to tame everything from sinus headaches to aches and pains -- we even give the over-the-counter med to our kids. But according to a recent study, 50 to 70 percent of people with respiratory tract infections (including colds, sore throats and chest and ear infections) who took ibuprofen ended up back at the doctor within a month, feeling even worse.

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    Okay, 'fess up: do you go to the doctor more often than the men in your life? Without a doubt, I do. But the weird thing is, I also take far less medicine than my husband and am almost never really sick. I can't even remember the last time I had the flu or a serious virus. It's not that I run to see my general practitioner the day I feel a strange symptom, but I never wait longer than two or three days. And my way of handling things has -- I believe -- helped me tackle health problems long before they get out of control. I consider this a smart move that saves time and money in the long run.

    But some men folks, including Fox News' John Stossel, would argue I'm just another female hypochondriac who deserves to pay more for health insurance because...well, mainly just because I'm a woman and we're all crazy like that, you know.

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    Yesterday morning I spent over two hours searching for my only set of keys. Thankfully, I found them tucked behind my 5-year-old's booster seat in our car.

    Trust me, I've spent the last 24 hours trying to figure out how in the world they got there.

    After cleaning up the mess I made attempting to find them (oh yes, I went through the garbage), I wanted to kick myself for not having spares. And that got me thinking about how ill-prepared I am for a lot of things, not just lost keys.

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    There, I said it. Call me a wuss if you will, but bringing my daughter to the doctor when there's even a chance that she's gonna get poked, is like being at a bullfight … when you're the matador.

    In other words, it's like the most stressful thing ever. 

    It's not just stressful for me, it's stressful for the nurse who must administer said shots, the other little patients who are set off by the possible whizzing by of a 7-year-old and the wretched ear-shattering noises she's making, not to mention their parents and the doctors, who must explain that, though sounds like it, there is not an amputation occurring.

    I start to ask myself...

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