Fitness Tips

Articles tagged as holiday (view all)

Chicken Soup for the Cold

01 January, 2014

Mom was right. Chicken soup really can help you get over a cold.

Ingredients in chicken soup have anti-inflammatory properties that inhibit the movement of neutrophils into airways. Neutrophils are white blood cells that contribute to the inflammation that causes cold symptoms. Combat your next cold with plenty of rest, lots of fluids, and a bowl of homemade chicken soup.

Typical cold symptoms include coughing, sneezing, and a stuffy nose. Chicken soup may help quell symptoms in several ways. First, chicken soup contains compounds that help inhibit mucus production. In addition to chicken soup's anti-inflammatory effects, the heat and steam may help open up nasal passages. If you have a cold, get plenty of rest and drink lots of fluids to avoid dehydration. Over-the-counter cold remedies may help relieve your symptoms but they cannot cure a cold. Sipping hot chicken soup may help, as well -- a steamy bowl of chicken soup with plenty of garlic and a sprinkle of cayenne pepper will boost the nasal-clearing effects of the soup. And be sure to finish the broth; researchers determined most of the anti-inflammatory effects of chicken soup come from the liquid.


SOURCES: Chicken soup inhibits neutrophil chemotaxis in vitro. Rennard, B. O., Ertl, R. F., Gossman, G. L., Robbins, R. A., Rennard, S. I., Chest 2000 Oct;118(4):1150-1157.

Another Excuse Bites the Dust

18 December, 2013

Think it's too late to add years to your life? Studies say it isn't so.

Even if you're a late bloomer when it comes to exercise, don't let your couch-potato past stop you. Recent research found that sedentary women 65 and older who turned over a new leaf and got moving cut their chances of dying from cancer in half and from heart disease by a third. That's no small potatoes.

If you haven't moved a muscle in ages, put yourself on a walking program first -- aim for 30 minutes a day -- and make an appointment with your doctor for an exercise prescription. It should cover:

Type: Combines aerobic (stamina), strength, and flexibility exercise, but one type may be especially important for you.

Frequency: Lets you know how often you should exercise.

Intensity: Tells you how hard to push yourself. Basically, start at a comfortable level and work up from there.

Time: Sets a guideline for how long you should work out.

Progression: Helps you determine when to change what you're doing; set some step-by-step goals together.

Benefits: Makes clear what you can expect, and you'll understand the specific ways your routine will help your health.

After that, just follow doctor's orders.


Colds Hate Positive People

11 December, 2013

Dread colds? Then be a Little Miss Sunshine.

That's the word from researchers who tested the emotional outlook and immune-system capabilities of a group of adults. Cold viruses had a harder time taking hold in the people who had mostly positive things to say.

Apparently, emotions play a role in immunity. Positive thoughts not only help you steer clear of colds but also might make your colds milder if you do get sick. Good reasons to look on the bright side and to get help if you habitually feel negative, anxious, or depressed.

Of course, thinking warm, fuzzy thoughts doesn't replace good ol' cold-killing facts. So follow these sniffle-stopping tips as well:

• Wash your hands frequently, especially if you spend time with someone who is sick. And keep hand towels separate to minimize the spread of germs.

• Avoid spending time with people who are newly sick; they are most infectious during the first few days of illness.

• Eat foods high in vitamin C -- oranges, strawberries, and red bell peppers are good choices. Better yet, get a big boost of vitamin C with a supplement.

• Avoid touching your nose, mouth, or eyes.

• Get plenty of rest.

Of course, you can help other people stay healthy, too, by washing your hands after you blow your nose and covering your mouth with a tissue or the inner crook of your elbow when you sneeze. Because let's face it, what goes around comes around -- sooner or later.


SOURCES: Positive emotional style predicts resistance to illness after experimental exposure to rhinovirus or influenza A virus. Cohen, S., Alper, C. M., Doyle, W. J., Treanor, J. J., Turner, R. B. Psychosomatic Medicine 2006;68(6):809-815.


Tipsy Tip

14 November, 2012

 Watch out. Cocktails may sneak up on you this holiday season if you use a diet mixer.

The Crazy-Quick Way to Healthier Arteries

14 November, 2012

 Here's a gift you have to get for yourself this holiday season -- 8 weeks.

Shake That Cinnamon Shaker

14 November, 2012

 Greet holiday guests with a fragrant mug of hot cider spiced with cinnamon and cloves. It will do more than warm them up.

How Do You Like Them Apples?

14 November, 2012

Worried that holiday menus will break your promises to eat healthfully? Get apple happy.