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Health and Fitness

The Yomiuri ShimbunOSAKA, Japan – Laughing is said to be good for the mind and body. Taking that advice to heart, a number of seniors are flocking to laughter yoga – an exercise that encourages people to laugh while practicing yoga.Despite its name, laughter yoga does not require practitioners to bend and contort their bodies into difficult poses. Developed in 1995 by an I…

Q. I worked at Mosquito Hill Nature Center in the middle of a swamp in Wisconsin. The mosquitoes there are bird size.To eliminate the bump and itch of a mosquito bite, use saliva. You have to put it on immediately after the bite. I tell the students “swat then spit.” An enzyme in saliva neutralizes the mosquito poison.A. With West Nile virus spreading in so many states, we…

A mom asked me a most interesting and currently pertinent question the other day: “How much one-on-one interaction should take place between a nanny and a child under her supervision?” The question is pertinent because increasing numbers of upper-middle-class parents are choosing to use nannies for daily child care instead of or in addition to day care centers and preschoo…

By Dr. Sue HubbardThe Kid’s DoctorDuring a child’s checkup, I spend time showing his or her parents (as well as older children in the family) their child’s growth curve. This curve looks at a child’s weight and height, and for children age 2 and older, their body mass index (BMI). This visual look at how a child is growing is always eagerly anticipated by parents, as they …

By Josef BrandenburgMcClatchy-TribuneTime is the enemy of fitness. When people see official recommendations that they need to do 60 to 90 minutes of exercise per day to lose any fat, this turns a lot of people off to the idea of even trying to get into shape.Who has seven to 10 extra hours in a week to go jogging or whatever? I don’t.Luckily there is good news: You don’t n…

By Dr. Sue HubbardThe Kid’s DoctorI’m back on the subject of “squeeze pouch food,” or as one cute 2½-year-old I know calls it, “squeegy fruit.” I was fascinated by these products when they first hit the market. On one hand, I get that they’re convenient and easy to use when children first begin eating pureed baby food. On the other hand, I think they’re also being given to…

Gabriella BostonSpecial to Washington PostOne sneaker fits all.According to government recommendations, you should do at least 2½ hours of moderate aerobic activity per week and twice-weekly sessions of strength training to improve your health, no matter your age.But don’t physical fitness needs change as we grow older?Not that much, it turns out.Todd Miller, an associate …

Dear Dr. Zorba,I stopped smoking almost 8 years ago. I was never a heavy smoker, only half a pack a day, max. I really wanted to quit but kept on failing. Finally, I hit BINGO with nicotine gum. It worked. The problem now is I’m still chewing after all these years. I’m addicted. I’m afraid if I stop, that I’ll go back to my sinful ways. What shall I do?– ChewyDear Chewy,Wh…

Health and Fitness

By James FellChicago TribuneI like to run. Apparently, this gets me high.Last year, researchers at the University of Arizona published a study in the Journal of Experimental Biology examining the “neurobiological rewards” of treadmill running in 10 humans, eight dogs and eight ferrets.No, the researchers were not high when they came up with this study design. For humans an…

The Washington PostWhen the topic of plus-size classes recently came up online in a Washington-area yoga instructor discussion group, Annie Carlin was surprised to read so many comments from people who dismissed the idea.“I think it’s easy to say something isn’t needed if you don’t need it,” she says.One stat supporting her position? The number of programs for yogis who do…

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By McKenzie hall // Environmental Nutrition newsletterThe organic industry is hot; the fastest growing sector of the supermarket grew sixfold from 1997 to 2011, when it accounted for $24.4 billion in sales. ¶ Organic food talk has received even more attention since a study released from Stanford University last year concluded there isn’t much difference between organic a…

By Dr. Peter JensenTribune Media ServicesDear Mayo Clinic: What symptoms should parents watch for if they are worried a young child may have autism? Is it possible to diagnose autism before age 2?Answer: With careful evaluation by an expert, diagnosing a child younger than 2 with autism is possible. More often, however, autism is identified in children between the ages of …

Consider these factors when deciding whether to go organic:1. Fruits and vegetables: When it comes to eating your daily quota of fruits and vegetables, it may be best to start at square one by simply focusing on increasing your daily intake. According to a 2010 report released by the National Fruit and Vegetable Alliance, only 6 percent of people are eating enough vegetabl…

By Kerri-Ann JenningsEatingWell.comIt’s grilling season and chances are you’ll be making that ever-important cookout decision: hot dog or hamburger?Some people, no doubt, are cheering “Both!” But if you’re trying to make a healthier choice, then the registered dietitian in me knows that “both” is not the answer.So which one is the healthier pick? Check out how a hamburger …

By Heidi McIndooEnvironmental Nutrition NewsletterWhile fast-food dining isn’t something to indulge in on a daily basis, once in a while it’s OK – because of a time crunch or just a craving – to belly up to the drive-thru. You may have decided on your entree even before arriving, whether you’re going the healthy path with a grilled chicken sandwich or succumbing to a juicy…