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Spring Clean Your Health

Wednesday, Mar, 26 2014

Springtime means spring cleaning. But besides the broken toys and outgrown clothes, what else should you toss and update? Use these guidelines when you spring-clean to stay healthy, safe and prepared for the new season.

Sneakers
If you're a runner, experts recommend replacing your kicks every 350 to 550 miles, before they lose shock absorption and stability. Buy a new pair before your old pair wears out so you can break them in gradually.  Rotate in your new sneakers for a few workouts each week (or less than half of what you usually do in the old pair), especially if you're changing models or brands.

Smoke Detectors and Fire Extinguishers
You've probably heard that you should check your smoke detectors' batteries twice a year. (Use daylight saving time, when you change your clocks, as a reminder.) But even with fresh batteries, smoke detectors that are older than 10 years may not work as effectively and should be replaced.  For fire extinguishers, check the gauge to make sure they are fully charged.  If they're not, recharge or replace it. Some extinguishers are disposable and can only be used once.

Cosmetics
You'll likely notice when makeup starts to go bad -- any change in color, consistency, or odor is a sure sign that it's time toss a product. While most cosmetics last for at least a year, the Food and Drug Administration recommends discarding eye makeup, like mascara, every three months. They may have bacterial growth, which can lead to an eye infection. And you may need to replace all-natural brands sooner because their plant-based ingredients may breed bacteria.

Medicine
All medications -- both prescription and not -- should have an expiration date printed on their package or, in the case of ointments, embossed on the crimp. If a medication isn't in its original packaging, don't use it. But don't flush or throw away prescription drugs, which can contaminate waterways.

Vitamins
If you take vitamins or supplements regularly, they should run out before they expire. For those of you who don't take your vitamins daily, don't hang on to them past the expiration date, when they may begin to lose effectiveness. If the bottle doesn't have a date stamped on it, throw it away -- and opt for a different brand next time.

Toothbrushes
Change your toothbrush -- or if you have an electronic toothbrush, swap out the head -- every three to four months, advises the American Dental Association. That's when bristles start to wear down and aren't as effective at removing cavity-causing plaque. It's also a good idea to toss your toothbrush earlier than that if you've been sick, if you're more susceptible to infection or if the bristles become frayed.

posted by: Kathy Keene 6 month(s) ago Comment On This Post


Secrets for a Long, Happy Marriage

Wednesday, Feb, 26 2014


How do people stay married for 40, 50 and 60 years or more? Turns out, they know something the rest of us don't. Those secrets were revealed to bachelors Matthew Boggs and Jason Miller, who traveled 12,000 miles around the United States to talk to couples they dubbed the "Marriage Masters" -- people who had been married four decades or more. The men, who authored the book "Project Everylasting," shared the seven secrets for a long and happy marriage:

1. Divorce? Never.
Translation: Commitment is king. Couples who stay married a lifetime enter their marriage with the mindset that divorce is not an option. So when arguments, disagreements and other issues arise, they learn to work them out and don't run away. The only deal breakers are the three A's: addiction, adultery and abuse.

2. There's no such thing as a perfect marriage, only perfect moments.
It takes work to create a great marriage. As one wife said, "Whoever said being soul mates was going to be easy?" And her husband of 52 years added, "Marriage is a bed of roses--thorns and all."

3. Unpack the gunnysack.
Translation: Don't be afraid to fight. Say what is on your mind. It's the unexpressed frustrations that will cause more problems in the long run as they turn into resentments that will eat away at your marriage. Those who have been married for decades advise "unpack the gunnysack" by opening up the lines of communication.

4. Never stop dating.
It's not just the quality of time you spend together; it's also the quantity that counts. Keep the romance burning by stoking the fire. Go out on dates, take getaway weekends and long vacations with just the two of you.

5. Love is a four-letter word spelled G-I-V-E.
Be selfless. Marriage is not 50/50. It's 60/40. You give 60 and take 40. And that goes for both of you.

6. Join the CMAT Club (Can't Miss A Thing).
Life is short, so enjoy every minute of it. It's easy to get caught in the day-to-day busyness of life and in the process take your spouse for granted. Life is an adventure and all too soon it will end. So relish your sweetheart's presence now.

7. The discipline of respect.
You can have respect without love, but you can't have love without respect. According to all those interviewed, the No. 1 secret for a thriving, everlasting marriage is respect. When you respect your partner and your partner respects you, everything else flows into place: trust, connection, authenticity and love.

posted by: Kathy Keene 7 month(s) ago Comment On This Post


The Color You Wear the Most Reveals Personality

Friday, Jan, 31 2014

When it comes to self-expression, color is primary.  To determine our color, just open your closet door -- it's the single shade you wear the most.

*  Orange -- Positives:  You are nurturing, outgoing, creative, practical and competent.
                    Negatives:  Competitive, restless.  Off with orange when you feel confused.

*  Brown --   Positives:  Honest and down-to-earth.   You prefer a structured lifestyle.
                    Negatives:  You may avoid problems.  Down with brown if you need a lift.

*  Green --    Positives  You are benevolent and humanistic with a keen eye for detail.
                     Negatives:  Overly cautious, untrusting.  Give up green when you're indecisive.

*  Red --       Positives:  You are physically active and highly motivated - a natural leader.
                     Negatives:  Short-tempered, impulsive.  Run from red when you're feeling tense.

*  White --    Positives:  You are positive, well-balanced and eternally optimistic.
                     Negatives: You may isolate yourself.  White's out when you feel lonely.

*  Blue --       Positives  You are an intelligent achiever who feels deeply.
                      Negatives:  You over-react to extroverts.  Bag blue when you're feeling blue.

*  Purple --    Positives  You are sensitive and intuitive and have high aspirations.
                      Negatives:  Arrogant, rude, impatient.  Prohibit purple when you feel used.

*  Yellow --    Positives:  You are an interesting, aspiring, cope-with-anything individual.
                      Negatives  You may worry too much.  Yellow's a lemon if you feel vulnerable.

*  Black --     Positives:  You are strong-willed, disciplined and independent.
                     Negatives  You may lack confidence.  Ban black when  you need to mingle.

posted by: Kathy Keene 8 month(s) ago Comment On This Post


Fable of the Porcupine

Wednesday, Jan, 29 2014



It was the coldest winter ever – many animals died because of the cold.  The porcupines, realizing the situation, decided to group together.  This way they covered and protected themselves; but the quills of each one wounded their closest companions even though they gave off heat to each other.    After awhile they decided to distance themselves one from the other and they began to die, alone and frozen.  So they had to make a choice:  either accept the quills of their companions or disappear from the Earth.  Wisely, they decided to go back to being together.  This way they leaned to live with the little wounds that were caused by the close relationship with their companion, but the most important part of it, was the heat that came from the others.  This way they were able to survive.

Moral of the Story:

The best relationship is not the one that brings together perfect people, but the best is when each individual learns to live with the imperfections of others and can admire the other person’s good qualities.

posted by: Kathy Keene 8 month(s) ago Comment On This Post


Signs You Need More Sleep

Monday, Jan, 27 2014


If eight hours of sleep a night is nothing more than a dream,  you may be sufferng from a sleep deficit.
Five signs you need more sleep, according to Prevention magazine:
1.  Simple decisions stump you.
You have trouble making the simplest decisions - such as what to make for dinner or which TV show to watch.
2.  You're still hungry after eating all day.
When  you don't get enough sleep, your body physicaly rebels.  Blood sugar levels can be disrupted, which also causes a disruption in  two appetite-controlling hormones:  leptin, a hormone that curbs  your appetite is decreaed, while ghrelin, a hormone that stimulates  your appetite, is increased.  Your body is seeking a quick pick-me-up so you will crave foods made of simpe carbohydrates and sugars.
3.  You keep coming down with colds.
People who are not sleeping enough are more vulnerable to infections and have a weaker immune system than those who are well rested.
4.  Weird things make  you cry.
If a song on  your iPod or a TV commercial can bring you to tears, it's probably not PMS.  Too little sleep can leave  you emotionally volatile and unable to temper your emotions.
5.  You've become a klutz.
Drop things?  Trip much?  There is scientific evidence that those who are sleep deprived have slower and less precise motor skills, because beng sleepy throws off your balance and depth perception.

posted by: Kathy Keene 8 month(s) ago Comment On This Post


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