- Regular hot baths could provide many of the same benefits as exercise, a study suggests.
- Researchers compared hot baths and saunas with moderate cycling, and found similar physiological responses.
- However, baths won’t lead to fat loss, muscle gain, or improved stamina.
- A hot bath could provide many of the same benefits as low-intensity aerobic exercise, researchers have found.
Regular baths have previously been linked to a lower the risk of cardiovascular disease, as Insider’s Samantha Crozier reported. A new mini-review by the University of Coventry suggests they provide further benefits of moderate exercise, too.
After a few minutes in a hot bath or sauna, you feel a pleasant relaxing sensation, then your heart rate rises and you feel hot and sweaty – similar sensations to those when walking, jogging, or cycling.
Researchers compared the physiological responses between spending equal amounts of time in a hot tub and moderate intensity cycling.
They assessed 50 studies, both epidemiological (which have large numbers of people, looking for patterns) and laboratory-based (which look at detailed physiology).
Study author Tom Cullen told Insider that all existing laboratory studies for heat therapy are small, and there were very few studies directly comparing exercise and use of hot tubs, baths, and saunas. “We are really quite early on in the phase of research with really only a proof of concept and no large scale clinical trials,” Cullen said.
However, he said there was enough for them to draw some conclusions.
They found that core body temperature and heart rate increases were comparable for both groups, and ultrasound scans of the arteries found similar improvements in blood flow, blood pressure, and glucose levels.
The cycling, however, did also lead to more energy expenditure (or, calorie-burning), while the bath did not.
Baths won’t help you lose fat or build muscle
Despite the study’s findings, baths don’t provide the countless benefits of exercise, and it’s worth noting that you may need to sit in a hot tub at around 40C (104F) for an hour to experience the results of the study, which could lead to dizziness and dehydration.
Hot bathing won’t help you change your body composition by building muscle and burning fat, it won’t boost your bone density, and it won’t lead to improvements in endurance, strength, or mobility.
“Using hot baths or saunas shouldn’t be considered as a substitute for exercise,” Cullen’s fellow study author Amy Harwood wrote for The Conversation. “But it can mimic some of the health benefits – and we think that when used in conjunction with exercise, it can give rise to greater health.”
Hot baths can be beneficial complements to a healthy exercise regime by reducing inflammation and helping muscles recover Harwood said.
Heat therapy has also been shown to offer some of the same antidepressant benefits as exercise, particularly if there is a social aspect such as in Finnish sauna culture.
Doing both regular exercise and frequent bathing is the best option, Harwood said.
Article by firstname.lastname@example.org (Rachel Hosie) for Insider©
Can you see yourself in one of these cute black and white swimsuits this summer? Of course you can. Dream it and believe it !
© Boston Proper
This one snuck in here by accident. Think I’ll keep it in.
Enjoy, and dream on !
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Cleanliness is next to godliness, or so the expression goes. But how diligent are we really about our self-maintenance? If we’re going by a report in The New York Times, countless Americans have thrown in the towel on bathing regularly over the course of the last year. Now, that probably doesn’t seem like a huge deal—and an argument could be made that showering a bit less may actually be better for your health—but it’s simply a fact that there are some parts of your body you really must clean every day, and specifically at the end of every day.
“Showering in the evening is better for your skin health for a number of reasons,” as cosmetic doctor Rekha Tailor, MD, recently explained Express. “In doing this, it removes the dirt from the air which includes germs, pollution and dust which can gather during the day, as well as sweat which accumulates. By showering at night, you are cleansing your skin of these before you go to sleep, thus enabling it to properly regenerate overnight.”
Got it? Excellent. Now read on for the parts of your body you should be scrubbing every day.
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1. Your Feet
According to Tom Biernacki, PDM, a podiatrist and board-certified foot and ankle surgeon, “foot odor and foot fungus can only survive if there is dead skin or sweaty skin on your feet.” Do you know how to get rid of those things? Give them a good wash!
Now, you’re doing this for reasons beyond simply not smelling. If left untended, foot and toenail fungus is likely to lead to athlete’s foot or infect your nails, which may require surgery to remove them if they get seriously infected.
Be sure to really scrub your feet and don’t just expose them to a little hot water. “We may miss out the part between our toes and under the nails and fungus can form, resulting in fungal infections,” says Chris Airey, MD, the medical director at Optimale as well as a practicing physician with the NHS. “It’s also important to keep the heel and pads of the toes moisturized or painful cracks may form.”
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2. Behind Your Ears
Airey explains that not cleaning behind your ears regularly can result in “infections or seborrheic dermatitis, or even just a bad smell.” You’d think this would get noticed before it became a problem, but many people tend to neglect this out-of-sight area.
“Behind your ears you have skin folds in addition to a high amount of sebaceous glands,” explains Sandra El Hajj, MD, a naturopathic medical doctor specializing in preventive health. “These glands can collect sweat while secreting sebum. This accumulation may lead to the accumulation of bacteria that may create a cheese-like smell. All these secretions are normal; however, it is your responsibility to keep that area cleansed on a daily basis.”
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3. Your Tongue
“Clean your tongue everyday when you brush,” urges William L. Balanoff, science consultant for Abova Health, executive clinical director of Orthodontic Care of Georgia and the CEO of Oral Care Perfected. “Everyone knows to brush and floss their teeth everyday but most patients never clean or scrape their tongue.”
Balanoff adds that your tongue is a source of bad breath and can also be a breeding ground for bacteria. A buildup of this bacteria can result in gingivitis, discoloration, or even duller taste buds. “Most toothbrushes have a tongue cleaner on the backside of the brush,” says Balanoff. “Use it regularly to avoid bad breath and promote a cleaner, healthier mouth.”
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4. Under Your Arms
Like your feet, you can tell pretty quickly when your armpits are in need of a wash. But it’s also an area where the skin is sensitive and more prone to ingrown hairs and potential infection. Waqas Ahmad Buttar, MD, a family physician at Sachet Infusions, points out that armpits are among the areas of the body “where most of the pathogens attack due to increased sweating. There is also the growth of hair in the groin and armpits, which, when combined with sweating in hot, humid weather, may cause infections.”
While deodorant may help control issue around unwanted smells, to really ensure your body is healthy and free from damaging bacteria, it’s best to reach for the bar of soap.
Article by Alex Daniel for EatThis,NotThat
© Washington Examiner/Pool Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas
Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said Friday that the U.S. is taking “a very close look” at vaccine passports for international travel.
Speaking on ABC’s “Good Morning America,” Mayorkas was asked about the possibility of vaccine passports for traveling into or out of the U.S.
“We’re taking very close look at that,” Mayorkas said.
“You know one of our principles that has guided us throughout this pandemic is the value of diversity, equity and inclusion, and making sure that any passport that we provide for vaccinations is accessible to all and that no one is disenfranchised,” he said.
Vaccine passports have become a flashpoint for debate amid the U.S.’s vaccination efforts. Several GOP-led states have banned local governments and businesses from requiring such proof, arguing that they infringe on the personal right to choose to get vaccinated.
The White House has also said there would be no federal mandate for proof of COVID-19 vaccinations.
Asked about Mayorkas’ comments, a DHS Spokesperson clarified to The Hill that he was talking about making sure that Americans meet travel requirements for other countries.
“We’ve always said we’re looking at how we can ensure Americans traveling abroad have a quick and easy way to enter other countries,” the spokesperson said. “That’s what the Secretary was referring to; ensuring that all U.S. travelers will be able to easily meet any anticipated foreign country entry requirements.”
“There will be no federal vaccinations database and no federal mandate requiring everyone to obtain a single vaccination credential,” the spokesperson continued.
The comment comes as several countries reopen their borders for international travel. The Associated Press reported Wednesday that that the European Union and some Asian countries are scrambling to develop passports that users could use from phone apps.
Mayorkas still encouraged Americans to get vaccinated.
“We’ve got vaccination centers everywhere – no more than a few miles from everyone’s homes. And it’s so important to get that vaccine, make one safe, make one’s loved ones and friends safe around you,” he said.
Article by Jordan Williams for The Hill©
More than 4.5 million Americans have been diagnosed with chronic liver disease, and the condition is associated with over 44,000 deaths in the U.S. each year. It’s not just a genetic predisposition to liver health issues or bad luck that causes this chronic ailment, however—in many cases, what you eat and drink could be causing liver damage over time. If you want to keep this vital organ healthy and avoid serious illness, read on to discover which of your eating habits could be contributing to liver damage, according to experts.
1. Eating sugary foods
If dessert’s part of your daily routine, you may find your liver health flagging over time. Among the biggest risk factors for Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD) is a “high intake of simple sugars,” says IdealFit partner dietitian nutritionist Andrea Grange, RD. “Simple carbohydrates, especially fructose, have been linked to NAFLD,” she explains.
2. Drinking soda
Drinking soda isn’t just bad for your waistline—it can cause serious damage to your liver, too.
“Soft drinks and sodas often contain high levels of the sweetener high fructose corn syrup. Unlike glucose which can be used for energy, fructose has to first be processed by the liver before it can be used by the body,” explains Kylie Ivanir, MS, RD, founder of Within Nutrition.
“When excess fructose reaches the liver, it is used to create fat. Over time, this can result in too much fat being stored in the liver cells, which can result in liver inflammation and damage,” Ivanir explains.
3. Eating a high-fat diet
That high-fat meal plan you’ve been adhering to may help you shed a few pounds, but that weight loss may be coming at the expense of your liver health.
“Low-carb, high-fat diets can be damaging to the liver, among other organs required to filter and process nutrients,” says Trista Best, MS, RD, a registered dietitian at Balance One Supplements.
“High-fat diets can create a type of overload where excess fat may be deposited into the liver rather than filtered out.” Over time, Best says, this may lead to the development of NAFLD.
4. Cooking with vegetable oil
Vegetable oil may sound healthy, but it can be a major contributor to poor liver health over time.
“Refined vegetable oils high in omega-6 fatty acids and cooking with fats beyond the smoking point” can cause chronic inflammation that potentially leads to NAFLD, says Tina Marinaccio, MS, RD, CPT, an integrative culinary registered dietitian nutritionist with Health Dynamics LLC.
5. Drinking alcohol
Drinking alcohol can cause serious liver health issues over time—and it doesn’t take much to cause damage.
“Excess alcohol over time leads to excessive liver inflammation, which can lead to permanent scarring,” says Taylor Graber, MD, owner of ASAP IVs.
“As this scarring becomes worse, liver function becomes impaired as the condition approaches cirrhosis and ultimately liver failure.”
However, the threshold for “excess” consumption may be lower than you expect. “Drinking more than 1-2 alcoholic beverages per day will lead to accumulation of a toxic by-product called acetaldehyde. This is very damaging to your liver cells and over time can lead to cirrhosis,” says Sanjiv Lakhia, DO, a physician with Lakhia Integrative Health.
Article by Sarah Crow. Photo credit: EatThis,NotThat.com
Does the DASH diet have hidden health effects?
Researchers from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center examined three cardiovascular indicators to determine if — and how — diet directly impacts cardiac health. They analyzed blood samples from clinical-trial participants who stuck to strict dietary regimens and found that the DASH diet, already shown to lower blood pressure, also reduces inflammation.
The conclusion, published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, also found that the DASH diet — whether or not it’s adhered to in conjunction with a low-sodium diet — reduces heart injury and strain. The researchers analyzed stored specimens from 412 participants conducted at four medical centers in the U.S. between 1997 and 1999.
The DASH diet, short for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, recommends fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains, poultry, fish and low-fat dairy products, while restricting salt, red meat, sweets and sugar-sweetened beverages.
Among trial participants on the DASH diet, biomarkers linked to cardiac damage and inflammation fell by 18% and 13%, respectively. Participants combining the DASH diet with reduced-sodium behavior had the most pronounced reductions in both cardiac injury and stress — 20% and 23%, respectively — although inflammation was not significantly impacted.
“Our study represents some of the strongest evidence that diet directly impacts cardiac damage, and our findings show that dietary interventions can improve cardiovascular risk factors in a relatively short time period,” said Stephen Juraschek, an assistant professor of medicine at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School.
“The data reinforce the importance of a lifestyle that includes a reduced-sodium, DASH diet rich in fruits, vegetables and whole grains to minimize cardiac damage over time,” said Juraschek, a co-author on the study.
U.S. News and World Report named the DASH diet the No. 2 diet for 2021 in a tie with the Flexitarian diet, with the Mediterranean diet taking first place.
The Mediterranean diet focuses on olive oil rich in healthy omega-3 fatty acids, fruits and vegetables, whole grains and lean protein like fish and chicken, with the occasional piece of red meat. It also emphasizes beans, nuts, legumes, and flavorful herbs and spices, as well as cheese, yogurt and a glass of red wine in moderation.
Unlike the Mediterranean diet, the DASH diet emphasizes fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy products and nuts while limiting saturated fats, total fat, cholesterol, red meat, sweets and sugar-containing beverages, Juraschek and his co-authors said. It was developed in the 1990s with the specific goal of lowering blood pressure, and has been shown to help lower the chances of stroke and diabetes.
Blood pressure is one of the best predictors of cardiovascular health, and cardiovascular disease is the No. 1 killer of people in the U.S. Previous research also suggested that a lack of sleep may offer one possible explanation for why sleep problems have been shown to increase the risk of heart attack, stroke and even death from cardiovascular disease.
Article by Quentin Fottrell for Market Watch©
by The Editors of delish
Seasoned gardeners know that a diverse mix of plants makes for a healthy and beautiful garden. Many believe that certain plant combinations have extraordinary (even mysterious) powers to help each other grow. Scientific study of the process, called companion planting, has confirmed that some combinations have real benefits unique to those pairings.
© Willowpix – Getty Images Companion planting uses one species’ advantages to help another. Check out these 13 power pairs!
Companions help each other grow and use garden space efficiently. Tall plants, for example, provide shade for sun-sensitive shorter plants. Vines can cover the ground while tall stalks grow skywards, allowing two plants to occupy the same patch. Some couplings also prevent pest problems. Plants can repel harmful organisms or lure the bad bugs away from more delicate species.
These combinations of plants do way better, together:
Roses and Garlic
Gardeners have been planting garlic with roses for eons since the bulbs can help to repel rose pests. Garlic chives are probably just as repellent, and their small purple or white flowers in late spring look great with rose flowers and foliage.
Marigolds and Melons
Certain marigold varieties control nematodes in the roots of melon without using chemical treatments.
Tomatoes and Cabbage
Tomatoes repel diamondback moth larvae, which can chew large holes in cabbage leaves.
Cucumbers and Nasturtiums
The nasturtium’s vining stems make them a great companion rambling among your growing cucumbers and squash plants, suggests Sally Jean Cunningham, master gardener and author of Great Garden Companions. Nasturtiums reputedly repel cucumber beetles, but they can also serve as a habitat for predatory insects like spiders and ground beetles.
Peppers and Pigweed
Leafminers preferred both pigweed (also called amaranthus) and ragweed to pepper plants in a study at the Coastal Plains Experiment Station in Tifton, Georgia. Just be careful to remove the flowers before the weeds set seed.
Cabbage and Dill
“Dill is a great companion for cabbage family plants, such as broccoli and brussels sprouts,” Cunningham says. The cabbages support the floppy dill, while the dill attracts the helpful wasps that control cabbage worms and other pests.
Corn and Beans
The beans attract beneficial insects that prey on corn pests such as leafhoppers, fall armyworms, and leaf beetles. The vines can also climb up the corn stalks.
Lettuce and Tall Flowers
Nicotiana (flowering tobacco) and cleome (spider flower) give lettuce the light shade it grows best in.
Radishes and Spinach
Planting radishes among your spinach will draw leafminers away from the healthy greens. The damage the leafminers do to radish leaves doesn’t prevent the radishes from growing nicely underground.
Potatoes and Sweet Alyssum
The sweet alyssum has tiny flowers that attract delicate beneficial insects, such as predatory wasps. Plant sweet alyssum alongside bushy crops like potatoes, or let it spread to form a living ground cover under arching plants like broccoli. Bonus: The alyssum’s sweet fragrance will scent your garden all summer long.
Cauliflower and Dwarf Zinnias
The nectar from the dwarf zinnias lures ladybugs and other predators that help protect cauliflower.
Collards and Catnip
Studies have found that planting catnip alongside collards reduces flea-beetle damage on the collards. The fragrant plant may also help repel mosquitoes.
Strawberries and Love-In-A-Mist
Tall, blue-flowered love-in-a-mist (Nigella damascena) “looks wonderful planted in the center of a wide row of strawberries,” Cunningham says.
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Whether you’re cooking, eating, or serving, a lot of mess can go down in the kitchen. And when it’s time to sweep away crumbs or wipe up spills on your counter, you probably grab whatever is closest to clean up the mess without thinking twice. Unfortunately, that could be causing serious problems. In fact, experts say that there’s one common item you should never clean your kitchen counters with, as it may spread dangerous bacteria around the room. Read on to find out how you could be doing more harm than good when cleaning up your kitchen.
You should never clean your kitchen counters with used dish towels.
When it comes to cleaning your kitchen countertops, avoid reaching for your trusty dish towel to do so. According to Towel Supercenter, dish towels can easily be exposed to dangerous bacteria, so using them for different purposes—like cleaning your kitchen counters—can just spread that bacteria around. While reusable dish towels may seem convenient, you might want to go with a different option for your safety.
“In some scenarios, it may be safest to reach for a disposable paper towel,” the experts at Towel Supercenter explain on their website. “Tossing the paper towel after cleaning the mess helps decrease your chances of spreading bacteria, especially if you don’t throw your reusable towel into the kitchen wash right away.”
Spreading bacteria in the kitchen can give you food poisoning.
Researchers from the University of Mauritius released a study in 2018 describing the health dangers of dish towels. After culturing bacteria from 100 dish towels used for a month, they found that 49 percent of them collected bacterial growth such as E.coli, Enterococcus species, and Staphylococcus aureus. And towels used for more than one purpose—like wiping utensils and cleaning countertops—had a higher bacterial count than towels that were only used for one activity. “Those are bacteria that are concerns for foodborne illnesses,” Paul Dawson, PhD, a food scientist and professor in the College of Agriculture, Forestry and Life Sciences at Clemson University, explained to CNN.
Common symptoms of food poisoning include upset stomach, stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and fever, and can be anywhere from mild to very serious, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). If you experience bloody diarrhea, high fever, frequent vomiting, signs of dehydration, or diarrhea that lasts more than three days, you should see a doctor immediately, as food poisoning can result in long-term health problems or even death, per the CDC.
More than half of people admit to cleaning their countertops with dish towels.
A March 2021 Bounty survey of cleaning behaviors among 2,000 people in the U.S. found that 58 percent of respondents use dish towels to clean up messes or spills on their kitchen counters. And despite 18 percent of respondents saying they are aware that kitchen dish towels are one of the dirtiest items in the house, 41 percent still said they will reuse a dish towel more than five times before washing it.
“Used dishcloths can provide a flourishing environment for bacteria,” Jessica Rivera, MS, an infectious disease expert, said in statement accompanying the survey. “And what many do not realize is, when you wipe up a mess or dry your hands with a used, reusable cloth, you may be helping to spread bacteria.”
You should be changing and washing your dish towels frequently.
Only 11 percent of people in the U.S. say they replace or clean their kitchen hand towel more than once a week, according to the survey. But the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) acknowledges that kitchen dish cloths are “potential sources of bacteria,” which means they should be changed and washed more frequently than that.
Of course, how frequently each household should be washing their dish towels depends on a few different factors, per the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. This includes how often they are used and what they’re used for in the kitchen. If your towel is used to clean up anything that can contribute to bacteria growth, like raw meat, poultry, or seafood juices, it should be washed and replaced with a new one immediately. The USDA recommends that you wash dish towels in the hot cycle of your washing machine.
Directions: Complete the sentence using the word or set of words for each blank that best fits the meaning of the sentence as a whole. Click to begin.