Beautiful Sunset behind a beautiful fire on a beach in Oregon

Fire Pits, Bonfires and Your Lungs: 7 Safety Tips

Planning to gather friends or family around a crackling bonfire or cozy fire pit? Absorb the atmosphere — but not the smoke. Wood smoke contains millions of tiny particles. When you breathe in smoke, the particles can get deep into your respiratory system. You’ve likely experienced the results — stinging eyes, runny nose and coughing. These symptoms are short-term for most people. But for those with underlying respiratory illnesses, inhaling smoke is dangerous. Here’s how to protect your lungs and make your next fire safer, says Pulmonary Function Lab Director Bohdan Pichurko, MD. Fires and your health Most people can enjoy an outdoor fire safely…

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5 Surprising Things Causing Back Pain

If you are among the tens of millions of people who suffer from back pain, it’s likely you’ve already sought treatment at some point. If your pain came back (or perhaps never went away), it’s possible your back pain could be the result of an unexpected source. While back pain is frequently caused by an injury or simply by prolonged overuse, in many cases, the exact cause of an individual’s back pain can be difficult to determine. Sometimes, the root cause can be something unexpected and not typically associated with back pain. In other cases, these factors might make back…

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5 Ways to Use the Spring Season to be More Productive

Springtime is here! Fresh air is pouring through our windows and sunlight is sticking around later into the evening. For many, spring means wiping away the sleepiness of winter and a renewed jolt of energy. We may feel more focused, energized and alert this time of year—after all, it’s called “spring cleaning” for a reason! The spring season may naturally give way to increased energy, but sometimes we might need a little kick to get things started and keep our spirit in motion. There are ways we can utilize the powerful force of rebirth, renewal and regeneration that spring sends…

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Keep Your Hands Looking Young: 6 Do’s and Don’ts

Considering the work they do, it’s no wonder our hands seem to age faster than the rest of our bodies. But there are several things you can do (and a few you shouldn’t do) to keep your hands looking young. Most of us have a skincare regimen for our faces, but we often forget about our hands, says hand and cosmetic surgeon Bryan Michelow, MD. And that’s a mistake for two reasons — nature and nurture, he says. What happens as your hands age “As we age, our skin thins and the fat in the back of our hands…

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15 Traits of Emotionally Wealthy People

The creation of an extraordinary life takes resilience. The most desired emotion people seek is happiness. Those who have emotional strength achieve true happiness and lasting success, not as an event but as a journey. The mentally tough understand that emotions are the drivers of motivation, and hold the awareness of how tough it can be to harness emotion. Emotions can move us in the wrong direction when they are attached to adrenaline, as emotions often are. For this reason, emotional strength is a necessity for happiness and success. 1. Confidence. Emotionally wealthy people are sure of their personal value and do not feel the…

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#eatclean: How Instagram is fueling the healthy-living brand boom

Planning to try that hot new aqua-yoga class or eyeing a subscription to that organic food delivery service? Chances are you first discovered it on Instagram, just like Melody Lowe, an Austin-based copywriter, who learned about the Whole30 diet on the platform. “One of the hardest things is planning your meals,” said Lowe. “But Whole30 is great, the community is so engaged, and you never run out of ideas.” The rise of Instagram has prompted some of the biggest shifts in the health and fitness industry in recent years, fueling a legion of new brands from meal plans like Whole30 and delivery services like…

Boy playing with his dog outdoors,enjoying together.

Having a Dog Around Can Protect Kids From Allergies and Obesity

“Take your probiotic, wash your hands regularly, and cuddle with your dog daily.” Wouldn’t it be great if this were actual preventative medicine advice? Well, dog lovers—you have permission to get excited. New research is showing how early exposure to dogs can lead to an increase in helpful microbes that help fight off allergies and prevent obesity later in life. The things to which we are exposed when we’re infants can greatly affect the types of immunities we build up in our systems for later. A study from the University of Alberta showed how babies who came from homes with…

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Fashion Trends Cause Back Pain

They say beauty is pain, but some of your favorite wardrobe items like skinny jeans, heels and oversized bags could cause more back pain than you realize. A new study by the British Chiropractic Association polled 1,064 women ,and nearly three-fourths of those women reported back pain from fashion items. One local chiropractor has seen this issue far too many times. “We see that all the time, pretty much on a daily basis, actually,” Dr. Craig Hennie of Homberg Chiropractic said. “Heels are really bad, they’re really hard on the back. Backpacks are the norm for students, they should never really weigh…

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Can You Outgrow Hay Fever or Other Allergies?

If you have allergies, you know they can make you miserable. But are they a problem for life, or can you grow out of them? Allergist/immunologist Lily Pien, MD, answers common questions about how allergies work, the importance of testing and what you need to know before choosing a doctor. How do allergies work on your body? Allergies are a common problem that researchers believe affect 50 million people in the United States. They happen when your immune system reacts to a foreign substance in your body. Common triggers include pollen, dust mites, mold, animal dander, insect stings, drugs and food. In some cases, your body sees the substance as a threat and makes immunoglobulin E…

Young Woman Suffering From Backache While Calculating Tax At Desk

Back Pain in Adults

What Is It? Back pain can be a symptom of many different illnesses and conditions. The main cause of the pain can be a problem with the back itself or by a problem in another part of the body. In many cases, doctors can’t find a cause for the pain. When a cause is found, common explanations include: Stress or injury involving the back muscles, including back sprain or strain; chronic overload of back muscles caused by obesity; and short term overload of back muscles caused by any unusual stress, such as lifting or pregnancy Disease or injury involving the back bones…