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Swimming is often promoted as good aerobic exercise for seniors because it is easy on the joints. Now a small study suggests that it can also help lower blood pressure. Researchers at the University of Texas at Austin recruited 43 men and women (average age 60), all of whom had high blood pressure or pre-hypertension. […]

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Adjective: Knee-jerk (NEE-jerk) Definition: Readily predictable, automatic; also, reacting in a readily predictable way. Sample sentence: After counting the money and realizing that $100 was missing, the manager’s knee-jerk response was to fire the clerk.

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If you’re overweight or obese, chances are that you’re at increased risk for low back pain due to spinal disc degeneration. Results of a large study in southern China, which included nearly 2,600 adults (age 21 and older) demonstrates the risks to the discs of carrying excess weight. The participants, from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds, were […]

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Adjective: Hebdomadal (heb-DAH-muh-dul) Definition: Occurring, appearing or done every week. Sample sentence: Charles made room in his schedule for hebdomadal visits with his math tutor throughout the semester.

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Sleep may reinforce the negative emotions aroused by witnessing something scary or traumatic. As a result of “sleeping it off,” you may be just as upset reviewing images of the event as you were in the first place. You can even have vivid flashbacks. But by staying awake after seeing, for instance, an accident or […]

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Adjective: Empirical (im-PEER-uh-kul) Definition: 1. Originating in or based on observation or experience. 2. Relying on observation or experience alone, often without due regard for system and theory. 3. Capable of being verified or disproved by observation or experiment. Sample sentence: The students have collected plenty of empirical data from their experiences.

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The more we learn about edible plants – a category that includes nuts and cocoa as well as fruits and vegetables – the healthier they look for us. Results from a large, new study shows that flavonoids, the natural, heart-protective substances found in plants, were associated with a lower risk of heart attack and stroke […]

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Take a close look at your fingernails. Are they strong and healthy looking? Or do you see ridges, dents, or areas of unusual color or shape? Many less than desirable nail conditions can be avoided through proper fingernail care. Do: 1. Keep your fingernails dry and clean. This prevents bacteria, fungi and other organisms from […]

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Adjective: Extemporaneous (ek-stem-puh-RAY-nee-us) Definition: 1. Composed, performed, or uttered on the spur of the moment: impromptu 2. Provided, made, or put to use as an expedient: makeshift Sample sentence: A group of revelers at the pub broke into an extempraneous rendition of “When Irish Eyes Are Smiling.”

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In the cold winter months it’s tempting to pull out the heating pads and electric blankets to help keep warm and alleviate minor discomforts. But are they safe? Heating pads, used correctly to create moist heat, can provide temporary relief from mild aches and pains such as pulled muscles, menstrual cramps, and stiff joints. However […]

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