Grab Bag Germ-y-nation:
Since most of us will be
mauled malled sometime this holiday season, best to keep up with frequent hand washing when out in public spaces…. and a bottle of hand sanitizer might be in order. Here are some of the most common places we are likely to encounter germs en masse:
• An ATM machine may carry as many germs as a toilet seat. (Makes credit cards a bit more attractive, no?) This study was sponsored by a hand sanitizer manufacturer, but it does make sense.
• According to Univ. of Arizona research, about 20% of escalator handrails had traces of blood, sweat or urine, all of which can carry flu viruses. So don’t touch… but don’t trip!
• Journal of Environmental Health reports 25% of soap dispensers in public restrooms had fecal bacteria and other germs on them. Ugh. OK… but wouldn’t you be washing these away after you’ve used the dispenser? Who would touch the soap dispenser after washing their hands? Not SO concerned about this one.
• International Journal of Food Microbiology showed nearly 50% of soft drink dispensers contained a type of bacteria found in feces. But we knew soft drinks weren’t good for us, now didn’t we? Buy bottled beverages (water, water, water, yes?) instead.
And as posted previously, do be diligent about cleaning your cell phone and computer keyboard.
Here’s to a flu season with no flu for you.
Grab Bag ‘Scrip Shopper:
I’ve got a humdinger of a new health plan idea… let’s have a plan where we pay something close to affordable for prescriptions drugs.
Like that’s going to happen.
But ya know what? The internet just keeps getting bigger and better. And people are designing sites that try to help…
Like this one:
Compare prescription prices for your Rx’s in your neighborhood and in cyberspace, and find the lowest cost (you must then calculate what your specific insurance will cover for that medication).
Simple… yet so helpful.
In the future, should you need to find it again, this site will be linked under Information in the right hand column of this page 🙂
Grab Bag Slay-the-Sloth TV Strategy:
Truthfully, this coming holiday season, with loads of football games, movies and TV specials lined up for your viewing pleasure, this is the best time to implement a very simple little health plan that we can then, hopefully, keep up all year. Here’s how it works…
A regular one-hour TV show has roughly 25 minutes of ad time. So… the deal is… every time an ad comes on, you get up and walk around, or just walk in place. Heck, why not go take care of “mini chores”, just as long as you keep marching in place or walking.
At the end of a one-hour show, you will have walked roughly a mile and burned 150 calories, thanks to the sponsors expensive ad time.
If you throw in some calisthenics and/or jog in place, the benefits increase. Did your team just score? A victory lap around the house is called for. Just don’t head to the kitchen for beer and chips every time 🙂
This can “ad” up (pun intended). The average American watches 36 hours of TV every week. Have you seen the average American? Who wants to be THAT guy?
Grab Bag Smart-‘Stat:
Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t think so… I’m not happy with my thermostats. There. I said it.
Enter The Learning Thermostat. Designed by a former Apple engineer, this gorgeous looking thing (definitely Apple-esque) learns your habits and takes off on its own when it gets to know you and your house, keeping you comfortable and saving you money and the planet’s energy.
Best news… there’s an app for it to control it when you’re away from home and want to warm up or cool down the casa before you arrive.
Grab Bag Brain Game:
Dr. Gary Small from UCLA’s Longevity Center recommends the following exercise to awaken dormant neural connections in the brain, a goal we need to keep as a high priority:
With pen and paper in hand, close your eyes and practice writing your name. When you get it down perfectly, start practicing with your other, non-dominant hand.
Dr. Small says that this exercise activates connections in our brain help to slow age-related cognitive decline.
So just remembering your name is no longer enough 🙂
Grab Bag Funny Stuff:
Thinking about getting the new iPhone for Christmas? iPhone 4S users are discovering new ways to use Siri voice control on their iPhones. WARNING…. “colorful” language used in this video.