Don't Believe These 7 Health Myths

Don't Believe These 7 Health Myths

Common health advice and "facts" that aren't really true.

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Popular health myths: It may be a shock to some people, but I have to tell you this stunning fact: everything you read on the internet is not always true! In our age of fake news, let's examine a few of the popular myths that you've been told are facts:

1. Flouride in Water is Bad:

There's been an uprising in certain corners of the internet against flouride in public tap water. Somehow it's gotten a bad rap as being unhealthy, or some kind of tool of government mind control. Flouride helps strengthen your teeth, and has a track record of reducing cavities for decades. It's a big reason why our generation has fewer cavities than our grandparents. In fact, it's such a good thing that the Center for Disease Control has called it, "one of the top 10 achievements of the 20th Century." Wow, doesn't sound bad to me!

2. Vaccines Cause Autism:

Oh, boy. This online myth has probably done more harm than any other when it comes to children's health. Basically, in 1997 a British surgeon published a report claiming that vaccines increase risk of autism in children. Turns out, a lawyer looking to prove a link paid the surgeon about a half million dollars to write the report. While the report was soon discredited, the claim spread like wildfire, and thousands of parents still believe this myth. As a result, a number of conditions like measles, mumps, and rubella that should have been eradicated, have made a resurgence in the 21st Century.

3. You Only Use 10% Of Your Brain:

About 2/3 of people questioned believe the myth that we only use 10% of our brain. However, modern science and imaging confirms that we actually use the whole thing! Sure, we can learn to optimize it and make new connections, but the whole "10%" thing is crazy. Maybe it's just the people who believe everything they read that need to use their entire brain? Sorry, had to!)

4. Garlic Repels Mosquitoes

Before you gobble down a plate of scampi and march confidently into the jungle, you should know that there's no evidence to support the myth that mosquitoes hate garlic. The only thing you'll repel smelling like garlic is your friends and family! (and possibly vampires?)

5. Eggs Are Bad for Your Heart:

Eating an egg or two each day has not been shown to raise your risk of heart disease. Yes, the yellow yolks have cholesterol, but the nutrients, protein, and omega-3's in eggs more than make up for that. All things considered, eggs are a healthy addition to your diet.

6. Deodorant / Antiperspirant Causes Breast Cancer:

A number of scientists have been concerned with the idea that antiperspirants and deodorants can be absorbed through your underarm. The fear is that this may be unhealthy and increase your risk of breast cancer. However, the National Cancer Institute claims that there is no evidence that antiperspirant or deodorant increases risk of breast cancer.

7. Eating Breakfast Helps You Lose Weight:

A lot of people believe that eating a big breakfast will help you be less hungry throughout the day, and eat less. There's no evidence to support this myth, and in fact, research shows that people who skip breakfast actually consumed about 400 fewer calories per day. Popular diets like Weight Watchers have recently retooled their point system to discourage empty carbs (waffles, pancakes, toast, hash browns) in favor of fruit, which now cost zero points." So, if you're on a diet or looking to lose weight, consider a smaller, healthier meal at breakfast.

Don't Believe Everything You Read Online! Ok, that's our list of common health myths! Remember, the internet is full of fake news, so before you change your lifestyle, political views, or diet because of an article that your friends shared, do a little research on a respected website.

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The 5 Phrases Every Midwesterner Says During The Winter, At Least Once

Ope! Some phrases that everyone from the midwest has probably uttered at some point during the cold months.

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It's that time of year again that every Midwesterner dreads: winter.

The time of year where the air is so cold that it hurts your face and we get barricaded in our own homes with snow. Being from the Midwest, we have developed many sayings to describe just how we feel during this season, so I thought I'd share some of those as December is currently in full force.

1. "It wouldn't be so cold out here if it weren't for the darn wind."

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Curse you, wind! You make the weather even more bitter than it was before.

2. "Let's go drive around and look at the Christmas lights!"

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When it's so cold that we can't even stand taking a walk outside, we will drive around in the evening to look at the Christmas lights around the neighborhood. We will usually do this while drinking a hot beverage because even though we are in our cars, we are still cold.

3. "LOOK! THE SUN!"

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Usually, the sun does not hit the Midwest from the months of November-March, so when we get a day that isn't overcast, we are bound to talk about it.

4. "Only six months till summer vacation!"

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Only 200 days until we get to hit the beach and be happy again.

5. "Ope, at least we can use the oven to cook now."

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One of the few benefits of winter is getting to whip out our very best stew recipes.

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5 Ways to Use Your Smartphone to Lose Weight + Get Fit

Your iPhone can be a great tool for diet and fitness, and many of the best features and apps are free! Here's how to use your smartphone to lose weight and get in shape

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Did you know that your new iPhone is more than a million times more powerful than all of NASA's computing power in 1969? You could definitely say that the smartphone is a giant leap for mankind.

You probably rely on your smartphone for dozens of things every day, but did you know your phone can be your health and fitness coach? Some modern devices come with health tools built-in, but there are hundreds of apps you can install to tailor it to your own needs. Smartphones could be the answer to the global problem of obesity and the rising level of diseases like diabetes.

The broad range of health and fitness apps available means you can use technology to achieve whatever goal you choose. For example, a running app can be used to train and prepare for a 5k or marathon. If you want to reduce your alcohol consumption or increase the amount of fruit and vegetables in your daily diet, there are apps that can help.

The following smartphone tools can improve your fitness and help you to lose weight, and most are free.

#1. Heart rate monitors

The free Health app on an iPhone offers a range of options and ways to monitor your fitness, including a heart rate monitor. For older devices and Android smartphones, there are apps available to track your heart rate and stress levels.

Heart rate apps work using the device's built-in camera and are a convenient way of taking a heart reading without the need for a fitness tracker or other equipment. Knowing your heart rate can help you to exercise at the correct level of intensity.

Best heart rate monitor app for iPhone / Android? Try Instant Heart Rate from Azumio. ($4.99 for iPhone, free for Android)

#2. Activity monitors

Monitoring your physical activity can be very helpful if you want to improve your fitness. An app like Google Fit can track the number of steps you take in a day and be used to track your progress to a goal. Most experts suggest a minimum of 10,000 steps a day. Tracking your activity levels and BMI can motivate you to find the time to exercise, and it's rewarding to see what you're achieving.

Best activity monitor app for iPhone / Android? Try Human Activity Tracker from Mapbox

#3. Exercise reminders

If you find it hard to build exercise into your daily routine, a nudge from your smartphone may be what you need. Google's (free) Calendar app can be used to set goals like 'Run 3 miles twice a week.'

The free app will suggest times of the day you can fit this in and remind you when it's time to put your shoes on. Some apps, like MapMyRun, offer the option to become part of a virtual community where you can encourage each other and share tips and ideas for sticking to your exercise plans.

Best free exercise reminder app for iPhone / Android? Try Johnson & Johnson's Official 7 Minute Workout

#4. Mindfulness apps

As well as helping to improve your physical fitness, there are smartphone apps focussing on mental well-being. Mindfulness has become very popular over the past couple of years, and an app is a great way to experiment with some of the techniques.

Your smartphone can take you through guided meditation exercises for improving well-being and aiding relaxation. Mindfulness apps can also help you to sleep better, and this, in turn, will improve your physical health and appetite for exercise.

Best mindfulness app for iPhone/ Android? Try Insight Timer for free, or Aura for a monthly ($7.99) or annual fee.

#5. Virtual personal trainers

If you lack the motivation to stick to an exercise program but can't afford a personal trainer, a virtual coach on your smartphone could be the answer. Basic versions are free, but for more advanced personal trainer apps charge a subscription fee.

They can suggest exercises to target different areas of the body, track your progress towards goals and even play music to keep you moving. Some apps also allow you to video conference with a real personal trainer and find local groups you can exercise with.

Weight Watchers now offers personal coaching that adds unlimited phone calls and text messages to your WW Digital subscription, but it will cost you more than FreeStyle (Online) only.

Best workout apps for iPhone or Android? Try MyFitnessPal, Map My Fitness, PEAR Personal Fitness Coach, or Workout Trainer from Skimble

Weight Loss & Fitness: Also Consider Wearing a Smartwatch

Smartwatches and other wearable devices like FitBit are taking fitness apps to the next level. Although I don't like watches and wearables for email or business-related use, they can be great for health and weight loss. Think about your current exercise goals and needs, and try some apps to see how they can help. (Just try not to lose them!)

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