She Swims Safely at the Seashore (or Pool): Avoid Waterborne Diseases

Family relaxing on inflatable rafts in a swimming pool

Whether to stay in shape, relax, or just cool off, swimming is one of the best exercises around, because you work all muscle groups. Great for arthritis sufferers, you’re also buoyed by the water, which means less muscle and joint strain.

Learning how to swim through a trained and certified professional in swimming and water safety (at your own level and pace) can help replace any fear of the water with a healthy respect and love for it. The place to start is with a visit to www.redcross.org for a state-by-state list of Learn-to-Swim Providers, as well as your local beach, community center, or parks and recreation department. You’ll find classes for everyone from six months old up to adult.

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Bed Bugs: Unwelcome Bedfellows

Baby bedbug or cimex after sucked blood from skin

Bed bugs are small, (think Lincoln’s head on a penny), flat, brick-colored, wingless parasites that dine on animal and human blood. (They can survive several months at a time without a meal!) Avid travelers, they show up world-wide where people sleep, and don’t discriminate between lodgings (that includes five-star hotels — and the cleanest of homes.) Bed bugs hitch a ride and hide, which means they can stow away in luggage that you bring back home. In a bedroom, they’re known to journey more than 100 feet in one night, even though they tend to live within eight feet of where people snooze. Dirt is not so much a factor, but what they do like are areas behind wallpaper, bed frames and box springs, mattress seams, cracks, crevices, and clutter.

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Ambrosia

Fruit cocktail with coconut cubes and shaved coconut, mixed with cream cheese

Remember this cool and classic fruit-filled dessert? This luscious blast from the past breaks the mold with an updated mix of low-fat yogurt (a good source of calcium). It finishes off a meal nicely (or serves as a sweet snack!) at just 139 calories, 2 mg cholesterol, 2 g fat, 3 g protein, and 27 mg sodium, along with 26 g sugar.

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Skinny Pizza

Ingredients for tacos : various fresh organic vegetables and tortillas on rustic background

Guilt-free pizza? That’s a yes! Crispy flour tortillas hold lots of veggies, so pile them on. A little goes a long way with cheese, but you’re using fat-free and reduced-fat versions, so you can live a little. This meal inspires creativity, too — especially if you set up a pizza-making station to have your kids choose their own toppings! Use the suggested veggies here, or swap in your favorites.*

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Be on the Lookout for Cataracts

A cataract is one of several eye ailments to look out for as we age, but it’s also something that we can help prevent. This normally clear area of an eye’s lens becomes cloudy and impairs vision. While it can be present as early as birth, or shortly thereafter due to an infection acquired by the mother during pregnancy, it can also be caused by an eye injury, or post-surgery for an eye problem.

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Man Up! Focus on Men’s Health

Studies show that women are three times more likely to visit their doctors for preventive care than men. When it comes to men being mindful of their own health, guys are often guilty of avoidance because they may feel embarrassed or less “manly” if something isn’t feeling or functioning quite right. That’s even more reason for men to see their doctor for regular checkups and routine screenings.

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Smoke Alarms and Escape Plans Go Hand in Hand

Sound the alarm (the smoke alarm that is). Smoke alarms are your path to safety in the event of a house fire, because if one sounds, that’s your cue to move you and your family calmly and quickly outside, and call 9-1-1. Smoke spreads fast, and can not only incapacitate you, causing serious injury (smoke inhalation can be deadly), it can impact visibility to escape.

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