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Exercise to Boost Your Mental Health

A new study shows that those who do even a small amount of exercise have better mental health than those who do not.

An article in the New York Times examined a National Institute of Mental Health study that now gives better insight as to why physical activity leads to happier, less anxious people. Although it is commonly known that exercise releases mood-boosting endorphins, many do not know why it occurs or the physical processes of the brain during a workout.

Researchers at the NIMH experimented on both aggressive and even-tempered male mice to find the answers. The dominant male mice got their own private cages, and when they were integrated with the others, they used several intimidation techniques against the defenseless mice. After two weeks of living with their aggressive neighbors, the skittish mice were severely nervous and stressed.

But another group of even-tempered mice were not as intimidated by the aggressive mice. This experimental group had been given an exercise wheel and an exploratory tube in their cage. Although the mice were submissive toward the more aggressive male rodents, they did not appear to be nervous.


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Tomatoland Opens the Curtain on the Dangers of American Agriculture

Something is not ripe with the tomato industry, according to Barry Estabrook’s book, Tomatoland: How Modern Industrial Agriculture Destroyed Our Most Alluring Fruit. Estabrook examines the corruption and hardships of the red and juicy fruit that is often seen atop  many salads.

The fruit best known for being fresh in the summertime finds its way to the produce section each winter thanks to warm, sunny Florida weather. Estabrook writes that approximately one-third of the U.S.’s tomato supply comes from a state where tomatoes do not naturally grow. Florida’s environment is often difficult with a lack of nitrogen in the soil, insect pests, and bacterial and fungal diseases that can threaten the life of a plant. To make up for these disadvantages, tomato growers often spray the tomato farms with chemicals and pesticides, according to Estabrook.

These chemicals are very harmful to the hard-working tomato pickers and their families, who can get sick or have children with several birth defects. Not to mention these chemicals are extremely harmful to consumers, who may be at risk when ingesting the tomatoes. In addition, tomato pickers work very long and taxing hours in the brutal sun. The workers get no paid vacation and no benefits, and some have even been forced into slavery.


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Ray Harding Avoids Jail Because He is Obese

What should the sentence be for a man who has stolen $800,000? You would think that it would be at least a few years in jail, but for former Liberal Party boss Ray Harding, there were no such consequences. In fact, the man got off completely scott free, supposedly because of his cooperation with the authorities and for the “family troubles” that caused him to make “a misguided grab for money.” Harding was accused of being involved in a pay-for-play scheme that involved the State of New York’s pension fund. He even admitted to being a fake intermediary between the the pension funds and the investment funds.

However, the real reason that Harding got such a light sentence is his poor health. Harding does not have a life-threatening illness like cancer or AIDS; instead, he is obese. And his obesity is a big factor in the very light sentence that he received after stealing $800,000. He will not spend even one day in jail, nor will he be required to pay back the money he stole.


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America’s Health Problems by State

Jeff Wyaski of Pleated Jeans created this map of the United States using information from the census and AmercasHealthRankings.org to illustrate what each state is infamous for in a funny, colorful manner. Here are some of the health-related statistics Wyaski chose to highlight:

Alabama’s Shame: Stroke
Oklahoma and Alabama are tied for the highest rates of stroke at 3.8 percent.

Arizona’s Shame: Highest Rate of Alcoholism

Connecticut’s Shame: Breast Cancer
On Average, 134.1 out 100,000 have breast cancer in Connecticut, according to StateHealthFacts.org.

Georgia’s Shame: Most Sickly
Based on the highest rate of influenza.

Kansas’ Shame: Poorest Health
Based on the highest number of sick days taken per month, at 3.5 per days.

Kentucky’s Shame: Most Cancer Deaths
It’s not surprising to find out that Kentucky also has the highest rate of tobacco smokers, at 25.6 percent of the population.


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Symptoms of Appendicitis: Not Just Food Poisoning

Symptoms of AppendicitisIt’s often easy to blame stomach pain or nausea on food poisoning, the non-medical term that usually refers to sickness caused by food-borne bacteria. Yet symptoms like these can also be triggers of a more serious problem.

Many people who have appendicitis say the pain is hard to describe. According to WebMD, the following symptoms in adults could be appendicitis:

- Pain in the belly, which may begin around the belly button
- Stomach pain may worsen when you move, stand or cough
- Nausea
- Vomiting
- Back pain
- Low-grade fever
- Swollen abdomen
- Lack of appetite


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