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Get ready for cold and flu season

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With winter right around the corner, the number of respiratory infections lurking among us is on the rise. While there’s no miracle cure for the flu or common cold, here’s some advice to help you get through the season.

Preventing colds
While a wide assortment of preventive measures is routinely touted, the only way to truly protect yourself from the common cold is to wash your hands regularly and often.

Garlic, both fresh and in supplement form, can help reduce the incidence of colds and their duration.

As for vitamin C, while it doesn’t prevent colds, some studies indicate that it may slightly shorten them in people who take it on a regular basis.

Preventing flu
Flu prevention is a more serious issue. Of the millions of Americans infected last year, 80,000 vulnerable patients died.

While its effectiveness can vary from year to year, the influenza vaccine remains the single best way to protect yourself, and others, from contracting the flu.

Treating flu and colds
If you’ve gotten sick despite your best efforts, here are a few ways you can relieve your symptoms:

• Get lots of rest
• Drink plenty of fluids
• Use throat sprays and lozenges
• Use nasal irrigation
• Take over-the-counter drugs (analgesics, decongestants, expectorants, etc.)

Over-the-counter cold and flu medications can provide relief but be careful: most contain a cocktail of ingredients and some may be inappropriate under certain circumstances. Consult your pharmacist to ensure you select a safe and effective product.

When to see a doctor
If your symptoms are severe or last longer than ten days, consult a healthcare professional. Keep in mind that antibiotics won’t help combat colds and flus and that antiviral drugs are only recommended for patients who present a high risk for complications. In most cases, getting lots of rest is what’s required to get better.

Did you know?
Contrary to popular belief, cold air isn’t to blame for cold and flu infections. People tend to spend more time inside during the cold months, which increases the risk of transmitting illnesses.

Did you know?
Using a humidifier can help relieve respiratory symptoms, but only if you scrupulously follow the manufacturer’s directions. Unless they’re cleaned thoroughly and regularly, humidifiers provide an ideal environment for mold and bacteria to grow, which means you could end up breathing in more pathogens.

Did you know?
While using your hands to cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing helps limit the number of pathogens you spray into the air, it also means you’ll be contaminating everything you touch afterwards. Public health agencies recommend that you sneeze or cough directly into a paper tissue. If that’s not possible, use the crook of your elbow or your upper arm.

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How to follow the pegan diet

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The pegan diet purports to focus on improving health by reducing inflammation and stabilizing blood sugar. Created by American physician Dr. Mark Hyman, it combines certain key principles from veganism and the paleolithic diet. Here’s a look at what the pegan diet entails.

Recommended food
Unlike veganism, this hybrid diet doesn’t prohibit eating meat. However, the pegan diet encourages eating grass-fed, pasture-raised sources of animal protein, and making meat a side dish rather than the main course. Fish and eggs are also permitted.

As for fruits and vegetables, they should make up three-quarters of your diet. However, low-sugar fruits and non-starchy vegetables are preferable. Gluten-free whole grains and sources of healthy fats, such as nuts and seeds, are allowed in limited quantities.

Restricted food
While the pegan diet is arguably less restrictive than a vegan or paleo diet, certain foods are strongly discouraged. These include:

• Gluten
• Sugar
• Processed foods
• Refined oils
• Food additives
• Dairy products

The diet also discourages eating most grains and legumes.

Pros and cons
On the plus side, the pegan diet focuses on consuming an abundance of healthy, nutrient-rich fruits, vegetables, and fats. Eating these foods can help foster good heart health, prevent disease and reduce inflammation.

The downside is that the diet restricts a number of healthy foods, which can potentially result in nutritional deficiencies. It can also be an expensive and time-consuming diet to maintain.

Always keep in mind that before you make a significant change to your diet, you should consult with your doctor, a nutritionist, or a dietitian.

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5 activities to boost your endurance

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Some workouts get your heart pumping faster than others. If you’re looking for a way to improve your cardiovascular endurance, here are five activities to try.

1. Boxing. Fast footwork and dynamic punching combinations keep you on your toes, improving both your muscular and cardiovascular endurance. Boxing is also a great way to relieve stress and boost your confidence. If you prefer, you can opt for classes that focus on solo boxing drills rather than sparring.

2. Cross-country skiing. This sport provides a full-body, aerobic workout that can be sustained for hours. The smooth gliding motion is easy on your joints and improves your balance. Plus, you can enjoy winter landscapes as you ski along trails blanketed in snow.

3. Swimming. The sustained effort required to swim laps increases your heart rate and lung capacity but places limited stress on your joints. This makes swimming a low-impact workout that’s suitable for people of all ages. It also engages various muscle groups, especially if you learn different strokes.

4. Running. This activity is a simple way to boost your cardiovascular endurance, and it can be done almost anywhere. Keep in mind that speed isn’t key. Instead, start slow and focus on running longer distances to see improvements in your stamina.

5. Zumba. This fitness program combines Latin-inspired dance moves, muscle-toning exercises, and lively music to get your heart pumping and your hips swaying. Zumba is both a fun workout and a healthy way to burn calories and lose weight.

If you want to boost your endurance by participating in these activities, consider signing up for a class or joining a club in your area.

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5 reasons to increase your flexibility

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Flexibility plays a key role in your overall fitness. In fact, stretching your muscles and joints on a regular basis can make a variety of everyday activities easier. Here are the five main benefits of increasing your flexibility.

1. It improves your posture and balance

2. It increases your range of motion

3. It reduces your risk of getting injured

4. It helps your muscles work more effectively

5. It reduces aches, pains, and muscle tension

Furthermore, stretching after your exercise facilitates muscle recovery and repair. It also prevents lactic acid from building up and causing muscle soreness.

Keep in mind that stretching shouldn’t be painful. Though it’s normal to feel a pulling sensation, a sharp or stabbing pain means you’ve over-extended your muscles or joints, which can result in injury.

Activities to try
Stretching is just one of many ways to improve your flexibility. You can also try yoga, tai chi, water aerobics, Pilates, ballet, and more. Consider signing up for a beginners’ class in your area.

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One cause of health problems can be mistaken for aging

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One condition, not uncommon in women, can be misdiagnosed as a typical problem in aging.

An underactive thyroid gland (hypothyroidism) can be responsible for a number of conditions throughout the body. But, often patients just experience one of the many possible symptoms. To make matters worse, the symptoms resemble problems typical of normal aging.

Joint and muscle pain is a classic symptom, according to Harvard Health. Large muscle groups, like those in the legs, can begin to ache. Sometimes it is the only symptom of hypothyroidism in an older person.

If you suddenly start forgetting the names of your grandkids and maybe your memory seems shorter, it could be hypothyroidism, especially if it has gone undiagnosed for some time.

Another common symptom is depression. Like muscle pain, depression can be the only noticeable symptom of hypothyroidism. In severe, untreated cases, adults can even experience hallucinations.

Constipation may be dismissed as a routine problem, but it often accompanies low thyroid.

Unexplained high cholesterol can pop up in tests and be a sign that the thyroid should be checked.

Finally, low thyroid levels can even make your heart work poorly with weaker contractions and a slower heart rate.

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Make daikon part of your diet

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Daikon is a sweet, mildly spicy root vegetable that resembles a plump white carrot. Also known as white or Japanese radish, daikon is popular in many types of Asian cuisine and a great addition to your winter meals.

Benefits
This crunchy cruciferous vegetable is an excellent source of vitamin C, folate, and antioxidants. In addition to being low in calories, some studies indicate that eating daikon:

• Helps protect against certain cancers and chronic conditions like heart disease

• Slows cognitive decline by helping to protect cells against oxidative damage
• Increases satiety and promotes a healthy body weight

How to eat it
Daikon can be served raw or cooked. Often, it’s thinly sliced for pickling or to be used as a garnish. However, it also makes a tasty addition to a variety of hot and cold dishes and can even be used in baked goods. This winter, try daikon pan-fried or roasted. Additionally, the greens can be used in salads, soups, and stir-fries.

How to store it
Keep daikon in a perforated plastic bag or wrapped in a damp towel in the fridge. It should last for several weeks. Store the greens separately.

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What are the health risks of vaping?

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Electronic cigarettes are devices designed to heat a nicotine-based liquid into a vapor, which can then be inhaled. Here’s a look at the known health risks associated with vaping.

Exposure to nicotine
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, vaping is a less harmful option than smoking if you already smoke. However, since most e-cigarette liquids contain nicotine, they pose a number of health risks. Among other things, vaping can:

· Lead to addiction

· Affect memory and concentration
· Cause behavioral problems
· Alter brain development

It should be noted that adolescents are particularly susceptible to the dangerous effects of nicotine. This is why it’s illegal to sell or give vaping products to anyone under the age of 21.

Exposure to other chemicals
The main liquids found in vaping products are vegetable glycerin, propylene glycol, and chemicals used for flavor such as diacetyl. When these substances are heated in a vaping device, they create a carcinogen called formaldehyde. Other toxins that can be found in e-cigarette vapor include nickel, tin, and aluminum.

Heart and lung disease
Inhaling the harmful chemicals found in e-cigarettes increases the risk of cardiovascular and lung disease. Health experts are also currently investigating the rise of a severe and potentially fatal lung disease referred to as vaping-associated pulmonary injury (VAPI).

While the potential long-term effects of vaping are still unknown, there’s no doubt that the use of e-cigarettes is hazardous. The best way to avoid the health risks associated with vaping is to not start or to ask a health-care professional for advice on how to quit.

The hazard of batteries
Vaping devices can be dangerous if they’re not properly used or stored. The lithium-ion batteries in electronic cigarettes can overheat, catch fire, or explode in your pocket if they come into contact with metal objects like loose coins or keys.

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King Cartoons

Front Royal
39°
Mostly Cloudy
6:42am6:06pm EST
Feels like: 34°F
Wind: 12mph NW
Humidity: 47%
Pressure: 30.14"Hg
UV index: 0
TueWedThu
46/28°F
59/37°F
52/28°F

Upcoming Events

Mar
3
Wed
9:00 am Community Blood Drive @ Front Royal Fire and Rescue Department
Community Blood Drive @ Front Royal Fire and Rescue Department
Mar 3 @ 9:00 am – 2:00 pm
Community Blood Drive @ Front Royal Fire and Rescue Department
The Front Royal Police Department is sponsoring a blood drive on Wednesday, and all eligible donors are encouraged to log onto redcrossblood.org to schedule a donation of the GIFT OF LIFE! Jeff Farmer and the[...]
9:00 am Free Tax Preparation @ Good Shepherd Lutheran Church
Free Tax Preparation @ Good Shepherd Lutheran Church
Mar 3 @ 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
Free Tax Preparation @ Good Shepherd Lutheran Church
Free tax preparation will be available again this year through the AARP Tax Aide at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Front Royal, Monday and Wednesday mornings beginning Feb. 15th. To make an appointment, please call[...]
Mar
9
Tue
6:30 pm Dance Fitness Class @ Warren County Community Center
Dance Fitness Class @ Warren County Community Center
Mar 9 @ 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm
Dance Fitness Class @ Warren County Community Center
This class is for all fitness levels and anyone who is looking to have fun dancing to a variety of music styles from hip hop to swing to salsa, all while EXERCISING! This class will[...]
Mar
13
Sat
10:00 am HSWC Polar Plunge @ Culpeper Lake at the 4-H Center
HSWC Polar Plunge @ Culpeper Lake at the 4-H Center
Mar 13 @ 10:00 am – 1:00 pm
HSWC Polar Plunge @ Culpeper Lake at the 4-H Center
The Humane Society of Warren County “Polar Plunge” delayed from February 20 due to “too-polar” weather here in northwestern Virginia has been rescheduled to Saturday, March 13 – Don’t worry, it will still be a[...]
Mar
16
Tue
6:30 pm Dance Fitness Class @ Warren County Community Center
Dance Fitness Class @ Warren County Community Center
Mar 16 @ 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm
Dance Fitness Class @ Warren County Community Center
This class is for all fitness levels and anyone who is looking to have fun dancing to a variety of music styles from hip hop to swing to salsa, all while EXERCISING! This class will[...]
Mar
23
Tue
6:30 pm Dance Fitness Class @ Warren County Community Center
Dance Fitness Class @ Warren County Community Center
Mar 23 @ 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm
Dance Fitness Class @ Warren County Community Center
This class is for all fitness levels and anyone who is looking to have fun dancing to a variety of music styles from hip hop to swing to salsa, all while EXERCISING! This class will[...]
Mar
28
Sun
2:00 pm Pictures with the Easter Bunny @ Warren County Community Center
Pictures with the Easter Bunny @ Warren County Community Center
Mar 28 @ 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Pictures with the Easter Bunny @ Warren County Community Center
Come join the staff of Warren County Parks and Recreation and get your picture taken with the Easter Bunny! Pictures will be taken and printed on site; upon departure you will be given an Easter[...]
Mar
30
Tue
6:30 pm Dance Fitness Class @ Warren County Community Center
Dance Fitness Class @ Warren County Community Center
Mar 30 @ 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm
Dance Fitness Class @ Warren County Community Center
This class is for all fitness levels and anyone who is looking to have fun dancing to a variety of music styles from hip hop to swing to salsa, all while EXERCISING! This class will[...]
Apr
3
Sat
12:00 pm Egg-stravaganza! @ Sky Meadows State Park
Egg-stravaganza! @ Sky Meadows State Park
Apr 3 @ 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Egg-stravaganza! @ Sky Meadows State Park
Eggs are popping up all over Sky Meadows State Park. Visit our egg-laying free-range chickens by taking our Chicken Walk. Go on an egg-citing Geocache adventure. Kids, use your scavenger hunting skills using clues from[...]
Apr
17
Sat
all-day Shenandoah Epic @ Caroline Furnace
Shenandoah Epic @ Caroline Furnace
Apr 17 all-day
Shenandoah Epic @ Caroline Furnace
This tried and true Epic 24-hour AR will test your biking, paddling, trekking, and navigation skills as you explore two state parks (one of them brand new!) and national forest lands. Join soloists and teams[...]