Some of the best things in life come easy! Here are over 100 timely tips and handy hints on how you can exercise better, relieve pain, reduce stress, and improve your eating habits, among other things…
1. RICE YOUR KNEE – If you are often plagued by runner’s knee during your morning run, shorten your stride and make sure your knees are not completely straight when your feet hit the ground. Flexed knees diffuse the impact of running. RICE – Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation could help.
2. MAKE A QUICK COMEBACK – Don’t baby yourself too long after an injury. Too much rest could actually prolong muscle pain. Recent research has found that healing requires a resting stage, followed by an activity stage, to rebuild muscles. For example, one study found that back-pain patients who rested for two days recovered faster than those lay up for a week.
3. LEG LIFTS – You can manage this exercise at your office desk even while you’re talking to someone. Stand straight, holding onto a chair or the side of a desk for support. Extend your left leg backwards as straight and as far as you can, slowly return it to standing position and do the same for your right leg.
4. SIT UP – If those long car trips leave you as limber as the Tin Man, try tilting your rearview mirror up a bit so that you should have to sit up perfectly straight to see the cars behind you. If you can’t see them, you know you’re reminded to sit up.
5. RUN STRAIGHT – Leaning forward when you run puts pressure on your spinal discs and increases the risk of back-pain, according to a report in The Physician and Sportsmedicine.
6. SKIP THE ELEVATOR – Walking upstairs burns 150 per cent more calories than playing tennis and 23 per cent more than running, reports a Cleveland Clinic study. Adding two flights of stairs to your daily activity could lead to a weight loss of 5 kg in a year.
7. START MORE REVOLUTIONS – Many people ride exercise bicycle with too much resistance, causing unnecessary injuries to muscles and tendons from paddling too hard. Increase revolutions per minute rather than resistance, and make sure your knees are slightly bent – not fully extended – at the bottom of your stroke.
8. BURN MORE CALORIES – Overweight subjects in a recent study in New York burned significantly more calories when they exercised on an empty stomach than when they exercised after a meal. Lean people burned more when they exercised after they ate.
9. CHART YOUR PROGRESS – A recent study shows that exercisers who monitor their own progress – recording their workouts and progressing regularly – or even just discuss it with friends and family, stick to their fitness regimens longer than those who don’t.
10. COOL YOUR HEELS – Don’t leave athletic shoes in your car or its trunk in hot weather. Heat and direct sunlight deteriorate and deform the leather and midsole material.
11. TEST YOUR FLEXIBILITY – Simply lie face down on the floor. If your back hurts in that position you could use some more flexibility.
12. SWIMMER’S EAR – The throbbing pain in the ear that swimmers get is often from too much time under water. A drop in each ear of a mixture of one part alcohol to three parts hydrogen peroxide can disinfect the ear canal and help the water evaporate quickly.
13. HOLD YOUR BREATH – Try holding your stomach to a count of five while you wait in the long queue. Pull in your tummy and abdomen muscles as hard as you can – you’ll soon feel their new, taut tone.
14. SHORT-CIRCUIT YOUR WORKOUTS – Circuit training can be a very efficient workout if you do it right. One study reported that the best aerobic conditioning and most efficient performance resulted from a 1:1 ratio of exercise to rest periods; say 15 seconds of weight training alternating with 15 seconds of rest. Athletes who worked at a 2:1 ratio slowed down and experienced muscle pain.
15. OFFICE TIME WALKING PROGRAMME – Don’t blame your workstyle for the lack of exercise you get. You can always volunteer to run errands for your boss or co-workers. Not only will you get out of the office but you’ll get in some walking on company time!
16. TAKE THE WATERS – It takes surprisingly little fluid loss – 1 per cent – for your body to become dehydrated, and you can’t depend on thirst to tell you it’s happening. Water balance is the single most important variable in top athletic performance. To prevent dehydration: Precede workouts with extra water. Drink 1 to 2 cups an hour before you exercise. Drink another ½ or 1 cup of water 15 to 20 minutes before the workout. Drink ¼ to ½ cup of water every 20 to 30 minutes during intensive exercise. Consume ½ to 3 cups immediately after hard workouts.
17. DEFLATING BLISTERS – To heal a chafed spot on hands or feet, apply petroleum jelly before the blister inflates. This will minimize friction and lubricate the area. If a blister forms, project it with a doughnut-shaped pad until the fluid is reabsorbed. If it looks like it’s about to burst, use a sterilized needle to puncture it at its edge and let it drain. Once a blister bursts, soak it in clean, warm water, and then apply an antibiotic ointment and a Band-Aid.
18. WARMING UP COLD HANDS – Swing your arms around in circles like a cricketer doing warm-ups. The technique works for ordinary cold hands and for a disorder of the peripheral circulatory system called Raynaud’s syndrome.
19. WHAT MAKES A RACKET – If your tennis racket twists in your hand, the grip is probably too small. If you find that your arm gets tired from hanging on too tightly, the grip is too big.
20. BE COOL IN THE SHOWER – Make your showers lukewarm after a workout. Hot showers slow circulation and blood pressure. Cold showers tend to raise blood pressure and may overload the heart. A shower with water temperature around 90 keeps you alert without any shock.
21. DON’T MIX COFFEE AND MIDNIGHT OIL – If you have to burn the midnight oil occasionally to meet deadlines, you may resort to guzzling cup after cup of coffee or tea which can keep you awake, it’s true. But too much caffeine in your system could give you a fuzzy head and you won’t be as alert as you would have been if you hadn’t had all that coffee or tea because an excess of caffeine could increase your already-high anxiety level. You’ll spend more time cursing the deadline and worrying about your ability to meet it then actually taking positive action to getting it all that work done! So, limit your coffee intake to just two cups. It will allow you more time to work and a clearer head.
22. WATCH YOUR MOUTH – How you talk about problems can affect how you feel about them. Try: Replacing the word ‘problem’ with the word ‘challenge.’ Changing “I can’t stand…” to “I don’t like…” Escalating dislikes into “can’t stands” confuses your wants with your needs. Most situations we think we can’t stand are easily endured. Restricting overgeneralizations, such as every, all, never, always, none, everybody, nobody. They can create stress.
23. DECIDE WHAT’S IMPORTANT – To reduce the stress of time pressure, set priorities for yourself. There are always things that have to be done and things it would be nice to do. People must learn to take some things out of the ‘necessary’ category and treat them as ‘nice to do.’ When life gets hectic, look at five things you’d like to do and choose the three most important.
24. BREATHE ANXIETY AWAY – For a quick relief from anxiety, slowly breathe in through your nose, comfortably expanding your abdomen first and then your rib cage. Imagine you’re inflating a beach ball in your stomach through your belly button. Then release the breath through your nose (more slowly than you let it in) and silently say, “Relax” or “Let go”. Do this for a minute every time the tension rises and in a few months you’ll automatically begin breathing slowly and deeply during these moments.
25. A ONE-QUESTION STRESS TEST – Answer immediately without reflection: are you winning? A positive answer probably means you feel up to the challenges you face and have a sense of control over your life. According to Robert S. Eliot, co-author of ‘Is It Worth Dying For?’, a negative answer may indicate that you feel you’re in a losing situation and lack control over your life. In this case, you may be more vulnerable to stress. No answer at all indicates you have reservations about the direction your life is taking and you may also cope less effectively with stress.
26. SWEET RELIEF – If instead of coffee or tea you resort to eating a candy bar, it could give you a quick energy fix but when your blood sugar dips within half an hour you’ll be feeling sleepier than ever. Better still, lay off the candy and lie down for a while. The rest could give you a new lease on energy.
27. WHEN IT’S TIME FOR SOME TIME OFF – Feeling irritable lately? Tired from the moment you get up in the morning? Making more mistakes than usual? Thinking about work and little else? Catch yourself day-dreaming about being somewhere else? If so, it’s time for some time off. Take a vacation, even if you can get away for only a long weekend. But don’t habitually wait until you’re overloaded with stress before taking vacations. That will only contaminate your experience. Similarly, if you want to be fully relaxed, try to resolve conflicts before you leave.
28. TAKE YOURSELF OUT OF IT – Don’t be afraid to talk to yourself when you’re alone. Having a private conversation with yourself is a helpful – and common – way to find comfort in life’s chaos, says Paul Horton, a Connecticut psychoanalyst. In a recent survey of 208 healthy people, Dr. Horton found that talking with oneself ranked among the top 10 forms of self-comfort. Carrying on a monologue can also help you gain distance and perspective from problems.
29. THE OCEAN CALLS – Next time you can’t find a place to relax, go to a beach and listen to the rhythmic sound s of the surf. It creates a hypnotic effect that’s deeply relaxing, says relaxation expert Emmett Miller, MD, who notes that ocean tapes played at any speed can induce the same response. Next, direct your gaze over the great oceanic expanse. Long-distance focus not only soothes the eyes but studies have shown that it produces a sense of well-being, says Dr. Miller.
30. GET CAUGHT NAPPING – Naps are greatly underrated stress-relievers in our work-oriented culture. A University of Athens Medical School study found that men who napped a least 30 minutes a day had a 30 per cent lower risk of heart attacks than non-nappers. Here’s how to get the most out of your naps: Limit your nap to 60 to 90 minutes (Set a timer). Never force a nap, but try to develop a “naptitude” for 10-to-15 minute naps. Don’t nap in the morning, late afternoon or evening. The ideal nap time is 2 to 3 p.m. if you get up at 6 or 7 a.m. (Avoid napping if you have trouble sleeping at night).
31. SWEAT TO RELAX – Exercising for 40 minutes can result in reduced stress levels for up to three hours. An equal period of rest and relaxation reduces stress for only 20 minutes, says John Ragland, of the sports psychology laboratory at the University of Wisconsin.
32. FAST-FOOD, SLOW COPING – When faced with deadline pressures take special care to avoid grabbing fast-food fare, a habit that will only make you less able to cope.
33. DRAIN THE SPRAIN – If your wrist has been sprained, keep it still and bandage and elevate it. If your elbow or shoulder id sprained, put it in a sling.
34. NUMBING A TOOTHACHE – If you saw the movie, Marathon Man, and wondered if clove oil really works to relieve tooth pain, wonder no longer. It does. In fact, it’s so powerful it can even damage nerves. So don’t use the raw oil. Instead, find a commercial product with clove oil and use according to directions. Then see your dentist as soon as possible.
35. TREATING A HANGNAIL – Hangnails are not really slivers of hanging nail, but dried out and split skin along the nail’s edge. And they can smart a lot. But rubbing a little petroleum jelly over and around them before you go to bed will ease the pain. How? The jelly will trap moisture and soften the dry skin underneath.
36. FREEZE THE MIGRAINE – Migraine may be caused in part by an increase in blood flow to the scalp and brain. Apply a cold, damp washcloth to your head to counteract this.
37. PRESSING A CUT – Press a cool, wet tea bag against the cut. Cover the tea bag with a hand-kerchief, towel or gauze to soak up some of excess liquid as you put pressure on the wound, which also helps stop the bleeding. The tannin in the tea leaves promotes rapid blood clotting.
38. DE-TICKING TICKS – Pulling off a tick that has dug into your skin can leave part of the head in and cause infection. The best way to remove a tick is to cover it with mineral or vegetable oil. That suffocates the tick. Carefully remove the tick with tweezers, taking care to remove the head. Wash the bite with soap and water and dab it with a little alcohol to disinfect it. See a doctor if any of the following symptoms occurs within 30 days: Fever, rash, generalized aches and pains, headaches or other signs of illness.
39. TURN ON THE MUSIC – Light soothing music will not only drive away those moody blues, it can also relieve headaches, digestive problems and depression which have a strong emotional component. So turn it on and write off those aches in musical notes. Can you think of a more harmonious remedy?
40. ICING HURT MUSCLES – Ice is the best emergency treatment for sprains and pulled muscles. But most of us don’t have ice packs, and makeshift packs fall apart as the ice melts. Simple solution: Use a bag of frozen peas or other small vegetable. Bang it on the counter to break the peas apart, and it will conform to the contours of the injured area. Wrap it in a towel and leave it on for no more than 20 minutes at a time.
41. BEATING BANGED-FINGER SYNDROME – Ouch! Reduce the trauma by quickly immersing your finger in cold water. The pain is reduced almost immediately. It also helps keep swelling down, for less discomfort later.
42. PEELING AWAY MICRO-SPLINTERS – Splinters that are too small to get out with tweezers can be removed with white glue. Pour a thin layer of glue over the skin and let it dry. Then peel the dried glue off. The splinters go with it! This trick has worked for wood splinters, fibreglass fragments, and even cactus spines.
43. EASING BEE STINGS – If a busy bee gets busy on you, gently flick out the stinger with a finger nail or a file, then briefly apply ice or dunk in cold water. Act fast. Put wet table salt on the spot so you can catch the venom before it spreads to the surrounding tissue, where it can cause swelling, inflammation and itching. (Other insect bites also respond to this treatment).
44. SHRINKING HAEMORRHOIDS – Two warm baths per day can help soothe and shrink haemorrhoids.
45. SLIPPING OUT SLIVERS – A little vegetable oil can help you remove painful splinters. Just pat some on and wait a moment for it to seep around and into the puncture. Then gently remove the splinter with tweezers. The “lube job” should help it slide right out.
46. CURING A CRAMP – Calf cramps can be massaged away: Grasp your toes and gently pull them toward you. Use your other hand to rub lengthwise along the calf, from the back of the knee to the ankle. Always rub with the muscle, never across it.
47. SUGARING A LITTLE WOUND – You have a nasty cut, and you’re out of antiseptic cream? Simple solution: Pack the wound with sugar or honey. Microorganisms can’t survive in concentrated solutions of sugar. This healing technique has been used for centuries.
48. BEATING BUG BITES – Don’t let mosquito or bug bites ruin your vacation. Apply a paste of baking soda and water on the affected area for quick relief.
49. WATER DOWN THE HEAT STROKE – Heatstroke can come on fast and result in brain damage and in a few cases death. In case of an attack, drink lots of fluids with a little salt. Tomato juice is a good combination of salt and fluid.
50. PICKLING ATHLETE’S FOOT – Fight chronic athlete’s foot with this one-minute-to-prepare soak. Fill a basin with warm water and add half a cup of white vinegar. This lowers the pH balance of your skin, making life uncomfortable for fungi and bacteria.
51. GETTING THE SPECKS OUT – If you get a speck in your eye, you may be able to wash it out with your own tears. Simply pull your upper lid downward, slightly over the lower lid. This will cause tears to flow. If that doesn’t work, try flushing the eye with water. If irritation persists, see a doctor. These measures, of course, are effective only for tiny, movable specks. If the object is embedded in the eye, skip the self-care and get medical help right away.
52. EASING THE HUT OF ‘HIGH-ALTITUDE EAR’ – When yawning or chewing gum won’t get rid of ear pain during airplane descent, try this: Close your mouth, pinch your nose shut, and gently blow into your nose. This forces air into the middle ear to equalize pressure. You may hear a dull “pop”. Warning: Heart patients should not try this.
53. GO FOR THE LEMON DRESSING – Try flavouring salads and vegetables with fresh lemon juice instead of a fat-laden salad dressing like mayonnaise. Lemon will give the dish a “bite” which will bring out its natural delicious flavour.
54. EATING EXCLUSIVELY – Break the habit of eating while driving, watching TV, or reading. Just concentrate on eating, and chew your food properly.
55. DON’T BAG LUNCH – Skipping lunch may leave you unable to concentrate all afternoon, reports the British Medical Research Council. Even if you’re not hungry at noon, try to eat something light (low in fat and about 300 calories). A lunch this size won’t make you feel sluggish, yet it will provide you with the energy you need to get your head together.
56. WATCH HOW THE COOKIE CRUMBLES – A cookie’s crumble indicates its fat content. In general, store-bought cookies have a higher fat content to give them a softer texture. Harder cookies have about half the fat of their softer cousins. A simple way to estimate the fat content in your favourite cracker: Rub it on a napkin. If it leaves a grease stain, leave it alone.
57. HANDY SALADS – It’s only natural to come home from a hard day at work and want to eat immediately. So, be prepared. Keep salads ready in the fridge for the times such temptations lure you. Salads, if undressed and put in a plastic bowl with a tight lid, will stay fesh for upto two days.
58. GET THE MOST FROM YOUR DOSE – If you take vitamin supplements, you should know how to get the most out of them. Fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E and K) are absorbed best when taken with foods that contain fat. Water-soluble vitamins (C and the B’s) should be taken either during a meal or about a half-hour before or after eating. Vitamin C should be taken in a few small doses during the day rather than one big dose.
59. START WITH WATER – Have a glass of water before each meal and you’ll feel fuller sooner.
60. CUT CAFFEINE IN AN INSTANT – Too much caffeine? Don’t drink just half a cup; switch to instant, which contains between one-third and one-half less caffeine than percolated brews.
61. DIETERS’ TOSS – If you’re running out of ‘healthy’ salad ideas, try this one: Toss shredded cabbage with raisins and apples. Top with a dressing made of low-fat yogurt (made from skim milk), celery and honey.
62. SNACK TO SUCCEED – A snack at about 3 p.m. will help you get through the last two hours of the work-day more effectively, says Robin Kanarek, Ph.D., of Tufts University. Her study found that people performed tasks requiring sustained attention faster and more accurately when they ate a nutritious snack 15 minutes beforehand than when they ate nothing.
63. FIND FOOD THAT’S FIT – Risky foods in many foreign countries, according to the International Association for Medical Assistance to Travellers: Mayonnaise, custard and creamed dishes; Uncooked salad vegetables; Rare meat and undercooked fish; Fresh milk in the tropics, unless it’s been boiled; Tap water; Drinks with ice cubes, and mixed alcoholic drinks.
64. A CUP OF RELIEF – We all commit dietary in-discretions sometimes. A cup of mint can help quiet indigestion.
65. BEGONE, BUTTER! – If your doctor has asked you to keep away from butter because of an angina problem, don’t lose heart, here is a yummy alternative. Rehydrate dried apricots in a small amount of warm apple or orange juice, add a little grated orange rind for extra flavour if you like and then grind to a spread. Use on a toast instead of butter or as a low-fat pancake filling.
66. HEALTHY CELEBRATIONS – When you get a promotion or a raise, how do you choose to celebrate? If you’ve fallen into the trap of thinking “food” when instead you should think “friends”, gather good pals together and go to the movies, with a light snack thrown in during the interval. Or, call some friends over for a movie, munch on unbuttered pop-corn if you must, but make good conversation the centre of attention instead of snacks. People are what make the happy moments in your life special, not food.
67. DRESSING ASIDE, PLEASE – when dining out, always ask the waiter to give you your dressing on the side so you can put on as much as you want yourself.
68. RESIST A LAVISH GARNISH – Go easy with the garnishes on a salad. Little things mean a lot when it comes to hidden fat and calories. Croutons, chow mein noodles, bacon bits and grated cheese pack even more calories for their weight than some mayonnaise-based potato and macaroni salads. As for the dressings, oil and vinegar can be just as bad as cheese if you have a heavy hand with the oil.
69. EAT HE ORANGE – Though orange juice is a popular breakfast drink, while dieting it is more filling to eat an orange so you won’t miss out on the fibre.
SEX AND LOVE
70. FIGHT THE GOOD FIGHT – a good fight may be the key to making a marriage happy over time. A three-year study, published in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, indicates that couples who said they were displeased with their marriages, but who fought successfully, grew increasingly satisfied over time. Couples fight successfully when they express anger clearly, don’t blame each other for problems and eventually resolve their conflicts by compromise. Couples fight unsuccessfully when they react with defensiveness, stubbornness and withdrawal.
71. PUT SEX FIRST – If sex is always last on your list, it’s unlikely to be first rate. Sex shouldn’t be something you get to as the last of the day’s activities after everything else is taken care of. Plan lovemaking for times when you have a little more energy for creativity and imagination. Weekend mornings are a good time. Or afternoons. Or in the early evening. Then if you want to watch the late news you can always get up. But don’t save the lovemaking until you’re exhausted.
72. CREATE A SENSATION – if you’re bothered by the lessened sensation of a condom, try adding a drop of water-based lubricant such as KY Jelly to the head of the penis before putting the condom on. (Never use an oil-based lubricant such as petroleum jelly; it could damage the condom.) The lubricant creates more sensation because it makes the end of the condom more slippery on the penis.
73. TAKE IT OUT OF THE BEDROOM – “My guess is that the sexual lives of most couples is kind of like the radio announcer who says, ‘Next week, same time, same station’,” says Wallace Denton, Professor of family therapy at Purdue University. “There’s nothing much new. Everything is very predictable. It’s almost ‘sex by the numbers’. I think people ought to explore ways of doing things differently.” If variety is the spice of love, why not use it liberally to make your sexual relationship more fun?
74. MAKE UP AFTER EXERCISING – Exercise is good for your skin because it may stimulate the production of collagen fibres, but always exercise wearing as little makeup as possible because sweat mixes with makeup to block the pores, which in turn can lead to blemishes or irritate your eyes if you rub them while exercising. If you must, try using a water-based foundation that allows oil and perspiration to escape from your skin’s pores and waterproof mascara which is more likely to stay on your lashes, not in your eyes.
75. SOOTHING EYES – One drop of lemon juice in one eyecup or one ounce of warm water will clean and soothe eyes that have been exposed to dust or long hours of harsh light.
76. OVERCOMING EYESTRAIN – If you do a lot of close work (reading, gazing at a computer screen and the like), you may occasionally train your eyes. To counteract this problem, take at least one full minute every hour or two and focus your gaze on a distant object.
77. GENTLE ON YOUR SKIN – Don’t abuse your skin by over-cleaning after a workout. People tend to feel that they have to scrub hard if they’ve worked up a sweat, but it’s not necessary. Just wash your skin lightly, but pat dry and follow up with a moisturizer to help maintain the glow you’ve earned.
78. LOOSEN STRANDS – Avoid pulling your hair back too tightly for your workout sessions, it could lead to broken hair and eventual hair loss. Instead, sweep it back in a loose ponytail or chignon if your hair is long; if it’s short, just pin back any sections that fall on your face. If you use a sweatband, pick one that is mostly cotton and not too tight.
79. HOW TO BUY SUNGLASSES – How to you know how dark your sunglasses should be? Slip on the glasses and look into a mirror. You should just be able to make out your eyes. If so, you’re wearing the best-density lenses for driving and most outdoor activity.
80. PRODUCTIVE MASKING – Don’t get restless while waiting for your bleach or facial mask to dry, relax. Use the 5 to 30 minutes to give yourself a complete pedicure, or lie down and listen to some relaxation music or give your hair a hot-oil treatment.
81. BE CAREFUL WHERE YOU SIT – You can catch diarrhoea, intestinal bugs and hepatitis from public toilet seats, warns Charles Gerba, an environmental microbiologist from the University of Arizona. When toilets are flushed, a fine mist of water that could contain contagious bacteria rises and lands on toilet seats. If you must use public toilets, stand before flushing.
82. CALMING INDIGESTION – A cup of herbal tea made from mint leaves can help quiet indigestion. Caution: In rare cases, some people experience a serious allergic reaction to certain herbal teas.
83. ARID MOUTH – If you wake up in the morning with a dry or sore mouth because you’re a mouth breather, a hot drink will relieve the problem.
84. BANISHING BUZZING BUGS – If an insect flies into your ear, shine a light in the ear. Chances are, the critter will crawl back out toward the light. If it doesn’t come out, it may be stuck in wax. If you’re sure it’s a bug, you can try to flush it out with water. If you’re not sure it’s a bug, don’t flush the ear. Some substances absorb water, causing more problems. (For example, children sometimes stick pieces of food in their ears.) And don’t go after the bug with a cotton swab. If these steps fail, call the doctor.
85. JOG AWAY JET LAG – Run to cure jet lag. Get your feet back on the ground and your head caught up with your body soon after landing in a new place. Running can relieve travel fatigue brought on by inertia, and the activity helps reset the hunger and sleep “clocks”. Running will also eliminate “car lag” after long drives.
86. SLEEP OVER COLDS – Squeeze half a lemon into a mug of hot water, add a dessertspoon of honey (and a dash of brandy if you like) and drink it just before you go to bed. The soothing and soporific effect may help fight the cold.
87. TILTING AGAINST HEARTBURN – Heartburn is caused by a leakage of digestive juices from the stomach into the esophagus (gullet). Lying down can aggravate the condition. But there’s a solution for those who suffer heartburn at bedtime: Raise the head of the bed eight inches or so with blocks under the headboard. Caution: Recurrent heartburn should be checked by physician.
88. QUIETING A THROAT TICKLE – Try this bitter but often effective cough remedy: Suck on a whole clove (the kind you stick in baked ham).
89. CURING A ‘DESERT NOSE’ – A few drops of saline solution (made by mixing 1 teaspoon of salt with 2½ cups of warm water) up each nostril can rehydrate the mucous membranes of a dried-out nose. Pour a small amount into your palm and inhale it into your nose.
90. COOLING DOWN ITCHY EYES – Close your eyes and cover them with cool cucumber slices for a few moments. A cool, wet washcloth can have the same effect.
91. SOOTHING A SORE THROAT – Perhaps the best thing to do for an ordinary sore throat is to gargle with warm, salt water. The high salt concentration eases discomfort and may have a slight antibacterial action.
92. AVOID HIGHWAY HYPNOSIS – Don’t make long car trips an endurance contest. Driving when you’re overtired is extremely dangerous. Be alert for these signs of fatigue: Do your eyes burn? Are you blinking more? Does your voice sound louder than usual or far away? Do you suddenly realize there’s been a lapse in time you can’t remember? Has your foot relaxed on the gas pedal so that you find yourself going 40 m.p.h. instead of the 55 you thought you were driving? Pull over, bub.
93. FIDGET, DON’T FAINT – If you sit in cramped conditions for a long time, blood can pool in your lower extremities. This can cause fainting if you get up suddenly. So move your legs up and down while you sit and stand up at intervals to stretch the muscles and to pep up circulation.
94. STANCHING A NOSEBLEED – If your nose is bleeding, sit down, lean forward, and hold both nostrils tightly shut for 15 minutes – no less! (Obviously, you’ll breathe through your mouth.)
95. WHEN YOU FLY, WING IT – If you are prone to motion sickness, choose a seat over the wing on the right side of the aircraft, suggests aviation medical expert Howard Rodenberg, of the Truman Medical Centre in Missouri. Most flight patterns turn left, he points out, so you won’t be swung around as much.
96. SIPPING SOME ASTHMA RELIEF – Drinking two cups of strong coffee may relieve an asthma attack if you’re caught without your asthma medication. Caffeine is chemically related to theophylline, a common asthma medication. Caffeine is not a good permanent substitute, though – it’s only about 40 per cent as potent.
97. SWEETENING THE HICCUP PROBLEM – The second NEJM hiccup cure is this: Swallow a spoonful of white sugar. Allow the granules to trickle down the back of your throat. Nerve endings there are overstimulated by the granules, interrupting the spasms.
98. BLESSING YOU AND YOUR BACK – Sneezing can be bad business for back-pain sufferers and people with osteoporosis. The explosive force of a sneeze can actually cause injury to the structures of the spine. If you feel a sneeze coming, brace yourself by placing one hand on the front of your thigh or a table near you. If you’re standing, you should also bend your knees.
99. BREATHING EASIER – People with emphysema or asthma may be able to relieve breathlessness in the following position: Sit down and lean forward, with elbows or hands on your knees. This compresses the abdomen and stretches the diaphragm upward, which can make breathing more effective.
100. ‘WATERING’ DRY EYES – If your eyes tend to get dry from watching too much TV or wearing contacts for long hours, soak a washcloth in warm to mildly hot water. Wring it out and put it over your eyes for a few minutes. The moist heat can unclog sluggish glands in the eyelids, including the eye to lubricate itself naturally.
101. EASING OCCASIONAL CONSTIPATION – Drink plain, hot water when you get up in the morning. The hot water seems to stimulate the natural movement of the intestinal tract. Since the intestines are usually active in the morning anyway, this remedy often works immediately. The water should be about as hot as your morning coffee or tea. Constipation that lasts more than five days, however, should be reported to your doctor.