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Healthy ways to relieve stress

From time to time, everyone experiences stress. It’s a natural reaction to situations where you feel threatened or anxious. Your body responds to stress by releasing hormones that raise your heart rate, change the way you breathe, and prepare your muscles to respond. Learning how to manage stress is an important part of taking care of yourself and maintaining good overall mental and physical health.

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Colorectal cancer screening tests: Colonoscopy vs. Cologuard

Turning 50 involves a rite of passage most of us avoid talking about: the dreaded colonoscopy. As a widely used exam that detects changes and abnormalities in the large intestine and rectum, colonoscopies get a bad rap, but screenings for colorectal cancer can save lives. The good news for newly minted quinquagenarians (people ages 50 to 59) is that now you may be able to take an at-home colon cancer test called Cologuard® instead of getting a colonoscopy, as long as you meet a few requirements.

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Fitting in fitness: Sneaky ways to make time for exercise

The health benefits of exercise are endless. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, physical activity is one of the most important things you can do to improve your health. It can help prevent cancer and decrease your risk of everything from heart disease and stroke to high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, depression, and even dementia. And that’s just the beginning.

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Flu shots 101: What you need to know

Influenza (flu) is a contagious respiratory infection that circulates around the world each year and usually hits the United States between October and May. The viruses that cause the flu are most often spread by coughing, sneezing, or close contact.

Anyone can get the flu. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it tends to strike suddenly and can last for several days. Although it has some of the same symptoms as the common cold—a runny or stuffy nose, cough, sore throat, and fatigue—the flu can lead to pneumonia, blood infections, or even death. Other symptoms of the flu include fever, body aches, headache, and chills.

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Heart disease in women: Take steps to reduce your risk factors

Heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women in the United States. In fact, according to the American Heart Association, heart disease—also known as cardiovascular disease—and stroke cause 1 in 3 women’s deaths each year, claiming the life of approximately one woman every 80 seconds. It’s the most common cause of death for men, too, but some of the symptoms and warning signs of heart disease differ between men and women. And, it doesn’t affect all women alike. Fortunately, as a woman, you can take steps to understand the symptoms and reduce your risk of heart disease.

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Sleep and weight gain: How much you sleep can affect how much you weigh

You don’t have to be an expert to appreciate the benefits of getting a good night’s sleep. Not only does lack of sleep make you feel groggy and irritable, but sleep also plays a critical role in everything from boosting your immune system to improving your memory, promoting learning, and more. But did you know that getting the right amount of sleep can also help you avoid gaining weight?

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What you need to know about opioids

Opioids are drugs that relieve pain. Prescription opioids are medications that doctors use to treat moderate to severe pain after surgery or injury or for health conditions like cancer. Common prescription opioids include oxycodone (OxyContin®), hydrocodone (Vicodin®), morphine, and methadone. Other types of opioids include fentanyl, a synthetic opioid pain reliever, and heroin, an illegal drug.

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