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Fitbits: Better Than Aspirin

Fitbits: Better Than Aspirin

Fitness
By Molly Tarbet
posted: 01/15/2001

Better Than Aspirin
Even if you're tired after a long day on the slopes, you may not want to hurry to sleep. A study has found that people engaging in sexual activity once or twice a week reduce their risk of getting a cold or the flu. Sexual intimacy seems to boost the immune system by increasing the levels of the body's most prevalent antibody, Immunoglobulin A (IgA), by 30 percent, says Carl J. Charnetski, psychology professor and author of The Effect of Sexual Behavior on Immune System Function. Antibodies protect the body from infection and disease, so the higher your IgA levels, the less likely you are to get sick. And apparently quantity is more important than quality: The study discovered there's no relationship between the immune-system boost and the length of relationship or sexual satisfaction.

Breathe Deep
Asthma doesn't have to keep your children off the slopes this season, says Dr. William S. Silvers, medical director of the Asthma Ski Foundation in Englewood, Colo. Though exercise, dry air and cold can trigger symptoms of asthma-such as wheezing, coughing and shortness of breath-there are safety measures kids can take.

The key is to use good judgment, Silvers says. Teach children to pace themselves, starting slowly and closely monitoring symptoms as they ski. Silvers recommends that kids use bronchodilators, which help move more air to the lungs, before and during their time on the hill, as well as take regular medications. They should also exercise regularly to strengthen their bodies and warm the air they breathe by covering their mouth and nose with a scarf or face mask.

Breckenridge, Colo., is helping get the word out by hosting the 15th Annual Asthma Allergy Ski Day on April 1, for kids ages 5 to 17. For more information, call 303-740-7239 ext. 126 or visit www.asthmaskiday.com.

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