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The Pulse: January 2003

posted: 08/20/2003

Two more reasons for slathering on the sunscreen: According to research done in Vail, Colorado, direct UVB levels at the resort-on a typical January day at 8,500 feet-are 60 percent higher than at sea level in New York City and equal in strength to Orlando, Florida. In another Vail study, skiers who smeared on the SPF at least every two hours were five times less likely to burn than those who reapplied every 2.5 hours or more.

Bring your iPod to the gym and your workout could feel a lot easier. A recent study published in The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness showed that exercising to tunes reduced the perceived exertion in all 13 test subjects-without affecting their heart rates-and the longer the workout, the greater the music's influence. Rockin' out may distract your mind from receiving strain signals in muscle tissue and the lungs.

Saline solution is a common household remedy for itchy and crusty nasal passages. But a recent study of 79 subjects in Sweden has shown that sesame oil does a better job: 80 percent reported improvement with sesame oil, while only 30 percent thought the saline made a difference. Just don't whiff the stuff you pour in the wok-use pharmaceutical-grade oil and a dosage pump, available in drug stores.

Now you can go multisport and skip the swimming-just sign up for a winter triathlon. With a seven- to nine-kilometer cross-country run, a 12-14 kilometer mountain bike, and a 10-12 kilometer skate ski, the cold-weather comps have been big in Europe for years; this year, U.S. versions are taking place at resorts like Winter Park and Snow Mountain Ranch, Colorado. It's even been proposed as an Olympic event for 2006. For more info, check out

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