Friday, November 24, 2006

Post Turkey Day Stuffin

For Whom the Debt Tolls

Holiday sales are calling this weekend, but your health may be better served by creating a gift budget.
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Staying out of debt -- you know, the high-interest kind that seems to go along with using plastic -- could be a boon to your body as well as your wallet. Researchers have found that the more credit-card stress people have, the more health problems they report. So make a list, check it twice, and resist those impulse buys.

It's a medical fact that overall good health goes hand in hand with financial health. One logical reason: People with money often have better access to healthcare. But that's just one side of the finances-and-health coin. Another reason that's not always included in the statistics is the impact of money worries on long-term health. Financial concerns set the stage for chronic stress, which inevitably leads to unnecessary aging.

If debts are weighing you down to the point that you don't want to get out of bed in the morning, seek the free financial and counseling services offered by such groups as the National Foundation for Credit Counseling or Debtor's Anonymous.

All About YOU: Don't Blanch About Passing Gas

As any newbie comic -- or 6-year-old vying for attention -- will tell you, gas comes in all forms, sounds, and smells.

Whether it's spurred on by beans, beer, or your Gram's creamed spinach, the average person passes gas about 14 times a day. So bleeps and blips from your insides are nothing to be ashamed of -- they're a sign that you're totally human. All gas results from the fermentation of foods by the trillions of bacteria in your digestive system. The busy bacteria love to process some food more than others, which is why some things you eat create more gas than others.

For a lot of people, talking about colon content sounds about as appealing as playing in it. It's just not something that we talk about much. ("How about that rain today? Did you see Shaq's dunk last night? Your bowels chugging along regularly these days, Frank?") You may think your digestive system is as dirty as George Carlin's jokes, especially when you start throwing around words like colon, rectum, and feces. But it's crucial to talk openly about these things, because a well-lubed digestive system helps you live younger and better. When you consider how many different foods are out there, and how differently all of our bodies respond to them, you'll want to understand how your pipes work and what can cause them to break.

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