Cool Down: The Week in Health

The week's most interesting—and quirky—health-and-fitness headlines

By: Emily Leaman

This piece from the New York Times titled "How Not to Get Sick From a Flight" comes about four days too late: We've been battling a raging post-flight flu that has kept us bed-bound for the better part of the week. Sigh. Here's hoping these tips can be more useful to another traveler.

Speaking of traveling, did you know the Obamas fly their Chicago-based personal trainer in for sessions at the White House every week? We can't decide if that's a giant waste of gas or a really smart way of ensuring that you don't miss a work out. Let's face it: If you go to the trouble of flying in your trainer, are you really going to hit the snooze button and skip your appointment? The President might be on to something.

We've all heard about the potential dangers of cell-phone use when it comes to radiation, but it turns out there could be an upside. The Wall Street Journal takes a look at a new study which explores how brain activity changes when you use a cell phone—namely, the areas of the brain nearest to the antenna show increased activity levels. While the health implications are as yet unknown, a post on the paper's health blog suggests that cell phones could someday be used as non-invasive tools to treat depression and "stimulate parts of the brain that aren't working optimally." It's an interesting theory, anyway.

And finally, a friendly reminder from your pillow: You probably need to get more sleep. A report released yesterday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that a third of Americans get less than the recommended seven hours of sleep a night. In a survey of nearly 75,000 adults, almost 5 percent admitted to falling asleep while driving—yikes. With National Sleep Awareness Week kicking off on Monday, maybe we can all resolve to get just a few more Z's.

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