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Health Headlines: Shame, Sanitizer, and Fit Immune Systems

After nursing two sick children last week, these headlines caught my attention, since staying well is always on my mind.

Shame "Boosts Hand Washing Rate"BBC
"Is the person next to you washing with soap?" This is the shaming message used to scare Brits using public restrooms into washing their hands . . . with soap. This big brother-like query was more effective than, although not as cute as, in my opinion, the phrase, "Don't be a dirty soap dodger."

Does Exercise Boost Immunity?New York Times
According to a couple of studies, the answer is a qualified yes. It is regular, moderate exercise that helps you fight off bugs. Too much vigorous exercise seems to suppress the immune systems, leaving endurance athletes at a disadvantage as marathon season wraps up and flu season begins.

Flu Worries Pump Up Sales of Hand SanitizerNPR
The stock market might be making a slow turnaround, but hand sanitizer sales are bumping. In the US, we spent over $117 million on the gel-based cleaners last year. Fear of the H1N1 virus and the back-to-school season made for a 50 percent increase in hand sanitizer sales in August 2009 over the same month the previous year.

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