To Your Good Health
By Paul G.
DONOHUE: This question is one I cannot ask my
family physician. I take about 15 laxatives a day
-- all at once -- and have been doing so for
about two years. I feel I am really doing myself
harm, but I cant seem to wean myself from
them. Your thoughts are appreciated. -- A.B.
Youre going to need your family
doctors input in getting you over the
laxative habit. The doctor isnt going to
recoil in disgust or swoon on hearing this. He or
she has heard the same story many times. The
dangers of laxatives have been overstated in the
past, but taking 15 a day is a bit much for
anyones colon. There are four general
classes of laxatives. I dont know which
youre taking, so Ill spend a moment
pull water into undigested food. MiraLax,
Cephulac, Enulose and milk of magnesia belong in
this class. They have few side effects.
attract water into the food residue too.
Metamucil, Citrucel and psyllium are such
laxatives. So is fiber. And fiber can safely
replace the 15 laxative pills you take. Fruits,
vegetables and whole grains are fiber sources.
Were supposed to get around 25 grams a day.
act like soap to promote the mixing of food and
fluids. They keep stools moist and soft. Colace
is an example.
laxatives irritate the colon wall and cause it to
contract more forcefully.
Do tell your
doctor, who can work with you to get you over
your laxative habit.
DOLLARS AND SENSE
By David Uffington
Yes, Its Safe to Buy
Many renters have
put aside their quest for home ownership, at
least for now, because of the current state of
the real estate market. Their fear is that prices
arent finished dropping and that a year
from now they could be upside down -- owing more
on the home than its worth.
looking for an investment with the hope of making
a large profit in two years, then yes, you have
reason to be concerned.
youre looking for a home for your family, a
place you can live in for many years, then the
current market neednt be a major concern if
Here are some
fall into the same trap that caused much of the
current mortgage crisis. Aim for a fixed-rate
30-year loan. That way youll know from year
to year what your payments will be.
pre-approval and your mortgage letter first. With
the letter in hand, youll be able to strike
immediately when you find a house you like.
let a lender entice you into taking the full
amount of mortgage you qualify for. Add in your
own monthly safety cushion. After all,
youre the one who has to make the payments.
Give yourself breathing room.
buying in a neighborhood with a lot of For Sale
signs. Ask your realtor for a list of recent
sales. Sales signs with no recent sales could
mean the neighborhood hasnt bottomed out
yet. If the houses are abandoned, you could end
up living in a ghost town.
Zillow.com for comparable sales in your target
area and look at Realtor.com for information and
photos. You can weed out a lot of houses just by
looking at the pictures.
buy the first house in a new subdivision,
especially one that isnt finished. If the
builder goes under, you could end up losing your
bet is to find a seller with a house thats
been on the market for six months or more. By
now, the sellers illusion of a quick sale
has passed, and he or she will be more motivated
to seriously consider all offers.
carefully chosen real-estate agent for
protection. Youre less likely to be a
victim of fraud.
FROM START TO
By Andrea Renee Wyatt, M.S.S., C.S.C.S.
Happened to Step Aerobics?
Q: For years I
used to enjoy step aerobic classes, but my gym
stopped offering them. I found that other gyms
either dont offer step aerobics at all or
only have a few classes each week. Why has step
aerobics seemed to disappear from group exercise
schedules? I enjoyed these classes, and so did
the other members. Where have they gone?
A: Step aerobics
has been around for many years and has a strong
following of faithful participants. However, in
recent years other forms of group exercise
classes have become more popular and caused many
fitness facilities to limit the number of step
aerobic classes offered on their group exercise
Step aerobics is
an intense group workout program that
incorporates movements on steps that can change
in height by adding or removing risers. Class
participants complete combinations of up and down
movements both on and off the step, in addition
to using the floor and step in combination to
complete exercises such as lunges.
Classes such as
boot camp, power pump (group resistance
training), kickboxing and dance have gained
popularity and have replaced many step aerobic
classes. Boot camp and power pump classes
actually incorporate certain movements used in
step aerobics as part of their workouts, usually
without the sometimes-complicated step
As we know, the
fitness industry has seen many new trends that
seem to saturate fitness facilities and then over
a period of time fade away. Step aerobics is
actually one of those classes that has come and
gone and is back again. More and more step
aerobic-type classes are finding their way back
on group exercise schedules, although they might
go by a different name.
Speak with the
group exercise director at your fitness facility
and tell him or her how much you enjoy step
aerobics classes and how you would like to see
more of them on the schedule. Encourage other
members of your gym to do the same, as most
schedules are put together by attendance and
Always consult a
physician before beginning an exercise program.
Moments In Time
The History Channel
On April 28, 1789,
the HMS Bounty is seized in a mutiny led by
Fletcher Christian, the masters mate.
Captain William Bligh and 18 of his loyal
supporters were set adrift in a small, open boat.
Bligh and his men reached the East Indies in June
after a voyage of some 3,600 miles.
On April 30, 1888,
orange-sized hail devastates the farming town in
India, killing 230 people. The areas many
farmers were out working their fields when the
storm began, and most of the victims died
On May 1, 1923,
Joseph Heller, author of the classic satirical
novel "Catch-22," is born in Brooklyn,
N.Y. "Catch-22" explores a paradox in
Army regulations: A pilot could be grounded if
found insane, but if the pilot requested to be
grounded because of insanity, the Army considered
him perfectly sane for wanting to avoid danger --
and wouldnt ground him.
On May 4, 1948,
Norman Mailers first novel, "The Naked
and the Dead," is published. After leaving
the Army in 1946, he wrote the best-seller while
studying at the Sorbonne in Paris, basing it on
his own military experiences.
On May 2, 1957,
Senator Joseph McCarthy, R-Wisc., passes away at
age 48. McCarthy had been a key figure in the
anticommunist hysteria popularly known as the
"Red Scare" that engulfed the United
States in the years following World War II.
On May 3, 1960,
the musical comedy "The Fantasticks"
opens in an off-Broadway playhouse in New
Yorks Greenwich Village. It went on to
become the worlds longest-running musical,
with 17,162 performances over 42 years.
On April 29, 1974,
President Richard Nixon announces that he will
release transcripts of 46 taped White House
conversations in response to a Watergate trial
subpoena. On Aug. 8, 1974, Nixon avoided a Senate
impeachment trial by becoming the first U.S.
president to resign from office.
By Freddy Groves
A few months ago,
Operation Gratitude delivered its 300,000th care
package to a soldier. Not only that, but
OpGrats founder, Carolyn Blashek, went
9,000 miles to personally deliver the package in
Iraq. The box contained, among other things, the
keys to a brand-new Jeep Liberty.
checked in on OpGrat for a while, but its
grown. What started as one womans
kitchen-table operation has exploded into a
multi-layered non-profit organization that still
only has one goal: To provide care packages for
military personnel who are stationed in hostile
or remote locations. Its run by volunteers,
and every dollar goes to the cause.
May is Military
Appreciation Month, and OpGrat is going all out.
As you read this, OpGrat is in full swing with
its Patriotic Drive 2008, with the next round of
packages being readied for shipment this month.
you come in: The Web site (www.opgratitude.com)
is loaded with dozens of ways you can help. Here
are a few examples:
letters, letters: These are the favorite items in
the packages, especially letters from veterans
2. Buy a new cell
phone and recycle your old one. You can get
donations for OpGrat both ways.
GoodSearch.com as your Internet search engine,
and it will donate a penny for each search.
4. Make a cash
donation. The shipping cost alone for each
package is $10. Do the math: It is expecting to
send 100,000 packages this year. While all the
goods in the packages are donated, the shipping
isnt. Donations are tax deductible. Make
checks payable to Operation Gratitude and send
16444 Refugio Road
Encino, CA 91436