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February 28, 2015

What We Get Is What We Give Along the Pacific Crest Trail

The gift of wilderness areas is a gift that keeps on giving, providing we give back. If city streets must be maintained, then so must trails. Even the mighty Pacific Crest Trail, that stretches over 2,000 miles through the Sierra and Cascade mountain ranges needs regular upkeep. Maintenance protects it as much from the forces of nature as the march of human feet.

Jack Haskel, trail information specialist for the Pacific Crest Trail Association, tells Well.org a recent clean-up was crucial to a stretch of trail heavily damaged by storms. But it was the work of mostly volunteers, people who regularly walked sections of the trail and had gained so much from it over time, who [...]

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February 27, 2015

Retractable Leashes for Dogs – Should You Use Them?

Dogs love to roam free – it’s just what they do. Given the chance, they’ll run and play to their heart’s content. All us dog owners know this. And we also know that living in more urban areas also means (sadly) that our dogs can’t run free when they wish.

That’s why we have leashes.

But not all leashes are created equally, and some leashes can often even do more harm than good. For many dog owners, retractable leashes have become the perfect solution to the problem of dogs that want to roam free, but can’t. Because they can extend to lengths of up to 26 feet, dogs get that little bit of freedom they just don’t get with the standard 6-foot leash. But this extra space and [...]

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February 26, 2015

Stressed Out? Get Your Cortisol Levels Checked

If you’ve been under stress lately, are having trouble losing body fat and have been noticeably irritable, it may be a good time to have your cortisol levels tested.

Cortisol is a hormone generally triggered by stress and generated from the adrenal glands. If there is too much, it can raise blood pressure, halt weight loss and shrink the hippocampus in your brain, which is involved in memory and emotions.

When she was in her 30s, Dr. Sara Gottfried was cranky, dealing with belly fat and low energy levels. She wondered if these problems were related to her hormone levels.

“In my medical education and residency, I was taught that measuring hormone levels is a waste [...]

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