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    Housecall: 7 tips for fitness success

Strong woman weightlifting at the gymTHIS WEEK'S TOP STORIES
Fitness: Tips for staying motivated
Fitness is important for your physical and mental well-being. But many people start fitness programs and then stop when they get bored, don't enjoy it or the results come too slowly. From setting goals and keeping it fun to rewarding yourself, here are seven tips to help you stay motivated and reach your fitness goals.

Acute flaccid myelitis: What is it, and can it be prevented?
Acute flaccid myelitis is a rare condition that affects the nerves in the spinal cord and can cause sudden weakness in the arms or legs. It tends to happen mainly in children. Recently, cases have been reported in children across the U.S. Learn more from Dr. James Steckelberg, a Mayo Clinic infectious diseases specialist.

Does alcohol and tobacco use increase diabetes risk?
Alcohol and tobacco use may increase your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. And the more you drink or smoke, the greater the risk. Learn more from Katherine Zeratsky, a Mayo Clinic registered dietitian nutritionist.

What's the difference between bacterial and viral infections?
Many illnesses, including pneumonia, meningitis and diarrhea, can be caused by either bacteria or viruses. And in some cases, it may be difficult to determine which is causing your symptoms. Perhaps the most important distinction between bacteria and viruses is that antibiotic drugs usually kill bacteria, but they aren't effective against viruses. Learn more from Dr. James Steckelberg, a Mayo Clinic infectious diseases specialist.

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Polenta with roasted red pepper coulis
Beef stew with fennel and shallots
Five-spice pork medallions
Pasta primavera

Rx check: Do you know what you're taking?
When your health care provider prescribes a medication, make sure you know the basics. Ask your health care provider or pharmacist:

  1. What are the brand and generic names of the medication?
  2. Why do I need the medication?
  3. How soon can I expect results?
  4. When should I take the medication and for how long?
  5. What are the side effects?
  6. Does it interact with other medications or with foods?

Need practical advice on diet and exercise? Want creative solutions for stress and other lifestyle issues? Discover more healthy lifestyle topics at mayoclinic.org.

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