• By Laurel J. Kelly

Housecall: Stretching 101

March 5, 2018

a group of people - young and old, women and men - sitting on yoga mats in a gym, stretchingTHIS WEEK'S TOP STORIES
Stretching: Focus on flexibility
Stretching can decrease your risk of injuries, improve the range of motion of your joints and enable your muscles to work most effectively. While you can stretch anytime, anywhere, be sure to use proper technique. Stretching incorrectly can do more harm than good. Here's what you need to know.

Stress symptoms: Effects on your body and behavior
Stress symptoms may be affecting your health, even though you might not realize it. You may think illness is to blame for that nagging headache, frequent insomnia or decreased productivity at work. But stress may actually be the culprit. Learn more about common effects of stress on your body, mood and behavior.

EXPERT ANSWERS
How long am I contagious with stomach flu?
A number of viruses can cause gastroenteritis, or stomach flu. The contagious period — the time during which a sick person can give the illness to others — differs slightly for each virus. Learn more from Dr. James Steckelberg, a Mayo Clinic infectious diseases expert.

Do fibrocystic breast changes increase my risk of breast cancer? 
While fibrocystic breast changes do not increase your risk for breast cancer, having fibrocystic breasts may make it more difficult for you to feel a new breast lump or other abnormal change. Learn more from Dr. Sandhya Pruthi, a Mayo Clinic family physician and past director of the Mayo Clinic Breast Diagnostic Clinic.

PLUS ADDITIONAL HIGHLIGHTS
Understanding pain
Pleurisy
Heart valve disease
Slideshow: Guide to beans and legumes

HEALTHY RECIPES
Artichoke, spinach and white bean dip
Vegetarian chili
Black bean cakes
Hearty chicken bowl

HEALTH TIP OF THE WEEK
Treat acne-prone skin with care
Excessive scrubbing or washing can irritate your skin and worsen acne, as can using astringents and facial scrubs. Instead, wash problem areas with a gentle cleanser. To dry excess oil, try using an over-the-counter acne lotion that contains benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid.

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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