For Your Health

Thanksgiving may be over, but don't stop being thankful! Researchers say that those who express gratitude are less envious and resentful. They also sleep longer, exercise more and report a drop in blood pressure. Now that's a lot to be thankful for:

Bill Golden survived more than 20 years in the Army and another 30 in law enforcement. He fell sick with colon cancer, and at 86, he has an artificial hip and arthritis in his knees.

Golden still gives thanks, though, and researchers say that appreciative attitude can be good for you, too.

Academics have long theorized that expressions of thanks promote health and happiness and give optimism and energy to the downtrodden. Now, the study of gratitude has become a surprisingly burgeoning field, and research indicates being thankful might help people actually feel better. There's a catch, however: You have to say thanks more than just once a year.

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Here's yet another reason to take care of your teeth. A new study adds to a growing collection of research linking dental health with overall health. Gum disease — caused by too much plaque — may increase your risk for head and neck cancers. So don't skip out on that next trip to your dentist:

Think dental health is just about shiny white teeth? Think again. A new study adds to a growing collection of research linking dental health with overall health.

The study, published in the peer-reviewed scientific journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers, and Prevention in September 2009, shows a direct link between chronic periodontitis (gum disease) and an increased risk of head and neck cancer.

Although periodontitis is a serious disease that can lead to tooth loss, it typically starts with a simple buildup of plaque. Plaque is a film of bacteria that collects on your teeth and can produce substances that harm your gums.

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And, if you're looking to lose weight, maybe you should buy a dog. Researchers say that the average dog owner gets more exercise walking their pet than someone with a gym membership. They say those short walks with Fido can really add up, sometimes to over five hours a week:

Researchers found animal lovers exercise their pet twice a day for 24 minutes each time — a total of five hours and 38 minutes a week.

On top of that, the average dog owner also takes their pet out on three long walks each week adding another two hours and 33 minutes to the total.

But in comparison, those without a dog spend an average of just one hour and 20 minutes per week exercising by going to the gym or heading out for a stroll or jog.

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