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Well

Your guide to living healthier and better in Chicago.

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How parents can manage kids’ screen time as the COVID-19 pandemic drags on

Parents should look out for signs such as lack of sleep, irritability and reclusiveness in kids. If it looks like they’re just passively scrolling on apps like social media, it might be a sign to take a break.

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Ask the Doctors: Eating more plant-rich foods is a good idea for better health

There’s a lot of research about the health benefits of a plant-forward diet. Fiber is particularly important. It helps reduce inflammation and nourishes the microbes in our gut.

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Flu has all but disappeared in the US, amid COVID-19 pandemic

Experts say that measures put in place to fend off the coronavirus — mask wearing, social distancing and virtual schooling — were a big factor in preventing a "twindemic" of flu and COVID-19.

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Trisha Yearwood battling COVID-19; husband Garth Brooks tests negative

A press release from Brooks’ publicist says Yearwood is "doing okay so far" but dealing with unspecified symptoms, and Brooks welcomes fans’ prayers and thoughts. 

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Shopping online eases isolation for older adults

The pandemic has motivated many who have been isolated at home or unable to leave their senior communities to learn something they may have resisted until now: how to buy groceries and more online.

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Seniors have priority for COVID-19 vaccines, yet many who are homebound still wait

‘This is a hidden group that’s going to be overlooked if we don’t step up efforts to reach them,’ Dr. Steven Landers says of the nation’s millions of older, homebound adults.

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Airlines planning to forward passenger COVID info to CDC for contact-tracing

An industry trade group said Friday that the carriers would turn over the information to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which could use it to contact passengers who might be exposed to the virus that causes COVID-19.

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Companies are marketing cabins as pandemic-safe escapes for city dwellers

The outdoor hospitality industry is booming as people seek a break from the realities of the pandemic.

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Here’s who’s giving you the COVID-19 vaccine shot

Dentists and emergency medical technicians recently were added to a group of health care workers able to give coronavirus shots to make sure there are enough people to administer vaccines.

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CVS to help underserved Americans schedule COVID-19 vaccine appointments

The pharmacy chain began scheduling appointments a week ago for people at 350 stores across 11 states — Illinois isn’t yet among them — and eventually will expand to all of its stores.

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Ask the Doctors: Short-burst workouts of as little as 11 minutes can improve your health, study shows

Study participants were asked to work as hard as was comfortable for each one-minute burst of body weight exercise. Six weeks later, they were in measurably better shape.

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Demi Lovato reveals she suffered three strokes, heart attack after 2018 overdose

In a trailer for her YouTube docuseries "Demi Lovato: Dancing with the Devil." the singer reveals details of her health ordeal.

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Long work commute time? You could be inhaling high levels of carcinogens in your car

Drivers who spend more than 20 minutes in their cars are at risk of exposure to formaldehyde and benzene. Both are toxic chemicals embedded in vehicle carpets, paints and fuels.

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Following the COVID science: what the data say about the vaccine, social gatherings and travel

The CDC issued guidelines this week recommending wearing a surgical mask underneath a cloth mask or knotting the surgical masks to prevent air seeping through the sides. Even when a person is vaccinated, it takes up to two weeks to reach maximum immunity and no shot offers total protection. 

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Pioneering sleep researcher Rosalind Dymond Cartwright, ‘Queen of Dreams,’ dead at 98

Her groundbreaking research concluded dreaming is important for mental health because it helps people organize thoughts and deal with worries and emotions.

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Computer divide among the barriers keeping elderly from getting COVID-19 vaccines

It’s easy to forget there is an entire generation among us, maybe two, who never had to join the computer age. Now, we expect them to go online to register and find their shots?

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Amy Grant shares health update after heart surgery: take care of yourself

The singer unknowingly lived with the heart condition since birth, but was diagnosed last year after her doctor insisted Grant get a check-up while accompanying husband Vince Gill on a doctor’s visit.

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Simone Biles stars in behind-the-scenes docuseries ahead of Olympics

The project "Simone vs. Herself," announced Thursday morning, will begin airing this summer on Facebook Watch. Biles hopes the docuseries will empower young girls.

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CDC study: two masks are better than one vs. COVID-19

A recent CDC experiment showed that when exhaling and inhaling heads were double-masked, more than 95% of coronavirus-sized particles were blocked.

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Ideas for a healthy and safe Valentine’s Day meal everyone can love

You can enjoy such a celebratory meal in a healthy way. People have an unfortunate tendency to go all-or-nothing on decadent foods, but the key is finding balance.

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Korean American K-pop stars promote mental health awareness

Many recording artists struggle to cope with the trappings of fame. In South Korea, as in many cultures, talking about mental health issues is seen as taboo, causing K-pop stars to grapple with depression and mental illness on their own.

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For ‘One Chicago’ stars, making pandemic TV shows isn’t difficult, just ‘different’

"Chicago Fire," "P.D." and "Med" actors say they’re getting used to their masked reality while missing road trips and Cubs games.

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Michelle Obama teams with puppets for children’s show encouraging healthy eating habits

The 20-minute episodes will combine live action and puppets, and Obama will be a series regular.

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Chrissy Teigen’s latest post about pregnancy loss has an important message about grief in general

It’s not only grief surrounding miscarriages that can last for a non-linear amount of time, either. Survivors of grief say you have to learn to embrace it all.

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Physical symptoms of stress: Your body is trying to tell you something

Stress isn’t just a state of mind. It’s something that can create chaos in your body. Experts say poor physical health can often signal poor mental health. 

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Mercury’s Brittney Griner opens up about the need for counseling

"My decision to leave was a hard one to make, especially in the middle of the season," Griner said. "I never thought I’d be in that situation. Everything that was going on, everything I was dealing with, I needed to take that leave. I definitely used counseling a lot when I left."

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Ask the Doctors: Age spots are a result of too much sun exposure. Here’s what to do.

Sometimes referred to as sun spots or liver spots, these become more common as we get older. Tey can appear on any part of the skin that’s had chronic overexposure to sunlight.

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Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez reveals she’s a sexual assault survivor, how Capitol riot compounds trauma

Ocasio-Cortez said she was sharing her story because it is important for survivors of trauma to recount their experiences.

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Mask mandate for airlines, public transit taking effect

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a mask-wearing rule late Friday that builds on an order announced Jan. 21 by President Joe Biden. The rule took effect late Monday, just before midnight.

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Health insurers are adding food, meal delivery programs to help people get and stay healthy

Amid the COVID pandemic, more of them are paying for temporary meal deliveries. And some are teaching people how to cook and eat healthier foods.

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Emotional exhaustion: What is it this overwhelming feeling, how do you cope?

The frustrating, heartbreaking, unpredictable events of the past months demanded so much. Many of us are asking: How much more can we take?

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Ask the Doctors: What Type 2 diabetes is, understanding insulin’s role in treatment

Once seen mostly among middle-aged adults, it’s increasingly seen in young adults, adolescents and even children.

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Having trouble finding a box of Grape-Nuts? Here’s why

The brand started experiencing shortages in late 2020 and its Grape-Nuts Flakes cereal was also affected. The flakes should be returning to stores now and the original cereal is expected to be "fully back on store shelves" this spring, a company spokesperson said.

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4 signs you might be getting an unwelcome tax surprise this year

If any of these scenarios played out for you in 2020, there are some telltale red flags that can mean an unwelcome tax surprise is headed your way, tax pros say.