In the long run, building up your arms and shoulders can be advantageous
Runner’s World, December

A strong lower body is essential for persevering through a tough run, right? Actually, according to physical therapist and long-distance runner Nikki Kimball, “the best distance athletes don’t just have impressive quads and glutes. They have muscular arms and shoulders that help them maintain speed throughout their races.” A strong arm swing helps to counterbalance the lower body and to propel the body forward while contributing to overall good form. Kimball suggests performing upper-body strengthening exercises twice a week, including dips with the arms behind the body on a chair. You can also use a resistance band to work the arms, back and shoulders. Then there is always the good, old-fashioned push-up: Doing two sets of 12 to 15 can do wonders, according to Kimball. Make sure to tighten your abs and glutes to stabilize your body during these exercises, but let your arms do the bulk of the work.

If your child might have a bad reaction, it’s wise to practice safe snacking
Parenting, December/January

Finding safe and healthful foods for children with food allergies can be difficult, especially at restaurants or a friend’s house, as parents of kids with allergies know. According to pediatric allergy and immunology specialist Todd Mahr, “Food allergies are definitely on the rise, but we’re not totally sure why.” What should a parent do? Mahr recommends that parents read food labels very carefully. The top eight allergens — milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, wheat, soy, shellfish and fish — will be listed if they are present, but it may be that other ingredients less commonly associated with allergies, such as spices or artificial flavoring, trouble your child. Not sure about an ingredient? Mahr says be safe and choose a different food for your child. To minimize danger away from home, pack safe snacks. And children who face major allergic reactions may want to carry two doses of self-injectable epinephrine, or wear an allergy necklace or bracelet containing information about what they might need in an emergency.

Whitney Fetterhoff