Today’s Headlines: Helping Hearts With Exercise, the Truth About Bookworms, and Big Versus Small Stressors

Exercising as a social activity can help heart failure patients. It’s important for everyone to exercise, but heart failure patients especially in order to decrease their risk of additional or more severe heart problems later in life. Lead researcher Dr. Lauren Cooper on this study found that “‘patients with higher levels of social support and fewer barriers to exercise exercised more than patients with lower levels of social support and more barriers to exercise…This is important because patients who exercised less had a higher risk of death from cardiac causes or hospitalization due to heart failure compared to patients who exercised more.”’ A main reason this study was done was to find additional ways to help people—who tend to be older in age–with heart failure because getting them to move and improve their health can be a challenge. (Fox)

Good news: the germs in library books probably won’t make you sick. While there are many things—bookworms, silverfish, bedbugs, and cold and flu causing bacteria—hiding in your library books, there’s not enough of them to make an impact. Infectious disease professor from the University of Chicago, Michael David, says that “Books are no better hosts for bacteria and viruses than many other objects…All pathogens need a critical mass—a minimum number of bacteria or viruses—for an exposed person to become infected. Most require very high numbers.” But, if you’re really still worried about the books you bring home, just make sure to thoroughly wash your hands to keep up good immune-boosting hygiene. (WSJ)

If you’ve experienced major stress in life, studies show you don’t sweat the small stuff. A study had participants explain both life and daily stresses they encountered in relation to how old they felt they looked every day. “Interestingly, the researchers found that the men and women who had experienced a major stressful event in the past year were overall less upset by smaller daily stresses. The people who had not experienced a major stressor were more likely to feel much older on a stressful day whereas those who had dealt with a stressful event didn’t change much in their opinions of how old they felt.” The researchers concluded the study by confirming a valuable life lesson: “The results suggest that as difficult and traumatic as they can be, stressful experiences can be sources of strength from which people can draw during future trying times.” (Time)