Happy Wednesday, dear readers! At this point, you guys are old hat at this: Gather 'round, grab your favorite beverage, and let's meet over the metaphorical office water cooler to catch up on our favorite health-related stories this week. Don't forget to let us know what you've been reading this week!
1. "Hot" mom stirs controversy on Facebook. Because what is social media for, if not for instigating? Maria Kang, a California resident and fitness enthusiast, posted a photo of herself in a sports bra and matching booty shorts surrounded by her three kids with the caption, "What's your excuse?" The picture has since gone viral with more than 6 million views on Facebook and 12,000 comments ranging from "You go, girl" to "Not that I need an excuse for NOT working out, but here's mine: fibromyalgia!" Check out the full photo on Yahoo! Shine, and then tell us what you think in the comments below or @Shape_Magazine.
2. Herbal supplements may not be as pure as you think. More proof that "natural" doesn't guarantee that something is healthy: Canandian researchers tested 44 herbal products from 12 companies and found that 60 percent of them contained plant substances not listed on the label, and 20 percent included unlisted fillers such as wheat, rice, and soybeans. These hidden ingredients could cause problems for people with allergies and decrease the effectiveness of the supplements, researchers say.
3. Chicken plants in California will remain open. Despite calls to shut down three Foster Farms plants in California associated with the salmonella outbreak last week that sickened 300 people and sent half of them to the hospital, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will allow them to remain open. However, the USDA and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention sent warning letters to Foster Farms, and the company had to present a plan to address the many violations found at the plants, including unsanitary surfaces, improper dressing procedures for employees, and fecal matter found on chicken carcasses.
4. Need a quick pick-me-up? Call your mom! You know how your mother is always nagging you to call her more? Turns out, she knows best after all (as always does seem to be the case). Recent research shows that interacting with people you love such as close friends or family members act as "microbursts," or little things you can do to give you an instant shot of energy, and might even be more effective than coffee. It's important to note that this research is preliminary and hasn't yet been peer-reviewed, but if you're close with your family, it can't hurt, right?
5. Running may not help you lose weight. In frustrating news for runners everywhere, it turns out that it may not be the best form of cardio if you're specifically looking to shed pounds. Fitness expert Adam Bornstein explains why here.