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posted: 8/6/2012 6:00 AM

Your health: Working out with websites

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  • Apps downloaded on your smartphone can help you train like the experts.

      Apps downloaded on your smartphone can help you train like the experts.

  • Learn to recognize pesky plants like poison ivy, pictured here, to avoid itchy and burning skin.

      Learn to recognize pesky plants like poison ivy, pictured here, to avoid itchy and burning skin.

Daily Herald reports

Train like a pro

You may not have made your small-screen debut on "The Biggest Loser," but a new batch of Web-based applications allows you to virtually work out with that show's Jillian Michaels and other fitness gurus, says The Washington Post.

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In Shape's July issue, editors highlight what they consider three worthy online fitness programs. Michaels' "360-degree Weight Loss Navigator" ($4 per week; offers fitness and wellness advice. The program also syncs up with the BodyMedia armband ($150) so users can get personalized feedback.

Kathy Kaehler website offers "Sunday Set-Up" ($29 per year;, which provides a weekly 15- to 20-minute workout video, a Web video featuring lifestyle tips and dinner menus.

Valerie Waters's "Red Carpet Ready Club" ($27 per month; mimics the training that Waters' Hollywood clients endure.

Dementia help

Llama love. Late-night yoga sessions. Gardening. The July-August issue of the AARP Bulletin looks at three unconventional programs that depart from typical Alzheimer's and dementia treatment, says The Washington Post.

Instead of sticking to a cocktail of drugs and rigid schedules, caregivers are increasingly offering their charges activities that are more engaging and fun. Beatitudes Campus in Phoenix focuses on comfort, allowing for flexible schedules dictated more by an individual's personality and preferences than medication.

ElderServe at Night, a dusk-to-dawn drop-off program in the Bronx, combats sleeplessness, night terrors and disorientation by offering daytime-style activities.

Life Care Center of Nashoba Valley in Littleton, Mass., has what is possibly the most offbeat therapy -- Travis the Llama, which visits patients and makes them smile.

Problem plants

Poison ivy, oak and sumac can all cause contact dermatitis, which develops when the skin comes in contact with a chemical that triggers an allergic reaction, according to the Harvard Medical School.

The skin is red, swollen and itchy. In severe cases, small blisters crop up, and clear fluid may seep from the skin.

Don't scratch or rub the inflamed skin. Compresses of cool, clean water can be soothing. Aspirin can reduce pain. Steroid ointments will speed healing. Mild preparations such as hydrocortisone are available over the counter. If you have a severe case, your doctor may prescribe a steroid pill such as prednisone.

The best treatment is prevention. Learn to recognize and avoid pesky plants.

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