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Are there benefits to wheat-grass juice shots?


I recently saw someone taking a wheat-grass juice shot at a smoothie shop, and I thought I might try it. What are the health benefits?

Many people swear by these daunting-looking little shots of pulverized wheat grass. To separate fact from fad, we turned to Union Memorial Hospital dietitian Gussie Malpass.

"The believers will tell you that wheat grass can do wondrous things, such as cure common colds and infections, as well as improve the immune system, lower blood pressure and cleanse the body of toxins," says Malpass. "There is no scientific evidence to validate these claims."

So why are so many people using wheat grass?

The thing about natural remedies, says Malpass, is that believing that they work just might help it happen.

I spend nine hours a day using my computer mouse, and I'm starting to pay the price.

It bothers my wrist to the point that I have to cancel tennis games. What can I do? I have to work.

There are new computer mice designed for those who suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome and other repetitive-stress injuries of the hands and wrists. These gizmos sit flat and have a ball that you roll with your palm or fingertips. Ask your employer if they can replace your mouse with one of these new wrist-friendly models.

You should also begin learning to use your mouse with the opposite hand. This will be frustrating at first, but it's worth it. Keep the mouse pad on your left side for half the day and on the right side for the other half. Be sure to take regular breaks to stretch your hands and wrists. Finally, make phone calls in place of e-mails whenever possible.

My trainer has me hitting the weight room hard. I am still painfully sore three or four days after a workout. Is this normal? Am I putting too much stress on my body?

Expect to be sore when beginning a new exercise program, says Dr. Michael Mont, director of the Center for Joint Preservation and Reconstruction at Sinai Hospital's Rubin Institute for Orthopedics. However, while some personal trainers still believe in the "no pain, no gain" approach, it is not good to be painfully sore.

Unless you are training for a strength event, there is no reason why a Sunday workout should leave you hobbling three days later. Also, if you are that achy you won't be ready for your next workout. Exhausting your muscles is a great way to tone them, but it sounds as if you are overdoing it.

"Your body is telling you that you need to back off," says Mont. Stop and listen.

Do you have a fitness question? Write to Fitness, The Baltimore Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore, MD 21278. You can also fax questions to 410-783-2519 or e-mail fitness@baltsun.com.

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