Question: I’m a third grade teacher. I love being with my students, but I often feel frazzled at the end of the day. My friend said exercising regularly would help calm me, but it seems like an energetic exercise routine would only make me more keyed up. Who is right?

Answer: Your friend is on the right track. While exercise is all about movement, after the exercise routine is completed, the body balances itself by calming nerves. Exercise increases body temperature, which also has a calming effect on the body. It releases muscle tension, helping to improve sleeping habits and reducing levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Exercise helps the body release toxins and excess energy, which creates a more positive outlook. The bottom line is a regular exercise routine will help reduce stress. It doesn’t need to be a vigorous routine; begin with movements you enjoy for 15 – 20 minutes several days a week and you’ll feel the benefits.

Suzy Trahan, wellness coach, ACSM certified exercise physiologist, registered dietitian nutritionist and director of Dynamic Dimensions Fitness Centers

Question: My daughter is 10 weeks old and has regular bouts of crying for no reason. I wonder if she has colic. What do pediatricians look for when diagnosing colic?

Answer: We look for a pattern of three: is the baby between three weeks and three months old? Does the baby cry harder than expected for more than three hours a day?  Is it for at least three weeks in a row?  These guidelines build a strong case for colic. Also, colicky crying is often accompanied by clenched fists and stiffened legs. Some babies may arch their backs or pull their legs up. The cause of colic isn’t fully understood, making it difficult to comfort the baby; but it helps to know that it usually passes after a few weeks.

Julie Babineaux, MD, pediatrician with The Pediatric Center of Southwest Louisiana and medical staff member of West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital

Questions may be submitted to: Healthy Advice, 716 E. Napoleon St., Sulphur, LA  70663 or by emailing healthyadvice@wcch.com.  Questions cannot be answered individually, but will be considered for publication.  Please check with your physician for specific recommendations concerning your health concerns. This information is not intended to treat, cure or diagnose your condition.  Healthy Advice is a weekly column from West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital.