Common sense health and wellness

I like all things snarky so I enjoyed reading a recent post by a physician poking a bit of fun at health and wellness fads.

Remember the old aphorism You are what you eat? Well, forget it. In today’s busy world who has time for “eating in moderation” or “being heart healthy”? I think that if there’s one thing that the health and wellness industry has proven time and time again is that miracle cures and gimmick diets work. Every. Single. Time. Not only are they logical and effective, but also completely safe.

(Don’t forget he’s kidding here!)

The

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Brain health – Play EyeWire

brain health eyewireUse it or lose it

There are several pieces of advice for helping prevent or delay age-related dementia and Alzheimer’s.

  • Don’t smoke
  • Eat healthy, heart-friendly foods
  • Exercise
  • Socialize
  • Challenge your brain

Keeping your brain active and fit can be especially fun and rewarding, as it usually involves learning something new. Examples of good brain-stretchers are:

  • Learning a foreign language
  • Learning to play an instrument
  • Learning to dance, especially a complicated dance such as ballroom or folk dancing
  • Playing games

I love to play games. Board games, card games, word games or video games. You can play with others, which also … Continue reading

Home remedies for pain relief

I’ve reached that age when everything hurts.

Age, overuse, less-than-perfect posture and a family history of arthritis have resulted in a variety of aches and pains: stiff neck, sore knees, carpal tunnel, stiff shoulders, foot pain, headaches, and so on.

Related post: Improve your posture

These are the common miseries to which we all fall victim at one time or another. Occasional use of over-the-counter pain remedies such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen or naproxen is fine. But when the need becomes more frequent, or chronic, it’s time to start looking for other forms of relief.

Related post: Don’t overdose on acetaminophen!Continue reading

Yoga DVDs for beginners

yoga dvds for beginnersStay healthy – Yoga for flexibility and strength

I believe yoga is a great form of exercise to fend off the loss of strength and flexibility we all experience with age.

When the muscles of our legs, arms and back are strong and flexible, our joints are stronger, too, and less prone to injury.

Related post: Yoga for knee injuries

I’ve tried different yoga classes and styles, but I’m not really interested in yoga fads (hot yoga, anyone?) or mastering a particular style. I just want the basics.

For the last few years I’ve relied on my DVD of Barbara … Continue reading

Walgreens’ Balance Rewards – Healthy savings or not?

walgreens balance rewardsA loyalty card with a (seemingly) healthy twist

Walgreens’ catch phrase is, well, catchy. 

Walgreens—At the corner of Happy and Healthy®

Who wouldn’t want to live (or shop) at that address?

I normally don’t shop at Walgreens, but a friend mentioned the Balance Rewards card to me because it allows cardholders to track healthy behaviors and earn rewards points, and she thought I might like that.

Absolutely! So I decided to check it out.

I looked at the Walgreens’ website and argh! is it confusing! Still, after a concentrated effort I was able to determine the main points or “rewards” … Continue reading

Yoga for knee injuries

yoga for knee injuriesStrike a pose and possibly avoid surgery

I love research that shows conservative treatments—rest, diet and exercise—to be as effective (or more!) than drugs and surgery.

So when I ran across this article, “9 exercises to rehab a torn ACL without surgery,” I wanted to pass it on.

There are approximately 150,000 anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tears a year, most of which need to be fixed surgically. However, new research at the Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) in New York City found that about 25 percent of the ACL injured population does not need to undergo surgery because partially— and,

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Improve your posture

Learn how to sit properly

As someone who spends a lot of time sitting at a desk, and who has a family history of arthritis and back problems, I am always concerned about taking care of my spine.

I recently discovered a great series of YouTube videos by Esther Gokhale (pronounced go-CLAY), known as “the posture guru of Silicon Valley.”

As she explains in this introductory video:

In modern society, we have forgotten how to use our bodies, and we suffer a lot of aches and pains and dysfunction because of that.

But the good

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Three Mental Hacks to Keep You Motivated and Fit

fitness and motivationThis is my first guest post! Matthew Morris is a therapist in New York. He provides clinical interventions that help motivate clients, and he also runs a site dedicated to helping students and career changers get started as nurses.

I think his motivational tips tie in beautifully with my recent post “New year’s resolutions: Exercise.” With proper motivation and fitness goals, you will maintain healthy habits, save money, and have fun!

Thank you, Matthew!

As a counselor who has a strong personal interest in physical fitness, I am always fascinated by the “psychological tools” people use to attain their … Continue reading

New year’s resolutions: Exercise

new year's resolutions exerciseIf you don’t like it, you won’t do it

I am not an athlete and I don’t like to exercise. As a child I was the classic kid with her nose in a book, always choosing to sit quietly in the library during recess while the other kids played dodge ball and tag, or swung on the monkey bars.

So invariably over the years, my new year’s resolutions have focused on forcing myself to exercise more.

I do it, but I don’t like it.

And because I don’t like it, I can be really creative in finding an excuse—any excuse—to … Continue reading

Eye Trainer: An app for eyestrain

eye trainer health appTech takes a toll on eyes

I’ve done it again. For way too long I’ve sat hunched in front of my computer without taking a break, and now my eyes burn, my vision blurs, my head aches, and my neck . . . ouch!

Of course I know better. Prolonged use of your eyes, such as working at a computer, reading, driving or playing “Words With Friends,” can cause eyestrain. And in our technology-centric world, eyestrain is pretty hard to avoid.

Symptoms of eyestrain include:

  • Sore, tired, burning, itching, dry or watery eyes
  • Blurred vision, difficulty focusing
  • Headache
  • Sore
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