Do you think of yourself as an optimist or a pessimist? Or, like me, a hybrid of the two (hope for the best, but plan for the worst)?
I just finished reading Up: How Positive Outlook Can Transform Our Health and Aging by Hilary Tindle, MD, MPH, and found it an engaging look at how our outlook can drive our behaviors toward better or poorer health.
Dr. Tindle began her career as a primary care doctor. What she found were “relentless days of chronically ill” patients who suffered from obesity, depression, anxiety, insomnia, smoking, drinking, loneliness and isolation.
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Eat fresh & local
I am fortunate to live in an area that has abundant Farmers Markets that operate year-round. They not only offer fresh, locally-grown produce, but baked goods, jams & jellies, cheeses, nuts, cut flowers, and a variety of local artisan crafts.
The summer months are my favorite. I can find summer fruits that are at their peak of ripeness and flavor, unlike the under-ripe, flavorless versions that are sold in the grocery stores. Cherries, peaches, apricots, strawberries, blueberries and raspberries all taste better (and are often cheaper) when they are locally grown and picked within the last … Continue reading
SPF = Sun Protection Factor
An SPF rating is an estimate of how effectively a sunscreen product reduces the time it takes your skin to burn. For example, if it normally takes about 10 minutes in the sun for you to burn, a product with an SPF of 15 extends that time to burn to 150 minutes. SPF 30? Approximately 300 minutes.
Related post: First aid for sunburns
Keep in mind two things about SPF:
1) It is not a super accurate measurement of protection. Different people with different skin types burn at different rates.
2) SPF measures protection from … Continue reading
That’s a question that continues to be debated in the medical journals, but the short answer is probably not.
Too much salt or sodium is bad for you, like almost anything; but now we’re learning that too little sodium can be bad for us, too.
A few weeks ago, the Washington Post had a nice article explaining how salt came to be thought of as the enemy of good health, and why new research indicates that current low sodium guidelines might be too low: More scientists doubt salt is as bad for you as the government says
For years, the
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My husband sent me a link to a short Ted Talks video about aging. After watching it, I’m wondering if I’ve been going about aging the wrong way.
The video is about an inspiring woman, Olga Kotelko, who took up amateur track and field at the age of 77. At age 91, she was competing in the long jump! She had more than 50 world records!
How did she think about growing old? And how might our own perceptions or biases about aging affect us physically?
What if age is just a state of mind?
Earlier this year, I posted about the study out of Harvard that showed headaches are being overtreated in America.
Over a 10-year period, the number of patients being referred to specialists, or sent for special diagnostic tests, has doubled.
With more CT scans and MRIs, and more prescriptions medications, headaches are costly. Also, all the extra tests and drugs don’t necessarily help, and they might just cause more problems with side effects.
Related post: Home remedies for headaches
Luckily, some headache specialists are leaning away from the trend to overtreat, and are prescribing exercise and dietary changes instead of drugs. … Continue reading
Last month a nurse posted this selfie on her Facebook page with the following message:
If anyone needs a little motivation to not lay in the tanning bed and sun here ya go! This is what skin cancer treatment can look like. Wear sunscreen and get a spray tan. You only get one skin and you should take care of it. Learn from other people’s mistakes. Don’t let tanning prevent you from seeing your children grow up. That’s my biggest fear now that I have a two year old little boy of my own.
I hope a picture is worth … Continue reading
It’s no secret that as we age we have to be more diligent about exercise to keep our muscles toned and flexible, and maintain a healthy body weight.
The same is true of the tissue inside our throats. Flabby throat muscles and fatty tissue cause snoring and sleep apnea. Poor quality sleep affects not only the patient, but anyone sleeping (or trying to) within hearing distance.
The typical solution given to most patients seeking help is the CPAP, a bulky machine that applies air pressure through a nasal mask as you sleep. It keeps the airways open so you can … Continue reading
I read a good article in The Wall Street Journal a few days ago: How Flavor Drives Nutrition
For nearly a half century, America has been on a witch hunt to find the ingredient that is making us fat. In the 1980s, the culprit was fat itself. Next it was carbs. Today, sugar is the enemy—unless you’re caught up in the war on gluten.
And none of it has worked. Obesity is now closing in on smoking as our No. 1 preventable cause of death. The U.S. has rarely failed at anything the way it has failed at weight loss.
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I just ran across this video of Andrew Weil, MD, explaining how to do yoga breathing exercises, specifically the 4-7-8 breathing technique. It’s based on the yoga practice of pranayama.
I’ve always had trouble getting to sleep and staying asleep, and I want to give these breathing exercises a try as they are an inexpensive and drug-free approach to hopefully improving my quantity and quality of sleep.
The steps of the 4-7-8 technique are simple:
- Exhale completely through your mouth while making a ‘whoosh’ sound.
- Close your mouth and inhale quietly through your
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