Could a cold remedy make you sicker?

Even though some cold remedies are available over the counter, they are still medications that can interact with other drugs and interfere with existing health problems. It’s crucial to read the active ingredient list of any OTC medication before taking it, and talk to a pharmacist or doctor if unsure about the risks. Be especially careful with decongestants, antihistamines, and acetaminophen. Cold remedies with a combination of medications can be dangerous because a person may not need all of the medications.  More »

Volunteering can be good for both mind and body

Volunteering has many benefits. The social interaction makes people feel connected to others, which staves off loneliness and depression. Volunteering also makes people feel effective, because they’re making a difference in others’ lives. In addition, volunteering boosts self-esteem, and it can lift mood. Volunteering is also associated with healthy outcomes, such as lower blood pressure, increased well-being, and a reduction in the risk of dying. It’s unclear exactly how much time one must volunteer to boost health. Studies have noted benefits from 100 to 200 hours per year.   (Locked) More »

Easy ways to exercise at home

Exercising at home can have a significant impact on a person’s quality of life and stop the decline in muscle mass that happens with aging. One should get the okay to exercise from a doctor first, and then see a physical therapist to develop a plan that includes aerobic exercise and strength training. Ideas for aerobic exercises include going up and down stairs, dancing, marching in place, walking on a treadmill, or walking at a brisk pace inside a house. Strength training ideas include working with resistance bands, doing chair yoga, or using small weights. (Locked) More »

How to spot — and avoid — added sugar

Added sugar is a risk for weight gain, heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer, and even dementia. Women should limit added sugar intake to 6 teaspoons per day, and men should limit added sugars to 9 teaspoons per day. Added sugar is in sweets as well as in salad dressings, crackers, yogurt, bread, spaghetti sauce, barbecue sauce, ketchup, and cereals. One can find added sugar in foods by looking at the ingredients in a product. One should look for syrups, juices, and words ending in “ose,” such as fructose, dextrose and maltose.  More »

How often should you get your blood sugar checked?

People who have diabetes risk factors should get their blood sugar checked. If it’s normal, they should get it checked again in three years. If it’s not normal, they should get it checked yearly. Risk factors include being older than 45, being overweight (with a body mass index of 25 or higher), a sedentary lifestyle, a family history of type 2 diabetes, a history of high blood pressure or high cholesterol, or a heritage that is African American, Hispanic, American Indian, or Asian American. (Locked) More »

Chronic condition? You could be at risk for a fall

A person’s health can be a risk factor for a fall. Chronic conditions such as vision problems, Parkinson’s disease, low blood pressure, joint pain, and inner ear problems can all cause imbalance. That can lead to a fall. Side effects from some medications—such as sleeping aids and certain blood pressure medications—may also increase fall risk. Dehydration can cause dizziness, and lead to a fall. Low vitamin D levels may also make someone more at risk for falling. (Locked) More »