5 ways the Internet can help you boost your health

Online access can help people improve their health. The Internet can be a resource for researching health conditions, symptoms, and treatments; a way to connect socially with friends, family, and even long-lost acquaintances; a means of reaching health care providers through portals; a link to diet and nutrition information, including advice about how to eat healthier; and a helpful exercise resource, with lists and videos of suggested workouts and information about local exercise classes. (Locked) More »

Do financial incentives improve health?

Most large employers now offer financial incentives to employees who make healthy lifestyle changes. There is some evidence that incentives work better when offered to groups of people all challenged to adopt healthy lifestyle habits, rather than on an individual basis. (Locked) More »

How stress affects seniors, and how to manage it

Coping with stress becomes more difficult in older age. This is because the body isn’t able to accommodate the physiological response to stress as well as it once did. Ways to cope with stress include addressing an underlying condition, eating a healthy diet, getting plenty of exercise, socializing, doing breathing exercises, meditating, and undergoing cognitive behavioral therapy. But stress management techniques take practice, and one may need medications to relieve stress over the short term. (Locked) More »

Do habits cause your neck pain?

Looking down at a smartphone or laptop for long periods of time can cause neck pain. The position flexes the neck forward and requires the use of neck and shoulder muscles. Over time, this position may strain the muscles to the point of weakness. To relieve pain, it helps to raise a screen closer to eye level and to do neck exercises and stretches. Posture is important, too. Supporting the arms while sitting also helps, since taking pressure off the arms takes pressure off the shoulder muscles. More »

Spice up your dinner with foreign flavors

Trying world cuisines can add taste as well as vitamins and micronutrients to the diet. But the rules of healthy eating apply, no matter what the cuisine. For example, Indian food is known for its aromatic spices and a focus on legumes. However, it also has a lot of creamy sauces, which one should avoid. Vietnamese food is known for a bounty of vegetables. However, some dishes use a lot of fish sauce, which is high in salt. Another way to try other flavors is by using an exotic condiment or spice, such as harissa, chimichurri, or curry powder. (Locked) More »

What you need to know if you’re taking multiple medications

Taking five or more medications, including prescription drugs, over-the-counter products, and herbal supplements, is known as polypharmacy. It can be challenging to maintain such a regimen; the potential for drug interactions goes up, and there’s an increased risk for side effects that can lead to emergency room visits and hospitalizations. Tips for success include getting all prescriptions filled at one pharmacy; keeping an up-to-date list that includes what each medication is used for, the proper strength, and dosing instructions; and using a pillbox with multiple compartments, such as breakfast, lunch, dinner, and bedtime.  (Locked) More »

Thyroid disorders and heart conditions: What’s the connection?

Thyroid disorders are often overlooked as the cause of heart problems. An underactive thyroid may cause blood pressure problems, a slow heart rate, an increase in cholesterol, an increase in fluid around the heart, and heart failure. An overactive thyroid can cause the heart to beat faster, which can lead to palpitations or an irregular heartbeat known as atrial fibrillation (afib). Treating the thyroid may help relieve symptoms and may reverse some heart conditions. However, it’s very difficult to reverse afib in someone with ongoing hyperthyroidism.  (Locked) More »