5 ways to ward off cancer

There’s no guarantee that one can prevent cancer, but there’s good evidence that the some steps may help ward off the disease. At the top of the list is losing weight and maintaining a normal body mass index, between 18.5 and 24.9. Getting aerobic exercise may cut cancer risk by as much as 50%. A healthy diet is important to cancer risk reduction, because excess weight is linked to the disease, and eating unhealthy foods can add pounds quickly. Quitting smoking and limiting alcohol are also key ways to reduce risk. (Locked) More »

The benefits of vitamin supplements

Most people don’t need vitamin pills. But people who have specific health conditions, such as pregnancy, kidney disease, or digestion problems, may benefit from certain vitamin supplements. (Locked) More »

Restructure your day to get a better night's sleep

Keeping an inconsistent sleep schedule can throw off one’s circadian rhythm, the body’s way of regulating sleep and waking. That can lead to insomnia. To re-establish circadian rhythms, one should wake up at the same time every day, and fill the day with more structure and a regular schedule for meals, exercise, and other activities. Stopping the use of all electronics an hour and a half before bed, keeping the lights low, and doing relaxing yet nonstimulating activities such as reading will allow one’s physiological, emotional, and cognitive levels to come down, and promote sleep.  More »

The benefits and risks of rediscovering your favorite sport

Playing in a sports league in older age has many benefits, such as exercise and socialization. But it’s important to discuss it first with a doctor, understand physical limitations, and learn the signs of physical trouble. Underlying medical problems can affect exercise tolerance and safety, especially for high-impact sports such as soccer, basketball, or running. In order to play sports safely, one should get back in the game by working on key aspects of fitness first, such as aerobic exercise, strength training, stretching, and a healthy diet. (Locked) More »

Stop the carb confusion

Unprocessed carbohydrates, such as legumes, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, are an important part of a healthy diet. One should avoid processed carbs, which are unhealthy, such as refined grains and sugar-sweetened treats and drinks. Eating too many carbs of any kind can lead to weight gain and its associated problems. The U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends that healthy adults limit their consumption of carbs to between 45% and 65% of their daily calories. (Locked) More »

Powerful gene editing technique may pave the way for new cures

A new technique called CRISPR can edit or eliminate defects in genes that cause disease. Use of the technique in animals is progressing rapidly. The technique has already been used to edit a gene that affects cholesterol in a mouse’s liver. The CRISPR technology also has the potential to go beyond curing diseases. For example, experiments are under way to see if it can reduce populations of disease-carrying insects or produce hardier crops. Still, some scientists are urging the world to refrain from editing human genes until more is known about whether there may be potentially harmful results.  (Locked) More »

Fall vaccination roundup

Vaccines are the best protection people have when it comes to certain illnesses. Older adults should get a flu shot every year, and should talk to their doctors about whether to get vaccines for pneumonia, tetanus, and shingles. Doctors say it doesn’t matter where one gets vaccines, whether it’s a doctor’s office or drugstore, as long as it’s a registered site, and the product is standard FDA-approved. The CDC recommends that people get flu shots as soon as they become available each year, even before October. (Locked) More »