Are you functionally fit?

Exercise is important to maintain “functional” fitness, which is the ability of a person to perform regular daily activities, whether that means carrying laundry or playing with grandkids. A program to maintain functional fitness includes exercises that mimic daily activities, with motions that help the body get better at pushing, pulling, climbing, bending, lifting, reaching, turning, squatting, and rotating the trunk or shoulders. The exercises also train the muscles to work together. (Locked) More »

Holiday for one?

Facing holidays alone may trigger stress, loneliness, or depression. Ways to navigate this period include reframing one’s image of what a holiday should look like. Creating new holiday traditions can help, such as making holiday foods, listening to holiday music, watching holiday entertainment on TV, or reading holiday stories. It can also help to reach out to others, for instance, by inviting neighbors over, volunteering for a local charity, or going to a community dinner. (Locked) More »

Coping with motion sickness

The most widely accepted theory about the cause of motion sickness points to a phenomenon called sensory conflict, when the inputs of the senses don’t agree. For example, if one is below the deck of a ship, the eyes see the room sitting still, while the balance organs in the ear read the rolling motion of the ship, so there’s disagreement. That’s sensory conflict, and it makes some people motion sick. One way to counter it is to look out at the world while moving. Sucking on peppermint candy may also help. (Locked) More »

Surprising sources of dietary fiber

Legumes aren’t the only good source of fiber. Many nuts, seeds, fruits, and vegetables are also loaded with fiber. For example, an ounce of chia seeds (about 2 tablespoons) has about 10 grams of fiber. One cup of either cooked whole-grain Kamut or teff has about 7 grams of fiber. Many fruits are good fiber sources, too, such as raspberries, with 8 grams of fiber in a cup. Vegetables can also be rich in fiber, such as Brussels sprouts or dark, leafy greens. (Locked) More »

When your colonoscopy reveals that you have diverticulosis, hemorrhoids, or both

Many people have diverticula and hemorrhoids without symptoms. Diverticula are pouchlike structures that sometimes form in the muscular wall of the colon and bulge outward. In some people, diverticula bleed or get infected (diverticulitis). Hemorrhoids are pillow-like clusters of veins in the lining of the lower part of the rectum and anus, which help play a role in preventing stool leakage. When they become enlarged, however, they are anything but helpful and can even contribute to some leakage in addition to pain, itching, and bleeding. More »

New motivation to move more

 In people who sit more than 12 or 13 hours per day, sitting for periods of 30 minutes or longer is associated with a greater risk for early death compared with sitting for less than 30 minutes at a time. More »