5 food and drink fads you can skip

Food and drink fads that claim to be healthy aren’t always a wise choice. For example, water with added vitamins probably doesn’t have enough nutrients to make a difference in health. Coconut oil—touted as an all-natural way to boost brain function, ward off heart disease, burn fat, and improve digestion—is mostly saturated fat, which is linked to an increased risk for cardiovascular disease. And there’s no evidence that adding mushroom powder to coffee or tea can reduce caffeine jitters or improve digestion, thinking skills, energy, and immune response. (Locked) More »

Fight back against muscle weakness

Muscle weakness impairs health. It slows metabolism, puts more pressure on the joints, hurts posture, throws off balance, and limits mobility. Weakness may be caused by aging, inactivity, medication side effects, or underlying conditions such as neuropathy. A doctor can help sort out the cause of muscle weakness with a physical exam and sometimes some blood tests or nerve testing. A regular program of strengthening and stretching the muscles will make a big difference in health. (Locked) More »

Top 4 reasons why you're not sleeping through the night

There are many potential contributors to disrupted sleep in older age. Age can be a factor, but shouldn’t be assumed as the cause. Lifestyle habits often lead to interrupted sleep. Examples include drinking alcohol within four hours of bedtime, napping too much during the day, and consuming too much caffeine. Medication side effects can sometimes cause nighttime waking. So can underlying conditions, such as anxiety, chronic pain, or sleep apnea. Changing one’s lifestyle and treating an underlying condition can help improve sleep, as can practicing good sleep hygiene. More »

Taking medications on the road

Taking medications on the road requires planning. Travelers must think about how much medication they’ll need for a trip, how to obtain that medication in advance of a trip, and how to pack the medication. It’s most secure—and in many states and countries, required—to leave each prescription medication in its original labeled container. It may also be necessary to bring a copy of prescriptions as well as a letter from one’s physician (on letterhead) explaining what the medications are and why they’ve been prescribed. (Locked) More »

Should you use an active workstation at home?

An active workstation may be helpful for people who spend more than a few hours per day sitting at a desk at home, especially if they find it hard to take breaks from sitting. However, active workstations can pose some health risks. For example, standing for long periods overloads the joints and back and can worsen existing pain. Using a treadmill desk or a cycling desk may make it harder to concentrate. It’s best to try out an active workstation in a store (for an extended period) before making a purchase. (Locked) More »

It's never too late to start exercising

An observational study published online March 8, 2019, by JAMA Network Open found that older adults who didn’t start exercising until middle age had a similar lower risk of dying as those who had exercised consistently since they were teenagers. More »