Crucial ways you can support a healthy immune system

There’s no evidence that maintaining a healthy lifestyle will suddenly boost the immune system. However, it’s clear that healthy lifestyle habits contribute to overall health, supporting the body’s ability to fight infections instead of creating new problems. Healthy habits that help maintain a robust immune system include getting seven to nine hours of sleep per night, exercising, reducing stress, eating a healthy diet, not smoking, drinking alcohol only in moderation, maintaining a healthy weight, and getting underlying conditions under control. (Locked) More »

Treatments for a stiff, narrow aortic valve

There are a number of treatments for a stiff, narrow aortic valve. They include open heart surgery to replace the defective valve, a transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) to replace the valve, or medicine. Doctors say surgery or TAVR are equally good choices. TAVR is less invasive than surgery and appears to work as well as surgery in both the short and long term. Medicines alone, while an attractive option, may be the worst choice. (Locked) More »

Boost your ability to lift and carry heavy loads

It’s easier to lift and carry heavy items if one maintains the muscles that help do the job, such as the thigh, gluteal, abdominal, shoulder, and arm muscles. In addition, it helps to follow the rules of safe lifting and carrying. To lift: one should get close to the object and bend the knees slightly, wrap one’s arms around the object, push down with the legs, and stand up straight. To carry: one should hug the object close to the chest to boost stability. (Locked) More »

10 healthy diet staples for your emergency food kit

When crafting an emergency supply of foods, one should avoid convenience foods like frozen dinners and canned soups, which typically contain excessive amounts of salt, fat, calories, preservatives, and added sugars. Better choices are healthy nonperishable items and frozen foods that can be used to make many meals. Experts recommend keeping a supply of a wide variety of vegetables, fruits, legumes, canned meats, whole grains, nuts and seeds, milks, healthy fats, soup stock, and seasonings. More »

Heartburn medication update

Concerns about health risks tied to heartburn medications can make it tough to choose the right treatment. Doctors say it’s generally best to try pill-free strategies first, such as losing weight and avoiding foods or drinks that trigger heartburn. If those measures don’t work, the next step is to use antacids. If antacids are ineffective, one can try a medication called an H2 blocker. If that doesn’t help after a few weeks, one can move on to a proton-pump inhibitor. If there’s still no relief after a few weeks, it’s time to speak with a doctor. More »

High-tech calls for help: Understanding gadget limits

Gadgets that can call for help in an emergency—such as a "smart" speaker, a mobile phone designed for older adults, or an alert button—have limitations. For example, a smart speaker has a limited listening range, and may not hear if someone is calling for help from another room. Smartphones and alert buttons won’t do any good if they aren’t being worn or if they’re not within reach. It’s best to learn about gadget limitations before investing in one. (Locked) More »

Can hot baths protect your heart?

A study published March 24, 2020, by the journal Heart found that people who took a daily warm or hot bath had a 28% lower risk of cardiovascular disease and a 26% lower risk of stroke, compared with people who didn’t take frequent tub baths. More »