Walk more to slash your stroke risk

Men who walk the most have the lowest risk of stroke. A study showed that total walking time, rather than walking pace, determines how much stroke risk is reduced. Walking 30 minutes a day is sufficient to reduce risk. Intense walking will not necessarily produce additional benefit.  People already at higher risk of a stroke because of health conditions can also benefit from moderate walking. Using a step-counting device called a pedometer can motivate people to walk more every day. (Locked) More »

On call: How urinary drugs affect blood pressure

Medications for urinary problems in men vary in their impact on blood pressure. They can also interact with other medications in risky ways. Men starting on an alpha blocker should be fully informed about possible side effects. (Locked) More »

Physical and mental fitness are essential for maintaining back health

Preventing occasional back pain from becoming a chronic problem requires both physical and mental fitness. It is important to stay physically active, strengthen the muscles supporting the back, practice good posture when sitting, and maintain flexibility. Healthy sleep and a positive, less stressed attitude helps people be less sensitized to back pain and less apt to fall into a cycle of increasing physical deconditioning and disability. More »

If you want to avoid colonoscopy, you still have effective options

Colonoscopy is the most effective way to prevent colon cancer, but it is more inconvenient and carries more risks than other options. A person must take strong laxatives before colonoscopy to clear out the colon. There is a small risk of tearing the colon wall during the procedure. Colonoscopy usually includes light sedation. The next best option after colonoscopy is stool testing. It is not as invasive as colonoscopy but must be done more frequently and is less effective at catching precancerous growths before they develop into cancer. (Locked) More »

New recommendations relax the trigger point for taking medication

New expert recommendations for treating high blood pressure relax the threshold at which men age 60 and older should consider taking medication to lower their blood pressure. The guidelines also raise the threshold for blood pressure lowering in those with diabetes and chronic kidney disease. Less aggressive treatment could mean lower health care costs and slightly less risk of medication side effects, but not all experts agree that the change is advisable. The recommendations reflect lack of clear evidence that lowering blood pressure to the older, lower standard prevents heart attacks and strokes.  (Locked) More »

Optimal muscle health takes more than strength training

Healthy muscles allow people to remain active and independent. Also, muscles produce various substances that enhance overall health. Muscle mass declines with age, in part because of biological changes but also because people become less physically active. Muscle mass can be preserved with regular resistance training to build strength. In addition to strong muscles, a person needs to preserve balance, coordination, and agility. This helps prevent harmful falls. Examples of exercise that builds coordination and balance are tai chi, yoga, pilates, and ballroom dancing. (Locked) More »