Podcast: Living Better, Living Longer

Harvard Health Publishing's podcast Living Better, Living Longer brings you the amazing expertise of Harvard Medical School's 11,000-member faculty. Living Better Living Longer will be covering smart ways to lose weight, the latest guidance on blood pressure and cholesterol, terrific ways to stay fit...and more.

Episode 35: Coping with coronavirus: How to get some exercise--safely--at home while sheltering in place

Airdate: 4/8/2020

We all know we need to try to keep moving during these unusual times of social distancing, but where do we start? We consulted Heidi Godman, executive editor of Harvard Health Letter, who's been researching this subject. Bottom line? Keep it simple.

Episode 34: Prostate cancer treatment milestones

Airdate: 4/1/2020

Dr. Marc Garnick is the Gorman Brothers Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and the editor in chief of Harvard Health Publishing's Annual Report on Prostate Diseases. As the 2020 edition starts rolling off press, Dr. Garnick sat down to review major milestones in a 40-year career treating men who've been diagnosed with cancer in this most troublesome gland.

Episode 33: The gift of caring for a sick or elderly loved one

Airdate: 3/25/2020

All of us will have to step up to the plate at one time or another. But with some sensitivity and advanced planning, this phase of life can be uplifting for both the care recipient and the care giver. The key is communication—early and often—regarding broad goals and daily activities. Your guide is Dr. Suzanne Salamon, chief of clinical programs in the Gerontology Division of Harvard-affiliated Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. She is the faculty editor for the Harvard special health report Caregiver's Handbook.

Episode 32: How to conquer your anxieties during the COVID-19

Airdate: 3/23/2020

Your feelings arise from a misaligned ratio of stress to resiliency. The more resilient you become the less stress you'll feel. Dr. Greg Fricchione, director of the Benson-Henry Mind Body Institute at Massachusetts General Hospital, describes the tools and techniques for building resilience into your life during stressful times so we can better manage our anxieties.

Episode 31: The front lines of COVID-19: A doctor's eye view

Airdate: 3/20/2020

Dr. Todd Ellerin is an infectious diseases physician at South Shore Health in Weymouth Massachusetts, and an instructor in medicine at Harvard Medical School. He also serves as an associate physician at Boston's prestigious Brigham and Women's Hospital. He offers insight—and practical information-- from the front lines in the battle to stem COVID-19.

Episode 30: Coronavirus status report: Harvard public health expert Dr. Ashish K. Jha fils us in on where we are headed

Airdate: 3/19/2020

The COVID-19 outbreak has caused markets to collapse and worldwide health systems to become overwhelmed. When there's a global pandemic, it's nice to hear from the steady, transparent and yes even reassuring voice of experts on the front lines. We spoke to Dr. Ashish K. Jha, faculty director of the Harvard Global Health Institute. Dr. Jha's recent appearance on the PBS Newshour caused reverberations throughout the federal and state response system. Here's his update.

Episode 29: COVID-19 and the vulnerable: How we can help the sick and the elderly?

Airdate: 3/17/2020

There's a lot we don't know about the novel coronavirus that's shutting down the world. But we do know this: The sick, the elderly, the immune-compromised are particularly at risk. If you or a loved one fall into this category, there are some things you can do to help keep COVID-19 at bay. As Harvard's Dr. Rob Shmerling points out, it starts with situational awareness.

Episode 28: Prostate cancer treatment milestones: A pioneer looks back

Airdate: 3/18/2020

Dr. Marc Garnick is the Gorman Brothers Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and the editor in chief of Harvard Health Publishing's Annual Report on Prostate Diseases. As the 2020 edition starts rolling off press, Dr. Garnick sat down to review major milestones in a 40-year career treating men who've been diagnosed with cancer in this most troublesome gland.

Episode 27: Your doctor is worried you might have diabetes. For the newly diagonosed, what comes next?

Airdate: 3/12/2020

You're in for your annual physical and you hear the words "pre-diabetes" or "diabetes," based on an elevated A1C value in your blood test. This pivotal indicator has suddenly got your attention. But rest easy. Dr. David Nathan, faculty editor of the Harvard special health report Healthy Eating for Type 2 Diabetes, offers hope and help for getting things back under control.

Episode 26: Stress and anxiety in the time of COVID-19

Airdate: 03/11/2020

Dr. Greg L. Fricchione is the Mind Body Medical Institute Professor of Psychiatry at Mass General Hospital and Harvard Medical School. Here he places in context the worries we all feel when an infectious disease like the coronavirus COVID-19 comes calling. You'll be happy to know the stress you're experiencing is hard-wired into your mammalian brain as a well-known flight or fight mechanism. Digging a little deeper, we can come to understand that countering stress with a healthy dose of resilience can help us deal with these anxieties. Dr. Fricchione is the faculty editor for the Harvard Health Publishing special health report Stress Management.

Episode 25: Sensitive Gut: A review of major conditions and concerns

Airdate: 02/26/2020

In this return engagement, Harvard professor Lawrence S. Friedman describes the primary gut problems we may be heir to, from ulcers to colorectal cancer. He is the faculty editor for the Harvard Health Publishing special health report Sensitive Gut.

Update: A Harvard Infectious Diseases Doctor Looks at Covid-19

Airdate: 03/03/2020

Dr. Todd Ellerin is on the front lines of infectious disease containment and mitigation as the director of infectious diseases at South Shore Health in Weymouth, Massachusetts. He's an instructor at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women's Hospital. We spoke to him this week to get an update on the rapidly developing story surrounding the coronavirus Covid-19.

Episode 24: State of art: How medical science can handle your enlarged prostate

Airdate: 02/19/2020

The handy euphemism for an enlarged prostate gland—which constricts the urethra and makes it harder to void—is weak stream. It's just one of the conditions tackled each year in Harvard's annual Prostate Disease Guide. Here, Editor-in-chief Dr. Marc Garnick explains some possible steps if you're experiencing the first subtle signs of benign prostatic hyperplasia.

Episode 23: Boosting Energy: Safe, easy steps for feeling your best

Airdate: 02/12/2020

You feel alive, energetic, at the peak of your game. Don't you wish you could bottle it? For those of us who would like to boost our energy level, maybe you can. In this wide-ranging podcast, Dr. Anthony Komaroff, faculty editor of the special health report Boosting Energy and the editor-in-chief of Harvard Health Letter tells us there are lifestyle changes you can make today that will beat back fatigue and jump-start your energy....the elixir of life.

Episode 22: Mindful eating begins with switching quantity with quality

Airdate: 02/05/2020

If you find losing weight difficult, don't worry about how much you consume. Instead concentrate on eating quality foods like fruit and vegetables, lean animal or plant-based proteins and healthy fats. Then apply the portion control strategy of using smaller plates, smaller glasses and earlier eating times. These ideas come from Dr. Scott Butsch, faculty editor for the Harvard special health report Lose Weight and Keep it Off.

Episode 21: This year, resolve to challenge your brain

Airdate: 01/29/2020

Finding healthy, satisfying mental stimulation is one key to establishing a cognitive reserve, an essential component in staving off cognitive decline. But, as Harvard neurologist Dr. Alvaro Pascual-Leone describes, playing the same computer game over and over won't help. It's important to "cross-train" the brain with a variety of fun, challenging mental activities. Dr. Pascual-Leone is the faculty editor for the Harvard Health Publishing special health report A Guide to Cognitive Fitness. Click this link to learn more.

Episode 20: How to take control of your blood pressure today

Airdate: 01/22/2020

Home blood pressure monitoring is an easy way to spot trends and establish targets, especially if you want to measure the effectiveness of your anti-hypertension medications. And you can use that information to gauge how well you're doing on important dietary changes. Dr. Randall Zusman, faculty editor of the Harvard special health report Controlling Your Blood Pressure, joins us for an encore performance.

Episode 19: Do you or a loved one have prostate cancer? You'll want to listen to this

Airdate: 01/15/2020

There was a time when a diagnosis of prostate cancer meant a rush to perform radical prostatectomy to remove the prostate and the tumor along with it—with all the ensuing complications of incontinence and erectile dysfunction. To counter this rush to surgery, Harvard oncologist Marc Garnick, editor in chief of Harvard's annual prostate disease guide, describes a program of active surveillance of certain slow-growing cancers that leave a man's urological function intact. Not everyone qualifies for this approach, but it's certainly something you should discuss with your doctor.

Episode 18: Digestion and the brain. A gut grand tour

Airdate: 01/08/2020

Most of the time your digestive tract toils silently in the background, routinely taking in nourishment and expelling waste. But here's a key takeaway: Your brain is a critical part of maintaining this smoothly running system. Here to explain is Harvard professor Dr. Lawrence S. Friedman, faculty editor the special health report Sensitive Gut.

Episode 17: Resolved to lose weight this year? Make it stick with these simple changes.

Airdate: 01/01/2020

All of us at one time or another are concerned about excess pounds. If shedding those pounds is part of your New Year's resolution, take heart that it's not all about the calories you take in. It's also about simple achievable changes you can make today that will improve your chances of success. We talked to Dr. W. Scott Butsch, faculty editor of the Harvard special health report Lose Weight and Keep it Off to learn about easy changes you can start today that will last all year.

Episode 16: The gift of clear vision. The life-changing benefits of cataract surgery

Airdate: 12/25/2019

Clouded vision caused by cataracts is another consequence of aging. But surgery, while always serious, is becoming routine. And there's the side benefit of replacing your foggy lense with a corrected intraocular implant. Harvard professor Dr. Deborah Jacobs explains the procedure. She's the faculty editor for the Harvard Medical School Guide Clearing the Fog of Cataracts.

Episode 15: A happier you. Exploring the amazing power of mindfulness

Airdate: 12/18/2019

Closing out our three-podcast series on the science of happiness, Dr. Ronald D. Siegel discusses the health benefits of living in the moment. If you're new to this kind of mindfulness practice, all you need to start is a bit of gratitude. Dr. Siegel is the faculty editor for the Harvard special report Positive Psychology. Click the link to learn more.

Episode 14: Blood pressure control begins with proactive steps

Airdate: 12/11/2019

Here's a tactical approach to managing blood pressure that will put you back in control. Harvard's Dr. Randall Zusman explains that, with time and diligence, home blood pressure monitoring, plus steady improvements in diet, may help restore blood pressure to normal values without medication. Dr. Zusman is the faculty editor for the Harvard special health report Controlling Your Blood Pressure.

Episode 13: How can we make ourselves happier?

Airdate: 12/4/2019

There is solid, scientific evidence that being happy leads to direct health benefits. So that begs the question: How can we brew some of this magic potion that nurtures human wellness? Dr. Ronald D. Siegel, faculty editor for the Harvard special health report Positive Psychology shows us the way.

Episode 12: Pass the turkey. Hold the heartburn

Airdate: 11/27/2019

Here's the essential Harvard guide to taming the annual onslaught known as gastro esophageal reflux disease, GERD for short. Your instructor is Dr. Lawrence S. Friedman, faculty editor for the Harvard special report Sensitive Gut. The good news: There are a host of remedies available for this holiday scourge.

Episode 11: High blood pressure? Join the club. Management starts with knowledge

Airdate: 11/20/2019

The threshold for high blood pressure has moved from 140/90 to 130/80, and this change means millions of Americans are now considered "hypertensive." If you fall into this category, or you've been diagnosed with high blood pressure for a while, you'll want to hear Dr. Randall Zusman's helpful overview. Future conversations with Dr. Zusman, faculty editor for the Harvard report Controlling Your Blood Pressure, will focus on home blood pressure monitoring, dietary changes, and medications management.

Episode 10: The link between healthy and happy

Airdate: 11/13/2019

Positive psychology shows us the clear connection between happiness and wellness. In this first of three podcasts, Harvard professor Dr. Ronald D. Siegel explores the science of human flourishing, and how finding your happy place can add years to your life. In future podcasts, Dr. Siegel, faculty editor for the Harvard report Positive Psychology, will show us how we can actually create happiness through simple mindfulness exercises.

Episode 9: Want a healthy brain? Build a healthy heart.

Airdate: 11/06/2019

The link between heart health and brain health is clear and unbreakable. For optimum brain health, start working on cardiovascular wellness. It's as easy as portion control, and a walk around the block. We talked to Dr. Alvaro Pascual-Leone, faculty editor for the Harvard online course A Guide to Cognitive Fitness.

Episode 8: Flu symptoms? It's shaping up to be a tough season. Here's a Harvard special report.

Airdate: 10/31/2019

We've all been hit with flu symptoms at one time or another, and the aches, fever and chills can last for days, with a cough often lasting much longer. Here's Harvard Health Publishing Chief Medical Editor Dr. Howard LeWine to give us an update on what's shaping up to be an especially difficult flu season. He's a faculty editor on the Harvard Medical School guide Cold and Flu.

Episode 7: Bad back? You're not alone. Here's what you can do

Airdate: 10/23/2019

It's estimated 80-percent of us suffer from some kind of back ailment, ranging from sciatica and nerve pain to muscle spasms. But Harvard professor Dr. Jeffrey N. Katz says there are some things you can do to ease pain and aid treatment well before surgery becomes necessary. It's part of our new online course on back pain.

Episode 6: How to boost your brain power

Airdate: 10/16/2019

Harvard neurologist Dr. Alvaro Pascual-Leone offers the six pillars of cognitive fitness, and describes how all of us can develop cognitive reserve. His encouraging take? Declining brain health is not an inevitable part of aging.

Episode 5: Inflammation's trials and tribulations

Airdate: 10/9/2019

Your body heals when it's injured through the process of inflammation. But when the inflammation response goes unchecked, it can cause a wide variety of disease across all body systems. Harvard's Dr. Rob Shmerling explains. He's the faculty editor of the Harvard Medical School Guide Understanding Inflammation.

Special Edition: Health in the news. Red meat less risky? And Zantac recall

Airdate: 10/04/2019

We've been told for years it's wise to dial back on the consumption of red meat, especially processed red meat. But a study in the Annals of Internal Medicine suggested red meat can now be considered less of a risk. And heartburn sufferers were dismayed to learn Zantac was pulled from store shelves because of a possible cancer link. To learn more we turned to Harvard experts Kathy McManus and Heidi Godman.

Episode 4: The smart way to start exercising

Airdate: 10/02/2019

Dr. Howard LeWine, chief medical editor of Harvard Health Publishing, recommends that men who haven't exercised in a while begin at the beginning. Just take a walk. Any kind of activity will aim you in the right direction and you can build from there.

Episode 3: The mental side of weight loss

Airdate: 9/25/2019

Kathy McManus, director of nutrition at Brigham and Women's Hospital, discusses changing behavior as a pathway to weight loss in this conversation with Harvard's Dr. Mallika Marshall.

Episode 2: Improving memory — First the good news

Airdate: 9/18/2019

Harvard doctors Mallika Marshall and neurologist Kirk Daffner discuss the upside of growing older when it comes to your memory. We become wiser. But Dr. Daffner also describes red flags you'll want to know about.

Episode 1: Welcome to Living Better, Living Longer

Airdate: 9/13/2019

Every Wednesday Harvard Health Publishing will interview Harvard physicians at the forefront of health, wellness, and medical research.

Image: Getty-Christian Horz

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