Staying Healthy

Maintaining good health doesn't happen by accident. It requires work, smart lifestyle choices, and the occasional checkup and test.

A healthy diet is rich in fiber, whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, "good" or unsaturated fats, and omega-3 fatty acids. These dietary components turn down inflammation, which can damage tissue, joints, artery walls, and organs. Going easy on processed foods is another element of healthy eating. Sweets, foods made with highly refined grains, and sugar-sweetened beverages can cause spikes in blood sugar that can lead to early hunger. High blood sugar is linked to the development of diabetes, obesity, heart disease, and even dementia.

The Mediterranean diet meets all of the criteria for good health, and there is convincing evidence that it is effective at warding off heart attack, stroke, and premature death. The diet is rich in olive oil, fruits, vegetables, nuts and fish; low in red meats or processed meats; and includes a moderate amount of cheese and wine.

Physical activity is also necessary for good health. It can greatly reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, breast and colon cancer, depression, and falls. Physical activity improves sleep, endurance, and even sex. Aim for 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise every week, such as brisk walking. Strength training, important for balance, bone health, controlling blood sugar, and mobility, is recommended 2-3 times per week.

Finding ways to reduce stress is another strategy that can help you stay healthy, given the connection between stress and a variety of disorders. There are many ways to bust stress. Try, meditation, mindfulness, yoga, playing on weekends, and taking vacations.

Finally, establish a good relationship with a primary care physician. If something happens to your health, a physician you know —and who knows you — is in the best position to help. He or she will also recommend tests to check for hidden cancer or other conditions.

Staying Healthy Articles

Extra support for better health

A variety of coaches can help people reach their particular health goals. Health and wellness coaches inspire and guide clients to shift their mindset and develop new, healthy behaviors. Fitness professionals—such as personal trainers or exercise physiologists—develop and prescribe exercise regimens to help clients. Dietitians develop eating plans tailored to clients’ needs, such as weight loss or gain, or preventing or treating chronic disease. And culinary coaches use coaching principles and cooking expertise to teach people how to shop for and prepare healthy meals. (Locked) More »

Music to your health

A favorite tune can stir up positive memories, boost mood, and create a soothing, relaxing atmosphere. Now science has found that listening to music can stimulate brain regions that change how people think and move. Used in specific ways, music can help people in various health-related areas, such as improving exercise performance, sleeping better, and coping with medical procedures. (Locked) More »

Questions to ask before getting a hip replacement

When considering hip replacement surgery, it’s important to ask many questions about the procedure, preparation, and recovery. Potential surgery candidates should find out about a surgeon’s credentials and expertise, common risks of hip replacement and how to minimize them, which type of artificial hip the surgeon wants to implant, what will happen during surgery, how much pain and pain medication can be expected, physical rehabilitation options, how long it will take to recover, and how long the new joint will last. (Locked) More »

The good side of bacteria

Probiotics are good bacteria that keep the gut healthy and help fight infections and inflammation. Some research suggests that certain probiotics help relieve symptoms of gut-related conditions like inflammatory bowel disease and irritable bowel syndrome. Fermented foods are the best sources of probiotics, such as yogurt, pickles, sauerkraut, and sourdough bread. More »

The major problem of ministrokes

Transient ischemic attacks (TIAs), also known as mini-strokes, share many of the typical stroke signs and symptoms, and are a warning sign of a high stroke risk. Yet, they often are mild and brief, which is why they get routinely missed or ignored. People need to be mindful about common TIA symptoms and seek immediate medical care when they occur. (Locked) More »

Try this move for better core strength

Strengthening your core using plank exercises can help ease back pain. The plank position is essentially the high part of a push-up. People who can’t hold this position can try a modified version by bending their knees and resting them on the ground. Build strength by practicing holding a plank for as long as you can, and then progressively working to hold it for longer each time. More »