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

COACH yourself to success

People can coach themselves to success to achieve their goals. Developing realistic, attainable goals; being honest about what has been a barrier to success in the past; and positive reinforcement can make the process easier and far more likely to be successful. (Locked) More »

Reset your schedule, reset your health

Changes in daily schedules can have a big effect on health. For example, an inconsistent sleep schedule can lead to insomnia and changes in metabolism and hunger. Schedule changes may also affect whether someone exercises or takes medication. It’s important to commit to a routine set of hours for sleeping and waking, eating, exercising, and working. Ideas for sticking to a schedule include tying medication doses to daily activities, such as teeth brushing, and keeping a food journal to track meal times. (Locked) More »

5 tips to get your eating habits back on track

Eating healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic has been a challenge for some. But using simple strategies, such as building meals from three categories (a protein, a vegetable, and a carbohydrate) and aiming to ensure that at least half of your plate includes healthy options. It’s also a good idea to keep food out of sight to avoid mindless eating if you are spending more time at home. (Locked) More »

Are you risking eye damage by putting off that eye care visit?

The pandemic is leading some people to put off visits to their eye doctors. Delayed care could allow eye problems—such as glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, age-related macular degeneration, or an eye stroke—to go undetected or unchecked, especially since these conditions may not have symptoms in the early stages. But allowing eye problems to progress can result in eye damage and vision loss. It’s best to keep scheduled eye appointments, especially eye care for existing conditions. More »

Don’t let muscle mass go to waste

Age-related muscle loss is a natural part of getting older. But muscle loss can occur faster after an injury, illness, or any prolonged period of inactivity, leading to muscle atrophy. The consequences can mean overall weakness, poor balance, and even frailty. The good news is that it’s possible to rebuild lost muscle through a comprehensive program that includes physical therapy, strength training, cardio, flexibility, and a nutrition plan that includes more protein and calories. More »

Dreaming of a good night’s rest

Sleep problems are an all-too-common reality for most older men. They often sleep less deeply and are more easily awakened. They also are more likely to suffer from conditions that affect sleep, such as sleep apnea and restless legs syndrome. Adopting several lifestyle and behavioral changes can help men maintain a proper and healthy sleep cycle. More »

Is there a cure for my nightly snoring?

Snoring can be improved by making lifestyle changes. These include sleeping on the side instead of the back, avoiding alcohol or medications that may relax the airway muscles, and maintaining a healthy body weight. (Locked) More »

Simple solutions to soothe sore, fragile gums

A number of home remedies and over-the-counter medications can soothe sore gums. Examples include using over-the-counter painkillers, topical gels, better flossing tools, hot or warm compresses, and warm saltwater rinses, and avoiding foods with rough textures. When using these methods, gum pain often goes away after a few weeks. For conditions such as ulcers, trauma, burns, inflammation, or herpes simplex, the body may heal on its own after 14 days. However, if gum pain persists, one should go to a dentist. (Locked) More »

Take a soak for your health

Taking baths may bring numerous health benefits, among them helping ease chronic pain, improving skin health, and protecting the heart. When baths are used for health reasons, they are sometimes referred to as balneotherapy. While baths may help with certain health conditions, people should use care when in the tub to avoid slipping and also know that the hot water may lower blood pressure, which can lead to feeling dizzy or lightheaded. (Locked) More »