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

Flu Vaccine Fact Sheet

These easy-to-read and understand fact sheets provide information to help readers choose to get a flu shot--especially important during the pandemic. Click here download the English and Spanish versions for free to use in your practice or business. More »

Telehealth: The advantages and disadvantages

Normally, doctors and other health care providers for their patients in person at a facility such as a medical office, clinic, or hospital. But thanks to computers, smartphones, and other new digital technologies, medical professionals can now diagnose, treat, and oversee their patients' care virtually. Telehealth is defined as the delivery of health care services at a distance through the use of technology. It can include everything from conducting medical visits over the computer, to monitoring patients' vital signs remotely. Its definition is broader than that of telemedicine, which only includes the remote delivery of health care. Telehealth also includes the training and continuing education of medical professionals. More »

Are you denying yourself medical care?

Fears of catching COVID-19 may be keeping some people from seeking medical treatment. But many doctor appointments, such as those for medication management, can be handled via telemedicine. Appointments that must be conducted in person—such as dental visits and cancer screenings—can in some cases be postponed, if a doctor says it’s okay; it depends on a person’s individual health. No one should avoid treatment for an urgent medical condition, such as a suspected heart attack or stroke. (Locked) More »

COVID-19 and flu season: What to expect

Doctors are very concerned about how the COVID-19 pandemic and the approaching flu season will affect high-risk people. Experts stress that getting a flu vaccine and continuing to follow behavioral changes introduced during the COVID pandemic, such as mask wearing, hand washing, and physical distancing, can offer effective protection against the flu. (Locked) More »

Reinvent your walking regimen

A brisk walk is excellent exercise, but some people find it boring. Incorporating other activities into the walk can make it more interesting. For example, a person can boost cardio fitness during a walk by using Nordic walking poles or by periodically picking up the pace for brief spurts of 15, 30, or 60 seconds. A brisk walk can also be used as a time to socialize with family or friends, or to have a heart-to-heart chat. A brisk walk is also a good time to practice mindfulness. More »

Step up your walking fitness

People who walk for their primary form of exercise, or even just for recreation, need to make sure they stay in good walking shape to avoid injuries and improve their endurance. Adopting a cross-training routine that focuses on strengthening the legs, hips, and core can keep walkers in tip-top shape. (Locked) More »

5 tips to help you stay healthy this winter

To stay healthy this winter, people should stick to tried-and-true infection-control strategies, such as handwashing, following a healthy lifestyle, having regular medical check-ups, and getting a flu shot and other recommended vaccines. This year, wearing a mask and avoiding large gatherings is also important. New products marketed to kill germs may be ineffective; the best cleaning strategy is to wipe surfaces clean, and then use a simple disinfectant. (Locked) More »

How super are "superfoods"?

Certain fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds have been labeled "superfoods" because, compared with other foods, they have higher amounts of certain vitamins and minerals and powerful antioxidants. They often are associated with combating high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, and even some cancers. But instead of focusing on eating more of individual foods, experts suggest building "superplates" that include a variety of superfoods. (Locked) More »

How to get your prescriptions when you can’t leave home

There are many ways to have prescription medications delivered right to one’s home, such as using a grocery delivery service or finding a drugstore that contracts with a courier service to make home deliveries. Online pharmacies provide medications by mail. While convenient, prescription delivery has drawbacks, too, such as delays in receiving medications, or missed packages if the recipient isn’t home at the time of a delivery. When ordering prescription refills, it’s best to order well in advance, such as day 21 for a 30-day prescription. (Locked) More »