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Strength training might lengthen life

Published February 1, 2023

A 2022 study tracking 115,000 people 65 and older found that adding strength training to aerobic exercise lowered the risk of dying, regardless of cause, over nearly eight years of follow-up.

Short bursts of exercise may offer big health benefits

Published February 1, 2023

Performing at least 15 minutes of vigorous exercises per week, which includes several short bouts lasting up to two minutes, may lower a person’s risk of heart disease, cancer, and early death.

Healthy gut, healthy heart

Published February 1, 2023

The gut is home to trillions of microbes, collectively known as the gut microbiota, which help with digestion, manufacture certain nutrients, and release various substances that have wide-ranging health effects, including on cardiovascular health. As diet plays a significant role in the composition of the gut microbiota, people’s diet can indirectly affect heart health. Following a plant-based diet that emphasizes less red meat and more fiber can support the gut and its heart-healthy benefits.

Guide to starting a strength training program

Published February 1, 2023

Most men will lose about 30% of their muscle mass over their lifetimes, a natural process called sarcopenia. But no matter a man’s age, he can still build and maintain muscle with strength training. Strength training consists of upper- and lower-body exercises using free weights, weight machines, resistance bands, or body weight. Hiring a personal trainer who can design an individual program and teach proper exercise techniques and form is an ideal first step for beginners and those returning to exercise.

What’s keeping you from getting a good night’s sleep?

Published February 1, 2023

Sleep is the body’s time for restoration and recuperation. It’s when toxins are flushed out of the brain, tissue is repaired, muscles grow, memories are consolidated, and hormones are released. Over time, getting too little sleep or fragmented sleep impairs concentration and mood and increases the risks for many chronic diseases. It helps to try to identify and address factors that may be interrupting sleep, such as snoring bed partners, alcohol, heartburn, underlying health conditions, an uncomfortable sleeping environment, or medication side effects.

How to choose and guide your health care proxy

Published February 1, 2023

A health care proxy is a person designated to make health care decisions for someone who becomes unable to make them. The best candidate for the job is someone who knows the patient well, such as a family member or friend. The proxy needs the emotional and mental ability to make decisions based on what the patient wants, no matter the health scenario or environment, such as a hospital or long-term care facility. At the time of proxy selection, the patient should communicate his or her beliefs, values, and wishes for care.

Easy ways to keep inflammation in check

Published February 1, 2023

Certain healthy habits can fight chronic inflammation, such as eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, getting enough sleep, maintaining good oral health, and reducing stress. If adopting all those habits seems daunting, taking little steps in their direction can help. For example, a person might eat fatty fish twice a week, since it contains omega-3 fatty acids known to reduce inflammation; or go for a quick daily walk, since exercise may increase the production of hormones that help keep inflammation in check. The combined effects of many little habits can eventually add up to keep people healthier.

Do I still need a colonoscopy?

Published February 1, 2023

A 2022 study led to questions regarding whether colonoscopy is the best strategy to reduce the risk of death from colon cancer. But overwhelming evidence supports the procedure for lowering the risk of colon cancer and related death, and experts continue to recommend people at average risk get at least one colonoscopy beginning at age 45.

Rating the drugs in drug ads

Published January 31, 2023

Drug ads appear everywhere in the US, but how do highly promoted new medications stack up against other available treatments? Aside from cost –– including billions spent on marketing –– there may also be health implications.

Screening tests may save lives — so when is it time to stop?

Published January 23, 2023

A screening test could save your life, but even the best test has limitations. And as people grow older, the benefits of these tests tend to decline. It’s helpful to understand the limits of screening, and when people can reasonably expect to stop having tests done.

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