Staying Healthy Archive

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Time for your annual health review

The start of a new year is always a great opportunity for people to re-engage with their health. One of the first steps is to conduct a personal health review. It's a way to measure where a person's health stands now, outline the goals, and create a strategy to reach them. A personal health review follows a three-step process: gathering all current health information, listing short- and long-term goals, and sharing everything with a doctor during a scheduled wellness visit.

Why does coffee help with digestion?

For some people, drinking coffee has a laxative effect. Coffee triggers colon contractions and stool movement, a process heightened by its caffeine content. Women prone to constipation might find a morning cup of coffee helpful, but drinking excessive amounts may worsen the symptoms of certain health conditions.

Why am I prone to skin tags?

Skin tags are fleshy, soft growths that tend to develop on the neck, under the arms, or around the groin. People who develop many skin tags should see their doctor, since they may be associated with diabetes or metabolic syndrome. Skin tags can be removed using various methods.

Do you need a medical escort?

Some minor medical procedures require patients to bring a medical escort because they involve anesthesia or sedation, which can leave patients groggy or feeling ill afterward. Finding a medical escort can be problematic for older adults who live alone or have no family members or friends who can fill in. Public transportation also won't suffice, since drivers can't accompany customers into their homes. People in need of a medical escort can seek help from community organizations or check with their area's Office on Aging or home health agencies for such services.

Waist-to-hip ratio better than BMI in predicting future health issues

According to a 2023 study, a person's waist-to-hip ratio—the circumference of the waist divided by the circumference of the hip—is a better predictor of future health issues like high blood pressure, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes than body mass index.

Take the Dry January challenge

Dry January is an annual health initiative in which people commit to abstaining from drinking alcohol—beer, wine, and spirits—for one month. The challenge can be a useful tool to help people change their relationships with alcohol. Partaking in Dry January can offer various health benefits, even for casual drinkers, such as improved sleep, increased energy, weight loss, and lower blood pressure. It also can help people explore what role they want alcohol to have going forward, such as whether they want to cut back on frequency and amount, or quit drinking altogether.

Prepare for a fall

More than one in four adults ages 65 and older fall each year, and about 20% of those tumbles result in a broken bone or head injury. The best way to prevent falls is to stay in good shape by improving core strength, balance, and flexibility. People can further protect themselves by learning to fall in a way that reduces their risk of serious injury. Practicing falling can help develop muscle memory, so the body can automatically react to the situation, and help those who have previously suffered a fall overcome the fear of taking another tumble.

Questions and answers about the new anti-obesity medications

They're the most effective drugs for weight loss to date. But they're expensive, scarce, and not right for everyone. Learn more about the latest batch of anti-obesity drugs.

No-cost, low-cost, and bigger splurges for climate-conscious gifts

If you're looking for gifts to give or donate, climate-conscious gifts come in many guises and fit no-cost, low-cost, or big budgets. Gifts can directly support the environment, trim waste and fossil fuel use, or offer creative ways to connect, reuse, recyle — and possibly regift.

When should you hire in-home help or health aides?

Most people want to live at home for as long as possible as they age, and managing this successfully may mean hiring outside help. Considering this step raises many questions, and answering them honestly will help guide decisions about when and how to proceed.

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