You probably don’t give bone health tips much attention, but where would you be without them? Your internal frame is vital to moving you through space and allowing you to do all the activities you love. However, your bones can lose strength over time, leaving you prone to fractures that take a long time to heal. You can also develop osteoporosis, a condition in which bones become more brittle over time as new growth fails to keep up with a loss. You could find yourself struggling to stand with a crooked spine and “losing” height as you age. Furthermore, bone problems contribute to chronic pain, which robs far too much joy from life. What can you do to protect yourself? Here are eight bone health tips for a stronger skeleton. 1. Understand Your Unique Risks Your first stop on the journey to better bone health entails mindfulness. Evaluating your unique risk factors is only half of this bone health tip. The other is recognizing which ones you can control and taking proactive steps to ensure a stronger skeleton. Risk factors for bone loss include the following: Diet: Certain calcium and vitamin D nutrients are essential to bone health. Others also play roles, such as collagen, phosphorus and vitamin K. Activity Level: You need to use your bones or risk loss. Weight-bearing exercises that get you on your feet or actively work against resistance build skeletal strength. Body Weight: Excess weight puts pressure on your bones, but that’s not the only risk. It also affects hormonal levels, which have a direct effect on your skeletal health. Smoking: Smoking affects your body’s ability to absorb calcium, leading to weaker bones. Alcohol: Excessive alcohol use weakens bone density and mechanical properties. Medications: Certain medications can influence bone density, particularly those impacting hormonal levels. Genetics: Osteoporosis tends to run in families, suggesting a hereditary basis for certain risks. You can’t do anything about your genes. However, most other risk factors for bone loss remain firmly within your control. Here’s how you can use that knowledge to protect against osteoporosis and fractures. 2. Adjust Your Diet One of the best bone health tips is to eat a healthy diet. This news probably doesn’t surprise you — it’s an effective method of preventing and treating many chronic diseases. That means your total health benefits. However, let’s take a closer look at the classes of nutrients you need more of to nurture your skeleton. Calcium Unsurprisingly, calcium is vital to bone health. You probably know dairy products are among your best nutrient sources. Your body does absorb nutrients better through food, but milk products aren’t your only options. You can also find plant-based sources of this mineral, like the following: Broccoli Spinach Nuts and nut milk Beans and lentils Some whole grains Seaweed Vitamin D Your body can’t convert calcium into a usable form without the help of vitamin D. Your body can manufacture this nutrient from the sun, depending on where you live. However, folks above 37 degrees latitude, like much of the United States, should consider a supplement, as your body can’t make enough from the available light, especially in winter. You typically find this nutrient in foods of animal origin, like fatty fish. However, you can also find foods fortified with it, although vegans and vegetarians are another risk group that should consider supplementation. Other Nutrients In addition to calcium and vitamin D, the following nutrients are essential for bone health: Protein Magnesium Phosphorus Fluoride Potassium The best way to ensure you get a healthy amount of each nutrient is to eat a healthy, whole-food diet rich in plant-based materials. Nuts and seeds, for example, are excellent magnesium sources, and most vegetables contain oodles of potassium. 3. Consider Supplementation You know about vitamin D supplementation, but what about calcium? This nutrient is tricky, and supplements aren’t for everyone. For example, some people already have too much calcium in their blood, a condition called hypercalcemia. Adding more could cause complications like intestinal polyps. However, the following people should consider supplementation. Please talk to your doctor first: Vegans Those with lactose intolerance Post-menopausal women Those on high-protein, high-sodium diets: Pay attention, keto fans. Although you need protein for healthy bones, too much of that or salt can cause your body to excrete more calcium. Those on long-term corticosteroid treatments: These medications reduce your body’s ability to absorb calcium. Those with bowel or inflammatory diseases: These can hinder absorption. 4. Do Weight-Bearing Exercises What are weight-bearing exercises? They involve your feet, with your skeleton supporting your movement. Examples include walking, low-impact aerobics, kickboxing and dance. However, cycling and swimming don’t count — even in pool walking, the water supports too much of your weight to build bone density. How much do you need? The World Health Organization recommends moderate activity 30 to 60 minutes per day, so strive for at least a half-hour daily. Please try to be consistent and avoid the “weekend warrior” syndrome, which can increase your risk of injury. 5. Strength-Train Weight-bearing exercises help your spine but leave some upper-body bones out of the equation. Furthermore, people with conditions such as arthritis might find resistance training with bands and machines more comfortable than walking on a treadmill for a half-hour. Please try to squeeze in at least two to three days of resistance training, more if health conditions make other weight-bearing exercises painful. 6. Prevent Falls Falls are perhaps the top cause of fractures among older adults, and 60% of such accidents take place at home. Your first order of business in fall prevention is to get to work at cleaning up the clutter. Ensure you have adequate space between furnishings, especially if you or someone you love uses assistive devices for mobility. Furthermore, get plenty of light in your space — otherwise, you could trip over things you can’t see. If you struggle with mobility, consider adding grab bars in places like bathrooms, where falls are more likely to occur. 7. Get Tested How do you know if you have a bone density issue lurking inside your body? The miracle of technology, baby. Talk to your doctor about having a DEXA scan, a special x-ray that evaluates your bone health risks. Many doctors recommend them for women beginning in menopause and men starting at age 65. 8. Take Medication If Prescribed Your final bone health tip depends on the results of your DEXA scan. Your doctor may recommend medication to prevent further loss. These include the following prescriptions: Alendronate Ibandronate Risedronate Zoledronic acid Denosumab Teriparatide Abaloparatide Romosozumab Additionally, your doctor may recommend hormonal treatments, particularly in post-menopausal women. Replacing your estrogen can help maintain bone strength. Bone Health Tips You might not pay much attention to your skeleton. However, it would help if you had it to help you move through life. Follow these eight bone health tips to preserve your frame as you age. You’ll enjoy a healthier, pain-free and active experience as you grow older.
How’s your overall health knowledge? You don’t have to be a doctor or nurse to maintain positive well-being and know some excellent health tips. A little savvy benefits everyone. It’s much easier to prevent severe illness than treat it, particularly in a society where doing so costs such a pretty penny it bankrupts countless people each year. Furthermore, a little know-how could help you save a life. Learning how to perform CPR and basic first aid provides emergency treatment before first responders arrive. Unfortunately, American schools don’t emphasize caring for and feeding human animals. What should you add to your repertoire? Here are six health tips everyone should know and master. 1. How to Perform CPR Knowing how to perform CPR can save a life and potentially prevent permanent disability, making it a health tip everyone should know. Without circulation, your brain cells begin to die within one minute and suffer extensive damage after only three. At five, death becomes imminent. Few first responders could reach the scene that quickly. Investing in a class is best — many workplaces offer them, so see if yours is one. If not, please memorize the following steps so that you’re prepared for a cardiac emergency: Check the scene: Never put yourself in danger, which could present more problems for first responders. Ensure there are no downed power lines or other hazards. Use PPE if at all possible. Check for responsiveness: Use shout-tap-shout, “Are you okay,” tap on the shoulder, “Are you okay?” Call 911: Or command someone to do it for you. If the latter, point to a specific person and say, “You, call 911.” Otherwise, people may stand around wasting time waiting for another to act. Roll the person on their back: You will need a firm surface, so a bed isn’t appropriate. If working with a bed-bound patient, you may need to slide a board beneath them. Give 30 chest compressions: Remove or cut bras and clothing. Find the midline of their sternum by locating the tip of their breastbone and moving up about one hand space between their nipples. Press the heel of your palm there and place the other hand on top, interlacing your fingers. Submerge their chest approximately two inches, allowing it to return to normal between compressions but maintaining 100 to 120 compressions per minute. Keep your elbows stiff and press using your torso. You may crack ribs — please do not panic. Give two breaths: Use two fingers under their chin and your palm on their forehead to tilt their forehead back, opening their airway. Breathe for one second at a time, letting it escape before giving the next. Repeat your 30 compressions to two breaths pattern until first responders arrive. Use an AED if available. If you have someone with you, you may wish to switch off to prevent fatigue. Giving CPR is tiring, but your results can be lifesaving. 2. How to Treat Minor Wounds Accidents happen — that’s why they’re called “accidents.” Your first business order is to get into the habit of carrying a first aid kit with you. Your second is to master its use in minor emergencies. You can clean most wounds with running water. Afterward, apply a triple antibiotic ointment and cover them with gauze or bandages. Redress wounds after they get dirty or at least once every 24 hours until they begin to heal. Most bruises require no treatment, although applying ice can minimize swelling. It’s also wise to learn how to sling a broken limb if you get injured somewhere deep in the country and travel for help. 3. How to Intervene If Someone’s Choking The Heimlich maneuver is another must to master. Like CPR, it can save a life, making it yet another health tip we should all know. Your technique may vary depending on the size of the person you’re with — or if you need to perform the maneuver on yourself. Here are pointers for each situation you might encounter: For most adults: Stand behind the individual with one leg braced between theirs for support, the other back at an angle. Tip the person forward slightly. Make a fist with one hand, placing it just above their navel but below their breastbone. As you “hug’ them, squeeze up and inward with a swift upward thrust. Repeat five times. Have someone call 911 or call between sets if you need more than one. For children: Use the same technique with less force. For infants: Lie the baby face down along your forearm. Thump them five times in the middle of the back. Flip them over and try chest compressions if the first technique fails. For yourself or obese individuals: You might not be able to wrap your arms around someone whose waist circumference doesn’t allow it, or you could find yourself choking when alone. If so, locate a hard, fixed object like a chair pushed against a wall backward. Place your fist above your navel (or instruct them to do so), put the other hand on top and perform thrusts using the stationary item for force. 4. How to Stop a Panic Attack Rates of anxiety disorders have soared since the pandemic, so health tips come in handy. Unfortunately, many people don’t get the mental health care they need, especially in America, thanks to the for-profit system. Panic attacks can disrupt your entire day and lead to maladaptive thoughts and behaviors that worsen a bad situation. It’s vital to know how to reclaim control. Fortunately, it’s free. Remember the folks that advocated breathing into a paper bag? It turns out they were onto something, although this practice won’t work for everyone. What does is breath regulation. Your breathing patterns and autonomic nervous system share a link, meaning one affects the other. Typically, panic makes your breathing rapid and shallow. Consciously slowing the breath, particularly elongating the exhales, activates the parasympathetic side — the half that tells you to rest and relax. Try the following patterns the next time you feel your self-control slipping: 5-5 breathing: Inhale for a count of five and exhale for the same count, focusing on the numbers instead of your racing thoughts. 2-to-1 breathing: In this pattern, you elongate your exhales twice as long as your inhales. Boxed breathing: This technique popularized by the Navy SEALS involves inhaling for four, holding your breath for a 4-count, then exhaling for four and remaining empty for four. 5. How to Recognize and Respond to Emotional Triggers Be honest — did you ever catch yourself overreacting to something minor? Chances are your behaviors weren’t driven as much by present circumstances as the mental schema you built up around similar events in the past. A trigger prompts a return of negative mental health symptoms by spurring an exaggerated emotional reaction, making you feel like you’re experiencing past trauma all over again. The problem is that you may not recognize your triggers, which are some of the most essential health tips. For example, the whiff of a passing stranger’s cologne could remind you of an abusive relationship, making you anxious, edgy and snappy the rest of the day without you realizing what made your mood go south. Your cure? Mindfulness is one of the most important health tips. Spending some time in quiet, meditative practices like yoga, gardening, mindful walking or meditation allows your brain “rest time” to explore and process your emotions with a spirit of gentle curiosity — not the urgency you feel to take immediate action in the heat of the moment. Ask yourself, “What was I doing/thinking/feeling right before I started to feel out of control? What did I perceive in my immediate environment?” Do so without judgment, treating your inquiry as a simple fact-finding mission. Once you recognize your triggers, imagine more positive ways to respond. Spend time visualizing yourself taking the preferred action that serves you instead of a maladaptive one that hurts other people’s feelings or leaves you in a precarious position. For example, you get triggered when your boss puts too much work on your plate right before you leave for a much-needed vacation. You grow furious, thinking of all the times your parents overburdened you with chores. Instead of barely restraining the urge to sock your employer and coping by getting drunk after work, you schedule a meeting for a calm time when you can reasonably discuss expectations and the need for work-life balance to maintain productivity. 6. How to Practice Self-Care Please — banish the notion that self-care means lazing about a pricey spa with an umbrella drink from your mindset. Practicing it is one of the most critical health tips everyone should know. Just ask the World Health Organization, which defines it as anything that helps maintain and promote positive health while helping you manage the existing disease. What does self-care entail, then? It encompasses many things but should always include the following: Eating right: You should focus on whole, plant-based foods, eliminating or reducing over-processed junk. It would help if you also took the time to discover sensitivities that hugely impact your health. Avoid unhealthy fats and espouse a diet similar to the Mediterranean plan, which emphasizes lots of veggies and fruits, whole (not processed) grains, and lean proteins like fish. Exercise: According to the World Health Organization, adults need moderate to vigorous physical activity for 30 to 60 minutes daily. Find something you love enough to stick with it for the long term. Sleep: Most adults need between seven and nine hours nightly. Keep your circadian rhythms on track by sticking to a schedule, even on weekends and make your bedroom conducive to sleep by banning unnecessary lights and electronic devices. Hygiene: You should wash your hands before and after eating, after taking out the trash, playing with animals, using the restroom or cleaning up someone else’s waste. Keep sanitizer handy — and, hey, a mask isn’t bad in times of high infectious disease risk. Health Tips Everyone Should Know Many adults reach the age of 18 without knowing the basics of the human animal. However, everyone should know basic health tips to prevent disease and treat emergencies when necessary. Pay attention to the six health tips above that everyone should know. You’ll enjoy enhanced well-being and possibly a longer life.
Yoga and meditation might be ancient practices — but they’re finding increased popularity today. The number of people engaging in meditation for beginners grew by over 68% between 2010 and 2021 alone. There are lots of good reasons why. These practices help you calm the chaos of the outside world and tune into your inner self. They are the ultimate in mindfulness, and many therapists recommend them for use in trauma healing and reclaiming a sense of agency over your body after assault or abuse. However, walking into a hardcore Ashtanga class on your first attempt will have you fleeing in horror, questioning if you stumbled into a Cirque de Soliel audition. What should you do if you’re new? Here are eight tips on yoga and meditation for beginners to help start your practice. 1. Learn to Listen to Your Body As simple as this yoga and meditation for beginners tip may sound, it’s a lot trickier than you think. For example, many people with PTSD and CPTSD have trained themselves to dissociate from their physical sensations as a matter of survival — but these practices no longer serve them. For your first class or two, choose something slow and gentle that lets you get in tune with how it feels to move your body through space. This ability, called proprioception, helps you build balance and coordination, especially if brain or other injuries leave you feeling a bit wobbly, like a baby deer taking their first steps. Above all, talk to your guide before class and know you have the absolute right to quit or refuse any pose that makes you uncomfortable. Many newbies push themselves to the point of injury to keep up with others in the class. Be patient — your flexibility will improve with time and you’ll get much farther if you don’t spend time sidelined by damaged tendons. 2. Try, Try Again There are as many unique yoga styles as there are instructors, although most adhere to one of the eight most popular methods. No two classes are the same, even with the same guide. Therefore, if the first class you take isn’t to your liking, try again. Most studios offer several free passes before demanding membership fees — take advantage to find your yoga home. Ask yourself the following questions to find the right fit: Get mindful: What was it that you didn’t like about the class? Was it too fast? Too slow? Did the instructor talk too much or physically adjust you in a way that made you uncomfortable? Was the room too crowded or incense distracting? Ask yourself if these are issues a talk with your guide could fix or if you should look elsewhere. What is your goal? Some people come to yoga for a vigorous workout. Others prefer to still their minds while moving very gently. Those who want the former might gravitate to energetic vinyasa while the latter set likes yin — although perhaps you want a studio that offers both. 3. Invest in the Right Tools The beauty part of yoga and meditation for broke folks is that you don’t need any equipment. You can even get by without a mat — some practitioners combine “earthing” or “grounding” with their practice, doing their asanas barefoot on the earth. However, the right tools make classes more comfortable for beginners. Blocks can help you reach into poses like triangles, while straps assist you in deepening your hold. Blankets and pillows can make a restorative class even yummier, and a zafu makes it more comfortable to sit in meditation. 4. Get a Bit Creative Once you practice for a while, it’s easy to fall into a yoga rut. You do essentially the same routine day after day until you get tired of it and neglect your practice. Before you know it, you feel stiff and unwell again. Instead, beat boredom by mixing up your classes a bit. You can find aerial yoga, yoga on a paddleboard or classes with cats or goats to make the experience unique and different. 5. Start Slow and Short What about meditation? Perhaps the best tip for beginners is to start small. For example, it can seem intimidating to sit in mindfulness meditation if you have a past trauma history — the silence invites rumination. Instead, keep your sessions as short as two minutes, which can feel like an eternity if you haven’t listened to the stillness for a while. The same goes for your yoga sessions. Are you severely out of shape and too intimidated to try a class? YouTube is a glorious resource, with some instructors offering classes as brief as ten minutes. Why not test the waters and gain some proficiency before seeking a studio? 6. Pencil It In People today have busier schedules than ever. However, you won’t get the most out of your practice if you don’t prioritize it. Therefore, pencil your sessions into your weekly planner. Include it as part of your necessary self-care time, activities that the World Health Organization defines as those that promote positive health and help you manage the existing disease. 7. Habit-Link Forming new habits is hard. You might have the best intentions of making yoga and meditation a part of your daily routine — but you forget. It’s okay. You’re human. However, you might remember your sessions if you link them to another habit. For example, a great yoga and meditation tip for beginners is to incorporate your practice as part of your evening wind-down for sleep. What should you do? Dock your electronics: Keeping them out of the bedroom is the best practice for better sleep. Manage your evening grooming: Wash your face, brush your teeth and hair and apply creams and ointments. Settle in for yoga and meditation: Perform 15 minutes of gentle yoga — you can do some routines right on your mattress — followed by a few minutes of meditation. You’ll marvel at how much easier it is to sink into slumber. 8. Take Your Practice Outdoors Finally, taking your practice outdoors is a great yoga and meditation tip for beginners and advanced practitioners alike. It’s much easier to cultivate a calm and introspective mindset when your ears hear birds chirping instead of muscle-bound giants on the gym floor elsewhere tossing weights around and grunting. You might go so far as to install a little meditation garden. Why not? You’ll beautify your property, if only a corner of your urban apartment balcony and enjoy a quiet retreat where you can hear yourself think. Yoga and Meditation for Beginners Yoga and meditation are more popular than ever. These practices have the power to heal, making them an affordable part of healthy self-care for many. However, it can seem intimidating to get started. Heed these eight yoga and meditation tips for beginners and you’ll be well on your way to a healthier lifestyle.
What is Ayurveda? According to the folks at Johns Hopkins, ayurvedic health tips refer to a system of medicine that believes disease occurs due to imbalance or stress in an individual’s consciousness. However, it doesn’t necessarily involve chanting on a mat or mastering challenging yoga poses — although such activities might become a part of your Ayurvedic lifestyle. However, Ayurveda goes much further than spiritual realignment. It’s a holistic method of treating the whole person through positive lifestyle changes, nutritional balance and mindful attention to changing external conditions affecting wellness. Best of all, you don’t have to be a guru to benefit from incorporating these principles into your routine. Here are six Ayurvedic health tips to include in your life. 1. Boost Your Immunity With Trikatu What is trikatu? Like the name suggests, this blend of spices consists of three ingredients: black pepper (Piper Nigrum l), Indian long pepper (Piper Longum L) and dried ginger (Zingiber officinalis). In Ayurvedic lore, this mixture stimulates agni or digestive fire, clearing excess mucus from the body and detoxifying your liver. The beauty of trikatu is that you can find the ingredients nearly anywhere — even some traditional grocery stores have everything you need. It’s a snap to add this blend to teas or even some meals to reap the benefits. Far from Eastern mysticism, modern western science confirms the efficacy of this blend for boosting immune health. According to a study published by the National Institutes of Health, trikatu is a potential remedy for treating flu-like illnesses, including COVID-19. It works so well that officials are investigating ways to implement a pragmatic plan to mitigate the pandemic’s effects among vulnerable populations who may face barriers to traditional medical care. Pro-tip: Add a bit of Trikatu to your morning tea or coffee. It adds a lovely chai spice flavor while starting your day with a dose of healthy immunity. 2. Plan Your Meal Using the “6 Tastes” According to Ayurvedic practitioners, food is crucial to keeping your body balanced. They’ve identified six distinct tastes, which, ideally, you should strive to include in every meal: Sweet: Sources include honey, milk, grains, rice, sugar, nuts and fruit. Sour: Includes fermented foods and citrus fruits. Salty: Sea salt, table salt, tamari, seaweed and sea vegetables. Pungent: Various peppers, garlic, herbs and spices. Bitter: Turmeric and deep, leafy greens and some herbs. Astringent: Raw fruits and herbs, legumes and some herbs. In practical terms, including these six tastes in your meals will help you increase the variety in your diet, upping your intake of nutrients and phytonutrients. This practice is similar to “eating the rainbow,” where you strive to include plant-based foods of every hue in your meal plan. Therefore, one simple way to implement this practice is to strive to consume as many colors as possible at each meal. Strive for at least three, complemented by various herbs, nuts, honey and sea vegetables. 3. Cleanse Your System With Triphala Western minds often dispute the value of “cleanses” for improving health. However, triphala has evidence to support claims that it works as a gentle laxative while loading your body with antioxidants and protecting your overall health. Unfortunately, you won’t find the ingredients to make Triphala outside specialized health food stores. You can, however, find commercial preparations. It consists of the following three components: Amla or Indian gooseberry Bibhitaki Haritaki This remedy is well worth a try if, like many, you suffer from ongoing sluggishness and drowsiness — you don’t feel sick, but you aren’t quite well. Use it with a high-fiber diet and eliminate toxins like white sugar, flour and alcohol. Keep in mind you might experience negative effects at first, like mild diarrhea and headache, as your system readjusts to a more balanced state. You should feel terrific after a day or two, as long as you don’t overdo it — drink one cup of the tea daily or use a supplement as directed. 4. Balance Gentle Movement With Rest Exercise plays a crucial role in Ayurvedic medicine. According to practitioners, it balances the three doshas — Vata, Pitta and Kapha. Each person has a different dominance, but severe imbalances can cause mental and physical health dysfunction. The good news is, Ayurvedic principles advise moderation in all things, especially exercise. The Council of Maharishi Ayurvedic physicians recommends working at no more than 50% of your maximum capacity. This advice corresponds to findings that excessive physical activity produces free radicals that can damage your body instead of helping it. Going too long or too hard also upsets your cortisol levels. 5. Meditate Every Day It might not surprise you that a frequently cited Ayurvedic health tip is to meditate daily. This holistic practice encompasses more than your body, involving your mind and spirit. In the words of the great Buddhist teacher Thich Naht Hanh, what happens in the mind affects the body, and what happens in the body affects the mind. However, your “meditation” may or may not involve sitting in a lotus pose on a yoga mat. It might also take the following forms: Mindful walking: Stroll silently, preferably in a natural setting, tuning into your breath, your bodily sensations and the stimuli you detect with your outer senses of sight, smell and touch. Mindful gardening: Pay attention to how your hands feel in the soil and reflect on the life cycle. Mindful cooking: Consider the ingredients in each meal and how they benefit your overall health. Practice gratitude while you chop and saute, giving mental thanks for the nourishment. Furthermore, it’s common in the Buddhist tradition to spend the last few waking moments of each day reflecting on the past day’s events, your behavior, what went well and what you would like to do differently. However, this practice can transform into sheep-counting rumination for some. Perhaps follow your reflection with a Zen mindfulness meditation for sleep to help you sink into slumber. 6. Focus on Quality Sleep Quality sleep is essential to health in the Ayurvedic tradition. According to practitioners, your primary dosha impacts whether you’ll struggle with insomnia. They advise mindfully paying attention to your natural biorhythms to find your best schedule. However, you can try the following tips to improve your nightly rest: Try turning in earlier: Spend a few minutes in meditation, trying to sleep, but don’t linger. It’s okay to do a quiet activity like reading if Zzzs prove elusive. Keep it consistent: Maintaining a routine sleep schedule helps normalize your biorhythms. Try massage: Massage is one of the best parts of Ayurvedic medicine — master a few techniques and swap them with your partner or learn foot reflexology to pamper your tootsies. Use a weighted blanket: According to Ayurveda, an excess of the Vata dosha creates a sense of lightness that keeps you up and moving. A weighted blanket grounds you. However, approach with caution if you have anxiety — some folks with this condition swear by them, while others feel trapped. Ayurvedic Health Tips Ayurveda is an ancient medical system. However, it remains applicable in modern times, and many western minds have recently begun to appreciate its healing properties. Embrace the six Ayurvedic health tips above in your daily routine. You can use this holistic method to achieve maximum well-being.
Most people keep generic health tips in mind daily, like drinking water and exercising. It may surprise you that your age affects which health tips are most crucial for your well-being. Consider taking these steps to protect your health after turning 40 and continuing them as you enjoy the many adventures that come with this stage of life. 1. Schedule a Colonoscopy Along with getting a yearly checkup from your doctor, you should start scheduling annual colonoscopies. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend regular screenings after turning 45, but you may need them sooner if colon cancer runs in your family. Early detection could save your life, so the hour-long procedure is worth your time. 2. Get Annual Mammograms If you have breasts, you must get mammograms once a year. Many people think this procedure should start after turning 50, but starting earlier is always better. The screening could detect cancerous growths, cysts or benign tumors that cause you pain. This is a preventative procedure, so your health insurance will likely cover the cost. 3. Rethink Your Exercise Routine Exercise is always an excellent addition to your routine, but specific exercises can be more helpful after turning 40. Middle-aged people can develop sarcopenia, which is a condition that accelerates the loss of muscle mass that occurs anyway as people age. You can maintain and develop your muscles with low-impact exercises. Pilates combines yoga and weight training to strengthen muscle groups without hurting your joints. Taking extra precautions by comparing cushioning yoga mats for your workouts can make exercising more comfortable. 4. Focus on Your Posture The loss of muscle mass due to age also leads to curvature of the spine and causes people to become permanently bent forward at their shoulders. Keep your back straight while sitting at your work desk or computer to start a mindful habit of monitoring your posture. This simple health tip will prevent aches and pains, along with reconsidering how you sleep and letting others lift heavy objects. 5. Test Your Blood Annually Routine blood tests are essential after turning 40. Your doctor will use them to monitor health factors such as: Blood sugar Cholesterol White blood cell count Vitamin and mineral levels Hormone levels Sometimes diagnosing a patient based on vague or common symptoms is challenging. Blood tests pinpoint exact reasons that could contribute to your health concerns or call attention to a condition before it develops. Talk with your doctor about beginning these tests and how you can make yourself comfortable while getting your blood drawn if you’re anxious or faint at the sight of blood. 6. Monitor Your Blood Pressure Anyone can monitor their blood pressure at home, so you might consider adding it to your daily or weekly routine. It’s also imperative if hypertension runs in your family. If you have abnormally high blood pressure after eating a particular dinner or throughout the week, your doctor may recommend new medications or lifestyle changes to prevent a heart attack. It’s Never Too Late to Get Healthy Everyone should talk with their doctor about these health tips after turning 40. They could be the preventative care you need to maintain your wellness. New annual tests, checkups and other medical services may save your life and make you more comfortable while you continue living your life the way you enjoy most.
Many people reach adulthood without a comprehensive health education. Unfortunately, the first time many learn about their health is when something goes wrong, leading them to seek professional help. However, you can stave off many emergency visits — and save a small fortune — by practicing preventative care. The right habits are better than an apple a day for nurturing your total well-being. What should you learn before departing for college or adult life? Here are five basic health tips to know before age 18. 1. Why and How to Brush Your Teeth Far too many college students are guilty of studying into the wee hours and tumbling into bed with dirty chompers. However, doing so creates more than unsightly stains on your incisors. It can also increase your risk of disease. For example, researchers have found an association between the bacteria that causes gingivitis and Alzheimer's disease. Failing to brush, especially along the gumline, lets this germ enter your bloodstream, where it travels to your brain. It also swings by your heart for a visit, where it increases your risk of coronary heart disease by hardening your arteries. What are the top oral care tips you should know before age 18? Add the following to your routine: Brush at least twice daily: You should brush once in the morning and again at night. You might also prefer brushing after heavy meals featuring creamy or chocolatey sauces or a hefty dose of garlic or onion. Make one brush the full deal: Ideally, your evening routine should include a total floss, brush and rinse with a fluoride mouthwash to kill maximum germs before you turn in for the night. Get along the gumline: Hold your brush at a 45-degree angle to your gums. Please floss: Roughly a third of people do, meaning the majority take unnecessary health risks. If you can't stand sharp thread, opt for a tape version or, better yet, a water flosser. 2. How to Prepare Healthy Meals If you live on pizza, ramen and the occasional store-bought convenience meal in college, you're not meeting your nutritional needs. Worse, you could be harming your health. Why? Many pre-packaged meals contain unhealthy sodium levels. A single can of soup might have your full day's RDA of sodium in one serving. Too much salt increases blood pressure and heart disease risk. Furthermore, many such foods are laden with white flour and unhealthy fats. White flour is problematic because it spikes blood sugar, leading to a precipitous drop. Then, you get hungry again, inspiring overeating and upping your Type 2 diabetes risk. Additionally, the alloxan produced during manufacturing destroys your pancreas, further increasing disease risk. Although the FDA banned trans fats because of the health risks, they still lurk in some foods. Look for "partially hydrogenated oil" on labels to identify these cardiovascular health nightmares. Now that you know what to avoid, what should you eat? It's simple to prepare healthy meals if you stick to these guidelines: Stick to whole foods: You get the most nutritional punch for your dollar in foods close to their natural forms. Use the clock trick: Look at your plate as a clock at each meal, filling a half hour with veggies and fruit, leaving 15 minutes each for lean protein and starch. Get your prep on: If you stop for fast food because of your busy schedule, two hours once a week can make a huge difference in your health. Use it to prep grab-and-go freezer favorites that nourish you during the week. Shop your farmers market: The price of groceries has increased everywhere, but you can still find bargains on the freshest organic produce at your local farmers market. 3. How to Identify and Manage Your Emotions Part of total health includes caring for your psyche. Mental health often goes overlooked, especially in America, where less than half of adults get the care they need to treat their conditions. Maintaining your mental health means learning to identify your emotions before letting them drive your behavior. It's equally vital to know how to manage them in a way that serves you, not add more problems to your plate. Children often learn unhealthy ways of coping with overwhelming emotions in dysfunctional family systems. For example, suppose you had a narcissistic parent who bullied people into getting their way. In that case, you may emulate their behavior under stress, even if doing so leads to undesirable consequences like job loss or social ostracism. Your first and foremost responsibility as an adult is to learn how to handle and express frustration and anger without hurting others. Furthermore, you might not be reacting to present events as much as past triggers. Pay attention when something makes you overreact — reflect on what you saw, felt or heard right before you started to lose control. A whiff of a cologne that reminds you of an abusive parent might make you react furiously to a present-day comment that you'd otherwise brush off with ease. Mindfulness is your friend, especially if you can't afford a therapist. Spend time each day reflecting on your behavior. What did you handle as you wanted, and what could you improve? If you behaved badly, what occurred that led you to seek an ineffective coping strategy? Please be gentle with yourself — after all, you're relearning what it is to be human. Don't beat yourself up. However, do visualize yourself behaving differently in the future to instill a new pattern. When you feel yourself getting out of control, hit pause. Reflect and breathe deeply for a minute or even sleep on how to proceed before acting. 4. The Components of Fitness and How Often to Exercise Many people never learn the importance of physical fitness in school. Although the World Health Organization recommends that those 5 through 17 get at least an hour of exercise each day, many districts have cut gym classes to focus more on standardized test preparation. As a result, entire generations reach adulthood, never understanding that moving your body is as vital as feeding it for maintaining health. Fitness consists of three primary components: Cardiovascular fitness: This aspect increases your heart and lung capacity. It entails movement like running, biking, walking and hiking. Anything that elevates your heart rate and leaves you panting qualifies. Resistance training: Many people achieve this facet by lifting weights. However, resistance bands and bodyweight exercises can also qualify — think squats, pushups and pull-ups. Flexibility: This component involves stretching. Experts recommend dynamic stretching as you warm up for an activity and static stretches to cool down. Taking a yoga class on a rest day is a glorious idea. Ideally, you should get roughly 30 to 60 minutes of movement each day to meet the minimum requirements. You should resistance train at least two or three times to see muscle gains and maintain strength. Stretch after every workout or whenever it feels good — it helps relax you and ease stress. 5. When to Seek Medical Care To go to the doctor or not to go — that is the existential question facing countless sick Americans. Unfortunately, far too many people base their choice on their economic situation, not their physical needs. First, it's best to have an annual physical and dental examination. These visits can introduce you to preventative care and catch minor problems before they become serious — and expensive — issues. If you're one of the many Americans without coverage, look for clinics that offer sliding-scale fees. Furthermore, you should seek prompt attention if you experience any of the following: Choking or difficulty breathing Loss of consciousness or change in mental state Heart attack symptoms: Chest pain, pressure or tightness in the chest, neck or jaw, shortness of breath and sudden lightheadedness or dizziness. Head or spinal injuries Stroke symptoms: Sudden numbness, confusion, speech problems, trouble walking, vision changes, facial droop. Suicidal thoughts Finally, you should seek treatment for any symptoms lasting longer than two weeks or if you have chronic health conditions that require routine monitoring to safeguard your health. Basic Health Tips to Know Before Adulthood It's okay to reach adulthood without knowing how to sew on a lost button. However, ignorance of basic preventative care knowledge can impact your overall health. Ensure you or your children understand these five basic health tips to know before age 18. You'll be ready to face the grownup world armed with the information you need to maintain a positive well-being.
Dementia is a thief, robbing far too many older adults of the joy of their sunset years. It also creates burdens and heartbreak for caregivers, who must watch beloved family members struggle to remember who they are. Prevention is paramount. However, many people don’t know what to do to preserve their brain health as they age. What are some activities to engage in and what should you avoid? Here are six brain health tips to prevent dementia. 1. Put on Your Boogie Shoes Exercise is one of the best things you can do to nurture. It keeps your blood flowing, bathing your neurons in life-giving nutrients and oxygen. Although physical activity benefits you by increasing blood flow and reducing inflammation, only one has proven dementia prevention perks. What is it? Dance. A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine compared the effect of various physical and mental activities on preventing dementia. The study spanned 21 years, examining those 75 and older. The results: Bicycling, swimming and playing golf: No impact on dementia risk. Reading: 35% reduced chance of dementia.Crossword puzzles: 47% lower chance of dementia. Dancing: A whopping 76% decrease in dementia risk. What makes this movement so beneficial? Researchers believe the magic occurs because of neuroplasticity. Physical activity bathes your brain in what it needs, creating an optimal environment for positive change. Challenging yourself to follow the steps simultaneously encourages new neuronal connections. 2. Nourish Your Neurons Your body replaces cells all the time, including those in your brain. To create healthy new neurons, you need the right combination of nutrients to nourish them. What are some of the best brain foods to consume? You can make your life easier by +remembering the following three rules. Get Plenty of Magnesium, Selenium and Zinc These minerals play crucial roles in nurturing a healthy brain. They encourage healthy levels of neurotransmitters to improve mood and cognitive functioning. Deficiencies can cause issues like depression — some people with this disorder made a rapid recovery from supplementation alone. Where can you find them in foods? Nuts are your best bet unless you have an allergy. They’re plant-based and full of healthy oils to complement these minerals. For example, a single Brazil nut contains your complete RDA of selenium. You can also find these minerals in meat and seafood. What can you do if you follow a vegan diet and have a nut allergy? Spinach, quinoa and avocado help, although you may wish to consider supplementation. Consume More Omega-3s Omega-3 fatty acids are the good type of fats that your heart needs. They also show various neuroprotective effects, a fancy way of saying they keep your brain healthy. What foods should you eat more of? Fatty fish and shellfish are your best options. However, you can also find these substances in some nuts and flax and chia seeds if you follow a vegan lifestyle. Make Friends at Your Farmer’s Market The third key set of nutrients to nourish your brain and prevent dementia are antioxidants. These vitamins and phytonutrients are crucial in facilitating numerous bodily functions, and you find them in fresh fruits and vegetables. Your farmers market is your best bet for affordable and organic produce. It’s richer in nutrients because it comes from nearby — meaning it has less time to lose vital nutrients. Fortunately, Mother Nature included a handy color code to help you get the variety you need. Various plant hues correspond to different nutrient profiles, so strive to eat a rainbow, pairing at least three colors at every meal. 3. Exercise Those Brain Cells Remember how reading and crossword puzzles have a beneficial effect on your brain health? You can’t dance all the time — spend your quieter downtime engaged in activities that light up your mind. Puzzles like Sudoku and strategy games also keep your cognitive skills sharp. What’s another way to train your brain while mastering a crucial skill? Why not learn a second language? Research indicates that bilingual people reduce their chances of developing early dementia symptoms, and there’s a world of fun apps out there to help you dust off that high school French. 4. Minimize Inflammation Inflammation plays a role in nearly every chronic disease, including dementia. The activities above help minimize it, but you can do more by avoiding habits that spur it. The work once again starts with your diet. Please keep foods high in unhealthy fats, white, all-purpose flour and ultra-processed meals laden with sugar, salt and additives to a minimum if you can’t bring yourself to give them up completely. All these substances increase inflammation and can do a number on your intestinal microbiome — and those beneficial bacteria send messages to your brain. Furthermore, please avoid smoking and alcohol. While an occasional drink won’t hurt you, the trouble is that few people stop with only one. Tobacco is a nightmare, causing plaque to form in your arteries, robbing your brain and heart of blood and oxygen. A recent review of 37 research studies showed that smokers are 30% more likely to develop dementia and run a 40% higher risk of Alzheimer’s. 5. Keep a Busy Social Calendar Loneliness is dangerous for older adults, increasing the chances of all-cause mortality. It also increases your dementia risk by 50%, so maintain a busy social calendar. What can you do if you don’t have much of a circle? Are there old friends and relatives who might welcome a chance to reconnect? If not, why not get more involved in the community? Many areas now have community garden projects where you can connect with others while nourishing yourself and your family. Many local libraries offer free courses in computers and other subjects that give you a chance to mix and mingle while honing those brain cells. 6. Take Care of Your Teeth You might be among many Americans who neglect dental care because of the high cost. While that’s understandable, please consider seeking a facility that offers sliding-scale fees and at least get an annual cleaning. Why? Scientists have associated the bacteria responsible for gum disease with Alzheimer’s. This stuff thrives on plaque, the sticky coating your teeth accumulate over time, especially around the gumline where it can readily enter the bloodstream. Fortunately, treating gum disease early can slow progression — so get those pearlies professionally polished. Brain Health Tips Dementia robs too much joy from people’s sunset years. Fortunately, you can take steps to protect your brain. Follow the above brain health tips for preventing dementia. You’ll enjoy more out of life now — and later.
Heart disease remains the number one killer of men and women, and high blood pressure contributes to heart attacks and strokes. This rule applies across ethnic, gender and socioeconomic lines — it’s the leading risk of death for men and women of any race. However, nearly half of all American adults live with hypertension. Globally, around 30% of people do. The high rates here often involve lifestyle factors, such as dietary intake, stress and activity levels. Fortunately, that means non-medical interventions can lower your numbers and risk. What can you do if you’re one of the many living with this condition and concerned with their chances of disease? Here are six heart health tips for people with high blood pressure. 1. Get a Grip on Stress Could your ticket to solving heart disease lie in your brain? This organ does govern every other in your body, and recent research out of Australia suggests the answer may be yes. When you experience stress, your body’s alarm system kicks into gear, ramping up adrenaline and cortisol production that boosts your heart rate and pressure. Normally, it decreases when the threat passes. However, the prolonged, inescapable stress — like the kind that comes from struggling to pay the bills every month — can cause your brain’s wiring to remain in the on position. The constant increase in pulse and pressure increases your risk of cardiovascular disease. The answer? You have to mitigate stress, which can sound more easily said than done. However, adjusting your mindset and habits is necessary for your survival. What can you do? Here are some free strategies you can implement for free to keep your stress hormones in check: Move it, move it: Exercise is one of the best stress remedies because it lets your body do what it’s designed for in times of crisis — fight or flight. Your brain doesn’t know if you’re fleeing a bear or running on a treadmill. Your cortisol levels still decrease after you finish your 30-minute sweat session. Breathe: Stress makes your breathing rapid and shallow. Intentional deep breathing activates the parasympathetic side of your nervous system, the half that tells you to relax. Take a breather: Do you feel like you live for everyone else? Maybe you can’t afford a vacation, but you can budget 30 minutes a day to do something you love, like practicing yoga, cooking healthy meals or engaging in another hobby that makes you smile and forget about outside pressures for a while. 2. Get Sodium Savvy Salt is one of the biggest culprits behind high blood pressure, and far too many Americans eat a high-sodium diet. This stuff pulls water into your veins, increasing the load on your heart. The problem is, skipping the shaker might not be enough. Why? Many pre-packaged convenience foods contain excessive levels of salt to enhance flavor. Check out the label on a can of soup sometime — many have half or more of your RDA in a single serving. Plus, the guidelines of 2,300 milligrams a day established by the FDA already exceed what the American Heart Association recommends for people with existing high blood pressure. They suggest individuals with this condition limit their intake to no more than 1,500 milligrams daily. The bottom line? Learn to read labels. Furthermore, toss your salt shaker or experiment with one of the lower sodium/potassium seasoning blends. 3. Get Wise About Heart Healthy Fats Although the FDA banned trans fats in 2015, these oils may linger in some convenience items still on shelves, thanks to preservatives. Also, remember that some products may contain up to half a gram per serving. You should check labels for the words “partially hydrogenated oil” to determine if a product still contains trace amounts. However, you do need fat in your diet — and some are healthier than others. For example, olive oil has an outstanding reputation for being heart-healthy, thanks to the high content of monounsaturated fatty acids that reduce your risk of disease. Omega-3 fatty acids are likewise critical for heart and brain health. They help lower triglyceride levels and prevent plaque formation, which hardens your arteries. You can find them in the following foods: Fatty fish Chia seeds Flax seeds Oysters Shellfish Walnuts Finally, you should avoid the saturated fats found in animal meats. What about coconut oil? Although it is high in saturated fat, it also helps raise your HDL or “good” cholesterol. Many doctors advise using it sparingly. 4. Get Friendly With Your Local Farmer’s Market Why is it wise to shop at your local farmers market? For one, you can find fresh, organic produce for far less than many grocery stores. However, that’s not the only benefit you’ll get from a diet rich in the leafy green and colorful stuff. Vegetables contain high potassium levels, which helps decrease blood pressure. Getting more of this mineral in your body helps counteract the effects of the occasional high-sodium meal. Why not dress your salads in flavorful, heart-healthy olive oil dressings or even salsa to eliminate the need for the salt shaker to add flavor? Getting more colorful fruits and vegetables in your life also increases your antioxidant intake. Why does that matter? These substances help fight the damaging effects of free radicals that can harm every tissue in your body, including the cardiac. They also ensure sufficient intake of the vitamins and minerals you need to maintain optimal health. 5. Banish the Bottle and Butts You might have heard that a glass of red wine is good for your heart. While moderate consumption has some benefits, the problem is that most people don’t stop at one drink. Once you cross that threshold, you start to damage your cardiovascular system. Why? Even a single drink temporarily increases your blood pressure, although the effects quickly wear off. However, repeated binge drinking — more than four drinks in two hours — can result in long-term increases. Smoking has no health benefits — even one is too many. These products contain chemicals that can damage your heart and blood vessels and cause artery-clogging clots. Such a blockage can lead to a heart attack and death. Get in Touch With Your Doctor Some people follow the above advice and still struggle with high blood pressure. If you suspect you fall into this category, please talk with your doctor. Your doctor can prescribe medications to help you manage your numbers. There are several categories of remedies, and they can help locate the one that will work best for you, including: Diuretics Beta-blockers ACE inhibitors Angiotensin II receptor blockers Calcium channel blockers Alpha-blockers Alpha-2 receptor agonists Central agonists Peripheral adrenergic inhibitors Vasodilators Your doctor may also decide a combination approach is best. You may need to try more than one medication to find your perfect fit. Heart Healthy Tips If you have hypertension, you run a higher risk of the leading cause of death. Fortunately, you can mitigate your chances of developing a fatal disease. Implement these six heart health tips for people with high blood pressure into your life. If your holistic self-help interventions fail, talk to your doctor.