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

Answers to the top questions about cannabis extract

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a non-intoxicating plant chemical that comes from hemp or marijuana. It is used to help reduce symptoms of many conditions, including anxiety, bipolar disorder, arthritis, diabetes, a muscle disorder called dystonia, seizures, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, Crohn’s disease, chronic pain, post-traumatic stress disorder, and insomnia. CBD is considered generally safe and well tolerated, though it’s not clear yet how much CBD is safe and for how long, or if it is safe specifically for older adults. CBD has some known side effects and drug interactions. (Locked) More »

Does exercising at night affect sleep?

New research suggests that people can exercise in the evening without it affecting their sleep as long as they avoid vigorous physical activity for at least one hour before bedtime. More »

Needling your way to healthier skin

Microneedling uses tiny needles to trick the body into thinking the skin has been injured. This causes it to produce new collagen and elastin, which can improve skin texture and appearance. This procedure has a short recovery time, is suitable for most skin types, and produces mild to moderate improvements. (Locked) More »

No time to exercise? Then take five

Growing evidence continues to show that high-intensity interval training (HIIT) offers similar—or even better—results compared with longer, lower-intensity workouts. The main advantage to HIIT is that it takes less time than the traditional workout of 20 to 30 minutes or longer. It is also possible to squeeze a HIIT routine into as little as five minutes and still get a great workout as long as the routine focuses on all the major muscle groups. (Locked) More »

Put your best foot forward

Most people experience foot pain at some time during their lives, and the pain often becomes persistent. Years of daily wear and tear, a genetic predisposition to foot problems and injuries can lead to three common conditions: arch collapse (or flat feet), arthritis, or stress fractures. (Locked) More »

Stay active, even with stiff ankles

Ankles typically stiffen over time for one reason or another, such as osteoarthritis, ankle impingement, old injuries, inflammatory disease, tendinitis, or foot problems such as flat feet. Treatment depends on the cause of ankle stiffness. Treating underlying conditions may ease symptoms. Icing and rest can also help tendinitis or inflammation. In cases of misalignment, bone spurs, or significant joint arthritis, surgery may be the best option. Often, however, ankle stiffness can be treated simply with physical therapy, weight control, daily exercise, and stretching. (Locked) More »

What's in your frozen treat?

All frozen desserts like ice cream, gelato, or frozen yogurt are treats with varying amounts of calories, fat, and sugar. Dairy-free options aren’t necessarily healthier. To make the healthiest choice, one must read Nutrition Facts labels and ingredients lists, and look for a treat with the lowest amounts of sugar, fat, calories, and sodium. It’s also important to remember that the amount of nutrients one consumes in a frozen treat should fit into the food intake for the day, not just one meal. (Locked) More »