Wellness Made Easy: The Real Basics of Better Health
The basics of wellness -- eating a balanced diet, exercising regularly and practicing healthful habits -- can help you live a longer, healthier life. Adopting even one of the following components of good health and better self-care can improve your well-being. Embracing all of them will yield significant benefits.
Why We Need to Wash Our Hands
Did you wash your hands this morning? Bravo! Washing your hands helps prevent the spread of potentially dangerous germs.
Your Lips Need Protection
Your skin contains oil that protects it from drying out and from extreme temperatures, but your lips do not.
Pets Fill a Special Role in Seniors' Lives
Having a pet can be a boon to body and soul—especially as we age. Pets can relieve stress—which may help explain why studies have found that pet owners have lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
Why the Doctor Gives You an EKG or ECG
Did you know that electrical currents flow throughout your body? Because the strongest of these travels through your heart, doctors are able to monitor your heart by placing electrical sensors on the surface of your skin. They do this by giving you an electrocardiogram -- abbreviated either ECG or EKG (from the original German spelling of the word).
Smile! Are You Eating Healthy?
If you're not eating right, you may be at risk for problems with your teeth and mouth. Bad eating habits can cause tooth decay and gum disease.
The Many Causes of Insomnia
Anxiety and stress are the most common causes of insomnia. But sleeplessness can also be caused by a variety of medical conditions, medications and environmental factors.
How to Reduce the Effects of Aging
No need to search for a secret formula to erase the effects of getting older. You already have the power to keep yourself feeling young for years.
Tips for Driving After Age 60
A person's ability to drive isn't based on age alone. Age-related changes in vision, physical fitness and reflexes, however, may be reasons to reevaluate your abilities behind the wheel.
All About Sunscreen
If you're confused by the numbers and types of sunscreen, welcome to the club. Many Americans, it seems, are so confused by sunscreens that they don't even use them. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that only about 30 percent of adults regularly use sunscreen.
What Can My Pharmacist Do for Me?
Today's pharmacists counsel you on how to use your medicine correctly and help protect you against overdoses and dangerous drug interactions.
Milestones in Medicine
Medicine has advanced more rapidly in the past two centuries than in all its prior history.
Play It Cool in the Hot Tub
What's more relaxing that a good soak in a hot tub? Hot water sure makes you feel great, but hot tubs and whirlpools can sometimes be dangerous -- and even deadly.
Assess Your Goals Year-round
If you set professional goals for yourself at the beginning of the year, don't forget to take a look at what you have and haven't accomplished as the year progresses.
Sound Advice for a Healthful Pregnancy
Bringing a new life into this world is a big responsibility. Even seemingly simple things—like soaking in a hot tub or being around people who are painting—could affect your baby.
Posture Pointers for Preventing Pain
Good posture can help your body function at its best. It promotes movement, efficiency and endurance, and contributes to an overall sense of well-being. It can also help prevent chronic aches and pains that can require medical attention.
The ABCs of Safer Sit-Ups
Doing sit-ups or crunches can strengthen your abdominal muscles. But you have to do them correctly to achieve good results.
Straight Talk on Posture
Good posture can enhance your appearance, confidence and self-esteem. It also relieves overcrowding of internal organs caused by slouching.
Brush Up on Toothpaste
Selecting toothpaste is largely a matter of personal preference, but all adults should use toothpaste containing fluoride.
Focus on Keeping Your Spirits Up
Good mental health is just as important as good physical health. But we all face changes in life that can challenge our emotional well being.
What You Need to Know About STDs
Your body usually tells you when you are in danger -- your heart races, you breathe hard, your palms sweat. But when it comes to sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), you may not have any warning signs.
Making Changes to Avoid Heart Disease
Your heart is a vital organ that keeps your body functioning. Unfortunately, many people don't treat it that way. They may not realize that their daily habits and lifestyle can overwork and damage their heart. So, take care of your heart and yourself. Start by making the following lifestyle changes.
Stroke Awareness for All Ages
Strokes occur when something interferes with the normal flow of blood to the central nervous system. Stroke is the third-leading cause of death in the United States after heart disease and cancer.
Seniors: Keep Key Documents Handy
How can you ensure you'll get the medical services you need in the future? Gather what documents you might need to get those services now. It helps to have a record of the names and addresses of your health care providers, the dates of your office visits, and hospitalizations.
Use Your Sun Smarts
Skin cancer can strike at any age, but it is more common in older people because they've had more years of sun exposure. Fortunately, you can take steps to reduce your chance of getting skin cancer, even if you haven't been careful about the sun before.
Anti-Aging Hormones: Do They Work?
Wouldn't it be wonderful if you could look and feel years younger just by taking a supplement? The makers of "anti-aging" hormone supplements would like you to believe that this is possible. But before you accept their claims and open your wallet, see what medical researchers say.
Twelve Weeks to a Heart-Healthy Lifestyle
Heart disease is a killer, but you can do plenty to reduce your risk and prolong your life. Research shows that making lifestyle changes can decrease your risk of cardiovascular heart disease and help you control it if you already have it.
Taking Good Care of Your Eyes
Often, people with vision problems wait far longer than necessary or sensible before getting an eye examination. Everyone should have a regular exam every year or two.
Older Moms, Healthy Babies
The fact is that most women in their 30s and 40s have healthy pregnancies and healthy babies. To ensure a healthy pregnancy, you should do what any woman should do: Prepare for your baby with healthy lifestyle choices. Talk with your doctor about your risk factors and learn what you can do to prevent potential problems.
Recognizing Medication Tampering
No packaging system is completely safe, so it's important that you check for signs of tampering whenever you buy or use a medicine.
A Must-Know Guide to Drug-Drug Interactions
Drug-drug interactions occur when one drug interacts or interferes with another drug. Such interactions are dangerous because they can alter the way one or both of the drugs act in the body. They can also cause unexpected side effects. The following information can help you avoid drug-drug interactions.
Protecting Yourself Against Medical Errors
Every year, thousands of Americans die because of medical errors. Such errors can occur anywhere in the health-care system and can involve medicines, surgery, diagnosis, equipment and lab reports.
Why Your Doctor Uses Medical Imaging
If you're scheduled for an X-ray or imaging test, here are some things you should know about various procedures, what they're used for and any risks involved.
No Sweat? No Good!
Even if you're fairly well conditioned, overdoing it may lead to heat cramps, heat exhaustion or heatstroke, causing the body to lose its ability to sweat.
Grow Older in Good Health
Get a jump on the rest of your life by committing yourself to making the following changes in your lifestyle today.
Reducing Your Risk for Breast Cancer
Your health habits may play a role in helping to reduce your risk for this serious disease, and they're particularly important as you get older.
Keep Kids Safe from Bugs
Many products seek to prevent bug bites, but products containing DEET (usually listed on labels as N,N-diethyl-m-toluamide) are quite effective.
Influenza Shots Urged for Young Children
Each fall you hear that the flu threatens senior citizens and folks with chronic ailments. But the rate of hospital stays is highest in another group—young children.
Five Ways to Age Gracefully
In recent years, an increasing amount of scientific evidence has supported the idea that people can do quite a lot on their own to lengthen their life span and to enhance the quality of life as they age. Here are five steps to take every day that can promote healthy aging and boost longevity.
Your Child and Vitamin D
Shunning milk and the sun is more and more common for children, and the result is a lack of vitamin D.
How to Manage Prehypertension
Prehypertension is a new term that alerts people to the very real risk of developing chronic high blood pressure if they don't take timely steps to improve their lifestyle habits.
Recognizing Domestic Violence
Domestic violence is behavior someone uses to control a spouse, partner, date or elderly relative through fear and intimidation.
Preventing Falls One Step at a Time
Although it's impossible to prevent all falls, you can help keep yourself safe by improving your balance and employing "fall-proofing" behaviors.
Making Your Lifestyle Heart-Healthy
The millions of Americans diagnosed with heart and cardiovascular diseases can benefit from making healthy choices in their day-to-day lives.
Osteoporosis: Evaluate Your Risk
Many people are unaware they have osteoporosis until they have advanced symptoms, which may include a broken hip or wrist, low back pain or a hunched back.
Women's Guide to Staying Healthy
Women can't always stay healthy and prevent disease. But by having certain screening tests and practicing healthful behaviors, they are more likely to live long, healthy lives.
Skin, Eyes and the Sun
Using sunscreen, covering up and wearing sunglasses that block UV rays will help you enjoy the sunshine safely.
Immunization Update for Older Adults
This guide can help you determine if you need to be immunized. Talk with your health care provider to be sure your immunizations are up to date.
The Healthy-Bones Diet
The right amount of calcium in your diet helps maintain your bone strength, reducing your risk for osteoporosis.
Focusing on Folate
If you're a woman of childbearing age, one of the B vitamins -- folate -- is especially critical.
How Much of a Threat Is Bird Influenza?
Influenza, with its fever, aches, fatigue and threat of complications, seems a uniquely human illness. But the flu, caused by a virus, can infect animals and birds, as well.
Stay Awake Behind the Wheel
When you're behind the wheel, you may believe that you can stop yourself from falling asleep, but you can’t. You may not even know you’ve dozed off.
Taking Time for Tea
In recent years, scientists have conducted tests on tea to better understand what its health benefits may be.
Babies Need 'Tummy Time'
Putting babies to sleep on their backs has dramatically reduced the incidence of SIDS. One unexpected side effect: Many infants now have a flattened head.
Oral Health and Asthma
If you have asthma, does your dentist know? This is important for good oral health, especially if you use a corticosteroid inhaler.
Avoiding Joint Injuries
Common injuries include a twisted ankle, sprained wrist, overextended elbow and damaged knee ligaments. Fortunately, you can take steps to help prevent joint damage.
Understanding Alcohol's Effects
The extent of alcohol's effect on the central nervous system depends upon how much is in your blood and how much blood you have.
Senior Centers: A Range of Opportunities
Senior centers enrich the lives of older adults with a range of opportunities for socialization, learning, travel, volunteerism, and physical and mental challenges.
Help Your Children Breathe Easier
Air pollution hurts infants and children more than adults, studies show. Kids' lungs are still developing, they breathe faster and they spend more time outdoors.
Sleep and Your Child
Without enough shut-eye, children are more likely to struggle with their school studies, do poorly on the playing field, and suffer depression.
Air Pollution Can Break Your Heart
Most people know air pollution can hurt your lungs and make it tough to breathe. But a growing body of research shows air pollution can be as bad or worse for your heart.
Working Mom? Aim for Less Stress
In the United States, 78 percent of all mothers with kids ages 6 to 17 work in paid jobs. Most—including married working moms—also are responsible for child care and housework.
For Seniors: You Can Beat the Heat
After age 65, your body can't adjust to changes in air temperature -- especially heat -- as quickly as it did when you were younger. That puts you at risk for heat-related illnesses.
Keeping Your Liver Healthy
The liver is a multitasking organ, with many functions. Nearly all the blood that leaves the stomach and intestines passes through the liver for processing.
Primer: Smokeless Tobacco
Many people think using smokeless tobacco is safer than smoking. Just because there's no smoke, doesn't mean it's safe.
Why Physical Activity Is Important
The more sedentary you are, the more likely you are to lose flexibility, endurance, strength, balance and coordination, which in turn will affect every aspect of your life.
Recognizing a Partner's Emotional Abuse
Physical violence is just one form of domestic abuse. If you have a partner who verbally humiliates you, demands all your attention, blames you for everything that goes wrong or threatens to harm you or your children, you’re also being abused.
High Blood Pressure Glossary
Knowing the definitions of terms your doctor may use when talking with you about your blood pressure is important.
Prehypertension is a new term that alerts people to the risk of developing chronic high blood pressure if they don’t take timely steps to improve their lifestyle habits.
Choose My Plate Shapes a Healthier Senior Diet
It is important to control the portion size of even nutrient-rich foods to avoid consuming too many calories. Most people need fewer calories as they grow older and their activity level decreases.
Sound Advice for MP3 Users
Experts say today's small music players pose a big risk of hearing loss. One reason: The "earbuds" used with iPods and other MP3 players fit into the ears, not over them.
Stop the Spread of Germs at Work
Illnesses such as the flu and colds are caused by viruses that infect the nose, throat, and lungs. They’re usually spread from person to person when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
What Are the Health Effects of Air Pollution?
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) tracks five major air pollutants that cause significant health effects: ground-level ozone, nitrogen oxides, sulfur oxides, carbon monoxide and microscopic particles called particulate matter.
Take the Bite Out of Spring
Mosquitoes can be more than a nuisance -- they can ruin your outdoor plans and threaten your health. So it’s a good idea to protect yourself and your family as the weather heats up.
You Can Sleep Better as You Age
A good night’s sleep is as important to your health as eating a healthy diet and getting regular exercise. As we age, however, it can become more difficult to get deep sleep.
You Can Choose to Have a Healthy Life
Each year, two out of every three deaths in the United States are caused by cancer, diabetes, heart disease, or stroke. That figure could be significantly reduced if Americans made healthier food choices, got more exercise, and stopped smoking.
Taking Care with Lyme Disease
Lyme disease is a tick-borne bacterial infection that most often targets the skin, joints, brain, and heart, although any part of the body can be affected.
How to Prevent Back Pain at Work
People who work in certain occupations, such as nursing, are likely to have back pain. But so can folks who work in an office every day if they don’t take proactive steps to protect their backs.
How to Avoid Sports Injuries
Sports injury rates could be reduced by 25 percent if all athletes — professionals and amateurs — followed essential safety, conditioning, and preventive strategies.
HIV Prevention Is Still Important
New drug treatments can delay the effects of AIDS and are helping patients live longer. But the reality is that no medicine can cure AIDS or the virus that causes it, HIV. Once inside the body, HIV destroys immune system cells, making it difficult to fight off illness.
Five Minerals We All Need
Chances are you know you need minerals such as calcium and iron. But five lesser-known minerals also deserve your attention.
Trouble Flossing? Help Is at Hand
Are you one of those people who don't floss because you find it awkward to maneuver the floss between your teeth? If so, a number of products can help you get the job done.
Digital X-Rays Give Dentists the Big Picture
Digital technology has spread to the dentist's office. Somewhere between 10 to 30 percent of dentists have forgone film, choosing instead digital X-rays that come with a number of advantages.
The Best and Worst Foods for Your Teeth
If you are what you eat, that's particularly true for your teeth and gums. When you drink and munch starchy foods, you're not only feeding yourself, you're feeding the plaque that can cause havoc in your mouth.
Turning Prediabetes Around
Having prediabetes means that you are likely to develop full-blown diabetes within 10 years. But lifestyle changes can prevent that from happening.
Use Your Medications Wisely
Although most medications are safe when you take them the right way, some drugs can cause dizziness, loss of consciousness, bleeding, irregular heartbeats, and other side effects in some cases.
The World's Best Anti-Cancer Diet
In your quest to reduce your cancer risk, don't overlook the obvious: Improving your diet can play a substantial role in preventing the disease.
Men’s Health Essentials
The leading causes of death for American men are heart disease and cancer—two diseases that can largely be prevented by adopting a few essential healthy habits.
Genetics and Illness: What's Your Fate?
Although inheriting certain genes might boost your chances of contracting a disease, it's rarely a sure thing. Often, your lifestyle and environment can join with disease-prone genes to make a potential disease a reality.
For Parents: Treat at Home or Call the Doctor?
For parents of a newborn, first-time parents, or any anxious mom or dad, it may be hard to tell a true health threat that needs a doctor's attention from a frightening, yet simple, illness that doesn't require medical treatment. Most sniffles, sneezes, and stomachaches don't need medical attention. But how do you know when it's time to call the doctor?
What Is Exercise-Induced Bronchospasm?
Exercise-induced bronchospasm (EIB) used to be called exercise-induced asthma. The term bronchospasm means tightening and narrowing of the tubes that bring air in and out of your lungs.
How to Make the Move from Crib to Bed
Moving your child from the crib to a first bed is a milestone event. But more than the bittersweet emotional concerns, your priorities will be safety and a healthy sleep routine.
Prevention of Heart Disease Starts in Childhood
You may think of heart disease as a problem for adults, not your young children. But diet and exercise habits started in childhood can begin a lifetime of heart health, or a lifetime of heart damage.
Debunking 10 Aging Myths
Many older Americans lead healthy, interesting, and productive lives well into their later years. But that’s not what we usually hear about.
Why Childhood Immunizations Are Important
Vaccinations not only protect your child from deadly diseases such as polio, tetanus, and diphtheria, but they also keep other children safe by eliminating or greatly decreasing dangerous diseases that used to spread from child to child.
Nutrition's Role in Disease Prevention
Evidence is mounting that a healthful diet can help protect you from some diseases. What you eat -- or don't eat -- may help prevent heart disease, cancer, osteoporosis and type 2 diabetes.
Keep an Eye on These Symptoms
It’s important to be aware of a number of signs that can alert you to a serious health problem. Check out these symptoms that shouldn't be ignored.