Archive for the ‘Health’ Category

Still Not Losing?!

February 9, 2017

Well, we are more than a month into the year and if one of your New Year’s resolutions was to lose some weight, it’s time to check in and see how you are doing.   If you are doing all of the right things (primarily diet and exercise) and still find you are having trouble shedding those pounds, there may be other culprits to blame . . .

  • It could be the medications you are taking (the side effects of some prescription medications is weight gain — don’t quit taking your meds, but by all means check in with your doctor for options that may not have this side effect).
  • It could be you are not getting enough sleep.  Establish a healthy routine, aim to get between 7-8 hours per night, and stick to a schedule (get up and go to bed at the same time everyday, including the weekends).
  • It could be the bacteria in your gut.  While bacteria generally do a world of good (breaking down food, absorbing water and nutrients, regulating insulin, producing fuel, etc.), certain bacteria could also be responsible for regulating inflammation, fat metabolism, and appetite.  Stick to the helpful microbes (live-culture yogurt and a variety of high fiber foods).
  • It could be the temperature you keep your thermostat set at.    We naturally seek out the thermoneutral zone (comfy-cozy), bump the temp down a bit and kick-start your fat metabolic activity. (66 degree temps or lower).
  • It could be a strain of the common cold – adenovirus 36 — avoid this virus if at all possible (wash your hands frequently, exercise [boosts your immune system], and get enough rest).

Simple enough, right?  Good luck!

Source: AARP: the Magazine, Feb/Mar 2017, p. 24-25.

“Party On, Wayne . . . !”

December 31, 2016

On this, the eve of the new year, what better quotation to reference than the title of this post from the epic comedy “Wayne’s World” (1992).  Let this also serve as a reminder though that as you find yourself partying this evening . . . exercise common sense and moderation, and if you do overdo it on the consumption of alcohol, don’t even think about driving.

Allow me to also share with you the list of the states with the most and the least number (percentage) of senior adults (age 65+) who report either binge drinking or chronic drinking.  But before we get to the list, how about definitions of “binge” and “chronic” drinking?

Binge drinking is defined as five (5) or more drinks on one occasion within the last month (for men) or four (4) or more drinks (for women).

Chronic drinking is defined as more than two drinks per day (for men) or one drink per day (for women).

Highest percentage
1. Wisconsin (11.1%)
2. District of Columbia (9/8%)
3. Nevada (9.2%)
4. Hawaii (9.1%)
5. Oregon (9.0%)
6. Florida (8.9%)
6. Alaska (8.9%)
8. Washington (8.6%)
9. Vermont (8.5%)
9. California (8.5%)

Lowest percentage
1. Tennessee (2.9%)
2. Mississippi (3.2%)
3. West Virginia (3.3%)
4. Oklahoma (3.4%)
4. Utah (3.4%)
6. Kentucky (4.0%)
7. Alabama (4.3%)
8. Missouri (4.7%)
9. Kansas (4.9%)
9. Georgia (4.9%)
9. North Carolina (4.9%)
9. Indiana (4.9%)

Source: AARP Bulletin (December 2016) and the 2016 “America’s Health Rankings Senior Report.”

Halt Aging in its Tracks!

December 6, 2016

Depending on who you listen (or what you want to believe) there are more strategies for “staying fit” and living a healthy lifestyle than you can shake a stick at (aerobic exercise, strength training, high-intensity interval training, CrossFit, walking, etc.).  But Chris Crowley and Henry Lodge have broken it down to seven (7) rules you need to follow to stay young (at heart) and put aging on the back burner.  These rules will allow you to live a longer, stronger, healthier, and sharper life.

  • Exercise six days a week for the rest of your life.
  • Do serious aerobic exercise four days a week for the rest of your life.
  • Do serious strength training, with weights, two days a week for the rest of your life.
  • Spend less than you make (duh).
  • Quit eating crap!
  • Care.
  • Connect and commit.

Source: AARP: The Magazine, October/November issue; Younger Next Year by Chris Crowley and Henry S. Lodge, M.D.

99 Great Ways to Save (Part 9)!

November 5, 2016

In the July /August issue of the AARP Bulletin, several experts offer tips and tricks that will help you save money in a variety of categories: travel, technology, home, finance, style, food, fun, getting there (auto), health, and entertainment.  Part 9 will be the health category (tips courtesy of Charlotte Yeh [Chief medical officer, AARP Services, Inc.], Amy Goyer [AARP caregiving expert], and Karen Pollitz [senior fellow, Kaiser Family Foundation]).

82. Free advance directives.
83. Check your hearing using your landline phone.
84. A respite for veterans’ caretakers (caregiver.org).
85. Get some volunteer help.
86. Try a “granny pod” rather than building an addition.
87. Check with Medicare before buying health equipment.
88. Widen doorways for less (offset door hinges).
89. Need a ramp for curbs or stairs?  (Suitcase ramp.)
90. Get help in disputes (right to appeal health claims).

Source: AARP Bulletin, July/August 2016, p. 28.

99 Great Ways to Save (Part 7)!

October 22, 2016

In the July /August issue of the AARP Bulletin, several experts offer tips and tricks that will help you save money in a variety of categories: travel, technology, home, finance, style, food, fun, getting there, health, and entertainment.  Part 7 will be the fun category (tips courtesy of Jonathan Jarvis [director, National Parks Service], Curtis Pride [President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition], and Marissa Stephenson [senior editor Men’s Journal]).

62. Visit on fee-free days.
63. Get free or low-cost passes to national parks.
64. Find a park in your backyard.
65. Perform body-weight exercise.
66. Use free fitness apps.
67. Join a health or nutrition challenge.
68. Join a gym in the summer.
69. Consider small-group training.
70. Ask local retailers about free fitness classes.

Source: AARP Bulletin, July/August 2016, p. 27.

Where’s the Health Care?

October 19, 2016

Have you ever wondered which states offer the best “home health care?”  Well, wonder no more.  In the October 2016 issue of the AARP Bulletin they provide a state by state comparison of the number of personal and home health aides per 1,000 adults 75 years of age or older.

Highest number:
1. Washington, DC (302)
2. Hawaii (279)
3. Minnesota (268)
4. New York (242)
5.  New Mexico (211)

Lowest  number:
1. Florida (29)
2. South Dakota (49)
3. Mississippi (53)
4. Alabama (54)
5. Kentucky (57)

Source: 2016 America’s Health Rankings Senior Report, United Health Foundation (rounded to the closest number).

Best Cities for Running!

September 27, 2016

In the October issue of Runner’s World, they analyzed more than 250 cities (populations greater than 160K) with the highest number of households per capita who reportedly participated in some form of running over the last twelve months.  Data was gathered from a variety of sources to create five categories of special importance to runners (presence of sanctioned clubs, races, and running stores; the number of trails, open spaces, running tracks, etc.; ideal running weather; access to healthy food options; and safety [crime and traffic] for pedestrians).   Here’s the list of the top-50.

  1. San Francisco, CA
  2. Seattle, WA
  3. Boston, MA
  4. San Diego, CA
  5. Washington, DC
  6. Portland, OR
  7. Minneapolis, MN
  8. New York, NY
  9. Omaha, NE
  10. Denver, CO
  11. Chicago, IL
  12. Madison, WI
  13. Colorado Springs, CO
  14. San Jose, CA
  15. Los Angeles, CA
  16. Rochester, NY
  17. Pittsburgh, PA
  18. Tucson, AZ
  19. Raleigh, NC
  20. Boise, ID
  21. Oakland, CA
  22. Philadelphia, PA
  23. Sacramento, CA
  24. St. Louis, MO
  25. Buffalo, NY
  26. Virginia Beach, VA
  27. St. Paul, MN
  28. Richmond, VA
  29. Santa Rosa, CA
  30. Charlotte, NC
  31. Las Vegas, NV
  32. Tampa, FL
  33. Lincoln, NE
  34. Albuquerque, NM
  35. Cleveland, OH
  36. Cincinnati, OH
  37. Milwaukee, WI
  38. Atlanta, GA
  39. Des Moines, IA
  40. Irvine, CA
  41. Salt Lake City, UT
  42. Baltimore, MD
  43. Spokane, WA
  44. Honolulu, HI
  45. Indianapolis, IN
  46. Phoenix, AZ
  47. San Antonio, TX
  48. Miami, FL
  49. Oklahoma City, OK
  50. Houston, TX

Source: runnersworld.com/bestcities

Your Risk of Stroke!

August 28, 2016

Interestingly enough, the states with the lowest stroke mortality rate (for 2014) seem to be clustered predominantly in the northeast United States, while the states with the highest rate are clustered predominantly in the south.  Hmm, very curious indeed.  These are the number of deaths per 100,000 people based on information obtained from the National Center for Health Statistics.  Here are the top ten and the bottom ten.  Yikes, Oklahoma is in the grouping with the highest rates of stroke!

Lowest rates
1. Rhode Island (25.6)
2. New York (26.1)
3. Connecticut (26.3)
4. New Mexico (28.3)
5. Massachusetts (28.7)
6. New Hampshire (28.9)
7. Wyoming (30.2)
8. New Jersey (31.4)
9. Vermont (31.7)
10. Hawaii (32.3)

Highest rates
1. Mississippi (48.8)
2. Alabama (48.3)
3. Tennessee (45.8)
4. Louisiana (45.6)
5. Arkansas (45.4)
6. West Virginia (45.3)
7. South Carolina (44.2)
8. Oklahoma (43.0)
8. North Carolina (43.0)
10. Georgia (42.6)

Source: AARP Bulletin, Databank USA, July-August 2016, p. 40 (National Center for Health Statistics).

Back in the Groove!

July 30, 2016

Discipline, consistency, persistence . . . this has been the last six weeks as I have slowly regained my motivation and my stick-to-it-iveness with an exercise/diet program.  I started from scratch/ground zero in mid-June having gone more than a year-and-a-half between regular exercise, and boy, was it challenging, but it was time.  I’ve been able to maintain my focus now for several weeks and feel as though I’m truly back in my exercise groove.  I’ve been alternating my workouts with running, speed walking, and bicycling (and occasional weight workouts), and I feel great.  I’ve also change my diet a bit and have cut out a lot of the sugars and carbohydrates that I had come to love — they are now just the occasional reward.  Not only do I feel good, but I’ve dropped some of my unwanted pounds as well and I couldn’t be more pleased with the result.  It’s good to be back.  I may not get back to the fitness levels I possessed in my late 30s early 40s, but any improvement over my current levels is better than nothing.   My goal now: to stay in the groove while on vacation and traveling.  Wish me luck!  (What, me worry?  Piece of cake, right?)

The Costs of Water!

July 7, 2016

As with all things in life, the price you pay for your water can vary significantly from state to state.  Here are the most expensive (top five) and the least expensive (top five) states for the average annual household bill.  The costs are as of January 2015, rounded to the nearest dollar, and based upon the consumption of a 60,000 gallons per year.  Disclaimer: none of the 500 largest community water systems (VT and WY) or the systems privately owned (ID and WV) were included in this study.  Oklahoma’s annual expenditure per household for water is at $297.

Most expended
1. Hawaii ($606)
2. Nevada ($428)
3. District of Columbia ($420)
4. California ($386)
5. Pennsylvania ($382)

Least expended
1. Louisiana ($187)
2. South Carolina ($203)
3.  Nebraska ($224)
4. Utah ($232)
5. Minnesota ($236)

Source: Food and Water Watch.  AARP Bulletin, June 2016