Physical activity is a key component of healthy aging. It helps you maintain mobility and improve your balance, which reduces the risk of falls and injury. Adequate exercise can also slow or prevent the onset of osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease. Here are six activities to keep you moving at any age.
In addition to relieving stress, golf can improve your concentration. Opt to walk the course rather than rent a cart to get even more exercise.
This low-impact aerobic exercise helps with blood circulation, endurance, and balance. It’s also a great way to get some fresh air and explore scenic trails.
Since it’s a non-weight-bearing exercise, swimming gives you a full-body workout without putting pressure on your hips, knees, and back. For a change of pace, take a water aerobics class.
Activities like Pilates, yoga, and tai chi enhance flexibility, balance, and muscle strength. They’re usually practiced in a group and can be adapted to accommodate reduced mobility.
A cross between tennis, badminton, and ping-pong, this sport is a great way to express your competitive spirit without straining your muscles and joints.
Keep in mind that all of these options have the potential to be great social activities as well.
If you have health or mobility issues, speak with your doctor before starting a new type of physical activity.
12 healthy habits that can help prevent lung disease
There are many environmental factors that can impact your respiratory health and make it harder for you to breathe. However, there are things you can do to protect your lungs. Here are 12 healthy habits you should adopt.
1. Eat a nutritious diet that’s rich in fruits and vegetables
2. Exercise for at least 30 minutes every day
3. Wash your hands often to prevent infections
4. Receive the recommended vaccines for your age group
5. Quit smoking and vaping (or avoid starting in the first place)
6. Avoid smoky places and second-hand smoke
7. Try not to use aerosol products such as hairspray
8. Wear a mask if you work in a dusty environment or handle toxic products
9. Use eco-friendly paint that doesn’t contain VOCs
10. Test your home for radon
11. Remove asbestos from your home if necessary
12. Make sure your home’s ventilation system is clean and in good working order
If you’re concerned about your lungs, talk to your doctor about getting a computed tomography (CT) scan. This test can help detect infections, lung cancer, blood clots, and other lung problems.
Did you know?
According to the American Lung Association, 150 million people live in a county with an unhealthy level of air pollution. That’s nearly five in 10 Americans.
Normal aging: what to expect as you get older
From lapses in memory to joint pain and hair loss, a wide range of symptoms is often chalked up to getting old. But which changes are really considered a normal part of the aging process? Here’s some of what you can expect as you get older.
A different experience for everyone
Aging is a complex process that affects every system in the body. But while all people age, not everyone does so at the same rate. This means that people of the same age can look and feel very different as they get older. In other words, their chronological ages are identical, but their biological ages don’t match.
Noticeable signs of normal aging
• Weakened vision (presbyopia)
• Gradual loss of hearing (presbycusis)
• Slight decrease in memory and learning skills
• Loss of muscular endurance and strength
• Diminished sensations such as hunger and thirst
• Increase in percentage of body fat
Tips for healthy aging
The best way to delay the effects of aging is to maintain healthy lifestyle habits. Among other things, you should avoid smoking, limit your alcohol consumption, exercise daily, get enough sleep, keep in touch with loved ones, and challenge your mind with puzzles, reading, and strategy games.
Finally, be sure to schedule regular appointments with your family doctor, optometrist, audiologist, and other health-care professionals. This increases the likelihood of medical issues being detected and treated early.
Study: Higher opioid doses lead to longer-term dosing
After an injury, workers who receive higher prescription doses of an opioid are at increased risk of longer-term use, according to researchers at the Workers Compensation Institute. Research focused on workers from 33 states who were injured in 2016.
The study found that among workers who received a 15-day to a 30-day supply of opioids within 90 days of an injury, about 9 percent had longer-term opioid needs. In the same group, among those who received a three-day supply or less, just 5 percent had a longer-term dosing need.
Those workers who were prescribed a dose of 500 milligrams or more were more likely to need opioids longer. About 10 percent fell into that category. Only 7 to 8 percent of workers prescribed small doses had longer-term dispensing.
Other factors contribute to longer-term opioid use and possible dependence. Among those was taking an opioid along with central nervous system depressants.
Which workers most likely to be prescribed opioids?
If you are from a small town, work in a small company, or work in the mining or construction industry, you are most likely to be prescribed opioids after an injury.
Injured workers at organizations with smaller payrolls (from 1 million to 4 million) were prescribed opioids 54 percent of the time. Those from larger companies were prescribed about 47 percent of the time.
Small-town workers with injuries were prescribed opioids 68 percent of the time, compared with larger metro areas where opioids were prescribed 54 percent of the time.
In mining, injured workers were prescribed opioids 62 percent of the time. In construction, the rate was 55 percent.
The study was conducted by the Workers Compensation Institute.
Smartphone pinky joins list of tech injuries
Cell Phone Elbow, Smartphone Neck Pain, Texting Claw, and now Smartphone Pinky, the newest tech injury.
No one has studied Smartphone Pinky yet, but a plethora of Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok users claim it’s real with photographic evidence.
Supposedly a dent appears in the little finger on the middle bone. Sometimes people say the position of their pinky changes, or that the finger starts to sway downward from the knuckle.
You might check yours.
Although the supposed malady is debated, notice that most people do hold their phones so that the little finger takes most of the weight.
According to The Conversation, the change in the little finger might well be just a soft tissue compression from the constant weight of the phone. Unlike Cell Phone Elbow, no one has reported actual pain from the little finger.
With Cell Phone Elbow, pain and tingling in the forearm and little finger come from holding a mobile phone up to the ear or holding it while lying in bed for a long time. The pain comes from the shoulder-rubbing the ulnar nerve, one of the major nerves in the arm. Just six minutes of those postures increase the strain on the nerve by 69 percent.
Texting Claw is a repetitive strain injury that presents as pain in the thumb and wrist. It comes from making small repetitive movements with the thumb against the screen. Reduced texting appears to alleviate the problem.
Finally, neck pain can come from staring down at a screen for a prolonged period, which increases strain on the shoulder blade.
Women’s Health: 7 ways to move more every day
Many of today’s jobs, hobbies, and modes of transportation make it easy to succumb to a sedentary lifestyle. Unfortunately, prolonged periods of inactivity are linked to an increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. If you find yourself sitting too often, here are seven simple ways to incorporate more movement into your daily routine.
1. Sit on a stability ball rather than the couch while you watch TV or play video games.
2. Walk around the room while you’re on the phone. For longer calls, consider taking a stroll around the block.
3. Listen to audiobooks or podcasts while you use an elliptical machine, stationary bike, or treadmill to make your workout more interesting.
4. Use a standing desk. Do simple exercises, such as calf raises, while you complete routine tasks like checking your email.
5. Time how long it takes you to do an active chore like vacuuming, and then see if you can beat your previous record.
6. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. To really get your heart pumping, climb them two steps at a time.
7. Do jumping jacks or run in place during the commercial breaks while you watch a hockey or basketball game on TV.
With a bit of creativity and effort, there are plenty of simple and fun ways to be more active.
Leg pain could be a wake-up call for your cardiovascular health
Everyone gets a charley horse now and again while walking. But what if you experience a painful cramping sensation more often than normal, or even every time you walk? Claudication – the medical term for leg pain while walking – is a common symptom of peripheral artery disease (PAD), an often undetected and sometimes dangerous condition, according to the Harvard Heart Letter.
PAD occurs when fatty deposits narrow and clog arteries outside the heart, most often in the legs. While some people have mild or no symptoms, cramping in the arms or legs that starts during physical activity and disappears after a few minutes of rest occurs in some PAD patients, according to the Mayo Clinic. Pain may also occur in the buttock, hip, thigh, or calf, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Other symptoms of peripheral artery disease include:
-Smooth, shiny skin
-Skin that is cool to the touch, especially if it occurs with pain while walking that subsides after stopping
-Decreased or absent pulses in the feet
-Persistent sores in the legs or feet
-Cold or numb toes
Peripheral artery disease is often a sign of fatty deposits in other areas of the body, which can reduce blood flow to the heart and brain, according to the Mayo Clinic. Contact your physician if you are experiencing these symptoms and over age 65; over age 50 and have a history of diabetes or smoking; or under age 50, but have diabetes and other risk factors like obesity or high blood pressure.
According to the CDC, a doctor may use a variety of tests and imaging techniques to diagnose this issue. Treatment may include aspirin or other antiplatelet medications, as well as lifestyle changes like tobacco cessation and exercise. In some cases, surgery may be necessary.