It’s not because you’re retired that your days have to stretch into a succession of endless hours. It’s just the opposite! Now is the time to enjoy life. Here are some tips to help you stay in shape for years to come.
• Watch your diet. It’s important to eat well to prevent obesity and its harmful effects on your health. The revised American Food Guide is a good reference tool that contains recommendations for the different age groups.
• Exercise. Walk, dance, swim, bike, play golf, or do Tai chi. In other words, stay active. And don’t just exercise your body; your brain also needs a workout. Keep your mind sharp by doing crossword puzzles or playing memory games.
• Relax. You’ve lived a full life; now take the time to relax. Reduce stress through meditation or yoga, or relax with a good book.
• Have fun. To be in good shape is also a matter of well-being, because to stay fit you have to stay happy. That is why it’s important to keep busy. Retirement is the perfect time to indulge in the passions you’ve always neglected or to explore and discover new ones. Seize every opportunity to laugh and have fun with your loved ones.
Follow the recommendations of your doctor; take your medications, stop smoking, relax, and enjoy Mother Nature and all that wonderful fresh air. In other words, take care of yourself and make the most of life!
Explore all your options; you may discover some new passions.
What does efficacy mean with vaccines?
You may have seen the numbers: The COVID-19 vaccines have a 95 percent efficacy rate.
But what you may not know is that 95 percent efficacy does not mean that five percent of vaccinated people will still get COVID. According to Live Science, the actual percentage of vaccinated people who still got COVID-19 was a hundred times less than five percent: Just .04 percent. (Pfizer and Moderna trials). This means that the vaccines are highly effective in preventing the worst outcomes of COVID-19.
The 95 percent efficacy rate means that vaccinated people had a 95 percent lower risk of getting COVID-19 symptoms compared with individuals in the control group, who didn’t get vaccinated at all.
As a matter of fact, the vaccines were all 100 percent effective in preventing severe disease (hospitalization and death) within six weeks after the first dose (Moderna) or seven weeks (Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson).
Zero vaccinated people in any trial were hospitalized or died of COVID-19 after the vaccines had fully taken effect.
Every vaccine trial looked at protection from experiencing symptoms, not protection from getting infected at all. Although it is possible that the vaccines also reduce the number of viral particles in the body — which would cut transmission — scientists are not yet sure if vaccinated people can still transmit the virus. That’s why people should still wear masks.
How to improve your bedtime routine and get more sleep
Sleep is an essential component of your physical and mental health, but for many people, it can be hard to fall or stay asleep. Often, the problem lies in your evening habits, which can have a significant impact on the quality of your sleep. Here are some tips to help you establish a healthy bedtime routine.
• Pick a time. You should be getting at least seven hours of sleep every night, so allot that time into your daily schedule. Once you settle on a time to wake up and go to bed, stick to it, even on weekends and vacations.
• Dim the lights. Limit your exposure to bright light in the evening, as it can suppress your body’s production of melatonin. You should also put away all electronic devices at least 30 minutes before you turn in for the night.
• Calm your mind. Engage in relaxing activities for at least 30 minutes before bed to help you wind down. Reading, meditating, stretching, and listening to soothing music can put you in the right frame of mind for sleep.
• Don’t toss and turn. If you haven’t fallen asleep after 20 minutes, get up, so you don’t associate the frustration of sleeplessness with being in bed. Do something relaxing in low light to get your mind off sleep, then return to bed when you feel drowsy.
In addition to a consistent bedtime routine, a comfortable environment is crucial to a restful night. Quality bedding, a high-performance mattress and pillow, blackout curtains, and a white noise machine can all contribute to better sleep.
First aid: What should you do if you burn yourself?
Scalds and burns can happen to anyone, even if you’re careful. Here’s what to do if you get burned.
1. Run the affected area under a gentle stream of cool water for at least 10 minutes. In addition to easing the pain, cooling your skin will help limit the severity of the injury.
2. Clean the wound with mild soap and pat it dry with a clean towel.
3. If your skin looks damaged, cover the affected area with a sterile gauze bandage. You can also apply an antibiotic ointment to help prevent infection.
If the wound is itchy, swollen, or painful, consult your pharmacist. You may be able to take an antihistamine, anti-inflammatory, or analgesic to reduce your discomfort.
If the burns are white or charred, cover a large area of your body, or are unbearably painful, seek medical assistance right away.
Burn-care don’ts – If you burn yourself, remember:
• Don’t leave your rings on if the injury is on your hand
• Don’t apply butter or a greasy ointment to the wound
• Don’t break blisters (this will increase the risk of infection)
• Don’t cover the burn with a material that can get stuck to the wound
4 vitamins that can improve your oral health
The nutrients you consume can impact your oral health. To protect your teeth and mouth, incorporate foods into your diet that contain one or more of the following essential vitamins.
1. Vitamin A
Found in oily fish and vegetables such as carrots and sweet potatoes, this nutrient helps the mucous membranes in your mouth heal quickly. It also helps prevent dry mouth, which is a common cause of bad breath.
2. Vitamin C
Known for its many virtues, this antioxidant is essential to keeping your gums healthy. In fact, not getting enough vitamin C can increase your risk of periodontal disease. Brussels sprouts, oranges, strawberries, and peppers are all good sources of this nutrient, which helps reduce inflammation in the gums, among other things.
3. Vitamin D
This nutrient helps your body absorb more calcium, which plays a crucial role in strengthening your teeth and jawbone. Although your skin naturally produces vitamin D when exposed to sunlight, you can also add it to your diet by eating oily fish, eggs, and fortified dairy or soy products.
4. Vitamin E
Nuts, asparagus, and sunflower oil are all good sources of this antioxidant, which helps protect your mouth against harmful bacteria. This means it can considerably reduce your risk of developing gum disease. Plus, it can prevent early-stage oral cancers.
In addition to eating a balanced diet, you should also brush your teeth twice a day, floss daily, and visit your dentist at least once a year to maintain your oral health.
Food for thought
Keep in mind that while citrus fruits are high in vitamin C, which is crucial to gum health, they’re also acidic. Since acids wear away the protective enamel on your teeth, it’s best to eat these fruits in moderation.
How to come to terms with getting older
While it’s easy to adopt a negative attitude about aging, consider that not everyone gets the opportunity to live to a ripe old age. If you still struggle with the idea of getting older, here’s some advice that may help put your mind at ease.
Embrace a positive outlook
Rather than dwell on the things you may lose as you get older, focus on what you’ll gain. For example, your retirement years present an ideal opportunity to explore new interests and dive into passion projects that you didn’t previously have time for.
Acknowledge your accomplishments
One way to calm anxieties you may have about aging is to reflect on everything you’ve achieved during your lifetime and take pride in the legacy you’ll one day leave behind. Reflect on your life, and be proud of your successes.
Attend to concerns about dying
For some people, writing a will or pre-planning a funeral can be reassuring. If it puts your mind at ease, speak with a lawyer about writing or updating your will. You can also make your own funeral arrangements, thereby ensuring your family won’t have to shoulder the responsibility after you’re gone.
Define your purpose
A key component to feeling vital as you get older is to engage in activities that are fulfilling. One rewarding option is to volunteer. Among other things, supporting a cause that you care about can reduce stress and improve your self-confidence, both of which contribute to health and happiness as you age.
Ultimately, getting older is an inevitable part of living. Make the best of it by adjusting your attitude, engaging in activities you enjoy, and spending time with the people you love.
4 exercises to improve foot health
If you want to relieve or prevent foot pain, you’ll need to improve the strength and flexibility of your feet. Additionally, gentle stretching and exercises can reduce the risk of injury and muscle soreness, thereby helping you stay active. In honor of Foot Health Awareness Month, which takes place in April, here are four simple exercises that can improve your foot health.
1. Toe raises
Sit or stand with your feet flat on the floor. Lift the toes of one foot while keeping the other foot firmly on the ground. Hold the position for five seconds, then lower your toes. Repeat 10 times on each foot.
2. Tennis ball roll
Sit with your feet flat on the floor, and place a tennis ball in front of you. Put one foot on top of the tennis ball. Roll the ball around so that it massages the bottom of your foot. Do this for two minutes, adjusting the pressure as needed. Repeat on the other foot.
3. Toe curls
Sit with your feet flat on the floor and a hand towel laid out in front of you. Put the toes of one foot on the end of the towel, and curl them to pull the towel toward you. Repeat five times with each foot. To increase the difficulty, place a small weight on the towel.
4. Towel stretch
Sit on the floor with your legs extended. Loop a towel around the ball of one foot, and hold each end of the towel in your hands. Gently pull the towel so that your toes point toward you. Hold the stretch for 20 seconds, and repeat it five times on each foot.
Keep in mind that you should always consult a health professional before you start doing a new exercise routine.