Category Archives: Uncategorized

7 Sleep mistakes you don’t know you’re making – Infographic

Sleep is one of the truly under-appreciated aspects of living a long and healthy life. I know for sure that when I was in the working world, I pretty much considered sleep to be an imposition on my life.

Times, and my mind, have changed. Please check out my Page – How important is a good night’s sleep for more on this crucial aspect of our daily lives.

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Tony

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Is your child fat?

As you can see from this post, lifelong good health starts early. There are excellent tools here to make sure your children get off to the right start.

Tony

IS YOUR CHILD FAT? Here’s a question a growing segment of our PARENTAL population is going to have to begin asking themselves. The need to face REALITY is NOT based on aesthetics but rather the diseases and traumatic life altering compromises our children face if we continue to avoid this topic. The argument, “we should […]

via IS YOUR CHILD FAT? — All About Healthy Choices

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Breathe and Focus: How Practicing Mindfulness Improves Mental Health as We Age — Our Better Health

There are very helpful tips in this post. I would like to add my own suggestion: Exercise. That gives you a two-edged sword. Check out my Page – Important facts about your brain – and exercise benefits.

As we age, it’s natural to worry about possible declines in our mental and brain health. Many older adults are concerned about things like memory loss and poorer attention, forgetting names, and taking longer to learn new things. As a result, as we get older we may feel more distress, sadness, and/ or anxiety that […]

via Breathe and Focus: How Practicing Mindfulness Improves Mental Health as We Age — Our Better Health

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Anti-inflammatory diet could reduce bone loss risk in women

Women are vulnerable to bone density loss as they age.

Anti-inflammatory diets – which tend to be high in vegetables, fruits, fish and whole grains – could boost bone health and prevent fractures in some women, a new study suggests.

Researchers examined data from the landmark Women’s Health Initiative to compare levels of inflammatory elements in the diet to bone mineral density and fractures and found new associations between food and bone health. The study, led by Tonya Orchard, an assistant professor of human nutrition at The Ohio State University, appears in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research.

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Illustration of bone which has lost density.

Women with the least-inflammatory diets (based on a scoring system called the Dietary Inflammatory Index) lost less bone density during the six-year follow-up period than their peers with the most-inflammatory diets. This was despite the fact that they started off with lower bone density overall.

Furthermore, diets with low inflammatory potential appeared to correspond to lower risk of hip fracture among one subgroup of the study – post-menopausal white women younger than 63.

The findings suggest that women’s bone health could benefit when they choose a diet higher in beneficial fats, plants and whole grains, said Orchard, who is part of Ohio State’s Food Innovation Center.

“This suggests that as women age, healthy diets are impacting their bones,” Orchard said. “I think this gives us yet another reason to support the recommendations for a healthy diet in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.” (my emphasis)

Because the study was observational, it’s not possible to definitively link dietary patterns and bone health and fracture outcomes. Continue reading

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Cardiovascular disease-related hospital admissions jump on second day after major snowfall – Harvard

Having warned you about the dangers of snow shoveling yesterday, I thought it worthwhile to share this with  you from Harvard.

Hospital admissions for cardiovascular diseases decline on days with major snowfalls compared to days with no snowfall, but they jump by 23% two days later, according to a new study led by researchers from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

“With global climate change, major snowstorms may become more frequent and severe,” said lead author Jennifer Bobb of the Group Health Research Institute in Seattle, who worked on the study as a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Biostatistics at Harvard Chan School. “Understanding trends in hospitalizations related to snowfall will help us develop ways to protect public health during harsh winter conditions.”

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The study was published online January 30, 2017 in the American Journal of Epidemiology.

The researchers analyzed data for 433,037 adults hospitalized at the four largest hospitals in Boston (Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston Medical Center, and Massachusetts General Hospital) during the months of November through April, for the years 2010–2015. They focused on admissions for cardiovascular diseases; cold-weather related conditions such as frostbite; and falls and injuries. Continue reading

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Couch potatoes face same chance of dementia as those with genetic risk factors: Study

At the risk of being repetitious – eat less; move more; live longer. There, I said it. And along with the moving more, you are likely to be bolstering up your brain so it is fully functional in your senior years.

Sedentary older adults with no genetic risk factors for dementia may be just as likely to develop the disease as those who are genetically predisposed, according to a major study which followed more than 1,600 Canadians over five years.

The findings, published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, shed new light on the relationship between genes, lifestyle risk factors and dementia.

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Researchers, who tracked participants in the Canadian Study of Health and Aging, found that while carriers of a variant of the ‘apolipoprotein E’ genotype are more likely to develop dementia, inactivity dramatically increases the risk for non-carriers.

“The important message here is that being inactive may completely negate the protective effects of a healthy set of genes,” says Jennifer Heisz, an assistant professor in the Department of Kinesiology at McMaster University and co-author of the study. (my emphasis)
Continue reading

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Tale of two tail tunes

Back in December I was in Las Vegas with my girlfriend. One morning I was down in the casino playing video poker and the coolest tune came on the loud speakers. For some reason all casinos seem to feel that the ambient sound of the slot machines is not enough. They have to fill you with their own brand of music,  mostly rock and roll. As Caesars Palace, where we stayed, they often intersperse songs from the headliners who play there. So they combine marketing with entertainment.

While playing video poker I became aware of this awesome song on the speakers.  I couldn’t make out all the words, but the beat was fantastic and every once in a while, I heard, “… one, two, three … something, something …. run back to me … ”

I have been a rock and roller since the fifties and was lucky enough to catch Elvis Presley’s TV debut on the Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey Stage Show in January of 1956. He blew the country and me right out of our socks. Bill Hayley and his Comets also rocked me around the clock in the early 50’s.

I couldn’t recognize a lot of the lyrics or the voice of the singer, so I pulled out my iPhone and asked Siri if she could. Sure enough, Siri came back with “Ex’s and Ohs” by Elle King. Again, I had never heard of either the singer or the song, but decided that I would explore further.

Later, back in the room, I learned that Elle King is the daughter of Rob Schneider, former cast member of Saturday Night Live and star of the Deuce Bigelow movies. I found an Elle King  performance on You Tube and played it over and over till I had it in my head.

Before I go further, why don’t you check it out below. Then read on.

After a number of hearings and viewings, I still loved the tune, but hated the sentiment. The singer co-wrote the song with Dave Bassett. As you can see and hear from the video she is a heartless person who uses men and then discards them when she is finished. I decided I really didn’t like the sentiment or the person singing it.

Here’s the fascinating thing that flashed through my mind in the ensuing week. When I was in my early 20’s, I spent a lot of time with ‘the guys’ riding around in a car listening to a blasting radio and singing along with the music. One of my favorite tunes was The Wanderer by Dion. Like Ex’s and Ohs, it also has a great beat. Interestingly, the sentiment is similar, too, but from the point of view of the guy. “I’m the type of guy who will never settle down. Where pretty girls are, well, you know that I’m around. I kiss ’em and I love ’em, ’cause to me they’re all the same. I hug ’em and I squeeze ’em, they don’t even know my name…’ You get the picture.

The song became my theme song for about the next 25 years and probably kept me from having very good relationships with women during that time.

You can enjoy the entire song below.

I guess the millennials have taken the equal rights of women concept to heart and Ex’s and Oh’s is a perfect example of that. I hope the young and impressionable girls listening to it are better able to handle the ideas than I was.

Please feel free to comment on this. I would love to hear from you.

Tony

 

 

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How To Stop a Cold Before It Starts

This post is full of good positive ideas for keeping up our strength and health through the challenging winter months. Although it mentions colds, it covers a lot of other good ground.

Regarding sleep, please check out my Page – How important is a good night’s sleep? for more details.

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The item on stress is a point well-taken. I have written about the damage and dangers of stress lots of times. You can search it in the box at the right. I recommend checking out Super tools for handling stress. I wrote it five years ago and it has tons of useful ideas.

 

Tony

Our Better Health

Natural preventatives and some common sense will keep you from getting sick — or staying that way for long.

It’s a double-whammy: getting sick during the winter combines feeling crummy with many people’s less-than-favorite time of year. And if you do have to go outside when you have a cold, you’re probably going to be even more uncomfortable.

Getting sick at least once during the winter is, arguably, inevitable. With more and more of us crowded onto planes, buses, trains and offices, the likelihood of contracting a virus is high. But the suggestions below can help you shorten the length of a cold, avoid a repeat or avoid a worsening (a cold-related cough that turns into bronchitis, for example).

Sleep: If you need a concrete reason to turn off the tube or close the computer and get to bed (beyond that it’s “good for you”) then consider this: Dr. Diwakar…

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Musicians have faster reflexes – Study

I always loved that famous William Congreve quote – ” Music has charms that soothe the savage breast.” It’s often misquoted as the savage breast. I confess, I am a music lover. Sadly, the only instrument I play is my stereo. I never got around to actually learning how to play an actual instrument. More’s the pity.

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Researchers at University of Montreal’s audiology school find that musicians have faster reaction times than non-musicians – and that could have implications for the elderly.

Could learning to play a musical instrument help the elderly react faster and stay alert?

Quite likely, according to a new study by Université de Montréal’s School of Speech Language Pathology and Audiology, part of UdeM’s medical faculty.

Published in the U.S. journal Brain and Cognition, the study shows that musicians have faster reaction times to sensory stimuli than non-musicians have.

And that has implications for preventing some effects of aging, said lead researcher Simon Landry, whose study is part of his doctoral thesis in biomedical science.

“The more we know about the impact of music on really basic sensory processes, the more we can apply musical training to individuals who might have slower reaction times,” Landry said.

“As people get older, for example, we know their reaction times get slower. So if we know that playing a musical instrument increases reaction times, then maybe playing an instrument will be helpful for them.”

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How to Use Your Brain for Weight Control

I took a course in The brain six years ago and was so inspired by what I learned that I posted on it. Thought you newer readers might get something out of it.

Tony

One Regular Guy Writing about Food, Exercise and Living Past 100

Exercise and intelligent eating are the keys to weight control and healthy living. Everyone knows that 30 minutes on the treadmill burns X amount of calories depending on your weight. The role of exercise in healthy living and weight control is straight forward and doesn’t need explaining. The exercise of the brain in weight control is another matter.

In order to understand it, you need to know a few basic facts about parts of your brain and how they function. If you are willing to wade through a couple of basic biology facts, I think you will emerge at the other end with a new tool in the universal ongoing battle of the bulge.

For this subject we need to focus on just two parts of the brain and how they work, together and separately.

The first is the amygdala. This is the part of the brain that is central…

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Merry Christmas and Season’s greetings

To all of my faithful readers (as well as any who might have been unfaithful)  have a wonderful Christmas today with your loved ones. I hope you enjoy this beautiful artistic rendering of a tree.

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I hope your and your loved ones have a Wonder-ful Christmas!

Tony

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Beans and peas more filling than meat

Although I am a big fan of eating beans, peas, nuts and seeds, I did not know that they actually created a greater feeling of fullness than meat.

Meals based on legumes such as beans and peas are more satiating than pork and veal-based meals according to a recent study by the University of Copenhagen’s Department of Nutrition, Exercise and Sports. Results suggest that sustainable eating may also help with weight loss.

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Numerous modern dietary recommendations encourage high protein consumption to help with weight loss or prevent the age-related loss of muscle mass. Furthermore, consuming more vegetable-based protein from beans and peas, and less protein from meats such as pork, veal and beef, is recommended because meat production is a far greater burden on our climate than vegetable cultivation. Until now, we haven’t known very much about how legumes like beans and peas stack up against meat in satiating hunger. As a result, little has been known about the impact of vegetables and the possibility of them catalyzing or maintaining weight loss. Continue reading

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7 Reasons positive emotions are good for your heart – Infographic

While the holiday season is a joyous time it can also bring about its own set of stressors. Thought this little infographic might be a nice reminder.

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Happy holidays!

Tony

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Seven steps to live longer – AHA

The American Heart Association (AHA) offers seven suggestions on how to improve your health and actually live longer. I thought you might find them useful. In AHA words, “These measures have one unique thing in common: any person can make these changes, the steps are not expensive to take and even modest improvements to your health will make a big difference. Start with one or two. This simple, seven step list has been developed to deliver on the hope we all have–to live a long, productive healthy life.”

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The AHA website also offers a link for you to score yourself.

      1. Manage Blood Pressure
        High blood pressure is a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke. When your blood pressure stays within healthy ranges, you reduce the strain on your heart, arteries, and kidneys which keeps you healthier longer. Learn more.
      2. Control Cholesterol
        High cholesterol contributes to plaque, which can clog arteries and lead to heart disease and stroke. When you control your cholesterol, you are giving your arteries their best chance to remain clear of blockages. Learn more.
      3. Reduce Blood Sugar
        Most of the food we eat is turned into glucose (or blood sugar) that our bodies use for energy. Over time, high levels of blood sugar can damage your heart, kidneys, eyes and nerves. Learn more.
      4. Get Active
        Living an active life is one of the most rewarding gifts you can give yourself and those you love. Simply put, daily physical activity increases your length and quality of life. Learn more.
      5. Eat Better
 A healthy diet is one of your best weapons for fighting cardiovascular disease. When you eat a heart-healthy diet, you improve your chances for feeling good and staying healthy – for life!  Learn more.
      6. Lose Weight
        When you shed extra fat and unnecessary pounds, you reduce the burden on your heart, lungs, blood vessels and skeleton. You give yourself the gift of active living, you lower your blood pressure and you help yourself feel better, to0. Read – How to lose weight – and keep it off.
      7. Stop Smoking
        Cigarette smokers have a higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease. If you smoke, quitting is the best thing you can do for your health. Read – How many ways does smoking harm you?

Last, but not least, to enjoy living a longer life, we need to have our brain intact and functioning also. Check out my Page – Important facts about your brain (and exercise benefits).

Tony

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Daily aspirin benefits outweigh risk to stomach – Study

As a daily consumer of aspirin for the arthritis in my hands, I was pleased to run across this new study from Cardiff University on the drug’s benefits.

Stomach bleeds caused by aspirin are considerably less serious than the spontaneous bleeds that can occur in people not taking the drug, concludes a study led by Cardiff University.

 

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Published in the journal Public Library of Science, the extensive study of literature on aspirin reveals that while regular use of the drug increases the risk of stomach bleeds by about a half, there is no valid evidence that any of these bleeds are fatal.

Professor Peter Elwood from Cardiff University’s School of Medicine said: “Although many people use aspirin daily to reduce the risk of health problems such as cancer and heart disease, the wider use of the drug is severely limited because of the side effect of bleeding from the stomach…”

“With our study showing that there is no increased risk of death from stomach bleeding in people who take regular aspirin, we hope there will be better confidence in the drug and wider use of it by older people, leading to important reductions in deaths and disablement from heart disease and cancer across the community.”

Professor Peter Elwood, School of Medicine
Heart disease and cancer are the leading causes of death and disability across the world, and research has shown that a small daily dose of aspirin can reduce the occurrence of both diseases by around 20-30%.

Recent research has also shown that low-doses of aspirin given to patients with cancer, alongside chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy, is an effective additional treatment, reducing the deaths of patients with bowel, and possibly other cancers, by a further 15%.

The study ‘Systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized trials to ascertain fatal gastrointestinal bleeding events attributable to preventive low-dose aspirin: No evidence of increased risk’ can be found in Public Library of Science.

Tony

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Women multitask better than men – Study

This study from the Higher School of Economics Neurolinguistics Laboratory in Russia puts forward some fascinating observations on the differences between men’s and women’s brains. Ironically, these latest findings seem to support some vintage gender stereotypes.

It has long been known to science that women find it easier than men to multitask and switch between tasks. But identifying exactly which areas of male and female brains respond differently and why has so far been unclear. According to researchers from the HSE Neurolinguistics Laboratory, men need to mobilize additional areas of their brain and use more energy than women when multitasking.

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Why Men Find Switching Tasks More Difficult
Needing to switch attention between tasks causes stronger activation in certain brain regions in men compared to women.Exactly why their brains function differently in such situations has so far been unclear. Recent research reveals that male brains appear to consume more energy when they need to shift attention. In addition to this, in men there is greater activity in the dorsolateral prefrontal areas of the brain compared to women, as well as activation in some other areas which is not usually observed in women. Continue reading

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