Are You Protected from Bone Loss? Important Tips to Reduce Your Risk of Osteoporosis

Breaking a bone isn’t anybody’s idea of a good time. But when a simple sneeze could break a bone, it is more than just a painful inconvenience. More than 50 million people in the United States have osteoporosis or low bone mass, and an estimated 50 percent of women and 25 percent of men over age 50 will break a bone due to the disease. Read more

5 Ways to Avoid Accidental Falls

Nearly 25 percent of older Americans will fall this year, leading to a variety of serious injuries. Falling is the leading cause of injuries and deaths among people over age 65, resulting in fractures and brain injuries. Although falls are common among senior citizens, they can be prevented with modifications in the home and lifestyle changes. Here are five ways to help prevent falls among older individuals. Read more

5 Methods for Healthy Prescription Safety

Nearly all American adults take at least one medication a day, and 29 percent take five or more each day. These medications can help keep people healthy, but the number of prescriptions also makes it easier to have an adverse drug event like harmful side effects, overdoses, and allergic reactions. Read more

5 Eye-Catching Facts about Cataracts

A person’s vision can change little by little throughout their life. If vision changes include cloudiness or a change in recognizing colors, however, it may be something more.

When it feels like you are looking through a foggy window, cataracts may be to blame. And while any eye trouble can be disconcerting, this common condition can be treated. Here are 5 things to know about cataracts and how they are treated.   Read more

6 Ways to Protect Yourself During Flu Season

The United States is in the midst of a brutal flu season that has not yet reached its peak. As of late January, the flu was widespread in every state except Hawaii, leading to nearly 15,000 hospitalizations and 53 pediatric deaths.

Short of barricading your family inside your home for the next few months, it may be impossible to completely avoid the flu. However, with some preventative steps, you can give yourself the best shot at making it through flu season healthy. Here are six tips to try and avoid the flu and what to do if you catch this nasty virus. Read more

Signs You Are SAD: Understanding Seasonal Affective Disorder

The cold winter season can get dreary fast. Fall ends in a heartbeat, followed shortly by freezing temperatures and hazy skies. When the cold forces people indoors, some people may feel more like hibernating for the rest of the winter than others.  Read more

Do You Feel Off-Balance? It Could Be Your Hormones

Most of us really try to make healthy decisions, but if you are struggling with a low energy level or unexplained anxiety or weight gain, your hormones may be off-balance. Research shows that hormone imbalance attributes to anxiety, weight problems, depression, even high blood pressure. They play an enormous role in regulating body functions like weight, skin, or energy levels, and having a better understanding of how hormones stay in balance is important for maintaining good health. Read more

New Guidelines for High Blood Pressure. Are You at Risk?

If you think your blood pressure is normal and you don’t need to be concerned, you may need to check again. Heart experts have issued new guidelines for high blood pressure, which means nearly half of all adults may now have blood pressure that is considered high. Read more

Kindness Is Always in Season

Do you think you are kind? Although most of us act on kindness and service during the holidays, most don’t make kindness a priority beyond November and December. An NBC News poll showed 62 percent of us believe children aren’t as kind as they used to be. And 77 percent of us think parents are to blame for those declining figures. The poll results show that most parents believe teaching honesty (43 percent) is more important than teaching kindness (29 percent). But 52 percent of those polled believe kindness is an innate quality that doesn’t need to be taught. Although people may not agree on the process of being kind, there’s no doubt the world could use more of it, especially after the holidays are over.

Here are four ways to start practicing kindness and build a positive, happier life all year.

  1. Practice gratitude.

Like most worthwhile tasks, the act of gratitude takes practice. “It’s a practice to take a moment each day to take in natural beauty and reflect on positive events,” says Lori Chandler. “And like all practices, it takes stamina to stick to it.” Not only does showing gratitude improve the life situation for others as well as ourselves, but it’s also good for our health.

Related link: How to add meaning to the holiday season

“Research shows that when we think about what we appreciate, the parasympathetic or calming part of the nervous system is triggered, and that can have protective benefits on the body, including decreasing cortisol levels and perhaps increasing oxytocin, the bonding hormone involved in relationships that make us feel so good,” says Today Health and Wellness contributor Lauren Dunn. Simply identifying three things for which you are grateful will have a profound impact on kindness.

  1. Set new goals every month.

Rather than declaring this broad statement that your commitment to being more kind starts today and shall commence for the rest of your life, try taking smaller steps and reinforce this goal with new personal challenges every month. We come across new things to inspire us every day. And by allowing time to incorporate new things and change strategies when needed, we can continue to take charge of kindness all year.

Related link: 7 Ways seniors can make the new year happy

“We appreciate the efforts our staff makes every day to be patient and kind to those who need their help, saidDebra Koenig RN LNHA, executive director at Fort Dodge Health & Rehabilitation. “We recognize that this time of year can be overwhelming for both our staff and residents, so the kind service and support that they share with each other, regardless of their hectic personal lives, inspires me to be better and try harder all throughout the year.”

  1. Say “yes.”

The foundation for sharing kindness is loving ourselves. Inspired by the book, Year of Yes: How to Dance it Out, Stand in the Sun and Be Your Own Person, written by television producer and creator Shonda Rhimes, saying yes to trying new things, playing instead of working, and placing our happiness as a priority can motivate people to share those positive feelings with others. “When you’re willing to do something uncomfortable, it inspires other people to take action themselves,” says Bernardo Carducci, professor of psychology and director of the Shyness Research Institute at Indiana University Southeast. This act of paying it forward sets the stage for positive change.

  1. Commit to kindness every day.

It’s great to hear that the food bank shelves are filled in December, but what about March? People need to feel love and kindness every day of the year and not just during the holidays. “Kindness is not an ‘extra,” says Harriet Lerner, Ph.D, psychologist and author of Why Won’t You Apologize? “Kindness is at the heart of intimacy, connection, self-respect, and respect for others.”

The truth is the opportunities to be kind during the holidays present themselves all year. We just need to use the same eyes and ears that are so attuned to doing service during the holiday season and choose kindness every day.  “War, natural disasters, politics—you hit a point where you’re looking for positivity, but you don’t always know what to do or where to start,” says Kelsey Gryniewicz of the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation. “But that’s the power of kindness—it just takes one person, one act. You don’t need money or a ton of time.”

This article was previously published on 39 for Life and republished here with permission.

 

6 Life-Saving Facts about Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

As temperatures fall and people turn their focus to staying warm through the winter, the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning increases. On average, more than 50,000 people visit the emergency room nationwide each year, and 400 die from carbon monoxide poisoning. Carbon monoxide poisoning can be very difficult to detect, so it is essential to take preventative measures and know the signs of poisoning. Read more