Thursday, December 23, 2010

Nutrition Tip

An egg a day may keep the eye doctor away. Antioxidants in egg yolks can help protect against age-related vision problems.

Carrots aren’t the only food that’s good for your peepers. Egg yolks are a great source of lutein and zeaxanthin, antioxidants that accumulate in the eyes and help protect the retinas from sun damage. Research shows that people with the most lutein and zeaxanthin in their diets have a nearly 60 percent smaller risk of developing age-related macular degeneration — the leading cause of blindness. According to a 2006 study in the Journal of Nutrition, eating an egg a day boosted antioxidant levels in the retinas without elevating cholesterol. While it’s okay to eat eggs as part of a heart-healthy diet, people who are watching their cholesterol should consult their doctor first. Other good sources of lutein and zeaxanthin include green, leafy vegetables like kale, spinach, turnip greens, collard greens and romaine lettuce.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Wellness Tip

Take time for stress relief: Women with high-pressure jobs and little say have an 88 percent increased risk of heart attack.

Job stress is not something that should be shrugged off. If you have a demanding job and little control over your workload, you could be putting yourself at risk for a heart attack. Women with tough or fast-paced jobs who have little say in their day-to-day activities have a much greater risk of having a heart attack than women in less stressful jobs. That’s according to research at Harvard Medical School that analyzed the heart health and jobs of 17,000 women over the course of 10 years. If your job has you feeling constantly stressed out, it’s worth taking time out every day to relax. Figure out what helps you decompress. For some, it could be exercise. For others, it could be meditation, watching a funny movie or confiding in a friend.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Health Tip

Conquer cravings with dark chocolate. Research shows it can satisfy our sweet tooth better than milk chocolate can.

Here’s a piece of news we can sink our teeth into: A small study at the University of Copenhagen found that dark chocolate was better than milk chocolate at satisfying a sweet tooth. Those who ate the dark confection reported feeling fuller for longer, ate fewer calories at their next meal and had fewer cravings afterward than those who ate the milk chocolate. Dark chocolate is loaded with heart-healthy antioxidants called flavanols that may help lower blood pressure. Some studies have shown an association with chocolate intake and reduced risks for heart disease and stroke. But that doesn’t mean chocolate is a health food that you can nosh on at will. Treat yourself to no more than a small square (about an ounce) of dark chocolate a day to satisfy your cravings and fill up on antioxidants.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Fitness Tip

Get your heart rate up. Regular activity strengthens the ticker so it won’t have to work as hard to supply the body with oxygen.

Bring your heart rate down by speeding it up. Regular cardiovascular exercise that gets your heart pumping can lower your resting heart rate. That’s important because research shows people with a higher-than-average heart rate have a greater risk of death. How fast the heart beats reflects the amount of work it must do to fuel the body with oxygen. Getting your heart in tip-top shape can ease some of that day-to-day workload. The heart, as with any other muscle, can be strengthened through exercise. As we become more fit, our resting heart rate falls. While resting heart rates average 60 to 80 beats per minute, they can exceed 100 bpm in middle-aged sedentary people. To make sure you’re working your heart when exercising, use this rule of thumb: You should be able to carry on a conversation but not carry a tune.

Friday, December 17, 2010


Walking 30 minutes per day a few days a week may be enough to moderately increase overall bone density. So get up and take a walk!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Nutrition Tip

It’s easy to lose track of time doing holiday errands. Keep a healthy snack on you at all times to prevent mood swings and bad-food binges

Don’t skip meals to save time during the holiday season. Between long lines at the register and searching for a parking space, holiday shopping always takes longer than we anticipate — often leaving us hungry and irritable. Before you head to the mall, eat a meal or snack that contains protein and complex carbohydrates to keep mood swings and hunger pangs at bay. Good choices include a peanut butter or turkey sandwich on 100 percent whole wheat. Also toss a snack, like an apple, granola bar or almonds, into your bag to tide you over until you get home. If you wait until you’re ravenous to eat, you’ll be more likely to splurge on a 1,000-calorie cinnamon bun or a pile of greasy Chinese noodles.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Health Tip

Skip the fast food. Fast food can be very high in trans fatty acids, sodium and calories.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Wellness Tip

Got arthritis? Research shows you can boost mood and alleviate pain, fatigue and stiffness by practicing tai chi twice a week.

Too sore to exercise? Try tai chi, a gentle, flowing form of martial arts that works all the major muscle groups in the body. Sometimes called meditation in motion, this low-impact, mind-body workout is perfect for people with chronic pain or injuries. Tai chi builds strength, balance and flexibility, which can help prevent falls and other accidents. In addition, tai chi can reduce stress levels and help alleviate pain, fatigue and stiffness in people with arthritis. That’s according to the Arthritis Foundation’s most recent and largest study to date on tai chi. Exercise is extremely important for people with arthritis. Lack of physical activity can weaken muscles, which puts extra strain on joints. Sign up for a class in your area, or ask Santa to put a beginner tai chi DVD in your stocking.

Sunday, December 12, 2010


"We choose our joys and sorrows long before we experience them"

Kahlil Gibran

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Health Tip

Walk your way to a bigger brain and fewer senior moments. Walking six miles a week can cut the risk of memory problems in half.

Our stature isn’t the only thing that shrinks as we get older. Our brains do too. As you would probably expect, less gray matter equals more forgotten names and misplaced keys. Cognitive decline isn’t inevitable, though. A study in the journal Neurology shows that walking at least six miles a week may help prevent brain shrinkage and memory loss. Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh followed 300 senior citizens for 13 years and found that those who walked the most cut their risk of dementia in half, compared with those who walked the least. At the end of the study, those who logged the most miles also had the most gray matter. That doesn’t mean you have to walk to the end of the earth to reduce your risk of memory problems, though. The researchers found that six miles a week was enough to protect against age-related decline.

Fitness Tip

Does your workout make you break out? Sweating alone doesn’t cause acne. Makeup, touching your face and not washing afterward are worse.

You might think that working out is bad for your skin, but believe it or not, the opposite is true. Being stressed out or anxious can exacerbate acne. Exercise may help reduce flare-ups by bringing stress levels down. Also, sweating can help release trapped dirt from your pores – provided you wash it away when your workout is done. If you break out every time you exercise, make sure you’re not wearing any makeup, which can clog pores. Also, wash your face thoroughly with a gentle cleanser immediately after working out. Remember to keep your hands away from your face; instead use a clean towel to wipe away the sweat.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Nutrition Tip

It is important to eat a wide variety of colorful vegetables and fruits every day.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


Parents can help their kids do better in school by getting more involved, says a new study. Help with homework and attend teacher meetings

Want to help your children do their best in school? A new study published in the MIT journal Review of Economics and Statistics suggests that a parent’s effort is even more important than the teacher’s or child’s effort when it comes to doing well in the classroom. According to the study, children work harder when their parents are more involved. It may influence teachers’ performance as well. Reading to your kids, helping them with or supervising their homework, attending meetings with teachers, and talking to your kids about their schoolwork can all help motivate your children to perform well at school.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Nutrition Tip

Skip the soda and fruit punch. Drinking one to two daily servings of sugary beverages can hike your risk of type 2 diabetes by 26%

Sugary beverages like lemonade, soda and iced tea may seem like innocuous-enough treats. After all, a can of cola probably has fewer calories — and certainly less fat — than that brownie you were eyeing. But a large study from the Harvard School of Public Health shows that a daily soda habit is just as bad as junk food. In a meta-analysis that reviewed 11 scientific studies on the link between sweetened beverages and diabetes, researchers found that indulging in just one to two sugary drinks a day could up your risk of diabetes by 26 percent and increase the risk of metabolic syndrome by 20 percent, compared with people who drank less than one a month. (Metabolic syndrome is a group of medical disorders, such as abdominal obesity, unhealthy cholesterol levels, high blood pressure and insulin resistance, that together increase the risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes.) Making the switch to water can be difficult if you’re used to that syrupy flavor. But if you limit the amount of sugar in your diet, your taste buds will adjust. When you need to satisfy your sugar craving, opt for dried mango or pineapple slices.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Wellness Tip

Stop your sniffling by getting active. Help keep colds at bay this winter by getting into a fitness routine.

Feel like you catch every virus or bug that you come in contact with? According to research from the British Journal of Sports Medicine, physical fitness can curb the frequency and severity of colds. Their study showed that people who exercise five or more days a week had 50 percent fewer sick days during the cold and flu season than those who engaged in aerobic activity less than twice a week. People who were the fittest or most active were also more likely to report less severe symptoms than those who were least active. Working out triggers a temporary boost in the immune system. Because the effect is short-lived, moderate daily exercise offers the best defense. If the cold weather is keeping you indoors, look for a mall or indoor track where you can walk after work, rent a few workout DVDs, or sign up for an exercise class with friends.

Health Tip

There’s no cure for the common cold, but you can feel better with plenty of rest and fluids and gargling with salt water for a sore throat

It’s not even winter, and you’ve already caught your third cold of the season. Not fair. While there is no cure, there are a few things you can do to alleviate your symptoms and make yourself more comfortable. If possible, take the day off from work and lounge around the house. This will reduce the risk of infecting others, and give your body the chance to restore its strength and fight the infection. Fevers can deplete fluids from your system and make your mucus thicker, so be sure to drink plenty of liquids. And don’t forget the chicken soup. When researchers put this old wives tale to the test, they found that chicken soup really can help you feel better by acting as an anti-inflammatory and helping to clear mucus from the sinuses. Gargling with salt water can temporarily relieve dry, scratchy sore throats. If the air is dry, using a cool-mist room humidifier can help moisten the air and lessen your coughing and congestion.