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5 Easy Ways to Boost Your Immune System

Things tend to slow down a little as people age, and the immune system is no exception. Older people tend to get sick easier and take longer to recover from illnesses.

Although the immune system can decline with age, there are steps people can take throughout their lives to keep their immune system going strong. In general, a healthy lifestyle will benefit the immune system, from eating right to sleeping well and getting your shots. Read more

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

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

Don’t Let the Risk of Blood Clots Stall Your Holiday Plans

It’s the start of another holiday season! Before you hit the road with a trunk filled with presents and Bing Crosby queued up, let’s list some of the other important things to remember: Healthy snacks—check. GPS—check. Avoid drowsiness when driving—check. Know the signs of blood clots, huh? Read more

A Little Exercise on Car Trips Can Help Prevent Blood Clots

It’s road trip season! Before you hit the road with a bag of Corn Nuts and the Hamilton soundtrack queued up, let’s list some of the other important things to remember: Healthy snacks – check. GPS – check. Avoid drowsiness when driving – check. Know the signs of a blood clot – huh?

When we think of potential dangers on the road, most of us don’t consider blood clots. According to the National Blood Clot Alliance, “On average, 274 people die every day from blood clots, and one person dies every six minutes from a blood clot.” Read more

5 Ways Owning a Pet Is Good for Your Health

We have a dog named Rocky. He’s a 1-year-old maltipoo who will cuddle us whenever we want, can jump his entire height, and runs faster than any little dog we’ve seen. (He also still pees on the floor, but that’s another story.)

Since bringing Rocky home, I’ve noticed the benefits this fuzzy addition has brought to my family. Now, experts are discovering that owning a pet is not only good for our mood; pets are good for our health.

If you are considering adopting a pet, here are five ways your health would benefit. Read more

8 Ways to Commit to a Healthy Lifestyle

“People often say that motivation doesn’t last,” said Zig Ziglar. “Well, neither does bathing — that’s why we recommend it daily.” Most of us have things about ourselves we’d like to improve. A healthy lifestyle is no exception. This desire can come from wanting to change the way we look or feel, or heeding a doctor’s warning.

“Practicing preventative measures for maintaining good health is a habit you never outgrow,” said Liz Jacobsen, team lead at Lake Ridge Senior Living. “Whether it is getting regular checkups, adjusting diet, increasing exercise or eliminating harmful habits, healthy living starts with adopting healthy habits.” Read more

5 Surprising Reasons Swimming Will Increase Happiness While Aging

It’s no surprise that taking the plunge at the local pool has been a favored form of exercise for older adults. It’s easy on joints, reduces the risks of injury and improves cardiovascular strength. But there are other advantages to swimming as we age.

Studies show that hitting the pool is just as beneficial to the mind as it is the body. Here are five reasons why you could feel happier if you swim for exercise. Read more

Lightening the Load of Obesity in Seniors

Much like those who adopt healthy living practices at an earlier age, older adults can feel immediate benefits of losing weight as well. Read more

Standing up against the need to be a couch potato

For the past three years, I have been trying to lose the same five pounds.

I’ll lose a couple pounds, feel like I’m doing really well, and then celebrate by going out for ice cream. I know I need to get back to the gym, beat the scale and (more importantly) develop good exercise habits, but I’m just not motivated.

According to R.J. Shephard’s article, “Aging and Exercise,” in the Encyclopedia of Sports Medicine and Science, I am in good company: It is difficult to motivate the vast majority of older adults to exercise regularly. But after doing some research, I’ve discovered ways to get recommitted.

Weigh yourself daily. In a study at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, of 3,026 dieting adults, those who weighed themselves more frequently lost more weight over two years or regained fewer pounds. That makes sense to me. I got frustrated at not losing the pounds, so I quit weighing myself to avoid having a bad day. I need to force myself to look at those numbers.

Stick a model on your fridge. Seriously, this works. But you have to choose people based on your motivational style. In a series of three studies, Penelope Lockwood and colleagues discovered that some people are motivated by success and others are motivated by failure. So, if you’re motivated to succeed, put a slim model on your fridge. If you’re motivated to avoid failure, put an example of a failed dieter where you can see it. I’m not sure which strategy works best for me, so I’m going to pin up Gisele Bundchen and a close-up of my cellulite.

Get rid of the candy jar. Why, oh why, do I keep filling up my candy jar with my favorite chocolate treats? A Wall Street Journal article reported that in a four-week study of 40 secretaries, when candy was visible in a clear, covered dish, participants ate 2.5 pieces of chocolate on top of the 3.1 candies they would have eaten had the chocolates been in an opaque container. Moving the dish closer, so the subjects could reach the candy while at their desks, added another 2.1 candies a day to their intake. I keep the candy jar handy to increase the esprit de corps at work, but I am sabotaging myself in the process.

If all else fails, imagine yourself as a weightlifter. Believe it or not, there is something to visualization – even when it comes to exercise. Guang Yue, an exercise psychologist from Cleveland Clinic Foundation in Ohio, compared “people who went to the gym with people who carried out virtual workouts in their heads.” He found that the group of participants who conducted mental exercises of the weight training increased muscle strength by almost half as much (13.5 percent) as those who went to the gym (30 percent). So, if I can’t get to the gym, it helps to know that mental practices are almost as effective as true physical practice and that doing both is more effective than either alone.

Now that I am recommitting myself to exercising, I have a few things to do: get back on the scale, pin up some motivating pictures, get rid of my office candy jar and imagine myself thin and fit. Now, I need an exercise partner.

This article was originally published in the OCRegister.com. It has been republished here with permission.