Most of us know lifestyle changes can improve our overall health. Exercising more, eating more vegetables and not smoking all have an effect on blood flow in the body, which can affect our overall health. These can impact the health of your eyes as well.
(BPT) - Most of us know lifestyle changes can improve our overall health. Exercising more, eating more vegetables and not smoking all have an effect on blood flow in the body, which can affect our overall health.
What many don’t realize is that when blood flow is blocked or slows down, the health of our eyes can also be affected. That means that wearing neckties too tight or doing certain yoga poses, such as the downward dog, can increase pressure in the eyes, which can lead to an eye disease called glaucoma. Glaucoma has few warning signs, and is the leading cause of blindness for people over the age of 60. Being overweight or having high blood pressure can increase a person’s risk for another common eye disease called age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a leading cause of vision loss among people age 50 and older.
Vision loss — or even worse, blindness — can negatively impact the quality of life, independence and the ability to do daily things such as driving, reading or seeing grandchildren.
The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends that individuals 65 and older get an annual medical eye exam with an ophthalmologist, which is a medical doctor who specializes in medical and surgical eye care. Through comprehensive eye exams, ophthalmologists can check a person’s eyes for hidden signs of eye disease, which may have no noticeable symptoms in the early stages. Once diagnosed, ophthalmologists can provide treatments to help prevent vision loss.
For those concerned about the cost of an exam, the American Academy of Ophthalmology’s EyeCare America program may be able to help. More than 5,500 dedicated volunteer ophthalmologists provide eye exams and care, often at no out-of-pocket cost to eligible patients. Since 1985, the program has helped nearly 2 million people in need.
EyeCare America serves U.S. citizens or legal residents who do not belong to an HMO.
To be eligible for the EyeCare America seniors program, an individual:
* Must be age 65 or older, and
* Have not had an eye exam by an ophthalmologist in three or more years.
To be eligible for the EyeCare America glaucoma program, an individual:
* Must not have had an eye exam within the last year, and must be at an increased glaucoma risk due to age, race and/or family history.
Many sight-stealing conditions can be prevented or slowed down with proper care and making simple lifestyle adjustments such as:
1. Avoid inverted postures in yoga. Studies show head-down positions can increase eye pressure and are not recommended for glaucoma patients. There are plenty of yoga exercises that don’t have this effect.
2. Avoid tight neckties. Researchers say that a too-tight necktie may increase the risk of glaucoma by increasing blood pressure inside the eyes.
3. Eat a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, especially green, leafy ones. One study showed that people who ate more leafy vegetables have a 20 to 30 percent lower risk of developing glaucoma. Why? Nitrates in green vegetables can be converted to nitric oxide, which can improve blood flow and help regulate pressure inside the eye.
4. Exercise regularly. According to the National Eye Institute, eating a healthy diet and getting exercise have been shown in earlier studies to protect against AMD. A recent study showed that people who engaged in moderate to vigorous physical activity appear to have a 73 percent lower risk of developing glaucoma. This is because blood flow and pressure inside the eye may change with exercise.
For more information about EyeCare America or to see if you or others are eligible to be matched with one of its volunteer ophthalmologists, visit www.aao.org/eyecareamerica.
EyeCare America is cosponsored by the Knights Templar Eye Foundation Inc., with additional support from Alcon and Regeneron.
From the cost of gym memberships to prepping healthier meals, living well can be expensive. Before you abandon your goals for a healthier lifestyle, consider these tips that show you don't have to overspend to live a better life.
Budgeting Tips for a Healthier Lifestyle
(Family Features) From the cost of gym memberships to prepping healthier meals, living well can be expensive. Before you abandon your goals for a healthier lifestyle, consider these tips that show you don't have to overspend to live a better life.
Plan Your Meals
Weigh Your Workout Options
Invest in Rest
Additional research shows that 64 percent of people experience improved sleep quality after investing in a new mattress. As the nation’s largest bedding retailer, Mattress Firm’s purchasing power translates to affordable prices and a wide selection of mattresses and bedding accessories, which can help you stretch your budget further. Find more sleep tips and budget-friendly ideas at TheDailyDoze.com.
A healthier lifestyle requires commitment and hard work, but as these tips prove, creating a better life doesn’t have to mean overhauling your budget.
Photo courtesy of Getty ImagesSOURCE:
Summer provides countless opportunities to get outside for hiking, biking and running around with friends and family. However, having fun in the sun also requires proper hydration. These tips can assist in achieving healthy hydration throughout the summer months.
5 Tips for Healthy Summer Hydration
(Family Features) Summer provides countless opportunities to get outside for hiking, biking and running around with friends and family. However, having fun in the sun also requires proper hydration.
While staying hydrated may seem easy, healthy hydration is not always a given. For example, the water coming out of your faucet can travel through miles of aging pipes before it reaches your home, potentially picking up unwanted contaminants such as lead, pesticides and industrial pollutants along the way.
These tips can assist in achieving healthy hydration throughout the summer months:
Drink Plenty of Water. It may seem simple, but consuming an appropriate amount of water can be especially important when temperatures reach sweltering levels. Since the human body is 60 percent water, it’s a vital step for your health to make sure you’re getting enough of it, which is why Healthline recommends 6-8 glasses (8 ounces each) of water per day.
Make Sure It’s Pure. In addition to drinking the right amount of water, it’s also important to drink the right kind of water. Consider installing an in-home filtered water solution like the PUR Advanced Faucet Filtration system. It’s certified to reduce more than 70 contaminants, including 99 percent of lead – more than any other brand, according to NSF. Filtered water can be used to refill water bottles and ice cube trays, prepare infant formula, cook and make beverages like coffee, tea and even smoothies.
“Staying hydrated is especially important during the hot, summer months,” said Deb Mudway, PUR marketing vice president. “Our lead-reducing faucet filtration systems make it easy to enjoy cleaner, better-tasting water at home or on-the-go.”
Take It To-Go. Keeping a bottle of water with you when you’re out and about is a convenient way to stay hydrated. Rather than disposable plastic water bottles, consider using a refillable, BPA-free bottle, which is a more environmentally friendly choice and typically more affordable.
Add a Little Flavor. Quench your thirst and add some refreshing flavor and nutrients to your water by infusing it with strawberries, kiwi, orange, mint or melon slices.
Eat Water-Rich Foods. An overlooked option for maintaining proper hydration is eating fruits and vegetables such as watermelon, cucumbers and celery that naturally contain water. For the freshest results, wash your fruits and vegetables with filtered water prior to eating them.
Find more ways to ensure cleaner water consumption for proper summer hydration at PUR.com.SOURCE:
While each woman’s aging experience will be as unique as she is, Dr. Alyssa Dweck, an OB/GYN, author and expert on women’s health, points to some common health changes women may encounter during several decades of their lives.
(BPT) - Being healthy is a common goal for many people, but good health does not have a finite endpoint; it’s an ongoing process that unfolds over a lifetime. For women, aging can bring on surprising health changes as they move through the decades of their life. From good nutrition and proper exercise to bone health and vaginal wellness, knowing the changes aging may cause can empower women to better care for themselves and prepare.
“From puberty to pregnancy to menopause, a woman’s body can go through a plethora of changes in her lifetime,” says Dr. Alyssa Dweck, an OB/GYN, author and expert on women’s health. “Once adulthood hits, the next few decades bring about expected, and some not-so-expected, physical, mental and emotional changes. Those changes mean how we care for our bodies will change, too.”
While each woman’s aging experience will be as unique as she is, Dr. Dweck points to some common health changes women may encounter during several decades of their lives:
With puberty completely over, women can begin to identify what is and isn’t normal for their bodies. While diet and exercise are important at any age, during their 20s women begin to understand what is required in order to maintain a healthy weight. Menstrual health may fluctuate during this decade of life and many women will focus on both contraception and feminine hygiene, Dweck says.
“Women ages 21 and older should get a pap smear at least every three years,” she adds.
During this age range, infections are not unusual. In fact, three out of four women will experience a yeast infection in their lifetime. Diets high in sugar and/or alcohol can increase the risk, as well as other factors like staying in a damp bathing suit or tight clothing for extended periods and menstrual cycle fluctuations. For those experiencing an infection for the first time, it’s best to visit the gynecologist to confirm the diagnosis.
During their 30s, women often start to focus on family planning and pregnancy, among other things.
The hormonal changes that occur with pregnancy and/or use of birth control can cause shifts in pH balance, which can lead to infections. Being familiar with yeast infection symptoms from past experience allows women to find quick and easy solutions, like the over-the-counter treatment of MONISTAT(R) in the feminine hygiene aisle of local drugstores. It relieves symptoms four times faster and works on more of the most common strains of yeast than the leading prescription.
Nutrition continues to be important during this decade, whether women choose to begin families or not, as bone loss generally commences in the fourth decade and metabolism slows. Women should adjust their diets and exercise to ensure their caloric intake meets their needs, including maintaining their intake of calcium and eating nutritious, low-fat foods.
Perimenopause can cause significant health changes for women in their 40s, including a decrease in estrogen levels. Something many may find surprising is that at this age, women are at their sexual prime. However, intimate areas become thinner and less elastic in a woman’s 40s, which may cause varying degrees of discomfort.
Most women will experience menopause during their 50s, and while this new stage can cause pH changes, having no more menstruation or erratic cycles can be very freeing. With diminished estrogen, drying can occur in private areas, for which moisturizers and lubricants can be useful. Women should avoid feminine products that are not both dermatologist and gynecologist tested as they can cause yeast infections, Dweck cautions.
At this age, it is more important than ever to maintain a regular exercise routine, including cardio, strength training and flexibility training.
60s and beyond
By this age, most women know their bodies intimately and can quickly tell when something isn’t right. Common health issues that can occur with age include diabetes, arthritis, cancer and heart disease, many of which also cause irregularities in feminine health.
Women should remain active and continue to eat healthily as metabolism slows and bone health decays. Brain health is also important. Along with regular exercise and intellectual stimulation, social interaction with family and friends can help prevent cognitive decline.
“Women will typically know what’s normal for them. There isn’t one normal — just normal for you,” Dweck says. “Women should never be afraid to familiarize themselves with their bodies and ask their doctors questions. Be inquisitive and don’t consider any topic taboo. Good health is a multifaceted process, and gynecological health is an important part of a woman’s overall well-being.”
When it comes to creating and maintaining healthy habits, all the admonishments to “stop this” and “don’t do that” can be overwhelming. While there are some things you do need to cut back on, finding better balance is the true key to better heart health. You may be surprised by the things you should actually do more of in your pursuit of a healthier lifestyle.
Better Balance for Heart Health
(Family Features) When it comes to creating and maintaining healthy habits, all the admonishments to “stop this” and “don’t do that” can be overwhelming. While there are some things you do need to cut back on, finding better balance is the true key to better heart health. You may be surprised by the things you should actually do more of in your pursuit of a healthier lifestyle.
With these tips from DSM Nutritional Products, you can put a priority on your health.
Increase your stress-busting activity. Whether you favor exercise, yoga or meditation, finding effective ways to channel your stress can help support the health of your heart. It’s no secret that stress makes your blood pressure rise, and that puts extra strain on your heart. Soothing your nerves keeps your stress in check and moderates your blood pressure. Remember that managing your stress doesn’t even have to be a formal activity; you may find relief from simply relaxing with a book or a cup of tea, or enjoying casual time with loved ones. Whatever strategy works for you, try to make a stress-reducing effort part of your everyday routine.
Balance your caloric intake. Instead of viewing weight management in terms of what you can’t have or have to do, consider thinking of your diet as a teeter-totter that you need to keep in balance. Overeating and indulging in nutrient-poor foods makes one side drop, but physical activity and regular exercise brings the other side down. Strive for a balance so you’re burning the calories you’re taking in; consume fewer calories and exercise more to help support a balanced weight. When it comes to the calories you consume, be sure they’re from nutrient-rich sources so your body reaps maximum benefits from its fuel.
Check your omega-3 levels. Omega-3 fatty acids are a family of polyunsaturated fats, including eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), that numerous studies have shown to have heart-health benefits. More specifically, supportive but inconclusive research shows omega-3s EPA and DHA may help to reduce the risk of coronary artery disease – the leading cause of death among both men and women, according to the Food and Drug Administration and the American Heart Association. Omega-3 fatty acids can be found in fatty fish, such as salmon, tuna, anchovies and sardines, as well as vegetarian sources like algae. If you don’t eat fish on a regular basis, you can find high-quality supplements containing omega-3 fatty acids, such as fish oil or algal oil.
Be sure to consult your health care provider before starting any supplement program, and ask your health care practitioner to check your omega-3 levels to make sure you are getting enough heart-healthy fats in your diet. Learn more at knowyouro.com.SOURCE:
Each year, millions of Americans make New Year’s resolutions to achieve personal or professional goals. One key to jumpstarting a healthy lifestyle is staying hydrated by drinking more water. Here are four tips to help you stay hydrated in 2017 and beyond.
It’s Not Too Late to Jumpstart a Healthy Lifestyle for 2017
(Family Features) Each year, millions of Americans make New Year’s resolutions to achieve personal or professional goals. For many, that means focusing on improving health and wellness. You tell yourself this is going to be the year you join a gym, eat better or drink more water. Yet that commitment often falls short, as a recent survey suggests less than 10 percent of Americans achieve their resolutions.
There are many reasons people fall short of their goals, including setting the bar too high or being overly restrictive, which can lead to small failures and setbacks. However, there are easy ways to get back on track. A Global Water Survey, published by Nestlé Waters and Kantar TNS, revealed 94 percent of American respondents believe drinking water helps maintain a healthy lifestyle.
One key to jumpstarting a healthy lifestyle is staying hydrated by drinking more water. With so much focus on food, beverage choices are often overlooked. With no calories or added sugars, water is a smart choice to stay hydrated. Here are four tips from Sarah Ladden, a registered dietitian and Director, Nutrition, Health and Wellness at Nestlé Waters North America, to help you stay hydrated in 2017 and beyond.
To learn more about healthy hydration, visit nestle-watersna.com/en.
Photo courtesy of Getty ImagesSOURCE:
Interested in Publishing on Living Well IDEAS?
Send your query to the Publisher today!