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Heart health guidelines may also reduce diabetes risk: Study


Washington DC: According to a new study published in Diabetologia, a journal of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes, researchers from The Ohio State University College of Medicine say that lifestyle and health factors that are good for the heart can also prevent diabetes.

According to the Centers for Disease Control diabetes is a growing problem in the United States, with nearly a third of the population living with diabetes or prediabetes. Dr. Joshua J. Joseph’s latest work looked at how cardiovascular health can impact diabetes risk.

Dr Joseph is an endocrinologist and assistant professor at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. Speaking about the study, Dr. K. Craig Kent, dean of the College of Medicine said, “This research adds to our collective understanding about how physicians can help their patients prevent a number of serious diseases, including heart disease, cancer and now diabetes.”

The research team, led by Joseph assessed diabetes among 7,758 participants in the REasons for Geographic and Racial Differences in Stroke (REGARDS) Study and used the American Heart Association’s Life’s Simple 7 as a guide for measuring heart health among the group.

The Life’s Simple 7 health factors and lifestyle behaviours that are associated with cardiovascular health are physical activity, diet, weight, cholesterol, blood pressure, blood glucose and tobacco use.

The study found that participants who were in the ideal ranges for at least four of the seven factors had a 70 per cent lower risk of developing diabetes over the next 10 years.

Joseph said that when they compared people who had normal blood glucose and those who already had impaired blood glucose they found, “Those in normal levels who attained four or more guideline factors had an 80 per cent lower risk of developing diabetes. Those who were already diabetic or prediabetic and met four of the factors had no change in lowering their risk for diabetes.”

Joseph said this research proves using prevention strategies from the very beginning is key to help avoid diabetes.

Article source:

Greenwich Health Dept. Offers Tips For Dealing With Cold Weather

From The Town of Greenwich:With below freezing temperatures and below zero wind chills forecasted for this Sunday night into Monday January 21, 2019, the Greenwich Department of Health is reminding residents to take precautions against hypothermia and frostbite and when using alternative heating sources in their home. Heating systems during cold weather normally work “overtime” and sometimes become faulty without warning. When this situation occurs, space heaters and fire places get used to stay warm; however, their use increases the risk of household fires and carbon monoxide poisoning.

Extreme weather conditions are classified as near freezing or below freezing temperatures. Exposure to these weather conditions, whether indoors or outside, can cause serious or life threatening health emergencies. Although anyone can be affected by the cold, infants, children, the elderly and those with medical conditions are particularly at risk. The following information should be considered when dealing with extreme cold weather conditions.


Frostbite: a medical condition caused by the cold freezing of body tissue. Frostbite most often affects the nose, ears, cheeks, chin, fingers or toes. Frostbite can also occur at temperatures above freezing, due to wind chill.

First signs of frostbite include redness or pain in any skin area, followed by a white, waxy or grayish-yellow look to the skin. A person who is experiencing frostbite may experience numbness, tingling or stinging to the body part exposed. Person with this condition must be moved indoors immediately. Do not rub or massage parts of the body that appear to be frostbitten. Do not use a heating pad, fireplace or radiator for warming; however, affected frostbitten areas of the body can be warmed with body heat. This condition is serious and requires immediate medical attention.

Hypothermia: a medical emergency that is caused by prolonged exposure to cold temperatures. Hyperthermia develops when a person’s body temperature falls below normal. Early symptoms of persons affected by hypothermia are shivering uncontrollably, fatigue, confusion, disorientation and loss of coordination. Late symptoms of hypothermia include puffiness of the face, blue skin, memory loss, slurred speech, slow pulse and breathing, extreme exhaustion and loss of consciousness. If someone is hypothermic, call 911 immediately. Persons experiencing hypothermia must be taken to a warm location, with wet clothing removed and wrapped in warm dry clothing until medical assistance arrives. A warm non-alcoholic beverage can be given to a person who is conscious. Call 911 for medical assistance immediately.

 Wear layers of loose clothing with hat, gloves, scarf and insulated shoes
 Limit outdoor exposure including daily exercise routines
 Know outdoor temperature and the effect of wind chill factors on the body
 Keep walkways free of ice and snow to prevent falls
 Avoid the use of alcohol
 Notify someone of your whereabouts when you go out
 Avoid prolonged time outdoors of infants, children, the elderly, those with medical conditions and pets


Carbon Monoxide (CO) is an invisible, odorless gas that can be fatal. The following safety tips will prevent CO poisoning:
 NEVER use portable generators or gasoline-powered equipment inside your home or garage, car port, etc.
 Never use gas or charcoal grills in the house, garage, etc.
 Purchase a carbon monoxide detector for your home
 Make sure inlets and outlets for your furnace are free of snow
 Make sure your car’s exhaust pipe is clear. Never heat your car up in the garage, even if the garage door is open

Symptoms of CO poisoning include headache, fatigue, dizziness, nausea or vomiting or loss of consciousness. Take everyone, including pets out of the house and call 911 from outside the house if you think there is a CO exposure.


 Listen to weather forecasts
 Conduct annual chimney cleaning and inspection
 Install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors (battery operated) and test them regularly
 Install an indoor thermometer and outdoor thermometer, if possible
 Insulate water lines to prevent freezing
 Keep small children, pets, the elderly and those with health conditions indoors
 Have reliable transportation and a mobile phone if possible
 Do not use candles
 Never use charcoal/gas grills, camp stoves or generators indoors or in the garage
 Do not store gasoline indoors
 Use space heaters safely and ensure proper ventilation if they are needed
 Avoid using extension cords for space heaters and other portable equipment
 Never warm up your car in the garage, even if the garage door is open

Image via Shuttershock

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Health: Tips for avoiding the flu

Widespread flu is reported in Colorado right now plus influenza like illnesses are at high levels in nearly 20 states. Health officials say that means you can expect more people to get sick in the next few weeks.

Physicians with American Family Care (AFC), a national urgent care franchise, are seeing positive flu tests, as well as patients suffering from either a cold or a winter mystery virus (adenovirus) that looks a lot the flu.

AFC docs are explaining to families that each is a respiratory virus but the flu stands out in several ways, like symptoms come on abruptly and it can turn fatal.

“The flu is serious business, so you cannot ignore the symptoms. Last season the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recorded 80,000 deaths, which was the deadliest season in 40 years,” said Dr. Benjamin Barlow, AFC chief medical officer. “We are still early on in this flu season, as it usually doesn’t peak until March. Of course, the best way to protect yourself is to get vaccinated.”

In addition to getting a flu shot, AFC physicians advise taking a few every day preventive measures to boost your chances of avoiding the flu.

5 habits that help prevent the flu

1. Avoid sharing pens. Whether at work or signing a credit card receipt at a store, never pick up a public pen because they’re covered with other people’s germs. Keep a pen handy for any situation that could pop up.

2. Knuckle it. When using a debit card machine, get into the habit of punching in your card pin with a knuckle instead of a fingertip. This way if you rub your eye or mouth with your fingertip, you’re not transferring germs.

3. Play it safe at the pump. Drivers must get gas for their vehicles no matter what, sick or not. Protect yourself at the pump, grab a paper towel before picking up the gas nozzle. You can also use the paper towel as a barrier when punching in your debit/credit card info.

4. Shake and Wash. People are more germ-conscious these days so avoiding a handshake is not as rude as once thought, especially during flu season. If you must do it, wash or sanitize with your hands immediately.

5. Hands off, please! You are constantly using either your phone or computer tablet to show friends and coworkers pictures or videos. This means other people are putting their germs on something you are constantly touching. Get into the habit of wiping your phone down with a disinfecting wipe to cut down on spreading germs. OR just text your friends photos and videos!

Fast flu facts

Children under the age of 6, pregnant women and adults 65 or older are at high risk for serious flu complications like inflammation of the heart, brain or muscle tissues or multi-organ failure.

Most experts think flu viruses spread mainly by droplets made when someone with flu coughs, sneezes or talks. They can infect you from six feet away.

People can carry the virus and risk exposing others when they show little symptoms.

Frequently touched surfaces at work or school should be cleaned and disinfected especially if someone is ill.

Flu activity monitored by CDC, check link for cases in your area:

Article source:

1 WAO unveils new-year health tips for consumers

The World Avocado Organisation has come up with a series of recipes to help consumers achieve their New Year health goals.

“With 2019 well underway, so is our continued commitment to our health. Whether you’re undertaking Veganuary, Dry January, or just looking to boost your nutrient intake this month, the avocado is versatile, delicious and nutritious – the go-to ingredient for a healthy start to the new year,” the WAO said.

Recipes include Mediterranean avocado hummus, a vegan alternative to the much-loved classic, and an avocado smoothie for those who have forsaken alcohol for the month.

The WAO is also encouraging consumers not to overlook the fruit’s stone, which it claims is packed with compounds that can help keep cancer, heart disease and viruses at bay.

“The husk can be peeled off the skin and incorporated into any dish, while the stones themselves can be grated like nutmeg to give a bitter twang to a variety of dishes and pack a punch of those all-important nutrients,” the organisation says.

The avocado can play an important role in boosting wellness outside the kitchen too. “With reports of incoming snow, your face will really benefit from a nourishing mask to counter the cold,” it says.

“Create a mask using avocado flesh for vitamin B and ‘good fats’ while the grated stone will give your skin that much-desired glow.”

Europe is one of the fastest growing avocado markets worldwide and is already the second largest market for imported avocados in the world, behind the US. It is expected to grow by at least 15 per cent per year over the next five years according to the WAO.

In 2018, Europe consumed almost 650,000 tonnes of avocados, a 35 per cent increase over the previous year. France was the largest market, followed by the UK.

Article source:

Price Check: Experts Offer Tips for Avoiding Health Care Sticker Shock

You’re at the supermarket, and you decide to pick up a can of soup. How much will it cost? The price is right on the shelf, or a sticker on the can. Maybe there’s a sale on your favorite brand, marked on a yellow sign. Or maybe your frequent-shopper card will save you a buck.

Buying a car? You’ll see an official “sticker price” on the window, though if you haggle with the salesperson you might pay less. Maybe she’ll throw in a few “free” oil changes too.

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But when you go to the doctor’s office, the emergency room or the hospital, you don’t expect price tags, yellow sale signs or freebies. (You might see a sign about paying your copay before you leave.)

Now, new laws and programs are making it easier to see some health care price information on the internet — if you know where to look. Just this month, hospitals had to post service prices online.

Sticker shock

Even so, most people only find out the cost of their health care weeks after they received it, when a bill arrives in the mail saying what their insurance company paid for their care — and what they still owe out of pocket. The arrival of that bill can bring on a serious case of sticker shock.

What can you do to avoid such surprises? Here’s some advice from two University of Michigan doctors who study health care prices and how patients behave when paying out of their own pockets.

According to Jeffrey Kullgren, M.D., MPH, M.S., the first thing to understand is that the price for a service — say, an MRI scan or a knee replacement — can vary widely depending on where you go. The same is true for prescription drugs.

SEE ALSO: Want to Save on Prescription or Over-the-Counter Drugs? Speak Up

“Even when they should be standardized, we find that prices can be hundreds or thousands of dollars apart at two facilities,” says Kullgren, an assistant professor of general medicine and a health care researcher. “So getting price information up front for nonurgent services can save patients money.”

This is especially true, he wrote in Harvard Business Review, because more people now have insurance plans that require them to pay for part of their care through deductibles and coinsurance. And 1 in 9 people still lack health insurance completely.

Four key steps

He offers four key steps to take:

  • Plan ahead: Ask your provider to forecast what health care services you will need in the next year. Talk to your insurance company (if you have one) about what costs you’re responsible for, for instance how large your deductible is. Then, look for price information online, or call potential providers and your insurance company to estimate the costs of these services, so you can save to pay for them.

  • Shop around: When your doctor or another provider tells you that you need a scan, a procedure or some other service, check whether you could get it done at other nearby facilities at a lower cost with your insurance. Compare prices by using online tools or contacting facilities directly. If you find a lower price, ask your insurance company if the care would be covered at that facility — the last thing you want is to pick an out-of-network facility and pay more than if you went to an in-network facility.

  • Don’t be shy: Don’t assume that your doctor or other provider knows your insurance situation or your financial situation. Tell them if you have a deductible for your care and whether you have met the deductible. Together, you can consider cost when making decisions about your health care.

  • Haggle: Just like at the car dealership, people who are facing a large out-of-pocket cost may find that health care facilities might accept a lower amount if asked directly. You might be pleasantly surprised, says Kullgren — particularly if you can justify your lower offer with a quote from another facility nearby. His research has found that more than half of people who try to negotiate a price for a service are able to pay less. If your income is under a certain limit, you might also qualify for a percentage discount.

  • What else can you do to avoid health care bill surprises? And how can you keep fear of unknown bills or steep out-of-pocket costs from getting in the way of the care you need the most?

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Mark Fendrick, M.D., director of the U-M Center for Value-Based Insurance Design, says the new price transparency law for hospitals is a step in the right direction. But he says the data most hospitals have posted are like the “rack rate” for a hotel room — very few people pay the list price.

“I’m worried that someone will go online and see a price for a service and think it’s too high and forgo care that they need,” says Fendrick, also a general internal medicine physician at U-M. “Or they may go to a place that seems less expensive, find out it’s out of their insurance company’s network and pay significantly more, or find out that the online prices didn’t include other required costs like an anesthesiologist or post-surgery rehabilitation.”

Fendrick’s advice:

  • Understand your health insurance: Contact your health plan and ask for specific information on your level of coverage for particular services. Keep in mind that the Affordable Care Act requires most insurers to fully cover many preventive care services, even before your deductible is met.

  • Check prescription drug alternatives: Ask your clinician if there is a generic alternative to a name-brand drug. Look on state-run sites such as for prices of common drugs at different pharmacies. Ask for a prescription for a three-month supply if you take a medication regularly.

  • Use the ER wisely: Avoid the emergency room for nonserious medical situations. Keep in mind that even if the hospital whose ER you want to go to is in-network, the doctors there might not be, even though they only see patients there. It’s best to know ahead of time which ERs have in-network doctors for your plan, so you can make a decision when an emergency strikes.

  • Speak up: If you get a surprise bill, don’t just take it at face value. Call your insurer and the place where you got care. Talk to them about what is on the bill and what you can do to bring down your share of the cost. If nothing else, they may be able to set up an interest-free payment plan so you can pay a portion each month instead of having to come up with the full amount at once.

Health care prices may never be exactly like soup prices, hotel room rates or even car prices, say Kullgren and Fendrick, who are both members of U-M’s Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation. There’s too much variation between patients and providers to make it possible to list an up-front price for many services, especially with Americans having such a wide range of insurance types and plans.

But as government agencies and legislators, consumer groups and health care professional societies all move toward greater price transparency, it may get easier for patients and their families to avoid the worst surprises.

Article source:

7 Tips for Better Patience: Yes, You’ll Need to Practice!

Your daughter takes forever to put on her shoes. The person in front of you in the drive-thru apparently is ordering everything on the menu. As a deadline approaches, your work computer chooses that moment for a software update. Oh yeah, and the copier is jammed.

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Do life’s small and large annoyances make you feel like blowing your top? OK, you know the annoyances aren’t going away. So maybe it’s time to cultivate more patience.

Contrary to what you may believe, patience isn’t solely the domain of kindergarten teachers and saints. It’s a skill that everyone can develop and strengthen.

“It’s kind of like dancing,” explains clinical psychologist Scott Bea, PsyD. “Some people are naturally better at it than others, but everyone can improve with practice.”

The pitfalls of instant gratification

you feel like you’re becoming less patient in recent years, you’re not alone.
Cultural shifts — particularly when it comes to technology — have primed us to
expect immediate gratification.

When we want to read a particular book, listen to a certain song or watch a popular TV show, most of the time those things are only a few clicks away.

An evening’s dinner — or a week’s groceries — can appear at our door in a flash.

“So many things are available to us instantly,” Dr. Bea says. “It’s increasingly common that we get things delivered to us quickly.”

And that’s bad news when it comes to our ability to wait patiently.

“Our expectations go up and then our level of patience goes down,” he says.

7 tips for practicing patience

how can you strengthen your patience muscles? The first step? Let’s just admit
up front that it won’t be much fun at first.

“If we’re going to grow patience, it’s going to come from doing slightly uncomfortable things,” says Dr. Bea.

Ready to work on it? Here’s what he suggests if you want to become a more patient person:

  1. Practice mindfulness. Be in the present moment, without judging. Simply sit quietly and notice your breath. Notice what distracts you from your breath, then ease yourself back into awareness of your breath.
  2. Practice accepting your current circumstances. This may mean being stuck in traffic or stuck in a job you hate. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to change things if you need to. It only means accepting your experience in the moment for exactly what it is — even if it’s unpleasant.
  3. Actively build a tolerance for being a bit uncomfortable. Let other people go ahead of you in line or in traffic. Resist the urge to scratch an itch. Don’t act on every impulse to check your phone.
  4. When you’re feeling rushed, consciously slow down. You don’t have to feel like a hamster on a wheel all of the time. Know that you can choose slow. In our culture that prizes speed, know that there is value to be had in slow too.
  5. Be playful. Practice acting like a kid sometimes. Sing around the house, be silly, laugh. Actively try to take yourself less seriously.
  6. Let it feel broken. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a work project that’s gone off the rails, a problem in your relationship or something in your home that’s literally broken. Resist the urge to immediately fix everything.
  7. Practice being a good listener. Listen carefully to what family members or other conversation partners are saying. Focus on understanding, rather than on formulating your response.

No one says increasing your patience is easy. But, with daily practice, you may find you’re more calm, less frazzled and more willing to give others the benefit of the doubt — and maybe even give yourself a break once in awhile, as well.

Article source:

Health tips for moms

SAN ANTONIO — Mamas – we want you to look your best, feel confident and have enough energy to keep up with the kiddos… so Dr. Leila Peterson is here to share with us her slim down secrets!


Article source:

WAO unveils new-year health tips for consumers

The World Avocado Organisation has come up with a series of recipes to help consumers achieve their New Year health goals.

“With 2019 well underway, so is our continued commitment to our health. Whether you’re undertaking Veganuary, Dry January, or just looking to boost your nutrient intake this month, the avocado is versatile, delicious and nutritious – the go-to ingredient for a healthy start to the new year,” the WAO said.

Recipes include Mediterranean avocado hummus, a vegan alternative to the much-loved classic, and an avocado smoothie for those who have forsaken alcohol for the month.

The WAO is also encouraging consumers not to overlook the fruit’s stone, which it claims is packed with compounds that can help keep cancer, heart disease and viruses at bay.

“The husk can be peeled off the skin and incorporated into any dish, while the stones themselves can be grated like nutmeg to give a bitter twang to a variety of dishes and pack a punch of those all-important nutrients,” the organisation says.

The avocado can play an important role in boosting wellness outside the kitchen too. “With reports of incoming snow, your face will really benefit from a nourishing mask to counter the cold,” it says.

“Create a mask using avocado flesh for vitamin B and ‘good fats’ while the grated stone will give your skin that much-desired glow.”

Europe is one of the fastest growing avocado markets worldwide and is already the second largest market for imported avocados in the world, behind the US. It is expected to grow by at least 15 per cent per year over the next five years according to the WAO.

In 2018, Europe consumed almost 650,000 tonnes of avocados, a 35 per cent increase over the previous year. France was the largest market, followed by the UK.

Article source:

Easy Health Tips For Those Who Really Love The Couch Life

If this was the year you vowed to press pause on “Stranger Things,” pry yourself off your well-worn couch, and trade in your jammies for workout gear, only to find yourself watching “Stranger Things” for the past two weeks — in your jammies — we feel you.

The struggle is real to find the motivation to put on 42 layers of clothes to brave the frigid temps to hit the gym. Your couch is comfy. It’s safe. It’s warm.

But we have faith in you. And so does personal trainer and fitness instructor Jay Agustin and health and wellness expert Jackie Mirkopoulos. Both believe you can slither off that couch to get healthier this year.

Couched in excuses

The couch ate your motivation? Yep, heard that one before.

“I have heard every excuse in the book,” Mirkopoulos told HuffPost Canada. “At the end of the day, it comes down to priorities and choice. The key word here is WANT to get healthy. I tell clients that they first need to see the value in taking better care of themselves and once they identify value, it’s easier to make it a priority. They need to want it.”

For example, Mirkopoulos said she makes her health a priority because she has a long family history of diabetes, heart disease and cancer.

“Being health-conscious will help me avoid these issues for myself,” she said. “Try to have an honest conversation with yourself about the value of your health. Basically, nothing else matters if you’re not healthy to enjoy it.”

Watch “Stop making excuses.” Story continues below.

Who has time to work out?

You do, that’s who.

The truth is that your mentality is half of the battle. Being stuck on the couch is a decision you’ve made and accepting that fact is step one.

And, working out doesn’t have to take hours on end — even 15-30 minutes a day will help you get fitter.

“If a CEO with over 4,000 employees and two kids has time to work out with me, you have time,” Agustin told HuffPost Canada. “Try changing your words from, ‘I don’t have time to work out’ to, ‘I don’t want to prioritize my health.’ You’ll think your sentence over.”

So, take your “This Is Us” binge-watch to the gym and boom, extra time for you to spend crying on an elliptical rather than into your duvet. JK! There’ll be no tears when you start exercising. You truly can achieve gain without pain. Trust.

It’s too expensive

“This one is interesting because a lot of the same people who state this make two trips to Starbucks a day buying $6 lattes,” Agustin said. “The amount you’re spending at your local coffee shop can buy you that gym membership.”

There are also a lot of free classes during the winter, especially at the beginning of the new year. Most classes are not routinely free, of course, but you can often find free intro sessions almost weekly or bi-weekly. Check out Lululemon or Eventbrite for free or pay-what-you-can classes.

You’re also not confined to only working out at a gym. Local community centres often have classes that are either free or are inexpensive. And, Google is your friend when it comes to online exercise videos you can do in the comfort of your own home. Possibly even in your PJs. We’re not judging.

You’ve ditched the excuses, now what?

Ditch the Netflix, said Mirkopoulos.

“Couch people are couch people, until they’re not,” said the wellness expert. “People watch just as much TV in the summer as they do in the winter, due to how entertainment is being delivered to us through streaming networks carrying seasons at a time of TV shows and endless movies.”

By getting rid of Netflix or other similar streaming services and going back to regular cable, Mirkopoulos guarantees that alone will decrease your couch time.

Also, consider limiting the time you spend scrolling on your devices — researchers have found that we basically spend an average of too much time on our phones. If you can cut down your scrolling time to 30 minutes a day, you’ll have more time for lunges and less time for lurking online, and better mental health to boot.

To free up more time to exercise, try delegating more at work and at home if you have children, or include them in your workouts if possible. Also consider integrating your time for socializing into your workouts as well — friends who side-plank together, have tight abs and more fun together. Win-win!

And instead of jumping on public transit to head into work, walk or bike to get your body moving. Instead of grocery shopping daily or weekly, set up a food delivery service so you can spend that time working out. And, instead of partying all night, maybe skip the afterparty so you can rise and shine for a morning yoga class on the weekend — your liver, bank account and body will thank you.

You’ve ditched the excuses and Netflix, now what?

Start small, and hold yourself accountable.

“People think you need to spend hours in the gym. That’s just not the case,” said Agustin. “For someone who hasn’t done anything for months, or even years, building the habit of walking around the block can create the momentum you need to eventually want to do more.”

Once you build this momentum, the personal trainer also recommends calling — or, let’s be real, messaging — that friend you constantly see on social media who’s giving their all during their workouts, to ask them to guide you through a workout.

“I can guarantee they’d take even 30 minutes to show you a thing or two,” he said.

Once you’ve acquired the know-how, schedule in your workouts ahead of time, and consider doing them first thing in the morning.

“Getting it done first thing in the morning means no excuses, it gets your body moving and you’re mentally set up for the day,” said Mirkopoulos, who is also the cofounder of Evolve Holistic.

And Augustin says accountability is key.

“If you’re going to take just one of these tips, it would have to be to schedule your workouts and make sure someone is either with you for every workout or has agreed to follow up with your appointments,” said the Toronto-based fitness instructor.

More from HuffPost Canada:

With this said, if you’re just starting up again, don’t schedule more than you can handle. Six workouts in a row will have you knocked on your ass by the end of the week, likely leading you to skip another three or four days because you won’t be able to move. Start with two to three workouts a week, and add another day or two once you can keep this up for a month.

“Play the long game,” said Agustin.

Besides joining a new gym, he also recommends finally purchasing that latest online program you’ve been meaning to check out on social media and trying new things to help keep you motivated.

“‘Healthy’ doesn’t just mean skipping out on some calories and getting in the most amount of workouts per week,” said Augustin. “Find what your version of healthy is and work towards it; whether that means experimenting with yoga, dance, painting, boxing — the practices that scare you at first might be the ones that feed your soul the deepest.”

Pro tip: Keep your fitness clothes organized and where you can see them as a reminder to stay active. Having everything organized ahead of time will help eliminate potential barriers the day of. Agustin also recommends buying new workout shoes at the beginning of the winter season to get you motivated to show those high-tops off.

You’ve ditched the excuses, Netflix AND couch, what’s next?

We don’t blame you for having Uber Eats on speed dial. But experts warn that all that takeout will derail your get-healthy mission.

And they key to getting healthy this year is being mindful about not only what you’re doing to and with your body, but also what you’re putting into it.

Nutrition and hydration is paramount the winter since the below-freezing temps means cold and flu germs are in full effect, and the dry air can deplete our bodies of moisture, said Mirkopoulos. Getting your vitamins and nutrients will not only help you ward off nasty viruses, but it will help you on your wellness path.

Agustin recommends setting aside time once a week to fully prep your meals. Organizing and preparing your meals ahead of time sets you up for a variety of delicious and nutritious meals, without investing all of your precious time and energy.

“Keeping things simple is vital here. Recipes that are tasty with the least amount of ingredients work well,” he said.

Pro tip: Prep different protein options to cycle through if you find that you get bored — the rest of the meal can stay the same.

And, consider investing in a meal prep service for at least one or two meals a week, if your budget allows.

“These can be costly, but there are many options now that deliver twice a week to make sure your food stays fresh,” he said. “If you can afford this option and sustain it, it can be one of the most convenient and healthy ways to stay on top of your nutrition.”

Also on HuffPost:

Article source:

Health tips from Dr. Oz and Dr. Roizen for 1-15-19


Fiber up, blood pressure down 


“You are what you eat” is an old saying originally penned in 1826 by the gastronomic food-wizard Anthelme Brillat-Savarin in his essay on the physiology of gout. He wrote, “Dis-moi ce que tu manges, je te dirai ce que tu es” [Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you what you are]. The same could be said for the trillions of bacteria in your guts: You are what they eat.  


Researchers have known for a while that the gut biome needs to be fed soluble fiber found in grains, veggies and fruits for heart health. Now they may know (we’d like to see two more human studies) that your biome also needs insoluble fiber; it adds bulk to the stool and helps food pass more quickly through the stomach and intestines, helping to protect your heart from any effects of high blood pressure.  


The bacteria that gobble up insoluble fiber produce a fatty acid called propionate. According to a study in the journal Circulation, this (at least in mice) reduces cardio problems associated with high blood pressure such as abnormal enlargement of the heart, an irregular heartbeat and atherosclerosis.  


Insoluble fiber comes from eating foods such as beans, 100 percent whole wheat or bran products, green beans, potatoes, cauliflower and nuts. So, if you have high blood pressure (75 million Americans do) feed the little guys insoluble fiber — and you may get unbelievably big rewards. Not only may insoluble fiber protect your cardio system, it’s part of a brain-boosting diet as well! 




Exercise your brain power 


“You can’t separate the mind and body,” Jack LaLanne once told USA Today. The Godfather of Modern Fitness, he lived to be 96 and learned early in life that exercise (combined with proper nutrition) could give your body and mind a significantly younger RealAge. In his heyday, critics called LaLanne a nut and a charlatan, but it turns out he was right.  


A study in the journal Neurology reveals that sedentary folks 55 and older with cognitive impairment (difficulty concentrating, making decisions or remembering) can turn back the clock nine years in just six months by doing aerobic exercise (walking, cycling) for 35 minutes three times a week! Executive functioning — neurologically based skills involving mental control and self-regulation — was what showed notable improvement. The very best cognitive improvements came to participants who followed that exercise routine and the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet — a low-sodium, high-fiber nutritional plan with lots of fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, low-fat dairy, 100 percent whole grains and lean proteins. 


While this wasn’t a big/major study, it echoes the findings of another study out of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center that suggested physical fitness is associated with stronger neuron fibers and better executive function in folks with mild cognitive impairment. Other research also has found that aerobic exercise increases the volume of the hippocampus, the brain region responsible for memory.  


So, what’s not to embrace? Join an exercise group and have some fun. As George Bernard Shaw said: “We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” 




Safer teen drivers 


In the 1950 driver’s education film, “Last Date,” actor Dick York plays Nick, a bad boy who drives recklessly. A peer warns Nick that he’s destined to commit “teenicide,” defined in the film as “the fine art of killing yourself, and maybe someone else, with an automobile before you reach the age of 20.” Predictably, a subsequent joyride ends with Nick dead and his date Jeanne disfigured for life.  


Nearly 70 years later, teens are going on fewer formal dates, but vehicular accidents are still a leading cause of death, according to study published in the New England Journal of Medicine. In 2016, more than 4,000 U.S. children and adolescents were killed in car crashes — almost 11 a day. And teen drivers are nearly three times more likely than older drivers to be in a fatal crash. 


That doesn’t mean teens shouldn’t drive, but they need the tools to do so safely. Research shows that when parents and teens talk about rules for safe driving and come to a formal verbal or written agreement, it reduces risky driving behaviors. Other important steps: 


n Set a good example. Teens who have seen their parents drink and drive are three times more likely to follow in their footsteps. n Limit the number of passengers in the car while your teen (up to age 18) is driving. Your state may have graduated driver licensing (go to to find out). But if not, make your own law: One other teen passenger, max. No driving after 9 p.m. 




Statins need your help to do their job 


When Egyptian Mohamed ElShorbagy became the No. 1 squash player in the world this year, did his lifelong Mediterranean diet give him an edge? We’re betting it did. The plant-centric, fiber-rich diet that includes healthy oils, legumes, cereals, fish, lean proteins and not much meat or dairy provides what you need to have a healthy heart and very agile muscles and bones.  


But you don’t have to be a competitive athlete to reap the amazing benefits of the Mediterranean diet. If you have had a heart attack or stroke and are taking a statin to help lower your lousy LDL cholesterol level and avoid a future blockage or clot, the Med diet can help save your life. 


Unfortunately, many folks who take a statin think it’s a green light for eating inflammatory, high-sat-fat foods. One study in JAMA Internal Medicine found that caloric and fat intake increases significantly (9.6 percent and 14.4 percent respectively) over time for folks taking statins! 


If that’s you, cut it out and listen up! In a new study in the International Journal of Cardiology, Italian researchers found that combining statins and a Mediterranean diet reduces bodywide inflammation big time. That’s good news if you’ve previously had a cardiovascular event because if you’ve got a lot of inflammation, your risk of premature death doubles! 


So, squash that impulse to rely on your statin to provide complete protection from another heart attack or stroke. It can’t do it alone. You need to upgrade your diet to downgrade your risk. 


Mehmet Oz, M.D. is host of “The Dr. Oz Show,” and Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Wellness Officer and Chair of Wellness Institute at Cleveland Clinic. To live your healthiest, tune into “The Dr. Oz Show” or visit


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