Get the FACTS on Alkaline Water

When you live with the pain of arthritis, you’ll try anything to feel betterSo, your interest may be piqued by the marketing of a healthier water. Alkaline water is touted as providing health through hydration, but does it really help? Minerals in water determine its pH. (A pH above 7 is more alkaline; below 7 is more acid.) Some contend that water treated to have a pH of 8 to 10 reduces the body’s acid load, which allegedly improves bone and immune system health, among other benefits.  Continue reading Get the FACTS on Alkaline Water

5 Reasons to Soak in the Great Outdoors

Shinrin-yoku, or “forest bathing,” is a traditional Japanese practice of immersing oneself in nature by mindfully using all five senses. But you don’t have to lose yourself in a forest to reap the health benefits of being in nature. Something as simple as a walk through a park or by a lake can pay off for your well-being, says Frances Kuo, PhD, founder and director of the Landscape and Human Health Lab at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. 

 “Even just looking at a rooftop garden for 40 seconds helps you sustain attention during mentally fatiguing tasks,” she says, citing a 2015 study. Here are more reasons to embrace the outdoors. 

  1.  More positive outlookParticipants in a small study who took a 90-minute nature walk, compared with those who walked through an urban environment, reported lower levels of ruminating (repetitive negative thoughts), a known risk for depression and other psychological conditions. They also showed reduced activity in an area of the brain linked to sadness and withdrawal. 
  2. Better sleepAn Australian study of 259,319 people found that people living in neighborhoods with more greenspace were more likely to get eight hours of sleep nightly than those living in neighborhoods with less green space. 
  3. Less pain. A landmark study published in the journal Science found that hospitalized patients whose windows looked onto a garden setting healed faster from surgery and required less pain medication than patients whose view was a brick wall. 
  4. Sharper memory. When people took an hour stroll in a nature setting, their short-term memory improved by 20 percent, a study in Psychological Science found. Even looking at pictures of nature helped memory. 
  5. Healthier heart. People whose homes have easier access to woods and parks had lower levels of blood-vessel-damaging adrenaline and higher levels of circulating angiogenic cells (CACs), which repair blood vessedamage, according to a study of cardiology patients.  

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Squash Your Risk of Tick- and Mosquito-borne Infections

More than 30,000 cases of Lyme occur each year across the country, the CDC estimates. To the summer hazards of too much sun and heat, add the perils of tiny pests carrying infections, such as Lyme disease and chikungunya, that cause joint pain. 

 The number of people sickened by tick and mosquito-borne diseases in the U.S. has risen to record levels recently, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  Continue reading Squash Your Risk of Tick- and Mosquito-borne Infections

Pets Can Boost Your Mood and Ease Your Pain

If you’re a pet lover, you know that spending time with a beloved cat, dog, rabbit or other pet can lift your mood, but science shows it has real physical and mental health benefits, too. Studies show that spending as little as five or 10 minutes with a pet can help lower stress and anxiety, relieve loneliness and reduce pain and depression.  Continue reading Pets Can Boost Your Mood and Ease Your Pain

Come Clean To Your Doctor

If you’ve ever told a white lie to your doctor – or just didn’t tell the whole truth – you’re not alone.

A recent study in JAMA Network Open found that the majority of the 4,500 patients studied withheld information from their physicians. Those with more health problems were even less likely to be completely open; for example, by not admitting they didn’t understand instructions, they disagreed with their doctors’ advice or they didn’t take medication as prescribed. That’s a problem.   Continue reading Come Clean To Your Doctor

5 Global Grains to Add Healthy Variety to Your Plate

Eating fewer refined grains and more whole grains has many potential benefits, like helping lower inflammatory markers in the blood and promote weight loss. But if you’re tired of brown rice and whole wheat bread, diversify your wholegrain portfolio. These varieties from around the world pack a nutritious, flavorful punch.  Continue reading 5 Global Grains to Add Healthy Variety to Your Plate

Best Foods to Eat Before, During and After Your Exercise Routine

Want to make the most of your workout? Fuel up with the right foods. “What you eat and drink can affect how you feel and how quickly you recover,” says Sonya Angelone, a San Franciscobased registered dietitian who works with athletes. Here’s her advice on what to have before, during and after exercise.  Continue reading Best Foods to Eat Before, During and After Your Exercise Routine