The An­no­tated Body Get healthy and stay healthy with these head-to-toe tips

healthy and keep go­ing with these head-to-toe tips

ZOOMER Magazine - - CONTENTS - By Tara Losin­ski

BRAIN Walk­ing for one hour three times a week im­proved cog­ni­tive per­for­mance in se­niors with vas­cu­lar cog­ni­tive disorder – the sec­ond most com­mon cause of de­men­tia. And an in­ter­na­tional re­view found that one in three cases of de­men­tia could be pre­vented by ad­dress­ing nine fac­tors, in­clud­ing lack of phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity. GUMS An ex­tract from wild blue­ber­ries has been shown to im­prove oral health by help­ing pre­vent plaque, the buildup of which can cause in­flam­ma­tion and gum dis­ease. Eat­ing wild blue­ber­ries is also linked to a re­duced risk of car­dio­vas­cu­lar dis­ease – a con­di­tion as­so­ci­ated with gum dis­ease. EYES Eat­ing three or more serv­ings of fruit a day may lower risk of age-re­lated mac­u­lar de­gen­er­a­tion – the pri­mary cause of vi­sion loss in older adults – by 36 per cent com­pared with eat­ing 1.5 serv­ings a day. SMILE It’s free and has whole-body ben­e­fits, re­leas­ing neu­ropep­tides that help fight stress, for one. It also re­leases en­dor­phins (a nat­u­ral pain reliever), sero­tonin (an an­tide­pres­sant) and dopamine (sig­nalling plea­sure in the brain). Plus, peo­ple per­ceive oth­ers as more at­trac­tive when they make eye con­tact and – you guessed it – smile. HEART Ac­cord­ing to a study by Pub­lic Health On­tario and the In­sti­tute for Clin­i­cal Eval­u­a­tive Sciences in Toronto, you are six times more likely to have a heart at­tack dur­ing the week af­ter be­ing di­ag­nosed with in­fluenza (and three-quar­ters of peo­ple who do are over 65). By re­duc­ing the risk of in­fluenza, the flu shot can also help re­duce heart at­tack risk. CORE Tai chi moves, which in­volve grad­ual shifts of weight from one foot to an­other com­bined with ro­tat­ing the trunk and ex­tend­ing the limbs, of­fer chal­lenges that in­crease balance. Go to www.taoist.org/ find-a-class. WEIGHT LOSS A re­cent study showed that in­ter­mit­tent fast­ing - par­tic­i­pants ate be­tween 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. only – helped con­trol daily hunger swings and stim­u­lated the body to burn fat re­serves at night.

LOWER BACK PAIN Al­though it’s pre­scribed less than 50 per cent of the time, re­cent stud­ies show that ex­er­cise is an es­sen­tial treat­ment for lower back pain. The Bird Dog, as men­tioned on pg. 78, is one rec­om­mended ex­er­cise. Wall sits are an­other: stand 10 to 12 inches from the wall, then lean back un­til you’re flat against it. Slowly slide down un­til your knees are slightly bent, press­ing your lower back into the wall. Hold for a count of 10 and then care­fully slide back up the wall. Re­peat eight to 12 times. Swim­ming also of­fers a low-im­pact op­tion that nat­u­rally sup­ports the body; just avoid strokes that twist the torso. HIPS Keep­ing hip mus­cles loose helps sta­bi­lize the pelvis as you walk, which can help pre­vent falls. Here’s a sim­ple stretch you can do seated in a chair: cross your right an­kle onto your left knee. Gen­tly press down on your knee un­til a stretch is felt. Hold for 10 to 20 sec­onds. Re­peat with your left leg. If you are un­able to bring your leg onto your knee, sim­ply cross your feet at the an­kles while press­ing the knee down and to the side. IBS Bri­tish re­searchers sug­gest that peo­ple with Ir­ri­ta­ble Bowel Syn­drome have their vi­ta­min D lev­els checked. Sup­ple­men­ta­tion was found to de­crease symp­toms. BLAD­DER We’ve heard all about Kegels – squeez­ing and re­leas­ing the mus­cles you use to hold in urine – to help with in­con­ti­nence, of which there are three types: stress, over­flow and urge. Peo­ple with the lat­ter, over­ac­tive blad­ders, can also try blad­der guard­ing. It teaches you to cope with trig­gers, such as wash­ing dishes or hear­ing wa­ter run. Squeeze mus­cles to hold in urine be­fore a trig­ger, send­ing a mes­sage to the brain that this is not the time to go. KNEES & JOINTS Av­o­cado is a source of omega-3 fatty acids, which help lu­bri­cate joints and re­duce arthritic symp­toms. And fats unique to this fruit, in­clud­ing phy­tos­terol and stig­mas­terol, as well as poly­hy­drox­y­lated fatty acids are shown to help re­duce in­flam­ma­tion. BONES In ad­di­tion to a healthy diet in­clud­ing plenty of cal­cium and vi­ta­min D, best­selling well­ness au­thor Liz Earle rec­om­mends weight­bear­ing ex­er­cise to keep bones strong. As she de­scribes it in her new book, The Good Menopause Guide, “Stress in the form of a load (or weight-bear­ing) stim­u­lates cal­cium up­take and new bone for­ma­tion.” This in­cludes any type of up­right move­ment such as walk­ing, danc­ing, ten­nis and golf whereby pres­sure flows through the spine, pelvis and legs. FEET Here’s a high-tech solution to foot dam­age that can be oth­er­wise missed by peo­ple with loss of sen­sa­tion from di­a­betic neu­ropa­thy. Siren socks have sen­sors wo­ven in to mon­i­tor tem­per­a­ture and alert wear­ers via app of in­flam­ma­tion – a po­ten­tial sign of in­fec­tion or in­jury. The socks are also seam­less, mois­ture-wick­ing and ma­chine-wash­able. US$20 monthly subscription, siren.care

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