More in News
Simple ways baby boomers can boost heart health
(BPT) - It's rare to find a person who hasn't been affected by heart disease in some way. As the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, heart disease - and how to avoid it - should be top of mind, especially for baby boomers. Beyond scary statistics, heart health is about being able to live life to the fullest for as long as possible.
-"Heart health is directly related to well-being," says registered dietician Brooke Joanna Benlifer. "A strong and healthy heart allows one to be more physically active. Heart health can be directly influenced by healthy food choices and an active lifestyle, in addition to emotional well-being."
To help boomers give a big boost to their heart health, Benlifer offers some important expert tips:
1. Understand and eat good fats
"Unsaturated fats are the good fats," says Benlifer. "They are found in nuts, avocado, olive oil, flax seeds, hemp seeds, chia seeds as well as in fatty fish and fish oils."
While incorporating good fats into your diet, Benlifer also says it's important to avoid bad fats.
"Saturated fats are less healthy and are found in full-fat dairy products and lard, as well as in fatty cuts of beef. The worst kinds of fats are the trans fats, aka partially hydrogenated oils. These tend to be found in packaged and processed food items, allowing them to be shelf stable," she says.
2. Eat heart healthy foods
The food you eat affects the health of your heart as well as your whole body. Eating nutritious foods helps you look and feel your best. Top heart healthy foods include:
* Fresh fruits and vegetables
* Whole grains/high fiber foods such as peas, beans and oatmeal
* Low-fat dairy products or calcium-rich foods
* Lean proteins, especially plant-based proteins like pumpkin seeds, quinoa, soy and legumes
* Healthy fats
3. Cook the heart healthy way
There are three simple strategies to use to help you cook - and therefore eat - the heart healthy way.
"First, use olive oil, canola oil or coconut oil - a healthier saturated fat - when cooking," says Benlifer. "Next, try to steam and bake foods rather than deep frying. Finally, use fresh foods whenever possible and cook at home!"
4. Adopt a heart healthy supplement routine
It can be difficult to get all the nutrients your body needs simply through food, so supplements can be a good option for boomers and busy adults. Numerous studies have proven heart healthy benefits of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3s include DHA and EPA, both healthy fats found in fish oil supplements.
"DHA helps keep arteries clear and reduces inflammation," Benlifer says. "EPA keeps plaque from rupturing. I use Nordic Naturals fish oil supplements for myself and my family, and have been doing so for years. I trust their quality and their commitment to education and research."
5. Learn to love exercise
Exercise is crucial for both physical and mental benefits, including stress reduction. Remember, the heart is a muscle; aerobic exercise is great for strengthening the heart.
"I recommend, if cleared by one's doctor, that someone incorporate 30 to 60 minutes of exercise daily into his or her life," says Benlifer. "A combination of cardiovascular (aerobic) exercise, strength training and flexibility training, or more restorative movement (yoga, tai chi, etc.) is important."
Finally, in order for boomers to stay healthy and keep their heart strong, Benlifer recommends prioritizing sleep. "Sleep helps the body restore itself and is also highly correlated with a healthy weight. The less sleep one gets, the more likely he or she is to be overweight and stressed," she says.
Don't give up on skin during the colder months ahead
(BPT) - During the fall, when temperatures drop, skincare steps that were crucial during the hot summer months can often be overlooked because skin isn't as exposed. Instead of waiting until skin is uncomfortably dry and itchy, make sure you're moisturizing every day so skin stays soft, smooth and supple. And with all of the gatherings and parties that happen through fall and winter, you want to feel comfortable and confident in whatever you wear - whether it's a short cocktail dress or a sleeveless top.
So, if you're the type to hide red, flaky skin under layers of clothing every fall and winter, consider these simple tips that will have you prepared to bare your arms and legs during one of the biggest party seasons.
* Stop the scratching - With dry air comes dry skin, which can cause irritating itchy spots. Scratching those spots damages the skin and leaves red welts amongst the white scaly patches. Add a little moisture into the air at home using a humidifier, especially in the bedroom where you sleep at night. Research by the University of Minnesota found that if the outdoor temperature is between zero and 40 F, and the indoor temperature is set at 70 F, the relative humidity level indoors should be between 30 and 40 percent. Your skin, hair and sinuses will notice the extra humidity indoors, helping you to feel more comfortable in your skin.
* Moisturizer is key-- Although a simple step, moisturizing is often overlooked. But you'd be surprised how applying a layer every day can make you feel more comfortable and confident. "With all the parties during fall and winter, you don't have time to sacrifice fashion because of poor skincare choices," shares FashionIndie.com blogger Beca Alexander. "There's no better feeling than flaunting your legs in the perfect little black dress. Every day, I apply NIVEA Extended Moisture Body Lotion. It keeps my skin so moisturized and absorbs quickly. I also make sure to apply it to my arms and then spritz on my perfume - it helps the scent last!" -Areas to remember moisturizing include the elbows, feet and neck, as these areas build up a tough layer of skin when dried out.
* Add a bit of coloring - Self-tanning product technology has improved greatly over the years, and allows women to give their skin a hint of color without exposing it to any UV rays. After moisturizing, carefully apply a spray or cream tanner to the skin, being sure to thoroughly wash your hands and wrists once finished. Apply lightly and work in layers, so you don't overdo it with too much coloring.
* Cater to special features - Lips, eyes and the nose are often affected by the colder temperatures more than the rest of the body. Be sure to give these features of your face loving attention with extra moisturizing products like lip balm and ointment during the winter months. Also be sure to cover your face while outside with scarves to help prevent additional damage from the cold wind.
By maintaining your skin's moisture as much as possible, you will feel much more comfortable and know that you can show off your beauty, even as the temperatures drop and the air gets drier.