4 Steps to a Healthy Lifestyle

Think you’re leading a healthy lifestyle? Aside from occasionally veering off the path, most of us think we do a fair job of maintaining our health with good (or at least OK) eating habits and physical activity whenever we manage to fit it in. But is that enough to be considered “healthy?”

According to a recent study, very few adults actually meet the criteria for a healthy lifestyle. The study, published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, showed that only 3% of American adults got a perfect score on what the authors say are the four basic criteria for healthy living. Just 13.8% met three of the criteria; 34.2% met only two criteria. Women scored slightly better than men.

See how well you measure up on the researchers’ four keys to healthfulness:

  • Do you smoke?
  • Are you able to maintain a healthy weight (a BMI of 18-25), or are you successfully losing weight to attain a healthy weight?
  • Do you eat at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables daily?
  • Do you exercise 30 minutes or more, 5 times a week?

The good news is that these behaviors should not be foreign to you, as all but one are an integral part of the Weight Loss Clinic. Numbers 2 through 4 are the foundation of the WLC program, habits that we continually discuss, write about, and recommend.

Everyone knows smoking is bad for your health. If you are one of the lucky ones who never became addicted to nicotine, pat yourself on the back. Smokers, I hope you are working diligently to kick your habit. It’s impossible to underestimate the importance of a smoke-free life for your health — as well as for the sake of those around you.

4 Steps and More

While those four habits are indisputably important for a healthy lifestyle, some may argue that more factors should be taken into consideration. What would be on your list?


Just for fun, I came up with my own personal top 10 list of healthy behaviors (beyond the four basics) that contribute to wellness and satisfaction with one’s lifestyle:

  • Brush and floss daily to keep your teeth and gums healthy and free of disease.
  • Get a good night’s rest. Well-rested people not only cope better with stress, but may also have better control of their appetites. Research has shown that a lack of sleep can put our “hunger hormones” out of balance — and possibly trigger overeating.
  • Enjoy regular family meals. This allows parents to serve as good role models, can promote more nutritious eating, and sets the stage for lively conversations. Being connected to family and/or friends is a powerful aspect of a healthy life.
  • Smile and laugh out loud several times a day. It keeps you grounded, and helps you cope with situations that would otherwise make you crazy. Read the comics, watch a sitcom, or tell jokes to bring out those happy feelings.
  • Meditate, pray, or otherwise find solace for at least 10-20 minutes each day. Contemplation is good for your soul, helps you cope with the demands of daily life, and may even help lower your blood pressure.
  • Get a pedometer and let it motivate you to walk, walk, walk. Forget about how many minutes of activity you need; just do everything you can to fit more steps into your day. No matter how you get it, physical activity can help defuse stress, burn calories, and boost self-esteem.
  • Stand up straight. You’ll look 5 pounds lighter if you stand tall and tighten your abdominal muscles. Whenever you walk, think “tall and tight” to get the most out of the movement.
  • Try yoga. The poses help increase strength and flexibility and improve balance. These are critical areas for older folks especially, and both men and women can benefit.
  • Power up the protein. This nutrient is an essential part of your eating plan, and can make up anywhere from 10%-35% of your total calories. Protein lasts a long time in your belly; combine it with high-fiber foods and you’ll feel full on fewer calories. Enjoy small portions of nuts, low-fat dairy, beans, lean meat, poultry, or fish.
  • Last but not least, have a positive attitude. Do your best to look at life as if “the glass is half full.” You must believe in yourself, have good support systems, and think positively (“I think I can, I think I can…”) to succeed.

It’s All about You

Your list of healthy lifestyle behaviors may be different from mine. The most important thing to remember is that you can make a difference in your health and well-being. Take charge of your life, and be mindful of small behavior changes that can make your lifestyle a healthier one.…

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle

If you’re looking to maintain a healthy lifestyle, small changes are the best way to get started. We share seven easy ways to keep you in good health.

During times of stress and uncertainty, it’s easy to fall into bad habits and neglect the healthy routines we’ve established. But looking after yourself is so important right now and it’s absolutely still possible despite social distancing.

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle will look after your body as well as your mind, making you much better equipped to deal with the difficulties posed by the coronavirus pandemic.

During times of stress and uncertainty, it’s easy to fall into bad habits and neglect the healthy routines we’ve established. But looking after yourself is so important right now and it’s absolutely still possible despite social distancing.

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle will look after your body as well as your mind, making you much better equipped to deal with the difficulties posed by the coronavirus pandemic.

1. Eat a healthy balanced diet

Eating well is one of the best ways to look after your health. Many people underestimate the importance of a healthy diet, but proper nutrition can improve everything from your energy levels to your mental health.

Healthy eating is also crucial to the health of your immune system, which is more important than ever.

The stronger your immune system, the better chance you have of fighting off COVID-19 if you catch it.

Try to make healthy choices wherever possible, eat lots of fruits and vegetables and don’t eat mindlessly. Your body and mind will thank you for it.

2. Have regular meals

Skipping breakfast or lunch can really affect your ability to concentrate and work productively. You may find yourself getting headaches or feeling very sluggish.

Most of our routines have been disrupted by the crisis, meal times included, but do try to stick to regular times and take a proper break for lunch whenever possible.

Eating at irregular times and wolfing down your food has been shown to upset your gut (digestive system), which can affect the health of your whole body – not to mention upsetting your stomach.

3. Stay hydrated

Drinking enough water is a crucial part of healthy living. Studies show that drinking enough water can help you lose weight, think more clearly, and avoid stress, among many other benefits.

The government recommends drinking six to eight glasses of fluids every day. Although people often talk about water, most non-alcoholic drinks count.

So, if you’re not a fan of water, stay hydrated with tea, coffee and other low-sugar drinks.

It’s important to remember that fruit and vegetable juices and smoothies, though they do contain nutrients, are also high in sugar. You should only drink around 150ml of these a day.

If you really miss your sweet drinks, try sugar-free squash.

4. Don’t rely on comfort food, alcohol, cigarettes and the like to relieve stress

If stress makes you turn towards salty and fatty foods or causes you to overeat, you’re not alone. Similarly, many of us try to manage our anxiety with alcohol or cigarettes.

These things may all offer temporary relief, but in the long term they’ll make you feel worse. Don’t deprive yourself completely, but try to stick to healthy choices most of the time.

Many people find that the 80/20 approach, which involves making healthy choices 80% of the time, is an attainable way to do this.

5. Keep active wherever possible

For most people, COVID-19 has meant adapting to new ways of staying active. If your regular workout is off the table right now, do your best to find an alternative option.

Regular exercise will make you feel so much better and is crucial to staying healthy. And it’s still possible to exercise indoors, however small your living space.

Try online classes or video workouts, many of which are available for free. There are lots available that have been designed specially for people to do in their living rooms without any equipment. Experiment until you find one that works for you.

We are now allowed outside to exercise as much as we like, so make the most of it with a brisk walk or even a run. Just be careful to stay two metres away from everyone you see.

An hour of moderate exercise three times a week could make a huge difference to your fitness levels.

Easy ways to stay active without leaving your house

6. Sleep well

Sleep is often one of the first things to suffer when our routines change. Try your best to keep to regular sleep hours and to ensure you’re still getting 7-9 hours a night.

Getting enough sleep improves your overall health and protects your mental wellbeing.

Studies have shown that sleeping well can make you happier, improve your memory, improve your physical fitness and help you maintain a healthy weight.

A good night’s sleep can also boost your immune system.

Tips to help you sleep better

7. Don’t be too hard on yourself

Sometimes you’ll have bad days, you’ll feel rubbish or you’ll make unhealthy choices. It’s not the end of the world. Nobody’s perfect, and change doesn’t happen overnight.

This is a really difficult time for everyone, so try to go easy on yourself.

There’s no right way to respond to it …

Maintaining a Healthy Lifestyle

Physical fitness is not the sole basis of being healthy; being healthy means being mentally and emotionally fit. Being healthy should be part of your overall lifestyle. Living a healthy lifestyle can help prevent chronic diseases and long-term illnesses. Feeling good about yourself and taking care of your health are important for your self-esteem and self-image. Maintain a healthy lifestyle by doing what is right for your body.

Power of Attitude

A positive attitude can boost your energy, heighten your inner strength, inspire others, and garner the fortitude to meet difficult challenges.

Learn more about the power of attitude

Self-Care & Coping Skills

Advice for daily care of your physical needs and managing the stress of dealing with peripheral neuropathy.

Learn more about self-care and coping skills

Exercise & Physical Therapy

Advice on aerobic, flexibility, strength training and balance exercises to help manage and reduce peripheral neuropathy symptoms.

Learn more about exercise and physical therapy

Assistive Devices

A sampling of the products available to help you remain as independent as possible, and maintain your own safety when living with a physical disability.

Learn more about assistive devices

Nutrition

Good nutrition is often the first line of defense to avoid many diseases, including PN. Find advice for keeping a healthy diet, shopping and managing drug side effects.

Learn more about nutrition

Caregiver Tips

Tips for being a caregiver and needing a caregiver for yourself or a loved one.

Learn more about caregiver tips

If you want to be a well-rounded, healthy individual, here are a couple of staying healthy tips that may help you do just that:

Maintain a regular exercise routine

No, you do not have to force yourself into intense workouts at the gym but you need to keep as active as possible. You can stick to easy floor exercises, swimming, walking, or simply keep yourself moving by doing some household chores. Do what your body allows you to do.

What is important is that you continue exercising. Give at least twenty to thirty minutes a day to exercise at least three to five times a week. Have a routine; see to it that you have enough physical activity each day.

Be conscious in your diet

No, you do not have to force yourself into intense workouts at the gym but you need to keep as active as possible. You can stick to easy floor exercises, swimming, walking, or simply keep yourself moving by doing some household chores. Do what your body allows you to do.

What is important is that you continue exercising. Give at least twenty to thirty minutes a day to exercise at least three to five times a week. Have a routine; see to it that you have enough physical activity each day.

Engage in the things you are passionate about

Every now and then, to keep the stress and the demands of life from taking over, take a break to do something you love doing.

Surround yourself with positive energy

In order to have a sound mental and emotional state, you must surround yourself with positive energy. Yes, not all problems can be avoided. But it helps to face such obstacles with an optimist outlook. Surround yourself with encouraging friends and people that will provide you with constructive criticism every once in a while to help you improve.

Make it a habit to always look at the brighter side of life. Even if you find yourself in the worst situation, there is always an upside to it—something good and positive. Dwell on these things instead.

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is not that difficult, nor does it require a lot of work. Just keep doing what you do and apply the staying healthy tips listed above—surely you will be a well-rounded individual in no time.

Live Healthier: How to Create a Healthy Lifestyle

What does it mean to have a healthy lifestyle? And how do you live healthier? Here are a bunch of ways to be a healthier person.

Live Healthier: How to Create a Healthy Life Style

These days it’s hard to know what a healthy lifestyle even is. There are so many people telling us so many different things. Should we be vegetarian and eat only plants? Should be carnivorous and eat only meat? Should we avoid carbs, or fat, or protein? If we avoid all those, then what do we eat to live healthier?!

As someone who tries very hard to live a healthier life, I have gotten very frustrated with the messages we’ve been told about health. So I decided to go to the research and see if I could find out what the research says about living healthier.

Here’s what I learned:

1. Eat more fruits and veggies

Probably the most important thing you can do to live healthier is to eat more fruits and veggies. One study showed that the people who eat the least fruits and veggies were twice as likely as frequent veggie and fruit eaters to get many types of cancer [1]. So fill half your plate with veggies at each meal. 

The minimum recommendation is to eat at least 2 servings of fruit and 3 servings of vegetables per day, but it seems that the broader range of veggies you eat the better [2]. So strive to eat a rainbow of veggies and fruits to ensure you’re getting the full range of nutrients.

2. Eat red veggies and fruits

To get the variety of nutrients you need for a healthier life, be sure to eat foods with a variety of nutrients and phytochemicals. To start, eat red foods. These foods are high in lycopene. Lycopene-rich foods have been linked to lower prostate cancer risk [3].

​Here’s what to eat to live healthier:

  • Tomatoes
  • Red bell peppers
  • Persimmons
  • Red cabbage
  • Pink grapefruit
  • Watermelon

3. Eat orange veggies and fruits

Carotenes are mostly found in orange foods. Increased consumption of foods with carotenes has been linked to lower risk of breast cancer [3]. 

​Here’s what to eat to live healthier:

  • Carrots
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Cantaloupe
  • Peaches
  • Apricots
  • Orange peppers

4. Eat yellow fruits and veggies

Yellow foods have lutein in them. But if we remember our color wheel, yellow plus blue makes green, so there is a lot of lutein in green foods too. Lutein is an antioxidant, free radical scavenger that may also help protect the body against inflammation [2].

​Here’s what to eat to live healthier:

  • Yellow peppers
  • Yellow squash
  • Leafy green vegetables
  • Egg yolk
  • Kiwi
  • Green grapes
  • Zucchini
  • Corn

5. Eat cruciferous veggies

A healthier life includes eating raw cruciferous veggies like coleslaw or broccoli sprouts. Broccoli sprouts in particular are high in sulforaphane, which may be especially beneficial [2].

​Here’s what to eat to live healthier:

  • Broccoli (or broccoli sprouts)
  • Cauliflower
  • Kale
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Cabbage

6. Eat fish

Fish has something called astaxanthin in it. It is anti-inflammatory and can scavenge free radicals [2].

​Here’s what to eat to live healthier:

  • Salmon
  • Trout
  • Shrimp
  • Lobster
  • Crab

7. Eat allium vegetables

Allium vegetables (garlic, onions) are another health powerhouse. The sulfur in these foods can potentially lower gastrointestinal cancer risk [3].

​Here’s what to eat to live healthier:

  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Green onions
  • Scallions​

8. Get your vitamins

In addition to eating lots of veggies and fruits, it may be healthful to eat foods high in compounds such as vitamin Evitamin C, and vitamin D. Many of us can be deficient in these nutrients and so vitamins can get us back up where we need to be.

9. Get your probiotics

Probiotics such as L. acidophilus, Bifidobacterium longum, and L. casei have been linked to lower cancer risk [4]. 

​Here’s some good probiotics to live healthier:

​Probiotics are even more potent when they’re fresh. We can make fresh probiotics by lacto fermenting vegetables, fruits, or dairy products.

​Here’s everything you need to lacto ferment at home:

10. Eat less food

Intermittent fasting has become popular recently. And perhaps this is for good reason. Eating fewer calories may be one of the best things we can do for our health [5]. By doing periodic fasts where we let our digestion rest and don’t consume calories, we can likely improve our health.

11. Avoid xenoestrogens and plastics

Xenoestrogens include chemicals like polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH), pesticides, some drugs, mycotoxins, bisphenol A (BPA; a plastics additive), and many others and they can cause significant damage to our health [6]. Check out our article on healthy products to get these chemicals out of your kitchen, closet, and home.

12. Exercise

You probably already know that exercise is good for your physical health. But exercise is also a good way to manage stress and reduce anxiety. Exercise increases parasympathetic activity (and feelings of calmness) when we exercise regularly, which helps us feel more relaxed in the longer-term [7].

13. Work on your emotional health

Living a healthy life is not just about diet and exercise, it’s about changing the way we think and act in ways that improve our emotional health. Here are a few science-based activities to help you boost various aspects of emotional health:

Lifestyle changes doctors wish patients would make

The alarming state of chronic disease and health inequities exposed during the COVID-19 pandemic has been a wake-up call for people outside the medical community. There is a growing need for people to commit to making lifestyle changes to help prevent chronic conditions such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease. However, patients are often uncertain of what changes they should make to improve their health and well-being.

Underlying good health is key to better outcomes among those who do acquire SARS-CoV-2, said Dexter Shurney, MD, president of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine. “That’s why we see an increase in severity of COVID among those that are unhealthy and have those comorbidities. The same lifestyle issues that increase chronic disease risk also hamper immunity—everything goes together,” he said.

Dexter Shurney, MD

Dexter Shurney, MD

Here is what Dr. Shurney had to say about what lifestyle changes patients should make to reduce chronic disease and improve their health during the pandemic and beyond.

Discover how the pandemic has shined a spotlight on chronic disease prevention priority.

Follow whole food, plant-predominant diet

“A whole food, plant-predominant diet is one of the most important things—it’s important because people tend to forget the power that eating ‘real’ food can have on their health,” said Dr. Shurney. “If your child comes to you and says, ‘I want to eat cake and ice cream three times a day,’ you’d say, ‘No, you can’t do that. That’s not healthy.’

“Yet a lot of us fill our bellies every day with junk food that doesn’t really do our body good. In fact, added sugar and unhealthy fats actually harm our bodies,” he added. “Physicians can help by having better conversations about this and really encourage their patients to do better.

“Plant-predominant is important since it provides the only source of natural fiber, contains no cholesterol, on average is 64 times higher in antioxidants, and if unprocessed—whole food—is lower in calories,” said Dr. Shurney. “Beyond merely recommending they lose weight, give them a plan.”

Learn about four ways to help patients with chronic disease make dietary changes.

Maintain regular physical activity

“For physical activity, you should do 150 minutes of moderate exercise a week,” said Dr. Shurney. “But it’s not that you have to do everything to the max. Even if you can just stand up more and not sit as much—even that can be quite beneficial.”
With the COVID-19 pandemic, physical activity has been hard for many to obtain, “but if you can just get out and do a brisk walk, there are a lot of benefits,” said Dr. Shurney. “For patients who are getting up in age, walking is just fine, and it is something most of us can do inside or with a mask outside.”

Discover how patients can start—and stick with—key lifestyle changes.

Get restorative sleep

“The sweet spot is actually seven to eight hours of sleep,” said Dr. Shurney. However, people who get less than seven hours of sleep have higher odds of developing type 2 diabetes.

A potential culprit “in our society right now is blue light—which we get from TV, our cellphones and video screens,” he said. “We need to shut those devices down at least 30 minutes before going to bed because blue light depresses our melatonin levels and we need melatonin to fall asleep.

“We also need to increase our exposure to bright light during our waking hours. Sunlight is the best,” added Dr. Shurney. “What this does is depresses our melatonin during the day and allows for a great rise at night when it’s needed for sleep.”

Learn about six things doctors wish patients knew about “coronasomnia.”

Find relaxation time to manage stress

“Exercise helps us to relax, so that’s always good,” said Dr. Shurney, adding that “if we get outside, we’re going to get our sun, we’re going to get our exercise and it’s going to relax us. It all works together.”

“The other thing we can do is we can learn how to control our breathing,” he said. By spending “10 minutes on a breathing exercise in the morning and in the afternoon, it will calm us down.”

Find out how to combat COVID-19’s disparate mental health impact.

Limit alcohol, quit smoking

Avoiding risky substances like alcohol and smoking can also go a long way. But the approach to getting someone to quit “varies from individual to individual and that’s true for all motivation to effect lifestyle behavior change,” said Dr. Shurney. For smoking, “it’s a matter of trying to frame the conversation so patients believe that they’re going to see not only long-term benefits, but short-term benefits as well, and that they can be successful.”

“We always seem to place smoking in this category of stop today so that 20 years from now you don’t die from lung cancer or COPD [chronic obstructive pulmonary disease]. Twenty years is a long time in the future,” said Dr. Shurney, adding that “we need to show people that there are short-term benefits.”

Learn about the eight things physicians should know about the latest on smoking cessation.

Keep positive social connections

It is even more imperative during the pandemic to maintain positive social connections, especially when stay-at-home orders and physical distancing requirements remain across the country.

“It’s been reported that social isolation and loneliness can be devastating to our health. In fact, loneliness has the negative health …

Healthy lifestyle: 5 keys to a longer life

GettyImages-157773084

March 25, 2020

How is it that the United States spends the most money on healthcare, and yet still has the one of the lowest life expectancies of all developed nations? (To be specific: $9,400 per capita, 79 years, and 31st.)

Maybe those of us in healthcare have been looking at it all wrong, for too long.

Healthy lifestyle and longevity

Researchers from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health conducted a massive study of the impact of health habits on life expectancy, using data from the well-known Nurses’ Health Study (NHS) and the Health Professionals Follow-up Study (HPFS). This means that they had data on a huge number of people over a very long period of time. The NHS included over 78,000 women and followed them from 1980 to 2014. The HPFS included over 40,000 men and followed them from 1986 to 2014. This is over 120,000 participants, 34 years of data for women, and 28 years of data for men.

The researchers looked at NHS and HPFS data on diet, physical activity, body weight, smoking, and alcohol consumption that had been collected from regularly administered, validated questionnaires.

What is a healthy lifestyle, exactly?

These five areas were chosen because prior studies have shown them to have a large impact on risk of premature death. Here is how these healthy habits were defined and measured:

1.   Healthy diet, which was calculated and rated based on the reported intake of healthy foods like vegetables, fruits, nuts, whole grains, healthy fats, and omega-3 fatty acids, and unhealthy foods like red and processed meats, sugar-sweetened beverages, trans fat, and sodium.

2.  Healthy physical activity level, which was measured as at least 30 minutes per day of moderate to vigorous activity daily.

3.   Healthy body weight, defined as a normal body mass index (BMI), which is between 18.5 and 24.9.

4.   Smoking, well, there is no healthy amount of smoking. “Healthy” here meant never having smoked.

5.   Moderate alcohol intake, which was measured as between 5 and 15 grams per day for women, and 5 to 30 grams per day for men. Generally, one drink contains about 14 grams of pure alcohol. That’s 12 ounces of regular beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces of distilled spirits.

Researchers also looked at data on age, ethnicity, and medication use, as well as comparison data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Wide-Ranging Online Data for Epidemiologic Research.

Does a healthy lifestyle make a difference?

As it turns out, healthy habits make a big difference. According to this analysis, people who met criteria for all five habits enjoyed significantly, impressively longer lives than those who had none: 14 years for women and 12 years for men (if they had these habits at age 50). People who had none of these habits were far more likely to die prematurely from cancer or cardiovascular disease.

Study investigators also calculated life expectancy by how many of these five healthy habits people had. Just one healthy habit (and it didn’t matter which one) … just one… extended life expectancy by two years in men and women. Not surprisingly, the more healthy habits people had, the longer their lifespan. This is one of those situations where I wish I could reprint their graphs for you, because they’re so cool. (But if you’re very curious, the article is available online, and the graphs are on page 7. Check out Graph B, “Estimated life expectancy at age 50 according to the number of low-risk factors.”)

This is huge. And, it confirms prior similar research — a lot of prior similar research. A 2017 study using data from the Health and Retirement Study found that people 50 and older who were normal weight, had never smoked, and drank alcohol in moderation lived on average seven years longer. A 2012 mega-analysis of 15 international studies that included over 500,000 participants found that over half of premature deaths were due to unhealthy lifestyle factors such as poor diet, inactivity, obesity, excessive alcohol intake, and smoking. And the list of supporting research goes on.

So what’s our (big) problem?

As the authors of this study point out, in the US we tend to spend outlandishly on developing fancy drugs and other treatments for diseases, rather than on trying to prevent them. This is a big problem.

Experts have suggested that the best way to help people make healthy diet and lifestyle change is at the large-scale, population level, through public health efforts and policy changes. (Kind of like motorcycle helmets and seat belt legislation…) We have made a little progress with tobacco and trans-fat legislation.

There’s a lot of pushback from big industry on that, of course. If we have guidelines and laws helping us to live healthier, big companies aren’t going to sell as much fast food, chips, and soda. And for companies hell-bent on making money at the cost of human life, well, that makes them very angry.…

What is the Best Cardiovascular Exercise for Overall Health?

It’s long been documented that cardiovascular exercise is good for your health. But have you ever wondered exactly what cardiovascular exercises are best if you’re looking to kickstart your health and fitness regime? If so, we’ve broken down the best cardiovascular exercises for your health and why you should do them.

What Are The Benefits Of Cardiovascular Exercise? 

As well as making running for the bus easier, the benefits of exercise are more than just feeling generally ‘fitter’. In fact, according to the NHS, cardiovascular exercise can reduce your risk of developing illnesses such as coronary heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and cancer. Not only that but it’s said to lower your risk of early death by up to 30%.

If you often find yourself tossing and turning in the night, cardiovascular exercise is also thought to improve sleep quality. And if that wasn’t enough, regular exercise can reduce stress by improving our self-esteem.

If you’re looking for a sign to start exercising again – this is it.

Cardiovascular Exercises To Do At Home  

If you’re looking to get healthy again, it can be tricky knowing where to start. If you struggle to distinguish your burpees from your mountain climbers, we’ve put together some exercise you can do from the comfort of your own home.

  • Marching in place – If you’re looking for a low-impact exercise, marching in place will help raise your heart rate and get you moving.
  • Air jump rope – If you don’t have a skipping rope handy, a great exercise to get you moving is doing an imaginary jump rope.
  • Arm circles – make bingo wings a thing of the past with these handy arm circles, ideal for all fitness levels.
  • Jumping jacks – a high intensity exercise, jumping jacks offer a quick energy release and can be done virtually anywhere. Even while waiting for your bus!

Cardiovascular Exercises To Do Outside 

Some of the best exercises that you can do are those that take place outdoors. As well as helping you get fit, exercising outdoors allows you to embrace nature and get some fresh air at the same time.

Some of the best outdoor exercises include:

Jogging  

A great way to get fit if you’re on a budget, jogging burns a significant number of calories in a short time, making it a great way to maximize the time spent exercising. In fact, it’s thought that running burns approximately 13.2 calories per minute!

Cycling  

Cycling is a great way to get from A to B and see the world at the same time. Whether you decide to make the most of your commute to work by cycling or explore some mountain trails – it’s a great way to get fit.

If cycling is something that interests you, you could look at cycle insurance to ensure that if you are unfortunately in an accident and your bike is damaged, the insurance will be there to cover you.

Outdoor Swimming  

If you’re brave enough, outdoor swimming is a great way to get fit.  What’s more refreshing than an early morning dip in chilly water?

In Conclusion

The bottom line is that however you choose to get fit, you won’t regret it. Whether you opt for some quick and easy at-home exercises or cycling to work – however you start, you’ll be pleased you did.

*collaborative post…

Many Patients, Doctors Unaware of Advancements in Cancer Care

Genesis Cancer Care Institute | Quad Cities, IA & IL | Genesis - Genesis  Health System

Sept. 27, 2021 –Sept. 29, 2021 — Many patients with cancer, as well as doctors in fields other than oncology, are unware of just how much progress has been made in recent years in the treatment of cancer, particularly with immunotherapy.

This is the main finding from two studies presented at the recent European Society for Medical Oncology annual meeting.

The survey of patients found that most don’t understand how immunotherapy works, and the survey of doctors found that many working outside of the cancer field are using information on survival that is wildly out of date.

When a patient is first told they have cancer, counseling is usually done by a surgeon or general medical doctor and not an oncologist, said Conleth Murphy, MD, of Bon Secours Hospital Cork, Ireland, and co-author of the second study.

Non-cancer doctors often grossly underestimate patients’ chances of survival, Murphy’s study found. This suggests that doctors who practice outside of cancer care may be working with the same information they learned in medical school, he said.

“These patients must be spared the traumatic effects of being handed a death sentence that no longer reflects the current reality,” Murphy said.

After receiving a diagnosis of cancer, “patients often immediately have pressing questions about what it means for their future,” he noted. A common question is, “How long do I have left?”

Non-oncologists should refrain from answering patients’ questions with numbers, Murphy said.

Family doctors are likely to be influenced by the experience they have had with specific cancer patients in their practice, said Cyril Bonin, MD, a general practitioner in Usson-du-Poitou, France, who has 900 patients in his practice.

He sees about 10 patients with a new diagnosis of cancer each year.

In addition, about 50 of his patients are in active treatment for cancer or have finished treatment and are considered cancer survivors.

“It is not entirely realistic for us to expect practitioners who deal with hundreds of different diseases to keep up with every facet of a rapidly changing oncology landscape,” said Marco Donia, MD, an expert in immunotherapy from the University of Copenhagen, Denmark, said.

That landscape has changed dramatically in recent years, particularly since immunotherapy was added to the arsenal. Immunotherapy is a way to fine tune your immune system to fight cancer.

For example, in the past, patients with metastatic melanoma would have an average survival of about 1 year. But now, some patients who have responded to immunotherapy are still alive 10 years later.

Findings From the Patient Survey

Answer honestly, how often do you conduct patient surveys?

It is important that patients stay well-informed because immunotherapy is a “complex treatment that is too often mistaken for a miracle cure,” said Paris Kosmidis, MD, the co-author of the patient survey.

“The more patients know about it, the better the communication with their medical team and thus the better their outcomes are likely to be,” said Kosmidis, who is co-founder and chief medical officer of CareAcross, an online service that provides personalized education for cancer patients

The survey was of 5,589 patients with cancer who were recruited from CareAcross clients from the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Spain, and Germany.

The survey asked them about how immunotherapy works, what it costs, and its side effects.

Almost half responded “not sure / do not know,” but about a third correctly answered that immunotherapy “activates the immune system to kill cancer cells.”

Similarly, more than half thought that immunotherapy started working right away, while only 20% correctly answered that it takes several weeks to become effective.

“This is important because patients need to start their therapy with realistic expectations, for example to avoid disappointment when their symptoms take some time to disappear,” Kosmidis said.

A small group of 24 patients with lung cancer who had been treated with immunotherapy got many correct answers, but they overestimated the intensity of side effects, compared with other therapies.

“Well-informed patients who know what to expect can do 90% of the job of preventing side effects from becoming severe by having them treated early,” said Donia, of the University of Copenhagen.

Most cancer patients were also unaware of the cost of immunotherapy, which can exceed $100,000 a year, Kosmidis said.

Results of the Doctor Survey

Referring Doctors Surveys with Spectos Healthcare

The other survey presented at the meeting looked at how much doctors know about survival for 12 of the most common cancers.

Murphy and colleagues asked 301 non-cancer doctors and 46 cancer specialists to estimate the percentage of patients who could be expected to live for 5 years after diagnosis (a measure known as the 5-year survival rate).

Answers from the two groups were compared and were graded according to cancer survival statistics from the National Cancer Registry of Ireland.

Both groups of doctors had a hard time estimating the survival of common cancers.

Non-oncologists accurately predicted 5-year survival for just two of the cancer types, while the cancer specialists got it right for four cancer types.

However, the non-cancer doctors had a more pessimistic outlook on cancer survival generally and severely underestimated the chances of survival in specific cancers, particularly stage IV breast cancer. The survival for this cancer has “evolved considerably over time and now reaches 40% in Ireland,” Murphy pointed out.

“These results are in line with what we had expected because most physicians’ knowledge of oncology dates back to whatever education they received during their years of training, so their perceptions …

25 Health and wellness blogs worth checking out

To save you some time, we identified 25 of the best wellness blogs the internet has to offer. Whether you’re interested in staying fit, trying healthy new recipes, clearing your mind—or all of the above—these blogs will help you create a healthier lifestyle for yourself. Bookmark this list to keep them handy when you need them most.

Fitness blogs

1. The Balanced Life with Robin Long

Why follow? As a fitness instructor and mom of four, Robin Long’s motto is “Grace over guilt.” She offers a variety of free Pilates and barre workouts designed to help busy women fit at-home exercise into their regular routine. The Balanced Life offers far more than workout videos, though. You’ll also find a supportive membership community, a blog filled with healthy recipes and intentional living tips and targeted workout series to help you meet your fitness goals.

2. ACE Fitness

Why follow? The American Council on Exercise (ACE) hosts this fitness and healthy lifestyle blog. You don’t need to be an Olympic athlete to implement these wellness tips! The ACE Fitness blog has accessible workouts everyday people can do at home. From fun family workouts that parents and kids can do together to targeted fitness and stress-reduction tips for your age group, this blog will encourage you to make your health a priority, without a gym membership.

3. Run to the Finish

Why follow? The running community has its own specific fitness and nutrition needs, and the Run to the Finish blog is here to address them. Whether you’ve just taken up the sport or you’re a marathon finisher, this blog touches on concerns specific to runners at all levels, including dealing with knee pain, working in strength training and finding the best gear to keep you safe and comfortable on your runs.

4. Yoga with Adriene

Why follow? If reaping the many benefits of yoga is part of your wellness plan, Yoga with Adriene can help you get there. With hundreds of free yoga videos at varying intensities, people at all levels can find something accessible for them. Adriene has yoga workouts for every health scenario imaginable, from gentle stretching to relieve stress to kick-starting digestion after a big meal.

5. Born Fitness

Why follow? This fitness blog simplifies the sometimes confusing world of exercise. interviews experts in fitness and nutrition, then creates useful articles featuring the top tips and advice from the pros. Head to this sleek, easy-to-search site for science-based answers to your biggest fitness questions.

Nutrition blogs

6. Running on Real Food

Why follow? This plant-based food blog isn’t just for vegans! Here you’ll find recipes designed to fuel your body with whole foods without sacrificing flavor. Whether you tickle your taste buds with No-Bake Brownie Bites or Vegan Black-Bean Burritos, Running on Real Food has the simple recipes you need to create healthy and delicious meals at home.

7. Fit Foodie Finds

Why follow? Lee Funke, founder of Fit Foodie Finds, leads her followers in finding balanced, healthy recipes without labelling foods “bad” or “off-limits.” This site is a great resource for nutritious recipes that are simple to prep ahead of time, resulting in delicious homemade hummus or Asian broccoli salad that are ready to grab-and-go during your busy week. Funke also writes openly about her struggle with depression and anxiety and the wellness strategies she uses to prioritize her mental health.

8. FWDfuel

Why follow? This unique nutrition blog is geared toward helping athletes and people who live active lifestyles. FWDfuel features recipes and advice for dietary changes to avoid fatigue and inflammation, improve digestion and identify food sensitivities—all while maintaining the energy you need to stay active. FWDfuel is written by nutrition experts, including one who currently works with the Cleveland Cavaliers!

9. Nutrition Stripped

Why follow? After migraines and lethargy led her to rock bottom, dietician and nutritionist McKel Hill finally found her calling: the world of nutrition. She launched Nutrition Stripped as a way to encourage readers to experience their bodies as they were meant to function. She does this through lifestyle articles, recipes, interviews and other handy resources.

10. The Roasted Root

Why follow? Blogger Julia Mueller sees food as medicine, and she thinks you should, too! The Roasted Root is home to countless recipes created to reduce inflammation and prevent illness. You can’t go wrong with goodies like Paleo Espresso Chocolate Chunk Cookies or 30-Minute Thai Basil Chicken. If you want a diet that leads to a holistically healthy body, this is the place to start.

Mental health and mindfulness blogs

11. Dear Therapist

Why follow? This weekly Atlantic column is hosted by licensed marriage and family therapist Lori Gottlieb. At Dear Therapist, you’ll find answers to questions from real readers, from the relatable (“I can’t stand my sister-in-law”) to the dramatic (“My girlfriend had an affair with my coworker.”). Gottlieb tackles them all with empathy, compassion and honesty—and her responses have takeaways that anyone can use to improve their own mental and emotional well-being.

12. NAMI blog

Why follow? As the official blog of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, the NAMI blog offers evidence-based advice surrounding a variety of mental health issues, without any judgment or shame. From raising a child with OCD to explaining what it’s like to experience hallucinations, this blog covers it all. NAMI also offers readers the chance to “ask the expert” any burning questions …

Healthy living

11 Facts About Healthy Living | DoSomething.org

A healthy lifestyle is important for everyone. When we look after our physical health, we feel better too – fitter, more relaxed and better able to cope with things. This is especially important when you have a mental illness.

There are lots of ways of being healthy that feel good as well as doing you good.

Benefits of healthy living

What you gain by living more healthily includes:

  • feeling better mentally – regular exercise can lift your mood and help you feel better
  • saving money – eating junk food, smoking, and drinking sugary drinks or alcohol are all expensive habits
  • fewer health problems – living a healthier lifestyle means a lower risk of developing many illnesses
  • taking control of your life – getting healthy helps you feel in control of your life.

Getting healthy

‘Healthy living’ means maintaining a healthy lifestyle and introducing habits that improve your health. It can be difficult to change old habits, but there are steps you can take to become healthier. An important first step is identifying less healthy habits and learning new, positive ones to replace them, such as:

  • eating healthy foods and balanced meals
  • sleeping well and managing stress
  • practicing safe sex, drinking alcohol responsibly and not abusing drugs
  • being physically active
  • staying connected with others
  • being aware of any health risks related to your illness and its treatment, and working with your doctor to monitor these and then take action
  • taking responsibility for your overall health including having regular check-ups for your eyes and teeth.

How to develop positive health habits

2020 Healthy Living During Extraordinary Times

The key to developing positive habits that you are more likely to keep is to:

Start slowly

Change just one thing at a time  see the benefits that can come from eating more balanced meals or, exercising more or quitting smoking

Make small changes – an achievable change is more likely to become a habit you keep.

Go slowly – making a change gradually can be easier than all at once.

Build on what you already do – for example, if you enjoy walking, try extending your usual route by a manageable amount. 

Remember, increasing or adding even one new health behaviour can make a big difference to your health.

Work around challenges

There are things you can do to manage any extra challenges related to your illness and it’s treatment – such as drowsiness, sugar cravings or lack of motivation. Steps you can take include:

  • organise daily activities around side-effects of medication, for example, if you are drowsy in the morning, organise exercise for the afternoon.
  • discuss things with your doctor – there may be another medication you can try, or ask for referral to a specialist such as a dietitian or psychologist for expert advice.

Staying healthy

Being healthy is about more than getting fit and feeling better, it’s about staying that way too. Tips to help you stay motivated include:

  • schedule regular check ups with your doctor to monitor your progress and for that extra push you may need to keep going.
  • reward yourself – feel good about developing healthier habits by rewarding yourself with something nice.
  • overcome slip-ups – if you slip-up, be realistic and start again.

Finding Support

Heart-Healthy Living | NHLBI, NIH

There are lots of ways to get the support you need to help stay healthy. An important step is finding a good GP (general practitioner) you are comfortable discussing your health with. Seeing the same GP each time means you can work together to manage your health and organise check-ups as needed.

Having someone else as a ‘support person’ can make all the difference in keeping up healthy habits. Talk with your friends, family, mental health program or case worker. Don’t forget other services in your area that you can draw on too.…