No one expects you to eat a healthy diet 100 percent of the time, but ultra-processed foods like fried chicken, potato chips, and pastries can cause spikes in your blood-sugar levels and lead to weight gain and an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes. While these foods appeal to our eyes and taste good, they offer little nutritional value. Incorporating more nutritious, wholesome foods into your meals can help you feel more energetic throughout the day and lower your risk for chronic diseases.
A child’s immune system is exposed to numerous germs every day. While babies are born with antibodies that offer protection against some diseases, the protection is temporary. Vaccines given from birth to age six help protect kids from viruses and bacteria that cause serious diseases. Many of these diseases are uncommon in the United States because vaccines are doing their job. During well-child visits, talk to your pediatrician about the recommended immunizations for children.
Regular physical activity is part of a healthy lifestyle. However, only about one in five adults in the U.S. gets enough exercise to be healthy. Being inactive and sitting too much raises your risk of developing heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and cancer. The good news is that even small amounts of physical activity can help improve your health. Whether you’re looking to reduce your risks of chronic medical conditions or improve your quality of life, making regular physical activity part of your lifestyle can help you achieve your health goals.
Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition that causes pain in the muscles and joints throughout the body. While researchers don’t know what causes fibromyalgia, it’s a real health condition that affects at least four million adults in the United States. There is no test to diagnose it—and no cure—but your doctor can help you find treatments to manage your symptoms and improve your quality of life.
Annual checkups are essential to your ongoing health. Even if you feel well, it’s important to schedule an appointment with your primary care doctor once a year. If your doctor gets to know you when you’re healthy, you are more likely to receive better care if you get sick. A checkup, sometimes called a physical exam, is also the perfect time to ask questions about your health and discuss changes you can make for a healthier lifestyle. Here are six reasons to schedule your annual checkup today.
Stress is an unavoidable part of life. Over time, chronic stress can increase your risk of developing high blood pressure, weaken your immune system, and harm both your physical and mental health. While you may be tempted to binge-watch TV or scroll through social media on your phone at the end of a long day, staring at a screen does little to reduce the damaging effects of stress on your mind and body. Practicing relaxation techniques is a much healthier and more effective way to reduce stress.
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common disorder that affects 25 to 45 million people in the U.S. IBS can cause uncomfortable symptoms, including abdominal pain, constipation, diarrhea, cramps, excessive gas, and bloating. It can also change how often you have a bowel movement and the appearance of your stool. Fortunately, if you suffer from IBS, you can often manage your symptoms through dietary and lifestyle changes.
Choosing healthy, protein-rich snacks can keep you feeling full for longer and prevent you from overeating between meals. When your stomach starts to complain, it’s easy to reach for a granola bar or a bag of corn chips, but processed, low-nutrient snacks can cause your insulin and blood sugar levels to fluctuate, which makes you hungrier. Choosing nutrient-rich, high-protein foods is the smarter way to snack.
As the cost of healthcare continues to rise, it’s important to learn what your health plan covers and take steps to limit your out-of-pocket expenses. The healthcare system can be complex and difficult to navigate, but as a smart consumer you can find significant savings if you know where to look—and if you play an active role in making the most of your benefits. Here are seven ways to save on healthcare.
Acupuncture is a form of medicine that originated in China and has been practiced for thousands of years. The procedure first came to the United States in the early 1970s, and its popularity has been growing ever since. Still, there are a lot of misconceptions about acupuncture, and many people in the West wonder if acupuncture is based in science or if it really works. Here are some answers to the most common questions about acupuncture.