Holiday Blues? 7 Ways to Cheer Up

The winter solstice — and the shortest day of the year — will soon be upon us (Dec. 21), and not everyone is feeling the holiday spirit. Illness, loneliness, financial troubles, family problems and depression can make many dread the “most wonderful” time of the year and endanger both mental and physical health. A recent University of Chicago study found that feelings of loneliness and isolation can lead to increased stress, higher blood pressure and other health problems. Here are some things you can do …

’Tis the Season to Eat Wisely

Macaroni and cheese, candied yams, salty hams and tons of sugary desserts. These are just a few of the temptations between Thanksgiving and Christmas that could cause us to literally eat ourselves to death! Seriously. But, there is hope for us all. Although November is traditionally observed as National Diabetes Month and even National Family Week at the end, let’s carry wise, life-giving habits into December and throughout the years ahead. >> High-Calorie Foods That Are Good for Your Health Heart …

Midlife Diabetes Tied to Memory Problems Later in Life

Having diabetes or prediabetes in midlife is linked to memory problems later in life, according to new research published in Annals of Internal Medicine. In fact, diabetes appears to age the brain about five years faster than normal aging. Johns Hopkins researchers in Baltimore tracked the blood sugar levels and brain health of more than 15,000 adults ages 48 to 67 with regular exams for 20 years and found there was nearly 20 percent greater decline in memory and cognitive function in those with …

5 Ways to Avoid Getting Sick This Winter

It’s that season again. The one with lots of coughing, sneezing, sniffling, aching and carrying around large wads of tissues. So how do you protect yourself from colds and the flu, other than staying home from now through May? Obviously, getting a flu shot should be first on your list. Although no one can predict whether this flu season will be as severe as last year’s, a new study that looked at flu rates among those age 60-plus for the …

Has the Hourglass Figure Run Out of Time?

Ladies, are we going from zaftig to zeppelin? According to a recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, the waist size of the average American woman grew almost two inches — from just over 36 to nearly 38 — from 1999 to 2012. Making the trend especially curious, the study authors noted, is the fact that abdominal obesity — which jumped from 46.4 percent of the population in 1999 to 54.2 percent in 2012 — keeps getting …

Here’s How to Prevent 4 out of 5 Heart Attacks

We all know the advice for preventing heart attacks: Eat right, stop smoking, get some exercise. But, really, just how effective is doing all those things? Can anyone put an exact number on it? Evidently, they can — and the numbers are dramatic: Following a healthy lifestyle could prevent four out of five heart attacks in men ages 45 through 79, a new Swedish study found. “It is not surprising that healthy lifestyle choices would lead to a reduction in …