Fire and Rain: Beauty and Good Health From the Ashes

My wife and I took a nature walk on the southern slope of the Santa Monica Mountains shortly after a brush fire had ravaged the earth and turned the blackened branches of the laurel sumac trees into hands that clawed at the darkening sky. It was a scene right out of Dante’s Inferno, tempered by the life that lay on the other side of the hill. On that “other side,” stretched out before us were acres of lavender blossoms belonging …

Join Us: Care4YouToo Contest Helps Caregivers Get Fit

Over the past five years of intensive caregiving for my parents, I have watched my numbers go up – my cholesterol, my weight, my body fat and, yes, my jeans size. And let’s not even mention my stress level and the number of pieces of chocolate I eat daily. One number has gone down, though: the number of hours I spend taking care of myself by exercising, meditating, relaxing or sleeping. Unfortunately, it’s a pattern many of us who are …

Hot Times: How Summer Heat Affects Caregiving

The dog days of summer can complicate caregiving. For my 90-year-old dad, whose progressing Alzheimer’s disease makes him sensitive to extremes in temperature, the typical 110-degree Phoenix weather is too hot to go outside, but an overly air-conditioned room is too cold. The result for my father is low motivation, appetite and activity levels that aren’t good for his health. Here are some of the creative ways I use to keep up with my dad’s health care, socialization and exercise …

Danger: The Power of Salt, the Allure of Sugar

I apparently have had diabetes for many years but haven’t paid much attention to it other than maybe not eating the third slice of pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving and using less than a cup of salt on my french fries. Today, I know better. Now if Señor Salt rides into our dining room like a South American gaucho, I am to ride my own horse the hell out of there. If Mademoiselle Sugar, the enticing French beauty, were to step …

Helping Your Knees, Step-by-6,000-Steps

Walking is the best, easiest way to avoid or reduce the pain of arthritic knees, but up to now no one seemed to agree on just how much walking was needed to get the most benefit. Now a new study suggests it’s less than we thought. Even though several guidelines say at least 10,000 steps a day are optimal, researchers with Boston University say only 6,000 steps are needed – the equivalent of about 60 minutes of walking – to …

Bone Up on Bone Health In May

May is National Osteoporosis Month – a good time to assess your risk of breaking a bone and figure out the best way for you to avoid osteoporosis down the road. According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation (NOF), where I am honored to serve as Bone Health Ambassador, 52 million Americans have osteoporosis. And thanks to population dynamics, the numbers rise each year: By 2020, half of all Americans over age 50 are expected to be affected. >> Sign up for …