From Hugs to Music: 7 New Ways to Help Your Heart

Yes, we know that eating more veggies, getting more exercise and controlling blood pressure are the most effective ways to reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke, but new research also points to some simple, surprising ways you can protect your ticker. Give more hugs Hugging doesn’t just feel good – it’s good for you. A 10-second hug once or twice a day lowers blood pressure, says a recent Swedish study, published in the journal Comprehensive Psychology, that looked …

Want to Live Longer? Mowing the Lawn Helps

Not a big fan of exercising at the gym or in a class? No problem! You can get similar health benefits from gardening, mowing the lawn or housework, says a new study of nearly 4,000 60-year-olds. >> Sign up for the AARP Health Newsletter Researchers in Sweden wanted to see if older adults who didn’t do typical exercise but who led physically active lives doing other things would reap similar health benefits. They followed healthy 60-year-olds, who were from Stockholm, …

Can Achy Joints Really Predict the Weather?

My grandma swore by her arthritic knee. When it throbbed, she said it meant the weather was about to change. My husband, on the other hand, maintains he can predict rain because the incoming weather front gives him a headache. Is there any truth to these claims? Can the change in weather pressure really trigger physical pain? The Wall Street Journal recently tackled this subject by asking scientists if there was some factual evidence behind all the tales of weather-related …

Rx for Heart Disease: Take 2 Walks and Call Me in the Morning

A major new study finds that exercise is as good – or in some cases better – than prescription drugs in protecting against future heart attacks, stroke and diabetes. The study, conducted by researchers from Harvard and Stanford universities, is among a very few trials that have directly compared an exercise regimen with medication. Researchers compared their effectiveness for patients with heart disease, heart failure and pre-type 2 diabetes, and

Find Out Whether Your Hospital Has Too Many Readmissions

Is your hospital’s revolving door turning too quickly? Each year, more than a million Americans wind up back in the hospital within 30 days after leaving for reasons that could have been prevented. That includes one in five Medicare hospital patients. Medicare has begun penalizing hospitals with high readmission rates for patients being treated for heart attack, heart failure or pneumonia – new categories will be added in the future – and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) …

James Gandolfini: How He Compared to Tony Soprano

For a murderous thug who made his living through extortion, theft and corruption, Tony Soprano was a remarkably easy guy to sympathize with. We felt the pain of his unhappy upbringing, of his frustrations with his coworkers, of the continual pressure to keep earning enough to afford the affluent suburban lifestyle to which his family had become accustomed. We were touched by his affection for the wild ducks that congregated in his swimming pool. When he went to a psychiatrist …