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Physical activity is good for your health at every age.  If you have never been active, starting regular physical activity now may improve your endurance, strength, balance, and flexibility. Being active may help you live on your own for a longer time and keep you healthy.

Being active can be hard if your mobility is limited or if you have serious health problems. But, you can find activities to meet your needs. Slowly raising your arms or legs, for example, may help you when done on a regular, repeated basis. Also speak to your doctor for recommended activities.

You may want to check with your health care provider or dentist if

* You find chewing difficult, don’t want to eat, or have trouble with your dentures.
* You feel that life events such as the death of a loved one or moving from your home are keeping you from eating well.
* You think your medicines may be making your food taste bad or affecting your appetite.
* You think you should take a daily vitamin like iron or vitamin C.

 

Eating healthy meals can be easier when you plan ahead and make them enjoyable. Try the tips listed below.

* Cook ahead and freeze portions for days when you don’t want to cook.

* Keep frozen or canned vegetables, beans, and fruits on hand for quick and healthy meal add-ons. Rinse canned foods to remove extra salt. Drain juice and syrup from canned fruit to remove extra sugar.

* Eat often with someone you enjoy. If you can’t cook for yourself, contact the Eldercare Locator listed in the Resources section for local programs that deliver meals.

NIH-funded findings point to new potential strategies for disease prevention, treatment. Scientists studying the genomes of nearly 5,000 people have pinpointed a genetic variant tied to an increased risk for stroke, and have also uncovered new details about an important metabolic pathway that plays a major role in several common diseases. Together, their findings may provide new clues to underlying genetic and biochemical influences in the development of stroke and cardiovascular disease, and may also help lead to new treatment strategies

A portion is the amount of one food you eat in one sitting. Many people eat more than they need, especially when eating out or getting takeout. Try these tips:

* Avoid eating in front of the TV, computer, or other screen. You may not notice how much you are eating if you are distracted.
*  Read the Nutrition Facts label found on food and drink packages to see how many calories and how much fat are in a single serving size of an item.

Some foods have many calories but offer few nutrients. Older adults should eat less of these foods:

* Sugar-sweetened drinks and desserts that have added sugars
* Foods with butter, shortening, or other fats that are solid at room temperature
* White bread, rice, and pasta made from refined grains

Older adults, along with other Americans, are advised to “eat from the rainbow” of foods rich in nutrients, like these:

* Fruits and vegetables (choose a range of types with vibrant colors)
* Whole grains, like oatmeal, whole-wheat bread, and brown rice
* Fat-free or low-fat milk and cheese, or soy or rice milk that is fortified with vitamin D and calcium
* Seafood, lean meats, poultry, and eggs
* Beans, nuts, and seeds

The number one consumer complaint of 2013 was identity theft, according to the Federal Trade Commission’s annual report. Overall fraud complaints cost Americans $1.6 billion in 2013.

Of the two million complaints received by the FTC in 2013, 14 percent of those were identity theft related. The highest reported age group for identity theft complaints was among 20-29 year olds, totaling 20 percent of the total identity theft complaints.

The FTC urges every American to take preventative measures to protect themselves from identifty theft at www.ftc.gov/idtheft.

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Nutrition needs change as we age, here are some healthy eating tips so you can make good food decisions your entire life. 

Here’s what you need to know

  • Eating a balanced diet is critical especially for those ages 50+ 
  • Planning and preparing your own meals lets you control your portion sizes.
  • As you age, you may want to take dietary supplements to round out your nutrition. Talk to your doctor to determine which ones would be best for you.

Girls in public housing benefited emotionally from a move to a better neighborhood while boys fared worse than if they’d stayed in the poor neighborhood. Rates of depression and conduct disorder markedly increased in boys and decreased in girls. Boys also experienced significantly increased rates of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), complicating housing policy decision-making.

Undetected suicide risk is a critical issue in primary care. According to a NIMH-funded study published in the February 2014 issue of the Journal of General Internal Medicine, 83 percent of individuals received health care services in the year prior to suicide death and half did not have a mental health diagnosis.

The buildup of soft plaque in arteries that nourish the heart is more common and extensive in HIV-infected men than HIV-uninfected men, independent of established cardiovascular disease risk factors, according to a new study by National Institutes of Health grantees. The findings suggest that HIV-infected men are at greater risk for a heart attack than their HIV-uninfected peers, the researchers write in Annals of Internal Medicine.

 

Obesity, rather than diet, causes changes in the colon that may lead to colorectal cancer, according to a study in mice by the National Institutes of Health. The finding bolsters the recommendation that calorie control and frequent exercise are not only key to a healthy lifestyle, but a strategy to lower the risk for colon cancer, the second leading cause of cancer-related death in the United States.

A daily low dose of aspirin does not appear to prevent subsequent pregnancy loss among women with a history of one or two prior pregnancy losses, according to researchers at the National Institutes of Health.

However, in a smaller group of women who had experienced a single recent pregnancy loss, aspirin increased the likelihood of becoming pregnant and having a live birth.

Make sure to always read contracts, account policies and disclosures. It may be tempting to sign contracts without reading them or all the fine print in account disclosures. Do not give in to that temptation, many important details about your rights, minimum balance requirements, and fees are included in these documents. I you do not understand something in the contract make sure you ask questions until you do.

Unfortunately, some shady companies or professionals have the gift of gab that will make a disastrous investment sound like a golden opportunity.

 

Collect information about the financial options you are considering. Read and compare the overviews of different types of accounts, ask trusted friends and family about their choices and interview several financial planners to determine if they fit your needs.

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