The belly: big problem if you're nearing 50
Want to live 10 years longer? Your chances are good
if you can reduce the size of your waistline.
The problem comes as you approach age 50 and move
beyond that milestone. People who may not have gained a pound have
decreased muscle mass and increased fat stores, especially at the waist.
Scientists say belly fat secretes proteins and hormones that contribute
to inflammation, interfere with how the body processes insulin and
raises cholesterol levels.
According Internal Medicine, men and women with the
biggest waistlines have twice the risk of dying over the coming decade.
Individuals with four extra inches around the waist had a 15 percent to
25 percent increased risk of dying within 10 years.
The most common causes are respiratory illness, heart
disease and cancer. Some studies link waist size to dementia, asthma and
At age 50 and over, more than half of men and 70
percent of women have belly fat.
What can you do? Consume fewer calories and burn more
calories with walking, biking or other aerobics.
Drugstore List: shaving cream, bottle of milk and a flu shot
Don't delay. It's time to get your flu shot! It takes
about two weeks after immunization for full protection to develop. By
November, it will be flu season very soon.
This year, the shot features protection against the
seasonal flu as well as the H1N1 (swine flu)
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
estimate that between 150 and 180 million flu shots will be distributed
this year. Many of them will be given by pharmacies such as CVS,
Walgreens and Rite Aid. The CDC predicts there will be enough vaccine
for all comers.
The shots cost $25 to $30 but are covered by health
insurance and Medicare Part B.
The big numbers are no surprise since, instead of
picking out various age groups that should be immunized, it is
recommended that everyone get a flu shot, except for babies less than
six months old. This year, adults between 19 and 49 are included in the
Doctors are already pretty busy, so they may not be
able to accommodate millions of people who need a flu shot. Clinics at
various locations will help, but people have to be there on a certain
day at a certain time.
Pharmacies are gearing up for the demand. CVS will
take appointments made by computer or in person, but will take walk-ins
whenever they are open.
Walgreens has 25,000 pharmacists that will give flu
shots. It offers gift cards for shots. The chain administered 7.5
million flu shots last year, and predict 30 million this year.
Rite Aid has tripled the number of pharmacists who
can administer flu shots. They gave 250,000 last year but ordered a
million doses for 2010
Grocery chains are giving flu shots. Supervalu gives
them at its 800 pharmacies. Kroger has them available in all of its
November 18: The Great American Smokeout
Accept the challenge and quit for a day. You can do
it. Kick butts!
Put sunscreen on face, arm
Here's a shocking fact: For men, 74 percent of all
melanomas, the most dangerous kind of skin cancer, occur on the left
side of the face, say researchers at St. Louis University Medical Center
who did a study on facial skin cancer. They reviewed health records of
skin cancer patients to come to that conclusion.
For women, there was no difference in left-side and
right-side skin cancers.
Because men tend to spend more hours driving, the
researchers say they have more sun exposure on the left side of the
face. Car windows are poor protection from the dangerous UV rays of the
Be sure to wear sun block when you're driving,
especially on long trips.
Drinking D-fortified OJ
According to the National Institutes of Health,
vitamin D-fortified orange juice has joined the short list of foods and
beverages that contain vitamin D.
This is good news for people who don't drink much
milk. It's even better news for those who don't take a vitamin
A study at Boston University Medical Center, shows
that many people who don't drink milk do have a glass of orange juice in
the morning. For them, drinking juice with vitamin D added is an
important health step.
In their study, people who were deficient in vitamin
D had increased blood levels after having a glass of fortified OJ every
day for just 11 weeks.
It's not the whole answer to D deficiency, but it's a
step in the right direction. The best dose is 1,000 mg.
More vitamin D benefits
This vitamin protects the heart. It controls the
release of stress hormones that lead to high blood pressure and
inflammation. It can decrease the risk of colon cancer by half. A study
of post-menopausal women showed a 77 percent lower risk of all cancers
among those who took 1,000 mg of D plus calcium.
Ideas for holiday savings
Lighting: Invest a few extra dollars in LED lights.
They use 80 to 90 percent less energy. Set up a timer so they go off
automatically at 10:30 or 11 p.m.
Wrappings: Special paper and bows are expensive and
wasteful. Save a tree and some cash by using gift bags saved from last
year. Try creative wrapping with fabrics, posters or magazines.
Trees: Fake trees are expensive, petroleum-based and
not biodegradeable. A real tree can be taken to the county recycling
facility and turned into mulch.
Holiday cards: They are expensive to buy and mail.
Instead, create an email greeting that could include photos. Send
individually to each person, not to an entire list at once.