New Study Suggests Women Leading Healthy Lifestyles May Reduce Their Risk Of Long Covid By Half

“Among the women who contracted Covid-19 during the study, 44% of them developed long Covid and of those women, the participants who practiced five or six of the healthy lifestyle factors lowered their risk of long covid by 49%.”

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Pandemic Habits To Maintain Long Term To Prevent Getting Sick

After being in the Covid-19 pandemic for more than two years, experts are emphasizing the preventative measures that we should adopt long term in order to prevent contracting other viruses like the flu.

Healthy Lifestyle

Adopting A Healthier Lifestyle In Your 80s Can Add Years To Your Life 

According to new research from Japan, even when you’re in your 80s you can add years to your life by adopting healthy lifestyle habits. 

Scientists in the research paper discussed how reducing your alcohol intake, not smoking, maintaining a healthy weight, and increasing sleep can give individuals some of the biggest changes in their life for the better. 

Healthy 40-year-olds in the study showed a life longevity that increased by six years when these specific habits were regularly implemented into their daily lives. The benefits were even more prominent within individuals who were 80+ years old. 

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The gains in life longevity also applied to individuals who were dealing with life-threatening illnesses including cancer, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and kidney disease. 

The study came from Osaka University, and was meant to prove that it’s never too late for someone to give up negative habits that impact their health. The study was based on almost 50,000 individuals from Japan who were tracked for up to 20 years. 

“This is a particularly important finding given the prevalence of chronic disease has increased globally,” said Senior author Professor Hiroyasu Iso.

The team says “taking ownership of your health is key to a pleasurable retirement.”

“Idioms and proverbs about the importance of maintaining good health span the ages. Many emphasize how closely health is tied to happiness and the opportunity to live a fulfilling and enjoyable life.”

The study was published in Age and Aging, and emphasized how healthy behaviors adopted over time, when one is middle aged or older, have a significant effect on lifespan. 

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Specifically, researchers found that adopting five or more healthy lifestyle habits increases  life expectancy for individuals older than 80, including those with chronic conditions. The results of the study were also dependent on socioeconomic status which can increase someone’s access to things like assisted healthcare, and healthy lifestyle brands. 

The study began nearly 30 years ago when participants in the Japan Collaborate Cohort (JACC) Study filled in surveys regarding their diet, exercise habits, alcohol consumption, smoking status, sleep schedules, Body Mass Index, and illnesses. 

The overall goal of the study was to increase common knowledge on what simple lifestyle changes can make a difference when it comes to someone’s quantity and quality of life. It’s known as one of the first studies to measure the impact of improving lifestyle habits among older individuals. 

“The finding that lifestyle improvements have a positive impact on health despite chronic health conditions and older age is an empowering one, especially given the increasing prevalence of chronic conditions and longer life,” said lead author Dr. Ryoto Sakaniwa.

Lead author Dr Frank Hu, of Harvard School of Public Health, in Boston, described the study results as “a positive message for the public”.

“They gain not just more years of life but good years through improved lifestyle choices.”

Teaching Preschoolers Healthy Lifestyle Habits Can lower Risk For Heart Disease, Study Says

A new study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology found that introducing healthy lifestyle habits to kids at a young age can lower their risk of developing heart disease later in life. Healthy lifestyle habits include staying active, eating five portions of fruits/vegetables, and reducing overall salt intake. 

“The SI! Program (Salud Integral – Comprehensive Health) was developed as a multilevel and multi-component school-based program for the promotion of cardiovascular health and achieving lasting lifestyle changes in children from preschool age. It was implemented in three countries from the year 2009 onwards,” said Valentin Fuster, MD, PhD, general director at Centro Nacional de Investigaciones Cardiovasculares (CNIC), director of Mount Sinai Heart and principal investigator of the project.

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The authors reviewed the results which were taken over a period of 10 years, and surveyed more than 3,800 children aged between three to five from 50 schools across Colombia, Spain, and the US. The children were mainly assessed on how their knowledge, habits, and attitudes changed towards a healthy lifestyle. 

Those who participated in the program itself showed a significant increase in knowledge, attitude, and habits that support a healthy lifestyle. Fuster explained that they were able to analyze the success of the program by focusing on the maturation of the children, and changing the questionnaires to adapt with them as they get older. 

Children who received more than 75% of the program had a significant change from the baseline of their overall knowledge, attitudes, and habits, especially when compared to the children who received less than 50% of the program. 

 “The school environment is a great area to introduce healthy lifestyle interventions because children are spending so much of their time there,”  said Rodrigo Fernández-Jiménez, MD, PhD, and author on the study. 

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“There are specific times in a child’s life when improvements can be made to enhance long-term cardiovascular health status. Our review, and previous studies, suggest that four to five years of age is the most favorable time to start a school-based intervention focused on healthy habits.”

“Most preschool interventions focus solely on physical activity and diet. The SI! Program breaks down cardiovascular health into four components. Through the first two components, children are learning how a well-balanced diet and physically active life are directly connected to a healthy heart. Next, they learn about emotion management, which seeks to instill behavior mechanisms against substance abuse – mainly smoking – and dietary decisions later in life. Finally, the children are taught about how the human body works and how it is affected by behavior and lifestyle,” said Gloria Santos-Beneit, PhD, and lead author of the study.

In the future, the authors hope to put a greater focus on the involvement of the families of the children in the study. Socioeconomic status has a major influence on how easy it can be for a child and family to maintain healthy lifestyle habits, so the authors of the study are looking for ways to intervene and make it more accessible to them. 

“Further research is needed to identify specific socioeconomic status factors that influence child health and effectiveness of intervention in the long term, and the issue of sustainability or need for re-intervention,” Fuster said.

Post-Pandemic Covid-19

Post-Pandemic Lifestyle Tips For Living Your Best And Healthiest Life 

As more and more Americans continue to receive their Covid-19 vaccinations, states are continuing to ease up on pandemic restrictions to allow vaccinated individuals to get back to a certain sense of normalcy this summer. 

As we enter back into the world, many of us are mainly concerned about staying healthy, so it’s important that we continue to take care of ourselves to stay healthy as the pandemic continues to come to a prolonged end. 

“As the world begins to get back to its pre-pandemic state, health should stay at the front of our minds. There are things you can do to avoid infection by SARS-CoV-2 and other viruses that could harm you.” says Brenda Rea, lifestyle and preventive medicine physician at Loma Linda University Health.

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Rea and other physicians recommend the same basic categories of maintaining a healthy lifestyle: a proper diet, daily exercise, drinking water, mental wellness, and sleep.

When it comes to our diets it’s important to remember that balance is key. Rea claims that “diet plays one of the most important roles in either increasing or reducing stress, down to a cellular level. The fuel you put into your body can work as a defense against illness and help your body work at its peak performance level,” or it can do the opposite and work to make you more lethargic and vulnerable to illness. 

Daily exercise can also reduce your chance of getting either a virus or long-term disease. Getting exercise everyday doesn’t need to be as intimidating as it seems. It could mean getting up and going for a 30 minute walk everyday, doing yoga every morning, etc. 

“Exercise can increase your immunity to certain illnesses while also reducing your stress hormones, which can increase your susceptibility to disease.”

Water is obviously one of the most important things in all of our lives. So it’s important that you make sure you’re drinking enough of it every day. Rea explained how water “helps rid your body of toxins, and ensures that your body systems function properly, and helps prevent illness.”

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“Adequate water intake enables your brain to produce the necessary chemicals like serotonin or melatonin for optimal emotional and sleep health.”

Stress and mental illness in general can also weaken our immune systems, so it’s important that we take care of our mental health as much as our physical health as this pandemic comes to an end. “Taking care of your mental health can help you avoid mood disorders like depression or anxiety, reduce risk of infection, and less prone to feel lethargic or unmotivated. To get back to normal with less stress, I recommend putting a priority on your mental wellbeing as well as your physical wellbeing.”

Finally, it’s important that you’re getting a proper amount of sleep every night. Additionally, you want to make sure that the sleep itself is quality.  

“For adults, sleeping 7-9 hours a night is optimal.Infection-fighting antibodies are reduced when you don’t get enough sleep, making you more vulnerable to disease,” Rea explained. 

We all have to work together to take care of ourselves throughout the coming months. These have been unpredictable and trying times that have taken a toll on everyone to a certain degree. Check in on how your loved ones are doing, but most importantly make sure you’re taking care of yourself.

Walking Outdoors

10,000 Steps A Day Is Key To Maintaining A Healthy Lifestyle, Doctor Says

In order to maintain a healthy lifestyle, doctors recommend taking at least 8,000 to 10,000 steps every day to keep your mind, body, and spirit active and engaged. Regardless of age, everyone can benefit from staying on their feet more throughout the day, especially in the middle of a pandemic that forces us to remain indoors. 

Duke Carlson is a family doctor who always recommends that his patients increase the number of steps they take each day as a means of supporting positive physical and mental health. 

“Following patients throughout their lives the way that I have in my career I’ve seen the amount of activity they are engaged in and daily steps make a big difference in their health.”

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Carlson traditionally “prescribes” all of his patients to get at least 10,000 steps a day, as it has proven to be one of the more popular ways to get his patients moving. “People generally like to have a concrete number for the number of steps they should take,” this way, there’s a set goal that the individual can work towards everyday. Older patients may be prescribed 6,000 – 8,000 steps a day depending on their physical condition; age is never a determining factor in terms of someone’s physical health. 

Typically that recommendation is given to older individuals who have a history with arthritis or any other joint/mobility related conditions, but again, “age doesn’t make it where you can’t do steps,” it’s the condition of the body that impacts how well one can exercise at any age. 

Carlson often uses his mother-in-law as an example, and as a motivation, for his older patients who seem less inclined to get up and move every day. His mother-in-law is 85 and makes sure to get in 10,000 steps every single day, most of which occurs in her own home. She often uses the treadmill but also walks in place while on the phone or watching TV. 

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“You can march in pace in front of the TV, you can go to Walmart and do two laps around the building before you go shopping, there’s always little ways to make daily exercise easy for everyone.”

The practice of shinrin-yoku, also known as “forest bathing”, is an alternative way to count steps that originated in Japan that Carlson has found himself adopting into his own life in recent years. This practice encourages individuals to go outside and immerse themselves in some type of nature; preferably under a canopy of trees. 

Carlson has been recommending this practice to most of his patients especially now that the world is enduring the Covid-19 pandemic. Getting out and finding nature paths that already allow for proper social distancing to take place is the perfect way to get in your 10,000 steps. The fresh air and colorful scenic surroundings are also an added bonus. 

For individuals working from home, he recommends finding simple ways to insert walking into your daily routine. For example, taking a walk on your lunch break instead of sitting in front of the TV, or walking in place while on business calls, just like his mother-in-law.

Potato Juice

Lifestyle Coach Says Potato Juice Is Key To Healthy Life

Famous lifestyle coach Luke Coutinho recently took to his Instagram to discuss the health benefits of an unlikely produce item that many of us overlook as a heavy carb that’s bad for us. The vegetable in question is a potato, however, Coutinho specifically went on to discuss the major health benefits that potato juice has on the body, and why we all should be drinking it everyday. 

Potatoes in general are packed with vitamins, however, many of us often associate potatoes with their more unhealthy byproducts such as french fries, tater tots, or hashbrowns. In its raw form, potato juice is packed with all the nutrients that normally get lost when a potato gets fried and turned into a tasty fry. While it may taste rather bland and natural, it can have amazing health benefits, and can be mixed with other tastier juices that are just as healthy! 

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Potatoes in general are high in alkaline, according to Coutinho, which is important if you’re someone who suffers from acid reflux or have an overly-acidic stomach in general that can make digesting certain foods difficult. Having potato juice can help “neutralize excess acids in the stomach,” and make eating more enjoyable. 

On the more cosmetic end, potato juice can also help improve dark circles under your eyes. Studies have suggested that part of the reason we get dark circles under our eyes is due to toxicity in our kidneys and liver. 

The word “toxic” sounds scary but simply having a few alcoholic beverages is considered to be “toxic” for our liver and kidney functions due to the fact that our bodies aren’t used to processing alcohol as it’s not a basic need for survival. Potato juice has been shown to cleanse the kidneys and liver and improve their function overall. As their function improves, the dark circles under your eyes should also begin to disappear as well. 

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Some of the vitamins that potatoes are saturated with is Vitamin B1, B2, and B3. Vitamin B in general works to assist our bodies in converting carbohydrates into glucose to produce energy, it also supports brain function and motor abilities. So if you’re feeling particularly foggy or exhausted during the day, Coutinho suggests reaching for a glass of potato juice instead of another cup of coffee. 

If you’re someone who suffers from eczema or psoriasis flare ups, potato juice can help with that. Applying the juice to your skin during a flare up can help ease the irritation and itchiness during a flare up and while it may not get rid of the flare up, it can provide some temporary relief. It’s also been proven that potato juice can help reduce dandruff when applied to the scalp as well. 

Besides vitamin B, potatoes are also full of potassium, iron, zinc, vitamin C, calcium, and vitamin K. Each of these things have countless health benefits; vitamin C helps absorb excess iron in the blood while also aiding in the production of collagen. Collagen is essential for skin, bone, and joint functions. 

The easiest way to juice a potato is to peel it and cut it into small chunks. Put the peeled chunks into a blender with some water and mix. Coutinho suggests adding some beet juice, carrot, mint, or lemon to the juice to improve the flavor while further benefiting your body as well. 

Coutinho also emphasized that everyone should talk to their doctors for any medical conditions they may have, and not to rely on potato juice exclusively for improving your health. He also noted that individuals on certain medications or who have medical conditions regarding their kidneys should likely stay away from potatoes and, again, discuss it with your doctor over anything.

Vitamin D

Foods That Provide Immune Support During A Pandemic

With the coronavirus pandemic still deeply impacting this planet, many are searching for ways that they can help keep themselves healthy from home. Obviously, immune support is one of the biggest concerns in terms of avoiding infection of this virus, and luckily there are a multitude of foods that have specific nutrients and vitamins that directly help your immune system function and grow stronger. 

It’s important to note that if you do contract the coronavirus, flu, or any other sort of viral infection, obviously medicine and seeking professional medical attention is the only real option for recovery. These foods in general are just known to boost your body’s immune response and can help your body strengthen in the case that you do get infected; but again, foods are not cures. 

Elderberries have been used as a homemade flu remedy for decades. The small berries are mainly known for being saturated in antioxidants. Any foods with antioxidants in them are extremely beneficial for fighting inflammation within the body. When you contract a virus such as Covid-19 or the flu, your immune system’s initial response is to heat up; hence the fevers, body chills and internal inflammation of your organs. Elderberries can help combat that heat and help your immune system respond to the virus quicker. 

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Button mushrooms are commonly eaten in salads or pasta dishes and they actually contain a lot of beneficial vitamins within them. Selenium, to be more specific, is what keeps your body feeling strong and functional throughout a given day. If you’ve ever had a really bad cold and have felt extremely weak and achy, it’s likely because your body is suffering from a selenium deficiency due to the infiltration of whatever virus your body is fighting off. Selenium has been proven to especially help your body when you have the flu, hence why it’s recommended for immune support more so now as well. 

Any sort of citrus fruit directly benefits your immune system as well. Oranges, lemons, limes, clementines, etc. they all contain a large amount of vitamin C in them. Vitamin C is known for helping your body create more white blood cells (the cells in your body that fight off infections). This is why it’s always recommended to drink some orange juice when you’re sick, to provide your body with even more nutrients and vitamins. It’s recommended that men should get at least 90 mg of vitamin C per day and women need at least 75 mg. 

Red bell peppers are also loaded with vitamin C and have the same impact as eating a citrus fruit. However, red bell peppers actually contain even more vitamin C than the average citrus fruit. 

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Garlic can be used as the base for practically every meal and luckily it contains certain nutrients that specifically aid the body in artery function. Your arteries tend to work less efficiently when your body’s busy fighting off a foreign virus, so eating garlic everyday can help ensure your arteries and veins are always strong and running smoothly. 

Broccoli is obviously one of the healthiest foods for you. It has a ton of essential vitamins in it that all directly impact your immune system. It also maintains these nutrients more if it’s eaten uncooked, so pick up some fresh broccoli next time you’re at the market!

Finally, having yogurt in the morning is an amazing source of protein, but more importantly, vitamin D. Vitamin D can also be absorbed into the body through sun exposure (always remember to wear an SPF or sunscreen). Vitamin D is similar to vitamin C in the sense that it’s often taken when one is sick with the cold or the flu. 

As previously stated, all of these foods are meant to help keep your immune system functioning properly and can definitely help your body fight off viral infection, however, if you or a loved one begins experiencing any sort of flu or Covid-19 symptoms, contact your healthcare provider immediately.

Girl Practicing Yoga at Home

The Benefits Of Doing Yoga While You’re Social Distancing

During this coronavirus pandemic, many of us are trying to find ways to spend our indefinite amount of free time without stressing too much about the aspects of this situation that we can’t control; which is most of it. Apart from working remotely, it’s important that we all try to find ways to occupy our time and remain productive. If we get caught in the trap of gluing ourselves to the couch and watching season after season of reality TV, it’ll be much easier to get caught up in negative thoughts and stresses, so we need to think of better ways to stimulate our mind, body, and soul. 

Doing yoga is one of the best things you can do for yourself during this pandemic. Yoga is a “super-workout” in the sense that it benefits your physical and mental health through its practices. It improves your physical health by promoting flexibility and proper blood flow throughout the entire body, while also focusing on the importance of breathing exercises and mindfulness as well. 

Thanks to services like Zoom and YogaDownload, there are a ton of digital yoga class options that put you in front of a live instructor to guide you as you move from position-to-position. If you aren’t trying to spend a lot of money, YouTube and other free video streaming platforms offer a wide variety of instructional videos on yoga from any level of fitness. 

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As previously stated, one of the greatest physical benefits of yoga is how much it builds flexibility and balance. These are two essential qualities to any other form of working out as well, so when you are finally able to go back to the gym, you’ll have a greater grasp on proper techniques and stances that will best benefit you in your other workouts. 

Beyond just flexibility and balance, yoga has been proven to improve heart health as well. Stress is one of the biggest contributors to any sort of heart health ailments that one could face, and yoga is one of the greatest cures to stress out there. It forces you to focus exclusively on your body and breathing. The breathing techniques that you’ll learn through yoga practices are important to take into your everyday life. 

The breathing techniques in yoga are quite literally designed to center you both physically and mentally so that when you find yourself in times of stress or feeling  overwhelmed, you can use the same breathing exercises you would in a yoga class to calm yourself back down. 

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Speaking of stress, our bodies release the hormone cortisol whenever we’re feeling overwhelmed. It’s known as the “stress hormone” because that’s the exact reaction we have whenever this hormone is released in our brains. Yoga has been scientifically proven to lower your levels of cortisol while you’re engaging in it, but also in the long run if you begin to practice yoga regularly. 

The same way that yoga is able to reduce cortisol, it’s also been proven to reduce the hormonal reaction in our brains that we feel when we’re depressed or anxious. Again, it all goes back to the breathing techniques that yoga instills in you while you’re stretching your body into a multitude of positions. It’s one of those athletic techniques that you’ll always find useful and want to bring into your everyday life. 

Now that we all are socially distancing and quarantining ourselves, there’s literally never been a better time to begin practicing yoga to reap it’s amazing long-term health benefits. Improve on your flexibility, balance, blood flow, stress levels and overall sense of feeling overwhelmed. We all could use some mindfulness at a time like this, so take some time to be with yourself and just breathe, we’ll make it through this.

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‘Lifestyle Medicine’ To Improve Your Health And Wellness

During times of a worldwide pandemic, health and safety is obviously everyone’s main priority. To prevent the spread of the coronavirus, and reduce the chances of you becoming infected, the Centers for Disease Control and World Health Organization have both encouraged the planet to practice good hygiene through hand washing, disinfecting commonly used surfaces daily, and most importantly self-quarantining/social distancing from everyone indefinitely until the spread of this virus is more under control. 

Beyond those general guidelines, however, there are other things you can be doing from home everyday to ensure that your body is running smoothly, your mind is stimulated, and your overall health is being kept in check.

Lifestyle choices that we make everyday have long-term health effects for our bodies that many of us realize, but most don’t like to pay attention to. For example, we all know our diet and eating habits greatly affects things like our weight, energy levels, heart health, etc. however, we may not always like to choose the healthier option when it comes time to eat our three meals, especially during a time of quarantine when the kitchen has basically become all of our best friends. 

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Since we’re all spending an indefinite amount of time indoors, it can be hard to get creative in the kitchen, especially when you can’t go grocery shopping at the drop of the hat anymore. Luckily, certain services online, such as, will now do the work for you when it comes to creating new and exciting recipes. You simply enter in the ingredients you have available in your pantry, and websites like Supercook will show you a multitude of things to make with those ingredients, they’ll even categorize meal types for you!

Dr. Rob Lawson, who founded the British Society of Lifestyle Medicine says, including diet, there are six “strands” of “lifestyle medicines” that ensure your mind, body, and soul remains as healthy as possible given your personal circumstances. 

“There are six strands to lifestyle medicine – a healthy diet, regular physical activity, getting enough good quality sleep, minimizing stress, building strong community ties and supportive relationships, and reducing your exposure to toxins. The benefits will depend on your age, general health and the personal ‘prescription’ you adopt – but gains are guaranteed. It’s all common sense stuff, but we have become so removed from what is healthy, most of our focus is on sick-care, not healthcare. It doesn’t take that much to go from being completely inactive to being a little more active, but in six to eight weeks you will notice real improvements.”

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The benefit of running your life based on these six lifestyle medicines is that a lot of them intertwine with one another. Reducing your exposure to toxins while getting some more exercise daily will help improve your sleep, aid weight loss, and reduce stress, which could also indirectly help you improve on your relationships. 

Getting more exercise from the comfort of your own home can be difficult, as when we’re in our own space it’s easy to get distracted by every little thing. There are plenty of online articles and YouTube videos that offer free exercise classes/advice on maintaining a healthy means of physical activity from home. 

Beyond that, make sure you’re getting at least eight hours of sleep every night. At this point, there’s really no excuse when it comes to not going to bed early and getting enough sleep. You’re home all the time, you can go to bed before midnight. Your mind and body will thank you, and will also notice a reduction in stress/some of your coronavirus induced anxieties.

While so many resources online are continuously telling everyone the many ways that they can keep themselves from getting sick, we also need to make sure we’re focusing on just being healthy, without the context of preventing illness. If you focus too much on over-charging your body virus-prevention measures, you could actually forget to take care of the other crucial parts of your life, like your mental health. Take a breath, make a plan, and keep yourself occupied and calm. We’re all in this together.