To help you Mind Your Body after age 45, here’s some of the latest health news from the past week.
Hope you had a fabulous 4th, and that you’re taking care of your skin and yourself in the summer sun. It’s UV (ultraviolet) Safety Month and UV radiation is the main cause of skin cancer. Tans may look cool, but what they do to your skin is usually not. Maybe you’ve heard these tips before, but they bear repeating, so I will repeat:
- Stay out of the sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
- Use sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher. Reapply frequently and liberally.
- Cover up with long sleeves and a hat.
- Check your skin regularly for changes.
I’d like to get back the tiny piece of my nose that was removed due to a sneaky, masquerading basal cell carcinoma. But I can’t. If a spot seems suspicious, won’t heal, bleeds, or otherwise changes shape, please see your dermatologist right away. (Please?)
Here on Mind Your Body, weather god Jim Cantori talked about the weather and shared his health philosophies. I told him about my late “Nanny’s” aches and pains when the weather changed or got colder. Here’s a study from Arthritis Care & Research that found the weather innocent of causing an “Oh, my aching back!” The authors wrote that “weather parameters that have been linked to musculoskeletal pain such as temperature, relative humidity, air pressure, and precipitation do not increase the risk of a low back pain episode.” Higher wind and wind gust speed increased the odds of pain onset.
Next, how do you define stress? However you do, you’ve got plenty of company. A new NPR/Robert Wood Johnson Foundation/Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) poll finds that almost half of us have undergone a stressful event or experience in the past year, and perhaps not surprisingly, nearly half of us attribute that stress to a health issue.
“Bad effects on emotional well-being (63 percent) are the most common health effect reported by those with a great deal of stress in the last month,” a press release said. The study reported that “about seven in ten of those who experienced a great deal of stress in the last month say that stress has a major impact on most people’s health (72 percent) and family life (69 percent). Over half believe that stress has a major effect on most people’s work lives.”
I want to share my video again with Roger Walsh, M.D., Ph.D. of the University of California, Irvine, College of Medicine who suggests that therapeutic lifestyle changes or TLCs can help us increase our health and happiness levels as we reduce that stress. Those TLCs are:
- Exercise or physical activity
- Diets: vegetables, fruits and fish
- Spending time in nature
- Good relationships
- Recreation and fun. Yes, fun!
- Relaxation and stress management (That one is pretty obvious.)
- Religious and spiritual involvement
- Contribution and service, or altruism
Stephanie Stephens, M.A. is a spokesperson, host and consultant for the active mature female demographic—midlife and boomer. She writes, produces, and hosts her multimedia channel, Mind Your Body TV, featuring timely health and lifestyle blogs, podcasts, and videos—also seen on YouTube and syndicated by AOL/On.