Toronto Raptors center Chris Boucher examines why Aron Baynes compliments his game when they're on the floor together.
Toronto Raptors center Chris Boucher examines why Aron Baynes compliments his game when they're on the floor together.
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You don’t have to be a doctor to know that certain symptoms require immediate medical treatment—if you are experiencing chest pain, or you are drooping in your face, you need to get to the Emergency Department for evaluation for heart attack or stroke. But there are many other signs or symptoms that are less well-known that are just as concerning and should be evaluated in the Emergency Department. As an Emergency Physician, I find it increasingly important for patients to know what symptoms can be evaluated by a primary care physician and which ones require a trip to the ER. If you are able to spot some of the concerning symptoms yourself, you may be able to get the care you need as fast as possible and have improved outcomes. Read on, and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus. 1 Sweating Associated With Chest Pain The feeling of having an elephant sitting on your chest is a concerning sign of possible heart attack. What is not as well known is that sweating associated with chest pain is equally as concerning. This is not just sweating as if you were sitting in the middle of New Orleans in August in a wool suit, but rather sweating even when you feel cool, and possibly even in a cold room. Chest pain that is associated with sweating is a predictor of a heart attack and needs to be evaluated as soon as possible. 2 Difficulty Speaking Although stroke is commonly thought of to cause weakness in an arm, or the face, it can also cause problems speaking. For example, one may be able to speak but the words are jumbled or gargled. Or one may be unable to speak although they are able to think of the words. But either symptom should be evaluated immediately in the Emergency Department even without the presence of weakness or numbness. 3 Ulcers in Your Mouth After Antibiotic Ulcers in the mouth, or even in the genitals after taking antibiotics. Although it could be a common allergic reaction, concerning reactions such as Stevens-Johnson syndrome also present with mouth sores. 4 Burns Involving Joints Although many burns will not require much, if any intervention, burns that involve joints such as your wrist, elbow, or knee will need close monitoring. As burns heal they can cause very tight scars that will make it difficult to use the part of your body that is affected. 5 Woke Up With a Bat In Your Room Although not a specific symptom of health, waking up with a bat in your room is a reason to come to the Emergency Department. There is a risk of contracting rabies from bats even if only in the room with an infected animal. 6 Shortness of Breath After Long Trip After long travel, such as transcontinental flights or long car rides where you are seated and not moving around for an extended period of time, the risk of having blood clots increases. If you have shortness of breath after prolonged immobilization you should be evaluated by an Emergency Physician. 7 Injury By a Power Washer or Paint Sprayer Although you may think this injury will cause some short term pain that can be monitored at home, this can be a surgical emergency. The pressure that is emitted at the tip of the device is so high that it can actually inject the water or paint deep into the tissues. Many times it requires an operation to treat completely. 8 Swallowed a Button Battery There are many objects that when swallowed only require observation to make sure they pass. Button batteries, however, are not treated this way. They can actually create a small current when they contact the tissue of the stomach or intestines, and can burn a hole through the lining of your gastrointestinal tract. Therefore they need to be evaluated, and most likely removed, immediately. 9 Blood Sugar Machine Reads “High” Specific to patients who are diabetics, but if your finger stick machine reads “high” at any point, you should be seen in the Emergency Department. Although it may be benign, it also could be a symptom of other more concerning processes such as Diabetic Ketoacidosis or DKA. Many times, DKA requires you to stay in the hospital, sometimes even in the intensive Care Unit. (ICU). 10 Falls on Blood Thinners Falls are obviously a common reason people come to the Emergency Department but for individuals who are on blood thinners such as warfarin, or apixaban, the concern is much greater. Even minor falls can sometimes lead to bleeding into the brain that requires further treatment. 11 Nail Through Your Shoe This is specific to people who have underlying diabetes. If somehow a nail sticks through your shoe and into your foot, this needs immediate care. Diabetes can cause specific infections due to the reduced blood flow, especially in feet. It is important to start antibiotics quickly to minimize the risk of these infections. 12 Shortness of Breath 7-11 Days After Positive Covid-19 Diagnosis With all the talk about COVID-19, you may feel that any symptom would require an Emergency Department visit. Although these symptoms can be scary, many of them can be treated at home. More data is coming out that if you are symptomatic from COVID-19 and are having worsening symptoms in the 7-11 day time period, it may be best to be seen in the ER. If you have any concerning symptoms at any point after diagnosis a discussion with your Primary Care Physician is a good first step. And to get through this pandemic without catching coronavirus, don’t miss this essential list: Most COVID Patients Did This Before Getting Sick.Dr. Kenneth Perry is an active practicing physician and Medical Director of an Emergency Department in Charleston, South Carolina.
You use it to brew your coffee, make your kid's mac and cheese, and even soak in it with some bubbles after a long day. You assume your tap water is perfectly healthy because…aren't there regulations for that? The government does have solid legislation in place that prohibits water companies from providing the public with tap water that doesn't meet certain standards. The Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) was passed by Congress in 1974 and enforces drinking water standards by setting limits on levels of harmful contaminants, such as lead and disinfectants.But "the Safe Water Drinking Act only tests for 91 chemicals," according to Dr. Scott Michael Schreiber, DC, DACRB, DCBCN, MS, LN, Cert. MDT, CKTP, CNS, Maine, "so many go undetected and end up in drinking water." Your pipes, faucets, or other equipment may also expose you to some nasty chemicals that can negatively affect your health. Here are 30 ways your tap water could ruin your health. Read on, and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus. 1 You can get metal poisoning Heavy metal isn't just a type of music you banged your head to in the '80s. According to a study published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, a heavy metal is "…any metallic element that has a relatively high density and is toxic or poisonous even at low concentrations." While heavy metals are naturally occurring in the earth, they can easily seep into our groundwater and cause major health problems if consumed in large quantities. Common heavy metals include:ArsenicIronCadmiumLeadMercuryCopperZincAccording to Caleb Backe, Certified Health&Wellness Expert for Maple Holistics, hard water with traces of these metals is normal. However, he warns, "In large amounts, tap water contaminated with these substances could cause metal poisoning." The symptoms of poisoning can vary based on the type of metal you were exposed to, but may include nerve damage, diarrhea, memory loss, or muscle cramps.The Rx: Backe suggests adding a point-of-entry filter to the faucets you use daily if you're concerned about the heavy metals in your water supply. You can also install a whole-house filter, which is designed to remove sediment, rust, and chlorine from your water. 2 Nearby chemical plants can contaminate your water Dr. Schreiber states, "If you live near chemical plants, refineries, or other industries, chemicals can contaminate drinking water." Your local chemical plant produces industrial waste, which may be affecting the country's water supply. According to the Center for Public integrity, manufacturing plants, mining and waste disposal companies have been contaminating the water supply across the country for decades. A 2013 study by the National Research Council found that there were over 126,000 plants throughout the country that tested positive for groundwater pollution. Some of the worst offenders that are seeping into our supply include arsenic and lead, which can create a host of negative health effects.The Rx: The EPA monitors most industrial chemical releases to ensure they don't negatively impact the water supply. However, if you live near a potential offender, it's important to pay attention to the quality of your water and review the annual water quality report provided by your water company. If you have a private well, you're responsible for the quality of your water. Test your water annually and more frequently if you notice any changes in taste, odor, or color. 3 Exposure to chromium-6 could cause cancer According to the EPA, chromium-6 is present in soil, volcanic dust, rocks, plants, and animals. However, when this chemical leaks into our water supply, it can cause problems. Backe warns that this specific chemical is a known carcinogen. For chromium, the EPA has a drinking water standard of 0.1 milligrams per liter (mg/l) or 100 parts per billion (ppb), which is upheld by the SDWA.The Rx: Chromium is an odorless and tasteless metal so it can be hard to detect yourself. However, Backe states, "Yellow water signifies the potential presence of chromium-6." If your water develops a yellowish tint, report it to your water company immediately so they can test for the presence of chromium. In most cases, however, this yellowish tint can be attributed to rusty pipes. 4 Lead can change your child's behavior If you live in an older home, chances are your pipes have corroded if the home hasn't been re-piped. Lead from corroding pipes can enter your tap water in small amounts. Small amounts of lead in water is usually not especially harmful for most people. However, Dr. Lina Velikova, MD, PhD, from Disturb Me Not warns "…if you are constantly exposed to it, you may notice some symptoms." She also points out that children are more susceptible to negative health effects from lead. Dr. Velikova says, "Kids and infants are at the biggest risk. Some of the symptoms include behavioral changes, learning problems, lower IQ, and even slower growth."The Rx: If corroded pipes are the cause of the presence of lead in your tap water, it may be time to invest in new pipes. If this is too big an investment for now, Dr. Velikova suggests, "Alternatively, you can flush your pipes with cold water before drinking it. Always leave the water to run for a few seconds and then use it. Make sure to use only cold water, since hot melts the lead and mixes with it." You can also install a reverse osmosis filter for your faucet or entire home, which is proven to be the most effective at eliminating lead. 5 You could be exposed to asbestos "As a health investigator that specializes in asbestos exposure, I find that many people are unaware of the dangers that may be present with tap water," says Bridget Rooney of Mesothelioma.com. Asbestos cement pipes were used prior to the 1980's and if you've never re-piped, they could still be present in your home today. Since these pipes have been used for years, they may become brittle and begin to deteriorate. If these pipes are disturbed by nearby construction or simply begin to naturally corrode, asbestos fibers can begin to enter your tap water.Rooney states, "Asbestos is the only known cause of mesothelioma cancer, a very aggressive disease." The Mayo Clinic confirms that there are treatments for mesothelioma cancer, but there is no cure and more often than not, this disease is deadly.The Rx: Even the smallest exposure to asbestos is dangerous. The SDWA requires water companies to notify customers of exposure to this chemical within 30 days. However, if you're worried about your own pipes, ideally, you will have your home re-piped. Ms. Rooney also suggests that you install "…a filtration system with a filter that is one micron or less." This will filter out asbestos fibers from your home's tap water. 6 You could get Legionnaires disease The Mayo Clinic defines Legionnaires disease as a severe form of pneumonia. An infection causes lung inflammation, which is often accompanied by a fever, muscle pain, headache, and chills. Additionally, coughing, shortness of breath, chest pain, and other symptoms may be present after the first day of infection. In most cases, elderly residents, smokers, and those with weakened immune systems are more susceptible to contracting Legionnaires disease.This disease is contracted after exposure to a bacterium called legionella. According to Dr. Anthony Kouri, M.D. from the University of Toledo Medical Center, "It is usually spread through aerosolized water, but can be present in ice machines, water filters, water heaters, or in a shower head."The Rx: The EPA ensures that SDWA regulations are met in regards to legionella bacteria. If this contaminant is present in your water, you will be notified by your water company. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), water management program teams are responsible for monitoring water quality and the presence of bacteria in the public water supply and in apartment complexes or other housing facilities. 7 Excess fluoride could cause neurological damage According to Michelle Miller, MSACN from Physio Logic, "Fluoride has been added to public water supplies in order to prevent tooth decay. However, recent research strongly suggests that water contaminated with fluoride is linked to neurological, immune, and gastrointestinal damage. The CDC states that two out of three Americans are supplied with fluoridated tap water." A study conducted by Harvard Public Health concluded that countries that don't fluoride their water have experienced large drops in the number of cavities residents had.The Rx: If your water supply includes fluoride, Miller suggests obtaining a Berkey water gravity filter for your home. This filter is proven to eliminate many contaminants from water, including fluoride. This type of system can be set up independently of your home's plumbing and will still leave essential and healthy minerals in your tap water. 8 Your baby could get "blue baby syndrome" from nitrates Methemoglobinemia, also known as "blue baby syndrome," occurs in infants when they simply aren't getting enough oxygen in their blood. Hemoglobins are responsible for carrying oxygen in our blood. However, with excessive exposure to nitrates, the hemoglobin is converted into methemoglobin, which prohibits it from carrying oxygen to the blood.Adults have mature enzymes that are able to convert this methemoglobin back to hemoglobin. However, infants don't have these enzymes and methemoglobin can be dangerous if left untreated. Infants with "blue baby syndrome" can develop cyanosis, a bluish tint to the skin. If nitrate levels continue to escalate, infants can develop permanent brain damage or die.According to Dr. Kouri, "Nitrates originate primarily from fertilizers and can get into the drinking water. Babies drink a large amount of water relative to their size. Even short term exposure to nitrates at the level or just above the acceptable level can pose a threat to infants."The Rx: If you get your water from a public water company, it is responsible for testing for nitrates. However, if you have a private well and suspect your water supply contains nitrates, get it tested with help from a local state certification officer. There are several ways to treat water that contains nitrates, including distillation, reverse osmosis, and ion exchange. Keep in mind that mechanical filters and chemical disinfection do not remove nitrates from the water. You can contact your local health department for advice on the best method to remove nitrates from your well water. 9 You could get Giardiasis Giardia is a microscopic parasite that causes an illness called Giardiasis. The CDC concludes that the most common symptoms of this illness include:GasDiarrheaAbdominal crampsDehydrationNauseaVomitingThe disease affects infects nearly 2% of adults and 6% to 8% of children in developed countries worldwide and is the most common intestinal parasitic disease in the U.S. An infected person has Giardia parasites in his or her feces. If these feces bacteria become present in drinking water, the disease can easily spread. Sewage overflows, agricultural runoff, stormwater runoff, or nonfunctioning sewer systems can cause the spread of this bacteria to other people.The Rx: Avoid drinking tap water after a flood or if you know a sewage system isn't working properly. If you suspect your tap water is infected with Giardia, bring it to a rolling boil before using it. You should consider installing a reverse osmosis filter in your home. A filter that has a pore size of 1 micron or smaller or is certified by NSF Standard 53 for cyst removal or reduction can also eliminate these parasites from your water. 10 You could be drinking Volatile Organic Compounds from nearby dry cleaners Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) are present in dry cleaning chemicals. They contain carbon and can vaporize into the air at normal air temperatures. As vapors, groundwater is susceptible to absorbing these VOCs. Once the VOCs leak into the groundwater, they can easily also become present in the water supply. According to a study conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey, the group of VOCs that was most commonly found in groundwater was trihalomethanes (THMs), which includes chloroform. Exposure to these VOCs can cause various symptoms for many people, including nausea, headaches, fatigue, dizziness, sore throat, or other irritations.The Rx: Nearby dry cleaners and other industrial businesses may be contaminating your local area's groundwater, which can lead to VOCs in your water supply. According to Keith Bernard, CEO of CLEAR2O, "Filtering water at home can alleviate many harmful contaminants before they reach your glass." Consider installing a water filtration system in your home, or even just using a filtered water pitcher for your tap water before you drink it. 11 You could die from lead poisoning Older water systems may be constructed from lead piping and as these pipes age, small particles of lead can enter the water. The EPA warns that exposure to lead in your tap water can bioaccumulate in the body. You may not feel any symptoms from exposure to this contaminant at first, but consistent exposure can lead to decreased kidney function, cardiovascular effects, such as hypertension, and reproductive issues. According to Dr. Kouri, "Lead poisoning can be deadly if not treated." Therefore, it's important to know if your water supply contains lead and if it does, to pinpoint and fix the problem.The Rx: If your water comes from a private well, have it tested by a professional at least once every year so you can ensure your water quality stays above SDWA standards. If you want to use a filter to ensure lead is removed from your tap water, the EPA advises that you only buy a filter that's certified by NSF International to remove lead. 12 You could ingest radioactive substances Construction, drilling, or other disruptions to the earth's surface can release radioactive substances, such as radon, uranium, and radium. These radioactive contaminants can get into the groundwater and eventually seep into your water supply. The EPA concludes that there are varying levels of naturally occurring radioactive substances in different areas throughout the country. The SDWA limits the contamination level of these substances in water and in some cases, public water companies must treat their water to ensure these levels are acceptable.However, it's important to know the radioactive substance levels of your own home's tap water to ensure it's safe. According to Dr. Kouri, "Exposure to these substances can lead to different types of cancer including bone, skin, kidney, liver, and lung cancer."The Rx: Tina Marinaccio MS, RD, CPT, an Integrative Culinary Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, suggests that you visit the Environmental Working Group site and type in your zip code to learn about potential water contaminants in your area. You can also use the site for advice on the best water filter to remedy the issue. If you're dealing with a less-than-ideal water quality report, Marinaccio says, "You will likely need a whole house reverse osmosis filter to deal with what your water company is throwing at you." 13 Too much copper can be bad for your body Copper is another naturally occurring substance that can be found in the environment. At low and manageable levels, copper is essential to the proper functioning of your body. However, according to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), exposure to copper at excessive levels can trigger negative side effects, including:DiarrheaStomach crampsIrritation of the nose, mouth, and eyesNauseaIn some cases, ingestion of too much copper can even lead to death. The ATSDR warns that you may be exposed to high levels of copper if your home's plumbing is made of copper piping and your water is especially acidic.The Rx: If you feel your pipes may be exposing you and your family members to too much copper, you should consider repiping your home. Additionally, the ATSDR recommends running your water for at least 15 seconds in the morning before using it. This can allow high levels of copper in the pipes to decrease before you're exposed to it. 14 Bacteria or parasites could make you sick A breach in one of your pipes or corrosion can expose you to harmful bacteria or parasites through your water. There are many common bacteria found in tap water but in most cases, the public water companies meet the standards set through the SDWA. If you live in an agricultural area, your water may be more susceptible to bacteria from animal feces. For example, the Minnesota Department of Health warns residents that e. Coli and coliform bacteria may be present in their tap water due to the abundance of wildlife and farms in the area.Exposure to these bacteria can lead to unhealthy symptoms, such as nausea, stomach cramping, vomiting, fatigue, fever, and cramping. Residents with already compromised immune systems may face more serious health consequences if exposed to these bacteria or parasites, including chronic illness or death.The Rx: If your water is provided through a public water company, the EPA has strict guidelines that prohibit the presence of bacteria such as E. coli. If your water supply is contaminated, your water company must notify you within 24 hours. If you have a private well, have your water tested annually to ensure these bacteria are not present. Maintain your household septic system regularly with the help of a professional and disinfect your well and equipment as advised.Marinaccio says, "You can have your water tested, but if you are showing symptoms of toxicity, you would need to have blood and stool testing done by a qualified healthcare practitioner to determine a treatment plan to express whatever contaminants are being harbored in the body." Once you learn which contaminants are present in your water, you can buy a filter that specifically addresses this particular bacteria or parasite. 15 You could get Hepatitis A Hepatitis A is a liver disease that can be easily spread and can result in illness for several weeks or death, depending on the severity of the case. An unvaccinated person can contract this disease after ingesting microscopic fecal matter bacteria from an infected person. In most cases, well water is safe from a contagious virus like Hepatitis C.However, according to the CDC, "When any water source, including private wells, is contaminated with feces from infected humans, the water can potentially spread the Hepatitis A virus." If a sewage system stops functioning properly or backs up, it can contaminate a well line, leading to tap water that may contain feces from infected persons. Improper maintenance or function of the well can also lead to this contamination.The Rx: Always maintain your well and ensure the sewage system is also up and running properly. If you suspect your well has been contaminated, bring your water to a rolling boil for at least one minute before using it to kill any active bacteria. Keep in mind, a pinpoint filter will not help to eliminate the spread of this disease in an infected well. You may need to disinfect your well with chlorine but you should consult a water quality professional before using your tap water again. 16 You could ingest pharmaceutical drugs When pharmaceutical drugs are no longer needed, it's common for their users to flush the remaining product down the toilet. Pharmaceutical companies, hospitals, and other medical providers may also discard unused pharmaceutical drugs into the water system or into the dumpster, which is returned to the earth. However, this can allow these drugs to become present in our water treatment plants and eventually in our water supply.There are no regulations within the SDWA that directly address pharmaceutical residues in water supply. According to a U.S. Geological Survey study, "Effluents from two wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) that receive discharge from pharmaceutical manufacturing facilities (PMFs) had 10 to 1000 times higher concentrations of pharmaceuticals than effluents from 24 WWTPs across the nation that do not receive PMF discharge." In most cases, only trace amounts of these drugs are found in the water and are not enough to produce negative health effects for users.The Rx: If you want to ensure your home's tap water doesn't contain any trace amounts of pharmaceutical or illegal drugs, you can use a water filter at home. The Natural Resources Defense Council is encouraging pharmaceutical companies to produce more "eco-friendly" drugs and to dispose of their excess product responsibly. The EPA has also added 10 pharmaceutical compounds to its watchlist to investigate potential harmful effects. Eventually, legislation may be passed that sets maximum contamination levels in the public water supply. 17 You could experience gastrointestinal problems While the CDC confirms that the U.S. has one of the safest public water systems in the world, it's still possible to get sick from your tap water. The presence of e. Coli or salmonella bacteria in the water you ingest can give you flu-like symptoms that include stomach cramps, diarrhea, or vomiting. These two bacteria were among the top 10 most common outbreaks in the U.S. water system. In most cases, the symptoms of these outbreaks go away on their own but pregnant women, elderly residents, and children are more susceptible to serious side effects that may warrant hospitalization.The Rx: In most cases, the only way you'll be exposed to bacteria like e. Coli or salmonella in your water is if there was a flood or natural disaster. If sewage somehow seeps into the system due to an improperly functioning system, you and your family can be affected. Don't use your water if your well or public water system after a natural disaster or during a power outage. Consider getting a whole-house filter or even just a faucet filter for your water. 18 Your water could contain harmful pesticides Farmers use pesticides to protect their crops, which allows them to ensure they grow food that will sell. However, these pesticides can easily seep into our groundwater and become present in our water. Even if you're buying organic foods at the grocery store, your tap water may be exposing you to these pesticides anyway. The effects of exposure to these pesticides may vary, depending on the type and level of pesticides in the water source.If you get your water from a private well, you're responsible for getting your water tested to ensure there aren't pesticides. If your water supply comes from a public water system, the EPA sets some regulations on these companies to ensure pesticide levels stay low. However, keep in mind, not all types of pesticides are monitored in our public water.The Rx: The National Pesticide Information Center suggests that you install a point-of-use charcoal filter or reverse osmosis treatment to your water source. This will remove or reduce the amount of pesticides in your water. If you live near a heavy agriculture area, consider testing your water for pesticides more frequently than once a year. You can ask a local health department professional for assistance in this testing. 19 Excess chlorine could make you sick Many water treatment facilities use chlorine in their water filtering process to kill bacteria and germs. However, when it's combined with other compounds, it creates chemicals as byproducts that can be harmful to your health. According to Backe, "An example of one of these chemicals is THMs, which is linked with an increased risk of cancer and kidney issues." If you're a dialysis patient, the chlorine used to treat your water may also negatively affect the functionality of your machine and equipment. You should consult with your medical professionals about proper maintenance and chlorinated water.The Rx: The CDC states, "Chlorine levels up to 4 milligrams per liter (mg/L or 4 parts per million (ppm) are considered safe in drinking water." If your water supply has excessive levels of chlorine, you should be notified by your public water company immediately. However, if you're worried about exposure to chlorine from your tap water, consider getting a whole-house water filter. 20 You could get Norovirus Norovirus refers to all "Norwalk-like viruses" (NLV). These are contagious viruses that cause diarrhea and vomiting. In most cases, Norovirus is spread by touching a person who's infected or touching a surface that was already touched by an infected person. However, in some cases, Norovirus can be spread through your private well water source.A sewage overflow or non-functioning system can cause human feces to enter the water source. This is more likely to occur after a natural disaster, such as flooding. If contaminated feces bacteria are present in your water and you consume it, you can be sick with Norovirus for several days and chances are, your family members will also be infected.The Rx: Don't drink water after a natural disaster or sewage system failure until you get the all-clear from your water company. Keep your private well maintained and disinfect it when suggested. Keep in mind, norovirus is tolerant to chlorine so you may need to use a different disinfectant if you suspect your well is contaminated. Get your private well water tested at least once a year and get advice from a professional on how to disinfect it. You can contact your local health department for a list of professionals who can test your well water for contaminants. 21 You could be drinking arsenic Certain rock formations and other natural environments create an element called arsenic. But just because it's naturally-occurring doesn't mean it's safe. According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), long-term exposure to high levels of arsenic can increase your risk for skin cancer, bladder cancer, lung cancer, and heart disease.If your water comes from a private well, you may be at risk for ingesting arsenic every time you take a sip. The EPA has strict guidelines and limits on arsenic in tap water distributed by public water companies. However, as a private well owner, it's your responsibility to ensure the levels of arsenic in your water are acceptable.The Rx: The CDC warns that heating or boiling your water will not remove arsenic. You should consider installing water treatment equipment that performs reverse osmosis, ultra-filtration, distillation, or ion exchange in each faucet in your home. It's also important to test your well water annually for arsenic and other contaminants. If the levels are unacceptable, consult a professional on recommended procedures to increase the quality of your water. 22 Viruses could live in your water According to Bernard, "Most tap water is contaminated with a variety of pollutants that may increase your risk for serious health conditions. Inadequate sanitation, poor protection of drinking water sources, and improper hygiene often lead to sewage and feces-contaminated water. This can create an environment that is ideal for harmful bacteria, parasites, and viruses." The EPA has strict regulations on the levels of bacteria and parasites that can be present in the public water supply. However, your own pipes and water system may be what's to blame for excessive bacteria in your water. Depending on the types of bacteria you're exposed to, you may experience symptoms that include nausea or diarrhea.The Rx: "If you're showing signs of a bacterial infection and you suspect your water supply, you'll need to have it tested. If high levels of bacteria are present, you may need to install a filter that addresses the specific bacteria in your water. According to Robert Weitz, a certified microbial investigator and founder of RTK Environmental Group, "If you do have contaminated water, there are usually water purification systems to fix your specific issue. Purification systems can vary based on contaminants, so it's important to know what's in your water." 23 Hard water can irritate your skin The water supplied to many areas through the public water system is considered "hard water." This simply means the water is high in mineral content, including calcium and magnesium. While hard water is harmless and won't make you sick, it can be frustrating when using it to bathe or wash your hands. This water is known to create a "soap scum" on your skin that's impossible to wash off. According to the USGS, "In hard water, soap reacts with the calcium (which is relatively high in hard water) to form 'soap scum.' When using hard water, more soap or detergent is needed to get things clean, be it your hands, hair, or your laundry." Not using enough soap can make your washing ineffective and doesn't kill bacteria on your skin properly. If you're careful to use enough soap but you don't wash it off properly, it could lead to skin irritation or itchiness.The Rx: If hard water is bothering you, you can opt to install a water softener in your home. This machine connects directly to your water supply and filters out the minerals that make your water hard. In most cases, these systems use salt to remove these minerals. Keep in mind, water softener systems require maintenance and you should consult a professional for installation. 24 You could get sick from blue-algae bloom Blue-green algae bloom, also referred to as cyanobacteria, naturally occurs in lakes, rivers, and other surface waters. Warm water causes these bacteria to grow and in some cases, they can produce cyanotoxins, which can cause health risks in humans and animals if ingested. In some severe cases, this ingestion can lead to death. If these cyanobacteria do not contain toxins but are present in water, they can adversely affect the taste and smell.Public water systems use chlorine and other disinfectants to ensure blue-green algae bloom doesn't affect the water quality. However, if a severe bloom event occurs in your local area, the public water company's treatment facility may have trouble keeping up with the removal of these bacteria and toxins.The Rx: If you know your area is experiencing an algae bloom, follow the instructions given by your water company. You may be required to boil the water before use or you may be advised not to use your tap water at all for a period of time. According to the EPA, nutrients like nitrogen and phosphorus may encourage cyanobacteria to grow. Excessive nutrients like these can leak into water from local agricultural facilities and industrial centers. Ensure your water doesn't have high levels of these bacteria by reviewing your water report. You can also install a whole-house filter that targets these nutrients and bacteria. 25 Your stagnant tap could breed organisms Most bacteria love to grow in moist, dark places so what could be a more perfect environment than your home's pipes? If there's a breach in your pipes or they haven't been used in a while, bacteria and organisms can begin to grow and breed. If you use this contaminated water, you may begin to see negative health effects. According to Weitz, "Drinking and bathing in contaminated water can cause chronic health issues, including joint pain; damage to the brain, kidneys, and neurological system; skin rashes and other dermatological problems; body numbness; gastrointestinal illness; hair loss; and immune deficiencies. If you or a family member has any of these symptoms, your water may be to blame."The Rx: Old or corroding piping may be what's causing an influx of bacteria in your water. Consider repiping your system if it's old and showing signs of wear and tear. Pipes that have remained stagnant for a while may also produce this bacteria. Dr. Nikola Djordjevic, MD from MedAlertHelp.org, says, "When you come back home from vacation, you should let the water run from all the taps for a few minutes before drinking it. In case there is organic infestation or your plumbing system is old, this precaution should flush the contaminated water out." 26 You could be drinking raw sewage If your well water equipment fails or your public water company's sewer system backs up or stops functioning properly, it can spell disaster for the water supply. Seepage from a septic tank into your well can cause sewage to be present in your water. A natural disaster that caused flooding in your area can also negatively affect your water quality. This sewage may contain e. Coli or coliform bacteria, which can cause sickness, including diarrhea, stomach cramping, and vomiting. If you have recurrent gastrointestinal problems, your water may be contaminated with sewage.The Rx: Heed all warnings about water quality after a natural disaster and follow the instructions provided by your water company. Review your water company's annual water quality report to ensure your water is safe to drink. Have your well water tested annually and have all components tested and maintained properly. If your water's odor or color changes drastically, contact your water company to investigate. 27 A nearby coal mine could mess with your water's pH level If you live near an abandoned coal mine, you may assume that since the earth is no longer being disturbed, you don't have to worry about chemical exposure. However, the ground around a coal mine is laden with some nasty chemicals, like sulfuric acid and dissolved iron. According to the USGS, "The acid runoff further dissolves heavy metals such as copper, lead, and mercury into groundwater or surface water." Not only does this contaminated water negatively affect the nearby wildlife, it can also seep into the public water supply and cause problems with your home's drinking water.If your water's pH level isn't balanced and your water is acidic, it can quickly corrode your pipes. This can give your water an unpleasant odor, color, or smell. These metals can also make you sick, causing symptoms like diarrhea or vomiting.The Rx: According to the Water Systems Council (WSC), if you suspect your water has been contaminated by a nearby coal mine, it's important to test its pH level. Your local health department can help you find a professional to test your water. If the pH level is under 7, you'll need to take action. You can install a pH neutralizing filter and chemical feed pump to filter out these heavy metals and to inject a neutralizing solution into the water. 28 Your pipes could be corroding Whether or not you're near a coal mine, your pipes could be experiencing corrosion, which is also dangerous to your health. If your pipes are old, dealing with acidic water, or damaged in any way, they may begin to corrode. Not only can this eventually lead to a big leak, it can also expose you to lead, copper, bacteria, and other contaminants that can make you and your family sick. Dr. Kouri says, "Many old water systems utilize pipes made with lead. As these age, they may seep lead into the water supply." Lead can cause a host of health issues, from sickness to death.The Rx: Your water company's annual water quality report will not be helpful if it's your home's pipes that are causing the problem. If your water has a different taste, odor, or color, pipe corrosion may be the culprit so you'll need to test it from your faucet. A local health department professional can suggest a water tester in your area. If there is a problem, you should repipe your home. You could also get a whole-home water filter, preferably one with solid-block carbon. 29 A nearby fuel leak could seep into your tap water When you fill up your car's gas tank, do you ever wonder where the gas is stored? It's stored underneath the ground in underground storage tanks (USTs). Other industries also use these USTs to store gasoline and other chemicals underground so they're easily accessible. According to the Sierra Club, "There are 680,000 USTs and a backlog of 130,000 cleanups; 9,000 new leaks are discovered annually."When these chemicals or gases leak from their containers, they spread quickly through the ground and become present in groundwater. This eventually contaminates the public water supply. In addition to gasoline, some of the chemicals that can leak from USTs and seep into groundwater include:BenzeneXylenesCadmiumLeadNaphthaleneThe Sierra Club warns, "One pin-prick sized hole in an UST can leak 400 gallons of fuel a year." While most of the gasoline in water is quickly filtered out by the public water company's system, some of it can still be present when it reaches your tap. If nearby USTs are leaking toxic chemicals, there is no safe amount for ingestion. Exposure to these chemicals through tap water can lead to cancer. Children exposed to these chemicals through water can experience developmental issues.The Rx: If you feel your well water has been contaminated with gasoline or other chemicals, stop drinking it. You may need to connect to a public water supply instead or obtain a water treatment unit specifically designed to remove the chemical from water. If you receive water from a public water company, follow the instructions provided by the company and don't use the water until the company confirms it's safe. Warm and hot water is more likely to expose you to these contaminants, so if you use water to shower or wash clothes, always keep it cold. 30 PFAs could wreck your immune system Derek Mellencamp from Aquasana defines polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAs) and perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOs) as "chemical compounds that have been used in many products for their fire retardant, non-stick, and water-proof characteristics." Since these harsh chemicals are used in fire retardant foam and in other industry manufacturing, they've become present in our groundwater and in our public water supply. A study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology found that perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) was detected in the blood of more than 98% of the U.S. population.Mellencamp warns that exposure to these chemicals is known to have, "detrimental impacts on infant and childhood growth; women's health and pregnancy; cholesterol levels, the kidneys and liver; the immune system and more." The EPA and CDC have also linked these chemicals to certain types of cancer.The Rx: Your public water company is required to inform you if your water is contaminated with unacceptable levels of these chemicals. The company may suggest that you use an alternative water source if the water isn't safe for a period of time. However, if you're concerned about PFAs and PFOs in your water, Mr. Mellencacmp suggests installing a water filter. A filter that meets the NSF Standard P473 is designed to remove these chemicals from water. If you're not sure, you can visit the NSF website to verify that the filter in question has been certified to remove these chemicals from tap water. And to get through this pandemic without catching coronavirus, don’t miss this essential list: Most COVID Patients Did This Before Getting Sick.
Ever walk into a room and forget why you went in there? Or stare at a colleague's face for 20 seconds before you remember his name? Or try to remember the name of that movie, the one you loved, starring that guy—it's on the tip of your tongue! (It's Jeff Goldblum. The Grand Budapest Hotel.)Forgetfulness is normal and if you feel like you've noticed it more recently, you're not losing your marbles. You're just getting older. According to Harvard Health, there are seven types of normal forgetfulness. These include:Transience. Forgetting facts over time.Absentmindedness. Forgetting because you're not paying attention.Blocking. The inability to retrieve a memory.Misattribution. Only remembering part of something.Suggestibility. Misconstruing facts about an incident.Bias. Adding your personal bias to facts about a memory.Persistence. Memories that won't go away.Unless your memory loss is extreme or persistent, there's no need to worry about Alzheimer's or other serious memory diseases. (Dr. Gary Small, MD, a professor on aging at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, says "About 40% of people aged 65 or older have age associated memory impairment—in the United States, about 16 million people.") But if your forgetfulness is simply driving you crazy, check out these simple strategies, techniques, and lifestyle changes you can make to improve your memory. Read on, and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus. 1 Keep Repeating It Repetition is one of the easiest and most effective methods for remembering things. According to the University of Illinois, the Spaced Interval Repetition (SIR) technique was developed in the 1960's by famous psychologist, Hermann Ebbinghaus. It uses repetition at specific intervals to ensure you remember a fact or name. After you learn something and you want to continue remembering it in the short-term, repeat the fact to yourself:Right after you learn it.15 to 20 minutes after you initially learned it.After six to eight hours.24 hours later.If you want to memorize something in the long-term, you'll need to repeat it to yourself after one day, after two to three weeks, and then again after two to three months. 2 Try Learning in the Afternoon Even if you think you function better in the morning or late at night, studies show that it's easier to retain information if you learn it and review it in the afternoon. A study published in the Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research proved this theory. 68 undergraduate participants were provided with words to remember. One group was asked to only study in the morning while the other group only studied in the afternoon. The results concluded that, "The subjects who acquired information in the afternoon had better performance than those who acquired it in the morning." 3 Write it Down We don't mean a note in your smartphone or a doc on your computer. Put an actual pen or pencil to paper. Researchers at the University of Oregon conducted a study to see if physical newspaper readers comprehend better than those who read their daily news stories online. The study concluded that "Print news readers remember significantly more news stories than online readers."Reading online and from a computer screen is harder to recall than when it's written on physical paper. If you truly want to remember a fact or name, write it down on a piece of paper and review it by physically picking it up and reading it. 4 Use the "Chunking" Method The "chunking" method of memory is just as it sounds. You can chunk together tidbits of information to make it easier to remember, relating the info on some common ground. For example, if you're trying to memorize the items you need on a trip to the grocery store, you could chunk together items by where you'll find them in the store. So, apples, potatoes, and lettuce would all be chunked together as "produce" while soups and tomato sauce would be chunked together as "canned goods." Categorizing these items together makes them easier to recall than looking at a long list of unrelated items."The benefit of a chunking mechanism is that it mediates the amount of knowledge that one can process at any one time," claims an article published in Frontiers in Psychology. By using the chunking method on a large amount of data or a long list of items, you may be able to more easily commit this information to your short-term memory. 5 Make Up a Story or Scene In order to remember something, you have to be interested in it. If your brain is bored, it can be hard to make it engage and truly learn new information. When you're stuck trying to learn boring material, you'll need to find a way to make it intriguing for your brain. Sometimes making a story or creating a scene that includes this information can be just what you need to engage your brain.A study published by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) analyzed how people reacted to scenes that were created. The study concluded, "The subjects were far more likely to remember high-value scenes than low-value scenes." If you're going to use this visual strategy to remember information, it's important to create a scene or story in your head that's interesting to you or ridiculous enough to keep your brain involved. For example, "One day, I went on vacation to Budapest and who did I see in the lobby, reading a newspaper? Jeff Goldblum! What a grand hotel!" 6 Make it Rhyme "In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue." When you were a child learning the months of the year or the states, chances are your teacher sang you a little song to help you commit the complex concept to memory. You probably still remember these songs or rhymes and you might have even used them to help teach your kids the same concepts.You can still use rhymes or songs to remember information as an adult, as long you're ready to tap into your creative side. Take a recognizable melody, such as "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star" and set the information you need to remember to the beat. If this isn't working for you, create a rhyme that you can easily repeat using the information. According to The Memory Institute, "Rhyme, rhythm, repetition and melody will help you remember by taking advantage of auditory encoding and your brain's impressive ability to store these audio triggers." 7 Keep Things in Your "Memory Palace." You can create your own "memory palace" when you begin to associate memories and things you want to remember with physical items in your environment. This learning method is also referred to as the method of loci (MOL). It was developed in Ancient Greece and has been used ever since. You can tap into this learning method by associating a physical item in your current location with one concept you're trying to learn. When you attempt to recall this piece of information, you'll need to visualize the room you were in when you were learning it. By envisioning the item, your memory should recall the fact you want to remember.A study published in Advances in Physiology Education observed 78 second-year medical students as they learned about endocrinology while using the "memory palace" method. The students found the method helpful in retaining information. The study concluded, "When asked to report whether they found the MOL helpful, all participants agreed. About 85.7% of the participants agreed that it helped them understand the topic better." 8 Test Yourself When your grade school teachers used to spring pop quizzes on the class sporadically, they were really on to something. Quizzing yourself periodically can be one of the most helpful techniques for remembering information. According to Rosalind Potts, Ph.D., from University College London, "People often think testing is useful because it tells you what you know and what you don't. But the more important power of testing is giving you practice retrieving information you've learned and establishing that connection in the brain."You don't have to create a formal test just to remember your grocery list. Simply take the time to periodically quiz yourself on the relevant information you want to retain. 9 Focus on One Thing at a Time As humans, especially adult humans, our brains are going a mile a minute. In an instant, your brain may simultaneously be thinking about whether you turned off the stove, what time your meeting is scheduled for tomorrow, and if there are any good movies out. According to Psychology Today, you have about 70,000 thoughts per day. With all this happening in your head at one time, no wonder it's hard to remember things.If you're learning something that you know you want to remember, you'll have to block these thousands of thoughts out. To focus and remember, the Mayo Clinic suggests quitting the multitasking while you're trying to learn something new. You should also:Stop thinking about what you need to do after you focus.Take moments to practice focusing on specific subjects.Learn the time of day when you're the best focused and cut yourself slack in the moments you know you aren't.Stay away from distractions when you're focusing, including co-worker chit-chat, the TV, radio, or your smartphone.When you've mastered the ability to focus on one thing at a time, you may find improvements in both your memory and your productivity. 10 Use Acrostics or Acronyms Acrostics and acronyms are mnemonic devices that you can use to remember streams of words or phrases. One of the most popular acrostics you may remember if you ever learned how to play a musical instrument is "Every Good Boy Does Fine." This acronym helps you to remember the order of the treble clef, which is EGBDF. If you were ever tasked with learning the names of the Great Lakes, your teacher may have used the acronym "HOMES," which stands for Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Eerie, and Superior.According to the University of Denver, both acrostics and acronyms are helpful when you need quick memory aids. However, using these word associations may only be useful for memorization and usually can't help you to remember in-depth concepts or context and meaning behind phrases. 11 Relate New Concepts to What You Already Know Since we already know that re-learning is much easier than learning from scratch, it can also help to relate new concepts you want to remember to those you already know. This learning concept is formally referred to as "relational learning."For example, if you're trying to remember that an acquaintance works as a teacher, you could try to associate a characteristic of this person with one of your previous teachers. By relating a new concept to something you already know, it can be easier to remember. 12 Try New Hobbies Your brain function deteriorates if you don't use it. Learning new things is important for brain health, but you don't have to read a math textbook to keep your brain sharp. When you take on a brand-new hobby you've never tried before, there will be a learning curve. You'll have to learn new terminology and movements that you'll need to memorize and practice.A study published in Psychology Science Journal had some of its 200 elderly participants learn new skills, including digital photography and quilting, while others performed familiar hobbies, such as putting together puzzles or listening to music. Cognitive skills were tested both before and after engaging in activities. "Overall, the results suggest that learning digital photography, either alone or in combination with learning to quilt, had the most beneficial effect on cognition, and that the positive impact was primarily on memory function." 13 Say it Out Loud One of the best ways to commit something to memory is to get physically involved in the learning process. By reading out loud or repeating a fact verbally, it's more likely the memory, name, face, or tidbit will stick.Colin M. MacLeod from the Department of Psychology at Waterloo, says, "When we add an active measure or a production element to a word, that word becomes more distinct in long-term memory, and hence more memorable." Repeating phrases out loud is a different way to present the information to yourself and commit it to your long-term memory. 14 Get a Good Night's Sleep The National Sleep Foundation recommends that adults get seven to nine hours of sleep each night. Not only does an uninterrupted, solid night of sleep help your body to recharge, it can also help with your brain's memory and cognition. A study published in Physiological Reviews concluded that, "Ensuing REM sleep may stabilize transformed memories."Sleep was also found to help your brain process memories, which may allow you to keep them for longer. The study found that "Sleep benefits memory not only in the neurobehavioral domain, but also in the formation of immunological long-term memories, stimulating the idea that forming long-term memories represents a general function of sleep." 15 Do Yoga Yoga is a great way to get your daily exercise and calm your mind. But downward dog can also improve your brain function. Yoga is proven to improve your brain's gray matter, which helps with:Muscle control.Sensory perceptions, including speech.Decision making.Memory.Sight.A study published in the Journal of Physical Activity and Health found that participants who practiced yoga for just 20 minutes a day had increased brain function. This resulted in these participants scoring better on brain functioning tests that measured how quickly they could relay information about their memories and how accurate the information was. Adding yoga to your exercise routine may help your memory to stay sharp and your brain functioning clearly. 16 Meditate Meditation can help you get in touch with your inner thoughts, and sometimes that's all you need to feel more confident in your brain power and memory. A study published in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease observed participants who attended an 8-week meditation program. "Most subjects reported that they subjectively perceived that their cognitive function was improved after the 8-week program."Meditation can help to strengthen and exercise the components in your brain that are responsible for memory. By meditating for just 10 minutes per day, you're forcing yourself to practice laser focus and control of your thoughts. This works your mental muscle, keeps your brain young, and may prevent you from dealing with memory loss. 17 Re-learn Things We already know that repeating information we want to remember can help us in the memorization process. Spacing this repetition out in different increments can cater to either your short-term or long-term memory. But if you haven't kept up with your repetition game to put something in your long-term memory bank, you may need to re-learn it.Re-learning is different than the first time you learn something because your memory may be jogged at any point while you're completing the task. You're not really starting from scratch and you may still have faint memories or information relating to the subject you're trying to re-learn. Therefore, it's easier for this information to "stick."As Mark Hübener from the Max Planck Institute of Neurobiology explains, "Since an experience that has been made may occur again at a later point in time, the brain apparently opts to save a few appendages for a rainy day." So, while re-learning may seem like a hassle, you should find it easier than when you reviewed information about a subject for the first time. 18 Read Every Day Whether you're into sci-fi, romance novels, or self-help books, the act of reading can keep your brain sharp and memory loss at bay. Since reading engages your brain, keeps it active, and strengthens your cognitive function, just a few minutes every day can help improve your ability to remember things.A study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the U.S. concluded that participants who engaged their brains through puzzles, reading, or chess were 2.5 times less likely to develop Alzheimer's disease than those who participated in less stimulating activities, such as watching TV. When you practice focusing on one activity, such as reading, your brain may also get the same positive effects as if you were meditating, which is proven to help strengthen your memory.RELATED: The Unhealthiest Supplements You Shouldn't Take 19 Meet New People An article published in Psychology Today blames our inability to remember people's names after just meeting them on stress and cortisol. You may be psyching yourself up so much to remember names that you blank out under pressure. Try to combat this stress by focusing on the people you meet instead of your body's reaction to the situation. To remember a new person's name or details, Susan Krauss Whitbourne Ph.D., recommends that you:Process the name as soon as it's said.Repeat the name back to the person.Listen to his or her name correction, if there is one.The more people you meet, the more you can practice committing these personal details to memory. You can strengthen this part of your brain and eventually, you'll feel more confident about your memory in social situations. 20 Pay Attention It may seem simple, but a reminder to pay attention can sometimes be all you need to improve your memory. We already know that multitasking makes memorizing and learning less efficient, which is why it's also important to quiet your brain as you attempt to remember or learn something new.According to the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD), "Attention generally begins as a passive process—the brief unfocused reception of the multitude of molecules and rays that continually bombard our body's specialized sensory receptors with information on the outside environment." Since paying attention starts as a passive process, you'll have to make a conscious effort to forget everything else that's going on and solely focus on the concept you want to learn or remember. You'll know your attention has been captivated when unexpected distractions don't disrupt your focus. 21 Play Brain Games Crossword and sudoku puzzles aren't just fun activities to pass time. They may also be able to slow down a decline in memory and cognitive function as you age. Commercial brain game apps on your smartphone or computer have also taken off in popularity and for good reason. According to a study published in Neurology, "More frequent cognitive activity across the lifespan has an association with slower late-life cognitive decline."The more active you keep your brain, the slower your cognitive decline. But you don't have to study complex math concepts to engage your brain. Glenn Smith, Ph.D., a neuropsychologist at the Mayo Clinic, conducted a study on brain games and geriatric participants with no prior cognitive problems. He had some participants engage in brain games while others simply watched educational videos for an eight-week period.Mr. Smith found that "Those who completed the computerized training showed significantly greater improvements in general tests of memory and attention, even though those abilities weren't explicitly trained for." Those who participated in the computerized brain games also reported less daily problems with memory in the weeks that followed than study participants who only watched educational videos for the eight weeks. 22 Teach Other People You must have a clear understanding of a concept before you can teach it to someone else. So, if you task yourself with reiterating facts about a person you know or your daily schedule to another person, you'll need to first be sure you have a good grip on it.Teaching is a great way for you to review what you want to remember and can be useful if you're trying to get a memory or concept to stick with you. A study published in Contemporary Educational Psychology used two groups of students to put the concept of teaching as a learning method to the test. Some students were asked to simply study material for a test later while others were asked to study with the intention of teaching other students about the concepts they learned.While both groups of students learned the material, the students who were tasked with teaching others still remembered these concepts when tested weeks later. 23 Eat Healthy Foods A healthy diet not only nourishes your body, but also your mind. Have you ever overindulged on an unhealthy snack, like ice cream or potato chips, and instantly felt slow and groggy? If your body is full of bad food, it can be hard for your brain to focus and retain information. According to Harvard Health, "Diets high in cholesterol and fat might speed up the formation of beta-amyloid plaques in the brain. These sticky protein clusters are blamed for much of the damage that occurs in the brains of people with Alzheimer's."If you're eating foods high in saturated and trans fats, a gene called apolipoprotein E, or APOE, may be to blame for your increased risk of developing Alzheimer's disease. This gene is related to high cholesterol and is found in those diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. While these fats are bad, mono- and polyunsaturated fats may be helpful for preserving memory. To be sure you're getting enough of these memory-boosting fats in your diet, eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. 24 Stop Stressing Stress makes it easy to forget things, usually because you're focused on too many things at once. If you live a life full of stress, you can also be prematurely slowing down your memory performance and brain function. According to a study published in Experimental Gerontology, animals that had prolonged exposure to stress hormones experienced adverse effects on their brain's hippocampus. This is the area of the brain that's associated with memory and learning.When it comes to humans, it was found that those exposed to several days of stress and increased cortisol experienced memory issues and impairment. Researchers also conclude that extreme stress can make sufferers more likely to develop anxiety or depression disorders. These types of disorders are directly related to a decline in memory loss. If you want to make sure your brain stays sharp, it's important to eliminate daily and chronic stress from your life. 25 Create Your Own Visuals Assigning a visual characteristic to something you want to remember can be a great way to keep it accessible. For example, say you're attending a video networking event. You're introduced to a group of people all at the same time. That's six names you've heard while saying "hello"! How do you remember them all? Pick out one defining visual characteristic for each person and associate it with the name he or she told you. Then, when you need to recall the person's name, that characteristic should trigger your memory and the name should come flooding back to you.You can also create an imaginary visualization. For example, you put your car keys down on the coffee table and obviously need to remember where they are later. Create a visual of your keys dancing on the table and when you need to recall where they are hours later, this vision should come back to you. According to Psychology Today, "It requires mental effort to do this, but if you practice you'll be surprised how quickly you can come up with creative ways to generate these images." 26 Summarize Into in Your Own Words Memorizing something that someone else said or wrote can be difficult. In most cases, the way one person communicated information isn't necessarily the way you would have communicated the same information. Also, in most cases, the information given to you is in long-form and can be wordy. If you can summarize it in your own words into brief concepts you understand, it's more likely that you'll remember it longer.According to The Writing Center at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, summarization can make it easier to retain information and is an important skill to master. "If you are unfamiliar with the material you're analyzing, you may need to summarize what you've read in order to understand your reading and get your thoughts in order." Since summarization forces you to identify only the most important elements, it can be a helpful step in memorization of important facts. 27 Stick to a Healthy Weight Dr. Small warns, "People with excess body fat have a greater risk for such illnesses as diabetes and hypertension. These obesity related conditions increase the risk for cerebrovascular disease, which often leads to memory decline and dementia." Maintaining a healthy weight can not only keep your risks for developing certain diseases low, it can also preserve your memory and cognitive abilities.High-fat diets that include a lot of processed food are known to contribute to memory loss and other unhealthy side effects. However, a study published in Neurology found that diets high in monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs) could help protect against cognitive decline. The study stated, "In an elderly population of Southern Italy with a typical Mediterranean diet, high MUFA intakes appeared to be protective against age-related cognitive decline."If you want a diet that protects your memory and is also heart-healthy, consider following a Mediterranean diet. This diet emphasizes the consumption of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats daily. Limited portions of red meat and dairy are usually eaten on the Mediterranean diet. 28 Let Go of the Stuff You Don't Need Your brain will never be so full that it can't take on new information. However, what's the point of filling your brain with stuff you don't need? While it's great to challenge your memory, if you don't necessarily need to memorize something, consider keeping certain information as a note in your smartphone or just letting it go completely.According to Scientific American, "The human brain consists of about one billion neurons. Each neuron forms about 1,000 connections to other neurons, amounting to more than a trillion connections. Neurons combine so that each one helps with many memories at a time, exponentially increasing the brain's memory storage capacity to something closer to around 2.5 petabytes (or a million gigabytes)." That's a ton of space! But as we age, information can get cluttered and crossed, making it hard to recall certain memories or tidbits when we need them. Consider "offloading" some of the information you have so you don't feel as much pressure to store it in your brain. 29 Don't Drink Too Much Alcohol can have a negative effect on your long-term memory and overindulging can make it nearly impossible to commit facts to memory. If you're heading for a night out but want to remember the new people you meet for a while, keep your drinking to a minimum. If you drink too much alcohol too soon, you may experience the dreaded "blackout." If you have a blackout, you won't remember conversations or actions you took part in the next day.According to a study published in the Journal of Addiction Medicine, "Alcohol impairs different brain functions at different rates, and cognitive and memory performance are differentially impaired by ascending versus descending blood alcohol concentration." So, if you drink in rapid succession, you're more likely to experience a blackout.And you and your friends may not even know you're blacked out at the time because there usually aren't any physical symptoms. "Cognitive and memory impairment occurs before motor impairment, possibly explaining how a drinker appearing fully functional can have little subsequent memory." If you want to remember your night out, take it easy on the booze. 30 But Maybe Drink a Little While getting black-out drunk is obviously bad for your memory, light to moderate alcohol consumption may be linked with a lower risk of developing memory loss. A study published in Lancet used 7,983 study participants who were 55 years of age or older and showed no signs of dementia or memory loss. Some of these participants didn't drink alcohol at all or drank heavily, while some lightly or moderately consumed alcohol. In a follow-up with these participants six years later, it was confirmed that, "Light-to-moderate drinking (one to three drinks per day) was significantly associated with a lower risk of any dementia."The reason alcohol protects the brain from the effects of dementia isn't fully understood. However, Dr. Small hypothesizes that "it may involve an antiplatelet effect that lowers the blood's tendency to clot and cause tissue damage." The study also showed that the type of alcoholic beverage consumed had no differential effects on the outcome. 31 Associate Facts with Movements If you want to memorize something, it can be tempting to sit down and think about it. After all, you want to eliminate as many distractions as possible so you can focus on committing something to your long-term memory. But many studies have shown that actually moving around is better for your memory than sitting in one spot.An article published in Frontiers in Psychology confirms the importance of getting your body involved with your mind. "Embodied cognition approach suggests that motor output is integral to cognition, and the converging evidence of multiple avenues of research further indicate that the role of our body in memory processes may be much more prevalent than previously believed." If you're trying to memorize facts or a long list of items, walking while studying may be more beneficial than sitting still. 32 Record Your Voice If you think you're an auditory learner, you learn best by hearing information. A study published in Current Health Sciences Journal claims that about 30% of the population learns best through listening. According to this study, auditory learners "require verbal lectures and discussions, role-playing exercises, structured sessions and reading aloud. In other words, written information may have little meaning until it is heard."So, if you're studying a written list of grocery items or a group of people's names, you may find it hard to memorize on paper. Instead, record yourself reading the information you want to remember. You can easily do this on your smartphone or computer. Play your audio back as frequently as possible and focus on what you're saying or repeat it back to yourself. With this technique, it can be easier to commit information to memory. 33 Exercise Physical activity is proven to keep your brain sharp, making it easier to remember things. Not only is daily exercise great for your body and can ward off chronic conditions and diseases, it may also help you remember to stop by the post office tomorrow or wish your cousin a happy birthday. According to Dr. Small, "A recent study of healthy adults between ages 60 and 75 found that mental tasks involved in executive control—monitoring, scheduling, planning, inhibition, and memory—improved in a group taking aerobic exercise but not in a control group."A study published in Psychology and Aging found that study participants showed an improvement in memory and cognitive processing after only a 15-minute exercise session. If you want to keep your memory on point, add exercise to your daily routine. 34 Go to School Education can help you to develop learning and memory strategies. With coursework, you're forced to quickly determine your favored learning method and work on focusing so you can succeed. If you had the ability to figure out how you learn best when you're younger, you may find it easier when you're older to memorize a phone number or the names of your colleagues at a new job.Skimping out on your education not only makes it harder to develop these learning skills, it can also increase your risk of developing Alzheimer's disease. A study published in the Journals of Gerontology found, "Case-control analyses with prevalent cases showed low education to be a risk for Alzheimer's disease." In this study, "low education" participants were those who had six years or less of schooling. Use your school experiences to tap into the learning methods that work for you so you can keep your memory sharp. 35 Make a List Have you noticed the increasing popularity of lists as a way to provide information? (You're reading one!)Your brain can more easily retain concepts when they're organized and a list can help your brain to feel it's looking at information that isn't overwhelming. An article published in Psychology and Information confirms that there is a "Human tendency to locate information spatially." The way information is organized and where it is on the page may be directly related to your ability to understand and remember it.If you're trying to memorize a chunk of information, your brain may not know where to go first. Consider re-organizing it into a list, maybe even a numbered list, so you can focus on one thing first, another thing second, and so on. 36 Understand the Context of What You're Memorizing If you just need to keep a few facts, names, or tidbits in your head for a bit, you should be able to get away with using memorization tactics. However, if you're looking for something to stick in your long-term memory, you'll have to delve deeper and try to understand the context of the information.An article published in Higher Education discusses the differences between learning information through memorization and learning through context. "Using a deep approach a student has the intention to understand. Information may be remembered, but this is viewed as an almost unintentional by-product."To understand the context of a fact, you'll need to read it and relate it to the world. Instead of simply trying to memorize names, dates, or numbers associated with the information, applying it to your life and knowledge of the world can better help you to achieve the context. 37 Make it a Priority If remembering something is important to you, make it a priority. Prepare yourself to focus on what you need to remember and don't let distractions get in your way.For example, if you're attending a social event and your priority is to make new friends, focus on getting attendees' names and personal tidbits and making them stick in your brain. Don't let the environment or your inner thoughts take you away from listening and remembering what you're learning about your new acquaintances. If you can identify the information as a priority that you want to remember and can keep other thoughts or distractions at bay, you're more likely to maintain focus and commit these tidbits to your long-term memory.RELATED: Dr. Fauci Says Most People Did This Before Catching COVID 38 Take Ibuprofen (Only if You Already Are) Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are found in ibuprofen and are what can help stop your aches, pains, or headaches. Some studies also show that a small daily dose of these NSAIDs can ward off the onset of Alzheimer's disease. A study published in Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience claims, "Meta-analysis demonstrated that current or former NSAID use was significantly associated with reduced risk of Alzheimer's disease compared with those who did not use NSAIDs."However, most doctors don't recommend starting an ibuprofen regimen just to reduce your risk of Alzheimer's disease since the results simply aren't significant enough to outweigh the risks. If you're already taking ibuprofen regularly for another ailment, such as arthritis, you may also be decreasing your chances of developing Alzheimer's disease. But there are other negative side effects associated with daily ibuprofen use, such as stomach bleeding. So don't start taking it every day unless you've been instructed to by your doctor. 39 Quit Smoking Smoking can increase your risk for developing serious chronic conditions and deadly diseases, including cancer and heart disease. But this bad habit can also negatively affect your memory. A study published in Neurology linked smoking directly to the onset of Alzheimer's disease.The study concluded that "Smokers had double the risk of getting Alzheimer's disease than people who never smoked." Smoking increases your risk for memory loss as your body ages. However, if you quit smoking, no matter what age you are, you can instantly reduce your risk. 40 Figure Out Your Learning Method Everyone has their own way of remembering details. You may be able to remember things better when you can visually see them while another person may find it easier to remember concepts after hearing about them orally. The only way to figure out which senses trigger your memory is to try out different learning methods.According to the Center for Learning and Development, you should try out several learning and memory methods, such as relational learning or acronyms. While you may be able to identify one learning method that seems to work best for you, certain concepts may be better memorized using a different learning method, so you'll need to be open. For example, you may respond best to relational learning. However, if you're attempting to remember all the U.S. state capitals, you may find it easier to use a rhyming method to jog your memory. As for yourself: To get through this pandemic without catching coronavirus, don’t miss this essential list: Most COVID Patients Did This Before Getting Sick.
Living to be 100 used to be a novelty, so much so that Willard Scott, the Today Show weatherman, would announce your name on air in awe (Al Roker still does). Yet, these days it's not so uncommon to live that long. We're all living longer than ever. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention currently pegs 78 years of age as the average life expectancy. That's not too shabby considering a century ago people lived to be around 39 (due to an influenza outbreak).But what if we could push it 25 years more?Worldwide, there are nearly 500,000 people who have made, or surpassed, the 100-mark, and this number is projected to grow to 3.7 million by 2050. Here, Eat This, Not That! Health rounds-up the latest research that'll not only help you to live to be triple digits, but ensure you're happy doing so. Read on, and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus. 1 Have a Drink Don't down a bottle of Jägermeister in hopes of a long life ahead. But a glass of red wine, by all means. "Our research shows that light-to-moderate drinking might have some protective effects against cardiovascular disease," says Bo Xi, MD, associate professor at the Shandong University School of Public Health in China and the lead author of a study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, "while heavy drinking can lead to death. A delicate balance exists between the beneficial and detrimental."The Rx: Red wine contains antioxidants, can lower cholesterol, reduces the risk of stroke and increases bone density. Enjoy one to two glasses a day if you wish. 2 'Meat' Less Often Eating meat less than once a week may increase longevity by 3.6 years, according to a study published in the American Journal of Nutrition. Another 22-year study out of Finland found increased mortality and disease among individuals with higher animal protein intakes.The Rx: If you must eat meat, opt for leaner proteins (chicken, turkey, lean cuts of beef) and keep off the bacon and sausages since diets heavy in processed meats are linked to higher risk of cancer and heart disease. Otherwise, explore the exciting new world of plant-based nutrition, with a product like Beyond Meat, made with pea protein. 3 Avoid Toxins Be mindful of your surroundings, and what you're breathing in. Everything from Benzene (found in gasoline), smoke, and other toxins can lead to cell degeneration and increase mortality rates, studies show.The Rx: Don't miss this essential list of 100 Ways Your Home Could be Making You Sick. 4 Dip Into the Mediterranean Diet Olive oil, veggies, fruits, nuts, seafood and a moderate amount of wine and cheese—we've all heard the Mediterranean diet is the secret to a longer life. In fact, numerous studies have linked the diet to improving brain health and function, lower risk of cancer and other diseases.The Rx: Now it's time you tried it. Eat almonds, hummus, wild salmon, garlic, lemon, quinoa, cauliflower, chia seeds and olives frequently. Eat eggs, Skyr, and chicken moderately. And eat red meat rarely. Avoid entirely the packaged, processed, store-bought items that are loaded with additives. 5 Learn About Your Genes Gene variants found in centenarians have been linked to their longer lives. A healthy lifestyle can help people live into old age, but these genes help maintain basic maintenance and function of the body's cells in individuals of advanced age, in their 80s and beyond.The Rx: You can't outrun genetics but you can learn about yours. Consider taking a DNA test, in which you'll learn about your proclivity to certain diseases. 6 …or Try the Japanese Art of Eating Japan is doing something right! It currently holds the title of longest life span, according to the World Health Organization. This may have something to do with the size of their plates. When it comes to diet, the Japanese tend to eat smaller portions—specifically the size of a salad plate—and don't overstuff themselves. Centenarians studied in Okinawa stop eating when they are 80 percent full. They also tend to live seven years longer than Americans, according to a study, and have fewer cases of heart disease and cancer.The Rx: Experiment with the 80% rule. Or at the very least, don't keep eating when you feel full. 7 Actually Use Those Vacation Days Don't work so hard; your life depends on it. A Finnish study followed male businessman born between 1919 and 1934, and found that those who didn't sleep enough, were overworked, and didn't take enough time off (i.e. vacation) were 37 percent more likely to die between the years of 1974 and 2004. By 2015, some of the oldest participants, who always took their vacay, reached 81 to 96 years of age.The Rx: Our current culture rewards non-stop go-and-do work. But at what cost? If you have vacation days, use them to unplug, and be firm with your boss if you must. He'll value your work more if you're alive than dead. 8 Binge Less Each hour you binge Netflix, Hulu, HBO—the list goes on—after the age of 25 may cut your life by 22 minutes, according to research out of the University of Queensland, Australia. Those who spent an average of six hours in front of the tube per day were also likely to die five years earlier than those that didn't watch TV at all.The Rx: There are other reasons to stop clicking "next episode." They can be addictive and eat up your time. (Robert De Niro is currently suing an ex-employee because he watched 55 episodes of Friends in a row.) Enjoy your One Day at a Time—one episode at a time. 9 Sleep…But Not Too Much A study out of the University of Naples found that too little or too much sleep—sleeping less or more than six to eight hours on average—is linked to a 30 percent higher chance of premature death.The Rx: Seven to eight hours of shuteye is the sweet spot. 10 Eat Those Mustards Packed with vitamin C and other nutrients, studies have found mustards, also known as Brassicaceae, will keep you around longer, according to researchers.The Rx: Enojy cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, radishes, watercress, Brussels sprouts and a few spices like horseradish, wasabi and, yes, white, Indian and black mustard. 11 Say Cheese Hey, none of us are getting out of this alive, but that's no reason to keep that sour mug. Researchers examined smile intensity among photos of baseball players from the 1950s. Of the players who had died in the years 2006 to 2009, those who were not smiling in those photos lived an average of 72.9 years, while the big smilers lived nearly 80 years. They concluded that there's a clear link between smiling intensity and longevity.The Rx: Men, stop telling women to smile. It's demeaning and implies they're subservient. However, given the impact on our health (mental and otherwise), we could all stand to turn that frown upside down. 12 Learn Something New (Anything!) Old dogs can't learn new tricks but you can. Education, coupled with a healthy weight, leads to a longer life expectancy, revealed a study out of the University of Edinburgh, with almost a year added to your life for each year spent studying beyond school.The Rx: Pull a Dangerfield and go back to school—even if it's just an herbalism course, knitting class or continuing ed program. 13 Choose Your Jobs Wisely Avoid certain jobs, some of the deadliest out there, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics National Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries, if you want to stick around longer. On the flip side, find a job you love. You'll be happier, longer, which can impact you positively long-term.The Rx: Truck driver, farmers and construction laborers are among the most dangerous, mainly owing to vehicular accidents. 14 Live in (or Near) a Big City Country life is serene, but the Milken Institute Center for the Future of Aging found that living in a major city can also support longer life spans because of stronger health systems, and more access to learning, arts, culture, and other healthy stimulants.The Rx: Eat This, Not That! Health is based in New York City and our editors can attest living here indeed makes you feel young, although struggling to afford it might age you. Weigh the fantasy versus reality before any leaps. 15 Keep Close Relationships Good relationships, more than money or fame, are what keep people happy throughout their lives, a Harvard study revealed. Another study in Personal Relationships looked at 270,000 people in nearly 100 countries with a strong link to better health in older age among those with strong friend and family connections.The Rx: Send a "friend request" to someone you'd like to be closer to—and meet them in person, not just online. 16 Cut the Gut Compared with persons with a normal body mass index (18.5 to 25), those who are underweight, overweight, and obese have an increased risk of death over a 30-year period. Being too underweight, or at the extreme, obese, can impact health significantly over time, show studies.The Rx: A book like Zero Belly Diet can help you cut dairy, reduce bloat, stay plant-based and be leaner for life. 17 Think Hard About Marriage Stay away from men. That's what centenarian Jessie Gallan, at one time Scotland's oldest woman, credited for her longevity. "They're more trouble than they're worth," she said in an interview before her death in 2015. Granted, Gallan was a tough woman without or without a man. She started working at the age of 13 and spent her 109 years staying fit and having good people in her life but never walked down the aisle.The Rx: There's no definitive research supporting a link between marriage and longevity one way or the other, although one study found that "current marriage is associated with longer survival. Among the not married categories, having never been married was the strongest predictor of premature mortality." Our advice: Marry the person you want to spend your life with, and give one another room to grow. 18 Once Married, Ask Yourself, "Am I Truly Happy?" If you want to live longer, make sure you and your spouse are happy. A study published by the Association for Psychological Science found that a happy marriage can lead to a longer life.The Rx: A good marriage is linked to a more active life and healthier habits, overall. How's your relationship? 19 Have Some Kids (If it's Right for You) As stressful as parenthood gets at times, having kids can actually keep you around longer since it encourages a healthier lifestyle—you're more likely to give up smoking and stay active, shows one study.The Rx: Don't have children just to live longer. But if you do have or want kids, remember that your habits become theirs. Set the example. 20 Walk it Off Keep a good pace. Brisk walking will keep your heart healthy and add some years to your life, according to a recent Mayo Clinic study. Researchers reported that women who walked more quickly had a life span of about 87 years compared to 72 years for women who walked slowly. Meanwhile, men who walked quickly had a life span of about 86 years compared to 65 years for men who walked more slowly.The Rx: "Walking is man's best medicine," said Hippocrates. Get steppin'. 21 Get a Little Nutty A handful of nuts a day may keep the doctor away, according to Harvard University research, which found that people who crunch some nuts daily lived 20 percent longer than those who didn't.The Rx: Our favorite is almonds. Besides being an easy go-to snack that you can whip out of your bag during a good ol' 9-5 shift, almonds are also chock-full of essential vitamins and minerals, with vitamin E and biotin being the most predominant. Those nutrients enable your skin to remain smooth and gives your lush hair and strong nails the nutrition they need to flourish. 22 Keep Moving Don't stop—ever! The moment you become stagnant, things may go downhill. Stay active. A 2016 study found that elderly people who exercised for just 15 minutes a day, at an intensity level of a brisk walk, had a 22 percent lower risk of early death compared to people who don't exercise.The Rx: "For most healthy adults, the Department of Health and Human Services recommends these exercise guidelines: Get at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity a week, or a combination of moderate and vigorous activity," reports the Mayo Clinic. 23 Spice Things Up To quote Dr. Nelly of Nellyville: It's getting hot in here. Frequent spicy food consumption is linked to a longer life. Those who eat spicy foods nearly every day have a 14 percent chance of living longer, according to a Harvard study. Capsaicin and other compounds in chili peppers have been linked to fighting cancer, obesity, and more.The Rx: Sprinkle some cayenne pepper into your eggs every morning, for a one-two punch of protein and spice. 24 Know Your Purpose in Life Researchers at the Carleton University in Canada say that having a sense of purpose may add more years to your life, because of positive relations and emotions and overall well-being.The Rx: Start small. Rather than ask yourself, "Why am I here? What is my place in the Universe" ask yourself, "What can I do today that will make me feel like I've enriched my life, or the lives of others?" 25 Get Downward, Dog Yoga can help improve digestion, calm the nervous system, lower blood sugar, and so many other tangible benefits. It's no wonder researchers say it will help increase your overall life span.The Rx: Get your chaturanga on! There's no doubt a yoga studio near you, with teachers who will welcome first-timers. For long-timers, consider a retreat. 26 Brush and Floss Taking care of your teeth and gums isn't just about preventing cavities or bad breath. The mouth is the gateway to the body's overall health. Not flossing allows plaque to build up, which then turns into tartar that can eventually irritate the gums, which can lead to various infections and disease over time. Researchers followed more than 5,400 people for 18 years and found that those who did not brush their teeth daily had a 22 to 65 percent greater risk of dementia than those who brushed three times a day.The Rx: The American Dental Association recommends brushing your teeth twice a day. Use fluoride toothpaste, and brush for two minutes. 27 Caffeinate with Coffee Coffee is packed with tons of healthy compounds, including antioxidants, which can protect the body against cellular damage that can lead to disease, studies show.The Rx: Drinking four to five cups daily is also associated with a reduced risk of early death. 28 Work Out! This one is pretty self explanatory. An active lifestyle will keep you around longer. Exercising at a moderate level for at least 150 minutes can add on 3.4 years to your life, according to the National Institute of Health.The Rx: Try one of these 25 Easy Exercises That Boost Your Health Fast. They really work. 29 Volunteer Helping others can only make you feel good, and it helps boost overall mental health throughout time, which impacts the body's immunity to fight disease, according to a study published in BMC Public Health.The Rx: Animal rescue shelters, national parks, Habitat for Humanity, local libraries, political campaigns and the YMCA are a few places that rarely say no to help. 30 Do the Deed Studies show sex releases endorphins and hormones in the body, which can help combat feelings of loneliness and depression, keep you physically active, reduce stress relieving, and boost mental wellness.The Rx: Take this advice seriously. Having sex is one of the 40 Things Cardiologists Do to Protect Their Hearts. 31 Take the Stairs Are there stairs nearby? Good. Use them. The European Society of Cardiology released a study showing how brisk movement, particularly being able to climb three flights quickly, can reduce your risk of early death from cardiovascular and oncologic, and other diseases.The Rx: Skip the elevators and escalators, and track your steps with a fitness watch, if you need more motivation. 32 Slice the Sugar The sweet stuff won't get you far in life—literally. Too much sugar is linked to shorter life spans, according to one study. Sugar has even been linked to reprogramming how our genes function. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that about 14% of the daily calories the average Ameican consumes comes from added sugars. And it shows. According to a Population Health Management publication, the number of Americans diagnosed with diabetes increased more than three times between 1990 and 2010. This just so happens to be the same years sugar starting becoming more prevalent in our food.The Rx: A book like Sugar Free 3 can teach you how to identify added sugars—and how to give them up. 33 Get Spiritual Get in touch with your spiritual side. People who attend religious services, or have some spiritual connection, typically experience lower levels of anxiety, depression, have lower blood pressure, and are generally in better health. An 18-year study published in PLOS One found that regular service attendance was linked to reductions in the body's stress responses, and worshippers were 55 percent less likely to die.The Rx: You read that right: 55 percent less likely to die. Start by defining what spirituality means to you, and then see if there's a community that supports that common interest. 34 Meditate for at Least 5-10 Minutes Daily If you're not connected to a particular religion, you can still find your spiritual balance through meditation. Not only does it improve mental health, but meditating has been linked to a lower risk of cancer and other diseases, according to a study from the University of California-Davis, which found that regular meditation produces higher levels of telomerase, an enzyme that helps lengthen the telomeres in our chromosomes, which impact aging.The Rx: Apps like Insight Timer, Headspace and Calm have taken meditating mainstream; try one. One of our favorite apps is 10% Happier, from ABC News man-turned-meditator Dan Harris. 35 Laugh Harder If you know how to laugh at things, you'll live longer. A 15-year study out of Norway assessed the link between a sense of humor and mortality rates among 53,556 men and women and found that women who had a good sense of humor lived longer, despite illnesses, including cardiovascular disease; cheerful men faired just as well with laughter protecting them from infection.The Rx: We've been obsessed with the funniest lines from HBO's Succession—and aren't even sure it's a comedy! 36 Stay Positive Want to live to 85 or longer? Optimistic thinking can add years on to your life, say researchers at Boston University School of Medicine. Optimistic people can better regulate emotions so we can bounce back from stressors and difficulties more effectively.The Rx: Technically, the glass is always half full. The other half is air. 37 Get a Little Creative, Curious ]Creativity keeps the brain healthy and may decrease mortality rates. Researchers agree. Creative people just tend to live longer.The Rx: Remember this, if something's blocking you: You don't have to be "creative" to create. 38 Love Yourself Be good to yourself. Self compassion goes a long way, say researchers. It's associated with better moods, can improve body image, and is linked to happiness, optimism, wisdom, personal initiative, and more. Overall, it improves our entire mental health, which keeps our body more resilient to stress and illnesses.The Rx: Did we mention we love that thing you said today? So smart! So funny! So wise. 39 Make Like Goldilocks People who eat fiber-rich foods, including some good 'ole oatmeal or porridge, cut their risk of dying from cardiovascular, infectious, and respiratory diseases by 24 to 56 percent in men and by 34 percent to 59 percent in women, shows one study.The Rx: Buy "regular" oatmeal and add berries for sweetness. Anything else may be loaded with dangerous added sugars. 40 Go Team Cat or Team Dog Owning a dog is linked to a longer life, according to researchers out of Uppsala University in Sweden, who reviewed national registry records of 3.4. million men and women, ages 40 to 80.If you're a cat person, you'll get some extra years from kitties as well. A study by the Minnesota Stroke Institute found that people who owned cats were 30 percent less likely to suffer a heart attack.The Rx: We mentioned volunteering at the ASPCA. If you feel truly capable of caring for a pet, discuss taking one home. We like these questions from Nylabone:"Do you have enough time for a dog?Do you work long hours?Can you make it home on your lunch break for a quick walk?Does your job require you to travel frequently?Can you afford to care for the breed you have chosen?" 41 Eat Simple Get back to basics with food. Those who incorporate more whole grains, vegetables, fruits, and fish and limiting too much sodium, unhealthy fats, excess red meat, sugar, and processed foods, improved their overall health and life expectancy.The Rx: For the web's #1 nutrition resource, and to make the right food choice every time, head to Eat This, Not That! 42 Know Your Family History Does longevity run in your family? Dig deeper into your family history, including lifestyle habits, illnesses, deaths, and beyond. It may help us tap into how long we ultimately have here.The Rx: Put together a family tree—with dates of birth, death, and causes. 43 Make Time for Tea Time Tea contains flavonoids, a compound that works to boost health. One study found that 88 percent of women were 40 percent more likely to live longer because they drank two cups of tea per day.The Rx: Go green. The most potent catechin in green tea is EGCG, the powerhouse compound that's responsible for most of green tea's weight loss properties. In addition to revving your metabolism and boosting the breakdown of fat, EGCG can also block the formation of new fat cells. 44 Find Your Healthy Weight A normal body weight may extend lifespan by delaying the process of aging. The current guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention define a normal BMI range as 18.5 to 24.9; overweight is 25 or higher, and obesity is 30 or higher. Researchers report a 44 percent increase in risk of death for participants with a BMI of 30.0 to 34.9.The Rx: Talk to your doctor about the right weight for you—and ask for a recommendation for a nutritionist. 45 Pull an Aquaman Get in the water. In comparison to other physical activities, swimming is linked to more years on this planet. A 13-year study out of the University of South Carolina found that swimmers only had a 1.9 percent risk of death during the research period, while mortality rates were 11 percent for inactive, 7.8 percent for walkers, and 6.6 percent for runners.The Rx: Get off the treadmill and into the water once in a while. 46 Cycle Faster If you're cycling faster, you may live five times longer than some slower peddlers, reveals one Danish study. Higher intensity cycling is linked to decreased heart disease, and mortality rates.The Rx: Push your pedals to the metal! 47 Wash Your Hands A study found that 95 percent of people fail to wash their hands long enough to kill harmful bacteria, which can lead to infection and other illness.The Rx: Here's a tip: The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends washing your hands with soap and water for 15 to 20 seconds, or the time it takes to hum or sing "Happy Birthday" twice. 48 Don't Smoke This one is obvious. Smoking (even "light" smoking) is linked to premature death and a plethora of potentially fatal illnesses along.The Rx: If you smoke, quit now. It can add another 10 years to your life.RELATED: Dr. Fauci Says Most People Did This Before Catching COVID 49 Keep Score of Your Snore Snoring is a major sign of sleep apnea, which causes you to stop breathing in your sleep as throat tissues collapse and blocks your airways. Sleep apnea is linked to everything from memory problems, high blood pressure, weight gain, depression, and can even be fatal. Nearly 42 percent of deaths in people with severe sleep apnea were attributed to stroke and cardiovascular disease or stroke, compared to the deaths in people without the condition.The Rx: If you snore—or your partner says you do—see a doctor and ask about sleep apnea. 50 Have Fun! In the end, just have a good time in this life! Mental health has a tremendous impact on our overall health and well-being. One study even found that older people, ages 52 to 76, who are enjoying life have a 35 percent lower risk of dying over a five-year period than unhappy ones. Thanks for taking time out of your life to read this far. As for yourself: to get through this pandemic without catching coronavirus, don’t miss this essential list: Most COVID Patients Did This Before Getting Sick.
Zaya said she's been "preparing for this moment for so long."
"These people won't stop until she miscarries."
How we stay together: 'It’s within those storms that you aim for the sun'From fairytale beginning to unimaginable tragedy, Valentino and Carly Giannoni have been through a lot in two decades together Valentino and Carly Giannoni in Alice Springs in 2002. Photograph: Valentino and Carly Giannoni
"ANY of us who know her feel the same thing from her broken silence: relief."
It's almost spring, which means the snowy weather will soon be gone — but the rain is right around the corner.
OK, we were NOT expecting this answer ...
"We're approaching 16 months since they actually had a face-to-face conversation with each other..."