In Life + Health this month, we're focusing on health and fitness. We'll target a generation each week. Today, we're focusing on the health and fitness of adults, with eight tips. On May 4, we looked at kids. On May 11, we focused on the health and fitness of teens. On May 25, we'll look at seniors. Some of the tips we give will be new; some will be gentle reminders. All of them are geared toward making us all healthier and more fit.
1. Sandwiched: With the number of children being born to older parents growing, so is the Sandwich Generation that cares for both aging moms or dads and young children. The stress of being stretched can affect your health. For information and resources, contact your local Area Agency on Aging. You can find a list at www.chfs.ky.gov/dail/AreaAgenciesonAging.htm
2. True friends: Facebook has done research into how many friends you can really keep in touch with. The average number of friends for a person is 120, but research found that men regularly correspond with only four. Women correspond with about six. The conclusion, published in The Economist: "Humans may be advertising themselves more efficiently but they still have the same small circles of intimacy as ever.
3. Ticktock. Finding time to exercise can be a challenge. But try getting up 30 minutes early, getting the family or family pet involved in a good walk or even get in a little activity while watching television using hand weights, riding a stationary bike or doing a stretching routine during your favorite shows.
4. Multitasking: There are lots of reasons you shouldn't, say, text, drive and eat a burger at the same time, but a recent study from France shows that multitasking overloads your brain. Two complicated jobs, one for each lobe of the brain, is the maximum you should try, researchers found. You can multitask as much as you want, the study showed, but you will make more errors.
5. Get shot: You probably had a tetanus shot as a child, certainly before you started school, but if it's been more than 10 years since your last vaccination, you should get a booster shot. If you step on a nail or suffer a wound that is deep and dirty, and haven't had a tetanus booster, seek help fast and rinse the wound with tap water. Do not cleanse with soap or apply antiseptic to a deep wound.
6. Toothsome: Severe periodontal disease affects about 14 percent of adults ages 45 to 54, yet studies show that one-third of adults don't make regular dental visits. You know who you are. Visit the dentist every six months and have a professional cleaning. In addition to regular brushing, once-a-day flossing is recommended along with a the use of a fluoride-based mouthwash.
7. Smart choices: Every other commercial on television seems to be about a weight-loss program or product. The Federal Trade Commission has a booklet that looks at claims and effectiveness of various programs. It's at www.pueblo.gsa.gov/cic_text/health/works4you/weightloss.htm. In Kentucky, county extension offices often offer healthy cooking classes aimed at improving health and losing weight. Find yours at www.ca.uky.edu.
8. Get moving and make it fun: Don't limit your exercise options to the gym or the track. Try belly dancing, rowing or even putting some extra effort into housework to get your heart pumping. Check out the parks and recreation offerings at www.lexingtonky.gov and search for "parks" or check with your local parks and rec department. The YMCA, www.ymcaofcentralky.org, offers a variety of classes.