5 Ways To Stay Happy and Healthy While Staying at Home

The key to feeling happy and staying healthy at home is to keep your activity level high. Here are five ways to take great care of your physical, emotional and mental health even if you can’t leave the house.

1. Good Emotions: Connect With Friends and Family

You need your friends and family, and they need you. Even if you can’t talk long, just seeing a friendly face can do wonders for your heart. There’s simply no replacement for a laugh or smile from loved ones.

How can you keep in touch while following social distancing to stay safe? Share the love digitally. Download video-conferencing apps such as WhatsApp or Zoom. These tools are easy to learn.

Phone calls, emails and text messages can also spread welcome morning cheer to friends. With voice technology, composing a heartfelt message is easy.

2. Calm Heart: Limit Negative News

The coronavirus is bad. You understand that. But you don’t need to keep hearing about it multiple times every day. Many health experts recommend cutting down on the amount of coronavirus-related news you watch.

This can reduce your anxiety levels significantly. Ironically, the less stress you have, the stronger your immune system. Instead of staying up late watching the news, get a good night’s sleep and wake up completely refreshed.

3. Active Mind: Put Together a Jigsaw Puzzle

Fight boredom by exercising your mind. Jigsaw puzzles are the perfect recipe for days stuck at home: they keep you entertained, take a long time to finish and feel rewarding from beginning to end.

The beautiful and sometimes humorous images of many puzzles can give you a positive attitude. Try ordering custom jigsaw puzzles online using pictures of your grandkids!

Sudoku, crossword puzzles, adult coloring books and other brain games can be just as effective. The important thing is to give your mind a healthy workout.

What are the best foods for staying healthy during the coronavirus? Follow a colorful diet. Eat lots of red bell peppers, broccoli, spinach, strawberries, yogurt and fresh fish.

4. Healthy Body: Stick to Your Exercise Routine

Now’s a great time to pick a dedicated exercise spot and do some exercise every day. Alternate excellent stretching exercises like Pilates with moderate activities that make you sweat: dancing, strength training or riding an exercise bike.

Keeping up a healthy exercise routine offers many benefits:

  • Excellent cardiovascular health
  • Great emotional health
  • Comforting sense of structure
  • Gratifying feeling of accomplishment

Plus, you get to watch your tummy getting slimmer every day. Having a stunning waistline can definitely make you smile.

5. Satisfied Tummy: Make Delicious and Nutritious Meals From Scratch

It’s easier than ever to have groceries delivered to your door. Instead of ordering takeout, get your hands on colorful fruit, crunchy veggies and nutrient-packed proteins.

It may take longer to prepare breakfast, lunch or dinner from scratch, but honestly time is something you have in abundance right now. Making nutritious meals is good for your whole body:

  • Making meals gives you a satisfying activity boost
  • Eating fresh fruit and veggies provides higher levels of nutrients
  • Avoiding takeout lowers cholesterol and glucose
  • Getting vitamins is essential for a healthy immune system

Cooking is a great way to stay entertained and stay healthy at the same time. It gives you more flexibility for eating healthy and making things that get your mouth watering.

Activities To Improve Balance

It’s perfectly natural to feel a little less sure-footed in your golden years. In fact, nearly 40% of older adults are affected by balance difficulties. The great news is that there are things you can do to improve your balance and reduce your risk of falling. Here are simple activities that will help strengthen the muscles responsible for good balance. Give one or more a try every day for a few weeks and see firsthand how they can help you get your steadiness back.

Rock the Boat

If you’re a little rebellious and like to rock the boat, do this exercise to keep yourself steady while you do.

  1. Stand with your feet hip-width apart.

  2. Concentrate on pressing your weight equally into both feet.

  3. Carefully shift your weight to your left foot and use a controlled motion to extend your right foot out in front of you. You don’t have to lift your leg high.

  4. Hold this position for 30 seconds.

  5. Lower your right leg slowly back to the floor and repeat the actions on the other side (shifting your weight to your right foot and lifting your left foot in front of you).

Repeat this exercise five to 10 times on each leg.

Tightrope Walk

Have you always longed to walk on a tightrope? Now’s your chance! Here’s how to perform this safe and easy balance exercise.

  1. Place a piece of masking tape (5-6 feet long) on the ground.

  2. Stand at one edge of the masking tape and hold your arms out to the sides.

  3. Walk along the center of the masking tape until you reach the other side.

You can turn around and repeat this process until you feel pretty confident in your balancing abilities.

Heel-Toe Walking

This exercise is great if you’re looking for more of a challenge. Here’s how to do it.

  1. Place a string or long strip of tape on the floor.

  2. Hold your arms out to the sides while you stand on one end of the string or tape.

  3. Walk in a straight line across the string or tape, placing the back of your heel against your opposite toes with each step you take.

  4. Move slowly! Heel-toe walking can be trickier than you expect.

You can continue this activity for 20 steps or more. It should start to get easier over time.

Flamingo Stand

You’ll need a chair to perform this great balancing exercise.

  1. Using a chair for support, stand with your weight on your left leg.

  2. Slowly lift your right leg in front of you, bending at the knee.

  3. Tighten your core muscles and stand tall as you bring your leg up.

  4. Hold your leg up for 5-15 seconds before slowly bringing it back down.

  5. Repeat on the opposite side.

You can do this exercise 5-10 times on each side. Perform it daily for optimum balance-improving results.

Side-Stepping

Remember the old days when you used to do the touch-step, rock step across the dance floor? You can work similar balance muscles by performing this fun and easy side-stepping move in the comfort of your own home.

  1. Stand with your feet close together.

  2. Step sideways with your right foot, while lifting your leg high (as if you’re stepping over something on the floor).

  3. Lift your left foot and bring it next to your right foot.

  4. Continue side-stepping until you reach the other side of the room.

To make sure you work both sides of your body evenly, repeat this process while leading with your left foot.

These exercises are simple enough for anyone to complete, and they’re safe to do at home. If you do them consistently, you’ll lower your risk of falls and related injuries. Learn more about how to stay healthy while you age here.

How To Reduce The Appearance Of Stretch Marks

If you’ve ever struggled with your weight, been pregnant or gone through a rapid growth spurt, you probably have stretch marks. In fact, it’s estimated that 80 percent of all people have stretch marks, though women are more likely to get them than men.

Those little pink, white or purple lines that stretch across various body parts are the subject of much angst. In an effort to live peacefully with them, multiple campaigns have been created to urge people—particularly women—to embrace their stretch marks as beautiful designs rather than flaws.

Though it’s important to love and appreciate your body no matter what it looks like, you may still wish to at least minimize the appearance of your stretch marks. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to improve the way you look, as long as your goals are safe and attainable. Fortunately, it is possible to reduce the appearance of stretch marks without undergoing major surgery or other invasive procedures. Here’s how.

How Stretch Marks Appear

Before you take steps to minimize your stretch marks, you should understand how they form. Stretch marks are actually scars that develop when the skin stretches rapidly. They can also develop when the skin shrinks abruptly. Changes in skin tautness occur when the elastin and collagen in the skin rupture. As they heal, stretch marks form.

Once they form, stretch marks are usually permanent. However, they do tend to fade over time. If you leave them alone, they can take years to fade to the point where they are no longer very obvious. If you want to speed up that process, here are some things you can do to help stretch marks fade more quickly.

Apply Stretch Mark Creams and Lotions

While research shows mixed results when it comes to stretch mark creams and lotions, researchers say that some products can help minimize scarring. However, they must be applied every day for several weeks before results appear. You should also take time to carefully massage stretch mark products into your skin to maximize their effectiveness.

Avoid Tanning Beds

It’s already a well-known fact that tanning beds increase your risk of skin cancer. It turns out they can also make your stretch marks much more noticeable. That’s because stretch marks don’t tan as readily as the rest of your skin. So each time you get in a tanning bed, you increase the visibility of your stretch marks while putting yourself at increased risk of skin cancer. Avoid both scenarios by staying away from tanning beds.

Apply a Self-Tanner

Although tanning beds can make your stretch marks stand out even more, self-tanner can do the opposite. Self-tanner won’t get rid of stretch marks, but it can help camouflage them so they blend in better with the rest of your skin.

Eat a Healthy Diet

Some foods are known to help the body increase its own production of elastin and collagen. Leafy greens and brightly-colored fruits and vegetables are particularly helpful for increasing elastin and collagen and contributing to healthy skin that stretches and springs back more readily. If your diet is rich in these types of foods, you may be able to minimize the appearance of future stretch marks.

Dermatology Procedures

There are a variety of procedures dermatologists use to minimize the appearance of stretch marks. Some of these include:

  • Radiofrequency
  • Chemical peels
  • Microdermabrasion
  • Ultrasounds
  • Laser therapy

For optimal results, your dermatologist may recommend multiple therapies in combination. It’s important to have realistic expectations and understand that there is no known therapy that can completely remove stretch marks.

Whether you have new, brightly colored stretch marks or yours have faded over time, these techniques can help them fade even further. Try one or all of them today and within weeks you could start seeing positive results.

Easy Ways To Lower Blood Pressure

lower blood pressure

Did you know nearly half of all adults in the United States have hypertension? In 2017 alone, hypertension was listed as a primary or contributing cause for just under half a million U.S. deaths. These shocking statistics show how prevalent high blood pressure is, and how important it is to get it under control.

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