With the daily recommended amount of sodium at no more than 1,500 milligrams (a teaspoon of salt contains 2,235; two oz. of pretzels 800, a cup of tomato juice 650) many of us are exceeding the recommendation by a factor of two or three. And with processed foods as a primary culprit, recommendations for reduction include eating fresh meats, fruits and vegetables, comparing food labels and being aware of portion size both at home and when dining out. More health tips
1. And here’s another reason to watch the salt. A study of women by the Women’s Health Initiative reveals that hypertension among older women increases the risk for brain lesions and thus dementia, as well as increasing stroke risk.
2. Cold season and exercise season. According to the UC Berkeley Wellness Letter, the severity and duration of colds has no relationship to continued exercise or rest. The recommendation is to start slowly, see how you feel and proceed accordingly. Presence of more severe infection – fever, fatigue, swollen glands, diarrhea – should be a sign to stop exercising until you’re fully well.
3. Pretend you’re hunting? A Penn State study finds that those with positive feelings about movement and exercise are indeed more physically active. Suggestions for taking on that perspective include a nod to our ancestors’ tendency toward activity as a survival advantage– still true today if in a different context.
4. And act like a lion is after you now and again. Interval training –getting your heart rate up to 80-90 percent of max (to find your maximum, subtract your age from 220), for periods of one to four minutes within an otherwise less-intense workout – has been shown to improve endurance, lower blood pressure and increase “good” cholesterol.
5. POM: Pretty good, but not a miracle. The leading marketer of pomegranate juice has been slapped on the wrist by the FDA for making medical-benefit claims; fruits and juices are good, nutritious food, but cannot be touted as producing direct disease reduction.