How to Fight Brain Fog

Brain fog can be an annoying and upsetting issue. Brain fog can be described as not being able to think clearly or not being able to do simple tasks. It can also affect memory or the ability to work.

Brain fog can be a sign of a health issue, so it’s important to see your doctor and determine if medical issues are causing your brain fog.

If you can, try to find a doctor who focuses on natural and holistic health. Ask your doctor for natural ways to help deal with brain fog. They may recommend lifestyle, diet, and exercise changes that help you.

Consider these strategies, as they may bring you the relief you seek:

1. Focus on nutrition. Poor diet can adversely affect the way your brain functions.

* Eating a high-fat diet or a lot of refined sugars and carbohydrates can make brain fog worse.

* Take a close look at your diet. Try to eliminate sugar, unhealthy fats, alcohol, and caffeine. Focus on eating more produce and a variety of healthy foods.

* Eliminate artificial sweeteners because they can cause headaches and other issues.

2. Learn to manage stress. Think about how you react to stress, and you’ll notice that you may have difficulty thinking during highly stressful situations. Chronic stress has become an epidemic for many adults.

* Coping mechanisms such as meditation, deep breathing, and other techniques can help you reduce your stress. Find ways to manage it at home and at work, so it doesn’t affect your brain.

* Get help, reach out to friends, and practice self-care.

3. Get enough sleep. Sleep is also important to alleviate brain fog. When you don’t get enough sleep, you may feel like you’re walking through a fog during the day. You’ll have trouble concentrating and thinking. You’ll miss things and doze off.

* Experts recommend seven to nine hours of sleep each night for adults. However, you may need more or slightly less depending on your body and history.

4. Find out more about food allergies and sensitivities. Some food allergies and sensitivities can also cause brain fog.

* For example, celiac disease is often associated with brain fog. If you have celiac disease, your body can’t digest gluten found in wheat, barley, or rye.

* You can also have brain fog with lactose intolerances.

* Talk to your doctor about any possible food intolerances and sensitivities. They may be affecting you in multiple ways.

5. Try supplements. Some supplements are highly recommended for brain fog. Adaptogen herbs like holy basil may help. Other supplements you may want to try include fish oil, omega-3s, and B vitamins. All of these have been shown through research to help brain function.

* Be sure to talk to your doctor before adding supplements to your diet. Some supplements can interfere with medications and have side effects. You don’t want to assume they’re all safe to take for your situation.

* While you’re reviewing supplements with your doctor, ask about your current medications. Some drugs, such as antidepressants or sleep medications, can also cause brain fog.

Brain fog doesn’t have to control your life. Talk to a doctor and try these remedies to see what works best for you.

It’s often hard to keep up with a demanding life and still find time to work out. You may be wondering what will happen if you stop doing regular workouts. This is a common question.

Unfortunately, there are negative consequences to not exercising anymore. So the answer, more accurately, becomes a matter of what you’ll be giving up if you stop exercising.

Before you quit the gym or stop working out at home, think about these effects:

1. Loss of lean muscle mass. If you miss one workout, you probably won’t notice the difference in your muscles. However if you miss several weeks or months of workouts, then the muscles will be affected.

* You can lose lean muscle mass by skipping regular workouts on a long-term basis. If you don’t use your muscles, you can lose them.

* Once your body reaches a certain level of lean muscle mass, it can’t maintain it without more exercise.

2. Possible weight gain. You know that exercise can help manage your weight, so stopping it can cause unpleasant surprises on the scale.

* The weight gain may appear if you don’t adjust your calories and meals. If you continue to eat the same amount as before, your body will store the extra calories since you’re not burning them.

* To prevent this, pay attention to how much food you eat and make adjustments if you can’t work out.

3. Decreased endurance. Your body’s endurance in both strength and aerobics will go down. You may have a harder time cleaning the house, mowing the lawn, gardening with flowers, or doing other tasks.

* Eventually, even walking or going up the stairs can become hard.

4. Brain function is affected in a negative way. Exercise helps increase the flow of oxygen and blood to the brain. Without it, you may have a harder time thinking clearly. You may not remember things as well or concentrate as easily.

* If your brain gets used to a certain amount of oxygen and blood, you may notice the difference.

5. Trouble sleeping. Without regular exercise, you may have more trouble sleeping because of a variety of reasons:

* Many people use exercise to relieve stress and anxiety. However, if you stop doing regular workouts, you may end up staying up late at night and worrying.

* Another thing to consider is that exercise can help promote sleep. If you’re tired after a long day at the gym, then you’re more likely to fall asleep faster at home.

* Research shows that exercise can help fight restless leg syndrome, which keeps many people up at night and affects sleep.

* Studies also show exercise can also lessen sleep apnea for some patients, because this condition is associated with greater weight.

Exercise is essential, but it’s not easy to do it every day. Try to find ways you can incorporate fitness into your daily routines.

Otherwise, you’ll notice a variety of issues ranging from the loss of muscles to weight gain. If you can’t exercise every day, try to do it as often as possible throughout the week.

Your friendships have a big influence on your experiences. Relationships help to define who you are and what your future will be like. Having a strong and supportive social circle enhances the quality of your life, and may even help you to live longer.

Find partners and companions who will support and validate you. Follow this formula for choosing friends wisely.

Laying the Groundwork

Identify what you’re looking for in any relationship. That way you’ll have a plan to guide you in deliberately choosing friends instead of letting things happen to you. Friendships are too important to leave them up to chance.

Consider these aspects of friendships:

1. Recognize the challenge. Close friendships are demanding. They require time and effort. They make you vulnerable to frustrations and disappointments. You’ll be more resilient if you have a realistic view of both the responsibilities and the rewards.

2. Establish priorities. Your boss and your family will probably hold you accountable for most of your obligations. However, you may be the only one keeping track of your friendships. Ensure you give them adequate attention.

3. Focus on quality. A few close friends are far more valuable than hundreds of superficial acquaintances. Think about the depth of your connections rather than the volume.

4. Seek balance. Friendships involve give and take. Avoid one-sided relationships that could leave you feeling drained.

5. Consider your values. Surround yourself with others who share your core beliefs. You’ll be able to inspire and guide each other to greater success.

6. Be authentic. Studies show that social media tends to trigger anxiety when we compete with each other to have the most likes or retweets. Enjoy greater peace of mind by giving others the opportunity to accept you for who you are.

Making Your Choices

Put your knowledge into action. Use your friendship criteria to decide when you want to get to know someone better. Reach out to others and work at maintaining the relationships that add meaning to your life.

Take advantage of these strategies:

1. Take risks. Making new friends may mean taking a chance on being rejected or feeling awkward. Remember how much you have to gain so you’ll know the effort is worthwhile.

2. Accept invitations. Kicking your social life up a notch is sometimes as simple as being more grateful for the hospitality you receive. Go to a party even if you’re tired or you feel uncomfortable. You might have a great time, and you’ll certainly get to practice your conversation skills.

3. Develop your interests. Connections often form naturally when you have a mutual love for tennis or watercolors. Meet others at the places you enjoy going to.

4. Volunteer your services. Working side by side for a good cause fosters friendships. Join the board at a local food bank or clean up a park.

5. Stay in touch. Keep your contacts warm. Schedule frequent coffee dates and weekend brunches. Call or text to say hello or when you have interesting news to pass on.

6. Share encouragement. True friends cheer each other on as they work towards their goals and celebrate each other’s victories. You can accomplish so much more when you team up with others. Select friends who will be happy about your success and compassionate about your struggles.

7. Communicate on a deeper level. Be willing to move beyond small talk. When you have friends you trust, you can know the joys of being known and understood.

Choose friends who will help you to fulfill your potential and do the same for them. In many ways, your friends are a reflection of you, so ensure that you’re creating an image that’s satisfying for you.

Have you ever lost yourself in a relationship to the point that loved ones had difficulty recognizing you? It can happen.

Losing yourself because of your close relationship with someone is dangerous and unhealthy.

Pay attention to these warning signs before you’ve gone too far for your loved one:

1. You’re unhappy but scared to say it. One sign of an unhealthy relationship is that you’re unhappy but too afraid to mention it to your partner.

* Being unhappy during a relationship is common, and it often occurs after an argument or other major event. However, if the unhappiness lasts for weeks or months, it’s a warning sign.

* You want to be able to talk about your feelings freely, so not being able to share them shows that you’re losing yourself.

* The fix is to calmly and kindly address the unhappiness with your partner. Avoid blaming them or using guilt. Instead, focus on how you want to improve the relationship and how you can move forward.

2. You give in to all of their demands. From changing your work schedule to please them to never cooking your favorite foods because they don’t agree with them, it’s easy to fall into the trap of always meeting their demands. However, this is a big warning sign that you’re losing yourself.

* Compromise is a normal part of a healthy relationship, but it has limits.

* If your identity and other things that make you unique are disappearing in the relationship, then it’s no longer healthy.

* If you’re always giving in, it may be a way to cope with the partner and keep the peace.

* Unfortunately, this means that your own dreams and wishes get left behind. You may start to lose everything that makes you special because you don’t want to upset the other person or make them angry.

3. You indulge in distractions. Watching television or checking social media can be a fun distraction. A small amount of these things is fine, but living in a distracted world is unhealthy.

* Do you indulge in distractions to avoid thinking about your relationship?

* Distractions can range from watching too many shows to reading tabloid magazines. They vary from person to person, but you can recognize them in your own life.

* Many distractions are used to avoid thinking or dealing with difficult situations.

4. Your own goals and dreams are gone. Do you look at your current life and feel like you’ve lost all of your passion or dreams?

* Each person has specific goals, dreams, and passions that make them unique. It’s your greater vision that inspires you to get up and move forward.

* However, if you’ve lost yourself in a relationship, your dreams and goals can disappear.

* You may be pushing your own dreams down to lift up your partner. You may also feel that there isn’t room in the relationship for your dreams or goals. However, your dreams can’t take a backseat forever.

* The reasons for ignoring your wants and goals may include fear of upsetting the other person. You may also want to get their approval, so you may be afraid to share things that they may not like or agree with completely.

Heed these warning signs that you’re losing yourself in a relationship. If you feel like your own identity is getting lost for the sake of your partner, try to work out some new ways to communicate with each other. If you’re struggling, couple’s counseling may provide a solution.

Many relationships run into trouble because one partner seeks more closeness while the other seeks more distance. It’s a cycle that psychologists call a pursuer-distancer dynamic.

Typically, during the initial infatuation stage, you both want to spend as much as time as possible together. Then, reality sets in. One partner feels like they’re not getting enough attention, and the other feels suffocated. The more the pursuer clings and nags, the more the distancer criticizes and pulls away.

To make things more complicated, the roles can sometimes change during the course of the relationship. For example, when the pursuer decides to move on, the distancer may suddenly start trying to win them back.

Minor fluctuations are natural in any relationship, but this cycle can become destructive if it becomes too intense or persistent. If you see such warning signs in your relationship, try these more effective methods for staying close.

Steps to Take When You’re the Pursuer:

1. Meet your own needs. Be honest with yourself about how much you’re expecting from your partner. You may be exhausting them if you’re placing excessive demands on the relationship. Try making new friends, cultivating outside interests, and fixing your own dilemmas.

2. Ask for what you want. Your partner is more likely to respond to polite and reasonable requests than nagging and vague hints. Make it clear that you’re asking for something, rather than putting them down.

3. Level the field. Who texts more in your relationship? A slight disparity may be insignificant, but if you’re reaching out too much, you may need to exercise some restraint. Resist the impulse to leave repetitive messages just because you want assurance. Try to match each other’s communication frequencies.

4. Back off. It’s essential to talk things over, but you also want to choose the appropriate time. If your partner seems overwhelmed, encourage them to take a break. Schedule your sensitive discussions for a time when you both feel up to the task.

Steps to Take When You’re the Distancer:

1. Build trust. You’ll miss out on love if you try to protect yourself by holding back. Instead, learn to trust by remembering that you’re strong enough to deal with disappointments. Notice how your partner shows their concern and good intentions, and treat them with compassion when they make a mistake.

2. Share your feelings. Risk being vulnerable. Start small and work your way up to the deeper issues.

3. Show affection. Let your partner know you appreciate them and find them attractive. Hold hands at the movies or give them a hug when they come home. Make eye contact when they’re talking and ask questions that prove you’re listening.

4. Spend time together. Share your time. Plan a romantic weekend if you’ve been working extra hours for the past month. Wake up early on weekdays so you can get together for breakfast.

Steps to Take in any Relationship:

1. Hold yourself accountable. Focus on how your behavior contributes to the dynamics in your relationship, rather than blaming your partner. You have more control over your own choices.

2. Spot your triggers. Increase your awareness of how you may be inadvertently sabotaging your happiness. Notice when you’re trying to get your own way by checking in too often or withholding affection.

3. Work together. Remember that you’re on the same side. Support each other as you’re trying to develop healthier patterns of interaction.

A healthy relationship allows you and your partner to balance your needs for autonomy and intimacy. Replace the pursuer-distancer cycle with more open and respectful communication so you can both enjoy more love and satisfaction.

Did you know that your diet can affect anxiety levels? If you’re tired of only using medications for your anxiety, consider how you can incorporate lifestyle changes such as diet modifications to help.

As with any change you may be considering, talk to your doctor ahead of time about any concerns you may have.

Try these diet strategies to help lessen anxiety symptoms:

1. Eliminate alcohol. Although there is a belief that alcohol can relax the body, it can be harmful for those with anxiety.

* Alcohol affects the body in many ways, including making you more dehydrated. It can also affect hormone levels and other things that can lead to anxiety.

* If you drink too much, you may not be eating enough food. Alcohol has a lot of calories and carbohydrates, but they’re not healthy. Not getting the right nutrition can hurt your entire body and increase anxiety. Avoid using alcohol as a substitute for lunch or dinner.

* Experts point out that the toxins in alcohol can increase anxiety attacks.

2. Watch out for caffeine. It may not be easy to stop your coffee habit, and mornings may be more difficult. However, eliminating caffeine can help reduce anxiety.

* Too much coffee can act like a stimulant for anxiety.

* Coffee can increase your heartbeat and make you feel as if you’re having a panic attack.

* Caffeine is addictive, so you may have trouble eliminating it at first. Pay attention to the hidden sources of caffeine such as dark chocolate and other products.

3. Beware of refined sugars. Refined sugars can make anxiety worse, and these sugars are hiding in many of the foods you may eat.

* These types of sugars are included in a variety of products. Carefully read labels to ensure that there are no refined sugars.

* Sugar acts like a stimulant, so your anxiety symptoms can increase.

* Refined sugars can be in many things that you might not even suspect, including bagels, cereals, oatmeal, crackers, and other products. Even canned vegetables may have unnecessary added sugar.

4. Get enough B vitamins. Research shows that a lack of B vitamins in your body can contribute to anxiety. Pay attention to how many B vitamins are in your diet.

* It’s easy to get a deficiency of these vitamins, so try to eat more legumes, meats, eggs, rice, leafy greens, and other sources of these nutrients.

* Consider eating more asparagus and avocado. Studies have revealed that these two vegetables can lessen the symptoms of depression and anxiety. Avocado has B vitamins and asparagus has folic acid.

5. Look for your own triggers and eliminate them. You may have specific foods that trigger anxiety, so it’s important to determine which foods can negatively affect you in this way.

* In some cases, the anxiety-triggering foods or beverages are linked to traumatic events. A difficult memory can rise to the surface after eating or drinking them, causing anxiety.

* In other cases, food intolerances and allergies may cause anxiety. There are reports that show some people react to dairy, and it can mimic some of the symptoms of anxiety.

* Many of the common triggers include dairy, gluten, processed foods, soda, and fried foods.

* Keep a food journal and track how you feel after eating dairy, fried foods, or other things you suspect may be triggers. Make a note about your emotional well-being before and after eating each item. This will help narrow down the list and make it easier to see what food should go.

The food that enters your body can affect more than just the scale. It can also affect anxiety levels. Pay attention to what you eat each day and keep track of anxiety symptoms that manifest themselves after you eat certain foods.

Why is it so difficult to ask for help, especially at work? Maybe you worry about appearing weak or incompetent. Perhaps you think you’ll wind up owing favors that you’ll need to pay back.

The truth is that your reluctance to reach out for assistance could have a negative impact on your career. You could be missing out on opportunities to learn from your colleagues, develop valuable relationships, and enhance your job performance.

Stop trying to tough it out alone. Run down this checklist for when and how to ask for help at work.

When to Ask for Help at Work:

1. Seek clarification. If you’re unsure about how to complete an assignment, asking for help is more effective than trying to bluff your way through it. Any temporary embarrassment is less risky than making a serious misstep.

2. Starting a new job. It’s natural to consult others when you’re a recent hire. You may even make friends faster.

3. Tackle an unfamiliar project. One of the greatest benefits of reaching out is the opportunity to learn. Ask your boss for some one-on-one time to discuss strategy together. Invite more experienced coworkers to join you on a high-profile venture or engage a consultant who can show you the ropes.

4. Fix a mistake. If you take enough risks, you’re bound to have a project that turns out differently than you hoped. A wise boss will evaluate you based on how you handle the situation. Impress them by acknowledging your errors promptly and looking for a solution, even if that means bringing in additional staff members.

5. Manage a heavy workload. Maybe there’s too much on your plate. Arrange with a coworker to cover each other’s calls on days you have back-to-back meetings.

6. Promote collaboration. Even if you excel at a certain task, it can be illuminating to see how someone else would handle it. Develop a reputation for being a team player.

How to Ask for Help at Work:

1. Try it yourself first. Before telling anyone that your computer is broken, check that it’s plugged in. Test the obvious solutions before you approach others, especially your boss.

2. Act promptly. On the other hand, once you know you’re stumped, seek help quickly. Minimize delays and downtime.

3. Be specific. Make your request clear. Let your colleagues know what you need and any related details and deadlines.

4. Exude confidence. Rehearse your request if you feel nervous. You can feel comfortable about asking for help because it shows that you are strong enough to be vulnerable and you care about your work.

5. Show respect. Let others know that you value their time. Be brief, and tell them that you’re happy with whatever method is convenient for them. Respond graciously even if they turn you down.

6. Know who to approach. Figure out who is likely to have the answers you’re looking for. Consult the staff directory or use your network to find a referral.

7. Express appreciation. Thank others for their assistance. Follow up so they know how their efforts made a difference.

8. Be willing to reciprocate. Giving generously is a powerful way of showing your gratitude. Volunteer your services before a colleague even has to ask. When you’re consistently eager to lend a hand, your coworkers are more likely to do the same for you.

Knowing how to ask for assistance is a vital soft skill that’s just as important as any official credential on your resume. Transform yourself into a more valuable team member by giving and getting help on a regular basis.

The average school-age child in the US spends 7 and a half hours a day in front of a digital device, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. As a parent, you want your kids to have access to the technology they need to succeed in school and prepare for successful careers.

However, you also want them to lead balanced lives and appreciate the value of inexpensive and enriching offline activities.

Encouraging the moderate use of media gives your children more opportunities for interactions and experiences that are essential for healthy development. Take a look at the benefits of disconnecting, and ideas for what to do when you’re offline.

Benefits of Electronic-Free Activities:

1. Shape up. Too much time sitting in front of screens increases the risk of obesity. Give your children a head start on making exercise a regular part of their routine.

2. Sleep well. Bright screens and mental stimulation interfere with good quality rest and sleep. Set a curfew so electronic devices are turned off at least 2 hours before bedtime.

3. Promote learning. Digital devices can deliver excellent educational content, but a steady diet of empty entertainment or texting can distract from studying. Help your child keep their mind on their schoolwork.

4. Manage behavior issues. Using media wisely helps prevent aggression, substance abuse, and other risky activities. It also promotes the development of important social and communication skills.

5. Save money. Maybe you have trouble affording the latest devices. Inexpensive activities teach kids how to value relationships and creativity rather than material possessions.

Ideas for Electronic-Free Indoor Activities:

1. Make music. Your kids probably know how to stream music, but can they play an instrument or sing? Introduce them to the joys of expressing themselves through music.

2. Do crafts. Collect household items or visit an art supply store so you have supplies on hand to do arts and crafts anytime. Practice making origami animals or holiday ornaments.

3. Play board games. Pull out your old favorites or shop for new versions. Spend an evening with Monopoly instead of watching a movie.

4. Put on a play. Create your own productions. Turn a large cardboard box into a puppet theatre. Read a play out loud with each family member taking a different role.

5. Cook dinner. Prepare meals together. Even small children can rinse fruit or tear up salad greens.

Ideas for Electronic-Free Outdoor Activities:

1. Go for a walk. Make it a habit to take a walk around the neighborhood after dinner. Walking is a gentle form of exercise your children will be able to do anywhere with no special equipment needed.

2. Toss a Frisbee. A Frisbee makes it fun to move around, and even your dog can master the rules. For more variety, stock up on other simple toys like hula hoops and jump ropes.

3. Plant a garden. Grow your own vegetables and flowers. Gardening teaches your kids where food comes from and how to work with others.

4. Take a dip. Having an in-ground pool isn’t the only way to enjoy the water. Let your kids ride their bikes while you spray a hose around them.

5. Visit the library. Libraries are a community gathering place. In addition to bringing home books, check out the calendar for special events.

6. Camp out. Pick a campground that suits your idea of roughing it or just sleep in your backyard. Toast marshmallows and tell ghost stories.

In a digital age, your kids are bound to be surrounded by computers, smart phones, and televisions. Show them that it’s possible to have fun without any screens involved, and carve out boundaries to keep the overuse of technology from interfering with healthy development.

Some adults love a tough workout, and others dread any activity more strenuous than washing their hair. Given that 80% of Americans fail to meet government guidelines for aerobic and strength training, it’s obvious that most of us fall into the second camp.

A new study by the University of Freiburg in Germany suggests that just 2 changes can make you enjoy exercise more. Participants with similar fitness levels were asked to ride a stationary bicycle for the same amount of time. Those who considered themselves to be athletic said the activity was more enjoyable, and required less effort.

The researchers concluded that personal expectations made the difference. The secret is to believe in your athletic abilities and the benefits of exercising.

Think how much easier it would be for you to stick to a workout program if you really enjoyed doing it. Try these tips for building up your confidence and knowledge.

Believing in Your Athletic Abilities:

1. Develop your own style. Each of us has our own personal interests and signature strengths. You may like ballroom dancing or playing competitive sports. You may excel at sprinting or long-distance running. Choose activities that make you feel accomplished.

2. Create challenges. Set goals that will encourage you to keep going. Work at strengthening your tennis serve or increasing your lung capacity so you can swim more laps.

3. Use external rewards. Intrinsic motivation is more powerful, but you can give yourself treats to help you feel fulfilled while you’re waiting to reach major milestones. Promise yourself a pedicure or a weekend outing to celebrate any week you visit the gym consistently.

4. Share social support. While you’re cheering yourself on, it also helps to have family and friends on your side. Team up with an exercise buddy, post your workout plans on a fitness forum, and ask your family for the help you need.

5. Find a role model. Look for someone who has qualities and achievements that you admire. You can pick someone close to you or someone you see in the news. Study what they do and focus on what you have in common.

6. Repeat affirmations. Create positive statements that help you to realize your worth and make changes in your life. Write them down and read them when you’re feeling stressed.

Understanding the Benefits of Physical Activity:

1. Do some research. Browse online or visit the library to read about how exercise affects your body and mind. Visualize yourself having more energy, strengthening your muscles, and reducing your risk for serious medical conditions.

2. Take a course. Sign up for rock climbing lessons or take an anatomy class at a community college. Learn more about your body and how to care for it.

3. Work with a trainer. Maybe you prefer working with a professional one-on-one. Ask friends and fellow gym members for recommendations. A customized program can deliver impressive results.

4. Talk with your doctor. Ask your physician about any concerns you have. They may be able to suggest what priorities would be helpful for you, such as lowering your blood pressure or rehabilitating a previous injury.

5. Evaluate your performance. As you become more physically fit, you may notice the effects spilling over into many areas of your life. Maybe you’re eating more vegetables or responding more effectively to feedback at work.

6. Listen to your body. Feeling good may be the ultimate benefit of working out. Take pleasure in your flat stomach or glowing skin.

When you want to exercise, you’ll find ways to overcome any barriers like being too busy or avoiding discomfort. A positive attitude about your athletic abilities and the benefits of physical activity will help you to stay healthy and fit.

Winter can be a wonderful time of year, with families gathering for the holidays and the sun glistening on ice and snow. Yet, it can also pose some extra health challenges, especially for older adults.

If you’re a senior or caring for one, learn how to protect yourself and those you love during the colder months. Study these tips before winter arrives.

Protect Your Heart:

1. Raise your awareness. Shoveling snow isn’t the only winter hazard, but it may be the most obvious. Keep in mind that your heart is working harder all winter long to keep your body warm, so blood pressure and the risk of heart attacks increase.

2. Shovel safely. When you do shovel, take it easy. Go indoors for a break about every 15 minutes, and check your pulse until it returns back to normal. Stay away from caffeine, alcohol, and tobacco because they’ll add to the strain on your heart.

3. Watch your diet. Holiday parties and sitting around indoors can lead to weight gain. For the sake of your heart and your waistline, choose nutritious foods and measure your portions.

4. Review your medications. If you’re taking prescriptions for your heart or any chronic conditions, ensure you have an adequate supply. You don’t want a blizzard or holiday closing to catch you by surprise.

Stay Warm:

1. Limit your exposure. Seniors are especially sensitive to falling temperatures, which can increase the risk of lung spasms as well as heart attacks. If possible, stay inside on the coldest days or bundle up, including covering your face with a scarf or ski mask.

2. Prevent hypothermia. Hypothermia occurs when body temperature drops to 95 degrees or less. Call 911 if you see warning signs such as cold skin, confusion, and sleepiness. You can reduce your risk by staying indoors and keeping the thermostat at 65 degrees or higher.

3. Treat frostbite. Frostbite can spread to your bones unless treated promptly, so cover up when you’re outside. If your skin becomes white or numb, soak the area in warm water and get medical help immediately.

4. Check your heaters. If you use space heaters, keep them at least 3 feet away from anything flammable. Double-check your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors too.

Other Suggestions for Avoiding Winter Health Risks:

1. Avoid slips and falls. Watch out for icy sidewalks and streets. Wear sensible shoes and take small steps.

2. Get your flu shot. Most medical experts recommend flu shots for anyone over 65, with very few exceptions. Early immunization is more effective, but a later shot may still help you stay well or lessen your symptoms.

3. Shine a light. Shorter daylight hours can affect your sleep and aggravate symptoms of depression and dementia. Try to get some sunlight in the morning by taking a walk or just sitting by a window.

4. Exercise regularly. Staying fit can help you manage many chronic conditions that often become more intense in winter. In addition to keeping your heart healthy and watching your weight, you may be able to reduce joint pain associated with arthritis.

5. Socialize more. Feeling isolated could be as unhealthy as smoking 15 cigarettes a day, according to one major study. If heavy snowfalls and freezing temperatures are keeping you inside, stay connected with regular phone calls or see if there is anyone who can visit you occasionally.

6. Talk with your doctor. Your individual risks may vary depending on factors such as the state of your health and the medications you take. Discuss any questions you have with your doctor.

Start preparing now for a safe and comfortable winter season. Taking the appropriate precautions can help seniors to stay warm and happy until spring returns.