Lowering cholesterol protects your heart and brain, regardless of your age

High or abnormal cholesterol levels, inflammation, and endothelial dysfunction play a key role in atherosclerosis and plaque buildup, the most common cause of heart attacks and strokes. (Endothelial dysfunction refers to impaired functioning of the inner lining of blood vessels on the heart’s surface. It results in these vessels inappropriately narrowing instead of widening, which limits blood flow.) There are many different types of cholesterol, including high density lipoprotein (HDL, or good, cholesterol); triglycerides (a byproduct of excess calories consumed, which are stored as fat); and low-density lipoprotein (LDL, or bad cholesterol).

It’s well established that lowering LDL cholesterol, sometimes regardless of whether or not you have high cholesterol, improves cardiovascular outcomes. But do older adults reap the same benefits from lowering cholesterol, and do they face additional risks?

Lowering LDL reduces cardiovascular risk

Studies have consistently shown that lowering LDL cholesterol reduces the risk of cardiovascular death, heart attacks, … Read more

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Supercharge Your Skin With the Best Night Creams for Every Skin Type

It’s one thing to have a dedicated moisturizer—which is one of the essential skincare products, up there with a cleanser and exfoliator. But it’s another thing entirely to have a dedicated night cream, and to use it in place of your daytime one.

The reasoning is simple: You may not need the same defenses at night time as you would during the day (against UV rays and pollution), but moreover, your slumber is the best time to charge your skin and treat it with targeted ingredients. That’s because your body regenerates itself while you sleep, and your skin cells turn over quickly. This means that if you apply the right products for your specific needs, you’ll maximize and expedite their benefits, especially if you’re getting 7-8 hours of sleep and staying hydrated and healthy.

Night creams tend to be denser than their daytime counterparts, both physically and in terms of … Read more

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Natural remedies for hemorrhoids

Hemorrhoids are painful, unpleasant, and, um, well, difficult to talk about. But they actually are quite common: about half of people over age 50 have had them. However, they’re easy to treat and manage.

“Hemorrhoids can be troublesome and embarrassing, but they often shrink on their own with simple self-help care and over-the-counter remedies,” says Dr. Howard LeWine, assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School.

What are hemorrhoids?

Hemorrhoids are swollen veins near the anus. Common symptoms are rectal pain, itching, bleeding, and occasional protruding veins outside the anus.

There are two types of hemorrhoids: internal and external. You can have either type by itself, or both at the same time.

Internal hemorrhoids. These form inside the anal canal and usually are painless. However, they may cause intermittent bleeding with bowel movements, and sometimes discharge mucus. Internal hemorrhoids also can protrude outside the anus and look like small, … Read more

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Wilderness Travel Advice From an Adventure Racing Legend

Few modern endurance athletes have traveled across wild lands by as many means of outdoor activity as Nathan Fa’avae. Credit that effective movement across various environments and sport disciplines to the home base. Fa’avae lives on the South Island of New Zealand. There, he says locals jokingly liken the area—where it seems nearly all of the island’s one million-plus residents carry kayaks, surfboards, skis, or climbing gear in their cars year-round—to one big adventure club. Fa’avae grew up connected to the outdoors: camping, fishing, diving for food, and cooking over fires on the beach with his family. By his late teens, Fa’avae knew he wanted to be an adventure professional and studied for work as an outdoor educator, learning the ropes in sports like rock climbing, kayaking, and mountain biking (the latter of which he raced semi-professionally, qualifying to represent New Zealand in the 1996 Summer Olympics, though he … Read more

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Want to feel more connected? Practice empathy

Do you ever wish that a certain person in your life would make the effort to truly understand where you’re coming from? That ability — being empathic — comes more easily to some people than to others. Empathy helps people get along with others, from loved ones to strangers. So it’s worth considering your own aptitude for empathy, which you can hone just like any other skill.

“While either genetic proclivity or our upbringing makes some people naturally empathic, empathy can be cultivated at any point in our lives,” says Dr. Ronald Siegal, PsyD, assistant professor of psychology at Harvard Medical School. Empathy helps us understand other people, so we feel more connected and able to help one another through difficult times, he adds.

What is empathy?

Empathy is a key aspect of emotional intelligence, which also includes the ability to identify and regulate one’s own emotions, and to use … Read more

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Should You Pony Up and Buy a Peloton Bike+? Here's What Men Should Know

On Tuesday, I went to the butt museum. On Friday, I went to the club. And by Sunday, I was in the Caribbean. How does that work in a pandemic? I’m alone in my living room on a Peloton Bike+, and I’m having the time of my life. Desperate times, you say? In a way, yes, but saddling up on this machine—smiling at instructors’ affirmations, acquiescing to their challenges to achieve “glazed donut status” STAT, huffing in my Brooklyn walkup as passersby on the street see me maniacally spinning—has brought me a lot of joy, and kicked my ass far more than I anticipated over the last four months.

 

 

You probably clicked on this because you’re looking to invest in cardio equipment for your home gym. Stationary bikes might be firmly hedged in your mind as being both female oriented and dominated. But trust me, the newest … Read more

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At-Home Leg Workouts That Prove You Don't Need a Full Gym to Get Results

Leg days are typically the most demanding for lifters—and also the most effective. Because you’re hitting some of the biggest muscles in your body, these workouts generate the greatest hormonal response, sending your testosterone levels through the roof. But if you don’t have access to a full gym—squat rack, barbell, plates, machines—you’ve got to get creative. You might not be able to build the kind of mass that, say, heavy squats and deadlifts create, but you can get some great conditioning and build muscle with at-home leg workouts.

 

 

For those reasons, it’s useful to make do with what you’ve got—even if it’s just free weights and a bench. What matters most is that you’re still training the lower body well, hard, and consistently. Try these at-home leg workouts on for size. Muster up some gumption, because these are killer.

This Might Be the Hardest Dumbbell Workout You Ever Try

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Grandparenting: Anticipating March 11

March 11th, 2020 — or was it March 12th, or a few days before or beyond that? Each of us has a date and time etched in our minds when we knew that the COVID-19 pandemic was upon us. Now, the anniversary of that date is fast approaching. What, if anything, do we do to mark it? And how do we convey our thoughts and feelings about this milestone to our grandchildren?

Anyone who has reached grandparenthood has collected anniversaries along the way. There are anniversaries of joyful occasions, and ones that serve as painful reminders of loss. There are the personal anniversaries — the births and deaths of loved ones — and public ones, including 9/11, the moon landing, and (for those of us in our mid-60s and older) the deaths of JFK, RFK, and MLK. For many of us, the upcoming anniversary of the pandemic has elements of … Read more

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Desert X 2021 Installations Explore Migration, Land Ownership, and Social Justice

There are two types of desert travelers: those who appreciate its austere beauty and those who consider it a necessary evil on the drive to Vegas. Unlike most things in our increasingly binary society, the third presentation of Desert X will appeal to both. Featuring large-scale installations from a roster of international artists, the outdoor art exhibition will run from March 12 to May 16 at sites spanning 40 miles across Southern California’s Coachella Valley.

 

 

Organizers say the exhibition provides artists a rare opportunity to present work at a time when many museums are closed. Past highlights included a series of billboards displaying images by Chemehuevi Indian artist Cara Romero, whose visceral representations of Indigenous cultural memory and modern experience inspired thousands of roadside selfies. This year’s edition was curated by César García-Alvarez and Neville Wakefield, and features pieces from 13 artists.

“Projects will explore issues essential to … Read more

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Does your health monitor have device bias?

In recent years, there’s been a veritable explosion in the number and type of health monitoring devices available in smartphones and fitness apps.

Your smartphone is likely tracking the number of steps you take, how far and fast you walk, and how many flights of stairs you climb each day. Some phones log sleep, heart rate, how much energy you’re burning, and even “gait health” (how often are both feet on the ground? how even are your steps?). And, of course, nonphone wearables and fitness gadgets are available, such as devices to measure your heart rhythm, blood pressure, or oxygen levels. The accuracy of these devices varies — and, in some instances, your skin tone may make a difference.

Generally, how accurate are health monitors?

I know from my experience with hospital monitoring devices that they aren’t always accurate. False alarms from EKG monitors often send medical staff scurrying into … Read more

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The Best Backcountry Skiing Gear To Keep You Touring Safely

Backcountry ski touring is blowing up, so now’s the time to snag your gear—before demand outpaces supply. A light, smart ski-touring setup lets you ditch the crowds and earn your turns on the hill of your choice, whether in the backcountry or at a resort. And once you free yourself from lift lines and skied-out conditions, you might never go back to hot laps and overpriced après again.

Build Your Foundation With These Key Pieces

Skis

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Dynafit Blacklight 88

All-rounder touring skis should inspire confidence in a wide variety of terrain and conditions, and the Blacklight 88 overdelivers on that aim in every way. Tuned by expert athletes for optimal speed and responsiveness, this mid-fat tourer features a core of ultralight yet super-strong paulownia wood with a top layer of unidirectional carbon fiber. That high-end construction makes for great stability at speed despite the light weight. Fast on … Read more

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The link between abdominal fat and death: What is the shape of health?

Body mass index, or BMI, has long been the standard tool for assessing weight status and health risk. A calculation of your size that takes into account your height and weight, BMI is frequently used because it’s a quick, easy, and inexpensive measurement tool. Yet, it lacks any assessment of how much fat a person has or how it’s distributed throughout the body, both of which are key indicators of metabolic health. A recent study published in The BMJ analyzed different measures of body shape — more specifically, of central or abdominal fat — to determine which measures were most predictive of premature death.

Abdominal fat associated with higher risk of death

Researchers in this study analyzed the following measurements of central fatness: waist, hip, and thigh circumference; waist-to-hip ratio; waist-to-height ratio; waist-to-thigh ratio; body adiposity index (which incorporates hip circumference and height); and a body shape index (calculated … Read more

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The Best Online Outdoor Skills Schools

Pining for your next big adventure? Waiting to embark on a trip is tough, but it’s also an opportunity in disguise: Now’s a great time to learn some new skills before you venture into the wilderness, and outdoor skills schools are an ideal way to do just that.

 

 

Here, we’ve highlighted five outdoor skills schools that allow you to learn online (perfect for when you’re stuck at home because of a pandemic). Become a virtuoso at tying knots, identifying birds, planning trips, surviving unexpected wilderness scenarios, and much more—all from the comfort of your couch.

The 8 Most Challenging Hiking Trails in America

Whether you’re up for tackling dangerously steep inclines or running into snow during the warmest mo…

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Crux Academy

Crux Academy distills the knowledge of decorated outdoor athletes and icons into immersive courses … Read more

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