Saturday, September 9, 2017

Warning Signs of Psoriatic Arthritis

What Is It?

When you have psoriasis -- a condition that makes thick patches of itchy red, white, or silvery skin -- you could get psoriatic arthritis, too. The inflammation of your skin comes from your body's immune system going haywire. Your immune system might also attack your joints, making them swollen and stiff. An early diagnosis can prevent or limit the damage.

Who Gets It?

Most people who get psoriatic arthritis already have psoriasis. Only about 15% get it without any history of skin trouble.

If you have psoriasis and you notice joint pain, see a doctor who specializes in arthritis. Up to 3 in 10 people who have psoriasis get psoriatic arthritis.


We don't know exactly what causes it. It's most likely passed on in families. About 40% of people with the condition have a close relative who has joint or skin problems, too. Infections like strep throat may also have some links to psoriasis.

Warning Signs

Stiff, puffy, sausage-like fingers or toes are common, along with joint pain and tenderness. The psoriasis flares and arthritis pain can happen at the same time and in the same place, but not always. You may also notice:

o Dry, red skin patches with silvery-white scales
o Tiny dents in your nails
o Nails that separate from the bed
o Fatigue
o Eye redness and pain

Back and Heel Pain

One form of psoriatic arthritis can inflame the joints in and near your spine. It's called spondylitis, and it causes back and neck pain.

Another form causes pain, tenderness, or swelling where tendons attach to your bones, like in your heel. It can also affect your hands, knees, hips, and chest.


An arthritis specialist called a rheumatologist can diagnose psoriatic arthritis and recommend a treatment. They'll look at your joints and skin for any swelling, pain, or nail changes. Your doctor may also order X-rays, MRIs, ultrasounds, or CT scans to check for joint damage. Blood, joint fluid, and skin samples can rule out other forms of arthritis.


If your arthritis is mild, you might only need an over-the-counter medicine with ibuprofen or naproxen when your joints are sore. A corticosteroid shot into a joint can lessen heat, swelling, and pain. Prescription drugs called DMARDs (disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs) relieve severe symptoms. They slow or stop psoriatic arthritis from getting worse and can ease skin problems. Your doctor may suggest other things to treat your psoriasis, too.

Biologic Medicines

Biologics target parts of your immune system. They can slow down damage to your joints and ease symptoms like joint pain, swelling, and scaly skin. Your doctor may prescribe one for you when other drugs aren't working.

Ease Pain

Try heat and cold to relieve pain. Soak in a warm bath, take a shower, or use a hot pack to relax your aching muscles and relieve soreness. Apply a bag of ice or frozen vegetables wrapped in a towel to numb a joint and relieve swelling.


Pain and swelling get worse when you're not active. Swimming and walking in a pool are good no-impact cardio workouts that ease pain and also build strength and flexibility. (Shower right after you get out of the pool so the chlorine doesn't dry your skin.)

If you're not sure how to get moving safely, a physical therapist can help.

Beat Fatigue

Regular exercise can also boost your energy and help you sleep better at night. Pain medication helps, too.

Get up later in the morning, or take an afternoon nap. Save your energy for things that are most important or that you enjoy most. It's OK to ask family or friends to lend a hand.

Living Well

About a third of people with psoriatic arthritis have a mild form that doesn't change over time. Others need long-term treatment for their symptoms. Even severe psoriatic arthritis doesn't have to be disabling, though. Pro golfer Phil Mickelson (a spokesman for the drug Enbrel) credits an early diagnosis and good treatment with helping him overcome near-crippling pain to stay in the game.


10 Ways to Boost Your Metabolism

Can You Make Your Metabolism Better?

Boosting metabolism is the holy grail of weight watchers everywhere, but how fast your body burns calories depends on several things. Some people inherit a speedy metabolism. Men tend to burn more calories than women, even while resting. And for most people, metabolism slows steadily after age 40. Although you can't control your age, gender, or genetics, there are other ways to improve your metabolism. Here are 10 of them.

Build Muscle

Your body constantly burns calories, even when you're doing nothing. This resting metabolic rate is much higher in people with more muscle. Every pound of muscle uses about 6 calories a day just to sustain itself, while each pound of fat burns only 2 calories daily. That small difference can add up over time. After a session of strength training, muscles are activated all over your body, raising your average daily metabolic rate.

Step Up Your Workout

Aerobic exercise may not build big muscles, but it can rev up your metabolism in the hours after a workout. The key is to push yourself. High-intensity exercise delivers a bigger, longer rise in resting metabolic rate than low- or moderate-intensity workouts. To get the benefits, try a more intense class at the gym or include short bursts of jogging during your regular walk.

Fuel Up With Water

Your body needs water to process calories. If you are even mildly dehydrated, your metabolism may slow down. In one study, adults who drank eight or more glasses of water a day burned more calories than those who drank four. To stay hydrated, drink a glass of water or other unsweetened beverage before every meal and snack. Also, snack on fresh fruits and vegetables, which naturally contain water, rather than pretzels or chips.

Should You Try Energy Drinks?

Some ingredients in energy drinks can give your metabolism a boost. They're full of caffeine, which increases the amount of energy your body uses. They sometimes have taurine, an amino acid. Taurine can speed up your metabolism and may help burn fat. But using these drinks can cause problems like high blood pressure, anxiety, and sleep issues for some people. The American Academy of Pediatrics doesn’t recommend them for kids and teens.

Snack Smart

Eating more often can help you lose weight. When you eat large meals with many hours in between, your metabolism slows down between meals. Having a small meal or snack every 3 to 4 hours keeps your metabolism cranking, so you burn more calories over the course of a day. Several studies have also shown that people who snack regularly eat less at mealtime.

Spice Up Your Meals

Spicy foods have natural chemicals that can kick your metabolism into a higher gear. Cooking foods with a tablespoon of chopped red or green chili pepper can boost your metabolic rate. The effect is probably temporary, but if you eat spicy foods often, the benefits may add up. For a quick boost, spice up pasta dishes, chili, and stews with red pepper flakes.

Power Up With Protein

Your body burns many more calories digesting protein than it does eating fat or carbohydrates. As part of a balanced diet, replacing some carbs with lean, protein-rich foods can boost metabolism at mealtime. Good sources of protein include lean beef, turkey, fish, white meat chicken, tofu, nuts, beans, eggs, and low-fat dairy products.

Sip Some Black Coffee

If you're a coffee drinker, you probably enjoy the energy and concentration perks. Taken in moderation, one of coffee's benefits may be a short-term rise in your metabolic rate. Caffeine can help you feel less tired and even increase your endurance while you exercise.

Recharge With Green Tea

Drinking green tea or oolong tea offers the combined benefits of caffeine and catechins, substances shown to rev up the metabolism for a couple of hours. Research suggests that drinking 2 to 4 cups of either tea may push the body to burn 17% more calories during moderately intense exercise for a short time.

Avoid Crash Diets

Crash diets -- those involving eating fewer than 1,200 (if you're a woman) or 1,800 (if you're a man) calories a day -- are bad for anyone hoping to quicken their metabolism. Although these diets may help you drop pounds, that comes at the expense of good nutrition. Plus, it backfires, since you can lose muscle, which in turn slows your metabolism. The final result is your body burns fewer calories and gains weight faster than before the diet.

Inspirational Quote – September 09, 2017

“The truth you believe and cling to makes you unavailable to hear anything new.”

This reminds me of kids who don’t want to hear what they are being told so stick their fingers in their ears and sing loudly! I guess we can all be like these kids at times. We all have our own opinions on anything and everything and, once we have formed out opinion on certain topics or certain people then that’s it! A done deal! So, well done us eh? We have effectively prevented ourselves from ever having to rethink or change what we have set in stone. So, what does that make us? Definitely not the brightest bulbs in the box!

Ready to Start Living? First Consider Death

What would you do if today was your last day alive? There's nothing more compelling than the thought of living, breathing and experiencing the playground of life when we consider that all of what we know and are may one day come to an end. Connecting with this powerful reminder will connect you to life in a way where you move from auto-pilot living to a curious, excited energy for what life can bring. In acknowledging the changing nature of reality, the value that each day can hold for you, and the gift that is our life, we live from an inspired place of conscious joy.

Friday, September 8, 2017

How Many Different Human Emotions Are There?

A new study identifies 27 categories of emotion and shows how they blend together in our everyday experience.

Psychology once assumed that most human emotions fall within the universal categories of happiness, sadness, anger, surprise, fear, and disgust. But a new study from Greater Good Science Center faculty director Dacher Keltner suggests that there are at least 27 distinct emotions—and they are intimately connected with each other.

Using novel statistical models to analyze the responses of more than 800 men and women to over 2,000 emotionally evocative video clips, Keltner and his colleagues at UC Berkeley created a multidimensional, interactive map to show how feelings like envy, joy, pride, and sadness relate to each other.

“We found that 27 distinct dimensions, not six, were necessary to account for the way hundreds of people reliably reported feeling in response to each video,” said study senior author Keltner, whose findings recently appeared in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Moreover, in contrast to the notion that each emotional state is an island, the study found that “there are smooth gradients of emotion between, say, awe and peacefulness, horror and sadness, and amusement and adoration,” Keltner said.

“We don’t get finite clusters of emotions in the map because everything is interconnected,” said study lead author Alan Cowen, a doctoral student in neuroscience at UC Berkeley. “Emotional experiences are so much richer and more nuanced than previously thought.”

“Our hope is that our findings will help other scientists and engineers more precisely capture the emotional states that underlie moods, brain activity, and expressive signals, leading to improved psychiatric treatments, an understanding of the brain basis of emotion, and technology responsive to our emotional needs,” he added.

For the study, a demographically diverse group of 853 men and women went online to view a random sampling of silent five- to 10-second videos intended to evoke a broad range of emotions.

Themes from the 2,185 video clips—collected from various online sources for the study—included births and babies, weddings and proposals, death and suffering, spiders and snakes, physical pratfalls and risky stunts, sexual acts, natural disasters, wondrous nature, and awkward handshakes.

Three separate groups of study participants watched sequences of videos, and, after viewing each clip, completed a reporting task. The first group freely reported their emotional responses to each of 30 video clips.

“Their responses reflected a rich and nuanced array of emotional states, ranging from nostalgia to feeling ‘grossed out,’” Cowen said.

“There are smooth gradients of emotion between awe and peacefulness, horror and sadness, and amusement and adoration”
―Dacher Keltner, Ph.D.

The second group ranked each video according to how strongly it made them feel admiration, adoration, aesthetic appreciation, amusement, anger, anxiety, awe, awkwardness, boredom, calmness, confusion, contempt, craving, disappointment, disgust, empathic pain, entrancement, envy, excitement, fear, guilt, horror, interest, joy, nostalgia, pride, relief, romance, sadness, satisfaction, sexual desire, surprise, sympathy, and triumph.

Here, the experimenters found that participants converged on similar responses, with more than half of the viewers reporting the same category of emotion for each video.

The final cohort rated their emotional responses on a scale of 1 to 9 to each of a dozen videos based on such dichotomies as positive versus negative, excitement versus calmness, and dominance versus submissiveness. Researchers were able to predict how participants would score the videos based on how previous participants had assessed the emotions the videos elicited.

Overall, the results showed that study participants generally shared the same or similar emotional responses to each of the videos, providing a wealth of data that allowed researchers to identify 27 distinct categories of emotion.

Through statistical modeling and visualization techniques, the researchers organized the emotional responses to each video into a semantic atlas of human emotions. On the map, each of the 27 distinct categories of emotion corresponds to a particular color.

“We sought to shed light on the full palette of emotions that color our inner world,” Cowen said.

Six Myths about Success That Can Hold You Back

According to a new book, many of the things we learn about how to be successful are wrong.

How do you use 20 pieces of spaghetti, some tape, and a piece of string to build the biggest tower you can that will support a single marshmallow? Designer Peter Skillman has given this challenge to everyone from Stanford students to Taiwanese engineers, and one group is the clear winner: kindergarteners.
It turns out this Marshmallow Challenge is a good metaphor for life: The path to success isn’t all that straightforward (at least for adults). We often find ourselves getting stuck before we even get started, or watching as everything comes tumbling down.
In his new book, Barking Up the Wrong Tree, science blogger Eric Barker pulls together a wide range of research that can help you achieve whatever kind of success you’re after—whether that means boosting your productivity, earning more money, or becoming an expert in your field. Along the way, he debunks six common myths that many of us believe about how to become successful at our goals and in our work:

1. Always get the credentials

In high school, most of us get the message that if we play by the rules, we’ll be able to get into a good college, find a good job, and climb our way up the corporate ladder to success. And, to a certain extent, that’s true: Valedictorians, who seem to follow this model, do end up in high-level jobs and are “reliable, consistent, and well-adjusted,” writes Barker.
Valedictorians take what researcher Gautam Mukunda calls the “filtered” path to success, where they jump through hoops that society has established as markers of achievement. But there’s an alternative: the “unfiltered” path.
Unfiltered leaders—people like Steve Jobs or Abraham Lincoln—skip the hoops altogether and make their own way in the world. “They do unexpected things, have different backgrounds, and are often unpredictable,” Barker writes. “Yet they bring change and make a difference.”
The valedictorians of the world, in other words, may not always become visionaries or world changers. This kind of success—the creation of products or ideas that “put a dent in the universe,” as Jobs would say—could be more the purview of revolutionaries than rule followers.

2. Nice guys finish last

Is having a heart a liability in the competitive world of business?
Not according to Adam Grant’s research. The Wharton School professor found that people who tend to be Givers in the workplace—who offer more help than they receive from others—are more successful than “Matchers” and “Takers.”
In one study, the people with the highest income rated their trust for others as quite strong, an 8/10. People who trusted others less or more than that tended to make less money. In other words, nice guys eventually get ahead in the workplace—as long as they don’t overdo it and become suckers.
To illustrate what it means to be nice but not too nice, Barker turns to a practice called “generous tit for tat,” which happens to be the most effective strategy in the two-person Prisoner’s Dilemma game. (In this game, two players have the choice to cooperate or defect; mutual cooperation earns the highest rewards, but it’s safer to defect on a given round if you don’t trust your partner.) By cooperating with one’s partner, and then simply imitating their actions and occasionally responding to defection with forgiveness and more cooperation, players tend to get the best outcome over time.
When we interact with people repeatedly, Barker says, it pays (literally) to be known as a generous and giving person—who expects friendly treatment in return.

3. Winners never quit…

<a href=“”><em>Barking Up the Wrong Tree: The Surprising Science Behind Why Everything You Know About Success Is (Mostly) Wrong</em></a> (HarperOne, 2017, 320 pages)Barking Up the Wrong Tree: The Surprising Science Behind Why Everything You Know About Success Is (Mostly) Wrong(HarperOne, 2017, 320 pages)
…and quitters never win, right? I remember learning in school that Thomas Edison tried 1,000 prototypes before he successfully invented the lightbulb, which seems to support the myth.
But quitting may be an essential part of success, says Barker. “Whenever you wish you had more time, more money, etc., strategic quitting is the answer. And if you’re very busy, this may be the only answer.”
In other words, we can’t do everything—and the way to figure out what we should be doing is to try a bunch of stuff and stop what isn’t working. For example, people who try lots of different jobs early in their careers typically go on to make more money and rise higher in the ranks. Quitting goals we’ll never reach simply makes us happier and less stressed. Oh, and the reason those kindergarteners were so successful at the Marshmallow Challenge is because they kept trying different things rather than persisting at a losing strategy.
To make sure we don’t give up prematurely, Barker recommends the WOOP process: Once you have a Wish (anything you want to achieve), figure out the positive Outcome you’d get from succeeding and the Obstacles that might stand in your way; then, Plan how to overcome them. In many cases, this process will boost your energy to work toward a worthwhile goal. If it leaves you feeling demotivated, Barker says, your goal probably isn’t feasible—which means it’s time to find another one.

4. Network your way to the top

If networking is crucial to success, extroverts should have a clear advantage. And they do, by some definition of success: Extroverts tend to make more moneyhave higher career satisfaction, and get more promotions, while introverts are more likely to earn graduate degrees and become experts in their field.
Luckily, most of us don’t really have to choose, because a full two-thirds of people are actually ambiverts, falling somewhere in the middle between introversion and extroversion. That means that we can use the strengths of both personalities, hunkering down in solitude to get that Master’s and then cultivating social connections in the workplace. 
When we want to be social, Barker recommends trying to build friendships rather than networking, which (research suggests) does actually feel sleazy. While networking is focused on what you can get from others, friendship is focused on what you can give—remember the benefits of being a nice guy?
Studies have also shown that friends seem to go hand in hand with success: Having not just close friends but also wider acquaintances can help you find a job in the first place, for example. Once you’re at work, you’re more likely to get promoted if you’re open to developing friendships. Even sitting at larger lunch tables at work is linked to higher performance!

5. Always believe in yourself

All those articles, videos, and workshops on self-confidence exist for a reason: Many of us believe it would help our careers to have more chutzpah.
Although confidence does seem to be linked to higher incomeproductivity, and respect from others, it has its downsides, as well. Having more confidence sometimes means that we’re more likely to blame others than admit our own mistakes. On the other hand, Barker explains, humility can drive us toward self-improvement and eventually make us a more popular leader.
To get the best of both worlds, he recommends we cultivate self-compassion, the practice of responding to our shortcomings with kindness and the recognition that no one is perfect. Not only is self-compassion linked to greater well-being, self-compassionate people also procrastinate less, persevere more, and have less fear of failure. That’s what happens when you’re willing to see things as they are—your flaws included—but not respond with debilitating self-criticism.
“Harshly judging yourself as good or bad, as immediately successful or unsuccessful, is very black and white and narrow-minded. To achieve wisdom, you need a little more flexibility, acceptance, and the learning that comes with growth,” says Barker.

6. Work as much as you can

This last success myth is probably one of the most insidious: Even though we may not intend to work-til-we-drop, many of us find ourselves constantly plugged in, sleep deprived, and still feeling behind.
At the same time, we know that overwork is detrimental: Research suggests that we actually become less productive once we start working more than 55 hours per week. People who are overworked tend to exercise less, smoke more, and see their doctor more often. One group of researchers even theorized that burnout—that term we have for extreme stress and exhaustion—may actually just be depression.
To combat the constant urge to do more, Barker recommends that we identify the type of success that we’re after in the first place. While much of the research he cites focuses on boosting income and performance, he ends up proposing that we develop our own personal definition of success balancing these four measures:
  • Happiness: Feeling good
  • Achievement: Accomplishing our goals
  • Significance: Having a positive impact on others
  • Legacy: Establishing accomplishments or values that will benefit others in the future
Like many books of its genre, Barking Up the Wrong Tree is a pleasant read, interspersed with stories and a good dash of humor. All the research and tips can feel a bit unfocused at times, as you move from the benefits of optimism and storytelling to how to gamify your life, all in a chapter on strategic quitting. But its 250 pages of myth-busting may encourage you to develop a spirit of thoughtful questioning about how to achieve success, which is ultimately the point.

Inspirational Quote – September 08, 2017

“Be not afraid of growing slowly, be afraid only of standing still.”

No one on our beautiful planet knows everything about everything. Saying that, every new day does present each and every one of us with opportunities and the potential to learn and to grow as human beings. However, occasionally, we may tend to be impatient because we feel we’re not learning as fast as we think we could or should, perhaps comparing ourselves unfavorably with other people. However, look on the positive side, at least we are taking steps to actively learn and progress. We’re not choosing to be at a standstill! Every second, every minute, every hour, every day, brings us closer to what we dream of achieving just for us. So take heart and carry on…………

Thursday, September 7, 2017

You Could Have a Brain Aneurysm and Not Know It

What Is It?

An aneurysm is a weak spot in one of your brain’s arteries (blood vessels that carry oxygen from your heart to the rest of your body). They tend to happen where arteries fork. Over time, flowing blood puts pressure on that spot and makes it give way and balloon out. It’s a lot like a worn-out garden hose that bulges where it’s gotten thin. Most people who have an aneurysm don’t know it. But if it bursts, it can be life-threatening and cause brain damage.

Types of Aneurysms

There are two basic kinds, based on their shape. Saccular aneurysms, also called berry aneurysms, are by far the most common. A small pouch forms on one side of the artery wall, so it looks like a berry with a short stem. Fusiform aneurysms make the artery bulge out in one area. They tend to be more common in people who have hardened arteries (when cholesterol and other fatty substances build up in your arteries and make them narrow).

Symptoms of an Unruptured Aneurysm

This is one that hasn’t burst. Small ones typically don’t cause symptoms, but larger ones can press on your brain and lead to:

o Balance problems
o Headaches
o Numbness or weakness on one side of your face
o Pain above and behind your eye
o Problems seeing, like double vision or loss of sight
o Trouble talking
o Widened pupils

See your doctor right away if you have these symptoms.

Symptoms of a Ruptured Aneurysm

When an aneurysm bursts, you’ll suddenly have a terrible headache. Some people say it’s like a thunderclap, the worst pain they’ve ever known. You also may have:

o Blurred or double vision
o Confusion
o Loss of consciousness
o Seizures
o Sensitivity to light
o Stiffness or pain in your neck
o Upset stomach and throwing up
o Weakness along one side of your body

Call 911 if someone you’re with suddenly gets an extreme headache, loses consciousness, or has a seizure.

How a Rupture Damages Your Brain

A burst aneurysm causes bleeding in your brain, and that leads to what’s called a hemorrhagic stroke. (A stroke is when part of your brain doesn’t get the blood it needs.) The blood itself, and the swelling and pressure that come along with it, can cause brain damage. Fluid from your brain and spine also may back up and add more pressure. Once this happens, there’s a chance the aneurysm may bleed again, and the arteries in your brain can get narrow, which can cause another stroke.

Risk Factors: Age, Family, Gender

Doctors aren’t exactly sure what causes an aneurysm, but your age and gender may affect your chances. Most people who have them are over 40, and women have them more often than men. This might be because levels of a hormone called estrogen drop after menopause, and that may make a woman’s blood vessels more rigid. Your family history also may play a role. You’re a little more likely to have one if a parent, brother, or sister had one.

Risk Factors: Health Conditions and Lifestyle

Some health problems may make you more likely to have an aneurysm, including certain conditions you’re born with, like polycystic kidney disease, or tissue disorders, like Ehlers-Danlos syndrome. Your chances are also higher if you have hardened arteries, high blood pressure, or a serious head injury. Some lifestyle choices can raise your risk, too, like heavy drinking, smoking, or using illegal drugs, especially cocaine.

Ruptured Aneurysm Tests

Your doctor will probably want to do a computerized tomography (CT) scan to find out where it happened in your brain. (Several X-rays will be taken from different angles, and your doctor will put them together to make a more complete picture.) If that doesn’t show anything, she may check your cerebrospinal fluid for red blood cells, which could be a sign of bleeding in your brain. Your doctor will use a thin needle to take a sample of fluid from your back.

Other Tests

If your doctor doesn’t think you had a rupture, he’ll probably recommend a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan to find the aneurysm. If your doctor still doesn’t have the information he needs, you may get a cerebral angiogram. It uses X-rays and a special dye to show more details.

Treatment: Ruptured Aneurysm

Doctors treat this in two ways. The right one for you depends on the size and shape of the aneurysm and where it is in your brain. One option is called surgical clipping. This is open brain surgery where your doctor uses a metal clip to stop blood flow to the aneurysm. The other is called endovascular coiling. With this, your doctor puts a thin tube into your groin and up to your brain to take a ball of wire coils to the aneurysm. Clots form around the coils to keep blood from flowing there.

Complications From Rupture

You may need other treatments for problems a rupture can cause. This might include an angioplasty, where your doctor uses a small balloon to widen a blocked artery, or drugs to help with things like blood flow, pain, seizures, and vasospasms (when blood vessels in your brain suddenly get narrow). Some people also need surgery to keep fluid from building up in their brain.

Treatment: Unruptured Aneurysm

This will depend on whether your doctor thinks it's likely to burst. That’s based on the size of the aneurysm, where it is, your age and overall health, and your family history. If your risk is low, you’ll have regular checkups so your doctor can keep an eye on it. You may also need to make some lifestyle changes, like losing weight or having less fat in your diet. If your doctor thinks it’s likely to rupture, he may recommend surgical clipping or endovascular coiling to keep that from happening.


If you have endovascular coiling, you typically need to stay in the hospital overnight. You can start doing normal activities within a couple days. For surgical clipping, you’ll spend a few days in the hospital, and it’ll take at least 4 weeks to recover.

After a Rupture

You’ll likely be in the hospital for at least 2 weeks. Some people have mild or almost no problems after a rupture, but bleeding and issues like vasospasms can cause brain damage. Surgical clipping can’t undo that, but physical, occupational, and speech therapy may help.

Prevention: Lifestyle Changes

To help prevent an aneurysm, you can:

o Stay away from recreational drugs, especially cocaine.
o Cut back on caffeine.
o Eat a healthy, low-fat, low-salt diet with lots of fruits and veggies.
o Exercise often to lower your blood pressure and protect your blood vessels.
o Limit alcohol: Stick to one drink a day for women and men over 65, two drinks for men under 65.
o Stay at a healthy weight.
o Quit smoking.