• Consumer Health: Staying active, flexible and agile as you age

a smiling older woman seated on a yoga mat, doing stretches

What it takes to be agile at any age
You may have noticed a few of the signs already. Maybe when you get up in the morning you're stiffer than you used to be. Or your knees get achy after sitting awhile. Over time, everyone's body ages and shows signs from natural wear and tear. There are some things that you can do to delay the process, though. Staying active, and preserving flexibility and mobility, are important as you age. Flexibility refers to the ability to move a joint through the full range of motion or fully lengthen a muscle. Mobility includes flexibility, as well as strength, coordination and balance. Use these three tips to stay agile well past middle age.


Also in today's tips ...

Stevia and weight control
Stevia is the common name for extracts from the plant Stevia rebaudiana. In the U.S., a purified component form of the plant is "generally recognized as safe" by the Food and Drug Administration and may be used as an artificial sweetener in foods and beverages. Refined stevia preparations, such as Pure Via and Truvia, are considered nonnutritive sweeteners and have virtually no calories. Therefore, they may appeal to people trying to lose weight. While stevia and other sugar substitutes may help you manage your weight, they aren't a magic bullet. Learn more from Katherine Zeratsky, a Mayo Clinic registered dietitian nutritionist.

Slideshow: Age-related vision problems
As you age, so do your eyes. You might find that you have difficulty reading small print or that you need brighter lighting at your desk. Eye conditions that could lead to more serious vision problems also become more common with age. Check out this slideshow that reviews four types of age-related vision problems.

Bacterial versus viral infections: What's the difference?
Many illnesses, including pneumonia, meningitis and diarrhea, can be caused by either bacteria or viruses. And in some cases, it may be difficult to determine which is causing your symptoms. An important distinction between bacterial and viral infections is how they're treated. Antibiotic drugs usually kill bacteria, but they aren't effective against viruses. Learn more from Dr. James Steckelberg, a Mayo Clinic infectious diseases physician.

Grapefruit: Beware of dangerous medication interactions
Grapefruit and certain other citrus fruits can interfere with several types of prescription medications. Some of these interactions can cause potentially dangerous health problems. And simply taking your medication and eating your grapefruit at different times doesn't prevent the problem. Learn more from Katherine Zeratsky, a Mayo Clinic registered dietitian nutritionist.

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