- By Laurel Kelly
Consumer Health: Women’s heart health risk from belly fat
Belly fat and heart health in women
Many women notice an increase in belly fat as they get older — even if they aren't gaining weight. This likely is due to a decreasing level of estrogen, which appears to influence where fat is distributed in the body. The trouble with belly fat is that it's not limited to the extra layer of padding located just below the skin (subcutaneous fat). It also includes visceral fat, which lies deep inside your abdomen, surrounding your internal organs. While subcutaneous fat may pose cosmetic concerns, visceral fat is linked with far more dangerous health problems, including heart disease, high blood pressure and abnormal cholesterol. The good news is that the threats posed by belly fat can be reduced. Here's what you need to know.
Also in today's tips ...
Antibiotics: Are you misusing them?
Did you know that antibiotics can't treat colds, the flu and most sore throats? And that the overuse and misuse of antibiotics are key factors contributing to antibiotic resistance — when an antibiotic no longer has an effect on a certain strain of bacteria? For many years, the introduction of new antibiotics outpaced the development of antibiotic resistance. In recent years, however, the pace of medication resistance has contributed to an increasing number of health care problems. Find out more about the correct use of antibiotics, and the role health care providers and patients play in antibiotic stewardship.
Struggling to stay motivated? Social media might be the answer
Making lifestyle changes can be tough. Social media support groups might be the secret weapon you need to succeed. Whether you're determined to lose weight, exercise more or better manage stress, a like-minded group on social media can be a powerful tool to help you on your path to wellness. Here are three popular platforms that offer plenty of options.
Sharing kindness can make you healthier and happier
Research shows that learning and practicing loving kindness can profoundly affect your attitude, outlook and health. You can rewire your brain to be more present and kinder to others, giving your mood a daily boost. These three simple practices will help get you started.
Vicks VapoRub: An effective nasal decongestant?
Despite what you heard growing up, Vicks VapoRub doesn't relieve nasal congestion. The strong menthol odor of VapoRub just tricks your brain, so you feel like you're breathing through an unclogged nose. And in addition to its ineffectiveness as a nasal decongestant, there are safety concerns. Learn more from Dr. Jay Hoecker, an emeritus Mayo Clinic pediatrician.