5 Ways to Winterproof Your Skin

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When it comes to wintertime protection for your skin, the first place to start is by staying warm—but not too warm! Here are five quick tips on winterproofing your skin.

1. Limit hot showers.

A long, hot shower might sound appealing after a day out in the cold, but err towards a very warm shower instead. Hot water can strip your skin of its natural oils, so dermatologist Dr. Jeffrey Hick suggests limiting hot showers or using lukewarm water.
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2. Use gentle cleansers on your skin.

Winter season is also germ season, but frequent washing can dry out your skin. Dr. Arlo Miller recommends using a gentle soaps and cleansers, like Eucerin’s Skin Calming body wash.
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3. Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize.

After cleansing, don’t forget to moisturize! According to Dr. Randy Stevens, it’s best to moisturize every morning after you shower. It’ll help to replace and support your body’s natural moisture.
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4. Don’t forget the sunscreen!

It may not be sunbathing season anymore, but Dr. Heidi Fowler agrees—sunscreen is a year-round commitment. Winter sunburn can happen, especially when your skin is dry and exposed to the elements, so definitely slather it on.
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5. Stay hydrated.

Regardless of the weather, healthy skin starts from within. Dr. M. Christine Lee says, “Drinking lots of water and staying hydrated helps maintain healthier skin.” You don’t need to drink exactly eight cups of water every day, but make sure that you drink whenever you’re thirsty—and when you’re hungry, too!
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Know any more winter weather skincare tips? Post in the comments section below! For one-on-one advice and tips on year-round skin protection, talk to a HealthTap doctor today.

 

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8 Healthy Habits to Help You Live to 80

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Life expectancy in the United States is just below 80, but it’s still much better than it used to be during the Bronze Age: 26 years.

Men playing cards

Improvements in technology and healthcare have come a long way over the last three centuries, but there are plenty of simple things you can do to make sure you live to 80 and beyond.

1. Take a walk (or a swim)!

It’s the simplest form of exercise. “There’s no special equipment, it’s adaptable to all fitness levels, and it’s social. Water aerobics classes are great for people who cannot bear full weight on their joints without pain.” – Dr. Linda Gromko

2. Even better, join a senior wellness program.

These wellness programs are tailored to fit seniors’ needs. According to Dr. Benjamin Lessig, attending these programs improves survival rate, independence, and mentality. Programs like cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation also foster better education and understanding for various medical conditions.

Women during swim class

3. Get enough sleep.

“Good sleeping habits are essential for the promotion of a better quality of sleep.” – Dr. Paul Grin

Excellent sleep habits include maintaining a regular wake-up time; avoiding naps and excessive time in bed; and avoiding nicotine, caffeine, and alcohol. Exercise always helps (see Tips #1 and #2 above), as well as doing relaxing activities just before bedtime.

4. Eat well.

To better frame this tip, here’s what Dr. Regina Cruz has to say: “Cardiovascular diseases are the number one cause of death for both men and women, claiming more lives than cancer, emphysema, etc.”

Avoiding obesity by making healthy eating choices—more veggies, less steak—and you’ll hop on the fast-track to octogenarian status. Heart-healthy foods like those in the Mediterranean diet also go a long way towards reducing mortality.

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5. Stay mentally active.

The fun doesn’t end at retirement. Dr. Thomas Namey encourages seniors to volunteer and travel. “Both are great activities to be with people of all ages, and they will give you pleasure.”

From soup kitchens to chess in the park, wine tours to cruises, there’s plenty to do! Keep learning, and you’ll stay mentally young.

6. Cultivate healthy thoughts.

According to Aristotle, “We are what we repeatedly do.” Dr. Joseph Boland agrees, noting that humans are creatures of habit. Developing a healthy lifestyle depends on healthy habits. Half of the battle is physical activity; the other half is mental and emotional reflection.

Dr. Boland says, “If we pay attention to our self-talk and develop emotionally healthy attitudes, it will help us enjoy better health immediately and in the future when we become a senior citizen.”

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7. Be weather-wise.

This might sound obvious, but it’s still important to note. As we age, our metabolism slows down and blood circulation decreases. It takes longer to feel cold, so wear those gloves, use that scarf, and maybe bring an extra sweater.

When it comes to the hot summer months, Dr. Raphael Peralta knows there’s only one real way to keep safe—stay cool by staying inside.

8. Don’t forget sexual health!

Sexual health isn’t just for adolescents, and Dr. Yashica Robinson White gets right to the point:

“With the introduction of Viagra, more of our mature (older) population is again becoming sexually active. Everyone needs to play safe! :)”

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Got your own tips to share? Post in the comments section below! And if you want one-on-one advice and tips on how to live a longer, healthier life, talk to a HealthTap doctor today.

 

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6 Healthy Habits to Help Prevent the Flu

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December 7-13,2014 is National Flu Vaccination Week, a reminder to take action to protect yourself, your family, and those close to you this season. While everyone 6 months and older should get a flu vaccine, it’s especially important for young children, older adults, pregnant women, and those who have health conditions like asthma, heart disease and diabetes.

The single best way to prevent seasonal flu is to get vaccinated each year, and good health habits like covering your cough and washing your hands frequently can help stop the spread of germs and keep you from getting the flu. Here are 6 Tips to stay healthy this season, courtesy of the CDC.

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HealthTap AppRx Awards for the Top Health & Medical Apps of 2014

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What It Is:

With over 44,000 mobile health apps on the market, discovering the best ones used to be a daunting (if not impossible) task. Now, thanks to HealthTap’s AppRx, you have a trusted way to find the best health and wellness apps, independently rated and recommended by top U.S. doctors.  No need to scour the web for reviews for individual apps from different sources.  Now you have one place to go to find the best and most useful iOS and Android health and wellness apps.

This year, we’re excited to announce the first ever HealthTap AppRx Awards. Celebrating the best mobile apps for health and wellness, the HealthTap AppRx Award recognizes the health and medical apps most recommended by HealthTap’s network of 64,000+ top U.S. doctors.

How It Works:

Eligibility & Rules:

  • Entry is automatic. All apps classified as “Health & Wellness Apps” in the Apple App and Google Play Stores are qualified to enter the competition.
  • Apps are further classified by HealthTap into one (1) of 30 categories (developers can select additional categories as appropriate).
  • Apps can be entered for multiple award categories, and apps may win multiple awards.  There are no fees to enter apps for consideration.
  • HealthTap will recognize finalists from the top ranking apps in each category based on the total number of doctor reviews and recommendations. Prior “Doctor Recommendations” are included in the final tally.
  • Doctors on HealthTap review apps by searching for them by name, or by selecting apps from a random review queue visible within their HealthTap account.
  • User votes on the HealthTap app listings page increase the frequency and visibility of apps in doctor review queues, improving their chances of getting reviewed.
  • Users can vote for their favorites on HealthTap between 12/01/14 and 12/31/14. There are no fees to vote.

Promoting your App:

Here are just a few ways to promote your app on HealthTap:

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Criteria for Reviews:

  • HealthTap doctors review the apps based on three criteria:
    • The medical soundness of the app
    • The app’s utility in supporting health or healthy living goals
    • The app’s usability.
  • There are no negative reviews. Apps that do not pass the doctor’s standards simply do not get reviewed.

Selection of Winners:

  • The top 100 apps overall and the top 10 apps in each of the 30 categories that garner the most  doctor recommendations will be declared winners.
  • HealthTap reserves the right to disregard votes it deems, in its sole discretion, to be suspect or invalid (such as user votes submitted by bots or other computer-generated voting applications). There are no fees to vote.
  • Final award winners will be announced on January 14, 2015 and included in HealthTap’s AppRx Annual Report: Top Health & Medical Apps of 2014, published in an exclusive press release and distributed widely to top business and tech publications nationwide.

Next Steps:

In preparation for the competition:

Good luck!

- The HealthTap Team

 

25 Inspiring Quotes About Gratitude

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Thank YouAmerican philosopher William James once observed that “the deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated.”

This season of thanks is the perfect time to express gratitude and appreciation for the people who’ve had the greatest positive impact in your life. Take a moment to thank those close to you (the kind of people we often appreciate but don’t always recognize) – like parents, siblings, spouses, partners, and loyal friends.

Did you know gratitude has health benefits, too? It can lower your stress levels, boost your confidence, improve your sense of self, and most importantly, strengthen your relationships with others. Today and everyday, why not make gratitude a habit!

We’ve gathered 21 of our favorite quotes on gratitude. Do you have one to share? Post it on our Facebook page!

  1. “The way to develop the best that is in a person is by appreciation and encouragement.”Charles Schwab
  2. “Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.”William Arthur Ward
  3. “Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.” Marcel Proust
  4. “Gratitude is a currency that we can mint for ourselves, and spend without fear of bankruptcy.” Fred De Witt Van Amburgh
  5. “Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for.”  Epicurus
  6. “Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.”Robert Brault
  7. “When I started counting my blessings, my whole life turned around.” Willie Nelson
  8. “We should certainly count our blessings, but we should also make our blessings count.”Neal A. Maxwell
  9. “If you want to turn your life around, try thankfulness. It will change your life mightily.”Gerald Good
  10. “You cannot do a kindness too soon because you never know how soon it will be too late.”Ralph Waldo Emerson
  11. “Gratitude also opens your eyes to the limitless potential of the universe, while dissatisfaction closes your eyes to it.” Stephen Richards
  12. Giving thanks with a flower“Gratitude and attitude are not challenges; they are choices.” Robert Braathe
  13. “They both seemed to understand that describing it was beyond their powers, the gratitude that spreads through your body when a burden gets lifted, and the sense of homecoming that follows, when you suddenly remember what it feels like to be yourself.”Tom Perrotta
  14. “Gratitude is more of a compliment to yourself than someone else.” Raheel Farooq
  15. “In life, one has a choice to take one of two paths: to wait for some special day–or to celebrate each special day.” Rasheed Ogunlaru
  16. If you count all your assets, you always show a profit.” Robert Quillen
  17. “As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words but to live by them.” John F. Kennedy
  18. “Acknowledging the good that you already have in your life is the foundation for all abundance.” Eckhart Tolle
  19. “No one who achieves success does so without the help of others. The wise and confident acknowledge this help with gratitude.” Alfred North Whitehead
  20. “If you want to turn your life around, try thankfulness. It will change your life mightily.”Gerald Good
  21. “Gratitude turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, confusion into clarity…it makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.” Melody Beattie
  22. “At times, our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.”Albert Schweitzer
  23. “In ordinary life, we hardly realize that we receive a great deal more than we give, and that it is only with gratitude that life becomes rich.” Dietrich Bonhoeffer
  24. “Let gratitude be the pillow upon which you kneel to say your nightly prayer. And let faith be the bridge you build to overcome evil and welcome good.” Maya Angelou
  25. “If the only prayer you said was thank you, that would be enough.” Meister Eckhart

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