FOR YOUR HEALTH: How To Look Out For Your Lips This Winter

(NAPSI)—Presented by Carmex. When it’s cold outside—and hot and dry inside—your lips need extra care to stay soft and feel comfortable. Here are five helpful tips:

Lip Care Tips

1. Stay hydrated: Dry, cracked lips can be improved through hydration. Remember to drink water frequently and apply a lip balm daily to restore the moisture in your lips.
2. Read labels: For serious moisture, search for such ingredients as colloidal oatmeal and cold-pressed antioxidant-rich fruit seed oil, because they provide long-lasting moisture and help rejuvenate lips’ natural beauty. Carmex Comfort Care lip balms, which include these moisturizing ingredients, come in several delicious flavors like Sugar Plum and Mixed Berry. If you’re suffering from dry, cracked lips, look for a medicated lip balm like Carmex’s Classic Original Jar, which contains soothing ingredients like camphor to provide pain relief and menthol for a cooling effect.
3. Cover your lips from the cold: Lips can be stripped of moisture because of dry air that comes with the changing weather. Before leaving the house, cover your lips with a scarf to protect them.
4. Remember, you can still get sunburned: Just because it’s cold out doesn’t mean you can’t still be at risk for sun damage. Use a daily lip balm with SPF such as Carmex Daily Care Wintergreen with SPF 15 to keep lips hydrated and protected from the sun year-round.
5. Keep cold sore treatment on hand: Dry, cold winds can trigger a cold sore outbreak. Stress and drastic changes in temperature, such as moving from a warm house to the chilly outside, can also lead to a cold sore outbreak or recurrence. If you’re susceptible to cold sores, it could be a good idea to carry Carmex Cold Sore Treatment. While no product can cure a cold sore, it may help you feel more comfortable and confident. Its unique formula works on contact to minimize* the appearance of cold sores, promote healing, and relieve the seven worst cold sore symptoms—pain, itch, dryness, cracking, redness, scabbing and irritation.
*Product does not treat viral infections. When used to help conceal, individual results may vary.
The lip treatments are all available at Walmart, Walgreens, CVS, Target and many other retailers.

Learn More

For further facts and tips, go to

FOR YOUR HEALTH: Statistics show decline in cancer related deaths


The American Cancer Society has announced updated cancer statistics, facts and figures which show a decline in the cancer death rate in recent years.

The main takeaway is, the cancer death rate dropped 1.7 percent from 2014 to 2015, continuing a drop that began in 1991 and has reached 26 percent, resulting in nearly 2.4 million fewer cancer deaths during that time.

The data is reported in Cancer Statistics 2018, the American Cancer Society’s comprehensive annual report on cancer incidence, mortality, and survival. It is published in California: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians and is accompanied by its consumer version: Cancer Facts and Figures 2018.

The report estimates that there will be 1,735,350 new cancer cases and 609,640 cancer deaths in the United States in 2018*. The cancer death rate dropped 26 percent from its peak of 215.1 per 100,000 population in 1991 to 158.6 per 100,000 in 2015. A significant proportion of the drop is due to steady reductions in smoking and advances in early detection and treatment. The overall decline is driven by decreasing death rates for the four major cancer sites: Lung (declined 45 percent from 1990 to 2015 among men and 19 percent from 2002 to 2015 among women); female breast (down 39 percent from 1989 to 2015), prostate (down 52 percent from 1993 to 2015), and colorectal (down 52 percent from 1970 to 2015).

While the new report also finds that death rates were not statistically significantly different between whites and blacks in 13 states, a lack of racial disparity is not always indicative of progress. For example, cancer death rates in Kentucky and West Virginia were not statistically different by race, but are the highest of all states for whites.
Prostate, lung, and colorectal cancers account for 42 percent of all cases in men, with prostate cancer alone accounting for almost one in five new diagnoses.

For women, the three most common cancers are breast, lung, and colorectal, which collectively represent one-half of all cases; breast cancer alone accounts for 30 percent all new cancer diagnoses in women.

The lifetime probability of being diagnosed with cancer is slightly higher for men (39.7 percent) than for women (37.6 percent). Adult height has been estimated to account for one-third of the difference.

Liver cancer incidence continues to increase rapidly in women, but appears to be plateauing in men. The long-term, rapid rise in melanoma incidence appears to be slowing, particularly among younger age groups. Incidence rates for thyroid cancer also may have begun to stabilize in recent years, particularly among whites, in the wake of changes in clinical practice guidelines.

The decline in cancer mortality, which is larger in men (32 percent since 1990) than in women (23 percent since 1991), translates to approximately 2,378,600 fewer cancer deaths (1,639,100 in men and 739,500 in women) than what would have occurred if peak rates had persisted.

“This new report reiterates where cancer control efforts have worked, particularly the impact of tobacco control,” said Otis W. Brawley, M.D., chief medical officer of the American Cancer Society. “A decline in consumption of cigarettes is credited with being the most important factor in the drop in cancer death rates. Strikingly though, tobacco remains by far the leading cause of cancer deaths today, responsible for nearly three in ten cancer deaths.”

*Estimated cases and deaths should not be compared year-to-year identify trends.

FOR YOUR HEALTH: Use your brain to tackle tinnitus

Hearing aids have proven helpful for people with hearing loss who also experience tinnitus.

(NAPSI)—Approximately 80 percent of people with hearing loss also suffer from tinnitus—a ringing, buzzing, whistling or other noises in the ear. It can disrupt life and interfere with your enjoyment of everyday activities, but you can find relief.

Hearing aids have proven help-ful for people with hearing loss who also experience tinnitus. That’s because with better hear-ing, the brain has other external sounds to listen to, making tinni-tus less disturbing. Improved hearing also takes away the strain of listening, especially in difficult listening situations, and may help to reduce the stress associated with tinnitus.

Refocusing the Brain

There are many ways to take control of your tinnitus and reduce its impact on your life. Oticon Opn™ hearing aids offer the benefits of a balanced and rich sound experience that doesn’t overload the brain and a powerful solution for tinnitus relief. With built-in Tinnitus SoundSupport, the hearing aids allow you benefit from a range of soothing relief sounds, including popular ocean and nature sounds. You can adjust the sounds until they give the relief you need—wherever you find yourself needing it. You can also wirelessly stream alter-native tinnitus relief options, such as your favorite music, audio books, podcasts, or even relaxation guides directly to your hearing aids.

Hearing Care Is Health Care

It makes good sense to take care of your hearing health, just as you do the rest of your health. You owe it to yourself to schedule a visit with a hearing care professional for a hearing evaluation.

Learn more at

FOR YOUR HEALTH: Top Five Tips To Stay Fit This Holiday Season


(NAPSI) — While visions of sugarplums may be dancing in your head, don’t let your fitness and diet goals get pushed to the side during the holidays.

For many, it is the season of overindulgence—from holiday parties complete with decadent sweets and cocktails, to unexpected dinners out with friends and family. However, treats should be balanced with nutritious options and a healthy fitness routine. Don’t let short-term temptation derail you from achieving your long-term health goals in 2018.

Recruit a workout buddy. It’s much harder to skip a workout when you have a friend who is relying on you to participate.

Sims Corbett, certified national trainer with SilverSneakers, the nation’s leading fitness community for older adults, offers the following tips to enjoy yourself this holiday season while keeping your fitness goals top of mind:

  1. Make treats exactly that, a treat: Avoid hovering by the dessert table all night. Allow yourself one treat per holiday party and then seek out healthy options, such as a veggie tray. Or, better yet, split desserts with friends so that you can enjoy all the flavors while staying on track with calories.
  2. Make time for exercise: While the holidays are a busy time, set time aside each week to exercise. If you have family in town, gather the group together and go for walks each morning. You can catch up with each other as you get your steps in, and set an example for your youngest family members.
  3. Don’t skip meals: Don’t starve yourself in preparation for the big holiday dinner. Breakfast is an important part of your day to kick-start metabolism. Further, eat healthy snacks throughout the day to boost your metabolism.
  4. Try a new exercise class: The excitement of trying something new can spark even more motivation to work out. Make the holiday season the time to try a class you’ve been thinking about.
  5. Recruit a workout buddy: It’s much harder to skip a workout when you have a friend who is relying on you to participate. Find a friend who can share your fitness routine during the holiday season and keep you accountable to your goals.

For more than 25 years, SilverSneakers has been helping older adults reach their fitness goals, maximize their health, maintain their lifestyle and improve overall well-being.

To see if you are eligible or to find a class in your area, visit

FOR YOUR HEALTH: Tackling Depression Can Lead To A Happier New Year


(NAPSI)—As cheerful and joyous as the New Year can be, it can also be a trigger for stress and depression for some people—but there is hope. There are many resources for people who feel wrung out ringing in the New Year.

For example, Marriage and Family Therapists (MFTs) can help. MFTs are licensed mental health professionals who work with individuals, couples (married or not), families of all types, and groups to cure or relieve mental, emotional and relational concerns of all kinds.

At New Year’s, or anytime, you don’t have to let depression get you down. Talking to a therapist can help.

How To Recognize Depression

To help you tell if you or someone you care about is suffering from depression, the experts at the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists (CAMFT) offer these warning signs:

  • Feeling sad and/or irritable
  • Changes in weight or appetite
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Feelings of guilt, hopelessness or worthlessness
  • Inability to concentrate, remember things or make decisions
  • Thoughts of death or suicide.

How To Handle Depression

If these symptoms look familiar, here are some things to do right now:

  • Recognize depression early. Depression can happen to anyone. It’s not a character defect, a weakness or a shameful condition. It’s a serious disorder that no one is immune to.
  • Engage in your life. If you are depressed, you may feel like you don’t have an ounce of energy or motivation to tackle depression. Recovery, however, requires your active participation. Be willing to take the first step, even though it’s not easy.
  • Build your skills. Learn why you’re vulnerable to depression and specific ways to become more resilient by breaking unhealthy patterns of thought and behavior. Developing good coping and relationship skills can reduce both the frequency and severity of depression episodes.
  • Find the right therapist. Talking through one’s stressors and understanding the underlying causes is a proven way to effectively treat depression. Look for therapists with training and experience in treating depression, as well as someone who is warm, supportive and goal oriented. Use short telephone interviews to find a good fit with potential therapists. Ask about how they approach problems like yours.
  • Be optimistic. You have every reason to believe you can get better with effective treatment. While anti-depressants are not a cure, they can be very helpful to some people in managing depression. Whether or not you choose to use medicine to manage your symptoms, therapy can give you the long-term skills you need to live a productive, fulfilling life.

How To Learn More

For more information about how to find a therapist, visit

At New Year’s, or anytime, you don’t have to let depression get you down. Talking to a therapist can help.

For Your Health: Older People Improve Life For Others And Themselves

For Your Health

(NAPSI)—Many older Americans have discovered that sharing their accumulated wisdom with others who need help can be a big win all around.
Here’s a look at two ways you can stretch your mind and show your heart:

Experience Corps

AARP Foundation Experience Corps unites teachers, schools and older adults to improve children’s academic and social outcomes. This benefits the children, the schools and the volunteers.
The program has been proven to help children who aren’t reading at grade level become better readers by the end of third grade. Last school year, 76 percent of students who were below grade level at the beginning of the year raised their reading and literacy performance by one or more proficiency levels with the help of Experience Corps volunteers.
The goal is to improve children’s literacy, strengthen communities, develop cultures of inspiration in schools and support hardworking teachers. It’s already changed the lives of thousands of children in schools across America.
Volunteers should be age 50 or older; have at least a high school diploma or GED; pass a criminal background check; pass a basic literacy screening; attend 25 hours of annual training; and have five to 15 hours a week to offer during the school year.


AARP Foundation also runs Tax-Aide, the nation’s largest free tax assistance and preparation service, giving special attention to those 50 and older. It offers free tax-filing help to those who need it most. You do not need to be a member of AARP or even a retiree to use this free service.
IRS tax-certified volunteer preparers in libraries, malls, banks, community centers and senior centers answer questions and prepare tax returns. In addition to earned and retirement income reporting, they can also help with investment income (interest, dividends, and capital gains for Schedule D), Schedule C for individuals with small businesses that have less than $25,000 in annual expenses, and various health care, education, child and earned income credits.
Compassionate and friendly individuals can volunteer for the upcoming tax season. Volunteers receive training and continued support in a welcoming environment.

Learn More

For facts about Tax-Aide, including requirements for volunteers, go to For facts on Experience Corps, visit For information about AARP Foundation, visit

FOR YOUR HEALTH: New Guidelines Mean More Americans Have High Blood Pressure—You Could Be One Of Them


(NAPSI)—The American Heart Association (AHA) and American College of Cardiology recently announced new blood pressure guidelines that will change how high blood pressure is detected, prevented, managed and treated.

The big news? There’s a whole new definition for what constitutes high blood pressure. It’s now considered any measure over 130/80 mm Hg, rather than the old definition of 140/90.

The guidelines classify blood pressure into different categories, eliminating the previous pre-hypertension category. They also recommend treatment based on risk factors such as family history, age, gender and race. Regardless of your risk or blood pressure level, however, one thing is the same: Treating high blood pressure starts with lifestyle modifications including healthy diet, regular exercise, limit or avoid drinking alcohol and nonsmoking.

To highlight the importance of keeping blood pressure under control, the AHA, along with the American Medical Association and the Ad Council, has launched a new campaign that encourages people to talk with their doctors, and visit for tools and resources to help manage blood pressure.

New Definitions And Classifications

Normal: If your blood pressure is less than 120/80, it’s considered normal and should be checked at least once per year. You still need to take care of yourself to help prevent hypertension or make it easier to control in the future, as blood pressure can rise as you age. Those with other risk factors for heart disease or stroke should periodically check blood pressure to ensure their numbers stay healthy. High blood pressure often has no signs or symptoms, so people with uncontrolled high blood pressure might feel fine and think they’re OK.

Elevated: When your blood pressure’s top number is 120−129 while the bottom number is less than 80, it’s considered elevated and you need to take action to preserve your heart and brain health. Lifestyle changes are suggested with a blood pressure re-evaluation in three to six months. Partnering with your doctor to create a treatment plan you can stick to lowers your risk for serious health consequences.

Stage 1: This occurs when your top blood pressure number is 130−139 OR your bottom 80−89. If you’re otherwise healthy, the guidelines suggest making healthy lifestyle changes and re-evaluating in three to six months. If you have other risks for cardiovascular disease, you may need lifestyle changes plus medication. Your doctor can use a “risk calculator” to tell you your risk level. Then, you would re-evaluate every month until your numbers are controlled.

Stage 2: This is when your blood pressure is at least 140/90. At this level, the new guidelines recommend you be evaluated by your primary care provider within one month of your diagnosis. Two types of medication as well as lifestyle changes with a monthly re-evaluation of your numbers are recommended because the risk of heart attack or stroke is higher.

Hypertensive crisis: If your blood pressure is greater than 180/120, you need to act swiftly to bring it down. This is a hypertensive “crisis” and you should consult your doctor immediately. Quick management is important to reduce the risk of organ damage.

No matter where you fit within the new blood pressure guidelines, talk to your doctor to determine your risk and treatment. It’s smart to check your pressure regularly and stay in touch with your doctor for the best way to handle any changes.

For Your Health: What You Should Know About Vaccines

For Your Health

(NAPSI)—Sometimes, what you don’t know can hurt you. Consider this: Smallpox vaccines were used as far back as the Revolutionary War. This serious disease, which has killed more people than all the wars combined, has been wiped from the Earth by vaccines. It’s a shame that recently the safety of vaccines has been questioned. It’s time people focused on the facts.

Vaccines have long been one of the safest medical treatments. No credible study has proven otherwise. Just like other medicines, vaccines are approved by the FDA. By and large, the rewards of prevention are worth the small risk of any vaccine’s side effects.

Another fact is that vaccines for mature Americans can save lives. When seniors get pneumonia shots, they could lengthen their life expectancy by FOUR years. Flu shots will also protect seniors from a debilitating illness with life-threatening consequences. Vaccinations are generally affordable and they are SAFE.

What To Do

For your health’s sake, give vaccination a shot.

If you have questions about a vaccine, talk to your doctor. They can explain the safety of vaccines and their importance to your health. There are three easy steps you can take to get protected:

1. Find out which vaccines you need. You can go to the RetireSafe website,, and click on the vaccine icon on the left side of the home page. It will take you to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention site that will ask you questions about you and your life. It will then give you a list of vaccines you may need.

2. Discuss the vaccines on the list with your doctor or health care professional.

3. Get the recommended vaccinations.

That’s it…that’s all you have to do to be healthier and possibly add years to your life.

For Your Health – Surprising Perks Of Your Medicare Plan

For Your Health

(NAPSI)—With more than 10,000 baby boomers turning 65 each day, the number of people eligible for Medicare is growing rapidly. Medicare Open Enrollment starts Oct. 15 and runs through Dec. 7, a time when millions of people are evaluating their health plan options to ensure their coverage meets their retirement lifestyle.

When looking at Medicare plans, people check to make sure their physician is included in the plan’s network and prescriptions are covered, but it’s important to see which unique benefits and perks a plan offers to take full advantage of the program. There is much more than standard health care available.

Medicare plans can offer benefits including a free gym or fitness facility membership through programs such as SilverSneakers, the nation’s leading community fitness program designed specifically for older Americans. Exercise is key to helping people live their best lives as they age, maximizing their health and well-being to maintain an active lifestyle. No matter a person’s goal—from running a marathon for the first time to keeping up with grandkids—SilverSneakers members enjoy the many benefits of the program, including:

• Membership to more than 14,000 fitness locations: SilverSneakers members have unrestricted access and unlimited visits to every fitness and wellness facility in the national network, including each location’s basic amenities, such as weights, treadmills, pools and more.

• Specialized fitness classes: SilverSneakers offers a variety of classes in partnering locations that are designed to accommodate all fitness levels and interests. Led by certified SilverSneakers fitness instructors, classes range from SilverSneakers Classic and Splash, to SilverSneakers BOOM®, a fast-paced, higher-intensity class designed for baby boomers and active older adults.

• Friendship and community: So much more than an exercise program, SilverSneakers helps foster new friendships with a welcoming and supportive member community that becomes one of close friends.

• Quality of life: The program changes lives by engaging participants in physical activity to help them do more of what they love. In fact, 91 percent of members say SilverSneakers has improved their quality of life.

More than 14.5 million people are eligible for this program offered at no additional charge through the nation’s leading Medicare Advantage, Medicare Supplement and group retiree plans. You can check your Medicare plan to see if you are eligible for the program and claim your free fitness membership at

Three Easy Ways To Improve Your Life

For Your Health

(NAPSI)—Your health, wealth and happiness may be improved if you heed these three helpful hints to ease and enhance your life:

1. Studies show money effectively motivates weight loss. So many individuals, couples, friends, families and employee groups turn to—the leading provider of money-driven diet challenges. It provides cash prizes, social and expert support, tools, resources, and goal-setting and tracking technologies. Over 200,000 participants have collectively lost over 10 million pounds, earning over $5 million in cash prizes for their pound-shedding success.

2. Those ready to retire can avoid financial strife with the book “20 Retirement Decisions You Need to Make Right Now.” It covers key financial decisions for the critical period transitioning from work to retirement. These decisions—many permanent—will affect your financial security for decades.

3. Excessive sweating—a serious medical condition called hyperhidrosis—affects approximately 4.8 percent of the population and can lead to serious practical, social and emotional consequences. The International Hyperhidrosis Society provides support, resources and expert perspective to those struggling with this condition and others who hate to sweat. Its website,, offers education; treatment, insurance, and clinical trial information; a physician finder; a useful award-winning blog; and sweat-management product discounts.