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Boom Calendar for Grown-ups ~ Curated for Us @ Fifty Plus
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A new Covid variant 

The New York Times reports that JN.1 is the newest Covid variant and that it will most likely remain the dominant version of the coronavirus through spring. Unfortunately, only 18 percent of adults have received the latest shots, which tests show do offer protection from this latest variant. Experts said everyone should consider getting vaccinated, especially those who are over age 65, are immunocompromised, have health conditions that put them at higher risk of severe illness, or are traveling to visit loved ones who may be vulnerable. Wearing N-95 masks in crowded, indoor environments is still recommended.  

Fish oil supplements 

Millions of Americans, including one in five people over age 60, take fish oil supplements, assuming the capsules help stave off heart disease. While studies have shown for many years that eating fatty fish lowers rates of heart disease, multiple trials show no evidence of heart-related benefits from fish oil supplements, according to Harvard Heart Letter.  

Further, researchers analyzed 255 fish oil products from 16 major manufacturers and found a wide variability in the actual amounts of EPA and DHA (the two main omega-3 fatty acids) in the supplements.  

If you don’t have heart disease, eating two servings of fatty fish weekly or following a vegetarian diet is a smarter strategy than buying fish oil supplements. If you have heart disease, ask your doctor about the prescription drug icosapent ethyl, a high-dose purified EPA preparation that lowers cardiovascular risk when taken with a statin.  

Avoiding wildlife at night 

More deer are in the country now than in colonial times, and the Athens area and surrounding rural counties have their share. A UGA research study by the Savannah River Ecology Laboratory investigated how to avoid collisions with free-ranging wildlife. Their first recommendation was to slow down. Second, avoid long drives at night whenever possible. Drivers lose the ability to spot wildlife at safe distances as they become fatigued. Lastly, use your high beams.  

Sitting too much linked to dementia 

Too much sitting is not good for the brain but how much is too much? According to a new study in JAMA, being physically inactive for 10 or more hours per day is linked to a higher risk of later developing dementia. Fifty thousand people who were free of dementia were tracked for a week using a wrist accelerometer; after an average of six years of follow up, researchers analyzed who had been diagnosed with dementia and correlated that information with activity readings from the start of the study. Another reason to start that exercise regimen!  

Practice falling 

More than 100 Americans 65 or older died each day from falls in 2021, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Head injuries cause almost half of those deaths.  

You can protect yourself by learning how to fall the right way. According to Harvard Men’s Health Watch, the biggest obstacle to overcome is the instinct to extend your arms to break a fall, which can lead to broken bones. Instead, the goal is to land as softly as possible.  

You can practice in slow motion until you get used to the sensation of falling; then practice in real time with a thick, padded mat for safety and someone to help.  

  1. Lean into the fall. 
  1. Tuck your chin. 
  1. Bend your arms and keep them in front of your face to protect your head. 
  1. Keep your knees bent. 
  1. Fall like a sack of beans – relax everything. 
  1. Turn sideways and fall onto the soft, fleshy places, like buttocks and thighs. 
  1. As you complete the fall, try to pull your body into a ball. This will spread the impact and stop you from rolling further.  

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