Blog Posts by The Editors at Sharecare

  • 3 Surprising Ways to Live Longer

    Find out how you can live longer, stave off disease and feel younger with these three tips.

    By Rachael Anderson

    If someone told you there really is a fountain of youth, would you believe him? What if it was one of the world's leading cancer doctors? David Agus, MD, says you can live longer, stave off disease and feel younger than you ever thought possible if you follow his advice. Dr. Agus teamed up with Mehmet Oz, MD, to share these longevity-boosting tips.

    Tip # 1: Automate Your Life
    We all have busy schedules, and sticking to a routine can be difficult. But Agus says automating things like when you go to sleep, eat meals and exercise can add years to your life. According to Agus, it doesn't matter how many meals you eat-it could be three or even five-as long as you eat them at the same time each day. Why? Eating meals at different times causes your body to go into stress mode, which raises cortisol levels, says Dr. Oz. High levels of cortisol lead to spikes in insulin, which causes inflammation and can increase the risk of cancer.

    "If you want to live a

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  • Are Gluten-Free Diets Really Healthier?

    Most people on gluten-free diets actually gain weight. Find out if you really need to be gluten-free.

    By Joy Johnston

    Singer-actress Miley Cyrus caused quite an Internet buzz by claiming that her drastic weight loss was not because of anorexia but due to a "gluten and lactose allergy"-and then encouraged everyone to go on a gluten-free diet for a week.

    First of all, there is no such thing as a "gluten allergy" or "lactose allergy."

    Read what Sharecare experts have to say on the difference between a food allergy and intolerance

    I was diagnosed with gluten intolerance in 2005, after suffering for about a decade with vague digestive symptoms that became progressively worse. At the time of my diagnosis, I was 5'8" and weighed a pitiful 105 pounds. I always thought I had a great metabolism, but in fact, I was not adequately absorbing nutrients. Bottom line, I was a sick girl.

    So I kicked gluten to the curb and within a week, I felt better than I had in years. My debilitating digestive issues were gone and my energy level spiked. My appetite also increased, now

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  • Leeza Gibbons: Lessons on Alzheimer’s Disease—and the Heart

    By Lisa Davis

    There is no cure for Alzheimer's disease—but that doesn't mean there's no reason for hope.

    In honor of Alzheimer's Disease Awareness month, Leeza Gibbons has this message for all caregivers of loved ones ravaged by the disease: You're not alone. And you will get through it.

    It's been more than 12 years since Gibbons, one of Sharecare's Top 10 Online Influencers in Alzheimer's Disease, learned her mother, Jean, had the disease, and nearly five years since she lost her mom to it. Gibbons has spent much of that time trying to make the lives of caregivers easier, including writing the book Take Your Oxygen First and establishing Leeza's Place, an online gathering place and resource center for families offering care for a sick or dying loved one.

    Meet all Top 10 Online Influencers in Alzheimer's Disease

    Here are three key messages Gibbons wants to share from her own experience.

    #1: Take care-of yourself
    "The truth is, if you are caring for someone else, you're probably not caring for yourself and you may, in fact, be failing faster than your

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  • The Truth About Fat Burning

    Think you know the fat-burning zone? Think again.

    By Su Reid-St. John

    You'll find it on virtually every cardio machine at the gym: instructions on how to hit your fat-burning zone. You get to work out slower (exercise too hard and you can kiss the fat-burning zone goodbye) and blast off unwanted fat in the process.

    Sound too good to be true? It is.

    Here's the reality: "Slow cardio will not burn more fat," says NASM Elite Trainer Audrey Quick. "At a slower pace, a greater percentage of calories burned will be from fat, but the total calories, and total fat calories, will be lower than exercise at a more intense pace."

    Working out harder, then, is still your best bet. But that doesn't mean you have to spend your entire workout out of breath. "One easy way to increase the amount of fat you're burning is to add intervals," says Sharecare fitness expert Wendy Batts. "Simply vary the speed of your favorite cardio by alternating 2 minutes at a moderate pace with 2 minutes at a faster pace." (If you're a beginner, do 30

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  • Toilet Seat Covers: Should You Bother?

    Find out: Do toilet seat covers really work?

    By Robin Miller, MD

    My husband runs every day with a jogging group. Often in the course of their runs they have a need for a Porta Potty. One day the guys in the group were laughing about how one of the female joggers used the outdoor facility and they could hear her putting down the paper toilet seat cover. They thought that was hilarious. That made me wonder, do paper toilet seat covers actually protect us from anything?

    What's your pee telling you?

    When I looked at the research that's out there, I found that there is nothing to protect against: Toilet seats are relatively safe. When it comes to public bathrooms, the places that have the most bacteria include the floor, the faucet handles and the toilet handle. Interestingly, the hot air hand dryers use bathroom air to blow your hands dry. The air contains bathroom bacteria.

    If you're worried and wondering how to stay relatively germ-free in a public restroom, do this: Wash your hands well, use a paper towel to

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  • Secrets to a Firm Butt

    Want a firm fanny? Try Jeanette Jenkins's 3-move bootie firmer.

    By Su Reid-St. John

    Okay, I'll admit it: I stare at my own butt in the mirror sometimes. Not because it's J-Lo gorgeous or anything like that (though it's not bad), but because I'm in my 40s-an age that can begin to spell trouble for one's derriere.

    20 ways to firm your fanny

    "The buttocks get their lift and shape from the gluteus maximus muscle," says Mehmet Oz, MD. "After 40, fat cells begin to proliferate and grow larger." At the same time, you begin to lose muscle mass.

    Even if you're under 40, there's a good chance you're a wee bit obsessed with your rear view. "The butt is a trouble spot for many women," says Sharecare Fitness Expert Kristy Lee Wilson.

    Happily, it isn't hard to firm and shape your bum, no matter what your age. If you're tired of squats, lunges and step-ups, fear not: there are lots more to try. One of my favorite mini-routines is this fun, creative 3-move bootie firmer that celeb trainer Jeanette Jenkins introduced on the Dr. Oz Show.

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  • 8 Ways to Trick Yourself Thin

    Is there an easy way to make weight loss enjoyable? It exists and only takes 8 steps.

    By Chris Freytag

    The formula for weight loss may be simple-take in fewer calories than you burn, and increase your exercise to burn even more calories-but oftentimes, it's easier said than done. The best way to make this formula work for you is to create solutions to your biggest challenges and find ways to make the process enjoyable. If you want to improve your results, try some of my strategies to trick yourself thin.

    The best time of day to work out for weight loss

    1. Find your favorite exercise.
    I know people who jog and hate it. How long do you think they will keep that up? We aren't inclined to dive in or stick to things we despise. Out of all the forms of exercise out there, find one you just love. Get really specific. Don't just say "yoga"; instead, discover what type of yoga is your favorite. If swimming is your thing, do you prefer gym pools over a nearby lake? Or maybe you'd dread a step class but you can't get enough of Pilates. Find your favorite exercise and

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  • 4 Surprising Reasons You’re Losing Your Memory

    Think you're losing your marbles? Here are 4 fixes to cure a memory that's on the fritz.

    By Rachael Anderson

    Can't remember where you parked the car or the name of the actor in that movie you just saw? You're not losing your marbles. More likely, your memory is on the fritz due to one of these four issues, says Mehmet Oz, MD. Check out these surprising causes of memory problems and the fixes Dr. Oz recommends.

    Problem #1: Too Much Tech
    According to Oz, one reason so many people are having trouble remembering names and numbers is simple: too much technology. Studies have shown that computers hinder our recall abilities because we rely on them so much for the information we need. For instance, you don't have to memorize your friend's phone number because your cell phone knows it.

    The fix: Dr. Oz recommends playing games that work on improving your visual memory, like the Lumosity Brain Trainer.

    Dr. Oz on strengthening the mind

    Problem #2: Out-of-Whack Hormones
    Can't ever find the remote? It could be due to your hormones. Research has found that

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  • The Cervical Cancer Vaccine: Timing is (and Isn’t) Everything

    Will you vaccinate your child against HPV?

    By Maura Rhodes

    At my 12-year-old daughter's last check-up, the pediatrician asked if I wanted to give her Gardasil. I said no. I knew that Gardasil, the cervical cancer vaccine, works by providing immunity against the human papillomavirus (HPV), which is primarily shared through sexual contact. Why on earth would I need to protect my child against a sexually transmitted bug? While it might make sense for an older teen or woman in her early 20's to take a needle in the name of warding off a virus she might catch from someone she's sleeping with, sticking it to a seventh-grader (or a fourth-grader: Gardasil is approved for males and females ages 9 to 26) seems tantamount to giving her permission to start hooking up.

    Learn about how to prevent HPV infection

    Here's what one of the developers of the vaccine, Sharecare expert Diane M. Harper, MD, a professor in the department of biomedical and health informatics at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, told me about the HPV

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  • Yoga for Better Digestion

    Yoga for digestionYoga for digestion

    By Sadie Nardini

    Improving your digestion with yoga might not sound very exciting until you consider this: When your gut works properly, you reap a whole host of benefits like a more efficient metabolism, weight loss, less bloating, fewer toxins, slower aging and a sense of inner peace.

    Take our Beat the Bloat quiz

    Whoa. Inner peace? That's just some woo-woo yoga thing, right?

    Au contraire. When your belly is happy, you produce serotonin, a feel-good chemical that makes you feel as content as if you'd just eaten a fantastic meal with good friends. What's more, being in this state of calm helps lower your level of cortisol-the belly-fat promoting nemesis of serotonin.

    You hear a lot about serotonin in the brain, but your belly? Not so much. So it may surprise you to learn that around 95 percent of your serotonin is produced in your GI tract. It's one of the foundations of proper digestion.

    Yoga is a powerful way to get your belly feeling fine and keep that

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