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HEALTH TIPS – 3 not-so-obvious tips for a longer, healthier life

(NC) When it comes to your health, there are many genetic and situational factors beyond your control, such as your body’s tendency to hold on to weight. At the same time, you likely know that a balanced diet, regular exercise and going cigarette-free will help you live a longer, healthier life. Here are a few other ideas to improve your well-being for the long haul. Check your hearing Many older adults avoid hearing tests. Maybe it’s due to the cost or to the sense that it’s a final sign of senior citizenship. However, finding out if you’ve lost hearing and taking steps to treat it has major benefits as you age. Not only do hearing aids help you take part in conversations more easily – so your social life can be more rewarding, and you can avoid loneliness and isolation – they’re also a simple way to help reduce your risk of developing dementia. Hearing loss in mid-life is associated with a greater risk of dementia, and according to a study in The Lancet in 2023, about eight per cent of dementia cases could be prevented by the use of hearing aids. Get rid of extra stuff If you have a garage, basement, closet or storage unit you’ve been meaning to clear out, don’t put it off much longer. Several studies show that getting rid of stuff you don’t need, whether you sell, donate or recycle, can improve your mental health and make your space feel more relaxing. What’s more, as you age it can become more difficult to tackle decluttering – and stuff can build up even more. It can also create safety risks. Things like overstuffed drawers and closets or extra furniture, can create dangerous tripping hazards or even block exits in an emergency. Test for radon No matter how many healthy habits you adopt, some things in your environment could be shortchanging you. Radon, for example, is an invisible radioactive gas that can cause lung cancer. In fact, exposure to a high level of radon over a long period of time is the number one cause of lung cancer in non-smokers. Radon seeps up from the ground pretty much everywhere. Outside it gets diluted, but in our homes, it can accumulate over time. The only way to know if there’s a dangerous amount of it in your home is to test for it. You can buy an inexpensive do-it-yourself test kit or hire a certified professional to do it for you. For the most accurate result, leave the test in place for three months and then send it to a lab for the results. If the radon level in your home is too high, it’s pretty simple to get fixed – for about the cost of a replacing a home appliance. Find more info at takeactiononradon.ca.

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