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February is not only the shortest month of the year but is also considered the month of love by many. Whether you express that love by fostering relationships with family and friends or focusing on self-care, being kind to yourself and others has far-reaching benefits.

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Winter signals the changing of yet another season. As the temperatures drop and snow blankets the landscape, snow and cold weather lovers embrace all that winter has to offer. Whether you love winter or find yourself longing for the warm summer sun, one thing is for certain, we must all pay close attention to our health and the needs of our bodies, especially as we head outdoors.

Image of chalkboard with the word Diabetes. Surrounding the chalkboard are the items: dumbbell, stethoscope, scale, medication, fruit, oatmeal, diabetic measuring device

More than 37 million people in the United States have diabetes. If we put that number into a more understandable figure, just over 1 in 10 individuals have diabetes. If you find that statistic surprising, then learning that more than 1 in 3 U.S. adults have prediabetes may leave you shocked! I know it shocked me. However, what really surprised me is more than 80% of those with prediabetes do not realize they have it.

senior woman in purple tank top holds a plank position in a yoga class

For those who have reached middle adulthood, you may have noticed a few changes that you weren’t expecting. For example, you may have noticed you do not seem to have the strength and endurance you once had.

This could be due in part to age-related muscle loss, called sarcopenia. After age 30, our bodies become less efficient at creating and maintaining muscle tissue, resulting in as much as a 3% to 5% muscle loss per decade.

"Diet and skincare tips for a healthy microbiome" with images of little microbes and a magnifying glass.

Winter can be a shock to the system. Yes, it’s true, some of us live for the frigid temperatures and the snow and ice outside. But for the rest of us, we’d rather hunker down and wait for the Spring thaw. Whichever you prefer, though, the dramatic shift outdoors can have an impact on your body, including the micro-environments that your countless friendly microbes call home. That’s right, we’re talking about your microbiome(s).

Get the 411 on Bone Health, Cute Halloween ghost, skeleton, black cat, bones and cobweb

Did you know throughout life, you are continually losing and rebuilding bone tissue? It's true. Now, children do make new bone at a substantially greater rate than adults because much more bone is being built than lost during childhood and adolescence, as their bones are growing in both size and density. However, adults are still rebuilding bone tissue throughout their lifespan. Unfortunately, the rate at which adults' bodies can rebuild bone tissue gradually decreases with age, often leading to the development of osteoporosis.

Anxiety can be described as persistent and excessive fears about everyday situations. There can be many signs of anxiety. Some of the most common anxiety symptoms can include having trouble sleeping, feeling nervous or irritable, increased heart rate, and difficulty concentrating. If anyone is experiencing any of these symptoms, there are multiple treatment options for reducing anxiety.

A bunch of citrus fruit cut in half

Avoiding illness has been on our minds lately, especially over the last 18 months. A healthy immune system helps protect us from becoming ill, but the question is: Can we strengthen our own immune system? The short answer is yes. However, it’s important to note that no single food or healthy lifestyle behavior can prevent illness. Rather you can only support your immune system by engaging in a variety of healthy lifestyle behaviors.

How our immune system works