For better physical rehab results, try prehab 

When "This Is Where I Leave You" hit theaters recently, 76-year-old Jane Fonda was as fit as ever -- and that's after a knee replacement, which followed a hip replacement (and major back surgery). Her unbelievable turnaround time is due in large part to her lifelong role as a physical-fitness guru; she was in great shape before each of her surgeries.

Now we have a name for that: PREhab. And you don't need to be as fit as Fonda to get its benefits. If you're one of the more than 1.4 million North Americans who are going to get a total knee or hip replacement in 2015, seeing a physical therapist in the months or weeks before your operation can slash your need for post-op care from a home health agency or in an inpatient facility by almost 30 percent! That means you'll be back on your feet faster!

So, consider making an appointment with a PT; you'll learn exercises that strengthen leg muscles and increase flexibility.

CONDIMENTS AND CONDOMS

Thirty-two thousand baby boomers are members of USA Triathlon; tens of thousands more cycle, swim and jog regularly. An astounding 61 percent say they feel nine years younger than they really are -- and there's nothing like a younger RealAge! All that get-up-and-go means the, ahem, older generation has lots of energy, which of course translates into more active intimate relations.

In fact, today over 70 percent of men and 50 percent of women in their 60s report that they're sexually active. A lot of kiss and vinegar, you might say!

And that doesn't surprise us, because it turns out that vinegar, whether apple cider, balsamic or rice wine, is a smart part of a healthy lifestyle. Vinegar helps reduce blood pressure, improves your blood sugar response (reducing the effects of diabetes) and helps prevent heart disease. It has antibacterial properties and contains polyphenols and acetic acid. All that helps protect you against sexual dysfunction.

Just one word of caution: Good health and great romance calls for smart protection against sexually transmitted diseases such as herpes, gonorrhea and chlamydia. And boomers seem to be overlooking that!. So what's the solution? Stay energetic and engaged, for sure, but start relying on disease-protecting condoms for safety. With good-for-you condiments and condoms, you can go, go, go!

GRANNY SMITH'S CURE FOR JET LAG AND WEIGHT GAIN

Granny Clampett on "The Beverly Hillbillies" touted moonshine as "rheumatiz medicine." And your Granny may have given you tea with lemon and ginger for a sore throat. But these well-known folk medicines may have met their match in what another Granny, Granny Smith, delivers. This tart and juicy Granny makes the microbes in your digestive tract happy, and that boosts your wellbeing, helping you maintain a healthy weight and much, much more!

A recent study out of Washington state (where else?) compared the nutrients in seven varieties of apples. Granny Smith, it turned out, contains the most polyphenols and non-digestible compounds, such as insoluble fiber, that are known to help good gut bacteria thrive. We also know that the more of those you consume, the more they help regulate glucose levels, body-wide inflammation and calorie use. No wonder researchers have also found that a healthy balance of gut bacteria helps prevent stroke and improves sexual satisfaction!

So, at home or on the road, don't forget, a Granny Smith a day really may keep the doctor away!

PROSTATE CANCER SCREENING AND A FALSE SENSE OF INSECURITY

Just as the Ebola epidemic has triggered a false sense of insecurity in North Americans, it seems that suggesting guys and docs skip the regular PSA (prostate-specific antigen) test for prostate cancer has made both medical professionals and patients unnecessarily nervous.

Turns out that a having a larger-than-average prostate, a urinary tract or prostate infection or a recent medical procedure can elevate PSA levels (normal PSA level are 4.0 ng/ml) leading to an unacceptable number of false positives. Those false positives often lead to unnecessary treatment, erectile dysfunction, incontinence and a ton of mental anguish. Your best protection: A diagnosis of prostate cancer should be based on family history and a doctor's physical exam, including a digital rectal exam. A better screening test is needed and may be on the way. Currently, a certain diagnosis can be made only via biopsy.

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