Friday, September 7, 2012

Healthy Aging Month - Update

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By Terry Orr

Take charge of your health by being proactive!

Healthy Aging Month was created to give seniors and those soon-to-be seniors encouragement in taking little steps that can greatly affect quality their quality of life into the future.
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You can take charge of our own health by taking a few simple but important proactive steps (from Bay Health):
  • See your doctor! Whether you are trying to resolve that ache in your abdomen or just have an important question, maintaining a relationship with your doctor allows your physician to help you manage existing health issues and prevent future health disparities.
  • Get your screenings! Screenings help detect potential health issues in the earliest, most treatable stages. Whether it’s a mammogram for women over age 40, or a prostate screening for a man over age 50, these screenings are literally lifesavers!
  • Educate yourself about your health. In today’s cyber age, an infinite array of health information is available at your computer. Pick up a book from the library or attend one of the myriad of free health seminars available in your community.

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WebMD has an excellent section dedicated to healthy aging (see link below) “50+: Live Better, Longer”. Good basic and advance information for those of us 50 and over and for caregivers.
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The National Council of Aging (NCOA) is another interesting web site that provides a wealth of good information.  An example is their summary of Chronic Disease - About 91% of older adults have a least one chronic condition, and 73% have at least two. Chronic conditions – such as diabetes, arthritis, hypertension, and lung disease – seriously compromise the quality of life of older adults, often forcing them to give up their independence too soon.

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Another helpful and informative website is the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Senior Health.  I encourage everyone to spend a few minutes at each of these sites, take a good look at what is available and bookmark them for future reference.

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10 Tips for Re-Inventing Yourself during September is Healthy Aging Month (from Healthy Aging):
  2. BACK TO SCHOOLGo get that additional education you have been dreaming about.
  3. TAKE A VOLUNTEER VACATION. Visit New Places, Connect, and Give Back.  Many travelers today are opting out of the self-indulgent vacation and opting in for the chance to “give back” through a volunteer vacation
  4. DANCE LIKE THERE’S NO TOMORROW. Older adults getting regular physical exercise are 60% less likely to get dementia. Exercise increases oxygen to the brain and releases a protein that strengthens cells and neurons. Dance involves all of the above plus the cerebral activity present in learning and memory.
  5. HIT THE ROAD. Travel is one of the top picks when people are asked what they would do if they had more time.  Sometimes the money factor makes that dream fall apart.
  6. BECOME A ROCK N ROLL STARFor a weekend anyway.  Here’s a good one for the buck list.  Check out Rock ‘n’ Roll Fantasy Camp (, where mere mortals jam with rock legends, write/record an original song and play live on stage at a major concert venue.
  7. Learn to paint a landscape or still lifeComplete A Landscape, seascape, floral or still life painting in one class.  No painting experience necessary.
  8. FOLLOW YOUR PASSION.   Try a new sport or pick up on one you left behind in your early days.
  9. EAT FRESHMake a commitment to add more fresh fruits and vegetables to your diet.  September is still harvest time in many areas so seek out local farmers markets and buy local produce.
  10. RE-INVENT YOURSELF IN NAPA VALLEY.  Travel to the famed wine country this Fall and take a wine tasting course or cooking course.

For me, it has been working this blog site and I am truly thankful for the support and assistance in making this a reality and a labor of love.

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From WebMD the Magazine – Feature by Matt McMillen offers the following:
  • Get movingExercise regularly to maintain a healthy body and brain.
  • Stay social. Take a class, volunteer, play games, see old friends, and make new ones.
  • Bulk up.  Eat beans and other high-fiber foods for digestive and heart health.
  • Add some spiceAdd herbs and spices to your meals if medications dull your taste buds.
  • Stay balanced. Practice yoga or tai chi to improve agility and prevent falls.
  • Take a hike. Brisk daily walks this September can bolster both your heart and lungs.
  • Sleep well. Talk to a sleep specialist if you don’t sleep soundly through the night.
  • Beat the blues. If you’ve been down for a while, see a doctor. Depression can be treated.
  • Don’t forget. To aid your memory, make lists, follow routines, slow down, and organize.

References and links:

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