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Posts Tagged ‘healthy aging’

Exercise is the Key to Healthy Aging

May 8, 2014

Growing older doesn’t mean giving up an active lifestyle. As you grow older, exercise becomes more important than ever. Exercising regularly can boost your energy, help you maintain your independence, manage symptoms of illness and pain and might even reverse some symptoms of aging.

So if you’re searching for the fountain of youth, look no further. Exercise is good for your mind, mood, body and memory.


Start Your Exercise Routine

30 minutes is the recommended amount of daily exercise, which amounts to 2% of your day. Start a workout routine and stick to it. Have a designated time each day to walk outside, go to the gym, bike or take a fitness class.

Once you get into the habit, it will be hard to break, and you will feel all the better for staying committed!


Excuses Aren’t Going to Cut It

Everyone has their excuse, but let’s face it. If 30 minutes of exercise is just 2% of your day, you can make time.

There’s no point in exercising. I’m going to get old anyway: Exercise and strength training can actually help you look and feel younger all while staying active. If you exercise on a regular basis, it actually lowers your risk for developing heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity and Alzheimer’s.

Older people shouldn’t exercise so they can save their strength: A sedentary lifestyle, especially for adults over 50, is unhealthy. Inactivity will cause you to lose muscle strength and the ability to do independent activities.

Exercise may cause falls: This one is especially false. By exercising you build up strength and stamina, which will prevent the loss of bone mass and improve your balance. The bottom line? Exercise will actually reduce your risk of falling.

It’s too late for me to start now: You are never too old to start! If it’s been a while, start with light walking, tai chi or gentle activities and slowly build your way up.


Taking Care of Your Health

Exercising regularly and following a healthy diet plan are both ways to fight off disease; some risk factors cannot be controlled with a healthy lifestyle. If you know that you have a family history of certain conditions like heart disease, stroke or diabetes you may want to schedule a health screening  to determine your personal risk factor.

I’m Over Age 50: What Health Screenings Do I Need?

December 27, 2013

As we age, we become more at-risk for certain diseases that impact older adults more often than younger adults. Individuals over 50 should be screened regularly for a variety of health problems. Preventive health screenings can detect conditions that have yet to present any symptoms so treatment can be sought sooner.

Various health institutions, including the National Institute of Health, the National Cholesterol Education Program, the American Cancer Society and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommend adults over age 50 take advantage of the following health screenings:

1. Prostate Cancer Screening

The Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) test is a method of screening for prostate cancer that the American Urological Association says is for men who want to “pursue early diagnosis” of the condition. Approximately a third of all men over fifty have cancer in their prostate gland. While this type of cancer may never cause a problem, that is not easy to tell at an early stage. Early discovery via screening may prevent catastrophic consequences from prostate cancer.

2. Mammogram

A mammogram is the main method of screening for breast cancer. The American Cancer Society recommends that women start having a yearly mammogram after age 40. However, women should talk to their doctors to see what’s right for them, especially if they are considered high-risk.

3. Colonoscopy

Colorectal cancer is a problem for both genders, but it can often be detected through a colonoscopy. The American Cancer Society recommends men and women have a colonoscopy every five to ten years starting at age 50, depending on risk factors.

Other tests that can detect colorectal cancer include flexible sigmoidoscopy, CT colonography, fecal occult blood test and double-contrast barium enema. Talk to your doctor to see which test is right for you.

4. Heart Disease Screening

Health screening tests for heart disease include blood tests for cholesterol, blood pressure tests and screening for abdominal aortic aneurysm. People with high cholesterol are at a higher risk for heart disease. Age and other risk factors (like a history of smoking) raise the likelihood of an abdominal aortic aneurysm. Life Line Screening recommends at-risk individuals should undergo the aortic aneurysm screening annually.

5. Bone Density Screening

Bone density scans have the ability to better detect osteoporosis risk. It is recommended that women start getting screened for this condition at age 65 and men at age 75. Women at a higher risk should start getting screened at menopause and men at age 50, according to the National Osteoporosis Foundation.

 6. Pap Test

Pap tests are capable of detecting cervical cancer. Until she gets to 65, a woman should have a pap smears at least once every three years. If the results have been normal up that point, she can stop getting the tests at 65 or 70, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

Talk to your doctor to learn more about which health screenings you should be having and how often you may need them.


4 Ways to Indulge and Be Healthy This Holiday Season

December 17, 2013

While the holidays should be a time of celebration, they actually fill many with a sense of dread. Many people, especially those focused on healthy aging, see festive parties filled with delicious food as a land mine ready to blow up all the positive choices they’ve made throughout the year.

That treacherous landscape can be navigated successfully with a little foresight and planning. These tips provide a plan to enjoy the treats of the season without derailing your healthy aging lifestyle.

  • Careful portion control is a way to savor different items without going overboard on calorie intake. A bite or two provides just enough flavor to satisfy the taste buds and avoid that too-full feeling. Women’s Health suggests using some self-deception by choosing a smaller plate to fill, tricking the brain into thinking more food is being consumed.
  • As with many things in life, holiday dining should be about quality, not quantity. It’s easy to fill up on the ever-present snacks loaded with empty calories that can lead to mindless consumption. According to Real Simple, choosing to eat special seasonal items such as a child’s first batch of cookies can be more physically and emotionally filling.
  • Well-prepared quality foods don’t need high-fat additions to taste delicious. Lean meats and fish can be enhanced by low-calorie spices and seasonings instead of butter and oil. Hearty winter vegetables such as sweet potatoes and butternut squash make luscious yet healthy side dishes. Even a rich favorite like potatoes gratin can be enjoyed guilt-free with Cooking Light’s cheesy, low-fat version.
  • When the star of a dish is a healthy protein, fruit or vegetable, it can be dressed up with a luscious sauce or topping to seem more indulgent. Keeping the richer part to an add-on allows for better taste proportions, avoiding a heavy, weighed-down feeling. A simple chicken breast provides endless possibilities with this variety of topping suggestions from Food Network.

Education is the best foundation for healthy aging. This holiday season and year-round, Life Line Screening stands behind healthy aging choices and being proactive with health. While the holidays mean more opportunities to indulge in unhealthy foods, they also mean more opportunities to make smart choices. Enjoy your holiday activities the healthy way. You can do it.


Your Weekly Motivation: Growing Older is a Privilege

November 25, 2013

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,  life expectancy in the United States is 78.7 years. Many people are living to be 70, 80, even 90 years old. While this is positive news, our society often associates growing older with something dreaded, something negative, and something unfortunate. Instead, we should be looking at growing older as a privilege, because even though life expectancy in the United States is high, not everyone gets to live to a ripe, old age.

Heart disease, lung cancer and cerebrovascular disease are the highest causes of premature death in the United States. Despite a society filled with medical advancements, preventive health measures and disease awareness, so many people aren’t given the privilege of growing older. Remember this as you strive for healthy aging in your lifestyle. You are fortunate.

do not regret growing older

Eat These Fall Superfoods for Better Moods

November 15, 2013

Fall has arrived and the weather is changing. Many of us enjoy the fall season, but some of us regretfully know that with fall here, winter isn’t far behind. Before winter shows up, it makes sense to take advantage of the many delicious varieties of produce coming from the fall garden.

Certain foods can help promote all of the components of a “good mood”, including both physical and mental components. Fall fruits and vegetables are chock-full of vitamins and other healthy nutrients to maintain healthy aging, balance moods and ward off disease.


Energy: Oatmeal or Pumpkin

As the days get shorter, it can be tempting to hide inside and take advantage of the warmth. The cold air makes it hard to find the energy for tasks that were simple during the summer. However, for healthy aging, it is important to eat right and exercise.

Luckily, fall provides many opportunities to eat foods for a boost of energy. For example, a hot breakfast was unwanted in the heat of summer, but it is welcome now. Oatmeal is rich in complex carbohydrates to stabilize blood sugar and maintain satiety longer. Mixing in a little pumpkin will add valuable vitamin A to improve eyesight.


Overall Health: Beans or Blackberries

Carbs have taken a bad rap in recent years, but they’re not all harmful. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) notes that complex carbohydrates (e.g. starches) have to be broken down by the body before they can be converted into glucose and used for energy. These carbohydrates also contain a lot of dietary fiber, which helps aid digestion. Popular fall foods containing high amounts of fiber include:

  • Dry beans and peas
  • Pumpkin
  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Raspberries and Blackberries
  • Parsnips

Mix parsnips and cauliflower with potatoes to create a mash with unforgettable flavor. The cauliflower has a high amount of vitamin C and phytonutrients that may help lower cholesterol.


Memory: Blueberries or Apples

A 2012 study from the Annals of Neurology revealed that the antioxidants in blueberries can stall memory decline by as much as 2.5 years. Antioxidants also help to prevent disease, which can cause depression and fatigue. With winter on the horizon, fall is the perfect time to eat more of these antioxidant-loaded foods. Among them are:

  • Blueberries
  • Cranberries
  • Apples
  • Pecans

While eating a varied diet is crucial for healthy aging, it’s also important to be aware of health problems on the horizon. Many asymptomatic conditions can be controlled by diet and exercise but require testing to discover them. As such, regular doctor visits, health screening, and dedication to a healthy lifestyle through nutritious diets make up three necessary components to a long, happy life.



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