|The Trumpet Medical Advisor|
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Patricia Naeder, RN, BS.
October, 2009 Edition
TIPS FOR AGING AND YOUR HEALTH
We are living longer now, and our body changes with age. So we need to take some control, to preserve our health with a knowledgeable Healthy Lifestyle.
Here are 10 tips to live a Healthy Lifestyle.
Whether you have been diagnosed with a condition, or are chronically ill, or have a disability, or in failing health, or if you are generally healthy, there are still things that you can do to keep your health at an Optimum level for you.
The most important medical tool you have is knowledge. Read about the latest in Health, and find out what applies to you, then verify it with your Primary care Physician.
Whether it is from Traditional Medicine, Alternative Medicine or over the counter supplements; or if it is changes in your diet and level of exercise; it needs to be tailored to your personal needs.
There is a trend in Medicine now toward Integrative or Complimentary Medicine which combines all of the above.
1- Move around: If possible walk, bike, dance or do any moderate exercise 3-4 times a week for ½ hour a day. This improves circulation, bringing nutrients and oxygen to all parts of your body. If you are unable to walk, then move around in a chair, and lift light weights, or 2 cans. Take deep breaths. Contract and relax your muscles in place including arms, legs, neck, and abdominals; whatever works for you. This will also balance your brain chemicals so that you feel happier. It will also make you feel good about yourself. Stress goes down. Cognitive function goes up.
2- Eat Healthy: Fight obesity, or malnutrition. Don’t go to extremes. Unless you have a condition that requires a special diet, generally you should eat lightly, four times a day. Grazing is good because you don’t over eat, and you get plenty of variety, vitamins and phytonutrients from a varied diet.
Eat a diet high in vegetables, Eat salad, fruit, chicken, fish, nuts and seeds, especially walnuts, about 6 a day. More would be too many calories. Eat from the produce aisle in supermarket, or from the garden, or the farmers market.
Beef can inflame blood vessels, so eat less beef per month. Cut back on sugar and saturated fat, as in margarine, and hydrogenated oils. Focus on eating food picked from the garden; not processed food. It is better to have olive oil. Avoid soda because of high sugar and high calorie content. 3- Limit alcohol to about 2 drinks per day. If you drink more than that, per day, ask your doctor about taking Vitamin B1,because excessive alcohol depletes Vitiman B1 from the brain. Excessive alcohol use can also result in damage to nerve branches, including the brain, causing memory issues, and numbness in extremities.
Seek professional help from a Psychiatrist who will wean alcohol by giving sedatives and treating depression. Then add talk therapy with a Psychologist, for best results. Then join a club with people dealing with the same issue. The camaraderie is amazing, and very effective.
If you drink moderately, Red Wine is best because of the Resveratrol in the skin of the grape, which is a powerful antioxidant.
Read about Resveratrol, and if you think you can use it, see if your physician approves.
4- Don’t smoke: It effects and inflames your blood vessels, and contributes to cardiac disease. Of course smoking places chronic stress on the lungs. If you smoke heavily, try to cut back with the assistance of some of the over the counter lozenges or gum that assist in withdrawing you from smoking. Lozenges come in flavors; cherry, mint, and even cappuccino that you can throw in your coffee, or let them melt in your mouth. You will notice the difference very quickly.
5- Treat Anxiety and Depression: These two conditions are generally caused by an imbalance of the four main brain chemicals. Then anxiety and depression can be made worse by life situations, such as too many, or unreasonable demands on you, or a frustrated or sad life.
Ask your physician for anti-anxiety medication and/or an anti-depressant. Then go for talk therapy. See below, under Stress.
6- Handle Stress: Stress releases cortisol into your body which does damage. Identify your stressors, and eliminate them. Stress also causes muscle tension, and rising blood pressure. Get your mind and muscles to relax, perhaps taking a long bath, or by taking a nap, or doing your favorite hobby. Don’t rush or let others rush you; 30 seconds won’t change anything.
Make a list of the daily demands, frustrations, or people that cause you stress, and make a plan to handle, solve, or eliminate each one of them. If you would like help with this, make an appointment with your local psychologist for talk therapy.
Talk therapy helps greatly, with or without medications. You may only need 6 sessions for some situations, but it will be a great relief, and your body will be brought back into a healthier balance. Don’t try to handle chronic stress alone, and don’t suppress it, it will only pop up in the form of anxiety, depression, insomnia, phobias, and eating disorders. Identify and deal with it.
7- Socialize: Talking to other people is therapeutic and relaxing. The exchange of ideas and the feeling of friendship is soothing. Laughing is very therapeutic.
Think about taking some lessons in a favorite hobby of yours. Join a club. They always need help. This will make you feel connected and give you satisfaction and add some joy to your life. It also gives you something to look forward to. Get a pet too. They are great companions, and may bring peace and fun to your life.
8- Take breaks: Build breaks into your day, and your life, to re-charge. Take time to relax. Avoid chronic worrying and “what if” thinking. Most things we worry about never happen. Travel if possible. Getting away from your daily demands does wonders for your mental and physical health. You can think more clearly too.
9- Think positively: You will live longer and be more content if you think in an optimistic way. Some people always think the worst will happen, and this feeling of dread can wear you down. It is better to say to yourself, “things will work out, they always do; or I will find a way, like I did before, to get what I want”
Even if you are an optimist there are outside forces that can cause you to make an extra effort to frame your life positively. So stay positive, have faith, and keep hope alive.
10- Look into over the counter Supplements, if Approved by your doctor:
Remember that our bodies are under oxidative stress. Free Radicals roam around our bodies on the cellular level causing damage. Some people describe it as “rusting” from the inside out.
We need to stop these Oxidative Free Radicals from doing damage inside our bodies, so physicians may recommend using antioxidants.
- So start with a daily Multivitamin; with minerals if you are older.
- Then take any supplemental vitamins that are appropriate to your personal health situation, such as Vitamin B1, or extra Calcium and Vitamin D for bone health.
- Look into CoQ10 which speeds up mitochondrial cell multiplication. Mitochondrial cells increase cellular strength and repair. As we get older our bodies can slow down and cellular function can slow down, and CoQ10 can help. Ask your physician if it fits into your health profile. - CoQ10 is given as standard practice in most Coronary Care units in Hospitals, to help with damage done to the heart, but it works throughout the body.
- Look into Omega 3 fish oil. It is said to help with cholesterol, blood pressure, and depression.
- If your blood sugar is rising, ask your doctor about taking chromium piccolinate, over the counter. It causes the cells to be more sensitive to insulin.
Suggestions and References:
- Every morning at 9AM on CBS is a great medical program called “The Doctors” with 4 MDs. In my opinion it is solid, state of the art Medical Information. I watch it every day.
- Another medical television show that I think is reliable is “Bedside Manor.”
It features two physicians: One traditionally trained: Howard Goldberg, MD, and One trained in homeopathy: Keith DeOreo, MD, Dr. of homeopathy
- Web MD is a reliable internet site that is staffed by Physicians and Health care personnel
Reading Reference: “Foundations for Healing” by Dr. Richard Becker This book goes in depth about supplements, antioxidants, and phytonutrients, from a holistic point of view. If you find supplements in this book that you think may apply to your health situation, ask your Physician, to see if they are compatible or incompatible with your health status.
Good Health to you,
|This column is for informational purposes only, and represents the opinion, and reporting of the author only. Any discussions with the Author should be presented to your own personal Physician for his/her Professional opinion. It is not meant to substitute for seeing one's own Medical Doctor, Psychiatrist, or Psychologist for Professional care.|