Health Highlights: September, Healthy Aging Month
No matter what your age, you can stay at your personal best with these expert tips.
WebMD the Magazine's "Health Highlights" focuses on a national health theme for the month with expert tips, reader comments, and eye-catching factoids. September is Healthy Aging month – follow these tips to stay at your peak! 1. Get moving
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Role Reversal: Caregiving for Aging Parents
Hannah Kalil is 83 years old, and lives by herself in upstate New York. She
has aides who help with her caregiving throughout the day. But the
responsibility of managing her finances, health care -- both mental and
physical -- and long-term living situation falls to one person: her daughter --
and my mother -- Eleanor.
It's almost a full-time job. Making sure my grandmother is happy and not
feeling lonely means daily visits. Her never-ending stream of medical issues
means weekly -- if not...
Read the Role Reversal: Caregiving for Aging Parents article > >
Exercise regularly to maintain a healthy body and brain.
2. Stay social
Take a class, volunteer, play games, see old friends, and make new ones.
3. Bulk up
Eat beans and other high-fiber foods for digestive and heart health.
4. Add some spice
Add herbs and spices to your meals if medications dull your taste buds.
5. Stay balanced
Practice yoga or tai chi to improve agility and prevent falls.
6. Take a hike
Brisk daily walks this September can bolster both your heart and lungs.
7. Sleep well
Talk to a sleep specialist if you don’t sleep soundly through the night.
8. Beat the blues
If you’ve been down for a while, see a doctor. Depression can be treated.
9. Don’t forget
To aid your memory, make lists, follow routines, slow down, and organize.
Expert Tips on Healthy Aging Tips from Gary W. Small, MD, professor of psychiatry and biobehavioral sciences, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, and director, UCLA Longevity Center
*Take a daily brisk walk with a friend -- you’ll get an aerobic workout, and the conversation will exercise your brain and reduce stress.
*To help control the urge to overindulge, just imagine eating that sweet treat. Research shows the fantasy dessert will satisfy you, and you’ll actually eat less.
Tips from Carla Perissinotto, MD, MHS, assistant professor of medicine, division of geriatrics, department of medicine, University of California, San Francisco
*Every few months, review your over-the-counter drugs with your doctor for any potentially unsafe ingredients. I do this for my parents whenever I visit their home.
*Try yoga. All types help maintain physical and emotional health. My favorite is Kundalini yoga, which focuses on meditation and strengthening.
Tips from Elizabeth Eckstrom, MD, MPH, director of geriatrics, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, Ore.
*Follow a Mediterranean diet to help prevent memory impairment and heart problems. I love salmon covered with fresh thyme and lemon slices and grilled on a plank.
*I do tai chi three days a week, and it dramatically improves my balance. Seniors can do it, too, and cut their risk of falls by almost half.
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