Flu Season Is Just around the Corner: 5 Things Seniors Should Know

When flu season strikes, it often hits hard and fast. The symptoms can knock a person down, forcing them to spend a week in bed or take a trip to the hospital. Seniors ages 65 and older have a higher risk of severe flu complications, accounting for up to 70 percent of hospitalizations from the virus and up to 85 percent of the deaths each year.

Here are five things you should know about the flu and the flu vaccine this fall. Read more

DASH on over to a Better Diet

The FDA says that Americans consume an average of 3,400 mg of sodium every day. That is more than half the recommended amount by the American Heart Association. And, 90 percent of Americans are eating too much salt. So, that means we are in this mess together. Read more

3 Ways Mobile Technology Is Cool for Seniors

If you think mobile technology is limited to young people — think again. Research shows that four in every ten seniors now own smartphones, and roughly half of older adults who own cell phones have some type of smartphone. But for those who still question the value of mobile technology, here are three ways holding power in the palm of your hand provides benefits for seniors. Read more

4 Ways Gratitude Is Good for You

Modern medicine is one of the reasons the 21st Century is a great time to be alive, and our ability to prevent dangerous diseases has changed the quality of life for grateful generations. In 2015, 91.8 percent of American children 19–35 months old were vaccinated against chickenpox. If you’ve ever suffered the soul-crushing itching of chickenpox, you know those children are lucky.

But our sophisticated medicines and surgeries still can’t cure everything. Chronic pain, for example, which has both a physical and a mental component. Our medicines are great at treating physical symptoms, but they can’t do much about the mental side of things. That’s where gratitude comes in. Gratitude is a practice of the mind that benefits both the mind and body whether you suffer from chronic pain, are feeling the effects of advanced age, or just want to stand at the helm of your own health. Read more

4 Simple Ways to Enjoy Summer Outdoor Fun

I like to be outside.

All … the … time.

I relish the heat and sun — as long as I keep on the sun block.

But there’s more than a sunburn to worry about when you’re having fun in the sun. Here are four ways to enjoy the hot summer without getting burned: Read more

4 Delicious Ways to Add Fiber to Your Diet

Believe it or not, most older adults want to improve their health. We get plenty of sleep, park our cars in a spot furthest away from the supermarket’s main entrance, we follow a regimented medication schedule, and watch what we eat — except when it comes to dietary fiber. Studies show that Americans eat less than 3 percent of the recommended amounts of dietary fiber each day. But in a culture where whole-grain bread, raw foods, and organic products are mainstream, why are Americans still short on dietary fiber?

Some experts blame our sweet tooth and other unhealthy cravings. “The problem is that many people eat a ton of highly processed foods, which have been stripped of most of their fiber,” says Kasandra Brabaw. Americans are more inclined to reach for a slice of white bread rather than whole-grain brands, and we choose to eat a fruit bar instead of eating a piece of whole fruit. These habits are taking a toll on our health.

Lifestyle changes can still have a dramatic effect on improved health, regardless of age. And, if you starting a new fitness routine, invite your friends and family to join you. “We’ve noticed our rehab and therapy patients progress faster when they have a supportive team cheering them on,” said Trent Gunnell, SLP., DOR at Parke View Rehabilitation & Care Center.

Fiber improves digestive functions, lowers cholesterol, maintains blood glucose levels, improves heart health, and helps control weight. Although thoughts of adding fiber involve grainy spoonfuls of something resembling bird seed, there are many flavorful options that achieve the same result. Here are four delicious, fiber-rich foods to increase your fiber intake.

  1. Cold Cereal

Let’s face it. Bran cereals leave a lot to be desired in the flavor department. But, you can still obtain the health benefits by simply combining bran cereal with your favorite cold cereal like Cheerios, Corn Chex, or Rice Krispies. You still get the fiber, but you also enjoy the flavor.

  1. Soup

Name your favorite soup and it likely includes a high-fiber food. Lentils, peas, corn, black beans, and broccoli are all great sources of dietary fiber. The Department of Agriculture says Americans need at least 14 grams of dietary fiber each day for every 1000 calories consumed.

  1. Fruits

It’s true that an apple a day may keep the doctor at bay. “Apples are the perfect snack food when you need a healthy pick-me-up while on the go,” said Jim Morrison, executive director for Redmond Care and Rehabilitation Center. Also reach for avocados, berries, bananas, and citrus fruits.

  1. Hummus

Made with chickpeas, tahini, olive oil, garlic, and lemon juice, hummus could very well be the perfect dip. Experts estimate that 25 percent of American homes stock it in their refrigerator.

 

If you are looking for an effective way to feel better, look better, and perform better in your daily fitness routine, adding fiber to your diet is an easy (and delicious) start to good health.

 

This article was previously published by the OC Register and republished here with permission.

 

 

Take Note of Water Safety for Older Adults

Whether you are swimming, doing water aerobics, or just relaxing, the hot months of summer present plenty of opportunities to cool off and have fun in the water.

But older adults should be extra careful when enjoying these activities. Being aware of the dangers of water activities and how to prevent accidents can help older adults stress less and stay safe. Read more

A Little Exercise on Car Trips Can Help Prevent Blood Clots

It’s road trip season! Before you hit the road with a bag of Corn Nuts and the Hamilton soundtrack queued up, let’s list some of the other important things to remember: Healthy snacks – check. GPS – check. Avoid drowsiness when driving – check. Know the signs of a blood clot – huh?

When we think of potential dangers on the road, most of us don’t consider blood clots. According to the National Blood Clot Alliance, “On average, 274 people die every day from blood clots, and one person dies every six minutes from a blood clot.” Read more

4 Reasons You Should Soak up the Sun This Summer

Lying outside in a swimsuit with your eyes closed and a cool lemonade in hand – summer doesn’t get much better. But, if you’re like me, you’re also worried about having enough sunscreen, getting too hot and becoming dehydrated. How do you know if all this fun in the sun is good for you? Read more

For First-Timers or Old-Timers, Here Are Five Tips for Your First Racing Experience

New cross-trainers—check.

Fitbit—check.

Sporty shorts and jacket—check.

New race tee shirt and entry number—check.

Oh yeah, we are feeling it! It’s springtime, and for those who prefer running to just about any other mode of transportation around town, that means it’s racing season. With race events scheduled all throughout the summer months, this could be the year for you to tackle a 5k or 10k like a champ.

If this is the year of your first race, here are five ways to get the most mileage out of your first racing experience. Read more