You've probably heard it before, but exercise is good for you! The CDC indicates that regular physical activity can impact your brain health, help reduce your risk of disease, strengthen your bones and muscles, improve your ability to do everyday activities, and help to manage your weight. To maintain your weight, the CDC recommends at least 150 minutes a week of moderate physical activity, but if you are trying to lose weight, then you may need more exercise and to adjust your diet to reduce your calorie intake.
Don't be afraid to break up your workouts into smaller sessions throughout the day, if you feel that will work better for you instead of one long workout.
Remember that SilverSneakers® is included in your KelseyCare Advantage plan giving you access to thousands of fitness locations across the country, or live and on-demand workout classes from the comfort of your own home. If you haven't signed up already, then visit the SilverSneakers website to get your SilverSneakers ID number.
Finally, before beginning any new exercise program, make sure you discuss it with your Kelsey-Seybold Clinic doctor first.
As we age, it's important to eat nutrient-dense foods, which means eating healthy to make every calorie count. The American Heart Association says that this includes eating, “fruits, vegetables, whole grains, non-fat and low-fat dairy, fish and seafood, unprocessed lean meat and skinless poultry, nuts and legumes.”
Other American Heart Association recommendations include:
- Switching from white rice to brown rice.
- Drinking water, unsweetened tea, or coffee instead of sugary drinks.
- Adding in veggies to meals such as pizza, tacos, or sandwiches instead of more meat and cheese.
- When you have a taste for something sweet, eat fruit instead of candy and cookies.
You may not know that many products in the grocery store feature the American Heart Association Heart-Check mark, so when you see it you'll know it falls into what they consider a healthy option. You can also visit their website to download their Heart-Check Certified Product List to help you choose healthier options at the grocery store.
Although a good night's sleep is of great importance, many may find it hard to get for a variety of reasons. It's not uncommon for older adults to:
- Experience aches, pains, or bladder issues that may interfere with sleep.
- Take a medication that causes insomnia as a side-effect.
- Have sleep apnea, which may cause their breathing to stop several times throughout the night.
- Or, struggle with stress, anxiety, or depression, all of which can affect sleep.
Recent research published by the journal PLoS Medicine indicates that getting less than five hours of sleep is associated with up to a 40% increased risk of developing more than one chronic disease such as diabetes, cancer, and heart disease. And, the National Institutes of Health reports that those in their 50's and 60's who got six hours of sleep or less, “were at greater risk of developing dementia later.”
So, What Can You Do?
- Try to stick to a schedule for when you get up and when you go to bed at night.
- Keep your bedroom at a comfortable sleeping temperature, along with dim lighting.
- Try to avoid large meals, alcohol, and caffeine too close to bedtime. Although alcohol might initially make you feel sleepy, once your body processes it, you may wake up and not be able to get back to sleep.
- Try not to nap too much during the day as that might disrupt how much sleep you need at night.
- Exercise and being physically active may help you fall asleep at night.
If all else fails, then discuss your options with your Kelsey-Seybold Clinic doctor to determine the right treatment plan to address your sleep issues, including a possible visit to the Kelsey-Seybold Clinic Sleep Center.
Annual Wellness Check-Ups
An Annual Wellness Visit is covered by your KelseyCare Advantage plan at no additional cost and is a great time to touch-base with your doctor regarding your health and discuss any concerns, update vaccinations, check your vital signs like your blood pressure and do important blood work that might discover a small problem before it becomes a big problem. Schedule your Annual Wellness Visit today by calling 713-442-0000.
Focusing on these four areas of: exercising, eating well, getting enough sleep, and getting an Annual Wellness Visit won't solve all of your problems, but it will definitely put you on the right path to a happier, healthier 2023!
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