Senior Living

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50 tips for healthy aging

  • Take care of your eyes
  • Have a hearing screening if hearing loss is suspected
  • Exercise regularly
  • Maintain flexibility by stretching
  • Eat a healthful diet
  • Take a daily multivitamin
  • Maintain a healthy body weight
  • Get enough calcium to keep your bones healthy
  • Keep fully hydrated
  • Visit the dentist on a regular basis
  • Don’t smoke
  • Have your blood pressure checked regularly
  • Take steps to lower your cholesterol 
  • Take aspirin daily to prevent heart attacks
  • Take care of your skin
  • Maintain mental health as part of your overall health
  • Manage stress
  • Recognize the signs of depression
  • Take care of yourself if you are a caregiver
  • Pursue spiritual meaning in your life
  • Help maintain your memory by keeping your brain active
  • Get a good night’s sleep
  • Have regular medical check-ups 
  • Have an annual flu shot
  • Get vaccinated against pneumonia if you are at risk
  • Get screened for Alzheimer’s disease if you experience memory problems
  • Have a bone density screening if you are at risk for osteoporosis
  • Prevent strokes
  • Protect yourself against hip fracture
  • Take measures to manage your arthritis
  • Practice medication safety
  • Be aware of drug interactions
  • Have easy access to your medical records
  • Prepare your home for emergencies
  • Take measures to prevent falls
  • Assess your driving ability as you age
  • Recognize the role of physical health in sexual satisfaction
  • Manage the symptoms of menopause
  • Get screened for cervical cancer
  • Have regularly scheduled mammograms
  • Consider a PSA test and rectal exam 
  • Appoint a health-care proxy to screen for prostate cancer
  • Create advance directives 
  • Choose a geriatrician if you have significant impairments as you age
  • Take an active role in your health
  • Prepare in advance for end of life
  • Understand the difference between hospice and palliative care
  • Maintain a socially active lifestyle
  • Plan ahead for housing needs
  • Protect yourself from extremes of heat and cold

Courtesy of Hebrew Senior Life

 

Fitness in your 40s, 50s, 60s & beyond!

By Judith Torel

The fitness craze may seem as if it has been around since the dawn of time, but the reality is that going to a gym to workout, the running craze, and group exercise classes have all been fueled by the baby boomer generation. 

It’s no wonder – baby boomers (wave of births between 1946-1964) make up 28 percent of the population of the United States. According to Boomer Statistics online, another boomer turns 50 every 8.5 seconds. 

Fitness has been and continues to be important to this mass population of people who currently range in age from their 40s through their 60s. But, as we age, so do our fitness needs and goals. Read on to learn what is most important for each decade to keep healthy and fit!

The 40s

In our 40s, we are still concerned with looking our best and feeling healthy and energetic. Our lives are full; between our careers, raising children and our social lives, we need to maintain a fitness regime if for no other reason then to have the energy to keep up with our busy lives.

This is the decade to invest in your health for the long run by making sure that your fitness regime doesn’t totally fly out the window because it is last on your list at the end of the day. This is also the decade where we are still trying to keep up with the 20 and 30-year-olds in the looks realm.

Weight management is a primary goal in our 40s, making cardiovascular workouts the primary focus. There are many options to choose from, such as group exercise classes like Zumba, a Latin American flavored aerobic workout, races, like 5K’s and longer walk/running races and triathlons from sprint (short distance) to Ironman (very long distance!) In fact, triathlons are the number one growing sport in America with the average participant age between 45 and 55 years old. 

Cardiovascular machines in the gyms have evolved from just treadmills to elliptical trainers, arc trainers (like moon walking on a machine), upper body ergometers (just uses upper body), recumbent bikes and others. 

If participating in group exercise or races is not your thing, you can join a gym or purchase a home cardio machine and do daily and weekly workouts. This will help keep your weight in check. As we know, it’s much harder to drop a few pounds in our 40s than our 20s and 30s when all we had to do was cut back on our meals for a few days.

In addition to weight management, our 40s is a time to invest in fitness practices that will pay off in the long run by minimizing risk of osteoporosis, arthritis, diabetes, high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease. In addition to the aerobic exercise, this is the time to establish a practice of weight bearing exercises to maintain your lean muscle and avoid the joint problems that plague adults in their 50s and older.

This means you have to lift weights or move your body against gravity in a way that places more load on the muscles then there is in your everyday activities, and you have to do it with correct form. For instance, if you regularly lift a child that weighs 25 or more pounds, then you need to lift heavier than that in order to avoid losing muscle mass over time AND you need to work on core stabilization and maintaining neutral alignment when performing your routine.

The 50s

All of my clients who come to me for fitness guidance at this age (and beyond) begin our first session by stating, "I know I am not going to look like _______ (fill in a movie star) anymore, but I want to feel the best I can!"

In your 50s, you begin to see the results of what you did in your 40s to keep your weight in check and your muscles and bones healthy. This is the decade when arthritis and other degenerative bone/joint issues really begin to rear their ugly heads. So, it is very important that fitness during this decade include some form of stabilization and learning to maintain neutral alignment of the skeletal system. This will serve as a preventative strategy if you don’t have joint issues and a corrective method if you do. 

There are many choices for joint and muscle alignment and core stabilization. Pilates and yoga are two of the most popular choices. There are many types of yoga to choose from, but Kripalu, Iyengar and Anusara are three that are appropriate for seniors because there is an emphasis on alignment principles. Another option is to hire a certified and experienced personal trainer (check credentials, certifications can mean they only took an online course and you may know more then them!) to design and teach you a routine for muscle conditioning and joint health. 

Just as with your 40s, strength training is also important to avoid or reverse osteoporosis and osteopinia. 

Another very important fitness focus in your 50s is flexibility. Our tissues are much less elastic, so it is very important your muscles and joints are able to maintain full range of motion. It not, then joint issues result and mobility and motility are reduced, resulting in less ability to move our bodies through time and space! So you can kill two birds with one stone by taking a regular pilates or yoga class and get flexibility and stabilization through the same exercise regime.

The 60s and beyond

In addition to cardiovascular exercise, strength training and flexibility and stability, there is another focus that becomes very important in your 60s and that is balance. 

The number one reason for premature deaths in people over 60 is complications from falling. Thus, balance workouts becomes a primary concern at this age and beyond. Today, there are many fitness tools that can be used to enhance balance: core boards, foam rollers, wobble boards, stability balls and stability discs are a few that are found in gyms and can be purchased for home use. It is a good idea to have a qualified personal trainer or physical therapist show you how to safely progress through a routine that enhances balance without putting you at risk of hurting yourself.

Life is far from over when you are beyond 60 years old. The life expectancy of female baby boomers is 82.5; 78.5 for males. I participate in triathlons and every year there are more men and women in the 60-69, 70-79 and even 80-89 age groups! What we chose to do for fitness in our 40s and 50s is like a 401K for our 60s and beyond. 

You can start a fitness program at any age and add life to your years! What are you waiting for?

Judy Torel is a USAT coach, personal trainer, nutrition consultant and psychotherapist. Her office is located in Planet Fitness, Loudonville. She can be reached at 469.0815 or jtorel2263@yahoo.com.

 

Are you in the fog?

By Dan Moran

"Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending." – Maria Robinson

In my business, I hear from those who are in what I call, the "fog". They know they need a new direction in their life and career, but they are caught up in the "stuff" of life that creates this fog and clouds forward-thinking direction. 

This becomes especially true after a number of years in one career or job or when considering re-careering for the future as you mature into your 40s, 50s or 60s. It really doesn’t matter where you came from or what industry you were in – this "fog" affects us all at some point. If I am describing you, don’t feel badly; you are in the 70-80 percent of boomers or second-career population who feel the same way.

The good news is that employers accept redirection in career and look to find people that fit their job and culture with less emphasis on skills or education. This is a major shift in the business of hiring people. In addition, employers are not hiring people for life. People are changing jobs every three to five years, and changing careers two to five times in their working life.

The first step is accepting that you need a change 

Here is the good news: there are great opportunities out there for those who accept that it is okay to change what they have been doing and follow their calling or passion. The sad fact is that many just do not accept the change. That’s where some "coaching", or in other words, a swift kick in the rear end helps. Left to our own devices, we would do the same old–same old, over and over again until some radical defining event hits us square in the face.

Then give yourself permission 

This is very important. Many realize they need a change when they reach the boomer stage, but feel guilty about doing something for themselves for once. That is why you need to give yourself permission, to tell yourself it is right to do what you want to be happy. It is okay. You deserve it. Just keep telling yourself over and over.

Don’t let pride get in the way 

This past month, I talked to two people who knew they needed help in finding their direction. However, they were disappointed (one even mad) at themselves because they couldn’t figure this out on their own. One, a very successful business owner, told me he couldn’t sleep well at night because his ability to determine his next direction (or Next-Act – could not resist) kept his mind working when he should have been resting. It is okay not to know, but not okay to let that situation continue.

Better not to get hit square – take charge 

Am I describing where you are and what you are feeling? If so, it’s high time to take charge – take the controls and begin steering. It will be a relief knowing that you have made the decision to change and then took action to begin that path out of the fog and on to what you really want to do – on your terms. 

Take the first step

  • Accept that change is good.
  • Commit to being successful – on your terms.
  • Set your goals – and don’t let anyone get in your way!
  • Make today the start of a new ending and chapter. Grow and excel – only you can do this for yourself!

And thank you for reading this!

Dan Moran is president & founder of Next-Act, a career management & transition firm located in Colonie. You can reach him at 641.8968 or dmoran@next-act.com or visit www.next-act.com.

 

Elderly health tips

By Marci Natale

They have a whole lifetime of life experiences, not to mention they see the doctor frequently and have heard all the advice that family members have to offer. So, how do the elderly achieve that longevity that some of us in our 30s dream of having some day? Is there a secret to maintaining a healthy body, mind and spirit even in your 90s? Like many instances it depends on who you ask, but some Capital Region residents who reside at Coburg Village, a retirement and assisted-living community in Clifton Park, say they have some of the answers: 

Helen Joslyn, 92, shares an apartment with her husband, Harold who is 93. The two have been married for 72 years, and although she credits a happy marriage for her positive outlook on life, she admits there are things that she has to do to stay in shape physically and mentally. "Before I injured my heel, I walked around the perimeter of the building I live in, about a half-mile everyday." She also took part in the aquatic exercise program Coburg Village offers. Mentally, Joslyn says she loves to cook healthy and bake. ‘My husband is a diabetic, so we have a low fat, low sugar diet." Joslyn adds that neither she or her husband ever smoked or drank and adds that she thinks that luck has a little something to do with their longevity. "I think we plain just got good genes."

Ninety-two year old Howard Croffman believes that physical health stems from good mental health. "You have to have a happy outlook. I always think that things will get better, if you think otherwise you can get depressed." He adds that it’s important to stay social. Croffman, who has lived here for six years, has lunch and dinner with the same group of people every day, "We gather at the table and just keep socializing." When he’s not eating and socializing he reads. "I read a lot. It’s relaxing. I usually fall asleep." 

Vera Lister is 95-years old and gets much of her exercise these days by walking down the long corridors outside her apartment at Coburg Village. Lister served in World War II with the Royal Navy. "I decoded messages and worked at the Naval store, later on." It’s that experience that kept her active, always wanting to get out and enjoy life. "I used to walk all the time because I never drove a car in my life. I used to ride a bicycle a lot, too." Aside from being active, Lister said she always tried to eat healthy and only drinks water. "I eat well, plain food more or less." One thing she doesn’t falter on is regular visits to her doctor. "It’s very important to keep going. I see him at least every six months." Like the others, socializing is important to her. "I just get along for dinner and maybe cards in the evening. I like to play rummy."

 

 

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