Senior Health and Fitness

joe's picture

Children, Pets, and a Smile

After twenty years of working with older adults I can make at least one conclusive statement: “there is nothing like a child or furry pet to bring a smile to someone.” While we have all probably witnessed the wonderful interaction between a child or pet and an older adult, we may not have stopped to try and understand how this happens.
Jeff's picture

Exploring Alternative Healing

If you’re a follower of my Facebook page (and I hope that includes all of you!), then you’re familiar with my Home Remedies Mondays, where every Monday, I discuss natural ways to help ease the symptoms of some of life’s most common ailments – often with items you may have sitting on your kitchen shelf!

In this blog post, I thought I would share some other forms of natural healing, which I’ve found to be very beneficial to my own health.

Alternative medicine has grown faster than any other form of healthcare. Nearly 40 percent of adults have used some form of alternative therapies. These therapies are not meant to replace conventional medicine, but to work with more conventional therapies to enhance a person’s quality of life. Here are some of my favorite forms of alternative healing or “naturopathic” medicine:

Massage

In addition to feeling really wonderful, massage has been shown to have numerous healing benefits, including reducing anxiety, the severity and frequency of headaches, and the pain from fibromyalgia. It has also shown great benefit for people with arthritis.

Acupuncture

Jeff's picture

Ensuring Food Safety

Summertime is full of picnics, BBQs and outdoor eating. This can bring with it some challenges it keeping food safe. Most of us know to avoid the mayonnaise-laden potato salad that’s been sitting on the picnic table for too long. But what about keeping other foods safe?

Other bearers of illness-producing bacteria may surprise you. Take deli meats, for example. Cold cuts and hot dogs can be contaminated with dangerous bacteria if not packaged properly. Food contamination can happen at any stage of the process – from growing to processing to shipping to preparing. It’s a particular challenge with foods that aren’t cooked enough to help kill bacteria. And while food poisoning is nasty for anyone, it can be life-threating for older adults and those with compromised immune systems. 

As we age, our immune systems can be less effective. Older people, for example, tend to have less stomach acid. Stomach acid has a bad reputation – thanks in large part to the numerous commercials telling us how to fight heartburn and acid reflux. But stomach acid is actually a powerful barrier to bacteria that can cause disease.

Jeff's picture

Cholesterol: the good, the bad and the confusing

Cholesterol. It's been the topic of much debate and controversy for decades. In the 1950s, we learned that cholesterol is bad. Produced in the liver, the waxy, fatty substance clogs our arteries and contributes to heart disease, stroke and other nasty damage.

More recently, we were told cholesterol may not be as bad as we once thought. Turns out, every cell in our body contains cholesterol and we actually need it for some pretty important jobs, including:

  • Helping to make key hormones, such as estrogen and testosterone
  • Synthesizing Vitamin D
  • Building and maintaining vital cell membranes
  • Helping create substances that help us digest food

To make matters more confusing, there are two major types of cholesterol - serum cholesterol, which is cholesterol found in the bloodstream and dietary cholesterol, which is cholesterol found in food. This article is about serum cholesterol.

But even serum cholesterol has two different types:  HDL =  Good.   LDL = Bad.

Jeff's picture

How's your love life?

Dating?  At our age?  Why not! No matter what your age, human connection is essential in keeping a healthy spirit. They don’t call me Meddling Maude for nothing.  So, if you’ve been out of the dating scene for a while, I’m here with some tips for getting back in.

 Let your friends help

Your family and friends know you best and may be able to help  you find someone you can trust and who will appreciate your many great qualities.  If your niece happens to know of a nice person or two  she thinks you’d click with, take a risk!  Agree to meet them!  (One at a time, of course!)  You don’t have to meet someone on a potentially awkward blind date.  Instead, have your helpful family and friends invite both of you to a barbecue or to join them on an outing.

Get active

What interests you? To meet someone you might enjoy, seek out activities you like to do!

Senior centers: Senior centers are beehives of fun activity.  Most offer classes in everything from cooking to Spanish to line dancing. Most also have a plethora of special events, from barbeques in the summer, to holiday parties in the winter.

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