September 2012: 8 Tips to Ensuring a Healthy Being

Here are 8 ways that you can ensure a healthy body, mind and spirit:

  1. Engage in physical activity every day.  Stretching can enhances function and reduces joint pain.  Walking, swimming or biking strengthen heart muscle activity.
  2. Eat the Mediterranean diet.  It utilizes olive oil instead of butter in cooking and includes mostly vegetables with some meat.  Food is fresh, lightly cooked containing whole grains with spices adding a touch of flavor.
  3. Protect your teeth.  Brush with Sensodyne toothpaste at night and do not rinse.  Spit out excess toothpaste.  It will protect tooth roots which become more exposed as gums recede in later years.
  4. Get your eyes checked twice a year and visit the doctor if you have problems.  You may need to invest in a magnifying glass to help with reading small print.  Get your hearing checked if you suspect a problem.
  5. Limit yourself to one glass of wine or alcohol for women and two glasses for men per day.  Don’t smoke.
  6. Engage in life.  Enjoy your hobbies, painting, sports and entertaining.  It adds to the fullness of life.  Do not stay in day after day.  Breathe the fresh air and enjoy nature.
  7. Get in touch with your breath.  Breath is the foundation of life.  Without it you would not survive.  When you are stressed, you are likely to hold your breath.  Practice just being still and listening to your breath.  By doing this, you will become more aware of your own body.
  8. Last but not least, continue to learn.  Being a lifelong learner will keep you full of vitality and zest for living!  There is so much to learn and enjoy about our planet.

Nutrition Changes for Aging Individuals

There are several factors that come into play as a person ages.  One, their taste buds may not be what they used to be.  Secondly, they may not swallow as easily.  Peanut butter will be very difficult to swallow.  When administering pills, use lukewarm water because it will not constrict the throat.  Iced water will constrict it and make it more difficult to get large tablets to go down.

Many older adults have been advised by their physician to cut down on fats and to watch the amount of caffeine they ingest.  The reason that is important is because older adults do not sense when they are thirsty.  Many will drink caffeine all day which is a diuretic.  Water or flavored water is the best for them because it will hydrate their system.  Have a glass of water within reach and give gentle reminders to drink it.  Fats like olive oil and coconut oil are healthy for the body and hydrate the skin.  Butter is a saturated fat and should be used sparingly.

Salt can also be a problem for older adults.  It causes swelling of the body and may increase blood pressure.  Use spices to add flavor instead of salt.  Basil, Oregano, Italian Seasoning, Cumin, Dill, Garlic, and Onions create savory flavors.

Teeth may become more sensitive making chewing more difficult so prepare foods that are easy to chew.  Cutting meats up into small bits may help.  Cold and hot sensitivity may also come into play.  Be sure to prepare vegetables and fruits to boost immune function which is less effective as a person ages.

If you see that your older adult does not have an appetite or does not want to eat, encourage them to drink Boost or Ensure nutritional supplements.  Without proper nutrition, older adults frequently end up in a nursing home or hospital.  These supplements will help them to maintain.

Many older adults are using medicines that cause constipation.  Make sure that they are drinking water frequently and eating whole grains to facilitate movement in the intestines.  Walking a bit helps as well.  Do as much exercise as the senior can tolerate.

Older adults can benefit by supplementing their diet with Vitamin D3 and taking Omega 3 capsules.  If they are experiencing daily pain, check with the doctor before taking a daily pain medication.  The doctor will let you know which one will be easiest on the stomach.  Vitamin C will also help to boost immune function.  Have them eat plenty of fresh fruit!  Cut into small bite-size pieces.

Sing, dance, and be playful!  This will keep their spirits up as well.  Arrange an outing so they can get out of the house.  Request visitors