Aging with grace (part 1)

Doctors To YouDWC feature, health, highlight2, Wellness

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that as a concierge medical service provider, a significant number of our patients are over the age 55. Many of them remember when house calls were the primary way to see their family doctor, who had a relationship with not only them, but also everyone in their household. Perhaps, the idea of a house call doctor today is simply nostalgic. But whether they prefer house calls because it reminds them of old times or because it’s just more convenient, most people prefer this approach because concierge doctors, ours in particular, provide the best care in the most comfortable environment. No one can argue with that.

So, as many of our patients get older, we actually like to always provide some information and wisdom to keep you from see us. Trust us, we enjoy your company, but a healthy you is better for our relationship!

How to Age Well

Aging happens to all of us, whether we like it or not; however, how we age varies greatly from person to person. No matter how great your genes are, your body will eventually deteriorate. The good news is that you can stop this deterioration by making changes to your lifestyle. The truth is that we simply cannot do the same things we have always done and expect the same results! Making small changes to your diet, physical activities, and even doctor visits, can make a big difference in how you age. Here is how to age well.




It shouldn’t come as a surprise that as a concierge medical service provider, a significant number of our patients are over the age 55. Many of them remember when house calls were the primary way to see their family doctor, who had a relationship with not only them, but also everyone in their household. Perhaps, the idea of a house call doctor today is simply nostalgic. But whether they prefer house calls because it reminds them of old times or because it’s just more convenient, most people prefer this approach because concierge doctors, ours in particular, provide the best care in the most comfortable environment. No one can argue with that.

So, as many of our patients get older, we actually like to always provide some information and wisdom to keep you from see us. Trust us, we enjoy your company, but a healthy you is better for our relationship!

How to Age Well

Aging happens to all of us, whether we like it or not; however, how we age varies greatly from person to person. No matter how great your genes are, your body will eventually deteriorate. The good news is that you can stop this deterioration by making changes to your lifestyle. The truth is that we simply cannot do the same things we have always done and expect the same results! Making small changes to your diet, physical activities, and even doctor visits, can make a big difference in how you age. Here is how to age well.




Focus on Your Diet

Eating a healthy diet is the best way to age well. When you are younger, you can eat an unhealthy meal and bounce back pretty quickly. But as you age, your body must get the nutrients it needs in order to function properly. A healthy diet is also the best way to prevent diseases like type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and hypertension. You can get started by avoiding certain foods: those that are high in sodium, fried, or packaged. Then, replace those foods with whole, unprocessed foods like lean proteins, healthy fats, vegetables, and fruits.

It’s especially important for older adults to get adequate protein because protein is key to building muscle, which we’ll talk more about later. Healthy fats like eggs, avocados, nuts, and extra virgin olive oil help your brain function better. Finally, fruits and veggies give you all the vitamins and minerals you need to keep your body functioning at its best. You can still enjoy carbs too! Just make sure they are whole grains.

When we think of food, supplements always come to mind--the non-foods that fill in the gap for what's missing in the diet. But here's what the Institute of Medicine says about supplements: "Save the money you would spend on them and invest in a new pair of walking shoes, a gym membership or a delicious healthy meal with your family and other loved ones. All of those are likely to do more for your emotional and physical health than a supplement."

Maintain Lean Muscle

As you age, your body naturally loses muscle mass. In fact, you begin losing muscle mass when you are in your 30’s!

"Physically inactive people can lose as much as 3% to 5% of their muscle mass each decade after age 30. Even if you are active, you’ll still have some muscle loss," according to WebMD.

However, you can combat this by building muscle through exercise. Lifting weights or using resistance bands can help you build muscle and keep your body strong. Strength training also does more than make your muscles strong – it increases your bone mass as well! It’s a great way to prevent the development of osteoporosis.

You don’t have to use very heavy weights to build muscle mass. Light weights or resistance bands can make a big difference, no matter your age or physical ability. The key is to be consistent. Try to strength train at least 3 times per week, every week. Studies have shown that your muscle mass and hormone levels will improve after just two weeks of exercise!


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Get screened

As you age, your chances of developing certain diseases increases. Now is the time to start getting screened regularly so you will continue to live a healthy, pain free life. Regular screenings for certain cancers are incredibly important because catching cancer early is the best way to treat it. Both men and women should get regular colonoscopies to check for colorectal cancers. Women should also get mammograms and pap smears to check for both breast and cervical cancer. Men need to get regular prostate exams, as well. In addition to cancer screenings, you should have your blood pressure checked regularly, blood work done to check for type 2 diabetes, bone density scans for osteoporosis, and regular mental health checkups.

While your family history does play a role in your health, it doesn’t mean that you are destined to develop certain diseases or illnesses. Often times, chronic ailments can be avoided if you make healthy choices and are vigilant about medical screenings. You have the chance to break the cycle of unhealthy habits that have been passed down from previous generations! So, start today. Switch out an unhealthy food for a healthy one, lift some light weights, and make a doctor’s appointment. You won’t regret it!

Focus on Your Diet

Eating a healthy diet is the best way to age well. When you are younger, you can eat an unhealthy meal and bounce back pretty quickly. But as you age, your body must get the nutrients it needs in order to function properly. A healthy diet is also the best way to prevent diseases like type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and hypertension. You can get started by avoiding certain foods: those that are high in sodium, fried, or packaged. Then, replace those foods with whole, unprocessed foods like lean proteins, healthy fats, vegetables, and fruits.

It’s especially important for older adults to get adequate protein because protein is key to building muscle, which we’ll talk more about later. Healthy fats like eggs, avocados, nuts, and extra virgin olive oil help your brain function better. Finally, fruits and veggies give you all the vitamins and minerals you need to keep your body functioning at its best. You can still enjoy carbs too! Just make sure they are whole grains.

When we think of food, supplements always come to mind--the non-foods that fill in the gap for what's missing in the diet. But here's what the Institute of Medicine says about supplements: "Save the money you would spend on them and invest in a new pair of walking shoes, a gym membership or a delicious healthy meal with your family and other loved ones. All of those are likely to do more for your emotional and physical health than a supplement."

Maintain Lean Muscle

As you age, your body naturally loses muscle mass. In fact, you begin losing muscle mass when you are in your 30’s!

"Physically inactive people can lose as much as 3% to 5% of their muscle mass each decade after age 30. Even if you are active, you’ll still have some muscle loss," according to WebMD.

However, you can combat this by building muscle through exercise. Lifting weights or using resistance bands can help you build muscle and keep your body strong. Strength training also does more than make your muscles strong – it increases your bone mass as well! It’s a great way to prevent the development of osteoporosis.

You don’t have to use very heavy weights to build muscle mass. Light weights or resistance bands can make a big difference, no matter your age or physical ability. The key is to be consistent. Try to strength train at least 3 times per week, every week. Studies have shown that your muscle mass and hormone levels will improve after just two weeks of exercise!


Image

Get screened

As you age, your chances of developing certain diseases increases. Now is the time to start getting screened regularly so you will continue to live a healthy, pain free life. Regular screenings for certain cancers are incredibly important because catching cancer early is the best way to treat it. Both men and women should get regular colonoscopies to check for colorectal cancers. Women should also get mammograms and pap smears to check for both breast and cervical cancer. Men need to get regular prostate exams, as well. In addition to cancer screenings, you should have your blood pressure checked regularly, blood work done to check for type 2 diabetes, bone density scans for osteoporosis, and regular mental health checkups.


While your family history does play a role in your health, it doesn’t mean that you are destined to develop certain diseases or illnesses. Often times, chronic ailments can be avoided if you make healthy choices and are vigilant about medical screenings. You have the chance to break the cycle of unhealthy habits that have been passed down from previous generations! So, start today. Switch out an unhealthy food for a healthy one, lift some light weights, and make a doctor’s appointment. You won’t regret it!

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