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How Seniors Can Boost Their Quality of Life Through Food and Exercise
Humans are living longer than we ever have before. However, for most people, enjoying a high quality of life tends to be more important than living to the age of 100. Unfortunately, 80 percent of American seniors have at least one major health condition. It's no secret that functional limitations become more common as people get older. Seniors can support a future of good physical and mental health by following a regular exercise schedule and a nutrient-packed diet.
Take Advantage of Available Medical Services
Medical advice and healthcare resources play a key role in senior health. For example, preventive screenings, diagnostic tests, hearing aids, glasses, and prescription drugs can all vastly improve a senior's quality of life. Know how to get the most out of your Medicare coverage so you can take advantage of these critical services. Since basic Medicare doesn’t cover vision, dental, hearing, and prescriptions, you may need a Medicare Advantage plan for more comprehensive coverage. Check out websites such as MedicareAdvantage.com to determine which supplementary coverage plans are available in your state.
While healthcare can help us feel better if we get sick, prevention is the best way to combat disease or disability. Not surprisingly, regular exercise and following a healthy diet are two of the best ways you can accomplish this.
Exercise for Better Mind-Body Health
According to Time, too many older adults do not exercise on a regular basis. Studies have found that exercise both prevents disability and helps people recover more quickly from an injury. Engaging in regular physical activity can even reduce the amount of time you spend facing immobility and limited independence.
While exercise provides numerous long-term health benefits, it's also a great pick-me-up if you're battling fatigue or a low mood during the day. One study found that a single bout of exercise leads to improved cognitive performance and increased positive emotions for people of any age. For the best mood-enhancing and stress-busting benefits, opt for cardio exercises such as brisk walking, jogging, bicycling, and swimming. Even low-intensity exercise has been found to improve the brain’s processing speed over the long term. For example, a round of golf will get you out in fresh air, and you’ll have to walk the course. Just make sure to consult a buying guide before purchasing clubs.
Don’t Forget Strength Training
Recent research reported by ScienceDaily reveals the importance of strength exercises for seniors. Strength training is essential for maintaining and improving muscle mass so you can enjoy greater independence and access more of the activities you love. Seniors can practice strength training using bodyweight and resistance bands until they feel comfortable adding weights. If you’re just starting out, try some of these strength exercises for seniors.
A High-Protein Diet Supports Strong Muscles
A healthy diet plays an extremely important supporting role in any active lifestyle. If you’re making an effort to maintain your strength and mobility throughout your senior years, what you eat is just as important as which exercises you do.
The amino acids in protein are key in muscle building, so try to incorporate protein into every meal. High-quality protein from meat, fish, dairy products, and soy provide the best muscle support. If you're a vegetarian or vegan, try to mix your plant-based protein sources to get all the important amino acids your body needs to stay strong. Aim for 30 grams of protein per meal. In addition to this, try to consume more omega-3 fatty acids — these reduce inflammation, supporting our health from head to toe while helping our bodies use protein more efficiently.
While omega-3s can help improve mood disorders and stave off brain aging, sugar can be extremely detrimental to our mental health. High sugar consumption has been linked to depression, anxiety, and problems with learning and memory. So, try to reduce how much sugar you eat by seeking healthier alternatives.
Quality of life is extremely dependent on our independence and ability to do the things we love. The best way to avoid disability and ensure you maintain a high level of mobility during your senior years is to prioritize exercise and healthy eating. When you do this, several other physical and mental health benefits will follow. Don’t accept declining health as an inevitable part of aging, but instead make it a point to strive for vitality every single day.
About the Author
Jason Lewis has been passionately helping seniors and senior caregivers in living a happy and healthy senior life. He has put up StrongWell.org to share information regarding senior fitness.
For those of you who are visual learners, you can imagine your skin is like the rind of an orange. So, if your skin is the outer layer of the orange peel, the thicker, white, fibrous layer that lies almost immediately beneath the peel would be your fascia. Just as that thicker layer completely surrounds the inside of the orange, the same holds true to your fascia. We all have a layer of fascia directly beneath the skin that completely envelopes the body, giving another protective barrier between the skin and the deeper soft tissue.
Fascia is a specialized system of the body that has an appearance similar to a spider's web or a sweater. Fascia is very densely woven, covering and interpenetrating every muscle, bone, nerve, artery and vein, as well as, all of our internal organs including the heart, lungs, brain and spinal cord. The most interesting aspect of the fascial system is that it is not just a system of separate coverings. It is actually one continuous structure that exists from head to toe without interruption. In this way you can begin to see that each part of the entire body is connected to every other part by the fascia, like the yarn in a sweater.
Trauma, inflammatory responses, and/or surgical procedures create Myofascial restrictions that can produce tensile pressures of approximately 2,000 pounds per square inch on pain sensitive structures that do not show up in many of the standard tests (x-rays, myelograms, CAT scans, electromyography, etc.) A high percentage of people suffering with pain and/or lack of motion may be having fascial problems, but are not diagnosed.
Massage therapy can help loosen those fascial adhesions!
You may know about the massage cupping I offer which is great for loosening adhesions and scar tissue, smoothing out the appearance of cellulite, assisting the lymphatic system... the list of benefits goes on.
But did you know I also do massage cupping on the face? These special facial cups do not create enough suction to leave marks on the face, so no worries about that.
This technique is great for sinus drainage, smoothing out wrinkles and giving a natural facelift.
We can combine this with some cold stones on the face for an awesome treatment for allergies and sinus issues.
Want to add this in to your session? Just let me know!
I also wanted to let you know that I'm adjusting my availability for Fall by adding some occasional Saturdays and some Mondays to the schedule.
Ready to schedule?
Having seen my Grandmother with parkinson's disease and diabetes living in a less-than-desirable nursing home, and also having seen my Mother try and be her full-time caregiver, I know how hard it is to care for an aging family member with dementia and other health problems. Being a caregiver can take so much out of you, and it's important to take care of yourself. Regular exercise, eating right, taking time away when possible (even if only for an hour on the massage table!) is so important to fill your cup back up.
The Oaks at NorthPointe Woods is having a "Caretaker's Day Off" event on July 19th. I'm excited to be participating and will be there offering 15-20 minute massages! There will also be many other activities going on for caretakers to enjoy.
I've had the honor of getting to know some of the staff at NorthPointe Woods and learning more about their Independent Living as well as The Oaks Assisted Living and Long-Term Care. It's a beautiful facility that resembles nothing of the nursing homes I've visited in the past. It's clean, spacious, full of natural light, and staff that genuinely cares.
The freestanding Legacy Neighborhood incorporates progressive and proven dementia care components in private suites. In this neighborhood, their caregivers are specially trained to work with, and to care for those with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. In their state-of-the-art health center, they offer skilled nursing/post hospital care, delivered by a staff of committed professionals with attention paid to every detail. Whether for a few days, a few weeks, or for as long as you need them…It’s comforting to know that there is a source in Battle Creek you can turn to for guidance.
Amanda Mort, the Legacy Neighborhood Director, says "Being a caregiver for someone with dementia is a full-time job plus! Caregiver’s day off is designed to provide a relaxing atmosphere along with some exciting education. The Oaks staff will be happy to provide care to the loved one, while the caregiver has a relaxing and uplifting day. The Oaks offers a secured unit and is well known for their daily rhythm program, which promotes cognitive stimulation, creative crafts, baking sessions, games, exercises, and much more! Please reserve your spot today! We look forward to seeing you!"
I hope to see you there!
In April, I spent a day in Detroit for a workshop on the DoTERRA Aromatouch technique. This technique is the clinical application of essential oils - 8 specific oils - to bring the body back into balance and is deeply relaxing.
You can now add Aromatouch to any of the services at Bodywork By Design. Start your session out with 8 yummy oils applied to your spine and then flow right into your awesome massage!
We start with a blend call Balance.
Ingredients: Spruce, Rosewood, Frankincense, and Blue Tansy.
dōTERRA Balance® essential oil blend creates a sense of calmness and well-being. Starting the AromaTouch with this oil creates a great initial bond between the giver and the receiver.
Next we add in Lavender.
Lavender essential oil has been cherished for its unmistakable aroma and calming properties for thousands of years. Due to its soothing nature, it is used in the AromaTouch to promote relaxation.
The third oil added is Melaleuca.
More commonly called “tea tree,” Melaleuca has 90 different compounds and limitless applications. Melaleuca is an essential part of the AromaTouch Technique for its cleansing effects.
The On Guard blend is next.
Ingredients: Wild Orange, Clove Bud, Cinnamon, Eucalyptus, and Rosemary.
dōTERRA On Guard® offers fragrant and effective cleansing properties. Because of these properties, it is used in the AromaTouch Technique.
Then a blend called Aromatouch.
Ingredients: Basil, Grapefruit, Cypress, Marjoram, Peppermint, and Lavender.
AromaTouch® essential oil blend combines the benefits of oils well known for calming and relaxing effects. The AromaTouch Blend is used in the AromaTouch Technique because of its soothing sensation.
The Deep Blue blend is added next.
Ingredients: Wintergreen, Camphor, Peppermint, Blue Tansy, German Chamomile, Helichrysm, and Osmanthus.
Deep Blue® essential oil blend has an immediate tingling and warming effect. Because of this and its aromatic properties, it was chosen to be a part of the AromaTouch Technique.
Then Wild Orange.
Cold pressed from the peel, Wild Orange essential oil releases an energizing, citrusy aroma. We use Wild Orange in the AromaTouch Technique because of its ability to energize and revitalize.
And finally, Peppermint.
Peppermint, a well-loved oil, provides a myriad of health benefits. Peppermint essential oil is used in the AromaTouch Technique for its invigorating and energy-promoting qualities.
This technique can be added into any service at Bodywork By Design and includes a $15 upcharge.
Schedule your aromatouch now!
Have I told you about my esthetician friend, Melissa, who owns GLOW downtown? (Located next to Malia Bistro). If you haven't experienced one of her facials, you are missing out!
She uses only organic products that come from Mother Earth - featuring Elina Organic Clinical Skin Care products. (Made in Kalamazoo!)
Melissa was telling me her interesting introduction to skin care as a client of Elina's in Kalamazoo after experiencing a reaction to other products. Elina's expertise and skin care line quickly cleared up Melissa's issue, and so she began her journey into the world of skin care with Elina's Organic Skin Care line.
Melissa is now a licensed esthetician offering 75-90 minute facial services for $75 at GLOW. Each service includes a corrective herbal facial customized for your skin. Cleansing, steaming, vacuum and manual extractions followed by detoxing, exfoliation (acid, enzyme, and/or crystal free micro-diamond peeling), treatment (for acne, pigmentation, wrinkles / fine lines etc.) and nourishment. Compresses soaked in loose freshly brewed tea is detoxing and relaxing during your skin care service. Gemstones are not only a part of the skin care line, but also used for penetration of product and for a relaxing massage. A cold laser treatment is also performed for optimal firming and healing effect.
Um... can you say Heaven?! Not only is it great for your skin, but oh-so-relaxing. I highly recommend you experience GLOW yourself, you deserve it!
Call Melissa at (269) 245-1705 to schedule an appointment.
Have I mentioned to you how much I love Spring? That moment when everything finally wakes up from Winter and starts to grow and bloom... it's my favorite.
In honor of Spring, and May, and Mothers, I've got a few special offerings this month! For a limited time, a new "Massagerita" service will be available. This 60 or 90 minute service will consist of the following:
Gift certificates are available online, or in studio. If purchased in studio, it comes in a margarita glass because HOW FUN IS THAT?!
Get a gift for your mother, or treat yo'self!
I'm also excited to announce that last weekend I went to Detroit for a DoTERRA Aromatouch technique training. This new service is now available and will be a mainstay on the menu. It consists of the application of 8 beautiful essential oils to recharge and replenish you. It will be available as an add-on to any service (except ashi-thai stretching). You can select it with your service when scheduling online, or just let me know when you come in if you want to add it into your session that day for a $15 upcharge.
I've had a few people interested and waiting for more essential oil classes to be added to the schedule, so I wanted to let you know of some upcoming dates:
And to go with our margarita theme, we will have some during these classes! So please come, otherwise I'll be here drinking alone and that would just be sad. :P
It's that time of year again - Spring brings many tree branches down, weeds, and so much work to do in the yard! I often see clients with pain or injuries caused by overdoing it in the Spring with yard work.
Here's some tips to prevent injury while doing some Spring clean up in your yard:
Here's to a healthy and happy Spring,
You may have noticed that I recently got new sheets for the massage studio. The SOFTEST, MOST AMAZING SHEETS.
The Comphy sheets were designed for the spa and hospitality industries. ("Developed for spa. designed for ahh." as their tagline says!) These sheets were so popular in the spa industry, that they started a line for the home.
These linens actually get softer with more washes. They are microfiber, so I can't even give you a thread count to compare them to because microfiber is woven way tighter than cotton could ever be.
I was actually testing these out with just a couple of sets before committing to them, and every client who got on the table when I used the comphy sheets commented immediately on how soft they are.
So I'm thrilled to announce that not only can you enjoy these linens during your massage, but they are also available to order for your home. They have not only bed sheets, but also all of these linens available:
They aren't as spendy as you might think. A King size set of sheets is just under $150. When you order through me, I offer you FREE SHIPPING and it's shipped right to your door. (Unless you prefer to pick them up at my studio.) Just email me what you'd like to order, and I'll take care of the rest! You can see color swatches and catalogs at the studio, as well.