Aging Gracefully: Tips from the Experts

By Shannon Morehouse, MA, CHHC

In 1946, 3.4 million babies were born in the United States—a 22% increase in the number of babies born the previous year. And so it began, the start of the Baby Boomer generation. Are you one of them? If you are, chances are you have started to notice some signs of aging. Perhaps your joints aren’t as nimble as they once were. You may have a few more wrinkles than you would like. Your memory may be becoming fuzzy. What tools do you need to assure that you age as gracefully as possible?

Come to Natur-Tyme’s all-day Annual Health Fair at the New York State Fairgrounds on Sunday April 10th. At 11:15 AM, you will want to attend the keynote panel on aging and listen to five experts discuss how to take control of your life and age with a positive attitude!

Here are some tips they have to pique your interest.

Pinsky“To quote Jane Fonda, ‘Stay curious, keep learning, and keep growing. And always strive to be more interested than interesting.’”

Marilyn Pinsky, Moderator

 

Heffernan“My advice is to sit less, and move more. Go for a brisk walk. As Dr. Kenneth Cooper of the Cooper Institute says, ‘We do not stop exercising because we grow old – we grow old because we stop exercising.’”

Kevin Heffernan, PhD
Nutrition & Exercise Expert

Keith“Figure out ways to be creative; do what you can to keep your imagination alive. Give the inner artist a chance to be taken seriously, even if your inner artist has not been acknowledged. Artists are energized by other artists.”

David Keith, MD
Families & Chronic Illness Specialist

Beissner“Keeping the mind and body active is the best way to age gracefully. This is the time to take up those deferred hobbies, or try something new. Taking an exercise class is a great way to meet people and have fun. The best programs target four key areas: strength, flexibility, endurance, and balance. “

Katherine Beissner, PT, PhD
Physical Activity Expert

“Studies have shown the importance ofHoltz being social to healthy aging. Social media is today’s tool for reaching that goal.”

Heidi Holtz
Social Engagement Specialist

Conquering the Winter Blues

By Andrew Greeley

183710776Counting down the days to warmer months can feel like a rat-race. An estimated one in every 30 Americans suffers from some varying degree of Seasonal Affective Disorder, affecting females at a much higher rate than men. The disorder’s prevalence has been observed in families meaning it may have genetic origin and is more common in individuals with preexisting depressive disorders. As we plod across the halfway point of winter, we can start to see the light at the end of the igloo. Vitamin D, exercise, and Natur-Tyme events can help you get through!

Vitamin D supplementation in the winter is imperative, especially if your mood and energy takes the brunt. If exercise could be capsulated and only taken three to four times a week, it would fly off the shelves and improve the lives of anyone who took it. Unfortunately, we as humans, have evolved from primitive nomads into multi-tasking, technologically-dependant cyborgs, whom have over-looked the importance of physical movement. As Hippocrates once said, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” Natur-Tyme is revamping this ancient philosophy into a practical lifestyle in a bi-weekly lecture series in Natur-tyme’s community room, titled “90 Days to the Best You.” This year’s program has received such a positive response that all availability has been filled, but I strongly encourage those interested in a healthier lifestyle to stay informed of all of our health-inspiring events by following the newsletter and signing up for upcoming programs and community room events.

Nine Tips to Help You Stay Healthy During Flu Season

By Boiron USA

Sadly, according to trends, we are in a high-activity flu area.

A homeopathic brand that Natur-Tyme carries, Boiron USA, offers the following tips on how to stay healthy this flu season and what to do if the flu bug bites:

  1. TALK TO YOUR DOCTOR. Get professional advice if you are at risk for complications from flu.
  1. WASH YOUR HANDS FREQUENTLY. Flu viruses are spread by droplets from infected people when they sneeze, blow their nose, or wipe away secretions from their nose or eyes. During flu season, everyone should be encouraged to keep their hands out of their mouths, avoid rubbing their eyes and wash their hands thoroughly several times a day, especially before meals.
  1. EAT A HEALTHY DIET RICH IN VITAMINS C AND E. Foods containing these vitamins are believed to be helpful in supporting the immune system. Foods rich in vitamin E include sunflower and corn oils, sunflower seeds, and nuts such as almonds and peanuts. You can get your daily vitamin C from foods like orange juice, citrus fruits, broccoli, and green peppers. And make an effort to reduce your intake of concentrated sugar (e.g. soda, candy) because excessive sugar impairs the immune response.
  1. GET A GOOD NIGHT’S SLEEP. Lack of sleep may profoundly inhibit your immune system. Get a full night’s sleep to keep your body’s natural defenses at optimum efficiency.
  1. STAY HYDRATED. Increasing your water intake will help you stay healthy and lessen the chance of you coming down with flu. When you are feeling under the weather, drinking extra fluids prevents dehydration caused by fever, loosens mucus, and keeps your throat moist. Warm liquids are preferable, and there is some evidence that inhaling steam early in the course of a cold or flu may reduce the spread of viruses in your upper respiratory tract.
  1. KEEP OSCILLOCOCCINUM®READILY AVAILABLE. Oscillococcinum (Oscillo®), one of the world’s most popular natural flu medicines, can reduce the duration and severity of flu-like symptoms when taken at the onset of symptoms. Its use is supported by published clinical studies, as well as more than 65 years of use throughout the world. Plus, unlike other flu medicines, Oscillo does not cause drowsiness, it does not interfere with other medications, and it is recommended for both adults and children ages 2 and up.
  1. EXERCISE REGULARLY. Not only can regular exercise lower stress, but research indicates that exercise can stimulate the immune system and promote healthy sleep. In a recent study reported inMedicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, scientists found that modest exercise may prevent the elderly from getting colds and flu.
  1. LISTEN TO YOUR BODY. If you do come down with a cold or flu, take it easy. Spending excessive energy steals valuable resources from the immune system. Even attempting to perform normal activities at work or school may be too much. Besides, if you believe you’re coming down with flu, probably the best thing you can do for friends and family is to not expose them unnecessarily to the virus.
  1. SEEK HELP IF YOU GET WORSE. If your symptoms become significantly worse after the first three days of illness, especially if your fever subsides and then returns, be sure to seek medical attention right away. The reason that flu is considered a potentially dangerous infection is that it leaves the body vulnerable to other infections like pneumonia.

Why Exercise?

By Laurel Sterling Prisco, MA, RD, CN

RunningIn order to age gracefully, we need to move our bodies regularly! Now I’m not just talking about daily activities such as: up and down the stairs with laundry, gardening, or walking to your car. I am referring to a bit more intensive body movement. Of course, this definitely depends on your current health status. If you are limited in specific ways or have certain conditions, be sure to consult with your practitioner first who may recommend you to a physical therapist or exercise physiologist. Just do the best you can with what you’ve got. Also, if you have not been working out in quite some time, start small and slowly build your way up.

Exercise has numerous benefits to our body in addition to assisting in the anti-aging process. It is important to include in your regime some cardiovascular, strength training, and stretching. Below is a list of benefits from these:

  • Increases endurance, muscle tone, strength, and flexibility
    • Decreases joint problems
    • Aids building bones
  • Brings blood, nutrients, and oxygen to every cell in the body
    • Cellular wastes are moved for better elimination through kidneys, bowels, and skin
      • Bowel regularity
      • Increases disease resistance
    • Improves digestion, absorption, and metabolism of food
      • Lowers total cholesterol, LDL, and triglycerides, while increasing HDLs
      • Lowers blood sugar levels
      • Makes insulin more effective for muscle and fat cells
    • Increased oxygen intake aids the brain and complexion
      • Aids in alleviating irritability, anxiety, and depression
        • Endorphins, natural mood elevators, are released. A feeling of centeredness is often felt from those who regularly exercise.
      • Increases energy
      • Enhances a more restful sleep
    • Arteries become more resilient, lungs and heart become stronger
      • Lowers blood pressure
  • Weight loss
    • Appetite control

Try the following tips to make your journey towards more movement in your life a more enjoyable one:

  • Approach your regime realistically
  • Find activities you would like to do and that you will maintain
  • Gradually increase the amount of time you are exercising
  • Vary your intensity
  • Focus on being consistent and regular to make it a lifelong habit

Below are a just few studies cited that support some of the anti-aging benefits of exercise noted above:

  1. It’s never too late to start! Individuals in their 70s substantially increase strength and endurance with exercise. Behavioral Medicine 1999;24:157-168
  2. An analysis of 37 studies including 720 adults aged 46 to 90. Improvements were seen in less than four months and then maintained. No difference was found in fitness between people who walked, jogged, or cycled. Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness
  3. Moderately active rats have healthier DNA and more robust brain cells with less oxidative damage than those who are less active. The DNA for the more active rats, after two years, looked a lot like their younger counterparts of only six months of age. EurekAlert November 12, 2005

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