Dr. Mauk’s Boomer Blog

/Dr. Mauk's Boomer Blog

Each week, Dr. Mauk shares thoughts relevant to Baby Boomers that are aimed to educate and amuse.

Guest Blog: How Wearable Technology Can Benefit Your Health

It’s no surprise that in the digital age, in addition to apps and online services, wearable technology is paving the way for better health outcomes for people of all ages. What exactly is wearable technology? Essentially any portable device which you can wear on your person, like a necklace, pendant, bracelet, clip, and so on, that serves a technological function like syncing fitness and medical data to the cloud, or sending alert signals to call for help.

Wearable technology continues to evolve and benefit people’s physical and emotional health. Check out how in this quick guide:

Medical Alert Technology
If you have mobility issues, have been hospitalized or gone to the E.R. in the past year, or simply suffer from a condition where you may require fast access to emergency services (i.e. diabetes, Parkinson’s), you may be looking into getting a medical alert system. While stationary medical alert systems in your home are helpful, so are wearable medical alert accessories when you head out the door.

Portable medical alert accessories may range from pendants to clip-ons to bracelets and serve a variety of purposes. Often most affordable but most overlooked is the novelty medical alert bracelets which feature a metal plate engraved with your personal and health information including an emergency contact. More technologically-advanced bracelets, however, come equipped with a discreetly hidden USB drive that stores all your personal health information. Other medical alert accessories feature buttons, on a necklace, for example, that can be pushed to give off loud alarm sounds and ward off potential attackers or call someone for help.

Fitness
Wearable fitness trackers like Fitbit, Bellabeat, and Motiv Ring all continue to be popular accessories among younger generations, however, they have their place with the senior demographic too. A wearable fitness tracker is typically like a watch, pendant, or piece of jewelry you wear that can track important health data based on the activity of your body. More closely monitoring your physical activity can help you better achieve your fitness goals and maintain a healthy weight.

Important information like the number of steps you take in a day, your pulse rate, sleep patterns, calories burned, oxygen utilization, and fitness goals achieved can all be tracked these days with this type of advanced wearable technology. If you would rather not wear anything additional and simply take advantage of the smartphone you carry around in your pocket anyway, looking into the Health app(s) available to you via your phone’s operating system or app library. You can both enter personal health data in there as well as track physical activity and more.

Posture
Are poor posture habits a pain in your neck (literally)? While “sitting up straight” might seem like your only course of action, turns out there are technological solutions designed to help you as well. Apps like Perfect Posture and Posture Zone can be downloaded to your phone and customized to alert you (via vibrations in your pocket) when you are slumping or slouching.

Wearable accessories like Lumo Lift Posture Coach are even more discreet, lightweight solutions you wear near your collarbone. This posture coach tool uses biomechanical motion sensors to track both your activity levels as well as your posture during the day. If you start to slouch or crane your head and shoulders forward, it gently vibrates to alert you to fix your posture.

By |2019-05-07T11:47:21-05:00May 26th, 2019|Dr. Mauk's Boomer Blog, News Posts|Comments Off on Guest Blog: How Wearable Technology Can Benefit Your Health

Guest Blog: Four Top Nutrition Tips for Seniors

 

Colorful fresh group of vegetables and fruits

By Eric Daw

 

For individuals over the age of 60, the benefits of eating healthy foods includes resistance to disease and illness, higher energy levels, increased mental acuteness, faster recuperation times and higher energy levels. Healthy eating does not have to be all about sacrifice and strict dieting. Think of it as a way to enjoy colorful, fresh foods, eating with friends and more creativity in the kitchen.

The road to healthy eating can be a bit confusing for those who are not accustomed to it. Below are a few tips and tricks to help you start your journey into the world of healthy eating and to promote optimal health.

 

1.    Limit sodium content

Because many seniors suffer from high blood pressure, they should make sure to consume foods low in sodium. Restaurant food, frozen, and processed foods are usually high in sodium and should be avoid or used in moderation. Fruits and vegetables are naturally low in sodium, so try to incorporate several servings of each throughout the day.

2.    Stay hydrated

Although seniors may not get as thirsty as they once did, their bodies still need the same amount of water. One of the main signs of dehydration is dark urine or excessive tiredness. Try to drink at least eight glasses of fresh water throughout the day. Foods that are high in water content, such as cucumbers and watermelon, may be consumed several times per week to aid in hydration.

3.    Eat more fiber

Eating high fiber foods has more benefits than keeping your bowels regular. Fiber can also lower your risk of developing diabetes, stroke, and heart disease. The digestive system slows as you age, meaning it is important to supplement with foods high in dietary fiber in order to maintain regular bowel movements and overall health.

4.    Eat high quality protein

Consuming high-quality protein has been proven to help boost your resistance to stress, anxiety and depression, and can even help you think more clearly. When combined with a strength-training routine, protein has been shown to reduce muscle loss and maintain physical function. Some examples of high quality protein are eggs, milk, and meat, which should be incorporated in your daily nutritional intake.

 

About the Author: Eric Daw is an active aging specialist and the owner of Omni Fitt. Omni Fitt is dedicated to the wellbeing, health and quality of life of people aged 55 and over. Eric motivates and empowers the older adult population to take responsibility for their independence, health and fitness through motivating and positive coaching experiences.

By |2019-05-16T12:27:57-05:00May 22nd, 2019|Dr. Mauk's Boomer Blog, News Posts|Comments Off on Guest Blog: Four Top Nutrition Tips for Seniors

Five Eye Health Tips for Maintaining Long-Life Vision

 

As you age, so do your eyes. It is a simple fact of life, however, age related vision problems don’t need to be a lifestyle changer. Knowing what’s to come and how you can maintain your vision for the long haul is an essential first step, according to the American Optometric Association.

As you approach 60 years young, it is vital to pay more attention to the warning signs of age-related vision issues. Vision problems as you get older can be acute or chronic, but knowing how to steer clear of them is probably at the top of your list.

Making significant lifestyle choices and getting regular eye exams will help keep you focused on your eye health. Let’s face it, visiting your optometrist is more fun than seeing your dentist or primary physician. Let’s take a look at a few ways you can keep your vision strong, no matter your age.

  1. Visit Your Eye Doctor Regularly for Optimal Eye Health

There are some pretty unfavorable eye diseases you may be at risk for, especially if you skip your eye exams. In order to keep your vision as keen as a 20 year olds, visiting your optometrist regularly is vital.

In fact, an article published in academic journal, American Family Physician (1999) found several common causes of vision loss in the elderly. The vision debilitating eye diseases you may be at risk for include Macular Degeneration, Glaucoma, Cataracts, and Diabetic Retinopathy, among others. Seeing your eye doctor will help you avoid these chronic vision loss conditions.

  1. Eat Right to See Right

What you eat directly affects your health. And the same applies for your eye health. Eating the healthy nutritious meals at least three times per day is one exceptional way to keep your focus on great vision.

Food loaded with nutrient rich vitamins and minerals, such as omega-3 fatty acids, lutein, zinc, and vitamin C, and vitamin E may help keep your eyes in superb shape. Those greens, eggs, nuts, and salmon are a great place to begin. You may even see a few pounds shrink away from your waist.

  1. Focus on Eye Health and Quit Smoking

Saving your lungs from smoking is also saving your vision from acute and chronic vision issues in the future. In fact, smoking increases your risk for cataracts, optic nerve damage, and macular degeneration.

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If quitting your attempt to quit smoking continues to happen, don’t give up. Your vision as you age may depend on it. And if you quit smoking, you will most likely live longer, making it even more imperative to have great vision to see your grandchildren blossom.

  1. Look Cool and Protect Your Eyes with UV Sunglasses

If keeping your eyes healthy aligns with your fashion, even better. Wearing UV sunglasses may help protect your eyes from the sun’s powerful rays. Research suggests that too much UV exposure will increase your risk for cataracts and macular degeneration.

Pick up some sunglasses with 99% to 100% of both UVA and UVB rays. Protecting your peripheral vision is also important, so wraparound shades may be even better. There are even contacts with UV protection these days. However, sunglasses with UV block are best.

  1. Limit Your Screen Time for Better Vision Later in Life

Limiting your screen time is nothing new. In fact, mothers have been saying television ruins eyes for decades. If you want to protect your eyes, taking a break from so much screen time is essential.

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This also extends to tech devices such as smartphones, tablets, and laptops. The American Macular Degeneration Foundation suggests that the blue light emitted by these tech screens may trigger macular degeneration, among other health issues.

Protecting your eyes today may pay off big time as you begin reaching those golden years. And it is never too late to start living healthy to improve your vision. Most of the suggestions made by professionals can also make a big impact on your overall health. Stay focused when it comes to eye health, because seeing is an important sense to maintain forever.

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By |2019-05-16T12:27:08-05:00May 21st, 2019|Dr. Mauk's Boomer Blog, News Posts|Comments Off on Five Eye Health Tips for Maintaining Long-Life Vision

Four Most Effective Ways to Treat Bone Spurs

Group of older mature people lifting weights in the gym

Bone spurs, which are small projections that develop on the edges of bones, are a highly common ailment that affects about 2 percent of the U.S. population.

People of any age can develop bone spurs, but they’re especially common in senior citizens since they are often associated with osteoarthritis-related joint damage.

Bone spurs don’t always require medical treatment, but, depending on their location, they can contribute to joint inflammation, pain, and stiffness that limit mobility. Bone spurs along the spine are particularly problematic, as are ones that develop in the knee or ankle joints.

For seniors who are struggling with bone spurs, there are lots of different treatment options available, including the four listed below.

 

1. Weight Loss
Weight loss is one of the most effective treatments for managing bone spurs, especially spinal bone spurs.

Changing your diet will is, generally speaking, the most effective weight loss tool. Focus on limiting your caloric intake and cutting out greasy fast food and highly processed snacks. Replace them with high-quality protein, fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats like avocados and olive oil.

Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids can also help lubricate the joints and relieve inflammation.

2. Lifestyle Aids
There are lots of tools out there as well that can help relieve pain caused by bone spurs. Some good options to invest in include:

Supportive shoes that cushion the feet and avoid putting extra strain on the joints
Orthotic inserts to provide extra support
A shoe horn to help you avoid bending over and aggravating your back while getting dressed

3. Regular Exercise
Exercise releases natural painkillers in the form of endorphins. It also strengthens the muscles to help support the joints and relieve pressure placed on them.

Resistance training, walking, and swimming are all good exercise options for people struggling with bone spurs. Work with a trainer or physical therapist to make sure you’re practicing proper form and not doing anything to aggravate your condition.

4. Minimally Invasive Surgery
Finally, some people require minimally invasive surgery to get rid of their bone spurs. When you undergo surgery, a doctor will use state-of-the-art equipment to identify the spur and extract it.

This is typically an outpatient procedure, and the recovery time only lasts a few hours — you’ll be up and walking shortly after and won’t have to deal with an extended hospital stay.

By |2019-05-16T12:26:12-05:00May 20th, 2019|Dr. Mauk's Boomer Blog, News Posts|Comments Off on Four Most Effective Ways to Treat Bone Spurs

Guest Blog: Preventing Diabetes In Seniors

Prevent Diabetes mellitus type 2 in Seniors

The number of seniors diagnosed with diabetes has reached epidemic proportions. The American Diabetes Association estimates that 11.8 million individuals over age 65 have some form of diabetes, whether it is Type 1 or Type 2. That accounts for almost 25 percent of the population of people in the United States over age 65.

Just because this disease has reached an epidemic level doesn’t mean you have to accept that someday you will get it, too. There are a number of steps you can take to help decrease your chances of receiving a diabetes diagnosis.

 

Try to Increase Your Daily Amount of Exercise

Aches and pains, health problems and busy schedules often result in people starting to slow down as they age. Unfortunately, this is the worst thing you can do if you are trying to prevent diabetes.

Exercise reduces your risk of diabetes by not only lowering blood sugar levels, but by helping you lose weight. Both high blood sugar levels and being overweight has been proven to increase an individual’s risk of developing diabetes.

Many seniors are unsure of where to start when it comes to increasing exercise, especially if there has been a decrease in mobility. Luckily, there are a number of ways seniors can get their daily amount of exercise without having to run a marathon or lift weights at the gym.

Some exercise recommendations include:

  • Walking at a moderate to brisk pace
  • Seated or chair aerobics
  • Yoga
  • Lightweight strength-building exercise

It is recommended that seniors try to get at least 30 minutes of exercise in a day, but it doesn’t have to happen all at once. Exercise routines can be broken up into 5-minute or 10-minute increments. This makes exercise goals easier to reach, as it seems less intimidating.

Start Making Healthy Choices when it Comes to the Food You Eat

The food and drinks you consume on a daily basis dramatically increase or decrease your risk of diabetes. If you wish to reduce the risk of developing this disease, it is important to start making healthy food choices.

Some healthy food choice recommendations for seniors include:

  • Try to eliminate or reduce your intake of foods that are high in saturated fat, sugar and salt.
  • Reduce the amount of juices and sodas you drink and replace them with water.
  • Watch the amount of carbs that are consumed every meal, as carbs can increase blood sugar levels.
  • Reduce portion sizes.
  • Consider eating several small meals throughout the day, as opposed to two or three big meals.
  • Choose healthier snacks, such as nuts, fruits and vegetables.

Making dietary changes can be difficult, which is why there is help available. Many nutritionists offer group classes or individual sessions that focus on making healthy lifestyle choices that can help reduce your risk for diabetes.

Maintain a Healthy Weight or Work to Lose Weight

Excessive weight gain can increase your risk for diabetes because the body is unable to produce the natural insulin needed to break down glucose. It is important to either maintain your weight, if you are at a healthy weight, or lose weight if you wish to prevent Type 2 diabetes.

If you are overweight, losing anywhere from 5 to 10 pounds could dramatically decrease your risk for diabetes. The amount of weight you will need to lose will vary depending upon your unique situation. Speak with your doctor or health care provider to determine how much weight, if any, should be lost. He or she may be able to provide you with recommendations on how you can lose weight.

While following these recommendations may lessen your chances of getting diabetes, it may not completely stop it from happening. Some factors — such as other health problems, genetics and race — increase the possibility of diabetes. Unfortunately, these factors are uncontrollable and/or cannot be changed.

Even though there are some risk factors of diabetes that cannot be controlled, you can still dramatically minimize your risk of getting this disease by incorporating some, if not all, of these recommendations into your daily life.

Author Bio:

Thomas Boston founded Cash Now Offer as a way to help the diabetic community. Being a diabetic himself, his main goal is to make sure everyone who is in need of diabetic strips has access to them.

 

 

 

 

 

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By |2019-05-16T12:25:23-05:00May 19th, 2019|Dr. Mauk's Boomer Blog, News Posts|Comments Off on Guest Blog: Preventing Diabetes In Seniors