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Guest Blog: Fall-Inspired Fitness Ideas for Seniors


As the weather cools down and the leaves start to turn, take advantage of the changing seasons with some fall-inspired outdoor fitness. Check out these 10 fun ideas:

Cycling – new research has revealed the regular cycling could be one of the best things an older adult does for themselves. In addition to combating age-related muscle loss, routine cycling has been shown to improve immune health and lower risk for prevalent lifestyle diseases (high blood pressure, stroke, etc).

Hiking – score an effective cardio workout with an hour-long hike with friends or family. Not only are you going to give your heart some exercise, but the exposure to nature and sunlight has been shown to help boost mood and reduce stress levels too.

Raking – sure raking leaves seems like more of a chore than exercise, but it’s been shown to burn upwards of 100 calories per half hour! In addition to a sturdy rake with an ergonomic handle, don’t forget equipment like gloves, tarps, and a reacher grabber which helps you pick trash up off the ground and in hard-to-reach places.

Nordic pole walking – upgrade your daily walk with Nordic poles and start engaging more muscles and burning more calories with every step. Originally developed for cross-country skiers training in the summer, Nordic pole walking is trending bigtime with adults over 55.

Volunteer – opportunities to volunteer or participate in charity athletic events are plentiful during the autumn months. Check with local organizations you support or look online for volunteer jobs near you using sites like Createthegood.org.

Apple picking – head out to the orchard with your grandkids and spend a day apple picking. Not only does the walking and harvesting keep you moving, but the literal fruits of your labor will provide healthy snacks and meal additions for weeks to come.

Pumpkin carving – exercise your hand strength and dexterity with intricate pumpkin carving. In addition to honing your fine motor skills, you’ll end up with a great fall decoration to adorn your front porch for Halloween.

Gardening – it’s not too late to plant your fall garden! Cooler-weather autumn staples like acorn squash, cauliflower, and sage are perfect this time of year and don’t forget to plant your spring bulbs. You’ll want to get them in the ground 6 to 8 weeks prior to the first frost.

Badminton – whether on an indoor court at the senior center or simply outside in your backyard with friends, badminton is a great multiplayer racquet game for seniors that involves lots of movement, balance, and coordination.

Ball toss – no matter if you’re a baseball fan or crazy about football, fall is your season! Take your love of the sport out of the living room and toss a ball back and forth with a grandkid or friend. The fresh air, movement, and hand-eye coordination practice will help keep you sharp!

By |2018-10-02T22:58:29+00:00October 4th, 2018|News Posts|Comments Off on Guest Blog: Fall-Inspired Fitness Ideas for Seniors

Guest Blog: 4 Healthy Aging Routine Tips

It is never too late to adopt a healthy aging routine into your everyday life. Healthy aging isn’t necessarily about looking or feeling younger, but rather optimizing opportunities for overall good health. Making a simple skincare switch, keeping a balanced diet and getting at least 8 hours of sleep are simple things that can make you feel more energized and give your outer appearance a natural glow. To begin your anti-aging regimen on a positive note, check out these tips for some inspiration!

Skincare
Changing your skin care routine may seem like a daunting task at first. It’s difficult to break from the products you have used for a long time, but once you establish a new routine that works for you, you will see the benefits in a short amount of time. Skin hydration, regeneration, and protection are all essential for seniors. Without these, and the use of an exfoliator weekly, your entire body, will lack smoothness and shine from the accumulation of dry or dead skin.
Remember, skin care isn’t only about facial products. It’s essential to moisturize your arms, hands, legs, and feet too!

Nutrition
Various diseases and illnesses form as a result of inadequate or unbalanced nutrition and poor dieting. Once you reach a certain age, it is critical that you eat more fruits and vegetables to prevent illness and nutritional deficiencies. Substitute processed foods for whole foods to ensure your body is receiving the nutrients necessary for a healthy life. According to the USDA, foods that are high in antioxidants (high Orac) can protect cells from oxidative damage. Kale, spinach, blueberries, and blackberries are all great options! Try implementing a few of these high Orac foods listed below into your diet to slow aging down: Visit here for more information.

Vitamins and Supplements
Many seniors rule out food they aren’t willing to consume depending on their current health status or personal dislikes. Their pallets are fully developed, and for the most part, they aren’t in the mindset to try new foods. However, avoiding certain foods can result in a lack of minerals, nutrients, and vitamins that aid in preventing deficiencies and diseases. Take vitamins such as calcium and zinc to help boost brain power, along with Vitamin E, B3 and B5 help support skin elasticity. Furthermore, don’t leave out supplements that can help cellular health such as probiotics and products like Basis by Elysium Health.

Sleep
Sleep may come easier to some more than others. It is important to know that disrupting your circadian rhythm with poor rest can lead to metabolic disorders. Many seniors have insomnia which limits their hours of sleep. Exercise, sticking to a sleep schedule and establishing a bedtime routine can help aid seniors in gaining the rest they need at night or throughout the day.

Remember, it is never too late to make improvements to your current routine, especially if it will benefit you in the long run. Take the time to appreciate your body and embrace the natural process!

 

By |2018-10-02T22:40:44+00:00October 2nd, 2018|Dr. Mauk's Boomer Blog, News Posts|Comments Off on Guest Blog: 4 Healthy Aging Routine Tips

Constipation Treatment

A Prune A Day

Background

Constipation is the most common bowel problem in older adults. The definition varies by patients and health care providers, but generally it means less frequent bowel movements than usual, and those which are hard, dry, and difficult to pass. Constipation is a preventable and treatable problem. Changes that occur with normal aging, such as peristalsis in the gut slowing down or decreased physical activity, predispose older persons to constipation.

Risk Factors/Warning Signs

Constipation is often due to a combination of causes. Some of the risk factors include decreased activity, medications (such as certain pain pills, iron supplements, and calcium supplements), depression, neurological conditions (dementia, Parkinson’s disease, stroke, diabetes mellitus, and spinal cord injury), dehydration, low dietary fiber, metabolic disturbances (such as hypothyroidism), undergoing dialysis, obstruction, and decreased access to the toilet (Halter et al., 2009). The range of “normal” for bowel movements is three times per day to three times per week. A decrease in number of stools that is “normal” for the person and the occurrence of hard, dry stools that are difficult to expel are typical signs of constipation.

Diagnosis

If constipation is severe enough for the person to seek medical care, the patient may complain of abdominal pain and even have symptoms similar to other problems such as an appendicitis or diverticulitis. These more serious ailments can be ruled out through x-rays, CT scan or MRI. The diagnosis is based on clinical presentation, history, and physical examination. It is important to determine the onset and duration of the constipation, along with functional and nutritional status.

Treatments

Before starting a bowel program to prevent constipation, the existing problem should be dealt with. A physician may prescribe laxatives, suppositories, and/or enemas to get the stool moving and eliminated. Many such products can be obtained over the counter as home remedies, but severe and recurrent problems should be referred to the primary care provider for further examination of the cause. After starting with a clean bowel, interventions should focus on lifestyle and dietary modifications. All natural means should be tried first before adding medication to the regimen. This includes regular exercise, establishment of a regular routine for toileting (assure privacy), and encouragement of a high-fiber diet with adequate fluid intake (unless contraindicated)(Joanna Briggs Institute, 2008). Medications may be considered for those who do not respond to lifestyle changes. Residents of nursing homes appear to respond to stimulant laxatives (e.g., senna, bisacodyl) or Miralax. Enemas should not be used on a regular basis because they promote lazy bowel function. Most older persons can avoid constipation if they remain active, have proper nutrition high in fiber, and drink plenty of fluids.
Adapted from Mauk, K. L., Hanson, P., & Hain, D. (2014). Review of the management of common illnesses, diseases, or health conditions. In K. L. Mauk’s (Ed.) Gerontological Nursing: Competencies for Care. Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett Publishers. Used with permission.

For more information on Constipation, visit The Mayoclinic at:
http://www.mayoclinic.com/

 

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By |2018-09-30T22:42:36+00:00October 1st, 2018|Dr. Mauk's Boomer Blog, News Posts|Comments Off on Constipation Treatment

Guest Blog: 3 Essential Tips in Senior Foot Care

Due to decades of intense usage, the inevitable process of aging can be particularly taxing on your feet. However, foot troubles are not necessarily an unavoidable part of getting older, and there are many actions one can take to maintain healthy feet beyond their years.

Here are the three main factors you need to consider:

1. Hygiene
The foot is like any part of the body, and if you neglect its cleanliness, then you are bound to end up with some undesirable effects. It’s a good idea to wash your feet every day with a mild soap while using a foot scrubber to smooth off any dead skin.

After a good soak, you may want to trim those softened nails by using clippers to cut straight across, careful to avoid sharp corners that may become ingrown toenails. It’s also important to note that you should never put socks on wet feet, as bacteria thrive in damp conditions and a fungal infection could be quick to follow.

2. Footwear
A bad shoe can not only cause an array of displeasing foot conditions (including bunions, hammer toes, and Achilles tendinitis) but can also inflict trauma on your knees and posture. Always choose comfort over fashion, get every shoe professionally fitted, and ask about the best insole for your arch shape to prevent foot pain.

If mobility has become a problem for you, then test out an assistive walking device. Whether a cane, a rollator, or a mobility scooter, there are so many options to choose from that you will easily find something to suit your exact needs.

3. Attention
Your foot cramp might be telling you something, so don’t ignore it! There is a good chance that these muscle contractions are related to your diet, hence why you should always load your plate up with fruits and vegetables. This may also be the perfect excuse to go out and get a nice relaxing foot massage.

Another essential aspect of foot care is to regularly inspect your skin for any new marks or sores, taking note of everything that wasn’t there before including ulcers, corns, and ingrown toenails. If you’re in doubt about anything you discover, it’s better to be safe than sorry and speak to a medical professional. Remember: the sooner something hazardous is caught, the easier it will be to repair.

By |2018-09-26T13:23:41+00:00September 27th, 2018|Dr. Mauk's Boomer Blog, News Posts|Comments Off on Guest Blog: 3 Essential Tips in Senior Foot Care