Page 140 - Cityview Magazine - July/August 2017
P. 140

“Age is not a diagnosis.”—Pat Collins
tests, and help find ways for your treat- ment to be covered by insurance. They can also make nutrition recommenda- tions and help find ways to manage chronic pain.
What’s Hot in Successful Aging: The Lifestyle Prescription for Wellness
These are some best practices that can benefit anyone, especially baby boomers:
The Diet: A Mediterranean diet includes fruits, vegetables, fish, and whole grains. Try extra virgin olive oil and salt on a mixed green salad, or gen- tly heat some kale in a stir-fry pan as a side for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. And, as inflammation is now known to play a role in a broad range of aging ailments (including arthritis and Alzheimer's), an anti-inflammation diet may be your key to longevity. You’ll want at least 25 grams of fiber a day. Consider kicking off your morning with a cup of unsweet- ened oatmeal topped with some nuts and bananas or berries. Blueberries are especially high in antioxidants, another agent in the fight against an aging brain. Incorporate onions, okra, and eggplant into other meals to keep up your fiber intake.
Vitamins & Supplements: Try to eat fish (three servings a week) instead of just taking fish oil—fish has a wider range of nutrients than oil. Vitamin D and
magnesium deficiencies are prevalent in the aging, and these nutrients play a key role in overall health. As it's hard to get enough D through food alone, make sure your supplement has plenty.
The Exercise Program: Exercise for balance, strength and flexibility. Yoga is an excellent way to stay limber, and it’s also an opportunity to stay social on a regular basis. Weight training is also great, but know your limits and use a trainer or partner, particularly if you want to test and push yourself.
Brain Training: Now is your opportuni- ty to read all the classic, landmark texts of Western civilization! Want a bigger challenge? Pick up a new language, and then put a dent in the great literature of other nations. Looking for something
a bit more modern? Many computer stores offer free workshops where you can learn how to take full advantage of their devices and applications.
Smoking and Drinking: We now know that alcohol can play a part in Alzheim- er's because of its role in inflammation. That said, a glass of wine a day is an oft- prescribed dose of health and happiness.
Sleep Deeply: Lack of deep sleep makes chronic pain worse and prevents the healing processes that occurs in REM sleep. If you've got sleep apnea, use your
CPAP, and if you’re not sure if you have it, now is a good time to get tested.
Sleeping Pills, Allergy Medicines, and Pain Killers: Chronic pain is a vicious cycle. Pain killers can disrupt deep sleep, which is essential to all types of healing. Also, some allergy medicines are now linked to dementia. Seriously consider any alternatives you may have.
Stay Hydrated: Of course, drink lots of liquids, especially water, for a healthy mind and body.
Natural Cures and Alternatives:
Believe it or not, some essential oils
that are used in aromatherapy cross the blood brain barrier, allowing them to make a therapeutic difference. When researching your possibilities, it’s a good idea to consider the growing scien-
tific consensus around non-traditional options.
It’s Never Too Late to Age Successfully
One tenet of successful aging is to find purpose in your life. Through that pur- pose, your brain stays engaged, you're socializing with others, and you're hap- pier. As a group, boomers plan to keep working, with half postponing retirement past 66, and 10 percent who say they will never retire, according to Gallup.
Dr. Crane’s message is a motivational one. “Age is meaningless. Genetics are not an inevitable outcome. Our paths are relatively similar up to certain point. The paths diverge at 65. That’s when your past catches up with you. There are things in your control that you can fix. It’s never too late to start.” She speaks
of an 80-year-old patient who recently started road races and is bringing home trophies because she is the only one in her age group. “I want to see her have more competition.”
Be old. Get happy.
K. Diahn Oakley has been a speech writer, news direc- tor, and magazine editor. She is currently developing new writing opportunities in marketing. Kim makes her home in Knoxville.

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