Healthy Aging Month

Drawing on the “back to school” urge embedded in everyone from childhood, September is a perfect time to celebrate Healthy Aging Month. Now more than 20 years since it began, it provides inspiration and practical ideas for adults, ages 45-plus, to improve their physical, mental, social, and financial well-being. This blog will focus on the physical elements which in turn will serve to improve upon your emotional wellbeing as well. To maintain as active a lifestyle as possible it is necessary to exercise, eat well, and monitor your health to help maintain your independence. A brief overview of each topic is discussed below followed by two product suggestions from ILA.

Exercise

 Some people love it, some people hate it, but regardless of your personal feelings, exercise and physical activity are good for you—period. According to the National Institute on Aging (NIA), exercise and physical activity are considered a cornerstone of almost every healthy aging program. Scientific evidence suggests that people who exercise regularly not only live longer, they live better. And, being physically active—doing everyday activities that keep your body moving, such as gardening, walking the dog, and taking the stairs instead of the elevator—can help you continue to do the things you enjoy and stay independent as you age.

Another page on the NIA website provides instructional articles on different types and benefits of exercise. These are just 3 of the  9 highlighted articles that offer advice on how to stay active anywhere and everywhere you go. Find tips on how to fit exercise into your daily life safely and get motivated to get moving!

How to Get Started with Exercise: Being physically active is one of the best things you can do for your health. Get started!

Exercising with Chronic Conditions: Almost anyone, at any age, can do some type of physical activity. Learn how.

Real-Life Benefits of Exercise: Staying active can help your physical and emotional health and mobility.

Highlighted products:

Pedal Exerciser: Enjoy bicycle-type exercise from your chair, or place the unit on a table to exercise your arms. Helps improve circulation and muscle strength. Made of heavy-duty steel with a large knob to adjust for variable resistance. Features comfortable pedal straps to help hold feet in place while in use. Assembles easily.

Tactile/Braille Yoga Mat w/2 Instructional CDs: This Braille and tactile Yoga Mat is designed to enable people who are blind, vision impaired, or who may face physical challenges due to age or disability, to practice yoga safely and confidently.

Eat Well

Consuming the right kind of nutrients is paramount for a healthy body. Nutrition, according to MedlinePlus, is about eating a healthy and balanced diet, so your body gets the nutrients that it needs. Good nutrition is important, no matter what your age. It gives you energy and can help you control your weight. It may also help prevent some diseases, such as osteoporosis, high blood pressure, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and certain cancers.

But as you age, your body and life change, and so does what you need to stay healthy. For example, you may need fewer calories, but you still need to get enough nutrients. Also, some older adults need more protein.

Their top 5 suggestions for eating healthy include; eat foods that give a lot of nutrients with few calories, avoid consuming empty calories, pick foods that are low in cholesterol and fat, drink enough liquids, and they circle back around to staying active to help control your appetite.

Highlighted products:

Chefman 3.5L Air Fryer: This air fryer can cook food with a crispy texture, without deep frying. It can cook, bake, roast, and “fry” with an adjustable temperature range of 175° to 400°F. Food cooks quickly and safely in the self-contained cooking basket. It has an easy to use manual temperature control and a 60-minute timer. No worries if you forgot to thaw food out the night before as you can cook straight from frozen with this air fryer. The cooking basket is dishwasher safe.

Zick-Zick Classic Food Chopper: This dishwasher safe 1 cup capacity food chopper is a wonderful tool for chopping onions and other vegetables as needed. The stainless-steel blade rotates as you press down on the top of the chopper. This product is also dishwasher safe.

Monitor Your Health

Harvard Medical School states, even if you have a genetic propensity for heart disease that you have inherited from a parent, lifestyle changes to get your numbers under control can make you less likely to develop heart problems. Adopting lifestyle measures may also lower your odds of getting diabetes and reduce the excess weight that can lead to joint pain, allowing you to lead a more mobile, independent life. To keep your heart disease risks in check, stay on top of these key health indicators:

Waist circumference: Carrying too much extra weight around your middle puts you at increased risk for heart disease and type 2 diabetes.  To be considered healthy your waist circumference needs to be 35 inches or less and your waist to hip ratio should be .8 or lower (to obtain this ratio divide your waist circumference by your hip circumference).

Body mass index (BMI): BMI is a measure of your weight in proportion to your height. It can indicate how much body fat you have. Being overweight or obese puts strain on your heart and increases your risk for heart disease, type 2 diabetes, sleep apnea, and other health conditions. A healthy BMI is between 18.5 to 24.9 kg/m2. To calculate your BMI yourself you can use this calculator. Adobe Flash will need to be on for it to work.

Blood pressure: Having high blood pressure forces your heart to work harder. It increases your risks for heart disease and stroke, as well as for kidney disease and heart failure. You can have high blood pressure and never know it or feel it, so it is important to get tested routinely. A healthy reading is 120/80 mm Hg or less.

Cholesterol: Having high LDL (bad) cholesterol and low HDL (good) cholesterol may contribute to the formation of fatty plaques in your arteries, which can lead to heart disease, heart attack, and stroke. A healthy total cholesterol number is less than 200 mg/dL, HDL cholesterol greater than 50 mg/DL, and LDL cholesterol less than 130 mg/dL.

Triglycerides: Triglycerides are a type of fat in the body. Having high triglycerides combined with high LDL cholesterol speeds up the buildup of plaque in the arteries. A healthy number is less than 150 mg/dL.

Blood sugar: High blood sugar is an indicator that your body does not make enough insulin or is not able to properly use insulin, a hormone that helps move glucose (sugar) from the blood into the cells. Having high blood sugar over time can damage the blood vessels, nerves, and organs such as the kidneys and eyes. Knowing that your blood sugar is high will let you take steps to lower it, and possibly delay or prevent type 2 diabetes.  What is considered healthy is a fasting blood glucose level of less than 100 mg/dL and an A1C of below 5.7%

Highlighted products:

Talking Bilingual Premium Digital Blood Pressure Arm Monitor: This Healthsmart upper arm bilingual talking blood pressure meter is lightweight and ideal for home and everyday use. The high contrast back lit LCD screen with date and time stamp, visual BP (Blood Pressure) guide, average of last 2 readings, and irregular heartbeat detection are great features on this blood pressure monitor. This meter offers memory for 2 users and it will store up to 120 readings in total. The audio readings can be announced in English or Spanish and it has a convenient volume control.

Talking Scale by Moshi: A scratch-resistant toughened and tempered glass platform is both safe and durable. Simply tap the platform of the scale to turn it on, it will calibrate and then a clear female voice will announce the scale is ready, step on the scale and it will then announce your weight. Once done, this scale will automatically shut off. Scale has a 440 lb. weight limit.

To see what’s currently on sale at ILA please sign up for our newsletter, view our Facebook page, follow us on Twitter, or visit our website.