Posts for: July, 2018
Aging and Exercise
There is no denying that time and stress take a toll on the human body. Aging bodies take longer to repair themselves, and chronic conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, and arthritis can lead to pain, weakness, and fatigue. Yet physical activity has been repeatedly shown to improve physical health, reduce the effects of chronic conditions, and even preserve neuro-cognitive functioning. Older people can derive tremendous benefits from an exercise program, but it is important to develop an individualized program to meet each person’s unique needs.
Benefits of Exercise for Older People
No matter what your current health status or age, regular exercise carries numerous benefits. For older adults, these include but are not limited to:
Better Immune Function: If your body is healthy and strong, it will fight off illnesses and infections more easily. Rather than completely depleting you, an illness will become merely a short-term setback.
Improved Respiratory and Cardiovascular Function: Regular exercise lowers blood pressure and reduces the risk of heart disease. It helps keep up your oxygen levels and efficiently distribute oxygen throughout your body. This, in turn, allows your body to function more easily, keeping you healthier at any age.
Stronger Bones: Osteoporosis is a huge risk for women in particular, but it can affect men as well. Strength training can halt and even reverse bone loss, improve balance, and lower the risk for fractures.
Better Digestive Health: Frequent exercises boosts the metabolism, promotes efficient waste elimination, and improves overall digestive health.
Minimizing Chronic Conditions: Regular activity lowers the risk of many chronic conditions, and reduces the symptoms of those that have already developed. For example, targeted exercises can help people with Parkinson’s disease improve their coordination and balance, extending their independence.
Lowering Risks of Age-Related Conditions and Death: Research has even shown that older adults who maintain a regular exercise schedule are less likely to develop limitations brought on by age, and are more likely to live longer.
The Problem with Traditional Medicine
Traditional medicine is set up in a way that leaves very little opportunity for personalized care. Squeezed by insurance companies, Medicare paperwork, and other demands, physicians in traditional practice often have long waits and 15-minute appointment times. Though they mean well, the current medical model simply does not allow doctors to spend the time that they need to craft individualized treatment plans for patients in average health for their age. This is a huge problem, as aging adults need exercise programs that are uniquely targeted to their specific needs and current limitations.
The Concierge Difference
Concierge doctors have far smaller patient loads and far fewer documentation requirements. This allows us to spend as much time as we need with each patient, and to be available when needed with little to no wait. If you are an older adult, we have the opportunity to sit down with you and discuss your health history, current issues, and goals in depth. We can craft a program that truly works for you, and can speak with you or see you as needed to answer your questions and tweak your program.
There is no reason for older adults to stop exercising or to accept physical limitations as an inevitable part of the aging process. Yet older adults need targeted exercise programs that address their unique needs. While the traditional medical model leaves doctors little time to focus their in-depth attention on patients in average health, concierge medicine allows us to focus on what truly matters—our patients’ needs.
Want to Learn More?
If you have ever wished for an old-fashioned family doctor that you could simply call on when needed, contact Country Doc Concierge today at 914-984-5052 to schedule your free, no obligation consultation.
5 Benefits of Pro-Aging Over Anti-Aging
Youth is worshiped in today’s world, and many people internalize ageist stereotypes. Anti-aging products are readily available, along with plastic surgeries that promise to turn back time. While there is nothing wrong with attempting to look and feel your best, research shows that the way you perceive aging can actually affect your aging process. Here are 5 benefits of pro-aging (being confident in your own aging process) over anti-aging (thinking negatively about the process).
According to research, people who have a more positive attitude toward their own aging live an average of 7.5 years longer than those who perceive aging negatively. Studies show that pro-aging attitudes affect the lifespan even more than cholesterol level, blood pressure, body mass index (BMI), and exercise.
Many people fear losing their independence later in life. Staying active both physically and mentally is critical, but so is your belief in your ability to remain independent. Anti-aging attitudes, such as the belief that pain and disease are inevitable, can weaken your motivation to stay healthy and can start a self-replicating cycle of weakness and disability.
An expectation that you will lose your memory over time can actually become a self-fulfilling prophecy. According to research, those who expect to lose their memories are more than 30% worse at memory tasks than those who do not hold that expectation.
Studies show that young adults who convert an anti-aging mindset to a pro-aging mindset can actually reduce their risk of heart disease by a stunning 80% later in life. The reasons for this are not yet clear, though it may have something to do with being proactively heart healthy.
Changing Your Mindset
The first step in moving from anti-aging to pro-aging is to become aware of your own existing perceptions. What do you expect from the aging process? Do you see yourself as a vivacious, wise elder, or a disabled, senile senior?
Begin to visualize a healthy, vibrant retirement. Look into Eastern philosophies that value the wisdom of age. Spend time with older people who look and act younger than they are. Start to internalize the idea that you, too, can age gracefully and elegantly, and you will go a long way toward making this belief a reality. Tune in to the cycle of the year, celebrating and embracing the triumphs, hardships, and lessons learned each season. Take a proactive approach to your own health, and never allow concerns about age stop you from pursuing your dreams.
If you have ever wished for an old-fashioned family doctor that you could simply call on when needed, without lengthy waits in a crowded office, even for those unexpected emergencies, concierge medicine may be right for you. Dr. Jan Zislis provides concierge physician services across lower Westchester and Fairfield counties. If you are in the area, why not take advantage of our free, no-obligation consultation to learn more? Simply call Country Doc Concierge at 914-984-5052 to schedule your appointment.