Saturday, December 16, 2017

What is most important for rising seniors?

What are 'rising' seniors, anyway?  Think of it this way:  College-age kids are called “rising” when they’re about to move up a grade - like from sophomore to junior.  So let’s call those of you now 50–64, who will become 65 and older over the next 14 years, “rising seniors.”

This is important because there is presently a threat to rising seniors.  Various reports warn that many rising seniors face trying years ahead - more trying than they already are for today’s seniors.

For example, America’s Health Rankings is a respected non-profit that studies senior health.  Their 2015 Senior Report concludes that:

“… increasing rates of obesity, diabetes, and other chronic diseases [in the growing senior population] are poised to overwhelm our health care system.”

Bold typeface
mine. Because this is pretty scary.  But don’t worry.  You can outsmart any coming trouble.  If you’re one of my readers, and you’ve been following my advice, you’re already on the right track. 

At any rate, you should be aware of a few statistics.  Over the next 15 years, the major health challenge for rising seniors will be simple volume.  The Baby Boomers are hitting retirement age in record numbers - some 10,000 every day.  Even if rising seniors are in good health, their record numbers mean record demands on the health care system.

Unfortunately, many of them are in worse health than ever.

Caring for them will require boatloads of money too.  Between now and 2034, spending on diabetes-related care alone will increase from 2009’s $45 billion to an estimated $171 billion.  Now add in the costs of higher obesity rates, cancer, cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s…

“Poised to overwhelm our health care system” doesn’t sound far-fetched.  However, wonderful people are working tirelessly to make sure the health care system will serve tomorrow’s seniors well.  I’m hopeful.  But our best move is to work together to help you beat the system, so you hardly need it (except for checkups) - and by living your life so your checkups all tell you, “You’re fine.”

The Eight Pillars of Health for Rising Seniors

Even if you aren't in the category of rising senior, these eight fundamental principles apply to you as well.  They are:
  1. Being active. It has major pay-offs for your health and longevity.  Start slowly and be patient with your body.  Remember, “active” is relative.  If you’re sedentary, just walking around the house or around the block delivers big benefits.  More demanding “exercise” adds to them and can add years of healthy life.  Gently push yourself up to 30 minutes daily, in one go or 3 x 10 minutes - minimum 5 x weekly.  Regular exercise is extremely important.
  2. Managing stress. Chronic stress will undermine your health, so take steps to learn simple stress management techniques.  They’re all about mind over matter: just thinking positive is proven to improve health.  Always be grateful for the health you have, not fearful of what might be.  Go to church, get into nature, meditate, do tai ch’i, practice yoga, play golf or tennis - i.e. whatever makes you happy.  You’ll feel a difference, and your checkups will show it.
  3. Detoxifying your body and environment. Cleanse your body, inside and out, by avoiding toxic processed foods, chemical-laden personal and household cleaners and toxic environments - which include your home.  A lot of air fresheners and antibacterial cleansers, for example, are actually harmful.  When practical, use plain soap and water for personal cleaning and home-made vinegar and baking powder concoctions around the house.
  4. Sleeping long and well. Your body repairs itself while you sleep, so getting enough rest - 7 to 8 hours per night - is essential for good health.  If you’re having sleep problems, herbal remedies (like valerian and lemon balm) and supplemental melatonin can help, as can changes in your diet and behavior, like trying to sleep only when you’re truly ready.  Over time, your body will detect a pattern and help you stack those ZZZs .
  5. Eating nutritious, whole foods. Eat real food - fresh, local, organic - instead of processed and fast foods.  It’s the most health-enhancing change you can make.  The Mediterranean diet is a great model: fish and nuts for protein, healthy fats like olive oil and avocado, lots (and lots!) of fiber-rich fresh fruit and vegetables.  It’s why European seniors are so much healthier than ours.
  6. Drinking pure filtered water. There is no substitute for fresh, pure water when it comes to maintaining overall health.  My recommendation: 8 ounces per 10 lbs of your body weight.  It’s all about keeping your blood flowing freely, your digestive system working properly, with just the right balance of acidity and alkalinity, and your anti-toxin defenses in good shape.
  7. Balancing your pH. Your pH is a measure of the acid/alkaline balance in your body. Imbalance can lead to a host of problems.  But it’s easily remedied, for example, by lots of water and some dietary changes.  Your pharmacy probably has a simple pH test.  The results (and a chat with your doctor) will tell you what you should add to or eliminate from your diet - re-balancing will take only a short time.
  8. Taking targeted supplements. Nutritional supplements can help ensure you have the right vitamins, minerals, fiber, and protein to counteract the effects of environmental or dietary toxins or deficiencies.  Your body stops making several essential nutrients as you age.  Supplements can make up the difference and they can make an enormous difference when it comes to overall health and disease prevention.  As a super-food meal substitute, Shakeology has no equal.  The best anti-aging products available today are produced by Anovite.

So there you have it.  Focus on these eight health-sustaining principles and you can avoid getting some bad news from your doctor or becoming an unfortunate statistic.

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