Ask Dr. Andy... We Did!
This past Saturday, Sandi & I had the privilege of having Dr. Andy Rosenson on our Facebook Live “Dan & Cindi” Show for his follow-up with, “Ask Dr. Andy” questions on COVID-19, and other health related Q/A.
Sandi and I have just received our 2nd/Sandi and 1st/Don Moderna COVID-19 vaccines, so we did have a few timely questions about the vaccine and potential symptoms. I was very pleased to know, per Dr. Andy, that although there are some vaccines that actually do give you a modified version of a particular virus, the COVID-19 vaccines do not.¹
So, it’s safe to say that when taking the COVID-19 vaccines, you’re not getting COVID-19 from the vaccines itself. Good to know! And to quote Dr. Andy, “Just get vaccinated!”
My favorite part of the interview was Dr. Andy’s response to the question, “What tips do you have for our Senior adults, or as we call ourselves Pre-Tirees, on living a healthy lifestyle?” I simply loved his answers, as he’d given them some thought, as I’d like to outline this week’s blog with his encouraging remarks.
Adopt a Pet!
As we age, we can potentially slow down a bit, so staying active and living an active healthy lifestyle is key to maintain your optimum health. Dr. Andy suggested that getting a pet is a great idea not only for the physical activity that taking care of a pet can generate, but the emotional health and companionship that a pet offers can be just as beneficial.
There are many health benefits of owning a pet. They can increase opportunities to exercise, get outside, and socialize. Regular walking or playing with pets can decrease blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and triglyceride levels. Pets can help manage loneliness and depression by giving us companionship. Most households in the United States have at least one pet.
In a recent article from the CDC, About Pets and People, studies have shown that the bond between people and their pets can increase fitness, lower stress, and bring happiness to their owners. Some of the health benefits of having a pet include:²
Decreased blood pressure
Decreased cholesterol levels
Decreased triglyceride levels
Decreased feelings of loneliness
Increased opportunities for exercise and outdoor activities
Increased opportunities for socialization
Maintain Your Social Connections!
Over time, it can be harder for older adults to connect with others and keep up their social lives, as changing health factors and relationships take an effect. Changes to an older adult’s mobility or health needs can make it more difficult to get out and keep up with social opportunities, for instance. Similarly, many adults juggle busy schedules, which can make it harder to keep up with family gatherings.
This is a natural part of life — but it’s also an important reminder that taking steps to help your older loved ones remain social could make all the difference for their health, wellbeing, and quality of life.
Dr. Andy highlighted an interesting factoid, as one of the consistent markers of the five places on our planet with the oldest living populations is — they have strong familial and social connections. For people of all ages, too much social isolation can have detrimental effects — but maintaining active, socially engaged relationships can have countless positive benefits, particularly for older adults.³
Manage and Reduce Your Stress!
As a Medical Doctor, Dr. Andy knows this, but according to the American Medical Association, it’s been verified through scientific exploration that more than 80 percent of all diseases are due to stress and strain that originate in the mind and reflect on the body.
It’s been said that stress is the cause of all disease. Not just the stress you feel when under a tight deadline or when a political argument erupts at Thanksgiving (every year!), but a combination of physical, chemical and emotional stressors you’re likely not even aware of.
So what can we do? How do we eliminate this stress and ensure a vibrant, healthy life? Chances are the stressors in your life will never be totally eliminated. But we can learn to control our reactions so as to alleviate our “fight-or-flight” response, thus mitigating the negative effects of stress on the body.⁴
Here are some practical suggestions to manage or reduce your Stress:
Engage in subtler forms of body manipulation like Tai Chi and massage
Become active within your community and cultivate warm relationships
Eat nutritionally dense foods and avoid sugar
Eat a Healthy Diet!
It’s no secret that eating a healthy diet can have a big impact on living a healthy lifestyle. But with America’s #1 Diet, The Mediterranean Diet, making those dietary lifestyle changes can be easier than you think. Here are a few things I really like about The Mediterranean Diet:
You won't need a calculator for this meal plan. Instead of adding up numbers, you swap out bad fats for heart-healthy ones. Go for olive oil instead of butter. Try fish or poultry rather than red meat. Enjoy fresh fruit and skip sugary, fancy desserts.
You won't need to roam the frozen food aisle or hit a fast-food drive-thru. The focus is on seasonal food that's made in simple, mouth-watering ways. Build a yummy salad from spinach, cucumbers, and tomatoes. Add classic Greek ingredients like black olives and feta cheese.
Lastly, your heart will thank you! Almost everything in this diet is good for your heart. Olive oil and nuts help lower "bad" cholesterol. Fruits, veggies, and beans help keep arteries clear. Fish helps lower triglycerides and blood pressure. Even a daily glass of wine may be good for your heart!⁵
Get Enough Rest!
The number of older adults in the United States is expected to grow significantly over the next several decades.
Aging is tied to numerous health concerns, including sleep difficulties. In fact, poor sleep can contribute to many of these problems, reducing quality of life in people over 65.
In order to address the unique needs of older adults, it’s more important than ever to understand the effects of aging on health. Since almost one third of our lives are spent sleeping, reviewing the relationship between aging and sleep is a fundamental part of promoting overall health in the elderly.
Dr. Andy pointed out that the widely accepted notion that as you age, you need less sleep—in fact to be false! According to the National Institution on Aging, it is considered a myth that older adults require less sleep than younger individuals. Many older adults have a hard time getting the sleep they need, but that doesn’t mean they need less sleep. The amount of sleep that a person needs can decrease from infancy to adulthood, but this trend appears to stop around age 60.⁶
Older adults should average 6-8 hours of sleep at night! So…get your rest!
Well, there you have it from the good Dr. on his Top-Five suggestions for Seniors/Older Adults living a well and healthy lifestyle. Sandi and I are putting these great suggestions into our daily regimen & hope that you will do the same!
Remember at www.Conizo.com you can ask Dr. Andy any medical/health related question at any time. And know that as we meet with our current Physicians, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, in a more Tele-Health platform — Dr. Andy is one of the US leaders in Tele-Medicine and Remote Patient Monitoring. So, take advantage of his expertise and — ask Dr. Andy!
Remember at Conizo, not only do we want you to be living a well and healthy lifestyle in whatever season you’re in — we want to be a part of every season of our life — because we whole heartedly believe that the wisdom of one generation does intersect with the hope of another.⁷
Thanks for stopping by…Live Life Well!
Facebook Live, Sandi Patty Official Page, Dan & Cindi Show, Saturday, February 27, 2021.
The CDC, Healthy Pets, Healthy People, https://www.cdc.gov/healthypets/health-benefits/index.html
Companions for Seniors, https://companionsforseniors.com/2018/10/being-social-helps-seniors-stay-healthy/
Judson, 5 Ways Older Adults can Reduce Stress, https://www.judsonsmartliving.org/blog/5-ways-older-adults-can-reduce-stress/
WebMD, 12. Reasons to Love the Mediterranean Diet, https://www.webmd.com/diet/ss/slideshow-12-reasons-to-love-the-mediterranean-diet
Sleep Foundation, Aging & Sleep, https://www.sleepfoundation.org/aging-and-sleep
Conizo Living & Wellness, www.Conizo.com