4 Simple Ways to Enjoy Summer Outdoor Fun

I like to be outside.

All … the … time.

I relish the heat and sun — as long as I keep on the sun block.

But there’s more than a sunburn to worry about when you’re having fun in the sun. Here are four ways to enjoy the hot summer without getting burned: Read more

4 Delicious Ways to Add Fiber to Your Diet

Believe it or not, most older adults want to improve their health. We get plenty of sleep, park our cars in a spot furthest away from the supermarket’s main entrance, we follow a regimented medication schedule, and watch what we eat — except when it comes to dietary fiber. Studies show that Americans eat less than 3 percent of the recommended amounts of dietary fiber each day. But in a culture where whole-grain bread, raw foods, and organic products are mainstream, why are Americans still short on dietary fiber?

Some experts blame our sweet tooth and other unhealthy cravings. “The problem is that many people eat a ton of highly processed foods, which have been stripped of most of their fiber,” says Kasandra Brabaw. Americans are more inclined to reach for a slice of white bread rather than whole-grain brands, and we choose to eat a fruit bar instead of eating a piece of whole fruit. These habits are taking a toll on our health.

Lifestyle changes can still have a dramatic effect on improved health, regardless of age. And, if you starting a new fitness routine, invite your friends and family to join you. “We’ve noticed our rehab and therapy patients progress faster when they have a supportive team cheering them on,” said Trent Gunnell, SLP., DOR at Parke View Rehabilitation & Care Center.

Fiber improves digestive functions, lowers cholesterol, maintains blood glucose levels, improves heart health, and helps control weight. Although thoughts of adding fiber involve grainy spoonfuls of something resembling bird seed, there are many flavorful options that achieve the same result. Here are four delicious, fiber-rich foods to increase your fiber intake.

  1. Cold Cereal

Let’s face it. Bran cereals leave a lot to be desired in the flavor department. But, you can still obtain the health benefits by simply combining bran cereal with your favorite cold cereal like Cheerios, Corn Chex, or Rice Krispies. You still get the fiber, but you also enjoy the flavor.

  1. Soup

Name your favorite soup and it likely includes a high-fiber food. Lentils, peas, corn, black beans, and broccoli are all great sources of dietary fiber. The Department of Agriculture says Americans need at least 14 grams of dietary fiber each day for every 1000 calories consumed.

  1. Fruits

It’s true that an apple a day may keep the doctor at bay. “Apples are the perfect snack food when you need a healthy pick-me-up while on the go,” said Jim Morrison, executive director for Redmond Care and Rehabilitation Center. Also reach for avocados, berries, bananas, and citrus fruits.

  1. Hummus

Made with chickpeas, tahini, olive oil, garlic, and lemon juice, hummus could very well be the perfect dip. Experts estimate that 25 percent of American homes stock it in their refrigerator.

 

If you are looking for an effective way to feel better, look better, and perform better in your daily fitness routine, adding fiber to your diet is an easy (and delicious) start to good health.

 

This article was previously published by the OC Register and republished here with permission.

 

 

Take Note of Water Safety for Older Adults

Whether you are swimming, doing water aerobics, or just relaxing, the hot months of summer present plenty of opportunities to cool off and have fun in the water.

But older adults should be extra careful when enjoying these activities. Being aware of the dangers of water activities and how to prevent accidents can help older adults stress less and stay safe. Read more

A Little Exercise on Car Trips Can Help Prevent Blood Clots

It’s road trip season! Before you hit the road with a bag of Corn Nuts and the Hamilton soundtrack queued up, let’s list some of the other important things to remember: Healthy snacks – check. GPS – check. Avoid drowsiness when driving – check. Know the signs of a blood clot – huh?

When we think of potential dangers on the road, most of us don’t consider blood clots. According to the National Blood Clot Alliance, “On average, 274 people die every day from blood clots, and one person dies every six minutes from a blood clot.” Read more

4 Reasons You Should Soak up the Sun This Summer

Lying outside in a swimsuit with your eyes closed and a cool lemonade in hand – summer doesn’t get much better. But, if you’re like me, you’re also worried about having enough sunscreen, getting too hot and becoming dehydrated. How do you know if all this fun in the sun is good for you? Read more

For First-Timers or Old-Timers, Here Are Five Tips for Your First Racing Experience

New cross-trainers—check.

Fitbit—check.

Sporty shorts and jacket—check.

New race tee shirt and entry number—check.

Oh yeah, we are feeling it! It’s springtime, and for those who prefer running to just about any other mode of transportation around town, that means it’s racing season. With race events scheduled all throughout the summer months, this could be the year for you to tackle a 5k or 10k like a champ.

If this is the year of your first race, here are five ways to get the most mileage out of your first racing experience. Read more

5 Ways Owning a Pet Is Good for Your Health

We have a dog named Rocky. He’s a 1-year-old maltipoo who will cuddle us whenever we want, can jump his entire height, and runs faster than any little dog we’ve seen. (He also still pees on the floor, but that’s another story.)

Since bringing Rocky home, I’ve noticed the benefits this fuzzy addition has brought to my family. Now, experts are discovering that owning a pet is not only good for our mood; pets are good for our health.

If you are considering adopting a pet, here are five ways your health would benefit. Read more

5 Fun Activities to Do with Your Loved Ones in a Nursing Facility

It’s Sunday afternoon and you’re getting ready to visit your grandma at her nursing facility, but you are at a loss of how the two of you can spend fun, quality time together.

What are some things you can do that both of you will enjoy? This time is precious and it’s important to make the most of it.

Here is a list of different creative activities you and your loved one can do while they are in a nursing facility:

Crafts

Whether or not you’re a creative person, simple crafts can be a fun way to add some color to your time together. Crafts you and your loved one can do range from making holiday decorations to scrapbooking and even painting.

Mark Walker, director of therapy at Orem Rehabilitation and Skilled Nursing, says staff members enjoy providing seasonal and holiday-oriented craft projects for the residents.

“We just finished doing a Valentine’s project where we cut out hearts and placed them all over the facility,” he said.

Not only are these activities fun, but they can also help your loved one’s cognitive and motor skills.

Hand massages

Some nursing facilities, such as Provo Rehabilitation & Nursing, offer hand massages as one of its regular activities. You can give your own loved one a hand massage or manicure as a way to rejuvenate and relax them. Regular touch also communicates multiple positive emotions that can create a deeper connection. Try using essential oils or hand lotion in their favorite scent.

Make connections (phone call, storytelling)

Use your time together to share and collect memories and stories. Chances are your loved one has some great stories from growing up that you haven’t heard yet. Once they are gone, those stories may be lost forever. Take the time to ask them about their life and favorite memories. Consider journaling or recording these conversations so you can keep them for years to come.

Entertainment

Another way to bond with your loved one is to find a mutual love of some sort of entertainment and enjoy it together. Whether it’s reading a book, playing a board game, listening to music or watching a favorite movie, entertainment is the perfect way to spend an afternoon with each other. Many facilities, such as Orem Rehabilitation and Skilled Nursing, provide different types of media that you can enjoy together. Consider inviting your loved one’s friends at the nursing facility to enjoy with you.

“Usually our biggest focus is on hobbies that our residents do at home,” said Walker. “We often start up a bowling session, which is great for balance and upper body strength, and the Wii gaming system is an excellent tool. We like the Wii Fit Program because it encourages standing balance and weight-shifting activities.”

Outings

While you may have to take a few precautions, going out or exercising can be a fun way to spend time with your loved one. You can garden, go out to lunch, see a play, walk to the park, or even stretch outside. The fresh air and quality time is sure to make for a wonderful day together.

If you’re not sure what to do with your loved one who’s staying in a nursing facility, try one of these activities. Remember, the important thing is that you make the most of your time together.

This article was previously published by the Daily Herald and republished here with permission.

The Secrets to a Long Life Aren’t Really Very Secret

As the oldest woman in the world, 116-year-old Emma Morano credits her long life to a breakfast of two raw eggs every day. She also credits her longevity to staying single. She walked away from her marriage when she was 38 years old, and she’s been single ever since. “I didn’t want to be dominated by anyone,” she said.

What sustains some people to live over a century, while others struggle with poor health? With some swearing by service or beer for breakfast, there are consistencies in the lives of centenarians. And some of them may surprise you. Read more

8 Ways to Commit to a Healthy Lifestyle

“People often say that motivation doesn’t last,” said Zig Ziglar. “Well, neither does bathing — that’s why we recommend it daily.” Most of us have things about ourselves we’d like to improve. A healthy lifestyle is no exception. This desire can come from wanting to change the way we look or feel, or heeding a doctor’s warning.

“Practicing preventative measures for maintaining good health is a habit you never outgrow,” said Liz Jacobsen, team lead at Lake Ridge Senior Living. “Whether it is getting regular checkups, adjusting diet, increasing exercise or eliminating harmful habits, healthy living starts with adopting healthy habits.” Read more