Aging well doesn’t mean turning back the clock
If 50 is the new 30, then is 70 the new 50? You betcha! Nowadays as we get older, we’re healthy, active and darn good-looking. But it does take some work to age beautifully, inside and out.
There are a lot of services available to help us age well, from educational opportunities for the mind to advanced health care and beauty products for the body.
It is true, however, that mature adults have some challenges to face when it comes to staying fit. People begin losing muscle tissue and bone in their 30s, and unless they exercise and work to continue building strength and flexibility, muscle stores will continue to be depleted.
According to the Surgeon General, regular physical activity can delay the effects of aging, lead to increased stamina, decreased body fat, increased bone density and lower rates of coronary artery disease, hypertension, Alzheimer’s and cancer. In other words, prevention is the key. By simply walking 30 minutes a day, lung capacity and physical strength improve and the risk of heart disease, stroke, Type 2 diabetes, cancer and arthritis are reduced.
- Life expectancy in the United States will be in the mid-80s by 2050 (up from 77.85 in 2006) and will top out eventually in the low 90s, barring major scientific advances.
- By 2030, the number of Americans age 65 and older will more than double to 71 million older Americans, comprising roughly 20 percent of the U.S. population.
SOURCES: U.S. Census Bureau; Centers for Disease Control
Aging well means destroying the clock
“Every day you don’t exercise is a day you get older,” said Cherie Bronsky, fitness director at Sun City Hilton Head, a retirement community in Bluffton known for its residents’ very active lifestyle. There also are other benefits to exercise, she said. “The social interaction of exercise is powerful. It is motivating and it keeps you accountable.”
As people age, they also become more in tune with how they’re feeling, from their joints to their mood. Staying physically fit and continuing to eat a diet filled with raw fruits and veggies is important in feeling great longer.
OK, so now you feel great.
How about looking great, too?
There are lots of ways to keep that youthful glow. Some of the fastest growing industries offer products and services geared toward helping us look good at any age. In addition to the multitude of cosmetics and anti-aging creams, there are lots of procedures available to keep you looking young, from varicose vein removal and teeth whitening to eye surgery.
Once the body is taken care of, keep the mind active. An active brain continues to produce new connections between nerve cells, allowing the brain to store and retrieve information more easily.
In the Lowcountry, there are plenty of opportunities to keep the brain active, from lectures to clubs. Clubs are a great way to meet new people and make new friendships, key elements to staying young.
“People who aren’t continuing to interact deteriorate much faster,” said Laura Mason, director of SHARE Center for Active Adults.
Learning new things is another way to keep the mind sharp. Ever wondered about the art of creating a butterfly garden, what a day in the life of a Victorian lady looked like or about the tradition of line dancing around the world? Now is the time to learn about it. By taking local classes, older folks continue to learn new skills and meet new people. They become more informed and better understand what’s going on in their lives.
“The love of learning and continuing to challenge yourself and try different things is key to staying young. I don’t think there is any substitute for it. It’s what keeps your life rich,” said Dan Campbell, director for the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, a program run through the University of South Carolina Beaufort that offers classes around the area on subjects including philosophy, history, art, music, current events, political issues, religion, science, literature and languages.
In today’s day — and age — getting older provides more opportunities than ever to look and feel great.
WHAT and WHY
Billions of American dollars are spent on health needs related to sedentary lifestyles. Get off the couch and get involved with life! Undeniably, physical activity has been engineered out of our lives. We run ourselves ragged, but we rarely find the time to run, jog, or walk. Physical activity slows the aging process, helps prevent many of the chronic illnesses that run in families, prevents weight gain and helps you look and feel better. The bottom line: Create the opportunity for activity yourself.
— Breakthrough Fitness Center
You can burn more calories by having fun than while “working” out.
This is known as perceived exertion, and this is why group exercise classes, such as Zumba, a fusion of Latin American dance music, are so popular. If you walk briskly outside for 45 minutes or enjoy a Zumba class, you would burn about the same amount of calories. But by having fun, moving, singing and exercising with others, the Zumba seems easier.
Consistency is the key to better health, and if you are having fun exercising, you will be more consistent. So, find exercise options that YOU actually
enjoy. Results will always follow.
— Beach City Health and Fitness
As far as nutrition and diets go, there are several options, there is one simple tip: If you can’t spell it, don’t eat it! There are many processed foods out there that contain harmful products, such as Potassium Bromate, which is banned in almost every country except the U.S. and Japan due to its link to an increased risk of cancer.
— Palmetto Athletic Club
- Wash your car by hand instead of taking it through the automatic carwash. You’ll burn an extra 280 calories in an hour
- Play with kids. Impromptu games of basketball, touch football, or tag — or just jumping rope or throwing a ball — will help you use energy and set a good example of active play for the children. Calories burned: 80 to 137 every 10 minutes.
Four keys to healthy living
We all want to live longer. But we also want to live well with good health. Keep your toolbox outfitted with four things:
- A healthy diet (such as the American Heart Association diet or the Mediterranean diet).
- A good pair of sneakers (that means exercise!).
- Mental stimulation (play bridge, read, Sudoku, puzzles).
- And socialization. Don’t be a couch potato. Get out of the house and enjoy friends and family. — Alzheimer’s, Respite and Resource
Protect your parts
Take care of your back
Ninety percent of Americans will experience at least one episode of back pain in their lifetime. Low back pain is a leading cause of disability in the United States. Here are some tips to help you maintain a healthy spine.
FOR YOUNG PATIENTS:
- Book bags can be a problem. Keep the weight of the bag less than 15 percent of the child’s weight. Pack the bag properly and use both shoulder straps.
- In young athletes, pain lasting more than a week should be evaluated.
FOR MIDDLE AGE PATIENTS:
- Maintain proper posture while sitting at work. Use your legs to lift heavy items.
- Exercise regularly for strength and flexibility.
FOR OLDER PATIENTS:
- Exercise in shorter intervals. Try activities such as biking and water aerobics. Calcium, vitamin D and weight-bearing physical activity help prevent osteoporosis. Women, in particular, should be screened for low bone density. — Lowcountry Spine and Sport
Not only does massage serve as a wonderful form of relaxation, it also provides many health benefits that promote a longer, happier life. In fact, massage can help you maintain a high level of physical, mental and emotional well-being when it is part of your regular wellness routine. So if you start to feel guilty about spending your hard-earned money on a massage, remind yourself of all of these health benefi ts. Then, just relax and enjoy feeling more energized and alive than you’ve ever felt before!
— FACES DaySpa
Relax your muscles
For quality longevity, maintain your body! Don’t have a maintenance manual? With massage therapy, you can lengthen your strong muscles and strengthen the weak ones. It is the imbalance between weak and strong muscles that cause us pain, wear out our joints, move bones (which in turn cause disc problems) and can be a cause of sciatic pain, tennis elbow, knee pain and the list goes on. These muscle problems are preventable and reversible. Live long, be well and feel young by getting therapeutic massage.
— Shirl’s Therapeutic Massage
Take a time-out
If we can alleviate stress, even if just for a short amount of time each day, the results can truly be life changing. In many parts of the world, spa time is paid for by companies who acknowledge the genuine benefits of a relaxing deep tissue massage, the confidence of seeing problematic skin improve or the pleasure from getting rough, tired feet softened and revitalized. It’s not only the relaxation or results that make us feel and look better, but the fact that we have taken a “time out” for ourself. We all know that we are better friends, partners and parents when we are happy and relaxed, as opposed to tired, neglected and frustrated!
— The Sanctuary
Day by Day
Every day dental care a must
Next to brushing, flossing is the most important thing you can do to ensure good oral health. Flossing removes the bacteria and plaque that escape the toothbrush in between the teeth. Plaque causes tooth decay that can lead to gum disease.
Another great reason to floss is that recent studies have shown that flossing helps to prevent heart attack or stroke. It is estimated that 75% of Americans have some form of gum disease, which has been linked to serious health complications. Proper brushing and flossing is the easiest way to prevent gum disease, but regular leanings with your dental hygienist or dentist are necessary to remove calculus and treat advanced gum disease.
— Island Family Dental
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is a treatment where patients rest in a chamber and are surrounded with 100% pure oxygen. The oxygen pushes its way into all of the body’s fluids from plasma to cerebral spinal fluid. The FDA recommends hyperbaric therapy for many conditions ranging from non-healing wounds to carbon monoxide poisoning. There are a host of other problems from rheumatoid arthritis to lyme disease that have also been treated successfully with hyperbaric therapy.
— Hyperbaric Therapy of the Lowcountry
The Skin you’re in
Rejuvenate your skin
Your skin is the largest organ of your body and one that reflects the signs of stress, sun damage and aging. Portrait Plasma Skin Rejuvenation is a plasma energy technology that works both on and below the surface of the skin to modify the skin’s architecture so that new collagen is generated. It reduces fine, moderate, and deep wrinkles; improves skin tone, texture and elasticity; removes discoloration; increases skin tightening and treats benign skin lesions/actinic keratosis (pre-cancerous cells)! With minimal downtime, it’s unlike any treatment available today.
— Serendipity Medical Spa
What’s in your product?
Many times people over look the quality of what they are putting on their skin and that can be a mistake. Over-the-counter products are okay in certain situations. However there are so many affordable medical grade products and treatments available, which work in both a preventive and often mildly corrective manner. They get the best long-term results for your skin. Over-thecounter products don’t compare, the difference in quality can be dramatic. Get a skin consultation today to learn how good quality skin care can be easy, effective and affordable.
— Teresa Kitchens, Island Medical Spa
The eyes have it
Sometimes it’s hard to reconcile how we feel on the inside with how we look, or how things are functioning, on the outside. An upper and/or lower eyelid lift (known as a blepharoplasty) many times accomplishes both cosmetic and functional purposes. An upper lid lift can give a rested, refreshed look while also helping to restore a person’s field of vision that may have become impaired by drooping muscles and sagging skin. A lower lid lift eliminates the bulging, under-eye fat pads that can also contribute to a tired appearance.
— Hilton Head Plastic Surgery