Healthy to Age 100: 5 Tips from a Top Doctor

Wearable_fitness_JOUR_36253_448800Thinking about improving your health? You might listen to David Carr, M.D., the clinical director for the Division of Geriatrics and Nutritional Science for Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. Dr. Carr has reviewed thousands of medical studies in his practice and has some positive news about healthy aging: we can achieve significantly healthier outcomes with easy lifestyle changes and less effort than you might think.

“Exercise is number one,” Dr. Carr says. “There are studies that suggest regular physical activity can have positive effects on physical health, quality of life, and cognition. Even as little as 20 minutes of walking a day can yield great benefits.”

Thirty minutes of exercise, 5 times a week, is the minimum bar set by the Department of Health and Human Services.IMG_20151028_113009

It is easy to build up gradually in your regular routine. For example, choose the stairs instead of the elevator. Park at the distant side of a parking lot instead of circling until a spot near an entrance opens.

Dr. Carr’s longevity prescription also includes a workout for your brain and social life. “Cognitive and social stimulation are number two,” he says. “There is simply not much stimulation if you stay home alone and watch TV. The brain is like a muscle — it needs to be used, stimulated, and pushed.”

In his medical practice, Carr has found having a “care” is part of the “cure”, because people who have social connections live longer.1000102_10201651982325609_766739615_n

“Interacting with other people in social situations is crucial. It’s also important to keep your hobbies going – board games, puzzles, cards, playing a musical instrument or staying active in volunteer work,” are a few of the suggestions Dr. Carr offers.

caroline-attwood-225496-unsplash - CopyDr. Carr’s number 3 tip is focused on your plate: “A good heart healthy diet will probably also turn out to be great for the brain,” he says. “You should eat plenty of fruits and vegetables every day and consume fish at least a couple of times a week.”

His next tip for living to 100 or more includes regular health checks to catch diseases early when they’re still treatable.

202874“Controlling risk factors for vascular disease is tip number four. We know the number one killer of the brain and heart is vascular disease or atherosclerosis. If you have high blood sugar, high cholesterol, or high blood pressure, you should see your family doctor for treatment, and keep those risk factors under control.”

Dr. Carr finds relaxation to be vital. “I’m convinced that high stress levels over a lifetime can have a very negative impact on our organ systems,” he says. “So trying to keep stress under control is probably the fifth leg of the table.”DEYVTHFARF

A Lifetime of Love With The Special Bonds Between People and Pets

Healthy Pets Are Part of Happier, Healthier Families

cropped-img_20180205_011823-1.jpgCompanionship may be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of a pet. Life with an animal can boost wellness and health too. There is considerable evidence animals can reduce heart rate, blood pressure and cholesterol and regularly interacting with animals can reduce anxiety and promote calmness. It isn’t just cats, dogs and rabbits offering heart healthy benefits of lowering blood pressure and cholesterol levels; researchers discovered viewing fish tanks led to noticeable reductions in heart rate and blood pressure too.

Pets are also social connectors for owners acting as a conversation starter. Multiple studies reveal just being in the presence of a pet increases the frequency of social interactions, especially with strangers.ffurriest

Personally I’ve found my pets often provide comic relief from life’s daily stresses. It is the reason animal videos are a top category of viral content every year.

A video captures some of the wonderful things about companion animals in our lives. It is produced by the American Veterinary Medical Association, the organizer of National Pet Week®. The video and observation celebrates the special bonds between pets and people.

To celebrate the 35th anniversary of National Pet Week®, the American Veterinary Medical Association spotlights things every pet owner should consider to ensure that their pet lives the longest, healthiest life possible. Learn more at http://petweek.org

The Centers for Disease Control also emphasizes keeping pets healthy keeps people healthy too. Visit  https://www.cdc.gov/healthypets/ for resources.pup_kiss_StockSnap_HMOI9OUX4J

National Pet Week® is observed the first full week in May. Created in 1981 by the American Veterinary Medical Association, National Pet Week® is dedicated to celebrating America’s more than 200 million pets that enrich our lives each and every day and encourage responsible pet care every day of the year.

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Small Business Tip: Fighting the Flu with Free Shots & Wellness Help

Small business and mid-sized companies are increasingly developing initiatives to help employees develop a healthier lifestyle. With a rising number of sick days taken by employees and increasing health care costs, employers have a vested interest in the health and wellness of their workers. More business owners are working to create low cost wellness programs and the authors of the book, “Discover Wellness: How Staying Well Can Make You Rich”, offer some suggestions in this short video interview.

Putting an emphasis on healthy behaviors in your enterprise can help workers be more productive.  A number of simple ideas can help steer staff toward healthier choices. Click here to see just a few in a free video of “Your Healthy Biz.”

Effective wellness programs do not have to be expensive. Changing vending machine selections or offering health training such as smoking cessation programs or weight loss clinics can help workers make better choices.  Steering staff toward a healthier lifestyle can begin with free, seminars from community health agencies or a wellness fair.

One drugstore operator is pledging to provide 100,000 free flu shots starting Monday, October 5, 2009. CVS pharmacies in sixteen states will give away vouchers to unemployed people for three million dollars in flu shots. The vouchers will be given out at some One-Stop Career Centers starting Oct. 5. The vouchers can be redeemed at CVS pharmacies that are running flu shot clinic events, or during regular business hours at walk-in MinuteClinics inside CVS stores.
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More information on contacting the individual employment centers participating in the free flu voucher program can be found at www.cvs.com/flu.

The CVS free flu shot vouchers will be available in Washington, DC, California, Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Rhode Island, Texas, and Virginia.

Please follow me on Twitter to learn more about small business trends and events to give you a competitive edge in business at http://twitter.com/danitablackwood

The Flu Can Impact a Small Business: Some Tips to Limit the Pain

The recession and slower sales may prompt many small business owners and self-employed professionals to go to work if they have flu symptoms. In a downturn, going to the office and ‘working through the pain’ may not be the smart business move according to one health expert.  Dr. Mary Capelli-Schellpfeffer, medical director of Loyola University Health System Occupational Health Services, advises people who come to work sick are more likely to hinder than help their company.

“An organization can be severely impacted by people coming to work when they’re sick. We know illness can spread from person to person causing entire work groups to be impacted. But less obvious is how job performance, organization, productivity, creativity and financial stability can all be affected,” said Capelli-Schellpfeffer.

People often think because they wash their hands or take over-the-counter medications, they aren’t spreading the illness. Not so.

“Just being in a room and breathing when a person is sick can spread the illness not to mention coughing and sneezing. If you’re sick you shouldn’t’t be in the workplace. It interrupts business and puts others at risk of infection,” said Capelli-Schellpfeffer.

Sickness can interrupt productivity by creating a distraction and causing both the infected person and coworkers to focus on the illness instead of their jobs. It also blurs the lines between personal and professional lives and relationships.

“It’s good for people to feel like a team and care about each other, but it’s not healthy for people to be invasive of each other’s privacy, including their medical privacy,” said Capelli-Schellpfeffer. “It disrupts the interactions of the team and can be corrosive, even setting the stage for future judgments, misunderstandings and biases.”

To ensure an environment of wellness and productivity, managers need to keep an open dialogue with employees about attendance policies and sick days according to Capelli- Schellpfeffer.

“Encourage employees who are sick to use their sick time. Many don’t know they have it because they’ve never had to use it,” said Capelli-Schellpfeffer. “Make sure to plan ahead so if you have a deadline there are procedures in place – like how to work from home. By making small changes and preparing for illness we can protect each other and our businesses.”

If someone in the workplace has been sick Capelli-Schellpfeffer offers these common sense, but often forgotten, tips to limit the spread of illness:

1. Wipe down all surfaces, especially shared surfaces such as copy machines.
2. Let space be your friend: Having 6-8 feet between you and a sick person can reduce the chance you too will become sick.
3. Keep food and beverages away from work areas of sick employees, including offices and cubicles.
4. Implement a wellness agenda that includes an annual flu shot.

“While news cycles and the public’s attention span about the flu rises and wanes, the flu is not going away and most likely will only get worse this fall,” said Capelli-Schellpfeffer. “Though there is a cost involved in promoting wellness, it is small in comparison to the pricey hit companies take when their workforce is impaired by illness. A flu shot program is an investment that yields big returns for businesses.”

You will find a number of wellness videos and podcasts on SBTV.com created especially for small business.