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WELLNESS CORNER: Healthy Aging Month. Feel Better.

By Ryan Lombardo, DAOM, ABAAHP, BCIM, L.Ac.

Lifestyles today have transitioned to being on the go 24/7. Professionally we are now always connected due to technology advances, and there is an expectation that we should be available at all times (via phone, text, email). So during times when we are not “clocked in” we are still tied to our technology devices, programmed to check-in constantly. Today, children don’t simply go to school, camp and play outdoors; they are in daily and weekly activities that require strict schedules, being rushed from one commitment to the next, plus extra school work that is also dependent on technology, which means more screen time for children, parents, and grandparents. We have created a world of “availability” vs. “responsibility” that has shifted the focus from pride and dedication to our family, work, and friends to a constant underlying anxiety of “What’s next on my list?” It’s no wonder that stress, heart disease, diabetes, cancers, IBS, food sensitivities, anxiety, depression, and obesity are rising quickly. With our continued commitments, many of us have forgotten about ourselves. As we age, this could be a recipe for disaster.

WELLNESS SPECIAL: Healthy Aging Month. Feel Better.

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So why are we doing this to ourselves? It’s an easy cycle to fall into, but we have the power to make choices that improve our personal health and well-being, which will make us better able to age purposefully and gracefully. Life is precious and we only have one shot to get it right. As we age, making ourselves the priority will bring better health, more happiness and allow us to be better role models for others.

The most important aspect in successfully making improvements is creating healthy habits, so start slow but be consistent. Choose a few of the following actions and incorporate them into your daily life, and get someone involved with you, then add others as you realize the benefits:

• Move it! Begin with 7,000 daily steps … every day. Use our technology dependent world to your advantage…There are many fitness trackers on your phone to help you stay focused. Work up to 10,000 steps a day.

• Cut out soda/sugary drinks. Replace with more water and unsweetened tea and coffee. Keep your daily 1-2 glasses of red wine.

• Replace burgers, fries and pizza with seafood and veggies at least 3 times weekly. Research proves that reducing calories by 30% improves metabolism and promotes longevity. There’s no need for 2500 calories per day unless we are putting forth 2500-3500 calories worth of effort.

• Begin a self-preservation routine and stick to it daily. That means yoga, tai-chi, qigong, etc. These Eastern practices have proven benefits of strength, balance, flexibility and confidence…all of which are quick to disappear as we age without practice and attention.

• Add some resistance training. Muscle loss is a part of aging; don’t encourage it. 15-20 minutes of basic functional exercises such as squats, push-ups, steps, lunges, pull-ups, rowing or free-weight exercises is really all we need to keep muscle tone. There’s no need for 90 minutes in the gym unless there’s a class you love or it provides healthy socialization.

• Meditate. Again, use technology to your advantage. There are thousands of apps available to guide a quality meditation practice. Internal cultivation is key to a healthy mind and body.

• Keep your friends and family close. Make time for them. The single most important aspect of longevity is personal relationships.

Serious about making your health a priority? Kick it into gear with a complete wellness consultation, which includes a comprehensive blood panel (unlike what is run at most doc offices). You will find out what your immediate health priorities are, and we’ll create a wellness plan to get you moving in the right direction.

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595 Elm Place, Suite 208
Highland Park, IL 60035