Archive for August, 2011

Seniors in Joliet find their healthy weights

weightloss for seniorsMany people set resolutions to “lose weight,” but not to reach a “healthy weight,” and there is a big difference. In order to become healthier, seniors need to know why excess weight is so bad for the human body, what a healthy weight range is, and steps needed to reach a healthy weight.

In terms of overall health, the World Health Organization reports that excess weight and obesity contribute to an increased risk of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, hypertension and stroke, and certain forms of cancer. In addition, excess weight negatively affects blood pressure and cholesterol and puts increased strain on joints.

Mentally, obesity can lead to low self esteem because of feelings of rejection, social discrimination, unattractiveness, and guilt from a perceived lack of self control. All of these add up to a very high cost to carry excess weight.

What is a healthy weight? According to WebMD.com, one common method for determining a healthy weight range is to use a body mass index (BMI), however, BMI does not take into account how much of your weight is muscle and how much is fat. Another tool is to use waist circumference. For men, waist circumference should not exceed 40 inches and women, unless pregnant, should not exceed 35 inches. There are more accurate tests to determine BMI and waist circumference should not be seen as the gold standard for healthy weight measures, they are helpful for establishing a target weight range.

There is no magic bullet to lose weight. Until science produces effective medications, it always has been and it always will be – eat less and move more. Eating less doesn’t mean volume-wise but calorie-wise. Incorporating more fruits and vegetables is step one. Another idea is to substitute low fat dairy products for full fat and choose leaner cuts of meat. Choose whole grains over refined carbohydrates.

Some foods, while high calorie, have significant health benefits. These include the healthy fats in avocados and nuts as well as the fiber in beans. These foods can be eaten in moderation. Sodium and sugar intake needs to be in moderation, too. Too much sodium can lead to high blood pressure, and too much sugar will cause spikes in blood sugar levels. Also, drink plenty of water.

Physical activity is a key ingredient to reaching and maintaining a healthy weight. The best way is to find things you love doing. Take a walk, ride a bike, or swim laps at a local pool. If dancing is a passion, find a class. The “sneak in exercise” approach includes parking in the furthest spot, take grocery bags out of the car one at a time, walk to the mailbox instead of driving, and pace around the table while talking on the phone. These measures add up.

To end on a humorous note, some apt proverbs:

  • Don’t dig your grave with your own knife and fork.  ~English Proverb
  • Your stomach shouldn’t be a “waist” basket.  ~Author Unknown
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‘Be wary,’ say seniors in Joliet

Watching network TV for an evening is a blur of commercials, many of them health related. Each remedy promises easy solutions to a host of ailments. It’s easy to understand the appeal of these promises, but there is still plenty of truth to the old saying, “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”

Today, there are more ways than ever to sell untested products. In addition to TV, radio, magazines, newspapers, infomercials, mail, telemarketing, and even word-of-mouth, these products are now offered over the Internet—with websites describing miracle cures and emails telling stories of overnight magic. Sadly, older people are often the target of such scams.

According to National Institute on Aging, the problem is serious. Untested remedies may be harmful. They may be dangerous when used with medicines prescribed by the doctor, they may waste money, and sometimes, using these products keeps people from getting the medical treatment they need.

Living with a chronic health problem is difficult, so it’s easy to see why people might fall for a false promise of a quick and painless cure. What makes the elderly so vulnerable to this kind of thing? After all, they’re not stupid. They are, however, trusting. They don’t expect crooks to be calling them. They want to take people at their word. They don’t want to appear rude by hanging up on a caller.

According to Associate Content.com Elderly people also tend to worry about their health and the increasing costs of medical care, and this makes them vulnerable to scams offering phony health insurance. In addition, elderly people are embarrassed about falling for such scams and don’t want their children to find out. They may fear that their children will think they are no longer competent to care for themselves and may worry about losing their independence.

Typically, ads or telemarketing calls target diseases that have no cures like diabetes, arthritis, and Alzheimer’s disease.
Beware:

  • Cancer cures
  • Anti-aging medications
  • Arthritis remedies
  • Memory aids
  • Dietary supplements
  • Health insurance

Question what you see or hear in ads, telephone calls, or on the internet. Find out about a product before you buy. Don’t let a salesperson talk you into making a snap decision. Most important, check with your doctor first.

Look for red flags in ads or promotional material that:

  • Promise a quick or painless cure
  • Claim the product is made from a special, secret, or ancient formula
  • Offer products and services only by mail
  • Use statements or unproven case histories from so-called satisfied patients
  • Claim to be a cure for a wide range of ailments
  • Claim to cure a disease (such as arthritis or Alzheimer’s disease) that hasn’t been cured by medical science
  • Promise a no-risk, money-back guarantee
  • Offer an additional “free” gift or a larger amount of the product as a “special promotion”
  • Require advance payment and claim there is a limited supply of the product

Two Federal government agencies work to protect people from health scams. The Federal Trade Commission can help you spot fraud. The Food and Drug Administration protects the public by assuring the safety of prescription drugs, biological products, medical devices, food, cosmetics, and radiation-emitting products. If you have questions about a product, again talk to your doctor.

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The Flat Cats Swing into Shorewood

The Flat CatsThe Flat Cats Swing Band will perform at 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 12, at the Timbers of Shorewood retirement community, 1100 North River Road, Shorewood.

The Flat Cats blend vintage and modern music including the hottest swinging jazz, jump blues, steamy standards, modern classics, ballads, and toe-tapping western swing.

The six–piece Flat Cats has performed at many different venues and events throughout the Midwest, including Navy Pier, the Drake Hotel’s Palm court, the Arcada Theatre, the legendary Willowbrook Ballroom, Pete Miller’s, Green Dolphin Lounge, and the Summer Dance Series in Grant Park.

The Flat Cats consist of Amanda Wolff, vocals; Jonny Kostal, tenor sax; Kevin Gawthorp, baritone sax; Stuart Olsen III, electric guitar; Nathan Kawaller, bass; and Barry Rose, drums.

The Timbers of Shorewood is a rental retirement community which provides independent and assisted living apartments and a full schedule of activities and services. Furnished apartments are also available for a short-term stay – a weekend, a week, a month or longer.

The event is free and open to the public. For more information call Shelly Goggins at 815-609-0669.

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