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seniors biking

Top Health Conditions

How did we become a society of illnesses, along with conditions such as cancer, heart disease, obesity, diabetes and so many other health concerns? According to statistics, the expenses related to health care are on the rise, with almost 4 trillion dollars in 2014. Along with various studies, the reason behind the illness is our body adapted to the environments years ago but has become dysfunctional in this newly created society. Scientists have also reflected on allergies continuing to be widespread and the process of food production has grown significantly along with an inactive lifestyle.

What is your top health concern?

As we look at the most searched topics, I narrowed it down to the top 10 list of health related topics and ways you can slow down the progression.

  1. Obesity: Stay active – incorporate physical activity into your day to prevent injuries later and delay the onset of certain diseases, including some cancers, diabetes and heart disease. It can increase blood pressure, osteoarthritis, sleep apnea, stroke, and develop respiratory issues. Prevention can provide relief toward depression and increase happiness along with gaining longevity. Find an activity you enjoy, get outside or go to the mall to add in a daily walk routine. Avoiding processed foods, sweets, and fast food will aid in keeping you stay young.
  2. Heart Disease: Statistics show that this is the largest killer in the U. S. per year and more people than all categories of cancer combined. As you age, you are increasing the odds with having high cholesterol and high blood pressure, which leads to higher risk of stroke. Simple changes you can do now is quit tobacco use and eat foods low in fat and sodium, exercise and get your rest. Other influences are diabetes, atherosclerosis and infections.
  3. Cancer: 2nd largest cause of death leading those over the age of 65, with lung cancer responsible for most deaths. That’s why it’s important to eliminate tobacco and alcohol use, maintain a well-balanced diet, lose weight, use sunscreen, getting mammograms, colonoscopies, and seeing a dermatologist on a regular basis while keeping up with regular screenings with all professionals. Genetics does play a role among siblings and other relatives. The most common are breast and prostate cancer.
  4. Diabetes: Significant risk in our senior population according to the CDC. It can lead to kidney damage, losing your sight, stroke, nerve issues, hearing impairment and heart disease. Along with eating a well-balanced diet, physical activity and using a food diary to track what you are consuming can help conquer diabetes. Healthy food options are fiber rich whole grains, vegetables, fruits, and nuts. Always get your checkup, a simple blood test can indicate symptoms early.
  5. Stroke: 3rd leading cause of death in women, and 4th in men. Prolonging your life with eliminating tobacco use, losing weight, increasing physical activity, and eating a well-balanced diet can aid in your risk for stroke. Some of the indicators are diabetes, inactivity, overweight, high blood pressure, and indication that genetics has some part of increased risk. Since a stroke can lead to brain complications, paralysis, emotional and behavior issues, changing your lifestyle can help in the prevention of the disease.
  6. Respiratory diseases: Keep on track with correct medications, completing tests on lung functions and using oxygen as per instructed when having this disease to control vulnerability to flu, bronchitis, or emphysema. By eliminating tobacco use, will help prevent COPD, which is the largest risk factor.
  7. Alzheimer’s disease: 5th leading cause of death in women and 10th in men. It’s unknown the cause behind it, but it’s been associated to heart disease and head injuries. It’s also difficult to know the true statistics behind how many are living with this type of condition. Parkinson is the most common brain disease. Influencers are overweight, family history, aging, high blood pressure, and Down syndrome. Just by increasing exercise will aid in slowing down the disease.
  8. Kidney Disease: 9th largest cause of death for both men and women. Keep your blood sugar in balance to prevent this, which can be influenced by high blood pressure or diabetes. Kidney injuries can be driven by dehydration, loss of blood, kidney infections, and urine flow blockage. After three consecutive months of kidney function loss, it’s concluded as chronic kidney disease. The symptoms can be nausea, appetite loss, tightening of muscles, and urine volume reduction. Prevention options are hydration, maintaining weight, reducing protein and cutting out salt.
  9. Arthritis: CDC statistics show that 49.7% of all adults over 65 are affected, which can affect how they live and influencing the pain response. Staying active and discussing treatment options with your doctor will aid in maintaining your health as a senior.
  10. Osteoporosis: Statistics show that 54 million people over 50 are affected with reduced bone mass, which leads to fracture or breakage risk. It can lead to becoming potentially disabled and the results indicate that by 2020, the statistics will increase to 64.4 million. Make sure you are getting enough calcium and Vitamin D and decrease soda, salt and caffeine.

In conclusion, health conditions are on the rise as we take into consideration lifestyle, nutrition, stress, genetics and inactivity. As you can see most of these main conditions can be alleviated with the help of eating a well-balanced diet, increasing physical activity, and eliminating tobacco and alcohol.

As always consult your health professional. I hope this article finds you in good health.

Connie Stoltz-McDonald is an Integrative Nutrition-Certified Health Coach, CPT, Wellness Educator, Blogger and Author. From her passion for writing, she is excited to announce her first book release titled “Healthy Lifestyle- The inside secrets to transforming your body and health.” If you’d like to get a copy, you can connect with her at her website, www.lifestylehealthmentor.comFacebookTwitterLinkedIn, or Instagram.



Healthy Lifestyle

Why Is Today’s Society So Unhealthy?

As we look back, our ancestors never worried about their thyroid, gut, heart disease, cancer or any of the issues that are top of mind today. So why are they popping up everywhere? It all comes down to they simply ate real food. Seasonal fruits & vegetables, grains, eggs and dairy. They avoided fake foods, such as crackers, cookies and frosted cereals.

In reality, half of Americans are over indulging and the other half are on a diet. So, why are we not taking care of ourselves? Why are we overweight, ill and struggling every day? The news changes our health regimen daily. One day, we’re told to cut out carbohydrates, then the next, cut out fat or reduce the amount of daily protein. I can see why, as a society, we are confused and just let go. Our lives are busy and the average consumer doesn’t have time to research what’s good and bad for them. Looking back, our ancestors got their nutrition through killing large mammals and picking fruits and nuts. Studies have shown that our body is better acquainted with consuming meat and natural sugars and has a hard time digesting fiber. Therefore, not obtaining the protein, fats, carbohydrates, fiber or any other nutrients that we need to maintain our bodies at optimal levels.

We are no longer growing our own food, but obtaining our meals through the drive-thru because of convenience and time. Let’s put it this way: our bodies can’t breakdown large amounts of vegetable oil and our bodies were not meant to sit all day. I remember growing up thinking, “when do we actually get a break?” When you live a life of a farmer, there is no downtime. It seemed from the moment I got off the bus until it was time to go to bed, I was on my feet. We didn’t have computer games, smart phones and only had a couple channels to watch on TV — which seemed like all there was to watch was news or cooking shows!

So, what is the root of such a growing concern? It’s simply poor lifestyle choices…. We overindulge, choose the wrong foods, we’re less active, and let stress and anxiety take over our lives. What can we do today to take action on our health?

Tips to Maintain a Simple Healthy Action Plan

ABM – Always be moving. Keep physically active, whether it’s getting away from the office chair for a walk downstairs or going outside during lunch to gain some much needed sunlight. Just doing stretches can get the blood flowing and revive that inner energy to regain focus. Strive for 30 minutes of exercise 3-5 days a week. Find an exercise you enjoy so you’ll maintain a regimen

Get cooking. Be creative in the kitchen and make your own meals at home. This way you incorporate the ingredients and you stay healthier. Plus it’s fun, gets you on your feet and a great family activity.

Choosing the right foods. Always shop around the outside perimeter of the store, as this is where you’ll find the wholesome goodness of fruits, vegetables, meats, dairy and unprocessed, preservative-free foods. Keep in mind that dietary guidelines have changed to where half our plate should be filled with fruit and vegetables. Plus, you never have a label to investigate prior to purchasing as there is only one ingredient. Keep in mind, to benefit from satiety, wait 20 minutes after your meal to cue into your hunger levels.

All in moderation. Keep a balance in your daily regimen. There will be days when life happens and you can’t maintain the My Plate routine along with the daily exercise plan. That’s OK. Keep yourself in check knowing you’ll get back on the wagon tomorrow. Life is all about things coming at you when you least expect it. That’s why you have a backup plan to slide the goal to the next day and never overwhelm yourself with anything, especially something that is out of your hands. This will, in turn, help alleviate the stress and anxiety that you get if you’re a perfectionist. I’m one to always have everything in check, but I’m realistic and know there will be surprises, so let yourself go if everything doesn’t fall into place.

Live a simple life. Sometimes going off the grid isn’t a bad thing. One thing I’ve learned is to not let social media rule our lives. It can consume our time, lead to insecurity, stress and anxiety. Limit your time on electronics and spend quality time with family and friends. Take time to eat at the dinner table while discussing how the day went or what’s new in your lives. It seems we get so wrapped up in what others are doing, thinking, feeling and finding out what’s going on with our family and friends through a Facebook post. Remember, you’re not living their life and they aren’t living yours, so take care of yourself first! Otherwise, you can’t be there to help others.

Meditation. It may seem silly at first, or make you feel out of place, but studies have proven the effectiveness of certain breathing methods and poses that will relax you and alleviate some of that stress from your day. Try sitting by yourself for 10 minutes and just take a breath in. Breathe through your nose to let go of all the chaos that may have happened throughout the day. You can also incorporate yoga, which aids in the meditation process.

Let’s not forget sleep! Strive for 6-8 hours. Remember, your body is like a machine, you need to keep it oiled and in tip-top shape for it to run at it’s best. If you’re not getting enough sleep, you’re causing oxidative damage, which causes your cells and DNA to build up, reducing our longevity.

Laugh. Amazingly enough. if you laugh for 10-15 minutes per day, you can burn up to 40 calories! So why aren’t you laughing?! It helps release endorphins to help you feel relaxed. Spend time with family and friends to gain the much needed benefit of humor and in-person social interaction.

In summary, living longer depends on how we react, what we choose to do, and how we live. Revive yourself from the inside with wiser food choices, letting go of the things beyond your control, and finding ways to alleviate stress in our lives. All you have to do is remind yourself of the simple life that our grandparents lived and how much of a difference it made in longevity and happiness.

As always consult your health professional. I hope this article finds you in good health.

Connie Stoltz-McDonald is an Integrative Nutrition-Certified Health Coach, CPT, Wellness Educator, Blogger and Author. From her passion for writing, she is excited to announce her first book release titled “Healthy Lifestyle- The inside secrets to transforming your body and health.” If you’d like to get a copy, you can connect with her at her website, www.lifestylehealthmentor.comFacebookTwitterLinkedIn, or Instagram.



Conquering Stress and Managing Your Time Wisely

We all know stress takes a toll on our family, friends, work, and don’t forget the internal breakdown within your body and health, but it’s something that we can take control of and find ways to cope.

How do we decide when not to get overworked, frustrated or fly off the handle? It all comes down to defining what is a priority to you. That means identifying those are your key objectives that have to be done and looking through those to get the ones that well, maybe you have been putting off, because you literally don’t want to do them. Well, I’m here to tell you that they don’t just get done with a magic wand or disappear, you must tackle them head on. Once, you take out the tasks haunting you, relief sets in and the rush of hitting the list hard kicks in. It’s the adrenaline to focus on the end result… You’re done. And let’s not forget, that the hype of just trying to tell yourself to do it- causes the stress factors to heat up and cause the stomach discomfort, migraine or moodiness. At this point, most co-workers are now running for the cover, because they don’t want to be anywhere near you when you blow.

Here are some key points to making that list seem painless and help relieve the internal fire:

1. Requires immediate attention

  • Maybe it’s that long dreaded task that never moves — moving it from important to urgent initiates most of us to actually do it. Keep in mind that by never dealing with it, leads to additional stress.
  • Define it as it’s your internet bill and well, you’re lingering on possibly being disconnected. When you draw your mind into the end result, the task seems clearer and the why is no longer the concern. It becomes the push to completion.

2. Crucial but not death defying

  • Is there a deadline? When and is it time consuming? It may lead to critical status- break it down under crucial- if it helps you move to the next step. We all know things come up that are unforeseen and wonder where the day went. Interruptions always happen- whether you have that co-worker that can’t seem to quit talking or clients who schedule coffee time with you, but you didn’t accept the invite. Those tasks impact our day depending on intensity level – could be driven by your manager moving it to the top of the list.

3. Unimportant

  • Does it even belong on this list? Have you been putting it off because it’s not something you really intended to complete or the ambition isn’t there. Let’s not forget why it was added to the list. This category still carries weight- there’s identifying reasons to achieve it, but maybe not today or tomorrow. But as I know firsthand, it doesn’t mean it stays on the list for months or even a year. Ask yourself: “Do I need to do this now or Do I need to do this at all?” Then at that point, you move it to option 4.

4. I call it the “Back-Burner”

  • Yes this list can get extensive, but it doesn’t mean it won’t ever get done. Set categories of timelines based on urgency of these, because there is time for them — it’s how you make the time.

Have you ever thought to maybe tackle them as they come in versus struggling later to juggle your time to meet the deadline? Managing your focus around prioritizing can help alleviate procrastination which drive up the stress inductors. The slightest adjustment can aid in managing a productive day by breaking down your daily to do objectives by the following identifiers:

  • Perfectionist. We want it done right the first time. But you have to get started – most of the time we talk ourselves out of accomplishing it firsthand because it has to be perfect. One thing, I have learned over the years is as you get older, time goes faster and we don’t have time to waste time over every little detail. I remember back in high school when things seem simplistic and things were never hectic. Did we somehow loose time? Lol
  • Identify the bigger tasks. Don’t put it off because of the timeline required. Get started right after accomplishing those immediate commitments, with blocking out parts of your day so it doesn’t initiate a panic attack. It’s all about how you let life control you and how you handle what life throw at you. And let’s not forget — Is there an option to delegate?
  • Prioritize time allotments. Keeping track of your day with a planner or app will keep you in line with your appointments, tasks and upcoming objectives.
  • Identify small tasks. Do you get the feeling there is always too much to do? When you break each step down, set a reminder such as an appointment for each hour you plan to work on the project so it doesn’t control you or your day. Identify the A, B, C, and D’s to fine tune each objective and make it easier to complete them. This way it identifies time in your day for those pop up disasters that seem to torment us daily.
  • Organization. Take 5 minutes at the end of each day to organize and set up your desk for the next day. There’s nothing like coming into an office where your desk looks like a tornado tore through it. This also bring on the additional stress that you don’t need at 8 am to start your day. Set up a designated area for everything- making time more effective and your day will go more smoothly. Set up folders for your memos, so it breaks down by read now, do now, or read later.

How do we “Let go” and be less overwhelmed?

If I’ve learned anything over the years, I have to say – Learning how to say “No” moved up the list. We all have that kind hearted spirit that wants to be there for everyone and help each other with the drop of the bucket, but is it leading to stress, anxiety, frustration or other health problems. Identify the trigger of why it’s happening and if you truly are taking on too much in your life, well it may be time to just say “No”. I know most may be tuned out to you always being there, but we have to take care of ourselves first. By making yourself a priority, you will eliminate the barriers that define who you are and feeling like you’re being dragged by your feet. I have found over the years that as people change, our focus changes, our drive changes and most of all – the people we want to surround ourselves with changes because we’ve identified what is truly important in our lives… We’ve become wiser…. Which keeps us in tune with our sanity and our health. Stress can take on many health factors such as lose of sleep, moodiness, fatigue, difficulty focusing or keeping concentration, headaches, and depression.

Ways to incorporate stress reduction into our busy lives:

  • Meditation. Take 5 minutes to breathe deeply, sit up straight, close your eyes, and put your hand on your belly. Start by inhaling through your nose, feeling the breaths to take effect in your stomach all the way to your head. This will help lower your heart rate and blood pressure.
  • Laughter. Releasing endorphins and acts as a natural pain reliever. Plus it burns calories — 10-15 minutes of laughing can burn up to 40 calories.
  • Take a brisk walk over lunch and take in some Vitamin D or add in physical activity or yoga after work.
  • Reduce sugar and caffeine. Try to eliminate coffee after lunch to ensure it doesn’t affect your sleep regimen. Finding a healthy alternative to our sweet cravings such as having celery with peanut butter or substituting honey, maple syrup or almond butter in your dessert recipes.
  • Muscle Tension. Get up and move around to stretch and get the energy flowing again. Take that 15 minute break and take the stairs to regain your focus.
  • Let’s not forget that we need 6-8 hours of sleep each day to rejuvenate our body.

In conclusion, I will leave you with a quote that Eleanor Roosevelt said “It takes as much energy to wish as it does to plan”. So, why not do it right the first time and set a plan, which saves you the hassle of touching the task twice and eliminating the ongoing stress to conquer it and overcome the procrastination habit. When you focus your time on results, the chaotic and busyness factor that prevents you from achieving you goals fades away. Never lose confidence in yourself that you can achieve anything you set your mind too. Stay positive and you never end up off track on your dreams. Remember a task, list, goal or deadline wasn’t set up to sit on a list to never be accomplished! You had a definitive reason to add it — now do it!

As always consult your health professional. I hope this article finds you in good health.

Connie Stoltz-McDonald is an Integrative Nutrition-Certified Health Coach, CPT, Wellness Educator, Blogger and Author. From her passion for writing, she is excited to announce her first book release titled “Healthy Lifestyle- The inside secrets to transforming your body and health.” If you’d like to get a copy, you can connect with her at her website, www.lifestylehealthmentor.comFacebookTwitter, LinkedIn, or Instagram.