Women Do Things Better!
Add “Live Longer” to the list of things that women do better than men.
Sorry, men, but research and reports on the life expectancy in the United States have always shown, and continue to show, that women can expect to live at least five years longer than men. And this is true not only in the United States, but throughout the world.
Why is that, you might ask? There are several theories about what women are doing that men have not yet figured out.
Time Magazine published an article several years ago claiming that there are maybe three things that men do worse than women that shorten their life expectancy: 1) smoke more, 2) eat more foods that lead to high cholesterol, and 3) don’t deal with stress as well as women.
As we approach National Women’s Health Week, it’s important to understand how women empower themselves to make their health a priority and live longer.
Someone once said, “Most Boomer women are great caregivers to others but are not great caregivers to themselves.” Ladies, it’s time to focus on YOU to ensure you live a long and healthy life! Here are some tips to help do that.
Exercise Your Body!
Add daily exercise to your everyday routine. Physical activity can reduce the risk of diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, and osteoporosis, and can help keep you independent in your home to do things such as climb stairs, open doors, and carry groceries. Keeping your muscles strong can facilitate joint motion, making your active lifestyle easier. Some options to consider when thinking about fitness include:
- Join a gym – There are many gyms throughout the country that are now offering special classes like “Fit Over Fifty”, designed for older adults, with specialized staff trained to create a senior fitness program focusing on health, balance, gait and all things encompassing elder fitness. Consult your doctor before going so you know what you should or should not do.
- If you’re not comfortable in a gym, try exercising at home with a Lumex Pedal Floor Exerciser, shown above. It provides a low-impact aerobic exercise that stimulates circulation while toning your leg muscles. It can also be used for the arms.
Maintaining adequate nutrition can be a challenge as you get older. Amy Campbell, a registered dietitian and diabetes educator, was cited in U.S. News stating that while it isn’t a necessity to follow a specific diet, it is important to have a well-balanced diet. Certain factors like a lack of protein puts elder people at risk for lower immune function and osteoporosis. Little things like eating berries can help with mental health. WebMD references several key nutrients that you should be including daily, such as:
- Vitamin B12 to maintain healthy nerve function
- Calcium to help build and maintain strong bones
- Vitamin D to help the body absorb calcium, maintain bone density, and protect against chronic diseases like cancer and rheumatoid arthritis
Exercise Your Mind!
The brain is a powerful device and as we get older it’s important to take care of it. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, someone in the United States develops this disease every 66 seconds. Make sure that as you are working on getting physically active that you also do some mental gymnastics for your brain!
Some ideas to help you do this:
- Learn a new board game or do puzzles and trivia instead of watching TV
- Enroll in a new course or activity at your local community center or learn a new skill
- Read, write, and always stay curious
See Your Doctor!
A yearly wellness or preventive checkup with your doctor is essential to see how you’re doing and what changes you need to make to reach your health goals. Topics such as diet, exercise, and vision can all be evaluated to make sure you have a proper plan in place and are on the right path to living healthier.
Fearless at ANY age. Love your life, stay as healthy as you can, move your body, stay engaged, and use your mind. Be bold, be brave, laugh often, and you will be ready for anything for years to come!
- TIME Magazine: http://content.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1827162,00.html
- U.S. News: http://health.usnews.com/health-news/health-wellness/articles/2015/01/21/best-diets-for-seniors
- Alzheimer’s Association: http://www.alz.org/facts/
Cynthia Counts is Vice President of Product Management & Homecare SBU at Graham-Field.
About GF Health Products, Inc.
Headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, with more than 300 US-based employees, GF Health Products, Inc. is a major manufacturer of healthcare products for the acute care, extended care, homecare, and primary care markets. Graham-Field product brands include Basic American Medical Products™, Everest & Jennings®, Gendron®, Grafco®, Hausted®, Intensa®, John Bunn®, Labtron®, Lumex® and Lumiscope®. Visit www.grahamfield.com or call 1.770.368.4700.