HEALTHY Lifestyles JANUARY 2021
A SPECIAL SUPPLEMENT TO THE
2 | January 2021
Seniors finding creative ways to stay active amid COVID-19 By Sam Fosness | Mitchell Republic For many seniors, staying active throughout the pandemic has become increasingly difficult. However, it’s never been more important with the stress of COVID-19. Maria Payne, an activities coordinator, has found new ways for seniors at the James Valley Community Center in Mitchell to safely partake in activities through it all. With higher mortality rates among adults aged 60 and older who contract COVID-19, paired with the recommended social distancing guidelines, Payne said she’s had to get creative to provide senior members at the JVCC with monthly schedules full of activities. “It was tough to have to completely change our weekly activity routine when the virus hit, but some of the new things we’ve been doing to stay safe have actually been a lot of fun for members,” Payne said. “Routine is so important for everyone, especially with age.” ...continued on page 3
Photo by Sam Fosness / Mitchell Republic
Delbert Northrup, of Mitchell, plays a game of shuffleboard with his friend and fellow James Valley Community Center member on Tuesday at the JVCC in Mitchell.
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“Research has shown that line dancing improves cardiovascular function, bone strength and brain function. It also helps gain muscle memory.”
- Maria Payne
...continued from page 2 Among some of the activities that Payne has drummed up amid the pandemic include solo line dancing, shuffleboard and cribbage. They’ve also proven to be safe, as Payne said there hasn’t been any COVID19 spreading directly linked to the JVCC. With the stress of the pandemic and social isolation that many seniors have been experiencing, the line dancing and shuffleboard activities help fill that void, as Payne said they’re both very interactive. “It’s a really good workout that has an element of fun and creativity with the music component,” Payne
said of line dancing. “Research has shown that line dancing improves cardiovascular function, bone strength and brain function. It also helps gain muscle memory.” The activities that have been on the JVCC calendar over the past year exercise different parts of the body, which Payne said is key to staying healthy. Payne noted many of the JVCC activities improve coordination in a variety of different ways without putting strain on the body. For example, ping pong and shuffleboard both improve hand eye coordination. While physical exercise is critical to maintaining wellness, Payne said the card games like cribbage can be
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just as important considering studies have shown they improve cognitive function. “Exercising the brain is another part of building a healthy immune system. Cribbage and pinochle are just two of many games that help the cognitive side of things,” she said. Considering some seniors have been forced to limit or eliminate visits to their loved ones and friends who may be in a nursing home or assisted living center, it can take a toll on one’s mental health. While the degree of social isolation may vary among senior members at the JVCC, Payne said she’s been encouraging anyone struggling with men-
tal health to seek necessary help. Although routine exercise for seniors is vital, nutrition also plays a large role to achieve a healthy lifestyle. Jessica Pickett, community services director with the city of Mitchell, emphasized the importance of proper dieting, as well. She said “With the pandemic, it is becoming more important for people to be healthier and eat right, along with exercising. Getting that daily intake of the food groups like fruits, vegetables, protein and grains helps maximize the exercise and activity that our members regularly do,” Pickett said. “Eating right doesn’t just help the body, it helps the mind.”
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4 | January 2021
HOW TO TRACK YOUR PROGRESS EN ROUTE TO GETTING HEALTHY
Each January, many people resolve to improve their overall health in the year ahead. Such resolutions can serve as motivating factors that compel people to live longer, healthier lives. New Year’s resolutions have proven hard to keep. While it’s difficult to pinpoint how many people are successful with their resolutions, reports indicate that success is typically elusive. A recent report from U.S. News & World Report found that 80 percent of resolutions fail by February. One of the tricks to realizing a resolution is to continue making progress toward your goal. Finding ways to measure progress can make the difference between staying the course in the year ahead or having your resolution fall short.
SET SPECIFIC GOALS.
It’s essential that people who are hopeful that a New Year’s resolution will help them get healthier be specific when setting their goal. For example, it’s easy to determine if you’re on a path to success if you declare your intention to lose 10 lbs. rather than simply saying, “I want to lose weight.” If your goals are specific, you can set benchmarks throughout the year that help you measure the progress you’re making en route to achieving your ultimate goal. If you want to lose 10 lbs. and you’ve lost six by the end of June, that’s measurable progress toward your goal that can motivate you to keep going.
TAKE A FRIEND ALONG FOR THE RIDE.
Friends also can serve as both measuring sticks and motivators en
route to getting healthy. A partner who’s also striving to get healthier can make it that much easier to get to early morning or late night workouts. This person can make sure you’re up in the morning and let you know if it’s been awhile since you’ve shown the commitment necessary to achieve your goal. If your workout partner is more than halfway to his or her goal by mid-year and you’re lagging behind, you can compare routines to determine if there’s any tweaks you can make to increase your chances of being successful.
Strava is an internet service that tracks exercise and incorporates social networking. Strava helps millions of runners and cyclists track their workouts so they can see if they’re staying the course each day or
falling short of their goals. Such services can be highly effective at tracking progress, but people aiming to get healthier also can use a notebook to keep detailed records of workouts, caloric intake and other factors that can help them get healthy.
VISIT YOUR PHYSICIAN.
Doctors can be invaluable resources as people try to get healthy. Schedule a physical early in the year and ask your doctor to help you set goals. Then schedule a follow-up later in the year to see how your efforts are affecting your overall health. Few things can prove as motivational as a good report from the doctor. Resolutions have a tendency to fall by the wayside. But with some effective metrics, people can make serious progress toward getting healthier in the year ahead.
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January 2021 | 5
HOW TO STAY FIT
WHEN SOCIAL DISTANCING
Many people consider their gyms much more than a place to exercise. A gym can be a great place to socialize while trying to stay healthy. Having friends or fellow fitness enthusiasts around also can provide the motivation many people need to stay the course and achieve their fitness goals. The International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association says more than 70 million consumers visited health clubs in 2017. That marked a record high since IHRSA began tracking data in 1987. Fitness memberships also are popular in Canada. GoodLife, the largest fitness club in Canada, has 400 different locations and more than 1.5 million members. Fitness centers were among the many non-essential businesses forced to shutter as a result of COVID-19, forcing fitness enthusiasts to find new ways to stay mentally and physically fit. Many creative ideas have surfaced. ...continued on page 6
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6 | January 2021
...continued from page 5
ONLINE CLASSES: An internet connection is all that’s necessary
to find a number of workouts that can be streamed from the comfort of home. The streaming website YouTube can be a gold mine for free workouts. Some cable service providers also may have On Demand fitness channels or rentals that can mirror some of the classes taken at the gym.
SOCIAL APPS: Gym-goers can inquire whether their gyms are
offering alternative programs. For example, Jersey Strong, a fitness chain in New Jersey, began live-streaming many of its popular group fitness classes via a special Facebook page. Class instructors guide classes from their own homes or from empty gyms. Other gyms may provide links to subscriber-based gym training workouts free of charge.
THE GREAT OUTDOORS: Even though some parks, beaches and trails have been closed, workouts can take place in and around the neighborhood. Jogging or walking can be excellent cardiovascular exercises, as can taking a bicycle ride for a few miles down neighborhood streets. People who live in rural areas can run through forested land or even farmland. Pushups, sit-ups, planks, and other body weight exercises can be done right in the backyard. Before making a decision about whether or not to be active outside, be sure to check the latest guidance from your local health department and community or state leaders. REMOTE SPORTS: Videos of city dwellers playing tennis across roof tops for much-needed air and exercise have emerged in recent weeks. Similar benefits can be achieved with a game of catch, volleyball or racquet sports over fences with neighbors, provided limits on participants are placed and social distancing is maintained.
STAYING FIT DURING COVID-19 RESTRICTIONS TAKES SOME INGENUITY, BUT IT’S CERTAINLY POSSIBLE TO MAINTAIN YOUR OVERALL HEALTH. IN FACT, SOME PEOPLE HAVE FOUND THEY NOW HAVE MORE TIME TO EXERCISE THAN THEY DID BEFORE.
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January 2021 | 7
WHY ROUTINE CHECKUPS ARE VITAL TO OVERALL HEALTH
Regular visits with a medical professional are an important part of a healthy lifestyle. Too often people visit the doctor only when they are ill, as they may not realize just how essential well visits and physical exams are. Routine checkups are the smartest way for people in all age groups to stay on top of their health, but they can be especially valuable for those age 50 and older. Regular checkups enable physicians to check current health against past visits, ensuring that any anomalies can be investigated and treated efficiently and promptly. This can make the difference in slowing down the progression of a disease that has already developed or prevent something from becoming a full-fledged issue. The Mayo Clinic says there are no
hard and fast rules about how often seniors should visit health care providers. Those who are in generally good health may only require one medical checkup a year. At this point vital signs will be checked, medications reviewed and lifestyle topics discussed. Doctors may even recommend or discuss tests. Patients also can bring up any issues they may be experiencing, however insignificant they may seem. Anything from sleep disturbances to memory loss to unexplained fatigue or pain can be addressed. Sometimes getting everything out in the open and being reassured that there’s nothing to worry about can be helpful. General care and geriatric doctors also are adept at asking questions to get a sense of how patients are faring in the world. This may include
topics that seemingly have no relevance to health but can be quite important. A provider may ask about topics such as bathing or dressing. Questions about social interaction or typical routines can paint a better picture of both physical and mental health. The recommended frequency of doctor visits may change as health issues arise or if follow-up is needed after a treatment plan or injury, according to the caregiver company Home Care Assistance. Some seniors may have to visit a provider once a week or once a month. Doctors, nurses and therapists will design a regimen based on a patient’s current health needs. The following are some compelling reasons to be diligent with provider visits.
► Frequently health issues can be silent and not noticed early on by a patient, according to Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore. ► Patients will be less likely to forget about important screenings, like mammography, prostate tests, cholesterol tests, and more. ► Vaccines can be administered, as even adults need certain immunizations to stay healthy. ► Patients can discuss potential lifestyle changes, like going on a diet or taking up a new fitness regimen. It is essential to follow through with health care provider visits, even if they seem redundant. Physicians may detect issues that warrant close observation. Patients are urged to have an open dialogue with their doctors so they understand the reason behind health care visits and expectations in the future.
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Check out the 2021 edition of The Mitchell Republic's Healthy Lifestyles. #hifromSD #mitchellSD #healthy #fightingCOVID19 #stayingfit #rout...
Published on Jan 20, 2021
Check out the 2021 edition of The Mitchell Republic's Healthy Lifestyles. #hifromSD #mitchellSD #healthy #fightingCOVID19 #stayingfit #rout...