HomeLifeStyleWellnessSmall Changes Can Put Seniors On Path To Better Health

Small Changes Can Put Seniors On Path To Better Health

Small Changes Can Put Seniors On Path To Better Health

Small Changes Can Put Seniors On Path To Better Health

By Dr. Damanpreet Jamarai, CMO, UnitedHealthcare


February is Heart Health Awareness Month, a great time to start on the path to better heart health and well-being and to understand the risk factors that can contribute to heart problems.

Late last year, the America’s Health Rankings (AHR) report highlighted a startling fact: heart disease is one of eight chronic conditions that has reached record highs since the report began tracking health and wellbeing in the United States.

Despite a decline in deaths tied to heart disease, it remains the leading cause of death among men and women. Heart disease costs the U.S. health system $216 billion per year, according to the CDC, not including an additional $147 billion in lost wages and productivity.

Risk factors for heart disease include conditions like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and obesity as well as unhealthy behaviors such as physical inactivity, smoking, and alcohol abuse.

In California, 25.4 percent of adults over age 65 qualified as physically inactive while more than 23.9 percent are obese, and just over 7 percent smoke, according to the America’s Health Rankings 2023 Senior report.

What’s more, the report shows strong disparities exist across geographic, racial, and economic groups, putting certain people at greater risk of developing heart problems. The prevalence of heart disease, like overall health and well-being, is influenced by the “social determinants of health” such as lack of access to transportation, healthy foods, and safe housing. Talk to your health plan and your healthcare provider about resources that may be available to you to help improve your health and well-being.

According to the American Heart Association (AHA), there are immediate steps you can take to help you live a longer, healthier life and help reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke.

First, eat a healthier diet. Center you’re eating plan around vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and fish. Limit sweetened drinks, added sugars, processed meats, sodium, and saturated fats.

Second, be physically active and keep an eye on your weight. Adults should aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous activity each week.

Lastly, live tobacco-free. If you don’t think you can quit for good on your own, ask for help and talk to your healthcare provider.

Share With:
  • Here is a sample of my diet and excercise program. I challenge you to come up with any suggestions!

    BREAKFAST @ 8:00 AM

    1 2 Egg Whites + 1 Full Egg Omelet + 1/3 Raw R/Y/O Bell Pepper + Pumpkin Seeds + Half Whole Wheat Toast + 2 Cups of Tea W/Milk + 13 Pre-Soaked Almonds with Skin + 1/3 Spoonful of Psycillium Fiber

    LUNCH @ 12:20 PM

    2 1 Egg White Omelet + 1/4 Raw R/Y/O Bell Pepper + 1/3 Cup of Cooked Lentils + 1/3 Cup of Cooked Vegetables + Little Rice + 1/3 cup of home made yogurt. NOTE: Only vegetables with Low GI and slightly under-cooked, e.g. Okra, Broccoli, Cauliflower, etc.


    3 Fruits: Half apple + 1 cup of Blue Berries and Nuts (Walnuts + Pecans + 23 Pistachios)

    DINNER @ 6:15 PM

    4 2 Egg Whites Omelet + 1/3R/Y/O Bell Pepper + 1/3 Cup of Cooked Lentils + 1/2 Cup of Cooked Low GI Vegetables + Half cup of yogurt + 1 Papad + 1 oz. of Whiskey


    5 3 Cashews + Few peanuts + Kulfi (half kulfi + little milk cake)


    A 30 Minutes of Stretching + 21 Minutes of Walking on Treadmill (7% to 12% grade)


    B 10 Minutes of Walking on Treadmill (7% to 12% grade)

    C 23 Minutes of Walking on Treadmill (7% TO 12% GRADE) + Stretching + Ankle Weights + Dumbbell Exercise


    D 11 Minutes of Walking on Treadmill (7% to 12% grade)

    NO 1. Have been continuously improving diet as I get more information, e.g. Glycemic Index, etc.
    TE 2. All cooking is done in Avocado oil. No butter al all. Also, slightly under cooking is preferable than slightly over cooking. I eat slightly undercooked food. In addition, I take slightly less-ripened fruits (with more fructose and less glucose).

    February 13, 2024
  • I have personally benefited from a adhering to an intermittent fasting routine of 18 hours per day in terms of slowly reducing my weight over a period of about four years. Exercise alone doesn’t reduce the weight. What you eat, how much you eat, and how often you eat has a much bigger impact on reducing weight and maintaining a good general health because an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure, as the saying goes.

    Those who are interested in intermittent fasting may want to read the article, “ Intermittent Fasting: What is it, and how does it work?” on hopkinsmedicine.org.

    The following excerpts are of special relevance.

    “Intermittent Fasting Benefits

    Research shows that the intermittent fasting periods do more than burn fat. Mattson explains, “When changes occur with this metabolic switch, it affects the body and brain.”

    One of Mattson’s studies published in the New England Journal of Medicine revealed data about a range of health benefits associated with the practice. These include a longer life, a leaner body and a sharper mind.

    “Many things happen during intermittent fasting that can protect organs against chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes, heart disease, age-related neurodegenerative disorders, even inflammatory bowel disease and many cancers,” he says.

    Here are some intermittent fasting benefits research has revealed so far:

    Thinking and memory. Studies discovered that intermittent fasting boosts working memory in animals and verbal memory in adult humans.
    Heart health. Intermittent fasting improved blood pressure and resting heart rates as well as other heart-related measurements.
    Physical performance. Young men who fasted for 16 hours showed fat loss while maintaining muscle mass. Mice who were fed on alternate days showed better endurance in running.
    Type 2 diabetes and obesity. In animal studies, intermittent fasting prevented obesity. And, in six brief studies, obese adult humans lost weight through intermittent fasting. People with type 2 diabetes may benefit: Most of the available research shows that intermittent fasting can help people lose body weight and lower their levels of fasting glucose, fasting insulin and leptin while reducing insulin resistance, decreasing levels of leptin and increasing levels of adiponectin. Certain studies found that some patients practicing intermittent fasting with supervision by their doctors were able to reverse their need for insulin therapy.
    Tissue health. In animals, intermittent fasting reduced tissue damage in surgery and improved results.

    Is intermittent fasting safe?

    Some people try intermitting fasting for weight management, and others use the method to address chronic conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome, high cholesterol or arthritis. But intermittent fasting isn’t for everyone.

    Before you try intermittent fasting (or any diet), you should check in with your primary care practitioner first. Some people should steer clear of trying intermittent fasting:

    Children and teens under age 18.
    Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
    People with type 1 diabetes who take insulin. While an increasing number of clinical trials have shown that intermittent fasting is safe in people with type 2 diabetes, there have been no studies in people with type I diabetes. Mattson explains, “Because those with type I diabetes take insulin, there is a concern that an intermittent fasting eating pattern may result in unsafe levels of hypoglycemia during the fasting period.”
    Those with a history of eating disorders.
    But people not in these categories who can do intermittent fasting safely can continue the regimen indefinitely. It can be a lifestyle change ― and one with benefits.

    Keep in mind that intermittent fasting may have different effects on different people. Talk to your doctor if you start experiencing unusual anxiety, headaches, nausea or other symptoms after you start intermittent fasting.“

    February 14, 2024

Leave A Comment