The focus of this newsletter is anti-aging. This subject has become quite a buzz word in the health community. In my opinion, anti-aging is so much more than Botox injections and accomplished cosmetic procedures designed to make us look more youthful from the outside. I believe that there are a number of factors that are successful in protecting, preventing and restoring vitality, mental acuity and physical integrity within our bodies. With this thought in mind, “we age from the inside out”, here are the following ideas:
- STOP SMOKING: Just do it!
- WEAR SUNBLOCK:
- DRINK WATER:
- PAY ATTENTION TO NUTRITION
“Let food be thy medicine and medicine thy food.” “You are what you eat”. Over time, the lack in quality of nutrition appears throughout the body, from the skin on the outside to the internal chemistry. I am not simply referring to eating well, which to most Americans means a lot. I am referring to eating organic vegetables, fruits, whole grains and quality proteins. It still amazes me when people say that they do not like vegetables and therefore do not eat vegetables. Get over it! There are so many healthy recipes to make even the least palatable vegetable taste good.
Also, it is not the amount of food that makes for a quality nutritious meal. Studies have actually shown that people who eat fewer calories are thinner and live longer. Three goals: Eat organic, eat local, and eat in moderation!!
- BUSY ACTIVE MIND:
- FEELING NEEDED, and/or CONTRIBUTING to SOMETHING:
- MEANINGFUL RELATIONSHIPS:
Gyms are failing all over the country. Is this due to the recession? Perhaps in some cases. Many patients have home exercise equipment and do not use them. Why is this? Study after study shows us how important physical activity is to our health both in the moment, and over the long run. I think people are confused with the term living an active lifestyle vs. exercise program.
Some people will always choose a personal trainer, and or a focused exercise regime available at gyms or with a personal trainer for personal reasons some of which may be convenience and time. However, there are no substitutes for a day out on the trail cross country skiing, hiking, mountain biking, alpine skiing, swimming, bike riding, dancing, yoga, horseback riding, cleaning stables etc. Make things fun. Go with friends. Take your kids, and/or grandkids. Our bodies are designed to move. To avoid boredom, change it up as the seasons change. JUST DO IT! It does not take a lot of exercise. In fact some studies show that too much exercise increases our oxidation rate, which increases the amount of free radicals in our body that actually encourages/enhances aging. If you are concerned you may be exercising too much, come in and see me. We will evaluate this on an individual basis.
The quality and quantity of sleep matters. Did you know that one of our most important hormones is primarily released while we sleep? This hormone is responsible for growth (mostly during childhood), cellular repair and anti-aging. The big buzz currently is HGH injections, or sublingual preparations for anti-aging. If you have questions on this please come in and see me. We will evaluate this on an individual basis.
The blood and urine do not lie. Hormones and chemistry matter. What tests we order and how we interpret the results in the presence of an extensive history and appropriate physical exam matters. In some cases, this may be the difference between life and death. Practicing anti-aging medicine is really what I have always called preventative medicine. My personal goal has always been to stay as healthy as possible for as long as possible. Also, do what I know and to continue to learn more about how to be preventative. Just because we are aging, does not mean we have to accept the most prevalent increase and incident of chronic disease in our own lives. Our science is amazing. We now can check to see if we have any evidence of plaque in our arteries, and inflammation (stroke and heart attack risk, chronic inflammatory disease) sugar and insulin levels (diabetes). We can test for all kinds of genetic markers and evaluate our risk factors of specific kinds of diseases. In this office I evaluate with you which tests are appropriate for you. The rate and the way in which we age is, after all, very individual. It is influenced by our genetics, yes, but our lifestyle and the choices we consciously make day to day absolutely affect our outcome.
So, at the beginning of this newsletter, I invited you to look at our daily routines. Are there things we should, can and are willing and able to change as we get older day to day? Let us pay attention. In some cases, time has not been so kind. Let us not take our health for granted.
I would like to close with a patient’s own story. A 76-yr old man came in for his annual checkup. We run annual blood and urine. (He sees a male physician as part of his health care team as well.) As we reviewed his labs and his case again, all appeared normal. I told him that everything appeared fine on his labs, and I wasn’t sure what I could do for him. He said, “I just want to make sure I am doing the right things. I want to stay healthy.” I told him, sir, keep doing what you are doing, because everything appears fine. Then I asked him what he thought it was that kept him happy and healthy. He said, “I take the supplements you prescribe, and try to exercise as regularly as I can with stretching, jogging, walking and golf. I am still working, where I feel needed, and keep my mind active. I have a wonderful wife and family. And I give back to the community which has been good to me.”
May this story inspire all of us, to be and become the best we can be. To all my patients, I continue to look forward to serving you. Thank you for your continued support through your referral of friends and family.